Bodybuilding Guide

Gain Muscle and Lose Fat With This Bodybuilding Guide

Man holding weights
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New Year's resolutions typically include, amongst many other things, the goals of losing fat and gaining muscle, of course. In my opinion, bodybuilding is the fastest way to achieve these goals, as by definition, bodybuilding is following a lifestyle that uses weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition to re-shape your physique through the increase of lean muscle mass and reduction of fat stores.

Can I Use Bodybuilding Even If I Do Not Want To Get Too Big?

But wait a minute! You never want to step on a bodybuilding stage, nor do you have dreams of getting that big anyways. If that is the case, not a problem! To me, a bodybuilder is anyone that uses weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition to accomplish specific fitness goals.

In this bodybuilding site I share with you the knowledge I've gained through many years of practicing the bodybuilding lifestyle so that you too can achieve any physique goal you may have. How far you take your physique development or whether you ever get to compete or not are entirely up to you.<br/>
And if you fear getting too big by accident then believe me, that look will definitely not happen by mere chance. This is especially true for women since they do not produce the amount of testosterone needed to grow their muscles to the size that a man can accommplish. It takes years of strict adherence (almost to an obsessive level) to a bodybuilding lifestyle, in addition to calculated planning of your workouts and nutrition plan, to accomplish such an endeavor.

However, if getting really big and shredded (bodybuilding term for defined) is your goal, then no need to worry as in this site you will find all of the information you will need to accomplish that as well.

Let's Get Started On The Path To A New You Through Bodybuiding!

To help you achieve your bodybuilding endeavors, whether these are to simply gain a few pounds of muscle and lose a lot of bodyfat to look good at the beach, to gain tons of muscle weight or to get ready for a bodybuilding competition, I decided to put together this resource guide that will point you to all of the relevant information that you will need in order to accomplish your goals.<br/>
You will find everything here: bodybuilding training routines, diet plans and bodybuilding supplements' advice. Now there is no excuse for not accomplishing your bodybuilding goals in this New Year!

1. Set realistic and measurable goals and attack them with the right mindset. I always say, aim high but be realistic. For instance, if on the next 12 weeks you plan on losing 50 lbs of fat, then that is unrealistic. Instead, settle for a loss of 1.5 to 2 lbs on the average per week and that will equate to 18-24 lbs! Twelve more weeks of dieting and you will accomplish your long-term 50 lb loss. When it comes to muscle gain we really need to be patient. If you have 14-inch arms, do not expect them to be 18 by the end of 12 weeks. Instead settle for ¼ - ½ of an inch. If however, you are an advanced stage, like myself for instance, it took me a year and a half to get my arms from 18 inches to 18.5 inches. Therefore, the more advanced you are, the more patient you need to be.

In bodybuilding, patience and perseverance will be your best allies. For more information on goal setting and having the right bodybuilding mindset, please take a look at my articles below:

2. Select a training routine that fits your schedule and is designed for your goals and level of training. There are many factors to consider when choosing a training routine:
A) Training experience – How long you have been training for; are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced athlete?
B) Your training goals – Are you looking for fat loss with moderate muscle gain or are you looking to gain muscle exclusively? Or are you training for a bodybuilding competition?
C) The amount of time that you can devote to bodybuilding training – Can you train 3 days, 4 days, 5 days or 6 days? If your goal is bodybuilding competition, will you be able to train everyday?
Once you consider those factors, then you can feel free to select any of the routines down below and perhaps you can work on adapting them to your schedule if need be: These Programs Can Be Used During a Bulking or Fat Loss Cycle

