"You are only a bodybuilder if you live in the gym," argued one man as he leafed through the pages of the latest "bodybuilding" magazine.
But was this man right? How can we KNOW what makes someone a bodybuilder? To many athletes, spending hours upon hours per day in the gym is NOT something a bodybuilder would do. But for millions of other athletes, if someone does not make the gym their "second home" they aren't really "working out" or "giving it all they have got."
Yet all of these people call themselves bodybuilders! While those who subscribe to the H.I.T. system advocated by the late Mike Mentzer would be appalled by the so-called "Weider system" of training, the Weider camp embraces high-volume exercise as a genuine part of its "bodybuilding" lifestyle.
Where Does Reason Come In?
Today, thousands of so-called personal trainers, fitness athletes and exercise "gurus" call themselves bodybuilders. Yet they ALL disagree on certain theories and practices.
Let's take a case in point. It is scientifically documented that the human body requires rest to recuperate and recover from intense exercise. For this recovery to occur, an athlete free from chemical assistance must train intensely, but infrequently. As the intensity variable increases, the frequency variable decreases by an equal amount.
But do all professing bodybuilders around the world follow science by RESTING for an appropriate amount of time?
Of course not! That would not be "vogue" and might "rob" people of gains, we are told. "If some is good, more is BETTER," they reason.
The truth is that many over-trained, burnt out and rundown athletes have been produced as a result of following the common so-called "bodybuilding" principles. These principles and theories are advocated by personal trainers and self-appointed gurus who mindlessly flip through the so-called "journals" of this "sport." Are THESE people and their followers TRUE bodybuilders?
In the article Do you believe in TRUE bodybuilding? it was shown that since the take-over of the modern bodybuilding movement by Joseph and Ben Weider there has been a drastic change from what bodybuilding was in its original form to what it is now.
Ever since bodybuilding became a commercialized enterprise, every type of unscientific idea, lie and fraud has come along to deceive those who look to the iron sport for self-esteem and self-actualization.
Today, many academics lack even a nominal grasp of the rudiments of rationality. Confusion is the intellectual hallmark of our time. Bodybuilders are powerless against the ceaseless tide of false ideas, fraudulent claims and outright lies made by many in the bodybuilding / fitness media. As a result, many bodybuilders are wasting hundreds of hours a year, year in and year out, in the attempt to build a physique they could have built in one year!
Surprising thought it is, the fact that many personal trainers, fitness athletes and self-appointed gurus call themselves bodybuilders and "bodybuilding experts" proves absolutely NOTHING! If what they do and espouse are based on lies from those in the bodybuilding and fitness media, their so-called "lifestyle" is a fraud!
What About You?
As Mike Mentzer said, "many bodybuilders are wasting hundreds of hours a year, year in and year out, in the attempt to build a physique they could have built in one year!"
Frankly, I began bodybuilding BLIND, for the most part, to the truths of science and what it meant to live the bodybuilding lifestyle. And, this was despite reading highly respected "mainstream" bodybuilding magazines that were monthly best sellers, and that had subscription lists numbering in the millions. Many of my friends also read these so-called "journals," bestowing to the writers admiration and reverence worthy of the gods.
But were they true bodybuilders? Was I?
Frankly, NO! For I did not even understand the basic functioning of the human body. I had NO IDEA of how much bodybuilding could, and would, change my lifestyle and my personality. I had no idea of how it would contribute to the development of my personality and how it would give rise to the proudest moments in my life. Instead I began bodybuilding to satisfy some vain, shallow and egotistical fantasy about getting women, and looking good "for the beach." I began bodybuilding with my eyes closed, so to speak.
Instead of STUDYING material that would help me in the quest to develop as a person through bodybuilding, I, too, mindlessly "went along" with my friends and followed, what I later found out to be, totally false information. In short, I was like most "normal" so-called bodybuilders out there.
