How to Become a Body Builder for Beginners

September 24, 2019 by  
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beginner body builder

Body building is among the best ways to achieve a physically fit body and mind. However, the main reason most people go to the gym and start body building is obviously to improve the way they look by getting a strong, muscular physique or to compete professionally in body building.

To get the best results, body building entails more than just lifting weights; you will need to have discipline, patience, and a great diet plan. Huge improvements should not be expected overnight, rather, you should be consistent, follow your workout and diet plans, and be patient enough to achieve muscle growth.

If you just started body building and you want to gain muscles and carve those abs to improve the way you look, you can contact howtobuildbiceps.net to get useful tips and a guide to body building. Keep on reading this post to learn useful tips on how to become a body builder and take body building to the next level.

Body Building and Workout Routine

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The first step towards body building is to get a gym membership or get sets of free weights to lift at home. To become a successful body builder, you will need to have a plan and a goal to work towards. It is important to evaluate your body and work hard on what you really want to do.

For beginners, it is important that you start by doing 3 training sessions of one-hour workouts per week, and later, increase to 4 per week. Training 3 days a week is the best workout routine as it gives the body enough time to rest. Unfortunately, many people feel they are not doing enough on their rest days - not understanding that sufficient rest is just as important as their workouts.

After making your plan, it is important that you begin with each body part’s basic exercises. For example, you can begin with 2 exercises for each body part and train 3 sets each with 10-12 reps. You should choose weights that challenge you when you lift but that you can manage lifting and avoid weights which are far too heavy to lift.

Basic Exercises to Do When Starting Body Building

1. CHEST

To train your chest, you can begin with the flat bench press and then do dumbbell flies.

2. SHOULDERS

As for the shoulders, you can begin with one pressing movement, then finish with one lateral movement.

3. ARMS

Training your arms is important for a body builder as they should be strong enough to enable you to lift weights when exercising other parts of your body. Training your arms can begin with doing cable curl supersets and then triceps push-downs.

4. BACK

The easiest exercises to begin with when training your back is to start with a seated pull-in movement and then doing a pulling down movement.

5. ABS

To exercise your abs, you can begin with sit-ups and then finish with crunches

6. LEGS

Training your legs can begin by doing squats and leg extensions.

Remember to do 3 sets with 10-12 reps of all the above workouts during your first days as a body builder. The outlined points above are good basic exercises to start body building with and you will easily adapt and within 3 weeks you will have made progress and want to do more exercises.

Remember, doing the same thing repeatedly can be boring and, therefore, you should not be afraid to substitute these exercises with others which you will learn.

Body Builder Diet and Supplements

To become a successful body builder, you should have a great meal plan. It is important that you adjust your nutritional intake to cope with the more active lifestyle you are living. You can change your diet to include the following meal plans:

1. EAT MORE PROTEIN

Increasing protein intake is very important in body building as muscles are made up of proteins; your body also needs muscles to repair muscles. You should, therefore, take more proteins and include more beef, chicken, tuna, and tofu among other proteins in your meals.

 

2. EAT ENOUGH VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

As a body builder, you should take fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fiber is very important to keep your digestive system in track and to keep pace with your increased nutritional needs.

 

3. AVOID EATING JUNK FOODS

If you want to become a successful body builder, it is important that you cut off your junk intake. Junk foods such as snacks, sweets, and sodas fill up your stomach with empty calories and deny the body the nutrients you need as a body builder.

 

4. EAT COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

Complex carbohydrates will provide you with the necessary energy you will need during your training sessions. Complex carbohydrates, unlike the simple carbohydrates, are less likely to be converted and stored as fat in your body. Complex carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, bread, and whole grain pasta, among many others.

 

5. DRINK MORE WATER

Water is very important for you as a body builder as it keeps you hydrated and helps you avoid fatigue during your workouts. Without enough water, your body won’t be able to function normally and you may even experience a headache or feel sluggish. It is important that you make an effort to consume at least one gallon of water per day even on non-workout days.

