HOW TO GET TOTALLY RIPPED

Not sure where to start? This program gets results in weeks.

AS A BEGINNER,  you need to think about your workouts as if you’re packing for a short trip. While you might want to bring four pairs of shoes, you don’t have enough luggage space—so you pick the one pair that’s suitable for most occasions. (Now try telling that to to your girlfriend.) Same with training: You might want to do four exercises each for chest and abs, but you need only one. Learn to “pack” your training efficiently with the right exercises, and you’ll be well on your way to gainsville  (no, not the one in Florida).

HOW IT WORKS

Beginners should train the entire body each session for balanced development, as well as
to take advantage of your ability to recover quickly and work the same muscles again for faster growth. This approach also burns maximum calories each time you step in the gym.
Each workout is based around a main lift, either the front squat, bench press, or deadlift, because these exercises work the most muscle. At this stage, you need to master form
on the basics and recognize that less work equals more results.

DIRECTIONS DIRECTIONS

Perform each workout (Day 1, 2, and 3) once per week, resting a day between each session. Do the exercises in circuit fashion, completing one set of eight to 12 reps for each lift. Repeat the circuit for three to five total rounds. Choose a load that allows you to perform the prescribed reps—but no more—and adjust as needed. Add weight to the exercises each week.

1. DAY 1

1 FRONT SQUAT

Target muscles: quads, hamstrings, core.

Grasp the bar with hands at shoulder width and  raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, letting the bar rest on your fingertips. Step back and set your feet at shoulder width with toes turned slightly out.  Squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.

2 INCLINE DUMBBELL DUMBBELL PRESS

Target muscles: chest, shoulders, triceps

Set an adjustable bench to a 45-degree angle and lie back against it with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Press the dumbbells over your chest.

 

3 ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

Target muscles: hamstrings, glutes, core .

Hold the bar in front of your thighs with a shoulder-width grip. Pull it in towards your body— don’t let it drift in front of you. Drive your hips back and lower your torso, allowing your knees to bend as needed, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Extend your hips to
come back up.

 

4 DUMBBELL CURL

Target muscles: biceps

With a dumbbell in each hand, curl the weight to your shoulders while keeping your upper arms at your sides. Hold the contraction at top.

5 ROLLOUT

Target muscles: core

Load a barbell with five-pound plates. Kneel on the floor with your shoulders over the bar. Brace your abs and extend your arms to roll the bar forward until you feel your lower back about to sag. Roll back.

FORM CHECK

When performing the Romanian deadlift, make sure that you’re hinging at your hips, with a slight bend in your knees, to lower the weight until you feel tension in your hamstrings.

Beginners need to focus on basic exercises that build strength.

2. DAY 2

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1 BENCH PRESS

Target muscles: chest, shoulders, triceps

Lie back on a bench and grasp the bar with hands just outside shoulder width. Arch your back and tighten your glutes and abs. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum. Push your feet into the floor as you press the bar back up.

2 DUMBBELL LUNGE

Target muscles: quads, hamstrings, glutes

Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee is just above the floor. Stand back up.

3 LAT PULLDOWN

Target muscles: back

Secure your knees under the pad of a lat-pulldown station, reach up, and grasp the handle outside shoulder width. Pull the handle down to your collarbone, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull.

4 TRICEPS PUSHDOWN

Target muscles: triceps

Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station and grasp an end in each hand. Tuck your elbows to your sides and extend them to lockout.

5 SEATED LEG CURL

Target muscles: hamstrings

Set up so that your knees are in line with the axis of rotation. Secure the pad just above your ankles. Bend your knees to curl the pad and contract your hamstrings.

LOAD IT UP

A lot of your power comes from loading your lats: Squeeze your shoulder blades together and maintain an arch in your lower back.

“Full-body training leads to faster gains and greater fat loss.”

 

CORE FOCUS

Before you pull the weight off the ground, root yourself: Plant your feet on the ground and slightly bend your knees. Turn your toes slightly outward, tense your upper back, then pull.

Train the entire body each workout for balanced development.

3. DAY 3

1 DEADLIFT

Target muscles: hamstrings, glutes, back

Stand with feet hip-width apart and reach down to grasp the bar just outside your knees. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, push through your heels to extend your hips until you’re standing straight.

2 OVERHEAD PRESS

Target muscles: shoulders, triceps, core

Place a barbell on a rack set to shoulder height. Grasp the bar with hands at shoulder width and take it off the rack. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward as the bar clears your face so it ends up directly overhead.

4 LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION

Target muscles: triceps

Lie back on a bench and press an EZ-bar over your chest. Bend your elbows and lower the bar, then extend your elbows to lock out again.

3 LEG PRESS

Target muscles: quads, hamstrings

Set up in a leg press machine, planting your feet at shoulder width with toes turned out about 30 degrees. Bend your knees and lower the plate toward your chest until your knees are 90 degrees. Press back up.

4 LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION

Target muscles: triceps Lie back on a bench and press an EZ-bar over your chest. Bend your elbows and lower the bar, then extend your elbows to lock out again.

5 STANDING CALF RAISE

Target muscles: calves

Use a standing calf raise machine or stand on a block or step. Lower your heels toward the floor so you feel a stretch on your calves and then drive the balls of your feet down to raise your ankles up as high as you can.

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