You don’t have to become a contender in professional weightlifting competitions to want to be a bodybuilder. Despite all the preconceived notions about the “mass monsters,” bodybuilding is simply a way to sculpt the body and build muscles. And the highly-defined muscles are not always just for show; bodybuilding is a sport, just like swimming and basketball.
Wanting to build your body won’t define you as anything more than a juiced-up lifter because it’s just something that you do, not who you are as a person. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about what other people will say once you start your bodybuilding process, especially because you’ll devote a lot of your time, effort, and energy to becoming a bodybuilder.
That said, before you begin your process, there are certain bodybuilding concepts that you have to understand first. Learning about the proper way to work out, eat, and rest from the get-go will help you adjust better. So, here’s a quick guide to help you through your bodybuilding journey:
Workout and Exercise
In a typical workout session for bodybuilders, the upper and lower body parts are trained separately three to four times a week, with one or two-day intervals in between. Rest time is important because it allows the body to adjust to the exercises without straining the muscles, resulting in better gains.
The bodybuilding process takes a lot of time and effort; you can’t expect to see immediate results after a month of consistent workout sessions because it can take longer than that. After all, this is a process. You shouldn’t try to bulk up and start lifting heavy on day one because that can do you more harm than good.
You’ll need to trust in the bodybuilding process. Although it may take longer to show noticeable results, your muscles will look better simply because they weren’t rushed nor overtrained. So, develop a workout routine complete with exercises that will help you reach the kind of build you’re hoping to achieve.
If you’re not familiar with what kind of exercises you should do for your back, arms, abs, and legs, it might be best to consult a fitness trainer or experienced bodybuilders. This is because not using the correct exercises may put a strain on your muscles, or worse, injure and disable you permanently.
Equipment and Gear
Unless you have a personal gym at home complete with all the training equipment you will need for bodybuilding, it’s better to get yourself a gym membership. That is if you haven’t already. Having the right kind of exercise equipment will allow you to focus on your workouts, and the company of other gym-goers may help keep you motivated.
Aside from having the right equipment, you will also need to have the appropriate gear and clothing. It’s not enough to wear cotton T-shirts and comfy shorts when you’re doing your workouts; you’ll need clothes that will help you perform in your best condition and still be comfortable enough to let your body breathe.
For instance, your go-to workout clothes could be a breathable cotton and spandex tank top paired with shorts. And for extra support, especially on leg days, you can wear legging liners underneath your shorts. Lastly, for a final touch, you can use powerlifting elbow sleeves for additional muscle support and minimize unnecessary muscle stretching.
Diet and Nutrition
Bodybuilding isn’t all about building muscle and lifting weights; it’s also largely about watching what you put inside your body. Once you start building muscle, you’ll have to be more careful about your daily calorie, protein, and carbohydrate intakes because your diet will play a big role in sustaining your muscle mass.
One of the worst things you can do during the bodybuilding process is to neglect your nutritional intake. This is because you’ll need to have enough energy to get through your workouts, which means you can’t eat below or over your daily calorie intake. You’ll also need to take your metabolism and regular activity level into account when creating your diet.
Another source of nutrition for bodybuilders is food supplements, such as protein powder, multivitamins, and creatine, which can help you gain volume. You can drink protein shakes after a workout to help you cover your daily protein intake, especially if you can’t sit down to a full and well-balanced meal all the time.
All this information can be overwhelming to take in all at once, which means you have to ease into the process, just like with bodybuilding. You can’t dive headfirst without learning the basics of exercise and nutrition because you might seriously injure yourself that way. And if you can’t lift weights anymore, you won’t be able to become a bodybuilder. So trust in the process and take your time.