Research shows that based on the changes occurring inside our bodies, the perfect age to take up professional bodybuilding is between 20 and 30, and over 50.
If you are new to bodybuilding, expect your muscle mass to slowly grow over time. It’s really important to have patience, to adhere sincerely to your workouts and diet, and results will definitely show.
Here are 8 things to know before taking up bodybuilding:
1.Stick to Free Weights and Compound Exercises
Dumbbells and barbells fit the bill when it comes to building muscle, particularly, for a beginner.
On the other hand, shiny machines that modern gyms are packed with, are not so useful in building a solid foundation of muscle mass.
Stick to compound movements first, i.e. exercises involving multiple joints and muscle groups.
These simple movements have you push, pull and squat against gravity. Though you might feel like trying all the possible exercises you see on fitness magazines or on the internet, you should not miss exercises like the squat, the barbell bench press and the military shoulder press from your routine.
2.Have a Program and Follow it Closely
It is essential that you have a strict routine and adhere to it.
Instead of just going in the gym and doing whatever you feel at that time, ask a personal trainer or an advanced bodybuilder to outline a program that includes the exact exercises you must do, the number of sets and also the number of repetitions per set.
Also, make sure to learn the right form of each exercise. It is advisable to work for each muscle group at least once every week.
3.Aerobics is a Must
Aerobics is very essential to muscle growth and one of the most effective fat burners. It enhances metabolism, facilitates the removal of waste products and also assists in the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles in order to strengthen them.
You need to carefully plan aerobics activities so as to achieve their correct duration and intensity.
A low-intensity aerobic activity of about 45 minutes is sufficient for bodybuilding purposes.
For effective muscle growth, the most popular and effective form of aerobics is a brisk walk, particularly in the early morning (say 6:30 a.m). You could do this activity thrice a week for good results.
4.Don’t Over train
As a beginner, your exercise routine should have 3 or 4 workouts per week, and not more often than that. Limit each workout session to a maximum of 45 minutes. Increase the training intensity gradually over a period of time.
If you over train, then you’d experience several undesired physical and psychological symptoms.
The physical symptoms include raised morning blood pressure, increased joint and muscle pains, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, intense dehydration, susceptibility to injuries, infections and illness, and insomnia.
The psychological indications include depression, anxiety, reduced ability to concentrate and increased irritability.
Hence, utilize the remaining days of the week to rest and recover. Adequate rest is as critical a component in muscle building as intense training. Also, make sure you get about 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep is crucial for bodybuilders as it assists the repairing and rebuilding of muscles, and helps to mentally recharge you for your next training session. Retire at the same time every night and avoid taking sleep medications, alcohol and cigarettes.
5.Increase the Weights Progressively
The only way to progress in bodybuilding is through progressive resistance training. This means subjecting your muscles to a greater level of intensity on a continual basis.
Once you master the correct form of each exercise, you need to begin with progressive resistance training. Keep track of how much you lift on each exercise and gradually increase the weight every couple of weeks.
This way you will subject your muscles to sufficient stress, and hence strengthen your body.
On the other hand, if you apply the same intensity to your muscles every day, then you’d end up halting your own progress by not achieving the desired results.
6.Build a Positive Mental Attitude
Thinking positively enhances the muscle-building process in several ways.
A positive mental attitude helps you to approach each bodybuilding session with confidence which further improves the quality of your training. This way you’d certainly achieve your dream body.
In order to develop and retain a positive mindset, make it a point to associate with positive people and to repeat positive statements to yourself.
Always visualize success and speak about your own body in positive terms, while keeping in mind what needs to be improved on.
When you reach the stage of lifting big weights, make sure to use a safety belt for lower back protection. This precautionary measure would avert back problems in the future.
8.Eat to Get Stronger
For packing on pounds of pure, unadulterated muscle, diet is a vital part of your overall bodybuilding program.
If your diet is inadequate or incorrect, then your body would simply fail to achieve results regardless of the intensity of your workout.
Also, make sure to have 4-5 meals daily, with a time gap of 3-4 hours in between.
Protein, the bodybuilder’s best friend, is very essential for building muscle. Protein synthesis, i.e. the conversion of amino acids to proteins, can occur sufficiently only if you consume an adequate amount of protein.
Since bodybuilding involves subjecting your muscles to greater stresses than the average person, it goes without saying that your diet must contain a higher percentage of protein. A good way to begin is one gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Protein-rich food sources are lean meat (e.g.chicken), salmon, eggs, dairy products, some nuts and vegetables.
You can also add a protein shake to your diet regime. Furthermore, you can enhance your bodybuilding program with the inclusion of supplements such as whey protein. It supplies around 30 grams of protein if mixed with milk, and can be consumed immediately.
Focus on gaining muscle mass and not fat. Adhere to a nutritious diet composed of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and useful minerals.
Needless to mention, you must stay away from junk food and an excess of sweets. Substitute fatty, sweetened foods with fruits containing natural sugars.
For instance, oranges make an excellent addition to your pre-workout meal. Eat saturated fats in moderation as they lead to several health concerns, including heart disease.
As a beginner, make sure to follow all these tips for an effective bodybuilding routine.
This way you’d surely improve the way you look, become healthier and boost your self-esteem.
Jenny is a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is currently contributing to Meddentsafety & other top blogs.
Twitter – @jennytravens