FitnessVenues.com
HomeFitness & ExerciseWorkouts & trainingWorkout routinesBodybuilding
 

Bodybuilding workouts for beginners

Bodybuilding is a sport which aims the performer to build large, well-defined muscles across the body. Bodybuilding is a sport which promotes weight training to develop muscles in both the upper and lower body.

Bodybuilding for beginners: The basics

In order to develop and build muscles all bodybuilders, whether beginners or advanced trainers MUST look to overload the muscles. Overloading the muscles is the cornerstone of bodybuilding. Without overloading the muscles they have no reason to adapt and grow.

Weight training places stress on the muscles. By constantly looking to stress the muscles they will begin to adapt by becoming stronger. As a result of this stress placed on the muscles during a workout the muscles start to breakdown and tear. Once the workout is over the muscles begin to repair themselves and as long as the stress during the workout was high enough (i.e. the muscles were overloaded), the muscles compensate by growing slightly stronger and getting slightly larger, so that next time the bodybuilder or weight trainer hits the gym their muscles can cope a little better with the weights previously lifted.

Bodybuilding for beginners: Sets and reps

In bodybuilding, and weight training for that matter, all movements are broken down into sets and reps (or repetitions to it reps its full name). A rep is the performance of one full movement, from beginning to end. So for example a chest press rep would see the performer lower the weight to their chest, under control, and then press the weight back to the start position, again under control. That would equal one rep.

A set is simple a 'set of repetitions'. So if we look at the chest press example again, if the performer repeated the same movement 10 times and stopped, they would have performed 1 set of chest presses for 10 reps.

Bodybuilding for beginners: The overload principle

The holey grail of every bodybuilder is to overload their muscles in every workout. Only by overloading the muscles (placing them under more stress than they have experienced before) will they need to grow. 

There are many ways for a bodybuilder to overload their muscles. Stressing the muscles and overloading them can happen in a number of ways, including:

  • Lifting progressively heavier weights
  • Lifting to muscle failure
  • Increasing the number of reps
  • Increasing the number of sets
  • Decreasing the rest periods between exercises
  • Performing new exercises
  • Performing advanced bodybuilding techniques - supersets, cheating reps etc

However, for a bodybuilding beginner many of these techniques coud easily push them into overtraining.

Overtraining is the point at which training becomes counter-producive and as a result a bodybuilder gets weaker and smaller rather than stronger and larger. This is something to avoid at all costs, especially as a bodybuilding beginner.

Bodybuilding for beginners: Muscle overload

Bodybuilding beginners should aim to focus on lifting larger weights to muscle failure in almost every workout.

This means that if in one workout the bodybuilding beginner can chest press 40 kg for 10 reps with perfect technique, during their next workout they should aim to chest press a weight which is a little heavier (say 2 kg - 5 kg heavier). Adding a little weight may mean that the bodybuilder can't ligt this weight for 10 reps straight away. However, over time the muscles will change and adapt and become comfortable at lifting the new weight for 10 reps. Once this occurs, the bodybuilder should again add a little more weight and repeat the cycle again - lift until comfortable, the add weight etc.

Bodybuilding for beginners: Lifting to muscle failure

Bodybuilding beginners should aim to lift progressively heavier weights form one workout to the next - this makes perfect sense. Remember, to increase the size and strength of muscles the overload principle needs to occur in each workout.

However, working with heavier weights from one workout to the next may not be enough to over stress the muscles. 

Working to muscle failure shows that the weight lifted has placed the muscles under enough stress to promote muscle growth. By performing a movement to muscle failure a bodybuilder is basically asking their muscles to work until the weight can not be lifted again using perfect technique.

Working to muscle failure using perfect technique means all reps, bar the last rep, will appear identical and will be performed under coplete control. The last rep should feel very difficult and the technique used will drop a little simply to move the weight. Once this occurs muscle failure has been reached and the bodybuilder should stop and rest before repeating the set.

Bodybuilding for beginners: The workout

Developing stronger, larger muscles means that a bodybuilder should concentrate on repeating a workout over again, but adding more weight or reps to every movement in every workout.

