Bodybuilding training can be overwhelming for two kinds of bodybuilders; a beginner and one who is training for a major event like IFBB but doesn’t know where to start. For beginners, IFBB is the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. IFBB headquarters are in Las Rozas, Madrid. Founded in 1946, IFBB is charged with overseeing and governing bodybuilding and fitness events. Thousands of IFBB competitions are held annually at the local, national, regional, and international levels.
Major IFBB disciplines include:
- 1. IFBB Men’s World Bodybuilding Championships.
- 2. IFBB Men’s World Physiques Championships.
- 3. IFBB Men’s World Classic Bodybuilding Championships.
- 4. IFBB World Fitness Championship.
- 5. The Arnold Classic.
Every beginner bodybuilder’s dream is to participate and even win a title in one of the major IFBB competitions. However, this remains just a pipe dream for many because of the nature of their training. Most bodybuilders don’t realize that you don’t just become a bodybuilding pro overnight. It doesn’t matter how much steroids one take, without proper training, you will remain to be a mediocre bodybuilder. We will share with you helpful tips that will see you become a world-class bodybuilder. Follow them religiously and you will enjoy every bit of your bodybuilding career.
Make a Training Schedule and Stick to It
A bodybuilder without a solid plan is no bodybuilder. A plan is what will take you places, and a good plan. Bodybuilding is all about appearance. There is no definite skill or strategy. All you need is muscle and strength. If you can’t wing it, nobody will take you seriously, including your opponent. It all starts with a carefully crafted training plan. Having a good training program is one thing, sticking to it is another. Many bodybuilders tend to become lazy within a few weeks of training. That is when they lose it. Bodybuilding is about consistency and keeping a clear focus. Why is that so? Because the winning margin for an IFBB competition is incredibly small. That means you have to pay attention to every detail of training. One second of distraction is enough to push you several places back.
Take your body into consideration while designing a training plan. Most importantly, make sure the plan challenges you and stretches your limits. Your attention should be on specific points such as joints that promote growth. Gradually lift heavier weights with low preps. Each day of training should come with a new exercise. Your schedule doesn’t have to be rigid. Remember that it gets tough along the way, but the tough gets going.
Prioritize Free Weights
Technology and new inventions are advancements we should embrace, but not entirely when it comes to weights. Beginners and pros alike should train with barbells and dumbbells. It is the only sure way to build natural muscle mass from scratch. Everything else becomes easier when you start with the harder stuff.
Watch your Diet
It is okay to be lean and strong. It is wrong to assume that loss of weight comes with the loss of strength. What you should be concerned about is your muscle mass relative to the body weight. In the lead up to an IFBB competition, you are advised to increase protein intake. Some bodybuilders make the mistake of eliminating calories from their diet when they are about to compete. That is very wrong from many angles. Your muscles need a stable supply of energy to function properly. Most of that energy comes from burning calories. Instead of stopping their intake entirely, only take a certain amount of calories that you are sure will supply you with the energy you need to sustain your normal workouts.
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Have Resting Days
You are not a robot, so don’t train every day. A day or two is enough to recover lost energy and allow your body to carry out self-repair. There is the risk of overworking yourself to the extent of compromising your fitness in the face of an IFBB competition. If your training schedule is being prepared by someone else, let them know that you need some days off. An experienced fitness coach will know this without you having to tell them.
Develop a Winning Strategy
You don’t have to train hard to win. All you need is to train smart, according to your stamina. If anything, training hard will only make you fatigued. It becomes difficult to stick to your training schedule if you get fatigued often. Vary rest periods, exercises, sets, and workouts. Ensure every exercise achieves a set muscle goal. If the goal is not achieved, repeat that particular exercise until you meet it. At the same time, set realistic goals that can be met without difficulty, and they should be progressive. Most of it all, focus. It is the one thing that determines whether you are going to meet your goal or not. If you feel like you are losing focus somehow, or some goals are not being met, rethink the strategy.
Have a Trainer
It makes perfect sense that someone is there to push your limits and ensure you are well prepared for an IFBB competition. There is usually an irresistible urge fuel by the ego that pushes one to head to training without a trainer. The truth of the matter is; every bodybuilder starts somewhere. And there is always someone better and more experienced than you. The more you let them guide you, the less the likelihood of you making mistakes, and the firmer your foundation in bodybuilding becomes.
There are professional bodybuilding trainers who know exactly what it takes to compete favorably in an IFBB event. It is highly recommended that you find yourself such a trainer to ensure you’re in perfect for, before the competition. There is great danger in having absolute faith in your abilities. You need someone to give insight into areas that you are not good in because after all, no human is perfect.
