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BodyBuilding - Is It Actually Healthy?
Perception of Health/BodyBuilding
"It's a bird, it's a plane, its Superman". We all know about the fictional character Superman. Towering as a huge mass of pure muscle, perhaps 275-350 pounds of muscle. This particular image or frame tends to be perpetuated within the minds of male adolescence and men alike. The question really is if this type of body or frame is in actual fact healthy?
Societies perception of good health or healthy living has been tampered with by media, as usual. There is this notion of guys in particular having to "bulk" up whether 50,70 or 100 pounds, but is this really healthy? This is definitely a distorted image of what being fit or healthy really is as there are a number of factors which interplay in good health, such as genetics, environment and of course perception. Not every body or frame has been designed to carry such large masses of muscle, as a result bodies that have been pushed to the brink tend to have serious repercussions both internally and physically. Wear and tear of joints, cartilage, internal issues range from irritable bowel syndrome, excess bowel movements (defecating), also nausea, cramping, vomiting and convulsions.
Exercise is an important aspect of life, but as with everything in life it needs to be done in moderation or appropriately balanced. There's nothing wrong with gaining muscle or mass, but the way or method of "bodybuilding" can prove to be detrimental if not appropriately channeled into realistic and truly healthy goals. Good health can be defined as " soundness, of body or mind; freedom from disease and ailment". Nowhere in the definition of good health do you see any implications of having ridiculous amounts of muscle or mass in order to be "healthy". When attaining true fitness aim for becoming the "healthiest version of yourself".
The race or feat of trying to achieve 20 inch biceps or a shredded 8 pack maybe be an innocuous desire, however the mental/psychological ramifications can vary. Although it is true a good work-out is healthy for you and releases chemicals called endorphins within the brain which elicits a sense of euphoria, over-working-out on the other hand can actually do more harm to the body (people who body-build tend to do this). Resting the body is as important as working- out, remember the body is your temple do not overexert yourself to the breaking point as this may result in injury.
Psychological ramifications vary from feelings of misery, bigorexia- never satisfied with one's body, judgmental mentality towards others who are not as "big", insecurities, and worst case scenario developing an addiction to bodybuilding. Albeit addictions generally speaking, cater towards alcohol or some sort of narcotics, however keep in mind anything can be turned into an addiction, anything habit forming usually eliciting euphoria can potentially turn into an addiction. The mind and body work in unison, you cannot have good health without one or the other and vice versa.
As one can see mental disorders can be the result of unrealistic bodybuilding goals. Identifying measurable and realistic goals can prevent psychological ramifications and any other off setting to potentially occur. Comparing yourself to another person who is genetically superior in gaining "mass" can also be another issue. Accepting who you are and being content with your frame is apart of the growing process of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding competitions all contain a universal theme, and that is vanity. This is why you have people going overboard with working-out, steroid use and unhealthy diets in order to gain a physique of pure muscle.
We live in a highly sexualized society, worshiping people with unnatural builds and putting them on the pedestal and defining them as the epitome of good health. This is completely absurd. The media has created an illusion that people who are "bodybuilders" are the very ambassadors of "good health", which is not true. Again there is nothing wrong with gaining muscle but in its appropriate concrete context.
My Personal Fitness & Physique
From my personal experience and through the true definition of good health in it's most base sense, I would consider myself "healthy". I am not the most "ripped" guy nor am I anywhere near a bulky mass of muscle, I am approximately 5"11 and 145-150 pounds. I have what I'd call a "basketball" build as my body has shaped itself according to the art/sport I've practiced over the years known as basketball. Thus as you can imagine I have a slim wiry build and a solid core.
Am I satisfied? Yes, but that does not stop me in my daily work-outs from becoming stronger everyday and pushing myself to become a better version of myself. There was a time where a lot my male friends hopped on the bandwagon of the bodybuilding trend, hitting the gym for the majority of the day and of course the use of excess protein shakes. Did they achieve the body they desired? Yes, most of them did in fact bulk up and achieved the status they wanted so badly. However, some of their builds did look awkward as it just looked disproportional like a bunch of mass only on certain parts of their body, some did look proportional and it looked good.
Its funny, every now and than they poke fun and question when I'll start bulking up. My simple answer is HECK, NO. Why? Simply because I'm happy with the physique I have achieved over the years and I'm not looking to enter any bodybuilding competition anytime soon. When playing my favorite sport basketball with them, it seems I have the physical advantage although they may out class me in weight, I simply run past them and leave them in the dust as it seems their new builds have slowed them down, haha.
But on a serious note, before deciding if your going to go into bodybuilding please do research and remember to have realistic goals in mind. There is nothing wrong with gaining extra muscle, but if your trying to look like your favorite "macho man" idol chances are your goals and end result will not be a positive one. Lets face it these images and figures the media perpetuates are not healthy or natural. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors for the achievement of true good health.
Here are some reliable and healthy supplements (the link below) you may want to try out if you are trying to gain mass. Remember to be realistic and do things in moderation, enjoy.