There is a right way and a wrong way to get in shape for a bodybuilding competition. When you see a very pumped up bodybuilder like we think of when we see a movie like Pumping Iron, those athletes seem to be able to perform almost superhuman feats of strength. But the truth is they achieved their high level of athletic ability through hard work and knowing how to develop their bodies through healthy habits.
Healthy bodybuilding is not just for professional athletes who are going to go on to compete in championships and win awards. For millions of people, a healthy approach to bodybuilding means staying in shape as the years advance and fighting off sagging muscles and lack of physical strength. This is about more than just looking great in a swimsuit. Learning to exercise and work out in a healthy way is about a healthy lifestyle for life.
Too often, someone who is enthusiastic to get in shape goes about it all wrong. The sad news that there is a right way and a wrong way to exercise and get in shape. So let’s go over some tips on how to avoid the mistake people make so that your bodybuilding program does it the right way.
• Take It Easy!
When you start working out, you want results. While that early enthusiasm is good, you have to be careful you don’t throw yourself at the program too aggressively and overdo it in the first couple weeks of your bodybuilding regimen. That can lead to problems with your development and burn out. Set short-term goals that are achievable. Plan to stay focused on your bodybuilding goals for the long haul. Better to lose 20 pounds over six months time and they stay off then to lose a bunch of weight up front and then stop working out and gain it all back.
• Get Help!
If you want to use bodybuilding equipment, it is wise to take a class in how to use it correctly. The potential of injury if you use this kind of equipment incorrectly is too great and an injury can end your bodybuilding program. Even if you are going to use free weights, make sure you know what you are doing and you know how to work with a spotter so you don’t incur an injury while working out. The kind of exercise it takes to see real results is strenuous. So take advantage of people who understand how to exercise in a healthy way so the program you are developing is beneficial and safe for you.
• Eat Right!
Almost certainly, the goal of your bodybuilding program involves a significant change to your shape. Most of the time, that means losing weight. It is good to examine your diet and fine tune it so you eat the right amount of good foods. But just like you should not “get radical” about exercise, use some common sense in how you diet. Avoid fasting or cutting your diet so dramatically that you feel like you starving yourself to death. That is unhealthy overall and it will lead to burn out when you finally give up and start to eat again. A healthy diet is sustainable for a month, a yea or even for life.
• The Most Important Tip…
Is to have fun. Make sure the program of exercise you design is something you like to do. Not everyone has to run five miles a day and spend an hour under the weights. There are dozens of types of exercise you can use to accomplish your bodybuilding goals. If you design a program of exercise that you look forward to each day, you will stick with it. And that is the only way to see real progress in what you want to do in your bodybuilding program.
Need more ideas? Here are some successful Body Building Techniques
The most successful body building techniques incorporate proven weight routines. A weight routine is a set of exercises, done in repetition, that develops specific parts of the body. For example, to build chest muscles, a body builder may use a weight routine that incorporates flat bench press (3 repetitions), bench dumbbell (2 repetitions) and inclined bench press (3 repetitions). The other important function a weight routine serves is to split a training program so different muscle groups are used.
Dumbbells are a common piece of equipment used to build bigger biceps. The most popular technique to get the desired result is to hold the dumbbell closer to the inside of the plates. Routines for building biceps include dumbbell curls either inclined or standing, or both.
Building Chest Muscle
Good chest muscle building exercises are routines that incorporate bench presses and flyes. An even more effective way to build chest muscle is to split the chest into 3 zones – upper, middle and lower. By working each separately, using exercises that specifically target that area, you can build up some impressive chest muscle fairly quickly.
For instance, do your upper chest exercises on a 30-45% incline bench. Incline barbell and incline dumbbell flyes are excellent for working upper chest muscles. On the other hand, the lower chest muscles are best exercised using a 30-45% decline bench. You would use decline barbell and decline dumbbell flyes to build these muscles. A flat bench works best for the middle chest muscles. So you’d do flat barbell and flat dumbbell flyes on a flat bench.
Moving Onto Shoulder Training
The shoulders are made up of 3 main muscles – the lateral, anterior and posterior deltoids. Effective shoulder training to get big shoulders requires working all 3. The anterior deltoid usually gets some work in chest workouts. To build up the lateral and posterior deltoids requires additional exercises targeting these two muscles. Generally the best way to do this is with heavy barbell and dumbbell pressing in short reps as opposed to a lot of rep work with lighter weights. You should also focus on shoulder exercises that work effectively with progressive overload, a technique used to progressively add more weight to what is being lifted.
Matching Up The Back With Back Exercises
The back is one area many body builders overlook. But if you want your back to match up with those impressive chest, shoulder and bicep muscles, you will need to include back exercises in your bodybuilding routine.
Good workouts for the Lower Trapezius or lower back muscles include stiff-legged good mornings and hyper-extensions. For the middle back muscles or Rhomboids, you can do a seated cable row and bent-over barbell rows. Your Latissimus Dorsi will benefit from wide-grip lat pull-downs and pull-ups. And last but not least, try upright rows and barbell shrugs for your Trapezius.
But before starting any body-building workout, be sure to warm up properly. This will reduce the risk of damaging muscles and tendons. Stretch the muscles you’re going to be working. Also avoid lifting more weight than your body can capably handle to avoid serious injury.