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Bodybuilding is the process of body modification (mainly due to hypertrophy of muscles and reduction of subcutaneous fat) by lifting weight, strength training, high-calorie food, sports nutrition, steroid hormones and other anabolic agents. An integral part of bodybuilding is the formation of muscle relief. For this reason the training program includes aerobic training, fat burners, diuretics, anti-catabolic supplements, special creams, oils and lotions. The inherent features of modern bodybuilding are also aesthetics, harmony and strength of spirit.
Eugene Sandow is considered to be the founder of bodybuilding. In 1901 he organized the first contest of athletic beauty. Many athletes were doing exercises accordingly to system designed by him. Sandow also was known as one of the strongest men in the world - so, his chest could withstand the weight of three horses; using only one hand he could lift a bar with one adult sitting on each side.
Competitive bodybuilding – is type of sport where judges determine the best bodybuilder on the basis of aesthetics, volume and quality of bodybuilder’s physical development.
Competition in men`s classic bodybuilding includes three rounds. In the first qualifying round there is a set of mandatory poses: double biceps - front, latissimus dorsi- front, chest/biceps - side, double biceps - back, latissimus dorsi - back, triceps – side, press and thigh. In the second round, the athletes perform freestyle program. The final one includes both compulsory and freestyle poses.
With each level effectiveness increases productivity, but the number of people is reduced. Transition to highest level is possible even without doping, but low personal achievements of a coach make negative influence on his reputation in the eyes of clients. Professional education also allows you to go directly to the highest level.
Previously the main source of information about fitness & bodybuilding were books and magazines, but now, with development of digital technologies many sports websites have appeared. As all the strength sport runs on ads, very often beginners become the victims of unscrupulous marketing, quack methods and useless supplements.
Bodybuilding and Fitness is a complex business system which includes several components:
There is also a thriving “network marketing” in the field of bodybuilding, selling techniques and supplements.
At the moment, there is a huge number of fitness & bodybuilding bloggers who cover the field of nutrition, training and recovery. All the most popular bloggers take anabolic drugs. This is due to human psychology: if the author has no muscle relief, the credibility to his information is greatly reduced.
It should be noted that the most useful information on bodybuilding comes from beginners bloggers who make translations of original articles, compile and structure scientific information and put forward constructive criticism. By the time when popularity is achieved, the author’s knowledge is exhausted and it`s time for business. At this point the advertising of intricate techniques begins, shopping, supplements, etc. Thus, the more popular author is, the more distorted information becomes under the influence of commercialization. In addition, almost all known bloggers are familiar with each other and often make cross-advertisement.
Basics of strength training include manipulation with sets and repetitions, tempo (speed of exercises), and the choice of exercise itself in order to get desired change in strength, endurance or size of a muscle group. Specific combinations of repetition, sets of exercises, size and strength depend on a number of individual exercises. In order to get the size and strength one have to perform several sets (4+) with fewer repetitions, which requires greater strength. The choice of exercises should be limited to fundamental barbells exercises, such as squatting, bench press, deadlift, clean-and-press, and incline bench pull.
All muscles should be trained in a balance with surrounding muscles, that is to say, chest - shoulder (delta) - triceps etc. To maximize the effect of trainings one should perform exercises with heavy weights (70-85% of 1RM, better known as "1 repetition maximum") and several sets with rather long (2-5 min., depending on intensity) rest periods between sets. Training in bad physical form can cause injury of certain groups of muscles – as a result, the muscle overload threshold is not reached, and they don’t gain strength. Sometimes “cheating” is required when you need to use auxiliary muscles.
The benefits of strength training include: gain of muscle mass, tendon and ligament strength, increased bone density, flexibility, muscle tone, metabolic rate and postural support.
Strength training has a number of specialized terms used to describe parameters of strength training.
There are following repetition rates :
The number of repetitions per set and number of sets themselves depends on the level of training and goals of an athlete. The number of repetitions that can be performed with certain weight is called "rep-maximum" (RM). For example, if an athlete can perform ten repetitions with 75 kg, his "rep-maximum" for this weight will be 10RM; 1RM is the maximum weight that he can lift only once without interruption.
