On the outside, bodybuilding or even keeping fit looks like a straight road. You stay consistent, stay disciplined, eat right and just like that, six to eight months later, you have a summer body to flaunt. As one ventures into the world of fitness, they realise that it is not that simple. In fact, most people often are lost or confused because there is very little trustworthy guidance available. A lot of us depend on our gym buddies for advice, but more often than not, nothing works after putting in months of gruelling work and eating bland food.
There are also those who do notice some differences in the beginning but their progress is also minimal by the time they reach a more advanced stage. Here are 5 bodybuilding tips that nobody tell you.
Over Training Is Not A Myth
When you hit the gym, make sure you are not overtraining, especially if you are a beginner. Having sore muscles all the time is the biggest reason why most beginners quit. The goal of training is to STIMULATE the muscle, not to annihilate it. Train only as much as you need, this doesn’t mean you should not push yourself, it simply means you should know when to stop. Overtraining would not only act as a barrier in muscle and strength development, it tears down the existing muscle and makes it weaker.
Restrict two to three exercises for each individual muscle group. Try to do 3 to 5 sets of repetitions between 6 and 20. Remember, it is not about the amount of workout you do, it is about the intensity of your workout. Try to push yourself as much as you safely can, and take minimum rest between sets.
Have Fun With Your Diet
The second most common reason among beginners that quit is constantly eating bland food. Let’s face it, unless you are professionally into body building, it is close to impossible to keep up with most diets available through trainers or on the internet. If you want to see results, you will have to love what you are eating, and think of ways around cravings.
Include lots of fruits and fruit juices to your daily diet. Or better yet, every time you see that co-worker eating their cupcake, start munching on an apple or a pear. I understand the cup-cake is much more appealing, but this trick will help you develop healthier habits, that are very important for staying fit in the long run. Having a contingency plan for sudden cravings is also a very productive approach for smokers that are trying to quit.
Also remember, you will not lose weight or fat overnight, and you cannot get fat overnight. Two things become clear from this statement- one, no supplement in this world will give you overnight results and two, it is okay to ‘cheat’ on your diet sometimes. Cheat days can be viewed as rewards for having a clean diet week/month and can be great source of motivation to keep going.
Staying Natural Is Important, But Understanding The Body’s Needs Is Imperative
A lot of people remain under the impression that supplements are absolutely no good, and should not be consumed. The truth is, while it is great to stay natural, not all supplements are ‘scams’ or have side effects.
Having a busy schedule often makes it difficult to consume the amount of calories, carbs, or proteins you need, and it is okay to fulfill this need with protein powder. Similarly, a Nitric Oxide deficiency can drag your moral down and disrupt a routine workout cycle.
It is important to remember that supplements should be consumed as a secondary source of nutrients, and you should try and consume as much of your daily dietary needs as possible, through natural sources like meat, eggs, fish, vegetables and fruits.
Heavy Compound Exercises Are Your Best Friends
No amount of Incline Dumbbell Curls, Preacher Curls or Concentration Curls are going to help you grow as much as 6 heavy sets of the old school Olympic Barbell Curl.
While isolation exercises hold great importance, most of us ignore the ultra-effective compound exercises. Bodybuilders, Powerlifters and athletes throughout the history have recognised the importance of exercises like the Deadlift, Weighted Squats, Bench Press in gaining strength and muscle size.
Fit Shaming Is A Thing
With the latest trends about loving your body the way it is (which I totally agree with), fit shaming has now become a thing. A lot of people are under the impression that you have to starve yourself and train for 12 hours everyday to have a good looking body. My advice is to be prepared for such situations and to explain to people (not everyone, of course) that their preconceptions are not all right.