The Ultimate Guide To Bodybuilding For Beginners
Bodybuilding is the process of developing and shaping muscle fibres through the combination of weight workout, specific caloric intake, and rest. Bodybuilding, simply put, is the art of sculpting a muscular, symmetrical, and visually appealing physique.
If your goal is bodybuilding, the online workout planner is for you. On our site, which includes hundreds of exercises and images, exercises are presented to you in categories according to muscle groups. Which muscle group you want to work, all you have to do is enter that category, select the exercises and click the add button. When you click the Add button, you can easily create a training program by specifying the number of sets and repetitions of the exercises. Easily add or remove exercises to create a workout designed specifically by and for you.
How to design a bodybuilding program
You need a successful bodybuilding workout plan to focus on getting your body in the best shape possible. If you think creating your own workout plan is too hard, we’re here to tell you it’s not. We’ll help you create a custom workout plan step-by-step! You will be able to create your own workout plan by learning the most important information you need to know when creating a workout plan in our beginner’s guide.
- Learn your body type
- Plan a goal.
- Choose Your Exercises.
- Choose Your Sets and Reps.
- Learn About Progression.
- Put it all together and create a workout.
What is difference between bodybuilding and fitness?
Bodybuilding, uses workout protocols that focus primarily on enhancing muscle size, so a balanced nutrition plan that supports low body fat maintenance and sufficient protein to gain muscle is vital. Each training typically focuses on a specific muscle group and incorporates more single-joint exercises such as leg curl, dumbbell fly and dumbbell curls.
It addresses fitness, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, body composition and flexibility. On the other hand, fitness trainings are less specific. They are geared towards the improvement of health, maintenance of the ideal weight, or even improving bodily aesthetics.
Bodybuilding is concerned more with appearance, whereas fitness is concerned more with body health and fit.
They’re not mutually exclusive. Most bodybuilders would also tend to care about being fit, and most people concerned with being fit are also happy to look good in the process.
What is the difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting?
The goals of powerlifting and bodybuilding are completely different.
- The goal of bodybuilders is to get the most great physique possible.
- Powerlifting is a sport to show off strength and power with one lift in 3 movements.
- Powerlifters lift weights to get better at lifting weights.
- Whereas bodybuilders lift weights to grow a more muscular body.
Powerlifting is only concerned with how strong you are, nobody cares how you look only about how much you lift.
WHAT IS YOUR BODY TYPE?
Before going to start your training and nutrition regimen, it’s important for you to understand what is your body type? The three basic human body types are the endomorph, the mesomorph, and the ectomorph. Knowing your body type will be going to help you in the long run. You can acquire the correct workout plan and diet planfor your body type, and by doing so you’ll be going to set your realistic and attainable goals.
Is it an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph?
Ectomorph can easily be spotted by their body structure. They’re simply skinny and thin. Ectomorphs usually have small joint and lean muscles.
Some traits of an ectomorph:
- Small body frame and bone structure.
- Flat chest
- Small Joints
- Long arms and limbs
- Fast metabolism
- Difficulty in gaining weight
- Difficulty in building muscles
Mesomorph is the most desired body type and can also be said as ‘genetically gifted’ body. They naturally have a lean, compact and strong body.
Some traits of mesomorph:
- Muscular body
- Naturally lean
- Strong body type
- Shoulders are wider than hips
- Gain muscles easily
- Natural born athletic body
Endomorph can easily be figured out due to their body type. Endomorphs have a naturally chubby, round and soft physique. They have wide bone structure also have a high level of body fat. Endomorphs have a high amount of fat in their body as compared to muscles.
Some traits of an Endomorph:
- Chubby body
- Round and soft physique
- Wide bone structure
- High level of body fat
- High fat-to-muscle ratio
- Gain weight easily
- Difficulty in losing weight
According to your ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph body type, your training program should be arranged according to the diet program you have planned. In other words, create a calorie surplus in a weight-gain training program, or create a calorie deficit in a weight-loss training program and lose weight.
