Beginner´s guide of training basics – The most important training basics for absolute bodybuilding and fitness beginners.
Whoever starts with weight training, whether fitness or bodybuilding usually has a specific goal in mind. You want to change your figure positively, as well as increase your well-being, health and performance. Most visitors to the fitness studio want a well-shaped body, visible abdominal muscles and more fitness. My beginner´s guide of training basics helps to achieve them.
Especially in the beginning it is important to get acquainted with the basics of training and also nutrition. Only in this way will you be able to effectively and healthily achieve your goals in this sport and also maintain them in the long term. The preferred training and nutrition methodology is strongly dependent on one’s own metabolism.
Beginner´s guide of training basics – How does it come to muscle building?
Muscle building does not only come from training, but rather from the interaction of three important factors:
- regeneration and
If only one of these components is neglected, this has a negative effect on muscle building.
Explanation: If the training is stimulus-intensive enough, i.e. the stimulus on the muscle is not too weak, but also not too strong, a growth stimulus is triggered in the muscle. This usually results in tiny micro-injuries within the muscle. As a result of this growth stimulus, the muscle must now be supplied with the right nutrients for growth. First and foremost, the muscle needs building materials such as sufficient high-quality protein, which contributes to muscle growth and muscle maintenance*. If both factors (growth stimulus + nutrients) were taken into account, the muscle then needs sufficient regeneration to recover from the training and to be able to grow. As a rule, one assumes about 72 hours of rest for a particular muscle before it can be loaded again.
Why does the body actually build muscle?
Muscle building is not a cosmetic phenomenon, but rather a protective function of our body. If a muscle is subjected to particularly intense stress during a workout, the body protects itself against the threat of further stress by building up muscle.
Beginner´s guide of training basics – How do I start training correctly as a fitness beginner?
The first 1-3 months are the most important. Your muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments are confronted with a completely new form of stress. If your eagerness is too great, especially in the beginning, it will quickly lead to overload and a long break from training due to injury is imminent. Therefore, approach the training calmly and systematically, especially in the beginning. There is, however, one piece of good news: especially in the first few weeks, beginners can look forward to good training progress. The body receives completely new stimuli from the new load and must react accordingly by quickly building up muscle and strength. Over time, however, the body becomes accustomed to the load, so that the progress gradually diminishes. In this case, it is best to change your training program and thus create new stimuli for building strength and muscle.
The most important thing in this “beginner phase” is to create a physical foundation in the form of technique, movement sequence and coordination. It is also necessary to internalize the interaction of the muscle fibers among themselves and the muscles in general (intra- and intermuscular coordination). No one can handle the machines and free weights correctly right off the bat.
What should my training plan look like in the beginning?
As a beginner, training 2-3 times per week for the first 3-6 months will be enough to make good progress and not overload your body. In months 1-3, train only on machines. In months 3-6 you can slowly replace the machines with free weights (dumbbells). But always pay attention to a correct technique and clean movements. It is best to have a good trainer show you the free weight exercises again.
From “beginner” to “advanced” status
After 3-6 months your body has become accustomed to the new load and it is now time to set new impulses and stimuli. At this point you can deviate from your full body training and train with a so-called split plan. This split training has the advantage that you can now load each muscle group more intensively and thus set new growth stimuli. The first split plan should be a 3-person split. With this plan you train 3x per week. The individual muscle groups are divided into the different training days according to the system, so that no muscle is underloaded or overloaded.
Whether you switch to split training after three or six months is up to you. Important factors to answer this question, are the previous training progress such as strength and muscle building, but also on the correct and clean execution of the movements, especially with free weights is particularly important here and should be largely mastered after this time.
Beginner´s guide of training basics – The most common beginner mistakes
Lack of discipline
In weight training and bodybuilding, there is no way around good discipline. If you think you only need to lift a few dumbbells just before the summer, or if you let your training fall apart more often because of parties and disco visitors, you will certainly be disappointed with the results.
The muscle regularly needs a certain stimulus to maintain or further build up. If the stimulus is too weak or does not occur, the built-up muscles will quickly degenerate.
Especially in the beginning you often make the mistake and think: more equals more. This is absolutely not so in terms of muscle building. The muscle does not grow during training, but only in the rest and regeneration phases. If you do not give your muscles enough time to grow, you will quickly find yourself overtraining. Overtraining is the biggest enemy of a bodybuilder with the goal of building muscle. It’s not enough that overtraining will stop you from making progress. Much worse is that you will lose muscle and strength.
How do I avoid overtraining?
Just follow my advices on training and nutrition, don’t train more than 3 times a week with weights (as a beginner) and don’t train longer than 50-60 minutes per session. Besides your job and training, make sure you get enough recovery time and at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink 3-4 liters of mineral water per day. If necessary, supplement your daily diet with multivitamin/mineral tablets.
Few people know that the diet with over 60% has a greater importance in muscle building, than the actual training. We therefore recommend a balanced and varied diet to be particularly important. Balanced means that your diet should contain sufficient nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Wrong training plans
It’s not uncommon for beginners to read fitness and bodybuilding magazines and adopt the training plans of the pros, which of course is total nonsense. Unfortunately, the plans of the pros do not always correspond to the truth, are exaggerated and absolutely unsuitable for beginners. Learn over time to train instinctively, that is, to adapt your own training plan according to your personal circumstances such as physique, regeneration, goals….
A correct technique is the be-all and end-all of bodybuilding. It guarantees injury-free and long-lasting training and thus enables muscle building until old age. If you use weights that are actually too heavy for you and thus want to make the exercise easier by “swinging”, this will bring you absolutely no advantages. By “deflecting” the trained muscle is loaded much less intensively than with clean technique. There is even a risk of serious injuries such as muscle tears, torn tendons and joint injuries. Even if you see the bodybuilding pros again and again in various magazines and videos with heavy weights, believe us, when there is no camera around, the pros train highly concentrated and with absolutely clean technique.
Too long training sessions
It will not bring you any advantage to spend 2-3 hours in the gym lifting weights. On the contrary, overtraining and muscle loss are inevitable. Do not train longer than 50-60 minutes with weights. A short and intensive workout is crucial for muscle building in order to set a growth stimulus. Once this stimulus is set, drink your post-workout shake, go home and give your muscles the rest they now need to grow.
Too many workouts per week
You often see over-motivated and eager beginners in the gym for several hours almost every day of the week, training extremely hard. Most of the guys regularly switch from bench press to biceps curl and wonder why their favorite muscles don’t finally want to grow. At this point it must be said that more training does not bring more muscles.
An increase in load also requires an increase in regeneration. At some point, the regeneration reserves are exhausted and you stagnate and come into overtraining, where muscle loss is pre-programmed. Even if it works at the beginning, you will sooner or later lose more than you gain.
Train wisely and systematically and take at least one day off after each training day.
- and nutrition.
Beginner´s guide of training basics – Summary:
Beginners often tend to train too much and too often due to their over-motivation. Overtraining and lack of muscle building – or worse muscle loss – are the result. Pay attention to your daily diet, eat enough protein, train each muscle once a week and do not go to the gym more than 3-4 times a week. Give your body the regeneration it needs to build muscle and try to avoid bad habits like drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and stress.