Now that you have decided to start bodybuilding, we will not question your dedication; we will only try to give it the right direction. Everybody dreams of having a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, but only a few know the right way to achieve it.
There’s an old saying: well begun is half done, and nothing can be more apt when you’re talking about bodybuilding. The correct beginner bodybuilding routine goes a long way to make a successful bodybuilder, although you must prepare yourself for the hard work too.
Have no doubt, bodybuilding is a technical field. It’s not quite just grunt-work as it might look. As a novice in bodybuilding, there must already be so many doubts in your mind, so many misconceptions about bodybuilding that the huge amount of information available will surely make you confused. Nothing can beat having an intelligent instructor to guide in you quest to get that perfectly toned body, but arming yourself with a lot of information helps, so read this article and find out how a good beginner bodybuilding routine can help you go the distance.
You should plan your beginner bodybuilding routine in consultation with the gym trainer. Don’t be reluctant to talk if you feel the routine is too strenuous or too easy. Every person’s body is different with different needs.
The most difficult time in a budding bodybuilder’s life is the first three months in the gym. Bodybuilding is not called power training for anything. You’ll need a huge amount of stamina and energy to hang in there and go on doing rep-after-rep. Your beginner bodybuilding routine shouldn’t be that grueling. If you aren’t already involved in any kind of exercise or sports activity, your body will protest before it adjusts to the strain of weight lifting.
So don’t rush and join the big well-muscled guys in the corner lifting those huge barbells with such apparent ease. At best you’ll find you can’t lift them, at worst you might injure yourself. Take care and plan your beginner bodybuilding routine carefully to avoid injury.
When you start your beginner bodybuilding routine, you should start with a lighter workout. Concentrate on the machines – you’ll find plenty at the gym. You’re better off lifting lighter weights and doing more repetitions than risking back injury because of the wrong technique. The machines have an advantage; they’re made to support you, and to help you do exercises the right way. So go ahead and work that nautilus until you can push yourself no more.
Train 3 – 5 times per week and keep your sessions short. By short I mean under an hour. Train one muscle group per week or every 5 days… do not combine 2 large muscle groups on the same day. Your big muscle groups are chest, back, and upper legs. Below are three examples for splits that are perfect for a teen:
3 Day Week
- Monday: Chest, Triceps
- Wednesday: Biceps, Back
- Friday: Shoulders, Legs
4 Day Week
- Monday: Chest, Triceps
- Tuesday: Biceps, Forearms
- Thursday: Shoulders, Back
- Friday: Legs
5 Day Week
- Monday: Chest
- Tuesday: Biceps, Forearms
- Wednesday: Legs
- Friday: Triceps, Shoulders
- Saturday: Back
As you can see no 2 “big” muscles are done on the same day. Now, for exercises, do compound movements such as bench press, shoulder press, rows, squats, and dead lifts first in your workout, and make sure you do the big muscles first as well. As for volume and intensity, these are inversely related, the more volume, the less intensity and vice versa. For reps and sets, shoot to fail between 6-10 reps and if you are training intensely do only 5-8 sets per body part (more sets for the bigger muscles, less for the smaller ones).
Soreness of Muscles
During the first few weeks of your beginner bodybuilding routine, you might also find yourself getting tired easily, and taking longer to recover. That’s natural, it’s just your body groaning as it settles down to the strenuous schedule. If you work out too much during this time you might experience soreness in your muscles, sometimes for as long as a week. If that happens avoid working out on that particular muscle group, or just do some stretches without weights until the soreness disappears. Remember, the most important aim of your beginner bodybuilding routine is to build strength while avoiding injury.
If the soreness persists for more than a week you should immediately see a physician, because you might have hurt the bones. This can happen if you try to lift too much weight when you start off. Another little piece of advice: don’t let the soreness frighten you, or discourage you, as your body gets more accustomed to working out you won’t get sore anymore, and will actually relish the feeling of power that working out will give you.
Warming Up and Warming Down
Trust me, the warm-up is the most important part of your bodybuilding routine, just as important as the actual workout. Those seemingly ineffective ten minutes of jumps stretch bends, and pulls will give you the necessary suppleness to lift heavyweights. For a beginner, the warm-up is even more important because your body is not used to heavyweights yet.
Never, go straight to lifting heavyweights. Warm-up at least for ten minutes before you exercise otherwise you’ll multiply the risk of injury many times. The reason is simple: warm-up is like oiling your muscles, preparing them for the tough work. If you don’t warm up properly your muscles will be taken by surprise when the big weights hit them, and they’ll cry out.
The warm up in your routine should consist of jumps, bends, stretches, in short, try to work out every muscle group in your body, leaving nothing ignored, right from the neck muscles to the calves.
It’s also recommended that you do some more stretches after you’ve finished your workout. This actually helps in muscle growth by freeing up the coiled muscles. It also helps prevent soreness of muscles. So remember, make warm-up and warm down an integral part of your bodybuilding routine.
Like we told you earlier, if you’re in the beginner bodybuilding routine, you’re a beginner. Period. Remember that and treat yourself like one. Don’t try to go straight to the free weights, instead concentrate the first couple of months on using the machines as much as possible. The equipment in the gym is there for you to use! So use it.
Every piece of equipment in the gym is made after a lot of research. It’s designed to help you do exercise the right way, with proper technique without injuring yourself. The first two months that you spend will help increase your body’s stamina and power, preparing you for free-weights. They will also help you get the hang of bodybuilding. Yes, your routine should help you develop a feel for all the different muscle groups as you exercise so that you can work out properly when you graduate to a more advanced level.