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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.

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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