Strength training in bodybuilding

In the article an example is considered, an effective strenght training program in bodybuilding, supported by theoretical knowledge. This approach to training, it will be possible to apply for any power sport. In addition, we will also answer questions about how the muscles work, where the energy of muscle contractions comes from, what is the benefit and harm of the strength training that is before and after the trip to the gym.

Under strength training, it is customary to understand training with weights (weights) in the gym, the main purpose of which is to increase the overall strength, strength endurance, explosive power, and of course build muscle.

Strength training will vary for all sports. So, for example, in bodybuilding, where the main goal is to build muscle, the training will focus mainly on strength endurance, for powerlifting, the training will be aimed at increasing the explosive force in one repetition, for arm wrestlers, the workouts will be aimed at increasing static muscle strength, for other species sports, for example swimming, strength training will develop a specific strength (for example, the power of a stroke). Anyway, the goal of any strength training, any kind of sport, is to develop the strength of the muscles.

In order to understand how strength training works on the athlete’s body, it is necessary to understand what forces muscle strength to grow, how it is given to training. We will not go far into biochemical processes, because this information will not be of practical use for you.

Due to what muscles contract?

From the article, how muscles work, you could know that the main energy supplier for skeletal muscles is ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which when released releases energy. But the reserves in ATP muscles are very small, literally enough for 2-3 seconds of work, therefore, ATF must be constantly, from where you take it. The ways of ATP recovery in the body are different, and they are not the same for different sports. We are interested only in the way of synthesis of ATP, which occurs in power sports. So, for example, with the maximum muscle tension, within 10-20 seconds, energy supply occurs due to the use of creatine phosphate, with a longer load, 1-2 minutes, another source of energy is connected for muscle contraction –anaerobic glycolysis (without oxygen), resulting in the release of energy + lactic acid.

Read the article about safety in the gym.

Strength training
Strength training

Thus, strength training consumes mainly creatine phosphate and glycogen (carbohydrates).

Below we summarize the simplest formulas for better information perception.

ATP cleavage

  • ATP => ADP + F (phosphate) + free energy;

But ATP in the muscles is very small, so you need to constantly restore to supply them with energy:

At maximum loads (10-20 seconds):

  • ATP => ADP + F + free energy
  • Creatine phosphate + ADP => creatine + ATP

Creatine phosphate is a form of creatine storage in the muscles.

That is, creatine phosphate, restoring ATP, due to the transfer of the phosphoric group ADP.

With longer training (1-2 minutes):

Complex carbohydrates, in the form of glucose molecules connected to each other in a chain, come to us in the bloodstream with food, supplying our muscles with energy, as soon as glucose becomes much, the body begins to save excess carbohydrates in muscles and liver in the form of glycogen.

In force training, the anoxic route (anaerobic glycolysis) of the cleavage of glycogen is used.

The process of anaerobic glycolysis can be expressed as follows:

  • glycogen or glucose + F + ADP => lactate (lactic acid) + ATP

Thus, the energy is supplied to the body in strength training.

In aerobic training (running, swimming, bicycling, walking), energy supply of muscles occurs due to aerobic processes:

  • glycogen, glucose, fatty acids + Ф + О2 => СО2 + Н2O + АТФ

Now you need to understand why aerobic workouts help burn fat, and anaerobic workouts (power) help build muscle.


The bodybuilder does the exercise: lifting the bar to the bicep standing
The bodybuilder does the exercise: lifting the bar to the bicep standing

Depending on your level of fitness, the consumption, the supply of glycogen and creatine phosphate is different. For example, professional athletes have not only large reserves of creatine and glycogen in muscles, but also a low consumption of these substances. Therefore, such athletes can more intensively and longer train, showing high power indicators, in contrast to a beginner or an untrained person.

Example of strength training (bodybuilding)

For an example of strength training, we give an example of a training program that is used in bodybuilding, for building muscle mass:


  • Squats with a bar 3х10
  • Bending of legs sitting 4х8
  • Bench press bar 4х8
  • Press of dumbbells lying 3х10
  • Rises on socks sitting 4х12
  • Rises in the legs 4×12


  • Deadlift 3×12
  • Hyperextension (with burdening) 4х12
  • Pressing rod sitting 4х8
  • French bench press 3х12
  • Lifting the bar to the biceps standing 4х8
  • Twisting 2х50


  • Squats with a bar 4×8
  • Leg extension 3х12
  • Bench press bar 3х10
  • Dumbbell cultivation lying 4х8
  • Press to the bottom in the block simulator 3х12
  • The climbing of the knees in the 4×12 horn

The first figure approaches, the second is the repetition. Weight should be commensurable with your real strength. As you train, gradually increase the working weight, while maintaining the number of approaches and repetitions.

This program of training for bodybuilding is universal, suitable for both beginners and experienced athletes. For professionals, that is, athletes who have a long workout experience (5 or more years), as well as a high level of training, apply various training programs that involve 5 trainings per week, with the development of each muscle on a separate day ( split training).

Exercise of dumbbell presses on a horizontal bench with an insurer
Exercise of dumbbell presses on a horizontal bench with an insurer

Please note, this program is primarily for building muscle mass, you should not use it to increase strength, if your level of training is significant (in this case, training programs are used to draw strength indicators – for powerlifters ).

