is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control
and develop one's musculature. An individual who engages in this
activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. In professional
bodybuilding, bodybuilders appear in lineups and perform specified
poses (and later individual posing routines) for a panel of judges who
rank the competitors based on criteria such as symmetry, muscularity,
and conditioning. Bodybuilders prepare for competitions through a
combination of intentional dehydration, elimination of nonessential
body fat, and carbohydrate loading to achieve maximum vascularity, as
well as tanning to accentuate muscular definition. Bodybuilders may
use anabolic steroids to build muscles.
The winner of the annual IFBB
contest is generally
recognized as the world's top male professional bodybuilder. The title
is currently held by Phil Heath, who has won every year from 2011 to
2017. The winner of the Women's Physique portion of the competition is
widely regarded as the world's top female professional bodybuilder.
The title is currently held by Juliana Malacarne, who has won every
year since 2014. Since 1950, the NABBA
been considered the top, amateur-bodybuilding contests, with notable
winners such as Reg Park, Lee Priest, Steve Reeves, and Arnold
1 Early history
1.1 Eugen Sandow
1.2 First large-scale bodybuilding competition
1.3 Notable early bodybuilders
3.1 New organizations
3.2 Anabolic/androgenic steroid use
4.1 Olympic sport discussion
5.1 Professional bodybuilding
5.2 Natural bodybuilding
5.3 Female bodybuilding
6.1.1 Cutting and bulking
6.1.2 Clean bulking
6.1.3 Dirty bulking
7.1 Weight training
7.2.4 Dietary supplements
7.3 Performance-enhancing substances
8 Injecting oil into muscles
9 See also
11 External links
Eugen Sandow in 1894
Stone-lifting traditions were practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece and
Tamilakam. Western weightlifting developed in Europe from 1880 to
1953, with strongmen displaying feats of strength for the public and
challenging each other. The focus was not on their physique, and they
often had large bellies and fatty limbs.
Bodybuilding developed in the late 19th century, promoted in England
by German Eugen Sandow, now called the "Father of Bodybuilding". He
allowed audiences to enjoy viewing his physique in "muscle display
performances". Although audiences were thrilled to see a
well-developed physique, the men simply displayed their bodies as part
of strength demonstrations or wrestling matches. Sandow had a stage
show built around these displays through his manager, Florenz
Ziegfeld. The Oscar-winning 1936 musical film The Great Ziegfeld
depicts this beginning of modern bodybuilding, when Sandow began to
display his body for carnivals.
Sandow was so successful at flexing and posing his physique that he
later created several businesses around his fame, and was among the
first to market products branded with his name. He was credited with
inventing and selling the first exercise equipment for the masses:
machined dumbbells, spring pulleys, and tension bands. Even his image
was sold by the thousands in "cabinet cards" and other prints. Sandow
was a perfect "gracilian", a standard of ideal body proportions close
to those of ancient Greek and Roman statues. Men were judged by how
closely they matched these proportions.
First large-scale bodybuilding competition
Sandow organised the first bodybuilding contest on September 14, 1901,
called the "Great Competition". It was held at the Royal Albert Hall
in London. Judged by Sandow, Sir Charles Lawes, and Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, the contest was a great success and many bodybuilding
enthusiasts were turned away due to the overwhelming amount of
audience members. The trophy presented to the winner was a gold
statue of Sandow sculpted by Frederick Pomeroy. The winner was William
L. Murray of Nottingham. The silver Sandow trophy was presented to
second-place winner D. Cooper. The bronze Sandow trophy, now the most
famous of all, was presented to third-place winner A.C. Smythe. In
1950, this same bronze trophy was presented to
Steve Reeves for
winning the inaugural NABBA Mr. Universe. It would not resurface again
until 1977, when the winner of the IFBB
Mr. Olympia contest, Frank
Zane, was presented with the bronze trophy, or at least a replica of
it. Since then,
Mr. Olympia winners have been awarded a replica of the
On January 16, 1904, the first large-scale bodybuilding competition in
America took place at
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden in New York City. The
competition was promoted by Bernarr Macfadden, the father of physical
culture and publisher of the original bodybuilding magazines such as
Health & Strength. The winner was Al Treloar, who was declared
"The Most Perfectly Developed Man in the World". Treloar won a
$1,000 cash prize, a substantial sum at that time. Two weeks later,
Thomas Edison made a film of Treloar's posing routine. Edison had also
made two films of Sandow a few years before. Those were the first
three motion pictures featuring a bodybuilder. In the early 20th
century, Macfadden and
Charles Atlas continued to promote bodybuilding
across the world.
