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The Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding in 2024 [With 30+ Programs]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated December 21, 2023
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You're here to gain muscle.

Or to get stronger. 

Whether you have access to a gym, or not, you will find you're starting / continuing point here. 

We’ve designed this page to be a resource for FAQ's, programs, and more. 

Here’s what you'll learn:

  • Diet (basically eat above TDEE)
  • Program (follow a pre-made program)
  • Meals (meal ideas)
  • Supplements (protein powders, creatine, what to take)

This guide aims to provide you with the necessary information to help you on your muscle-building journey.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced lifter, this guide will serve as a comprehensive resource to help you achieve your goals.

Recommend Resources:

What Is Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is a sport that focuses on developing and controlling your body's musculature through resistance training.

It's not just about getting big or strong; it's about creating a balanced, symmetrical physique.

Bodybuilders typically divide their training year into two phases: the off-season or "bulking" phase, where they aim to gain as much lean tissue as possible, and prep cycles or "cutting" phase, where they aim to lose excess body fat.

The Science Behind Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is as much a science as it is an art.

It's about understanding how your body responds to different types of training and nutrition, and then using that knowledge to sculpt your physique.

Resistance training causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, which the body then repairs and strengthens during rest periods.

This process, known as hypertrophy, is the foundation of bodybuilding.

How To Choose The Right Bodybuilding Program

There's no one-size-fits-all bodybuilding program. The best program for you depends on your goals, experience level, and lifestyle. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Training Split: This refers to how you divide your workouts throughout the week. Common splits include upper-lower training, body part splits, and push-pull splits.
  • Exercise Selection: Choose exercises that target each muscle group effectively. Compound exercises like squats and bench presses work multiple muscle groups at once, while isolation exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions target specific muscles.
  • Volume and Intensity: Volume refers to the total amount of work you do (sets x reps x weight), while intensity refers to how hard you work. Both are important for muscle growth, but they need to be balanced to avoid overtraining.
  • Rest and Recovery: Your muscles grow during rest, not during workouts. Make sure your program includes adequate rest days to allow for muscle recovery and growth.

Sample Bodybuilding Programs

Here are two example bodybuilding-oriented programs — one based around Bodypart splits and one designed as an Upper/Lower routine.

These routines are samples and can be adjusted based on individual needs and preferences.

Bodypart Split Program

  • Monday: Chest and Triceps
  • Tuesday: Back and Biceps
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
  • Friday: Legs and Calves
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Upper/Lower Split Program

  • Monday: Upper Body (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps)
  • Tuesday: Lower Body (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Upper Body (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps)
  • Friday: Lower Body (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Nutrition For Bodybuilding

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in bodybuilding. It provides the fuel for your workouts and the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Here's a breakdown of the key components of a bodybuilding diet:

Protein:

Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. It provides the amino acids that your body uses to build new muscle tissue. Aim for a high protein intake spread throughout the day. Some high-protein foods include:

  • Lean meats (chicken, turkey, lean beef)
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese)
  • Plant-based proteins (tofu, tempeh, seitan, lentils)

Carbohydrates:

Carbs provide the energy for your workouts and daily activities. They also play a role in muscle recovery and growth. Opt for complex carbs that provide sustained energy. Some good sources of carbohydrates include:

  • Whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa)
  • Fruits (bananas, oranges, berries)
  • Vegetables (sweet potatoes, peas, corn)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)

Fats:

Healthy fats are essential for hormone production, including testosterone, which plays a key role in muscle growth. They also provide a concentrated source of energy. Include a moderate amount of healthy fats in your diet from sources like:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

Hydration:

Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal performance and recovery. Water helps transport nutrients to your muscles and aids in digestion. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during workouts.

Timing:

When you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Try to consume a balanced meal or snack with protein and carbs before and after your workouts to fuel your training and kickstart the recovery process.

Supplements:

While a balanced diet should be your primary source of nutrients, supplements can help fill in the gaps. Common bodybuilding supplements include protein powders, creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and multivitamins.

