Bodybuilding is not easy as it requires a lot of hard work in bulking up those muscles and shaping a robust body. There are many people who are following a strict diet and exercising routine to build a muscular body. Some are training under an expert to not leave any stone unturned but you must have a basic knowledge of bodybuilding before starting. This helps in better planning, understanding and yielding desired results. Read on to know about some basic and helpful information on bodybuilding.

Best Bodybuilding Workouts For Beginners

Here are some exercises that are good for bodybuilders in bulking up different parts of the body.


  • Get into the squat position, get a barbell on your hand and keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull your shoulders backward and puff up your chest.
  • Lift the bar while looking straight.
  • Keeping the bar close to the body, try to take it back to your heels.
  • Now, lift it to a high level, wait and then return to the starting position.

Bent-over row

  • Get a barbell with an overhand grip while keeping the hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your legs slightly without bending your back. Keep it straight.
  • Bend the upper body so that it forms a 90-degree angle with the floor.
  • Lift the barbell upwards and bring it to your chest and pause for 5-6 seconds.
  • Now, return to the starting position.

Incline press

  • Lie straight on the inclined bench set.
  • Lift a barbell to the height of your shoulder and keep your palms away.
  • Press up with both arms as you exhale.
  • Lock your arms in such a way that they squeeze your chest and then return to the starting position.

Flat bench fly

  • Hold two dumbbells on your shoulders and lie down straight on a flat bench.
  • Ensure that your palms are facing inwards.
  • Now, raise the dumbbells until your arms are stretched fully.
  • Now, slightly bend your arms and push the weight to the sides forming an arc.
  • When you feel that your chest is stretched, return to the starting position. 

Dumbbell lateral raise

  • Hold your dumbbells on the sides while slightly bending your elbows.
  • Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
  • While bending your elbows, squeeze your core.
  • Now, lift your arms towards the side and straight without bending your elbows.
  • When you reach the height of your shoulder, pause for 4-5 seconds and then bring down the weights to the starting position.

Resistance band raise

  • Stand on a resistance band and hold the ends with your hands.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Curl the resistance band until your forearms reach your biceps and the band is parallel to your collar bone.
  • Lowed and repeat the steps.

Barbell back squat

  • Stand straight maintaining a distance of shoulder-width.
  • With an overhand grip, hold the barbell on the upper side of your back.
  • Try to hug the bar.
  • Now, slowly squat down taking the bar weight down.
  • Keep your back and head up and straight while performing this step.
  • Lower down yourself to the extent that your legs are perpendicular and your knees & hips are aligned.
  • Push the heels into the floor to push your body back upwards.

Tricep rope pushdown

  • Tie a rope handle to the highest pulley of a cable station at the gym.
  • Grab the handle but keep your elbows on the sides.
  • Slowly lower down your hands until they are stretched fully.
  • Now, return to the starting position.

The ideal diet for bodybuilding

Foods to Eat

Here is the list of foods that a bodybuilding aspirant must consume every day:

Dairy- low-fat milk, cottage cheese or paneer, cheese and yogurt.

Fish, poultry and meat- chicken breast, ground beef, pork, salmon and cod.

Grains- cereal, oatmeal, bread, rice, popcorn, quinoa, and crackers.

Fruits- Apples, oranges, bananas, watermelon, peaches, berries and pears.

Vegetables- spinach, leafy greens, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.

Starchy vegetables: green peas, potatoes, and corn.

Legumes and beans- kidney beans, black beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

Seeds and nuts: walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds.

Oils: Olive oil, avocado oil and flaxseed oil.

Foods to Avoid

You must limit the intake of these foods to build muscles.

  • Deep-fried foods are high in bad fat and cause inflammation.
  • Added sugars- Rather than natural sugar, added sugars in foods like doughnuts, ice cream, cakes, cookies, soda and cold drinks is dangerous. It is low in nutrients but high in calories.
  • Alcohol is bad for the body and it can reverse the changes that you are gaining through exercise.

Other than these, you must also avoid consuming these foods before exercising or going to the gym.

  • High-fibre foods such as cruciferous vegetables and beans
  • High-fat foods like creams, heavy sauces, buttery foods, etc.
  • Carbonated beverages like diet soda or sparkling water

What supplements do bodybuilders need?

Other than diet and exercise, bodybuilders also consume some dietary supplements to promote faster gains and lesser muscle loss. These include:

Whey protein to up the protein intake that they might not be fulfilling through food and diet.

Creatine protein helps in increasing energy in the muscles to improve exercising time and benefits. 

Caffeine helps in training harder for more time and reduces fatigue. Tea, coffee and some other pre-workout supplements provide caffeine.

Additional mineral or multi-vitamin supplements may also help in controlling body fat loss while limiting calorie consumption.

Important Tips for Beginners

  • Stick to Free Weights as they are great to form a solid foundation for bodybuilding. For beginners, dumbbells and barbells are the best for training as compared to fancy gym machines.
  • Plan a strict routine and stick to it as it would help you train harder. You can hire a personal trainer to prepare one for you so that know what you have to do.
  • Don’t do training daily as it would tire your body to an extent that you might not be able to workout. 3-4 workouts a week is more than sufficient for a beginner. Allow proper resting and recovery time to the body.
  • Go for basic exercises and then work up slowly. You don’t need to practice advanced movements in the beginning.
  • First, learn the correct form of every exercise and then practice it. This would prevent mistakes and promote results.
  • Work on each muscle group every week to focus on all muscle groups. Also, increase the weights gradually.
  • Lastly, eat a lot of protein to amp up the gains. These help in building muscle mass.