In today’s world every second individual gets attracted towards the gym to look fitter and smart. To look like a bodybuilder, you need to train like one. If you want to be like one, then you need to  understand some basic training techniques.

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It takes hard, dedicated work to build a great physiques, but along with hard work you need to train yourself smarty. Here are some basic points or principles that one should understand before hitting a gym.

1] Individual Needs : Of course, different people have many different needs or goals for doing bodybuilding. Some might want to build their bodies just to look fit and better. Others want to improve their performance. Some may be interested on high-level performance for the competitions.

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Everyone is not same. Body type, how fast or slow a person gains muscle , BMR, weak points are some of the few things that can vary from person to person.

2] Progressive Resistance: Your muscles will grow bigger and stronger only when they are subjected to overload and for that you have to force them. Making your muscle contract against a level of resistance will eventually cause them to grow but the progress will stop once it gets adapted with it. When this happens, start adding weights in your exercises. But increase the weight gradually.

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Gradually adding load and overload to the extensor muscles is a way to build muscle bulk and strength.

3] Reps : A “Rep” is one complete cycle of an exercise movement; a contraction of the muscle followed by an extension, i.e., lifting a weight and lowering it again. A “Set” is a group of these repetitions.

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A lower repetition range with a heavier load may better optimize muscular strength and power, whereas a higher repetition range with a lighter load may better enhance muscular endurance. Using weight loads that permit 8 to 15 reps will generally facilitate improvements in both muscular strength and endurance.

4] Training to Failure:  “Training to Failure” means continuing a set until you can’t do any more rep with that weight without stopping to rest.

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Basically it results from the gradual fatiguing of the muscle fibers involved and the inability of the muscle to recruit any more fiber to take their place. The “failure” point is the intensity at which lactate / hydrogen ions accumulate and provide your muscles with the stress required to promote muscle growth.

5] Sets : A Set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete. For example, suppose you complete 15 reps of an exercise. You would say you’ve completed “one set of 15 reps.” One need to do at least 4-5 sets in order to have the volume of training necessary to fully stimulate all the available muscle fiber.

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6] Full Range of Motion : Bodybuilding exercises should take any muscle through its longest possible range of motion.  It helps improve joint function.  Full Range of motion is how far you can move your joints in different directions. These exercises help you move each joint through its full range of motion. Movement can help keep your joints flexible, reduce pain, and improve balance and strength.

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7] The Quality of Contraction : Bodybuilding is about training your muscles and not only lifting weights. You lift weight in order to target certain muscles or muscle groups. Start lifting lighter weight first and feel how the muscles work during the movement. Gradually increase the weight. This technique will bring as many muscles into play as possible to protect you from injury.

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8] Warming Up : Warming up helps a person pumps some fresh oxygenated blood to the area, raise the blood pressure and hence increases the heart rate. This provides a maximum oxygen supply to the body and helps to eliminate the waste products of exercise from the working muscles. More importantly it helps to protect the body from becoming over-stressed, prepares it for the demand of heavy training and also helps to reduce the chances of injury, such as a sprain or strain.

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The warm-up should be a combination of rhythmic exercise which begins to raise the heart rate and raise muscle temperature, and static stretching through a full range of motion.

9] Power Training : There are various ways of assessing strength. To shape and develop the body, it is necessary to do a lot of endurance training, that is, the appropriate number of sets and reps. Also include some low-rep strength training so as to achieve the hardness and density necessary to create a healthy physique.

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Power training puts tremendous strain on relatively few fibers at a time, causing them to become bigger and thicker (hypertrophy), and they also become packed much tighter together.  Include some power sets in your program to help you make stronger for the rest of the training. Heavy training strengthen the attachment of the tendon to bone. It will help you toughens and strengthens your tendons as well as your muscles, so you will be less likely to strain  them when doing higher rep training with less weight.

10] Over training and Recuperation : the harder you work your body, the more time it takes to recover and recuperate from that training. Rest and recuperation are very important because,  although you stimulate growth during training, it is during the subsequent period of recuperation that actual growth and adaptation occurs.

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Over training occurs when you work a muscle too often. A number of biochemical processes happens during over training and rest. The process of fueling muscular contraction results in the buildup of toxic waste products such as lactic acid. And during workout the energy stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen is used up. The body needs time to restore  the chemical balance of the muscle cells, clear out the residual waste products and restock the depleted stores of glycogen.

11]  Sets Resting Between :  It is important to pace yourself properly through a workout. Try to keep your rest periods between sets down to a minute or less. It allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. To increase muscular endurance as quickly as possible, the best rest period is 45 seconds to 2 minutes in between the sets. Maintaining a regular pace in your training actually leads to an increase in overall strength.

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12] Breathing: Breathe out with effort. Very hard contractions of the muscles usually involve a contraction of the diaphragm as well. This increases the pressure in your thoracic cavity.  Breathing out as you perform a maximal effort protects you from this and, some people think, it actually makes you a little stronger.

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13] Stretching: Muscle, tendon, ligament and joint structures are flexible. They makes your training safer. As you extend your muscles fully under the pull of a weight, they can easily be pulled too far. Stretching requires slow, gentle movements rather than quick, bouncing back.  The more time you spend stretching, the more flexible you will become.

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The above principles should be followed right from the beginning. It is much easier to learn the proper way to do something than it is to unlearn the wrong way and have to start over.