Remember, these are general guidelines and individual needs can vary. It's always a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to create a personalized nutrition plan that aligns with your bodybuilding goals and lifestyle.

Understand Your Body

Before you start lifting weights, it's essential to understand your body.

Everyone's body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

It's important to know your body type, your metabolic rate, your genetic predisposition to muscle growth, and whether you're natural or enhanced.

This knowledge will help you tailor your workout and diet plan to your specific needs.

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What Makes a Bodybuilding Program a Bodybuilding Program?

A bodybuilding program is more than just a list of exercises. It's a comprehensive plan designed to stimulate muscle growth and enhance physique aesthetics. Here's what sets a bodybuilding program apart:

Focus on Muscle Hypertrophy:

The primary goal of a bodybuilding program is muscle hypertrophy, or growth. This is achieved through a combination of resistance training, nutrition, and rest. The training typically involves a higher volume (more sets and reps) compared to strength training programs, with exercises targeting each muscle group from a variety of angles.

Detailed Exercise Selection:

Bodybuilding programs include a mix of compound and isolation exercises. Compound exercises like squats and bench presses work multiple muscle groups at once, providing the stimulus for overall muscle growth. Isolation exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions target specific muscles, allowing for detailed sculpting and development.

Nutrition and Supplementation Plan:

Bodybuilders recognize that what you do outside the gym is just as important as what you do inside it. A bodybuilding program will often include a detailed nutrition plan, designed to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to repair and grow muscles. This might include a focus on high-protein foods, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Supplementation, such as protein powders or creatine, may also be recommended.

Rest and Recovery:

Rest is crucial for muscle growth. A bodybuilding program will include rest days to allow the muscles to repair and grow. It may also include recommendations for sleep, as this is when a lot of muscle repair and growth takes place.

Periodization and Progression:

Bodybuilding programs are structured in a way that allows for consistent progression. This might involve increasing the weight lifted, the number of sets or reps performed, or the intensity of the workouts over time. Periodization strategies, such as cycling between periods of higher volume and higher intensity, are often used to maximize muscle growth and prevent plateaus.

Mind-Muscle Connection:

Bodybuilding isn't just about moving weights; it's about targeting muscles. Bodybuilders often use techniques like visualization and focused attention to improve the mind-muscle connection, enhancing the effectiveness of their workouts.

Basics of Bodybuilding Programming

Sets and Reps:

In resistance training, exercises are often structured in sets and repetitions (reps). A rep is one complete motion of an exercise, while a set is a group of consecutive repetitions. For example, if you do 10 squats, rest, and then do 10 more squats, you've done 2 sets of 10 reps each. The number of sets and reps you do depends on your goals. For muscle growth, a common approach is 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise.

Rest Periods:

The rest period is the recovery time between sets. During this time, your muscles repair themselves and prepare for the next set. The length of the rest period can affect the outcome of your workout. For strength and power, longer rest periods (2-5 minutes) are typically recommended. For muscle size and endurance, shorter rest periods (30-90 seconds) are often used.

Periodization:

This is a systematic approach to training that involves varying your workout program at regular intervals to bring about optimal gains in strength and muscle size. The goal is to peak your performance for a specific event or date. There are several types of periodization, including linear (gradually increasing intensity and decreasing volume), undulating (constantly changing volume and intensity), and block (focusing on a specific fitness aspect for a few weeks at a time).

Frequency:

This refers to how often you train. For most people, training each muscle group 2-3 times per week is sufficient for muscle growth. However, your frequency should also take into account your volume and intensity, as well as your ability to recover.

Volume and Intensity:

Volume is the total amount of work you do, typically calculated as sets x reps x weight. Intensity refers to how hard you work, often measured as a percentage of your one-rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one rep of an exercise). Both volume and intensity should be adjusted based on your goals, experience level, and recovery capacity.

Exercise Selection:

Your program should include a mix of compound exercises (which work multiple muscle groups, like squats) and isolation exercises (which target a single muscle group, like bicep curls). The specific exercises you choose will depend on your goals, experience level, and personal preferences.

