I'm by no means a world authority on weight-lifting or bodybuilding, but time and time again do I see people asking for routines or putting together crappy ones they've found on bodybuilding.com or wherever, following the latest 'trend' (case in point, when word of DC training got on to bbing.com EVERYONE was doing it, and of course, since it wasn't for everyone, no-one had any success) or whatever - and people are wasting their time messing about with 100 sets of fufu exercises in the hope that this'll make 'em grow. Yes, everyone's different and everyone responds differently to exercise, BUT I don't believe anyone can go wrong on trying out a basic, balanced workout routine for a few months, especially most on this board who're beginners and really need a step in the right direction to channel their admirable enthusiasm into fruitful training and start seeing some results. Yes, Even 'Hardgainers' Can Benefit From A Basic Split A lot of the time I see 'hardgainer' or 'skinny guy' routines dotted all over the place, for people who, funnily enough, find it hard to gain muscle or are especially skinny. The merits of these (usually low volume) routines are another subject entirely, but by and large, I don't buy them - in that I believe that people saying they're 'hardgainers' often don't know what they're talking about. This is not an insult. If you think you're a hardgainer, ask yourself this: have I been on a balanced, full-body workout routine full of heavy compounds, which I've progressed with in good form over time (I'm talking months here, not days), and which I've combined with a sound nutrition plan and proper recovery times? I bet you'll find most of the time, the answer is no. They might've worked out for two weeks using terrible form and even worse exercises and because they havent' grown they immediately think they're doomed to no musculature for the rest of their lives. The number of people with truly amazing muscle-building genes in the world is pitifully small. How many pros are there? A few hundred? In the same vein, the number of people with truly awful muscle building genes out there is also extremely tiny, chances are you're not one of them - but every 'hardgainer' I've met seems to be convinced they're one of them! To them I've always said the same thing, get on a proper routine and eat properly, and come back in 3 months' time and tell me if you're still the same size. So, don't count yourself out just yet, try a proper workout/nutrition plan consistently first. 90% of people WILL make gains on a basic routine so long as they eat and rest properly too. Work Out ALL Your Body Most guys on here want to impress girls with their bodies. There's a few who're actually interested in weight-lifting for the sport itself, but most of you lads just want to score with the ladies, and while I disagree with the moral of this, I won't try to talk you out of it because I know it'd be a hapless endeavour. What young guy DOESN'T want to get girls? It's healthy anyway! Now if you could only put all that testosterone to good use in the gym.. Back to the fairer sex. Now, I suppose you'd tell me that the 'sexy' muscles are biceps and/or shoulders and/or chest - I'm not gonna even start on abs, even though I've met just as many girls who prefer a smooth belly to washboard abdominals, and no, these weren't ugly 240lb girls who knew they wouldn't get an athlete/bodybuilder boyfriend and so weren't looking for one, they were slim and perfectly attractive (actually I'd better also call them FREAKING HAWT since my significant other happens to one of them - hrm, on second thoughts if I called any girl other than her freaking hawt she'd probably crucify me, oh bugger, I've put my foot in it again). And then of course, there's the fact that some women prefer skinny men to athletic ones, it takes all sorts you know. Sidetracked again. Okay, let's talk biceps. You want to wear those nice tight t-shirts where the sleeve is designed to cut your blood circulation off (my honey hates those) which will make your biceps look bigger, sleeker and sexier, huh? No wait, maybe you don't wanna wear those t-shirts, you want arms so big that ANY fitted t-shirt is gonna be stretched that way. Fair enough, I can appreciate the aesthetic and practical importance of big guns. But are those 100 sets of bicep curls 3 times a week gonna get you artillery pieces hanging off your shoulders? Nope. The body is a unit, and operates as such - including growth functions. Isolating one bodypart (again, we'll stay with the biceps example) will get you nowhere fast, and just lead to frustration as in six months' time your arms are exactly the same size as they were when you started, and possibly even smaller since you overtrained them to atrophy levels (extreme example admittedly). Oh, you'll get a pump from your curls, hell you might even gain a fraction of an inch (which'll disappear if you stop working out for a couple of weeks) - is that what you want? If your working out is purely recreational then please stop reading, this post isn't for you. I'm trying to advise people here who are after some serious and permanent growth. Like I said, isolating a muscle in this way is achieving little more than a blood pump and making you look a bit of a twit. It's the same with bench press, people who do 20 sets of flat benching and expect to get huge pecs. They'll just exhaust and possibly injure themselves. Though it's just struck me, if you really did isolate a muscle and made it grow (which can happen after several years of work), how stupid are you gonna look afterwards? Every gym's got one - a guy in his 40s or 50s, huge arms, wide-necked 80s training shirt on, supported by a pair of stick legs in pretty pink spandex. So what, he wasted his youth doing bicep work and now looks like a gorilla with no fashion sense, ridiculed equally by serious bodybuilders and the women he was hoping to impress (you'll also find he's usually single and tries in vain to chat up every girl in the gym from the age of 17 upwards - who take one look at his knobbly knees and bite their tongue to stop from laughing at the 'chicken leg syndrome'). We're young guys, we want stuff here and now, we want to look good in 3 months time, even better in 6 months' time, and possibly damn fine by the end of the year. We won't look any kind of good if we just isolate our arms and/or chest - if you don't believe me, take 6 months out, just do bicep curls and bench presses 3 times a week, and see what happens. In the meantime, I'll be in the power rack, with bigger arms than you have legs, and yet I only work biceps and triceps once a week.