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BODYBUILDING: IMPROVE IN 3 LESSONS

To achieve better results from bodybuilding training, we asked Florent, our expert, a few questions.

 

Which bodybuilding equipment for which benefits?

For traditional bodybuilding, here is the classic equipment, in order of effectiveness, that you can use to achieve your goals:

  • Barbells: they are the basis of bodybuilding and hugely effective. They help you perform the basic movements and allow you to increase the maximum load, while making use of more motor units and muscle fibres. Bodybuilding beginners can use them after two or three weeks of work on machines.
  • Dumbbells: they bring the same benefits as barbells but allow you to work each side separately (right-left) and with a bigger range of movement.
  • Pulleys: they offer a wide range of movement, but safely.
  • Machines: they are designed for novices first and foremost because they guarantee a safe workout. They can also be used for isolating certain muscles.

 

For several years now, other tools have been gaining ground:

  • Kettlebells: they provide a functional workout (which can be done every day) and are used for working muscular chains with weight-lifting movements.
  • Electrostimulation: this equipment is based on involuntary muscle stimulation. This type of workout is useful for active recovery, getting oxygen into your muscles, and toning them up. It should be combined with traditional bodybuilding exercises. Injured athletes generally use it for muscle reconstruction.
  • Straps: suspension training is undoubtedly very effective. Using your body weight gives all of your deep muscles a work out, strengthens your abs, and sculpts your figure. It is also good exercise for improving your balance.

 

How to obtain fast results

There is no point claiming that it will take a specific amount of time for visible results to appear. Everyone's body is different and genetic predispositions vary from one person to another. It is difficult to know whether your progress will be fast or not when you start bodybuilding. In addition, weight gain is variable and not linear. It depends on factors such as lifestyle, age, eating habits, not to mention your weight training programme. Nevertheless, you will notice for yourself how much your performance in the different exercises improves week after week: increased strength, better endurance, suppleness, etc.

 

Our advice for progressing faster with your bodybuilding and achieving your goals is to apply this winning formula: bodybuilding + cardio activity + stretching + recovery + appropriate diet. The more all-round your training and the better your recovery, the faster your results will appear. More generally, remember that convincing results will start to appear after about three months of regular bodybuilding training. Once again, this can vary in different people. It will obviously be easier to sculpt and slim your figure than it will to gain 15 kg of muscle mass… Bodybuilding is a discipline where you need to show patience!

 

How many reps for what goal?

Generally speaking, remember that it is not so much the number of repetitions that matters for achieving your bodybuilding objectives, but rather the weight that determines your end results. In fact, with a given weight, you should always be at maximum capacity. Here are some markers to help you achieve results with your bodybuilding:

  • Increasing your maximum strength: the number of repetitions should be between 1 and 5 per set, or between 21 and 25 in total for a basic movement. The weight should be between 85% and 100% of your 1RM*
  • Gaining mass: the number of repetitions should be between 6 and 8 per set, or between 35 and 80 in total per muscle group. The weight should be between 80% and 85% of your 1RM.
  • Gaining volume: the number of repetitions should be between 8 and 12 per set, or between 80 and 200 in total per muscle group. The weight should be between 70% and 80% of your 1RM.
  • Improving your endurance: the number of repetitions should be between 12 and 20 per set, or more than 200 per muscle group. The weight should be between 50% and 70% of your 1RM.
  • Slimming: in order to lose fat, you need to increase your cardio training to burn calories (treadmill, exercise bike, cross trainer) as well as following a low calorie diet and doing bodybuilding to increase your basal metabolic rate. This will allow you to keep up your volume gaining training during a slimming phase.

 

 

 

You now have several basic tips for improving your bodybuilding performance. During your gym training sessions, do not hesitate to ask a coach's advice in order to get things right. Their expertise will help you achieve your goals faster.

 

 

* The 1RM, or one rep maximum, is the maximum weight that you can lift, pull or push in a single movement. 

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