The Overload Principle
This bodybuilding concept is the foundation of muscle growth and outlines the stimulus needed to ignite bodybuilding gains. Luckily there is nothing complex about it. Using the principle the goal is to overload the muscle with more stress than it has become accustomed to handling.
By doing so it triggers the muscle building process in the body. Over time, as you increase the weight that you are lifting during your weight lifting program, the muscles will continue to grow so it is important that you focus on intensity and increasing the weight (even if only by a small amount) each workout until you experience the size gains you’re after.
Bodybuilding programs will require a different approach to nutrition in that the body will need higher levels of protein and other nutrients to fully support the muscle building process. It is recommended by many that 1.5 to 2 grams of protein be consumed per pound of body weight on a daily basis. This can be quite demanding if you weigh even 150 lbs. To accomplish this as well as intake the other key nutrients that facilitate muscle building, supplementation may be necessary to achieve results in the quickest manner possible.
Bodybuilding supplements are widely available both online and off. Supplements are designed to deliver the right nutrients in the right amounts specifically for bodybuilders. Protein shakes, protein bars, creatine, amino acids and many others can help contribute to muscle gains. This brief overview will not be sufficient to cover the topic of bodybuilding supplements (there have been many entire books dedicated to the subject) but I encourage you to investigate further through the popular bodybuilding magazines and communities online. One note: these products are meant to supplement a regular meal plan and not replace it (except in the case of some meal replacement shakes and supplements). A healthy diet should be maintained while engaged in bodybuilding.
Proper Weight Lifting Form
Because heavy weight lifting poses risks of injury to muscles, joints and bones, it is crucial that you observe proper form when undergoing a muscle building routine. Being careful not to arch your back excessively and controlling the weight at all time can help prevent these things from occurring. A personal trainer or workout partner can be a great asset in making sure that you are using strict form while lifting heavy weights.
The Role of Rest
A bodybuilding workout in the gym or otherwise is simply a stimulus. This is an important point to remember. Muscle does not grow in the gym; it grows in the time following your workouts – especially at night during sleep. Some believe that building muscle with bodybuilding is as much as 70% nutrition and rest. That is why it is essential that you implement a solid nutritional foundation and sleep regularly for at least 8 hours.