So even though I went to the gym every day, memorized all of the propaganda in the magazines, "researched" the latest "supplements" and was regarded by my friends as an "expert," I was not really a bodybuilder.
What about YOU?
Have my writings and the writings of others opened your mind to the fact that there is MUCH MORE to the bodybuilding lifestyle than you previously believed or imagined? Are you beginning to understand that you have purposely not been shown by the powers that be, until now, the true and complete picture?
Believe In True Bodybuilding
In the article Bodybuilding: Its True Nature! We find that bodybuilding was shown to be scientific in nature. In the article Do you believe in TRUE bodybuilding? we find that true bodybuilding is a way of life based on the development of the mind and the body. In the article on TRUE bodybuilding I (2002) wrote:
A true bodybuilder will not only learn and believe in the LAWS of science, but he will also realize that bodybuilding is not just "going to the gym" or working out so you can "show off to your buddies" or "women at the beach." A true bodybuilder will realize that it is necessary to continually grow both physically and intellectually, and that it is a must to always be reading and re-reading material that will help in the quest to develop as a total person.A true bodybuilder will realize that bodybuilding is not a hobby, a job, or a "fun thing to do." It is a LIFE-CHANGING PHENOMENON. It is a process whereby a person is transformed physically, spiritually and intellectually. As the ancient Greeks made so clear, excellence comes from having "a healthy mind in a healthy body."
For more information on what things to consider, should you be thinking of LIVING bodybuilding as a lifestyle, please see the informative article Should you become a bodybuilder?
Act On What You Know
To be a true bodybuilder you must begin by being totally honest with yourself. You must come to the conclusion that you need a genuine change in your life. Do not make the error of believing that you can become a bodybuilder "just a little bit" or "here or there." Your commitment must be absolute and you must be prepared to ACT on your intention!
You, however, need to be absolutely sure of what you are doing. I explained in the article Should you become a bodybuilder? that a commitment to the bodybuilding lifestyle is not without costs. In the Bible, Jesus Christ remarked that before building a tower a man should first sit and "count the costs" (Luke 14:28). I am suggesting that you be TOTALLY CERTAIN that you will commit yourself to the cause. If you cannot be totally certain, but begin anyway, you will just be playing games.
Stop Putting It Off!
You must realize that bodybuilding will transform your life. Know and understand that if you pour everything that you are into bodybuilding and commit yourself to the cause, that over time the person you are will cease to exist. You will undergo a tremendous change because you will be living a lifelong journey that is devoted to the refinement of your intellect and the renewing of your body and mind. Your family, friends and colleagues will notice this "new you" and may remark about how you appear happier.They may remark about how you appear less stressed out and how you are more patient and caring with those in your life because you take out your frustration on the weights, instead of on the ones you love. Also know that bodybuilding will give you one thing that nothing else can: True personal power.
True bodybuilding will empower you and allow you to see and realize that you are the means and the ends of your own life. It will give you a sense of pride that comes from being healthy through reformed dietary habits, and it will also give you health and add quality and length to your days. It will allow you to spend your life being with the ones you love, instead of being old, decrepit, miserable and dependent on those around you for constant care due to avoidable health problems.The best part is that true bodybuilding can happen in this moment, and the choice to experience renewed mental and physical health is yours alone to consider and make. It is not necessary to concoct some "new years resolution," or rely on someone else.
The locust of control does not rest on elements outside of yourself; it rests with you. The power of this moment exists because the power to choose in this moment is yours. You are meant to be as you choose to be. Choose to transform your life, choose to develop your mind and body, and choose to be a true bodybuilder. You will be glad you did!
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.
Copyright © Clayton South, 2003 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.
Mentzer, M. (2001). Maximizing our potential: How long should it take? Part 2. MuscleMag International. Nov. 2001. (pp.211-215). Hollywood, CA: Canusa Products Inc.
South, C. (2002). Do you believe in TRUE bodybuilding? http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/south6.htm. Nov. 2002. Waterloo, ON.