Bodybuilding is more than just a way of exercising; it's a sport with specific goals and training. Bodybuilders workout year round and often compete a couple of times per year. While the goal of weekly bodybuilding workouts is to build muscle, a symmetrical physique is also very important . A bodybuilder needs to work all the muscle groups one to two times each week and keep body fat in check with cardio.
Split It Up
Bodybuilders typically do not do full-body workouts two or three times each week. Instead they use a split routine. You can do a two-day split where you work upper body and lower body on separate days and do each workout twice a week. Another option is a three-day split. Day one could be chest and back, day two is legs and day three is shoulders and arms. With this type of split, you can take one full day off and do each workout twice a week. Yet another option is to do each workout once and do it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alternating with cardio-only days.
Sets, Reps and Weight, Oh My
Bodybuilding workouts mean a high volume of training each week. You are doing multiple sets of multiple exercises for each muscle group. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends three to six sets of six to 12 repetitions for each exercise you choose. If you are new to this type of workout, start with just two or three sets and do 10 to 12 reps. As you get stronger and your body gets accustomed to this amount, increase the weight by five to 10 percent and add one set at a time.
Work the Whole Package
Weekly bodybuilding workouts do not leave any muscle unattended. This means that you work your back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Depending on how you split your workouts, and how much time you have to train, choose at least three exercises per muscle group. Train from different angles with free weights, cables or even machines. For example, for your chest you might perform a flat bench barbell chest press, incline dumbbell flys and pushups. Try new things and change your workout every six to eight weeks to keep muscles growing.
Don't Give Up Your Treadmill
Yes, bodybuilding workouts focus on growing your muscles, but that does not mean you shouldn't do cardio. Cardio is important for your health and keeps body fat at bay. If you only focus on weight training, it is possible that you will add fat as well as muscle to your physique with your diet. This means that it will be more challenging to get in shape for contests or just maintain a healthy body fat. Perform cardio three to five times each week for 30 to 60 minutes. Perform high-intensity interval training alternated with lower intensity, steady state cardio.
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