Beginning Bodybuilding

"I am a college student beginning to gain interest in bodybuilding as a sport. I am legally blind, so it is a good sport for me to feel competitive but also stay safe. I read your article, Wingspan Workouts on It was a very good, no nonsense workout that gave me a good burn. Do you have any other tips for someone just starting out? My biggest problem is losing body fat and gaining muscle. It seems really hard to do both at the same time. Thank you for any advice you can offer."

Tony Taliani

My Answer: Well, if you're serious about becoming a competitive bodybuilder, then you'll need someone to visually assess not just exercise form, but also how your physique looks overall. You'll need someone who knows the bodybuilding aesthetic and can help you bring up lagging body parts. If you're serious about competitive bodybuilding, then you'll need the guidance of a good trainer specializing in bodybuilding, which is very hard to find.

If you're just a recreational bodybuilder and you're working out to look good naked (not because you have a burning need to oil yourself up and pose on stage in front of a hundred people with nothing on but a speedo!), then get yourself a good workout partner if you haven't done so already. A good workout partner can spot you on exercises, motivate you to push hard and can also visually assess what your weaknesses are in your physique.

If you're just starting out in bodybuilding, then read up on training techniques and exercises. Strength and Physique, Volume One is a good start. SPV1 will provide you with a wide variety of training strategies to get the physique you want. There's a chapter on each major muscle group and how to train them for size and symmetry.

Strength and Physique, Volume Two is also a great bodybuilding book, but it's meant for an advanced bodybuilder and is far more focused.
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