If you are looking to gain muscle mass and carve out those muscles, you are on the right path. Here’s a complete guide to the iron game that will start you off on the right foot.
I can’t emphasis how important it is to learn basic safety rules and proper forms. Safety rules and proper forms will not only prevent injuries but also maximize results.
During the first 6-12 months, you will notice the most noticeable gains. If you give it time, consistency, and focus, I assure you will become a beast!
The good news is: as a beginner, you can train more often than moderate and advanced people. This is because beginners bounce back much quicker when their muscles are sore (since the damage isn’t severe). On the other hand, the more advanced athletes push themselves harder and incur more damage, causing longer discovery time.
“Damage” is what bodybuilding is all about – a repeated cycle of one step back, two steps forward. When you trigger limited muscle damage, it causes the body to recover and grow slightly to get ready for the coming workouts.
We recommend training each muscle group twice a week, instead of once a week. Train your upper body and lower body on two separate days. It’s more crucial to learn proper forms, rather than lifting as much weight as possible. Focus mainly on classic exercises. Once we’ve mastered the basics, we can move up the level and focus on more complex compound exercises.
Pro tips: Start easy by picking up a weight that you can lift with 10-12 reps strictly. Write down your poundage and the number of reps for future reference.
You need to get over the junk to support your new active lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you are over forty or a skinny teenager, this is your first most important step. I’m not asking you go to crazy on a diet, but cut out sugar soda, fast food and other empty-calorie food that prevent you from getting the nutrients you need.
Muscle is protein, therefore increase your protein intake. Protein helps repair muscles efficiently. Try incorporating protein and lean foods like lean beef, tuna, and chicken into your daily meals.
One of the biggest mistakes rookies make is not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Fiber is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system. Your daily eating habits should have some type of fiber.
Next is water. You cannot function properly if you dehydrated. Not having enough water can cause numerous negative effects from feeling fatigue to a mental meltdown. So drink water throughout the day, even on your rest days.
Eating smaller meals, instead of a few big ones, help you stabilize your blood sugar and a healthy flow of nutrients for your body. Carbs are much like gasoline and are the main source for workouts, therefore avoid having them before bedtime. If you’re hungry at night, try a protein snack.
Yes, you should make a habit of tracking your diet on a daily basis. Get a diet log, a small notepad or an app for your phone. Write down what, when, and calories into each column. You can also add columns for carbohydrates, fat, protein.
Tracking your diet not only will help you get ripped, but it will also help you resist junk food binges. You become more aware of what and how many calories you’re adding and putting into your body.
In reality, it’s very hard to get the nutrients you need from regular food alone. But how does one weed through the hundreds, if not thousands of supplements on the market? What actually works? These are all good questions.
For beginners, we will start simply as there are two must-have bodybuilding supplements:
- Muti-vitation supplements: Unless you spend time planning and preparing meals with sufficient nutrients, this is the most important supplement to function properly. Go with a reputable company with a reasonable price.
- Protein supplements: Muscle tissues use protein to repair and overcompensate (grow), so you diet needs to the increasing need for protein. As mentioned, it’s very hard to get enough protein from regular food on a daily basis.
That’s why we take protein supplements. A protein powder is the most common form. There are three basic types of protein powders: grainers, meal replacement drinks, and pure protein drinks.
Remember supplements are simply supplements, do not skip meals as your main source of nutrients should always be good, healthy foods!
New to a gym? Pick the one you’re most comfortable in. It helps if the gym is close by so you don’t have excuses not to go. More importantly, take the time to walk around and look at the machine, people, and how busy it is. Learn the gym etiquette. Wipe off your sweat from machines, etc. If you’re not sure about the exercises, you can hire a personal trainer or buy an online course to get you started on the right foot.
Get enough sleep as most of your muscle growing is in bed, not at the gym. You will have more energy to train harder and improve the results of your efforts. You’re also more likely to injure yourself I you’re sleep deprived and lacking focus.
The Mental Game
Your first step is to set a goal to establish exactly what you want to accomplish and how to measure success. Be realistic and write down the target date. It may be hard to estimate but make a simple guess with some wiggle room. To make your goals less intimidating, you can use a check point such as adding 10 lbs to your bench press by next month. The more detail you get in there is the better.
Another mental game is to positive thinking. It may be a cliché but the importance of it is understated. Walk through how you want each day to play out: what you will eat, when you get to the gym, what you’ll be doing and how it will feel. Will yourself into victory!
FEATURED BEGINNER’S BODYBUILDING TRAINING PROGRAM: MI40X