Wondering how to become a body builder?
The sport of bodybuilding is a popular form of fitness training and athletic pursuit. Because you can train at so many different levels, it’s a sport that people with a wide variety of interests and ambitions can get into.
However, how to get started isn’t always clear. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll wind up giving a ton of money to an online fitness coach to learn something you’ve could’ve learned for free.
This step-by-step guide will teach you everything you want to know about how to become a body builder.
1. Clarify Your Goal
Understanding what bodybuilding is can help you clarify what you hope to achieve in the sport.
From amateur to semi-professional to world-renowned stars, bodybuilding truly a tiered sport. At the end of the day, the goal is to build a muscular, lean, and balanced physique.
Amateur body builders go to the gym four to six days per week to lift. Their goals typically focus on building a great physique. Sometimes, they try a competition or two.
At the higher levels, bodybuilding becomes a competitive event. Winners of contests can win hundreds or even thousands of dollars competing even in local events.
Do your research on bodybuilding to figure out what you want to get out of it. As Stephen Covey said, effective people (and their goals) begin with the end in mind.
2. Choose a Workout Plan
Finding a great workout regimen is vital when it comes to how to become a body builder.
Some athletes pay coaches to put together templates for them. Others look on bodybuilding websites for templates that fit their specific goals (add muscle, lose fat, build muscular endurance, etc.)
There are no “right” body builder exercises. The best plan is one you enjoy doing at the gym and one that you’ll stick with. However, there are some movements that work especially well for people trying to add muscle and strength.
Squats, bench presses, overhead presses, deadlifts, and pull-ups are all great to build your program around. They strengthen not only the muscles but the joints as well, helping you to stay healthy when you train.
Discover more about maximizing your fitness gains through training and supplementation.
3. Dial In Your Nutrition
As the old saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.” Whether you want to make money from competing in bodybuilding or just want to create an awesome physique, your diet has to be a top priority.
In fact, the question, “how long to become a body builder?” can be largely determined by the quality of your nutrition. Here are some basics.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein repairs muscle tissue after workouts and helps promote an optimal hormone environment for muscle growth. Most body builder aims to eat between .75 and 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight per day.
Eat Clean Carbs
Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains should form the basis for your carbohydrate intake. Your body needs carbs to perform during workouts and to help with the recovery process.
These carbs tend to digest easily for people and have plenty of micronutrients to promote health.
Limit Junk Food Intake
Sweets, processed foods, and sugary items should be limited. These foods promote body fat and inflammation, which could make it hard to get or stay lean.
4. Plan Active Recovery Days
One common misconception on how to become a body builder is that you don’t need to work out every day.
In fact, resting at least once or twice a week will be optimal for your fitness gains.
Believe it or not, the body needs rest to recover from workouts. Otherwise, you could suffer from overtraining syndrome, where your workout performance dips and you increase your risk of injury.
To maximize your off days, you can incorporate other low-impact forms of training or movement. Massages, ice baths, and long walks can help promote muscle recovery without taxing your body too much.
5. Make Sleep a Priority
It’s easy to overlook, but sleep is your best friend as a budding body builder. During deep stages of sleep, key muscle-growth hormones like testosterone elevate, helping to grow new muscle tissue and boost recovery.
Your body’s health and well-being are also largely dictated by sleep. Studies show you’re less likely to perform well cognitively and are more at risk for diseases when you don’t get enough sleep.
Adults, according to the American Sleep Foundation, should aim for between seven and nine hours each night. As someone training hard, aim for the upper end of that (between eight and nine hours).
6. Adjust As You Go
How your body-building journey starts is not how it will finish. Your understanding of your body, how your body responds to certain foods, and how you recover from workouts will evolve as you make improvements.
That said, it’s important to stay flexible with your goals. Evaluate the progress you’re making in the gym and in the mirror on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Don’t let any single workout dictate how training is going.
It’s always a good idea to surround yourself with other body builders if you can. Learn from their mistakes and borrow their techniques to help you get the best results possible.
How to Become a Body Builder?
So, do you feel like you know how to become a body builder now?
If not, it’s pretty simple, to sum up: think about your goals, pick a workout template, eat clean foods, and focus on sleep. As you go along, be willing to adjust to what’s working (and willing to change what isn’t).
Give your body time and work hard when you train and you will see results.
For more fitness tips, check out the rest of our blog!
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