August 29, 2022

Getting started in bodybuilding (part 2)

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Bodybuilding has a holistic effect on the body. Accordingly, especially when starting out, many things need to be taken care of so that athletes can lay a solid foundation. Bodybuilder pros Tim Budesheim, Rico Lopez Gomez, Karsten and Ramona Wolf, Nathalie Sarraf, Vanessa Weißmann and Dennis Wolf share with you the most important insights and tips for the start.

FIBO: Are there special exercises for the beginning?


Tim: Especially in the beginning, people try out a lot during training. The main thing is to develop body awareness and muscle feeling.

Rico: For the beginning, the basic exercises like bench press, deadlift, and squats are suitable. This develops a better feeling for other exercises.

Karsten and Ramona: Push, pull, legs: This is ideal for the beginning.

Nathalie: Depending on the class or desired “look”, certain accents are set. Sticking to the class- and federation-specific guidelines in training helps to score points on stage. Choosing exercises that specifically work on personal weaknesses is beneficial.


"Push, pull, legs: This is ideal for the beginning."


Vanessa: Yes, for starters train basic exercises, learn proper execution with light weight and do about fifteen to twenty repetitions. Hereafter, increase the weight and intensity. In addition, the correct execution is learned and the risk of injury is not so high.

Dennis: It is recommended to learn the basic exercises with an experienced trainer.


FIBO: What hurdles did you encounter in the beginning, and how did you overcome them?


Tim: Bodybuilding is an exotic individual sport that doesn't just happen on the sports field. Convincing close people to accept this lifestyle is the biggest hurdle. It's important not to convert or lecture others, but just to make clear that you love what you do.

Karsten and Ramona: We were alone in our first competitions and didn't know what the poses were or what to look for. With great coaches, we learned a lot. We want to pass that on.

Nathalie: One hurdle is that many people don't understand and even devalue our sport and us as athletes. In society, there is a lack of understanding for the many muscles, especially among women. But: your body, your decision!


"It's important not to convert or lecture others, but just to make clear that you love what you do."


Vanessa: Family and friends were not convinced about the sport in the beginning. I had to justify myself, wanted to train too often and for too long. I learned that this is useless and that muscles need a break to grow. Bodybuilders need to be patient.

Dennis: The hardest hurdle was getting used to eating multiple meals a day. But with a lot of willpower, there are no hurdles.


FIBO: What role does nutrition play?


Tim: Nutrition is the key to success! Here, everyone finds their own way. I recommend low-fat, moderate proteins and carbohydrates according to the 40/40/20 principle. That's about three grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Rico: I'm a fan of high carb, low fat, high protein in my build and nutrition.

Nathalie: I have been eating vegetarian for more than a year, most of my meals are even prepared vegan. But in the end, it's not the lifestyle that adapts to bodybuilding, it's the bodybuilding that adapts to the lifestyle.

Vanessa: With diets, it comes down to the number of calories, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Dennis: Without a proper and healthy diet, bodybuilding does not work.


"Without a proper and healthy diet, bodybuilding does not work."


FIBO: What does classic competition preparation look like?


Tim: There's no such thing as classic. Every preparation is different. Typically, depending on the starting shape, a bodybuilder starts dieting about 16 weeks before the competition. In a spread, discipline is the golden word.

Rico: During that time, training is even more intense. The diet has to be right every day.

Karsten and Ramona: A competition preparation always consists of an off season, in which muscles are built up, and a diet phase.

Nathalie: In the competition phase there are the set plans, training sessions and cardio. The intervals between form sessions shorten. Women, I advise taking care of a hair and makeup appointment early. A week before the competition begins the so-called “peak week”: this is about dehydrating the body as well as preparing the skin for color (exfoliation, shaving, pH-neutral shampoo). If there is no tanning service to book on site, you start the color one or two days before the competition.


"There's no such thing as classic. Every preparation is different."


Vanessa: The diet plan is gradually changed and calories are reduced. The endurance training is gradually increased. When training, more attention is paid to volume. That means more reps and more sets for each exercise.

Dennis: A classic competition preparation starts with a change in nutrition. The training sessions become more intense, endurance training is added to the program. Over time, you function like a machine.


With these tips from the pros, getting started in bodybuilding can be a success! You haven't read part 1 yet? Then this way.