Bodybuilding Tips For Beginners
Just started lifting weights? Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, in this small article we’ll cover some basics to help you with your goals!
When I first started training, I had no help or guidelines, and it was overwhelming to try new exercises, so it’s best to take this information provided in this blog and ensure you have a trainer helping you with your technique.
First advice is to find a decent program. Upper/Lower split could be great for beginners. This program will target each muscle twice a week which is perfect for growth!
Here’s an sample split:
Monday – Upper Body
Incline Bench 3x 8-12 reps
Bent over rows 3x 8-12 reps
Lat pulldown 3x 6-10 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder press 3x 8-12 reps
Tricep pushdowns 3x 8-12 reps
Dumbbell curls 3x 8-12 reps
Tuesday – Lower body
Squat 3x 8-12 reps
Stiff legged deadlifts 3x 8-12 reps
Leg curls 3x 8-12 reps
Calve raises 3x 10-15 reps
Ab crunches 3x 10-15 reps
Lying leg raises 3x 10-15 reps
Thursday – Upper body
Incline bench press 3x 6-10 reps
Dumbbell rows – 3x 6-12 reps
Pullups/assisted pullups/pull downs – 3×8-12 reps
Dumbbell side lateral raises – 3×8-12 reps
Tricep cable rope extensions – 3×8-12 reps
Preacher Curls – 3x 8-10 reps
Friday – Lower body
Deadlifts 3x 6-12 reps
Leg press- 3×8-12 reps
Lunges – 3×8-12 reps
Calve raises – 3×10-15 reps
Ab crunches- 3×8-12 reps
Lying leg raises – 3×8-12 reps
This is just an example, please feel free to modify the program with your favourite exercises.
Second advice is to ensure your diet is adequate for growth. If you’re having trouble figuring this out, please have a look at our Diet & Nutrition blog.
Last advice, be consistent!! Bodybuilding is a slow process. Give yourself some time to see progress. Take before/after pictures, and track your dates to see changes 🙂
Have you been dieting for a while and have smashed into a plateau? Feel mentally fatigued and very low in energy? Most likely your leptin levels are low. In this article we’ll discuss the power of a refeed day and how to incorporate it into your diet.
What is a refeed day?
Leptin is a hormone that regulates satiety, metabolic rate, and serves other functions as well. When you’ve been in a caloric deficit for a long period of time, your leptin levels will decline, thus leading to a slower metabolic rate and an increase in appetite. This could also have physiological and psychological effects on your body, such as an increase in hunger or mood swings.
The goal of a refeed day is to help kick the leptins level back up to give you the benefits of psychological stand point and boost your fat burning process.
How to refeed?
Leptin is very responsive to glucose, so the best choice is to consume 100% extra carbohydrates or to increasing your carbohydrates until you’ve hit your maintenance or a slight surplus mark.
If you’re still fairly above 10% body fat (guys), or 20% (girls), you can start with one refeed day once a week and adjust accordingly from there.
Your CSN and muscles rely heavily on carbohydrates, so you can see how this might benefit your mental lethargy.
Refeed is NOT a cheat day. Don’t go binging on any food; this may put you back into a weekly surplus which may lead to unwanted fat gains.
Make sure you plan refeed days accordingly. It doesn’t have to be stressful. We know increasing your calories may look scary, but think of it as 1 step back, 2 steps forward.
John’s TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) = 2500 calories
John’s current calorie intake (cutting) = 1995 calories (500 calorie deficit)
John’s current macros = 170g protein, 160g carbohydrates and 75g fat which = 1995 calories
Now this is what Johns’s re-feed day would look like:
Protein = 170g
Carbohydrates = 365g
Fat = 75g
Total calories = 2815 (which is 315 calories over Johns’s TDEE, putting him into a slight calorie surplus for this day)
Food Sources: Consume any CHO food choices you like, as long as it’s high in carbohydrates to meet your needs.
- Ice Cream
- More lollies
Note: This is just a rough guideline to help spread the knowledge of refeed days. Please make sure you consult with your medical alliances to ensure you’re on the right path.
BUSTING PALEO DIET MYTHS
Advocates claim that the modern human’s ability to metabolise new foods has led to continuous increase in diseases. There are many problems that could cause the increase in diseases such as digestive issues, consuming too much excess energy, consuming too much high GI carbohydrates and so on. I disagree that these foods are the cause for the increase in obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and in this article, I’ll dismantle the whole idea of paleo diets.