Progression:

This is the principle of gradually increasing the demands on your body to continue making gains. You can progress by adding weight, increasing reps or sets, improving your form, reducing rest time, or incorporating more advanced exercises.

How To Pick A Program

After diet, comes programming because diet will help the body build muscle rather than store fat and a proper program will help propel you on the right path. 

Selecting a Workout Routine

Pre-made routine made by a professional has been tried and tested through hundreds of people.

They work.

Avoid making your own which can lead to issues and imbalances.

Avoid making these mistakes:

  • Too much volume, too many exercises
  • No compound lifts
  • Too many isolation exercises
  • Bad form and heavy weights
  • Not enough back exercises
  • Neglecting leg exercises

Anything will work, for about a month or so. But that is a problem because it's not made for the long term.

There are people who have dedicate their lives to exercise and you need to accept this

Some things to ask yourself:

  • What level fitness are you
  • What are your goals (strength, muscle or general fitness?)
  • Is there enough rest or tempo in your program
  • Do you have any weaknesses or imbalances? (ie crouched back)

Current Strength Levels Should Be Assessed

For a general assessment on what your level of strength is, try using this:

Symmetric Strength 

What Routines Suit You Best

Below you'll find a list of programs organized by level of fitness: 

Introductory

The programs below are made for people starting out. They're focused on building the foundation of strength, with ICF5x5 and AllPros being the best for hypertrophy.

Beginners

If you have some lifting experience, at least 3-6 months with a solid foundation of strength, then these programs below are great.

Intermediate – Aesthetics

The programs below are made for building muscle and a complete physique.

Best Overall For Bodybuilding

Best Overall For Strength

If strength is your goal then check these out:

Tips for Maximizing Gains

Form: 

How you set up your exercises matters for the long term.

For example, if you row with a hunched over form, then you'll continue having this issue and your rows will be a waste of time and effort.

And you'll be demotivated and derailed by the lack of progress.

Squat, bench, deadlifts, these are complex movements that need to be studied.

Pendlay rows is a good example of a compound movement. 

Either record yourself or watch the mirror for the form.

You can also practice the form without the weight, as you should be lifting without weight.

The problem with asking people around you in the gym, they may not know the correct form, or may not have time to fully critique your from.

It is hard to correct the form after it's been implemented for so long.

Compound lifts:

To get the most out of your time, you need to do compound lifts. 

The smaller muscles around them will be worked, this means you'll be able to get bigger overall with compound lifts.

Majority of transformations are with compound lifts, you'll never find anyone who is fully developed by using only isolation / machine exercises

Recovery:

One exercise, like heavy squats, can drain your entire body.

This happens because your immune system, central nervous system and hormonal system are all affected with heavy lifting and they need time to recover.

Deloading or taking a full week off from exercise is required if you want to maximize your development, for both muscle and strength gains.

Journal your progress:

Tracking back your workouts and seeing how far you've come can be a great source for motivation.

There's a few ways to do this, either through digital or offline, like an app, spreadsheet, or through a journal.

Listen to your body:

If you feel a cold is coming on, you feel pain near or directly on your joints, or an exercise feels uncomfortable, then hold it off until you find out why.

A lot of injuries happen because we're ignoring the signs.

It's better to recover than to push yourself beyond the pain as you may find yourself taking more time off than if you originally just have had a week off.

Don't stress over small things:

Seeing weight stalling or not seeing progress is common. 

Stressing over this will not help and will do the opposite.

Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in muscle building.

To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. This is known as a caloric surplus. However, not all calories are created equal.

You need to consume high-quality calories from protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein is particularly important as it provides the building blocks for muscle growth.

Exercise

Exercise is the other half of the muscle-building equation.

To build muscle, you need to engage in resistance training, which involves lifting weights.

There are various forms of resistance training, including weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band exercises.

The key is to engage in exercises that challenge your muscles, causing them to grow stronger and larger over time.

Recovery

Rest is often overlooked in the muscle-building process, but it's just as important as diet and exercise.