Alois P. Swoboda was an early pioneer in America.
Notable early bodybuilders
Model Jackie Coey with Mr. Los Angeles contestant
Ed Fury in 1953
Many other important bodybuilders in the early history of bodybuilding
prior to 1930 include Earle Liederman (writer of some of
bodybuilding's earliest books), Zishe Breitbart, Georg Hackenschmidt,
Emy Nkemena, George F. Jowett, Finn Hateral (a pioneer in the art of
posing), Frank Saldo, Monte Saldo, William Bankier, Launceston Elliot,
Sig Klein, Sgt. Alfred Moss, Joe Nordquist, Lionel Strongfort
("Strongfortism"), Gustav Frištenský,
Ralph Parcaut (a champion
wrestler who also authored an early book on "physical culture"), and
Alan P. Mead (who became an impressive muscle champion despite the
fact that he lost a leg in World War I). Actor Francis X. Bushman, who
was a disciple of Sandow, started his career as a bodybuilder and
sculptor's model before beginning his famous silent movie career.
Bodybuilding became more popular in the 1950s and 1960s with the
emergence of strength and gymnastics champions, and the simultaneous
popularization of bodybuilding magazines, training principles,
nutrition for bulking up and cutting down, the use of protein and
other food supplements, and the opportunity to enter physique
contests. The number of bodybuilding organizations grew, most notably
the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), founded by
Canadian brothers Joe and Ben Weider. Other bodybuilding organizations
Amateur Athletic Union
Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), National Amateur
Bodybuilding Association (NABBA), and the World
(WBBG). Consequently, the male-dominated contests grew both in number
and in size. Besides the many "Mr. (insert town, city, state, or
region)" championships, the most prestigious titles[according to
whom?] were Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. Universe, Mr. Galaxy, and
Mr. Olympia (which was started in 1965 by the IFBB and is
now considered the most important bodybuilding competition in the
During the 1950s, the most famous competing bodybuilders[according to
whom?] were Bill Pearl, Reg Park, Leroy Colbert, and Clarence Ross.
Certain bodybuilders rose to fame thanks to the relatively new medium
of television, as well as movies. The most notable[according to whom?]
were Jack LaLanne, Steve Reeves, Reg Park, and Mickey Hargitay. While
there were well-known gyms throughout the country during the 1950s
(such as Vince's
North Hollywood, California
North Hollywood, California and Vic Tanny's
chain gyms), there were still segments of the United States that had
no "hardcore" bodybuilding gyms until the advent of
Gold's Gym in the
mid-1960s. Finally, the famed
Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California
continued its popularity as the place to be for witnessing acrobatic
acts, feats of strength, and the like. The 1960s grew more in TV and
movie exposure, as bodybuilders were typecast in popular shows and
In the 1970s, bodybuilding had major publicity thanks to the
appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, and
others in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron. By this time, the IFBB
dominated the competitive bodybuilding landscape and the Amateur
Athletic Union (AAU) took a back seat. The National Physique Committee
(NPC) was formed in 1981 by Jim Manion, who had just stepped down
as chairman of the AAU Physique Committee. The NPC has gone on to
become the most successful bodybuilding organization in America, and
is the amateur division of the IFBB. The late 1980s and early 1990s
saw the decline of AAU-sponsored bodybuilding contests. In 1999, the
AAU voted to discontinue its bodybuilding events.
Anabolic/androgenic steroid use
Ronnie Coleman, eight-time Mr. Olympia, pictured in October 2009
This period also saw the rise of anabolic steroids in bodybuilding and
many other sports. In bodybuilding lore, this is partly attributed to
the rise of "mass monsters", beginning with Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Sergio Oliva, and
Lou Ferrigno in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and
continuing to the present day with Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ronnie
Coleman, and Markus Rühl. Bodybuilders such as
Greg Kovacs and Paul
Demayo attained mass and size that were not seen previously, but were
not particularly successful at the pro level. At the time of shooting
Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger (while never admitting to steroid use
until long after his retirement) said that "you have to do anything
you can to get the advantage in competition". He
would later say that he does not regret using anything.
