Is Body Building For Physique Competition Unhealthy?
As a competitive body builder I hear those are two questions often. Over the past couple of months as I prepared for the show it seems as though a day does not pass that someone does not say to me “Is that Healthy?” or “That doesn’t sound healthy!” Natural body building for physique competition is healthy because natural competitive body builders are very in tune with their bodies. They understand how the body works, make good choices for their health and development, live a clean life and consistently exercise and eat right. Natural body building is not unhealthy because natural body builders are very focused on their health.
Understanding Competitive Body Building
One of the reasons that people think body building is unhealthy is that they do not understand what it really is and what goes into developing your physique to competition levels. Bodybuilding is the process of maximizing muscle development through the combination of weight training, diet, and rest. In the sport of competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their aesthetic appearance. They are judged on symmetry, muscularity and posing technique. The muscles are displayed to look their best through a combination of fat reduction, oils, and tanning (or tanning lotions) combined with stage lights, and posing ability to make the muscles distinct.
Several Areas Of Concern
The reasons that people ask me “Is body building healthy?” or “Isn’t that unhealthy?” is because there are several areas of concern regarding the way body builders prepare for a competition. They are:
dieting down to competition weight
Steroid or drug use
Deb’s Rear Double Bicep Display, July 2006
Your Body Is A Gift
Natural body builders are dedicated to the use of only whole and healthy foods, techniques and supplements. Like all sports or activities there are a few who “take the easier softer way” or “cheat” using poor choices, drugs or generally shed a bad light on body building. The vast majority of body building believe that their body as a gift and they treat it as such. The choices they make reflect that in their everyday life year-round whether preparing for competition or not.
Competitive Body Building Is Healthy
When it comes to their body, the body builder always puts the best investment first. When choosing food, rest, supplements, exercise and good living choices on a daily basis a natural body builder prioritizes health and good living choices as an investment over their career, kids, indulgences, busy lives, entertainment, and other commitments. There is no better investment in life than your health. You are useless to all other aspects of your life without your health. A natural body builder understands this and lives it on a daily basis along side other activities.
I spent 12 hours yesterday with 100 or more body builders and I can tell you that body building is a healthy sport. Over the next couple weeks I will create posts on all of the common concerns/questions listed above to give you a better understanding of the hobby/sport of physique body building competitions.