Bodybuilding: see exercises and how to gain muscle mass

In the gym, weight training is one of the most practiced modalities. In this activity, many seek to gain muscle mass, more muscle definition and dry a few pounds.

Whether for aesthetic reasons, health or to gain strength, the activity can bring several benefits to the practitioner. However, it is important to perform weight training in the correct way to avoid injuries and ensure that training is effective.


What is bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is the activity that forces muscles in a controlled manner, seeking to increase their strength and volume. It is strength training, called counter-resistance training. It is often held in gyms that provide the necessary material.

Weight training can be used for athletic purposes, by improving the performance of athletes’ bodies; aesthetic, creating muscle volume and eliminating fat, creating a more beautiful body; and health, helping with muscular, bone, metabolic, mobility and posture diseases.

The practice is usually done through the use of equipment that exerts a force contrary to what the muscles perform, making the activity more difficult and conditioning the muscles, causing them to create more strength. Equipment that uses springs, elastics, weights, gravity and even the athlete’s mass can be used for weight training, through exercises such as push-ups or the fixed bar.


Our muscles can be divided into smooth , striated skeletal , and striated cardiac .

Smooth muscles

Smooth muscles are present, for example, in the intestine. They are involuntary, that is, their action does not depend on our will. They work slowly and their appearance is smooth. They can be found in Organs hollow organs of the body, in blood vessels, bladder and uterus.

Skeletal striated muscles

Skeletal striated muscles are formed by striated fibers and are voluntary. Mostly, they are just below the layer of skin and fat, in contact with the bones, and are responsible for their movement.

It is thanks to the striated skeletal muscles that you can move your fingers, raise your arms, run, stand and even breathe.

Striated cardiac muscle

Finally, the striated cardiac muscle is what forms the heart. It has characteristics of skeletal striated muscles, but it moves involuntarily, causing the heart to contract and relax all the time.

In bodybuilding

The muscles used in bodybuilding are specifically the striated skeletal muscles . They are the ones we can control and are used during exercise – close to the heart, of course.

What are biotypes?

Biotypes are famous among bodybuilders, but they are not exactly a reliable source for what the body can and cannot do.

In the 1940s, psychologist Williams Herbert Sheldon created the somatotype theory, trying to find a pattern between people’s body type and personality.

He theorized that ectomorphic (naturally thin looking) people would be introverted and tense, endomorphic (naturally fuller and broader body) compliant and slow and mesomorphic (naturally more muscular and defined) direct and dominant.

The theory was overturned in the 1970s. The generalization was too great and studies proved that it did not apply to reality. However, it was used to separate genetic types of bodies for specific sports.

Although it makes more sense than the initial proposal, genetics, for the average person, doesn’t make that much of a difference.

At high levels of sports, where half a second can make the difference between first and second place, genetics can make the difference, but it is not your biotype that will define whether or not you can reach a certain point in body development.

People classified as endomorphs can have a defined stomach, ectomorphs can gain muscle mass and the difficulties in achieving any of these things exist for mesomorphs.

Generalization does not benefit training and weight training, but lifestyle habits do. Food and physical activity are what really make the difference.

How does muscle growth work?

In a simplified way, we can say that muscle growth is a way for your body to compensate for micro injuries and prepare for the future.

When we do physical exercises, the muscles undergo several microlesions in their tissue due to the effort. During rest, the body treats and regenerates the muscle, bringing it to its initial state.

However, waiting for another similar effort to happen, he adds a little more muscle mass and the athlete ends up with more mass than when he started. That is why rest time is so important.

In order to have this muscle addition, there needs to be material. Muscles are made mainly of protein. If there is protein in the diet for muscle regeneration and carbohydrates for energy use, the muscle grows a little during rest

This difference is very small and after a few days without exercise, the muscle returns to its initial stage. Therefore, the ideal of bodybuilding is that the training takes place as close to that moment when the muscle mass is at a peak of restoration, hoping that there will be an effort again.

It is not possible to know exactly when this peak occurs, but leaving a rest day between each training day is a good approximation.

Thus, exercise will cause microlesions in the tissue that the body will regenerate with a little more excess, gradually increasing muscle mass. That little bit accumulates each time and, over the course of months, the growth becomes noticeable and makes a difference.

Training, food, rest

Known as the three pillars of weight training , these activities are all necessary for gaining muscle mass. There is no point in having a perfect training routine if you do not eat well, nor having a balanced and well thought out diet and training without rest.



The training should be regular, without exaggeration, but heavy enough so that there must be effort. It can’t be too easy.



