Bodybuilding is a pastime that is now more popular amongst men and women than ever before. Well, we call it a pastime, but as any true bodybuilder will tell you, bodybuilding is in fact a lifestyle. You get out of bodybuilding what you put in, so if you are serious about getting in the best shape of your entire life, you must be willing to put in the hard work and make some important lifestyle changes. When people think of bodybuilders, it’s often the stereotypical meatheads that spring to mind. You know the ones, the ones with the shaved heads, tattoos, goatee beards, and enormous muscles who apparently walk around gyms bullying those smaller than them. While bodybuilders can look intimidating on the outside, you should never ever judge a book by its cover, especially when bodybuilders are concerned. Bodybuilders are very misunderstood, so to help give you a bit more of an insight into what it takes to become a bodybuilder, and in terms of what goes through a bodybuilder’s head, here are several interesting facts about bodybuilders.
Most bodybuilders are insecure
If you see bodybuilders on the TV, they’re portrayed as arrogant, cocky, egotistical narcissists with god complexes and false senses of importance. There is a preconceived notion that bodybuilders love themselves when in reality it is usually the exact opposite. You see, studies have found that the majority of bodybuilders out there, both male and female, suffer from insecurity issues which is one of the reasons why they decided to take up the sport in the first place. On the outside they may exude confidence, but on the inside they are likely very self-conscious and insecure. Obvious some bodybuilders out there are just cocky and arrogant, but statistically, most bodybuilders out there are very self-conscious and insecure, especially about their appearance.
4 out of 10 bodybuilders skip leg day
Yes, you hear us right. You’ve seen the memes and you know how important it is to never skip leg day, yet 40% of all bodybuilders, well, 37% to be exact, unfortunately do exactly that. What’s more, bodybuilders are far more likely to lie about training legs, for fear of being shamed or persecuted for committing the cardinal sin of skipping leg day. Sure, they may throw a few hamstring curls in at the end of their sessions for good measure, but generally, nearly 40% of all bodybuilders do not regularly train their legs.
It doesn’t matter how much a bodybuilder earns, if they are truly committed to their craft, they find a way of purchasing what they need. Bodybuilding is not a cheap pastime, not if you do things properly. Not only do you have workout gear and gym memberships, you also have to factor in vast quantities of healthy bodybuilder-friendly groceries, and pricey supplements as well. Once all of the bills have been paid, and sometimes even if they haven’t in some cases, it is estimated that roughly 69% of a bodybuilder’s disposable income, goes on the hobby of bodybuilding. So, while others are out at the clubs with friends, or buying the latest games console to hit the market, a bodybuilder is likely spending his money on whey protein, chicken breasts, vegetables, and gym gear.
Bodybuilders are likely to lie about their lifts
Talk to anybody about training, and one of the first questions you will get asked is ‘how much do you bench, bro’? Okay, maybe not the bro part, but people always seem to focus on how much weight you are able to lift. Now, if you’re a strong lifter and you bench 405 for reps, you’ll have no qualms with answering that question. In fact, you’ll probably relish answering it. If however, you weigh upwards of 230 pounds and you struggle to hit 225, that’s when things may seem a little embarrassing. Studies have found that, on average, bodybuilders add roughly 20% more weight onto their max bench press when asked how much they bench. The same principle also seems to apply to squats and deadlifts, though for some reason it’s always the bench press that seems to get most of the attention.
There is a reason why Monday is ‘International Chest Day’
We all know that Monday is known as international chest day in the gym, but why is it that so many people all over the globe seem to want to train their chests on a Monday? Is it to simply fit in with the crowds and to look popular? Perhaps it’s just a co-incidence? Well, primarily, when training chest, most people start off with heavy compound lifts, which usually consist of barbell bench presses or dumbbell bench presses. These exercises are normally heavy and gruelling, meaning you need energy on your side. After the weekend, providing you haven’t trained, your muscles and your body will be well-rested, meaning that you hopefully have plenty of energy needed to bench heavy weights. Once you get the first couple of heavy compound lifts out of the way, that’s when you can start hitting the machines and going with more isolation work instead.
Building muscle isn’t as complex as it seems
If you search online for training programs and training articles, you’ll be bombarded with more info than you know what to do with. You’ll come across terms like ‘hypertrophy’ or ‘atrophy’ and if you’re new to the sport, it can be overwhelming. Now, if you compete, there really is a science involved in getting your body looking absolutely perfect on show day, but if you just want to build some muscle, burn some fat, and look better in a tank top, bodybuilding is pretty simple. You obviously need to be training regularly, you need to train each muscle group, you need to get enough rest, and you need to eat the right foods at the right times. Don’t flip out if a personal trainer says you should eat 225g of chicken with your lunch, but you can only find a 200g chicken breast instead, just eat the damn thing. Stick with basic routines and exercises, eat the right foods, and make sure you get enough sleep and recovery time.