Bodybuilding is the art of the human physique. At first, undergoing a bodybuilding transformation may feel like a game with the reward of aesthetic beauty luring in the uninitiated. Bodybuilding can take a person from a place of ignorance into a new-found understanding and respect for the human body. Those that seek the rewards of bodybuilding must first pass through stages of weakness, fatigue, stress and challenge. It is a test of the body and the mind.
The foundation for successful bodybuilding is in the diet. Contrary to popular belief, a diet is not something that is picked up for a week or two and then discarded once a few pounds have been shed. It is the foundation for which we develop our body over time with food.
There are three key elements of food that a beginner must understand. These are fat, carbohydrates and protein. Fat is a high calorie fuel source that the body can store and burn as it sees fit. Carbohydrates are sugars that the body can use to fuel various cells that control the basic functions of the body. Proteins are composed of long chains that the body can break down and turn into new muscle and tissue.
A successful meal plan is one that covers a long stretch of time and is nutritionally balanced. It must also fit into a person's lifestyle, such as their work and personal schedule.
A meal plan should be balanced around carbs, fat and protein, while still accounting for essential vitamins and minerals. Each person will require a different amount of calories based on their current height and weight, as well as any genetic predisposition for burning or retaining calories. The basal metabolic rate of a person, or BMR, is how many calories they burn each day before accounting for physical and mental activities. A BMR calculator can be used to find this amount. If a person has a BMR of 2500 calories per day, they need to consume 2500 calories per day to maintain their weight. If they wish to gain weight, they will need to increase this amount, and the opposite is true for losing weight. There is more to nutrition than just fat, carbs and protein, but nutrition is an extremely complex field that should be explored over time.
Creating an exercise plan is all about contrasting work with rest. Without enough work, the muscles will not be challenged. The body adapts to adversity, and without challenge, it simply will not adapt. With too much work, the body will be injured and unable to function naturally.
A smart exercise plan is one that pushes the muscles beyond their routine habits, while respecting their limits and need to heal. Too much intensity will lead to downtime and potentially serious injuries, while too little intensity will lead to relatively slow growth. This exercise plan will be different for each individual person; it must fit in with their lifestyle and body.
There are a few critical mistakes beginners make that can be easily avoided when undergoing a bodybuilding transformation. These mistakes will stop them from advancing and can possibly lead to long-term injuries.
Avoid Overtraining. While it is important to push the limits of the muscle, is equally import to respect them. If they are extremely tired, let them rest.
Condition the Diet. The most important stage of the diet is making it routine and natural. For the first month, strictly avoid junk food such as fast food, chips and soda. These only hinder progress.
Learn More. The science of bodybuilding grows each year. There'll always be something to read and learn that can improve the physique of a bodybuilder. The cheesy old saying "knowledge is power" absolutely applies to bodybuilding. Learning is as important as diet and exercise.
Lucas is a Professional Bodybuilder from Brisbane, Australia. He recommends that all beginner bodybuilders use a meal replacement protein powder to ensure an adequate daily protein intake to build muscle mass.