When you rest, your body repairs the muscle fibers that were damaged during exercise, causing them to grow larger.

Without adequate rest, your muscles won't have the opportunity to grow, and you may even risk injury.

How Much Should I Be Eating?

Here you'll figure out how much you need to eat with the help of a calculator below. 

First you need to find your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) or energy balance to see how much calories you burn each day (don't worry this is easy), including physical activity and your base metabolic rate BMR.

Finding your TDEE with this calculator below:

No calculator will give you the same exact result, this will differ as each of them use some slight variation of the calculator.

This is why you need to adjust based on the results you get in the real world.

If you want to bulk, then you need to eat 500 calories on top of your TDEE.

To lose weight, you need to eat 500 calories below your TDEE.

To maintain you need to eat at TDEE. Generally, you want to eat 3000 calories daily for bulking if you are male, or 2500 for women.

For bulking, you should be gaining 1lbs per week, but this should be checked at the same time every week. 

If you're an advanced lifter, this rate might be slower.

What Should I Be Eating?

All foods have their own ratio of macros, calories and benefits.

Foods differ by macros and micros.

Macronutrients are protein (amino acids), fats (saturated, unsaturated, omega 3, and more), carbs (starches, sugars, alcohol).

Micro are micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and they are needed for physiological processes.

A well-designed diet should be enough to supply you with vitamins and nutrients but multivitamin can ensure it.

At the very least, I recommend getting zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B from supplements.

Exercise can deplete these nutrients and if you live in a country without much sun, you should be getting vitamin D (D3 being the best form) from supplements.

Macro ratio isn't too important, but around 0.68 per 1lb bodyweight, you can eat more than 30g in one sitting. Fill the rest of the diet with carbs and fats).

Aim to consume whole foods like oats, chicken, whole milk, beans, legumes, nuts, vegetables, peanut butter and whole grain bread.

What About Supplements?

Supplements are supplements for diet, and can help fill in gaps.

A great example of this is protein powder.

It's challenging to get enough protein from diet, whether it's due to time or caloric restrictions, or helping you consume more calories than normal.

Protein powders:

Getting enough from diet is challenging, this is where protein powder comes in. 

Although it's not needed if you already achieve protein requirements, you may find it easier to remain in a caloric surplus if you have protein shakes.

Weight gainer:

These are high calorie shakes, with adds carbs and sometimes micronutrients as well.

Protein powders made with different foods like oatmeal, olive or MCT oil, nuts and fruits can turn into a homemade weight gainer.

Creatine Monohydrate:

This supplement is easily one of the best that's worth taking.

Can be read more on examine.com or through our creatine guide.

It's cheap, safe, healthy, works.

Use at 5g a day, there's absolutely no logical sense for fearing it.

Monohydrate is the most studied and proven form of creatine.

Meal Ideas

These are meal ideas that you can make and eat to help gain muscle:

Gallon of Milk A Day (GOMAD)

Skinny guys are skinny because they don't eat enough.

But this is the challenge, eating more can be quite hard for someone who struggles to consume enough to keep up with their caloric surplus.

The GOMAD diet helps add in calories by drinking half a gallon of milk of day. 

This won't work for people who are lactose intolerant.

This diet can lead to fat gain if you're not careful because of the calorie intake and overdoing it.

I have a high metabolism – can't gain weight

While this case is rare, even high metabolism, you'll only burn 200 calories more than the average person. 

Track everything for a week, adjust accordingly and  as needed.

I want to gain, but I have trouble keeping up with food

You might be tempted to try to change everything overnight.

This will lead to failure.

Start with drinking more water, eat more frequently, increase workout intensity, increase calories slowly so the body can adjust.

May be tough when you first change your diet and you may struggle but you can get through it and you can eat more than before eventually. 

How Do I Track Calories?

Most food has a breakdown of calories inside, but can be googled or by using MyFitnessPal.

Either track the calories through the app, a journal (digital or paper).

Tracking calories for a week or two will give you some idea of how much to eat without actually tracking all the time.

