- Exercise & Fitness
Bodybuilding:Weight training for gains.
Since the day I started walking I never knew the twists and turns my future held for me. Since my first memories I have always been around Horses, and like a lot of youngsters I played football/soccer and was quite good. However, I had another passion which was boxing and for me that worked. Throughout the summer months I was competing in showjumping, then when the dark winter months came it was boxing. And this pattern of showjumping and boxing went on until I reached 18 years old, this was a pivotal time for me. I had a girlfriend, by now she’s my wife, she wanted to go on holiday and I was sceptical. My showjumping career was good but I wanted more, and same with my boxing. It was becoming difficult to find opponents for me in the boxing, I was six feet tall and slim with other trainers thinking I had an unfair advantage height wise. My trainer suggested weight training, that was the point of no return. In order to find opponents, I had to gain weight, however, it had to be good weight, and not flabby weight. Put the showjumping on the back boiler and tried gaining weight by using a “bullworker”, yes you’ve heard right a “bullworker”. That failed so decided to hit the gym to gain muscle properly, that is when the Bodybuilding bug got me. During this time, I gained a huge wealth of knowledge about weight training to gain weight and muscle mass, “If I can gain weight and muscle mass then anyone can”.
Important before undertaking any form of weight training consult a physician for a medical to make sure you can undertake such programs.
Before we start you must get one thing straight. If you think that taking a protein shake and a few vitamins pills while weight training on the odd day will make you big and strong, with a chiselled physique then you are very mistaken. You will have to work hard be disciplined and focused. No supplement or pill will make you gain muscle size and mass, give you huge arms and chest without proper training. Eat good healthy food, high protein, moderate carbohydrate and fat. Without these factors all you'll end up with is very expensive urine, and none of us wants that.
Protein shakes and weight gaining shakes are convenience food for someone who works long hours and cannot always cook a healthy meal, that is why it’s called a supplement. Though you are short on time everything is catered for you in the shake to get your protein. The quality of supplements these days are far better than what was around when I was training in the 1980’s. Huge advancements have been made in supplements which has improved tenfold. Today supplements are far purer and cleaner. In my opinion whey protein is an excellent form of protein, with far less additives, another important factor how much to take. A lot of people tend to think taking double the amount directed will help you gain mass quicker, mark my words you will not. It is better if you take less than what is stated on the product itself, the body will only use what it needs and the excess will be stored on top of the muscle, making for a smooth and stodgy muscle tone. This only defeats the object and all your hard work will go to waste. Do your best to feed your body with the best quality food, white meat chicken fish, red meat is a good source of protein, however, due to its high cholesterol values keep it to once or twice a week. The hardest thing when in this environment is eating the same food on the same day of every week, plan ahead pre-cook your food and take it with you to work. Try to cook a variety of foods otherwise it will become mundane and boring. Keep away from dairy products, or keep them to a minimum, think of it this way, milk is for babies!
Next the training itself, whatever you do, never be too eager to bulk up and put on weight, as this is the road to disaster. I did it, and believe me it's not worth it, being heavy and bulky and out of condition. Take time plan it out carefully put goals in place, targets of what you want to achieve in what time, then it is all a case of hard work and aiming for your target. Building good quality muscle takes time hard work with plenty of rest. Resting the muscle is as important as the training itself. It will take you approximately 12 months to put 3 inches on your arms, approximately 5 inches on your chest, and about the same on your legs. However, remember everyone is different so you have to gauge yourself on how you see your body progressing, it will grow, and the conditioning will come. After 2 to 3 months of consistent training you should have a better idea of how your body is responding to weight training. In the previous sentence I mentioned consistency, being consistent is a major factor when weight training. You have to keep at it week after week constantly, and the gains will come, being consistent is far more important in weight training than in any other sport or training regime. Once mastered you will gain muscle mass impressively. Train 3 times a week to start with training the whole body keeping your workouts as short and sharp as possible 45 mins if possible. If you take out a gym membership whatever you do make sure not to get chatting between exercises and leaving your body temperature to cool down. This will cause the muscles to stiffen and contract which in turn leads to excessive cramps, and your ligaments to tighten. Keep your workout flowing so as not to spend any more time than necessary in the gym. Then you can rest and get good quality food down, as this is the time you grow rest is just as important. If you have never lifted weights before build the intensity up over a period of two weeks to begin with, this allows the body to adjust, and muscle fibres to grow.
Keep it simple not technical, lifting heavy weights and straight, doing all the basic lifting, and try to increase weight on a weekly basis always handling as much weight as you can, to fully exhaust the muscle. For each body part do exercises you like and enjoy, so you get an appetite for the training, and variety to shock the muscles into growth. Once you are 3 or 4 months into your training regime you should start introducing good quality multi vitamin tablets into your diet, they will help against illnesses such as colds and flu, when training your immune system will be much weaker, multi vitamins will help in keeping you healthy. Training with weights can become a way of life, and you can become obsessed with the training, even the way you look and what you eat. It’s up to you to stop this from happening as its not healthy, especially so in the long run. Keep it in perspective it’s not life or death, remember there is life outside of your training. If you feel off colour on a training day, so be it just do not train. Enjoy your training and keep training because you want to, not because you feel you have to. If you keep that in mind you will have the body you have always wanted. When the summer arrives you will not be afraid to show off your physique on the beach, if you are male or female. Enjoy every part of your training and you will not regret it, you only get one body when alive in this world, so look after it because you will not get another one if you abuse it.
As for the workouts themselves be strict with your movement, no cheating, where you do a barbell curls for biceps you swing the wait up and momentum is used. Compound your sets and do super sets. For example, bench press positive movement, pushing up take four seconds to extend the arms. When doing the negative face, take four seconds to lower the barbell onto your chest. Keep this principal of training with each exercise pushing for the maximum reps. It is then that you will see progress, and hopefully you will end up with chiselled physique you have been dreaming of.