The short answer is: You don't need to be a full time athlete, and being a web developer won't prevent you from reaching what you want to reach.
I (and many of my friends) are software engineers/programmers and we are all in good shape and so you can be.
What you need to know:
- All you need is 40 minutes a day, 4 times a week
- Working out (which I will explain later on) constitutes 20% of your progress, and what you do in the kitchen 80% (what you eat plays the biggest role).
There are 2 phases in the body sculpting field:
- bulking up (usually done in winter but you can chose whenever you want, takes between 4-6 months depending your level)
- cutting (comes after bulking up to shred fat and build definition using the muscle layers built during the bulk up phase).
Now, I will explain both phases in details. All the info I am about to give you are based on several familiar bodybuilding facts I have read and tried through years and personal experience.
==> you do NOT have to follow it, but I can assure you this works and most bodybuilders do it
BULK UP PHASE:
a) Workout (40 minutes, 4 times a week. You don't need more)
The concept in a nutshell is: lift heavy with rest in between sets. Lifting heavy will help you build power and mass, and resting in between sets will help you recover and recharge the glycogen store (energy) of the muscle to keep lifting.
You should aim for heavy weights and low reps (between 8-12). Heavy weight will challenge you muscles, build the fibers and give you mass. However do not harm yourself, go gradually, start with weights you can lift without injuries and with time you will build resistance and strength and you will be able to lift more.
Now as I said, working out is 20% of progress and food is 80%. So I discuss nutrition next.
b) Nutrition for bulk up
To add mass, you MUST eat a lot. Remember, when you bulk up you will add muscle mass AND a bit of fat (there is no way to not add some fat while bulking up).
Now, you want to do what they call "clean bulk", means add maximum muscle mass with minimum fat. So you should Calculate your maintenance(BMR) calories, which is how much your body needs to survive at rest and add to it around 700 to max 800 calories (if you add more you will be adding more fat, but you can try if you want genetics play a big role too).
So for example you are:
6'2, 200 pounds and 28 years old ==>Your BMR is: 2061 calories, eat 2061 +700 = 2761 calories to eat per day. Eat real non processed food, with the following (my personal recommendations):
- 1 to 1.3 g protein per pound of bodyweight (my personal recommendation, most bodybuilding sites will say 1.5 g/lb body weight).
- The remaining calories divide them between carbohydrates and fat (i personally prefer the remaining to be 70% carbs and 30% fat).
For example as we said: 200 pounds and must eat 2761 calories or more.
==> 1.3 g/pound protein --> you should eat: 260 grams protein (which yields 260 *4= 1040 calories)
==> 2761 - 1040 = 1721 calories left
==> 70% carbs = 1204 calories or 301g
==> 514 calories for fat or 57.44g
That's about it in a nutshell, of course with time you will see what your body needs (if you need to eat a bit more/less).
Here it is similar to bulking up with some important modifications (in brief at first):
- a) You have to eat less
- b) You have to incorporate 2 days of cardio only (30-40 mins)
- c) You can use an extremely efficient technique called cardio acceleration
a) How much should you eat:
There are several recommendations by bodybuilders on how much to eat and what to eat, but this site summarizes it all.
Taking the same example as above:
You are 200 pounds
==> An estimated maintenance calorie intake of 12 cal/lb on training days (on cardio days eat less)
==> 2400 calories/day.
- Make a 20% deficit of calories ==> 2400 * 0.20 = 480 calories. 2400– 480 = 1920 calories /day
- For protein: 1.5 g/lb lean body mass (i prefer 1-1.3 g/lb) = around 1000 calories /day
- Fat will be 25% of total calories ==> 2400 * 0.25 = 600 calories or 67 grams
- Carbohydrates will be the remaining 2400 calories – 1000 – 600 calories from fat = 800 calories or 200 grams.
b) 2 days cardio
Lift weight 2 days in a row then one day only cardio (30 to 40 minutes MAX). I recommend skip rope and biking.
It is a technique by Dr jim stoppani.
Read more here; I explained it on my Facebook page.
This is very simple and efficient: do not rest between sets, do 1 minute of any cardio you want.