Written by Jack Boardman
If you’re reading this, the term ‘Average Joe’ is yours, not ours. First off, presumably ‘Average Joe’ more or less summarises the following:
✓ You’re out of touch with exercise
✓ Your routine has become somewhat hazy – to put it kindly
✓ ‘Nutrition’ isn’t a consideration
✓ At the end of a stressful day, the couch is more appealing
✓ With one thing and another, working out is not a priority, but you wouldn’t mind getting in good shape
✓ Time and effort are factors, but the good intention is there
The Good News
If any of the above applies to you, worry not; this workout is designed for you so you’re on the right track. In this article, we’ll address the above with a workout plan that you can comfortably stick to if motivation is a factor.
The obstacle comes with the aim of lean muscle. Muscle gains, sadly, are earned by working for them and simply won’t be achieved by cutting corners. We can, however, look at a workout plan that gets you in and out of the gym with no faffing and just the exercises you can stick to in order to reach your goal. ‘Lean muscle’ is achieved by gaining muscle and keeping your body fat below 10 percent.
Whatever your body type, it can be done. There is no one size fits all, but the approach to getting there is the same no matter how average you’re feeling.
The good news is that, when it comes to working out, motivation feeds itself. With each visit, you will improve and advance and, in doing so, get in better shape. At first, you can expect aches and pains. This is because building muscle is actually achieved by burdening your muscle fibres so much that your body treats them as ‘injured’. It is in repairing them that your muscles grow – with rest and nutrition.
Nutrition & Rest
Because motivation and time are an issue, this workout will involve three workout days. This is not only a number you can comfortably stick to without excuses, but also means you’re getting in as much work as you really need to achieve your gains but also are getting the rest your muscles need in order to grow. Growth occurs when you sleep and on your days off from the gym. But rest days needn’t be lazy. An ‘active rest day’ can involve light exercise that doesn’t stress your muscles. Avoid weight lifting, but take a light jog or a brisk walk, for example.
Integral in your muscle gains is protein. To make sure that you’re getting what you need, drink a protein shake immediately after working out so that it is quickly absorbed into your system, and make sure you eat a proper meal within an hour of training.
The subject of nutrition also applies to the ‘lean’ part of your goals, which simply won’t happen if you’re gorging on excessive junk food. Low body fat is basic maths: the result of balancing a number of calories you take in and the amount you burn off. For mass muscle gainers, that caloric excess is necessary and too much cardio ought to be avoided. But if you’re looking for lean gains, cardio is your answer.
For advice on cardio and weights advice head to part two where we outline a training plan that will help you to achieve your health goals.