What is Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding can be described as doing exercise that builds your muscles through tension. It really is as simple as that! By completing weighted exercises where your muscles are under tension, it tears the muscle fibres and then with the right nutrition and rest, they build back up bigger and stronger.
How to be a Bodybuilder:
There are 2 main components of bodybuilding:
To find the right training programme for being a bodybuilder we’ve got one piece of advice...disregard most of the advice you’ve received so far! If you have ever taken part in a strength training programme, those rules do not apply here. Bodybuilding is about higher repetitions per set than strength training as you want to see greater levels of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (If you just got a migraine reading this it means- you do MORE reps because that will increase the size of the muscle rather than increasing the strength of the muscle).
Naturally, as you progress through your bodybuilding programme you will get stronger, HOWEVER not at the rate that you would if you were strength training. To gain maximum size in your muscles you should be increasing the weights you are lifting each week. If you lift the same weight for the same reps on the same exercise as you did the previous week, why should your body increase it’s muscle mass?
The answer is that it shouldn’t and it won’t. Unfortunately in this case, the body is efficient at adapting to training programmes and if you stick to doing the same routine with the same exercises each week it will not grow! The trick is to mix up your routine and fool the body into thinking it needs to grow the muscles to cope with the loads you are lifting.
There are various techniques to do this, such as:
- Negative training
- Drop sets
- Super sets
- Isometric holds
These are all quite advanced aspects of bodybuilding so you should start off your training programme with the basics then as you find that your rate of growth is slowing or has stopped altogether, research the principles above and implement them into your routine.
Ask any bodybuilder and he or she will tell you that for a beginner, mastering the nutrition that surrounds bodybuilding is far more important than mastering the training. Vince Gironda once said that, “Bodies aren’t made in the gym, they’re made in the Kitchen” if you look him up you will certainly get the impression that he knows what he’s on about! Basically, the muscular system of a beginner is unaccustomed to exercise and therefore just about any training program will generate muscle growth. Changing a poor diet will help you see far greater gains as the two are synonymous.
If you are used to only having 2 or 3 meals a day, get used to having 5 or 6 smaller meals as this will maintain a constant supply of nutrients to your muscles to enable them to grow. You want protein to be the main aspect of your diet as protein is what helps your muscles to repair. A good way to ensure that you are getting enough protein in your diet is to purchase a protein powder supplement as they usually give you around 20 to 25 grams of protein per scoop (roughly the same amount of protein you’d get in a chicken breast.)
What About Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are essential too as they replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles, you have to replace this spent glycogen if you want to train harder next time. However, certain carbohydrates are more effective at doing this than others. Ask any nutritionist and they will tell you that consuming whole-grain and whole-wheat is more beneficial than consuming refined sugars and starchy carbohydrates. Fats are important in a bodybuilder’s diet, just not processed fats. Consuming good fats like those found in fish, fruit and vegetables will show a huge difference in your physique.
To be a bodybuilder you have to nail the basics first, giving you a solid platform to work from and really turn your body into a temple. If you develop the right training methods and supplement this with the correct diet, you are well on your way to being the person with the physique everyone is jealous of.