Bodybuilding is the process of developing muscle fibers through various techniques. But what about resting? How does it affect your performance?
Bodybuilding is achieved through muscle conditioning, weight training, increased calorie intake, and resting your body as it repairs and heals itself, before restarting your workout routine.
Workouts are designed to focus on specific muscle categories or groups, and foods are consumed with the intention to build the body’s metabolism and increase overall mass.
Weight training develops both strength as well as the size of skeletal muscles.
It uses the force of gravity to oppose the force generated by muscles through a contraction. Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment designed to target specific muscle groups and movements.
Some people refer to weight training as strength training.
While they are not exactly the same, they are both similar to each other.
Strength training focuses on increasing muscular strength and size. Weight training is one type of strength training using weights as the primary force to build muscle mass.
The basic principles of weight training are pretty much the same as those of strength training.
It involves a manipulation of the numbers of reps, sets, tempo, exercise types, and weight moved to cause desired increases in strength, endurance, size, or shape.
The specific combination of reps, sets, exercises, and weight depends on upon the desires of the body builder. Sets with fewer reps can be performed with heavier weights but have a reduced impact on endurance.
Equipment used in weight training includes barbells, dumbbells, pulleys, and stacks in the form of weight machines or the body’s own weight as in push-ups and chin-ups. Different weights will give different types of resistance.
Weight training also focuses on form performing the movements with the appropriate muscle groups and not transferring the weight to different body parts in order to move the great weight.
If you don’t use good form in weight training, you risk muscle injury, which could hinder your overall progress.
Another form of weight training is resistance training.
Resistance training involves the use of elastic or hydraulic resistance to contraction rather than gravity.
When your muscles are resisting a weight, the overall tone of that muscle will grow over time.
If you are a beginner at weight training, you should not just “jump right in”. You need to build up your strength and over-working your muscles can cause more harm than good.
Some of your muscles might be naturally stronger than others. Building up slowly allows muscles to develop appropriate strengths relative to each other.
Most gyms offer the services of a personal trainer that comes with the membership fee.
These trainers can suggest specific workouts for you to begin with however the routines featured within this guide will help you develop a solid workout quickly and easily.
Another huge thing you have to be aware of in your body building program is sleep.
Sleep is one of your most valuable tools for growth that you can have in your bodybuilding arsenal.
Muscle adaptation and growth often occurs at night.
During the suspended state of animation you are in, your body is doing exactly what you have been asking it to do during your workouts – build muscle.
Lack of sleep can have an intoxicating effect on your body.
According to the Journal of Applied Sports Science, being awake for 24 hours has the same physical effect as a blood alcohol content of 0.096, which is above the legal driving limit in most states.
Working out in this state has its obvious downside. For starters, your lack of muscular coordination places you at a much higher risk for injury.
Just as you’d never head to the gym after drinking a few beers at your local tavern, you should never work out after not sleeping the night before.
You’re better off waiting until the next day when your body has been given proper rest.
What are the best practices when it comes to getting enough sleep?
Here are some pointers:
Don’t exercise before bedtime. Body temperature has a huge effect on our ability to fall asleep. As your body temperature lowers, you start to feel sleepy.
If you work up a sweat before trying to sleep, you will have difficulty falling asleep and it could take your body several hours to cool down enough so that you can drift off.
Try having a light snack before bedtime. Some people disagree with this theory, but if you go to bed on an empty stomach, it can distract from your ability to fall asleep. Make sure this snack is light, though.
Get at least eight hours of quality sleep per night.
This will ensure that you get the rest and recovery that your body needs to be able to function effectively during the day.
Keep your bedroom dark and cool. Try having some white noise in the room like a fan running.
Don’t drink a lot of fluids before sleep, especially tea or coffee. Not only will the caffeine keep you awake, but you’ll have to use the bathroom more often as well which will disturb your sleep.
Establish both a regular sleep cycle as well as a pre-sleep routine. This will help you signal your body that it’s time to think about resting.
While your body is sleeping, your body’s synthesis of protein increases. This is what makes you grow. Your body can recover and repair any damage you did during the day while you are at rest.
A majority of growth hormones are also released when the body is in the sleep state. Growth hormones are very important in increasing muscle mass.
During a workout, growth hormones are also released, but the majority of this happens while the body is at rest.
Just as sleep will give you more energy, it is also vital in helping your body recover and ultimately grow like you want it to.
Bodybuilding and Overtraining
One of the biggest problems a newbie bodybuilder faces is determining how much to train. When they start a bodybuilding program, after having never exercised with weights before, the body generally responds relatively fast.
The new bodybuilder can see gains in muscle size and a firming of the body within the first few weeks and this encourages them to train harder.
This is where the problems start to begin. After the initial burst of muscle development, the body will begin to plateau for a while, and increasing the training will only lead to a case of over training.
Overtraining occurs when the muscles haven’t had sufficient time to recovery.
When the muscles are subject to weight training, the main process of development occurs during the recovery period when the muscle cells are rebuilt, to cope with the increased demands of the weight lifting.
It is during this ‘rebuilding’ process that the muscles become bigger, and without sufficient recovery, the muscles won’t have time to rebuild the cells.
This leads to the muscle getting overworked and growth is stunted. Without the correct knowledge, the newbie bodybuilder thinks that they need to train even harder to maintain the gains that they were seeing in the initial stages of their weight lifting program.
Thus begins the downward spiral of more and more over training and the resultant lack of muscle growth and fatigue.
With correct guidance, the bodybuilder will be able to see when they are getting into a state of overtraining and allow themselves a little more time to recover.
This might involve having a few days rest from exercise or more rest days between training sessions.
Alternatively, the overtrained bodybuilder might need to reduce the amount of weights lifted during a training session.
Reducing the intensity of the training will help to eliminate the possibility of injury and other health related problems as the body’s immune system is put under stress.
People who are just beginning bodybuilding for the first time need to be made aware of this process before they start training.
It is important so they can plan their weight lifting program in such a way that they will continue to see gains in muscle size and reduce the possibility of the plateau periods where they appear to be making little or no progress.