Being a beginner in such a complex and involved sport as bodybuilding can be very daunting. There is so much to it, so much information, so much misinformation, that it can leave one wondering if anything at all builds muscle – or if the huge guys are just figments of our imagination.
I felt the same way when I first got interested in beginning bodybuilding. I didn’t know anything, and it seemed every time I thought I’d learned something solid, someone else came along and told me that was ‘rubbish’ and that they themselves knew better. This pretty much led to my inactivity for a good while until I was given the opportunity to train with a friend directly. Anyway, enough about that. In this article I’d like to give you some pointers on the best ways you can build muscle in the first 6 months, so you can get a good kick start into the sport of bodybuilding.
First of all, you need to get yourself on a good program which is laid out in a way in which exercises don’t interfere with one another. By that I mean, it’s no good working the biceps one day, and then the next day doing bent over rows – because the biceps will be worked again. Muscles need time to rest, and overworking them will do much more harm than good, so ensure a program is well balanced with plenty of rest – and doesn’t run for any longer than 5 days a week. Any more than that, for a beginner in particular, is simply overkill. Also, on you rest days, you really must rest. It’s crucial – and try to get 8 hours sleep a day.
Secondly, you’ll need to have plenty of compound movements in your workout. Forget the glossy magazines with guys performing isolation exercises to hone their huge biceps… believe me, they didn’t get their muscles that big by performing them initially, no way. Compound movements are ones which involve many muscle groups, and they are the true mass builders of bodybuilding. They work by utilising the muscle groups as a system, and performing the lift how the body would naturally. They include: dead lifts, bench press, bent over rows, and squats.
Thirdly, eat. It’s as simple as that. You don’t eat enough, you won’t grow. Avoid junk food – they are full of empty calories which won’t do anything for you other than make you fat. You should fill you engine will whole foods: wholemeal bread, milk, cheese, beef, fish, rice, pasta, egg, etc. Try to arrange your diet so 40% of your daily calories are made up of protein, 40% of carbs, and 20% of fats. You need to eat every day – even on days off. You should also aim to eat at least 15 calories per lb of bodyweight, plus 500. Everybody is different so you may need slightly more, but try that out first and see if you gain weight.