The Art Of Body Building….

Hi guys, today we’re taking a detour from the general fitness conversation and focusing a little on the art of body building. This is just an introductory post focused on helping us understand what body building is all about. Quick one, you heard what Arnie said up there? It’s that simple. You can wish for a great body all you want but as long ad your hands remain in your pockets, you are never getting it. I have always believed that if you really want to start doing something you have never done before, the best way to start is by learning all you can about it before delving into it. So let’s familiarize ourselves with what body building is about.

Ok, so what exactly is body building? Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercises to control and develop one’s muscles for aesthetic purposes. Cast aside preconceptions of gym bros with veins for days – when you strip it right back, bodybuilding is about just that: building your body. The majority of people think body builders are ‘mass monsters’, and generally not very healthy-looking people. But it’s really anyone who is trying to build or sculpt their body.

If you want to get serious about body building, you’ll need to navigate your nutrition and training with military precision. Your regime will differ wildly if you’re gunning for gains (bulking) vs shredding fat (cutting).

Bulking and cutting

The general strategy adopted by most present-day competitive bodybuilders is to make muscle gains for most of the year (known as the “off-season”) and, approximately 12–14 weeks from competition, lose a maximum of body fat (referred to as “cutting”) while preserving as much muscular mass as possible. The bulking phase entails remaining in a net positive energy balance (calorie surplus). The amount of a surplus in which a person remains is based on the person’s goals, as a bigger surplus and longer bulking phase will create more fat tissue.

The cutting phase entails remaining in a net negative energy balance (calorie deficit). The main goal of cutting is to burn up fat while preserving as much muscle as possible. The larger the calorie deficit, the faster one will lose weight. However, a large calorie deficit will also create the risk of losing muscle tissue. In other words, you are likely to lose muscle mass during your cutting phase.

The bulking and cutting strategy is effective because there is a well-established link between muscle hypertrophy and being in a state of positive energy balance. A sustained period of caloric surplus will allow you to gain more fat-free mass. Some gain in fat mass is expected, which body builders seek to burn in a cutting period while maintaining as much lean mass as possible.

Bodybuilding Training Splits

A question nearly every beginner asks: how many hours should you average a week to become bigger and more defined? The answer is this: it really depends on your training splits.

There are a number of ways, however, you can tackle them – for example, splitting them by upper and lower body exercises or focusing on push and pull motions – and then even more ways of scheduling them: every other day, four days on three days off, and so on. Generally speaking, the best routine is the one that fits in with your life. If Arnie’s notoriously hardcore double-split (six times per week, twice a day) doesn’t really tie in with your schedule, guess what? You’re unlikely to stick at it.

There are a few essential bodybuilding exercises to focus on if you’re after serious bulk. The staple compound lifts – things like squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, bench press ( i call them the holy grail of body building) – are vital in any routine worth its salt.

For the purpose of this post, let’s start with two body parts body part when it comes to body building for beginners: The Chest and the shoulders.

CHEST

The Inclined Press

3 sets of 12 reps
Lie back on a bench set to an incline angle and lift a barbell to shoulder height, palms facing away from you. Breathe out as you press up with both arms. Lock out your arms and squeeze your chest before returning slowly to the start position.

Decline press
3 sets of 12 reps
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, shoulder-width apart and overhand grip. Lie back on a decline bench and extend your arms straight above you. Lower the weights slowly until they reach your chest, then push the dumbbells back to starting position.

Flat bench fly
3 sets of 12 reps
Lie down on a flat bench holding two dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing inwards. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are almost fully extended. This is your starting position. From here, with a slight bend in your arms, arc the weights down to your sides until you feel a stretch across your chest. Squeeze your pecs to return the weights to the start position by reversing the movement.

This three chest programs targets all your chest areas; upper, side, middle and bottom chest area. If properly done, they are guaranteed to kick start the formation of chest area optimally.

SHOULDERS

Dumbbell lateral raise
3 sets of 12 reps
Grab some moderately light dumbbells that you don’t struggle to lift. Hold them next to your sides, with a slight bend at your elbow. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squeeze your core, bending your elbows. Raise your arms straight out to your sides, maintaining your elbow position, until they reach shoulder height. Pause at the top for a beat, then lower the weights at a controlled pace back to the starting position.

Resistance band raise
3 sets of 12 reps
Stand on a resistance band and hold the band with underhand grip about shoulder width apart. Curl the band until it’s in line with your collar bone and your forearms touch your biceps. Lower and repeat.

These are just few of the programs you can do to introduce your body to the art of body building. We will be discussing more complex programs as we proceed in subsequent posts. One thing worthy of mentioning is the fact that you need to choose a weight you are comfortable with. Do not rush into it or use a weight you can’t control properly. Your form is more important than your ego.

ALWAYS REMEMBER!!

STAY SAFE AND BeMaverick!

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