Bodybuilding involves numerous factors and when those factors are adjusted, you make more or fewer gains. Some of these factors include training routine, diet, supplement use (or lack of) as well as other factors such as sleep, recovery time allowed, etc.
Tweaking your routine so it works to improve your gains is an art. It requires developing a keen sense of knowing what and how much will work for you as well as knowing which exercises work for certain muscle groups. It also means knowing which exercises won’t do much for you (even if they’re working wonders on your neighbor). When you feel like you can’t do anymore, do one more rep.
To make real progress, you need to be organized and plan really well. You can’t just start lifting and exercise without having a workout plan in place for the day, week, month, quarter, and year. You should be able to know when you haven’t trained enough, or when you’re bordering on overtraining. You should also know which muscle groups work together as well as the rest time required between sets. It would also be worth your while to learn techniques like drop sets, super sets, and pyramiding. You can experiment with them, practice them and see how they work for you.
Not only do you have to do your homework for training, you need to do it with your diet as well. If you are serious about making progress in bodybuilding, you have to take your diet very seriously and be committed to it though it can be hard and confusing at times. If you’re ready to be done with junk food that will hamper your efforts, you could be ready to take your bodybuilding goals forward.
Eating for muscle building is very different and requires slightly varied eating habits. For one, your diet is going to be very protein-rich. You need to know what type of protein to take at different times of the day. Never skip breakfast. You also may have to eat even when you aren’t hungry. As well as preparation for post-workout nutrition; you need to be organized and well-equipped to feed yourself at given intervals with the right kind of nutrition. You can’t (shouldn’t) scramble at the last minute.
If you need to lose weight and gain muscle, you’ll need to make certain lifestyle changes that allow this. Like doing cardio in the mornings on an empty stomach – with the exception that you don’t have much fat to lose.
Supplements may not always be necessary but can definitely help make some amazing gains when used appropriately. Protein is 100% necessary and you should include whey in your post-workout shake.
As far as other supplements, there are tons out there so ensure you go for those that are natural and contain ingredients known to improve gains like amino acids. Also be sure to understand the dosage information, when and how to take the supplement. By doing your homework you will ensure maximum gains.
Getting adequate sleep is essential to bodybuilding. Muscles grow when you rest so you need to allow them ample time to do so – 8 hours sleep is ideal. If you decide to lift after partying all night with friends, you will most likely not have a productive session. And overtraining won’t help either. Muscles need time to repair and recover. Give yourself a day off. This will help your muscles be in form again the next time you hit the gym.
Training a muscle once a week is good, but that session should be really intensive, allowing a considerable number of sets, maybe 10-12, and drop sets sometimes. Overdoing the sets though could lead to overtraining and fatigue.
Many believe that drinking once a week doesn’t hurt, but it actually can. Over time, drinking can lower testosterone and increase estrogen in your body. Drinking also dehydrates you and this is the last thing a bodybuilder needs. Drinking also slows down protein synthesis. And once you consider the hassle of hangovers in addition to all these issues, drinking doesn’t seem so appealing anymore.
Finally, you are responsible for how much muscle you gain by your lifestyle and habits. How you invest in it will directly impact your gains. Disorganized workouts, poor eating habits, inadequate sleep and lack of discipline will not further your training goals much. For optimal results, you need to invest plenty of time and effort to eat properly, sleep well, and train correctly. Once you learn more about how to tweak your muscle building program gradually to improve gains and put in some hard work, you will become an expert at bodybuilding and have that toned, sculpted body you’ve been dreaming about.