Have you ever wanted to start bodybuilding but didn’t know where to begin? Well, this blog post is for you! We will cover the basics in a way that is easy for beginners. You’ll learn about how the human body builds muscles and what can be done to maximize your muscle-building potential. And don’t worry if you’re not sure whether or not this type of workout routine is appropriate for you–we’ll explain everything!
Bodybuilding is an art, a science, a philosophy and a discipline all in one.
Training for brute strength is some of those things for sure, as is training for maximum size.
However, training for physical perfection is something else. It’s about counting calories, looking jacked and shredding fat. It’s about bulking and cutting, balancing and measuring.
Most of this website deals with building, whether it’s building strength and/or size. Bodybuilding is kind of unique enough to merit its own introduction.
I’ve written a strength training primer, and a size training primer, so it makes sense to me to have a separate word or two about bodybuilding.
It’s not that bodybuilding isn’t a case of increasing strength and muscle mass, because it is of course, but it’s also about systematically training every muscle group to look as well proportioned, balanced and sharply defined as possible.
Diet for Bodybuilding
Food is the biggest factor physique transformation. It is the most anabolic, or growth stimulating, thing you can do.
Diet, and the control of it, is the main difference between “bodybuilding” training and strength/hypertrophy training.
If the magazine fitness model look, or even the Mr. Olympia look is your endgame, you will have to learn to master your dietary intake like a pro.
Someone looking to increase strength or size can follow a fairly linear diet. A calorie surplus combined with training and adequate sleep promotes a growth environment.
So long as the goal is growth, this process can remain more or less the same. Refined along the way perhaps, but not by much.
It’s when you want to have the defined, sculpted appearance of a bodybuilder that things get interesting.
Training styles and seasonal periodization (known as cycles) have to be adapted to fit the target, and so does nutritional intake.
A cut cycle, for example, undertaken before summer or before a competition is basically a tricky balancing act between reducing body fat and retaining muscle mass.
Many people on a cut cycle are following their bulk cycle – where they have added as much muscle mass to their frame as possible.
In turn, a bulk cycle might follow a strength cycle where they have trained specifically to provide themselves with a solid platform to build mass on and prevent injury.
Some parts of the year will be in calorie surplus, some in calories restriction and some in calories maintenance, where the body weight stays fixed but the physique might still change according to training.
BodyBuilding Basics – Best Foods to Eat to Gain Muscle
Here are some of the best foods to eat to bulk up and pack on the muscle.
This is not a complete list, but it’s a good place to start.
Oatmeal has long been an essential part of the bodybuilder’s diet because it provides energy and carbs for quick muscle recovery
Tuna or other fish:
High in protein, Tuna and other fishes are great sources of high quality protein that will help you build lean muscle mass quickly.
Chicken breasts provide slow burning fuel instead of sugar rushes like white bread which can be helpful if your goal is to bulk up rather than cut fat.
Milk contains both whey proteins (a natural supplement) as well as casein proteins which makes milk one of the best ways to get extra muscle mass building protein.
A piece of cottage cheese is a great way to go on the fly because you can just grab it and eat it without having to worry about mixing in anything else.
Eggs are an easy, convenient food that will help you get your essential vitamins and nutrients each day with plenty of high quality proteins for muscle growth.
Olive oil or peanut butter (or both):
Two common household staples, olive oil and peanut butter provide healthy fats which can help increase energy levels as well as burning fat more quickly throughout the body.
There is an article devoted to bulking foods here
BodyBuilding Basics – Training for Muscle Hypertrophy
Hand in hand with diet comes target-specific training that every bodybuilder must switch up cycle after cycle to maintain consistency and long-term rhythm.
Periodization and cycles are tried and tested methods of keeping the training adaptations flowing and prevent stagnation.
A professional bodybuilder simply cannot stay in competition form all year long. If nothing else, when they are on stage they are probably in their unhealthiest state of the entire year.
The same might be said, although to a lesser degree, for a fitness model come photograph day.
What is usually not documented is their off season bulk cycle and pre-photo prep before holding a pose.
Some folks of course seem to look similar all year round. In reality they are probably always working on something, some area of their body or muscle group, no matter how minor the change appears to be.
If you want your muscles to grow, you need to train them with resistance.
There are three different types of muscular contractions: fast twitch, slow twitch and mixed. The type of contraction determines the type of training that will cause your muscles to grow best.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers respond better to heavy weight lifting (80%+), while slower-twitch fibers require lighter weights and higher repetitions for growth – both types can be trained by following a program designed for each one specifically.
Mixed-type muscles have an advantage in this regard because they can use either method depending on what’s needed at any given time, so it makes sense if you’re not sure which kind you’ve got yet then start doing everything!
The human body is capable of producing more muscle mass than it requires. In order to avoid an over-sized, bulky appearance, the body builds up this mass without adding any extra muscle fibers.
This is also why you’re not as strong when you wake up in the morning – your muscles are fully rested after a night’s sleep and so they can’t produce their maximum strength during that time period.
BodyBuilding Basics – Mindset of a Bodybuilder
It’s the last little section I’m going to write in this bodybuilding intro, but it’s the most difficult aspect to define, obtain, and maintain.
Mindset is everything. From going to bed early, refusing that beer, eating clean every single day, to pushing the limits in the gym, making sacrifices and accepting the temporary nature of the thing you are working so hard for.
Perfection is something that cannot be achieved. It’s like the speed of light – it doesn’t matter how much you try, you can never reach it.
Professional bodybuilders know this.
It’s once you realize that they will try to achieve it every single year, regardless, that you start to understand their mindset.
If you want to be a bodybuilder you have to think like one.. This means that you need to develop a certain mindset and have the right attitude. These are things that will help when it comes time for lifting weights, eating healthy, etc.
You should always think positively about your bodybuilding goals. No matter how hard or long it takes—you must never give up hope on yourself!
Some bodybuilder take natural nootropic supplements to help them concentrate and focus on their training.
It can be easy at times not to believe in yourself if no one else does but this is wrong because all of us have some kind of talent even if its something small like being able to dance good. We just have to keep believing until we reach our goal which may take years (or maybe only minutes).
Remember: You’re stronger than you realize so don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you want to do!