You now know why people lift weights. You might be eager to start bodybuilding too. The question is, “Can you do it?”
Many people embark in this crusade of developing the muscles, but few realize the magnitude of work and discipline involved. A lot plunge headlong into purchasing the latest gadgets and machines in body sculpturing, only to give up too soon. Their gym equipment and gadgets later become historical artifacts of their past whim.
Before you buy anything, ask yourself first if you really want to do this thing. Muscles do not grow just because you have the equipment. This sounds absurd, but many people seem to think this way. They buy all sorts of equipment, do little or nothing at all, and then wonder why their muscles are not developing. Be firm in your decision to develop a stunning physique, and never be discouraged when it takes a long time for those shapely muscles to emerge.
You must understand that bodybuilding is a discipline, like a profession or career. You do not become a doctor or an engineer overnight, or even after a year. Likewise, you do not stop studying just because you have become a doctor or an engineer. You continue learning and improving yourself. Bodybuilding is similar in that sense.
You have to consider the following before you start any bodybuilding program:
Get a tight hold of this: Getting a sculptured body means working it out as long as you take in the right kinds of food. If you work out hard for four years, you’d be in tip-top shape for four years. But if you stop after four years and ruin your diet, your four-year training would all go down the drain. In fact, your shape might even get worse. It is noted that many bodybuilders who stop lifting weights put on much more weight than when they did before they started lifting weights. The rule is to maintain the discipline as long as you eat the proper types of food.
As you age, your metabolism decreases. Metabolism is your body’s ability to burn fats and carbohydrates. Hence, as you get old, the faster you gain weight. Some people tend to eat less as they age. Yet, many people note that despite their decreased eating, they are still overweight. This is due to a weakened metabolism. You have to continue working out as you grow old to make up for a decreasing metabolic rate.
Some aging people keep active and maintain a slender body figure. Even if these people increase their food intake a bit, they are still fit. Keeping active can do wonders to your health, especially when age is catching up on you.
Now, you know how long you have to keep up with your weight training. If you want to start in this discipline, you have to consider doing it for the rest of your life.
So, can you do it?
Discipline is simply having the will power to continue with what you are doing. Do you think you have the discipline to keep on? Assess yourself. Assess your past records. Have you been quitting on things because you later found them tiring or boring? How often do you quit on things? How many things have you managed to keep on doing until this very day? Here is a checklist:
You must have at least seven out of the ten above to be true in your life. Otherwise, think thrice before you decide to launch out into the deep waters of bodybuilding. Don’t end up drowning in a bucket of water you have imagined to be the ocean. You have to be dead serious about this “career” of muscle sculpturing. (“Dead serious” does not mean you keep an unsmiling face when you work out.) You can be dead serious while smiling and even laughing your way to bulky muscles.
Here’s some good news. If you’re not the kind of person who keeps regular programs, but who is serious about what you do, and you accomplish them often, bodybuilding can still be ideal for you. A certain bodybuilding program lets you do it in ways convenient for you. You may consult a professional trainer to cook up a specific program designed for your lifestyle. There are people who work out on mornings, then at times do it on evenings, and then do a variety of bodybuilding techniques on different days. You may do this, but don’t expect to have the super body figure of a Mr. Universe. You can still stay fit and healthy while developing your muscles in this irregular manner. There are body builders who lift weights on a certain day, do push-ups on another day, run and climb on another day, and bend or pull spring bars and do plain squats on other days.
The first safety rule in muscle sculpturing is to have a medical check up. Ask your medical specialist to ascertain whether you have the overall health to start and pursue this discipline. Don’t do anything against what your doctor tells you. If he gives the go signal, proceed with caution. Have your doctor or a specialist he recommends monitor your health regularly. Most gyms have their own doctors to do this. If your doctor says you are not fit for this, consult him about what to do to remedy the situation. Is there any less strenuous activity you can do while undergoing treatment? Can you lift light barbells for the moment? Make sure you go by what he advices. In worse scenarios, if weight lifting is a no-no thing for you, then keep a healthy diet and walk briskly daily, under the supervision of your doctor. This simple exercise will still build your muscles to a minimum.
So have a check up first. Then ask yourself, can you do it?
Almost anything under the sun costs money. Even the oxygen that used to be free now costs a lot. Bodybuilding will cost you some money. Just think of the equipment you’ll be using and the special diet that you’ll have to eat daily. (Although later in this report, you’ll be taught how to use everyday things as substitutes for expensive equipment. Moreover, you’ll learn free and device-less ways of effectively developing your muscles.) What if you have to be monitored regularly by a doctor? If you have a family to feed, you have to consider this too. Bodybuilding is actually an investment. If you are serious and ready to commit yourself to it as a part of your life, invest and go for it.
