Bodybuilding is the process of developing muscle fibers through the combination of weight training and increased caloric intake.
In order to achieve extraordinary muscle growth, bodybuilders focus in three main lines of action:
- Resistance weight training
- High quality diet incorporating extra protein
- High quality rest to facilitate growth
Firstly, the resistance weight training causes damage to the muscles being trained--these are called microtrauma. These small "tears" in the muscle contribute to the soreness felt after exercise. It is the repair to these microtrauma that result in muscle growth (anabolism).
The growth and repair however cannot occur without the necessary building blocks. These are supplied by high quality nutrition, primarily by ingested proteins. A bodybuilder has a higher daily requirement of protein than a sedentary person to repair the damage that has been caused by the weight training. This is why many bodybuilders' diets contain steak, fish, eggs--all of which are high sources of protein. It is necessary to mention carbohydrates here too--for without the energy supplied by carbohydrates, the bodybulider would be unable to train effectively or extensively due to early fatigue. Quality, low-fat carbohydrates are supplied by potatoes, rice and vegetables.
The third component to muscle building is rest. Without quality rest and sleep the body does not have an opportunity to rebuild and repair. A good, solid eight hours of sleep a night is essential for the bodybuilder to be refreshed and ready for the next gruelling session.
A competitive sport based on the development of muscles as described above. Bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points.
Although initially a men-only sport, in the 1980s women started to compete as well.
Not to be confused with weight training or weightlifting, where emphasis is on actual physical strength. While similar, the fields entail a different regiment of training and diet, as well as basic motivation.