How Has Bodybuilding Affected Your Life?

How has bodybuilding affected your life? Bodybuilding is more than just a sport or hobby; it is also a life changing activity. Bodybuilding can bring positive changes, confidence... Learn more as our forum members share why they love bodybuilding!

TOPIC: How Has Bodybuilding Affected Your Life?

The Question:

Bodybuilding is more than just a sport or hobby; it is also a life changing activity. Bodybuilding can bring positive changes, such as confidence and a stronger and healthier physique, along with some negative affects.

How has bodybuilding affected your life?

What was your greatest benefit from bodybuilding?

What is the worst affect from bodybuilding?

Bonus Question: How do you think bodybuilding will affect your future?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ for more info.

1st Place - Wildflame
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

I should begin by stating that I have been interested in bodybuilding since I was about fifteen (now nineteen) and have been actively bodybuilding (using first bodyweight methods but now the more effective barbell-in-the-back-yard) for just under one year.

It has firstly been part of my maturation from an adolescent into a man. I know that many people can argue that, being nineteen, I am still adolescent, but I don't refer simply to physical development, rather mental and emotional development.

I went through puberty late, starting approximately when I was fifteen, and up until that point was the smallest and weakest of my social group - although insanely fast, agile and able to compensate for my weakness by sheer will.

As I hit puberty and became interested in girls I quickly realized that my physical capability was lagging behind everyone else, and needed to push myself forward to the front. At the same time, I suffered minor depression and all the other distractions that tend to strike during middle adolescence.

The goal of building myself into someone made of corded steel like Bruce Lee or being able to do my own stunts like Jackie Chan was a strong inspiration, and influenced my taste in movies: since I began to see how Bruce Lee in particular was idolized as being absolutely unique, I also began to enjoy watching martial arts films and exhibitions, acknowledging the power of the human body to adapt to almost any challenge.

 Bruce Lee Physical Feats Bruce Lee Physical Feats.
Cliffs: Bruce Lee was a complete bad@ss
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I drew confidence from even the first days of my interest, not so much from suddenly hitting the gym and packing on five kilos of muscle (though, looking back, I would have liked to have done so). It was simply the opportunity that bodybuilding presented to me that was so significant.

Every person's mind is limited as much by perceived as actual impossibility. I used bodybuilding extremes as examples of how the perceived impossibility of, say, myself becoming stronger and more powerful than those people with a strong inherent build, could be overcome.

In addition, I looked at the struggle of ordinary people like me, and saw that while the path was not easy, others were also on the road, and had benefited from it.

This realization of the distinction between what a person perceives to be impossible and what is actually impossible is the most significant effect of bodybuilding upon my life.

Greatest Benefit
What Was Your Greatest Benefit From Bodybuilding?

When I began actually bodybuilding, I was going through a transition from being very intraverted and quiet to moderately outgoing. Bodybuilding accelerated and exaggerated that development. There is something truly awesome about ripping a huge deadlift from the ground, a combination of stress relief, amusement and physical struggle that is, for me, equal to the struggle of some grand hero in an epic film.

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Moreover, bodybuilding provided an escape from stress (case in point, the recent cheating of my long-distance girlfriend, something that inspired a personal what-the-h*ll best of 100kgs by 10 reps by 10 sets in a day, four times my normal rep-load), a way to bond with my close friends (we get together weekly on Sunday afternoons to lift in my back yard and chat), and a source of personal confidence.

I stand taller, walk with a stronger swagger, and look people in the eye, knowing I have the strength to pick any one of them from the ground and hurl them practically across the street if need be - yet by the same token, I also realize that I don't need to.

The bodybuilding community is full of people working together, disagreeing at times, to a common goal. There's no fist fights here, at least as far as I've ever seen. That is also a strong benefit from this activity, the community feel despite it being in the end a solo thing.

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Worst Effect
What Is The Worst Effect You Have Suffered From Bodybuilding?

A couple of injuries, nothing major, just a wrenched knee (sloppy form) and a couple of strains. Apart from those, there's nothing, really. I am not certain whether it's my social group or the fact that I don't carry the "ripped, tanned, dyed-hair, egotistical" stereotype, but I still look normal to every person I meet - up until the time I have to help shift a car or help a co-worker in my shop renovate.

Possibly the cost in time, possibly the retort, "Oh, you bodybuild, eh? You don't look it", who knows? All I can say is that there is nothing that someone at my introductory stage can really point out as that negative.