Best tips for Ectomorph to gain weight
The best diet for an ectomorph is one that is higher in carbohydrates and calories. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of calories should come from carbs, 25 percent from protein and 25 percent from fat.
- Eat 4–5 meals per day
Ectomorph should focus on eating 4–5 meals per day in addition with pre and post workout meals. The food works as a fuel for your body and if you’re not going to focus on fueling up your body, than you will not going to gain weight easily. Eat clean and quality foods loaded with lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Ditch fast foods from your weight gaining diet plan. Fast foods won’t be going to help you in the long run. In order to gain weight, you have to surplus your calories and eating 4–5 meals per day will going to help you in adding those extra calories.
- Eat every 2–3 hours
Eating every 2–3 hours will going to ensure that your body constantly has the fuel it requires. Suppose if you have to eat 4000 calories per day, it becomes easier by dividing your calories into 4–5 meals (500–1000 calorie per meals). Make sure to eat good quality of lean protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fats in each meal for best results.
- Pre- and Post-workout Nutrition
About 30 to 60 minutes before a workout, make sure to eat or drink a fast-digesting carbohydrate and some protein, such as fruit or toast with almond butter and jam. These nutrients will help keep you energized throughout your workout. And don’t forget to stay hydrated before and during your workout. If your exercise lasts less than 60 minutes, hydrate with water. If it’s longer than 60 minutes, consider adding a fast-digesting carb (gel, blocks, or beverage) to keep your energy level up.
Your post-workout meal should be consumed 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. The ideal post-workout meal includes a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein to help quickly replenish your glycogen stores and repair and build muscle fibers.
- Weight Training
To build muscle mass, increase strength and sculpt the body, a simple weight-training routine using heavy weights is critical for the ectomorph. The focus should be on using heavier weights and completing three to five sets of approximately eight to 12 reps for each muscle group.
Diet and exercise for mesomorph body type
They have a lean, masculine and strong body, have medium size joints and bones. Their shoulders are wider than the hips. They are classic “gainer”. It means they tend to gain muscle fast on. But on the other way, they also gain fat fast as compared to endomorph. Mesomorph body quickly responds to exercises.
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A MESOMORPH DIET?
It’s been a long argument, that what should be the right proportion of nutrient component in a mesomorphic diet. But, an optimum mesomorph diet should include 35-40% carbohydrate, 30-35% protein and 25-30% fat. Here, one more important thing is that they gain weight more easily than other body types. So, they should have a well balanced diet and should not have focus only on a single nutritional component. They should divide their plate according to the above figures.
Male and female mesomorph share same body characteristics but due to differ in hormones present in their body their body react differently.
DIET PLAN FOR MALE
Men should take at least 4–5 intakes in a day. If they aiming for building muscles should include high protein in their diet like: eggs, lean meat, seafood, chicken, Greek yogurt, etc. They must also include carbohydrate which repairs their muscles and fulfills energy requirements of body, some carbohydrate rich foods are: whole grain, brown bread, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato, etc.
Healthy fat is also very important part of a mesomorph diet, as it helps in muscle building, retain excess fat from body and also help in curing several health problems. Some healthy fat foods are: avocado, lean meat, olive oil, cheese, etc. Avoid excess sugar as it will add fat to your body, which can lead to several health problems like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and etc.
DIET PLAN FOR FEMALE
Female mesomorph should also include balance between carbohydrates, protein and fat in their diet. They should include foods high in protein and low in saturated fats. Female mesomorph should also include meat, egg, chicken, salmon and seafood’s in their diet. For complex carbohydrates they must include: brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice, whole grain and leafy vegetables in their diet. Sugary content should be avoided like: white bread, soda drinks, deserts, sweets, etc. mesomorph woman should include healthy fats like: nuts, fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil.
