What is Bodybuilding?
Everyone recognizes famous bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and the massive muscles of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. But what exactly is bodybuilding? Bodybuilding is not just working out and lifting weights. It is the overall change of a muscular structure using specific exercises to create the desired body. Bodybuilding is more for aesthetics than traditional powerlifting, and competitions are based more on looks than actual performance. Compiled below is general knowledge on bodybuilding for those interested in learning more about this popularized sport.
Bodybuilding started in ancient Egyptian and Greek societies, where weight training was a general activity practiced to gain strength and power. These societies did not have advanced barbells and cambered bars to isolate muscles for definition and toning, so they made do lifting heavy stones. It was not until 1890 that bodybuilding became popular in Europe when weightlifting became a means of entertainment. Bodybuilding has evolved tremendously over the years from stones, to lifting animals in carts, to the popular display it is today.
Bodybuilding competitions take place all over the world. They are events of showmanship and take place on stages. Bodybuilding competitions are similar to theatre in the sense that they are composed of entertainers posing on stage in front of an audience.
Bodybuilding equipment varies due to the different exercises bodybuilders partake in to shape their bodies and achieve desired results. Dumbbells are a common piece of equipment used for bodybuilding because they isolate different muscle groups. Other weight machines, such as rowing or pull-down machines, are commonly used in bodybuilding because they can produce both toning and bulking results. Bodybuilders may also take legal supplements for competitions and must uphold an extremely high standard of nutrition.
Here is the essential bodybuilding equipment one should have:
- Functional Training System
- Testosterone Support
- Branched Chain Amino Acids
Bodybuilding is designed to enhance the human body's muscular development through a strict regimen of exercises and nutrition to promote overall health and fitness. As a bodybuilder, the goal is to build the most impressive body. The competitions are graded according to a panel of judges, with the objective being to impress them with one's physique. Bodybuilding often falls in line with stigmas of beauty, tan skin, white teeth, clean-cut, and massive muscles.
Rules and Regulations
Every bodybuilder adheres to a specific set of rules in order to be eligible for competitions. The rules are regulated by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) and are broken up into various categories. The categories cover everything from Men's and Women's bodybuilding, classical bodybuilding, fitness rules, and even children's fitness. While there are a lot of rules and regulations concerning bodybuilding, there are a few general rules that every bodybuilder must adhere to.
Here are the most important bodybuilding rules you should know:
- All bodybuilders are broken up into weight classes.
- Athletes must compete in a regional competition before competing in a professional competition.
- All competitors must be in full health. Any competitor appearing disoriented, fatigued or having muscle cramping will not be permitted to compete.
There are a ton of tips about bodybuilding, weightlifting, and general fitness overall. It seems as though there are new diets and methods of weight loss and muscle growth everyday. The truth is, there are many different ways to achieve results. Bodybuilding is different from being fit or simply lifting weights. There are desired muscular growth results that certain strategies help to achieve.
Here are the most important bodybuilding strategies you should know:
- Mechanical Tension. Muscles only grow when they fight through resistance. To an extent, the more resistance they face and lift through, the bigger they will be.
- Muscle Damage. It sounds funny, but when working out and lifting weights, you are actually breaking your muscles down! The reason for this is that they grow back bigger and stronger due to the creation of new muscle cells.
- Train until failure. Doing reps of an exercise until you can no longer perform reps with good form is called hypertrophy, and it is a way to become stronger.
Here is the common lingo and slang in bodybuilding:
- Hypertrophy: Hypertrophy is a rep range that most lifters use as a guideline for exercises. The hypertrophy rep range is anywhere between 8-12 reps per set, usually for 3-4 sets.
- Metabolic Stress: Metabolic stress is the accumulation of waste products from anaerobic energy production and is a great production of muscle growth.
- Swole: Due to muscle growth from working out, people can get the appearance of looking "swollen." This has led to the term "Swole" which means muscular and is short for "swollen."
There have been many celebrities who have gotten their start as bodybuilders that you may have never known!
Here are the most famous bodybuilders you should know:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Kenneth "Flex" Wheeler
- Dorian Yates
- Ronnie Coleman
- Dexter Jackson
There are many different leagues that bodybuilders compete in. For those looking to compete as a bodybuilder, the road to preparing for a competition can be a difficult process. There are many different factors in deciding what is the best league to be in. Outfit, strength, and figure are a few characteristics that are valued more in some leagues than others.
Here are the most popular bodybuilding leagues you should know:
- International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB)
- Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders (OCB)
- National Physique Committee (NPC)
Events and Competitions
Bodybuilding events and competitions are sometimes referred to as "championships" or "cups." Different competitions have different honors and titles. Bodybuilding events appear all over the world.
Here are the most popular tournaments in bodybuilding:
- Joe Weider's Fitness and Performance weekend:
- IFBB Diamond Cup:
- IFBB Australasian Championships: