The basic parameters to know in bodybuilding


Before you start bodybuilding, you need to understand why and how to develop a workout plan. As a beginner, your primary goal is to build a solid foundation and you will not be able to do it effectively with any workflow. To learn more about the components of a weight training plan, take a closer look at the following.

 Training by muscle groups 

Experienced weight-lifting practitioners such as bodybuilders combine muscle group exercises and usually work one or two muscle groups a day.

By performing 1 to 3 exercises for a single body part, we make sure that it has been worked in a complete and intensive way. Experience shows that this type of training is the most effective in bodybuilding. (On the other hand, the circuit-training allows you to chain exercises for different muscle groups without any rest time).

Any large group must be developed to prevent muscle imbalances and prevent injuries .


You have a huge selection of bodybuilding exercises that target specific muscle groups. The first exercise one does for a given muscle must be a compound movement. A compound or polyarticular motion involves at least two joints and therefore involves a larger number of assisting muscles.

Some basic movements can be performed in various ways: for example, one can do the bench press with a barbell or dumbbells or machine. In the long run, you will learn how to integrate all these variants into your training.

In fact, two similar exercises can solicit different muscles to different degrees. Thus, the bench press is a good exercise for all the pectorals, but the inclined develop will tend to direct some of the effect of the movement on the top of the anterior pecs and deltoids.

When you combine exercises to build a weight training program, you will need to include (for each muscle group) 2 to 3 exercises that not only activate the same muscle in different ways, but also involve other muscles to a degree that will be variable.



 During the first sessions, you will work light enough, just to perceive the feeling of the correct execution of the movement. Once you feel comfortable with the technique, start increasing the load.

Even an experienced bodybuilder will always have to do a first round of warm-up with virtually no load, to intensify blood flow to the target muscle as well as the connective tissue.

For the second series, add a few small discs and repeat the exercise.

Was it still easy?

If yes and provided that your form of execution is correct, increase the load; if you have trouble doing 12 repetitions, increase it a bit. To increase or decrease the load from one series to the other is to apply the method or the pyramidal training . “.

Keep heaping until you have trouble doing 8 to 10 reps.

Your goal is to train yourself in the weight range where you will fail between 8 and 10 reps. As soon as you have found the load that requires you to work hard, do not change it anymore; soon, you will become stronger and you will be able to increase the number of reps. Once you get to 10, it will be time to increase the load by 10%.

With this new charge, you will not be able to do 10 reps, but over time you will be able to do it again. Some bodybuilders swing the body and pull their loads abruptly, cheating in this way, only to take more weight.

The beginner must know that the momentum deprives the muscles of a large part of the work and is therefore to be proscribed.

The principle that governs the training system that has just been introduced to you is known as “overloading.” It implies the need to impose on the muscles a greater effort than the one they are accustomed to (for bodybuilding, this is around two-thirds of the maximum force), so that there is improvement.

The muscles compensate for this increase at the cellular level, using proteins to thicken the muscle fibers and become stronger.

At this point, the same load is no longer enough to keep making changes; It is therefore necessary to constantly increase muscle stimulation if one wants to progress and this is achieved by making changes in the level of the charges, the volume (series, reps) of the frequency and the rest periods.

Write down the parameters of your training in your notebook, attaching the list of your exercises.



A repetition corresponds to a single execution of the gesture required by the exercise. If you do 10 curls for the biceps, one after the other, you will have 10 reps.

For your very first sessions, take very light loads so that you can do 10 to 15 reps with the correct technique. It is an opportunity for you to work on the level of neuromuscular coordination and to develop the feeling of the correct execution of the movement.



A series is a set of uninterrupted reps for a given year. In other words, 10 reps of curls constitute a series. As a beginner, it will normally take 1 to 2 light warm-up series for each exercise (especially the first one that targets a given muscle group) before moving to the heavier series.

After this initial “break-in” period, do 8 to 12 reps per set after your warm-up to increase your muscle strength and volume.

Take a load that allows you to do the recommended number of reps while getting close to muscle depletion. By “muscle exhaustion” is meant the inability to do one more rep, performed correctly.

If you do not succeed in making the number of reps indicated in your training plan, it is because the load is too heavy. If you can do more reps, it’s too light. So correct the charge for your next set.

Correction of the technique


We will never stop repeating it: it is much better to use a load with which you will exercise properly than to cheat with a heavier load that could end up causing an injury.

Cheating, for example, by swaying the bust or giving impetus with the legs to ride the load also cancels out much of the resistance that only the muscles should overcome.


Execution speed

During the whole movement, the gesture must be controlled and smoothly. Well controlled, this speed of execution produces the best results in bodybuilding.

In general, most bodybuilders perform the positive phase of contraction: (the lift of charge) in 1 to 2 seconds, followed by a momentary contraction called “peak” (also called “peak contraction”) at the end of the movement and they end the rep by a negative contraction of two seconds (downward phase of the load). Once you’re comfortable with your first bodybuilding program, you’ll need to change the settings regularly to shock the muscle and make it a little bigger.

Most practitioners simply increase or decrease the number of repetitions by increasing or decreasing the load. Some modify their exercises and their rest periods, but very few practitioners think of changing the speed of execution! The same exercise with the same rest time and the same load will be completely different if you do it in 2.1.2 (2 seconds to mount the load, 1 second maximum contraction, 2 seconds to lower the load) or 2, 2,4 or 1,4,2, etc.



Most practitioners do not think much about breathing until they start bodybuilding, but that should come naturally. Start each set with a deep breath and exhale as you perform the hardest part of the exercise. Inhale at the top (or easiest phase) of the movement. Never hold your breath for the full range.

Rest between the series

As a rule, rest as long as necessary to recover fatigue from the series performed.

Normally, it goes from 30 to 90 seconds.

Large muscle groups require a little longer recovery time; with small groups, you will be ready again sooner. Do not make the all too common mistake of chatting with other practitioners for 3 to 4 minutes between sets.

It is a waste of time and it is counterproductive. If you’re looking for more strength, take a little longer break between sets. On the other hand, with a shorter rest period, you will not be able to work so hard, but you will draw a lot of energy from your energy reserves, which will improve your stamina.

Note: The load you can use for a given run and the number of reps you can perform are directly related to the length of your rest time.

Full amplitude of the movement

To work your muscles in a complete way and therefore to develop them better, use the complete and natural amplitude of the gesture required by the exercise.


Training frequency


Let’s say you train the whole body on Monday. Should we do the same on Tuesday or wait until Wednesday? The answer is that your body needs a minimum of 48 hours to fully recover after exercise. Sometimes, we recommend up to 72 hours. Physiological processes at the cellular level require rest and nutrients before you can exercise the same muscle group again.

Here is a good guide: even if you only have a few minor aches, it is still too early to train again.

As a beginner, you should not allow more than four days (approximately) to elapse between sessions for the same muscle group. If the training frequency is insufficient, the gains will not be optimal. The solution is to train every 2 to 3 days. A work spread over Monday-Wednesday-Friday (or equivalent) is ideal.


Duration of the training


If you perform the exercises, the recommended sets and repetitions , including the rest times, your resistance training should take between 45 and 60 minutes.

Beyond one hour of training, hormonal mechanisms are put in place: the hormone cortisol comes in particular to cancel the effects of the growth hormone and testosterone .

Do not worry about these sessions of two hours or more. The quality of your training will be measured by the intensity you put in it and not the time you spend in your weight room.