The Paleo diet has been marketed to be the healthiest way to eat due to the restrictions of food groups such as dairy, grains, legumes, basically anything before the introduction of agriculture according to Lindeberg (2005). Now there’s a reason why obesity is one of the most common illnesses, and it’s not because of certain food groups. People tend to blame food groups because they lack the knowledge behind science or nutrition. What they don’t realise is the risk of diseases could be reduced if there was a simple change in their diet or incorporating physical activities.
According to the Australian dietary guidelines (2013, pg.31), by following guideline 1-3, limiting foods that contain high levels of saturated fats, added sugar and/or salt, and consuming a diversity of nutrient dense foods will extensively reduce the risk of diet-related chronic diseases (2013, pg.31), Furthermore, evidence in the guidelines suggest that there’s a probable association of consuming grain foods with lower risk of cardiovascular disease in adults, decrease risk of type 2 diabetes and gaining weight (2013, pg.45).
There was a study done in 2006 on the effects of whole grains, brans, and germs in relation to glycemic control, lipids and inflammation 1. The results have shown that consuming whole grains from a median of 23.4g per day in men, and 21.9g per day in women related to an overall healthier participant. This study also suggests that consuming whole-grains have improved insulin sensitivity and lower concentrations of LDL cholesterol in people who consume diets in high whole grains (Jensen et al. 2006).
let’s clarify another major point of weight loss with the consumptions of low to high carbohydrate diets. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of diets that were equally low in energy, but difference in the fuel source. The conclusion was that both diets have shown a substantial weight loss with the consumption of low energy, and that it’s reasonable to suggest that it’s energy intake that determines weight loss, not energy composition (Golay et al. 1996). So the whole idea of consuming no grains, legumes or whatever the paleo diet has restricted you to eat is false when it comes to weight gain.
As can be seen based on these studies, it appears that the Paleo diet may be nothing more than a myth. As long as you follow the Australian Dietary guidelines, or change your current diet that is flexible for yourself, you should be able to reduce the risk of any diseases occurring. By all means, this doesn’t mean that Paleo diet is bad; I’m just strongly against the idea of avoiding certain foods if it’s not necessary.
EAT FOR HEALTH Australian Dietary Guidelines Providing the scientific evidence for healthier Australian diets 2013, viewed 24 March 2015, https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf.
Jensen, Koh-Banerjee, Franz, Sampson, Bronbaek, Rimm, 2006, Whole grains, bran, and germ in relation to homocysteine and markers of glycemic control, lipids, and inflammation 123 Am J Clin Nutr vol. 83 no.2, pp. 275-283
Golay, Allaz, Morel, Tonnac, Tankova, Reavan, 1996, Am J Clin Nutr vol. 63 no. 2, pp. 174-178
Lindeberg, S 2005, Palaeolithic diet (‘‘stone age’’ diet), Scandinavian Journal of Food and Nutrition, vol. 49 no. 2, pp. 75-77
So you’re after a protein powder and don’t know which one to choose?
Not a problem, hopefully in this blog you can learn a thing or two to help you choose the most suitable protein supplement for you!
There are many protein powders on the market which have been hyped to do this and that. If it’s too good to be true, believe it. No protein powder will make you gain muscle faster than any other.
Let’s scope out the types of proteins available on the market.
You have your
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Hydrolysed Protein
- Mass Gainers
- Pea Protein
- Beef Protein
- “Fat Burning Protein”
And many others, but you get the drift.
Let’s start with mass gainers as it’s much simpler. The mass gainers are filled with a large amount of carbohydrates, with a moderate amount of protein and low amounts of fat. They can range anywhere from 200-1000+ calories. The cost of mass gainers are generally expensive compared to your general protein powders, however they could be convenient for you if you need those quick energy intakes. This is only recommended if you can’t fit your calories for the day or too lazy to cook.
Then we have our Whey Protein Concentrate, which is good source of protein, generally used by the population. These are generally the most cost-effective type of protein on the market, and are highly recommended if you’re just after a typical protein powder. Majority of WPC proteins have moderates amount of protein, low fat and low carbs. If you’re not lactose intolerant or strict on your carb intake, then this would be the suitable pick for you.
Further down the chain comes Whey Protein Isolate. A form of whey that contains a higher percentage of protein with low carbs, fats and could almost be lactose free. If you’re lactose sensitive, this is the preferred option for you.