I can look forward and see the possibility of needing to take heavy supplements, or diet hard for cuts, but my goal has never been contests, and as such I need not worry about that to the same extent. My goal is rounded strength and size, and as such the only sacrifice I make is the sweat off my brow and the calluses on my hands.

Bonus Question
How Do You Think Bodybuilding Will Affect Your Future?

I am strong, and getting stronger; Fit, getting fitter. I have healthy relationships with others because I can set my own boundaries. Physically, bodybuilding in the future will continue to push me forward towards my potential.

Mentally, it will teach me the skills to shrug off pain and setback. Emotionally, it will serve at the least as a distraction and aid to relieving stress, and at best will give me the third-best clean rush in the world (the first being sex, or one of those love moments, the second being a good hard game of paintball or laser equivalent). Bugger illicit drugs, tobacco, h*ll, even alcohol. Give me three or four heavy sets, a nymphomaniac girlfriend, and ten thousand paintballs. I'll be right. *winks*

And as long as it's good fun, gives me a rush, keeps me focused and is a daily struggle against the weight of the world, it will be part of my life. I just hope I can convince the less-sporty of my best mates to join me (the other one having stolen my wheel and hidden a set of dumbbells under his bed - soon he'll be ready to come out of the cupboard and admit he lifts!).

Wildflame out.

2nd Place - MattyH7688
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Bodybuilding has completely changed my life. I was fourteen years old and overweight with little self-confidence. I was 5'4" and almost 220 lbs. I was completely out of shape and came into high school playing football. This is when I started my journey with weight lifting.

Originally, I use to be somewhat lean until 7th and 8th grade I really just ended up getting very lazy and played some sports. My diet was god awful and consisted of soda, pizza, ice cream, Little Debbie Cakes, etc. almost every day. I had almost no self control with myself.

I was still pretty popular but was always made fun of for being fat, I played it off like it did not bother me but deep down it affected me greatly. I had very little confidence in myself, though I put on a front as I did.

I must admit, I also had little luck with girls at this time too. I realized it was time to change my life for the better. I was starting to get very worried about my health. I went to the doctors and found out I was borderline obese and had an above normal heart rate. This is when my life changed.

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I worked out and started to completely cut the junk food out of my life and started caring more about myself. I soon got much stronger and eventually worked my way to around 176 with 12% body fat my junior year. Senior year bodybuilding/weight training helped me become a much better football player as well.

My senior year, I was 195 lbs, faster and stronger than I have ever been in my life. I went all-region nose guard that year. I also got a team award for being the most dedicated on the team. This award I truly cherish. It is something to really show for my hard work.

I am now eighteen years old and have added over 200 lbs to both my bench and squat from the time I have started lifting. I currently stand at 5'8" 195 lbs with around 10% body fat. I now have the confidence to take off my shirt at the beach and talk to girls when before I was always self conscience. I have learned the true meaning of hard work and realized I can accomplish anything I put my mind too.

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Greatest Benefit
What Was Your Greatest Benefit From Bodybuilding?

There have been so many benefits to my life from bodybuilding, the list is endless. I would say the three biggest things that I have benefitted from, by bodybuilding would, have to be health, self confidence, and learning the true meaning of hard work.

Bodybuilding has completely changed my health. I was overweight and out of shape and had many health risks for being obese. I am now in the best shape of my life and at a much healthier body fat. Before, I would get out of breath just walking to fast. Now my endurance is through the roof.

I am now stronger than I have ever been. My diet before lacked many quality foods. I have completely changed my diet providing my body with healthy nutrient filled food that I once neglected. I really think bodybuilding may have saved my life.

Without it, who knows where I would be now. The rate I was going I could have been three hundred pounds by now. I feel it has given me a chance to live a much longer, healthier life.

My self-confidence has also increased greatly. I actually feel good about myself. Before, I felt sorry for myself and was embarrassed to wear certain clothes and take my shirt off in public. Now I have no problem with that.

I wake up every morning feeling like I an take can take on the world. I see what I have done to my body and realize I can just about do anything I put my mind too. I have confidence in my every day life. I know whatever I put my heart into, I can succeed at. I feel much better about myself and my self-esteem went from low to very high.

The next thing I learned from bodybuilding was the meaning of hard work. Nobody understands how hard it is to be a bodybuilder. It's a lifestyle. You find yourself pushing yourself for two hours every day in the gym to exhaustion. You wake up earlier than usual to get that early morning cardio.

