Ancient Greeks hold the inspiration and the map to origin for contemporary bodybuilders. The contests and competition for the theatrics of physical strength date back centuries. Bodybuilding – even for a beginner – is as much about the psyche as it is about the physique!
Bodybuilding is the pursuit of using strength training and nutrition to amplify muscular development in the human body so as to add to the mass, symmetry, and attractive appeal. As the name indicates, the sport of bodybuilding is all about building one’s body by trying to sculpt your muscles in a certain way. It takes passion and persistent effort, but it pays off well in the end, not just in aesthetic but also in psychological terms.
There’s an array of exercises to build muscle. Similarly, dietary Do’s and Don’ts play an instrumentally important role in the process just as well. Weights, dumbbells, and other resistance training devices are used in most exercises.
Carving out a routine and following it religiously is definitely where the key lies to muscle growth. Consistency – both in the weight training room and in the kitchen – is key for bodybuilding success.
Routines For Beginning Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding can seem overwhelming at the beginning with so many people telling you how to go about it. All bodybuilders’ physiques are different, and there are a lot of variables involved, so a training plan that works for one might not work out for another. A lot of beginners tend to switch up their workout plan a lot. This affects their consistency, and can even be de-motivating as results will not be up to par. It is suggested that you consult a personal trainer or physique coach who can analyze your build and give you a specifically designed program for your own goals and your own body.
Don’t train every day
Bodybuilding is undertaken only by those who are super passionate about it, and who actually enjoy training with weights. Many end up going to the gym every day because it gives them a physical and emotional pump. But in reality, working out every day is a hindrance to progress. Why so? Because bodybuilding involves two correlated processes, muscle break-down, and muscle recovery. When you train too frequently (known as “overtraining”), your muscle breakdown is more than you can recover. This limits your muscular gains, and will adversely affect physical and athletic performance too.
“Understand the importance of a rest day! I’m an advanced bodybuilder, I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’m eating a lot of calories to help with the recovery, I sleep a lot and I have a really good hold on things. Even I take a day off after two days of training” says James Hollingshead, a pro-bodybuilder with over 15 years of experience. Further in the interview he suggests that beginners should train only three days each week.
Use Free weights
Experts suggest that beginners should start off with fundamental exercises, to be more specific, free weights. It is vital to learn about the basic mechanics of strength training, for instance learning how to do:
- Barbell row
- Incline bench press
Unlike machines, free weights do not restrict your movement and you can work in any motion range. It also allows you to work out against gravity, engaging stabilizer muscles to the fullest, enhancing stability and control.
Beginners might fret over lifting weights but there are routines for beginning bodybuilding. For example, beginners could work a maximum of 3 sets, consisting of 8 to 12 reps using whichever free weight you feel is challenging enough for you. Make sure to rest for a minute between sets. Once this gets easy, increase your difficulty level by choosing a heavier weight.
Touch upon each muscle group every week
Exercising each muscle group every week is a bodybuilding must. There is no focus on just one set of muscles, each is equally important. There are generally six major muscle groups in your body, namely:
These muscle groups can be broken down into more specific categories. Pair these groups together in whatever combination is best suited for you to maximize your muscle-building in the most efficient way possible. Moreover, design your workout in a way that the same muscle groups aren’t being targeted consecutively, as this can cause muscle exhaustion, hindering your bodybuilding goals. Instead, spread them out over the course of the week, utilizing the week to its fullest. Start off by working out each muscle group at least once a week and gradually build your way to two per week.
Nutrition for Beginning Bodybuilding
Nutrition plays a major role in muscle gain and workout efficiency so make sure you are not compromising on your dietary needs.
Beginners should have four meals a day, as you are doing vigorous exercise, your diet should not be equivalent to that of a normal person. There are basically three macronutrients that you are going to focus upon:
- Proteins – proteins contain amino acids which are building blocks for muscles and a great energy source, so they should be a major component of your diet. Recommended quantity- approximately 30 grams per meal four times a day.
- Carbohydrates – There is a huge misconception that carbs make you gain extra weight. What people fail to realize is that carbs are our main energy source, fuel for the gym and the mind. So cutting them out is out of the question. Recommended quantity – approximately 50 grams per meal four times a day.
- Fats – You don’t need to really worry counting fat grams in the early stages of beginning bodybuilding, but do consume healthy dietary fats for health purposes. Just incorporate them in your meals, for instance, 2 grams of fish oil capsules or a Tablespoon of olive oil.
These recommended quantities are a general estimate for a person who is in the range of approximately 150-170 pounds, a very early stage of their bodybuilding training. These nutrition numbers will vary as your training level increases, and according to the muscle gains that you achieve. Getting help from a nutritionist or your personal trainer to derive a healthy and effective diet plan — and sticking to it! — is important.
Bonus Tip: Chew your food slowly as it produces saliva which acts as a pre-digestion tool. Moreover, the hormone, leptin is sent to your brain to tell it that it is full, so you don’t overeat.
Go for defined goals
With any workout, you always have some sort of goal in mind, however, with bodybuilding you need to have a defined goal as, this requires a certain deal of passion, motivation, and commitment. Ensure your goal is specific, measurable, realistic, and has a timeline. You need to know exactly what you’re looking to get out from bodybuilding, and rather than saying I want to bulk up, prefer saying by 6 months’ time I want to have gained 20-30 more pounds and see an inch in muscle gain. So instead of a vague goal, you have a specified and attainable goal that you need to finish in a certain timeframe, keeping you motivated, accountable, and providing visible results.
Want help putting together a workout for gaining muscle? Contact us to talk about options – right now we’re training people in person in Nashville, and virtually anywhere in the world!