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The Best Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

Updated on May 24, 2011

Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

If you’re interested in building lean muscle and a killer physique, then you need to do more than simply hit the gym. All successful bodybuilders know that in order to get the most out of your training sessions, you need to have a solid game plan in place that incorporates a healthy diet and nutrition program along with an effective workout routine. Without these two key elements in place, you might as well just stay home because you’re never going to achieve the results you want.

Diet and Nutrition

Before you ever lift a single weight, you need to make sure your diet and nutrition are dialed in, not only during the day but before and after your training sessions as well. For bodybuilders, it’s important to eat five to seven meals a day, rather than the three most people are used to, because this will help to keep your metabolism in high gear all day long and ensure your body has all of the nutrients and fuel it needs to power through and recover from workouts.

If your goal is to gain muscle mass, then you should plan on eating around 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight each day. You should also be taking in 1.5g of carbohydrates per pound of lean body mass (note that this is different from your body weight!).

First 12 Weeks

For bodybuilding beginners, you should focus on full body workouts every three days for the first 12 weeks. Ideally you want to use both compound and isolation exercises, with roughly 80 percent of your time spent on compound movements since these are the most effective at stimulating muscle growth.

Here’s an effective beginners routine to get you started:

Monday: tricep extensions, deadlift, military press, barbell row, bench press and back squats

Wednesday: bicep curls, hanging leg raises, calf raises, pull-ups, cable flys, and leg press

Friday: abs, dumbbell lateral raises, decline bench press, lat pull-downs and deadlift

You should perform all of these in three sets of eight repetitions. Once you can perform all of these while maintaining good form the entire time, bump up the weight.

Second 12 Weeks

For your second 12 weeks, you should continue working out three days per week but now you’ll be working your entire upper body on one day, and your lower body the next.

Upper body: dumbbell side lateral raises, close-grip bench press, bicep curls, pull-ups, barbell rows, incline bench press, decline bench press, bench press and dumbbell shoulder press

Lower body: crunches, hanging leg raise, calf raise, good mornings, hamstring curl, deadlift, leg press, front squat, overhead squat and back squat

Third 12 Weeks

Once you’ve reached your third 12 weeks, it’s time to transition to body part splits. This means that you’ll be focusing on specific muscle groups on different days. For example, on Monday you can train your biceps and chest, followed by calves and quads on Tuesday and then triceps and back on Thursday. Finish off the week by training your shoulders and hamstrings on Saturday. All of your other days should be used to rest and recover.

BodyBuilding Tips

5 BodyBuilding Tips for Beginners

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