To combat steroid use and in the hopes of becoming a member of the
IOC, the IFBB introduced doping tests for both steroids and other
banned substances. Although doping tests occurred, the majority of
professional bodybuilders still used anabolic steroids for
competition. During the 1970s, the use of anabolic steroids was openly
discussed, partly due to the fact they were legal. In the Anabolic
Steroid Control Act of 1990, U.S. Congress placed anabolic steroids
into Schedule III of the
Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In Canada,
steroids were added to the Canadian Criminal Code as a Class IV
controlled substance (a class created expressly for steroids).
Main article: World
In 1990, professional wrestling promoter
Vince McMahon announced that
he was forming a new bodybuilding organization named the World
Bodybuilding Federation (WBF). McMahon wanted to bring WWF-style
showmanship and bigger prize money to the sport of bodybuilding. A
number of IFBB stars were recruited but the roster was never very
large, and featured the same athletes competing; the most notable
winner and first WBF champion was Gary Strydom. McMahon formally
dissolved the WBF in July 1992. Reasons for this reportedly included
lack of income from the pay-per-view broadcasts of the contests, slow
sales of the WBF's magazine
Bodybuilding Lifestyles (later WBF
Magazine), and the expense of paying multiple six-figure contracts
while producing two TV shows and a monthly magazine.
Joe Weider sold Weider Publications to AMI, which owns the
National Enquirer. The position of president of the IFBB was filled by
Rafael Santonja following the death of
Ben Weider in October 2008. In
2004, contest promoter Wayne DeMilia broke ranks with the IFBB and AMI
took over the promotion of the
Mr. Olympia contest. Other professional
contests emerged in this period, such as the Arnold Classic, Night of
Champions, and the European Grand Prix of Bodybuilding.
In the early 21st century, patterns of consumption and recreation
similar to those of the United States became more widespread in Europe
and especially in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet
Union. This resulted in the emergence of whole new populations of
bodybuilders emerged from former
Eastern Bloc states.
Olympic sport discussion
In the early 2000s, the IFBB was attempting to make bodybuilding an
Olympic sport. It obtained full
IOC membership in 2000 and was
attempting to get approved as a demonstration event at the Olympics,
which would hopefully lead to it being added as a full contest. This
did not happen and Olympic recognition for bodybuilding remains
controversial, since many argue that bodybuilding is not a sport.
Main article: Professional bodybuilding
Frank Zane, three-time Mr. Olympia
In the modern bodybuilding industry, the term "professional" generally
means a bodybuilder who has won qualifying competitions as an amateur
and has earned a "pro card" from their respective organization.
Professionals earn the right to compete in competitions that include
monetary prizes. A pro card also prohibits the athlete from competing
in federations other than the one from which they have received the
pro card. Depending on the level of success, these bodybuilders
may receive monetary compensation from sponsors, much like athletes in
Natural bodybuilding 
Main article: Natural bodybuilding
Due to the growing concerns of the high cost, health consequences, and
illegal nature of some steroids, many organizations have formed in
response and have deemed themselves "natural" bodybuilding
competitions. In addition to the concerns noted, many promoters of
bodybuilding have sought to shed the "freakish" perception that the
general public has of bodybuilding and have successfully introduced a
more mainstream audience to the sport of bodybuilding by including
competitors whose physiques appear much more attainable and realistic.
In natural contests, the testing protocol ranges among organizations
from lie detectors to urinalysis. Penalties also range from
organization to organization from suspensions to strict bans from
competition. It is also important to note that natural organizations
also have their own list of banned substances and it is important to
refer to each organization's website for more information about which
substances are banned from competition. There are many natural
bodybuilding organizations. Some of the larger ones include
MuscleMania, Ultimate Fitness Events (UFE), INBF/WNBF, and INBA/PNBA.
These organizations either have American or worldwide presence and are
not limited to the country in which they are headquartered.
Other notable natural bodybuilding organization include the National
Physique Committee (NPC) and the North American Natural Bodybuilding
Federation (NANBF). NPC competitions screen competitors using
ineffective lie detector tests to ensure fair practices. Such tests
are very error prone, and some competitors are not even tested.
This is how the NPC differs from the NANBF. The NANBF takes a more
direct approach by taking urine samples from all competitors that are
tested for steroids and any other substances on the banned list. The
NANBF also differs from the NPC when it comes to judging. The criteria
of certain poses differs from organization to organization. The NANBF
even has an elevated calf pose which is unique for their competitions.
