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…