The basics of bodybuilding

beginner tips

The basics of bodybuilding

We generally choose to practice weight training to tone up, build muscle, control our body and transform our physique. This transformation requires regularity, the right choice in training systems and good diet management. Many neophytes arrive in the weight room without knowing the basics of this sport and therefore obtain unsatisfactory results. We propose, in this article, to discover the basics of bodybuilding to focus your efforts on what really works and finally achieve your goals.


Bodybuilding and hypertrophy

Muscle development cannot take place without hypertrophy, and the latter must be triggered by overloading the muscular system. Hypertrophy can be considered as a thickening of the muscle fiberswhich occurs when the body has been sufficiently stressed by physical exertion. Muscles become larger and stronger in order to be able to tolerate a new workload. This need causes an anabolic response, leading the muscle fibers to synthesize more materials, especially proteins, in order to grow. Hypertrophy is nothing more than an organic adaptation to the cumulative stress imposed on the muscles.


How many sets and reps in bodybuilding?

To stimulate hypertrophy, increments of 6 to 15 reps are ideal. They recruit both strength and strength endurance, which are the two key abilities for building muscle. Choose 3-5 different exercises for each muscle group, and try to vary the repetition formats in each session. The total number of sets per session for each muscle should be between 10 and 15 sets.

Example of a session for the pectorals

– Bench press at the bar: 1×15 – 1×12 – 1×10 – 1×8 – 1×6
– Dumbbell incline press: 4×8
– Distances to opposite cables: 3×15
– Pullover with a dumbbell: 3×10

Recovery between sets

Training for hypertrophy requires rest times varying from 1 to 2 minutes. The rest time should be short enough to stimulate the buildup of substrates in the fibers, but should be long enough to allow adequate recovery to perform during subsequent sets.

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Bodybuilding: heavy or light?

The load is of course important, but developing your physique requires more training volume than pure strength, which implies a more moderate use of these said charges. For muscle building, the concepts of time under voltage and progressive overload are of utmost importance. That said, strength remains a basic component for muscle mass gain. Should we train heavy or light? The answer is: both. It is these two modes of contraction that will allow you to optimize your progress, much more effectively than either used separately.
To effectively use the long series and the short series, you must first plan your training.

This can translate to:

  • A “heavy” cycle of a few weeks and a light cycle of an equivalent durationusually 6 weeks + 6 weeks.

  • Alternating between heavy and less heavy from one week to the next. Week 1 is dedicated to basic exercises on sets of 6 to 8 repetitions. The following week will focus on sets of 10 to 15 repetitions and more isolation exercises.

  • An alternation between heavy and the lightest in the same session. This is the most common option and it allows for better energy management and recovery.


Warm up well in bodybuilding

Warming up helps to properly prepare the muscles for the effort and to optimize each training session, in addition to limiting the risk of injury. warm up five to ten minutes on a treadmill or elliptical trainer to warm up the body and activate blood circulation. Then choose a warm-up activity similar to your main activity, but at a lower intensity. Several light repetitions of the exercise you are about to perform is an excellent way to warm up the muscles and prepare the nervous system for the intensity of the session that will follow.

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Going to the gym every day to build muscle can be tempting to maximize muscle gains, but hypertrophy happens when the muscle is resting.

Several factors must be taken into account to determine the frequency and distribution of training:

  • his level of practice
  • His schedule
  • his recovery abilities

The key is to ensure that each muscle group is restimulated when it has just finished its recovery process in order to maintain the phenomenon of overcompensation which will make it bigger and stronger.

The more advanced his level, the more interesting the increase in training volume will be. A beginner will have a good margin of progress with 2 to 3 full body sessions per week. He will then be able, when his recovery capacities allow him, to train for 4, 5 or 6 sessions per week in split, half-body or push/pull/legs.


Dietary supplements for bodybuilding

Three main criteria should be considered for building muscle:

  • Eat enough (good) calories

  • Consume more protein

  • Recruit the muscular system sufficiently to promote its development

  • Choosing the right food supplements to help you reach your goal faster and more effectively


Creatine is a molecule that is produced naturally in our body. It provides energy (ATP) to muscles and other body tissues. Consuming this supplement can increase muscle creatine content up to 40% beyond its normal levels. This positively affects our fibers and exercise performance, promoting muscle gain. In fact, a large body of research shows that creatine improves muscle strength.

That’s good news if you’re trying to gain muscle. An increase in strength will allow you to take on heavier loads on a given exercise, leading to greater increases in muscle mass over time.

  • Take 3g of creatine before or after each workout.

protein powder

To gain muscle, you need to consume more protein than your body breaks down to support its physiological processes. Although it is possible to get all the protein we need from high protein foods, many athletes find it difficult to eat the right amount of “solid” food to reach their daily protein quotas. Protein powders have the advantage of being particularly digestible, in addition to being quick to prepare and easy to consume. There are many types of protein powder, but the most popular and effective are whey (a fast protein) and casein (a slow protein), which provide the muscles with enough essential amino acids to kick-start muscle building. .

  • For optimum results, take a dose of 30g of whey upon waking and after training, then 30g of casein at bedtime.
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BCAAs are made up of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are found in most protein sources, especially of animal origin such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fish. BCAAs are critically important for muscle growth and make up about 14% of the amino acids in our muscles. Almost everyone consumes BCAAs through everyday food, but it is very important to consume BCAA supplements in order to benefit from all their advantages. In effectto be truly useful for muscle recovery and building, BCAAs must be consumed in isolation from other amino acids because the latter compete in the muscle fibers.

  • Take your BCAAs away from meals, before, during and after training, up to approximately 5g.


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