As a bodybuilding beginner, you should aim to perform exercises that activate the larger muscles of the body in every workout. This will allow you to add the most muscle as possible in the quickest possible time. Below we have highlighted a bodybuilding for beginners workout, which should be repeated 3 times a week - any more and the rest needed for muscles to grow simply won't be available.

Aim to perform each exercise twice, perform 10 reps, rest for 1 minute, then repeat before moving to the next exercise.

Monday - Wednesday - Friday

Exercise
Repetitions
Sets
Rest
Chest press
10
2
60 secs
Lat pull down
10
2
60 secs
Shoulder press
10
2
60 secs
Dips
10
2
60 secs
Bicep curl
10
2
60 secs
Squats or leg press
10
2
60 secs
Leg curl
10
2
60 secs
Ab crunch

10

2

60 secs

Bodybuilding for beginners: Progression

Bodybuilders should look to change their workout every 4 - 6 weeks. Even though new heavier weights are beginning lifted, muscles will become stale and less receptive to change and growth if everything stays the same during a workout. At this point aim to add a further set to each exercise, and still perform three times per week

Monday - Wednesday - Friday

Exercise
Repetitions
Sets
Rest
Chest press
10
3
60 secs
Lat pull down
10
3
60 secs
Shoulder press
10
3
60 secs
Dips
10
3
60 secs
Bicep curl
10
3
60 secs
Squats or leg press
10
3
60 secs
Leg curl
10
3
60 secs
Ab crunch

10

3

60 secs

After a further 4 - 6 weeks look to change your workout again, perhaps by changing the order of the exercises or aiming to perform more repetitions, again for three times a week.

Monday - Wednesday - Friday

Exercise
Repetitions
Sets
Rest
Squat or leg press
12
3
60 secs
Leg curl
12
3
60 secs
Lat pull down
12
3
60 secs
Dips
12
3
60 secs
Chest press
12
3
60 secs
Shoulder press
12
3
60 secs
Bicep curls
12
3
60 secs
Ab crunch

12

3

60 secs

Bodybuilding for beginners: Moving on

After performing the workouts suggested above it many be time for you to experiment with the exercises you are performing. For example, instead of performing the chest press to exercise your chest area, you could before an incline or decline press. For your thighs you could perform the front squat rather than the squat and for the shoulders the upright row rather than the shoulder press.

To find more bodybuilding exercises visit our exercise video demo library.

Bodybuilding for beginners: The dangers of overtraining

We have touched on overtraining only briefly so far. However, overtraining is a danger for all bodybuilders, especially beginners.

When a beginner starts bodybuilding, they will find that their muscles rapidly change and grow. Over time this development will slowly a little - hence why all bodybuilders should alter their workouts every 4 - 6 weeks.

However, many bodybuilding beginners will start to add more and more exercises to their workout in the belief that the more weight training they perform the better the results. This simply is not true. Resist the urge to perform more and more exercises and stick to the workouts suggested above for anywhere up to 12 months, remembering to change the weights, reps, sets and exercises every 4 - 6 weeks.

Bookmark and Share

Latest health and fitness news

All news stories

Latest quizzes and tests

All quizzes & tests





Diet & Weight Loss Fitness & Exercise Healthy Living Leisure Jobs UK Reviews Useful Tools

Diets A - Z
Diet planners
Exercise nutrition
Healthy eating
Recipes
Weight management

Celebrity workouts
Exercise library
Exercising
Fitness testing
Kids fitness
Health clubs
Personal training
Sports injury


General health
Health spas
Men's health
Women's health


Choosing a job
Franchising
Job resources
Job search
Training courses

Elite health clubs
Ladies only gyms
Leisure centres
Health clubs
Hotel health clubs
Independent health clubs
Spa breaks

Calculators
Diet planners
Exercise videos
Online personal training
Web chats TV
Keep in touch with Fitness Venues at
Facebook
& Twitter

Home | Advertise | Search by business | Search by county | Local Search | Contact us | What's new? | Site map

About us | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Our partners

 

Copyright 2006 - 2014 FitnessVenues.com
FitnessVenues.com is the UK's leading health, fitness and exercise guide, allowing you to find health clubs, gyms, personal trainers and more.

Find your local ... Exercise classes | Gyms | Health clubs | Health spas | Personal Trainers | Fitness Trainers | Health clubs by town