Every individual wants a perfect, chiseled body which others will look at and marvel. But only a few of us actually have such a body. It is only through complete dedication, immense passion and dogged determination that one can achieve the physique that resembles the figures of the Greek gods as depicted in the sculptures of Greece and Rome. The good news is that getting such a body ultimately depends on us. If we concentrate on the right exercises and provide our bodies the right nutrition we all can be masters of the perfect body.
The Basics and the ExercisesBefore we go on to talk about the various exercises that are right for bodybuilding it would be better to have a word about the basics of bodybuilding and things one should know before he undertakes an exercise routine. The first and foremost thing that should be taken care of is your posture while exercising. Any great bodybuilder will have his body aligned to his posture. To become good at bodybuilding this is something you have to develop. The other crucial thing is to have a very stable shoulder and body core. Again a feature found in almost all top bodybuilders, a stable shoulder ensures that you don’t get injured while exercising. Many of bodybuilding exercises demand a lot of weight training. To be able to successfully pull those weights without harming your lower back means that you have to have a stable body core. Stiffness should also be avoided as that is another major cause of injury while working out. Warm up properly so that your muscles are flexile. Also if you think that an exercise is causing pain beyond the threshold limit, then stop and move on to something else. One more thing that you need to remember is that your exercises should focus on all the parts of the body and not concentrate on only a few muscles. Any undeveloped muscle will be detrimental for you and will never give you that perfect body. So focus on each and every muscle.
What defines a good exercise? Any bodybuilding exercise that will help you attain the best results would be considered a good exercise. But that is to put it simply. If we try and understand how exercise helps to build our body we must try and explore a little deeper. Whenever we exercise our nervous system springs into action and activates our muscle fibers. How many muscle fibers are activated depends on what kind of exercise we are undertaking. And more the number of fibers that we can activate the better will be the results in our goal to achieve that perfect body. The whole process of stimulating our nervous system to activate the muscle fibers is known as neuromuscular stimulation or NMS. Based on this neuromuscular stimulation the exercises can be divided into four broad categories – Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. The classes have been created on the basis of how much the neuromuscular stimulation happens for a certain exercise. Class 1 will yield the least amount of NMS while Class 4 will be the most productive. Each class again has various subclasses. The most basic class is Class 1A where only a single joint performs the exercise. During the course of the exercise, the whole movement is controlled. Since the body need not stabilize itself during the exercise these workouts produce the least amount of NMS. Consequently they will give you the minimum result. The machine curl would be an example.Class 1B is a slightly more complex exercise than Class 1A. Here multiple joints are involved instead of the single joint. But since the body does not need not to work to stabilize itself, the net NMS is still comparatively less. The bench press will be a classical example of the Class 1B exercise.With Class 2A exercises the body and its muscles get involved in the stabilizing process. Here again we will be focusing on a single joint but since the machine actively does not support the stabilization process, the resultant NMS is higher. A leg extension exercise in traditional leg extension attachment that comes with the benches of home gyms will be an example of this kind of an exercise.Class 2B goes a step further. Now you are exercising multiple joints while putting an effort to stabilize. Suppose you are doing a leg press without any pulleys or cams there to make the routine easier. That would qualify as a Class 2B exercise. Lot more effort, and much better results.Class 3A exercise will involve isolation or single joint exercises involving free weights. So when you are trying out the concentration curl with a dumbbell, you are actually performing a Class 3A exercise. There is debate as to whether Class 2B exercises actually produce more NMS than Class 3A, but we can safely say that the amounts will be pretty similar.Class 3B is the next obvious step where you exercise multiple joints with a free weight. Exercising with a barbell allows that.When you replace the barbell with a pair of dumbbells the result is a whole new class of exercise Class 3C. The barbell being one continuous thing has more stabilizing effect than a pair of dumbbells. With the dumbbells the body has to make an effort to stabilize itself. The result is more NMS.But to get the best results you will have to move a notch above. You will have to try and move your body through space. Pull ups, push ups, dips are such exercises. The reason that these exercises bear the best results is because three factors come in together – not only are you working against the normal resistance, but also your body’s weight is added to it. And to top these two, there is also the increased destabilization that the body has to counter. This makes Class 4 exercises better than anything else.