I would suggest that you read ‘Starting Bodybuilding’ before reading this article.
Reminder: Your Goal
As I mentioned before, too many people are easily scattered on any machine they can find. They wander around from one exercise to another without any apparent logic for the sole purpose of saying: I am going to gym!
It is obvious that these people do not have a clear goal in mind otherwise they wouldn’t do that!
Bodybuilding is like going on vacation somewhere. The most important is to know where your final destination is. In fact, if you do not know your point of arrival, you may take a random road in the hope that it will take you to your destination. It’s a gamble!
But as you are conscientious readers, you now have your goal in mind and the basics to perform your exercises. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough.
An important step to achieve your goal is planning. Without a rigorous training plan, you’ll be totally lost and counterproductive; you will get lost on the way as if you were taking the car without preparing your route.
If we take the web definition of planning we can see that it ‘ is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.’
You may notice the word GOAL in this definition which is the key of your success.
Too often I’ve seen guys at gym saying: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing today, a bit of everything’ and complain of not having any results even after three months of an intense workout.
Most of us have a job, go to school, meet with friends or girlfriend, but more generally have a busy life. It falls to you to identify the time when you will be able to fully dedicate yourself on your workout.
Note: Please allow a minimum of 30 minutes for your workout. Otherwise forget about it.
The ideal would be to train at least 3 times a week but for better results; I would suggest that you go up to 4 to 5 sessions a week. Some websites and even personal trainers advise you to exercise 6 days a week (especially for the more experienced), but I personally think that it’s too much.
Your body needs to rest in order to recover. Nothing is better than two full rest days (weekends for example) to build your muscles.
Once you have your planning, which will intimately depend on your schedule (training in another sport, dating a girl …) it is vital that you hold on to it. Whatever happens (apart from injury but that’s even arguable) no excuses will be accepted.
Motivation plays a big part in this diligence but I would speak more about it in another article.
Once you’ve decided about the number of sessions you wanna do per week, it is important that you plan on the long term. In bodybuilding, we generally work per cycle. Your muscles have the bad habit of adapting to your program leading to stagnation.
To solve this problem, you have to break your routine by changing your plan / organization of your training. Generally speaking, you can keep the same program from 4 to 12 weeks. It can be even longer if you keep having results.
The organization – here’s another keyword – of your sessions will also be very important to achieve your goals. You will have to know how to organize your session regarding your weekly schedule. You will need to determine how many times you want / can train each muscle and when to train them.
For example, it is not advised to train two large muscle groups together (i.e. back and chest) or twice the same muscle on 2 consecutive days.
I would like to have your attention on this last paragraph. You must read it with a critical mind. Indeed, when you will have some experience, a superset training of back and chest can be a great way to shock your muscles (high intensity technique that we will see in another article).
It is exactly the same for training the same muscle on 2 consecutive days. A guy who went to the same gym than me in Salford used to train his biceps on Monday and Tuesday because it was the most effective technique for him. And it is true that his biceps were pretty big.
Please keep in mind that anything you can read has to be taken with care. However I do not mean that you must stop believing what you are told about bodybuilding. These are more general rules that apply to most of us but there’re always exceptions.
The world of fitness is full of examples and counter-examples.
Each one is unique and a program that will work for one might not work for another.
To succeed in bodybuilding you have to know your body and listen to it! That’s your best ally.
Getting back to our subject and finishing this post, I see two main principles of organization: Full/Half-Body or Split Routine. Depending on your level, it will be better to use one or the other method.
Voilà! it’s over for this post.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I would be happy to respond.
One last thing before leaving you: your training is obviously essential for a good muscle growth, but this is not the only factor to consider. Nutrition and rest are very important and complete the optimization of this growth.
You can have the best program in the world but if your diet does not follow, you won’t have any results. Same for the rest part but we will see that in another article.