Here at Light the minds, we are passionate about engaging people in natural bodybuilding and encouraging them to pursue it naturally. That’s why we’re going to give you our top 10 natural bodybuilding tips for beginners. Getting off to a great start and making solid progress quickly is essential to keeping your motivation high and continuing on your bodybuilding journey in the long-term.
10 Natural Bodybuilding Tips
So let’s dive straight in!
1. Start slowly
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment with crazy goals and expectations. Everyone has to start somewhere so get to know your current fitness level and work slowly from there. If you are impatient and try to increase the weight or volume of your lifts too quickly then you are far more likely to acquire an injury. Before you start thinking about moving onto heavier weights, it is really important to master the technique of basic lifts and good form to avoid injuries and maximize the efficiency of your workouts.
2. Stick to the basics and give yourself time to build muscle
It might be tempting to mix things up with some ‘fancy’ new lifts but we’re here to tell you to forget about all of the weird and wonderful exercises you’ve seen people recommending. Trust us, stick to the ‘golden oldies’ which are staples to any lifting routine (eg. squats, deadlifts, bench press, bicep curls, etc.), and with time and dedication, you will see your discipline paying off. Muscles don’t appear overnight. They require time to become accustomed to the movements and repetition in order to grow. If you do different moves every time you train your muscles won’t have time to adapt.
3. Seek progression
Now that you have taken the time to adapt to your new routine, nail your form, and become comfortable with the basic lifts, it’s time to start challenging yourself. Progression is important for development and reaching new goals. Tracking your workouts to see how many reps and how much weight you are lifting is a great way to figure out where you’re at and motivate yourself to slowly boost those numbers. You should be regularly reviewing your routine and deciding where you could push yourself to hit new Personal Bests!
4. Eat enough
This one is so important and is often overlooked. Many people think that in order to make (and see) progress you must lose excess fat and go on a diet. If you are looking to get into natural bodybuilding then you need to start off with building muscle mass before you focus on losing fat. Building muscle is an intensive process that requires lots of energy and so if you aren’t fueling your body with plenty of calories and protein then your muscles will grow much more slowly.
5. Mix strength and hypertrophy training
It’s important not to get hung up too much on either boosting strength or increasing the number of reps you do. These are both very important in bodybuilding and so you should try to keep an even balance of both. Hypertrophy training (high reps) can be great for boosting muscle mass, but it won’t help you to increase your physical strength very much. Dividing your time between both styles of training is what we recommend to build both muscle mass and strength simultaneously.
6. Rest enough
That’s right, it’s not all about putting in as many hours as possible in the gym! Allowing your body enough time to rest and recover is absolutely pivotal. Not only does it allow you to show up to your workout sessions feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to push yourself, but it also helps you to avoid injury and gives your muscles time to repair themselves and grow. Your muscle fibers essentially ‘fray’ when you lift weights and grow as they repair themselves. If you don’t allow sufficient rest between sessions, your muscles won’t be able to repair quickly enough before you put them under more stress.
7. Don’t cut too soon
It may be tempting to go on a cut to see what progress you have made so far, but you’re better off bulking and maintaining for a year or two at least. This is because of the initial growth spurt that many beginners experience as your body often has more excess fat when you’re starting out which can be used as energy in the process of building muscles. If you cut and burn off all of that fat, you will have to bulk back up to your original weight in order to convert that fat into muscle anyway, so why not skip the middle man!
8.Understand your body morphology
Understanding your body morphology is really important because it is totally unrealistic to compare yourself to people who have a completely different morphology to you. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses and what your body responds well to. Natural Bodybuilding is a very unique and personal process so it’s great to get advice from others but always come back to what works best for you.
9. Take pictures and Measurements
We mentioned earlier that tracking your workouts can be a great way to monitor your progress, but it isn’t always the most encouraging or satisfying to look at. You might think that you will notice your body changing as you progress along your journey but there will be miniscule changes that you won’t notice day-to-day but can make a massive difference over time. Taking photos and measurements is a fantastic way to really see those changes and have a direct comparison to give you some motivation to keep going when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere!
10. Think long term
If you are serious about natural bodybuilding then you should start as you mean to go on and make sure the training and nutrition regimes you are following are sustainable for your lifestyle. It’s better to make slow but steady progress over a long period than to work tirelessly for 6 months and then burn out and fall off the bandwagon. It’s also important to look after your muscles and joints from the start to avoid any issues later down the line!
We hope you found these natural bodybuilding tips helpful! Thank you for reading our article and that this helps you start out on your bodybuilding journey!