Are you thinking about getting into bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding for beginners can be intimidating. You’ll be at the gym with other bodybuilders who have been at it much longer. There’s a lot to learn and understand before you start lifting weights.
How much should you lift? How often? What should you eat? These are some of the most common bodybuilding questions.
Fortunately, you don’t need to figure all of this out on your own. Read on to learn the top bodybuilding tips just for beginners.
1. Why Do You Want It?
Why do you want to increase your muscle size? Knowing why you want it and being crystal clear about it will help you overcome some initial challenges.
You’ll get over the intimidation and be more willing to push harder during your workouts.
You might want it for aesthetic reasons. You may want to get your IFBB Pro Card someday and compete in bodybuilding competitions.
There is no right or wrong answer, your why is for you and you alone.
2. Build Your Entire Body
Have you ever seen those dudes with massive chests and skinny legs?
Your body is all about balance. If you concentrate too much on one muscle, it will grow, but at the expense of the opposing muscle. When you have a muscular imbalance, it will result in injury.
Take your upper body, for example. You could spend too much time doing bench presses and little time on your shoulders. That can leave your shoulder joint vulnerable because your rear delts are weak.
You’ll want to learn about anatomy to make sure that you’re training all of your major muscles. You also want to focus on your entire body, not just your biceps and chest.
3. Lift Heavy for Lower Reps
Generally speaking, if you want to increase muscle mass in your body, you want to lift heavy. How much should you lift?
You want to lift weights between 3-5 sets. Each set should be between 8-12 repetitions.
How much weight should you lift? There are a couple of ways to figure this out.
You can figure out your 1 rep max (1RM). This is the maximum weight you can lift in one rep for a given exercise. In your sets, you should lift between 60% – 75% of your 1RM.
The easier way to do that is to pick a weight that you think you can lift for 8 reps. Reps 8-12 should be very difficult to do. Read more to learn about that.
4. Don’t Neglect Nutrition
Don’t start bodybuilding and follow that up with a trip to your favorite fast-food restaurant as a reward. Your nutrition is an important component of bodybuilding.
If you’re training for a competition, expect to be hungry and cranky all the time. You’re going to need to restrict calories to show off your muscles.
If you’re not training for a competition, you’ll still need to eat well. You want to limit processed foods, eat more protein such as chicken and fish.
5. Pay Attention to Form
How you lift weight is just as important as how much weight you lift. You can lift heavy, but if your form is horrible, you won’t gain the benefits from the exercise.
Check your body’s alignment when you’re lifting. Your shins should be straight, your knees over your ankles, hips over knees, and torso over your hips.
For upper body exercises like a bicep curl, keep your elbows close to your body. They’ll have a tendency to flare out or you’ll use your body’s momentum to compensate for weakness.
6. Rest and Recovery are Important
Early on in your program, you’re going to be gung-ho to get to the gym every day. This is admirable, but your body isn’t ready for it yet. You can’t go from couch to working out every day because your body has to get used to working out again.
Start by going to the gym 2-3 times a week. Then slowly increase it as your body adapts. You’ll only injure yourself if you go too hard too soon.
7. Pick a Supportive Gym
You want to make sure that you choose a gym that’s going to support your efforts. There are a few ways that you can tell if a gym is supportive or not.
You want to make sure that it’s close to you and it’s easy to get to. There will be mornings when you won’t feel like going and a far drive on a cold morning will be enough to keep you in bed.
You want to check on the equipment, too. Do they have what you need? You’ll need a mix of machines, free weights, barbells, and kettlebells. You also want to check to see if they have yoga classes that will help you improve your flexibility.
Check to make sure that the equipment and machines are in good working order. There’s nothing worse than signing up to a gym to find that the equipment isn’t working or available when you want it.
Finally, how are the people there? Are the other gym-goers friendly? Does the staff welcome you when you walk in or are they indifferent? This may seem insignificant, but a gym with a good vibe goes a long way to support your bodybuilding goals.
8. Be Patient, Results will Come
People want to see results now. The thing with bodybuilding is that it takes a lot of time to see results. Your job is to be patient.
If you have a solid plan, follow it with consistency, you will see results. You’ll start off with a lower weight, and then work your way up.
Keeping a workout journal where you can track your exercise, weight lifted, and the number of reps. You can check your progress as you get bigger and stronger.
Bodybuilding for Beginners: Getting Started
Bodybuilding can be a great way to get strong, look great, and gain confidence. It’s a long road to get there, but when you use these bodybuilding for beginners tips, you’ll get there.
It’s important to focus on your entire body, eat well, and get some rest. That will keep you healthy and free from injuries.
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