You have probably seen photos of body builders, with their huge muscles and sculpted bodies making them appear almost superhuman. However, there is more to body building than having that toned, svelte and perfect physique.
Aside from enhancing your physical appearance, body building offers numerous benefits to your well-being. So, read along and learn why you should start body building including some positive effects this can do to your health.
Boost Your Confidence
Naturally, body building can help you build leaner and bigger muscles, which support a more attractive physique. You will notice that flab hanging from your stomach and thighs will soon start to disappear, so your body will be more proportioned.
Having a well-sculpted body increase your level of confidence because you can wear clothes without feeling conscious about bulges around your waist or other problem areas you used to have. As you look much better than before, you will also feel great about yourself.
Improve Your Strength
In anything you do or any place you go, there will always be some instances when stress can bring you down. This is an even more difficult situation if you are physically weak since you will find it tough to go about your days and do your routines within the day.
However, body building improves your physical strength, and you will find it hassle-free to lift hefty loads without any problem at all. As a result, you do not get tired and fatigued easily, and this should help you perform any activities and still have reserved energy to spend quality time with your loved ones after a hectic day at work.
Become Less Prone to Injuries
No matter what your age, there will be certain situations that expose you to injuries whether you are at home, at work, or just walking across the street. One way to prevent susceptibility to injuries is by lifting weights, which can make your tendons and bones stronger. Lift heavier weights to strengthen and harden your tendons, which can spare you from having serious fractures or getting injured too easily.
Maintain Proper Posture
It is a common misconception that as people get older, their posture becomes worse than when they were still younger. The thing is, you can still be in your 80s and have an excellent posture that is even better than those in their 30s! Body building helps strengthen your back and core muscles, which are responsible for keeping your body upright whether you are walking, standing or sitting.
When your back is straight and the spine maintains that natural curve, you can steer clear of posture problems and related conditions such as scoliosis, lordosis and back pains. As a bonus, good posture makes you look youthful, vibrant and attractive.
As with any other physical activities, body building gives you a general feeling of happiness and satisfaction since you know that every move you make works towards improving your appearance. This activity also aids in producing hormones called endorphins that make you feel happier and less stressed. So, to feel good and look amazing, body building is indeed the best way to go!
Some people use the terms “strength training” and “body building” and assume that these have the same meaning. While it is true that both activities are geared towards physical development, there are certain differences between the two. Not all strength training workouts are similar to body building, so it is important to recognize the unique features of these two types of workouts to have a better understanding of each.
What Body Building is All About
To put it simply, body building is designed to increase the overall size of your muscles while keeping your body leaner at the same time. For body builders, they lift heavy weights to improve muscle size and not simply to achieve functional strength. However, weight lifting has that after-effect of improving your strength, yet this is not exactly the focus and concern of the entire training session.
Body builders lift for the mere purpose of increasing the size of muscles, and the different movements and workouts transport more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Moreover, tiny tears in their muscles are created as a result of lifting weights. Afterwards, these tears are repaired during the recovery period, and this helps increase the storage capacity of muscles. Hence, muscles can grow bigger (hypertrophy) once the repairs have been made by the body.
Larger muscles are more capable of storing a greater amount of energy, and this translates to immense amount of force to give the body the power to do more than it normally can. It is also important to note that body building is typically related to shaping the physique either for competitive exhibitions or to give you that sense of confidence about your toned body.
Facts about Strength Training
As the term implies, strength training deals with giving your body optimum strength to lift heavy objects, fight fatigue and become more agile to perform your daily activities instead of getting tired and feeling weak easily. This type of workout does not concentrate too much on giving you huge muscles since the main goal is to provide your body maximum force to lift.
With strength training, movements are done with a combination of lifting weights with fewer repetitions. Furthermore, the training is directed at giving your body and central nervous system that capacity to use motor units efficiently each time you lift. Thus, your focus is more on reinforcing your joints, strengthening connective tissue and muscles and making your bones and tendons harder.
Most people who do strength training workouts do not have that sculpted body, which body builders have. In addition, strength trainee may have a compact and solid body, and their body fat percentage is not very low. Nevertheless, you can expect these people to have excellent level of endurance and functional strength, particularly when the time comes for them to exert force and power.
