Hi this is Jim from Jimshealthandmuscle.com, audiofittest.com and the upcoming homeworkoutforbeginners.com… Yes! I am finally working on the video course to accompany my home workout for beginners book, and I’m really looking forward to sharing this!
More than a few people have said that this would be a good idea but it’s such a big project, there’s a lot of planning, writing, a lot of cost and time involved that it is pretty overwhelming to even start it and there is also a reason I choose to do podcasts before video…. Point a camera at me and I pull stupid faces and tend to ramble a lot more, but this is something I’m also working on.
Anyway this is still in the early stages so I’ll go into more detail in the coming months. If you are into homeworkouts, are a beginner and this is interesting to you, please feel free to sign up to my newsletter over at jimshealthandmuscle.com, just go to the home page and, click the “click here to get started” button near the top of the page and grab the free quick home workout guide. You will then get access to the mini home workout course which you will receive via email and also when I have special offers, freebies and updates and all the good stuff you’ll be notified.
So I hope this is useful to you if you decide to sign up.
Bodybuilding is a good fit for everyone
Right back to bodybuilding! When you hear the word “Bodybuilding” or “Bodybuilder” most people will default to thinking of the stereotype huge muscle bound guy or girl with veins popping, awkward walk, all muscle with no brain, or an arrogant big headed mirror posing freak who’s obsessed with the gym. Sounds harsh I know but in this episode I’m going to attempt to dispel this stereotype and make the word “bodybuilding” or “bodybuilder” appealing to anyone and everyone who has a body transformation plan, including total beginners to fitness and weight loss because bodybuilding training and the mentality that goes with it has a lot to answer for when it comes to body transformations, everyone can learn so much from bodybuilders and bodybuilding training.
Now I’ve spent a big part of my life living as a bodybuilder and in this time I’ve learned a lot about the training, diet and lifestyle and have actually taken bodybuilding to the point where I stood on a stage covered in fake tan wearing nothing but the smallest posing trunks in front of a few hundred people.
But this bodybuilding journey is not the only path you have to walk down to call yourself a bodybuilder or see great benefits from bodybuilding training. In my opinion, you can call yourself a bodybuilder if you choose to change the way your body looks by lifting weights and exercising in general. Guess what! This is most people who follow a workout plan.
So if you are in the position of wanting to transform your body from having a higher body fat percentage than you would like, you want to tone and strengthen your muscles, you want to look good with no clothes on and you want to achieve something to be very proud of, I will ALWAYS tell you that you should look to bodybuilding for the answer.
When I was actively personal training and I suggested lifting weights to some new clients, they would resist or flat out say that this is not what they wanted to do, they just wanted to “lose weight”. I would however manage to talk them round by explaining that the more lean muscle mass you have the more fat you will burn and that muscle is harder to build than you would think so don’t think you will look like the incredible hulk by accident.
My advice was and still is that “if you train to look like the incredible hulk using a bodybuilding program, while eating a healthy, normal, well balanced diet and doing fat burning cardio, you will end up looking more like a fitness model rather than having super bulk and….. turning into a green monster.
The outrageous, bulky, monster look that is associated with heavyweight competitive bodybuilders is the product of serious supplementation, an incomprehensible amount of food intake every day and a lifetime of dedication. As mentioned, this does not happen by accident.
But if you take a sensible, logical approach, train four to five times per week for about an hour per session (this is 4% of your day by the way) you can earn a body that is lean, well balanced, strong and healthy. This to me is the bench mark of bodybuilding and what it’s all about. You are building your body to be the best that it can be. And who doesn’t want that?
So what is a “sensible, logical approach”?
Learn the basics and do them well
Ok so if you are serious about making changes to the appearance and function of your body meaning that you want to develop your muscle function, posture and the way your body actually works in my opinion a good bodybuilding routine should be your first port of call and you should look to bodybuilder trainers for this.
