The life of a bodybuilder is ruled by discipline, diligence, and countless hours of hard work. All strive for the ultimate goal – the symmetrical beauty of the human body.
If you’ve ever wondered how they reach their final destination, here’s how to train like a bodybuilder with the ten rules every bodybuilder will follow.
Train In Cycles
You want to train as efficiently as possible with the time you have. It’s more efficient to have concentrated goals over 10-12 week periods, where you focus on one primary objective. If trying to get bigger, you would cycle a bulking phase where you enter a calorie surplus to gain weight.
If trying to get lean, you would start a “cutting” cycle where you increase cardio, and enter a calorie deficit.
Related: German volume training for mass
Instead of training your whole body everyday, you want to divide your work each day according to similar muscle groups or stimulation. Here’s a common four day split:
Train For Hypertrophy
Hypertrophy is the growth of muscle tissue as the result of physical stimulation. Different stimulation will cause a different response. Getting stronger and getting bigger require different stimulation for optimal progression.
For hypertrophy, you want to achieve muscle failure in the 10-12 rep range of your exercises. Training in lower rep ranges has proven less effective for hypertrophy.
Train For Symmetry
If you want to have one glaring, over developed, muscle group that stands above all else – you would struggle as a bodybuilder. The goal is to develop all muscle groups equally to create visual symmetry. If you’ve got huge biceps, but pencil thin legs, you would have a lot of work to do.
Prioritize your weaknesses, and tailor your routines to achieve a more balanced physique.
See Also: How to add 1″ to your biceps
Change Your Routines
Your body adapts to repetitive behavior fairly quickly. This adaptation often translates into new strength or new muscle mass, which is good. But there are diminished returns and once your body adapts, new gains will become less and less.
You have to constantly challenge your body with new behavior and stimulation. You can’t pick a routine and repeat it over and over, and expect consistent growth month after month.
Take Diligent Notes
Bodybuilders don’t get enough credit for the intellectual aspect of molding their bodies into perfection. They’re trying to maximize efficiency in everything they do. One of the greatest differences between success and failure, will be how you track your progress.
Taking notes on training, nutrition, and response to supplements can help you identify progression and problems with your routines. Write everything down.
Eat Enough Protein
The standard rule for building, or maintaining, lean muscle mass is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Depending on your current weight, it can be challenging to cook and eat so much meat each day. Which is why protein shakes are the main staple of every bodybuilding diet. It’s easy, convenient, and adds the element of protein precision.
Eat 6-8 Small Meals Per Day
One common theme among many of the previous rules is efficiency, and calories per meal is no different. Eating 6-8 smaller meals each day helps utilize and digest calories more efficiently, and helps increase your metabolism.
See Also: How to intermittent fast
Take Your Supplements
While there are thousands of supplements on the market for you to choose from, there are only a handful considered no-brainers and a must have by every bodybuilder:
– Creatine Monohydrate
– Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
– Post Workout Protein Shake
There are no miracle supplements, but those listed above have proven very effective.
Get Enough Sleep
Muscle damage occurs in the gym, but muscle repair and growth happens while you sleep. Getting enough rest, and quality sleep, should have as high a priority as your training.
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