How To Start Body Building As a Beginner | Free Guide + Free Downloadable eBook.
There are really two different ways of beginning a bodybuilding regime; the easy way and the hard way.
Which one of the two you choose for yourself will determine the extent to which you will stick to the regime and thereby prove a success. Since you have a choice obviously you will have to prepare a proper well etched out plan for yourself in order to select the right option. If you are like me (and like thousands of other smart people all over the world) you will no doubt choose to pursue the easy way, in which case you will have to start with a solid workout plan and get it all written down on paper.
Preparing a workout plan is in many ways comparable to the sort of New Year resolution planning we all tend to do. Of course most of us tend to give up the resolutions within a day or two, but here there is really no giving up.
Promises are hard to keep, simply because most of tend to make difficult promises. Most of us do not stick by the resolutions we make at the beginning of the year because our goals are not realistic. When we promise to quit smoking in the new year we ignore the fact that giving up smoking is a gradual process and needs time.
So the smart way to give up smoking would be to smoke about 4 cigarettes a day, then bring it down to 2 and so on. There is no point expecting to give up smoking just like that simply because we have promised to.
Similarly, when you plan your bodybuilding regime keep in mind that it needs a set of achievable goals to really work out. You wont turn into a Stallone in a month so don’t intend to, give yourself a relaxed time limit of say 6 months for that. Also, remember when you are just beginning you will not have the kind of stamina a professional athlete or an experience bodybuilder will have so don’t get disheartened if you can’t keep up with Arnie (who has been practicing for 2 years now) on your first workout session itself. Don’t make your gym session an ego tussle, you have nothing to prove anything to here. Take time relax and judge your progress astutely.
When you start your regime keep it to no more than 2 days in a week. Make sure you have at least 2 hours of time in your hand so that you don’t have to hurry through the workout. Start with a few cardio exercises so as to charge your muscles up. Spend a bit of time on the treadmill or try some spinning, anything that will pump up your heart to about 80% of its usual capacity is a good choice. Even if you don’t want to begin with the cardiovascular exercises make sure you do them after your exercise regime so as to help your body burn more fat.
Body Building: When To Start And Stop
Bodybuilding is a great way to sculpt your body into shape and lose those extra layers of fat. Training with weights can help you speed up your metabolism as well as tighten and define your muscles to give you that chiseled body. While that sounds easy, but don’t be fooled into thinking that bodybuilding is a walk in the park. Bodybuilding does produce effects (there are thousands of people all over the world who would easily vouch for that fact) provided you stick to your regime, stay disciplined and work really hard.
As all of us who have tried to lose weight at some point of time know losing the fat your body has stored over time is not easy. It takes great devotion AND tremendous effort to finally bid it goodbye. This process itself can take a long time, as a result most people who take up bodybuilding often lose their patience midway and give it up altogether. It’s not easy to keep working hard without seeing any effect of all your hard work on your body. But obviously the body takes time to react and it won’t be prompt in responding just because we want it to. Staying with the regime requires tremendous willpower, a certain amount of faith and the knowledge regarding when to stop the exercising.
One of the very first things to learn in bodybuilding is when to stop. Most bodybuilding neophytes tend to keep working out till they almost collapse with exhaustion. Now, while pushing yourself is a good thing overdoing it is certainly not. Everything happens in its own good time, so no matter how hard you train right on the first day it is unlikely that you will see the effects of that training immediately. Also, intense exercises right at the beginning of the training can cause you to end up badly hurt.
Remember, to keep your exercise program interesting you must ensure that its fun, or else you will not return to it everyday and start avoiding it by some means or the other. Often heavy exercising can leave you feeling fatigued and hoping for a break. Under such circumstances do yourself a favor and take a quick break. Don’t worry; some time off will have nothing but positive effects on your body. It will use the time you spend away from the weights to recover its strength and start building new muscles, thereby ensuring that your return to the weights will be in a far better form. But that’s not all a break from exercising will also leave you feeling emotionally relaxed and at ease.
If you have just started bodybuilding you are probably yet to learn that that your body profits the most during the days when you stay idle at home instead of pumping the irons. This is because all the hard exercising can leave your body feeling tremendously fatigued. The short time off acts as a sort of ‘recovery time’ during which the muscles you crave for are actually created.
Muscle mass does not increase during your workout regime since muscles are too occupied working then. Instead, it expands in the days that follow your workout.
Thus, for maximum benefit and total muscle building increase the time you spend away from the gym and just relax, you won’t regret the results.
Body Building: Time Management
You might have begun your bodybuilding regime but do you have a bodybuilding plan? Well, technically such a plan should include more than just lifting a few very heavy irons, gulping down some kelp and getting a tan to look macho. Like everything else the first rule in bodybuilding too is to get a plan and getting it down in black and white. The second rule, is to stick to this plan that you jot down and try and accomplish every detail it covers as closely as you possibly can.
