So you've seen one too many Men's Health fitness models and decided that it was time to start your own quest for a ripped six-pack, eh? Well being a beginner bodybuilder requires a conscious step back to build the proper foundation to your training program before following the more advanced tricks you'll find floating around the muscle mags and web.
So where does one turn without the steroid-driven wisdom of the super giants of the stage?
Relax. I have got just the advice for you to start packing some serious muscle on your frame …
Beginner Bodybuilding Wake-Up Call # 1: Reality Check
First let's start with a reality check …
Do NOT expect to miraculously start looking ripped after a week. Even with great genetics, you can not change Mother Nature and your body is only capable of building so much muscle at a time … despite what the supplement ads may say.
Bodybuilding, especially beginner bodybuilding, requires time, discipline and consistency. However, the good news is that the first couple of months will be the most exciting for you because this will be the time when you make the most visual gains to your body. Shoot for .5 to 1 lb of lean muscle growth per week and you'll be doing just fine.
Beginner Bodybuilding Wake-Up Call # 2: Rest, Relax, Recover … and GROW!
Contrary to what most beginner bodybuilders believe, your muscles do not grow while you're ripping them apart in the gym. The muscle fibers you've sent so much time pulverizing on the bench only get bigger when you've given them time to recover and grow in anticipation for the next "attack".
Getting plenty of rest and a good 7-8 hours of sleep will help your body make the changes you're looking for … especially since this is when you have your greatest release of natural growth hormones to help with the bulking up!
Beginner Bodybuilding Wake-Up Call # 3: Check Your Ego At The Gym Door
Look, everyone started out somewhere. So do not feel you have to impress any of the no-necks at your local sweatbox simply because you think they're constantly watching you and giggling under their breath. They're not.
But I'll tell you what IS funny …
Watching beginner bodybuilders (and yes … even so called "experienced" lifters) floating around like a hooked bass lifting too much weight on the bar and having to "cheat" on correct form to get the weight up.
Start at a low enough weight to get a full range of your muscle's motion and use perfect form. You'll be rewarded with respect from the other guys around you … and consistent muscle growth the other "fish" will not see.
Beginner Bodybuilding Wake-Up Call # 4: The BASICS Still Work The Best!
Do not get caught up in trying out some of the complicated exercises you see as filler in some of the muscle mags. Standing on your head while balancing a dumbbell with one hand and a yoga instructor with the other while whistling the them to Rocky is not some ancient secret for massive muscle growth.
Beginner bodybuilders should stick with basic compound exercises (exercises that use more than one joint movement) to build the most muscle in the least amount of time.
Here are a few to get you started:
There are variations on all of these exercises so feel free to experiment with them as you gain experience. Just be careful not to get too transported away in your beginner bodybuilding workout at first. Start slow and listen to your body and how it's responding. In no time, you'll be the expert everyone else will turn to when their routines stop bringing them the gains they were expecting.