If I knew then what I know now…
Remember back in the day? The first time you stepped into a gym, heard about protein powder, and started counting calories? Like all things, you probably made a lot of mistakes. There are many things you think you know in theory that you can’t really understand until practice. Bodybuilding, being a hands on sport, is naturally something you have to experience. No matter what rep range we tell you produces the biggest muscles, you have to practice this on your own body to see what works for you. However, being humans we are more alike than different. And as bodybuilders there are many experiences that we will share. So if you’ll give us a chance to plead our case, we’d like to give you 5 things we wish we knew before we started lifting.
1. You can never out train a bad diet
Many have tried, and many have failed. You can’t out train a bad diet. The problem with a bad diet is that after you’ve broken down your body in the gym, nutrition is what your body uses to build it back up, get it? So by simple logic, you’re fighting a losing battle. Balance diet and training or you’ll be doomed with the results.
2. You won’t lose muscle by taking a day off
We know your arms look slightly smaller at home than when you were pumping at the gym, but there’s no need to drop down and give me twenty. The body is a living thing and is always going through changes. After you break the body down (i.e. going HAM!) the body needs time to build back up, and that happens during a REST period. That’s right, rest! As counterintuitive as it may seem, when you stop working is when you actually grow. Funny that.
3. You don’t always have to train to failure
This goes hand in hand with lesson #2. Just as you don’t have to train everyday, you don’t always have to go to failure every time you train. It’s okay to do a set range and still have a couple more left in the tank. It’s also okay to go to the gym and not leave exhausted. Sometimes just priming your body is enough, remember there is a point of diminishing returns. Literally.
4. Train in all Rep ranges
This one is a funny one in regards to my personal experience. I remember when I first hit the gym with my best friend and we were absolutely clueless. My friend always wanted cuts and a six pack and I always wanted strength. So he would do multiple sets of 20 lb barbell curls and I would go balls to the wall and pretty much stop when I was in a quivering mess. What we eventually learned was that both were beneficial. You don’t have to enter a life long relationship with either training but instead could take the option of switching it up. Go ahead, experiment!
5. Understand that bodybuilding takes time.
Instant gratification. The gift and the curse of modern times. Unfortunately for us, unlike technology our bodies take time to learn and to grow. This means that even though you’re hitting the gym 5x a week and taking all the supps you can carry home from GNC, it’s still going to take time to gain size and strength. There’s a reason builders look better over time. Muscle maturity and knowing your body take time, be patient, be dedicated, and watch your body grow!
There you have it, 5 things we wish we knew before we started bodybuilding. Do you agree with our list?