Hitting The Bodybuilding Circuit
Bodybuilding is not just the art of working out. In fact, if that were true you could slam five Red Bulls, scream “Me Work Out,” and win a competition. Unfortunately for the lazy — it isn’t that easy,
True, you will dedicate the bulk of your time to working out, but that doesn’t make you any different from any other professional athlete. Think about how many dudes — and chicks — are ripped, but play sports.
I remember I met Garrison Hearst once — former UGA and Giants running back — and he was HUGE. His arms were as wide as my head — and I’ve got a big head. His thighs were like tree trunks, but he’s a football player.
Garrison Hearst is no bodybuilder — but he’s still a helluva athlete.
I know, you can see pro wrestlers in their spandex outfits and think, “That guy’s ripped. I bet he’s a bodybuilder” and, again, you would be wrong.
Bodybuilding walks a fine line between athletics, discipline and art. Besides the obvious components of diet and exercise, you have to be keen to the human physique.
You can’t build muscles you don’t know you have, and you can’t compete without exhibiting the development of said muscles. It’s not just weights and Red Bulls — it’s anatomy and movement, as well.
We’ll be covering Bodybuilding Competitions, but first we need know what we’re covering. What makes bodybuilding — bodybuilding?
You’ve Got To Have All The Muscles
The purpose of bodybuilding is — building your body. That means every single inch of your body has to be built and bulked.
Basically, you leave no stone unturned.
So, how do you know how many muscles you have and how to develop them? Well, the first thing to know is anatomy.
You could read Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body — not to be confused with “Grey’s Anatomy,” the show — and see just how complex the body is. You could also consult the Hardgainer’s Handbook to get a complete listing of workouts.
Another smart thing to do is find a trainer. It’s easy to romanticize Arnold Schwarzenegger working out by himself back in the ’70s, but he had help.
Attend a bodybuilding competition. You never who you’ll meet, and you’re bound to learn something.
Plus, if you make friends in the bodybuilding community, you’ll have somebody to compare with. There’s nothing like learning from your friends — as long as you have ALL the muscles.
Why Is Posing So Hard?
Posing isn’t just a “gun show.” I know; I know, everyone’s favorite thing is the “gun show,” but you have to show the judges that you have the best developed body.
Not only do you have to have your body “right,” but you also have to have a routine that is “right.” Attend a bodybuilding show, and you’ll see what we mean.
Each guy has to come out and do a routine of poses to music. It’s much more planned and choreographed than you might think.
Common suggestions are to attend a competition and see what guys are doing nowadays. There’s nothing worse than showing up and doing something that doesn’t “fit in.”
There are video guides out there as well. A good one is “Perfect Posing” but you can’t use the video alone.
I’ve even read suggestions that certain poses need to be practiced for 30 minutes a day. It’s a chore to flex your entire body and look relaxed at the same time.
That 30 minutes a day might win a competition.
The last thing is the one no one wants to talk about. Cramps. If you’re flexing your entire body and holding for more than a few seconds, you could easily cramp up —at a show.
The most common suggestion I’ve seen is to supplement with potassium before a show. This is a supplement that can help avoid cramping.
Just remember that the “flex” is an art. You’re supposed to look relaxed and demonstrate how developed your body is.
If you’ve never appreciated the “art” of bodybuilding, now you see how tough it really is.
You Gotta Eat Right
I’m not going to sit here at my computer and pretend to be the nutrition expert. That would be Heather — my lovely bride — who does all our fitness and nutrition writing at steroidslive.com.
I WILL recommend that you follow a strict diet that will burn fat and offer plenty of protein to build muscle mass.
Common themes in bodybuilding diets are:
- Lots of water intake—gallons per day
- Supplementing with potassium
- Loading up on protein, and
- Eating multiple small meals per day
If you want to read further you can read up here or steroidslive.com.
Tricks Of The Trade
I know you don’t want to hear this, but bodybuilding competitions and beauty pageants are eerily similar. There’s lots of preparation and primping involved.
Some of the tricks are good to know if you’re competing, but they also help you know what’s going if you’re just watching the show.
Tanning is essential. Not because you want to have a good tan — although some time in Keys might be in order. No, tanning makes you look more defined.
The darker you are, the more shading your body gets in the light. If you know anything about modeling, you know they’re looking for light. Well, a tanned body hits the light very well.
Make sure you know the required poses. The most common are:
Front Double Biceps
Front Lat Spread
Rear Double Biceps
Rear Lat Spread
Also, choose music for posing that sounds nice. I’ve seen a lot of people say that you should choose music that’s inspirational. You want people to feel good watching you.
I know it sounds weird to have music with posing for a “gun show,” but this is standard on the competition circuit. Think of it as the “swimsuit competition of working out.”
Finally, since we’re talking about swimsuits, you know how pageant girls use hairspray — or other weird things — to keep their suits from riding up?
You can use the same products on your trunks, and some tanning oil companies make products that help keep your trunks where you want them.
To review, don’t slam any Red Bulls, work hard, learn the tricks of the trade and enjoy building your body. We all marvel at your accomplishments.