When you start Bodybuilding you quickly realise it is far more than any sport or hobby you may have done before. It will quickly become a way of life, the Bodybuilding Way Of Life, that can affect all the other things you do in life. Bodybuilding will guide how you eat, they way you treat other people and even your thoughts.
The commitment level that building your body requires will mean you will need to consider many of your existing pastimes and habits seriously when following the Bodybuilding Way Of Life. Many people when they start body building simply do not realise the ongoing requirement for commitment and dedication to achieve their goals. This can very often ruin their chances of sticking with it and getting where they want to be.
You need to realise there will be difficulties g the way to your goal but if you can commit to training and stick to a routine then you are taking the most important step in reaching your bodybuilding goals
Obviously you’ll be visiting the gym and working out around five to ten hours a week, though with travel and washing that evens out at more like seven to fourteen hours at least of time dedicated just to training. Spending this amount of time, much of it fairly rigidly structures, is obviously going to have knock on effects regarding how you spend the rest of your time.
You may choose to train in the morning before work/school, meaning you’ll have to be even more careful not to get too many late nights. You may alternatively choose to train in the evening or night after you do whatever it is you do, this again will mean you’ll often end up going to bed later and feeling more tired. Wherever you squeeze in your training you’re going to have to pay for it with subsequent tiredness meaning an hour’s work or play lost at least.
Training during a lunch break is also a popular choice and is quite good in that it will mean you don’t cut into time you would be spending at home. What it does mean however is shorter training sessions and no time to relax during your working day (it will though give you a renewed vigour and focus when you return to your desk). Then even after you’ve trained you’ll be tired, pumped or burning from the training the day before a lot of the time.
At times you’ll have very little energy while at others you’ll have boundless energy. Sleep is crucial to your success in bodybuilding and you’ll find you need more of it to repair the damage you’ve purposefully caused your body – it’s not a corner you can cut to find more time.
Your eating and drinking habits will also have to change if you want to be successful in bodybuilding. You’ll have to cut down on simple carbs and fats which will slightly limit your choices at each meal and when you’re out drinking with friends you might sometimes find you need to limit your intake of high calorie drinks or even come home early on occasions leading to whispers that bodybuilding is stopping you living your life.
Actually, you’ll never feel more fulfilled. You’ll be trying to get as much protein as possible, during ‘bulking’ periods this requiring you to stuff it to the point where it’s almost unpleasant. As you change your diet like this and your body requires more nutrition to repair you’ll also find your tastes and cravings change. In particular you’ll probably find that you actually want more protein and find yourself sneaking out into the kitchen to binge on eggs and sausage rolls rather than chocolates.
And it goes deeper than that still – training will even affect your toilet habits and you’ll find yourself constantly going to the toilet because of all the water you’ll be drinking. You may also find that you go more the other end too from your protein intake and that your farts become even more pungent. My mineral supplements have meanwhile given me florescent urine. With bodybuilding you really will find that everything is affected, and this is only to be expected – you are after all changing the very make up of your body.
You also shouldn’t expect too much encouragement or understanding from friends and family. I’m not sure why, but bodybuilding has always had something of a bad rap. Bodybuilders are perceived as narcissistic and hedonistic, as stupid and as obsessive. I’ll admit that sometimes some of that is true, but personally I’d far rather be hedonistic and narcissistic than weak, self loathing and timid. Furthermore, most of the bodybuilders I know are actually very intelligent and have to be in order to understand the science behind what they do enough to succeed, or even to have the initial inclination to want to better themselves.
As for ‘obsession’, bodybuilders are no more obsessive than athletes from any other discipline. The image isn’t helped by the boffins on TV claiming that bodybuilders have body dysmorphia (meaning they look in the mirror and think they’re fat) and that the sport is basically another form of anorexia. These guys however are just the same ones who try to ruin everyone’s fun by saying that computer games cause kids to go around murdering people – the reality is that there’s a very glaring and obvious difference between bodybuilders and anorexic patients: that is when bodybuilders look in the mirror we think we look awesome.
Similarly people will tell you that bodybuilders are insecure or ‘overcompensating’. Bodybuilders are just poor little insecure softies who felt the need to build some protective and metaphorical armour. Firstly, that metaphorical armour is damn effective. Secondly, just take a look at Arnie: rich, charismatic, allegedly hung like an Ox, successful, married, clearly loving life, over six foot tall… do you think he’s insecure? People who say these things are probably only insecure themselves, or jealous that they lack the determination to achieve the same results. You know whether or not you’re insecure, and it really doesn’t matter either way.
