Bodybuilding is the sport of developing muscle fibers through the combination
of weight training, increased caloric intake, and rest. Competitive bodybuilders
display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points.
Bodybuilding has become a very popular sport over the past few decades.
A bodybuilder trains with heavy weights to increase strength and to build
large muscles for posing competitions or cosmetic purposes. The activity
is often also known as "weight training", "working out"
or "pumping iron"
Various training methods are used by bodybuilders to get results, including
training techniques like Positions of Flexion (POF), Static Contraction
Training (SCT), High Intensity Training (HIT), Superslow Training, Hyper
Contraction and Plyometrics.
In order to achieve muscle growth (hypertrophy), bodybuilders focus in
three main lines of action:
- Resistance weight training
- Good nutrition, incorporating extra protein and supplements where
- High quality rest to facilitate growth
Resistance weight training causes microtears to the muscles being trained;
this is generally known as microtrauma. These microtears in the muscle
contribute to the soreness felt after exercise, called Delayed Onset Muscle
Soreness. It is the repair to these microtrauma that result in muscle
growth (anabolism). Normally, this soreness becomes most apparent a day
or two after a workout.
The growth and repair, however, cannot occur without the necessary building
blocks. These are supplied by high quality nutrition. Bodybuilders require
a very specialised diet. Bodybuilders require anything between 500-1000
calories above their maintenance level of food energy while attempting
to increase lean body mass. A sub-maintenance level of food energy is
combined with cardiovascular exercise to lose body fat in preparation
for a contest. The ratios of food energy from carbohydrates, proteins,
and fats vary depending on the goals of the bodybuilder.
The third component to extraordinary muscle building is rest. Without
quality rest and sleep the body does not have an opportunity to recover
and build. Many athletes find a daytime nap further increases their body's
ability to direct resources toward repairing and building muscle fiber.
Bodybuilding has become an extremely competitive sport. Unfortunately
many use anabolic steroids, hormones and other possibly dangerous substances
to reach the highest possible level of achievement in their sport. Athletes
who prefer not to use steroids can opt to participate in what is know
as ‘natural bodybuilding’.
Benefits of Exercise
- Elevates your metabolism so that you burn more calories everyday.
- Increases your aerobic capacity (fitness level).
- Maintains, tones, and strengthens your muscle. Exercise also increases
your muscular endurance.
- Increases the oxidation (breakdown and use) of fat.
- Increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Makes the heart a more efficient pump by increasing stroke volume.
- Increases hemoglobin concentration in your blood.
- Decreases the tendency of the blood to clot in the blood vessels.
- Increases the strength of the bones.
- Enlarges the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
- Decreases blood levels of triglycerides (fat).
- Improves control of blood sugar.
- Increases the thickness of cartilage in joints which has a protective
effect on the joints.
- Increases the amount of blood that flows to the skin making it look
and feel healthier.