Bodybuilding For The Beginner by Jim Haislop

Golden Era Bodybuilder ‘James Haislop’ competed against Arnold. Furthermore he won one of the most prestigious titles in bodybuilding history ‘Mr. America’ in 1968. Here’s a beginer routine developed by Jim Haislop. – Mr. Berg

“From time to time I have received letters from the novice bodybuilder. These letters from the beginners have increased my Mr. America series began appearing in these pages. Even though the beginners enjoyed each one printed, the majority of them asked for an article that is completely geared to the training of a beginner. This enormous increase in mail has prompted me to write this article for you, “The Beginner”.

First of all, why are you bodybuilding and what do you hope to obtain from it?

Whatever you reasons for training, I can tell you for certain that what you get out of bodybuilding will depend entirely on the effort you put into it. To obtain a well developed physique may take years of constant dedication.

Do not make the mistake of giving up to quickly. Anything that is really worth having, is worth working for. Too many beginners keep their interest in bodybuilding for only a short time. 

This is usually due to a poor routine, work-out area, and many other reasons which I’ll discuss further in this article. Don’t be one who gives up easily, especially if you haven’t given your training a fair chance.

If possible get into a gym where you will receive the correct supervision that you need. Here you will be in a constant environment of bodybuilding. This will be helpful in keeping your enthusiasm high. You will also find that you will make better gains with a training partner or partners.

Occasionally, you will need help with a heavy weight. All of these things can be better accomplished in a gym than at home.

One of the most important things for the beginner to remember is to keep his work-outs from 1 to 1 1/2 hours long. The idea that the more you do for a body part, the better it will develop, is a fallacy. As a beginner, you should do three sets of three exercises for each body-part for approximately one year. This is, of course, after you have been training for a couple of months and your muscles as well as your endurance have become accustomed to weight training. At the very beginning, during these first few months, I recommend that you employ three sets of only two exercises for each body part. Three work-outs a week will be sufficient for you as a beginner. You will no doubt want to do more, especially after noticing that the advanced trainees are employing split routines, super sets and six-day-a-week training sessions.

This method of training is fine for the advanced bodybuilder, but not for you as a beginner. IF you should increase your workout time or the number of days you train, more than likely you will get tired of the whole idea of bodybuilding and give it up.

Your body is not conditioned for this type of training and it will be too much for you. Therefore, you will stop training altogether rather than cut back to your former routine.

Bodybuilding should be something you enjoy and look forward to. Do not be a slave to it. There is a difference between being dedicated to something and being a slave to it.

Though you shouldn’t be a slave to bodybuilding, you should take it seriously enough to put forth 100% effort when training.

Be ever conscious of your diet and rest between training days as this time is an important factor in your progress. Trying to pattern your physique after another person may cause you discouragement.

Do not try following someone else’s routine. Especially, the advanced physique men. These trainees are probably specializing on certain body areas. You should not be concerned with this type of exercise yet. Stick to the work-out program given you by your instructor until he changes.

If you are enrolled in a gym or health club, your instructor is the one to help you. He knows the exercise best for you; not your friends or other gym members, as they have probably been training for a longer period of time than you and are on an advanced level.

If you are not enrolled in a gym but are training at home, I have an outlined program at the end of this article which I hope you will follow.

Please don’t get the idea that special pieces of equipment will give you faster results than the basic exercises given you by your instructor.

These specialization apparatuses are set up to work a muscle from a given angle for improvement in that area. For example, you don’t need to specialize on the lower part of your bicep or the outer head of your calf when you do not have sufficient size in either area. After you have been training for a few years you will readily see the areas that need specialization. Many times before this though, you as a beginner, will think that a specialization exercise an advanced bodybuilder is performing is the very thing you need to develop a body part.

This is not true. Even though the advanced trainee is now specializing, for many years he employed the same basic exercises that you are now performing. These basic exercises are a must for a solid foundation.

If you are a youngster at bodybuilding, though not a youngster in age, then by all means use a mild progressive routine. Don’t expect to make fantastic gains or lose large amounts of excess fat quickly. Remember, you didn’t acquire your present condition over night, nor will you change it over night.

If you are a teenager and beginning a weight program, results for you will be slow, also. If in a few months you don’t look like your favorite physique star, don’t throw in the towel and quit. The advanced bodybuilder has spent many years toward developing a winning physique.

Many people weight train to improve themselves for some particular sport, others for health’s sake alone.

But if you are interested mainly in physique competition, you have many facts to consider. First of all you should analyze your physique; such as bone structure, height, and even the contour of your muscles. These play a big part in you ability to acquire outstanding development. When you realize the type of physique you possess you should have a pretty good idea as to what your chances will be in competitive contests.

Some will never make it, for one reason or another but that is not the important thing. What is important is the fact that everyone can improve and will, if they stick to the rules of health and include proper exercise.

While I mentioned that bone structure, shape and many more natural physical characteristics are important in physique competition, they are not a must for winning titles.

I know of many physique stars who had practically nothing in their favor but developed such outstanding muscle mass that they annexed many titles.

You may not be interested in physique, but this should affect your training very little. Many times, as I was helping gym members with their training,  I would point out that they were performing an exercise incorrectly.

Their reply was that it didn’t matter as they weren’t training for anything special. This is the wrong attitude. Regardless of your reasons for training, you should perform each exercise correctly and in strict form. Why waste your time and energy if you are not going to receive the most possible from your weight training?

You might just as well be at home watching TV. Another point I would like to discuss with you is the improper clothing I have noticed many beginners wearing. The young trainee usually comes for his training session wearing a tight T-shirt, leaves the gym soaking wet not even taking a shower, and wars, the same T-shirt home. This he does to show everyone that he has big arms. But in a few days he has acquired a cold from leaving the gym in the above condition. Don’t let this happen to you. Always bring proper loose fitting clothes to train in and never complete  a workout without taking a shower.

Even though my article last month included a section on diet, I would like to say a few word concerning this for the beginner at this time. Basically you are what you eat. With this in mind, keep your food consumption high in protein and vitamins. 

Don’t try to build an outstanding physique on junk foods such as cokes, hot dogs, potato chips and many other foods of low nutritional value.

If you are under weight and are striving for additional pounds, don’t try bulking up by eating a lot of starchy foods loaded with carbohydrates. This type of weight will add nothing to your appearance but bulky size. IF you will train hard and regularly and consume large amounts of protein in time, you will have the body weight you are seeking.

He best method I have found for gaining muscular weight is by eating a good protein-packed snack before going to bed. This furnished my muscles with food for repair while I’m sleeping.

One fact I would like to warn you about as you begin your weight training program you will be ridiculed, laughed at, told that you are wasting your time, and that you have never make it.

Don’t be discouraged. The very people who make fun of you, only wish that they had enough intestinal fortitude to embark on weight training, as you have. Every bodybuilder who has reached the top started on the same level as you,” A Beginner”

Exercises For Home Training

1.Back Squat (full)
2. Calf Raises
3. Deadlifts
4 Bench Press
5. Press Behind Neck
6. Upright Rowing
7. Bent Over Rowing
8. Triceps Extension (lying)
9. Triceps Extension (Standing)
10. Barbell Curls
11. Concentration Curls
12. Sit ups
13. Leg Raises


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