People will also tell you that you’re actually damaging your body. This kind of misses the point of bodybuilding and can come again from jealousy, as an attempt to make themselves feel superior in the face of being one-upped, or genuine concern mixed with ignorance. Sure bodybuilding can damage your body, but not if you research the topic well (which you clearly are if you are reading this).
If you train sensibly, improve your nutrition and get plenty of rest you’ll find you’ve never been healthier. A lot of misinformation still exists though – that muscle turns to flab after you quit (biologically impossible), that you’re putting strain on your heart (not if you do CV which most know they should and even without it not to the extent that simply being overweight does) and that you’re damaging your spine (not if you use good technique).
I’ve had loads of people telling me off for using protein shakes assuming they’re some kind of terrible drug – they’re just concentrated protein; don’t these guys think I’ve done my research? Don’t they think a bodybuilder might know more than them about a bodybuilding supplement?
Whatever the reasons though, just be prepared to have people whispering about your activities behind your back, have dramatic conversations with your mum begging your not to get any bigger, and people not giving you the time you need to train or the extra hours you need to sleep. It’s just part of the challenge.
If you’re still reading and haven’t been scared away by all that then you’re obviously serious about this. For that I congratulate you as I’m now about to go through the good stuff that makes it all worth while. If only the others had stuck around a little bit longer…
Firstly, being strong will affect everything you do. You’ll open jam jars with amazing ease, win in arm wrestles, settle disputes simply by tensing your bicep… Everything will become easier, your posture will improve, and you’ll walk with a new sense of pride and confidence.
Bodybuilding will also improve your performance in every other sport and athletic pursuit. You’ll be able to throw further, punch harder, run faster and go for longer. You’ll even be smarter as bodybuilding has been shown to encourage neurogenesis – the birth of new cells in your brain.
And people will notice these changes in you. You’ll be more of a presence in any room and you’ll stand out in a crowd. You’ll catch people surreptitiously examining your new physique and while it can at first be unnerving to have people staring at your chest it’s also kind of a complement. And everyone will ask you for training advice. Personally I get the biggest kick when someone calls me ‘big guy’ or ‘Arnie’
The opposite sex will also notice your physique, and if like me you have a fairly large nose it can be a great way to put yourself back in the game. Even if the opposite sex don’t notice your six pack abs (hopefully you’ll be wearing a shirt some of the time) they’ll notice your broad shoulders and the way you hold yourself. In an evolutionary sense ‘power’ is perhaps one of our most attractive traits, and bodybuilding brings it to you in several forms. I personally get the biggest kick when a girl squeezes my bicep and looks pleasantly surprised.
Bodybuilding also changes the way you think. Like any true way of life it comes with a philosophy that changes the way you view the world. Obstacles become challenges; what is a rocky patch in your relationship or a spot of financial trouble compared to the hundred kilograms you benched twelve times this morning? You’ll just pick yourself back up and get back in the game. Testosterone booster is the requirement you might be finding here for these works.
You’ll also have concrete evidence you can achieve anything you set your mind to. A bodybuilder never gives up. Arnold Schwarzenegger once famously said that everything he knew about life, he’d learned from bodybuilding. It’s the perfect microcosm for every other challenge you’ll ever face.
And with that realisation bodybuilding becomes not a means to an end, but an end in itself. The gym becomes the perfect catharsis and the perfect therapist both at once. Once when I’d moved city alone, nearly three hundred miles away from the closest familiar face and in the roughest neighborhood you could imagine, I realised I had two options: sit down and cry about it, or go an do a tough workout. It was the perfect way of showing myself I could handle it, and that I’d never give up.
When you’re in the gym everything is clear and you know what you have to do, you have more in common with the warriors of myth than with your colleagues from work. You’re preparing for the battle that may never come. You can mold your body into any shape you want, and soon you realise that you can start to mold your world too. The Bodybuilding Way of life can give you so much more than what you put in but you have to be willing to put in.
Being a fitness freak if turns out the gym freak in you then the normal things going around and happening cannot be any help. You need a change and which includes lifestyle, food, and concentration of yours. Eating junk and working out is not going to work for your at any cost.