Strength training and body building are both important in enhancing your appearance while improving your strength at the same time. Just be sure to consult your doctor or work closely with a fitness trainer to avoid injuries during workouts. By seeking the help of a professional, you can achieve maximum benefits with each training session for your personal growth and development.
The conventional techniques of building larger muscles mainly include a phase where you need to gain some weight for a certain period, which is followed by a period of cutting down body fat.
However, there are newer methods that can be used to build leaner and healthier muscles while burning fat all at once. It is all about following the right diet designed to help you lose unnecessary pounds and develop bigger muscles – just like a genuine body builder!
It is All About Balance
Your body needs glucose for energy, and it is a matter of striking the perfect balance in taking in and metabolizing glucose to give you a leaner look. Generally, glucose is obtained from carbs or starches and sugars. When you take in more amounts of carbohydrates, your body burns more glucose.
As a result, protein and body fat are burned less, which are what you need to grow your muscles. With this in mind, it is more preferable to go for carb sources that are also low in fat, at the same time. Yet, the most important thing is to stick to the recommended total calories for your weight and energy level.
The more carbs you take in, or as more glucose is used up by your muscles during each workout, the body tends to metabolize fat faster. This helps preserve some glucose in the body, which is needed by essential tissues such as the ones in your brain. It is also advisable that you increase your protein intake as you perform body building workouts for greater reserves of amino acids obtained from this nutrient.
Getting Started with Body Building
Initially, you need to know the total calories your body requires to ensure a productive workout. Ideally, you should take in 15 calories per pound of your body weight. However, this is just a starting point, which is only good for two weeks of your workouts. Afterwards, you can increase or decrease the amount of calories you consume based on your weight or how you feel about your body.
Experts recommend that you eat as much as 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. The excellent source of energy your body requires for your workouts is glucose and lean carbs.
Some examples of suitable foods for body building include shredded wheat, vegetables high in ecdysteroids (spinach, asparagus and broccoli), brown rice, yams and fruit. In addition, you should include about 20 percent more protein than what your body needs, and this helps in reducing body fat.
Protein is made up of amino acids, and it has been proven by researchers that people who take in at least 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight tend to burn more body fat. On the other hand, less protein slows down fat metabolism, which is not geared towards building muscles and having a leaner body.
What you can do is to increase your intake of protein by taking meal replacement drinks that contain whey and cassein. You can also mix some low-fat milk with whey protein, and then just add some carbs by including some fruit and protein powder to your shredded wheat cereal before and after your workouts.
Overall, a body builder’s diet is more focused on eating foods that help burn body fat and boost muscle growth at the same time. With the right balance of carbs, fat and protein, you can achieve a spectacular body and have superior strength during your training sessions.
Should body builders include some cardio training to their workout sessions, or is it fine to skip it and focus only on lifting weights? There is a common misconception among body builders that cardio is not an essential part of their workouts since it is possible to reduce their food intake and burn more calories at the same time.
However, there is more to cardio than simply boost your body’s natural ability to burn more calories. This type of workout is responsible for excreting certain hormones that do not only metabolize fat efficiently, but these also minimize the risk of generating more body fat from the food you eat.
What Cardio Does
When you perform cardio exercises, growth hormones are secreted by your body. Aside from this important hormone, the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH is released, and this makes it easier for you to overcome physical stress. Moreover, the hormone optimizes metabolism, which is necessary to prevent food you take in from accumulating as body fat.
Hence, intense cardio that lasts for even up to 15 minutes is just what you need to get the most out of your workouts. The main idea is to incorporate cardio to your body building workouts at least thrice a week for about 15 to 30 minutes of intense sessions, so you can get your fat-burning hormones working efficiently.
Basically, longer and moderate-intensity cardio exercises stimulate the production of several hormones needed for building muscles, burning fat and improving overall strength. These hormones include the GH, T3, cortisol and T3.
In particular, cortisol and T3 are essential for burning fat and growing muscles. On the other hand, shorter but high-intensity cardio workouts generate the release of TSH, T2, GH and small amounts of T3. The primary function of T2 is to preserve a greater amount of muscle, as compared to what T3 can do.
With these things in mind, it is important that you combine intense cardio with the right amount of calories during your workouts. This is the way for you to boost metabolism, lose fat and achieve a leaner look as you build stronger and bigger muscles. Just be sure to stick to high intensity cardio whether for a longer or shorter amount of time to achieve these benefits.