I'm On A Budget

When And How Often To Eat:

It doesn’t matter when you eat.

Eating whenever is convenient is the best way to go.

Increasing frequency doesn't influence metabolic rate but eating more meals throughout the day helps increase calorie intake.

And the post workout window is overblown, as there’s no firm conclusions on eating (see page 11).

So there’s no need to stress about protein / food after workout.

Cheat Meals

Sure, you're allowed to eat cheat meals, but on occasion (cookies, beer, cake, etc) but make sure they are treated as treats, not staples of diet.

Cheap foods is possible while bulking, relatively cheap.

Here's some of my favorite sources:

Fitness FAQ

Your most frequently asked questions will be answered here. 

No Gym Access, What Do I Do?

Now because of Covid-19, you may find your gyms in your area to be locked down.

However, if they are not locked down, try to find a gym that has a power rack where you can do squats in.

If a gym isn't an option, then you can buy some equipment and train at home.

If you don't have equipment at all, then bodyweight fitness will be your source of exercises.

All you need is one or two dumbbells for a complete routine.

There are a few variations of squats you can do if you don't have a power rack, like zercher or hack squats.

Can I Do Cardio?

Cardio is good for you but we recommend not doing cardio the day before squats or you may be setting yourself up for injuries and it may hinder how much weight yo can squat.

Cardio can help enhance recovery, improve endurance and improve heart health.

If you plan to do cardio on the same day as lifting, then do it after.

How Long Can I Rest For?

Depending on the exercise and techniques used, rest periods can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

Most exercises can pass with a general recommendation of 1-3 minutes.

High reps and light weight means you can rest quickly, around 30-45 seconds.

For compound exercises, you'll want to rest anywhere from 2-5 minutes.

If you're training for strength, then it's not uncommon to have a rest period of closer to 5 minutes.

Most programs will have suggested rest periods, if you're following one, try to follow those.

Will I Lose Gains If I Take A Week Off?

No it's the oppsoite. 

Taking a week off will allow you to come back stronger and sometimes even bigger than before. 

Try to look for the recommended rest.

If you feel rundown, depressed, or have pain either in the joints or in muscles, then it's probably time for a break.

Posture

Building a solid foundation for posture can be a determining factor for your form. 

Good posture can prevent potential problems and injuries.

Posture can happen even with the most experienceed
athletes/ bodybuilders.

Common Issues With Posture

Kyphosis

Sitting at a desk can lead to rounded shoulders and back, this can lead to a rounded back as they lengthen. With age, this can get worse. 

A hunchback posture can also decrease height.

Lordosis

Inward curvature of lumbar and cervical vertebral column. 

Hyperlordosis can lead to lower back pain and can get worse with age, making exercises like deadlifts or squats very hard. 

Many injuries can be prevented by fixing hyperlordosis. 

Anterior pelvic tilt is a common cause of lordosis.

Confused about deadlifts vs Romanian deadlifts? This will help you

Anterior Pelvis Tilt

Pelvis tips forward making abdomen and buttocks to protrude, cause by sitting for most of your day.

When you sit, hip flexors (psoas) are shortened, abs glutes and hamstrings are lengthened.

Prolonged periods of this posture can make hip flexors fuse into this position, abs glutes, hamstrings become weaker, like kyphosis.

How To Fix Posture?

Most posture issues come from tight muscles, place emphasis on strength or volume on the lengthened agonist muscles

For example, doing more back than chest exercises, more glutes and hamstrings than quads, and so on.

You definitely don't want to do crunches, do reverse crunches and planks instead.

Foam rolling and antagonist muscle stretching is essential, do these everyday:

Focus on joint health and mobility. Mobility WOD is going to help with instabilities. 

More resources on posture and mobility:

General FAQ

I'm New, Where Do I Start?

Everything you need is in this FAQ.

You should follow everything listed in this guide. 

Or you can check out this 7 step course.

How Much Rest Do I Need?

Your muscles need as much rest as workout days. 

Your muscles grow and recover when you're resting. 