According to widely accepted principles, there are following types of training in bodybuilding:
Circuit Training – is a row of exercises for different muscle groups performed without pauses and followed one by one, such as squatting, bench press, pull-ups, etc. Circuit is performed 3-8 times per workout. This type of training allows you to work through a large number of muscle groups in a short time. It provides a good athletic effect for beginners. Also increased metabolism in combination with aerobic exercises allows to effectively fight obesity. For an experienced athlete with six or more months of regular trainings this type of workout is useless in terms of gaining muscle mass and increasing strength.
Hyper training is a long-lasting training for one or two muscle groups with variety of super-sets and gradual reduction of weight. The duration of training can be up to 4-6 hours. In this case one should take breaks for meal (which is prepared in advance). This type of training allows you to overcome "stagnation" in the muscle growth, and increase their circumference by 1.5 - 2.5 cm in one day. But it is also a challenge to cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Sometimes an athlete requires 1-2 days of passive recreation, as metabolism cannot cope with recovery after such workout. This practice is used by experienced athletes no more than once in every 2-4 months (or every training cycle).
According to a popular theory there are several types of sets:
Athletes typically do 1-6 sets for each exercise, and 1-3 exercises per muscle group with short breaks (pauses) between each set. This particular combination of reps with different length of sets and rests depends on particular goals of individual program. Rest periods determine what energy system of an organism is used. Doing set of exercises with little rest or no rest between them is called "circuit training", which draws its energy mainly from aerobic energy system.
It was found that multi-set training provides beginners with minimal advantage over single-set, as to gaining muscle mass and strength. But for experienced athletes multi-set training gives desired progress  . However, studies showed that three sets are more effective for leg muscles than one set .
Novice - weightlifters are in the process of training their nervous system to generate action potentials, which will cause muscle contraction close to maximum force.
|#||Goals of training|
|Load (% of 1RM)||80-90||45-60||60-80||40-60||30|
|Repetitions in set||1-5||1-5||6-12||13-60||1-5|
|Sets per exercise||4-7||3-5||4-8||2-4||3-5|
|Rest between sets (min.)||2-6||2-6||2-5||1-2||2-5|
|Duration (seconds per set)||5-10||4-8||20-60||80-150||20-40|
|Speed of rep (% of max)||60-100||90-100||60-90||60-80||100|
|Workouts a week||3-6||3-6||5-7||8-14||3-6|
|From “Super training” by (Mel C. Siff), 2003|
Weights for each exercise must be chosen so that to reach the necessary number of repetitions, the last one or two of which must be performed on the limit of one’s power.
Constantly progressing load is the basis of effective gain of muscle mass. Muscles grow faster and become stronger only in the process of adaptation to the load. It is related to micro-trauma that muscles get only from intense workouts - trying to "heal" them the organism not only restores the damaged areas, but also adds certain reserve, as it were " just in case ". This is the cause of muscle growth – which is represented by increased size of muscle fibers, called hypertrophy, but not their number. Due to this fact, we must constantly increase the weight of training or its intensity each week or cycle, depending on the speed of muscle adaptation and muscle recovery
Only progression of load ensures sufficient level of "training stress", which makes organism produce necessary amount of anabolic hormones. A heavier stress (heavier weights or training intensity) causes muscles to adapt to it, that is to grow. The reason is in hormonal stimulation of certain DNA segments with subsequent protein synthesis in a cell. If the load will have no progress, there will be usual amount of anabolic hormones produced, which is insufficient to start the protein synthesis in a cell .
can increase the load and muscles work in a variety of ways, for example:
It will be helpful to keep a diary of training, as it allows you to monitor, analyze and progress in speed, strength and gain of muscle mass, as well as to select the most appropriate weight for training. That is why it is so important to record all success and failure of trainings.
Split-training is a training in which athlete is working on two or three muscle groups in one workout.
The three important components of strength training are intensity, volume and frequency. Intensity refers to the amount of work, which is necessary to achieve proportionality of muscle mass and lifted weight. Volume refers to the number of working muscles, exercises, sets and reps for one exercise. The frequency is a number of trainings in a week.
