The Chubby Guys Guide to Building Muscle

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(Also applies to overweight ladies)

Unlike underweight people, overweight individuals face a unique challenge when it comes to building muscle. That challenge is to cut down on body fat as opposed to gaining it (as underweight individuals must do). I’ll be honest with you, if I had to choose one or the other, I’d want to gain weight. It’s a lot easier to stuff yourself with food instead of giving it up. However, there is one main advantage to being overweight when it comes to building muscle and that’s muscle preparedness.

It’s been my experience that overweight individuals have an easier time adding muscle than underweight individuals. However, the real trick is to peel off the layers of fat to reveal hard, dense muscle mass.

What’s really interesting is that a lot of the information out there is geared towards the skinny or underweight individual. When I think about it, of all the muscle building courses I’ve reviewed have all been designed for the underweight or skinny individual. Well, I’m going to provide those of you who are overweight with a guide to building hard lean muscle mass while shedding pounds of unwanted body fat.

Before we continue, I’m just going to clear this up right away. Under no circumstance can one turn “fat into muscle”. Both are two different tissue types. Fat is fat (adipose tissue) and muscle is lean tissue. Fat cannot magically transform its composition into lean tissue. However, fat contains a lot more calories and therefore potential energy to burn. We’re going to use that to our advantage to power hard and heavy workouts while at the same time stripping away layers of fat using strategic cardio sessions.

To achieve this, we need to set out realistic goals and objectives as follows:

Objective 1: Kick start the metabolic process which will allow you to burn fat 24 hours a day while building lean muscle mass

Objective 2: Slowly change the nature of your body composition. We want to reverse the fat storing process and “reprogram” your body’s internal workings so that it uses fat to power intense weight training sessions.

Objective 3: Build hard lean muscle mass through a well laid out weight training regime.

Objective 4: Develop a cardio strategy aimed at improving overall cardiovascular fitness while burning maximum amounts of fat

I’m going to provide you with a 12 week fat burning/muscle building program that will get you on the road to looking the best you’ve ever had in your life. This program is a mini boot camp that will help you set the tone for future success and provide an outline of what you need to achieve your goals.

Before we begin, you need the proper tools to get the job done. Without the proper tools, you just won’t be able to build the body you want. Just as a housing contractor needs the right tools to build a proper house you need the right tools to build a kick ass body.

The tools needed to reach your goals and objectives are:

  • Weight scale
  • Fat calipers (if possible)
  • Measuring tape
  • Access to weight training equipment (commercial or home gym) including some cardio equipment
  • Proper foods
  • Mirror

You can generally find these items at your local Walmart for a half decent price.

Let’s take a closer look at the program.

The program will be cut into two sections. The first section will outline the workout program and the second section will outline the nutrition. Please remember that you can’t have one or the other if you truly want to succeed in building hard lean muscle and stripping off layers of fat. Nutrition and exercise (weight training/cardio) work in a synergistic fashion which when done properly, will fast forward the time needed to attain your goals.

Cardio will play a crucial role in your transformation. There is simply no getting around the fact that if you want to peel off the layers of fat you’re going to have to do a lot of cardio. Believe me, I’ve tried to cut weight without doing any cardio and it doesn’t work. As much as I don’t enjoy doing cardio I’ve come to accept the fact that:

1) When performed correctly, cardio is the “magic bullet” that incinerates fat. When I need to drastically cut fat, I’ll incorporate high intensity cardio which sheds fat like crazy. Personally, this is the biggest benefit to cardio.

2) Cardio will vastly improve your cardiovascular health. There are two very important reasons to improving your cardiovascular health. Firstly, you’re looking after your heart. Let’s face it, a healthy heart is a healthy you. Once you start performing cardio, you’re going to feel a 100% better with a heck of a lot more energy. Secondly, cardio will improve your performance in the gym. This aspect of cardio exercise is often overlooked by most trainers, even seasoned veterans. As you’re cardiovascular health improves it will provide more and more oxygen to your muscles which will assist in completing more repetitions. Over the years I’ve come to accept the fact that I always perform better in the gym once I start doing cardio.

Combine intense cardiovascular training and a well laid weight training program and you have yourself a potent fat burning, muscle building system.

Weight Training Program

To build muscle, you need to train with weights. Sorry, there’s really no other way to do it. Sure, you can do a hundred push ups, sit ups and chin ups but when all is said and done, muscles will only adapt through constant improvement via progression cycling. Progression is all about improving in certain movements that are designed to build muscle and strength. This is the key to building muscle and burning maximum amounts of fat. What we’re going to do is pick the most effective exercises which will build the maximum amounts of muscle while burning maximum amount of fat.

The goal of the weight training program is to stimulate as much muscle fibre as possible in order to build strength and to kick start your body’s internal metabolic process. The program is divided into 3 segments.

Segment 1: Weeks 1, 2, and 3

Full Body Workout

This workout is designed to get your body working using a system of muscles while introducing basic cardio.

Segment 2: Weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8

Two Day Split Workout

The workout introduces more intensity to both, the weight training program and cardio. The workout is divided into an upper and lower body workout allowing for more exercises and recovery times.

Segment 3: Weeks 9, 10, 11, and 12

5 Day Split Workout

This workout is designed to provide the user with maximum rest and recovery periods while intensifying cardio sessions.

Segment 1: Weeks 1, 2, and 3

For the first 3 weeks, we are going to train 3 days per week using your full body for each workout. In addition, we are going to introduce cardiovascular exercise into the program which is designed to work hand in hand with the weight training program.

Let’s take a look:

This is a full body workout routine. The routine will be as follows:

Day 1 Full Body
Day 2
Day 3
Full Body
Day 4
Day 5 Full Body
Day 6 Cardio
Day 7 Rest

Day 1

Squats: 3 x 15 repetitions

Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 15 repetitions

Lat Machine Pull Downs: 3 x 15 repetitions

Seated Shoulder Dumbbell Press: 3 x 15 repetitions

Barbell Curls: 3 x 15 repetitions

Planks: 3 x 15 second holds

Cardio: Treadmill / Elliptical / Exercise Bike: 30 minutes at low to medium level

Day 2 Rest

Day 3

Dead lifts: 3 x 15 repetitions

T-Bar Rows: 3 x 15 repetitions

Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 x 15 repetitions

Standing Dumbbell Laterals: 3 x 15 repetitions

Close Grip Bench Press: 3 x 15 repetitions

Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 15

Cardio: Treadmill / Elliptical / Exercise Bike: 30 minutes at low to medium level

Day 4:

Cardio: Treadmill / Elliptical / Exercise Bike: 30 to 45 minutes at low to medium level

Day 5

Stair step ups: 3 x 15 repetitions each leg

Dips: 3 x 15

Lat Machine Pull Downs: 3 x 15 repetitions

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 15 repetitions

Standing Calf Raise: 3 x 15 repetitions

Planks: 3 x 15 second holds

Cardio: Treadmill / Elliptical / Exercise Bike: 30 minutes at low to medium level

Day 6 Cardio:

Treadmill / Elliptical / Exercise Bike: 30 to 45 minutes at low to medium level

Day 7 Rest

You may be wondering why the repetition count is so high. The most important thing you have to remember about building muscle and strength is that it is all about progression. The only way to progress is to slowly improve from week to week. This is it. There is no other way to build muscle and strength. The trick is to start broad (high repetitions) and narrow the scope as we progress (lower repetitions). As we progress we will lower the repetition count in order to accommodate higher intensity levels (weight loads).

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As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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