Bodybuilding 101

Let’s take a look at some of the components of bodybuilding first and then get into the details. This article is broken down into four parts, covering; training, nutrition, supplementation and rest and recovery.

Part 1 - Training

Since bodybuilding is about muscular development of the total body, it is important to train all body parts over the course of a week when starting out. Once you are familiar with how your body/body parts respond to weight training as well as its recovery ability then you can adjust your programme from there.

My suggestion when starting out is to use either a 4 or 5 day split depending on what suits you best. Here’s an example of both:

Day 1 Chest and Triceps
Day 2 Quads and Hamstrings
Day 3 Rest
Day 4 Back and Calves
Day 5 Shoulders and Biceps
Day 1 Quads and Calves
Day 2 Shoulders and Hamstrings
Day 3 Biceps and Triceps
Day 4 Back
Day 5 Chest

*You can either take a rest day between day 2 and 3 or day 3 and 4. Alternatively you can train straight for 5 days and then take the weekends off.

For major body parts (back, chest, shoulders and legs) I recommend 3-4 exercises and 2-4 sets per exercise.
For the smaller ones such as biceps, triceps, calves, and hamstrings I recommend 2-3 exercises and 2-3 sets per exercise.

Try to incorporate compound, multi-joint exercises from the beginning such as squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, military press-your, in a nutshell, basic big moves. These recruit the most muscle all at the same time giving you a favorable anabolic response.

By using a maximum amount of muscle simultaneously, you get a lot of work done in a short period of time, making it more time efficient than working all the little individual muscles on their own.

Regardless of what type of training, it’s a good idea to learn proper form from the get go, and to be very hard on yourself about maintaining proper form at all times. Bad form leads to injuries, bad posture, muscle imbalance and utilizing muscles you shouldn’t be working in the exercise. Bodybuilding is about presenting an ‘illusion’ onstage, so you should strive to put on muscle in all the right places to enhance this illusion as much as you can. If your form is bad you will be hitting the muscles from incorrect angles and as such the illusion you present onstage will suffer.

Part 2 - Nutrition

The average person eats 2 - 4 meals a day. Muscle Junkies bodybuilding is not for the average person! If you truly truly want to make progress in this sport you need to focus on getting your nutrition on point! This is something that requires constant attention! It’s what separates the boys from the men at the end of the day. Everybody has a different metabolic rate and different nutritional requirements so I will lay out a few pointers here to get you in the right direction. Weighing food and looking at food labels is a priority if you are to get this right!

The more often you eat the more often you spike the body’s metabolic rate so try to eat smaller meals more often, rather than large meals less frequently. So, in light of this, I recommend you start off with 6 feedings a day. Make sure to keep your carbohydrate intake mainly around your workout and at breakfast and the rest of the day try to limit the carbs. Protein should be split up evenly throughout the day and fats kept for periods of inactivity or at times when you need to slow down your digestive process such as night time.

Here is a list of the common bodybuilding foods, you will need to weigh them and work out how much you need to reach the targets I have listed! This list is just the absolute basics, there are other foods you could use but these are the more common ones:

Egg whites
Lean red meat
Game meats eg. ostrich venison

Rice - basmati or brown
Sweet potato
Whole-wheat pasta

Flax seed oil
Peanut butter
Macadamia nut oil
Olive oil

I haven’t included vegetables here because most of them can be added to your meals without having to worry too much about affecting your calorie counts for the day.
What I highly recommend, is that you add salad or vegetables to as many meals as you can. The fibre and phytonutrients that are found in these foods will go a long way to keeping your intestinal system working optimally and your body functioning better due to the nutrient content.

