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Bodybuilding – its effects on physiology and psychology

triceps exercise




Bodybuilding or weight training is an activity which has become ever so popular today. This is because nowadays people have become incredibly health conscious. If you are someone who has done bodybuilding in the past, then you would know how gruelling yet fantastic it is. However if you are someone who is wondering whether weight training is something meant for you, then given here are some of the reasons why bodybuilding is something you need to try your hands at, at the earliest!

  • Effective in hardening bones and tendons

One of the major pros of doing bodybuilding is that it helps the bones and tendons get stronger and more resistant to pain. People who lift heavy weights (more than 70% of their body weight) are less prone to injuries. This is owing to the fact that their body has become less sensitive to wear and tear.

A new study was published in the January 2013 edition of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Its title was Maximal strength training in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia. It studied the effects of strength training on the bone strength of a group of postmenopausal women.

The study revealed that the bone density (specifically around the spine and the hips) witnessed a significant increase in the women with osteoporosis and osteopenia when they followed a maximum strength training protocol for a twelve (12) week period.

If you want to build strong bones, you should follow an exercise program that requires consistent, regular strength training that involves a maximum effort.

According to another study conducted at the University of Arizona, the best physical activities for increasing bone size and density are those that involve weight-lifting exercises, especially bodybuilding. When your muscles are subjected to increased load resistance, they pull on your bones. This push and pull effect over time, leads to stronger, bigger bone tissue. Moderate training will also help you build your bones, but the strength of the bones would directly depend upon the amount of stress you put your bones into.

In addition to increasing the bone size, bodybuilding also has a number of other health benefits, including increased muscle mass and basal metabolic rate, improved cardiovascular health and prevention against health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, back pain and depression. It has also shown to be beneficial for the elderly in terms of overall musculoskeletal health and reduced risk of falling.

  • Increases the production of anabolic hormones

Bodybuilding is often done, by teenage boys who wish to look more masculine. This is owing to the fact that exercises such as bench presses or even squats are known to increase the production of hormones like Testosterone and HGH. So if you too wish to get a more masculine and confident look, then bodybuilding is something you need to try out immediately.

 

GROWTH HORMONE IN BODYBUILDING

Growth hormone (GH) is produced in the anterior pituitary gland of the brain.

This hormone is released following resistance training. Among its many functions is stimulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in muscles. IGF is one of the factors responsible for the division of satellite cells during the repair process.

TESTOSTERONE IN BODYBUILDING

Another very important anabolic hormone for hypertrophy is testosterone, which is secreted in the testes. It is also known as the androgen (male) hormone. Testosterone levels are elevated during resistance exercise and the hormone acts to increase protein synthesis. This allows for optimal repair of muscle fibres. It also increases the satellite cell count along with the number of androgen receptors in muscles, leading to greater muscle hypertrophy.

INSULIN IN BODYBUILDING

Insulin is also an anabolic hormone capable of increasing protein synthesis. It is produced in the pancreas and it mainly functions in activating glucose uptake in cells, such as muscle cells.

It can also transport amino acids, the building blocks of protein. During exercise, insulin sensitivity increases due to a muscle’s additional need for glucose. This not only enhances glucose uptake, but also the uptake of amino acids, thus stimulating protein synthesis.

 

  • Scientifically proven to give happiness

In case you happen to be someone who constantly experiences bouts of depression, then you need to know that bodybuilding aids in the generation of hormones which are known to give individuals a sense of happiness. Apart from this, bodybuilding serves as a great pastime for those people who are known to lose their temper easily or even those who are very stressed out.

  • Gives a sense of purpose

There are many people who search for some purpose in life, but are hardly able to achieve that sense of satisfaction. So if you are someone like this, who has always been an outsider in the world, with no real goals or dreams. Then bodybuilding is something which can really give your life direction. Working hard to achieve certain fitness goals is a great way to give your life meaning.

  • Makes the body look a lot better

One of the most obvious advantages of bodybuilding is that it is sure to make you look a lot better. Bodybuilding does not merely help in making the body look bulkier, but it also goes a long way in giving the body a leaner and fitter look.

Contrary to popular belief, weightlifting isn’t something which is only meant for men. On the other hand it is incredibly beneficial for both the sexes. Bodybuilding does involve a lot of dedication, pain and sweat, so make sure that you mentally prepare yourself for this struggle. However, rather than starting off with excessive activity, you should make it a point to let the bodybuilding process begin gradually, so that your body has time to adapt to all the strenuous activity.