 

6. TAKE SEVERAL SMALLER MEALS EVERYDAY INSTEAD OF 3 BIG ONES

Eating 4-6 small meals a day is important to ensure a continuous supply of nutrients your body needs to repair and grow. Taking more meals per day with 3 to 4 hour-intervals will help your body maintain a stable blood sugar level.

SUPPLEMENTS

In most cases, building lean mass can be achieved through exercise and a proper meal plan. In addition, there are several supplements used by body builders to supplement their meals to enhance their muscle growth.

supplements

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These supplements include:

  • Creatinine
  • Multivitamins
  • Glutamine
  • Protein powder supplements

These supplements have numerous benefits and as a body builder, they will help you in the following ways:

  • Give you more strength
  • Reduce recovery time
  • Minimize risk of injury

Tips and More

If you just started body building and you want to get the best results and a great look, the following tips will be of great help to you.

1. MAKE A ROUTINE PROGRAM AND FOLLOW IT STRICTLY

As a body builder, it is important to get organized and, therefore, you should make your own personal workout routine and stick to it. If you are not sure about how to make your program, your training buddy or personal trainer can help you with what to include in your program.

Your workout routine should contain what you train that day, the number of sets, and how many reps you will do on that day.

 

2. INCREASE THE WEIGHTS YOU LIFT GRADUALLY

After you have mastered how to lift weights, it is important that you increase your weights gradually. In addition, increase the number of times you lift each weight and you will be able to gain more muscles and strength.

 

3. FOLLOW GYM ETIQUETTE

As a body builder, it is important that you maintain discipline and observe personal hygiene. For example, allow others to use your weights when you rest, wipe off your sweat, and return weights at their default place after you are done.

 

4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

To achieve your goals as a body builder, it is important that you get plenty of sleep. This is because most of your growth happens when you are sleeping. Getting enough sleep will also give you more strength as you will wake up more energized and rejuvenated to train harder.

 

5. LEARN HOW TO DO EACH EXERCISE CORRECTLY

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Doing your exercises correctly is very important to enhance your growth. To achieve this, begin by lifting light weights as you will become more flexible with them and you will learn how to lift the weights correctly.

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6. TAKE CAUTION

Nothing matters most in the gym than your safety. As a body builder, you should be cautious when it comes to lifting and using big weights, you may need a safety belt to protect the lower back.

 

7. EAT LARGE AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN

Proteins are the building blocks for muscles; you should, therefore, take a lot of protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken, eggs, milk, and fish.

 

8. TRAIN ALL THE MUSCLES GROUPS AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK

You should train each group of muscles at least once a week.

Conclusion

Besides the above tips, it is important that you choose a gym that suits you best, for example, one that is near your home. In case a gym is too crowded, consider changing your schedule and come back later in the day. You should also get the necessary clothes which enable you to train efficiently.

You might also need a knee-length short and a loose t-shirt and a pair of sneakers to wear during your workout sessions. A body builder can also make use of a water bottle, a face towel to wipe sweat, and a pair of gloves. It is important that you have the correct gym clothing and other tools.

To become a body builder is not as hard as many people assume; all you need is the dedication to achieve that great body you have always desired. 

If you are considering to become a body builder and you don’t know where to start and how to do it, you can log on to howtobuildbiceps.net and book your initial appointment and we will help you take body building to the next level.

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The Ultimate Guide to Female Bodybuilding

August 1, 2019 by  
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Our bodies are amazing things. They circulate air through our blood, digest our food into energy, protect and encase the experience machine that is our brain, and they are even capable of reproducing themselves (well, with a little help from a friend that is). But not all bodies reach the same potential. Neglect the body and its vitality will fade, and then you will soon find yourself much more hindered by your mortal coil than enabled by it. But the opposite is also true—pay attention to the needs of the body, take advantage of the best ways to build the body, and you will soon find yourself sporting a form that makes the other ladies jealous. That’s right, we said “ladies.” Bodybuilding isn’t just a boy’s game anymore. Countless women are improving their bodies every day through the sculpting process that is female bodybuilding.  

