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13 Pro Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners

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Bodybuilders certainly display a noteworthy blend of strength, discipline, and aesthetics. It’s understandable why more individuals are showing interest in exploring the world of bodybuilding.

Starting out in bodybuilding can seem daunting to novices, given the multifaceted nature of the activity and the depth of understanding required. But with some of these basic pointers, you can methodically initiate your journey into bodybuilding:

1. Prioritise mastering proper form

We all want to get fit, but that requires mental and physical determination with the right technique. Before delving into any bodybuilding activities, it is crucial to prioritize mastering proper form. This is essential, as it helps prevent the development of bad habits that can be difficult to break. You can find plenty of online resources to assist you, so dedicate time to researching and perfecting your form.

2. Prioritise free weights

Despite the availability of modern, high-tech machines in many gyms, starting with free weights is best. Dumbbells and barbells are particularly effective, especially for beginners. Free weights allow for a wider range of motion and necessitate proper form, leading to better muscle development than restrictive machines commonly found in gyms. If you’re looking for some simple dumbbell exercises to begin your bodybuilding journey, A Lean Life is a good online resource.

3. Establish and follow a programme

To achieve success in bodybuilding, it’s vital to establish a strict routine and adhere to it. Seek guidance from a personal trainer or an experienced bodybuilder to devise a program tailored to your specific needs. This programme should outline the exact exercises you should perform, the number of sets, and the number of repetitions per set. Following a well-designed programme will ensure structured progress and optimise your results.

4. Allow sufficient recovery time

As a novice bodybuilder, the temptation to work out daily may be strong. However, it is not always advisable. It’s important to grant your body a day of rest between workouts to recover, repair, and relax. This recovery period is vital for optimising your progress.

5. Incorporate stretching into your routine

Just like with any workout regimen, stretching is imperative before engaging in bodybuilding activities. Stretching decreases the likelihood of injuries and muscle soreness. Moreover, it enhances your range of motion, enabling you to maximise your lifting potential fully.

6. Ensure each muscle group is trained weekly

Striking a balance is essential when it comes to gym sessions. While spending too many days in the gym won’t necessarily yield bigger muscles, too few workouts won’t be effective either. Dedicating at least one session per week to each muscle group to witness noticeable results is crucial. Additionally, aim to gradually increase the weight you lift every week or every other week, as this constant challenge pushes your body to continue building muscle.

Working different muscle groups together allows ample time for proper rest and recovery for those specific muscle groups. This contributes to their overall development and growth.

7. Select an exercise for each major muscle group

During each workout, make sure to include an exercise targeting every major muscle group. This comprehensive approach ensures that all areas of your body receive attention and stimulation. Consider exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges for your legs; bench presses, dips, military presses, and push-ups for your chest, shoulders, and triceps; and bent-over rows and pull-ups for your back.

There is no specific rule on how to group your muscles together, so feel free to experiment with different pairings until you find the arrangement that works best for you. If your goal is general fitness, following a program that incorporates a balanced focus on all muscle groups is recommended. However, if you’re training for a particular sport, it may be advantageous to prioritize and emphasize the muscle groups frequently utilized in that specific sport.

8. Establish clear goals

While it’s easy to expect instant and significant results when beginning bodybuilding, setting realistic goals and deadlines is important to stay motivated and focused. Start with smaller, achievable goals and gradually increase them as you progress and improve.

9. Prioritise pre- and post-workout nutrition

The food you consume before and after a workout significantly impacts its effectiveness. As a beginner, you need not obsess over specific dietary details. However, ensuring an intake of protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout can be beneficial.

10. Don’t neglect cardiovascular exercises

It’s common for beginners to concentrate solely on bodybuilding lifts and neglect cardiovascular exercises. For optimal results, incorporate cardio sessions after completing your weightlifting routine, with most of your energy focused on lifting.

Aim for 8–12 repetitions

When initiating your bodybuilding journey, aiming for eight to twelve repetitions per lift is recommended. Initially, you may be lifting lighter weights, allowing for higher reps. As you progress and handle heavier weights, reduce the number of repetitions accordingly.

11. Maintain focus and control

It’s natural to become carried away when starting out, particularly when a workout becomes easier. But instead of rushing through exercises, concentrate on maintaining control and perfecting each movement.

12. Emphasise compound movements

Many bodybuilding techniques can be intricate, so begin by focusing on simpler compound movements. Squats, shoulder presses, deadlifts, and lunges are all excellent choices. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, resulting in a more comprehensive workout without the need for isolated movements.

13. Learn from your mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes; it’s an inevitable part of life. Rather than allowing setbacks to discourage you, view them as valuable learning opportunities. If a particular workout routine proves challenging, be open to altering it. Experiment, adapt, and refine until you discover a bodybuilding program that suits you best.


Embarking on a bodybuilding journey requires dedication, consistency, and a solid understanding of effective training principles. By prioritizing proper form, incorporating compound movements, following a structured program, and ensuring each muscle group is trained weekly, you can lay a strong foundation for muscle development and growth. Remember to listen to your body, gradually increase weights, and allow for adequate rest and recovery. Whether you’re pursuing bodybuilding for general fitness or specific sport performance, these guidelines will help you progress and achieve your goals. Always consult with fitness professionals for personalised advice and guidance.

Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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