Being a bodybuilder is actually harder than it first appears. If you want to succeed with your goals and build muscle mass, there are a few basic considerations you need to be aware of. Here are some essential tried-and-trusted tips for every wannabe bodybuilder.
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Before you start pounding the weights or using machines, know how to use them properly with the correct form. This maximises your gain potential and reduces the risk of injuries, which could set you back.
Mix things up
Doing the same routines repeatedly won’t keep muscles challenged, and it could leave other muscle groups not getting the right amount of attention they deserve. To keep your body on its toes, and to ensure proportionate muscle growth, mix your exercise sessions up a bit. Change routines at least every couple of weeks to avoid a plateau, and always focus on a minimum of two muscle groups at once.
Weightlifting should be progressive, in that you need to add weights to your exercises over time, in order to reap rewards. If lifting is too easy, bung the weights on, or increase your reps. However, add weights slowly so that you don’t overdo it, as this could lead to injuries.
Fuel your body
Although how you exercise is crucial to weightlifting, what you eat and how often also plays a vital role. Eating sufficient protein is a key starting point, where you should be consuming one-to-two grams of protein for each pound of bodyweight. Good sources include eggs, lean meat and fish.
Your body also needs adequate carbohydrates to give you energy for exercising, without eating into precious protein stores. Carbohydrates also release insulin in the body, which kick-starts anabolic growth.
Many newbie bodybuilders shun fats, assuming they’re bad for the body, but this is incorrect to a certain degree. While you’ll want to avoid saturated fats, increasing your intake of healthy, non-saturated fats is important to encourage growth and boost testosterone levels. Healthy fats include oily fish, nuts and avocados.
Eating the right kinds of foods alone won’t fuel growth; you need to up your calorie intake to achieve this. Multiply your bodyweight by 10 or 12, and then add on 1,000-1,500 to get a rough idea of how many calories you should be consuming daily.
Spread your calorie intake out for sustained energy release by consuming five-to-six small meals throughout the day. Always eat prior to a workout and afterwards to top energy levels up and enable muscle growth. A protein shake makes for a great post-workout snack, for example.
If you don’t drink enough fluids, your muscles will suffer. In fact, there are three pounds of water in every pound of muscle, so if you want to look pumped, keep the water bottle close to hand.
No matter where you’re at in your bodybuilding journey, every weightlifter needs to factor rest into their routine. Rest lets your body repair after exercise, but it’s also during this period when muscle growth occurs. Allow for one or two rest days per week.
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