In fact, today the internet is full to bursting with articles proclaiming the benefits and methods of female bodybuilding. So many that it’s nigh impossible to know whose advice to trust. For that very reason, we have compiled this article of what we consider the most essential bits of bodybuilding advice for ladies. Your body is likely fairly different from those men whose pecs grace the covers of health magazines, and you need bodybuilding advice that takes that into consideration.

Join us on this journey of body sculpting and self-discovery as we explore The Ultimate Guide to Female Bodybuilding, which begins by humbly asking...

What Is Female BodyBuilding?

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Getting shredded, building meat, maintaining mass, erecting a hominid, there are so many ways to express the sentiment, but female bodybuilding is simply about a bunch of women who want to get fit in a particular fashion.

Why Get Fit with Female Bodybuilding?

There are many ways to get fit and fulfill your body's destiny to look and feel great, but the best reason to build over other methods of fitness has to do with health. Most female bodybuilding experts know a fit body is a healthy body and building your ultimate form takes time and effort.

Best Weight Training Program

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The best weight training program for female bodybuilding is tailored for each individual trying their hand at sculpting their body. The reason for this is the wide diversity of bodies, histories, and futures. There are no two people who mirror one another, so there should be no two workouts with a perfect tandem.

However, there are general rules you can follow. You need to be doing different workouts every time you head toward the gym. Alternating the type, duration, strength, and general inclination of each workout can help to aid your game. There should be diversity here.

Keeping it simple is a great way to begin. Start every workout with a warm-up phase that includes stretching and lunging. Then, end every workout with a cooldown phase. Warmups and cooldowns are standard practice across disciplines.

A Weekly Routine for Anyone

The following is an award-winning routine for female bodybuilding that is recommended for those wishing to get into shape. As with any routine, you may need to start slower and work up to the full tilt of the routine.

On the first day of the week, in the morning, the routine starts with a focus on cardio, chest exercises, and tricep exercises. Around 35 to 45 minutes of low-intensity cardio exercise is recommended.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press - 2 x 8-12 (SETS) x (REPS)
  • Flat Barbell Bench - 2 x 8-12
  • Dips - 2 x 8-12
  • Cable Crossovers - 2 x 8-12
  • Skull Crushers - 2 x 8-12

​On Tuesday anytime during the day, it is recommended that the bodybuilder workout focuses on the quads, hamstrings, and calves. Take a breather because there is no cardio on Tuesday!

  • Squats- 2 x 8-12
  • Seated Leg Curls- 2 x 8-12
  • Walking Lunges- 2 x 8-12 (Each Leg)
  • Straight Leg Dumbbell Deadlift- 2 x 8-12
  • Seated Leg Extensions- 2 x 8-12
  • Standing Calf Raises- 3 x 12-15

On Wednesday in the morning, cardio and abs are the focus. Around 35 to 45 minutes of low-intensity cardio is one of the set goals. Other goals are listed below.

  • Exercise Ball Crunch- 2 x 20-25
  • Machine Crunches- 2 x 20-25
  • Hanging Leg Raise- 2 x 10-12
  • Bicycle Crunches- 2 x 20 (Each Leg)

On Thursday in the morning, it is recommended that the individual commence in cardio, and exercises focusing on the back, biceps, and forearms. The cardio should be around 35 to 45 minutes with a tilt toward being low-intensity cardio. Additional exercises are listed below.

  • Lat Pull-downs- 2 x 8-12
  • Barbell Rows- 2 x 8-12
  • Good Mornings- 2 x 8-12
  • Preacher Curls- 2 x 8-12
  • Incline Dumbbell Curls- 2 x 8-12
  • Barbell Wrist Curls- 3 x 10-12

For Friday morning, we suggest the routine targets cardio and a focus on the delts and traps. This will consist of 35 to 45 minutes of low-intensity cardio determined by the individual. Other recommended exercises are listed below.

