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In an industry like health and fitness, but even more so within bodybuilding, there are so many misconceptions. About the people who partake in it and even just day to day ideas about how bodybuilders live and train in order to achieve the physiques that are so iconic to the sport.
Here are some of our most commonly heard misconceptions:
#1: You will be forced to compete
If we had a penny for everyone who said “I’m not a bodybuilder, I don’t wear tan and Gstrings or anything, I just like to change the way my body looks” or something along those lines, we’d be rich!
Bodybuilding as a competitive sport may well be defined by a long standing history of stage judging competitions. And yes this is how we judge the best in the world, but you don’t need to pose on a stage to be a bodybuilder.
Technically, anyone who is using training in or out of the gym, in order to change the shape and composition of their body, is a bodybuilder.
#2: It’s all about being the biggest
Yes, that’s right, that girl in the squat rack, she might not have any intention of posing on a stage but none the less she’s a bodybuilder even if only as a hobby.
She is building her legs and glutes with exercise. For some reason the term bodybuilder screams MASS MONSTER and everyone thinks you’re aspiring to rival Arnold.
Bodybuilding is about achieving the body you want through diet and exercise, what that ideal body looks like is entirely down to personal preference.
Yes, many guys aspire to gain size and build that traditional alpha male frame. But others will want to build a lean body, focussing instead of maintaining a low level of body fat.
#3: They just drink protein shakes instead of food
This is a favourite for sure. Unfortunately, this reputation was earned for the bodybuilding community by a select few jackass ‘gym bro’s’ who despite being new to the sport and poorly educated in nutrition, are walking around their office taking their scoop of protein in their shaker in to every meeting in a desperate attempt for someone to notice that they workout.
Any real bodybuilder will tell you that protein shakes, just like other supplements, are there as support to a well-balanced and considered diet.
Any nutritional plan should be based around eating real food. If anything most bodybuilders eat considerably more real food than your average Joe, due to their active lifestyle and extra muscle mass requiring more calories to sustain it.
The protein shakes are simply a convenient way to ensure daily protein intake is high enough after all other meals have been eaten.
#4: They all take steroids
The original and still the best. If you’re able to fill an XL T-shirt with your chest and shoulders instead of your bulging stomach, then you’re obviously on “the gear”.
The simple matter is it’s just bogus and it usually stems from the jealous who simply don’t understand the sacrifice involved in building a body to be proud of.
Dedication to hard and varied weight training and a solid diet is enough to build a strong, lean, bodybuilder physique without the need for anabolic steroid use.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a bodybuilder, they don’t have the dedication, determination or the will power. The work is too hard and painful, or the diet too strict to follow when they smell the warm breeze from KFC across the road.
Far too often those who can’t comprehend how achieving all that is possible, instead turn to the easy explanation, it’s the steroids that got him like that. This is not a misconception that will be wiped out anytime soon as it takes considerable health and fitness education for people to understand what is and isn’t possible naturally.