People who choose bodybuilding workouts normally want to achieve two things, strength and increased muscle mass. The workouts they decide on usually have a few things in common.
Common Aspects of Bodybuilding Workouts
- More weight and less reps to increase muscle and improve strength. More weight and fewer reps push the body to manufacture more muscle fibers. The increase in muscle fibers is what increases mass, the more mass a person has the stronger they will become. Individuals who do not bulk out can still gain an excessive amount of strength, the only difference is that they will not be able to sustain a rigorous level of activity for any substantial length of time.
- The movements are completed in short, distinct moves giving the muscles less time to relax. Muscle contraction is an essential part of the exercise. The less time between contractions the more the muscle works, increasing both stamina and strength. While short, distinct moves are essential during reps, it is extremely important that the muscles be allowed to thoroughly relax and return to their resting position between sets.
- Exercise rotation is essential to prevent the body from adapting to the program and becoming accustomed to a set routine. Doing the same exercises over and over again can lead to stagnation. The body will eventually expect certain exercises and will prepare accordingly. By changing exercises on a regular basis, the memory contained within the muscles is disrupted, forcing them to work as if they have not been previously conditioned. Instead of lifting weights five days a week, turn two days into cardio days so the heart and lungs get a sufficient work out as well.
- Alternate areas of the body being worked with each session. By alternating areas of the body, an athlete will allow each part to rest for a specific amount of time between workouts. A good example of this type of conditioning is choosing workouts for the legs and back on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and switching the routine to arms and abdomen on the alternating days.
- The frequency of workouts and ample rest will determine the bodybuilder’s success. Athletes who want to build muscle fast, will often do “two-a-days”. This means working certain parts of the body in the morning and the other areas in the evening. While this is good for athletes who are physically prepared for this level of activity, it should be avoided by individuals who are just starting out and may not be physically ready for that kind of activity. Too much of a good thing can lead to an increased risk of injury.