Last of the whey form, we have hydrolysate protein, the fastest acting whey on the market. These types of protein are usually very high on protein with little to no carbs or fats. They are very easy to digest, and doesn’t cause flatulence. Hydrolysed protein is the best choice for people that have metabolic issues such as burned victims or anyone with digestive disorders.
Pea proteins are alternative sources of protein for vegans or vegetarians that are struggling to meet their protein goals.
Beef Protein is another alternative to protein powders. Those that are lactose, or want an alternative from dairy should choose beef protein.
Fat burning proteins are just whey protein blends with added thermogenic ingredients.
Now that you know the different forms of protein powders, you can plan out which one of them is the best suitable for you.
Diet & Nutrition Part One
Introduction – Energy Balance
Let’s start with the basics. Each day your body utilises energy in order to function, whether it’s sitting down, eating, physical activity etc.
Keeping this short and simple, if you want to cut, your body needs to burn more energy than your body consumes in order to lose weight, in other words, be in a caloric deficit, and if you want to bulk, then consume more calories than you burn, also known as caloric surplus.
How do you figure out how much calories you need to consume in order to burn fat or build muscle?
There are many different calculators you could find online, for now, we’ll use www.iifym.com/tdee-calculator. Please note: There are different types of formulas out there which can be more accurate. Online calculators are only a rough estimate; you could never be 100% accurate as your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is not a static figure. Also losing fat and losing weight is two different things, which we’ll cover in another part.
Once you’ve figured your rough estimated TDEE, it’s time to start playing with numbers. Now if you’ve got a deadline to meet, like a competition or meet, you may need to consult with your coach. If you have no deadline, the best advice is to take your time with your cut and lose weight as slow as possible if you’re relatively lean. This way, you can maintain your sanity and energy levels and thus allowing you to enjoy your food rather than suffering with the small quantity of food.
The reason I prefer to lose weight slowly is simply because it’s easier and less stress for me. Now by going slow, for me, I prefer to just go on a 200-300 calorie deficit, in order to maintain as much mass as possible while dropping body fat. However, if you have a high bf%, you may want to drop to 400-500 caloric deficit.
If you’re trying to gain size, best approach is to add a small amount of calories back to your diet. By small I mean 200-300 above maintenance is suffice. This again will minimise the fat gains while trying to gain mass. But that’s just my advice.
Beginner’s males 2-3lbs, females 1-1.5lbs, per month
Intermediates males 1-1.5lbs, females 0.5lbs, per month
This is the end of part one, the basics. Next part will cover the macro/micronutrients area, the fun stuff.
Thank you for reading the blog, feel free to leave comments below and let us know what you think. Thank you for your support!
Here’s a quick recipe for anyone looking to make their diet fun. It’s macro friendly so don’t worry if you’re too dieting on low calories.
- 1-1.5g scoop of your favourite protein powder
- 1 x Egg white
- 50g cereal digestive superfoods or 30g oats
- 1g Splenda Stevia
- 20-40g Peanut Butter OR 20-40g Nutella
- 30-40ml milk
Mix all the ingredients together and you should have your protein sludge ready to go!
Leave comments below and let me know what you think 🙂
Creatine is a nutrient naturally found in the body. Glycine, arginine, and methionine are the amino acids that make up creatine.
Creatine serves as a fuel source by increasing phosocreatine to resynthesize ATP during high intense activities, majorly exercises that last 10 seconds or less.
There are many speculations on which type of creatine is the best, and I’m here to clarify that.
This is one of the most popular questions, and I thought it’s best to get this article together to help you consumers pick out the best suitable creatine for you.
Here are some examples of different types of creatine:
- Creatine monohydrate
- Creatine Ethyl Ester
- Tri-Creatine Malate
- Buffered Creatine
- Liquid Creatine
- Creatine Pyruvate
One of the most common creatine is the creatine monohydrate. There has been an enormous amount of studies on creatine monohydrate for the past decade.
Here are the highlights of Creatine Monohydrate:
- Increase in strength
- Increase in intensity
- Improved Anaerobic Output
- Increase in performance
Which Creatine should you pick? Creatine Monohydrate is your answer! It’s the most researched supplement with more than decade’s worth of studies.
Still not convinced? Here are a couple of studies on Creatine:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22971354 – Buffered form of creatine vs CM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19228401 – Creatine Ethyl Ester on heavy resistance training, body composition