Building Muscle for the First Time: Simple Tips for the Beginner Bodybuilder Bodybuilding Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb. The fact that you are reading this article means that you are not very acquainted with bodybuilding and wish to improve on your game. Building muscle is easy, at least on paper it is. This is because people like to spout all kinds of unmitigated nonsense that they themselves are not completely familiar with. Simple questions, like ‘When should I lift”, or “What should I eat’ are often left out from the equation, in favor of the more absurd “Which muscle building program should I follow to gain mass” and “What is the best diet to reduce fat and increase muscle size”. Seemingly both questions correspond to their simplified counterpart, but the truth is that complicating things for the sake of sounding more scientific and knowledgeable is crime against bodybuilding, at least for the novice lifter. People who have just started going to the gym should not be lectured about the different kinds of muscle tissue or the, oh so important enzymes and electrolytes. Of course if you find that stuff interesting, you should totally immerse yourself in the subject. But if you just want to build lean muscle fast, without having to go through all that confusing anecdotal information, this guide will help you do just that. Motivation Yes people, you will have to lift some heavy stuff in order build a body like our friend Ronny Coleman, but you probably already know that. What you didn’t know however is that it is not necessary for you to do crazy amounts of lifting to get good, quality results. In fact, the less you stress your body in the beginning the less likely it is for you to give up half way through your first week of bodybuilding. Going to the gym should become like a habit, and the best way to do that is to establish strong, sturdy foundations on which to build your future bodybuilding undertakings. Pacing yourself is the key to achieving a long and beneficial fitness addiction, with the minimum chance of dropping out. Diet An exact diet would only detour you from achieving good results. Try to focus more on what types of food you are ingesting rather than the amount. You should have enough nutrition in you to accommodate every necessity that your body requires. You should eat plenty of protein-rich foods, such as beef and poultry and fish; salmon, tuna etc. You energy must come from good, starchy grains, such as rice, whole bread and sweet potatoes. Try to eliminate excess amounts of sodium and sugar, for they hold no nutritional values and can be in fact detrimental to your endeavor. Eat at least 5 times a day, regardless if you are taking supplements or not. Note that a complete half body workout will consume about 600-800 calories, where as your normal metabolic need is about 2500-3000 calories. So 3500-3800 calories of good, nutrient-rich food a day is all you need to build quality, lean muscle tissue. Exercise The most often mistake newbies do, is that they literally ‘waste themselves’ on their first couple of week lifting. When you first start going to the gym, don’t try to imitate the people around you, that is just silly and it won’t bring you any closer to building your dream body. These people got where they are because they had enough time to develop core strength and good lifting habits. Note that in order for you to build muscle fast, you need to do every single exercise mindfully and with great deal of concentration. Focus on your lifts, take your time and don’t go over the board with the weights. You should figure out for yourself how much can you lift in terms of weight. You should be able to do enough reps to achieve semi-muscle failure (the point in which you can’t do any more reps in a single set) without going into complete muscle failure. Here we are going to talk about some of the basics that every beginner weightlifter should follow. 3 Golden Rules of The Beginner Weightlifter Don’t focus on a single muscle group. When you first start lifting, try to incorporate at least half of your major muscle groups into your training regiment. This is necessary for building your core strength, or otherwise the strength you will be using when you start doing one or two muscle groups at a time. The better you do now, the more easy it will be for you later on. You can divide your core strengthening exercises into two sections. Most people go for Upper Body – arms, pecks, lats, back etc. And Lower Body – gluts, calves, quads and hamstrings. You can choose one day to work upper body and the next day lower, with at least 2 days rest before the next cycle. Don’t do more than 3 sets per muscle group. Whether you are doing pectorals or biceps, do not more than 2-3 sets for that particular muscle group. Your muscles are not yet developed enough to handle strenuous exercises, and you can unintentionally rip your muscle tissue, which is not very pleasant, trust me. Your first set should always be with 1/3 your working weight. If bench press with, let’s say 70 lbs, your warm up set should be 20-23 lbs max. Don’t exercise more than 3-4 time a week! In order for your muscles to grow you need to let them rest for at least 48 hours! Overworking your muscles will only result in catabolism, or otherwise the breakdown of muscle due to lack of energy. The only muscle group you could be working on all the time are your abdominals, and even then you should take at least a 24 hours rest between sets. Here is a sample full body training program: Day 1 Chest – 3 sets of bench press; 6-8 reps Middle Back – 3 sets of barbell deadlifts’ 6-8 reps Lower Back – 3 sets of barbell rows; 6-8 reps Biceps – 2 sets of dumbbell curls; 10-12 reps Triceps – 2 sets of bench dips; 10-12 reps Day 2 Quadriceps – 2 sets of barbell full squat; 6-8 reps Glutes – 3 sets of kneeling squats; 12-15 reps Calves – 4 sets of barbell seated calf rise; 16-20 reps Hamstrings – 2 sets of clean deadlifts; 8-10 reps Day 3 and 4 – Rest If you don’t understand some of the exercises listed above, you can always consult the internet about the proper way of executing your sets. Remember that safety should always be your number one priority, so make sure you do your sets safely and responsibly. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and sleep at least 8 hours a day. 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