If you regularly lift weights to get bigger muscles, you can safely call yourself a bodybuilder. As well as being how to get bigger muscles, bodybuilding is a sport where not only muscle size is compared but so too is symmetry, proportion and leanness.
You might not ever want to step on stage and might only want to know how to increase your arm strength or learn how to lift weights on orlandoweekly but that’s okay, you are still a bodybuilder!
- Getting Started on Becoming a Bodybuilder
The first thing you need do if you want to be a bodybuilder is find a gym in which to train. While you can train at home, unless you have a well-equipped garage or basement gym, you’ll probably soon need access to a bigger variety of exercise equipment if you are serious about training.
A good bodybuilding gym will have lots of free-weights in the form of barbells and dumbbells plus plenty if squat racks, bench press stations and adjustable benches so you can perform a variety of exercises.
There should also be plenty of resistance training machines like lat pull downs, leg extension, leg curl and leg press machines and several others to provide your workout with plenty of variety.
Ideally, there should also be a selection of cardio equipment so you can keep your heart, lungs and waistline in good shape and a matted stretching/abs area would be beneficial.
Finally, some helpful, qualified staff wold really help so you can ask questions and get help on your journey from gym zero to bodybuilding hero!
There may be times during your bodybuilding career that for whatever reason you don’t have access to a gym or weights. That’s no excuse to stop! You will always be able to continue training, by doing bodyweight workouts. Simple to do, you can do these anywhere – on holiday, in a hotel room or just at home.
- Bodybuilding training
Training for bodybuilding is quite specialized and there are lots of methods and exercises around designed to maximize your training results. Bodybuilders tend to use a “split” routine which means they work different muscles on different days. This allows them plenty of time to do a variety of exercises per muscle group – an important factor in bodybuilding training.
- Monday – legs and abs
- Tuesday – chest
- Thursday – back
- Friday – shoulders and arms
- A bodybuilding chest workout could look like this…
- Bench press – five sets of five reps
- Incline dumbbell flyes – three sets of eight
- Decline bench press – three sets of eight
- Cable cross overs – three sets of twelve
- Push-ups – to sets of as many reps as possible
If you are unsure how to go about designing your own bodybuilding workout, there are plenty of professionally-created programs to follow such as this one The Muscle Maximizer.
- Bodybuilding diet
Lifting weights is the trigger that makes your muscles bigger but you need to feed your body if you want it to grow. Bodybuilding success hinges on your diet.
Bodybuilders eat a lot of protein – at least one gram per pound of bodyweight. Sometime this is in the form of special protein powder for muscle building. They also need plenty of carbohydrate to fuel their workouts and healthy fats to ensure that hormone production is maximized. A bodybuilding diet should be as healthy as possible; the healthier you are, the better able you will be to build muscle.
A bodybuilding diet also needs to contain a calorific surplus – you need to eat big to get big. That means that, if you aren’t gaining weight and building muscle but are definitely training hard enough, you need to eat more.
- Bodybuilding lifestyle
To maximize muscle growth, you need to save your energy for training and recovery and also make sure you get enough sleep. Playing lots of sport, partying all night and otherwise wasting energy will detract from your training. Sleep is also essential because that’s when your muscles grow and are repaired. Try to keep your stress levels as low as possible to as stress results in an increased in the hormone cortisol which can significantly hamper muscle growth.
- Bodybuilding supplements
If your training, diet and lifestyle are properly organized, adding some supplements can also help you make better bodybuilding progress. There are lots of supplements for muscle building to choose from but some are definitely better than others…
Protein powder can make it much easier to get enough protein in your diet. Remember you need around one gram per pound of bodyweight which means you’ll probably need to eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy at every single meal plus at snack time too. As this can be very hard, you might want to replace a couple of meals/snacks with protein powder. Cheap, concentrated and easy to digest, protein powder makes it much easier to hit your protein goals for the day.
Creatine gives you energy for your workouts by increasing your stores of ATP – the fuel used by your muscles. Creatine also make you stronger, recover faster from sets and workouts and pumps up your muscles with water which enhances leverage. Micronized creatine monohydrate is the creatine of choice.
Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone boosters such as Hyper GH 14x can enhance production of bodybuilding hormones naturally which will help you build muscle and lose fat more quickly and easily. These products are not steroids but enhance your own production of essential muscle building (anabolic) substances.
While you might have started out just wanting to get in shape and lose weight, bodybuilding has a way of seeping into your life and becoming a very healthy but consuming obsession. If you start to feel twitchy because you haven’t trained for a day or two don’t worry; it just means you are now officially a bodybuilder!