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Break-in Regimen

Here’s the Break-in Regimen in case some readers need to play catch-up (come on, get off the couch and get to it).

Break-in Regimen

Week 1:

Pick poundages that you can easily get 10 reps with using perfect form'with absolutely no straining. Because these sets are light, you don't need any warmup sets. Do two sets of each exercise, with a one-minute rest between sets. Also, keep in mind that you do two sets of each exercise before you move on. For example, the first exercise is squats. Load the bar, do 10 reps, and rest one minute. Then do a second set. After your second set you rest as you set up for your next exercise, stiff-legged deadlifts.

Weeks 2 and 3:

Add a little weight to all of your exercises, but make sure every set is still easy to perform. Never add more weight than you can handle in perfect form for the right number of reps.

Week 4:

Use the first set as a warmup, and then go all out with a heavier poundage on your second set. Select a warmup weight that's about 50 to 70 percent of what you'll use for your heavy work set. For example, if you're going to use 85 on your heavy set of bench presses, your first set should be a warmup with around 45 pounds for 10 reps. Do the reps deliberately and slowly, counting 1,001, 1,002 on the upward and downward strokes. After your warmup set load the bar to 85 and do a heavy work set, pushing until you feel you can't get another repetition with perfect form. If you don't have a training partner or spotter, stop potentially dangerous exercises, such as bench presses, before you reach total fatigue. You don't want to get stuck with the bar on your chest.

Beginning Bodybuilding Routine

Weeks 5 through 10:

Do one light warmup set that's about 70 to 80 percent of what you'll use for your heavy work sets, and then add weight and do two heavy work sets, resting one to two minutes. Do that for each exercise. Try to get eight to 10 repetitions on each exercise. If you get more than 10 reps on your first set, add weight at your next workout. Get Started Routine
Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday

Squats 2 x 10*
Stiff-legged deadlifts 2 x 10
Standing calf raises 2 x 10
Bench presses 2 x 10
Pulldowns or chins 2 x 10
Bent-over barbell rows 2 x 10
Seated dumbbell presses 2 x 10
Dumbbell upright rows 2 x 10
Lying triceps extensions 2 x 10
Standing barbell curls 2 x 10

*2 x 10 means you do two sets of eight to 10 repetitions before you move on to the next exercise. Before those work sets, do one warmup set with about 80 percent of your work-set poundage.
Note: Rest one to 1 1/2 minutes between sets; use a watch or clock with a second hand to time your rest.

Editor's note: For more on this program, as well as exercise demonstrations, diet suggestions and intermediate routines—get a copy of the video 'Beginning Bodybuilding,' available from Home Gym Warehouse for $14.95 plus shipping. Call 1-800-447-0008 or visit

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