Main article: Female bodybuilding
Pro female bodybuilder
Nikki Fuller performing a side chest pose
The first U.S. Women's National Physique Championship, promoted by
Henry McGhee and held in
Canton, Ohio in 1978, is generally regarded
as the first true female bodybuilding contest—that is, the first
contest where the entrants were judged solely on muscularity. In
1980, the first
Ms. Olympia (initially known as the "Miss" Olympia),
the most prestigious contest for professionals, was held. The first
winner was Rachel McLish, who had also won the NPC's USA Championship
earlier in the year. The contest was a major turning point for female
bodybuilding. McLish inspired many future competitors to start
training and competing. In 1985, a movie called
Pumping Iron II: The
Women was released. It documented the preparation of several women for
Caesars Palace World Cup Championship. Competitors
prominently featured in the film were Kris Alexander, Lori Bowen,
Lydia Cheng, Carla Dunlap, Bev Francis, and McLish. At the time,
Francis was actually a powerlifter, though she soon made a successful
transition to bodybuilding, becoming one of the leading competitors of
the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In recent years, the related areas of fitness and figure competition
have increased in popularity, surpassing that of female bodybuilding,
and have provided an alternative for women who choose not to develop
the level of muscularity necessary for bodybuilding. McLish would
closely resemble what is thought of today as a fitness and figure
competitor, instead of what is now considered a female bodybuilder.
Fitness competitions also have a gymnastic element to them. A study by
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that female bodybuilders
who are taking anabolic steroids are more likely to have qualified for
substance dependence disorder and have been diagnosed with a
psychiatric illness and have a history of sexual abuse.
E Wilma Conner competed in the 2011 NPC Armbrust Pro
Classic Championships in Loveland, Colorado, at the age of 75 years
and 349 days.
Lukas Osladil posing onstage with a variation of the Most Muscular
In competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders aspire to develop and
maintain an aesthetically pleasing body and balanced physique.
In prejudging, competitors do a series of mandatory poses: the front
lat spread, rear lat spread, front double biceps, back double biceps,
side chest, side triceps,
Most Muscular (men only), and the thigh
abdominal. Each competitor also performs a routine to display their
physique. A posedown is usually held at the end of a posing round,
while judges are finishing their scoring. Bodybuilders spend a lot of
time practising their posing in mirrors.
In contrast to strongman or powerlifting competitions, where physical
strength is important, or to Olympic weightlifting, where the main
point is equally split between strength and technique, bodybuilding
competitions typically emphasize condition, size, and symmetry.
Different organizations emphasize particular aspects of competition,
and sometimes have different categories in which to compete.
Cutting and bulking
The general strategy adopted by most present-day competitive
bodybuilders is to make muscle gains for most of the year (known as
the "off-season") and, approximately 12–14 weeks from competition,
attempt to lose body fat (referred to as "cutting"). The bulking phase
entails remaining in a net positive energy balance (calorie surplus).
The amount of a surplus in which a person remains is based on the
person's goals, as a bigger surplus and longer bulking phase will
create more fat tissue. The surplus of calories relative to one's
energy balance will ensure that muscles remain in a state of growth.
The cutting phase entails remaining in a net negative energy balance
(calorie deficit). The main goal of cutting is to oxidize fat while
preserving as much muscle as possible. The larger the calorie deficit,
the faster one will lose weight. However, a large calorie deficit will
also create the risk of losing muscle tissue.
The precise effectiveness of the cutting and bulking strategy is
unknown, with only limited observational case studies on the subject.
No studies involving precise hypercaloric feeding combined with
resistance exercise have been conducted.
Many non-competitive bodybuilders choose not to adopt the conventional
strategy, as it often results in significant unwanted fat gain during
the "bulking" phase. The attempt to increase muscle mass in one's body
without any gain in fat is called clean bulking. Competitive
bodybuilders focus their efforts to achieve a peak appearance during a
brief "competition season". Clean bulking takes
longer and is a more refined approach to achieving the body fat and
muscle mass percentage a person is looking for. A common tactic for
keeping fat low and muscle mass high would be to have higher calorie
and lower calorie days to reach a balance of gain and loss. Many clean
bulk diets start off with a moderate amount of carbs, moderate amount
of protein, and a decently low amount of fats, "Gaining lean muscle
means going for leaner cuts of meat, like flank steaks and fillets,
chicken, and, of course, fish," says White. Enjoy your meat with some
starch: rice, beans, quinoa, whole-grain couscous, or sweet potato,
for example". To maintain a clean bulk it is important to reach
your calorie goals every day. Macronutrient goals will be different
for each person, but, it is ideal to get as close as possible.
