If you are starting out in body building, it is important to avoid gimmicks. Listen to what professional body builders have to say and take their advise seriously. Don’t allow your head to be turned by all the hype. If you are starting out it is best to start with the basics. Here are 5 basics (and one bonus) that will help you start your body building regimen on the right foot.
1. Have a Work Out Routine
Have a regular routine that you use every time you work out. Being able to plan a routine out in advance ensures that you get in exercises that cover all of your bases working out each muscle group. It is a good idea to have a professional trainer or experienced body builder help you develop your routine, initially, so that you can get all of your bases covered and do it safely. Doing the same routine schedule over the course of a week ensures that it becomes rote. Set it and forget it. You get all your muscle groups worked out and with a little planning up front, you do not have to stop and plan a new routine every time you work out. This ensures you get the work out you need to meet your goals.
2. Rest Regularly
You push your body hard when you work out. That is how you build strength and endurance. You should not push it too hard, however, as this can lead to fatigue, burn out and even serious injury. Take at least a day in between work outs, doing only three to four work outs a week. Additionally, if you are serious about body building, you can not party all the time or burn the midnight oil on a regular basis. The adult human body requires an average of 8 hours a night. Sleep is when your body heals. It is also when your body rejuvenates itself. With out some down time, you would break down quickly. While it is good to train hard, it is also important to give yourself adequate down time to make sure you are at your best when you do train.
3. Eat Properly
When you are training and have a regular work out routine, your body is burning a lot of calories. In order to keep it functioning at it’s peak, you need to give your body the right kind of fuel and plenty of it. Eat whole foods that are as close as possible in appearance as when they first came out of the ground. Avoid processed or packaged foods as these are often devoid of any real nutrition. Instead, seek out complex carbohydrates, complete proteins and the right kinds of fats.
On top of getting the right foods, make sure you are eating enough. When you train you are burning a lot of calories. Not taking in enough calories can cause you to stall. What ever progress you are making will come to a halt. To prevent that, rather than taking the regular three meals a day, eat every three to four hours or four to five meals a day.
4. Learn To Do Exercises Correctly
Learning to do exercises correctly is one of the best ways to avoid injury. This is true, not just of regular exercises like squats and high intensity cardiovascular training, but especially of weight training. Start off with small weights and gradually work your way up to heavier weights. Keep track of how much you are lifting so that you do not over do it and so that you can monitor your progress. Wear a weight belt to help protect your lower back and always have a lifting partner.
5. Keep It Simple
It is tempting when you read the body building magazines to try out every new exercise and exercise machine available, but sticking with basic compound movements is what will win the day. In fact, compound movements will be more effective for building muscle and definition than exercises that isolate individual muscle groups. Keeping things simple will help you to build a foundation for your body building goals. Heavy barbell movement is one example of a simple, compound exercise that exercises more than one muscle group and can help you build strength. Avoid gimmicks that are likely only passing fads, anyway. Stick with the classics to help build your foundation.
Bonus: Make a Plan
Nearly every professional body builder will tell you that if you want to get anywhere you have to start with a goal and then make a plan to get there. With out a destination and a plan for getting there, you will go nowhere.
Body building requires a lot of focus and intense work. You have to create a plan, be focused on your goal and be dedicated enough to show up at the gym every week and see it through. But, if you are willing to put in the effort, there is no reason that you will not accomplish your goals