While for many people who are not into bodybuilding, the whole idea is probably something of a mystery, there are millions of individuals all over the world for whom bodybuilding is a major part of their lives.
The best place to start this investigation of natural bodybuilding is to define what bodybuilding is. According to the Wikipedia definition of bodybuilding, it is:
‘the process of maximizing muscle hypertrophy; an individual who engages in this process is referred to as a bodybuilder’.
Muscle hypertrophy is a scientific term that is used to refer to the growth and increase in size of existing muscle cells, as opposed to the formation of new muscle cells.
In short, bodybuilding is the process of adding extra muscle mass to the body by extensive working out and control of diet. It is something that is done either for personal achievement, recreation or as a competitive ‘sport’.
However, one of the first areas of dispute between those who practice bodybuilding and those who are less enamored of it concerns whether bodybuilding is a genuine sport or not. The contention that it is not a sport is based on the fact that there is no athletic activity involved, as the whole basis of judging bodybuilding competitions is the appearance and aesthetics of the contestants.
It is for this reason that despite many attempts to have bodybuilding included in the Olympics, these attempts have been continually rebuffed, and will probably be similarly dismissed in the future. As suggested, there is no athletic activity involved in body building, so it is not to be confused with strongman contests or weightlifting competitions.
When competitive bodybuilders appear in contests, they adopt certain poses that are designed to accentuate certain muscle groups in the body. The effectiveness of the poses being adopted is a significant factor in deciding which bodybuilders win competitions, so it is believed that many top bodybuilders spend up to half their training time perfecting these poses.
There are many techniques adopted for gaining muscle mass, with the chosen strategy to some extent depending upon whether the individual concerned is bodybuilding for personal satisfaction or for competition purposes.
There are individuals who can work on gaining muscle mass slowly and steadily, people who can continue to do so almost without any apparent limitations.
In contrast, there are many individuals who very quickly reach a limit beyond which they cannot gain any further muscle mass because they do not have any particular natural qualities that enable them to ‘bulk up’ quickly.
Individuals who fall into the latter category are often termed ‘hardgainers’ because they find it very hard to gain any further muscle mass after they reach a certain level. There are many reasons why this happens to some people and not others, many of which will be reviewed in this report.
People who reach a plateau in this way apart, the most common technique adopted by bodybuilders is to do whatever is necessary to acquire as much additional muscle mass as possible until an acceptable threshold has been reached (in the case of a recreational bodybuilder) or until a major competition is imminent for the competitive bodybuilder.
After this, the individual concerned will then spend some time working on accentuating muscle definition rather than adding any extra mass.
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