These components are important, as they are interdependent. Increasing of any component requires the reduction of the other two, for example, increasing weight lifted means reduction of repetitions, and would require more time to recover and consequently less training per week. Attempts to increase intensity, volume and frequency will lead to overtraining, and ultimately can lead to injuries and other health problems, such as chronic pain and general lethargy (atony), illness or even bone fractures. "High-medium-low" is the formula of training, which can be used to avoid overtraining. For example, a one-week cycle - Monday "high", Wednesday "medium", Friday "low". Multi-week cycle - the first week "high", the second "middle", the third "low". An example of such a strategy is summarized in the following table:
|Intensity (% from 1RM)||80-100 %||50-70 %||10-40 %|
|Volume (per muscle)||1 exercise||2 exercises||3+ exercises|
|Sets||1 set||2-3 sets||4+ sets|
|Reps||1-6 reps||8-15 reps||20+ reps|
|Frequency of training||1 per week||2-3 per week||4+ per week|
In order to leave the same volume and frequency every week - for example, training for 3 times a week, with 2 sets of 12 repetitions per each workout), one should gradually increase the weight on a weekly basis. However, to maximize the progress of specific goals, some programs may require different manipulations, such as reduction of weight and increase of volume or frequency .
Creation of a program with daily changes (wave periodization) seems to be more effective than doing it every 4 weeks (linear periodization) . But for beginners there is no difference between different models of periodization .
In order to maintain a constant progress one should use periodization. The periodization of a training involves division of the program into phases with different intensity, volume, speed and choice of exercises. There are two popular types of periodization - "linear" and "conjugate".
There are also other varieties of this principle, for example, the principle of "pendulum".
To get the most of each muscle or muscle group, you have to create a training program, to choose the principle of sets and quantity of each exercise, thereby stimulating their maximum growth. The selection of sets and their number depends on the physical, physiological and psychological preparedness of an athlete to specific exercises and ways of their implementation.
Classification of sets:
Selection of the quantity and type of particular exercise repetitions depends on experience of an athlete, lifted weight and desired goals.
Classification of repetitions:
The most popular combinations of sets and reps used in strength training for "gaining" muscles are "3x3", "5x5", "8x8".
Singles - a set of single sets:
The principles of strength training - a common way of overcoming physical and psychological barriers to achieve such characteristics, as growth of skeletal muscle, increase of endurance and strength. Due to the rapid development of medicine, mathematics and other sciences in the last hundred years, the better understanding of physical, chemical, biological and physiological processes has begun, which allowed scientifically widen the boundaries in all sports, and human life in general.
The basic principles of strength training have to overcome the barriers of strength and endurance, since in a few months after beginning of training the athletes face "dead point". To overcome this dead point, the following principles are used:
See article: Effective basics of gaining muscle mass
It is generally accepted that strength training should correspond to change in a diet. The protein is considered necessary to create a skeletal muscle, so bodybuilders consume food with high protein content – from 1.4 to 1.8 g of protein / kg of body weight a day (0.6 to 0.8 grams / pound) . Protein which is not essential for cell growth and recovery is not consumed and converted into fat in a liver, which is then stored in your body. Some people believe that high-protein diet entails the risk of kidney disease, but studies have shown that kidney problems occur only in people which had kidney disease earlier. Nevertheless, the process of deamination creates urea, which reduces and then makes stress of nephrons. “Wrong” hydrates may increase this effect.  Adequate reserve of carbohydrates (5-7 g per kg) is also required as an energy source for restoring the level of glycogen in muscles.
A balanced diet before training (usually 1-2 hours) provides energy and amino acids for intensive training. Type and time of nutrition makes significant impact on the body - proteins and carbohydrates consumed before and after exercise have a beneficial effect on muscle growth.  Water should be consumed throughout the workout to prevent dehydration. Protein cocktails are often consumed immediately after exercise , because absorption of proteins is increased at this time. Glucose (or other simple sugars) should be consumed more often, as it quickly replenishes glycogen during exercises. To maximize anabolism of muscle proteins a regeneration drink should contain glucose (dextrose), protein (usually whey), hydrolyzate containing mainly dipeptides, tripeptides and leucine. Some trainees also take adaptogens, such as creatine or steroids to help muscle growth. However, the effectiveness of some products is disputed, and some products are even potentially harmful.
See article: Sports nutrition
Nowadays, this concept combines many directions - aerobic workouts, exercises with weights and stretching. Physical strength and fortitude in training determine much. Much, but not all.
Fitness is a separate sport with its own criteria of judging, champions, injuries and intrigues.
It is interesting by diverse amount of information about muscle growth and strength, development of muscle relief and recovery from injury, basic approaches and individual training programs, calorie counting and differences in physique.
All this is necessary for harmonious development of a body, which involves mind as well. You can’t make a beautiful and healthy body without having “right” information. Of course, it’s more difficult to design airplanes, but to design your own body is also quite a try. And the main thing here is your desire!