When one talks about bodybuilding the images of super muscular men and women who look like comic book superheroes comes to mind. Considering what it takes regarding mind, body, and spirit to be a bodybuilder, that association isn’t that far off.
People bodybuild for two primary reasons. One is to get strength and the other to develop a physique that others will admire. This is where confusion starts because people don’t take the time to study up on what it takes to be a bodybuilder. They’ll often join a gym and go at the weights with no sense of training properly. This leads to disappointment and sometimes injury.
Bodybuilding is a sport and lifestyle that calls for above average determination, courage, focus, stamina, and patience. It’s a combination of several arts and sciences so one need not be surprised if a conversation with a top bodybuilder is on a high academic level.
It’s due to the fact that to bodybuild, you need to know nutrition. That is the second key to success. The lists are Form, diet, and rest. There are proper ways to lift weights and improper. The improper ways won’t lead to much success and might end up in odd looking physiques or even damage.
This is why study and training under someone who knows the sport and art. Nature will have her say in how you progress and as to what you can take and can’t. There are several strategies in regard to bodybuilding and one might find that each top bodybuilder has his or her own approaches. This is why lots of trial and error come into play.
Study first. Read what professional medicine says about bodybuilding. The doctors will have studies and other vital data that they can guide you with. Many pro bodybuilders have websites and blogs and have authored books. Videos that show how to bodybuild can be found everywhere. Visit the message boards to see what the public has to say and then get ready to analyze what you’ve got to get you where you want to be.
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Setting goals, realistic goals from the start is where you’ll be getting off on a good foot. Read the personal statistics to your favorite bodybuilders and see who matches your physiology. If there’s someone from your race or culture, it’s a good bet your body will respond like theirs to some degree. Diet is a big part of the game at this point. Take a step back and really evaluate where you stand physically.
Are you overweight or underweight? Do you have big or small bones? Your height can be an advantage or disadvantage. How is your appetite? Do you have dietary restrictions or would be willing to impose some on yourself? Once you’ve considered all that then it’s time to look at what bodybuilders need to do. 1
Learn The Exercises
There are several exercises for bodybuilding. Whether one uses free weights or a machine, the movements are generally the same name. Yes, there is specialization and other modifications, but once you get the fundamental exercises and forms, you’ll be good to go.
When performing any weight lifting, you’ll need to know ‘how’ to do the exercise and the form it takes. Form is everything as it uses the maximum range of motion thus bringing about the optimum results. Don’t try to do things that you’re not sure of. Every now and then a professional bodybuilder will tout a new way of doing some exercise. Don’t just jump into it. Look before you leap. Professional bodybuilders have exceptional metabolisms and repair systems. If they mess up the injury won’t be as severe as that of a novice. In other words, don’t just follow the trends, but instead wait for medical analysis.
Once you’ve gotten a good idea of how to perform the exercises, it will be a new time of trial and error. You might find that curling first during your regimen works better than curling at the end. You can find out if doing chest and back exercises are best done on the same day or not.
This is going to take time, sometimes years, but what is best for you is what the issue is all about. Each person is different so depending on your diet, physiology, rest cycles, the results you get only you will be responsible for. This is why you learn the fundamentals and then build up from there.
The Right Mindset
Many bodybuilders will tell you that the most important thing is your mindset. If you have a mindset where you’re afraid or doubtful, it will affect your workout and results 2. This is of such importance that without taking on a winning mindset, you’re doomed to failure.
Don’t look at the top bodybuilders and wonder if you’ll get there. Look at them as mirror images of you and your body will respond to it. The wonder of bodybuilding is that it tasks you on every level. As you progress from even the most simple of exercises, your confidence in yourself will grow along and that is a solid foundation to stand on.
You’ll probably get your share of naysayers who will try to belittle you and thwart your attempts. Consider these people as solid validation that you’re in control and your destiny is your own. They’re only attacking you because of fear and jealousy. When they shoot you that critical jab, just either ignore them or just smile and say “Thanks, I really appreciate your positive input!”. Suddenly they’ll ball up and run away thinking they’ve made a mistake.
You can’t let others undermine your bodybuilding goals. Always be cautious when doing anything that is improving you or others because there are twisted people who hate to see anyone do better, they’ll even act like your best friend until they can get the opportunity to stab you in the back.
Don’t Ignore Professional Advice
Another major problem with people doing bodybuilding training is that they’ll ignore professional advice. Too many know-it-alls out there that won’t listen to anyone else’s viewpoints. Professional knowledge is worth its weight in gold. This is any data that others can benefit from. It contains information on how to workout, how to eat, how to de-stress, and many other things.
Professional advice you’ll find the top pros mirroring one another in viewpoint. Sure they’ll debate on one subject or another, but look for the common denominators as this is information that has been hard won and earned. Trust your own judgment in the end, but never stick up your nose at sound, professional advice.
Prepare For Thresholds
Bodybuilding is unlike any other sport. The amount of stamina, concentration, strength, and determination are top of the line regarding human abilities. There’s a lot of pain to deal with but that pain can be managed which is one of the benefits of pumping iron.
You not only learn to read your pain, but you become more immune to pain in life. You’ll associate pain with a step to success, but you have to understand that pain is the body’s communication system that detects injury or possible injury. Use it as a tool and soon you’ll be walking through pain like you walk through a light fog.
Persistence Is Everything
Never give up. The first week of bodybuilding is the most important one. The exhaustion, the pain, the shifts in coordination and hormone levels can make one feel like they’re in another world. This is the time to not give up no matter what. Persistence is the key here and without it you’ll be going nowhere.
That ‘keep on, keeping on’ mentality is the only thing that will get you to your goals. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”, is an old saying and it goes for double here.
Don’t Overdo It
Don’t go overboard when it comes to your workouts. With patience and fortitude you’ll get to your goals. Each of us builds muscle at different rates and don’t listen to gymnasium boasts and gossip. If the information doesn’t come from a trained professional, it’s all hot air. In time you’ll learn your best pace and how your body best responds to various routines and exercises.
Diet is important too as you’ll find some foods and their combinations will best serve you. Once you’ve gotten the routines and regimen that best works for you, you’ll be productive and satisfied all around.
Bodybuilding is both an art and science. You’re not only building strength but you’re also sculpting your body. You’ll adjust your regimen to accent those muscle groups with precise exercises and techniques. In the end it will be you against you and gravity. Use the gravity to your advantage and with each rep congratulate yourself for completing it, then congratulate yourself for finishing the set, and then congratulate yourself for completing each exercise period. Little by little you’ll see yourself improving in every way. That’s the biggest reward you can achieve, being happy with yourself.