Did you know that men of average height are actually often the best bodybuilders in the eyes of the judges? That’s right, part of your bodybuilding potential isn’t up to you at all. It’s your genetics.
There are some aspects of bodybuilding that are up to you, however. You need to work hard both in the gym and the kitchen like getting help with Activated You Morning Complete, if you want a chance at entering a bodybuilding competition.
But how do you even get started? We’re here with a few bodybuilding tips that will help you take the first steps. Read on to learn more.
First: Know Your Goals
Many people start their bodybuilding journey just knowing that they “want to be a bodybuilder.” Sure, that’s a reasonable goal, but what does that really mean to you?
All bodies are different. You can follow the same workout and nutrition plan as someone else and your body will end up looking entirely different.
Bodybuilding is full of aesthetic goals rather than strength goals (though those strength goals are still important). Try to find motivational photos of bodybuilders who have traits you’d like to have as well.
Again, you won’t end up looking exactly like those bodybuilders, but this will give you a good starting point.
This is also a good time to determine shorter-term goals. What areas would you like to work on first? Do you need to be building muscle or lose fat first?
Take Before Pictures
Taking before pictures can be stressful. You may not like how you look yet, and that’s okay. The before pictures are going to help you track your progress and see how far you’ve come in the future.
Use a timer or have someone else take photos for you if possible. Take them in good light and from an angle that you’ll be able to replicate in the future.
You want a photo from the front, one from each side, and one from the back. Stand up straight in a neutral position. Some people like to hold their arms out in front of them but this isn’t necessary.
Keep those photos in a folder so you’ll be able to add future photos.
Figure Out How to Track Your Progress
Speaking of future photos, you’re going to need to come up with ways to track your progress. It’s more difficult than you think to see progress in the mirror.
Many people use scales to measure. When you’re trying to change your body’s composition (in this case, replacing fat with muscle), the scale can be confusing. You may gain muscle weight or stay approximately the same weight.
Scales are helpful tools, but your weight shouldn’t be your only measurement.
Take photos every other week to track your progress. Remember that bodies fluctuate so you may not see progress all the time.
Measurements are also helpful. Use a tape measure around specific parts of your body where you want to see change. For example, your waist, thighs, biceps, and hips. Write down those measurements every week.
Progress may be super fast at first and then slow down. Don’t panic. Slow progress is still progress.
A large portion of your bodybuilding success relies on a solid exercise routine. It’s not as simple as hitting the gym every week or so and doing a few bodyweight exercises.
Exercising to be a bodybuilder takes more dedication. Beginners can build muscle fast, but if they’re not careful, they’ll plateau.
Here are a few tips for your bodybuilding exercise routine.
Focus on Form
If you’re new to heavy lifting (or even exercise in general), you need to make sure that you’re displaying the correct form. This is far more important than lifting super heavy or getting a certain number of reps.
Proper form is the difference between safe progress and a serious exercise injury. You can damage your back, your joints, and your muscles.
It’s a good idea to watch someone else do a movement before you try it. Even if that means you’re peeking at other people in the gym, that’s okay as long as you’re polite about it.
You should always make sure your form is as close to perfect as possible before you even consider adding more weight.
No “Vanity Lifts”
Speaking of adding weight, don’t do vanity lifts.
You never want to lift anything too heavy for your current strength level. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be pushing yourself (after all, progressive overload relies on you constantly pushing your boundaries), but it does mean that you need to know and respect your limits.
Squatting 400 lbs looks super impressive, right? People who can do that have been training for a long time. Beginners are not ready to try, and if they do, they can get hurt.
Slow and steady wins the race. You’ll be shocked at how fast you can progress by increasing your lifts by small increments.
Train Small Muscles Too
We all want to train our “mirror muscles,” right? Those are the ones that look great in Instagram pictures and when you’re at the beach!
While you do need to train those, you also need to train smaller and less obvious muscles. These muscles will stabilize you and, believe it or not, judges at bodybuilding competitions notice them.
That’s right, those tiny muscles in your legs that you never train? The judge is going to deduct points if they don’t look perfect.
Spend at least a small amount of time during every gym session training those muscles that you tend to forget about. You’ll feel stronger and look better as a result.
Make (and Stick to) a Schedule
Many people start going to the gym without a plan. At first, it will work for them. Newbies tend to experience “newbie gains” even if they don’t have any set structure.
If you want to get the most out of those gains, or if you’re not new to the gym, you need to give yourself a schedule to stick to.
Many people do workout splits. They dedicate a certain number of days to the gym and split up their body parts throughout those days.
Day one may be leg day, day two is back and chest day, day three is arm day, and day four is ab day.
You can also mix it up a bit and do several full-body days with slightly different movements. This will allow you to keep going to the gym despite any potential soreness without burning yourself out.
