Bodybuilding A Complete Guide bodybuilding articles for beginners
Bodybuilding A Complete Guide bodybuilding articles for beginners
If the prospect of chowing down six times a day makes you feel queasy, start small. You're still better off having six smaller meals – or meals and snacks – than relying on three big meals to burn fat, advises Terry. Clichés exist for a reason — you genuinely can't out-train a bad diet. It's as simple as that. Once you get your head around bodybuilding nutrition, Terry says, everything else will fall into place. Just ask IFBB pro champ and USN sports nutrition ambassador, Ryan Terry. Not only did the labourer-turned-lifter win the Arnold Classic in 2017, he was also the highest placed Brit in Mr Olympia, so the competitive bodybuilder knows a thing or two about muscle mass. Romanian deadlift 3 sets of 12 reps Stand behind a grounded barbell. Bend your knees slightly to grab it, keeping your shins, back and hips straight. Without bending your back, push your hips forwards to lift the bar. From upright, push your hips back to lower the bar, bending your knees only slightly. When Terry's dieting for a show, every calorie counts, but otherwise he takes a far more relaxed approach. Constantly monitoring calories and macros can burn you out – once you've figured out your own individual needs, view them as a reference rather than religion. Flat bench fly 3 sets of 12 reps Lie down on a flat bench holding two dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing inwards. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are almost fully extended. This is your starting position. From here, with a slight bend in your arms, arc the weights down to your sides until you feel a stretch across your chest. Squeeze your pecs to return the weights to the start position by reversing the movement. And as for exercises to avoid? Tempting as it might be, refrain from ego-lifting, he warns. Testing your 1RM might look cool, but it's not an effective way of building strength – more of a fast-track to injury. Crossbody dumbbell hammer curl 3 sets of 12 reps Stand holding two dumbbells by your sides, palms facing towards each other. One at a time, curl each weight up towards your opposing shoulder. Return under control to the start position and repeat on the other side. “Imagine you've fasted for over eight hours,” he says. “At breakfast, you're firing your metabolism off really high. If you don't eat for another five hours, your metabolism starts to slow right down and you have to try and kickstart it again with your next meal. If you eat every two and a half to three hours, it's like chucking a log on a burning fire.” Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Powder Chocolate 908g hollandandbarrett.com £9.99 SHOP NOW Bodybuilding Supplements It can be easy to get swept up in bodybuilding supplements, but Terry reckons there are just two worth splashing cash on. Firstly, a quality whey protein – he recommends USN’s Blue Lab Whey, which combines whey isolate, whey concentrate and hydrolysed whey – twice a day: first thing in the morning, and post-workout. Incline press 3 sets of 12 reps Lie back on a bench set to an incline angle and lift a barbell to shoulder height, palms facing away from you. Breathe out as you press up with both arms. Lock out your arms and squeeze your chest before returning slowly to the start position. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this is going to be tough, but it's achievable. Here’s everything a beginner needs to know about natural bodybuilding, including the good, the bad, and the old-school. Decline press 3 sets of 12 reps Hold a dumbbell in each hand, shoulder-width apart and overhand grip. Lie back on a decline bench and extend your arms straight above you. Lower the weights slowly until they reach your chest, then push the dumbbells back to starting position. Bodybuilding A Complete Guide bodybuilding articles for beginners
Bodybuilding A Complete Guide bodybuilding articles for beginners
If you're 12 weeks out from a competition, you want to maintain as much muscle as possible while torching fat from every angle. This means low-intensity cardio – high intensity cardio speeds up your metabolism and burns fat very quickly , so you run the risk of burning muscle too, Terry says – either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or immediately after your weights session, once you’ve depleted those glycogen levels. It’s important to keep refreshing your routine, explains Terry. “Once your body knows you're doing the same thing week in, week out, it'll make it easier.” Your body naturally resists breaking down muscle groups – and it’ll adapt to avoid doing this wherever possible. If you're bodybuilding for health benefits, cardio can still play a part – but you'd approach it very differently. Between two and three sessions per week is a good ballpark for bodybuilding beginners. Example: By taking longer to lift the weight pausing at the top and taking longer to lower the weight over 10 reps, you’re clocking up 50 seconds of TUT for the exact same rep: your muscle is just working considerably harder. Leg extension 3 sets of 12 reps Sit in a leg extension machine with your ankles against the lower pad. Use your quads to push forward and straighten your legs in front of you, then return to the start position. Jasmin Awad / EyeEm Getty Images It will only be effective if you're low in body fat and fully depleted of energy. “It reboots your metabolism , firing it back up to start burning at a higher rate again, and gives you better pump – so when you're training, it forces blood around your body,” says Terry. “It also impacts your lectin levels and cortisol levels and hormones.”
