Archive for April, 2011

Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

These bodybuilding tips for beginners are intended for newbies that are about to embark on this quest to build muscle. Every bodybuilder has made mistakes but eventually overcame them to add muscle to their frame. Trainees will continue to make mistakes in their training but these tips will help minimize them.

There Are No Shortcuts
Aside from taking drugs, there are no short cuts in bodybuilding. For the person with average genetics, it takes years to build quality muscle. Don’t expect to gain 30 lbs of lean mass in a year unless you’re in the midst of a growth spurt. The key to gaining muscle is hard work, consistency, proper nutrition, and intelligent supplementation. If you plan to build a physique that turn heads, plan to be in this for the long haul.

There Are No Magic Pills
This is one of the most important bodybuilding tips for beginners, especially teenagers. The purpose of supplements is to SUPPLEMENT good nutrition and training. Each year supplement companies produce the next greatest supplement promising to add X amount of muscle in Y weeks. Each year, these wonder supplements are replaced by the next greatest thing. There are great supplements on the market but they will not perform miracles. If a fat burner promises to shed fat without changing your eating habits, leave it on the shelf!

You Must Be In a Caloric Surplus to Gain Muscle

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginners make is trying to stay super lean while gaining muscle. There are blessed individuals that can gain muscle while maintaining a chiseled six pack but the majority of trainees don’t fall in that category. To gain muscle, you must consume more calories than your body uses. If you do this correctly, the excess calories will be used to build muscle. Unfortunately, some of this new muscle will be accompanied by fat gain. This is NOT an endorsement to get fat (over 15% bf) but don’t expect to be super lean while in a gaining phase.

Genetics Play a Huge Role

Don’t you hate that guy that can eat McDonalds and pizza everyday and not gain a pound? Or that guy that barely touches a weight and seems to gain muscle quickly? That is genetics. Thanks Mom and Dad! Every individual has to play the hand he was dealt. If you have a high metabolism and can’t seem to gain muscle no matter what you do, you better start eating A LOT, everyday. If you seem to gain weight by just looking at a cheeseburger, you better cut back on the carbs, buddy! Your calves won’t grow? You need to train them almost every day.

You Need to Get Stronger

This is one of the bodybuilding tips for beginners that most trainees don’t understand. Bodybuilding is about looking good and building larger muscles. With this in mind, most newbies go to the gym and hit set after set with little regard for strength. Your muscles need a reason to get bigger. If you are constantly exposing your muscles to the same stimulus (weight), it has no reason to get bigger. If you are constantly trying to add weight to the bar, your muscles will need to grow in order to handle the extra weight. You don’t need to train like a powerlifter but your goal should be to handle more weight in a rep range conducive to building muscle.

These are a few bodybuilding tips for beginners. Many beginners keep making these same mistakes. Mistakes aren’t entirely bad because it is part of learning how your body responds to different things. Hopefully these tips will minimize the mistakes you make.

If your a skinny guy, is it possible for you to gain muscle? You try to gain muscle with little success. You look into the mirror day after day wondering if you are doomed to stay skinny forever. It’s not through a lack of trying, however you spend much time focusing on the wrong things.

Many skinny guys know the latest training programs and latest supplements promising to build tons of muscle but lack knowledge in the one thing that will make the most difference when trying to gain muscle: NUTRITION!

Proper nutrition can make or break any great training program. In the case of he skinny guy, Your likely not eating enough calories to stimulate muscle growth. Your body needs nutrients to build muscle as muscle can’t be built from thin air. You must eat enough to gain weight consistantly to put on muscle.

Naturally skinny guys have fast metabolisms therefore you will have to consume more calories than the average person. If you aren’t gaining weight, you’re just consuming enough calories to survive and perform your daily activities. Skinny guys must consume more calories than needed for their normal activities to gain muscle.

In order to gain weight, you must realize that you’re not eating enough. Most skinny guys will tell you that they eat all day long but if you were to calculate their daily totals, you’ll soon realize you are under eating. The you goal is to eat enough calories to gain weight but not add excess fat in the process.

To start gaining weight, you should keep a log of everything you eat for about a week. I suggest setting up a free account at Add the total calories consumed over the week and divide by 7. This will give you your average daily calories. If you don’t want to keep a food log, you can multiply your bodyweight by 15 (or 18 if you are really skinny) to give you a rough estimate of the calories needed to maintain your bodyweight. Each week, you should add 500 calories to your daily calorie total. For example, if you kept a food log and calculated you ate 1800 calories a day, you should bump your calorie consumption to 2300 per day. You should add 500 calories each week until you start gaining weight. Once you find your calorie “sweet spot”, you should maintain this calorie amount until muscle gains begin to plateau. When your muscle gains begin to plateau, and an extra 250-500 calories unitl your weight starts to go up.

