I started bodybuilding a few years ago and let me tell you bro, it changed my life completely. Believe it or not, I was always a bit weedy as a kid and I was never really noticed much as a teenager either. I decided it was time to do something about it and so bodybuilding it was.
It was tough at first, but I stuck it out and rode through the pain on many occasions. I wanted to be more muscular, to bulk up. And once I started to see results I was hooked. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the results either. Girls started to notice me and I got a few phone numbers in bars – that had not happened that way before. Well, guys noted it too, but in a different way. They respected me more, it seemed. All of this had an amazing effect on my self-confidence. I went from shy wallflower to confident, fun guy in no time at all.
Want to know how to do it yourself?
Preparing mentally – Step 1
Too many people race in and try to lift weight that is too much for them, thinking that it will lead to faster gains. Wrong! This can tear muscles and leave you seriously injured and out of action for a while. Think before you start. You have to start at the bottom and you need to be mentally tough enough for the gym. It’s not easy seeing people lift more than you and you can become self conscious, down about it even, but remember: they started once where you are now and aren’t judging you. You’re all in it together!
You need to be prepared to devote time to bodybuilding, a lot of time. You need to be strong and say no to nights out, to certain kinds of food and even certain kinds of activity if you’re to succeed at bodybuilding.
Have you got what it takes?
I thought so!
Getting started – Step 2
So, you’re ready to start. Just get in the gym and get on with it, is it?
You need to make sure you’ve got the right equipment, that you’re warmed up and that you know how to use the gear.
Wear clothing that’s comfortable, not so tight it restricts movement or blood flow and not too loose that it falls off or becomes tangled in machines.
You should absolutely always warm up without fail. Light jogging and stretching is great for this. As long as all the muscles you will be working on are warm you should be fine.
And equipment-wise, any self respecting gym will have someone show you around and demonstrate how all apparatus is used safely before you’re let loose on any of it.
Don’t overtrain – Step 3
You want to see gains immediately, don’t you? You want to lose fat and you want to gain muscle and you want it to happen yesterday. But it takes time. Patience Is what you need, my friend. Overtraining is the enemy. It can serious hinder your progress and while the temptation is to lift more, do more reps, do more sets, you should stick to the plan. If you’re lucky you might have a personal trainer. If not you will have prepared a routine before you set foot in the gym. Stick to it.
Don’t forget leg day – Step 4
You know, it’s not all about the biceps and pecs. We’ve all seen that guy who has a torso like a WWE wrestler but has pipe cleaner legs. Don’t be him. Your body needs to rest after the intense lifting on your arm days. That’s why we have leg day in between these sessions. Sure, you’ll walk like your legs are jelly afterwards, but the result of huge calves and quads will be worth it. It’s not only men who find the opposite sex’s legs sexy. Muscular legs in shorts in the summer will turn more than a few heads – trust me.
Mix it up – Step 5
It’s important to follow your workout routine, building up as the weeks progress, but it doesn’t have to be monotonous. Train with a friend and spot each other or workout alone if you want to – some find this almost meditative. Bodybuilding can be done with nothing but the soundtrack of weights being lifted or you can create some awesome playlists to help you reach your goals.
Diet – Step 6
This is as important for bodybuilding as the actual lifting itself.
If you’re the kind of person who eats takeaways five nights a week then shame on you and it’s time to change. You will have to eat healthily. You will eat a lot of carbs. Sometimes you will feel like you’re eating too much. You will crave foods you can no longer have. You will spend a lot of time preparing meals.
This is all important stuff. You need commitment in the kitchen as well as in the gym. Years ago not as much was known about the science of sport and bodybuilding was no different. Now we know so much more and gains can be maximised with the right, stringent diet. Speak to a nutritionist and fellow gym-goers or find a diet online that suits your training needs.
Don’t forget supplements too – they’re like bodybuilders’ milkshakes!
Remember cardio – Step 7
It’s no good having the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger if you get out of breath climbing a flight of stairs and let’s face it it’s not very sexy either! After every session of lifting do a little cardio. This can be on an exercise bike or treadmill. Slow it down towards the end and you’ve warmed down too.
Now you can hit the showers!
So there you have it, bro. That’s how you start bodybuilding. It’s a long, hard road, but it’s totally worth it. It’ll change your life. It’ll make you more confident and more attractive as well as improving your health and maybe even increasing your life expectancy.
Keep at it and you too will have a body like the Hipsbear!