Today's bodybuilder needs more than just an intense desire to train. It takes more then just good genetics or a high work ethic to get a great physique. Today's gym rat also needs the necessary 'smarts' to be able to put all the intricacies of the bodybuilding lifestyle into place.
Modern training is as much about training the mind as it is training the body.
I know it sounds novel, but by powering up the mind will enable you to power up your physique in record time. Results are all about knowledge, or should I say - Knowledge is Power!
Knowledge Is Power!
In the majority of my articles I will always brush over the subject of setting short and long-term physique goals and working towards them as a way of generating the best results achievable in the shortest possible time frame.
But just as important as working towards achievable goals is having the knowledge base to know how best to go about achieving them. Without the knowledge, it doesn't matter how bad you want it; you simply will not have the skills needed that will make it happen.
In real simple terms, you need to know what to do - both inside and outside the gym, to generate real measurable success.
To find relevant information on achieving your goal is as easy as 1-2-3. For starters, you really cannot go past this web site to find the answers to any questions that you might have.
Additionally, you can always outsource professional help right from the start, which can end lots of pointless time wasting and confusion. This can come from a variety of places such as Professional Trainers and Coaches, knowledgable gym staff and other industry professionals.
Quick Word Of Caution
There are many people who pass themselves off as being a 'guru' and only they know the secrets to a great physique. The truth is, there are no secrets - just the basic fundamentals to effective weight training.
Anyone who tells you any different will usually have their own agenda and I bet it doesn't have anything to do with your success. But rather with lining their pockets with your cash.
So if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is and it will have no positive influence on your training.
Taking Care Of The Fundamentals
I class the fundamentals of physique development as training, nutrition, supplementation and listening to your body. You need to know enough on each topic to enable you to get the best results possible.
Remember that it's not rocket science but just a solid implementation of the basics principles. Train smart and train hard for your ultimate success!
There are so many different styles of training out there it's mind boggling. The good news is that they will all produce results of some sort if you follow them consistently, but the bad news is that they are not all equal. Some methods are good and some are great, you just need to choose the method that is right for you.
It all boils down to training efficiency and effectiveness. That's the reason why we all train isn't it, because we want too positively change our physiques?
The object of weight training is to train in such a manner that you create a muscular stimulus sufficient enough to result in increases in strength and growth.
The greater the training stimulus, the greater the possibility for growth! So even though you will get some results no matter what you do, I bet you would rather those results sooner rather then later - I know I would!
So what training method stands alone in this respect? Overload Training of course.
Overload training is best described as using of a greater overload on a targeted muscle group during a workout then you had previously used, to literally force the muscle to adapt by becoming bigger and stronger.
It is this consistent increase in exercise-induced stress that makes this training style so effective. With overload training, the consensus is clear - it is the most effective way to train - period!
So when it comes to training, all you need to worry about is when you are in the gym, try and lift heavier poundages from week to week. Concentrate on using 'good' form, use the exercises that you find most beneficial and most importantly - lift with intensity.
Nutrition is an area where most people get into trouble but the truth is, it is really easy to master. Basically, nutrition can simply be defined as fuel for your body. The better the fuel, the greater the chance of capitalising on your heavy training and achieving meaningful results!
With that being said, it should also be noted that it's not necessarily the food itself that you eat, but rather the composition of that food that is important (what it's made up of). I'll explain that in greater detail.
How many times have you debated the age-old question of what is a better protein source - beef or chicken? Well as long as they are both lean cuts, it really doesn't matter.
Both are supplying a good quantity of quality protein, low in fat and taste great. And these same principles can be followed with the rest of your nutritional plan.
That pretty much blows the 'chicken, rice and broccoli' diet out of the water. Just because you are a bodybuilder doesn't mean you need to eat the same things day after day.
As long as you meet your daily (and per meal) macronutrient requirements, where those quality nutrients come from isn't really a concern. I actually recommend eating a varied diet because it makes sticking to your nutritional plan a whole lot easier in the long run.
If one area of the fitness lifestyle receives more energy then anything else (and is actually a little out of control) is supplementation. It continues to blow me away that when talking to younger trainers, their knowledge base on supplements is just awesome. The problem though is that they seem to be totally focusing on the wrong areas.
Supplements are only as effective as your training and nutrition programs are, and should not be seen as a magic bullet. Plus some people get 'too involved' with the whole supplement side of things and spend more time focusing on what's on the shelves in the local store then what's on the bar in the gym.
Get your training and nutrition programs down pat first to make the most out of your supplementation. Remember, it's all about effectiveness!
With supplements, I am a firm believer in the 'basics' and the benefits they alone can bring. I believe that there are 4 basics supplements that should be included in everyone's plan (budget allowing of course). They are:
Probably one of the smartest things you will ever do with your physique is to listen to it. You know when you get that voice in the back of you head, maybe something doesn't feel right, you are just exhausted, or even when your motivation is starting to diminish - well that's your body saying enough is enough.
Additionally, have you ever performed an exercise, which was just uncomfortable at best and the weights you were lifting were pitiful, but your training partner just blasts the bar up? Unless you have some underlying conditions, there is a possibility that you and that particular exercise don't mix.
My advice is don't waste valuable time and energy worrying about it, drop it from your program and move onto something that will work for you, something that will be productive!
It's the same for when you are feeling tired and run down. For optimal results, you should include periods of rest into your training. Having a week off from the gym every couple of months will actually speed your progress.
I know you might feel that during your week off that you will shrink and be required to start from scratch again - not so. You won't lose any muscle in that recovery week, but more likely put more on due to the extra rest (if you stay on track with your nutrition).
Remember that you don't grow in the gym. Training is merely the stimulus and you grow when you are at rest.
So kick back, fire up the PC and build your knowledge base as well as your biceps!
Josh Dickinson is a Natural Bodybuilder/Fitness Professional/Contest Coach based in Australia and runs the highly successful www.physique-essentials.com, where he offers 'one on one' coaching for as little as $2.50 a week You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.