Skinny guys gain muscle by eating the right foods. Your diet should consist of adequate protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats. Because you have a fast metabolism, you can probably get a way with eating junk without sabotaging your muscle gains but it’s not recommended you live off of McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Most trainees looking to gain weight should eat 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. You can get this protein from whole foods or protein shakes. You shouldn’t be afraid to consume fats as some of them are actually good for you. Just keep saturated and trans fats to a minimum. The bulk of your calories should come from complex carbohydrates.

Skinny guys gain muscle by training hard and eating enough calories to grow and not by looking for the next magic potion to come out on the market. If you believe you are eating enough but still can’t gain weight, you need to re-evaluate you daily calorie consumption.

“How much do you bench press?” This is the most often asked question in the gym and in bodybuilding circles. The bench press is the most popular weight training exercise. Go the gym on any Monday night and you’ll see the bench press area populated by those who want to build a bigger chest.

“Why would you want to increase your bench?” If you’re goal is to build a bigger chest, you should look no further than the bench press. The bench builds the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. If any of these areas are weak, you won’t be able to lift to your full potential. Handling heavier weights in the bench press will lead to increased size in the aforementioned muscle groups.

bench press

There are three components that make up a big bench press: technique, programming, and supporting muscles. The technique is the manner in which you execute the lift. The programming is the bench routine you will use to increase your bench press. The supporting muscles are all other muscles that contribute to the bench press. Technique is the one component that can improve your bench press almost immediately.

There are many bench press styles and your goals will dictate what type of technique you will use. There is the power technique that powerlifters use and the bodybuilding technique. The goal of the powerlifter is to lift the most weight possible from point A to Z. He is not worried about feeling the chest muscles working or stimulating growth. He will use his legs to help him power the bar off the chest. He will also utilize an arch in his back to shorten the distance between the chest and lockout.

The bodybuilder has the ultimate goal of building a bigger chest. He wants to bench press heavier weights but not at the expense of stimulating the muscles of the chest. If your goal is to build muscle, you still need to increase your bench press but utilize a technique that will stimulate the chest muscles while pressing the most weight. Here are some points to remember while bench pressing.


Your feet should be planted firmly on the ground. During the bench press movement, you should be pushing down with your heels. This will give you a stable base. There should be no excessive foot movement.

Butt and Upper Back

If you compete in bench press contests, your butt must remain in contact with the bench. However, it should still remain on the bench whether you compete or not. Your butt coming off the bench is a sign of excessive leg drive which will take stimulation away from the chest, which is what we don’t want. Your butt should be squeezed tight and in contact with the bench throughout the entire lift.

Your upper back should be tight if you want to increase your bench. The best way to do this is to squeeze your shoulder blades together and “dig” them into the bench. This will give you a solid launching pad from the chest.


Your grip is the manner in which you grab the bar. You should grip the bar as tight as possible. This will activate the triceps. Grip spacing is how far apart your hands are from each other. Generally, a closer grip involves more triceps and a wider grip involves more shoulder and chest.

The best grip spacing for a big bench press is high individualized. A triceps dominant lifter will prefer a close grip while a shoulder/chest dominant lifter will prefer a wider grip. To find the best grip spacing for you, you will need to experiment with different positions.


Once you’ve found your proper grip spacing, it’s time to execute the lift. Go through your mental checklist: feet planted firmly, butt squeezed tight, shoulder blades squeezed and dug into the bench, and bar gripped tight. Many lifters are tempted to start the lift immediately after taking the bar out of the hooks. Don’t do this! Take the bar out of the hooks and let the weights settle for a few seconds. You will feel your upper back really start to press into the bench.

Pay attention to your arms, in relation to your body, when you start bringing the bar down to your chest. Many lifters bring the bar down with their arms flared out and almost perpendicular to their body. This causes shoulder strain and short benching careers. You should be tucking your elbows closer to your body where your arms and body will form an almost 45 degree angle. This position also brings your lats into the picture allowing you to handle more weight. Once the bar touches your chest, push the bar back to the starting position.

If you want to increase your bench press, you need to improve all the components including programming, the supporting muscle groups, and your technique. Technique improvement is the one thing that can give you almost instantaneous results but is the least discussed. Improving your technique will give you a better bench press and bigger chest.