I saw the Adonis Index once but it seemed fishy to me so I stayed away. I'm assuming you embraced it though. Does it actually work?
I don't know if Starting Strength is a good program for "I need to be a certain way by a certain date". It strikes me to be more of a longer term thing, even though it is very effective.
Just not the program you see guys holding newspapers over their newly chiseled physiques.
I keep SS at my bedside, but I wonder if such a book would turn off a newbie, especially someone with a non-athletic background. I know it probably would have turned me off. It was written for coaches and is full of jargon and scary-looking anatomical illustrations.
I liked the Ellis program because it used both free weights and machines. I could slowly get used to learning the basic free weight movements while also being able to hit the safer and no brainer machines hard.
Funny, everyone is different.
A whole chapter on deadlift technique can be a turnoff to someone who's never lifted a weight before.
Same with squats, on the head angle.
Yes, an excellent book.
Forearms and calves, really? Not chest? You're not going to end up looking like Popeye, are you?
Books I read said: work out all over, so you don't end up with (say) huge forearms and small biceps.
How much lifting experience do you have? If you are a newbie, stick to the basics. It seems overly simplistic but the big 3 (dead lift, squats, bench press) are a solid base. Not only do they bulk easier than smaller groups, but the first 2 are almost full body exercises, engaging multiple muscles and push your body to produce more testosterone. More testosterone = more full body muscle growth.
After that make sure to cover each muscle group with solid sets, but don't over train and let each muscle group rest. Starting out a 3 day split might be best with something basic like...
Rest 2 days (Light cardio is fine here, but too much will work against your gain goals)
There are a ton of programs, etc but the key is to work out, eat right, get plenty of protein and make sure you are pushing yourself. Newbie gains are the most dramatic, so enjoy them.
They sell hand exercisers for musicians, tennis players and marksmen, I used to keep one in my pocket at all times so that I was squeezing it and working out my grip every day while doing other tasks, do this in addition to pull ups (not girl curl chin ups, they're good for biceps and core but not forearms as much) and some dumb bell workouts and you'll be looking like Popeye in no time. Also stand on the edge of a stair, stand on your tippy toes then lower yourself, these are called calf raises, try to work up to 100 per night.
If you want to get bigger and make gains you're going to want to focus on overall strength and compound movements, opposed to putting too much of your focus on forearms and calves or other small muscle groups. There are some good muscle building programs for free on Bodybuilding.com (I personally think the Big Man on Campus workout program is great for beginners). Make sure you are doing plenty of squats, rows, presses, pullups and movements that engage your whole body and core.
Also, diet is just as important, if not more important, when it comes to gaining mass. Rule #1: You're going to need an excess of calories to gain weight. Make sure you're getting good calories though. Things like lean chicken, fish, whole grains, beans,nuts, loads of veggies and fruits are the things you want to load up on throughout the day and avoid any white carbs, sugars, fast foods, etc. Having a protein shake each day will definitely assist in mass gaining as well. Let me know if you need any more advice or tips. Good luck!
Like everyone said - work out your whole body. DO NOT MIRROR MUSCLE! You will look stupid at the beach or pool if your arms are huge and your back and legs are non-existent. Balance is extremely important in body building. Not only because of how you'll look but because of the functionality of your body and the risk for injury is greater when you are not balanced. And remember that your diet is CRITICAL to building your body up. You can spend countless hours at the gym but get no where if you don't have the nutrition to build lean muscle. Protein shakes will be very important but try and get your protein from food like chicken and lean beef too. They are called supplements because they do just that - supplement your diet. And your diet should be a good one.
Here are good resources for you: