"I want to get fit", but how do I start?

Whether you've been blessed with one too many lean genes, or if years of being a couch potato have taken you from fit to flab, there comes a time when you want to be wimpy no more. The good news is that you can beef up with a few well-chosen strength moves. And it’s easier than you think.

The key to building more muscle bulk is not only to lift heavy weights, but to follow a myotrophic—or muscle-building—regimen, and stick to it. Exercise is only part of the prescription, though—your workouts provide the stimulus to make muscles grow, but you need to give them the fuel to do so. Contrary to popular belief, carbs aren’t the culprit, and you don’t have to go into protein overload to build muscle. Carbs get used up during high-intensity workouts, so they need to be replenished. But combining high-carb foods with some (but not too much) protein can enhance your muscle-growth potential.

My suggested routine targets your entire body—arms, back, chest, shoulders, butt and thighs—in just seven moves. Follow the fitness formula of sets, reps and rests below along with my eat-to-build food tips. In as soon as 12 weeks, you’ll be on your way to building some heavy-duty heft.

Muscle fuel

• Eat breakfast every day. Fill up on fruit, along with some carbs and protein (an egg-white omelet and whole-grain toast, or oatmeal with walnuts and almonds thrown in).

• Don’t go hungry. Avoid going longer than four hours without some food (snack on nuts, fruit, energy bars).

• Have a protein shake directly after training then eat within 45 minutes to two hours after a tough workout. Choose foods that contain mostly carbs, with some protein thrown in (nuts, a carb-protein shake or bar, peanut butter and whole-grain bread and fruit).

• Eat slightly more than normal. You need to eat more calories than you burn all day to build more lean body tissue. You can figure out exactly how much to eat by tracking what you eat now and adding 250 to 500 calories more each day.

How to do it:

• Warm up first: Go through one set of 12 reps of all the moves first without using weights.

• Choose a weight that's heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained. If you're new to weight training you may want to start with dumbbells that are eight to 12 pounds and gradually work up to using 12 to 20 or more pounds.

• Some muscles are stronger than others, so you may need to switch to heavier or lighter weights, depending on the exercise.

• Start by performing three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Start with a weight in the light end of the range if you are not used to strength training.

• Wait for one to two minutes in between each set of 12 reps.

• Do this workout three times a week with a rest day in between.

• Modify this workout to match your fitness level. Follow the recommended moves, or adapt them as needed. If you feel strain in a joint during an exercise, your weight may be too heavy. Never work through pain; stop or modify the move.

Dunbbell squat press ( one arm at a time )
Bench Press
Reverse grip Bent Over barbell Row
Pull-Ups overhand wide grip
Military Press
Close grip chin ups