I’m talking about the world of bodybuilding. To some, the sight of a massive muscled ripped individual is repulsive. To others it is a thing to behold. I am in the latter category. Just to make it clear that I am not talking about sexual muscle worship here but an admiration and respect for the time, dedication and effort involved in attaining a physique that most people will never ever get anywhere near, myself included.
For any of you that have ever seen the film Pumping Iron you will know what I mean. The perfect symmetry of someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Frank Zane at their peak was and still is hard to better.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding
Frank Zane 1968
The bodybuilders of today are just too big to be appreciated by the general public. Someone like Zane or Arnold could be admired as having a physique people could aspire to but the likes of Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler, while being huge and ripped, are just too freaky to be envied by the average man in the street. I train myself and would love to achieve a physique along the lines of Zane but too big is too much and that’s it.
I was fortunate in realising a few years ago that the mens muscle mags published by big companies such as weider amongst others are far away from telling the truth about results attainable by the readers of the publications. The mags contain workouts claiming to give you bigger arms, a bigger chest, bigger legs, lower body fat and all in six weeks or maybe ten. When you browse the workout plans they would wipeout an average gym member and probably some experienced athletes as well. This is not very fair to the little guy who wants to be bigger or ripped. He will try to perform the exercises and most likely end up with at least one injury and a very sore body.
The obvious money spinner in magazines is advertising for supplement companies. While a straight forward protein powder based drink is definitely an advantage to someone trying to add lean muscle mass, are they really in need of a product loaded with creatine, protein blends, sugar, vitamins, minerals, more sugar and probably a good helping of dextrose “filler”. I see young guys at the gym performing some very strange exercises which can only have come from something like mens health, loaded or another publication. I can see them now, doing bicep curls at 90 mph, well half bicep curls actually because everybody knows you don’t have straighten your arm when doing curls?
It would be good to see a magazine that just tells it like it is. If you are going to weight train, do some research about nutrition and exercise. Learn a little about your body and how muscles respond to weight lifting. Workout a plan with a qualified instructor at your gym and get in there and train. Take it easy at first and your strength and mass will increase. Eat well, eat good food and by all means take a simple whey protein based drink if you want. Get lots of sleep and repeat. Start with 3 workouts a week to start. You can always increase to four if you want later.
Try and warm up before you lift as it hurts when you get injured believe me. 5 minutes on a bike and a few stretches is all it needs. So if you are reading the magazines, throw them away and start again properly. If you train at a good gym there should be a reasonably knowledgeable instructor there to help you workout a training plan. I have tried the No Bull Bodybuilding System and while it cannot do the training for you, it does offer a lot of good advice. Take a look at my blog for more information on building muscle