Now let me make it clear at this point that there are many different ways to approach bodybuilding and in all fairness this goes for fitness, exercise and diet in general and there’s more than one way to achieve a similar result but I want to share advice based on my journey and education. I know this works and if I could go back to the beginning knowing what I know now, I would 100% follow this advice as I know it would save me certainly a few years of trial and error.
When I first started I wanted to ignore the basics and get on to the more advanced stuff, I also wanted to start by lifting weights that were way too heavy for me, I basically wanted to run before I could walk.
Basic weight lifting
So the starting point when it comes to bodybuilding and body transformations is learn a bit about weight lifting and diet, even if this is just basic stuff. If you can do the basics well, you will be very surprised at what you can achieve.
For example, Bench press, rows, shoulder press and squats are all compound movements. These are basic movements but they will be with you for your entire resistance training career in one form or another.
These are the best exercise choices to start with because a compound movement means that with each rep you perform you will be hitting more than one muscle group, you can lift heavier weights with these movements and heavier weights means more development…. Provided your form is good, we will talk about form later.
These few compound movements are far more effective and efficient than starting your training with isolation exercises, isolation exercises do have their place and they are valuable but its far better to favour compound movements you are starting out.
It might sound condescending to some but if you are unsure about nutrition you should learn to identify foods that are good and foods that are bad, you should learn which foods belong to which food groups and what nutrients comes from certain foods for example – Chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat. Turkey breast is high in protein and lower in fat than chicken breast.
Beef has a high protein content but different cuts of beef vary in fat to protein content – Fillet and rump steak are probably your best option for lower fat content.
You should learn the difference between simple carbs and complex carbohydrates – A simple way to look at this without getting into the makeup of carbohydrates at a molecular level and turning this into a science chat is that complex carbs are carbs that are slow releasing energy and simple carbs are carbs that are fast releasing energy – An example of a complex carbohydrate is rolled oats, this is the type of carbohydrate that you should focus on in your diet.
An example of a simple carb is raw sugar and this can be found in a lot of food. Complex carbs are good, simple carbs are not so good.
If you are interested in the science behind all of this, you could research a bit about how your body deals with the food you eat and look at how your body uses hormones like insulin and glycogen and how you can use the food you eat to manipulate these hormones but again, this is getting into the realms of biological science and although it’s not necessary to know this, it’s still very useful to know.
But learning the basics is all you need to get good results
So back to keeping it simple! A simple way to look at vegetables is that the darker green the vegetable is the better it is for you, so Broccoli, asparagus, runner beans, kale, all good!
This is very basic nutrition but knowing how to identify “good food”, food that will help you with your goals and not hinder you is all too often overlooked and misunderstood. As I’ve said before; nutrition is a massive subject and anyone would benefit from education in this area, there’s quiet a rabbit hole to go down and it can get very complicated but again, learning and doing the basics well will put you way ahead of the game and you will be surprised at what this can lead to.
So learn the basics with lifting weights and nutrition first.
Timescale, planning and progression
The next point is to understand that any change to body composition, muscle size and strength takes time and realistically you should be looking at working out and eating consistently for six months to a full year before you see any significant changes. Six months of consistent training and correct eating can really transform your body and even after just four weeks you should see and feel the benefit of your efforts but I always advise to plan for a year in advance. This planning also helps out whit the psychology of your journey too and make no mistake, the mental struggles can be tough at times.
So if you have this plan ready and you are following it, you will have smaller timescale targets within your bigger target and this will make it easier on your mental standing too, it will help with motivation and you will have accomplished smaller goals and victories on your way to your end game. I’ll explain this –
Ok, when it comes to planning a year of training in advance, this is known as a “macro cycle” (stick with me here, it will make sense and as you know I don’t like to get too technical or use too much jargon but I think this is useful info that should help out)
A macro cycle is a full year of planned, progressive training and within this macro cycle you will have changes to your training. These changes will be where the progression is added or the training intensity is changed in order to keep your body challenged.
