Physique athletes, aka bodybuilders, fitness and figure competitors have been wrongly stereotyped in the media as “meat heads”, “dumb” and “freaks of nature” existing on a diet of nothing more than chicken breasts, egg whites and oatmeal.
Trust me, nothing can be further from the truth. Physique athletes are some of the most intelligent people you’ll ever meet. Many of them have a Master’s Degree in the Exercise Sciences, Nutrition, or have a Ph.D. Many of them are good friends of mine and are some of the smartest people I know.
While yes, there are some “extremes” when it comes to the sport of professional body building, which my friend Will Brink talks about in his blog post, “Is Body Building Healthy?”, for the most part, when it’s taken to the extremes at the pro level, it can be unhealthy, but that’s not the direction I’m going with this post.
While you may not want to be a fitness, figure or bodybuilding competitor, you do want to listen to what they have to say when they talk about fitness and nutrition.
Why???? Because they KNOW how to build a lean, healthy body through nutrition and exercise. When it comes to stripping away body fat and having 6 pack abs, body builders are the go to gurus. At least in my humble opinion 😉
Bodybuilding transformed my body
Before I started reading body building books and magazines, I was a perpetual before picture. I went to the gym all the time, I did tons of cardio, I did exercises that were designed to “tone” my body, (which, by the way, “tone” is word main stream magazines like to use which is total BS), I didn’t eat junk foods or sweets, I would go for hours on end without eating. Despite my efforts, I was getting fatter, not leaner.
My efforts were based on what you would read in main stream magazines and hear on the news. Little did I know that all this information was misinformation that was sabotaging my efforts to lose my belly fat.
One day I was browsing the newsstand when the cover of a bodybuilding magazine caught my eye. There on the cover was a picture of a very beautiful woman whose body was muscular, yet very sexy and feminine. It was at that moment I knew exactly what my goal was and, whatever it is I was doing was not going to get me to that goal.
It was at that moment I bought my very first body building magazine. It was Muscle and Fitness Magazine and the woman on the cover was Monica Brandt.
I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading the magazine. Once I began reading, all the information in the magazine about fitness and nutrition was a total departure from what I had been reading in the mainstream magazines and stories I would hear on the news.
Drastic changes were about to be made. Gone were the endless hours of long, boring, cardio, the low fat starvation diet and puny weights I had been lifting, and….. the mainstream magazines I had been reading.
Living the bodybuilding lifestyle
One of the things I learned early on is that the foundation to bodybuilding is living a very healthy lifestyle in mind, body and spirit.
The diet of a body builder consists primarily of real, whole, nutritious, unprocessed foods – lots of protein, lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits in moderation. It is the very foundation of what I’ve been eating for the past 10 years. It is a very sustainable nutrition plan that not only nourishes my body, but has kept me lean, fit and healthy.
Lifting weights hard and heavy with intensity and focus is what will give your body shape by building muscle, boosting your metabolism, burning fat, increasing bone density and improving your strength. You want to have a higher muscle to body fat ratio and the only way to do that is to lift weights and using weights that will challenge you in the 5-12 rep range, not doing 20+ reps. Also, just doing cardio is not going to give your body shape. Whether you’re male or female …… muscle IS sexy.
You would be surprised to learn that as I get older, I’ve been lifting heavier. As a matter of fact, I’m currently Beta Testing an old school body building style workout program that was designed by Canada’s top IBFF Pro and I’m having a great time challenging myself with each workout.
To achieve results takes hard work, dedication, focus, commitment, motivation, learning from mistakes and not giving up. This is the mindset you need to achieve results in all aspects of life regardless of what your goal is.
It is this very foundation that has transformed not only my body, but my life.