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TweetThis was written for www.fitnessgeared.com a bodybuilding, fitness discussion forum, today’s discussion is about the most important aspect of bodybuilding. Enjoy reading!!!
Nutrition, training, supplementation and mindset are all important aspects of succeeding in bodybuilding, but some are more important than others.
To my way of thinking, mindset is certainly the most important aspect of bodybuilding. The mind is the most powerful tool in the human body. A good mindset can create a successful bodybuilder from a skinny kid, while a poor mindset can destroy one that is already good.
You must have a clear vision of yourself as a bodybuilder. Simple - if you want to be one, you must think like one. You must love what you are doing if you want to achieve something.
Think about all current sport legends such as Michael Jordan in basketball, Tiger Woods in golf and Arnold Schwarzenegger in bodybuilding. Do you think any of them achieved this level without absolute dedication to their sport and unimaginable motivation? I don't think so...
The reason that I choose mindset over the other three is simple. You just can't train, eat and supplement properly without a good mindset. You can't achieve decent training if you have no motivation to train intensely. It's impossible to achieve a good shape if you don't understand the way exercises work.
If you don't have true dedication to bodybuilding, you will always find an excuse to skip the few last reps, set or even a workout. Consistency is a key to success in bodybuilding. You will never push yourself to the limit. Training without the mind just does not work. And how about nutrition? It's probably the toughest part of success in bodybuilding. Eating old canned tuna and tasteless chicken breast all year round is certainly not the easiest thing to do. Avoiding certain food all the time is even more exhausting.
You see your friends eating burgers and drinking coke while you are trying to push another bowl of oats towards your stomach. Without a doubt it's mentally hard. Very few can handle this without fall downs. I don't believe anybody could do such sacrifice for fun. It's tough, it requires willpower and dedication, but results will come in time. It's a part of the game, part of the success.
Setting goals is another part of the mind game. You are less likely to succeed if you don't have clear goals and a clear vision of yourself in the future. It's impossible to achieve a good physique with chaotic training and lack of plans.
Also choosing somebody better than you is also beneficial. You should have an ideal picture for everything you do. It could even be a famous bodybuilder with a similar body type as yours.
Learning from your mistakes is another essential part of your way towards success. Failure at anything and anytime should not discourage you. It should stimulate you to reach perfection and your goals even more.
A few tips for success in mental part of bodybuilding:
- Try to establish a clear vision from the first day you hit the gym.
"I want to be a champion bodybuilder and no one can stop me from achieving my goal." You won't achieve anything if you are always hesitating and you are not sure what you want.
- You should keep yourself motivated as much as you can. Don't let motivation fade away, always encourage yourself to train. Watching movies and looking at pictures of great bodybuilders surely helps in this case.
- You should set goals for everything! From the very first workout - think about your future. You should set long-term goals and then divide them into shorter periods. You should also be wise when you set a goal. It should be realistic and achievable. You don't want to discourage yourself with failure.
Muscle & Mind
- One of the keys to success in your workouts is the mind and muscle connection. You should practice to feel every muscle when you train. You should think about the muscle and not about weight. Only then you will be capable to push yourself to the limit.
Training in bodybuilding is definitely the most important subject after a proper mindset. Once you decide that you want to succeed in bodybuilding - you just need to train with weights to achieve a decent shape. In bodybuilding contestants are judged by muscular development and training with weights is the best and fastest way to build your body.
Weightlifting ignites muscle growth and improves many functions of your body. Everyone is very individual so you must choose your training wisely. You should understand your body composition and specifications of it. Once you start training, you should focus on these aspects of weightlifting:
Exercises, Sets, Reps:
Unless you don't have a strong base, I recommend doing mainly free weight compound type exercises with low sets and low reps. They involve many muscle groups and are good mass builders. Best compound exercises for mass:
Chest - Bench Press, Dumbbell Press
Shoulders - Military Press
Bicep - Barbell Curls, Dumbbell Curls
Triceps - Close-Grip Bench Press, Dips
Back - Barbell Rows, Deadlifts
Legs - Squats
Concentrate on isolation exercises only when you have a solid package of mass. Then you should involve more isolation exercises with machines to shape the muscle. You should also increase number of sets and reps, because it's risky to do isolation exercises with heavy weights. These movements are not natural to the body and unusual to your joints, so you will be more injury prone.
You should also focus on technique instead of heavier weight. Cheating sometimes helps to go over a plateau, but it should only be a rare way of training. Full range of motion is also very important if you want to achieve maximum muscle stimulation.
Negative phase of exercise is even more important because you recruit most muscle fibers when you lower the weight. Muscle contraction is also a thing to be looked at.
Think 'Negative' To Grow!
When hitting the iron, many consider only the movement or exercises, with no regard to the speed, eccentric portion, or time under tension. This week I'm going to discuss eccentric muscle actions and the importance to an overall lifting regimen.
Even if I've put nutrition to third place, it's a live or die thing when we are talking about nutrition in bodybuilding. When you are training hard, your body needs sufficient amounts of energy and plenty of raw material. Providing that energy and raw materials is the role of nutrition.
Nutrition involves learning how to bulk up and then get lean. Nobody, and I say nobody, has ever won a bodybuilding competition without a proper view to diet. Nutrition is not less important than training.
Good nutrition starts with understanding the role and usage of basic nutrients:
It's an organic compound composed of various amino acids. It's essential to the structure and function of all living cells and is the building material of muscle. When digested it's broken down to amino acids.
Protein is probably the most important nutrient for a bodybuilder because it's used by the body to build, repair and maintain your muscle. However it's a big difference between sources of protein. Some foods don't have complete amino acid composition, so it's not best for muscle growth, while others have poor bioavailability and are not usable by the body so well.
Here is a list of good protein sources for a bodybuilder:
Food Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Egg whites 50 84% 8% 0%
Tuna 116 88% 0% 6%
Chicken breast 172 48% 0% 48%
Cottage cheese 72 69% 15% 13%
Milk 51 7% 39% 34%
Generally these products contain a maximum amount of high quality protein with a minimum amount of fat and carbohydrates.
Bodybuilders might need a lot more protein than the average person with low activity levels. I recommend getting at least 1.5gr of protein for 1 lb. of bodyweight. You should get about 20%-30% your daily calorie intake of protein.
The body’s primary and most easily digestible source of energy, Often bodybuilders try to avoid carbohydrates, because they are paranoid that carbs are stored as fat. That's certainly a silly approach to bodybuilding. When you are training, you expend loads of energy, and carbs are the best source to get that energy from. I would suggest a high carbohydrate diet. You should get 50%-60% your daily calorie intake of carbohydrates.
However not all carbs are good to use. Commonly they are divided into simple (sugar) and complex carbohydrates. Also they are sorted out by glycemic index. Usually by high and low GI. Bodybuilders should use more complex, low glycemic index carbs. They provide steady energy for a long amount of time. Although simple, high GI carbs are good for post workout glycogen stores replenishment.
Good sources of complex carbohydrates:
Food Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Potatoes 77 10% 91% 1%
Brown rice 362 8% 84% 7%
Oats, Pasta, Beans, Vegetables
Fruits contain simple carbs (fructose) but they have a great amount of fiber - you should include some fruits in your nutrition regimen.
They are the most energy dense of all macronutrients. While 1gr of protein and carbs provide 4kcal, 1gr of fat provides 9kcal. Fats in the body serve few functions. They provide stored energy (body fat), fat protects major organs, and it also acts as insulator preserving body heat. They should contain about 20% of your daily calorie intake.
You shouldn't avoid fats completely because they are responsible for many important functions in your body; they also regulate normal muscle growth. Good sources of fat are: Fish, Nuts, Sunflower oil, Soybean oil, and Flaxseed oil
Water is the main component of our bodies. The body is made from approximately 60% of water and muscle is composed of roughly 72% water. Proper hydration is extremely important to a bodybuilder because it clears out toxins, helps metabolize fat and reduces fluid retention. You should drink at least 1 gallon of water a day. You can take even more if you are cutting or taking creatine.
Vitamins and minerals are other important nutrients for our body. Our organism would not function properly without adequate doses of vitamins and minerals. You should always get required doses of: B complex vitamins
Biotin, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
Minerals such as:
Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Chromium
Any deficiencies can cause serious problems. You should be aware of overdosing some vitamins and minerals too.
If you want to succeed in this sport you must understand the role and importance of macronutrients. But probably the most important thing is your total daily calorie intake. You should be very careful with it. If you eat fewer calories than your body uses, you will lose weight. If you eat more calories than your body needs, you will store fat.
You need to find balance when your body gains a maximum amount of muscle and stores minimum amounts of fat. It's a tough but manageable task. Good Luck!
At last, we come to the last point - Supplements! It's not an essential part of bodybuilding but if you enhance your already good training routine, nutrition program, and dedicated body with wise supplementation, you can achieve incredible, tremendous results!
Sport supplements are getting more popular every day. Perhaps every person now has heard about creatine. And why has it become so popular? Simple - it works.
Thousands of athletes have already experienced the effect of good supplementation. Some skeptical people might say - you don't need to use any supplements if your diet is already good. But supplements can really make your progress and goals come faster. I will list a few of the most popular and effective supplements on the market today.
Bodybuilders need really high doses of protein and it gets hard to get all protein from raw food alone. Then protein shake comes into play. Whey is probably the most popular protein today. It's digested very quickly; that's very good for post workout nutrition.
Bioavailability is also very high, so everything makes whey as the best source of protein. My favorite whey protein is Optimum 100% Whey Protein.
Creatine monohydrate caused a revolution in the sport supplement industry. A few years ago it was probably the most powerful legal and natural supplement in the world. Everybody was getting good results, however creatine is absorbed poorly so a new type was created.
Creatine Ethyl Ester is same creatine with ester attached. It greatly improves absorption. I would recommend CEE to every person who is training with weights. My favorite creatine is Higher Power Creatine Ethyl Ester.
Amino Acids will always be one of the best supplements for bodybuilder. They aid in growth, recovery and repair of lean muscle tissue. Organisms can always benefit when some extra aminos are given to him. I would especially accentuate BCAA's.
In my opinion it's the best supplement after creatine. When taken before and after a workout they prevent protein breakdown, prevent muscle damage, and loss of glutamine. My favorite BCAA product is SciVation Xtend. Glutamine and HMB are also products worth trying.
As I mentioned above, vitamins and minerals are absolutely essential as a part of your nutrition. If you don't get the amounts you need you are not reaching your best potential.
A Good multivitamin should always be a part of your supplement stack.
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TweetI agree with this 1000% brother
Tweetshould be a stickie
TweetSticky for sure!
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I do not condone the use of, nor do I use anabolic or androgenic steroids. My participation on these boards is for informational purposes only. I have done extensive research of AAS and enjoy discussing them for role playing enjoyment.
TweetCan I get an AMEN!!!!
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TweetI am glad it is a stickie so much valuable info here
TweetWhat a great post. 100% dead on!
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Tweetgood re read
You Had the Power All Along My Dear
You left ot anabolics. Your trading and diet can be perfect no anabolics no success
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TweetThe most important, number one thing if you want to be a top competitive Bodybuilder, and you can't even argue with this, is if you have the genetics to put on enough muscle and the structure to carry it well. If you don't have those two things It really does not matter what you do. You can develop a great physique but you can never be a really successful competitive Bodybuilder.
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