As you start your new bodybuilding program, you’ll probably be very excited and quite enthusiastic about developing a more muscular physique. You’ll likely want to progress as quickly as possible, and while it’s certainly positive to be motivated and excited in the beginning, it might be a good thing to take a moment and learn how to avoid some obstacles that could halt your progress down the road. Otherwise, such an oversight can lead to major headaches in the future in the form of injuries, more serious illnesses, or just a lack of progress in your strength training program. The following tips can help you prepare for your new routine and avoid some pain in the future.
First, be sure to correct any weaknesses before tackling a more difficult program. Now is the time to correct any sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, or any other nagging injury that could become much more serious when you begin strength training. Check with your doctor to obtain a proper diagnosis, but you should also consider working with alternative healthcare professionals such as chiropractors and massage therapists. This so called alternative therapy is becoming more common and can offer recovery options that simply are not available in a doctor’s office. The important point to keep in mind is that these injuries should be dealt with before they become a more severe problem. Remember that an injury like tendonitis can hamper your ability to train and delay your progress significantly.
One important component which many beginners do not know about or don’t really pay attention to is the recovery phase. Many beginners try to spend all of their time in the gym and think this extra effort will pay off in the long run. When they don’t experience any gains, or if they stop making progress shortly after some initial muscle-growth, the temptation is to increase the intensity or frequency of their strength training routines. Their logic is simple: more is better. Though this simple concept may seem to make sense, it is incorrect because it ignores basic muscle building principles. The goal of a strength training workout in the gym is to challenge the muscle beyond its previous limits and create small tears in the muscle. The body will adapt to this new stress by rebuilding the muscle in a larger size (hypertrophy). However, the growth of the muscle itself will occur during the recovery phase, not during the actual workout in the gym. Allowing the body to heal before the next workout is critical to long-term success, and many experts only recommend as few as 3 hours of training per week! With this in mind, fewer workouts and a good night’s sleep are important tools in your body building arsenal. Remember that your muscles are not the only parts of your body that need to recover. Your central nervous system and immune system can be heavily taxed during a stressful work out and need plenty of time to recover. 8 hours of quality sleep is recommended for most, though some people have slightly different needs. Note the word quality –growth hormone levels increase after an hour of deep sleep, so it is important to get the best sleep possible.
A word of caution should be said here about getting all of your advice from a gym. If you hear some information that contradicts anything in this article, you may want to think twice before succumbing to peer pressure. If you want to be one of the guys that gains huge amounts of muscle in the shortest time possible, you would be wise to take these tips to heart and ignore the bodybuilding masses. Your goal should not be to copy everyone else; rather, you should aim to be extraordinary and achieve the most spectacular results possible. This doesn’t just mean gaining the most amount of muscle and becoming incredibly huge. What it really means in this case is that you should accomplish whatever muscle building goal you’ve set for yourself as safely and efficiently as possible.