You may want to try working out in a commercial gym for a while. You pay a regular fee; but that is cheaper than buying the equipment yourself and then quitting afterwards (in case you don’t find satisfaction in it). If after trying at least a year you find that you are ready to make a career out of it, then you can go ahead and have your own private gym. You can ask commercial gym owners where to buy second hand equipment. You can start well on those.
If you are dead serious about developing your muscles for life, and you have the financial capacity to back it up, it is best to have your own gym - even a simple one. This way, you don’t have to be hindered from your regular workouts during rainy or stormy days. You may later have it commercialized to generate income and enjoy the company of other bodybuilders. This will boost your enthusiasm to persevere in bodybuilding.
“No pain, no gain.” This is the growth principle in muscle building. This usually means you have to sacrifice a lot to have your muscles improve in form and essence. You have to devote long hours a day for training. You may have to eat foods that don’t taste favorably in your mouth. You may have to eliminate a lot of your favorite foods and drinks. You may have to give up your nightlife or your time watching TV. For sure, you will have to give up all your vices, including gambling, drinking liquor, smoking, and being with bad company.
The idea in all the above is not to dissuade you from starting in this discipline. It is a discipline; and hence, you must be realistic and determined to pursue it once you take the first step. So, do you think you have the discipline to do it?
Before we look at the first step to bodybuilding, here are some tips on getting started. Let’s say that after having thought about it for a while, you’re willing to dedicate your life in developing and sculpting your muscles. Before you enroll in a gym or start to buy equipment, you must:
This is very important. You must have their support. The investment you are about to make may cost your family some time and money. It’s better to get their support. You may even get them to join you, and that would be much better. The last thing you want while working out is a spouse or parent who nags behind your ear, telling you what a waste of money, effort, and time your endeavor is.
Check your finances. You may have to withdraw from the bank, if you desire to purchase the most advanced equipment. You may go for cheaper or even free options; but if you think some equipment would be necessary to give you the best workout, then don’t hesitate. It is an investment. Just make sure you are really decided on it.
Don’t go ahead buying just any equipment that looks good. Go around shops and research. Ask how the machines work. Ask for brochures. Ask for actual demos. There are manufacturers who offer free trials; just study the terms and conditions carefully. Go around known gyms and take note of the brands of their equipment. Know what equipment you immediately need. Don’t buy everything at once. The trainings shown in this book may give you an idea of what to buy first. Try to look for good quality secondhand equipment.
If you choose to enroll in a gym for a while before you invest on your own private gym, ask around. What are the most popular ones? Go there and find out. Ask about the methods of training, the equipment, and anything else that you want to know. Do they have doctors available? Do they have physical therapists? Are they trained for emergencies? Do they have accident insurance for members? What are the terms of payment? Some offer lifetime memberships with a one-time payment. Some offer annual memberships. See what would be to your advantage. You may want to allot special time to study the matter before enrolling. Don’t be in a hurry.
A serious bodybuilder using heavy weights must have a spotter with him during training. A spotter is a trained assistant who assists you as you do your training. He corrects your form and lift, and assists in mounting and dismounting weights, especially heavy ones. He also helps you when the lifting is no longer bearable for you. Commercial gyms have spotters. He is either a paid assistant or a co-bodybuilder. Whether in a commercial or private gym, you must never train alone when you deal with heavy barbells. Always have a spotter handy.
Now is the proper time for a medical check up. Either your private physician or a gym doctor can do your check up. Make sure you get a clean bill of health before you start anything in bodybuilding. Then consult a nutritionist about what foods to take. Good commercial gyms have nutritionists who prepare special diets for beginners and advanced builders.
After you have everything from numbers one to six, then it’s time to visit your sports shop and buy your accessories. You need your weightlifting leather belt, lifting gloves, shirts, and bicycle shorts. Don’t forget your extra strength groin supporter (for males). Of course, you need some towels and perhaps a large bottle of pure drinking water as you train.
You are now ready to begin sculpting your physique into a masterpiece. Everything depends on your will power. You are about to bring out (or carve out) the hidden potentials in you. Brace yourself for what is about to take place. With each stroke of sculpting on a regular basis, there will always be a new you everyday.
It is normal to feel uneasy the first time you work out in a commercial gym. You may feel insecure for a while when grouped with those who have developed well-shaped muscles already. You may become conscious of those wide panel mirrors on every wall of the gym. There may even be some observers as you work out. All these will make you feel insecure for a while. Don’t let these bother you. Go and work out more often. Soon, these things will be “regular” things that you would enjoy rather than worry about.