Guide for beginners in bodybuilding

Where should you start if you decide to take up bodybuilding? How to start bodybuilding? What do you need to know before you start? Is there any preliminary preparation required? In this analytical material, we will analyze the answers to these questions and advise those who are not yet familiar with the ‘iron sport.’ 

What you need to know – the basics

Successful results in beginner bodybuilding program are based on three main factors. It is unrealistic to achieve positive results without regular training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest.

Before starting regular weight training, you must undergo 2-3 weeks of training, performing exercises 3-4 times a week with simple tools: a gymnastic stick, an expander, a stuffed ball, dumbbells, etc. The correct selection, number, and approach of exercises should ensure their comprehensive effect. This will create the necessary motor foundation, strengthen the muscular apparatus, prepare the respiratory and cardiovascular systems for more significant loads, and create the need for regular training.

How to start bodybuilding? When discussing the basics of bodybuilding for beginners, we must emphasize a balanced, healthy diet. At the end of a workout, you first need to replenish the energy you’ve spent. This provides the body with the necessary ‘building blocks.’

After a grueling workout and replenishing the energy you’ve spent, you need to think about the third pillar – proper rest. You should rest at the end of your workouts until your body is fully restored. The most important is a full 7-8 hour night’s sleep. Short daytime naps also positively affect recovery, but it all depends on the individual. Some people feel a second wind after an afternoon nap, while others, on the contrary, feel a loss of strength, and after 40 minutes, they don’t want to do anything. This may help with your question in mind, “how to begin bodybuilding?”

Nutrition of a bodybuilder

The bodybuilding diet for beginners must be balanced, healthy, correct, and complete. The daily diet must include a variety of foods that fully meet the human body’s needs for carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Ideally, a bodybuilder should eat 5-6 times a day, that is, every 2-3 hours.

Special sports nutrition, which helps to achieve the goal of building muscle mass faster, is recommended. To ensure nutrition contributes to muscle building, it is recommended to eat during the so-called carbohydrate window in the first hour after the end of your workout.

Protein in building muscle mass

Our muscles comprise 75-80% water, and the remaining 20% is protein. Protein is the main building block, so to build muscle mass, you must increase your protein intake to at least 2 grams per 1 kg of your body weight. 

Protein is a sports supplement that contains protein blends essential for the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. If you need to ensure the fastest possible protein recovery after training, we recommend whey protein, which is considered the most rapid. If you need a slow release of protein, for example, before bed, you need casein protein, which has the longest absorption rate. 

You must take amino acids for faster recovery after training, increased strength, and muscle mass to protect against muscle breakdown. BCAA amino acids play a special role in beginner bodybuilding, making up 35% of our muscle tissue. Give preference to turkey, chicken breast, beef, or fish. Eggs should also be present in your diet, as they have a very good amino acid composition. And low-fat cottage cheese, of course)

Why complex carbohydrates are important 

You need at least 4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight every day. Carbohydrates are second in the athlete’s nutritional hierarchy. They are stored in the body as muscle glycogen (an energy source) and can be used if necessary (for example, during training). 

A bodybuilder weighing 90 kg needs 360-540 grams of carbohydrates daily to increase mass. The best sources are complex carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed, such as wholemeal bread, durum wheat pasta, cereals, oatmeal, various beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Guide for beginners in bodybuilding

Don’t be afraid of fats!

20-30% of calories should come from fat. This figure should be at least 5-10% for adults who don’t exercise regularly. Still, for bodybuilders, getting enough fat is important because it helps synthesize the necessary testosterone levels (which helps develop muscles). In general, a man can’t do without testosterone. 

A low-fat diet works against bodybuilders. Achieving and maintaining proper testosterone levels is a prerequisite for making progress in training. After all, heavy physical activity decreases testosterone levels, so you need to compensate for it.

Beef, seeds, olive oil, and peanut butter, favorites of American bodybuilders, are good sources of unsaturated fats. Fish and flaxseed oil provides the body with important omega-3s.

How many calories do you need per day?

In a beginner bodybuilding workout, you need 40 calories per kilogram of body weight per day at all times. There must be a positive calorie balance, meaning you must consume more calories than you expend. If more calories are burned than the body receives, muscle formation will not occur because the body will save energy. That is why it is necessary for a bodybuilding beginner weighing 90 kg to receive at least 3,600 calories a day. 

Taking into account the first three rules, the diet should look like this: 

Protein 20-30%
Complex Carbohydrates40-60%
Healthy Fats20-30%

Exercises and training

Remember to warm up. After all, this is one of the most important things you need to do before performing your sets. It will:

  • help you avoid injury;
  • thanks to the warm-up complex, you will be able to lift more weight and fully load your muscles;
  • allow you to load your muscles properly.

Do 1-3 warm-up exercises with light weights and then proceed to the main complex. Let’s say, for example, you can bench press 90 kg a certain number of times. You start with 50 kg 10 times, then 70 kg 8 times, and finish with one 90 kg press. This gets blood to the muscles, preparing them for what comes next. 

Pay attention to the warm-up. You should perform approximately 2-4 sets of each exercise and do 3-4 exercises for each muscle. Only perform up to 10 sets for each muscle. What is effective for one person may be useless for another. Some guys can do many reps and exercises and always feel energized. 

If you stick to the exercises, sets, repetitions, and rest between sets, your workout should take about an hour. Once you get more experienced, you will only work out for an hour. This should help you get started. But don’t end your reading here. Before you start working out, learn the theory because you need it to make mistakes and get stuck without any positive results. Learn more about training nutrition, and take an interest in supplements.

