Bodybuilding for Beginners

Bodybuilding for Beginners

This one always can have so many different viewpoints on which way is better to start. So as to not get lost in the weeds, this is simply my opinion on the subject. When it comes to lifting/bodybuilding, you have to start from the ground floor. there’s no way possible or even feasible you can start in the middle or at the top.

When it comes to progress, you have to play the "long game" and approach it in a gradual manner. and I’ve seen so many people come into the gym and try go all out right off the bat only to tear a muscle, or get frustrated because they aren't seeing progress.

So how does go about beginning bodybuilding? Where does your journey begin. Always think what your goals are ? is it how to become a bodybuilder? be healthy, or is it how do I look better to pick up the ladies? Whatever you reason or goal is, Its important to treat it like a marathon and not a sprint. This is where a plan comes into play. If you have a clear plan or roadmap of sorts, you'll be more successful in getting to your end point. When I work with clients, I have them explain or give me a body part or two and then we dive into programming to make those goals obtainable.

One thing I stress is don't worry about "bulking" or "cutting". If you start there you'll get lost and frustrated before you even begin. I always focus on basic re composition (yes it is a thing). If your train hard and smart, and clean up your diet, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Its not a fast process, but it can be done.

Workout and Exercise

When I first started training, my workouts were geared for three days a week, and was programmed for full body with a day of rest in between. The progress was good because there was enough rest time between the training sessions. The sets and reps were 3 sets per exercise with 8-10 reps. This was very basic, but worked well and I avoided overtraining as I also played sports.

One of the reasons I did three days a week was picked was in all transparency, what I read in the magazines lol. I was a big fan of reading articles by Mike Mentzer about his training approach, but I also wanted to have enough time to play sports, skateboard and hang out with my buddies.

As my training progressed, I moved to a upper lower split and divided into 4 days per week with a day of rest between rotations, and still also rested on weekends.  This way, I could split the parts up so each one is worked twice a week. On the four-day program, you can up the intensity a bit and add a few more sets or reps. Start with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with each exercise and 2-3 different exercises per body part.

I still tend to run this type of programming in my "off" times, as it allows 3 days off to rest and grow. This can also be a psychological issue with many, because on rest days you have a tendency to feel that you’re doing nothing when in reality, you’re growing and enjoying life at the same time. Less is more amounts to great progress, and in this case of a program like this, it’s so true.

If you’re just getting going, or coming back after a long layoff, it’s really going to depend on your work or school schedule and hours that you can train, but I would suggest to try and get in 3 days a week and split them every other day.

Start with basic exercises for each body part and do two exercises—3 sets of 8-10 reps for each part. For example, if training shoulders, use one pressing movement and then one lateral raise movement. If you go to chest, use a flat bench press and dumbbell flies.  Some of the other body parts are worked as assistance muscles, so even if you’re doing chest, it’s affecting some of the delt workout. That’s another logical reason not too many exercises at this point.

 - Back exercises would include a pulldown movement and then a seated pull-in movement. Same sort of sets and reps as before. This, too, works the other parts of the body indirectly.
- Arms can be trained in combination sets or supersets, such as hammer curls followed with triceps pushdowns, 3 sets of 8-10 reps. This is great for beginners and you don’t need much as you already have used your arms for the other body parts.
 - Simple leg training would be doing squats/leg press, leg curls, leg extensions, and  calf presses. 3 sets each and 8-10 reps should be enough to exhaust you.
End with hanging leg raises or crunches It works the entire core and will really bring out definition.

Again that's just a basic bodybuilding workout, and it will get you off to a good start. Your body will adapt fairly easily, and within 8-12 weeks, you’ll want to switch exercises with new ones. You might become stale and bored with the same thing, but sometimes its good to stick with the same for a bit before switching to assess true progress. but also switching sometimes helps shock the muscles when they adapt and plateau. A good example is instead of dumbbell flies, use cable flies. It’s OK to step outside the box. 

When you progressed adequately, you can switch to a 4 day upper/lower and add some more sets and reps as stated above. 

So stay the course, enjoy the journey, and you'll start to se those nice body changes.

See you all in the gym!




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