  • Dumbbell Military Press- 2 x 8-12
  • Cable Front Lateral Raise- 2 x 8-12 (On Each Arm)
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise- 2 x 8-12
  • Smith Machine Shrugs- 3 x 10-12

On Saturday, in the morning it is advised to do some cardio. Around 35-45 minutes of low-intensity cardio would be best. This can take the form of jumping jacks, jogging, or anything your heart desires.

On Sunday you can celebrate your achievement of a job well done and take the day off. Don’t mistake this for an excuse to eat your weight in donuts, but do make it a celebration. After this week of intense workouts, you will be grateful for the day off and the brief respite before the next one.

Remember that this is an advanced workout and not absolutely necessary for all beginners. You can start slowly and work up to the full tilt of this intense routine.


Nutrition and Tips for Female Bodybuilders​

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Humans are calculators. Well, at least your gut bacteria are calculators. If you put in more calories than you spend in your daily routine, then you gain weight. The converse is true of eating too few calories—you will lose weight. Now, I am not telling you to go out and have a big old plate of celery. Quite the opposite, You should be eating calories if you want to gain muscle.

If you are looking to get shredded and build up your body like a sand castle on a beach, then you need to know your nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, and the occasional massive sandwich are your friends. However, before beginning your journey to the gym, you might consider consulting a doctor about the general guidelines you should follow rather than use a guess and check method.

Intermittent Fasting Is a Key 

For those of us looking to appear in the world like long, lean goddesses, intermittent fasting can be a great addition to the tool belt of any female bodybuilding routine. This tiny trick can help boost your immune system, heal your muscles after a workout, and it requires no effort. Believe it or not this is not a gimmick. All you have to do is not eat, rather, all you have to do is eat a lot—but only when in the non-fasting phase of intermittent fasting.

The only rule is to eat for an 8-hour period during the day and at no other time. For example, if you wake up at 7 and eat breakfast at 12, then you can eat as much of anything as you want until 8 PM. However, after 8 you cannot eat or drink any more calories. Yes, this includes beer; I am sorry to say.

The reason this works has to do with the stages of our digestion. When you eat from sunup to sundown and sometimes afterward, then you leave no time for your body to turn its attention toward things other than digestion, namely healing your sore muscles. That is why intermittent fasting is the key to female bodybuilding. So make like the flash and get fasting.

Vitamins You Need to Be Consuming

Knowing what your body needs and when is a real hat trick of human evolution culminating in the 21st century. B vitamins, or a B complex, will make you feel great and give you the energy you need to hit the gym with the full force of your female bodybuilding furry and fervor. You can take them in a pill or in a drink. The drinkable version comes packaged with vitamin C, another essential nutrient.

Vitamin C helps with almost everything. Most Americans are deficient in it, so even if you are not a fan of female bodybuilding you should be taking more of this. You can get it in pill form as well. It is not terribly expensive and well worth the few bucks it costs. Additionally, you can get it in some fruits, including oranges, lemons, and limes. This may be your only excuse for another tequila shot by the way.

Mushrooms and How They Help

Besides possibly curing cancer and helping to clear the cobwebs from your mind, mushrooms can help to heal your body and boost your energy. There are several companies that sell them. Paul Stamments and Joe Rogan both do a great job. We are also huge fans of the mushroom, tea, and coffee supplier, Four Sigmatic, whose products include anti-carcinogenic coffee and nervous system supporting elixirs. The list of mushrooms and their uses is much too long for a single article, so research about the benefits of each one yourself. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to steer clear of portobellos and eat all the others.

Energize Me: How to Get That Extra Pep in Your Step

By far and away the biggest bodybuilding complaint we receive is that it simply leaves the bodybuilders too tired either to complete their workout or to finish their regular chores afterward. Energy drink companies want you to believe that the only way to get that extra kick is to consume a 24-ounce can of sugar, “electrolytes,” and industrial sludge. This is obviously not the case. The caffeine these energy drinks provide has been shown to be beneficial for athletes undergoing intense or grueling workouts, but the sugar and other nastiness is literal poison for your body.

