Bodybuilding, it’s the sport for beasts…literally. This sport or exercise has developed over the years to become an icon for those who have supernatural strength and muscles. Both men and women participate in this form of exercise and have built themselves into muscles machines. Mostly famous for it’s competition purposes, bodybuilding is also used as an additional fitness tool that most athletes add to their workout routine to build and strengthen muscles and muscle endurance. It has a history dating back to that of ancient Egypt and Greece and continues to grow in popularity in today’s time.
What is Bodybuilding?
The way bodybuilding works is that its uses progressive resistance exercise to strengthen and develop the muscles. For example, when an athlete lifts they go through a series of motions that will progressively get harder as they continue through their program. For example, a bodybuilder might start off by doing 3 sets of bench presses completing 5 reps at 100lbs each. As he continues to get stronger, he’ll up his weight to 3 sets doing 5 reps at 125lbs each, and then even continue upping the ante even more as time goes on.
Bodybuilding works the muscles by causing micro tears to the muscles. This is more commonly referred to as microtrauma. Microtrauma is the reason you normally will experience soreness in the muscles a day or two after working out. The muscle growth occurs when these micro tares start to heal.
There are two different ways bodybuilders like to build their muscles. These two ways are types of hypertrophy, which is the increase in the volume of the muscle due to the enlargements of its component cells. The first type is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This type is used when trying to build large bulky muscles. In order to carry this out a bodybuilder will use much heavier weight while preforming a small number of reps, which maxes out your muscles ability. By maxing out your strength using heavy weight it causes your muscles to tear in such a way that bulk is achieved.
The second type is myofibrillar hypertrophy. This type is typically used by athletes and provides a more lean, yet built physique. Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the opposite of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy because it uses lighter weight at higher reps to rip the muscles into shape. By using lighter weight and higher reps this builds endurance in the muscle making them far leaner than the other method.
The History of Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding got its start way back in the olden days during ancient Egypt and Greece. They practiced what was called stone lifting. This is similar to what they still practice in Scotland, and it works exactly how it sounds. Men would lift large stones to show off and develop their strength. Ancient Greek Olympic athletes also used other forms of bodybuilding. One of the most well known was Milo of Croton. He was an Olympic wrestling champion who was said to have carried a calf on his back everyday until it became a bull. While there wasn’t a name for it at that time, he was using a progressive means of resistance to develop muscle strength.
The most popular icon for bodybuilding though, is Eugene Sandow. Known as the “Father of Modern Bodybuilding”, Eugene developed this popular trend in the 19th century. Born in Prussia in 1867 Eugene became a legend in his time by preforming for audiences and showing them his feats of strength. People from miles around would come and gaze at him in wonder as he showed off his physique. In fact, he become so popular that he had a stage show built around his displays. Eugene’s physical appearance made him a superstar in his own right and in 1890 was dubbed “world’s strongest man.”
Eugene went on to help organize one of the first bodybuilding contests in 1901 called the “Great Competition.” Judged by Sir Charles Lawes, himself, and the infamous Sir Arthur Canan Doyle, this contest became a huge success. A bronze trophy of Eugene was given to the winner and it continues to be the same trophy that’s used today in Mr. Olympia competitions.
Bodybuilding & Competition
Primarily being used by athletes and fitness gurus to help strengthen and build muscles, bodybuilding is also commonly used as a competitive sport. Competitive bodybuilding has been developed over the years and has produced super starts like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Charles Atlas, and Reg Park.
A bodybuilding competition works by having the bodybuilders stand in a lineup while they preform specific poses. They also will do individual routines for a panel of judges who rank criteria based on symmetry, conditioning, and muscularity. In preparing for a competition bodybuilders will go through numerous rigorous workouts to help get their muscles to where they need to be. Besides physically conditioning their bodies, bodybuilders will also go through a “cut & bulk” routine which helps them achieve their desired weight.
Cutting and bulking refers to nutrition and calories. Depending on which they are trying to do, bodybuilders will either up the intake or eliminate calorie intake. This is really a year long process in that the bodybuilder will “bulk” during the off season and around 12-14 weeks before competition they will start to “cut” to make sure they are in the ideal weight category. There are two different ways that a bodybuilder bulks. The first way is called clean bulking. This process is favored by most because it allows the muscles to bulk without adding on fat. The other method, dirty balking, is a fast and furious way to bulk. This type is for those who need to gain mass quickly, but it adds on fat in the process.
Once the competition is upon them, bodybuilders will do a few other unique things to make sure they are ready to impress the judges. First, most of them tan. They also will use tanning lotions on the day of competition, as well as oils to help their muscles look more defined. They also put themselves through a dehydration process and fat loss to further emphasize their muscular definition. While this all may seem strange, they feel that it’s necessary in order to look their best on game day.
Bodybuilding & Supplements
These days it’s almost impossible to find a bodybuilder who doesn’t use one or multiple supplements to help them pack on the muscle. Common forms of supplements are protein powders, bars, vitamins, and in some cases testosterone booster and steroids.
Protein powders are by far the most popular with Whey Protein being at the top of the list. Whey is the liquid that is derived from the cheese making process and is dried in a powder. Whey is popular because it is one of the purest forms of protein and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. It also has a significant source of branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs, which are vital in helping replenish muscles. There are two main types of Whey, one being Whey Protein Concentrate and the other, Whey Protein Isolate. Both are effective when used as a pre or post workout supplement. Whey is easily absorbed in the body and with companies adding in flavors like Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla; they are quite tasty to drink.
There are other protein powders that are also used such as pea, egg, and more. All of the protein powders are used to help replenish and build muscles after a tough workout, and provide energy during a workout.
Bars are used for energy or an added source of protein. They are a quick and easy way to get a little pick me up before any workout, and after having time to develop are available in many tasty options. Some bars can provide as much as 20 plus grams of protein, while others provide energy keeping you going in your workout or throughout the day. There are many well like brands out there with Nature Valley, Cliff Bar, PowerBar, and GNC being the most popular.
Vitamins are also a common supplement for bodybuilders. If asked, many will use Creatine. Creatine is a vitamin that helps support muscle growth, as well as provides endurance. This is one of the main vitamins used, with other popular ones being iron, riboflavin, vitamin A, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin D, vitamin B1, and Vitamin C.
Very controversial supplements in the bodybuilding world are testosterone pills and anabolic steroids. Both are used to help stimulate extreme muscle growth, but because of their side effects they are to be used with caution. While many bodybuilders partake in these substances to help them achieve supernatural results, there are many bodybuilders who see these as cheating and prefer more natural methods. Professional competitions have actually made these substances illegal, but are commonly slipped in anyways.
The Perks of Bodybuilding
Regardless of why you participate in bodybuilding, it is a fantastic form of exercise that can help achieve incredible results. The progressive method of this exercise makes it possible for muscle to build and bulk giving an individual a beach body that would make anyone envious. If you have never partook in bodybuilding and are interested, there are dozens of websites and literature out there to help you decide if its right for you. There are also dozens of websites created specifically to help you choose the right bodybuilding program for you. So go ahead and see if bodybuilding is the workout for you, and start getting ripped today! Most Bodybuilders will workout at the gym, if you are looking for a way to bulk up without leaving you home make sure you check out Body Beast, and if you want the Body Beast Supplements there is a amazing Body Beast Challenge Pack that will include them.