Maintain stress, a consistent sleep schedule, and pay attention to the signs of over training.

I'm Sick, Can I Train?

Being sick can be a sign of overtraining because your immune system is compromised after training. 

It is as drained as your muscles. 

It's better to rest and recover.

When To Weigh Myself?

Same time in the morning, after your pee, since your body has the least waste and water. 

Be consistent with when and how you weigh yourself, weekly is ideal.

My Weight Went Up 6lbs From This Morning, What's Going On?

It's normal to see your weight go up, it depends on what you eat, drank, etc. 

That's why you should only weigh yourself once a week, at the same time everytime. 

My Weight Was Going Up Consistently, Now I'm Not Gaining As Fast, What Gives?

When you're first starting out, you're probably going to have much more food and you're going to be carrying much more waste and water, hence why your weight seems to have blasted up after a few weeks and then slowed down.

What's More Important For Bulking: Calories, Macros or Exercise?

Each of these are important. In ordder to gain weifght, you need to eat more than you burn, eat above your TDEE. 

Macros are needed for normal body functions and it gives the energy your body needs.

My Weight Hasn't Gone Up?

There a few reasons why this may be happening:

First track your calories for a week or two to see if you're actually eating enough. 

Commonly enough, people overestimate their calories.

You're not eating enough. 

Even if you've done your TDEE calculations, this is just an estimation. 

Your TDEE might be higher than estimated.

Not enough time given.

Weight gain needs time to happen, more than a month.

You're not weighing yourself at the same time.

Weigh at the same time, ideally in the morning after you pee.

Your weighing methods may be off, like your scales, either for food or for your body.

Medical issues. Check with a doctor and see if you have any medical issues that may be causing you to not gain weight. If not, then add in 500 calories more to what you've eating.

If you've still not gained anything after 2 months of doing this, then it's probably a good idea to seek medical advice.

Not gaining weight after eating over TDEE isn't normal.

Don't self diagnose, see a doctor.

I'm Too Ashamed To Go To The Gym

The last thing anyone wants to do at the gym is give away their attention from the one time that they can do makes them feel good, which is their workout.

No one cares about anyone else in the gym, but themselves.

All the big and hard working bodybuilders know the struggle of being skinny or overweight or out of shape.

What's The Difference Between Clean vs Dirty Bulk?

A dirty bulk means there's more junk food than clean.

Junk foods mean prepackaged foods, fast food, chips, basically calories that have no real nutritional value.

The downside is that more of the food is likely to be stored as fat.

I'm A Woman, FAQ Applies?

The difference between a man and a woman is their body and hormonal system.

To build muscle like a male, a woman would need to take steroids and testosterones.

The principles for men who want to gain muscle and aesthetics remain the same for women.

I'm A Hardgainer / Ectomorph, I can't Gain Weight

There's no metabolism that more than 200-300 calories in difference from the average person.

The only time this is an exception is for medical conditions.

Even if you have a super fast metabolism, you would just need to eat a few hundred extra calories to gain weight.

There's no such thing as a hardgainer nor is being an ectomorph a disadvantage or any different for gaining weight.

If you can't gain weight even after eating above your maintenance, then you may need to check with a doctor.

How Can I Bulk As A Broke College Student

What's My Ideal Weight For My Height?

There's no recommendation for height, it depends on your goal but a general idea includes the stuff here: http://www.reddit.com/r/gainit/comments/1b5911/the_ideal_weight_for_your_height/

I Have To Poop More, What's Going On?

The more you consume, the more you have to poop. 

It may be uncomfortable but after a few weeks, you'll feel normal again.

Eating foods with fiber like tomatoes, cucumbers, oats can help with digestion.

Why Does My Stomach Stick Out?

Being really skinny can make this stick out more. 

It's noticeable if you're skinny, but once you start gaining muscle, it'll be less noticeable.

And this may be a postural issue, sitting a lot, in cars, desks, etc, can lead to a protruding stomach..

Refer to the posture section.

I'm a Exception To The FAQ?

Eating Disorder

Seek professional advice from doctor o nutritionist.