Your life revolves around your meals and you make sure you get six meals a day. It takes someone special to be a bodybuilder. It takes hard work and determination. I feel that I can use this in all aspects of my life later on.

I learned the true meaning of hard work with bodybuilding and I understand now for me to accomplish great things, it takes an extreme amount of effort and hard work. I now know I can push myself to the limits of bodybuilding and everyday life as well.

Worst Effect
What Is The Worst Affect From Bodybuilding?

Honestly, I do not think there are negative affects from bodybuilding. However, there are a few common ones that people often talk about. Bodybuilding is a very time demanding sport; this leaves you with less time to do other things in your life. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle that is not for everyone. You will spend hours in the gym and preparing meals and getting good sleep.

People often complain about their social life being affected by bodybuilding. I think it has been quite the opposite for me. I find my social life has improved greatly. People often complain about not being able to drink and so forth because of bodybuilding. Everyone needs to understand that in life everything needs to be in moderation and you should try to have a balance in your life.

Bonus Question
How Do You Think Bodybuilding Will Affect Your Future?

At eighteen years old, I feel I have a very good base right now. I feel the sky is the limit for me. I will be entering a show in August, then who knows from there. I do know that bodybuilding has taught me important life skills that I will use in my daily life.

Hard work and determination I have learned from bodybuilding. I can later apply these to other things in my future, such as my job, family, other sports, etc. Bodybuilding has helped lay the foundation for my life and only time will tell where it leads me.

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3rd Place - Dedicatedforlif
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Bodybuilding is more than just a sport or hobby; it is also a life changing activity. Bodybuilding can bring positive changes, such as confidence and a stronger and healthier physique, along with some negative affects.

How Has Bodybuilding Affected Your Life?

Bodybuilding saved me.

As some of you may have read my article a while back. It's been quite the journey for me so far, full of ups and downs.

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This sport has definitely changed my life in a very good way. It has made me the person I am today, and through increased confidence with my body, those skills have translated into my everyday life and more recently my education.

I used to be a very shy person, but that has changed dramatically in the past couple years. A recent example is the fact that I applied for an internship to 12 different companies (I am a mechanical engineering student), got an interview with every company and what was even more surprising... I got a job offer from every single company.

Another example of shyness (I know, not a good word) escaping my body is the fact that I was able to get both bartending and security (bouncing) jobs at numerous clubs. I would not have been able to do this if it was not for my dramatic increase in confidence and ability to talk with anyone I want to (In Short, People Skills).

This sport has let me become stronger mentally and physically.

Physically is an obvious trait as the bigger you get, and the longer you train, usually the stronger you get. I have never been as strong as I am right now, and I don't see my progress plateau any time soon (at least I hope not).

Mentally, I have faced a lot of family health and financial issues. Instead of breaking down and ignoring problems, I faced them calmly and with integrity. I evaluated what I needed to do to overcome the problems at hand, and solved the problems as I needed to. Just like training, when you reach a problem, like an injury or plateau, you have to reevaluate the situation; you don't just pack up and go home.

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Greatest Benefit
What Was Your Greatest Benefit From Bodybuilding?

The greatest benefit from bodybuilding is definitely confidence and the fact that I know how to stay healthy and strong for the rest of my life, in one word, knowledge.

I know exactly what I need to do to stay healthy, to get to certain weight/body fat, what to do when I am injured and how to avoid it.

It's amazing how much knowledge you can gain about the human anatomy and how every body part functions. My major in university has nothing related to nutrition/body (again I'm a mechanical engineer), however due to the fact that I spend a lot of time doing research on supplements and renewing my diet, I believe that I have more knowledge in this field than in my actual field of study at school.

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Worst Affect
What Is The Worst Affect From Bodybuilding?

The worst effect I would say is well... nothing. But since I should say something, there is something that has always bothered me because of my history. Having an eating disorder made me think about food 24/7. This sport translates into thinking about food as well, not necessarily 24/7, but a lot more often than an average person.

It's not a bad thing to think about what you are going to eat next, but when I first started recovering from my ED, the thoughts of what I was going to eat were constantly in my head, but now after a few years of being healthy, the constant thoughts are gone, and my stomach pretty much tells me when I need to eat (ever 2-3 hours).

Another issue that is frustrating is alcohol, especially at the age I am at now. My friends drink a few times a week and they drink a lot. I understand that you do not need alcohol to have fun or to be part of a party group, but let's be serious, it helps. I limit myself to having a couple drinks once a week, as I know that at my age a little won't hurt me, and hasn't. But this will always be a frustrating concept to get through to my friends that really do not understand why I have to limit myself.