Achieving a lean physique for a mesomorph requires consistent cardio sessions to avoid putting on too much fat. Incorporating 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five times a week should become a regular part of the exercise routine.
Mesomorphs who carry less body fat can decrease their cardio sessions to twice a week. For optimal results in lowering body fat, cardio interval training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is recommended two to three times a week, along with one to two sessions of steady-state cardio. Interval training involves alternating bursts of intense activity followed by intervals of lighter activity.
Mesomorphs are naturally strong because their muscles are thick and dense. Lifting moderate-to-heavy weights, with limited rest in between sets, five days a week is ideal to stimulate muscle growth.
Perform eight to 12 reps of three to four exercises for each muscle group. Complete at least three sets of each exercise and rest 30 to 90 seconds after each set. Switching up your weight training routine by using higher reps with lighter weights, adding in body-weight exercises and techniques such as super sets and circuit training, can encourage strength and stamina without building muscle mass.
Diet and Exercise For Endomorph Body Type
Endomorphs have a high amount of fat in their body as compared to muscles. They always have to struggle with their weight, as gaining weight is always easy for them but losing weight tends to become difficult to them as compared to other body types. Endomorphs have a slow metabolic rate in comparison with ectomorph and mesomorph. Endomorphs usually have narrow shoulders and wider hips, and carry any excess weight in the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. It’s often challenging for them to lose weight but with the right diet and training approach, it can be done. Aim for a nutrient distribution close to 30 percent carbs, 35 percent protein and 35 percent fat.
Endomorphs typically have a difficult time losing fat with diet alone, so a well-rounded fitness program is a must for those with an endomorph body type. Exercise is essential to boosting metabolism and must include both weight and cardio training. In general, endomorphs must commit to a lifelong program without overtraining. Building muscle comes easily for endomorphs; however, a slower metabolism and extra body fat make it much harder for endomorphs to stay lean.
Exercise is an important part of any weight loss plan, especially for people with an endomorph body type. Exercising helps increase metabolism and reduce fat. Cardiovascular exercises such as running can burn calories and help create a calorie deficit. This means that someone is using more calories than they are consuming and potentially burning excess fat.
You can burn calories easily by jogging lightly or even just walking briskly on a treadmill every single day. The ultimate endomorph workout is one that keeps you engaged in an activity for a longer period of time – you can build up your stamina by starting slow, gradually working your way up to a more involved workout plan.
Every successful weight loss plan should incorporate physical activity such as cardio and strength training, regardless of your body type. The idea is that increasing the amount you exercise helps burn calories.
Maintaining or building lean muscle mass and losing body fat, while also revving up metabolism, is the focus during weight-training sessions. Developing more active muscle tissue will help increase resting metabolic rate and encourage the body to burn more fat for fuel.
Strength training or weight training is also essential for weight loss. Adding weight training to your exercise regimen may increase your lean muscle mass and improve your metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories), especially when combined with cardio or aerobic exercise. By integrating these types of physical activity with lowering your caloric intake, you have a higher chance of losing weight
BodyBuilding – Strategy
In order to achieve muscle growth (hypertrophy), bodybuilders focus in three main lines of action:
- Weight training
- Adequate rest
How much weight should I lift to gain muscle?
For beginners, 1 to 3 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions per exercise with a moderate load (60% to 85% of one-rep max) is ideal. More advanced individuals looking to further develop muscle mass can perform 3 to 6 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at 70% to 85% of one-rep max.
HOW MANY SETS AND REPS SHOULD I DO?
Different training organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), have slightly different models for each training goal. But they follow the same general guidelines.
|Training Goal||Sets||Reps||Rest Period||Intensity / Weight|
|General fitness||1-3||12-15||30 to 90 seconds||Varies|
|Endurance||2-4||12-20||Up to 30 seconds||<67% of 1RM|
|Hypertrophy||3-6||6-12||30 to 90 seconds||67% to 85% of 1RM|
|Muscle strength||2-6||<6||2 to 5 minutes||>85% of 1RM|
|Power: Single rep||3-5||1-2||2 to 5 minutes||80%–90% of 1RM|
|Muscle Power||3-6||1-3||2 to 5 minutes||30%–60% of RM|
Recommended volume, intensity, frequency, set and rep range for hypertrophy.
