Did you know that bodybuilders have to ingest over 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight? Or that they need to eat every 2-3 hours? Did you know they go to the gym a lot but you may be surprised at how long they stay at the gym and what they do there? I thought I would write a quick article shed some light on a few things that bodybuilders do.
Most people think bodybuilders or bodybuilding is a brutish sport full of large, dumb and insensitive oafs who are trying to compensate for something and carry a serious inferiority complex around with them. Have you seen the recent slam to bodybuilders by the fitness facility Planet Fitness lately? In it they portray anyone with large muscles as dim-witted goofs. Well, maybe some are like this but you can say the same of many people of all walks of life.
A bodybuilder has an incessant need to work his body, sculpt his body if you will, through the use of resistance training into a work of art. A hard, chiseled body, perfect in shape and symmetry and built on a healthy diet. In fact, a bodybuilder diet is really quite amazing. It contains a low fat, high protein, complex carbohydrates and tons of vegetables. All food cooked to perfection with no added salt or fats. It may not be the most exciting diet to live on but it serves them well in the body department.
Frequent myths of bodybuilding:
#1 – The bodybuilder goes to the gym all day and nearly every day of the week. This simply isn’t true. Most serious pro bodybuilders and hobbyists will go to the gym anywhere from 3-5 days a week and usually for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes at a time if they are training alone. They learned a long time ago that if you train past this point, the body releases cortisol and just uses your new hard-earned muscle for fuel instead of carbs or fat like it should. Train for an hour, go home… grow.
#2 – All huge bodybuilders are on the juice. Not true. With new advances in supplements and a better overall understanding of the body’s functions with regard to muscle growth and fitness, natural athletes have reached new ground in muscular development.
3# – Bodybuilders go to the gym and workout their whole body during their workout. It goes like this typically; go to the gym, workout your chest and maybe one arm part (either the bicep or triceps), hit it from every angle possible. Do about 30 exercise sets total. Go home. Come back the next day or day after that, do legs, go home, etc. This grows the hell out of your muscles.
4# – All that muscle will turn to fat if they stop working out. Again, not true. First off muscle cannot turn to fat. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. Also, most bodybuilders keep the majority for their muscle forever. Once it grows, it stays. Sure they can get smaller. Muscle can shrink but you would be surprised how much remains forever. Normally, only over eating with inactivity will make you fat.
Here are some other facts that are interesting. Your muscle grows while you sleep. Working out at the gym with heavy lifting will break down the muscle. The bodybuilder goes home and eats properly and then while getting res (especially sleep), the muscles will grow to compensate for the lifting. Another fact that’s interesting is that a typical natural bodybuilder will only put on 8 lbs. of muscle onto his frame each year. Yes, there are some stories of lifters gaining 20-30 lbs. a year but first off that is not all muscle and second, some are enhanced bodybuilders and getting a little help with a needle. A natural bodybuilder can gain up to 25 or even 30 pounds of muscle in a lifetime of lifting. And believe it or not, this looks like a ton of muscle. Huge, powerful, hard, dense muscle packed on a frame. Think of a 175 lb. thin guy and now think him at 205 lb. or even more if genetics and proper training come into play.
Well I could go on with this some more but I just thought some of the basic facts would be interesting to someone who has not lifted yet. Here is a tip. Don’t worry about going to the gym getting too big. You’re not going to just get as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger from working out hard at the gym. If you could, then a lot of people would do it and we’d have like 200 million, rich (from bodybuilding) Mr. Olympia’s running around the planet. It just doesn’t work that way. If you want to start lifting, get a trainer or read up on it and just go for it. You will get hard in all the right places and you will not look like the giants on popular muscle magazines. Trust me.