How To Be a Bodybuilder
To know how to become a bodybuilder we must first know what a bodybuilder is! Simply, a bodybuilder is a person who practices in bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is the process of developing the muscles of the body via exercise and dietary intake. Bodybuilders will commonly aim for well developed and proportioned muscles, whilst ensuring body fat is kept low to increase muscle definition. Professional bodybuilders, and those who compete in bodybuilding competitions, will be judged upon their appearance on the day of the show, with; muscle development, balance, definition, symmetry, body fat levels and vascularity all taken into consideration. Of course, not everybody competes, and many gym goers body build in the manner of increasing muscle mass and ensuring low body levels to create an aesthetically pleasing look.
Below we have listed ten simple bodybuilding tips for increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat, the aim of any recreational bodybuilder.
1.) Follow a suitable diet. A bodybuilding diet ensures plentiful levels of nutrients needed for muscle growth and function. Feedings are structured and are frequent to provide a steady source of the nutrients needed by the body. See our bodybuilding bulking meal plan for a sample diet. A diet should be varied to allow for a maximum spectrum of micronutrients for optimal health.
2.) Drink plenty of fluids. This is especially important when exercising as our bodies sweat in a method to keep cool. Becoming dehydrated can impair performance, decreasing the effectiveness of a weight training session. It is also important we maintain hydration throughout the day for nutrient adsorption, joint lubrication and the offset of muscle cramps.
3.) Nutrients after weight training. The body is often referred to as a sponge post training, craving protein for tissue repairs, and carbohydrates for restoring muscle glycogen. The consumption of a post workout shake comprising of whey protein (40g) and dextrose/maltodextrin (40g/40g) is a common choice as an easy and quick way of getting the macronutrients directly after a workout. A balanced meal is usually consumed an hour or so afterwards.
4.) Food over supplements. A well developed body will not be built from supplement pills or powders. A plentiful diet of wholesome foods will provide the best method of gaining muscle mass and body weight. Some supplements, such as whey, dextrose/maltodextrin, and creatine may prove useful additions to a sound diet. These can be bought fairly cheaply in plain powder form, with no need of spending cash on expensive branded supplements.
5.) Train intensely. Bodybuilding requires the muscle fibres to be damaged for the body to repair the tissue to adapt to the training stimulus. Training intensely during a workout, whilst limiting the training session to no longer than 60 minutes in duration, will lead to maximum results.
6.) Follow a balanced training plan. Bodybuilding requires a balanced approach to ensure all body parts grow in proportion, and receive adequate rest. Training each body part once a week is a common choice amongst trainers.
7.) Include a variety of exercises, but include compounds. Compound exercises are exercises which involve several muscle groups, such as the bench press, row, and squat. These exercises stress many muscles during the exercise, great for stimulating the body for growth. Isolation exercises, such as the barbell curl, are great for exercising a specific muscle but are limited to the stress and growth they can stimulate.
8.) Utilise the eccentric phrase of the exercises. The eccentric (or negative) phrase of the exercise is an important part of a given exercise, providing maximum time under tension if performed in a controlled manner. It is common to see trainers drop the weight from the top of a bodybuilding exercise, only utilising the concentric (up) phrase of the exercise. Perform both phrases in a controlled manner to gain maximum effectiveness from greater TUT (Time Under Tension).
9.) Progressive overload. The body will soon adapt to training stimulus, which can leave the trainer in a rut and unsure how to recreate the big gains they experienced at the start of their bodybuilding journey. The key to everlasting gains is progressive overload; to always train and stimulate the muscles past their current ability. This can involve using greater resistance for exercises, performing more repetitions in a set, performing an extra set in a workout, or using the advanced bodybuilding techniques such as “drop sets” and “negatives”.
10.) Give it time. Building an aesthetically pleasing body takes time, with muscle building limited in a short period of time. Taking photos every few months and starting an online journal can provide a source of motivation and progress tracking.