"Dirty bulking" is the process of eating at a caloric surplus, without
finding the exact number of macronutrients (carbs, fats, and
proteins). Weight lifters who are attempting to gain mass quickly
often choose to use the "dirty bulk" method.
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In the week leading up to a contest, bodybuilders may decrease their
consumption of water, sodium, and carbohydrates, the former two to
alter how water is retained by the body and the latter to reduce
glycogen in the muscle. The day before the show, water is removed from
the diet, and diuretics may be introduced, while carbohydrate loading
is undertaken to increase the size of the muscles through
replenishment of their glycogen. The goal is to maximize leanness and
increase the visibility of veins, or "vascularity". The appearance of
veins is further enhanced immediately before appearing on stage by
darkening the skin through tanning products and applying oils to the
skin to increase shine. Some competitors will eat sugar-rich foods to
increase the visibility of their veins. A final step is the use of
weights to fill the muscles with blood and further increase their
Bodybuilders use three main strategies to maximize muscle hypertrophy:
Strength training through weights or elastic/hydraulic resistance.
Specialized nutrition, incorporating extra protein and supplements
Adequate rest, including sleep and recuperation between workouts.
Bodybuilders often shorten these three steps into the well-known motto
"eat clean, train hard, sleep well".
Weight training and Strength training
Weight training causes micro-tears to the muscles being trained; this
is generally known as microtrauma. These micro-tears in the muscle
contribute to the soreness felt after exercise, called delayed onset
muscle soreness (DOMS). It is the repair to these micro-trauma that
result in muscle growth. Normally, this soreness becomes most apparent
a day or two after a workout. However, as muscles become adapted to
the exercises, soreness tends to decrease.
Weight training aims to build muscle by prompting two different types
of hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar. Sarcoplasmic
hypertrophy leads to larger muscles and so is favored by bodybuilders
more than myofibrillar hypertrophy, which builds athletic strength.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is triggered by increasing repetitions,
whereas myofibrillar hypertrophy is triggered by lifting heavier
weight. In either case, there is an increase in size and strength
of the muscles (compared to if that same individual does not lift
weights at all). However, the emphasis is different.
Many trainees like to cycle between the two methods in order to
prevent the body from adapting (maintaining a progressive overload),
possibly emphasizing whichever method more suits their goals. i.e. a
bodybuilder will use sarcoplasmic hypertrophy most of the time, but
may change to myofibrillar hypertrophy temporarily in order to move
past a plateau. However, no real evidence has been provided to show
that trainees ever reach this plateau, and rather was more of a hype
created from "muscular confusion".
The high levels of muscle growth and repair achieved by bodybuilders
require a specialized diet. Generally speaking, bodybuilders require
more calories than the average person of the same weight to provide
the protein and energy requirements needed to support their training
and increase muscle mass. A sub-maintenance level of food energy is
combined with cardiovascular exercise to lose body fat in preparation
for a contest. The ratios of calories from carbohydrates, proteins,
and fats vary depending on the goals of the bodybuilder.
Carbohydrates play an important role for bodybuilders. They give the
body energy to deal with the rigors of training and recovery.
Carbohydrates also promote secretion of insulin, a hormone enabling
cells to get the glucose they need.
Insulin also carries amino acids
into cells and promotes protein synthesis.
steroid-like effects in terms of muscle gains. It is
impossible to promote protein synthesis without the existence of
insulin, which means that without ingesting carbohydrates or
protein—which also induces the release of insulin—it is impossible
to add muscle mass. Bodybuilders seek out low-glycemic
polysaccharides and other slowly digesting carbohydrates, which
release energy in a more stable fashion than high-glycemic sugars and
starches. This is important as high-glycemic carbohydrates cause a
sharp insulin response, which places the body in a state where it is
likely to store additional food energy as fat. However, bodybuilders
frequently do ingest some quickly digesting sugars (often in form of
pure dextrose or maltodextrin) after a workout. This may help to
replenish glycogen stored within the muscle, and to stimulate muscle
Protein milkshakes, made from protein powder (center) and milk (left),
are a common bodybuilding supplement.
