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Beginner Muscle Building Essentials

Publish date: 20/07/2013

It is easy for novice lifters to grow with just about any bodybuilding program or workout. The important question is: are there any essentials that a novice lifter should follow? The answer is yes and here are some of the need of the day is to follow those essentials.

Natural Movements for Beginners

You need to focus on performing natural movements only. Natural movements comprise of heavy compound lifts and these are categorised as muscle building exercises that are quite similar to various motions that you perform daily. Some of the essential compound lifts include:

Squat:  Squat down for picking something
Dead-lift: Pick up something from the ground
Press: Push something away from your body
Row: Pull something closer to your body
Overhead press: Lift anything over your head

Lifts like pec dec, dumbbell flyes and cable crossovers are considered as isolation movements and are unnatural motions for your body.  Lifting should focus on building a solid foundation of muscular coordination and strength and should be incorporated with compound exercises followed by isolation exercises.

Adding Weight

One of the essentials of muscle building is progressing from a particular amount of weight to higher weights. Progress will stop if you practice with the same weights consistently. Beginners need to incorporate a tunnel vision towards weight progression. You need to document each workout, and then follow it up with increase in weight or repetitions in the next muscle building workout.

It is advisable for rank beginners to first learn various exercises before progressing especially if they have never performed barbell or dumbbell movements.

Focus on Good Form

Good form is a highly overlooked factor. Use good form! As you add more weight to the bar, the endurance of your body also increases. Poor form can cause injuries.

Take One Day's Rest

Proper rest is essential and beginners can take rest after every rep or between muscle building workouts. Lifting should be performed every alternate day so that there is one day of complete rest in between. Your workouts should be limited to one hour per muscle building session, and don't perform any more than 3 sets of each exercise. Research has shown that generally, if you perform 3 difficult sets of any muscle building exercise then it is enough for stimulating growth.

Good Sleep

One of the essentials of muscle building is good sleep.  If you have a poor sleeping habit then it will interfere with the growth of muscles. A minimum of 8 hours of quality sleep is needed each night. Good sleep can help maximise muscle gains, lead to proper hormone regulation, and help recover from injuries.

Eat Plenty

Pushing heavy weights in a gym means you need more strength. You can't get strength if you are gorging only on salads and a chicken breast once in a while. Your body needs more mass! To get more mass and muscle, you require extra calories. The recommendation here is three square meals a day. Bite into high protein snacks in-between meals as well as before sleep. Here are a few pointers for adding extra calories:

Natural Peanut Butter: Most people love peanut butter! It is a rich source of calories and protein
Weight Gainer: You can use a quality weight gainer supplement only if you are underweight.
Cheese: String cheese in a perfect source of calories and should be taken between meals.
Whole Milk: A large glass of whole milk can do wonders if taken between each meal. It is calorie dense and highly nutritious.
Almonds: Almonds has the ability to add quality calories as well as healthy fats and is hence a handful between meals is just perfect for your diet.

Don't Waste Your Money

Don't go into a buying frenzy and pick up fitness equipment or pour money into magic diet plans. Simply follow a proper eating regiment and exercise!