Photo Credit Men’s Health
We focus on various sports, but one we have failed to mention is that of Bodybuilding for those who are so inclined to take up the sport.
A few years back I covered a Bodybuilding event called 6 weeks out having the luxury of working with Ray and the one area I was extremely impressed with was the overall conditioning that each competitor set their sights on.
Bodybuilding is an area of sport that many simply don’t focus on; probably due to the amount of time and dedication it takes an individual.
The sport is demanding not just on the body, but also the mind of the individual directly and is one of the only other sports where you challenge yourself rather than compete against another team.
The days are long and grueling, but rewarding in the long run and this alone is something that not everyone can master and is for those who are dedicated to improving one’s musculature in an effort to maximize aesthetics for the purpose of appearing as physically impressive.
Both Male and female athletes showcase their best look on stage, some throughout the year as well in a sport that has their physiques judged on muscle size, symmetry, and conditioning which are essential for a complete package.
Training consists of implementing progressive overload and time under tension to break down muscle tissue which initiates the repair process, resulting in bigger and more dense muscle otherwise known as hypertrophy.
Rep ranges are typically higher than what strength athletes train with although maximal muscular development requires progressive strength improvement, therefore, all rep ranges are necessary. Bodybuilders also tend to train using more single-joint, isolation movements since aesthetics are the main goal here.
Diet must also be detailed with an ideal ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) to support muscle growth, fuel workouts, and lose body fat.
This is another aspect of bodybuilding which differs greatly from strength athletes who, although follow a good diet plan, do not have to be as precise with their nutrition.
But bodybuilding is a hugely popular sport around the world and the purely visual element draws millions of spectators to competitions and events every year.
Bodybuilding Key Exercises
Bodybuilders still focus on the multi-joint, compound exercise for building mass and strength. But, some exercises are definitely interchangeable since being proficient in certain movements is not a requirement.
Although the conventional barbell squat isn’t 100% absolutely necessary for building huge legs, it should be a staple exercise for anyone who is able to safely and effectively do it without knee and back pain.
So, with that being said, the back and front squat variations are both extremely effective for loading the leg muscles, although the quads are typically the dominant mover.
Bodybuilders are not judged by range of movement, so there’s no need to squat butt to ankles unless you have the mobility and structural means and it’s not necessary to squat below parallel for the purpose of building muscle.
Also, it’s generally agreed upon that higher rep ranges are more ideal when the goal is hypertrophy, although all rep ranges are important. Therefore, training is usually much different than how strength athletes would program the squat.
The bench press is the ultimate chest builder because you can load the pectorals with a lot of weight to create a maximal growth stimulus, which is the idea right?… correct.
Now, most people can safely and effectively execute the barbell bench press with proper form and lifting a weight that is manageable. And it’s hard to beat the conventional bench press for getting a big chest.
Dumbbells are a perfectly effective alternative and you’ll even improve the development of your stabilizer muscles while having the ability to get an even better chest contraction due to the freer range of movement.
And that’s the beauty of bodybuilding… you can use many different tools and it doesn’t matter as long as you’re able to get optimal results.
Cables, machines, and anything in between are also very valuable when it comes to building your physique.
You might be thinking… “squat, bench, and now the deadlift… this is starting to look like a powerlifter’s routine”.
Well, until we find exercises that are better than the big three (big four if you count the overhead press) for developing muscle and strength, there will be no differences in exercise selections.
The deadlift is an entire-body movement that works your lower and upper body in addition to your core muscles. And most would argue that it does so better than any other exercise when talking about an ‘overall’ builder.
But no one could disagree that it’s the only movement which will allow for the human body to lift its absolute limit in weight. And there are really no substitutes for using a straight barbell although a trap bar and dumbbells can be viable alternatives.
Then as far as variations go, conventional with a double overhand grip will be best for most people, while a mixed grip has its place and the Sumo deadlift is used by many people successfully.
The overhead press for shoulders is what the bench press is to the chest and is the best way to overload the deltoids and it still works the upper chest to a degree along with the triceps which are always involved in pressing movements.
The dip is a superior exercise for triceps and chest development that allows you to use your own bodyweight or add more weight to really challenge yourself and maintaining an upright torso will recruit more of the triceps to execute the movement while leaning forward will shift more of the weight toward the chest.
Known as the undisputed, best upper body bodyweight exercise for developing the back, biceps, and forearm muscles, the pull-up/chin-up is non-negotiable and should be a staple for those who desire to experience maximum overall development.
Bodybuilders also utilize isolation movements (e.g dumbbells curl, triceps pushdown, leg extension, direct core work, etc.) for each muscle group for maximum muscle development although secondary to the main lifts.
Thanks to Fitness Volt for the above info
Stick with it – New Years Resolution’s around the corner!!!!