What is Bodybuilding?

You’d think that anybody who lifts weights is in fact doing ‘bodybuilding’. Sure, the results are often similar; muscles are grown and honed. But let us not forget, the ultimate aim of a bodybuilder: to simply look good.

Others who lift weights such as power lifters – if you’ve seen their often fat-laden bulky frames – is simply to lift as much weight as possible. Whereas others who lift weights may do so simply to tone themselves up, which may be classed as bodybuilding. And finally, sportsmen and women may lift weights to increase muscle power to enhance their performance in their chosen sport.

To a bodybuilder, strength is irrelevant and ‘performance’ beyond posing, is non-existent. It’s all about how big and well developed the muscles are. It’s about proportion, about how the body fits together and the physique flows. Although with the giants on display at Mr. Olympia today have far surpassed (although some would argue to the detriment of the sport) that of the Grecian ideal, it’s still something all bodybuilders aspire for. That is the aim of a bodybuilder. Nothing more, nothing less.

And to add to that, let us look at the differences between how a power lifter lifts, and how a bodybuilder lifts. When a power-lifter lifts, their ultimate aim is to complete the lift, and lift as much as possible. When a bodybuilder lifts, although sufficient weight must be used to put strain on the muscles, the bodybuilders first and last thought is about how it feels when the weight is lifted. How the muscles feel, and are they being worked optimally.

Indeed, the aesthetic appeal of having a well muscled body can be traced back in modern times as far back as Eugene Sandow (born 1867). Sandow was a ‘strong man’ although rather than the usual fat-laden physique familiar with such an occupation; Sandow exhibited a tremendously aesthetic and fat-free physique. He is often referred to as the Father of Modern Bodybuilding.

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