Many people have an idol whey they first start bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger, an olympian, or one of those guys on the world's strongest man competition. Having goals and somebody to look up to is important for motivation. But unless you're already pretty muscled up, you'll need to start off slower than most of those guys. Here's a simple workout routine to get you started if you're looking to build muscle.

First, realize that hitting the guy every day probably isn't going to do you much good at first. You'll tire out your muscles, get sore, and probably become discouraged and disinterested. A better way is to get into a routine that will make things easy for you to develop good habits. Go back to basics: once you have mastered these and are firmly on your way you can move on to more intense, complex workouts. Training too often or too much is one of the most common reasons for people to burn out.

A basic workout routine should start out with three to four days a week of whole body workout. Remember: listen to your body and keep it slow. Three days might be more than enough for you. Your muscles need plenty of time to recuperate between workouts. This is what allows them to grow, after all! Having at least a day in between workouts is important.

When you go to work out, stick to basic exercises at first. Exercises like the bench press, squats, curls, and crunches are all great exercises that pretty much everybody can do. They're effective, too, so stick with them. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should work out your entire body. Make sure not to neglect your lower body, for example.

When you do these exercises, pay attention to your form. This is one reason why trying to use too much weight is really counterproductive. If you can't do the exercise correctly because you're using too much weight, you won't get as much out of the exercise. Putting your muscles through their full range of motion is important for building them. Do the exercises correctly, and they're much more effective.

Make sure your diet matches your workout goals. If you're looking to lose weight, you should be eating a diet low in fat and empty calories. If you're looking to build muscle, you might want to consider a protein supplement. I recommend Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Protein, but you could also just eat foods like tuna which are high in protein.

Finally, if you start off slowly, you've got plenty of room to grow with your workout. If you follow this advice and start with a basic routine three to four times a week, you'll soon start to see improvements. Gaining muscle will be easier because you're giving your body plenty of time to rest in between and you're doing the exercises with good form and at an appropriate weight level.