When people talk about bodybuilding, they automatically think of well-oiled, pumped muscles on beach bums and gym bodies. It conjures up images of tanned bodies straining under several pounds of weight and using the most advanced instruments of torture to achieve the perfect form.
This is not unusual. Most people would not list bodybuilding as a step towards obtaining and maintaining a healthy body. Exercise, maybe, but not bodybuilding. However, bodybuilding does more than just create symmetry and size. It also helps strengthen the body and develop flexibility and athletic performance.
Bodybuilding can also help build endurance and it doesn’t hurt that it actually contributes to a better looking, more defined body.
Alibis and excuses to get away from bodybuilding
You must have heard of them before. People who refuse to do bodybuilding believe that building muscle will make them heavier and therefore slower and that the muscles will only get fatter again once you stop. These are fake.
Muscles are the main engine that drives every movement we make. Stronger and bigger muscles just mean we can move better and have more flexibility. If indeed muscles can slow a person down, then sprinters must stay lean. Bigger muscles can make you look and feel bigger, but they won’t slow you down.
Muscles will never turn into fat because they are two different tissues. If training is stopped, they will shrink over time because they are not used. People who went from muscular to fat may have stopped training and increased their food intake during that period, allowing their bodies to store more fat and burn fewer calories.
Seven Steps to Success in Bodybuilding for Health
1. Develop a goal. Nothing succeeded without a plan or if something happened then it must have been a complete fluke. Know what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it, whether you just want to gain more muscle or lose fat, you need to have a clear goal about what you hope to achieve and how you will achieve it.
2. Get a physical exam. You will need your doctor’s approval if you plan to include bodybuilding in your regimen and especially if you are a beginner. Get a full checkup to make sure your body is capable of the physical exercise you’ll be undergoing. Check that your cardiovascular functions are good and stable and that you have a healthy liver and kidneys.
3. Select a gym. A no-brainer, perhaps, but joining the right gym can help your routine more than you think. Choose a gym that is conveniently located near your home or office. That way you will have no excuse not to go. Choose a gym where you feel comfortable not only with the equipment but also with the instructors.
If you are a trustworthy entrepreneur and prefer a little more privacy, you can also choose to have your own home gym. You don’t really need to buy fancy equipment right away; just start with the basics and then gradually add from there. By starting small, you can determine what equipment you need to buy as you go. This is better than being left with extra gear that you won’t use.
4. Get a program that fits your level. If you are a beginner, there is no point in choosing a bodybuilding routine that is too advanced or going to a gym without knowing where to start. Your body thrives on gradual change, so you risk injuring yourself if you try to lift more than you should. Consider your fitness level and goals, then find a program that’s right for you.
Try checking out some information on bodybuilding routines for beginners to familiarize yourself with your options. You can consult books, magazines and websites or go to a professional and have your own routine designed specifically for you. Gym memberships typically include this service, so you may want to ask for specific information when you join one.
5. Develop a sensible diet. Yes, you need one. Don’t think that once you start bodybuilding you can load up on sweets and go out all you want. The purpose of a bodybuilding routine is for you to lose fat and replace it with lean muscle. A proper diet will give you the right kind of nutrition for energy, growth, and recovery of bones and muscles.
6. Don’t rely too much on bodybuilding supplements. With all the promises printed on labels and glowing advertisements on TV, it might be tempting to rely on supplements to do the work for you. Supplements only add to your routine and should not replace proper diet and training. Only when you increase your level of training should you consider taking bodybuilding supplements with your diet.
7. Don’t forget your R ‘n’ R. Sleep and rest are very important for overall health and especially when you’re a bodybuilder. Your body, and especially your muscles, need time to recover after a good workout. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep to allow your body to grow and recover.