A 12-week diet and training program to get conditioned and ripped.
The Holidays are over, the winter bulk is coming to an end, and summer is now just a few months away. Getting ripped and shredded, getting huge, or just getting in shape is usually one of the top three New Years resolutions for most people, but this does not only apply to people who have never stepped foot inside a gym or dieted. Even lifters who have been working out for several years aim to put on a few extra pounds of muscle mass or trim down their body fat percentage every year. A training program or workout plan is something everyone can benefit from!
Contrary to what anyone might tell you, having a fitness-related New Years’ resolution is not just wishful thinking. It is, in fact, one of the best things you can do before starting a new year. According to studies, being physically active has been shown to have many health benefits, both psychological and physiological. It can also help you live longer. Who wouldn’t want that?
12-Week Beginner Diet Plan
Let’s dive into a good diet plan to start your transformation program. You will be eating six small meals throughout the day. This will ensure you are maintaining a high metabolism rate which will help you burn calories all day long.
The 12-week diet plan to get you shredded:
- Oatmeal: 1 cup
- Apple: 1 large
- Egg white: 7 large
- Multivitamins: 1 serving
- Fish Oil: 1 serving
- Cottage cheese: 1 serving
- Brown rice: 1 cup
- Tuna: 1 sandwich
- Chicken breast: 250g
- Brown rice: 1 serving
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp
- Potato: 1 medium baked
- Steak: 150g
- Brocolli: 1 cup
- Egg white: 3 large
- Protein Shake
12-Week Beginner Training Program
Now, the fun part of the training program, the actual workout plan. The 12-week beginner workout plan will introduce you to a range of gym equipment and functional exercises. In this program, you will work towards improving your muscle mass, conditioning, endurance, and stamina.
In the first six weeks of the workout plan, you will be performing a push/pull/legs workout split. No, do not skip legs. During the second half of the program, you will switch to the Arnold split. with increased intensity.
12-Week Beginner Workout Regimen
This beginner training program will introduce you to a variety of exercises performed with a barbell, dumbbells, cables, and machines. The 12-week workout includes:
Week 1-6: Push/Pull/Legs
The first six weeks of this transformation program will help you get accustomed to resistance training and are designed to ease you into your gym life. The push/pull/legs split is great for beginners to get used to different movements and have the opportunity to learn the machines and other equipment.
- Monday: Push Day (chest, shoulders, triceps)
- Tuesday: Pull (Back, rear delts, biceps)
- Wednesday: Legs (Quads, hamstrings, calves)
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Push Day (chest, shoulders, triceps)
- Saturday: Pull Day (back, rear delts, biceps)
- Sunday: Legs (Quads, hamstrings, calves)
You can divide this up into different focuses for each day of your training program. For example, the first push day can be more chest focused, while the second is more shoulder focused. Then the first leg day can be more quad focused, while the second is more hamstring focused. Workouts can look something like this:
Push Day 1:
- Barbell bench press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline dumbbell press- 4 setsof 8-12 reps
- Pec deck machine- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Barbell military press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lateral raises- 4 sets of 20 reps
- Tricep rope pushdowns- 4 sets of 12 reps
- Dips- 4 sets until failure
Pull Day 1:
- Barbell row- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lat pulldown- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Cable pullovers- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Reverse pec deck- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Cable rope bicep curls- 4 sets of 12
- Barbell curls- 4 sets of 12
Leg Day 1:
- Barbell squat- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Hack squat- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Hamstring curl- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Leg extensions- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Calf raises- 5 sets of 12
Push Day 2:
- Dumbbell shoulder press- 4 sets of 6-8
- Cable lateral raises- 4 sets of 15
- Arnold presses- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Incline barbell bench press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Cable pec fly- 4 sets of 15
- Overhead tricep extension- 4 sets of 10-12
- Dips- 4 sets until failure
Pull Day 2:
- Dumbbell row- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Cable row- 4 sets of 12 reps
- Cable pullovers- 4 sets of 15 reps
- Dumbbell rear delt flies- 4 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell bicep curls- 4 sets of 12 reps
- Preacher curls- 4 sets of 12 reps
Leg Day 2:
- Stiff leg deadlifts- 4 sets of 6-10 reps
- Hamstring curls- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Hip thrusts- 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Leg extensions- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Calf raises- 5 sets of 12 reps
For the first three weeks of the workout plan, you will be able to get a good understanding of weights that work for you, as well as how the equipment works. Make sure you are maintaining high intensity throughout your workout. Do not rest for more than 60-90 seconds between sets.
For the second phase of the first six weeks, you will be using slightly heavier weights to really push yourself. By now you should have a better understanding of the way everything works and how it feels, so time to up the weight! Still aim for the same rep/set ranges, but increase the weights. It’s all part of the workout plan!
Week 7-12: The Arnold Split
In weeks 7-12, your training program will incorporate the Arnold split. This is a very popular split originally utilized by the godfather of bodybuilding himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You will also be pushing harder in the final installment and lifting heavier than you did in the first six weeks. Let’s look at what the Arnold split entails.
Monday: Chest and back
Tuesday: Shoulders and arms
Thursday: Chest and back
Friday: Shoulders and arms
Now, you can absolutely utilize the same exercises and rep ranges from the first 6 weeks for the Arnold split, there is no reason to cut those out of your training program. You can also continue to focus more on one muscle group for the first day of the week more so than the second. For example, on the first chest and back day you can do more for your chest, on the second, do more for your back. Or on the first shoulders and arms day, do more presses for shoulders, and on the second, do more raises.
There are numerous different ways to switch up your training program to adapt for the changes that occur in your body. The best thing you can do is find what works for you, and go off of that.
Things to Keep in Mind When Starting a Training Program
To be honest, it is unfair to label people who give up working out only a few weeks after joining a gym as “quitters”. Most of these individuals end up quitting because they do not know what to expect when first starting a new training program or workout plan. They may not know the machines, cardio equipment, or even how to properly exercise with equipment like dumbbells or barbells. Perhaps their diet is too much to handle.
If you are reading this, do not give up. While gym veterans may complain about a gym full of resolutioners, deep down, we love to see people getting massive, getting shredded, or just getting in shape. Let’s dive into what to expect when starting a new training program or workout plan.