You may need help counting calories because counting calories can be a trigger.

Allow a medical professional to wok with you to help create a diet.

Super Underweight

If you're in the 15-16 BMI region, then check with a doctor for any issues like heart issues, bone damage, before lifting.

You should get a DEXA bone scan and get approval before lifting weight.

A doctor may recommend light cardio and eating to gain weight before lifting weights.

Depression

Since we're not doctors or licensed to give you advice, we recommend that you first consult with a counsellor or therapist and see a doctor. 

Medications can help you beat this. 

There's been a number of studies that show exercise can improve mental state

See also exercise out of depression on Reddit.

Other Medical Issues

Seek approval and advice from medical professional before starting any program. 

More Resources

More FAQ

Q: What is a good bodybuilding program for beginners? A: Beginners can benefit from a simple full-body workout routine that involves basic exercises. This routine should be performed three days per week for optimal muscle growth. As you gain experience, you can gradually increase the volume and intensity of your workouts.

Q: How often should I change my bodybuilding program? A: It's generally recommended to stick with a program for at least 6-8 weeks to see significant results. However, if you stop seeing progress or start feeling bored or unmotivated, it might be time to change your program.

Q: Can I do bodybuilding workouts at home?

A: Yes, you can do bodybuilding workouts at home. All you need is some basic equipment like dumbbells, a bench, and resistance bands. However, a commercial gym will offer more variety in terms of equipment and exercises.

Q: What should I eat for muscle growth?

A: Your diet should be rich in protein to support muscle repair and growth. You should also consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates and healthy fats to fuel your workouts and recovery.

Q: How important is rest in a bodybuilding program?

A: Rest is crucial in a bodybuilding program. Your muscles grow during rest, not during workouts. Make sure your program includes adequate rest days to allow for muscle recovery and growth.

Q: What are some popular bodybuilding programs?

A: There are many popular bodybuilding programs out there, such as the 5x5 program, the German Volume Training program, and the Push/Pull/Legs split. The best program for you depends on your goals, experience level, and lifestyle.

Q: What are some popular bodybuilding programs?

A: There are many popular bodybuilding programs available, such as the 5x5 program, the German Volume Training program, the Push/Pull/Legs split, and the 10-Week Mass Building program. The best program for you depends on your goals, experience level, and lifestyle.

Q: How long should I stick to a bodybuilding program?

A: It's generally recommended to stick with a program for at least 6-8 weeks to see significant results. However, if you stop seeing progress or start feeling bored or unmotivated, it might be time to change your program.

Q: Can I do bodybuilding workouts at home?

A: Yes, you can do bodybuilding workouts at home. All you need is some basic equipment like dumbbells, a bench, and resistance bands. However, a commercial gym will offer more variety in terms of equipment and exercises.

Q: What should I eat for muscle growth?

A: Your diet should be rich in protein to support muscle repair and growth. You should also consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates and healthy fats to fuel your workouts and recovery.

Q: How important is rest in a bodybuilding program?

A: Rest is crucial in a bodybuilding program. Your muscles grow during rest, not during workouts. Make sure your program includes adequate rest days to allow for muscle recovery and growth.

Q: How can I progress in my bodybuilding program?

A: You can progress in your bodybuilding program by increasing your weights, doing more reps, or incorporating more advanced techniques into your routine. Always listen to your body and adjust your program as necessary to avoid overtraining.

Q: Are there bodybuilding programs for different experience levels?

A: Yes, there are bodybuilding programs designed for beginners, intermediates, and advanced lifters. Beginners can benefit from full-body workouts, while more experienced lifters might prefer split routines that target specific muscle groups on different days.

Q: Can I combine bodybuilding with other forms of exercise?

A: Yes, many bodybuilders incorporate cardio and flexibility training into their routines to improve overall fitness and enhance muscle definition. However, it's important to balance these activities with your resistance training to avoid overtraining.

Now It's Your Turn

Seek approval and advice from medical professional before starting any program. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try my best to help you out. 

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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