Example: 10 bench presses followed by 10 press ups. Rest and repeat. There are a few essential bodybuilding exercises to focus on if you’re after serious bulk. The staple compound lifts – things like squats , deadlifts, shoulder press, bench press – are vital in any routine worth its salt. If you’re starting from scratch, try this simple but effective training split to begin with... Ryan Terry is an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand USN. To find out more visit www.usn.co.uk. You’re essentially breaking your set down into a bunch of mini sets with rest-pause training, which allows you to continue past your usual point of failure. When two different exercises for opposing muscle groups are performed one after the other, without a rest period – upping the intensity, and allowing you to complete more work in less time. “The reason for that is the absorption rate,” he explains. “It's the only reason you'd pick a supplement over a solid meal. A chicken breast will take two to three hours to digest, whereas a whey protein will take an hour. When you're in your anabolic window and you need to replenish all your glycogen cells, whey protein is the best option.” Terry follows the old-school bodybuilding mentality of isolating each muscle group on a five-day cycle. If he’s trying to grow a certain muscle group, he’ll introduce a second workout on the sixth day. “The majority of people think bodybuilders are ‘mass monsters’, and generally not very healthy-looking people,” Terry explains. “But it’s really anyone who is trying to build or sculpt their body.” “Every weekend I'll have one day where I'm relaxed and don’t think about what I'm eating,” he says. “You need that sanity. Some people have these cheat days and they just go absolutely insane. You can actually create dietary problems doing that, your body isn’t used to it.” If you’re not preparing for a show – or you’re simply looking to fill out your shirt – Terry advises avoiding cheat days and re-feeds and take a more chilled approach at the weekend instead. Drop sets allow you to continue your workout past the point that it would usually end. When your muscles are screaming ‘no more’, what they’re forgetting to say is, ‘...at that weight’. By heaving less weight you can keep working out for longer. Want to pack on muscle like you're paid to do it? Here's how Barbell back squat 3 sets of 12 reps Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart. Hold a barbell across your upper back with an overhand grip, and hug the bar into your traps. Take the weight of the bar and slowly squat down – head up, back straight, buns out. Lower yourself until your hips are aligned with your knees, with legs at 90 degrees. Drive your heels into the floor to push yourself explosively back up. Example: Leg press to failure, reduce the weight without resting. Leg press to failure with the new weight, and then reduce the weight without resting. Continue until you can’t. bodybuilding articles for beginners Pyramid sets allow you to gradually up the intensity of your workout by increasing the weights and decreasing the reps with each progressive set. Bonus: the first set serves as a warm-up. You now know all there is to know. The next step is up to you. Example: 10 reps on the bench press, rest and repeat “I've been training for 15 years, but I've only really started to stretch pre- and post-workout in the last five years,” says Terry. “That was one of my schoolboy errors. I just used try and lift heavy weights, and that's when I created quite a few injuries. Now I have physio every week.” “Back in the day people would lift as heavy as they could, thinking that's going to get them bigger,” says Terry. “Nowadays they're a lot more educated. It's about form and mind-to-muscle connection , rather than just mass weight on a bar.” Terry eats six meals per day, supplemented with two protein shakes . Avocado, eggs, salmon, mackerel, and steak all feature heavily, along with “a good amount of vegetables for the micronutrients”. “I would really focus on learning how macros work, how your body works and how it reacts to certain foods, and what your body requires each day to maintain your weight,” he advises. “Then you can start playing around with increasing calories , and decreasing calories when you're dieting.” Our beginner's guide to macros will definitely help with your bodybuilding meal plan. Weight training is your priority, but that doesn’t mean you can give cardio a wide berth. It all comes down to your end goal. “If you're looking to compete, cardio plays a big part,” says Terry. Cast aside preconceptions of juiced-up gym bros with veins for days – when you strip it right back, bodybuilding is about just that: building your body. Wide grip pull-down 3 sets of 12 reps Grip the bar with shoulder-width palms facing away and your arms fully extended above your head. Do not lean back as you pull the bar to the top of your chest and hold it there for two seconds. Control the bar as it pulls itself back to the start position, aiming for a three second ascent with no pause at the top of the movement. Hirurg Getty Images Generally speaking, the best routine is the one that fits in with your life. If Arnie’s notoriously hardcore double-split doesn’t really tie in with your schedule, guess what? You're unlikely to stick at it. Tricep rope pushdown 3 sets of 12 reps Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides grab the handle, tense your core, and bring your hands down until your arms are