How To Start Bodybuilding- Know the essential steps 

There are three fundamental pillars to bodybuilding. These are diet, training and sleep (recovery). The best way to approach these pillars is to think of them as a continuum; the better your understanding and ability to implement these ideas, the better your results will be. With that being said, I recommend you only implement the basics of these topics and you will receive great results. Don’t get caught up in the small things, focus on improving as a whole and i can promise that your start to bodybuilding will be incredible.

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The goal of starting your bodybuilding training will be to increase your muscle mass, strength and fitness. During a weight training workout your muscles will develop micro-tears, this is the first step of building muscle. As your muscles recover the tears will heal and your body will add more muscle tissue to allow the body to do exercises without developing as many micro-tears. You are adapting to the previous workouts. Your training should change slightly every three to four weeks. This can be as simple as increasing the repetitions of each set from five to eight, changing the tempo of your exercises (e.g lowering the weight slower and holding it), or, changing the movements all together.

Progressive overload

This is how you improve. Progressive overload is the term used for periodic improvements in athletic performance. For the purpose of starting bodybuilding you will want to focus on increasing either the repetitions, sets or resistance (weight) every one to two weeks; for example your first leg session you squat 40kg for 5 reps and 5 sets, the next leg session you should try and squat 42.5kg for 5 reps and 5 sets. You should be pushing yourself to grow each and every workout.

The Program

The most optimal bodybuilding program for beginners is a full body workout three to four times a week. This will allow your body to grow at the fastest rate possible without complicating things. The key excercises of your program are the squat (1), deadlift and bench press (2) – these are your “compound” movements, they involve multiple muscle groups.

Monday: Squat 5 reps and 5 sets, deadlift 5×5, bench press 5×5. Allow 2-3 minutes rest between sets. In addition to this you should experiment with other exercises of 8 reps of three sets.

Wednesday : Squat 5 reps and 5 sets, deadlift 5×5, bench press 5×5. Allow 2-3 minutes rest between sets. In addition to this you should experiment with other exercises of 8 reps of three sets.

Friday: Squat 5 reps and 5 sets, deadlift 5×5, bench press 5×5. Allow 2-3 minutes rest between sets. In addition to this you should experiment with other exercises of 8 reps of three sets.

Tips and tricks

Start with light weights and focus on achieving the form showed in the above demonstrations.

Increase the resistance (weight) of each exercise every week.

Make sure you rest 2-3 minutes between sets for recovery.


Diet is the most important aspect of your bodybuilding program. I recommend you read the beginner dieting article for an introduction to the topic of macro nutrients and how to track them. Your main focus for diet should be eating more food; not only more food but the types of food as well. High carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, brown rice, sweet potatoes and corn should be a staple in most of your meals, if not all. High protein foods such as chicken, turkey, red meats and fish should be eaten alongside your carbohydrates. As a beginner we want to keep the variables as low as possible – tracking your calories is not a priority at this point. Adjust the amount of your carbohydrates and protein to how your body is responding to your new workout regime. Muscle soreness is normal, however, as a general rule if you feel that you are constantly sore and not recovering, eat more protein. If you are feeling tired, have low energy levels or are lethargic throughout the day, increase your carbohydrate intake.

Always make sure you eat vitamin-rich vegetables, whether this is with each meal or a sizable serving at dinner. Vitamins can only be found through external sources, usually food. Examples of these foods are eggs, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, milk and dairy. Often times increasing your overall vitamin intake will help you feel better and prevent deficiencies.


The above information is only as good as your ability to recover. make sure you get 8-10 hours of sleep each night to promote muscle gain, strength and overall well-being. You should not overlook this aspect of starting your bodybuilding program. It is very important and you will greatly benefit from a good sleep schedule.


Develop your understanding and ability to use the three key pillars of bodybuilding to achieve results. Create a good foundation of training, diet and recovery. Gradually improve these as a whole and you will quickly become an intermediate lifter with a great base for the future.

Linda Alvarado loves writing about technology and science updates. She also loves to keep her mind and body fresh by doing intense workouts and meditation sessions.