How to Start Bodybuilding: 6 Simple Rules

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In theory bodybuilding is one of the simplest activities known to mankind. It involves picking up heavy metallic objects on different planes while simultaneously fighting against gravity to activate specific muscle groups.

However, this is where the simplicity of the matter ends.

There is something innately engrained deep within the realms of our DNA that speaks to us and tells us to repeatedly pick up objects that are becoming progressively heavier as time goes on. As the individual fibers become accustomed to different muscular stimulations we gradually add heavier loads until fully utilizing our maximum potential that our frames and structures can support.

Related: The Best Bodybuilding Routine for Natural Lifters

Bodybuilding is simple to start yet difficult to fully master. It takes years for our bodies to learn proper form and master the art of the technique.

We must engage our bodies and our minds to work in perfect synchronicity while simultaneously controlling each and every muscle fiber within our bodies. If you are just beginning on this journey of bodybuilding be sure to follow these simple steps for maximum strength and hypertrophy activation.

Fit Couple

6 Habits of Bodybuilding Success

#1 – Form over load

While using progressively heavier weights help aide in the development of skeletal muscle fibers we must be sure to keep form intact. There is a time for “cheat” form such as with bicep cheat curls but the majority of the times we must focus on using proper form that in a safe and effective manner.

Never lift with your ego nor your heart. Use the mind, body, and soul to lift in perfect harmony.

#2 – Retract your scapula

Most of the movements performed in bodybuilding either require retraction of the scapula or are made more effective by retracting the scapula. Whether it be squats, deadlifts, or even bicep curls retracting the scapula is one of the most basic yet necessary fundamentals to incorporate as part of your overall bodybuilder psyche.

#3 – Keep a neutral spine

SpineThere are few if any circumstances in which you should be rounding the lower portion of your back. While extremely experienced lifters may have adapted their own bodies to bare this type of load, the majority of the novice and intermediate bodybuilders will be better off keeping a neutral spine throughout all of their movement patterns.

Under extremely heavy loads and maximum repetitions a belt will help prevent the lower back from arching in a dangerous pattern.

#4 – Embrace the core

Controlling the core portion of your body will not only increase core strength and develop the abdominal region but will also prevent injuries from occurring. If you embrace the core properly throughout heavy compound movements such as the squat and deadlift you eliminate the need to work abdominal muscles as an isolation movement.

#5 – Watch your diet

As a beginner I was of the firm belief that I could eat limitless amounts of pizza and orange chicken while still obtaining a physique of superiority. After not seeing aesthetic results comparable to my effort levels in the gym I did vast amounts of personal research to learn about how different nutrients affect appearance and body composition.

Diets do not have to be absolutely perfect but you must obtain some level of understanding regarding macronutrient composition to adequately reach your individual goals. Diet is one of those things that take time to research.

Eventually something just clicks within the brain and you know exactly how your body will respond. You know that a serving of almonds is 28 grams and contains 170 Calories and approximately 15 grams of Fat or that a banana has 100 Calories and 25 grams of Carbs. Become a wizard of nutritional magic and use your spells for tremendous aesthetics.

#6 – Never stop learning

It can become easy to fall within the same exercises again and again with little to no changes in your programming. Take some extra time to research different movements and learn how they activate muscle groups.

Sometimes all it takes is a slightly different angle or a new machine to reenergize your love for bodybuilding and feel the exercise in an entirely new manner.

Bonus tip!

Keep the body and mind in constant harmony working together like a mother and father birthing all kinds of new gains and muscle growth. The mind controls the body not the other way around. You must believe you can reach new levels deep within your subconscious before you can physically manifest the act to life.

Keep in mind that bodybuilding is a lifetime journey that never fully reaches its destination. We simply march further down the path one rep at a time seeking the land of infinite gains. It’s not about looking better or even feeling better. The end result all comes down to reaching new levels of self-improvement we never thought possible. Surpassing the goals and knocking them down with sheer brute force.

Some may look at this metallic object wrapped in protective rubber as just a thing. But too many of us it represents so much more…

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ryanrodal and subscribe to my YouTube channel: MuscleMinds for more great nutritional advice and workout information.

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Name: Ryan Rodal

Bio: My short term fitness goals include reaching a 300lb bench, 405 lb squat and a 500 lb deadlift. Longterm I want to become more involved in the fitness industry and help others achieve their goals. The bodybuilding lifestyle is not about how much you can lift or even how you look, its simply about being the best version of yourself.