Diversifying your workouts 

Bodybuilders group exercises according to body parts and train one muscle group at a time. You need to perform 1-3 exercises to work a muscle well. Experience shows that this type of training is most effective for bodybuilding. All major muscle groups should be developed to prevent muscle imbalances, reduce the risk of injury, and avoid spoiling one’s appearance with disproportionate shapes.

Many guys with huge chests, backs, arms, and trapeziuses have underdeveloped legs! They could lift 170 kg 5 times (I’m not kidding), but when you look at their legs, you realize these guys have never lifted them. Their arm circumference is about 43 cm, but their calf muscles are no more than 33 cm. And as you can imagine, this is an incorrect imbalance.

7 fundamental principles 

How to start bodybuilding? Let’s see these bodybuilding tips for beginners:

  1. During classes, you should avoid extraneous conversations and limit the impact of external stimuli such as noise, disorderly walking, etc.
  2. Remember: discipline and concentration are the most important factors in the quality of your training and preventing injuries.
  3. A set performed technically incorrectly is the same as a set not performed at all. Performing perfectly is better than lifting weights without any technique or rules.
  4. Most people only think about breathing once they start weightlifting, but everything should happen naturally. Start each set by taking a deep breath and exhaling during the most difficult part of the lift. Inhale for relaxation (or during the easiest lift phase) and exhale for effort.
  5. Rest should last from 45 seconds to 120 seconds, no more. Experiment with a few breaks at first, as everyone is different.
  6. When doing the exercises, use the full range of motion. To maximize muscle development and prevent injury, you should use a natural range of motion that stretches the target muscle well.
  7. Eat frequently: You need to ensure that your body receives enough energy to function and enough amino acids to build muscle. By doing so, you will create favorable conditions for increasing muscle mass. The most important thing is that each meal should contain approximately the same amount of food. Frequent meals will boost your metabolism.

Maintaining hydration

An athlete needs to drink plenty of water for the body to function properly.

  • When a person exercises, they sweat. Accordingly, he needs to maintain a water balance for further quality work because if there is a lack of water, the body draws fluid from internal organs. To release it, the body soon becomes dehydrated, tired quickly, and can develop heat stroke.
  • Water is an important component of one of the main forms of energy storage in the human body. This form refers to such a structure as glycogen, without which it is impossible to imagine a quality workout. Drinking water:
    • Improves the quality of the lymphatic system.
    • When you heat water and drink it, your metabolism improves, and those extra pounds of fat, if you have any, disappear. 

Since glycogen provides the human body with energy, a person does not consume energy without consuming water.

What is the working weight?

So, how to begin bodybuilding? The specifics of choosing a starting working weight depend on the beginner’s fitness level or each muscle group. The weaker the muscles, the lower the working weight, and vice versa. For beginners, the optimal working weight is the one with which they can perform only 15 repetitions. This applies to machines, barbells, or dumbbells. This load will help your muscles adapt and protect you from possible injuries.

The technique is also impossible with a heavyweight due to distortion, imperfections, or a flawed swing. The result can be an incorrect exercise stereotype, which will be difficult to retrain later.

We recommend that you start with two sets of 15 repetitions. Before the next training session, you should assess the degree of muscle pain. If the pain is severe, the exercise for this group should either be skipped altogether until the next time or relieved as much as possible (for example, do one set of 15 or two sets of 7-10). In the case of mild pain, the number of sets and repetitions should remain the same, and in the complete absence of pain, the number of repetitions can be increased by 2-5 times, or one more set with the same number of repetitions can be added.

If you train in a gym, you will first need a trainer or an experienced athlete’s support. For those who find it more convenient to train at home, we recommend that you go beyond the description of the exercises and purchase videos that will make the technique of performing the movements much clearer.

What does stretching have to do with it?

Experienced athletes and fitness enthusiasts know that the stretch is the ultimate workout. It should be done after:

  • strength training;
  • cardio;
  • difficult to coordinate both heavy and light loads.

After some workouts, it is recommended to cool down for 5-7 minutes by jogging + 5-7 minutes by stretching different muscle groups, and after others, you should only stretch for 10-15 minutes. But always include stretching your legs and stretching your buttocks. 

Top 4 steroids for better results

The main supplements are useful for beginner bodybuilders, as well as their role and recommendations for use:

  1. Anavar is an effective steroid from the category of anabolics, which is similar to dihydrotestosterone. Today, the drug is a popular means of improving the state of muscle mass.
  2. Dianabol is an innovative anabolic and androgenic prohormone complex designed for professional athletes from Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.
  3. Testosterone is a male sex hormone; by its biochemical nature, it is a steroid. It is most widely used in strength disciplines. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself admitted that he used Testosterone throughout his professional career and even after it was over, as he had to demonstrate a large muscle mass for filming.
  4. Trenbolone is an anabolic steroid whose active ingredient is trenbolone. The drug does not retain fluid in the body, has a strong anabolic effect, and can increase libido. It is a commonly used non-estrogenic steroid, and many athletes prefer to buy it for weight training and dry bulking.

Let’s summarize the results

How to begin bodybuilding? Naturally, your body will resist gaining muscle mass. More muscle requires more energy, and your body is concerned about its energy supply. So, how do you grow muscle? You can’t change your genetics, but you can improve your diet (to provide your body with what it needs to support new muscle).

In other words, you need to convince your body that it needs to build a large amount of muscle. You can do this through training and progressive exercise. Then, with a proper diet, you need to ensure that you can supply it with the materials it needs to build and maintain muscle.