- Finding the right gym
- Working weights
- Healthy diet
- Warming up
- Potential risks
- Discipline and patience
A perfect, well- toned body is every man's dream. More alluring than having a fit body, however, is the concept of a muscular, well-built one. Bulging biceps and chest muscles, iron-hard calves and a six-pack abdomen seem to constitute the "real man's body" and there are countless sellers selling the same. Ads for 'perfect' bodies accompanied by a muscular man tightening his muscles can be seen not only on outdoor boards but also in magazines and these days, on social networks.
Body building is not without its advantages. It is, like aerobics and sports, a fitness regime that exercises and tones muscles, burns calories and fat and gives well-toned, well-shaped bodies. More than the physical, of course, it is about the social and psychological reverence provided to the muscular body. The lure is almost universal. Who wouldn't want to look like a stud? The pressure starts early and boys in the later teens who perceive themselves as either too fat or too thin will hit the gym to start building muscles.
The bulging biceps and the solid six- packs do come around eventually and they certainly constitute a better physique than beer bellies and excess fat or a bony chest and skinny arms. But getting that dream body takes more hard work and discipline than you think. There are a hundred factors that will come in between you and that body. And most of them do more harm than good.
Finding the right gym
Find a gym that works for you. Proximity to home or work place is an obvious preference. Apart from that, try finding a gym with a good instructor or trainer, a place that is not very crowded so that your trainer can spend some time guiding you and you don't have to wait in line for the weights. A place with large windows and good air circulation is also necessary. Having a friend who goes to the gym at the same time as you is also preferable. Not only will you be able to help each other during weight training, you will also end up going there more regularly on each other's behest.
Getting out of bed, arriving at the gym and then lifting weights is, needless to say, a bad idea. Get your body warmed up a bit first. Jogging to the gym, carrying out a few push ups or sit- ups and stretching your muscles will get you perspiring enough to start working on the heavy weights. It helps avoid cramps and body aches, too.
Weights are necessary for body building. In fact, dumb bells and some weights are sufficient to exercise almost every part of your body. A common mistake most of us make is to lift heavier weights, hoping to build muscles quicker. This is wrong and will only leave you with body aches that will disrupt your routine. Start light and work your way up as the months progress.
If your body reacts badly to your body building regime, slow down and get some medical advice first. Regular back ache, even after weeks of training, can be an indicator of long-term problems. Lifting heavy weights, without warm-ups, over time can themselves lead to back injury. The problem with many health risks associated with body building is that they build up over the years and are not immediately discovered.
If you have had injuries in the past, torn a ligament or a meniscus, consult your physician even if it isn't giving problems at the moment and ensure that your training does not complicate problems.
Following a proper diet routine seems to be the most significant difficulty newbies seem to face. It's easy and very tempting to pick up protein supplements off the nearest store. However, it is always better to derive maximum nutrition from natural food. Working out will get you hungry and you will consume ample starch and carbohydrates. Decent amounts of fat and sweets are not very harmful because you will burn them away. You will need to be careful about them, however, if you have a history of diabetes in the family, irrespective of whether you work out regularly or not.
What you need the most, however, is protein. Meat, eggs and pulses are excellent sources of the same. Some vegetables like beans contain proteins too but you would have to consume a lot of them to get the same amount of protein you would get from eating a small amount of meat. Protein is what builds your muscles and gives you that body and that is why people rush to buy protein supplements. Make sure that you know how much of it to consume and how to consume it for optimum results. Consult your trainer. If you think you are experiencing any side effects or if your body is not reacting properly to it, switch back to a protein-rich natural diet.
Above all, drink lots of water. The amount you sweat in the gym indicates that a lot of water is going away from your body. Keep sipping water continuously to avoid cramps, dehydration and feelings of weakness and dizziness that arise out of inadequate water consumption.
Discipline and patience
Nobody goes to sleep with a big fat beer belly and wakes up with a six-pack abdomen; you can't walk into a gym with bony arms and walk out with bulging ones. It takes weeks and even months to see the first signs of expanded, well-shaped muscles on your body. It also takes regular work-outs over a long period of time to maintain that body. The key lies in being disciplined, avoiding disruption of work routines and continuing your regime instead of dropping out at the first sight of flexed muscles.
Remember, your body will be at its best during your training and you will need to continue training for quite some time to maintain it.