I know I give bodybuilding a hard time.
But the truth is, I still have a copy of Schwarzenegger’s “Encyclopedia Of Modern Bodybuilding” sitting on my shelf that I got for Christmas when I was 14 years old. And I’d be willing to bet that many of us that grew up in the ’80’s got our initial interest in fitness from watching the action movies of Arnold and Sylvester Stallone and being inspired by their bodybuilder physiques.
As much as the thought of leg extensions and triceps kickbacks make me want to alternatively laugh and hurl, bodybuilding has contributed to my own training and the way I train clients in three important ways:
#1 The Superset
I love the superset, which is doing two exercises consecutively with no rest in between. My favorite superset is ring push ups followed by pull ups. Other supersets I routinely use are push press to hang high pull and ring dips to inverted rows. Notice that I prefer to use a pushing movement followed by a pulling movement. Also note that all of the movements I select for supersets are compound movements. No preacher curls followed by concentration curls here.
# 2 Post Workout Nutrition
Maybe I’m giving credit where credit isn’t due, but the first place that I heard to eat a mix of protein and carbohydrates within one hour of weight training was from the bodybuilding community. And anyone who has followed this protocol knows it flat out works. Post workout nutrition is crucial for giving the body the fuel it needs to convert your hard training into the results you crave. I don’t care if you’re mixing up your high priced meal replacement powder or slamming a pint of chocolate milk, get those carbs and protein within an hour of training. And thank the bodybuilders while you’re at it, post workout nutrition.
Have you seen “Pumping Iron”? Aside from Arnold claiming that the pump from bodybuilding is a better feeling than cumming (creepy. . .), you can’t watch that movie and not get inspired by the dedication and intensity of the pro bodybuilders of that era. My respect goes out to anyone who has the discipline and drive to be at the top of their game in any field.
I know I harp about the cliche “3 sets of 10 reps” and avoiding single joint movements. But the reality is that bodybuilding is just another tool in the toolbox and being closed minded to any training method without your own personal experience is usually a mistake. There are plenty of good tips and shoulder workouts you can learn from bodybuilders as well.
What are some of the things you’ve learned from bodybuilders? Let me know below in the comment section…
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I learnt about the importance of proper nutrition from bodybuilding. When I first started training in college I was given the usual bodybuilding advice and followed it for a number of years. However, one valuable thing that did come out of it was that I needed to think more about what I ate. Prior to getting into bodybuilding I really didn’t have a clue about proper nutrition.
I’ve my own Arnold’s book. I’ve tried all the mentioned exercise but honestly none helped. However, I’ve learned to refrain doing exercises like a body builder if you’re not on steroids. Instead, gain natural strength with powerlifting.
and i have one question
I don’t need extra mass in my chest. However, I’m focussing on getting a much squarer shape. I want heavier shoulders & back. Should I do push ups or continue doing the old basic bench press ?
@Tom: Right on, man. Bodybuilding is where I first starting learning about how important nutrition is to training results. Just steer clear of the triceps kickbacks! 🙂
@Rajafarhan: I agree, you can’t go wrong with the Power Lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press). But your follow up question is steeped in bodybuilding. I think anytime you’re seeking aesthetic results (a squarer shape, heavier shoulders and back), you are entering the realm of bodybuilding.
And not that that is a bad thing; but, let’s call it what it is. Push ups are not going to give you the heavier back you seek, and I’m guessing you’re looking for shoulder mass in the rear and lateral delts (push ups won’t help much there either).
For a heavier back, hit the heavy deadlifts. To finish it off with shoulder development try overhead presses and high pulls. Train hard!
Like most when I started weightlifting it was a bodybuilding routine learned from friends and bodybuilding magazines (which only caused me to overtrain), but one for it is it gave me good awareness of my body and how my muscles work.
“Being closed minded to any training method without your own personal experience is usually a mistake.”Couldn’t have said it better myself!
great post i completely agree with the post workout nutrition. The Superset,cones with a little practice don’t be disappointed if not achieved immediately.
Holy crap! I started lifting when I was a college freshman at a run down gym with a copy of this exact same book! I’m no bodybuilder, and my body doesn’t even look like an athlete’s (I blame tons of setbacks due to injuries at different points in time) but this book started it for me.
Can I just say what a relief to discover an individual who truly knows what they are talking about on the web.
You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of the story.
I was surprised that you are not more popular because you surely possess the gift.