fully extended, then return to the starting position. Only your forearms should move. The standard way of arranging your workout – you perform a number of sets using the same number of repetitions and using the same weight, with a rest period in-between. You should start with this style and build up to the others. First up, ditch processed foods in favour of complex carbohydrates , protein , and plenty of fats . Improve the quality of your food, and you'll find you can eat more, says Terry. “You can metabolise it a lot better.” Deadlift 3 sets of 12 reps Squat down and grasp a barbell with your hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up, pull your shoulders back and look straight ahead as you lift the bar. Focus on taking the weight back onto your heels and keep the bar as close as possible to your body at all times. Lift to thigh level, pause, then return under control to the start position. If you want to get serious about bodybuilding , you’ll need to navigate your nutrition and training with military precision. Your regime will differ wildly if you’re gunning for gains vs shredding fat 12 weeks out from a competition. Needless to say, there’s not much room for a Friday night pint in either of these. Similar to a super set, except you perform two different exercises for the same muscle group. TUT — time under tension — training refers to how long a muscle is working during a set during the ‘eccentric’ and ‘concentric’ phase. If you perform 10 reps that take 3 seconds each to complete, your TUT is 30 seconds. You don't need to design a fresh plan every three weeks. Scaling up weight and modifying reps are obviously both important for progression, but playing with different set styles will shock your body and keep things interesting. Remember, bodybuilding isn't meant to feel like a chore. Below, we explain eight different types of sets to help you build muscle more efficiently during bodybuilding training. Example: 8 dumbbell preacher curls to failure, rest period, 3 reps to failure, rest period, 1 rep to failure. Face pulls 3 sets of 12 reps Attach rope handles to the top pulley on a cable machine. Kneel in front of it with one foot forward and flat on the grand. Grab the handles and pull them towards your face, drawing your hands apart and taking care to keep your upper arms flat. Pause, then reverse the movement. A question nearly every beginner asks: how many hours of training should you average a week to become bigger and more defined? The answer is this: it really depends on your training splits. You can't scroll through Instagram without clocking a mammoth cheat day feast, but are real-life bodybuilders consuming such a crazy amount of calories every couple of weeks? Not quite. Terry’s bodybuilding diet incorporates ‘re-feed days’, which means he eats the exact same food, but essentially doubles the portion sizes. Bent-over row 3 sets of 12 reps Grab a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With your legs slightly bent, keep your back perfectly straight and bend your upper body until it’s almost perpendicular to the floor. From here, row the weight upwards into the lower part of your chest. Pause. And return under control to the start position. Example: Dumbbell chest press, building up the weight so you can complete 15 reps, then 12, then 10, then 8, then 6. No rest in-between. EZ bar skull crusher 3 sets of 12 reps Hold the EZ bar on the inner grips and extend your arms straight up. Keeping your elbows fixed and tucked in, slowly lower the bar until it is about an inch from your forehead. Slowly extend your arms back to the starting position without locking your elbows. Example: 10 squats, 10 leg extensions, 10 lying hamstring curls Dumbbell lateral raise 3 sets of 12 reps Grab some moderately light dumbbells that you don't struggle to lift. Hold them next to your sides, with a slight bend at your elbow. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squeeze your core, bending your elbows. Raise your arms straight out to your sides, maintaining your elbow position, until they reach shoulder height. Pause at the top for a beat, then lower the weights at a controlled pace back to the starting position. He also recommends sourcing a decent BCAA supplement to take pre and intra-workout and round out your bodybuilding diet. “It helps the breakdown of muscle, counteracts fatigue and starts the recovery process,” he says. Example: 10 reps of bicep curls followed by 10 reps of tricep dips. Rest and repeat. Resistance band raise 3 sets of 12 reps Stand on a resistance band and hold the band with underhand grip about shoulder width apart. Curl the band until it's in line with your collar bone and your forearms touch your biceps. Lower and repeat. Our beginner's guide to mobility and stretching will see you right. The second? Dedication. It's cheesy, but the only way you're going to progress is by sticking to your plan. If you're serious about scoring bodybuilder muscle, there's no space for pizza and pints. You have to commit. Nail your nutrition , work smarter in the weights room, and shake up your set styles. When you put it that way, it sounds easy. But there are two more pieces to the puzzle. The first is recovery. Get to know your foam roller . EZ bar curl 3 sets of 12 reps Hold the EZ bar in front of your thighs on the outermost grips and palms facing away from you. As you breathe in, curl the bar until your hands are at your shoulders. Squeeze your bicep, building construction journal articles