A person may come to bodybuilding because of many various reasons. And the results he might expect from different exercises and nutrition plans can vary extremely. No matter what your expectations are, we will provide you with all the information which you need to successful start your exciting bodybuilding trip.
How to set and stick to a goal in Bodybuilding
In the world of bodybuilding, while training, choosing the most nutritious and high-protein food, or planning the preparations to your next competition, you should always be motivated enough, so that you will not make any mistake. You will not get a chance to rewind time, so you need to keep everything under control.
To improve and feed your motivation you need to set goals. There are some tips that will help you to keep everything in order:
- Always remind yourself your goals or benefits: you want to impress the people? All right. You see that you have better sleep, healthier nutrition and more strength and power? Here`s your benefit.
- Stay self-concentrated, ignore results of others. Think more about your muscle gain, than of “that guy`s” progress.
- Remember, the better you are at bodybuilding, the better your chance is to win competition/ gain money/ get stronger/ gain the figure that you want.
- Sometimes, just thinking that you are a part of a special community, or that you are going to participate in a marvelous, competitive show, may support your motivation to cook healthy breakfast, not to stay up at night, not to stop training and lifting as hard as you did yesterday.
- Track your progress. No need to write essays, tiny notes in your diary are just enough to see your changes on paper which in turn push you up.
- Surprisingly, the last tip will be to forget about your goals and enjoy being in a gym, eating tasty dishes and so on. High motivation sometimes harms your progress, according to Yerkes-Doddson rule. Because too high motivation can harm the quality of any activity. Do not wait for motivation every time you plan to do something for your hard (!) bodybuilding project. According to Leontiev, a Russian psychologist, many people tend to shift the motives to the target, which means, when we start activities that we do not feel exited about, after some time these activities are filled with some special meaning, as a result, we want to stay engaged in this activity. It`s something like the state of flow in Csikszentmihalyi`s book.
Gym and kitchen: gaining muscles
- Try pre-exhaustion training. You might be surprised, if you have never tried it. But that is worth doing and it is not a separate training, this is a kind of warming-up. When you have a target muscle you want to grow, take your time before lifting a giant weight, and warm your target muscles up with smaller weights. That will exhaust this muscle, therefore, while lifting larger weights, it will be affected much more than the other muscles. Some muscles are not symmetrical. For example, your left bicep may be weaker than another, so you would better start with the weaker one. Train it until it is compatible with the more trained, every time check their abilities while your training.
- Check if you have any progress in ability to add some more weight to the bar. That is very important to track your strength progress: to add more weight when you are ready for it, and do not add extra weight when you are not. You should increase the sheer amount with the time. If you do not do that on time, you will lose the progress you might have within the given interval.
- The lift to failure: the most disputable question. There are proponents of both versions: must-doers claim that it is the most important part of all the training, every exercise before is just a preparation for the final rep. Others claim that there is no need to do this final rep and it`s better to safe some time for several more exercises. We tend to think that`s not quite good to do the final reps every time, when your muscles are ready to break under such an overburden. But you can do it from time to time, as it is one of the most famous tricks to gain extra muscle in a shorter time.
- Divide your large meals into small ones. From five to six meals per day. 600-1000 calories per meal for man.
- Carbs load – that is the main source of any mass. If taken uncontrollably, they will turn into fat, however, if not taken at all while gaining mass, you will not gain these big muscles, that you might gain in the same time. Hydrocarbonates rise glycogen levels, and glycogen transports water to your muscles, and supports this muscle silhouette, which you want to have.
Gym and kitchen: lose bodyfat
- Hide or get rid of food that you are not allowed to eat. They should not be accessible for you at home. Create an obstacle to eat something unhealthy. First obstacle will be the way to the shop. You may make up several other obstacles. Just think of what you need to get a pie or sweets and limit the availability of ways to do that. Do not rely on your motivation and power of the will when you buy something to lay in the fridge. It will not lay long. It goes without saying that you should support access to the healthiest food: prepare some meals in advance to avoid laziness to cook in the morning or during the day.
- Consume enough slow hydrocarbonates. Do not ignore them. They are the basis of your muscles, in fact. They make glycogen rise up, which gives you energy, and if limit them just a little, they will not turn into bodyfat.
- Practice different cardio activities. Switch a traditional fat-burning race to an interval session and back from time to time. Long race may help you to lose fat and water, but interval sessions speeds up your metabolic rate and increases fat burn after the work out. In addition, interval session increases your endurance, which is a bonus point to your strength. If you do these two cardios in one training, try five intervals first, then steady-state training. Therefore, you will burn fat twice faster than usual.