Here’s an example of how to structure your daily calorie intake if you train in the morning:

Meal 1 30-50 g protein, 50-80 g of carbs, fats minimal
Meal 2 30-50 g protein, 50-120 g of carbs, fats minimal
Meal 3 30-50 g protein, 30-50 g of carbs, fats minimal
Meal 4 30-50 g protein, 20-40 g of carbs, 5-10 g fats
Meal 5 30-50 g protein, 20 g of carbs, 10 g fats
Meal 6 30-50 g protein, minimal carbs, 10-20 g fats

Here’s an example of how to structure your daily calorie intake if you train in the evening:

Meal 1 30-50 g protein, 30-50 g of carbs, 10-15 g fats
Meal 2 30-50 g protein, 20-40 g of carbs, 5-10 g fats
Meal 3 30-50 g protein, 20 g of carbs, 5g fats
Meal 4 30-50 g protein, 50-80 g of carbs, fats minimal
Meal 5 30-50 g protein, 50-120 g of carbs, fats minimal
Meal 6 30-50 g protein, minimal carbs, 10-20 g fats

The ranges I have given here can be adjusted for anyone weighing between 60 and 110kg, here’s how to adjust the amounts to suit you.
If you are on the lighter side and very lean then use the lower amounts for protein but the higher amounts for carbs and fats.
If you are in the middle of the weight range and relatively lean then use the middle range for all amounts.
If you are on the heavier side and have slightly higher bodyfat levels then use the higher protein amounts and lower carbohydrate amounts.
The amounts I have listed refer to the biological value of the food and not the weight. As an example 100g of potato yields about 16 grams of carbohydrate. 100 g is the weight and 16 g is the biological value. So the biological value is the amount of protein, carbohydrate or fat that a food contains.

Part 3 - Supplementation

Here is my list of supplements that I recommend for someone starting out:

  1. Protein supplement such as 100% Whey Protein, Anabolic Muscle Builder or MRP
  2. Multivitamin
  3. EFA (Essential Fatty Acids)
  4. Pre-workout supplement such as N.O. Crea-Pump or CytoGuard
  5. ZMA

This covers all your bases making sure you get everything you need to get started.

MRPAnabolic Muscle Builder100% Whey ProteinPROTEIN
You can use the protein supplement at any time of the day just make sure you have the right quantities. Remember you can always add carbs to a shake in the form of oats or a fruit or whatever suits you. It’s a good idea to have some form of liquid protein close to your workout, either before or after or both. Liquid protein gets into the bloodstream faster allowing the amino acids to get to work on the muscles as soon as possible!

The multivitamin can be taken with breakfast and if you are over 100kg then I recommend taking 2 servings a day.

EFA optimal dosage of 6g a day, can be split into 3 servings a day i.e. 2g with 3 of your meals. This helps with body recomposition. It causes the insulin receptors on muscle cells to become more sensitive thereby enhancing nutrient uptake by muscle cells but also robbing the fat cells of nutrients they would want to absorb. It is also involved in favourable hormone production for muscle building and fat loss

Start sipping on your pre-workout drink about half an hour before you start your training. This will make sure all the nutrients are in your bloodstream from the beginning of your workout, ready to go to work and giving you the best possible workout!

Take ZMA before bed to ensure optimal hormone production, better sleep and recovery!

Part 4 - Rest and Recuperation

It is important to note how you feel once you’ve started your new programme. The following is a list of signs or symptoms of not enough recovery:

You feel tired
General feeling of being run down
Battle to sleep
Difficult to get good pumps in the gym
Increased body temperature and heart rate when at rest for no apparent reason

If you have 2 or more of the above symptoms it is likely that you have not recovered enough, so I suggest you take an honest look at your nutrition. If you feel like you’ve eaten well and stuck to good clean foods then the only other variable can be rest. Try to get in an extra nap whenever you can or increase the amount of time you sleep. It might even be a good idea to take a day or 3 off from training. Then resume from where you left off!

Ok Muscle Junkies that’s the deal! We’ve covered some of the basics involved in bodybuilding now It’s time to go and do it. Don’t start until you decide that you can fully commit to this, it can be one of the most difficult sports out there because of the amount of time and energy you put into it, but it can also be one of the most rewarding sports on the planet! To see your body go through a transformation is an incredible experience.

As far as what to expect from this programme, well that is highly dependant on many factors such as genetics, dedication, history etc etc. so I don’t want to put numbers down on paper but just remember to be patient! The best guys in the world with access to the best of everything are usually very happy if they can put on 5kg a year!
5kg a year over 10 years = 50kg! So enjoy the process and keep at it, day in and day out. That’s the true ‘secret’ to bodybuilding success! Steady gains in all the right places will get you further than massive gains in short periods of time!