How is Bodybuilding a Gateway Sport?

Bodybuilding… everyone has an opinion.

It make sense though. A bodybuilder’s purpose is to put their physique on display and be judged for it. Requirement: tan and trunks.

I never considered myself a bodybuilder, even though the benefits to appearance are relevant. The bodybuilding movement has generated hundreds of millions $ and brought public support for people looking to get buffed.

The average “bodybuilder” is NOT hard core.

What I consider a bodybuilder:

  • Lifts weights with the intent of improving body appearance.
  • Is influenced by bodybuilding media, magazines, and websites.
  • This is what a lot of bodybuilders WANT to look like:

Does Ryan Reynolds have the ideal male physique?

  • This is a Professional Bodybuilder:

RARE & EXTREME bodybuilder. Most bodybuilders look NOTHING like him. 

  • Trains split body parts, exercises biceps and isolates small muscles.
  • Is anywhere between 100 lbs and 300 lbs
  • Uses weight machines often, bench presses often, and uses high reps (12-15).
I have seen guys who weigh 160lbs wearing a bodybuilding.com branded clothes. That’s fine, because bodybuilding is a pursuit of appearance through muscles — not just the “final result.” Success is gained through size and symmetry, and ultimately as a stimulus from consistent weight training.

What are the Limitations of Bodybuilding?

  1. Bodybuilding promotes a strong culture of vanity and external objectification.
  2. Bodybuilding doesn’t attempt to enhance functional fitness.
  3. Bodybuilding success is impossible to quantify (minus income, do you have what it takes to be sponsored?)

Conversely, perhaps there are many benefits…

The benefits of Bodybuilding on Weightlifting and athletics

Images of physiques are dime a dozen. Every man has compared his stomach to the ripped tan juiciness of unrealistic proportions. Many guys will be compelled to visit a gym. And they will gain value from it

Benefits of Bodybuilding for New Trainees

  • Encourages use of free-weights
  • Utilizes basic and compound exercises in a healthy range of motion
  • Helps trainees gain confidence in the weight room
  • Opens up doors to other styles of training and athleticism

Even if bodybuilding is a motivator, the lessons learned straining under iron stay with you for a lifetime.

Final observation

I have seen a lot of guys start out by bodybuilding, and as a result went on to become stronger athletes as they modified their training styles.

Whether or not you want to ski better, jump higher, hit harder, or move faster, consistent weight training will definitely support that.

The most important thing is to focus on what you’re passionate about, not on external perspectives.

Good luck.

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