  • Beginner’s Bodybuilding Workout (3 Days a week) – Excellent for those people with no bodybuilding training experience.
  • Intermediate Bodybuilding Workout (3-4 Days a week as desired) – Excellent for those with 12 weeks of training experience.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using Periodization (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is really serious about getting huge muscles. The periodization, or manipulation of sets, rest and repetition parameters will ensure the fastest gains in muscle mass.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 10 Sets of 10 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another high volume phase and who needs to get past a plateau. The 10 sets of 10 reps bodybuilding training method has been used in bodybuilding circles for years in order to break through plateaus and gain new lean muscle mass. Many people have claimed to its invention, but regardless of who came up with it, it has been used with great success by awesome bodybuilders from the past such as Vince Gironda, as well as Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today, many athletes on the know still use this method and even elite strength coaches, such as Charles Poliquin, are great advocates of it and use it on their Olympic athletes when they are in need of increasing their lean mass quickly. I’ve used this method myself without fail since early on my bodybuilding career. It never ceases to yield great results.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 5 Sets of 5 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another heavy weight phase and who needs to get past a plateau. This method has also been used in bodybuilding circles for years for the purposes of breaking through plateaus and accumulating new lean muscle mass. The inventor of this method, according to what I have read from various sources, was no other than former Mr. Universe Reg Park who was Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding idol and inspiration. Reg used this method quite successfully back in the fifties and sixties. This routine is best used after a high volume training phase, such as the one provided by the 10 sets of 10 reps method described above.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout for the Busy Bodybuilder (3-6 days a week) – This is a non periodized workout that makes the most out of the time that you have to train. You can incorporate periodization by changing the repetition ranges periodically as shown on the Advanced Bodybuilding Workout above. You can also change your exercise selections as well.
  • All-Time Favorite Draper Bodybuilding Workout Routine - This is bodybuilding legend Dave Draper's favorite bodybuilding training routine. It is based on a seven-day week, following a three on, one off, two on, one off schedule. It is non-priodized but one could easily periodize it by doing 12-15 reps for 3-4 weeks and then doing 10, 8, 6 reps for the next 3-4. This is a fun bodybuilding routine that yields great results.
  • Highly Advanced Bodybuilding Workout for the Bodybuilding Competitor (5-6 days a week) – Non-Periodized program for more instinctive and highly advanced bodybuilders (8 years of constant training or more) who know how to do their own periodization of reps and sets based on how their bodies feel. This routine taxes the muscles from every angle, and to the maximum, in order to achieve the absolute best physique. This is a great way to train for very advanced bodybuilders who are significantly strong and who can generate such a high level of intensity in each workout that training less frequently will allow for better results and recovery. Again, this routine should only be used by those bodybuilders who have spent years training using higher frequency splits such as the ones offered above. This routine is good during bulking and cutting cycles alike as the bodybuilder should know at this stage how to adjust the reps and sets accordingly based on their own body's knowledge.

Program for Bodybuilders Getting Ready for Competition or Who Wish To Embark in an Aggressive Fat Loss Cycle
Advanced Bodybuilding Workout for the Bodybuilding Competitor (5-7 days a week) – Periodized program that taxes the muscles from every angle and to the maximum in order to achieve the absolute best condition on a bodybuilding show.
Cardiovascular Exercise
Keep in mind that in order to achieve the best results out of your bodybuilding program you also need to incorporate cardiovascular exercise.

3. Select a nutrition program that is designed to support your goals. Your nutrition program has to be properly designed to support your bodybuilding goals. Choose from one of the programs below based on the particular goal that you are pursuing:
Goal 1 - Fat Loss with Moderate Muscle Gain: A nutrition program that emphasizes fat loss with moderate muscle gain.
Goal 2 – Exclusive Muscle Mass Gain: A bulk up program that emphasizes muscle gain while minimizing fat gains.
Goal 3 – Pre Contest Program: An example of my personal nutrition program for bodybuilding competition. Note: Because of the individual nature of bodybuilding competition, this diet may need to be adjusted to fit your individual metabolism. People with higher metabolisms that are leaner can get away with more carbohydrates and less cardiovascular exercise while less leaner people with a more normal or even slow metabolism can benefit from the diet as is. I recommend that if bodybuilding competition is your goal, you hire a bodybuilding coach that can help you with this process of figuring out what works best with your metabolism instead of following someone else’s pre-contest plan.<br/>Just Starting Out -If you are just starting out and rather ease into a bodybuilding diet, instead of jumping in right away, then I suggest that you take a look at my instructions for Easing Into A Bodybuilding Diet.
4. Use bodybuilding supplements to help you attain your goals. As I have discussed in previous articles, the amount of supplementation that you will use will depend mainly on your goals, how serious you are about your bodybuilding program (for instance are you following your training and diet to the “T”?) and finally your budget. At the bare minimum, assuming that you are training and dieting correctly as well as getting enough rest, you will need a multiple vitamin/mineral formula, some chromium picolinate, vitamin C, and a source of essential fats such as fish oils, flax oil or extra virgin olive oil. Protein shakes are convenient too as for most of us it is hard to eat 6-8 real meals a day, however small they may be. For more information on the subject of supplementation, please take a look at the following articles:

