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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

15 Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners for More Effective Workouts

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15 Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners for More Effective Workouts

If you are new to bodybuilding and want to improve the way you look, bodybuilding tips can help you get started the right way. Bodybuilding is a great way to strengthen, tone, and stabilize your entire body, but it’s easy to make mistakes that can cause injuries that keep you out of the game for months. If you really want to dedicate yourself to building muscle mass over time, be patient, start with some bodybuilding basics, and move forward from there.

Here are 15 of the best bodybuilding tips for beginners.

1. Stick to Free Weights

Even though the modern gyms are full of complex, high-tech 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, especially for a beginner.

Free weights offer a wide range of motion and rely on proper form, which ultimately helps to build more muscle than the restricting machines often found in a gym.

2. Do Compound Lifts and Movements

While you might be tempted to try all the possible exercises you see on fitness magazines or websites with heavy weights, you should stick to the basic movements first as one of your first bodybuilding tips.

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Exercises like the squat, the deadlift, the barbell bench press and the military shoulder press should not be lacking from your routine[1]. These are popular for a reason. They’ve been designed to tackle major muscle groups that will help you build on your routine from the ground up.

3. Find a Program, and Stick to It

In order to be successful with bodybuilding, 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 in order to create a weekly routine that will lead to more muscle mass. By knowing what you’re doing on a specific day and knowing what came in the days before, you can avoid injury and overuse.

4. Don’t Train Every Day

If the person that made you the program knows what s/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. Doing so can lead to muscle strain, which can eventually cause debilitating injuries, so paying attention to this bodybuilding tip is essential.

Each time you do a bodybuilding routine, remembering that you are literally tearing your muscle fibers. If you do this 7 times a week without allowing them to recover, you can cause permanent damage. Allow at least one day between each workout to keep your muscles healthy.

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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 each week to really see effects. You should also be increasing the weight you’re lifting every week or every other week in order to continuously challenge your body to keep building more muscle.

6. Learn Correct Form

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. If you’re going to a gym, they often have trainers who will show you the correct form for various exercises. If you need more guidance, consider hiring a personal trainer for one or two weeks to get you started.

Once you have the correct form, you’ll be able to continue pushing yourself without going too far using the other bodybuilding tips for beginners.

7. Gradually Increase the Weight

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

If you stay at one weight too long, your body will get comfortable and won’t build more muscle, so it’s important to keep offering your body challenges.

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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. When it comes to bodybuilding tips, this is one many overlook until it’s too late.

9. Eat a Lot of Protein

Protein is essential when it comes to building muscle. It can be found in good quantities in chicken, fish, eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and some 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

This is one of those bodybuilding tips that most people don’t understand at first. In order to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn[2]. 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.

Make sure to avoid eating too few calories as this will mean your body may start burning the muscle you’re building for energy. Losing fat requires a caloric deficit, but building muscle requires the opposite.

11. Eat More Often

If you’re bodybuilding as a beginner, it’s a good idea to eat more often. Try eating 4-5 times each day, and don’t go more than 3-4 hours without a meal. As your body builds muscle, it will want a consistent source of fuel, which comes from food.

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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! For this bodybuilding tip, consume quality food like lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and stay away from junk food, sweets, and fatty foods[3].

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.

13. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Besides macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) your body also needs micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These come mostly in the form of fruits and vegetables, so make sure you’re getting enough each day, both pre- and post-workout.

14. Rest and Recover

One of the most essential bodybuilding tips for beginners is to allow your body time to recover. Your muscles don’t grow when you work out but during rest periods, especially when you’re sleeping. 8-9 hours a night is optimal. If you have trouble falling asleep, try settling into a night time routine that can get your sleep schedule on track.

15. Act Like an Athlete

If you want to dedicate yourself to bodybuilding, get into the mindset of an athlete. Building a stronger, healthier body means doing so both in and out of the gym. When you’re not working out, avoid smoking, alcohol, and other unhealthy vices as much as possible. This will help you create an overall healthier lifestyle to match your efforts in the gym.

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The Bottom Line

The above bodybuilding tips are a great place to start if you’re trying to get into bodybuilding. These kinds of workouts can be amazing for your muscle mass, as well as joint stability and cardio health. Start slow and safe in order to build up to a beneficial routine that will help you enjoy bodybuilding for many years to come.

More Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

Featured photo credit: Anastase Maragos via unsplash.com

Reference

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Craig Wilson

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

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

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7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

Stretching is one of the most essential aspects of a healthy fitness routine. It’s also one of the most overlooked. Instead of thinking of this activity as a separate entity, consider stretching as a continuation of your exercise routine. By making stretching tips a part of your workout, you won’t neglect the attention your muscles and joints require to perform effectively.

Whether using stretching as a way to wake up, get your mind in the game, or recover from strenuous activity, your body will reap its short-term and long-term benefits. In the moment, stretching is a great way to warm up the body and prevent yourself from overextension and injury. In the long run, stretching daily can help loosen your tendons and muscles, and ultimately help you maintain a full range of motion later in life.

Taking these ideas into consideration, follow these 7 simple tips for stretching to add stretches back into your workout vocabulary.

1. Stretch and Stretch Often

Ultimately, your body can benefit from stretching daily. Many of us experience a somewhat stationary lifestyle at work, so we naturally need to warm up our bodies after remaining immobile for long periods of time.

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With only ten minutes of stretching, you can increase your strength, balance and flexibility. From working out to waking up in the morning, slow, easy movements can warm up the body. Just remember to be gentle; any jarring movements can cause injury and muscle tear.

For the best results, hold each stretch for at least sixty seconds[1].

2. Warm up Before a Workout

Similar to establishing a daily stretching routine, warming up the body pre-workout is vital for having a successful session and one of the most important stretching tips. Just grabbing your foot to stretch your calf for a couple seconds could actually harm your body, so make sure you begin slowly and take your time.

Attempting any exercise with “cold muscles” or without “waking up the body” will also hurt your body and cause muscle pulls and tendon tears. Try taking a short walk or elongating your stretches for optimal results.

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3. Gauge Your Tension

Stretching should never be painful. Monitor how your muscles feel as you stretch. Naturally, you should feel some mild tension, but don’t push yourself past the edge of discomfort.

If you’re starting to experience sharp pain or sensations that gradually get more severe, you are doing something wrong. Try to focus on one area at a time so you are only pushing yourself so far. When you begin to feel comfortable stretching, deepen your stretch, but don’t over-exert yourself.

4. Avoid Bouncing

Stretching tips don’t often mention this, but bouncing can be one of the most detrimental things you can do to your body while stretching. When your body constantly shifts, your muscles can tighten, and you can increase the risk of pulling or tearing a tendon. Find your balance or focal point, and remain steady.

When in doubt, try using a mirror to watch yourself stretch to improve your form. Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor or trainer for someone to monitor your posture and stance[2].

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5. Just Breathe

One of the main benefits of stretching is its ability to help the mind and body relax. Therefore, try to breathe normally and make sure you don’t hold your breath[3].

As you deepen your stretch, make sure to inhale and exhale slowly. Any abrupt, fast breathing or lack of breathing can cause tension in your body and increase your risk of injury. Make sure you are comfortable so that your mind focuses on the task at hand.

6. Vary Your Routine

While stretching, don’t forget to work on opposing muscles and incorporate as many muscle groups as possible in your routine for a holistic workout. Also, one of the most important stretching tips I can offer is to change your routine often so you don’t get bored.

Often, boredom can cause carelessness and a loss of focus, which, in turn, can cause injuries. Look to Yoga workouts[4] or Pilates classes, as they are great resources for finding new stretches.

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7. Always Remember to Cool Down

Stretching is also an excellent form of recovery to avoid muscle soreness. Don’t overlook this part of a workout, as it releases the tension in your body and increases blood flow to muscles that are warm and worked. Cooling down can prevent injury and decrease your heart rate after an intense workout. Do what you can to help your body quickly recover from your daily exercise routine.

Final Thoughts

Stretching tips are vital when participating in an active lifestyle. However, your body needs fuel to assist you through these daily routines. Therefore, don’t forget to eat the right foods and stay hydrated. Not only do you replenish your body with fluids and nutrients lost, but you can keep your muscles strong and ready for the next routine.

If you struggle with stress and anxiety, stretching can help you move into a calmer headspace and find both mental and physical balance. Furthermore, stretching can help you and your body focus on something else, which will help you move past the stress.

As you plan your next workout, incorporate time for pre and post-workout stretches to see how it improves your exercise experience.

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More Stretching Tips

Featured photo credit: Oksana Taran via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: The ideal stretching routine
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: Six tips for safe stretches
[3] Penn State: Balance, Breathing and Flexibility
[4] Health: Best Yoga Poses for Your Trouble Spots

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