Every bodybuilder is different. We all have differing muscle development, genetic gifts and shortcomings, work ethics, and training experiences. Despite this, many of us, when starting work with a personal trainer in a gym, or when reading a routine from a magazine, will all start with the same workout. Obviously, since we’re all so different, we will all benefit from a slightly different workout. It’s fine to use the standard starter workout as a basis upon which to build.
Here are some steps to tailoring it to meet your individual needs
Begin with any workout routine. Perhaps a personal trainer will give you one when you sign up for the gym. Maybe you found a nice solid one on your favorite bodybuilding website. Find a workout plan that fits your experience level, whether it is beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
This should be the first item which requires you to change up your workout plan. Obviously, if your gym doesn’t have a piece of equipment called for in a plan, you cannot do that movement. You can’t just remove those sets from your routine, however. After all, they have a purpose in stimulating a certain section of that muscle group, as well as delivering a part of the total required number of sets. Replace those 3 or 4 sets with another movement you are capable of completing using only your limited equipment.
If the routine is designed for bodybuilders, and you have the goal of competing as a powerlifter, than you’re completing the wrong training program! Make sure the program matches your goals, or find another program.
Available recovery abilities
Arnold Schwarzenegger is recognized as perhaps the greatest bodybuilder in history. Despite this, his Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding does offer some advice which, while it may have worked for Arnold, would simply crush those mortals among us. Training each body part twice per week, using 4 hours of training per day would be way too much for most bodybuilders. However, it is advised in this book. Instead, use what you know about your own training and recovery abilities. Add in rest days or reduce overall training volume if you are not capable of recovering in time to complete this workout.
Change out movements which can aggravate existing injuries from which you suffer. Work to find replacements which can ensure you keep the muscle group trained from any angle.
Strengths and deficits
If your chest is superb and your legs are terrible, you might be better served to combine chest and shoulder days, and split quads and hamstrings into their own days, in order to better isolate them. Your pre-fabricated workout will not tell you this, but the physique you see in the mirror very well should. The workouts you find online or in magazines can be very useful as a foundation. Build upon these workouts, using your available equipment and personal goals. Make changes if you can’t recover fast enough from such a routine, or if you recover too quickly. Above all, make this workout yours, and you’ll see improvements in the gym in no time!