One of the biggest problems a newbie bodybuilder faces is determining how much to train. When they start a bodybuilding program, after having never exercised with weights before, the body generally responds relatively fast. The new bodybuilder can see gains in muscle size and a firming of the body within the first few weeks and this encourages them to train harder.
This is where the problems start to begin. After the initial burst of muscle development, the body will begin to plateau for a while, and increasing the training will only lead to a case of over training. Over training occurs when the muscles haven’t had sufficient time for recovery.
When the muscles are subject to weight training, the main process of development occurs during the recovery period when the muscle cells are rebuilt, to cope with the increased demands of the weight lifting. It is during this ‘rebuilding’ process that the muscles become bigger, and without sufficient recovery the muscles won’t have time to rebuild the cells.
This leads to the muscle getting over worked and growth is stunted. Without the correct knowledge, the newbie bodybuilder thinks that they need to train even harder to maintain the gains that they were seeing in the initial stages of their weight lifting program. Thus begins the downward spiral of more and more over training, and the resultant lack of muscle growth and fatigue.
With correct guidance the bodybuilder will be able to see when they are getting into a state of over training and allow themself a little more time to recover. This might involve having a few days rest from exercise, or more rest days between training sessions. Alternatively, the over trained bodybuilder might need to reduce the amount of weights lifted during a training session.
Reducing the intensity of the training will help to eliminate the possibility of injury and other health related problems as the body’s immune system is put under stress.
People who are just beginning bodybuilding for the first time need to be made aware of this process before they start training so they can plan their weight lifting program in such a manner that they will continue to see gains in muscle size and fitness and reduce the possibility of the plateau periods where they appear to be making little or no progress.