People from all around the world have always admired the classic bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. You want to look just like them, but where to start? How much do you workout, what do you eat, and what about supplements? Well if you’re looking for an instruction manual, you’ve found it. I’ll go through the fundamentals of being a bodybuilder, and offer you the information you need to get off to a great start. Where you go from there is up to you!
As you would imagine, training is the most important factor for any bodybuilder. If you do not put in the work, you will not grow muscle. Don’t get fooled into the latest and greatest pill that says it can put on muscle on with little or no work on your part. That just isn’t how it works, and those products will only waste your money. You have to hit the gym on a regular basis and make it part of your life and routine to see noticeable changes.
As an example, here is my routine as a bodybuilder. I go the gym Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I always go at precisely 9pm and always leave there at precisely 10pm. You should always be training hard, and as such, there is no reason to be at the gym for more than an hour. On the same note, if you’re there for less than an hour you’re not going to realize your maximum potential. After all, if you’re going to go, you might as well make it count. Since one hour is seemingly the point of diminishing returns, that is the sweet spot.
As for the actual lifts, those vary from month to month, and sometimes from week to week. What does stay the same for me is the body part being trained. On Monday I always train biceps and triceps, on Tuesday I always train legs, on Thursday I train chest, and on Saturday I train back and shoulders. This gives me an entire week between training the same body part, so I get a well-rounded physique that doesn’t lack in any areas. Over time you will want to start bulking up for the winter and slimming down for the summer, and add some more targeted training, but in the beginning this is the ideal routine.
As I stated, I always work the same body parts on the same days every week. The only aspect of my training that does change is the specific lifts that I do on those days. I shoot for 2-3 lifts per muscle group being trained that day. The human body aims to run at maximum efficiency, so if you do the same lifts week after week your body will simply adapt to doing those lifts, and stop producing muscle. Muscle burns a lot of calories everyday, so your body will not produce it if it’s not given a good reason to.
As an example: On a specific day, let’s say Monday, I will always train biceps and triceps. For four weeks I may do EZ-Bar curls, cable curls, and brutal force results overhand EZ-Bar curls for biceps, and skull crushers, overhead free-weight extensions, and push-downs for triceps. The next month I may change it up to isolation curls, Olympic bar curls, and pull-ups for biceps, and cable overhead extension, close-grip bench press, and kneeling triceps extensions with a rope for triceps. You get the idea. Just do your research to get a wide range of different lifts in mind, and make sure to alter your specific routine fairly often.
To recap the training aspect of bodybuilding, the ideal frequency for workouts is 4 times per week for an hour to and hour and a half each, depending on intensity. The body parts trained will remain the same from week to week (this will help you develop a routine), but the specific lifts targeting those body parts will change on at least a monthly basis.