So you're a skinny guy. Or maybe you're a novice body-builder. What you want is to tone up, gain muscle and see the rewards for your hard work in as short a time as possible. Look no further than the tips here in this article. This is a manageable, specifically designed outline for beginner body building which will place you in good stead to achieve your goals. The steps are simple, sensible and effective. Whether your sport is low impact (such as golf) or high impact (such as football), I encourage you to adopt this routine and enjoy the success which will soon come your way.
Increasing your heart rate and getting that blood pumping should always be the first step of your workout. Try star jumping, jogging (even on the spot), bike-riding or treadmilling to achieve this. If you have rest days from weight training (which is often advisable and realistically probable), try to do one of these activities as a substitute. Before you commence any exercise be sure to drink water or a sports drink and keep drinking during your session. You may be surprised to learn that each 1% of body weight you lose (because of sweating) equates to a 5% decrease in your performance! Whatever you do therefore, keep drinking during your exercise session, for maximum performance.
Few people I know have spare hours every day to devote to body-building. I think it's reasonable to expect that this process be completed 2 or 3 times every week. You must be a bit flexible in terms of weight loadings dependent on your sex and size etc. Whatever level you start at, though, I'm confident you will see an impressive increase in your capacity to lift weights just a few weeks after you start your routine. Only start with light weights as this will help you establish correct technique before advancing to the next step.
Apart from warm-up activities, you should start working your largest muscle groups. Try to stick to the usual order, which is firstly warm-ups, then stretches, chest exercises, shoulders, leg exercises, and finally of course biceps and triceps. Aim for ten reps of each exercise and do the cycle three times. Then, stretch the muscles you are working on and give yourself a one minute rest. Try to establish a rhythm and stick to it. Even keep the overall duration of your work-out similar during your first few months as this will help you measure your increased strength and fitness. If you can arrange a training partner to be with you, you will find yourself kept accountable and encouraged. A training partner can spot for you (stay in close proximity and help your bar back onto the supports if you find yourself suddenly unable to do it yourself). This is a wise safety measure.
Ideally you will require some warm up equipment, a weight bench, a long barbell with a variety of weight discs that can be easily changed and at least 2 small dumbells for some one handed lifting exercises and a large exercise ball for seated activities. All of this equipment can be purchased new from most large retail stores or can be found incredibly cheaply at garage sales or in the second hand for sale section of the local newspaper. Try ebay and other online auctions for bargain prices. Larger machines can be inflexible, hard to store and require lots of space. However, if you have the room or already have one they will definitely do the job.
For your chest, commence exercising with bench presses on a flat bench. Then do some flys, laying flat on the bench with comfortably weighted dumbells in both of your hands. Raise each dumbell above the level of your chest then lower them at once to your side, like a giant clap, all the while bending both elbows. Next do some seated flys. An exercise ball is ideal for this: with a straight back lean forward and lift both dumbells to the side. Again you'll need slightly bent elbows. Always move smoothly and ensure that your grip is not too tight for comfort. Consciously tell yourself to loosen your grip as you progress in your routine.
Shoulders. Straddle the bench with a longer barbell in your hands. Lift to just below the chin, this is your starting point. Lift the bar past your face and all the way until arms are stretched, then lower to starting point. Next set is the same but done behind the neck. Follow by seated one hand lifts with dumbells from the shoulder, past the ear and all the way to locking point above your head. Lift both at the same time. Next stand with dumbells at your side and lift out in a flapping motion with elbows slightly bent. Lift and lower slowly. Do 3 sets of each exercise. 10 reps each set.
Legs. If you have a stationary bike, start with 1 minute of steady pedalling. Then sprint for 10 seconds, slow for 10 seconds. Continue this for 2 minutes. Follow with 3 sets of leg raises. If you have a bench with leg raise bar, place the appropriate weights on and complete 3 sets. One facing up and one facing down to work the quads and the hamstrings. Finish with squats. In the first week or so use no weights then progress to holding a weight disc across your chest. After a few weeks, begin to use a barbell resting on your shoulders and gradually increase the weight to a comfortable level. Overloading the bar is not wise and will place unnecessary pressure on your knees. If joint pain is a problem to you I would suggest taking a supplement containing the amazing combination glucosamine and chondroitin. Arthtitis sufferers and those who've played a lot of sport (including my father!) swear by it.
When working the biceps you can start by standing and using a longer barbell, resting it on your thighs with your palms facing forward. Keeping the upper arm by your side, curl the bar up to your chest whilst moving your lower arm in an ascending arc motion, then lower it to your thighs. The same idea works well with single hand dumbells. Try lifting both together then. Beware of the tendency to swing down to lift, which feels easier but does not yield the same benefit. Finally, hold the dumbells to the side with palms this time facing in toward your leg with your dumbell facing straight ahead and lift, using the action outlined already.
Triceps. Commence with sitting on the floor and placing your hands to the rear of you a little wider than shoulder width and with the fingers pointing forward. Lift your bottom off the ground and bend legs with feet flat. Lower and raise your body using your arms bending and straightening. Next sit on an exercise ball with a dumbell in each hand and lean forward. Move the upper arm to the rear of you and parallel to the ground. Using the lower part of the arm lift the dumbell like a pendulum toward the rear and then lower to perpendicular position. Lift simultaneously. Can also add variety by standing and leaning over the bench and placing one knee on the bench. Work one arm at a time using the same method outlined above.
One step many body builders neglect is the step that should follow exercise. This can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your hard work. When you exercise, your muscle cells suffer damage and tear: this is how muscle growth occurs as your muscles begin the repair process. If you take a protein supplement in the half hour after completing your workout, recovery of your muscles will be quicker and therefore growth will occur sooner. For building muscle, use a protein shake high in carbs and for extra assistance, add some creatine. An xtreme mass gainer is what you need to find. (For those looking to tone up, without mass gain, low fat and low carb protein shakes are ideal). It would be a shame to not fulfil your body building potential by neglecting this post exercise step.
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Colin Johnson has been an top sports trainer majoring on technical side of sport. He strongly recommends whey protein shakes for muscular recovery and development for the performance conscious. He suggests xtreme mass for muscular bulk.
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