Is bodybuilding unhealthy? Are we just stuffing ourselves with protein and doing exercises that stoke our ego? We break down the argument both ways!
The bodybuilding world is riddled with hypocrisy. On the one hand we say we are looking forward to build ourselves but then aren’t we all self centered, obsessed with our bodies and stuff our faces in to bulk up? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and look at both facets here.
Bodybuilding builds or encourages narcissistic behavior. This simply means that the sport which requires you to be obsessed with your physique, nutrition and every minor muscle fiber in your body builds up an obsession. An obsession with body image. That isn’t healthy in some ways.
Body positivity activists will advocate that we need to love our bodies as it is and as god has made it. We should learn to love ourselves. This is true for people who obsess over their bodies and that in turn throws them into depression. Whilst one should always push themselves in order to get better, if your weight increases by 0.5kg and you have a major nervous breakdown due to this, then you have another thing coming my friend.
The other side of this problem is nutrition. On the one hand we have people who take bodybuilding as an excuse to eat all the junk in the world and then name it as ‘bulking’. These are people, in my humble opinion, who are on the road to developing some serious eating disorders. Honestly put, bodybuilding doesn’t allow you to be a glutton. And no, eating pizza 4 times a week, isn’t referred to as a re-feed or cheat or whatever. Don’t justify your bad eating habits.
However on the other side, we have people who are so regimented that they refuse to live a normal life. These are the people who not only count every single calorie but can’t put their guard down and have a muffin because they will become fat. One muffin won’t make you fat, like one day of dieting won’t make you ripped. As humans, we are by design social animals. Go out and have once in a while. It’s actually beneficial to cheat on your diet sometimes.
Top Tip: Practice moderation in whatever you do, be it diet, exercise or supplementation
This same school of thought applies with training and supplementation as well. On the one hand some people are just waltzing around in the gym and socializing, breaking every gym rule and on the other hand there are people who will never change their routines because they are so adamant that nothing else will work. They will make their life more difficult because for example they think they HAVE TO train for 6 days. Relax. Similarly, supplementation should not be a crutch that you rely on. One serving of BCAA or protein isn’t going to make you the next Mr.Olympia. Let fitness be a part of your life. Don’t make it your life.
Where bodybuilding shines through is that it brings an amount of organization and regimentation in your life. Think of it as the bootcamp for muscle building. These skills will be crucial to your development as a person. Because you go to the gym, and then eat right and you do it everyday, will bring about changes in the way of scheduling your life. Take it from me personally, once your start planning your life, life changes for the better.
The next aspect as to why bodybuilding is good is that it teaches you how to fail. Failure is an extremely important life lesson and when you fail 20 times trying to squat a 100kg, you won’t be afraid to fail in life once to learn more about yourself or even take a risk with your business.
Lastly, body positivity can also be achieved by actually changing your body! Yes folks contrary to all that is said and done, actually seeing your body change in front of your eyes is enormously liberating. You see the fat going down, the cuts appearing and the muscles getting harder, fuller and thus more defined. Whatever be the case, we would advise you to continue sculpting yourself. Just don’t be overtly paranoid about it.