Whether you are someone skinny who has struggled to build muscle mass, you’re a more prominent person who would rather have broader shoulders instead of a broader waistline, or even a female who wants to pursue a lean, mean muscular tone; there are several reasons why people get into the world of bodybuilding.
No matter what your reason for starting a bodybuilding program is, there are several different ways to approach it, and there are several different opinions on how best to achieve muscle-building gains and goals.
It’s important to remember, though, that regardless of your approach, accomplishing your goals will take time and dedication. It can take a few years, maybe longer, to see the significant effects after entering most fitness programs like bodybuilding.
But maybe you’re reading this and don’t know how to start. Depending on your specific goals, the following can be used as a beginner’s guide to enhancing your muscle size, shape, and tone.
Lift heavy things
To build muscle size, you have to lift more than just the standard bar and a single 45-pound plate on each side. You should become familiar with several exercises beyond just the stationary machines where you put a pin between the weighted plates.
Free weight exercises like bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and clean and snatches help establish the traditional groundwork.
Those most serious about building muscle will want to also throw in pull-ups, dips, and push-ups for more efficiency in their daily workout plans.
A quality fitness center or gym should have all of these amenities and more – so if you find one near you, then you are on your way as long as you are willing to put in the required work on your part.
Once you find your new second home away from your residence and the office or classroom, you will want to develop a workout regimen that goes beyond the isolation exercises that focus on just one muscle group instead of hitting multiple targets simultaneously. Compound exercises will build muscle while reducing the risk of injury in the weight room.
Each of your workouts in the three days each week should have a routine that includes one of the following from each group of exercises so that you can complete training at the gym.
- Legs – Deadlifts, squats, and lunges
- Push exercises – Bench press, dips, and overhead press.
- Pull exercises – Chin-ups, inverted rows, and pull-ups.
- Core exercises – Knee raises while hanging, crunches (standard or reverse), and planks.
Based on the goals you want to achieve, you will want to aim to get as much weight as possible within a five-rep set for each exercise for a total of three to five sets. Each week you should add a bit of weight as you continue to gain strength that will translate to building muscle.
At the same time, you will want to change up your approach every once in a while, with some weeks where you focus on explosive lifts where you try to move quickly through the motions of your power lifts while still executing the proper techniques for each – 50-seconds where you go for as many reps as possible with 10-second breaks between each set.
Additional weightlifting tips are to stretch and warm up before any form of exercise – especially before lifting heavier weights – to be efficient with your movements on your lifts and to execute the perfect condition in each. Also, please don’t overdo it in the gym, and limit yourself to more than 45 minutes for each workout session.
The diet should reflect goals.
How you plan your meals throughout the days and weeks ahead is based on what type of body you are starting with.
For those starting out skinny and wishing to build muscle mass, the diet is about 90 percent of the challenge in bodybuilding. The key to success in building muscle fibers is to have your body run on a surplus of calories, which means you need to eat more than you burn off from activities.
There are a couple of different ways you can approach your diet plan. Some experts recommend consuming an average of about 4,000 calories each day, which also has to include the proper amounts of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates – which can feel like a full-time job when you try to plan for three to five scheduled meals with the occasional protein shake thrown in. In essence, eat more while eating right.
- Eat whatever – As long as you eat at least 200 grams of protein, including pizza, pasta, chicken, and rice.
- Healthy – A typical plan would include brown rice, oatmeal, chicken, beef, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and dairy.
- Paleo – Plenty of nuts, eggs, starches, and chicken and grass-fed beef.
- GOMAD – An acronym for “gallon of milk a day,” which has some controversy while being used by several bodybuilders and CrossFit athletes.
Now if you are trying to lose fat while building muscle, there’s a decision to make. If you want to get bigger and stronger, you should still consume many calories while focusing on the workout mentioned above regimen. Eventually, that muscle will naturally burn off the fat while being there.
If you don’t necessarily want to gain mass and want to lose weight, heavy lifting will still be a key factor while you lower the number of calories you have every day. The muscle you already have will be maintained while the fat melts away – providing a well-toned physique.
Get proper amounts of rest.
This will be the shortest section of all three because it’s the most straightforward thing to accomplish every night – get the proper amount of sleep every night, which is at least eight hours. Not having enough sleep will make it hard to focus and be refreshed for your next workout.
Sleep will also give your body a chance to repair the muscles that have gone through the grueling workout and will rebuild to a more vital state than before.