Get Ripped in 2023 with this 12-Week Easy-to-Follow Diet & Training Program

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A 12-week diet and training program to get conditioned and ripped.

Getting in better shape is usually one of the top three New Years’ resolutions for most people. This does not only apply to people who have never stepped foot inside a gym. 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. 

Contrary to what anyone might tell you, having a fitness-related New Years’ resolution is not wishful thinking. It is, in fact, one of the best things you can do before starting a new year.

Why is that, you ask?

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. 

Expectation Setting Before Starting a Transformation Program

Bodybuilder

To be honest, it is unfair to label people as quitters who give up working out only a few weeks after joining a gym. Most of these individuals end up quitting because they do not know what to expect in the first place. 

Their failure should actually be attributed to people who initiated them in the fitness lifestyle or the trainers who could not guide them in their journey. 

If you do not know what to expect while starting a training program, do not worry. We have you covered. Here is what to expect when you first join a gym:

1. It is Going To Take Time

Although transforming your physique is not as hard as some people make it out to be, it surely will test your mettle. Body transformation is a long and slow process, and you should not even consider getting a gym membership if you are giving yourself anything less than six months.

But isn’t this a 12-week transformation guide?

Yes, it is. Give that chest a rest!

Although we are giving you a 12-week program, you better not expect to turn into Captain America in these three months. We believe in keeping it real here.

To see meaningful progress, you should repeat the regimen for another 12-weeks. Even then, you should not expect to look like Steve Rogers after he came out of the Vita-Ray machine

After six months, you will start seeing your body getting into shape. At this point, you will need to switch to an intermediate training program to take your gains to the next level.

2. You Are Not a Lone Wolf

There is no shortage of fitness noobs who think they have mastered the game after watching a few YouTube videos. Body transformation is a complex subject. 

What has worked for a YouTuber or an Instagram fitness model might not work for you. If you want to make the most of your time in the gym, you will need a personalized transformation program. 

Guessing that you are a newbie, and a humble one at that, you should take the help of a professional with a proven track record to devise your training, nutrition, and recovery program. It might cost you a little upfront, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

3. Do Not Trust Your Training Buddy

Training buddy

If you have joined a gym along with a buddy, you are at higher odds of giving up on your transformation compared to individuals who start alone.

Confused? Let us explain.

Beginners who start their transformation journey with a buddy usually end up becoming codependent. This relationship usually translates into one person skipping a workout because the other was too busy to hit the gym on a particular day.

Over time, these missed workouts add up and are equivalent to taking one step forward and two steps back. If you are a beginner, it is better to draw intrinsic motivation and join a gym alone as compared to joining with a friend.

4. Working Out is Only Half the Game

Many newbie lifters pat themselves on the back after every workout as they drive to a friendly neighborhood McDonald’s for a rewarding meal. 

A transformation takes much more than running 20 minutes on a treadmill or curling dumbbells for a few reps. To carve your dream physique you need to watch what you eat and follow an effective recovery program. It is called a fitness lifestyle for a reason.

5. Use Supplements

Transformation program

Most beginners make the mistake of staying away from sports supplements for the first few months as they think these supps are only meant for pros. On the other hand, some suspecting noobs shun supplements altogether because they think they can harm their kidneys. 

Not only are bodybuilding supplements (from reputed brands) safe, but they can help shorten your transformation curve. There are supplements on the market that can improve the quality of your workouts, keep you energized intra workouts, and then fasten up your recovery process. 

12-Week Beginner Diet Program

Until you replenish your muscles with the right fuel, you should not expect to see the desired results. Your daily macronutrient (carbs, protein, and fat) needs will depend on your current weight and transformation goal. 

As a beginner, you do not need to change your diet every week. You need to give your muscles enough time to make the most of the nutrients you are feeding them. By switching your meals too often, you end up leaving gains on the table.

12-Week Beginner Diet Plan

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:

Monday

Meal 1

  • Oatmeal: 1 cup
  • Apple: 1 large
  • Egg white: 7 large
  • Multivitamins: 1 serving
  • Fish oil: 1 serving

Meal 2

  • Cottage cheese: 1 serving
  • Brown rice: 1 cup

Meal 3

  • Tuna: 1 sandwich

Meal 4

  • Chicken breast: 250 gms
  • Brown rice: 1 serving
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp

Meal 5 

  • Potato: 1 medium baked
  • Steak: 150 gms
  • Brocolli: 1 cup

Meal 6

  • Egg white: 3 large
  • Protein shake

12-Week Beginner Training Program

Fitness bodybuilder beginner 2022

The 12-week beginner training 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, you will be performing full-body circuit workouts. During the second half of the program, you will switch to upper and lower body splits with increased intensity. 

Other than weight training, you will also be doing cardio throughout the 12 weeks. For the first six weeks, you will be doing a 30-minute LIIT (low-intensity interval training) cardio post-workout. From weeks 7-12, you will be performing a 10-15 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio session post-workout.

