What Is Bodybuilding?
What do you think of when you see the words, “Bodybuilding”? For most people they picture images of massive muscled, oiled up men in tight little bikini bottoms. They picture these men and women, parading around on stage, under bright lights, flexing their gigantic biceps, triceps, and pectorals for an enthusiastic audience. Yes, these are body builders, and yes it is a competitive sport that many men and women around the world participate in, however, there is more to Bodybuilding that meets the eye. In fact, bodybuilding does not just involve professionals and competitions; bodybuilding is in fact what the word states: it is someone who seeks to build their body from the ground up. Whether it is an office worker who decides to increase their time at the gym to get in better shape, a cyclist attaching weights to their bike to improve acceleration, or a football player consistently improving their quickness and agility for the field; they are all in their own respective ways, “Body Builders,” and you could be too!
THE DEFINITION OF BODY BUILDING
The full definition of Bodybuilding is “the development and growth of the body through exercise and diet.” However once you cross over into the professional bodybuilding world the definition becomes, “the development and growth of one’s physique for competitive purposes.” Two very distinct definitions, each with their differences, but with the same basis of building strength to the muscles of the body. We will dive into the bodybuilding sport, and what that entails, but first let’s look at the non-competitive side of bodybuilding.
EVERY DAY BODYBUILDERS
Some people simply decide to build their body for recreational purposes. It is a way to increase health, boost self-confidence, but at the end of the day, it makes someone happier in there own body. Bodybuilding is the process of putting on muscle through working out and dedicated yourself to a steady routine. It also involves constructing one’s diet to help the muscle create mass and instigate muscle growth. A type of person who decides to begin bodybuilding must be very disciplined and commit to an exhausting workout regiment, and to change their eating habits consistently each and every day. A person who is just beginning to commit to becoming a bodybuilder should always seek out professional advice. Some will consult with a nutritionist for the food side of the bodybuilding program, and then consult a personal trainer for the physical side of the process. Both will help you keep safe during the bodybuilding process while you increase muscle mass and increase the potential for success. To properly build your body and increase muscle size, professional bodybuilders have used three main strategies to maximize their muscles: Strength Training, Specialized Nutrition, and Adequate Rest.
BODYBUILDING STRENGTH TRAINING
The first way to enhance and build your body is called “Strength Training” (also known as Weight Training). Essentially this training causes small micro-tears in the muscles known to the building community as “micro trauma”. It is through the repair of these micro traumas that muscles begin to grow. The more tears the muscles endure, the bigger the muscles will grow. The act of increasing these micro traumas for bodybuilding is called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. This is triggered by increasing the repetitions of the weights during training, rather than lifting heavier weights themselves. If you keep increasing the size of the weights, this is referred to as Myofibrillar Hypertrophy. Both of these hypertrophy’s increase muscle size, just in a different way. (most bodybuilders tend to increase the repetitions, rather than weight, as it gives that authentic “Bodybuilding” look) Many people who are considering bodybuilding through Weight Training, cycle between these two methods listed above to prevent the body from getting too comfortable and adapting to the exercises. As soon as they do not start to feel that sore feeling a day or two after a hard workout, a bodybuilder knows they either have to increase the weight or number of repetitions, in order to continue the process of building muscle. In the end, of course, Strength Training is necessary for anyone looking to build their body, but it is highly recommended to have the advice of a personal trainer with bodybuilding experience as everyone’s body is different.
The second way to enhance and build your body is the act of proper, “Nutrition”. To have proper muscle growth, one must have a specialized diet. This requires more calories than the average person, to provide extra protein and energy to increase muscle mass. Carbohydrates play an incredibly important role to bodybuilders as they give the body energy to deal with tremendous amounts of exercise. Body builders are also advised to consume 25-30% protein per total calorie intake to fully enhance their muscles. Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, and eggs are recommended at every meal, as well as particular nuts, seeds, and beans. However, some bodybuilders are in fact vegetarian or vegan, and in take protein strictly through protein powder and nuts. Bodybuilders often are eating 5 to 7 meals roughly every day at regular intervals throughout the day, to coincide with their workout. This helps regulate their metabolism. It is also advised to continually drink water all day, to hydrate the muscles and the entire body through this training process.
The muscles in the body are stimulated while at the gym and working out, however muscle growth actually happens after a workout during rest. Without adequate rest, muscles cannot grow the way bodybuilders intend. If you do not sleep properly, an average of 7 to 8 hours a night, the body does not have time to recover and the muscles do not have time to build.
PERFORMANCE ENHANCING SUBSTANCES
Although frowned upon, some bodybuilders use drugs such as steroids to increase muscle size faster. These can have terrible side effects on the body, and though it brings results faster, they can be detrimental to one’s health. It can decrease testosterone in males and provide acne and baldness to both sexes.
PROFESSIONAL BODY BUILDING
The sport of professional bodybuilding first began in the early 1900s held in the United Kingdom. Since then it has spread worldwide to become one of the most competitive sports in the world. Cash prizes are awarded at every event and in 1990 the “World Bodybuilding Federation” was born. “Professional” bodybuilders are defined to have earned the right to compete in competitions and win monetary prizes.
Professional bodybuilding may not be for everyone, but building muscle and increasing exercising is recommended for anyone! Watching what you eat and even increasing the amount you go to the gym can prolong life and make you more physically and mentally stable. Try bodybuilding today!