For some, it's a chore, which must be done because they are told to do it or know they must perform it to procure that desired body. For others (the true bodybuilders), it's a lifestyle where one lives by the rules and dies by the rules.
Even the words by which people label the act of lifting weights evokes their understanding and feelings towards this sport. What you do in the gym, is it lifting or is it bodybuilding? Catch my drift?
The evolution from using the word "lifting" to "bodybuilding" took some time for myself, almost two years. My first encounters with this sport of lifting weights were not happy ones. I was actually forced by my parents to lift. At that time, all I wished to do was play Nintendo and eat Doritos after school.
Forcing children to compete or participate in a sport where the child has no interest is another topic. Let's just say, my attitude towards "lifting" lacked severity.
My father made it somewhat better when he decided to join me in the dark corner of our basement. Showing me several exercises, my father helped me develop a heightened sense of appreciation for the sport. But the act of lifting these steel and metal objects had no even evolved into the status of a sport; it was still a chore. As long as I was forced to go down into basement and perform these exercises, bodybuilding had no place in my heart or my lifestyle.
My exercise routine during these egregious times consisted of completing six exercises in which I only performed one set of seven reps. It lacked flare, intensity, and most of all, knowledge. Yes, I was ignorant of the sport, had little care for my body and lacked the want to complete what I started to a somewhat satisfactory level.
I had no clue what I was doing. Then one day, the Holy Grail for bodybuilding arrived in the hands of my father - the Gold's Gym book of bodybuilding.
An unbelievably large man with muscles protruded the space allotted for his picture was placed onto the cover. Inside, however, there were things even more amazing. The amount of different exercises was staggering?I was literally dumbfounded. I even read that "normal" bodybuilders usually perform four exercises with three sets each for each body part. WHAT?
Having underestimated the value of knowledge, I kicked myself and, perhaps, created a great disadvantage to the "molding" of my body. Acquiring knowledge of anything does not come instantly. Yes, that Gold's Gym book suddenly found its way into my hands, but I had to do more to apply what I read into my routine. Several steps I took to learn more about bodybuilding were questioning my goals, searching, analysis, relating the information to my new routine and, finally, feedback.
Questioning One's Goals
The first question everyone should always ask oneself is what do I want. Do you want a bigger chest? Do you want larger arms? Do you want ripped abs? Or, like me, do you just want to know what the hell you are doing lifting these steel things in the air? Discovering what you WANT, will lead to you to SEARCHING for the answer.
Searching For The Answer
So you know what you want, what now? Hit the books, click around on the Internet or ask someone. Finding reputable sources can be a challenge in and of itself. Several sources are Bodybuilding.com, all of Arnold's books, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, etc... Once you have FOUND what you WANT, ANALYZE it to see if it will work for you.
Analyzing The Information
A simple analysis of information is the five W's and H: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Who authored the piece of literature that you just read? What is the main point of the article you just read? Where can you perform these tips the author suggested? When can you perform these exercises; does your schedule permit it? Why should you perform these exercises? And, most of all, how do you perform these exercises?
Incorporate The Material
Finally, do the exercise or diet the article prescribed. Follow the timetable, instructions, correct and proper form, sets, reps, etc... I stress that you should follow the instruction down to the last detail. The reason? In order to effectively and correctly evaluate your results, strict obedience to the workout or diet is required.
You are done! So, did it work? Did you like it? What was wrong with it? Would you do it again? These are some simple question to evaluate your results. A training partner would be beneficial to evaluate your performance during execution of these exercises. Taking before and after pictures are a common evaluation tool used by many.
Lifting evolves into bodybuilding when you obtain patience, obedience, and most of all knowledge. Lifting is just lifting. Bodybuilding is an art where the executioner performs graceful moves to sculpt a masterpiece in human form. Obtain your knowledge and you will further your progress.