One of the most important parts of your bodybuilding plan should be the amount of time you devote to exercising everyday, and how you manage to squeeze in that regime between your other chores. In time management we refer to immovable activities (that is the activities you simply HAVE to do during the prescribed hours) as ‘Big Rocks’. So activities like say picking up your daughter from school or cooking a lunch or a violin class is all Big Rocks since you have to do them at the time when you have to.
So the first step to creating a bodybuilding plan is marking our all such big rocks in your daily agenda.
Once those are well marked simply select the time between them and squeeze in your exercise regime into them.
Now that was easy, wasn’t it? Well it isn’t the plan itself but sticking to the plan that is the tough part really. Try and be where you are expected to be according to your plan at all times. Don’t be late, and don’t spend extra time on anything, even the gym.
This brings us to the second part of that profound advice: DO NOT spend time unnecessarily, admiring your sculpted body in front of the mirror, or swaggering around on the dance floor showing off your newly chiseled body. Its true, you do look cool doing all of those but you’d look a lot better if you redeemed the time you are wasting in this manner and making use of it at the gym instead.
It’s not easy staying motivated and distractions are rampant, like in every other field of life. To stay on the track therefore read books or listen to CD’s regarding motivation, time-management,
success and competition. It’s unbelievable, the kind of effect these have been known to have on people.
To upgrade and improve your bodybuilding plan stay tuned to the Internet. Filter what you read, because the majority of stuff you read online is bound to be written by seriously stupid, desperate wannabe’s vying for attention. But not all of the stuff on the net is written by Moose. Keep searching the sites until you find a few which are actually helpful. Get your name included in their newsletter lists and read up the books they recommend you to. There is really no end to the extent such information can help you out. So look up the net and improve your plan today!
Body Building: Clothes
Most of us tend to be ambivalent about the kind of clothes we are going to be wearing during our bodybuilding exercise regime. While the puritans in the field emphasize that the regime itself is what is significant and not the apparel in which it is practiced, most others have come to feel differently.
All forms of exercises cause a lot of perspiration. While exercising for bodybuilding we work with a lot of weights, which causes our body to sweat profusely. To ensure that the sticky clamminess does not come in our way while exercising, we must wear clothes which can easily absorb this excess moisture and keep us dry at all times. Given its easy absorbing powers cotton is really the best fabric for all sorts of exercise wear.
It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you are ultimately wearing be it a T-shirt or a tank-top or even a fleece shirt, as long as its cotton you know you are on safe grounds. Pair up these with workout pants and you are all set for your exercise program. Bodybuilders, of both sexes, seem to be particularly partial towards tank tops.
Sportswear manufacturers have claimed it to be the hottest selling clothing item amongst bodybuilders. Tank tops come in a variety of colors, are generally cheap and therefore a good buy. It helps of course that tank tops allow a close view of the athletes pumped up muscles allowing them to get a good look of the kind of progress they are making. Bodybuilding has a lot to do with aesthetics, people who exercise do not just want a fit body they also want a beautiful body. A tank top allows them to flaunt this hot body. Some claim that there is nothing more motivating than being able to see your buffed up body in the mirror in front of you. A tank top makes such a view easily possible.
Despite all its plus points there are a few disadvantages of wearing a tank top. For starters clingy tank tops tend to keep your body wet and thereby miss out on the whole purpose of cotton wear. Clammy clothes can be a major issue while working out, hence a particularly tight tank top should be given a miss for a slightly loose one.
Secondly, a number of female bodybuilders are concerned about the amount of skin a tank top usually tends to show. Wear a tank only if you are comfortable in it, you don’t want to be
concerned about what you are showing when you are concentrating on your exercise.
On the other hand, make sure you are not wearing something that is unnecessarily revealing, the gym is not a wet t-shirt contest and too much of skin can prove distracting for the others exercising around you.
Pair your tanks with a good pair of baggy track pants; these are roomy and therefore extremely comfortable.
Most athletes today are partial to a relaxed fit rather than the tight spandex fit that had been popular amongst previous bodybuilders. There is a range of such baggy gym pants available in the market today, they come in various attractive colors and are usually quite affordable.
Body Building: Understanding Anatomy
If you want to be an expert bodybuilder you will have to make an effort to understand your body’s anatomy. In order to build your muscles adequately you will have to know exactly where each of them are located and how they might be developed successfully. This might sound easy but it is hardly a walk in the park, especially because of the often unpronounceable names of the muscles.
In order to know your muscles closely therefore locate a mirror and try and find each of the muscles on your body on your own. Let’s begin with the neck. In your neck area there are two basic muscles you can concentrate on during your bodybuilding routine. These are the upper trapezius and the levator scapulae. The first one is the muscle that runs down from your nape to your shoulder.