- Intensity: 60-85% of 1 rep max
- Volume: 3-6 sets per exercise / 6-12 repetitions per set
- Between reps: 30-90 seconds rest
- Frequency: 2 to 3 days per week of training has been effective in increasing musclehypertrophy. Higher frequencies may be used to fully maximize hypertrophy.
If you are doing weight training for the first time, the volume and intensity are kept low, the priority is to aim to do the exercises right.
HOW MANY DAYS A WEEK SHOULD I WORKOUT?
To get the expected results, it is important to train smart, but also to give your body a chance to recover properly. Proper recovery includes, among other things, a suitable diet and enough recovery time to give the body time to adapt to the muscular work to which it is subjected, as well as to improve your condition after each session.
For muscle gain
Training to add muscle mass exhausts the body in a manner similar to maximum strength training, but to a lesser degree. 24 to 48 hours of recovery between sessions for the same muscle group is usually enough.
Remember that muscles are damaged during training and develop during rest. You can train 7 days a week, but you can’t work the same muscle group. For example; If you work the chest on Monday, the legs on Tuesday, and the shoulders on Wednesday, you will have enough rest time for the next chest workout.
BodyBuilding: Exercise Selection
- A compound exercises is a multi-joint movements that works several muscles at one time. Some examples squat, bench press and deadlift.
If you’re a beginner, compound exercises help you build your foundation quicker by giving you more for the time and effort you put in.
- Isolation exercises work one muscle at a time. Some examples might be the Bicep curl, tricep pushdown, dumbbell fly, leg curl and extension.
There’s value in adding isolation exercises if your goal is to develop a body at a high level, like a competitive bodybuilder.
For example, if you are designing a workout routine consisting of 3 exercises, you can do 2 exercises as compound and 1 exercise as isolation.
- Bench Press 3×10
- Incline Bench Press 3×10
- Dumbbell Fly 3×12
The truth is, they both have a time and a place, and we would recommend incorporating both into your workout plan to see maximum results.
The four essential elements of a good workout plan are:
While there’s a wide variety of activities you could include in your workout plan, based on your own preference, goals and fitness level, there are four main types of physical activity to include in a well-rounded workout plan. You don’t necessarily have to do each of them each day, but they should each be incorporated regularly.
To make it easier on yourself to stick to a new training plan, there are a few important scheduling tips to follow:
“Cardio” exercise raises your heart rate and breathing to improve the function of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Cardio can be a steady-state, low- to moderate-intensity exercise, or intervals of high intensity. It just needs to tax the large muscle groups strenuously enough and long enough to get you breathing heavily—which means you’re challenging your heart and lungs.
Cardio exercise doesn’t have to take place in a gym. Many activities in our daily lives can provide cardio exercise, like taking the stairs, raking leaves or shoveling snow. Aim for at least 2-3 cardio workouts per week—a 10-15-minute high-intensity workout or an hourlong low-intensity activity.
Example cardio activities: running, jogging, hiking, cycling, swimming, circuit training, HIIT, dancing, stair climbing, shoveling snow, raking leaves, playing sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey
Strength training helps build muscle, improve muscular strength and endurance, and is important in metabolism. It also helps to reduce injury from other activities and keep your skeletal system healthy as you age. Strength training exercises can be accomplished with simply your bodyweight, or can involve free weights, machines or resistance bands.
flexibility & mobility
First, a couple definitions: flexibility is the ability of a muscle to stretch and mobility is the ability of a joint to move freely through its range of motion. Both are important parts of overall fitness, and both should be incorporated into your fitness routine.