The motor proteins actin and myosin generate the forces exerted by
contracting muscles. Current advice says that bodybuilders should
consume 25–30% of protein per total calorie intake to further their
goal of maintaining and improving their body composition. This is
a widely debated topic, with many arguing that 1 gram of protein
per pound of body weight per day is ideal, some suggesting that less
is sufficient, while others recommending 1.5, 2, or more. It is
believed that protein needs to be consumed frequently throughout the
day, especially during/after a workout, and before sleep. There is
also some debate concerning the best type of protein to take. Chicken,
turkey, beef, pork, fish, eggs and dairy foods are high in protein, as
are some nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
Casein or whey are often used
to supplement the diet with additional protein.
Whey protein is the
type of protein contained in many popular brands of protein
supplements, and is preferred by many bodybuilders because of its high
Biological Value (BV) and quick absorption rates. However, whey has a
bigger effect than
Casein on insulin levels. Whey triggers about
double the amount of insulin release. That effect is somewhat
overcome by combining
Casein and whey. Bodybuilders are usually
thought to require protein with a higher BV than that of soy, which is
additionally avoided due to its claimed estrogenic properties. Still,
some nutrition experts believe that soy, flax seeds and many other
plants that contain the weak estrogen-like compounds or phytoestrogens
can be used beneficially, as phytoestrogens compete with estrogens for
receptor sites in the male body and can block its actions. This can
also include some inhibition of pituitary functions while stimulating
the P450 system (the system that eliminates hormones, drugs and
metabolic waste product from the body) in the liver to more actively
process and excrete excess estrogen.
Cortisol decreases amino
acid uptake by muscle, and inhibits protein synthesis.
Contrary to certain rumors that animal-based protein is more suitable
to trigger muscle growth than plant-based protein, a study by Mangano
et al. (2017) could not provide any evidence for this. In
contrast, if combined properly plant-based protein even has a higher
biological quality. A combination of one part wheat protein (e.g.
seitan) and two parts soy protein (e.g. tofu) has thus been favored by
many bodybuilders. Some bodybuilders, such as
Patrik Baboumian and
Robert Cheeke, follow a strict vegan diet.
Bodybuilders often split their food intake for the day into 5 to 7
meals of roughly equal nutritional content and attempt to eat at
regular intervals (e.g. every 2 to 3 hours). This method can serve two
purposes: to limit overindulging in the cutting phase, and to
physically allow for the consumption of large volumes of food during
the bulking phase. Contrary to popular belief, eating more frequently
does not increase basal metabolic rate when compared to the
traditional 3 meals a day. While food does have a metabolic cost to
digest, absorb, and store, called the thermic effect of food, it
depends on the quantity and type of food, not how the food is spread
across the meals of the day. Well-controlled studies using whole-body
calorimetry and doubly labeled water have demonstrated that there is
no metabolic advantage to eating more frequently.
The important role of nutrition in building muscle and losing fat
means bodybuilders may consume a wide variety of dietary
supplements. Various products are used in an attempt to augment
muscle size, increase the rate of fat loss, improve joint health,
increase natural testosterone production, enhance training performance
and prevent potential nutrient deficiencies. There are three major
macronutrients that the human body needs in order for muscle building.
The major nutrients – protein, carbohydrate, and fat – provide the
body with energy.
Some bodybuilders use drugs such as anabolic steroids and precursor
substances such as prohormones to increase muscle hypertrophy.
Anabolic steroids cause muscle hypertrophy of both types (I and II) of
muscle fibers caused likely by an increased synthesis of muscle
proteins and are accompanied with undesired side effects including
hepatotoxicity, gynecomastia, acne, the early onset of male pattern
baldness and a decline in the body's own testosterone production,
which can cause testicular atrophy. Other
performance-enhancing substances used by competitive bodybuilders
include human growth hormone (HGH), which can cause acromegaly.
Muscle growth is more difficult to achieve in older adults than
younger adults because of biological aging, which leads to many
metabolic changes detrimental to muscle growth; for instance, by
diminishing growth hormone and testosterone. Some recent clinical
studies have shown that low-dose HGH treatment for adults with HGH
deficiency changes the body composition by increasing muscle mass,
decreasing fat mass, increasing bone density and muscle strength,
improves cardiovascular parameters, and affects the quality of life
without significant side effects.[unreliable medical
A recent trend in bodybuilding is to inject synthol into muscles
to create larger bulges, or injecting PMMA into muscles to shape them.
