A Beginner's Guide To Body Building
You have decided to join a gym, shape up and carve some muscles onto your body. You want to stand tall and proud when you don a tee shirt showing off your sinewy lean and rock hard muscles or strutting by the beach turning heads. Great resolution guys. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Before you begin
- Get your doctor's clearance. Tell your doctor what you are going to do and how strenuous you intend to exercise. He will know what to check for and warn you of any activities that you may need to be careful of or to avoid.
- Start off slowly. Let your body get accustom to the new stress you are putting it on.
- Always stretch and warm up before you begin your workout and cool down after. This is to prevent injuries, getting your muscles warmed up will also mean performing the exercises more effectively. Cooling down will help muscular recovery and dispersion of chemicals such as lactic acid from your tissues.
- Read up on the correct form and techniques. Do not go to the gym and copy what others do because usually, they are doing the exercises wrongly and at best, you will not improve and worse, you may sustain permanent injuries.
- Getting a good personal trainer is highly recommended. I will prefer to say, engage a professional fitness coach. A good coach will be able to draw up a program that will work towards your goals. He will teach you the correct and best method to achieve the best results for you. On top of that, you will have a training partner and an excellent spotter. So no more trial and error which will cost you time, heartache for not having results and injuries because of wrong training methods while those with coaches are improving by leaps and bounds. This investment is certainly of great value to your fitness goals.
How to choose a gym
- A good rule is never to join a gym that is far from you. If it is too far you may start giving yourself excuses not to go. The journey to and fro may allow you to say that you are busy and have no time.
- Check out the gym and the staff. Observe the members using the gym. Will you be comfortable with the members that particular gym attracts? Watch the peak periods. Is the gym overcrowded? Are there enough equipment to go around? Are there enough car park facilities or adequate public transport? Are the water coolers near the exercise areas since you do not want to break too long between sets walking to the cooler. You would want to have as much convenience as possible to keep you motivated.
- Check out the staff. Ask for a tour during your visit and observe whether they are showing you around professionally or whisking you immediately to their sales office selling you programs. If it is the latter, they are only interested in sales and not your welfare and once after joining, they will have achieved their objectives and may be disinterested in you.
Know Your Basic Body Type
You must know your own body shape so that you will know what to do to enhance certain muscles and determining the right correct exercises to do.
- Ectomorph- Thin and usually lanky with a very high metabolism. You will burn calories very effectively. You should concentrate on heavy lifts and compound exercises such as bench presses, chip ups, dips, squats, dead lifts, military presses, barbell bent over row etc.
You will also need to eat frequently and more at each meal with high carbs and protein.
- Mesomorph- Athletically built and will naturally achieve good results faster than other types as long as you embark on a good program and eat wisely.
- Endomorph- Usually overweight, with a very slow metabolism. You will have to work more on cardio vascular exercises that push up your heart rate over a sustained period of time to burn fats. You may have to lift high reps for the same effect and super setting gradually to burn fats and build muscles at the same time. Your caloric intake must be less than what you consume, so you must watch what you eat very carefully. Get expert advice on what and when to eat.
Machine Or Free Weights?
Whenever you perform an exercise, the movement of your body during that exercise is called the Range of Motion. The greater and more difficult the range of motion, the more effective the exercise is.
I won't go into elaborate details but most machines will not allow you to have the full range of motion because of its construction and one size fit all for everyone's usage. For example, it does not matter how wide or narrow your shoulders are, the width handle grip of the bench press machine is the same for everyone. That will put your shoulders at risk of injury if the width is not suitable for you.
Moreover, free weights allow you to use many smaller muscles (synergistic muscles) to assist and balance the lift. Imagine you are now doing the dumbbell press, all the muscles in your arm are helping you to lift and balance the dumb bell while you are pushing it overhead. This will balance up your muscles in your entire arm instead of just the targeted deltoid muscles. The end result is that you will grow stronger, more defined and a balanced musculature.
Therefore free weight exercises simply use more muscles than machines do, which make them more effective. That does not mean that the machines are there only for decorative purposes. Of course machines have its uses. These uses are usually for the intermediate builders who want to isolate and target certain muscle groups and /or for people who for some reason or another cannot lift free weights. Or just being a personal preference for some people who like to use machines and there are many such people.
Eat, Supplementation and Sleep
Eat a meal and a protein shake immediately after your workout. This is the time your body needs nutrient and you must feed it. In the fitness industry, the 2 hours post workout meal is called "the window of opportunity" because the longer you delay eating, the window closes up. You must need simple carbs to quickly convert to insulin fast to transport the proteins into your cells. A post workout whey protein shake with simple carbs is necessary. Then followed by a meal because the meal will need to be digested and by the time the nutrients get into your blood stream, the window is already fast closing up. Many people don't even eat after workout. Then how in the world are they feeding their muscles at these critical moments? That is why they do not grow or achieving only very minuscule results.
Then go home and sleep. Sleep is when your body starts healing itself and grow. You will secrete growth hormones when you sleep and these will help you grow. You don't grow in the gym. You grow in bed while you are asleep! Zzzzzzzzzzz
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