WARMING UP AND STRETCHING Warm-up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity. Because the main purpose of warming is to prepare your whole body for training. With a proper warm up exercise and stretching routine the elasticity and flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Warm-up and stretching is an activity that does not take much time, even a 5-10 minute warming routine will help you avoid injury.
Dynamic stretching consists of active movements. It is usually done before a workout to help warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate. Move slowly, stop and repeat, dig a little deeper each time and improve your range of motion. Pre-workout dynamic stretching improves circulation, prepares your muscles for movement, and temporarily increases your range of motion.
Static stretching, more commonly done at the end of a workout when your muscles are warm, is when stretches are held in place for a certain period of time, not moving. Static stretching is the most effective form of stretching for loosening up your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons, while also improving flexibility and range of motion. Static stretching requires you to move a muscle to the end of its range of motion and maintain this position for 20 to 45 seconds. Repeat this 2 to 3 times each.
Example flexibility & mobility activities: foam rolling, stretching, yoga, mobility exercises
The final important element of your workout plan is rest. As muscles are broken down, they need time to heal and repair—which is how they grow stronger. You can still be active while recovering, though. Just aim for low-intensity activities you could easily talk while doing, such as walking, hiking, or light stretching.
How often do you aim to be active? Choose how many days per week you’d like to be active. While five days a week is certainly ideal, it’s also fine if you don’t want to have a formal workout schedule to follow each day of the week—maybe you’d like to choose four or five days per week of structured activities. Taking all of these factors into account, plan out a basic weekly workout schedule that works for you.
What Muscle Groups Should I Work Out Together?
The primary benefit of splitting different muscle groups onto different days is your ability to give each muscle more rest. Some muscle groups make good pairs to work out together. These are generally muscles or muscle groups that work with each other. A person can work these groups one day, then move onto another muscle group the next day.
However, everyone is different so which muscle groups to train together should be based on your personal outcomes and how you feel. For example, if you’re training on a weekly schedule and have one chest and arm day per week, your chest and arm have seven days to recover between sessions.
If you’re a beginner, sticking to those six basic muscle groups is enough to build a great workout routine that can help you improve your fitness.
Sample Bodybuilding program for beginners
Here’s an example of how you could structure your weekly schedule:
Chest + Arm
- Bench Press 3 x 8
- Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 8-10
- Pec deck fly 3 x 12
- Dumbbell Curl 4 x 10
- Hammer Curl 4 x 10
- Pushdown 4 x 10
- Wrist Roller 2-3 x 10
Shoulder + Traps + Ab
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 x 10
- Shoulder Press 3 x 8
- Front Raise 3 x 8
- Rear delt machine fly 3 x 10
- Shrug 3 x 10
- Leg raise 3 x 10-15
- Bicycle Crunch 3 x 10-15
Leg + Calves
- Squat 3 x 6 – 8
- Leg extension 3 x 10
- Leg Curl 3 x 10
- Glute Bridge 3 x 10
- Calf Raise 4 x 10
Back + abs
- Lat pulldown 3 x 10
- Bent over 3 x 6 – 8
- Seated cable row 3 x 8
- Hyperextension 3 x 10
- Decline Sit-up 3 x 12-15
- Bicycle Crunch 3 x 12-15
HOW SHOULD SPORTS NUTRITION BE?
The most important nutrients that provide muscle growth are amino acids and protein sources. Protein sources are important for muscle development in the first 3-4 weeks of starting sports. The protein sources required in this process are naturally; should be met with nutrients. The increase in muscle growth occurs when athlete diet and exercise are done together.
In order to ensure muscle development, foods containing high quality protein should be consumed in the sports nutrition program. Lean meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt, eggs, and legumes are foods rich in protein. Egg, which is one of the most important foods after breast milk, is a quality source of protein and should be consumed at breakfast.
Excessive protein consumption does not mean that there will be an increase in muscle mass at the same rate. It should be kept in mind that high protein consumption can cause damage to the kidney and liver.
