Bodybuilders are an extreme breed, they spend their lives focused on perfecting their body. They sacrifice everything for the builds that they wish to achieve, they take dedication to another level. There is a lot to be learnt from them in achieving your own goals, even if you aren’t quite at the level of a bodybuilder. You may however want to know the rules that they live by to get a six pack, rounded shoulders a back.
Train In Phases
If you want to get strong, building muscle mass then you’re going to need to train in different phases to work towards different parts of the muscle building process. The ultimate target is to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. You can then split your sessions between chest and triceps, back and biceps, legs, shoulders, then make a 5th day for focusing on specific areas that need targeting.
PHASE 1: STRENGTH
3 work sets per exercise
*Optional: increase weight at 3-4 weeks
PHASE 2: CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING
3 work sets per exercise
PHASE 3: GROWTH
3-4 work sets per exercise
Apply Constant Tension When Lifting
There are several ways that you can enhance the quality of your workout, one thing that can change every workout is to keep your muscles under tension during an exercise. If the first 5-6 reps are done normally then the last few reps should be held at the peak of the muscle contraction. This will allow your muscles to have more time under that peak tension and work different muscle fibers. This should increase the pump that you achieve from a workout.
Do Cardio All Year Round
Cardio might seem like an alien subject for a bodybuilder, but these guys hit up a stair master all year round. They aren’t running marathons but for at least 3 days a week they will include a 30-40 minute session, whether it be first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or after a post-workout protein shake. You need to break a sweat to keep lean.
Dropsets Are Key
You should incorporate dropsets into your routines, by pushing your body after the point of failure on a set weight will improve your bodies ability to utilize more nutrients and testosterone in those areas. A good way to do drop sets is to use a pin-loaded machine since its faster.
Dropsets overload the muscle with shorter periods of rest and increasing volume which creates a massive pump but also promotes muscle growth.
Organise Your Diet
Bodybuilders break their day down into 6 meals a day, a good place to start is aiming for 3000 calories excluding protein shakes. That makes 500 calories per meal, what you need to then do is get the right macronutrient ratio. A standard example is 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat and this what most bodybuilders will use as they are getting started. Bodybuilders will eat every three hours.
The guide is to consume 1.25-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight for growth. What They tend to match protein shakes for meals so they will consume well over 3000 calories in the day. It’s possible to alter the diet macro’s that we mentioned above, adding more protein to get leaner, shiftig the protein content to be 50% of your daily macros and reducing carbs.
Take Progress Photos
It’s difficult using the scales to judge your body changing, show yourself you are making progress by taking video or photos. By taking photos in the same area and with the same poses you will see your body strengths and weaknesses clearly.