From looking at previous articles there is a lot of talk about adding slabs
of muscle and a lot of reviews about supplements you have tried out which is
all really good advice for teen bodybuilders with experience but would be
totally confusing for the beginner bodybuilder just starting up.
Before explaining any of the principles about training if you have never
lifted or have any health problems now or in the past check out with your
doctor if it is safe for you to lift before you think about entering the
weight room. In some cases it could be dangerous to lift if not healthy and
have problems as bodybuilding puts tremendous stress on your body which you
will soon experience.
Before stepping into the gym you need to ask yourself-
*Do I have the will power to stick with it?- There is no use in starting if
you know you are going to work hard for a year make tremendous gains then
*Do I possess the discipline needed to eat right?- This is the one part of
bodybuilding which often frustrates me when I see everyone around me eating
snacks. You need to have the discipline to eat healthily even certain foods
you are not keen on and do not stray to far away from that.
*What goals should I set myself?- You need to set realistic (small) goals so
you can accomplish them and not enter the weight room for the first time
thinking by the end of the year you will be able to compete in the next Mr.
*How will bodybuilding have an affect on my life?- You still want to have a
life outside the gym so think about other sacrifices you will have to make
if you want to keep up with your usual schedule at the gym.
The first thing the beginner who has just entered the weight room for the
first time should know for the first 4 months forget about supplements.
Supplements are great but the beginner would make good gains without them.
You will eventually hit a plateau. This is when you have been making amazing
gains which you will when you first start out but it will then come to a
halt. This is when you should re-think your program and switch to other
exercises and then its time for the supplements. From articles and my
experience when I first started I found creatine to be one of the best
supplements and is perfectly safe for users. Another supplement that I think
is just as important is multivitamins as it is hard to get all the vitamins
from diet alone. For most of you in school eating every 3 hours can be a
problem so I recommend investing in a pack of protein bars which you could
then take between classes. Glutamine is also another safe supplement that
could be used. Just remember if you are going to take both creatine and
glutamine take them at least an hour apart or they will cancel each other
out so they will be no use. When starting out on supplements for the first
time don't go overboard and stick with the basics. There are lots of
articles on the supplements which people have tried and their comments on
them that you can use as a guideline. The message boards also have a lot of
information from people wanting to know about supplements and there are a
lot of good advice about supplements and other topics on them. Always
research your supplements before investing in them to make sure they are
safe to use and good for the purpose you want them for.
Don't go straight into complicated programs which people who have been
training for the last five years are doing even if they say what gains they
have got from it. Stick with the simpler programs with the basic exercises
(there are plenty of these on Bodybuilding.com.)
If you are quite fat to begin with you should think seriously about dieting
first before adding mass rather than adding further pounds of fat with the
muscle as if you bulk up to begin with by the time you want to cut up you
will have great trouble getting rid of those extra pounds of fat.
Your nutrition is also a vital part in building muscle. They say nutrition
is around 70% of your bodybuilding program so it is vital you clean your
diet up. Unless you are already eating healthily you would probably be
having a diet which includes crisps and chocolate THIS WON'T WORK. Going
straight from this type of diet to a perfect nutrition program is almost
impossible. Small steps is the key. At first try swapping a packet of crisps
for a piece of fruit. Then another snack to a tuna sandwich. Small steps
like this will make it easier to change your diet into a clean top notch
one. You should be having 5-6 small meals a day. The most important meal is
your post workout meal and then breakfast as you would have probably been
without food for around 8 hours.
Like with your nutrition building muscle should also be done in the same way
using small steps. Your first step could be to raise your bench and then to
add an inch to your chest and so on. You can dream of having a physique like
Ronnie Coleman but don't think you will become like that in the first week it
takes a lot of time and hard work to get where the professionals are.
When starting out don't be intimidated by the men with 20'' biceps who are
benching 150kg. Trying to lift more you are capable of will only cause you
to use terrible form or get an injury. Remember even the biggest people in
the gym had to start at the beginning. It actually often helps to ask them
for advice, as most of them are quite knowledgeable and would not mind
helping you out.
Don't try and get a head start and get all your information from magazines.
Most of the information is from people on steroids and you trying to do the
programs they do would only lead to you over training.