The diet needs to be balanced, with carbohydrates so that the muscles have energy to train and proteins so that they can grow.



The rest is crucial and must be complete. Sleeping well is necessary and respecting training schedules, without exaggerating exercises, guarantees muscle growth and quality of life.



Lactic acid



Lactic acid is produced by the muscles during physical exercise and is responsible for the burning sensation, in addition to muscle pain the next day. What is interesting is that it also serves as muscle fuel.



To avoid the pain of the next day, you can do a light exercise at the end of your workout.



For example, after doing the weight training series and getting some rest, a cool down composed by the use of light weights and low effort exercises can serve to use the lactic acid present as a fuel, eliminating it and reducing muscle pain the next day. .



The same can be applied to any type of exercise. After a running workout, for example, jogging for five minutes may be enough to eliminate lactic acid from your muscles.



Does bodybuilding help you lose weight?



It is important to remember that weight training is not intended to reduce the weight, but to increase muscle and burn fat, which often results in increased weight.



This is because muscles weigh more than fat. The weight gain will be a consequence of this exchange of fat for muscle mass, but despite this, the body will be more defined and healthy.



What are the benefits of weight training?



Among the main benefits of weight training are:



Muscle toning



Exercises help in muscle toning, leaving the muscles firmer and more defined.



Increased strength



Weight training makes your muscles stronger and more useful for life’s activities.



Reduces the chance of health problems



Exercising reduces the chance of problems such as diabetes , obesity and hypertension, in addition to improving the immune system, helping against future infections or diseases.



Improves mood



Practicing weight training improves the practitioner’s mood and self-esteem.



Increased metabolism



Larger muscles increase the body’s metabolism as it needs more energy. This process hinders the accumulation of fats.



Back burn



Calories continue to be burned even after training.



Bone benefits



Bone density is improved, so weight training helps prevent osteoporosis and other bone problems.



Common mistakes in bodybuilding



There are a number of frequent mistakes that people make in the gym that cause problems with weight training, making exercise ineffective. Some of the most common are:






Gaining muscle mass or losing weight does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort, dedication and discipline to achieve the results that can take a few weeks to start appearing and months for them to be satisfactory.



Uncontrolled food



Food is extremely important and you need to take care of it, ensuring that it is suitable for your body, your exercises, in addition to strictly following your guidelines.



Inadequate training



Performing the appropriate exercises for your goal is the only way to achieve the desired results. Talk to the gym instructor or your personal trainer to help you do the right exercises.






Without regularity and discipline, everything else is useless and will not work. Exercises are a healthy habit, not a miracle solution that you use until you reach your goals and then stop doing it. To maintain the desired physique, it is necessary to be regular and disciplined indefinitely, potentially until the end of life.



Bodybuilding exercises to gain muscle mass



Many exercises are used to increase muscle. We will list some of them here.



Bench press



The bench press is the most famous weight training exercise in the world. This exercise is extremely important for pectoral muscle training.



Lying down, the practitioner will hold the weight and lower it, in a controlled manner, to the chest and then raise it again.



Squat with barbell



In the same way that the bench press is the main exercise for the upper body, the squat is the main exercise for the lower part. It strengthens the legs and thighs.



To perform this exercise, a bar is placed on the back, preferably with weights. With the spine straight and legs apart (the feet should be aligned with the shoulders), the practitioner flexes the knees, lowering the hips until they reach the height of the knees, then stands up again.



Despite being the main exercise for the lower part, it also strengthens the upper body, as it involves the weight supported on the back.



Fixed bar



The barbell is the most famous exercise for the back and has the great advantage of practicality. It can be performed almost anywhere.



Unlike many of the exercises that normally take place in a gym, which require weights and equipment, the bar can be found in dozens of places, from parks to the practitioner’s own home.



The exercise consists of lifting your own weight with the help of a barbell, using the muscles of your back and, secondarily, your arms.



Parallel bars



The parallel bars strengthen the triceps, the muscles that are at the back of the arms. The practitioner positions himself between two bars, raises his own weight on his arms and moves up and down, standing up without touching the floor.



Curved row



There are rowing machines in all gyms, but you can do this exercise with a weighted bar, making it a very practical activity. Next to the fixed bar, the curved stroke is one of the best exercises for the back.



The practitioner stands upright, bent forward in a straight column and holds the barbell with weight, then raises it in the direction of the navel, simulating the rowing movement.



Necessary care in bodybuilding training



Injuries are common in bodybuilding when the limits of the body are not respected. Many people believe that the greater the load and the greater the number of series, the greater will be their muscle growth. This is true to some extent. However, there is a so-called overtraining .