Training Principles For Optimal Results

To get the most out of your training, you should be following these training principles:

1. Focus on Your Form

Most beginner lifters make the mistake of chasing heavier weights while starting out. In your initial days, you should focus on perfecting your form. Learn how to perform the exercises correctly, and the weights will come.

2. Mind-Muscle Connection

If your goal is to build muscle mass, lifting weight for the sake of it is not going to cut it. Bodybuilding and weightlifting are two different sports. For optimal muscle fiber stimulation, you should focus on contracting your muscles with every rep. Remember: Bodybuilders are primarily pump-chasers. If you do not get a muscle-ripping pump during your workout, you are doing something wrong.

3. Visualization 

This technique was popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger. As soon as the Governator entered a gym, he started visualizing what he wanted his muscles to look like. He used the rest time between sets to pose and visualize his dream physique. 

“Every crunch, every chin-up, every curl, every squat, every rep brought me closer to my vision of becoming Mr. Universe, the greatest bodybuilder of all time.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger 

4. Progressive Overload 

To avoid hitting a plateau, you need to ensure you are progressively overloading your muscles. Since this is a beginner’s training program, you do not need to push yourself too hard. Try to lift a little heavier every week or perform a couple more reps with the same weight to keep challenging your muscles. 

12-Week Beginner Workout Regimen

Flexing

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: Total Body Circuit

The first six weeks will help you get accustomed to resistance training and are designed to ease you into your gym life.

  • Monday: Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 1-3:

For the first three weeks of the program, you will be performing each exercise for one set of 15 reps. Make sure you are maintaining high intensity throughout your workout. Do not rest for more than 60-90 seconds between sets.

  1. Lying Leg Curl: 1 set of 15 reps
  2. Leg Press: 1 set of 15 reps
  3. Leg Extension: 1 set of 15 reps
  4. Flat Bench Press: 1 set of 15 reps
  5. Dumbbell Press: 1 set of 15 reps
  6. Dumbbell Shrug: 1 set of 15 reps
  7. Tricep Pushdown: 1 set of 15 reps
  8. Barbell Curl: 1 set of 15 reps
  9. Back Extension: 1 set of 15 reps
  10. Standing Calf Raise: 1 set of 15 reps
  11. Barbell Wrist Curl: 1 set of 15 reps
  12. Crunch: 1 set of 15 reps
  13. Low-Intensity Treadmill: 30-minutes

Week 4-6:

For the second phase of the first six weeks, you will be using slightly heavier weights and be performing two sets of every exercise.

  1. Leg Press: 2 sets of 12 reps
  2. Leg Extension: 2 sets of 12 reps
  3. Bent-Over Barbell Row: 2 sets of 12 reps
  4. Incline Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 reps
  5. Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 12 reps
  6. Barbell Shrug: 2 sets of 12 reps
  7. Rope Tricep Pushdown: 2 sets of 12 reps
  8. Dumbbell Curl: 2 sets of 12 reps
  9. Back Extension: 2 sets of 12 reps
  10. Standing Calf Raise: 2 sets of 12 reps
  11. Barbell Wrist Curl: 2 sets of 12 reps
  12. Crunch: 2 sets of 12 reps
  13. Low-Intensity Treadmill: 30-minutes

Branch warren squat

Week 7-12: Upper/Lower Body Split With Increased Intensity 

In weeks 7-12, you will be splitting your training days into upper and lower body workouts. You will also be pushing harder in the final installment and lifting heavier than you did in the first six weeks.

Week A:

  • Monday: Workout 1
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout 2
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout 1
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week B:

  • Monday: Workout 2
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout 1
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout 2
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

In the first week, you will be training your upper body twice, while on alternating weeks, you will be training your lower body twice a week.

Workout 1: Upper Body

  1. Decline Bench Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Cable Fly: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  3. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Seated Cable Row: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  5. Seated Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  7. Dumbbell Shrug: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Tricep Pushdown: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  9. Barbell Curl: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  10. Barbell Wrist Curl: 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  11. HIIT Treadmill: 10-15 minutes

Workout 2: Lower Body

  1. Smith Machine Squat: 1 set of 8-12 reps
  2. Leg Extension: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  3. Lying Leg Curl: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  4. Back Extension: 1 set of 20-30 reps
  5. Standing Calf Raise: 1 set of 12-15 reps
  6. Crunch: 2 sets of 15-40 reps
  7. Reverse Crunch: 2 sets of 15-30 reps
  8. HIIT Treadmill: 10-15 minutes

Conclusion

While getting a gym membership is easy, sticking to a transformation program requires determination and unwavering commitment. Although the first few months of a transformation program might get you no visible results, you will see exponential growth in the months that follow.

If you wish to carve the physique of your dreams, we encourage you to think long-term. As someone once said, “People overestimate what can be done in one year, and underestimate what can be done in ten.”

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