  • Bodybuilding Supplementation Basics - Learn the truth about the value of nutritional supplements and which ones are essential to make the best lean muscle mass gains and achieve the most fat loss out of your bodybuilding program.
  • Creatine Monohydrate Basics - Learn all you need to know about Creatine Monohydrate and how it can help you gain lean muscle mass.
  • Preserve Lean Muscle Mass With Glutamine - Learn how L-Glutamine can help you to preserve lean muscle mass during intense training periods.
  • Testosterone Boosting Supplements - Learn how some supplements may help you increase your lean muscle mass by boosting your testosterone levels.
  • The Myths and Dangers of Anabolic Steroids - Learn about the dangers of Anabolic Steroids, what they do, what they don't do, and why you are better off staying away from them.

Be sure to also check out my products review section in order to learn about some of the bodybuilding supplements in the market that I've found useful.
5. Do not neglect the important aspect of rest and recovery. You need 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night in order for your body to run efficiently. Deprive your body of sleep and you'll have lousy fat loss. As a bonus, you also get muscle loss, which in turn lowers your metabolism. You also get deprived hormonal production, which makes it difficult (nearly impossible really) to build muscle and as an added feature you’ll have to deal with lower energy levels, something not conductive to great workouts. The articles below further elaborate on this important subject.

  • The Sleep Cycle - Learn what the four phases of the sleep cycle are and how much on the average you should be sleeping each night for maximum results.
  • 8 Maladies Caused By Sleep Depravation - Learn what the top 8 maladies caused by sleep depravation are.
  • 4 Guidelines To Ensuring A Good Night Sleep - Learn 4 guidelines that you can follow to ensure a good night sleep.

Not a day goes by when I get asked: “What do you take to look like that?!” As you can see, it’s not a matter of “what do you take”, but more a matter of what do you do on a daily basis to accomplish your bodybuilding goals. I wish I could tell you that bodybuilding is easy and all it requires is that you show up to the gym and lift some weights. Successful bodybuilding requires a permanent lifestyle change that needs to be executed day in and day out in order to accomplish your goals. There are no shortcuts to a great physique I’m afraid. I have even seen guys (and gals) who have taken steroids hoping that these drugs would give them the flawless physique that they are looking for in no time. Sadly, due to improper training and lack of dieting these subjects do not even come close to looking the way that they wanted to. So my point is that not even steroids are the magic bullet that some people think they are. And even if they trained hard and dieted right, the legal risks (as steroids are illegal without a medical prescription) and potential issues that come with lack of medical monitoring (combined with not knowing what to do with these drugs) are unacceptable. Determination and consistency in the execution of a proven bodybuilding plan are the only way in which you will reach the physical goals that you have set out to accomplish. Wishing you the very best in this New Year!
About The Author
Hugo Rivera,'s Bodybuilding Guide and ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, is a nationally-known best-selling author of over 8 books on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness, including "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men", "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women", "The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook", and his successful, self published e-book, "Body Re-Engineering". Hugo is also a national level NPC natural bodybuilding champion. Learn more about Hugo Rivera.