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Bonus Question
How Do You Think Bodybuilding Will Affect Your Future?

My future will remain positive. I know it will, as I have been a personal trainer for over a year now, and passing on my knowledge of training and sometimes nutrition, is the greatest pleasure for me.

Continuing with spreading around my knowledge will help me with continuing training myself. I always strive to get better, and therefore I think even when I do start working fulltime after I graduate, I will continue with doing personal training just because I love it, not for the money.

I also think that with increased training and continuous dedication, there is a good chance that I will enter a number of competitions. Placing or just preparing will give me a lot of satisfaction, no matter what the outcome is.

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3rd Place - EAGLES56
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Through bodybuilding I have noticed an improved level confidence, a healthier lifestyle in terms of training and nutrition as well as a much more attractive physique.

I've transformed myself from a chubby 150 lb kid who could barely push 90 lbs and had very little self-confidence to a powerful and muscular 180 lbs with nearly three times as much strength if not more on most exercises. Instead of being the last resort rookie, I'm now first string material without being challenged.

Greatest Benefit
What Was Your Greatest Benefit From Bodybuilding?

Aside from the elevated confidence level, healthier lifestyle, and impressive build, the greatest benefit from bodybuilding would have to be overcoming the muscle imbalance I had in my back.

After visiting a chiropractor and having x-rays of my back taken I found out that I had a couple herniated disks, two ribs out of line, and my back resembled the letter 'S' had it been stretched out. I was told that I showed signs of scoliosis (spine curvature) and after a couple months of both regular chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy I took it upon myself to turn to the internet and research as much as I could about the back. I soon taught myself about the true root of my problem -it was a muscle imbalance.

Being right-handed and never using my left arm for anything, whenever I picked up something heavy with my right hand, it would use the left side of my back (the stress is on the opposite side of your back because it needs to compensate to prevent falling over).

The problem was that using my right hand/arm for everything completely left out my left arm and the right side of my back. This in turn developed a muscle imbalance which then caused my spine to slightly lean as it was pushed aside by the growth of new muscle and into the empty space on the other side. Back training in a real gym was now part of my routine. One exercise greatly improved my condition: The Deadlift.

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Throughout this time I became even more interested in biology, muscles, and the reactions within our bodies. This sparked a desire to learn more and educate others since the "professionals" in my area (including those at physiotherapy) knew nothing about actual weight training.

It's been over a year and I've continually improved and my spine is relatively straight nowadays. Nobody has a perfect back, I can live with that. I proved to chiropractors and physiotherapy that weight training/bodybuilding delivers more results than regular visits to them -makes sense though, they need the repeat customers to make more money.

Bodybuilding has taught me about training the entire body instead of being someone who solely bases their workout around bench pressing and curls. I hate to admit it but I was once one of those guys. I now know about training the entire body and concentrating on compound movements as well as maintaining a diet which allows for growth (caloric surplus, 1g+ of protein/lb, etc).

Worst Affect
What Is The Worst Affect From Bodybuilding?

The one negative aspect about a bodybuilding lifestyle is the general public opinion. Bodybuilders in general are given a bad name by the public due to the use of supplements from whey, to creatine, to steroid use.

The public as a whole is misinformed and does not understand the time, dedication, and information required with such a lifestyle and instead says; "I could be big too if I used 'roids".

The stereotype that all bodybuilders use steroids is a common misconception. Steroids are used by professional bodybuilders to surpass the genetic limitations imposed upon themselves. The amateurs with no knowledge of training and nutrition which try to get bigger through the use of steroids do not know what they are doing which give the sport of bodybuilding a poor reputation.

There are, in my opinion, no negative values imposed with bodybuilding.

Bodybuilding promotes a healthier individual which in turn provides a greater mental and physical state.

Bonus Question
How Do You Think Bodybuilding Will Affect Your Future?

The bodybuilding lifestyle will keep me in a healthy state of mind and body as well as helping me with my own business. I intend on opening my own physiotherapy/personal training business and bodybuilding will help me achieve my goals.

Most people in the industry now are small and that proves that they know very little about training. Bodybuilding has already allowed me to pack on quality size. Experience speaks volumes itself. I want to put an end to media-related diets and fads by delivering factual information.

In the future I will use my experience to guide others to healthier lives and hopefully have an impact on our misinformed public.