Top 25 Bodybuilding Tips
Could you use some helpful tips to improve your workouts and physique?
Below you will find my personal collection of golden nuggets from the industry’s top professional bodybuilders going all the way back to the Golden Era up to today’s top bodybuilding stars.
Now, without further ado, here they are:
- Ronnie Coleman. “Without letting your ego carry you away, go as heavy as your strength allows for the strict execution of each movement. Strict means no cheating on an exercise by calling secondary muscle groups into play. Your goal is to build the best physique your genetics will allow.”
- Franco Columbo. “Most gyms can be broken down into two segments. There are members who socialize and there are the champions. From the moment you enter the gym you should visualize what you are going to do.”
- Jay Cutler. “If you want to get big, you gotta learn to feel it. No exercise works if you don’t feel it in the muscle that you’re targeting. A lot of guys rely on mirrors to tell them whether or not an exercise is working, but that doesn’t make sense to me. I think about getting the ultimate contraction in the muscle I’m targeting and I don’t stop until I feel that.”
- Danny Padilla. “Visualize what you want to look like before a show and then come up with a plan to achieve that condition.”
- Dave Draper. “Be alert to the needs of your training partner and of the team. If your workout needs adjustment, talk about the changes. Share your attitudes and ideas, triumphs and injuries.”
- Lou Ferrigno. “Too many people are concerned with how much they can bench or how much they can squat or deadlift. You need to train like a bodybuilder, hitting all body parts equally, and know what your safety limit is. If you’re concerned about how much you can bench for one rep, go to a powerlifting competition.”
- Kevin Levrone. “I absolutely recommend an NO2 component for pre-workout. It warms up the machine and gets blood to the muscle. Just be careful you’re not buying garbage.”
- Rich Gaspari. “Training a muscle to failure is what’s going to make you basically build your body. Your body doesn’t know the weight. The body knows failure. And when you go to failure, it’s going to build up.”
- Kai Greene. “You make it more complicated when you start thinking we need to add more weight. The primary goal is not to lift weights. I’ll never be a weightlifter. A bodybuilder is primarily concerned with contracting his muscles.”
- Lee Haney. “As with all of my training, my motto for triceps is “Stimulate, don’t annihilate!” Arm muscles, in particular, are relatively small and, as such, can be easily over trained. The idea is to hit the muscles hard and fast, and then get out of the gym and enjoy your life.”
- Phil Heath. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to come up with any exotic movements if what you’re currently doing is working. The goal is to find out what works.”
- Dexter Jackson. “My motto has always been, to be better than the previous show.”
- Lee Labrada. “Always be learning. Believe me, if you aren’t continuously filling your mind with accurate and useful information to help you achieve your goals, all kinds of muck and garbage will “seep” into your brain and fill the void.”
- Ron Love. “Bodybuilding is like no other sport in the world. You got to be hardcore all the way.”
- Mike Mentzer. “It is the quality of the effort, not the quantity, which is responsible for growth stimulation. Don’t confuse training long with training hard. Training hard, intensely, is what is required to build muscle mass.”
- Sergio Oliva. “If you train hard, eat well with quality protein, and take a good vitamin and mineral, then you can achieve a good physique. And a good physique comes from about 45% of your genes, whereas the rest is from training.”
- Tom Platz. “After being taught sets and reps and working at it for a length of time you can’t paint by numbers anymore. It must come from within. Any artist has an emotional contact with their work. A true bodybuilder doesn’t just build muscle he creates muscle. You can’t be a robot.”
- Shawn Ray. “Changes in your physique will evolve not so much from your diet as from your training. What you do in the gym determines the quality of your separation, hardness and detail. Trust the mirror, not your diet chart. I look in the mirror after I’m done training, not after I’m done eating.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger. “You’ll find, as I did, that building muscle builds you up in every part of your life. Bodybuilders who have to force themselves to go to the gym and work out will never achieve the kind of success possible for those who can’t wait to hit the gym and start pumping iron.”
- Larry Scott. “I really don’t believe there is one best training schedule. No matter how much you think you’ve designed the best system, your body will prove you wrong. It always figures it out and then you start to go stale so you have to change.”
- Branch Warren. “To become a great professional bodybuilder, you need to be dedicated, consistent and have the drive to want to compete. No matter what comes your way, you’ve got to be able to push past it and persevere. It’s all about reaching your goals.”
- Flex Wheeler. “For the average bodybuilder, I recommend balance in life, and to focus more on doing things that last and will make you and others you love happy.”
- Dennis Wolf. “Any muscle must recover fully between workouts to grow, and working biceps more often and with many sets is going to prevent most guys from seeing gains, the exact opposite of what they want.”
- Dorian Yates. “I was always meticulous about keeping a training diary, keeping records of my nutrition and everything I did so I could find exactly what worked for me. Nobody knows your body better than yourself.”
- Frank Zane. “Quality muscle takes time to develop, it’s better to add not more than 5 lbs of solid muscle a year by training and eating right than to gain 30-40 lbs of surplus tissue, much of which is fat and water retention.”
So there you have it: 25 of my favorite bodybuilding tips from the legends, all sharing their insights on how you can succeed in bodybuilding.
What other bodybuilding legends or superstars would you like to see in our next post?
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a bodybuilder, entrepreneur, writer, author, speaker, trainer, and founder of Bodybuildingblogger.com, the premier online source for bodybuilders all over the world providing top level workouts, supplements, nutrition, news, resources, and motivation.