Today, we’d like to give you out there who are new to bodybuilding or are considering trying bodybuilding for the first time. There is plenty to learn and bodybuilding training is the best way to achieve your best results. This is far from all the information to know, but we’ll cover the basics. So here we go, Smothers Fitness brings you 15 bodybuilding tips for beginners. Enjoy!
Use Free Weights
Every gym has fancy machines and weights that look like they would be great for training specific areas of your body. But weight machines simply are not going to build you a solid foundation of muscle mass, which you’ll need to find success as a bodybuilder. Stick to dumbbells and barbells when you’re trying to build muscle mass, especially for a beginner. They are versatile and can work plenty of muscles in your body when used with proper technique and guidance during your experienced bodybuilding training.
Do Compound Movements
There are plenty of exercises out there, both across the internet and from any number of personal trainers or fitness magazines. However, doing every exercise under the sun is not going to help you see the gains you’re looking for. Instead, have a plan and do exercises that use compound movements and work together to build muscle. Squats, deadlifting, bench press and military shoulder press are examples of good bodybuilding exercises to utilize on a routine basis.
Develop A Program
True gains come from developing a great workout plan and then actually sticking to it. Showing up to the gym each day and just randomly doing exercises you feel like doing or think are good for your body won’t get it done. This is where great bodybuilding training comes in, so you can work with an expert to form a plan and they can continue to see you along the course for maximum results. You should know what exercises to do, how many sets and the number of reps per set.
Be smart about your body and how you manage it. You shouldn’t workout every single day. Really, three to four times per week will be enough, especially if you’ve developed a strong program and hit your gym time hard to make the most of it. Rest is important for growth, so don’t ignore time away from the gym.
Focus On Every Muscle Group
Bodybuilding is about sculpting a great overall physique and one that meets your goals and expectations so you can feel great about yourself. While spending too much time in the gym isn’t healthy, not enough time will keep you from reaching the benchmarks you’ve set forth. Don’t just focus on your upper body each day, but mix it up and ensure your entire body looks amazing.
Use the Correct Form
Using proper technique in the gym is extremely important for two main reasons: health and grow. Firstly, utilizing improper form will only serve to damage your body, which keeps you away from the gym (therefore, no growth at all) and could cause serious complications in which you can never recover. Secondly, improper form in the gym makes it easy to cheat your body and yourself. You’re in the gym putting in the work, so make sure and do it correctly so you may reap the full benefit of your time.
Gradually Increase Weight
Once you’ve mastered the techniques for all the basic exercises you’ll be doing as a part of your bodybuilding program, gradually start increasing the weight as you continue to gain strength. If the weight becomes too easy, push forward and avoid plateauing. Track your progress and slightly increase the weight generally every two weeks so you continue to develop strength and build muscle mass.
As we touched on earlier, performing exercises incorrectly can damage your body, so always use caution in the gym. Utilize a spotter, for example, and make sure to wear a safety belt when squatting heavy weights so you don’t cause damage that can persist and keep you out of the gym and away from reaching your goals.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Muscle growth requires protein and so your body should have plenty of it. Protein is the best way to build muscle, so eat things like chicken, fish, eggs, milk, nuts and vegetables. Most bodybuilding professionals recommend at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for maximum results. If eating that much protein daily is difficult for you, utilize protein shakes to your diet as well.
Get Lots of Calories
Calories are the fuel for your body, and when it comes to bodybuilding and building muscle, you need more calories than your body burns. You can use a calorie calculator to find your basal metabolic rate (or BMR) — a measurement of the number of calories needed to perform your body’s most basic (basal) functions, like breathing, circulation and cell production. Adjust your BMR to how active you are (so how many calories you burn per day) and set a meal plan to meet those needs. A bodybuilder trainer can help you with this!
If you’re working out three to four times per week, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside the gym, you should be hungry a lot. So you want to eat four to five meals per day about every three to four hours to avoid feeling hungry. This ensures your body has more calories than it’s burning and that you can get the amount of protein you require to build muscle mass.
Avoid Junk Food
Any weight you gain should come from all the hours you’re putting in at the gym, not from consuming junk food. Just like any healthy lifestyle, it’s best to cut out junk food altogether, or at least limit junk food consumption to a minimum and in moderation. Only eat fast-absorbing carbohydrates right after your workout.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Proteins, carbs and fat are macronutrients, which are great for your body, but you also need micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will load you up with the micronutrients your body requires to reach those bodybuilding goals.
Rest and Recover
Despite what you might think, your muscles aren’t growing when you’re working out, but rather when you’re resting. Working out is tearing the muscle down so that it can grow stronger, which is why rest, recovery and what you eat are so important. So get plenty of sleep (eight to nine hours is best) and take care of yourself outside the gym.
Live a Healthy Life
It should go without saying that the overuse of drugs, alcohol and tobacco are all detrimental to your body’s overall health and they can certainly affect your bodybuilding training as well. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a drink every now and then, but be smart about what you put in your body and think about the effects it could have on your bodybuilding program and results. What’s the point of a great body if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?
Smother Fitness right here in the Sacramento area can help you reach your goals thanks to expert bodybuilding training from champion professional bodybuilder Antonio Smothers. Contact us today to begin your training or for more information!