Overtraining, or “over-training” is what happens when you train too , is the exaggeration of the amount or intensity of the workout. This can lead to serious problems.



Lifting more weight than the body can handle can lead to serious muscle injuries, such as strains. Training with injuries can be harmful to the muscle and make the injury permanent, in addition to often making it impossible to do weight training completely, which can send all the training down the drain due to the time stopped for recovery.



Overtraining can also lead to muscle loss.



Remember how the body needs rest to recover muscle and increase it? If the body does not have time to recover, the muscle does not grow and can gradually be reduced . The same can happen if there is no energy or protein intake.



Without material, the body cannot regenerate muscle and, without energy, it needs to use muscle as an energy source.



Bodybuilding at different stages of life



Physical exercises are welcome at any stage of life, but when done correctly and at the appropriate intensity. Every activity can be adapted to meet the physical needs of each person, providing many physical and mental benefits.



For this to be possible, it is necessary to be accompanied by a physical educator.



Below we explain if weight training can be done during childhood, old age and during pregnancy:






The practice of exercises for children is extremely important for their physical and psychological development, and weight training is not excluded from this. However, care is needed.



A child is not a small adult. There are many anatomical differences between the infant and the mature body. It is not possible to place a child in a gym to do the same exercises as an adult and the equipment in the gym is not adapted to the size of children.



For children to perform strength training, they must follow adapted training, in a way that respects their strength, size, age and muscular maturity. The practice of weight training in the wrong way can cause serious injuries that can hinder the child’s development.



It is recommended that this type of exercise only starts to happen from the age of 9, when the muscles are more mature, but nothing prevents younger children from performing activities that involve only their own weight, such as push-ups and squats.



However, physical exercise is extremely important and, when supervised by a professional and done correctly for the child’s age, weight training can be one of these physical exercises.






Weight training for the elderly can bring several benefits. With the natural aging of the body, it is common to lose strength and muscle mass. Therefore, weight training can help prevent or improve this condition.



The important thing, before the elderly person starts weight training, is to seek a medical evaluation and also from a physical educator, who will adapt the training according to the needs of each person.






Pregnant women can perform physical activities during pregnancy and this can even bring many benefits. However, it is not possible to state that everyone can start or continue with weight training.



The ideal is to talk to a doctor and have that professional’s release. He should assess whether the pregnancy is at risk and what impact the activity would have on the pregnancy.



With the release and monitoring of the obstetrician, the pregnant woman should seek an adapted training, always done with the accompaniment of a physical educator.




Here are some tips for you to practice bodybuilding!


Don’t forget that rest is the moment when your muscles grow. It is important to sleep well and have at least one day of rest between each workout.

Eat well

Food is extremely important for muscle growth. It is the fuel for exercise and the building material of muscles. Eat plenty of protein, especially after training.


The gym may be a sociable place, but it was not designed for socializing. It was made for training, for dedication. Focus on your goal and don’t lose sight.

Return the load slowly

When doing the exercises, return the load slowly. For example, with weightlifting, lift the weights fast, but lower them slowly, to make gravity-working difficult. This makes exercise more efficient.

Increase the load frequently



If you don’t increase the load, your body gets used to exercise and can slow down its growth until it finally stabilizes. If you are looking to increase, be constantly increasing your load, at least once a week. Even if it’s just a little bit, it makes a difference.






Do not hold your breath while training. This can lead to heart problems and increased blood pressure. It is important to breathe properly. You should inhale during muscle contraction and exhale during relaxation. If exercise allows, breathe at the same pace as the exercise.



Do not exaggerate



Overdoing it can lead to serious injuries that can prevent you from training. Exercise at approximately 60% of your maximum load. This means that, if you can lift 30 kg with a lot of effort, you must perform the repetitions with approximately 20 kg. As your body gets stronger, you can adapt the loads.






Getting strong muscles is a lot of effort, but mostly discipline. Training and working hard for five days a week and then going a month without showing up at the gym will not bring any results. With dedication and discipline, over the course of a few months, you get there.



Talk to the instructors



They know a good part of the exercises and will be able to tell you if you are doing the movements correctly, avoiding injuries and maximizing your training.



Diet: When and what to eat?



Food is extremely important during weight training. It is the source of energy for the body and it is from it that the protein used to increase them comes from. Along with training and rest, it is incredibly important to ensure satisfactory results in your workouts.



Remember that the ideal food for your body is individual and what works for you may not work for others and vice versa. Your body has a particular dietary need. A nutritionist can help with this, but it is important to remember that as your workout progresses, your body changes and so do your dietary needs.



