Hey, everyone, here is the start to my beginners thread that I've been talking about. I am compiling the ideas and practices that are most widely used, and that are proven to work, in sections. I will continue adding to it as time permits. Other experienced BBers, feel free to add in! Just please keep it straightforward. Mods, if this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it.
Nutrition-this is said to be the biggest factor for success. Log onto Fitday.com, and monitor your current eating habits. Try to get somewhere around 60% Protein/20%fats, and 20% carbs. Eat lean meats.
Refer to the "What a bodybuilder eats" sticky for a list of good foods for bodybuilders.
For carbohydrates, which should not be a major part of your diet, eat oatmeal, rice (brown is better), whole wheat bread.
Avoid highly processed foods, or foods that are enriched, such as saltine crackers. Basically, the better foods will have less ingredients-but not always.
-Have at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
-Eat healthy meals, with meats, fruits and veggies.
-Preferably eat about 6 meals a day, or 5, or 4 if possible-it helps prevent insulin spikes-which aren't good.
-Drink a lot of water. Shoot for about 1 gallon a day. If that seems like too much, increase the amount you drink little by little. Water is the most important liquid for us, and it helps in nearly every bodily process.
First off, DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT BRANDS THE PROS TAKE! You know which brands they 'take', and 'love'? The ones that pay them the most!
Despite all the supplement garbage floating around, the bare minimum you need is protein powder. Other proven supplements are creatine, dextrose, and maltodextrin. Those help a bunch as well.
Buy whey protein powder-it can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, and a lot of other places. Don't worry about fancy labels, or big claims. Look for a good amount of protein-about 22-25+ grams of protein per 30 gram scoop.
Take 1-2 scoops of protein within 15 minutes after your workout. For optimal results, take about 5 grams of creatine, and about a tablespoon of dextrose or maltodextrin as well.
Also, take a multivitamin, some fish-oil capsules, and others to consider are calcium tablets, liver tablets, and glucosamine-which is said to help keep bones and joints healthy.
Lift weights about 3 times a week. Two is OK. Each session should last about 1 hour. See the maximum you can lift one time on benchpress, squat, and deadlift.
As far as repetitions, shoot for about 5-6. That is, lift weights for a certain exercise 5-6 times, rest about 3 minutes, then do the same lift 5-6 more times. Do this, until you have done 5 sets of lifting, and weights. Once you're done, move onto the next exercise. This is based on the 5x5 routine, which is very well known.
Exercises that are good for beginners and intermediate bodybuilders (and even experienced ones, and the pros in the magazines) are compound exercises. Examples of compound exercises include: Squats, deadlifts, benchpress (all GREAT!), variations of the previous three, chinups, pullups, dips, rows, and many more. BASICALLY, LOOK FOR EXERCISES WHERE MORE THAN ONE JOINT IS MOVING. This means that more muscles are being used, and the brain is getting a bigger signal to make more muscle.
Exercises that you SHOULD NOT base your routine on are: curls, machine-based exercises, although they have their places, these are by far not the best for beginners. Many machines do not have you use stabilizer muscles, like the forearms, as much as freeweights do. So, they are not as effective as freeweights, but machines are better than no weights!
Is important to send oxygen to the muscles, which helps alleviate soreness. It burns fat, and improves endurance. Run, or do some other fast-paced activity such as swimming, for about 30-40 minutes, 2-3 times a week.
Sleep at least 6-7 hours, but preferably more. You can feel the greatest 'burn' or 'pump' ever while in the gym (burns and pumps really aren't the best sign), or the best, most complete workout, but without rest, you're not going to see results. Sleep is when the body repairs itself and creates new cells (including muscle cells)!
If while lifting, you feel a sudden pain, such as a tearing, or a popping sensation in the body, immediately stop lifting. Don't just do another body part-we very often tense up our whole bodies while lifting, which could injure you more. Get some ice, and have something tight around the injured area. If it's really bad, go see a doctor. Don't lift alone, especially not with free-weights.
I'll continue on this later. Any questions so far, ask away.