When exercising, always pay attention to well-being, listen to your body. If there is no desire to exercise, the workers’ weights fall, there is no appetite, constant pains in the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscle cramps, and so on, this is a sure sign of the athlete’s overtraining, which requires immediate adjustment of your training programs, nutrition, recovery – remember this always!

Benefit and harm of strength training

Strength training (anaerobic), at home, or in the gym, is significantly different from aerobic, starting with the principle of energy supply to the muscles (above mentioned), ending with traumas that can be obtained. But, strength training, can give something that aerobic training can not give, so without strength training an amateur athlete, an experienced athlete can not do. Below are the main advantages and disadvantages of such training.

Benefits of strength training

If you do everything in moderation, do not load your body with extreme loads in the gym, engage in “your pleasure”, then such training will have a favorable effect on your well-being, strengthen the immune system, the musculoskeletal apparatus, in addition, becoming stronger, your confidence in itself, in its power will increase, with each training.

The realization that you are doing something that others can not, do not want to be lazy, you will bring pleasant thoughts, thoughts of a strong person.

As for the body, reasonable, power loads will bring you the following advantages:

  • strengthening of the cardiovascular system
  • increased metabolism
  • the growth of muscle mass and strength
  • increase in the production of testosterone, growth hormone, as a result your libido will increase, the body rejuvenates
  • increase the strength of ligaments, tendons, muscular apparatus (you already without fear to tear your back awake to lift everything heavy if necessary)

Immediately dispel the myth, that training in the gym, strength training, makes girls masculine. No girl, can not pump large muscles in the gym, from weight training, because for this it is necessary to prune hormonal drugs, steroids. Maximum girls will be able to support their muscles in a tone, round, elasticize the buttocks, you can read more about women’s training.

Exercise a concentrated lifting dumbbell on the bicep
Exercise a concentrated lifting dumbbell on the bicep

Harm (disadvantages) of strength training

Strength training with improper training, as well as with crazy loads, which are often experienced by advanced and professional athletes, can stimulate the growth of muscle mass and strength, can sometimes bear irreparable harm to health (in extreme cases), in all other cases, any strength training, will bring a person health improvement.

Incorrect technique of performing exercises, not restoring the body after exercise, lack of proper nutrition, the main reasons for getting any injuries on strength training. To fix this, you just need to get acquainted with our site in more detail, consult with a competent coach.

The following disadvantages of strength training, will relate more to professional sports, which implies very large loads on the body, leading it to exhaustion.

  • wear, hypertrophy of the heart muscle
  • torn muscles, ligaments, tendons, various injuries of the spine

On this list ends, of course athletes do everything, so that this does not happen, they use sports nutrition, anabolic steroids, to recover properly.

What to eat after and before weight training

Proper nutrition, when exercising in the gym, is one of the main anabolic factors for the successful growth of muscle mass.

Before training, for 1-2 hours, densely for dinner / breakfast, especially if you are, decided to pump up muscles. In the event that your goal is to dry, lose fat, then according to scientific research, do it better on an empty stomach, that is, try not to eat anything. However, we do not recommend coming to training, with “crazy” appetites, with this approach, along with fat, you can lose precious kilograms of muscles. Therefore, the best option would be if your goal is fat burning – a light breakfast, for example, yogurt with a banana, and tea is not sweet.

Athletes who sit on the mass, tend to gain more muscle, recommended a high-calorie diet, throughout the “massonabor”. In this case, it is advisable to eat a high-calorie, nutritious food for 1 hour, for example, if the trainings take place in the morning, then an omelet with fish / meat and salad with greens, as well as a banana with yoghurt and nuts (walnuts) is quite suitable.

After training, it is necessary to make up the energy costs of the body, it is very simple, it is enough to drink a portion of protein-carbohydrate mixture (gainer), but do not get carried away if you are sloping to a set of excess weight.

Bodybuilder and outdoor refrigerator with food
Bodybuilder and outdoor refrigerator with food

More precisely, you gainer generally will be contraindicated, if you are a typical endomorph. A little bit of sweet water (juice), it will be quite enough after training, and even better quality BCAA amino acid bank (1-2 measuring spoons), which will protect the muscles from the processes of catabolism (destruction).

Try, after training, for 1-2 hours, to consume complex carbohydrates and proteins. For example, one of the best meals after a gym will look like the following products:

  • Brown rice.
  • Chicken breast.
  • Vegetable Salad.
  • Yogurt + nuts.
  • Fruit.
  • Juice.
  • Protein scoop.

The so-called protein-carbohydrate window, which must be “shut down” within 20 minutes after training, is nothing more than a myth (according to all the same modern scientific works), or rather, its importance is greatly exaggerated if you replenish the energy costs after not 20 minutes, and 40, or 120 minutes, nothing terrible will happen, the effectiveness of the training will not be reduced.

However, it should be remembered that after we trained, a powerful mechanism for the synthesis of new muscle cells was launched. So, in order for this “mechanism” to bear fruit, it is necessary to maintain its efficiency by constantly infusing it with “fuel” in the form of the right food products.

About how to properly gain weight, or to dry read in the relevant articles.

Strength training is ideal for people who want to become stronger and healthier. However, in our opinion, combining strength training with cardio training (running, swimming, skiing, walking, biking, etc.) will be better and more natural for the body, so you can develop strength, agility and endurance in various ways.

5 Principles of Strenth Training