It is important to know what and when to eat.



Before the training



Eating before training is important to fuel the body and have energy for exercise. It is recommended to eat complex carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour before training.



Complex carbohydrates are slow to absorb, which means they will continue to nourish your body during training, unlike simple carbohydrates, which quickly spike in energy and glucose, followed by a lack of energy.



Complex carbohydrates include foods such as sweet potatoes , whole foods and grains . Fruits, toast and cereals are also recommended.



It is also important not to overdo the diet before training, to prevent the body from spending too much energy on digestion.



Don’t forget to hydrate yourself. Drink plenty of water before training.



During training



There is no need for food during training, but hydration is essential. Exercise warms up the body, which uses liquid to keep you cool.



Drink plenty of water during training to replenish this liquid, but remember to drink the water gradually, during the exercise, and not all at once, as this can damage the body’s electrolyte balance.



After the training



After training, the body needs to replenish energy, so it will seek to make the most of everything that is ingested. Eating too much here means eating too many calories, which when left over will be converted into fat. Eating too little causes muscles to be used to replenish energy.



The proper way to eat after training depends on your goal. If you are looking to lose weight, you can wait an hour after training to eat. If the goal is to gain muscle mass, eating carbohydrates with a high glycemic value and proteins right after completing your workout helps.



Bet on fruits like bananas , in addition to granola , breads and eggs .



Essential foods



This is a list of foods that are essential for anyone who trains. They help to gain muscle mass and maintain energy during weight training.






Eggs are great sources of protein like albumin, which is important for muscle formation.



Sweet potato



Source of complex carbohydrates that do not cause insulin spikes and keep you energized during training, it is also rich in fiber and vitamin A.






Oats, brown rice and brown flour, as well as sweet potatoes , are sources of glucose that take time to digest and therefore do not cause insulin spikes, allowing the body to take advantage of this energy for longer.






Oilseeds like peanuts and walnuts are sources of carbohydrates and proteins. It should be eaten in moderation as they are sources of large amounts of calories.






Source of vitamins of the B complex and potassium, bananas are not very calorie and is a quick snack.






Fish are a source of iodine and have much more calcium than red meats, as well as being lightly digestible.



What are anabolic steroids?



These drugs are used to facilitate muscle growth through hormonal or behavioral changes. The well-known “pumps” facilitate the work of those who are looking for a strong and large body more quickly. The person still has to make a lot of effort, but this is not the only “problem” of anabolic steroids.



It is impossible to escape the side effects caused by them. Some suffer more, some suffer less, but eventually everyone is affected.



Side effects are very variable. Some of them are:



Decreased testosterone production



Due to the addition of hormones, the body reduces the natural production of testosterone. This can cause loss of libido and decreased muscle growth when the drug is not being used.



Liver damage



Oral anabolics are processed by the liver. These drugs cause liver problems and stress , which can lead to liver failure and steatosis.



No cholesterol increase



Virtually all anabolic steroids reduce the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) and increase bad cholesterol (LDL). This increases the risk of clogging the arteries and heart attack .



Pressure increase



Various steroids can cause fluid retention, especially when estrogen is not controlled. This can increase blood pressure, which in addition to the increase in cholesterol, can cause serious cardiac risks.



Heart problems



Some steroids increase the heart rate. They can also raise the number of red blood cells in the blood, making it too high, causing stress and heart problems.






Many steroids cause the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This can lead to gynecomastia , which is the development of the mammary glands in men.



In some cases, stopping the use of the drug can reverse the situation, but it is common that this does not happen and surgery is necessary.






Virilization occurs when women acquire male characteristics. They can present as a thickening of the voice, hair growth and hypertrophy of the clitoris.






Increased oiliness of the skin is common with the use of anabolic steroids and can lead to acne .



Exacerbate psychological problems



There is controversy about the development of aggression caused by anabolic steroids, but psychological problems such as depression and anxiety can definitely be aggravated by the use of anabolic steroids. And worse, discontinuation may aggravate further the situation.



Loss of hair



In cases where the person is already genetically prone to baldness, the use of anabolic steroids speeds up the process.



Kidney problems



The kidneys filter the blood and the presence of anabolic steroids can cause serious damage to the organs.



Stop teen growth



The use of anabolic steroids can affect the growth of people who have not reached full physical maturity.




Bodybuilding is the training of strength and muscle growth. It is an important activity that can bring very good health results. Share this text with your friends so that they learn a little more about bodybuilding!