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Bodybuilder six-week training plan


Arnie, bodybuilder to politician to shameface 

In this five-part series, follow this six-week training and nutrition plan to achieve a bodybuilder body type

So you want to be … Arnold Schwarzenegger 

Traits and Characteristics: Muscle density, nice muscular definition, body symmetry and proportion. Bodybuilders usually have high lactate thresholds. While competitive bodybuilders lower their body fat percentage to extremely low levels for competition, recreational bodybuilders are also associated with low body fat percentage but not lower than the essential 15 per cent body fat that the body requires.

Six-week Training Plan:

  1. Perform weight training three to four times a week, giving at least one day in between sessions

  2. Alternate between workout A and B. Eg: Monday workout A, Wednesday workout B, Friday workout A

  3. Do the exercises in the order as shown

  4. Alternate the exercises in the same number. Eg: 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B

Training Style: Strength training forms the main component of the weight training routine, with a warm-up beforehand. Do high-low intervals of cardiovascular training twice a week. For guys who have never lifted before or have not lifted for over three months, focus on working all the major muscle groups while adopting good technique execution. Only those at a higher fitness level are recommended to start with advanced training, which requires heavier poundage muscle building and strength.

Ideally, each workout must build on the one before. Training should be progressive with every exercise, set, repetition and rest period planned ahead of each session and monitored throughout. Always lower weights in a slow, controlled manner and at a constant pace to avoid injuries.

Eat Well: Eat high quality protein and low- starch vegetables at every meal to provide your muscles with a steady supply of amino acids ensuring they have the nutrients needed to grow. Avoid added sugar and refined grains. Opt for whole grain products.

Consume at least 20g of protein 30 to 60 minutes after your workout and eat a regular meal within the hour. For every 1kg of bodyweight, aim for 1.5g of protein and 5g of carbohydrate, which means a 90kg man should eat 135g of protein and 450g of carbohydrate. A prudent-sized meal every three to four hours is ideal. If not, stay at three moderate main meals and add two small snacks.

Train With: Joan Liew, co-founder of Fitness Factory, three times Asian bodybuilding champion. 

Tip: Lift Heavy
Always pick the heaviest weight you can do lift in the prescribed number of repetitions for each exercise. The right weight should cause you to struggle at the last two repetitions.