Preparing your workout

A good personal trainer can be invaluable
I try to get a full workout in every other day, or at least 3 times a week.  Those that train harder might require more rest, while beginners might be able to hit four full-body workouts a week.  Do as much as you are comfortable with.  Overtraining can result in fatigue, a decrease in workout efficiency, and potentially muscle and joint damage.  Any of these could seriously set you back in training.

The pre-workout stretch is very important.  Getting injured means losing weeks of training; stretching muscles and joints can significantly reduce chances of injury.  See the stretching guide for a good basic stretch routine.  More advanced workouts might require more specific stretches as well.

I like to divide my exercises into 2 main types: building strength and building muscle.  To build strength, the tried-and-true workout is heavy resistance with low reps (3-5) with a few minutes of rest between sets.  The important moves here are bench presses, deadlifts, and squats.

To build muscle, exercises in sets of about 10-15 reps, resting 60 seconds between sets, are recommended.  Those more comfortable with working out can jump straight into supersets of two sets exercises working similar muscle groups.

On alternating workouts, spread the work around muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.  For instance, work on strength and muscle for the upper body one day, and do the same for the lower body the next.

You can focus workouts around muscle groups you prefer, but be sure to rotate regardless.  Recovery time and balance are important.  The article database is a great resource for those looking to build a regimen.  For beginners and those looking to really maximize their workout, I recommend finding a personal trainer from a local gym that can give constant feedback and advice.

Once your workout and diet are maximizing your potential, you can consider supplementing or an energy drink like Body Rush to gain an edge in building strength and muscle.