Use of PMMA to shape muscles is prohibited in the United States.
Although muscle stimulation occurs in the gym (or home gym) when
lifting weights, muscle growth occurs afterward during rest. Without
adequate rest and sleep (6 to 8 hours), muscles do not have an
opportunity to recover and build. About eight hours of sleep a night
is desirable for the bodybuilder to be refreshed, although this varies
from person to person. Additionally, many athletes find a daytime
nap further increases their body's ability to build muscles. Some
individual bodybuilders add a massage, sometimes by professional
masseuse, massager or masseur at the end of each workout to their
routine as a method of recovering.
Main article: Overtraining
Overtraining occurs when a bodybuilder has trained to the point where
his workload exceeds his recovery capacity. There are many reasons
that overtraining occurs, including lack of adequate nutrition, lack
of recovery time between workouts, insufficient sleep, and training at
a high intensity for too long (a lack of splitting apart workouts).
Training at a high intensity too frequently also stimulates the
central nervous system (CNS) and can result in a hyper-adrenergic
state that interferes with sleep patterns. To avoid overtraining,
intense frequent training must be met with at least an equal amount of
purposeful recovery. Timely provision of carbohydrates, proteins, and
various micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals,
even nutritional supplements are acutely critical. A mental disorder
known as bigorexia may be held accountable of some people
overtraining. Sufferers feel as if they are never big enough or
muscular enough. This therefore forces them to overtrain in order to
try and reach this goal physique.
It has been argued that overtraining can be beneficial. One article
Muscle & Fitness magazine stated that you can
"Overtrain for Big Gains". It suggested that if one is planning a
restful holiday and they do not wish to inhibit their bodybuilding
lifestyle too much, they should overtrain before taking the holiday,
so the body can rest easily and recuperate and grow.
be used advantageously, as when a bodybuilder is purposely overtrained
for a brief period of time to super compensate during a regeneration
phase. These are known as "shock micro-cycles" and were a key training
technique used by Soviet athletes.
Injecting oil into muscles 
Site enhancement oil, often called "santol" or "synthol" (no relation
to the Synthol mouthwash brand), refers to oils injected into muscles
to increase the size or change the shape. Some bodybuilders,
particularly at the professional level, inject their muscles with such
mixtures to mimic the appearance of developed muscle where it may
otherwise be disproportionate or lagging. This is known as
"fluffing". Synthol is 85% oil, 7.5% lidocaine, and 7.5%
alcohol. It is not restricted, and many brands are available on
the Internet. The use of injected oil to enhance muscle appearance
is common among bodybuilders, despite the fact that synthol
can cause pulmonary embolisms, nerve damage, infections, sclerosing
lipogranuloma, stroke, and the formation of oil-filled
granulomas, cysts or ulcers in the muscle. Rare cases
might require surgical intervention to avoid further damage to the
muscle and/or to prevent loss of life.
Sesame oil is often used in such mixtures, which can cause allergic
reactions such as vasculitis.
As the injected muscle is not actually well-developed, it might droop
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For a list of words relating to used in bodybuilding, see the
Bodybuilding category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikibooks has more on the topic of: Bodybuilding
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Sports of the World Games program
Italics indicate invitational sports at the 2013 World Games
Artistic and dance sports
Artistic roller skating
Tug of war
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Sports at the World Games
International World Games Association
Quadriceps (front of thighs)
Leg extension (i)
Leg press (c)
Hamstrings (back of thighs)
Leg curl (i)
Calf raise (i)
Bench press (c)
Chest fly (i)
Machine fly (i)
Lats and trapezius (back)
Bent-over row (c)
Seated row (c)
Shoulder shrug (i)
Supine row (c)
Front raise (i)
Head stand into handstand push-up (c)
Lateral raise (i)
Military press (c)
Rear delt raise
Rear delt raise (i)
Shoulder press (c)
Upright row (c)
Biceps (front of arms)
Biceps curl (i)
Triceps (back of arms)
Close-grip bench press (c)
Triceps extension (i)
Wrist curl (i)
Abdomen and obliques (belly)
Leg raise (c)
Russian twist (c)
Pelvic lift (c)
Hips and buttocks
Dirty dog exercise (c)
Weight training (List of exercises)
(c) - compound exercise, (i) - isolated exercise
See also: Wei