Popularity in bodybuilding around South Africa has skyrocketed in recent years, more and more people are hitting the gyms, getting in shape and working hard at building muscle mass. Bodybuilding has been around for ages, and it was in the 70’s when bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno were competing that bodybuilding started to become known around the world. Back then it was a lot harder than it is now, there were no supplements around like we have today, you couldn’t pop a few tablets, drink protein shakes and build muscle, bodybuilders back then had to train hard and consume tons of food to meet their daily protein requirements. Now don’t get me wrong, bodybuilders today still work just as hard and eat just as much, but it is no lie that it is easier now with all the supplements on the market.
What is Bodybuilding?
Put simply, a bodybuilder is someone with one goal, and that goal is to have a muscular and lean physique. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle that requires a lot of dedication. Going to gym five times a week and training til you want to puke is not something many people can cope with, and on top of that the eating habits of a bodybuilder are tough and require a lot of dedication as well. To build muscle you need to eat a lot of food, and I do mean A LOT. It is common for bodybuilders to consume around 1 kg of meat a day. Imagine eating four steaks a day, every day for years, and you would get sick of it very fast. When you are a bodybuilder, you don’t eat to enjoy the food you eat to build muscle, look at it as if it were a job, you need to eat a certain way to complete that job.
Popular bodybuilding foods
- Red meat such as fillet or rump steak
- Fish such as tuna or tilapia
- Ostrich meat
- Lean cuts of pork
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Rye bread
There are obviously many other choices that are not listed above, the above list is an example of some very popular choices.
There are many different ways to train to build muscle mass, some techniques work better than others, but everyone is different and what works for you may not work for someone else. A big mistake many people make is thinking more is better, this could not be further from the truth. If you were to train seven days a week for 2 hours at a time, you would not build muscle, and you would start to lose muscle from overtraining. It has been proven in scientific studies that training longer than an hour causes more damage than good, in fact, you should keep your sessions to 45 minutes. Training 4 to 5 times a week for an hour max is the perfect amount for bodybuilding in my opinion.
Many people believe bodybuilding is an easy sport and requires only going to the gym and taking steroids. Although many bodybuilders do use steroids, this does not mean they don’t work extremely hard to achieve a great physique. Steroids allow them to work harder and allow their bodies to build more muscle than would be possible if they were natural. Bodybuilders who take steroids work even harder and eat even more food than many natural bodybuilders out there.