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15 Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

15 Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

If you are new to bodybuilding and you want to improve the way you look, here are some useful tips that will help you a lot! You should not expect huge improvements over night, but muscle mass will slowly grow over time.  It’s really important to have patience, to stick to your workouts and diet, and results will definitely show!

1. Stick to Free Weights.

Even though the modern gyms are full of fancy and shiny machines, they will not help you build a solid foundation of muscle mass. Dumbbells and barbells are the best when it comes to building muscle and especially for a beginner.

2. Do Compound Movements.

While you might be tempted to try all the possible exercises you see on fitness magazines or websites, you should stick to the basic movements first. Exercises like the squat, the deadlift, the barbell bench press and the military shoulder press should not miss from your routine.

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3. Have a Program and Stick to it.

You cannot just go in the gym and do whatever you feel at that moment. You need to have a strict routine and follow it closely. Ask a personal trainer or an advanced bodybuilder to provide you with a program that includes the exact exercises you need to do, the number of sets and the number of reps per set. When you set foot in the gym you need to know exactly what you will do in that training session.

4. Don’t Train Every Day.

If the person that made you the program knows what he’s doing, your routine should have 3 or 4 workouts per week. As a beginner you don’t need to train more often than that. Spend the other days of the week to rest and recover.

5. Train Each Muscle Group Every Week.

While too many days in the gym won’t help you get bigger, too few workouts are not good either. You need to work each muscle group at least once every week.

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6. Learn the Correct Form of Each Exercise.

While you may be tempted to see how much you can lift, you need to start with lower weights and learn the right form of each exercise.

7. Gradually Increase the Weights.

After you master the correct form on each exercise, you need to start increasing the weights periodically. Keep track of how much you lift on each exercise and slightly increase the weight every 2 weeks. This will increase your strength and will lead to muscle gains.

8. Be Cautious.

When you get to the point of using big weights, use a safety belt for lower back protection. You may not have back problems right now, but you don’t want to have them in the future either.

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9. Eat a Lot of Protein.

Protein is essential when it comes to building muscle and can be found in chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products and some nuts and vegetables. Most experts recommend at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for the best results. If consuming enough protein each day becomes difficult, add a protein shake as well.

10. Be in a Caloric Surplus.

In order to build muscle you need to eat more calories than you burn. Use a calorie calculator to find out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and adjust that according to how active you are. If you have a sedentary job you will need fewer calories and if you are very active you will need more.

11. Eat More Often.

Have 4-5 meals per day and eat every 3-4 hours. Avoid being hungry!

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12. Avoid Junk Food.

It’s true that you want to gain some weight, but you want that weight to be muscle mass and not fat! Consume quality food like lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats and stay away from junk food, lots of sweets and fatty foods. The only time when you should consume fast absorbing carbohydrates (usually foods that have a lot of sugar or white flour) is right after your workout. Read more about what to eat to gain muscle in this article.

13. Consume Fruits and Vegetables.

Besides macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) your body also needs micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). So make sure you consume lots of fruits and vegetables each day!

14. Rest and Recover.

Your muscles don’t grow when you work out but when you sleep. So make sure you get enough sleep each night (about 8-9 hours).

15. Act Like an Athlete.

Try to have a healthy lifestyle and avoid as much as possible smoking, alcohol and other unhealthy vices.

More by this author

Craig Wilson

Craig Wilson is a big Fitness enthusiast, Author and owner of Body-Buildin.com.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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