If you need that extra caffeine kick why not reach for good old-fashioned coffee? The added stimulation will perk you up and the anti-hunger effect of a cup of joe will help prevent your tummy from rumbling when you’re pumping iron. Here’s a great tip for amping your coffee to the next level: combine it with L-theanine and a fat. Yes, that’s right, add butter to your coffee. It may sound counterproductive, but research shows that the fat helps the caffeine to better cross the blood-brain barrier as does the L-theanine. L-theanine is the active ingredient in green tea and can be found in pill form if you aren’t keen on drinking a coffee on the heels of a cup of tea.

Caffeine is by no means the only healthful, legal “perk me up” available to aid your bodybuilding adventures. Guanine, a chemical cousin of caffeine and the active ingredient in Yerba Mate tea, is a great alternative for those for whom caffeine has just lost its kick. In fact, many people have found that guanine provides a “cleaner” buzz than caffeine and have never gone back.

If you’re seeking a less jittery type of boost, we highly recommend apple cider vinegar. It may have a strong astringent taste by itself, but once watered down a bit and garnished with lemon, it becomes one of the tastiest tiny boosts you can drink. The vinegar will jump-start your metabolism, the acidity will aid your digestion, and the malic acid it contains provides a laundry list of healthful benefits.

Adding More Calories

One of the mistakes those new to female bodybuilding make is not increasing their calorie count. If you want to get ripped and gain muscle mass and you are really shredding on those weights at the gym, then you need to be increasing the amount of food you are eating. This makes intuitive sense after the first glance. Additionally, if you are not trying to build mass, then decreasing or even maintaining the amount of food you are eating is fine.

Greens, Greens, the Magical Food

The more you eat, the more you can do. Dark, leafy greens will be important for consumption as you move forward on this journey. They are jam-packed with essential nutrients and a great way of cleaning out your system. The name of the game here is fiber. The best way to look for these little guys is in the vegan section of the grocery store. Keep an eye out for the leaves with purple edges and extra-dark veins. Those are great signs of vitamins.

Training outside Your Program and Why

Often the best athletes train outside their area of expertise. Wonderful and accomplished football players practice yoga or ballet as often as they train in the gym with weights. Your muscles are like rubber bands and they need to be stretched in all directions to gain flexibility and strength. The better the complementary exercise the more disparate the activities.

The recommended complement to female bodybuilding is yoga. Any practice, even at home will do, but the best combination will be the addition of hot yoga. This is yoga that is strength and flexibility focused. Fair warning, the room will be unbearably hot, but you will leave feeling great all over and the next time you hit the weights you will feel like a million bucks.

As you begin to change your routine with female bodybuilding and working out, you will notice other changes in your life. You will apply the principles you learn at the gym to your practices of other activities, including work, school, play, and around the house.

Mass vs. Lean

The expectation is that bodybuilding will transform the female form into a Hulk-ette, but this is not the case for every body type. Spending hours doing the wrong workout can be a real problem for female athletes in general.

In truth, most females don't have the hormonal tendencies like men do, helping them to gain muscle mass in a particularly masculine way. The hormone testosterone is the determinant of why men look the way they do. Women simply do not have as much of this muscle building chemical.

So don’t worry about growing chest hair as you learn to bench press double your body weight. However, if looking like the hulk is your ultimate goal, then you are in for years of dedication, practice, and most certainly a gym membership.


Conclusion

Woman in the gym looking at the mirror while holding a dumbbell

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The best way to get results is to tailor the workout, diet, lifestyle, and goals to your individual needs. Through this individualization process, you can achieve whatever you set your mind and body to. The only gatekeeper is your own endurance, which luckily, you can increase over time with female bodybuilding.

