Bodybuilders do not lead the easiest of lives, in fact, the life of a bodybuilder is a particularly difficult one as it can be incredibly taxing and physically demanding, both physically, and mentally as well for that matter. If you were under the assumption that bodybuilders simply need to lift weights a few times a week, and then eat huge amounts of meat, fish, and eggs whenever they feel like it, you were very, very wrong indeed as bodybuilding isn’t so much a sport or hobby, as it is instead a lifestyle. Despite this, not all bodybuilders happen to know everything about their sport/lifestyle of choice, as they should, which can then greatly affect not only their training, but their mindsets, and their physiques in general. It certainly is not easy to build muscle, but, if you know exactly what you’re doing, exactly what you’re eating, and why you’re eating it, all of a sudden, piling on good quality muscle mass will seem far easier and much less stressful than you may have initially envisioned. To help make life easier for you, here’s a look at 5 facts that every bodybuilder should be aware of.
You should lift progressively heavier weights
A lot of bodybuilders will get into the routine of heading into the gym on the same days each week, working out for the same amount of time each week, and lifting the same weights for the exact same number of repetitions each week, which has been proven time and time again, to be one of the worst training mistakes that bodybuilders can make. For anybody looking to increase their muscle mass, a basic fundamental rule is that they should lift progressively heavier weights every single workout, in order to keep pushing their bodies to the absolute limit. This is effective because not only will it help to guarantee increased intensity, it will also help to ensure that the body itself is placed under increased stress with each workout, which in turn will help to elicit the most effective responses. So, as an example, with each exercise you perform, you will assign each exercise a set number of reps, 10 for example. You will then perform the exercise, reach 10 reps, and will then make sure that the next time they do that exercise, they add even more weight, and still hit 10 reps. Only small amounts of weight will be added, but the difference will still be apparent. You should train in this manner until you hit a natural plateau.
You need to think positively
Thinking positively will not only help you in the gym, it will help you in life as well, as a positive mindset is a wonderful thing that opens up a whole world of new horizons. Negativity is all around us, and it is sadly contagious, which means that if you surround yourself with negativity, you yourself will also become much more negative. Rather than thinking negatively however, try to be more positive instead. For example, if you have 4 working sets of 8 – 10 reps per set, yet you tell yourself that you can’t manage 8 reps per set, you’ve already lost because in your mind, you now believe that it’s not possible. If however, you tell yourself that you can easily perform 8 – 10 reps, and envision yourself doing so, you will find that the weight goes up much more easily, and you may even be able to squeeze out an extra rep or two. Visualize your goals, visualize greatness, and cut all negativity out of your life, and you’ll find that everything, your training included, will begin to all fall into place nicely.
You need fats
The main objectives of a bodybuilder are to build as much muscle as possible, whilst getting their body fat levels as low as possible, in order to make them look as ripped and defined as popular. For that reason, a lot of bodybuilders will follow a virtually fat-free diet, getting the majority of their macronutrients in the form of protein and carbohydrates. They’ll cook an omelette and will use only the whites, or will eat a grilled chicken breast and dab it with a napkin to soak up any extra fat that may be present. In reality however, the human body medically needs fats in order to function, providing they come from healthy sources. Monounsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat, are both very healthy, and are found in foods such as oily fish, avocados, coconut oils, organic nuts, and virgin olive oils. Even saturated fats should be consumed, particularly if you’re a bodybuilder. If saturated fats come from natural animal sources, studies have found that the healthy cholesterol that they contain, can actually boost testosterone production, which in turn will lead to an increase in muscle growth and athletic performance. Healthy fats not only contribute towards muscle growth, they also boost the metabolism so that you burn more calories and have more energy anyways.
A week away from the gym won’t do you any harm
For many bodybuilders, the thought of missing one single workout will cause them to break out in a cold sweat, so the thought of taking an entire week or two off will cause them to breakdown and become borderline hysterical. Of course, in order to build muscle you need to ensure that you’re training regularly and are pushing your body to its absolute limit, but at the same time, you need to give it a chance to rest, recover, and repair itself. Bodybuilders have been known to cancel trips and vacations because they’re worried that missing a week of training will result in them losing all of their gains they worked so hard to build. In reality however, that week away will help to body to rest and recover, and will basically make very little difference at all. You will barely lose any size at all, and when you do return back to training, you’ll quickly gain that back, and will feel stronger and more energized than before.
You should never try to work through injury
Again, as mentioned, a lot of bodybuilders are worried about taking any time off from the gym at all, which is why a lot of them will attempt to work through painful injuries, rather than taking time off and allowing the body to heal itself. If you pick up an injury whilst training, you should never try working through it, even if it isn’t very painful at all. A slight muscle tear for example, may be uncomfortable, but not painful, so a bodybuilder will just work through the pain. By doing this however, the tear will be getting bigger and bigger, which will only result in more time being missed in the future, when it needs to be surgically repaired. A week or two off from training due to injury may be frustrating, but it’s a darn sight better than missing several months because you’re undergoing surgery.