Cardio Workout Tips
Ideally, you are better off with intense and shorter cardio, although you can also shake things up a bit and combine your cardio workouts with interval training. It is also not necessary for you to do your cardio exercises every single day.
In fact, you can do it thrice or even twice a week just to allow your hormones to flow. Some body builders only do one cardio exercise per weeks, although beginners may go for 3 to 4 cardio weekly to achieve hormonal benefits of exercise on a long-term basis.
However, if your main intention is to gain more muscle, then you are better off with a maximum of 2 cardio per week such as two or four sprints that last for up to 30 seconds. If your metabolism is already fast enough, though, just 1 cardio workout a week should suffice. The idea is to keep it short and intense, and you can reap benefits from cardio for a longer time.
Who doesn’t want a powerful core? Not only are strong abdominal muscles very practical for everyday life, they also look great. We’ve all seen the guy on television showing off his six pack abs and how all of the women seem to instantly fall in love. It’s safe to say it’s something every guy has thought about at least once.
You can have abs like that as well and without buying into any crazy hyped workout program or fitness boot camp. All it takes is for you to build your own healthy workout program from your own home. Exercises don’t need to be special. Simple exercises like the crunch, weighted sit up, plank, and leg raises are all you need to build strong core muscles. Combine that with healthy diet and cardio routines and you’ll start seeing results before long.
Where To Start.
The best body builder ab exercises for men start with a clear plan of attack. Simply rushing into doing 100 crunches every day might sound like an effective, hardcore idea, but in truth it won’t get you far. You need to understand the human body, your own body, and what you need to do to reveal those six pack abs. Your first phase will involve either bulking up or shredding pounds.
If you’re considered overweight, then the first step will be losing pounds. Abdominal exercises won’t do much if there’s too much fat covering the visible region. Getting into a healthier body should always come first.
If you aren’t overweight (meaning your body fat is around ten percent or less), then you can choose to start with the bulking phase first. Bulking the abdominal muscles is slightly different than bulking the rest of the body. The exercises themselves are easier, but it requires more frequency, more repetition, and fewer breaks.
Frequency, Reps, and Rest:
In terms of frequency, you want to work the abdominal muscles about twice a week. Most people throw in an abdominal routine once a week, but this isn’t ideal if the abdominal region is the focus. Three times a week can be okay, but any more than that is simply too much and will overwork the muscles.
Then there’s the matter of resting. No matter what exercises you are doing, whether crunches, sit ups, or leg raises, you want as little resting in between the sets as possible. With serious weight lifting you might take 3 minute breaks in between sets. You’ll only want to rest for a fraction of that time when working the abdominal. Most trainers agree that any resting period under sixty seconds is ideal and thirty seconds is even better.
Finally, there’s the number of repetitions, which is equally important. Too few and you won’t get the results you want, but too many and it’s overkill. This isn’t endurance training, so anywhere above 20 reps is far too much. Around 10 reps for each exercise is a great number.
The shredding phase can come next or even during the off days of the week. Shredding is important because abdominal muscles can’t be seen under a layer of fat. Cardio exercises are the best solution if you want to remove fat anywhere from the body. You can choose high-intensity or low-intensity cardio, but the best is actually a mix between the two. No body builder ab workout routine is complete without a full cardio session at least once or twice a week.
A Healthy Diet Is A Must:
The final piece of the puzzle is always a healthy diet. Simply put, there will be no, showing off that six pack, if you don’t eat the right diet to support it. That doesn’t mean buying into any crazy 30 day weight loss diet or fad diet you saw on a talk show. It means eating a healthy, balanced diet with the right amount of nutrients, proteins, and carbohydrates to do what you need to do.
If you feel like your diet isn’t delivering the right amount of nutrients you can also choose to add all-natural supplements to the mix. It’s important that the supplements be completely natural and thus safe for the body. Protein supplements such as whey powder are a great addition to most diets when you’re trying to build muscle.
Finally, try to have fun with it. The biggest problem people have with body builder abdominal exercises for women, or any workout plan for that matter, is actually sticking with it. If you’re having fun and mixing up the routine, then you’ll find it’s much easier to stick to the plan and reach your goals.