Bodybuilding is a popular weight-based practice that’s performed by athletes looking to transform the physical appearance of their body through a series of intense muscular exercises.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at 10 of the hard truths to keep in mind when it comes to bodybuilding. We’ll also look to answer a few of the frequently asked questions.
1. Becoming Big As A Natural Bodybuilder
The first hard truth is the fact that it’s incredibly difficult and unlikely that you’ll become as big and shredded as a natural bodybuilder.
While eating and training right is great for getting in shape, the benefits are ultimately limited, and you won’t be able to develop the same mass and conditioning of pro bodybuilders no matter what routine you follow.
The number of sets that pro bodybuilders perform is so great that if the average person attempted to follow the workout routine of a pro bodybuilder, they would effectively whittle down any muscle mass they had in the first place.
The best case scenario would be minimal amounts of progress over a long period of time.
2. There’s Plenty Of Misinformation
A number of aspiring bodybuilders often suffer because of the huge amount of contradictory information that exists online.
Trying to make sense of all this information is counterproductive, with it being easy to get lost in the sea of disinformation.
3. Developing Unrealistic Expectations
A lot of the products in the fitness and bodybuilding industry are advertised by athletes on some kind of steroids.
This misleads lifters into believing that they can also achieve the advertised physique by following the same programs and taking the same supplements. Unfortunately, this is more often than not, far from the truth.
Consequently, many aspiring, recreational lifters have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the development of their physique, and feel sad and depressed when they’re unable to achieve, despite the countless hours of hard graft.
4. Don’t Rely On Supplements
If you believe that supplements are essential for your physique, think again. They’re not some form of magic component that’ll transform your body, supplements are just a way to monetize the bodybuilding industry.
So, unless you’ve got a mouth injury and you’re unable to consume solid food, don’t rely on supplements. In fact, even popular supplements like creatine and protein aren’t all that important.
5. Deadlifts And Squats Aren’t The Be-All And End-All
There’s no denying that squats and deadlifts are two of the most effective exercises you can do to get into shape.
However, they also have some shortcomings, with aspiring bodybuilders and strength trainers often placing too much emphasis on them.
As is the case with supplements, don’t rely on the supposed “magic” of deadlifts and squats, they’re just exercises, not the be-all and end-all of bodybuilding.
6. Bodybuilding Can Become Tedious
Needless to say, lifting weights can become very repetitive and a little boring after a while. These detrimental feelings are only enhanced when the results slow down.
It’s worth noting, however, that some bodybuilders view these feelings as a good thing - almost like a test of faith and commitment to the practice.
7. Rest Just As Important As Workouts
You might think that the more you work out, the more you’ll grow, however, this is far from the truth.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an aspiring bodybuilder is overtraining, therefore it’s important to accept recovery days as an equally valuable part of your training routine.
Training your muscles too often won’t give them enough time to heal properly.
For instance, working a particular body part to complete muscular failure can take between 5 to 10 days to fully recover.
8. Popular Among Narcissists
A large number of lifters turn to bodybuilding because they want others to admire their physique.
While this certainly doesn’t account for every single bodybuilder in the world, it’s a common theme running through the industry.
9. Difficult To Quit
If you’re thinking of quitting the bodybuilding lifestyle, good luck. It’s not as easy as you might think, with the underlying passion for the sport never too far from the surface.
Small breaks for a few months are possible, but quitting for good is a whole different story.
10. Bulking Isn’t Fun
Bulking is an important part of bodybuilding if you’re following a training routine which requires you to put on extra mass for building muscle.
While, in principle, bulking might seem like a fun thing to do, every gram of nutrition past a certain point is stored as fat - which is obviously less than ideal for optimum muscle construction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Perfect Age To Start Bodybuilding?
The best age is generally between 20 and 30 when you’ve experienced full growth. Testosterone levels tend to peak around the age of 19, while they slowly begin to decline after 30.
Are Bodybuilders Actually Strong Compared To Other Athletes?
Unlike a lot of athletes that lift weights with the prime objective of improving their functional strength, bodybuilders lift weights to increase the size of their muscles.
You might think that bigger muscles mean higher levels of strength, however it’s worth keeping in mind that the energy stored in bulky muscles isn’t the same as real strength.
Therefore, more often than not, bodybuilders are weaker than they look.
How Long Do Bodybuilders Spend In The Gym?
Most pro bodybuilders spend around 10 hours in the gym per week if they’re following a strict training routine and lifestyle.
This is usually divided into 1.5 hour workouts, four to six times a week.
Bodybuilding has its downfalls. So, for all aspiring or recreational bodybuilders coming into the sport, we hope the above, important factors will help with your bodybuilding workout.