When I first started to develop an interest in health and fitness while I was in high school, I gravitated towards the world of bodybuilding. I was fascinated by how people could sculpt their bodies into these amazing creations and I wanted to emulate their success.
Now I’m not going to claim I’m the best bodybuilder around. In fact, my parenting commitments mean that I don’t get to the gym as often as I used to. However, I still have plenty of tips for people who are just starting out.
Get Nutrition Right
What you eat is almost as important as how hard you train when bodybuilding. You will need to develop a better understanding of what goes into your body and the effect that it has on you if you are to maximize the time that you spend in the gym. My advice is to speak to a nutritionist to find out more about portion control and the types of foods you should be eating. Create a plan and stick to it.
There are plenty of machines out there that can help you to develop muscle, but I’ve always found that free weights work best for me. They allow you to target specific muscle groups more intensely, plus they emphasize the need for proper form and control in your lifting, which is something that a lot of machines will do for you. Proper workouts with free weights will help you to build a strong core of muscle mass faster than any machine is capable of doing.
Create A Program
Aimless working out may have some effect, but the results will not be targeted and the lack of structure may lead to your motivation dipping. When you first start bodybuilding you should consider the areas where you want to improve and what you need to do to reach those goals. Write it down and create a structured workout plan that you stick to each time you head to the gym.
When I first started bodybuilding I tried to get to the gym each and every day. I built muscle fairly quickly, but I put my body under so much stress that I ended up completely exhausted. That’s when I learned first-hand that it is important to rest every so often. Doing so will allow your muscles to start repairing themselves after the damage caused by your lifting, meaning you can approach your workouts more often. Beginners especially should try to limit themselves to three or four sessions a week.
Don’t Be Scared
It can be intimidating to walk into a gym and see all of the more experienced bodybuilders throwing around weight that you know you can’t lift. Don’t let that sight scare you and instead focus on your own routine. If you are actually a little sociable you will often find that many of the people working out around you will be more than happy to offer some advice or give you a spot, which could help you achieve your goals quicker.
Your first few sessions at the gym should revolve around discovering the weights you are comfortable with lifting. From there you can start slowly pushing yourself further with each workout. The word “slowly” is important there. Gradual increases in weight are always better because they ensure you don’t end up biting off more than you can chew.
You should not be going into your workouts feeling hungry, as this means you won’t have the energy to push yourself. Eat four or five meals a day while paying attention to your portions. Avoid junk food, eat plenty of protein and chow down on some fruit and veg.