Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bodybuilding in College: It Can Be Done!

Transitioning from high school to college is difficult for most people, but bodybuilders may find that being away from their home gym and kitchen is extra tough. The first week or so may be a little intimidating, but bodybuilders can stay successful in college with high levels of dedication and motivation. When you enter college, set your goals for the year and try to motivate yourself to stick to your workout and diet plans.

College meal plans vary, but nothing about college food is good for a bodybuilder. Many colleges offer plans that include three meals a day at most, but your diet will probably call for more meals each day of smaller amounts of food. Don't load up at the cafeteria if that's not what you are used to doing! Instead, invest in a small refrigerator for your dorm room. Set aside some extra money each week for food, and schedule your classes so that you have enough time to eat. Most professors don't mind if you carry a snack to class, so if you must take a class that's during your normal mealtime, have some energy bars or protein shakes on hand as a back up plan. When you do eat in the cafeteria, make healthy meal choices. It's ok to splurge on one or two rewards, such as pizza or ice cream every week, but in general, stick to the foods you would normally eat at home-eggs, grilled chicken, bran cereals, salads, cottage cheese, and the like-even if there's a buffet of other things available.

One of the first things you should do when you get to college is explore the gym and weight facilities. Note the hours of operation-most schools are aware that students have busy schedules, so your gyms will probably open early in the morning and still be open late at night, but get a copy of the schedule so you never have to question the times. If the gym is too small or inconvenient for you schedule-wise, check out the gyms in town to see if any would better suit your needs. Students even get discount memberships at some places.

Lastly, be conscious of your other habits. Continue to get enough sleep even with your new workload, and be aware that activities such as smoking will only have an adverse effect on your health. A big part of college for many students is drinking, and you will probably be faced with this as well. If you are just bodybuilding for the sake of looking and feeling good, a few beers every week won't hurt you as long as you are responsible, but drinking is out of the question for competitive bodybuilders. Not only will it pack on the fat, but drinking will also cause you to lower your levels of testosterone and become dehydrated. Volunteer to be the designated driver instead, and you will find that it is easy to fit in while still maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

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