What do you think of when you hear the word "bodybuilding?" Maybe you envision Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Pumping Iron", or a vascular, freak-like mutant on the cover of Flex magazine. Sad to say, most think of steroid-consuming men engaged in a miserable lifestyle of deprivation dieting and hours upon hours of unbearable weight training.
If this is your misconception of bodybuilding, feel no shame. The media and specific fitness clubs have engaged in a long quest spanning over decades to make the word "bodybuilding" synonymous with drugs and being intimidating, a campaign that typically leaves to an unhealthy and unattractive lifestyle. Let's set the record straight and hopefully give a new perspective on the difference between bodybuilding as a sport and bodybuilding as a lifestyle.
To build a strong, healthy physique, you must train hard enough to tear and break down muscle tissue so it can then repair itself and become bigger and stronger. This is called the overload principle. If there is not a significant load on the muscle, it won’t grow.
Most men are fine with this; they want to bulk up and get their swell on. But women often think that building muscle means getting big and unattractive. Not so, ladies! You can only medically add about 1-3 lbs of muscle to your body per year. Think of it in terms of tissue paper. If the sheet of paper is your muscle, tear it in half and place one half on top of the other. This is how muscle grows. Now think of how much tissue paper you'd have to stack to equal just one pound!
New workout trends claim to hit every angle and muscle in your body while still targeting your core and all your cardiovascular needs. This is impossible, however, as you cannot engage in a total body, cardio, conditioning and strength workout. Instead, focus on individual areas of the body. Only through a bodybuilding approach can you target specific muscle groups to acquire the size and shape you desire.
By breaking your training into specific muscle groups, you can be the architect of your own body. Incorporating this training as a fitness lifestyle is far different from competing on stage drained of water and carbs, ever trying to gain the edge with over-supplementation and drugs.
Aerobics classes, spinning and boot camps are all great training tools and by no means should be eliminated from your workout regimen. But by incorporating bodybuilding into your routine, you'll ensure a strong, shapely conditioned body.
Bodybuilding guidance is available with experienced and knowledgeable personal trainers like Gino Caccavale at Tribeca Health and Fitness.
Don't be ashamed by the stigma of bodybuilding. It simply means that you concentrate and focus on specific muscle groups on specific days. It means that the cookie cutter “full body” workout isn't challenging or concentrated enough to get the size, shape, and results you desire. The next time you opt to train just your arms, or legs, or back, call it what it is: bodybuilding. It's only a word. Stop by Tribeca Health and Fitness to take advantage of the impeccable facilities the gym offers.
Written by Gino Caccavale (Muscle In Motion/Fitness Competitor)