Since bodybuilding is a lifestyle, not just a physical activity, it’s hardly surprising that it comes with its specific values, principles and concepts. And if you keep an open mind, this discipline can teach you a lot more than how to make your muscles grow – it can add true value to your life. In this article you will find the 7 basic ideas in the world of bodybuilding and learn how to apply them in order to improve your bodybuilding experience.
Only a few bodybuilders are lucky to have genetic advantages that allow them to achieve outstanding results rather quickly and with little effort. Don’t rely your training on wishful thinking – the reality is that for most of us, building muscle is a long and exhausting process that demands perseverance, patience and tons of self-control.
There are no magic pills and shortcuts that will work in the long term – real, sustainable progress can be only achieved with determination and continuity in terms of an adequate training routine and a strict diet plan. That’s why bodybuilding is a lifestyle, not a short term goal. In order to get great results, you have to change many aspects of your way of living and make many sacrifices as well.
In the end, if you’re not truly determined, you won’t last long in this game. On the other hand, the gym is a place where willpower and mental endurance can grow as much as muscle tissue. This new mental fortitude will naturally transfer to your life outside the gym and make you more effective at reaching other life goals as well.
Building muscle basically revolves around intensity and going beyond your limits. As some bodybuilders would explain in a poetic tone, becoming great in the sport of pumping iron is all about “blood, sweat and tears” – you have to be willing to do whatever it takes in order to maximize your gains. While this is mostly true, there’s another side of the coin – carefulness.
If you don’t keep a watchful eye on the possible risks of injury and don’t do your best to prevent them from happening, all of your progress could easily go down the drain. A difficult injury can severely damage your efforts and harm your health in the long run, so treat weight training with respect and minimize the potential for training injury by properly warming up and maintaining adequate form in all exercises.
Bodybuilding in itself is a lot more than a health-conscious lifestyle. Long-term bodybuilding changes your body composition and makes your body stronger and leaner, increases your bone mineral density and prevents you from losing muscle mass as you age. In addition, it protects you from the harmful effects of excess body fat, enables you to cope with stress more effectively and helps your whole body function better as a whole.
All of these benefits are yours to claim as long as you take good care of your diet, supplementation and training intensity. If you go too far in the endless pursuit of bigger muscle size, your health can be endangered from unwise nutrition choices and placing too much pressure on the body, especially the joints. To reduce the likelihood of an overuse injury, use proper form for each lift. Also, include cardio in your training to strengthen your heart and protect it against the cardiovascular issues linked with long-term heavy lifting. Remember, bodybuilders are supposed to be an example of the perfect combination of health, aesthetics and strength.
The idea of balance is most important in two areas: the goal to build a symmetrical, proportionate muscularity, which is a key aesthetic concept in bodybuilding, and the goal to achieve balance between your training and all other important things in your life.
Without a balanced training, your body could end up looking freakishly distorted, and without maintain a balance between your bodybuilding goals and the rest of your life priorities, your life could become one-dimensional, dull and lacking deep social connections or professional accomplishments. When you’re truly passionate about something, it’s very easy to lose perspective, so remember that you’re more than a collection of ripped muscles and keep your priorities straight.
When you’re desperate for attention, people will recognize it easily, no matter if you have big muscles or not. Therefore, utilizing your ripped body to gather as much attention possible everywhere you show up will only make you look pathetic. When you’re a beginner and you experience the first transformation of your body, it’s normal to be excited and proud of yourself and to want everybody to notice your success.
However this is only a phase and it’s supposed to pass quickly. The truth is that the better you get, the less you’ll feel the need to prove it to others, unless you have some serious self-confidence issues, in which case it’s better to try and solve them out of the gym. If you want to earn real respect, focus on your training, work hard and stay humble – the results you achieve will speak for themselves.
Here we would like to discuss the importance of building a strong community based on respect and support. In the old days of bodybuilding, maintaining a close-knit community was perhaps what kept the subculture alive and strong. These days, bodybuilding has experienced a dramatic rise in popularity and visibility so things have changed a bit and every second guy who walks into a gym has an aura of superiority around himself.
Forget about that and connect with the people around you, especially if you’re a member of a local, old school-style gym. Everybody has their own weaknesses and struggles, just like you do, so don’t be judgmental and try to be supportive instead. Offer to spot someone when it’s evident that they could use assistance, encourage them when they’re challenging their limits and share your training approach with others. The more we learn from each other, the better we become.
And by this we mean accepting the reality – if your abdominal muscles have a 4-pack formation, that’s a genetic characteristic of your musculature and you can’t change it.
Bodybuilders are under great pressure to completely transform the weakest points in their physique with little to no regard that most genetic limitations simply can’t be transcended. Focusing your training around a nearly impossible transformation is a waste of precious time and can only bring great frustration. Instead, be realistic about the structure of your body and accept the things you can’t change.
Then focus on perfecting everything else. If you set realistic goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term, you will be more likely to achieve them completely, then perhaps push your limits a bit further and fulfill your maximum potential.
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