Try getting a training partner. Some people like a training partner to
motivate them and if you are at the same stage you will pick up information
that you can share with each other to help your training.
The one thing any bodybuilder wants is abs. When people start out they think
all they have to do is crunches and leg raises. This won't work! Doing
hundreds of crunches will only lead to over training and cause potential
To get abs you need a low body fat % around 10% any more and your abs would
not be visible behind the layer of fat on top of them. To get them you need
to do cardio and watch your diet carefully. Remember abs are built in the
kitchen not in the gym.
The most underrated part of a bodybuilders program is SLEEP. You need to get
at least 7 hours sleep every night. You're muscles don't grow in the gym they
grow when your muscles are repairing which is while you're sleeping the more
you sleep the more you will grow its as easy as that.
Another part which is included (or should be) in a bodybuilders workout is
BREATHING. Yes exhale when you use force and inhale when you let the weight
down or during the exercise that does not include the force to move the
weight. The reason for this is when you use force you also put force on your
internal organs it is important to breath out when you use force. For people
who do not know inhale is breathing in and exhale is breathing out. When you
start out lifting start learning to breath using lighter weights as some
people who did not start now find it hard to get the breathing timing right
as they are focusing on every rep which is also important.
You should try and keep the rep range around the 8-12 mark and stick to 2 to
3 sets per exercise. Doing to many sets will only lead to over training
which I will explain. They say you should keep around the 9 set range per
body part and spend between 30 seconds to 60 seconds between sets and give
your self around 2 minutes between each exercise.
Remember not to OVERTRAIN. Over training is where you constantly train so
you do not give yourself enough time to recover from your workouts. In an
article someone described over training like riding a car up hill. For a
while you will make it but after a while the car starts to slow down (this
will happen to your gains). You could be pushing the car (yourself) to the
limits but can't overcome the hill without a change. To fix this you need to
change gear and slow down so you can reach the top of the hill (your goal).
Remember less is usually more.
Most people starting out do not release how important WATER is in their
diet. Your body is 70% water so it makes sense to drink a lot of it and not
get dehydrated throughout the day and especially your workouts. You all have
no excuses, as it is free. Saying this do not over do the water to the stage
where you need to go to the toilet every five minutes.
One last note. The biggest excuse in bodybuilding is saying I have no time
to go to the gym. I don't believe anyone can not spare 45 minutes three days
a week to train and if you really can't get out of the house to go to the gym
there are alternatives. You can always do exercises like pushups, sit-ups to
name a few even in front of the telly if you cannot miss the football match
which is on.
Other than the excuse I have no time to go to the gym the other excuse which
I'm sure everyone has said at least once is I have no time to eat. I
actually understand you with this one as most of you are at school or work
but you can still take protein bars that can be eaten at break or between
NOW YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES NOT TO GET HUGE!
Some key terms which you will hear on this site and in the gym which you
will probably not know what they mean if you are starting out are-
Bulking up- This is gaining as much muscle mass as possible normally done
during the winter.
Cutting up- This is normally during the summer and is crucial to being able
to show your abs of and defining your muscle. It is when you try and get rid
of body fat while keeping as much muscle as possible so you would looked
Mass- The size of your muscles. When bulking up this is what you plan to
achieve in the gym and a lot of it.
Burn- The burning sensation in a muscle that comes from the lactic acid and
pH build up resulting to exercising muscles to failure.
Cheat reps- When you use other muscle groups other than the ones you are
working to help get the last few reps or using momentum to complete that
Intensity- This is the pace you keep while you train or the weights you use
are to heavy for you.
Isolation- Focusing on a individual muscle without using other muscles to
Lean body mass- This is fat free body tissue, comprising mostly muscle.
Pump- This is the look and feeling a bodybuilder experiences when their
muscles fill up with blood after intense exercise.
Rep- Out of all the key terms I had to sit back and think about how to
describe what a 'rep' is. A rep is short for 'repetition' and is the
complete movement of an exercise. For example I'm sure you all know what a
bench press is well pushing up and then down back close to your chest is one
These are just a few of the key terms that are brought up a lot on this
web-site and in your gym.
Just work hard, have patience and grow,
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