Many people believe that bodybuilding isn't a science. They believe it can be made simple and just going to the gym is sufficient to build the dream body. Well in my opinion this couldn't be much farther from the truth, and here's why:
Weightlifting Is Not Simple
Weightlifting alone isn't simple. Sure you can walk in the gym whenever you want and do whatever you want. But how badly do you really want results? Want them as quickly as possible?
Then you'd better figure out how many sets will work for you, you'd better know which exercises work the correct part of the muscle the correct way and which exercises just don't do it for you. You must be ready to feel the burn and then push on 1 rep more when you know you can't possibly lift anymore.
You should know which muscles go with which muscles, how long you should rest between sets, after each workout, and when you are over training, or just not training hard enough. Then there are drop sets, super sets, pyramiding, each technique which needs to be learned and understood, then practiced and tested to see if it works for you. Still sound simple? I've only just started.
Anyone who thinks dieting is simple has never dieted before. Dieting I believe is the hardest most confusing part of bodybuilding. I think that is the difference between a real bodybuilder and just an everyday weightlifter. If you have the ability to resist all those junky foods, and commit yourself to the cans upon cans of tuna, then you are ready to get serious. Dieting is difficult enough, but bodybuilding makes it harder.
Want those muscles to grow? It means eating when you are not hungry, but you know you should. Forget about ever skipping breakfast again. It means eating those high protein meals, which can often be costly. Got your post workout shake? You had better, and make sure you get the carbs in there as well. Want to lose weight and gain muscle? Well then let the chaos begin. That means cardio in the morning while you are still hungry (didn't I just say you should eat in the morning?
Oh that was for the harder gainers; those with extra body fat need to play with different rules). Now, got your slow absorbing protein for your bedtime snack? Sorry, good ol' whey isn't the best option here guys, it absorbs much to quickly and won't provide what you need to get through the night. Oh yes, how simple bodybuilding is.
Supplements, not required, but once again, how fast would you like results? Supplements throw a curveball in everything. Because they are so debatable, and there are so many scams, a person could go crazy just trying to figure out what to use. Protein for sure, if nothing else, whey for that post-workout shake.
But what brand should you buy from? Which companies are using second-rate protein that can actually hinder your results? And then there is creatine? Sure, no harm in saturating your muscles in water. Side effects? None, but that will change depending on who you ask. When do you take it? How much do you take?
Do you load or not? I can answer them all, but it's hardly the point, the point is people ask these questions all day every day. It's confusing, trying to avoid scams and asking the right questions to get the good supplements is a skill most experienced bodybuilders have acquired over the years. It's all part of the science of bodybuilding.
And there are many other factors that play a large role in your bodybuilding success. Getting the proper amount of sleep is important. Don't expect to stay out all night with your friends and then have a good lifting session the next day. Plus you must sleep for around 8 hours to give your muscles enough time to grow.
Over training which I mentioned earlier is quite a problem, especially with people new to the sport. Some try to work their arms (directly) 2-3X per week. Muscles need time to heal, once per week for directly hitting a muscle is fine. Some people have different opinions; this is where things get complicated yet again.
Some believe that to many sets will lead to over training, even if you give yourself a week to recover. I personally believe that once per week is good for training a muscle, but I really tear it apart during that one session, I use quite a few sets, around 12, and drop set a lot of the time.
Drinking, the anti-muscle. Some say that drinking once per week won't hurt, but it will. It lowers testosterone for prolonged periods of time, and increases estrogen in your body! Guys watch out for this one. Drinking will no doubt dehydrate you, which is the last thing any bodybuilder needs. Combine that with the fact it slows protein synthesis, and the hangovers and you certainly have a reason not to drink.
All in all, bodybuilding is what you make of it. If you want to go to the gym whenever and throw the weights around at random, not eat properly, go out all night and drink, by all means go for it. But don't come back and say bodybuilding is simple. You will get out of bodybuilding what you put into it. If you want to take the time to eat, sleep and train right, you will find the results you want. You can master this science to suit your needs, but it will take time, and the reward will be your dream body.
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