train like a bodybuilder

How To Train Like A Bodybuilder

Building muscle is not as easy as going to the gym and picking up a heavy weight repeatedly, it is a science, and overlooking a certain exercise or eating the wrong food can hinder your results.

While lifting weights is crucial to carving out your muscle, it is not the only factor.

So, how do you build muscle like a bodybuilder? Take a look at these 8 tips below and watch your muscles become more defined.

Get a personal trainer

A personal trainer may not be the most cost-effective of the options, but will revolutionize your workout while holding you accountable. A personal trainer will help you create a plan your body will respond to and keep you motivated. You cannot put a price on feeling incredible, both physically and mentally.

Get enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep might just be the most important habit to build muscle. Sleep allows you to have more energy for workouts and gives your body time to repair your exercise-induced damaged muscle.

A 2011 study posted on PubMed Central found that not getting enough sleep decreases the activity of protein synthesis, which leads to muscle loss and the inability to repair damage.

Additionally, growth hormone is released by the brain into the bloodstream during sleep. If you do not get enough sleep, your body does not produce enough of that hormone, which is necessary for building muscle and keeping tissues healthy.

On top of getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, have a whey and casein protein blend before bed to promote protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown.

Train with lower weights

Some incorrectly think that training with the highest weight possible will build muscles faster. Your body has two types of muscle fibers. The first is type 1, or slow twitch, and they are ideal for endurance and lasting energy. The second is type II, or fast twitch, which fatigue more quickly but are necessary for building muscle mass and fueling powerful bursts.

Studies show the heaviest loads target fast twitch muscles while lighter loads target slow twitch muscles. Working exclusively in one zone means you are missing out on an entire muscle type.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 6 to 12 repetitions optimize muscle growth, with heavier loads on the low end of the spectrum and lighter loads on the higher end.

Focus on multi-joint exercises

Too often, when exercising, the focus is on small muscle groups, like biceps and triceps. Single-joint exercises like dumbbell curls and single-arm cable extensions can be effective, but they are not as efficient. Multi-joint exercises, like a dumbbell chest press or leg presses, work multiple muscles at once, making them more effective.


Finnish research found that those who did endurance training twice a week, in addition to their strength training, saw greater increases in their explosive strength than those who only did strength training. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the greater your explosive strength, or rate of force development, the more quickly you gain muscle fibers and the greater changes you will see in lean body mass.

However, too much time on the treadmill will actually hinder your results. If you exert too much energy doing aerobic exercises, you will not have as much energy to spend on strength. It will also be harder to replenish calories and keep enough nutrients for an anabolic environment.

To build lean muscle, stick to two to three days of cardio, or do a HIIT routine, which combines weights and aerobic.

Track your workouts

Taking notes after your every set may seem more exhausting than the workout itself, but a recent study from the American Psychological Association found that if you are trying to achieve a goal, the more often you monitor your progress the greater the likelihood that you will succeed. Chances of success increase further when you post your progress publicly.

Writing down your exercises, reps and the amount of weight you are lifting is physical evidence of your progress.

Pick up the pace

Research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that one rep per two seconds is three times more effective than one rep four seconds.

Switch up your routine

If you avoid switching up your workout routines your muscles will become accustomed to the movement, resulting in less effective workouts. Women’s Health Magazine recommends switching up your workouts every 4 to 6 weeks.

Don’t worry, the changes do not have to be severe. When looking at a workout there are four components: frequency, intensity, time and type. Changing 2 of these components every 4 to 6 weeks will keep your body guessing and your muscles growing. Additionally, adding small changes to every workout can help maximize your results.