Is bodybuilding healthy, and do bodybuilders live a long life? The exact definition of the word bodybuilding is the practice of exercising, lifting weights, etc. as to develop the muscles of the body. So, it was initially meant to build your body and nothing else.
And once bodybuilding became popular from a competition athletic event standpoint it shifted from building your body to just training your body in an extreme way with drugs. There is nothing that is healthy that is associated with bodybuilding.
Whether it comes from the enormous amount of food they must eat, the drugs they must take. And the extreme amount of weight they have lift in the gym that exceeds their respective joint limits. You cannot associate the words health or healthy with bodybuilding event as a sport or athletic fitness event.
A bodybuilding workout typically is focused on making your muscles significantly bigger and focusing on exercises that are non-functional exercises and movements. That type of workout is focuses on heavy weight and focuses on bodyparts such as chest, biceps, triceps, etc. Exercises such as bench press, Dumbbell Curls, Overhead Triceps Extensions, etc.
A bodybuilding workout especially if you have a goal of competing on a fitness stage you typically are lifting very heavy and sometimes more then what your joints can manage. You are training muscles that are vanity muscles like your chest and your arms but those are not necessarily functional movement that you would use in everyday life.
Is bodybuilding healthy, and do bodybuilders live a long life?
Anytime that you lift extremely heavy there is a risk for injury meaning potentially tearing of the muscle. And I have seen many bodybuilder competitors that have torn muscles because they pushed too hard weight-lifting wise in the gym in terms of the amount of weight they used. You do not need to do strength training at a 100 % max or close to max where your repetitions are at 1 to 3 reps. If you do that every time you are weightlifting consistently your put your body at risk for muscle tears and long-term joint damage.
A fitness workout that a bodybuilder executes in the gym most people cannot do because the workout volume is too high and the weight is too much. Also most professional bodybuilders are taking anabolic steroids, so their body is chemically conditioned to train with extremely heavy weight and volume. Whereas a natural person meaning someone who is not taking performance enhancement drugs cannot work out that way at all. Their natural bodies wont able to withstand any type of workout like that without the anabolic drugs that they take.
“There is nothing that is healthy that is associated with bodybuilding from a professional level”
Many professional bodybuilders once their career is over their joints are so damaged many of them need knee and hip replacements. Because of the extremely heavy weight that they lifted over an extended period. If your goal is to build a functional and healthy body, you do not have to lift your max weight to do that.
You can lift 60 to 70% of your maximum weight which puts you at 10 to 12 reps and even 15 reps. You can train every body part with a good amount of moderate weight that will push the muscle and allow you to execute full range of motion.
If you lift slow with a lighter amount of weight, with strict full range of motion form you will active that muscle properly which will help tremendously with muscle growth. It is not about the amount of weight you lift its about how you engage the muscle and how long you do it.
Sadly, the average life expectancy of a professional bodybuilder is 47.7 years which is a low mortality rate. The drugs and steroids that a professional bodybuilder must take is not conducive to be able to live longer or have a positive heart health.
The health benefits of weight training are exceptional provided there is a structure in how you do it. And provided that how you train is not extreme and is impactful to longevity not short-term unhealthy gains.
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