What exactly is a bodybuilder, and can anyone be one?
In layman’s terms, a bodybuilder is anyone who engages in strength or weight training. Some people might tell you that, to be able to get the ideal muscular body, you need ‘Schwarzenegger genes.’
There is some truth to that, but if you focus on someone else’s opinions, you will never get anything done. Bodybuilding is not just about building muscle, it is also about improving yourself and doing things that normal people don’t have the strength, drive or dedication to do.
The time to start is now if you wait too long, your muscles and joints will become weak.
Bodybuilding combines two things, strength, and beauty. if you are planning to compete or simply to have the ideal muscular body, here is everything you need to know.
Essential Traits of a Bodybuilder
In the past, bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t have to worry about their body types. They had very little information about genes, the ideal body and many other nitpicky things that judges use to sideline some bodybuilders today. In fact, the traits below were derived from classical bodybuilders.
So, the next time someone tells you things like, you have bad genes, your frame and structure ain’t right, or your muscle insertion point is all messed up. Tell that person to go eat a carrot and hit the gym.
The X-Frame and How to Build It
You may have noticed that almost all competitors in bodybuilding competitions have wide shoulders, large guns, tapered muscular waist, and flaring hips, right? This is what we call the ‘X-Frame’.
The X-Frame doesn’t happen by accident, bodybuilders must train to get this look. The truth is, no matter your body type, you can develop the perfect X-frame.
Mesomorphs (naturally muscular) find it easier to develop this look than other body types. If you are not a mesomorph, it simply means that you will have to work a little harder.
How to build the X-Frame
Focus on three specific areas of your body: the legs or calves, waist, and shoulders. Also, it is important to surround yourself with positive thinkers. Negative Nancie’s will hold you back.
Expert Training Tips
- Use proper form and lift weights your body can handle.
- Use multi-joint movements such as shoulder presses and squats, and ensure that you use more than one muscle when lifting (compound lifts).
- Train or lift more frequently
- Take time to recover (twice every week).
We recommend standing and lying leg lift, stability ball crunch, incline board sit up, 3 way sit up, floor crunch, leg tuck, and plank.
To build your shoulders, try kettlebell side lateral raise, seated and standing dumbbell side lateral raise, single arm lateral raises, and seated or standing bent-over dumbbell lateral raise.
Leg press calf raises, seated calf raises, jump rope, tibialis toe raise.
This is not a complete list; we recommend you work with a trainer for better results.
How to build your shoulder, calves, and waist at home
- To work your arms and chest, do pushups
- Do planks to work your entire core
- Do crunches to build strong abs.
- To build leg muscle, do cardio. We recommend jumping jacks, burpees and high knees.
- Wall sits and squats.
- Glute bridges
Muscular Dimension and Form
Having big muscles is not enough to win bodybuilding competitions, judges also look at aesthetics.
Looking back at previous Mr. Olympia winners such as eight-time winner Ronnie Coleman or Arnold Schwarzenegger, you may have noticed that they have large muscles with high crest. When doing a double pose, your biceps should easily peek out from the rest of your arm. On top of that, your six-pack or core muscles should be symmetrical and there should be very little spaces between the two columns of your abdominal muscles.
How to Build the Perfect Lat Muscles
Some people believe that your triceps should be round and wide, that is not a requirement.
Your latissimus dorsi muscles should be positioned low with a heavy build, the judges will also look at the wideness of your lat-muscles.
How to work on your lat muscles
- Barbell/barbell rows
- Renegade rows
- Compound rows
- Dumbbell pullovers
- One arm, rows
- Seated rows with resistant bands
- Power plank with rows
How to Build Perfect Shoulders
I won’t lie to you, building shoulder muscle is hard work. You must focus on the front head, the middle and the rear head (three heads). To bring out extended musculature of the shoulders, you will have to press at least 200 pounds.
If you are out of shape or if you can’t hold it for thirty seconds, don’t try lifting or continue lifting 200 pounds (same weight as a typical refrigerator). Instead. work your way up until you’re ready. To get used to all that weight faster, try carrying 200 pounds at home instead of lifting.
Don’t Skip Leg Day
See the thing is, your legs are designed for walking, running or climbing. If you start putting weights on them, your legs re-engineer or adapt to the changes and that can be painful.
To build leg muscle, we recommend
- Romanian deadlift
- Calf raises
- Leg press
- Dumbbell/barbell lunges
Muscle Joint, Bone Ratio and Form
They called him, the perfect bodybuilder. I am talking about Steven Lester Reeves, he played Hercules, Goliath and Sandokan. Question, what made him perfect in some people’s eyes?
The man was perfectly proportioned, he had a good physique i.e. I can’t believe I’m saying this, Steve’s body was flawless and beautiful. According to reeves, it is important to keep your muscular body weight within acceptable limits. This will prevent distortions from your natural symmetry.
Here is the ideal height and weight chart for bodybuilders
Vince Gironda once said. “I would like to be the first man in the gym business to throw out my scale. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, what difference does it make what the scale says?”
The point is, don’t focus all your efforts on trying to be perfect, no one is.
What the judges look for:
- Symmetry: bodybuilding judges amongst other things look at how your body parts fit together, how balanced your physique is and, in general, equal development of muscularity on both the right and left side of the contestant.
- You must also pose to impress (stage presence): Have confidence, flow with the music and dominate the stage.