Bodybuilding: Getting Started
Bodybuilding requires commitment. It is a totally different lifestyle that
entails letting go of old habits and adopting new ones. You cannot go into
bodybuilding and be half-hearted about it. It is a test of strength, self discipline
and willpower. Start only when you are sure you can commit time, effort and energy.
Your decision to start on muscle training must come from a sincere desire for
a healthier and a more developed body. Do not go into it just because it’s your
New Year’s resolution. People who decide to change something in them when
the calendar flips on January 1st are most likely to st ray from this discipline.
Make an assessment of your body. Decide what kind of attention goes to
which part of your body. Some people have flabbier arms while others have
most of the fat collected in their midsection. This way, it is easy for you to
create a program that addresses your problem areas.
Set your goals and create a plan accordingly. How much body fat do you
want to lose? How much muscle weight do you intend to gain? Are you after
gaining strength? Are you after developing speed and endurance? What about
power? Give yourself a deadline of when these goals should be attained.
Manage your expectations. One month is a good start in losing weight but it
isn’t enough to get you ripped. Make a realistic visualization of the progress
you can achieve in a certain period. Do not set yourself for disappointment.
Most beginners get discouraged because of the unrealistic goals they set for
Assess your lifestyle. How many hours a week do you intend to devote to
working out? How much energy do you still have after work/school? Is it
best to go before your daily duties or after? What habits must you get rid of?
Alcohol? The weekend buffet? Nightly parties?
Create a journal. Document your progress from day 1. Write down your
current weight. Measure your body fat using a fat caliper. Take photos of
your body, especially the problem areas. Compare measurements as you go
along your bodybuilding efforts. This shall serve as your motivation in
reaching your goals.
Hormonal profile plays a significant role in muscle mass gain. Testosterone
is responsible for developing muscles while estrogen is responsible for the
womanly curves. Hence, men grow muscle mass faster than women. This
should not be a problem to women since they are more concerned with toning
and shaping rather than gaining bulk.
The ability to gain differs from person to person so progress cannot be tracked
by comparing it with your training buddy, even if both of you started at the
same time. You can check your development only by taking note of your
present measurement and comparing it with your previous measurement.
Do not be discouraged if you do not see a change in your weight during your
strength training. While you lose weight by burning fats, you also keep or
even increase poundage as you build muscle. Evaluate your progress by
keeping track of your strength gains and measuring your body fat against