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Find a position that allows you to change from one exercise to another without strain. It is highly recommended that you combine squats with supersets. Front squats can also be combined with hacks and vice versa. Focus on a sustained pump by paring squats with leg presses. Alternatively, superset various muscle groups. Pump and burn hamstrings or quads by super-setting two hamstrings and super-setting two quads respectively. Always make sure to transition between two antagonistic exercises for efficient transitioning.
Know the Technical Aspects
Before you start doing a particular exercise, ensure you know how exactly it works. It is only logical that you have an idea of what to expect during and after the exercise. Understanding the science of every exercise enables you to train smart rather than training hard. Knowing the technical aspects of bodybuilding will also ensure you use less effort to gain more strength and muscle.
Invest in Equipment
If you are in a position to train at home, ensure you have every piece of equipment you need for your workouts. Acquiring the right resources is the first step towards winning a title. Ensure your home gym is well equipped with every single exercise you need to do.
Most people prefer using a public gym, where they can get enough motivation from other trainers. Select the best gym you can find in terms of equipment and exercises. Some gyms have been designed to train for major IFBB events, and they are equipped with modern, heavy equipment. Most importantly, you should find the right gym for competition-level powerlifting. Also, try to do quality exercises even as you look for a gym with quality gear.
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Find a Partner
Having a lifting partner will make lifting weights easier psychologically. Besides, there are some things you might not do on your own. A lifting partner can be anybody, doesn’t have to be a fellow bodybuilder, but it is recommended that they be one. A lifting partner does not only motivate you but also ensure you follow the training routine religiously. Training for a bodybuilding competition becomes a responsibility when there is someone else in the picture. You wouldn’t want to fail your partner by missing a session or attending it late. It also means there are joint goals to be met by the two of you. additionally, a bodybuilding partner points out your flaws and advise you accordingly. Sometimes lifting partners are considered coaches or trainers of some sort.
Making it Simple and Fun
You don’t have to strain during your training sessions. You can choose to incorporate music into your workout, which many gyms provide, by the way. Alternatively, you can create a rhythm of your own that will distract your mind from the exercise. If you’re doing a count-down, for example, make it rhythmical with your breathing. Anything that takes your mind away from the intensity of the exercise.
What More You Need to Adequately Prepare for Any IFBB Competition
Spending all your time working out at the gym is not all that s required to adequately prepare for an IFBB event. Many other supporting factors are equally as important.
What is your Motivation?
You need to set your goals and work towards them. What motivates you to win an IFBB title? Is it for you or someone else? Whichever thing that motivates you must be what you see and not anything else.
Participate in Minor Contests
Bodybuilding is one of the few sports where participants have limited time to measure up themselves against the opponent. Most of the action is seen during the real event. However, a bodybuilder can flex their muscle during contests at various levels. That includes local, regional, and sometimes national contests. Contests are the perfect platforms for a bodybuilder to find out how they are faring against other bodybuilders. You will know where strengths or weaknesses lie after every contest. Most importantly, you will know where to improve or what to modify in terms of exercises, sets, and even diet.
Earn Yourself an IFBB Pro Card
Although not a form of training, an IFBB pro card is closely tied to the nature of your training. If you have read the title right, you realize that a pro card is earned, and it is one of the requirements. The card costs some $200 annually but it is not just given to anybody. You have to show your commitment to the bodybuilding field. A bodybuilder must turn pro in a popular division to get the card. Earning yourself a pro card will open many doors for you as a bodybuilder. You get to meet and compete with favorites in virtually every major division, and that means a lot for your career.
Know the Rules
Just because you don’t train with any rules doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Bodybuilding, like any other sport, has a set of rules and regulations which bodybuilders must abide by or they will be barred from competing. The earlier you familiarize yourself with bodybuilding rules, the better. That includes rules on check-ins, posing suits, competitors’ health, backstage, posing music, and onstage rules. It is easy to get disqualified in an IFBB competition because of a minor thing in bodybuilding. That is why you need to practice the rules before the actual event.
Competitions are won during training, especially where bodybuilding is involved. The more time one spends training, the lesser the effort they’ll put in the actual competition. Every IFBB competition has the best participants, and only the best of the best go home with titles. If you were to investigate what made the difference between winners and losers, you will realize that it has everything to do with training. As mentioned in this article’s introduction, a great improvement in bodybuilding is not seen overnight.
It takes hours and days of hard work and a lot of sacrifice of course. The best part about it is that no effort goes unrewarded, at least not in bodybuilding. Besides, bodybuilding is a unique sport where participants gives the freedom to enhance their looks and performance using a technique of their choice. The secret is training smart and topping up what is left with anabolic steroids.