In the end, we are all just here to be happier and healthier, so do whatever method or routine that floats your boat.  It's all a journey, and it takes a whole village. Remember to eat your greens and keep your meats lean, but ultimately the best you can do is your best.

Leg Workouts: Your Ultimate guide

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Your legs are one of the most vital parts in your body, and yet, they’re the most neglected when it comes to working them out. This is primarily because the legs are not showboat muscles, which means that it is hard to show off the muscles in your legs, unlike your arms. But there are several benefits that you only get to enjoy when you work them out. In this article, you will learn more about leg workouts and their importance and discover the 10 best exercises that you can perform to keep them in good shape.        

Leg Workout FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about leg workouts.

1. What Are the Different Types of Leg Workouts?

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There are three primary types of leg workouts: bodyweight workouts, free-weight workouts, and machine workouts. Bodyweight workouts utilize the weight of your own body as a resistance, whereas free-weight workouts utilize the resistance provided by loaded dumbbells and barbells. Machine workouts utilize specialized machines such as the leg press, leg curl, and leg extension with selectable resistances.  

2. What Are the Benefits of Leg Workouts?

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The primary benefits that leg workouts offer are an increase in strength and muscle mass, improvement in posture, stabilization of the core, and a decrease in the chances of injury.

3. How Do You Incorporate Leg Workouts into Your Routine?

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You could incorporate leg workouts into your routine by performing 3-4 exercises every alternate day. Or, you could set aside 2 days per week and split your leg workouts between those two days.    

How We Reviewed

We spoke to several experts, fitness enthusiasts, and physiologists to identify the 10 best leg workouts that deliver the required results without putting undue strain on your body. We then proceeded to explain how to perform the chosen exercises and laid out their pros and cons.

Overall Difficulty Level of Leg Workouts

Many compound leg workouts such as the squats, lunges, and deadlifts are hard to master due to the strict form that’s required to be maintained throughout. It requires quite a bit of practice and training before you’re able to do them comfortably with proper form. This makes them unsuitable for most beginners. Most isolation leg workouts such as the ones that you do on specialized machines are beginner-friendly and relatively easier to perform and master. This is due to the fact that these exercises require you to go through a fixed range of motion, making it hard to get them wrong.    

What We Reviewed

  • Leg Press
  • Step-​Up
  • Pistol Squat
  • Glute-Ham Raise
  • Walking Lunge
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Hack Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Barbell Squat

Leg Press

woman doing training press leg workouts

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How To Perform

Sit on the leg press machine and place your feet around shoulder-width apart on the platform. Fully extend your legs without locking your knees by pushing on the platform. Release the safety bars and lower the platform in a slow and controlled manner until your knees are perpendicular to your toes. Then, push the platform back to the starting position with your legs. Make sure you exhale during this portion of the exercise. Repeat this movement for as many reps as you want. Once you’re done, make sure to lock the safety bars in place before you lower the weighted platform down.

Pros

  • The leg press machine is versatile as it puts focus on different muscles in the leg depending on the foot stance
  • Leg press is safer than other forms of leg workouts as the machine has proper safety mechanisms in place

Cons

  • Leg press requires a dedicated machine to perform
  • The exercise does not activate or engage any stabilizing muscles and can end up creating muscular imbalances when not performed correctly

Step-Up

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How To Perform

This exercise can be performed using a pair of dumbbells or by placing a barbell on your shoulders. Start by standing tall in front of an elevated platform, preferably a sturdy box or a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells. Place your left foot on the platform, and using the heel of the foot, lift your entire body up onto the bench. Make sure to breathe out as you perform this movement. Then, step down with the right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat this movement with the same leg till you complete a set (often 10, 12 or 15 repetitions), and then switch and perform the same with the other leg.  

