Congratulations! It's great you've decided to start bodybuilding, whether it's to compete, gain strength for a sport, or just to have fun and get a great body. The only problem is, right about now your probably asking your self, "Where, and how do I start". That's why I'm writing this article to guide you into bodybuilding and give you information on working out, nutrition, and supplements. Just sit back, relax, and start reading and before you know it you'll have the body of your dreams!
Beginning Working Out and Lifting
Places to workout
Obviously, the best place to start bodybuilding is with building your body! In other words, the most important thing is to lift and workout. Now, you have a few options on where you perform these tasks. Probably the most common are gyms, home, and school. If your on a budget it's easy to lift at school if they keep the weight room open, or if you already have equipment at home that is a great place to workout. Then there are the gyms, which are fantastic because they usually have just about every piece of equipment you need and you can learn a lot just from watching the other people or talking to them. If you prefer working out by your self it's well worth it to invest in equipment for home if you don't already have it.
When you first begin it's a good idea just to get the feel for lifting. Do exercises you know for all the major muscles at 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps at low weights. The next day, whether your sore or not, take the day off. Repeat this cycle for about a week. Now that you have the feel for lifting you can try these exercises:
Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Press
Barbell Bench Press
Standing Barbell Press
Seated Dumbbell Press
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
If you don't know what some of these exercises are, do the ones you know and wait till my next article comes out with in depth explanations and routines for these exercises.
Basic Nutrition Guidelines You Need to Follow
Okay, now that you're lifting it's time to work on your diet. Here are a few basic changes you need to make in your diet if you want to be successful.
Eat whole grains! No more white bread and flower. Eat whole-wheat bread and cook with whole-wheat flower. You will get more nutrients from them and they take longer to digest, so they stick with you longer.
Cut as much refined sugar as possible out of your diet. Skip the soda and candy. Sugar will just add weight and mess with your insulin levels.
Eat six slightly smaller meals each day. I know this sounds hard to do especially if you're in school but it can be done. Here's an example schedule.
- Breakfast: eggs, whole-wheat toast, fruit etc.
- Mid-morning: protein shake such as Myoplex (I eat this meal in my P.E. class)
- Lunch: sandwich (meat, veggies, and whole-wheat bread) fruit or veggies etc.
- Mid-afternoon: anything that's good and healthy (I eat this one after school)
- Post workout: something with lots of protein- i.e. protein shake, protein bar etc.
- Supper: a good meal with protein and some whole grains and veggies.
Drink lots of water!
Once you accommodate these simple changes into your diet you'll see changes in your appearance (trim down) and you should feel great!
The only supplements I suggest using the first few weeks are a good whey protein, meal replacement (MRP), and multivitamin. Myoplex is a great MRP; it has a good carb/pro/fat ratio-24/42/2 and some good vitamins and minerals. Some good whey protein powders with low carbs are EAS's Simply Protein, Next Nutrition's Big Whey, Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey, and Prolab's 5lb. Pure Whey. They are all good and inexpensive. A good multi-vitamin is also very important. GNC, EAS, Prolab etc. all make good vitamins.
Once you've been lifting, taking the whey and multi, and following the new diet for about a month you can start looking into some other supplements. These next two supplements are ones that I've used and recommend.
Creatine - One of the most widely used supplements today. Creatine occurs naturally in our bodies but supplementing with it will help you to gain muscle and strength. Here's how creatine works. We have this stuff called ATP in our bodies and when the ATP gets broken apart it releases energy for the body and forms two simpler chemicals ADP and inorganic phosphate. So when you take creatine it gets stored in the muscles as creatine phosphate (CP). CP is then able to react with ADP in your body and turn the "useless" ADP back into the "super useful" energy source-ATP. More ATP in the body means more fuel for your muscles, which means more intense workouts and explosive power. You want to make sure when you buy creatine that you buy a good brand that's very pure. Prolab, EAS, AST, Higher Power etc. all make very good creatine.
Glutamine - Like creatine, glutamine is produced naturally in the body and it's the most abundant amino acid in the body. It's needed to build and maintain muscle so when you supplement with it, it will help you maintain muscle you already have and aid in recovery. Again, buy it from a good company such as Prolab, AST, Higher Power etc.
*Do not take creatine and glutamine together. They get transported to the muscle through the same process so they will cancel each other out. Take them a few hours apart and if you take the creatine with protein powder make sure the powder doesn't have glutamine added to it.
Now hopefully your all straightened up and know where to start. Just remember to have fun and enjoy lifting. I'll write more articles telling about my routine and supplement experiences so you can learn more. I will also have more in-depth and advanced information so you can progress. In the mean time, Go pump some iron!!!