Starting out at the gym can be intimidating, especially for women – but don't let it be.
Ignore the magazines, the TV, and all the peer pressure... you are doing this for you.
You are taking the first step on a road where millions have travelled before you, the road to increased fitness and a better you.
It's a cliché – but it's only a cliché because it's true.
In a matter of weeks you really will feel younger, less out of breath and, dare we say it, happier.
It doesn't come for free, you really do have to stick with the program and you absolutely have to believe in the possible – but start nice and slow, and we mean really nice and slow, then add a little bit of weight here, a few more minutes on the cross trainer there and you will be truly amazed at what you can accomplish.
Ignore everyone else, get in the zone, and do it for you.
You will never regret it.
This is the first Real Female Bodybuilding 'Beginners Bodybuilding' guide – the first of many such programs.
Get the okay from your doc if you are in the slightest bit concerned, or if you haven't done physical exercise for some time.
Start SLOW!!! Nothing deters newbie gym-goers more than aches, pains, pulled muscles and sprains. This is a vital thing to learn. There are no quick-fixes in fitness and bodybuilding – it requires patience and resolve and tiny increments. But stick with it and the results WILL come – this is 100% guaranteed.
If you are totally new to the gym we'd recommend doing 10 minutes on the running machine or cross trainer – whatever cardio machine you feel most comfy with. (We prefer a low-impact eliptical over a running machine actually but get a gym employee to explain the options, and then how the machines work. DO NOT be shy here! This is what those girls and boys get paid for!)
In the first week you should simply do 10-15 minutes cardio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – end of.
On week two we'd suggest warming up gently with 10 minutes light cardio then following the program below.
Now don't get scared!
This week you should just do ONE SET of each exercise with either no weight or very light weights – no more than the empty bar for deadlifts for example. All you are doing here is getting used to the movement and the feel of the exercise – remember GO SLOW!
Bodybuilding is very much a tortiose and hare sport! Slow and steady will win the race here.
Okay, good so far.
Now on week three you should stick with the program but build up to three sets on each exercise. Continue to use light weights or no weights – this is still about getting your body and brain used to the feel of the exercise.
(For Example: “Three sets of Bench Presses” would mean doing 8 repetitions, then resting for maybe one minute, then 8 more repetitions (called “Reps”) then resting for a minute, then 8 more repetitions – so lifting the bar 24 times in all)
By week four you will be starting to trust your gut a little.
Maybe it's time to add a little more weight? The goal here is to peg the weight so that if the exercise requires “8 Reps” then you would be very very hard-pushed to manage nine. You are trying to exhaust the muscle so it feels the need to grow a little for when you do this again!
It's all trial and error and it is hugely helpful to take along a little notebook to record your lifts.
Just remember... go slow, and build up bit by bit. Go too heavy at first and you will just be deterred, achy, and possibly even injured. Not good.
And that's it! And by “it” we mean your first month as a bodybuilder! Of course there is SO much more to learn about diet and nutrition, high-level training, mindset... the list goes on.
But if you've managed 12 trips to the gym this month, and really meant them, then you are bodybuilder material!
THE RFB BEGINNERS WORKOUT
Bench Press: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Squat: 3 Sets Of 6 Reps
Bent Over Row: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps
Military Press: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps
Deadlift: 3 Sets Of 6 Reps
Leg Press: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Skull Crushers: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps
Lat Pulldown: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Calf Raise: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Lateral Raise: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Dumbbell Curls: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps
Deadlift: 3 Sets Of 6 Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets Of 8 Reps
Barbell Row: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps
Smith Machine Squats: 3 Sets Of 6 Reps
Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 Sets Of 6-10 Reps