Bodybuilding refers to the process of developing the musculature using specific types of diets and exercise routines, and usually for competitive displays.
In professional bodybuilding, contestants use special techniques to prepare for a competition and enhance the visibility of their muscles. These may include fat loss regimens, tanning lotions, and dehydration. Special lighting is also used to make each muscle group stand out when the bodybuilder is on display.
Some of the most famous bodybuilders are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reg Park, Steve Reeves and Charles Atlas. Professional bodybuilder Phil Heath is currently the world’s top bodybuilder and the holder of the Mr. Olympia title.
The goal in competitive bodybuilding is to develop and maintain a balanced and visually pleasing physique. When on display before a judges panel, bodybuilders are required to do a series of special poses that highlight their main muscle groups, including the front lat spread, the rear lat spread, the back double biceps, the front double biceps, the side triceps, the side chest, as well as the thigh-abdominal. At the end of each posing round, the judges decide on a score, based on how well defined the contestant’s muscles were, but also on how well they posed. For this reason, in addition to weightlifting exercises, bodybuilders must spend a lot of time practicing correct posing.
To achieve intensive muscle hypertrophy, bodybuilders will rely on three basic techniques: strength training (primarily weightlifting), special dieting with increased protein intake and supplements, as well as proper rest and relaxation between training sessions.
Weight training helps bodybuilders by causing micro-tears in the muscle tissue, which cause the soreness associated with strenuous exercise. When the muscle tissue regenerates, it actually increases in size, strength and resistance, so the more a bodybuilder exercise, the less likely they are to experience muscle soreness.
To sustain adequate muscle growth, bodybuilders need a special, carbohydrate and protein based diet. Carbohydrates provide the energy needed for workouts, but also stimulate the production of insulin, which, in turn, stimulates protein synthesis.
Bodybuilders sometimes take performance enhancing substances, such as anabolic steroids, to improve muscle growth over a short period of time. An alternative to taking steroids is the growth hormone treatment, which relies on the human growth hormone.