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Body Sculpting Guidelines

By Michael A Green

Talking about a body sculpting workout is a fancy way of talking about bodybuilding. Conversations around the term bodybuilding often focus on building massive muscles, getting as big as possible, putting on pounds of muscle fast, developing strength and power and burning fat. Body sculpting conjures images of art, balance, proportion, progressive refinements, grace and the beauty of the human body. However, since the tools of the body sculptor remain resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, stretching, diet and nutrition rather than chisels, hammers and brushes, the two terms basically do address the same ground.

Find a good fit with your own personal style.

To face the challenges of shaping our bodies the way we want them we must learn the tools of body sculpting mentioned above and apply them artfully. Aside from the discipline of learning, practicing and mastering tools and techniques, art also requires personal interpretation, application and improvisation; a bit of creativity. In other words, we have to develop our own personal style -- one that we like, one that works for us, and one that we stick with because it offers a gratifying avenue of self-expression or a gratifying end result.

Top 7 Body Sculpting Guidelines

Go slow and take it easy when experimenting with new exercises whether beginner or veteran. Try things out, see how they work, see how you like them. Here are my top 7 guidelines for sculpting your body into the shape you want it.

1. Reduce stress. Remove all stress from your life. Ha! Only kidding - were this possible you'd likely find it boring. If you don't have a career like a professional athlete or an actor, where you make your living from looking fit and keeping in top shape, then give yourself a little leeway. Be patient with yourself when you become distracted and just keep going.

2. Develop a habit of exercising. Your single greatest hurdle starting out involves developing the habit of a fitness-oriented lifestyle with consistently regular exercise. Playing the game of getting yourself in better shape is miles ahead of criticizing others from the sidelines. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much respect and support you'll receive from the fitness community or your neighbors just for showing up and making an effort. Make a schedule and stick to it, or change it so it fits your lifestyle better, to remove the need to make a decision every time as to when to exercise. Decide in advance when you plan to do it so you can anticipate the time as it nears and get ready for it psychologically.

3. Don't overdo it. Be patient with yourself. Don't try to make progress too fast or you'll end up slowing yourself down or taking yourself temporarily out of the game. You can slow yourself way down by pulling, tearing or ripping something you could have strengthened more quickly in the long run by taking it slower in the short run. Keep this in mind particularly if you've just taken a week or two off and you're about to resume just where you left off. Don't! Back up a little and give yourself a workout or three to get back up to speed. Recovering from injury retards your progress.

4. Don't let injuries defeat you. The chances you will occasionally hurt yourself, whether it happens inside or outside the gym, approach 100%. Whether lifting a dumbbell, leaping a hurdle or hammering a nail, we all get hurt from time to time. Live with it. This is just part of the game. Consider recovering from injury inevitable and get very good at it.

5. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Listen closely to your own body and go at your own pace. This practice can go a long way toward reducing injuries and attending to them while they remain minor instead of letting them become major episodes that force you to attend to them when they emerge as debilitating crises.

6. Do it for you. Clarify your fitness goals and train for your own reasons.

7. Compete against yourself. Compete only against yourself, not against others, at least in the beginning. If you later want to specifically enter competitions that's a different agenda for when you've achieved your personal fitness goals and you really want to show them off.

Final Thoughts

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