The latter runs parallel to the initial cervical vertebrae in your neck.
The trapezius, fondly called the trap muscles climb down the nape of your neck and around the waist on both sides of the spine. On your shoulders you will find the deltoid muscles, also called the delts. On the front part of the shoulder is the anterior delt, on the side is the middle delt and on the back is the posterior delt. Just under the anterior delt you will find the rotator cuff muscles running straight out from the armpit area.
On the chest are your pectorals or pecs. On your arms you will find 2 different types of muscles, the bicep and the tricep. The triceps run down the side part of your arm from the shoulder till the elbow while the biceps run along the inside part. Both muscles are quite distinct on the forearms.
Your abdominal muscles or abs are located right on your stomach area.
On your legs you shall find the quadriceps muscles or the quads immediately in the front. The rest of the leg muscles are located on the back, on your calves i.e. the lower part of your legs. Yet another muscle, called the hamstring is located on your upper leg.
Yet other important groups of muscles include the glutes on your bum and the lats located on
the upper part of your back. On your lower back you will also find the lower trap muscles.
Just like a sculptor ought to know both the material he/she is working on as well as the strokes he/she will be producing on it you, as a bodybuilder must also know your body (or your material) and your exercise regime (or your strokes) intricately. Knowledge regarding both of these essential factors is absolutely necessary for all bodybuilders. Unless you know your muscles like the back of your hand you will not be able to engage them and develop them adequately. Hence, begin your bodybuilding regime with a conscious effort to identify each of the important muscles on your body.
Concentrate on each or a group of them at a given time. Figure out how you want to shape your body in terms of the muscles you need to exercise and go about your workout accordingly.
Types Of Exercises
You may not be familiar with some of the terminology used in body building. Along the same line, you should know what certain exercises are and how to safely perform them. There are all sorts of exercises you can perform – so many, in fact, space prevents us from listing all of them. However, learning the basics can be a great help.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Sit on the edge of a flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your knees. In one smooth motion, roll onto your back and bring the dumbbells up to a position slightly outside and above your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forwards.
Bend your elbows at a ninety-degree angle with your upper arms parallel to the ground. Press the weights up over your chest in a triangular motion until they meet above the center line of your body. As you lift, concentrate on keeping the weights balanced and under control. Follow the same path downward.
Standing Military Press
For this exercise, you will use a barbell. Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart and lift the barbell to your chest. Lock your legs and hips and keep your elbows in slightly under the bar. Press the bar to arm’s length over your head.
Lower the bell to your upper chest or your chin depending on which is more comfortable for you. This exercise can also be performed with dumbbells or seated on a weight bench.
Lying Tricep Push
Sit on a flat bench holding a curl bar with an overhand grip. Lie back so that the top of your head is even with the end of the weight bench. As you are lying back, extend your arms over your head so that the bar is directly over your eyes. Keep your elbows tight and your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise.
The biggest key to this exercise is keeping your upper arms in a fixed position. Slowly lower the bar until it almost touches your forehead. Press the bar back up in a slow, sweeping arc-like motion. At the finish, lock your elbows completely.
Side Lateral Dumbbell Raise
Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your side. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms turned toward your body. Keep your arms straight and lift the weights out and up to the sides until they are slightly higher than shoulder level. Then slowly lower them back down to your side again.
Keep your palms turned downward as you lift the dumbbells so that your shoulders rather than your biceps do the work. Make sure you are lifting the dumbbells up rather than swinging them up. Don’t lean forward while doing this either or you risk injury to your back.
Sample Meal Plans
Choosing the right way to eat to build muscle can be a little overwhelming. But once you start eating the way you need to, it will become second nature to you.
List of foods for you to eat in each of the categories you need to concentrate on:
Proteins: White meat, chicken or turkey, Canned tuna, Canned salmon, Fresh Fish, Shellfish, Eggs, Tofu, Soy, Red meat like steak or roast
Complex Carbohydrates: Oatmeal Potatoes Yams, Sweet potatoes, Acorn squash Rice Legumes Corn
Vegetables: All water based types. Lettuce, Cabbage, Spinach Asparagus Bok Choy, Leeks Tomatoes Celery Onions Green Beans
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Radish Zucchini Squash Mushrooms Carrots Peas
Meal 1: Vegetable omelet (3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 cup veggies) You can also add some chicken or lean beef if you want.
Meal 2: One cup yogurt or a protein shake
Meal 3: 6 oz Chicken Small raw vegetable salad 1 bagel
Meal 4: 1 piece fruit 3-4 oz Chicken
Meal 5: 6 oz fish 1 – Cup grilled veggies 1 – Cup brown rice