Pros

  • Perfect for people who are unable to do deadlifts due to lower back issues
  • Works your stabilizer muscles and helps improve balance

Cons

  • The exercise can be hard on your knees if you don’t do it in a slow and controlled manner
  • Using the wrong height can put your joints under stress

Pistol Squat

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How To Perform

Stand tall, look forward, and raise one leg off the floor. With your chest up and your back straight, slowly squat down. While descending, extend the raised leg forward so that it doesn’t touch the ground. When you reach the bottom of the squat, hold the position for a second and slowly return to the starting position. When ascending, make sure to exhale and drive off the heel of the foot. Repeat this movement till you finish one set, and then switch sides. While performing this exercise, you can have your arms outstretched in front of you to help balance your body.

Pros

  • As it is a bodyweight exercise, there is no need for any equipment and it can be performed almost anywhere
  • Can help get rid of muscular imbalances

Cons

  • This exercise is not suitable for beginners and for people who are out of shape as they can get hurt
  • Requires a lot of ankle and hip mobility and flexibility

Glute-Ham Raise

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How To Perform

Start off by adjusting the equipment according to your body. Once that is done, lock both your feet by placing them in between the rollers. Your feet should be firmly pressed against the footplate with your knees behind the pad. Lie face down on the machine with your back arched. Flex your knees while simultaneously pressing your toes into the foot plate. This should bring your body to an upright position. Hold it for a second and then slowly descend back into the starting position.

Pros

  • Helps increase strength and muscle mass in the glutes and hamstrings
  • Improves sprinting speed and jumping capabilities

Cons

  • This exercise requires a dedicated piece of equipment to perform
  • If done improperly, the user can end up with issues in their lower back

Walking Lunge

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How To Perform

You can perform this exercise with your own bodyweight, a pair of dumbbells, or with a barbell on your shoulder. Start by standing tall with a pair of dumbbells, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. With your back straight, take a big step forward with your right leg and flex both your knees to get down. You should continue to get down until your left knee almost touches the ground. Make sure that the knee doesn’t go past the toes as that can put a lot of stress on the knees. Using the heel of the right foot, drive your body back up. Now perform the lunge with the other leg.  

Pros

  • Can be performed almost anywhere and does not require any equipment
  • Helps improve balance and core stability

Cons

  • Can put a lot of strain on the knees if they go past the toes
  • Exercise can cause back problems if performed incorrectly

Bulgarian Split Squat

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How To Perform

You will need a bench and a pair of dumbbells to perform this exercise. Start off by standing in front of a bench with a pair of dumbbells. Position your left foot forward and your right foot on the bench. Slowly get down into a lunge by flexing your knees. Make sure to keep your body straight throughout the movement. Once your left thigh is parallel to the ground, stop descending, and hold this position for a second. Drive through the heel and return to the starting position. Once you’re done with a set, switch your legs up and repeat the movement.  

Pros

  • Isolates and engages the quadriceps more than other leg workouts
  • Dramatically increases the stability, balance, and strength in the legs

Cons

  • Shearing forces on the knee increases once it goes past the toes
  • Requires quite a bit of flexibility to perform

Hack Squat

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How To Perform

Start by positioning yourself on the machine by placing your shoulders under the shoulder pads and resting your back on the back pad. Keep your feet on the platform using a shoulder-width stance, with toes pointed slightly. Push yourself up by pressing down on the platform and disengage the safety bars. Extend your legs without locking your knees. Then, slowly lower the machine by bending the knees until you form a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for a second and push yourself back up by driving through the heels. Make sure to exhale during this movement. Once you’re done, lock the safety bars in place before getting yourself out.

Pros

  • Very low risk of lower back strain as your body is well supported throughout the movement
  • Great for working out the quadriceps

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable and unnatural due to the fixed and rigid range of motion
  • Some hack squat machines can end up hurting you if you don’t engage the safety bars on time

Romanian Deadlift

person lifting barbel

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How To Perform

You’ll need a loaded barbell in order to perform this exercise. Start by holding the loaded bar at hip level with a pronated grip. Stand tall, with your shoulders back, chest pushed out front, back arched, and knees slightly bent. Slowly lower the bar down by pushing your butt out. Keep the bar close to your body. Do not look down as that can cause your back to curve. Instead, look forward. Once the bar is lowered to a point below your knee, stop and hold for a second. Drive your hips forward and get back to the starting position.

