Getting all toned up, rocking a glittery bikini - these are some perks of bodybuilding. But it’s a lot less glamorous than you think. Meal prepping, dieting, waking up early to perform cardio, and so on, bodybuilding lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Even if you think you can handle it, give it another thought.
It comes with a lot of sacrifices. But if it’s your passion, it is worth every second. It calls for harnessing your willpower and strength to reap empowering goals in many areas of your life. Without a doubt, bodybuilding is going to radically change your body.
Remember that bodybuilding is a sport where you will are to be judged on your appearance and it can be pretty rough on your mental health. So you won’t just be attending to your physical body but your mind and spirit.
What steps should you take when it comes to embarking on this journey? Here is some help:
Choose a Trainer
Sure you must be motivated right now but even the most motivated athletes have their lows. You can do everything alone in this journey. What you need is a trainer. If it helps, even the most elite bodybuilders have trainers.
A trainer will be like your mentor. He will keep you accountable and make you follow a structure that you can’t follow if working alone. The trainer will keep you on track.
Select a Federation
now you must decide which federation you are going to work with. Identify the major federations for newbies. Then, explore their divisions, rules, and eligibility criteria. Once you have decided which federation you want to work with, the next thing to do is select the date for the show. This will give you a timeline so that you can train accordingly.
Understanding the Training Phases
Bodybuilding has two phases – bulking and cutting. Bulking is the phase in which you gain muscles. This phase is not about food. Yes, you will be eating lots of calories for building muscles but at the same time, you will be lifting heavy weights as well. For some lean women, diet and exercise alone are not enough. They have to rely on some external sources like steroids but we strictly advise using them under the supervision of your trainer. You can check Teamroids to find steroids safe for women.
Once you are through the bulking stage and built all the muscles you desire, next comes the cutting phase. It’s the phase that demands equally demands work. The goal is to make sure you don’t lose all the muscles built from hard work and get lean at the same time. The cutting phase usually lasts for 12 to 16 weeks. This process is slow and here you have to create a calorie deficit and train hard to get the shape you desire. Once your cutting phase ends, you will have more defined muscles and a leaner body.
Developing a Diet Plan
Here again, your trainer will help you prep up for the bodybuilding tournament. There is no cookie-cutter size fit when it comes to diet because each individual has to figure out the right balance based on their body.
Your meals will consist of carbs, proteins, and fats. You might have one cheat meal per week. These are some tips for planning an effective diet:
Prepare your meals at home so that you can control what you are eating
Use measuring cups and scales for measuring food
Take 5 to 8 small meals per day so that you may spread the calories
Eat as many veggies as possible to stay full
Take lean proteins for promoting muscle growth
Stay hydrated – drink up to 32 ounces of water with each meal. Overall, consume 1.5 gallons of water.
Focus On Your Training
Now comes the tricky part – the training itself. Your training is going to be intensive.
In the bulking phase, the focus is muscle growth therefore you will be experiencing lots of muscle fatigue.
On the other hand, during the cutting phase, your calories will be reduced however the intensity of your training will remain high. This might be the most uncomfortable part of your time but it will last for 6 to 8 weeks.
Ideally, focus on the weakest muscle groups.
The types of exercise you will be performing include squats, abs, deadlights, triceps, biceps, shoulders, cardio, sprint, and some others. Make sure you have your trainer by your side when working out. They will design a training program for you based on your muscle condition and body mass.
Maintain Your Energy
Bodybuilding is a discipline. You might have to do extra effort to control your energy. This energy is going to push you forward in your training sessions and drive you towards your goals.
Of course, you will have to take care of your nutritional needs and stay hydrated to get through your workout.
When times get rough and you feel like giving up, it’s recommended to stay connected to your goals. Stay updated with your progress too. When you see your muscles grow, it will automatically motivate you to keep going.
Once you feel confident and you think you can do it alone, feel free to cancel the sessions with your trainer. Because let’s be real, working with a trainer every step of the way can be highly expensive. However, if it’s your first time and you don’t really know what you are doing, and you need an accountability partner to keep you on track, it’s best to continue working with the trainer.
You will need supplements like fat burners, protein powder, and amino acids for your pre-workout routine. Discuss these supplements with your nutrition coach before starting the regime.
Stage poses should be practiced. Ask your trainer if they can help you perfect your poses. Some trainers don’t offer pose practice. No worries, ask them if they know someone who does. Most of the time, they can hook up with someone.
This is going to be a long journey that demands patience, strength, courage, and bravery. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for.