I Have Overweight: Can I Build Muscle?
People with endomorph body type usually have a fat body structure. Does Fat Turn into Muscle? First of all, don’t let this question cross your mind! No, fat does not turn into muscle, but you can gain muscle while burning fat. The fastest way to burn fat is to apply cardio movements with weight training. Since you have a structure that can gain weight and muscle quickly, you need to eat a protein-based and low-carb diet. You can get more efficiency by adding + cardio movements to your weekly bodybuilding program.
I am very skinny: Can i build muscle
A person with an ectomorph body gains difficult muscle mass, but the muscle mass he gains may be leaner and of higher quality. If you have an ectomorph body, you need to eat more to gain muscle mass. Carbohydrates and protein are very important for muscle growth. While doing a bodybuilding program, you will see that your muscles will develop faster if you apply a weight gain program.
Bodybuilding Training Methods!
These training methods are high-intensity bodybuilding training techniques that rapidly increase muscle hypertrophy that will propel you further when your training routines become inefficient. The purpose of these sets is that you fatigue the target muscle group through a variety of rep and weight ranges, forcing your muscles to adapt and grow
What is Progressive Overload; It is a working principle that involves gradually increasing the weight of your exercise over time so that you can continuously gain muscle, strength and endurance. It’s the gradual increase in strength by adding small weight plates every training session.
When you do intense weight training, your muscle fibers are subject to injury or stress. When your muscles are damaged in this way, satellite cells outside the muscle fibers come into play. The repair process involves rejoining the torn muscle fibers and introducing new proteins into each muscle cell. They try to repair the damage by bringing them together, as a result, they grow and strengthen the muscle fiber against this weight resistance.
The drop set is a training method in which you perform an exercise until you fail, then immediately reduce the weight load. In particular, Drop sets; Maximizes the intensity of work sets as a method for increasing the time target muscles are under tension and metabolic stress. Increasing the duration of the muscle under tension means that the muscle growth is encouraged more.
Example Drop set:
Set 1: Start with a heavy weight for 6-8 reps
Ready, set drop…
Set 2: Drop the weight by 10-30 percent, do 10-12 reps
In weight training or other trainings, the principle of performing two exercises in a row without rest is called a superset. It emphasizes hypertrophy increase as well as endurance as it can be extremely difficult not to have rest between sets. Supersets are a effective working principle preferred to shock muscles. The benefits of supersets are quite metabolically efficient.
You can pair two exercises that work the same muscle group or two exercises that pair opposing muscle groups.
- Chest Press and Chest Fly
- Bench Press and Barbell Bent Over
- Cable Curl and Pushdown
- Pec deck fly and Rear Delt Machine Fly
Just like supersets, but this time you will do three different exercises in a row without rest. Sounds hard, right?
- 1×8 Military Press
- 1×10 Dumbbell Laterar Raise
- 1×8 Dumbbell Front Raise
- 1×8 Bench Press
- 1×10 Dumbbell Fly
- 1×8 Incline Dumbbell Press
Unlike a tri-set, a giant set involves performing at least 4 exercises back-to-back for the same body part with only ten seconds rest in between sets. Giant sets are a high-intensity training technique.
- 1×8 Barbell Bent Over
- 1×8 Lat Pulldown
- 1×8 Sated Cable Row
- 1×8 Dumbbell Row
In weight training, it is a periodic training applied by the method of decreasing the number of reps as the weight level increases or increasing the number of reps as the weight level decreases. Pyramid sets are a very popular method applied in bodybuilding programs to increase muscle mass. The reason training is so popular is because it yields significant results. That’s why it continues to be used by many professional bodybuilders.
- Set 1 – 50 lbs x 8 reps
- Set 2 – 40 lbs x 10 reps
- Set 3 – 30 lbs x 12 reps
- Set 1 – 30 lbs x 12 reps
- Set 2 – 40 lbs x 10 reps
- Set 3 – 50 lbs x 8 reps