Starting a bodybuilding regimen can be both scary and daunting. You go to the gym and you see guys that look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and you wonder, “How will I ever look like that?” So put all your fears aside because we have an exhaustive guide for you to help you begin your journey to a more muscled, toned and healthy body.
Before we begin, let us understand that bodybuilding is a long process. And after the first three months of the right diet and hard training, it will come naturally to you. However, to achieve success you need to first chalk out your goals. Bodybuilding entails too many details, and we all try it for different reasons. Do you want to enter a bodybuilding contest? Do you want to add mass to your frame for a healthier body and better social life? Or do you want to lose fat and increase muscle mass to decrease your risk to diseases? Your goals will define the right path to body building for you.
Is One Programme Suited For All?
No one bodybuilding programme suits the needs of all individuals. Just like each individual has different goals, the bodybuilding basics will differ from one to another. But each individual needs to understand a few rules of bodybuilding, a few basics that make bodybuilding easier and needs to take care of a few things.
- Always get a doctor’s approval before you begin bodybuilding. This is especially important if you have pre-existing medical illnesses or are above 35 years of age.
- You must stay positive and realistic. Bodybuilders don’t bulk up overnight. It takes years of hard work and focus.
- Give yourself a minimum of three months before you expect to see any results. If you are impatient and give up your bodybuilding workouts before that, you will put hard work to waste.
Get The Right Bodybuilding Exercise Programme
When you talk to your gym instructor about your bodybuilding needs, he will be able to give you the right programme. Bodybuilders work on each body part and each muscle group one by one. Every muscle group must be developed simultaneously so that you don’t suffer from muscle imbalance. So don’t focus only on one muscle group; by doing this you only increase risk for injuries.
Begin with an exercise that targets the entire muscle group effectively. For example, do the bench press for chest. Similarly, choose one exercise that will work out the entire area effectively. Master these with enough sets and repetitions. Once you’ve done that, introduce a more complex exercise that will also develop muscles in the same group. For example, for the chest don’t just do bench presses, but also add an inclined press for a more effective workout. When you use two or more exercises to work on the muscles on the same area in different ways, you begin to develop more endurance, muscle mass and strength.
Adding Weights To The Workout
In the beginning, just do the exercise to practice the movements without any weights. This will help you understand the exact way in which the joints and muscle need to function for that exercise. After you have done one set without weights for warm-ups, add light weights to work the muscles more effectively. The first one or two repetitions might come easy, but by the time you reach the 12th rep, your muscles will be screaming in pain. This is why weights are added gradually — it isn’t about just lifting 100kg, it is about lifting a weight and being able to do three sets and 12 repetitions in each set before you call it quits.
Gradually, add weights to your training. Another way to do that is to add more weight to each successive set; this is called pyramid training. However, you should feel challenged by the last set, and finishing those eight to 12 reps should tax your muscles. Once you can do three sets, 12 reps comfortably, it is time to increase the weights gradually.
Remember, you are not here merely for weightlifting; you are here for bodybuilding and that is very different from weightlifting.
Understanding Sets And Reps
Repeating any movement or exercise for a single execution is one rep. So if you are doing bicep curls and you can repeat the exercise 10 times, that makes for 10 reps and one set. There needs to be a small gap between each set, to give the body a break. Once you have rested for a few seconds, start with another set of the same exercise with the same number of repetitions. Once you do three such sets, you have successfully completed the exercise.
Remember, if you cannot do eight reps with that weight, it is too heavy. The weight must be comfortable to lift and move, proving to be challenging only for the last few reps in the last set. As you build muscle mass, endurance and strength, you will be able to add more reps to each set and more sets to each exercise.
It is best to use a lighter weight that will allow you to perform the exercise and execute the movements correctly than to lift a heavier weight and get an injury. Don’t be overconfident in the gym. If you want to achieve the right technique and results, you must start with small weights and work your way up.
Breathing And Speed Of Movement
When exercising, concentrate on your breathing. Start each exercise by inhaling deeply, and exhale as you lift/push. The inhalation comes in the beginning, the exhalation at the toughest part of the exercise. Remember to consciously monitor your breathing, because trying to build your body without breathing correctly will result in oxygen depletion in your muscle tissue that will in turn cause muscle breakdown and lack of stamina.
Your movements must be smooth, calculated and well timed. Don’t hurry with movements, because superfast reps will do nothing but cause injury.
If you follow these simple rules for the next three months, you will begin your journey towards bodybuilding with ease. These beginners’ tips for bodybuilding can greatly help you reduce risk for injury and help you develop your muscles and gain mass in a more controlled manner.