- Train all your body at least once a week. Though it is believed to be great for figure building, it helps to reduce the amount of fat in your body as well. It does not matter if you prefer lower body or upper body trainings. The one full body training must be every week to get rid of fat.
- Increase the percentage of protein in your meal. The high amount of protein effects fat burning. Also, the more protein intake, the less hunger you feel. The less hunger you feel, the faster will come your diet results, as you will not crave for that “cookie”. Moreover, it is very important to eat a lot of protein-rich foods to keep your gained muscles, not to let them disappear with fat.
- Unexpectedly: practice yoga or stretch. That helps to recover after hard trainings, and it makes you calm and concentrated, therefore, you will choose trainings and nutrition wisely, and do not get so exhausted after trainings. As stick to the hard training plan and consciously deny tasty food that you like is an impressive distress.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal. That is a popular and widely-used secret, it is a way to stay well-hydrated, and to fill up before the meal as well, and you will not eat as much as without a glass. You may add something to water: some people say, a lime or lemon wedge may decrease craving for sweet, others prefer throw slices of cucumber into water to make it a little bit “freshy”.
If turn to drinking while training, you may notice that you have not only water loss, but also salt loss. To be healthier you should try water rich in electrolytes, so that your body salt and water always stay in balance.
- Divide your large meals into small ones. From five to six meals per day. 300-700 calories a meal for man.
Bodybuilding supplements: gain mass
- Take extra creatine. Creatine exists naturally in our bodies, it supplies us with energy and helps to do our best in the gym. But when your goal is to gain real mass, natural creatine is not enough to deal with such loads. That is why mixing creatine powder with your protein is so important. It is really effective to boost muscle strength. On a whole, it helps you to recover after high-intensive trainings, when you prepare for any event.
The problem is – not all creatine brands are fair. If you want the best and purest supplement, looking for the pure creatine may take some time. Make sure that you will take only creatine monohydrate, without any unnecessary stuff in it.
- Try L-glutamine. It does almost the same as creatine, provides water to your muscles and makes muscles look bigger, and support stamina. You will be able to go through the hardest trainings, and feel less tired.
- Then, taurine. In addition to the support to gain more muscles, by the mean that all the previous supplements do, taurine supports extra strength and endurance when you do not feel like training, when you feel too tired after the previous work out. So, taurine will help to gain muscles as well, in a long term. However, you should be care about your health state. If you noticed that that is not about tiredness, and more about fatigue or headaches, elevated pulse or whatever risky, – consult your health provider.
- Finally, extra testosterone. There are many ways to elevate testosterone levels, and you might find various supplements that will help. Choose that you feel like will help you.
Bodybuilding supplements: lose fat
- Testosterone is the only supplement that is able to help reach any goal: gain extra muscles and lose fat.
- Caffeine and Green tea extract may help to reduce fat, too. Epigallocatechin gallate, a component of green tea, is able to break down norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter, which controls metabolism and fat-burning. That means, your fat-burn will speed up and you will prolong this process for days.
- Forscolin, an extract of a plant in the mint family, might elevate loss of fat. It is proven by a trial, in which overweight and obese people took it for 12 weeks. The group taking forscolin has shown better results in fat loss and increase in testosterone than the group taking placebo. It is believed to boost fat metabolism, though we lack of figures and organized studies to tell how does it work in our bodies, in detail.
Exercise tips for every bodybuilder
- Try plyometric exercises, to prepare your muscles for activity, and to evade nervous system holdback. You cannot do it every day, but plyometrics may be a nice variant of strength training. That is a very powerful training, that touches almost every group of muscles: core, arms, legs, glutes, back. It develops both flexibility and strength. Another plus is – no equipment is needed.
- Take a narrow grip on the bar. That will make your biceps stronger, they will be more activated in exercises.
- Put the dumbbell towards the head when you do the dumbbell shoulder press. That will help you to stretch the deltoids a bit more.
We hope that you have found the advice you were looking for in this manual of tips and tricks.
In conclusion, we will remind you that you should choose among these advices, and do not run out to do everything, or try every tip. Choose and combine all these tips wisely.
You might think that we have forgot one popular tip in supplements – L-carnitine. But we deliberately excluded it from the list. Regardless its popularity as a supplement, L-carnitine is found naturally in red meat in greater proportion than in liquid or powder, that`s why it is better to eat beef, than to run out to buy unnecessary product.