When you are just starting out with this insanity of bodybuilding and lifting weights, don’t follow the crowd. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times; new and inspired bodybuilders start lifting the heaviest weights they can in an effort to pack on a huge amount of weight. But what they don’t realize is that it is going to take a hell of a lot more than just picking up a set of heavy dumbbells, to achieve their desired physique.
Too many guys give up. I don’t know if that is because they get so disheartened that they’re not gaining muscle quick enough, or their joints start to hurt or really, lifting weights is just too darn hard work! And I’m not pointing fingers either, I was guilty of this too. And I really did learn the hard way! Ok, I was pushing the weights when I was just twenty, but my joints are really suffering now that I am in my early forties.
Don’t make the same mistake I made, and all these young guys do today. Remember that to build quality, it takes time, a lot of time. But the problem is that these guys make things very hard for themselves. They’ve seen the Youtube videos of the Olympian pros working out, they’ve read ‘Flex’ and they think it’s all about fancy training and dead heavy weights. Whereas, what they should be doing is sticking to the very basics of weight training, eating a clean, high protein diet and adding an adequate amount of cardiovascular and HIIT work to their weekly schedule.
Something very important you should always remember about bodybuilding is that this sport is a science and art. The art is how you build and sculpt your body, like an artist builds a sculpture. The science is the fundamental part, and you are the chief scientist! This is the way I like to look at this crazy world. You are the scientist, in charge of the laboratory and the tools in that laboratory are your weight training, your nutrition, your sleep and your heart work (cardio).
There are a few basic principles to follow, and if you follow them right (fine tuned to your own needs), you will see huge results and really reap the rewards of your hard work. I will cover a few of them right here, but if you would like more information on weight training and bodybuilding principles just visit one of the following links and I will take you step by step, from the very basics of planning a workout schedule, to getting your nutrition right and I will also guide you through cardio and HIIT workouts (which you need to do to keep that nasty layer of fat from your torso)!
Always Challenge Yourself!
The first tip I would give you is to set challenging, but realistic goals for yourself. Don’t be a fool and decide that you what to look like Arnold by the middle of the summer! You will end up getting frustrated, disappointed and potentially give up working out with weights all together, thinking this ‘stuff’ don’t work. Gaining a huge amount of lean muscle, takes years – not weeks, not months, but years of hard work and dedication to the greatest sport on the planet.
And when you put in the time, the learning and everything else that goes with becoming a successful scientist of your own body, nothing can stop you achieving the physique you desire.
Be Committed to Yourself
Secondly, use the psychology of commitment. That means that you make certain agreements with yourself that you are going to workout at least five days a week. And will stay focused in the gym. You will wake up and do twenty minutes of slow cardio four or five mornings a week. And that you will do at least two HIIT sessions per week to keep the fat off. You will promise yourself that you will eat a 90% clean diet, 99% of the time! When you commit to these things, it alerts your psychological triggers in your brain that will keep you moving onwards and upwards, and that you have what it takes to follow through on the goals you set for yourself.
When you get frustrated with something that doesn’t seem to go right, turn that into sheer, mind-blowing excitement. Why? This is what I do if I get frustrated in any part of my life, not just the muscle-building side of my life. Learn to train your mind so that when you can’t figure something out, instead of getting frustrated and disappointed, you know that just around the corner, the answers are coming and you will be able to move forward with more drive than before and achieve more. This takes a bit of doing, I mean training your mind to work this way. But when you figure it out – nothing can stand in your way!
The ‘Juice’ of Your Workouts!
I call this the ‘juice’ for my workouts. I keep my enthusiasm high at all times this way. Bad days turn into better than average days. And we all get bad days, don’t we? But what happens when you let a bad day affect you is that your workout may be worthless in that gym, because you may be doing more harm than good. So if you can’t turn that frustration around, don’t go to the gym and take it out on the weights thinking all your problems will be figured out by the time you finished. Huh, that’s what I used to do and I got so many injuries that way! You try to lift more, do more reps and forget all about the all important ‘form’ of your techniques. Don’t break your shoulder joint. Go put a pair of boxing gloves on and take your frustration out on a heavy bag instead.
Food and Nutrition – What Should You Be Eating to Gain Lean Muscle?
Lets talk about food and nutrition to finish off this article. People forget about the importance of a highly nutritious diet, thinking that all the work is done in the gym. In reality, only about 20%Â (or even less) is actually done in the gym, the remaining 80% (or more) is done at home in the kitchen, where you prepare and probably eat most of your food.
So, I guess the last tip I would give you in this article is to focus on natural or un-processed foods. Stick to protein sources like chicken, white and oily fish, lean steak and turkey. Oh, and don’t forget your egg whites and protein shakes – because they are packed high in muscle-building amino acids. For your energy sources, or your carbohydrates, eat brown or white rice, yams, and beans. Bananas are a great idea right after your workout or for breakfast, to kick-start your metabolism. But for the rest of the day, don’t go eating fruit (unless you are eating with other carbohydrate sources like rice), because this will send your sugar levels up into spikes and way down into troughs.
What I mean by that, is that your body won’t know what the heck is going on and start to eat into your muscles to get its energy! Lastly, don’t forget that your body needs fat to function. So eat about 25% of your diet from ‘good’ fat sources like olive oil, avocados or almonds.
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