Whether you’re hoping to eventually compete or just looking to get stronger, look better and feel healthier, then the journey to becoming a bodybuilder starts right now.
If you’re just starting up then trying to work out how to become a bodybuilder can be a daunting task at first. The likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dorian Yates didn’t win the title of “Mr. Olympia” multiple years in a row by taking a stab in the dark. It’s important to have a solid foundation to build from.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to help get you started on the road to becoming bodybuilding. From the psychology of the bodybuilder through to workout tips, we’ve got you covered.
The Bodybuilder Psychology
A bodybuilder is not just your regular Joe who turns up at the gym for an hour three times a week to ward off the middle-aged spread. 45 minutes on the elliptical machine followed by a few bicep curls aren’t going to cut it.
There is a certain type of psychology that separates the bodybuilder from the average gym-goer. To build huge muscles you have to have a propensity for pain.
This is one thing that we should get out the way quickly. There is no easy way to gain huge amounts of muscle. To build muscle you have to damage muscle tissue, and as you grow and get stronger this means more weight and more volume. If you’re looking to get huge then you’re going to have to be willing to work through the pain.
The Lone Wolf
Becoming a bodybuilder puts you in charge. It’s not like a job or most other sports where you have someone else to answer to. In bodybuilding, you take full responsibility.
With no one watching over you, it’s only you who can decide whether or not to push that little bit harder or not have that alcoholic drink. It’s only you who decides what you do and don’t eat. If you want to become a bodybuilder then you’re going to have to be determined and dedicated.
For many bodybuilders, this can be a lonely place. Many social activities are detrimental to progress. Once you start to seriously commit to bodybuilding you soon quickly realize that it is more than just the time you spend in the gym. It’s just as much about the time outside the gym too.
So many professional bodybuilders have reported how they lost relationships and even jobs pursuing bodybuilding because it took up all of their time. If you still want to become a bodybuilder then you’re going to have to be willing to make sacrifices.
The Psychological Payoff
There is a huge reward that comes with bodybuilding beyond the obvious physical benefits. Your brain’s reward system is designed to reward us with dopamine when we overcome challenges.
Well, guess what, every day you spend as a bodybuilder you face a new challenge. This makes bodybuilding a great way to build self-confidence and develop an iron will.
Imagine being afraid of something. The more times you avoid that thing the deeper the fear grows. If you want to conquer your fear then you have to come face to face with what you are afraid of. And, you need to keep doing it until it doesn’t phase you anymore.
With bodybuilding, you come in contact with the uncomfortable again and again. Until eventually you become comfortable being uncomfortable. You can expect this to spill out into the rest of your life as day-to-day challenges become a walk in the park.
Time to Let Go of Your Vices
Before you get started it’s important to look at the things you do that are going to be detrimental to your progress as a bodybuilder. You don’t have to completely eradicate all your vices at once, but it’s important to be aware of things that might get in your way.
Some of the most common vices that don’t marry up well with a bodybuilding lifestyle include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Fast food
- Late Nights
In addition to reduced lung capacity, studies have also suggested that smoking impairs muscle protein synthesis. This means that no matter how hard you train in the gym it is going to be more difficult for your body to recover and grow.
Alcohol also has the same effect on muscle protein synthesis. Alcohol decreases testosterone levels as well as increases estrogen and cortisol levels. In short, this will make it much harder to build muscle and much easier to put on fat.
There is nothing wrong with the occasional cheat meal, but the regular consumption of fast food is not going to help you improve your physique. Fast food can be useful in bulking cycles when you’re trying to take in as many calories as possible, but it won’t help you meet your nutritional requirements.
A good sleep cycle is almost as crucial as your training schedule. Late nights will impede your recovery and make training less productive the next day. There is no magic number, but 7-9 hours of good quality sleep seems to be the magic number when it comes to muscle growth.
The Bodybuilder Diet
How you fuel your body is an essential part of becoming a bodybuilder. What you eat and when you eat it is just as important as your training schedule.
Protein intake is a huge part of bodybuilding. Without protein, the muscles can’t recover after each workout. Protein is the key muscle-building ingredient as it is what muscles use to grow.
It is recommended that a bodybuilder should consume between 1.6-2.2g of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily. For an 80kg individual, this could equate to up almost 180 grams of protein each day.
Carbohydrates are essential for fuelling your workouts, but at the same time, they can make it difficult to lose body fat. As a result, it’s best to consume your carbohydrates around your workout to make sure that they are used for energy and stored as fat.
Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza dough, and sweet desserts. Instead replace them with complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, oatmeal, and rice. Complex carbohydrates contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined carbohydrates. They also provide the body with a steadier supply of energy.
Supplements aren’t the cheat code for bodybuilding, but they can play a huge role in helping you get the most out of your training. Just be aware that not all supplements are made equally and some are little more than clever branding.
If you want good quality supplements that will make a huge difference to your trading then check out Wilsonsupplements.com for some high-end supplements.
There are so many different supplements out there, but some of the most effective when it comes to bodybuilding include:
- Citrulline Malate
- Protein powders
- Amino acids
- Testosterone Support
- Anti-estrogen supplements
Just be sure to research each product as much as possible and have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve with your training. Your training and your diet should be the top priority, supplements are designed to give you a helping hand. They won’t replace hard work.
When you’re first starting as a bodybuilder it might be worth getting a personal trainer. Bodybuilding involves complex compound movements. These movements recruit large groups of muscles for a single exercise which is what makes them the best exercises for gaining muscle.
However, exercises such as the squat and deadlift require a proper form to avoid injury. Having a personal trainer at the beginning of your journey can help you to make sure that you begin as you mean to go on.
There is no perfect bodybuilding routine, so it’s important to tailor your workouts as you progress. For most people, starting with the main compound movements and using something like a 5×5 training method.
The 5×5 training method is great for beginners because it encourages the right amount of rest between training sessions and it doesn’t take up too much time. It will help you to focus on the most important lifts and from there you can start to add in your own additional accessory work.
Now You Know How to Become a Bodybuilder
Knowing how to become a bodybuilder involves a lot more than just putting some time aside to hit the gym. Bodybuilding takes dedication and a lot of hard work. Before you get started it’s important to be aware of everything that is entailed.
Make sure that your diet, mindset, and sleep schedule are as in tune as your training routine. Bodybuilding is a great way to improve your overall health as well as your well-being. With all this in mind, there’s nothing left for you to do, but go and be a warrior.
For more articles to help you get ahead in life, be sure to take a look at our other posts.