Welcome to this beginners bodybuilding guide.  The purpose of this guide is to introduce you (an assumed beginner) to the sport of bodybuilding.

There is a lot of information about bodybuilding already published on this website, rather than go over it again, all related content will be linked throughout this guide.  You are encouraged to read through the guide first, and then scan back through to pick up the linked content you’re interested in learning more about.

Bodybuilding beginners; what’s to know?

Many women are attracted to bodybuilding for the aesthetic potential.  But few understand the commitment it takes to reap such rewards.

Before you decide what you want out of this, you need to understand the basics.

First and foremost; nobody became a bodybuilder overnight, or with a single ’12 week plan’, nor by ‘adding/removing’ individual food groups from their diet.

Bodybuilding beginners need to understand that bodybuilding is a process.  It takes time, consistent effort and long term commitment. 

If you struggle to even commit to a diet or workout routine for more than 18 weeks, you won’t get very far in bodybuilding as a professional sport.

That’s not to say you can’t achieve great personal results with bodybuilding – but you need to decide what you want and how far you want to take this.  Because your desired outcome will determine how involved you need to be.

Bodybuilding beginners; what results do you want?

If you’re looking to generally improve your physique, bodybuilding is a great sport to get involved in.  You don’t have to take this to pro status, you are 100% in control of how far you go.

With that said; bodybuilding is still a competitive sport and it takes A LOT to get on stage.

As with most things, some people are just naturally gifted, they were born with the genetics to perform at the top levels of this sport.  But if that’s not you, don’t fret, because the wonderful thing about life and bodybuilding is that hard work has the ability to beat talent.  So you don’t have to be gifted, you just have to be willing to work harder than the one who is.

So as you take in this beginners bodybuilding guide – really think about what you want to achieve in the world of bodybuilding.

Related reading;

Female Bodybuilding: Competition Categories Explained

Bodybuilding Diet: What You Need To Know If You’re Going All In

Beginner’s bodybuilding; how it’s done

Bodybuilding works in cycles and bodybuilding beginners are generally better off starting in the bulking phase.

The aim is to build as much lean muscle as possible, generally speaking, beginners (especially female beginners) don’t have much lean muscle to begin with.  So start by building.  Everything else will come with time and experience.  This is known as the bulking phase.

Advanced bodybuilders will take a more strategic approach to training and cycling, but that goes beyond the scope of this beginners bodybuilding guide.

As a beginner, focus on overall muscle growth for now.

After you feel you have built a sufficient amount of muscle (at least 18 weeks’ worth of building for beginners), you should start to think about reducing overall body fat so that you can see what lean muscle you are left with underneath.  This is known as the cutting phase.

There is one other phase in bodybuilding and that is the maintenance phase.  Here the objective is to maintain your current physique.

Related reading;

Bulking and Cutting for Women

Bodybuilding Exercises For Women: From Beginner to Pro

Macros Explained

Macro Calculator

Getting started

As a bodybuilding beginner, the first thing you need is a good weightlifting workout plan.  A good plan will help you lay a solid foundation to build on over time.  You can start with this Introduction To Bodybuilding For Beginners.  This is a pre-built 6 week plan designed to get you started.