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Muscle Gain: Start Your Bodybuilding Routine Safely

Updated on March 1, 2017

The main principle of bodybuilding is to build muscle and lose fat. The idea of improving how one looks is one of the many driving factors people have whenever they go to the gym.


What is Bodybuilding?

Gain more muscles and lose unwanted fat through proper exercise and guided workout.

Bodybuilding, in particular, is a form of resistance training that is basically achieved through weightlifting. However, there are some negative associations with this training due to the images portrayed by professional bodybuilders. People who undergo rigorous training to form well-toned muscles face certain social stereotypes. There are even some concerns for narcissism, unhealthy muscle built, low intelligence and even extreme machismo.

Where did bodybuilding start?

When people look back in history, bodybuilding is found even from ancient times. It is rooted from ancient Greece where athletes trained in the gymnasiums. But during that period, their goals were not to use resistance training to have a perfect beautiful physique. The athletes used those exercises to become stronger and improve in the sports that they play.

Through different eras and various equipment developments, the popularity of resistance training is better associated with the rise to fame of Eugen Sandow. In his training, it is remarkable to note how he used his own equipment in the progressive resistance exercises. He introduced the use of the shot-loading barbell and later the spring-grip dumbbells. The photographs that showed the muscular body of Eugen Sandow started the succeeding generations’ interest and fascination with the toned body image.

From those early years, progressive resistance exercises are now commonly facilitated in gyms and exercise programs which help people gain muscle and lose fats. Aside from those, this is also a great training to improve a person’s strength.

World Natural Bodybuilding Federation
World Natural Bodybuilding Federation | Source

Is bodybuilding only for men?

Bodybuilding is mainly associated with men for more than hundreds of years. It started out as a masculine activity but throughout history, the roles of men and women had gone into different shifts which led to the addition of female bodybuilders.

The progressive resistance training offered in this activity helps both male and female to have a toned body. The programs would increase the strength of each person. Many successful personalities have started bodybuilding to make them stronger. Other models and even actresses are also trying out these routines to make their bodies lean and more appealing. The activities are not just exclusive to males. Even in the pro bodybuilding scene, there is already a female section for those who want to show their well-maintained body physiques. Female competitions started in the 1970s and are continuously becoming an anticipated event for women bodybuilders around the globe.

Use free weights
Use free weights | Source
Gradually put on weight
Gradually put on weight | Source

Training for Beginners

Knowing the background of this distinct body training routine, you have a better understanding of the rigorous activities. So, once you decide to start with your progressive resistance exercises, remember that you have to exert enough effort and time to build your muscles. Do not rush with your training because it might lead to a negative effect on your physique and your health. There is always a starting point to anything, so do not feel too worried about the training at the beginning of your program.

Generally, if you are to gain muscle, in six to twelve months’ time you will be able to see a great change in your body built. But remember that you do not want to get yourself injured so you have to start with learning the basic rules and focus on maintaining the proper form.

1. Choose the most suitable workout area

People are varied in many different ways. There is a varied standard even in the way people choose their gyms. The gym could be a little intimidating for some. This leads to people working out too fast and lift more which is dangerous because it would strain your muscles instead of properly toning them. Find a gym where you could be comfortable with the people around you and even the personal trainer that you might have.

2. Follow a program

New bodybuilders should not randomly come to the gym with no routine to follow. Whenever you go to the gym, make the most of your time by knowing what kind of training you would be doing for the day. The routine will help your muscle to be familiar with the sets and exercises. So, do not visit your gym blind, prepare.

3. Be patient and stick to your workout

Some beginners are too excited to see changes in a short period of time. This is not a guarantee. Your muscle mass will grow slowly and not overnight. As a newbie in this field, be patient and learn to maintain the workout that you have started. Also, alongside the workout, you have to follow a proper diet to help you reach your goal.

4. Stick to the basics

With the wish of getting the ideal built fast, people do the mistake of copying routines from various magazines or other gym-goers. As a beginner, you have to let your body get the taste of the basics first. It is like a form of conditioning so that your body would not be shocked with the weights that are going to be introduced throughout your training. Remember to put the squats, military shoulder press, pushups as your introduction with the training.

5. Use the free weights

There are many gym machines which you could definitely choose from. But you are just starting and you have to establish a great foundation for your muscle mass. You better pick barbells or dumbbells to build your muscles.

6. Gradually put on the weights

As your body is becoming more familiar with the routine, you can introduce heavier weights slowly. You can increase your weights in a two-week regular schedule. Why do you have to change the weights? This will help you improve your strength. The training should not be the same throughout the whole period. This is after all progressive resistance exercises.

7. Rest

When you are just starting, it is never ideal to overwork yourself. Let your body take some rest in between sessions. You could have three or four workouts a week then let the other days serve as your resting time. Then you must have enough sleep as well because the muscles grow when you sleep. Secure at least eight to nine hours of sleep daily.

8. Have a healthy lifestyle

Overall, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid drinking, smoking, or any unhealthy vices because it will not help in your training. Remember that if you wish to have that ideal image you also exert with eating and drinking nutritious food to keep you at the pink of health.

Additional Reminders for Beginners

When you have a new activity to push through with, you have to prepare yourself for the different possibilities ahead. Commitment has a great part in maintaining and finishing your programs. Prepare yourself mentally and physically. There are challenges that might make you feel down. Take those as lessons to make things better.

Identify your short term and long term goals. If you need extra help, you might get a personal trainer to guide you along the way. Trainers would also give you safety pointers during your training. Beginners are at risks of getting injured because of improper weight lifting. Your goal is to learn how to lift correctly first and not to exercise with a lot of lifts in mind.

If money is your concern, you can first ask around different gyms to know the services that they offer. There are some which offers free services when you become a new member. Other gyms might even give free sessions with a professional trainer once you start with your new training. Grab this opportunity because you want to start well. Learning the basics from professionals would really bring you benefits in the long run.

Lastly, do not forget to ask. Feeling scared of getting help would not do you any good. It is advisable to ask people in the gym when you are not sure about certain exercises or gym equipment. In this manner, you are learning more and you get to know the correct ways of doing things.


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