I’m honest enough to admit that before I started training I had ideas of what I thought bodybuilding and weightlifting were all about. For example;
That guy is huge, there’s no doubt he’s on steroids….
But now that I know so much more about the ins and outs of weightlifting I can truly say that I my ideas were not just a little bit off the mark, but actually they were completely wrong.
I get increasingly angry to read and hear negative comments about what has become my passion, particularly from those who know nothing about it. So I’ve done a little bit of research and would like to debunk some of those ridiculous stereotypes you might already be thinking of;
Women who lift weights will eventually look like a guy…
People are always quick to say to me… don’t go over doing it, you don’t want to look like a man. But the truth of the matter is that female physiques ranging from slender, to athletic all the way to brawny, all require weights to sculpt the desired body type.
Countless studies have shown that women who do lift weights are stronger, leaner, and healthier than women who don’t, and what weight training does to your physique is completely up to how you decide to use it.
The differences in the physiques above comes from how they eat, the volume, intensity, and the load they use in their training regime. They all train depending on how they want their bodies to look.
I find Larissa Reis incredibly impressive as I can see how much effort must go into creating such a strong physique, but with that being said it doesn’t mean I want that body type for myself. In this next part of my fitness journey I am beginning to pick and choose areas that I want to spend more time sculpting, like growing my hamstrings by using weights to do this.
All bodybuilders are taking steroids…
Just because a man, or woman for that matter, who works out is huge or ripped to shreds doesn’t necessarily mean that they are taking anabolic steroids. There are just as many natural body builders out there as those that aren’t.
I’d also like to point out that using steroids isn’t a ‘shortcut’ into gaining a ripped physique. Just as much hard work, if not more needs to go into training efforts to get results.
Steroids aren’t an overnight potion, depending on which drug is being used, they have a number of effects upon the body;
- Increase the body’s ability to utilize protein, allowing an athlete to train with greater intensity without going into negative nitrogen balance (losing muscle mass);
- Increase the ability to build muscle mass;
- Increase the ability to build strength;
- Increase the ability to build endurance;
- Act as an anti-inflammatory, both helping to protect the body from injury and speeding up recovery after injury has occurred.
So in short, just because someone may, or may not use steroids to gain the body they desire does not mean to say that they don’t work any harder in the gym, and to add to this, just because someone has a fantastic physique doesn’t mean that they are using steroids either.
Take a look at these guys as an example;
Bodybuilders are meat heads…
This is ridiculous, just because someone looks good means that they are stupid…? Nothing could be further from the truth, it takes a lot of intelligence to learn about correct nutrition and diet and also how to apply the right techniques of form in the gym to exercise muscle growth.
There are some people who may even assume that because someone is well-built that they are aggressive and arrogant by nature and always looking for trouble, this is certainly not always the case. Lots of bodybuilders are humble and gentler than you might think, this is something I have experienced first hand in my very first post when I was new to the gym.
You spend way too much time at the gym…
I train five days a week for 40 minutes a session, to me it’s become part of my daily routine so it doesn’t seem excessive. Yet so many people scoff at the ‘amount’ of training that I undertake, now with that in mind, what do you say to this;
The NHS recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week…
Do you still think that I train too much? If I were to include my walk to the gym in the morning before weight training then I would be exercising for one hour, that equates to only 4% of my whole day. Sure, exercise is important but the hard work is actually found in the kitchen, through nutrition and diet.
Bodybuilders have huge egos and are always posing…
It’s true that bodybuilders spend a lot of time posing in front of mirrors and checking themselves out at the gym, and why do you think they do this, because they’re big-headed, cocky, or showing off? Well they might be, but how about looking at it from another angle…
Bodybuilding is not only a lifestyle but a hobby, if you had a hobby restoring cars and were incredibly proud of what you were doing and wanted to show everyone how hard you were working on a project then it would be perfectly acceptable to post photos and tell everyone about it… right? Would that mean you were big-headed, cocky and showing off?
And when you had finally finished pouring all that hard work into finishing that beautifully restored car you’d want to drive it around the streets to show it off… right? Well don’t you think the same goes for someone who has spent years sculpting their own body into the physique they have always dreamed of?
These days I’m one of the worst when it comes to taking ‘selfies’ in the mirror after training, just see my instagram feed and you’ll know what I’m talking about, I love what I am accomplishing and want to keep a record of it so I see no shame in that.
Your diet can’t be healthy…
Now this one is a mystery to me… what exactly do you think we eat? Craig and I generally live by a ‘clean diet’ and by this I mean that everything we eat is fresh, in it’s most natural state. We don’t eat processed foods.
The way we eat isn’t even a diet, it’s a lifestyle – and who would really want to eat their day away stuffing all those nasty artificial colours and preservatives down their throat when they could be eating fresh fruits, vegetables and natural foods which your body quite frankly thanks you for?
Since taking on my new lifestyle the amount of water that I drink has increases tenfold, I used to struggle drinking just a small bottle of water throughout the whole day. Now I’m drinking at least 8 before I even get home from work.
To ensure we have the optimum diet we also include whey protein in our meals and have it in our porridge as well as various shakes throughout the day. Whey protein has more benefits than just being high in protein and promoting muscle growth, research has found that whey protein has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and could possibly act as an effective supplementary treatment for diabetes and heart disease. So is that bad too?
I would like to leave you with one last image, one that still baffles me because although it makes no sense at all, it is still a good depiction of how many people view the lifestyle that we lead;