10 Bodybuilding Tips For Beginners
So you want to try bodybuilding, but you’re a little intimidated by all the weights and other weird looking contraptions at the gym. Plus, all the guys walking around with beefy biceps really isn’t helping either.
We get why bodybuilding can seem a little scary at first. It’s certainly not like a treadmill workout where you can just press a button and go. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may feel like you’re just making a fool of yourself every time you go to the gym as you try to figure out each new machine.
But, the payoff from bodybuilding is certainly worth the initial intimidation and slightly embarrassing moments. That’s because bodybuilding is the best way to transform how you look and how you feel.
Bodybuilding can help you burn fat, gain muscle, and can even make you more intelligent. And luckily, getting into the swing of bodybuilding isn’t as hard as you think.
Even better, if you’re a beginner, you’ll notice some accelerated results from bodybuilding in the first few weeks. That is, as long as you follow some tried and true body building tips.
Keep reading to learn the top ten body building tips for beginners.
1. Diet Right
We know what you’re thinking, “I want to learn what to do in the gym, not what to do in the kitchen!”
But we would be doing you a serious disservice if we didn’t mention how important a diet is for bodybuilders. Without a proper diet, your body will have a lot of trouble gaining muscle and recovering from workouts.
What’s the secret ingredient in a bodybuilder’s diet? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a handful of steroids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nope, bodybuilders rely on some pretty old fashioned healthy eating habits.
First thing they make a habit out of? Eating a lot of protein.
Protein is a bodybuilder’s best friend. Common sources of protein include chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and some vegetables. For optimal results, aim for 1 gram of protein per one gram of body weight.
Make sure your dishes have a healthy balance of lean proteins as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables. Your body needs the micronutrients from fruits and vegetables to recover and repair your muscles.
And obviously, junk food should be avoided as much as possible. It’s ok to splurge once in awhile, but try to keep it to a minimum.
2. Calories Calories Calories
Ok, so that covers what you should eat, but now let’s talk about how much to eat.
Simple answer- eat a lot. In order to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn. You can use a BMR calculator to figure out exactly how many calories you should be eating per day.
3. Nail Your Form
In the beginning, don’t worry about how much weight you are lifting.
Instead, concentrate on using perfect form with every repetition. If you get off on the wrong foot with your form, you are more likely to develop sloppy lifting habits down the road.
Book a session with a personal trainer so they can show you proper form for each exercise. After they help you get the hang of things, always try to lift in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your form.
Proper form isn’t just important for building muscle, it’s also important for preventing injury, so don’t skimp on this step.
4. Stick to Free Weights
Those weird looking machines at the gym? Guess what? You don’t even need them!
That’s right, dumbbells and barbells are the way to go.
Unlike weight machines, dumbbells force you to engage your whole body to perform a movement. Having your entire body engaged will help you build muscle more quickly. Plus, there are a lot more exercises you can do with free weights to keep your mind from getting bored and to keep your body from hitting a plateau.
5. Stick to a Program
Don’t show up to the gym without a game plan.
Ask a personal trainer or fellow bodybuilder to develop a routine for you. Stick to this routine closely.
Knowing what you need to do every day will prevent you from wandering aimlessly around the gym and wasting time.
6. Do Major Lifts First
Your workout routine should always begin with major lifts.
Major lifts are any exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. These exercises will take much more energy to complete. Therefore, you want to go into them feeling fresh.
Some major lift exercises include deadlifts, shoulder presses, bent over rows, bench presses, and lateral pull-downs.
7. Get in the Right Amount of Reps
8 to 12 reps is about the range you should aim for in the beginning.
This will help your muscles develop at a safe speed. As you start to get more comfortable in your routine, you can slowly start to decrease the number of reps as you increase the weights.
8. Get Proper Rest
Overdoing it and not getting proper rest is one of the most common mistakes beginning bodybuilders make.
To make sure your muscles have enough time to recover properly, take at least one day off between each workout. As a beginner, you should aim for about 3-4 full body workouts each week.
However, don’t use your off days to be a couch potato. You can still go for a long walk or do some yoga.
9. Remember to Stretch
Stretching isn’t what you do after your workout- it’s what you do as a part of your workout.
Stretching helps prevent soreness and increases your range of motion. The greater your range of motion, the more you’ll benefit from your lifts.
Perform 10 minutes of stretching after each lifting session. It’s also never a bad idea to perform stretching exercises on your day off while watching TV or reading a book.
10. End with Cardio
A common misconception amongst weightlifters is that you should do cardio at the beginning of your routine.
This is backwards. Cardio should be performed after you lift, or better yet, in a different session altogether. This will help ensure that most of your energy goes into your lifting routine.
Bodybuilding Tips: Wrap Up
Hopefully, these body building tips get you pumped (no pun intended) about starting your routine!
Drop a comment below if you have any questions and be sure to check out our blog for more fitness tips.