Your schedule may change over time and you will miss days from time to time. Despite that, start with a written schedule and adhere to it as well as possible, even if you’re not feeling up to going to the gym.
Fitness requires discipline, and bodybuilding requires even more.
A Few Recommended Movements
Your ideal movements are going to vary depending on your aesthetic goals, but there are a few things that everyone should do at the gym. These movements shouldn’t be the entirety of your gym routine, but they will help you get strong and build muscle in the right places.
- Curtsy lunges
- Romanian deadlifts
- Good mornings
- Overhead presses
- Chest presses
- Lateral raises
- Chest flyes
- Reverse flyes
You should be mixing up your gym routines with compound and simple movements. This is only a small set of common and helpful movements that you can use to start building your gym routine.
Don’t Skip Cardio
When you’re trying to build muscle and get strong, cardio might be the last thing on your mind. Don’t skip it, even when you’re trying to put on weight.
Cardio serves several purposes.
First, it keeps your heart healthy. Cardio will keep you strong and capable and make your lifts even better. Even doing a small amount of cardio every day will make a huge difference.
If you’re cutting, it also helps you lose fat. Nutrition is the most important part of losing fat, but cardio allows you to burn a lot of calories in a relatively brief period.
If you’re committed to gaining weight, consider doing short bursts of HIIT cardio or low-impact cardio like walking.
Flexibility and Stability Exercises Matter
You should be keeping up with low-impact exercises like yoga, pilates, and stretching alongside your more “intense” exercise.
When you do those small and steady movements, you’re building stability and working on your balance. This can make your lifts safer and stronger in the long run, even if it doesn’t feel like it right away.
Improved flexibility will allow you to deepen your squats, stabilize your deadlifts, and even maybe recover with less pain.
While exercise is crucial for effective bodybuilding, you have to pay attention to your nutrition as well! Your diet is what helps you build muscle and lose fat, both of which are necessary to unlock that toned bodybuilder physique.
Here are a few quick nutrition tips.
Track Your Calories: Should You Eat More or Less?
Remember how we discussed that you need to establish a starting point and know your goals? When it comes to your diet, this is necessary. Knowing your short-term goals will help you determine whether you need to be eating in a calorie surplus or a calorie deficit.
If you’re trying to build muscle, you need to eat in a calorie surplus. Make sure you consider how many calories you’re going to be burning while you’re working out. Use a calorie calculator to determine a vague idea of your daily calorie expenditure and add about 300-500 calories per day.
You may find that you need to adjust this number but stick with it for a few weeks until you can see changes.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to eat in a calorie deficit. Cutting between 200-500 calories per day, depending on your starting point, is a good way to do this.
You don’t want to lose muscle mass or cut so much that you’re unable to keep up with your workouts, however.
Regardless of whether you’re bulking or cutting (or even maintaining), you should make sure that you’re eating well. You want nutritionally balanced meals full of healthy foods.
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in “junk food” from time to time, but eating healthy will help you feel better during your workouts and recover more effectively.
People who are trying to grow or maintain muscle should be eating plenty of protein. 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight is a good goal, but this will vary.
You should also eat plenty of carbohydrates for energy unless you happen to be following a keto diet.
Supplements: Do You Need Them?
Many people think that you need supplements to be a good bodybuilder. This isn’t necessarily the case, but your favorite bodybuilders have likely used supplements of some kind.
There are basic nutritional supplements, such as BCAAs and protein supplements that are helpful when you start bodybuilding. They’re safe and they can enhance your recovery.
You can also find more “extreme” supplements like MK 677 for sale that will alter your body. This isn’t necessary, but it will make you more competitive.
Moreover, hydration and proper vitamin intake play a crucial role in muscle recovery for bodybuilders. Adequate hydration ensures optimal nutrient transport to muscles, supporting the recovery process and preventing fatigue. In addition to a well-balanced diet, considering supplementary sources such as Myers IV in Sacramento can provide a targeted approach to replenishing essential vitamins and minerals, further enhancing muscle recovery and overall athletic performance. Balancing your supplement regimen with hydration and vitamins contributes to a comprehensive strategy for achieving and maintaining peak physical condition in the realm of bodybuilding
Make Time for Rest
hen you get started on your bodybuilding journey, you’re going to be excited to hit the gym and get your diet perfect so you can start making progress.
Don’t forget to rest and take breaks. Rest days allow your body to heal. If you don’t ever rest, you’ll burn out and you may end up losing motivation and progress.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a day completely off of working out, even if you’re trying to reach a lofty aesthetic goal.
Keep These Bodybuilding Tips in Mind on Your Journey
These bodybuilding tips won’t build your dream body for you, but they will help you get started. Building an impressive physique is challenging, but if you’re dedicated, you can get there.
Good luck on your journey.
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