Pros

  • Increases hip lower back strength, mobility, and flexibility
  • Helps build strength and muscle mass in the hamstrings and glutes  

Cons

  • If done incorrectly, the exercise can cause lower back issues

Front Squat

woman lifting barbel

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How To Perform

Although this exercise can be performed without a squat rack, it is recommended that you do it inside one for added safety. Start off by setting a loaded barbell on a rack that’s appropriate for your height. Get under the bar and place it on your deltoids. Cross your arms and grasp the bar while keeping your elbows high. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly step away. Stand tall with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward. Lower the bar slowly by bending your knees till your thighs break parallel with the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position by driving through the middle of your feet. Make sure to exhale as you perform this movement.    

Pros

  • Minimizes the load on the spine
  • The exercise helps you maintain an upright torso and allows you to squat deep

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners and people with lower back issues
  • You’ll be forced to use less weight when compared with the barbell squat

Barbell Squat

man lifting barbel

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How To Perform

It is recommended that you perform this exercise inside a squat rack. Start by setting a loaded barbell on a rack that’s appropriate for your height. Get under the bar and place it on your traps while keeping your head up and your chest out. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly step away. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with the toes pointing outward. Slowly lower the bar by bending your knees till your upper thighs touch your calves. At this point, push yourself back up by driving through the middle of your feet. Make sure to exhale as you perform this movement.

Pros

  • Works a lot of muscles simultaneously such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and even the abs
  • Improves body stability and balance

Cons

  • Barbell squat is risky and can cause injury if performed incorrectly
  • Not suitable for people with shoulder and lower back issues

The Verdict

The barbell squat is and will always be the king of leg workouts. Being a compound movement, it works a multitude of muscle groups and can help develop significant strength and muscle mass. The only downside to this wonderful exercise is that it requires you to maintain a strict form throughout. Without proper form, you can end up injuring yourself. Also, people with lower back issues might want to steer clear of this exercise. Instead, they can opt for leg presses and Bulgarian split squats as these two leg workouts do not stress the lower back. People wanting to solely focus on developing their hamstrings and glutes can opt for the Romanian deadlift, which is another one of the best leg workouts.  

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It is Possible to Build Muscle and Reach your Body Building Goals

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Body Building Goals

If you are looking for a way to build bulk and get more muscle, you may be looking for a good exercise and diet plan. The way to get the muscles and definition that you are looking for is not by taking a magic pill, but by hard work and determination. It takes time to build muscle, especially if you are not used to lifting weights or going to the gym. You may not know a lot of the exercises that you need to do in order to build muscle, but with the proper knowledge and training, you can get the muscles and definition that you want for your appearance.

Lifting weights is essential to building muscles, and you want to be sure that you take the time to learn how to build muscles and use the equipment safely at the gym. Once you have the basics down for proper lifting, and know the exercises that you need to do to build muscle, you can really begin to increase the intensity of your program. Taking in a lot of calories in the form of lean protein is a great way to help you gain some weight, and turn it into muscle. You can find a lot of great protein products at your local health food store, or online. There are different formulas available that can deliver you the amount of proteins and carbs that you need to fuel your diet, which is going to help power your workouts and build strength.

When you are ready to take your workouts to the gym and start lifting weights, you need to know what kinds of exercises are going to work what muscle groups. In order to build muscle and strength train your body; you need to work all of the muscle groups. You don’t want to concentrate on only one part of your body at first, building muscle and core strength is key. Once you have gained muscle and strength, you can begin to work on targeting specific muscle groups in the body to really add the bulk. It is going to take a lot of work and time to get the results that you want, and it is important to stay with your workout plan and not give up. Follow the plan that you have established, and follow the proper diet to help get the muscles that you want.

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