Bodybuilding Starting Guide

Time to Get Big

Perhaps you’ve just taken up a new sport but a scrawny frame makes competing tough, or maybe you’ve seen a bodybuilding contest and picture yourself posing in front of a crowd. It could also be that you look in the mirror each day not liking the reflection. There are many reasons a person may turn to bodybuilding; whatever the motive, it comes down to the same principle—you want to build muscle. The world of iron lifting can be daunting if you’re just starting, but get the basics right and you’ll be well-armed.

Plan for Success

Have you ever turned up for a training session clueless? No planned muscle groups to focus on and completely lost for routine? You just move from machine to machine hoping for the best. This is a surefire way to end your bodybuilding journey. You must plan every session, knowing exactly what exercises to perform, along with the sets and rep count. Sticking to a solid plan consistently will be huge in your quest to build muscle. When designing routines, ensure you’re not training every day and that some rest days are scheduled every week. You should split your training between different muscle groups, being sure not to work the same muscle two days running.

How to Train Well

When performing any exercise, focus on learning and executing correct form. Many beginners want to lift massive weights, leading to body swaying and momentum. If you do this, the target muscle will not be engaged as it should be and you’ll see less development. Instead, use a weight that allows perfect technique, concentrating fully on the muscles being worked. Correct form is not only important for muscle development but also helps with injury prevention.

In general, exercises should be performed in a slow, controlled manner, with a pause at the top (full contraction), before slowly returning to the start. There are some exceptions to this—certain exercises require quick, explosive action.

Change Things Up

Our bodies are clever and adapt to exercise. This means that constantly performing the same exercises with the same weight will slow all progress to a halt. You’ll need to change up your routine every few weeks to kick your body into growth.

Try adding drop sets or supersets for variety. Drop sets involve performing a set until failure, but instead of stopping, reduce the weight and carry on, then reduce it further, until you cannot continue. Supersets are terrific, not only for changing things up but for speeding up workouts without sacrificing the effort. When working on two different muscle groups, perform a set for each muscle without rest. This will result in highly intense sessions.

Eating for Muscle

Although getting on top of exercise is crucial, you’ll pack on some serious size by eating correctly—diet is that important. Protein is key when it comes to muscle building; luckily many sources provide it. Fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and dairy products are just some. And if you’re struggling to fit in enough food during a day, protein supplements are a quick and effective way to keep up.

You’ll need to consume more calories than you burn to put on muscle. To do this, have regular protein-packed meals during the day. Instead of just three large ones, try fitting in 5-6 meals, combining actual food, and supplements when needed. It’s vital to have a healthy balanced diet containing protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fruit and vegetables are crucial too, as they’re full of vitamins and minerals.

Don’t Forget to Rest

As you can see, a successful bodybuilder will need to be a master of many disciplines to thrive. Once you know how to plan your workout, train well and eat correctly you’ll have most of the ingredients needed. Thankfully, there’s one area that should come easy for the majority—get tons of sleep; this is when most muscle growth happens.

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