If you keep lifting the same weight or doing the same thing in the gym, eventually this will become less challenging to your body, if you are not challenged in a different way, your body will plateau and you will not develop further.
To stop this happening, you break your macro cycle (your years training plan) into “mesocycles”. If I were to use a macrocycle for bodybuilding I would break it down into four meso cycles. This means that I would have four stages of progression over a year, so four mesocycles in my macrocycle.
When I started out, I didn’t really care about what I would be doing next week in the gym let alone in twelve weeks, as long as I was there lifting weights, this was a big mistake, because I wanted progression and I know for a fact that most people have or have had the same approach at some point.
So planning is very important and progression within that planning is also extremely important, especially if you really want to see great results and actually transform your body.
So that’s planning and timescales.
Dedication work ethic and exercise form
The next thing I want to talk about is dedication work ethic and exercise form. This is something that can make all the difference.
If you have your basic knowledge of weight lifting and diet and you have a good exercise plan to follow, you have to hit these sessions every time they are planned. Remember we said that training for an hour four to 5 times per week is a great start and we also said that a one hour training session is 4% of your day, and this is not even every day so it should be possible to get these sessions in when they are planned.
If you start missing these sessions, especially early on in your training, it will become easier and easier to keep missing them. I know this because I’ve been there myself more than a few times. Routine is important and to establish a routine with training and even eating the right stuff takes dedication from the start. It’s always easier to break a plan and lose dedication in the first few weeks so if you can stay dedicated, not miss a training session in the first month, you will have an easier time going forward.
I actually made another podcast – (# 07 – Most efficient fat burning and fitness mind set for the beginner) . There is highlight on work ethic in this episode that will reinforce this so have a listen if you like.
But to cut to the chase, once you are in the gym, that’s the first step, you still need to make the most out of your time in these sessions, you need to get your moneys worth!
One of the big, common mistakes is to get to the gym and go through the motions without challenging yourself! My outlook is that if you have taken the time to get to the gym, you may as well get the most out of the time you are there or you will be wasting your time.
If you really want to transform your body, you need to challenge yourself, this means that you lift weights that are heavy, you concentrate on your exercise form, you do your cardio at the correct heart rate and you should feel that you have worked out when you finish your session. You should push yourself and always challenge yourself.
The final thing I want to talk about is exercise form. Good exercise form is something that should be your priority when it comes to any type of training. If you have bad exercise form, you are opening yourself up to injury, you can be cheating yourself out of the training effect, you can ruin your flexibility and you can actually change your posture for the worst if you neglect your form for long enough.
Lifting heavy weight is important but you need to be lifting those weights with correct form. For example, I could go to the rack of dumbells in the gym, pick up a set of 20kg dumbells and start swinging them around to do bicep curls.
If I did this I would be using the momentum of the weight to move it from point a to point be and would be using a fraction of my bicep muscle to do the work.
If on the other hand I went to the dumbbell rack and picked up a set of 10kg dumbbells and stood with my back straight, abs tight and started repping out some bicep curls in a controlled maner focusing on actually working my bicep muscle and only using this muscle group to move the weight I would get so much more benefit from this. This is just an example of bicep curls but it goes for every single exercise even cardio form.
So when you are training, you should always think about the muscle group you are targeting and be conscious of your posture, challenge yourself with the resistance level yes! But please always make sure you are lifting or exercising with good form.
Ok, I’m going to wrap it up there but I hope you found this useful in some way, if you did, thumbs up’s, reviews, likes, follows or whatever buttons you can press on the platform that you are listening to this on are always appreciated and if you are particularly interested in this subject, I do have a book published on Amazon that covers all of this in more detail and actually lays out a full macro cycle of progressive bodybuilding training that you can directly follow so check out my book – “Jim’s weight training and bodybuilding workout plan” over on Amazon.
Anyway, thanks again for listening, I hope to chat to you again really soon!
All the best