Workout plan – building muscle

Starting a workout plan is a big deal: you establish goals, you have some expectations and you want to start seeing results.

I really liked my trainer in my former gym, back in Porto – he was very careful and meticulous and he paid attention when I told him my intentions: to lose localised fat and to build muscle. He came up with a circuit training plan (for the fat part) and a routine workout for the muscles. I alternated between them, but after two or three weeks I was bored and I wasn’t seeing that many results.

That’s when my lovely-not-PT-but-seems-to-be-one sister in law told me about bodybuilding.com. Sign in, she said, state your goals and you’ll have a workout plan suited to your needs and your data (age, gender, high, etc).

I followed her suggestion and, within a few minutes, printed my new plan: 3 phases of 28/29 days each, one day for each muscle group.

It was strange finishing workout within 45 minutes, not killing myself on the treadmill and doing short sequences (3×10/3×12). But the truth is that I started pushing harder, lifting heavier (that’s why so little repetitions) and – the best part! – noticing some changes.

Why is this a good option?

  • This isn’t a plan made especially for you and your progress won’t be monitored by the person who did it, but unless you have a PT, that won’t happen either if you ask for a trainer to make you a plan: they are all based on a standard plan that may have some small changes according to what you demand.

  • There won’t be anybody correcting you if your posture is wrong or if your lifting too little or too much, for example. But neither does that happen if your plan is made by the gym (at least not in mine): they may show you how it must be done, but it is not so easy when it is you doing it. The good part? Body building displays a video for each exercise.

  • Pushing harder. Body building makes you go further and you go from squatting with an empty bar on week one to squatting with 10kg plus the bar within a short period of time. My opinion is that they are not afraid of any legal problems, whilst gyms care too much about it to push you to your limits.

  • This leads us to our final advantage of this online plan: you work every muscle group – thus, you work your whole body regularly and evenly – on different days. This means that there is time for resting, thus allowing muscles to grow.

Some people advised me against this idea and I wasn’t very sure about it in the beginning, but now that I see real results, I feel stronger and I really enjoy working out, I’m glad I went for it.

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