If you’ve developed an interest in resistance training, and bodybuilding in particular, there are some core concepts you’ll want to be familiar with.
Below are the basic rules and philosophies every beginning bodybuilder should know.
Isolate Muscle Groups With Form
Muscle isolation is one of the core principles of bodybuilding. When you want to work your biceps, make sure to focus on proper form to help isolate your intended target. When you’re sloppy, and don’t emphasize strict form, you’ll utilize supporting muscle groups to move the weight instead of the muscle you’re trying to isolate.
Form Also Prevents Injury
Strict form isn’t just for gym nerds, and overachievers. Form is one of the first rules of weight training because it prevents injury. If you aren’t using strict form, you’re more likely to involve muscle groups that shouldn’t be stressed from certain angles. When you have to choose between using good form or a heavier weight, always choose strict form.
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Don’t wait until after you’ve been injured to start thinking about injuries. A back brace is absolutely mandatory, when it comes to weight training. If you’ve had problems with joints, consider using wrist and knee braces to add support and stability.
One of the more common mistakes when you first start bodybuilding is to over train. When you want a specific muscle group to grow, it seems logical to train that muscle as much as possible. But this is actually counterproductive and disrupts the growth cycle.
Your muscles have a recovery cycle that needs to be completed, before any new growth can be stimulated. A general practice is to give a specific muscle group at least two days rest after each workout.
Proper Rep Range
Bodybuilding is all about trying to get your muscles to grow. The primary focus isn’t on strength gains, or endurance. It’s just about getting more muscular. To do this, you’ll want to stay in the proper range to influence growth. For most people the sweet spot for most exercises will be to reach muscle fatigue in the 8-10 rep range.
There’s some stuff your body is going to need to build new muscle tissue. If you’re on an extreme calorie restriction, not only will it be challenging to build new muscle, you run the risk of canabalizing muscle tissue during workouts.
Eat plenty of protein, and consider a post-workout shake to help with muscle repair.
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Sleep & Muscle Recovery
Muscle damage occurs when you’re training in the gym, but muscle repair and growth happens when you sleep. It’s easy, and kind of fun, to plan out your training routine for the next six weeks, but not many have the same enthusiasm for their sleep cycle.
You may be able to function, and get through the day on six hours of sleep, but it will become a bottleneck in the muscle building cycle if you aren’t sleeping enough.
What do you really need when you first start bodybuilding? If you’re just starting, there are only a few no-brainer supplements because of the effectiveness and how quickly it begins to work.
#1 – Creatine
#2 – Whey Protein
#3 – BCAAs
Change Routines Frequently
All forms of exercise have a common goal. You’re trying to get your body to adapt and respond to your behavior. The adaptive process can involve new muscle tissue, greater endurance, or more strength.
Once those gains have been realized, there’s nothing else for your body to adapt to, and no reason to stimulate new growth.
That’s why you can’t do the same exercise routines over and over, and get continued muscle gains. Once your body has adapted, you will need to introduce new behavior to stimulate new growth.
Everyone will develop a favorite routine, or exercise, but you have to change what you’re doing every few weeks for efficient growth.
Bodybuilding and strength training are both forms of resistance training, but the routines are different. Strength training is about moving heavy ass weight, and bodybuilding is about hypertrophy and stimulating muscle growth.
You shouldn’t shun the low rep strength routines, however. They don’t stimulate a ton of growth on their own, but the increased strength will improve your bodybuilding routines and help you grow faster.
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