Best body building exercises for various body parts:

 

SHOULDERS

BEST: STANDING BARBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: MIDDLE AND FRONT DELTS, TRAPEZIUS, TRICEPS, UPPER PECTORALIS, SERRATUS ANTERIOR

If you wait too long in your workout to get it in, you’ll be too fatigued to really train your delts with the intensity they need. While delts can usually be trained in a slightly higher rep range, this movement should be done similar to a bench press. Vary the reps from strength (three reps per set) to hypertrophy (8-12 reps per set).

shoulder exercise

QUADS

BEST: FRONT SQUAT
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: QUADRICEPS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, HAMSTRINGS

Not only does this exercise require leg strength, it also requires a strong upper back and core. If you lack flexibility, it’s okay to either cross your arms over the bar or use lifting straps to hold the bar in a pseudo front-rack position.

Quad exercise

CHEST

BEST: BARBELL BENCH PRESS
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: PECTORALIS MAJOR AND MINOR, ANTERIOR DELTOID, TRICEPS, SERRATUS ANTERIOR

Put the bench press at the front of your workout for heavy sets in lower rep ranges. Your grip width impacts the amount of bar you can move. Research suggests a grip in which your forearms are 90 degrees to the floor (completely perpendicular) when the bar is in the down position.

chest exercise

BICEPS

BEST: DUMBBELL CURL
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: BICEPS, BRACHIALIS, BRACHIORADIALIS, PRONATOR TERES

Do biceps moves after multi-joint pulling exercises for back if you’re training them on the same day. If you follow a body-part split with a dedicated arm day. Try loads in the heavier end of the muscle-building rep range for sets of 8.

biceps exercise

BACK

BEST: BENT-OVER BARBELL ROW
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: LATISSIMUS DORSI, TRAPEZIUS, REAR DELT, RHOMBOID, TERES MAJOR, LOWER BACK, BICEPS

          Again, do heavy sets in lower rep ranges, about 6-8 or 8-10 reps. The Smith-machine version is a good substitute. It locks you in the vertical plane, but your body has to be in the exact precise position relative to the bar. You can also try the reverse-grip version for a change. It puts slightly more emphasis on the lower lats and biceps.

back exercise

TRICEPS

BEST: WEIGHTED PARALLEL-BAR DIP
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: TRICEPS, ANTERIOR DELT, UPPER PECTORALIS MAJOR

         To work in a muscle-building rep range, you’re probably going to need a belt. It allows you to hang added plates from your waist. Doing endless reps with just your body weight won’t elicit much of the muscle-building effect you’re after. As with any multijoint triceps exercise, do heavy dips first in your workout. Adding weight so you can train toward the lower end of the target rep range of 8-10.

triceps exercise

HAMSTRINGS

BEST: ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
MAJOR MUSCLES WORKED: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, LOWER BACK

Stick to the 8-12 reps, but really push the weight. If you’ve never done RDLs before, watch yourself in a mirror from the side. Your goal is to have minimal changes in knee angle and to really force your hips backward. Keep your shoulders locked in, a big chest, and really fire the glutes on the way up. A good rule of thumb for how far back to stick your glutes is to keep reaching until your hammies start to quiver.

hamstring exercises

Conclusion:

Bodybuilding has got a bad reputation, but this reputation is undeserved. Bodybuilding is just as effective as or even more effective than many other forms of fitness.

  1. Bodybuilding is better at lengthening your muscles than yoga or stretching in general. And no, bodybuilding doesn’t make you clumsy or ‘muscle-bound’.
  2. Bodybuilding is one of the safest forms of exercise in the world. It is much safer than pretty much every team sport, running, Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting or CrossFit.
  3. Bodybuilding is very functional. A low body fat percentage and increased muscle mass improve performance in almost every activity.
  4. Bodybuilding is generally just as effective as physical therapy. It is infact more effective than chiropractic, massage, endurance training, stretching, ergonomics and general physical activity in the treatment of most injuries and neuromuscular disorders.
  5. Bodybuilding makes you live longer.
  6. Bodybuilding is the most effective way to get toned and burns more calories than Body pump or Zumba classes.
  7. Bodybuilding makes you happier.
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