What thoughts or feelings does the term “bodybuilding” conjure in your mind? Perhaps “bulky” or “super muscular”? In truth, many women and men don’t go to the gym to be “bodybuilders.”
But if your fitness goals include “tone up” and “lose weight,” those same goals actually align with the concept of bodybuilding. That’s right, those same goals can be simplified to “build muscle” and “lose fat,” which is the goal of bodybuilding in a wide view. So many of us are bodybuilders whether we realize it or not!
As bodybuilders, there are many things we should take into account when we’re training and outside the gym’s four walls. Here are three to consider, whether you’re training for a competition or for your overall health and wellness.
“Plan to work, and work the plan.” When it comes to nutrition, execution is the most important part—especially as it pertains to bodybuilding. First, it is necessary to determine the goal of your nutrition (i.e., to gain muscle mass, lose fat or maintain muscle). From there, you can determine the right intake of your three macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
The ratio of these macronutrients, set with an appropriate calorie intake (deficit, maintenance or surplus) will produce the desired effect. Typically, high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrates will be ideal for fat loss, while high carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat will be ideal for muscle gain.
When considering the right plan for you, keep in mind energy balance, well-being and practicality in relationship to your lifestyle.
There are many different ways to work out, each one providing a unique outcome or result based on its effect on the body. When it comes to bodybuilding, it is important to focus on form, time under tension and rep ranges.
In bodybuilding, it’s not about how much you lift but how well you lift it. Ensuring the muscles are under continuous tension, through proper form, is paramount to achieving your goal. Time under tension will consist of slow negatives and pauses during each repetition, which will help produce muscle “hypertrophy” or growth. Sticking within a six- to 12-rep range will be important, as well. Too many or too few reps will produce more of an endurance or strength effect, respectively.
Keep your program simple and effective to maximize your progress toward your goals.
The best nutrition and workout programs are only as good as your ability to stick to them. Finding a balance and working smarter, not harder, will be pivotal toward long-term consistency.
It takes roughly 21 to 28 days to form a habit, which is your first big step. From there, having a source of accountability and measurements will continue to push progress and adherence. Making this a part of your lifestyle will be necessary for your success. Desired results can take anywhere from months to years, depending on the goal. So be patient, fall in love with the process, and the results will follow.
Photo credit: Tadija Savic, Adobe Stock