Fitness Health, trainers, coaches, and applications in the industry today seem often to use the word “bodybuilding “to refer to many types and instead of the term resistance training. There is also a possible debate about what bodybuilding is really. Many say it is a sport and others an exhibition. This notion is one that I never took the time or cared to consider or debate. Like many sports, bodybuilding requires training, proper nutrition, preparation, creativity, and a competitive mindset. Not everyone who does resistance training is bodybuilding or a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding, like many other sports, has an offseason where an individual first heals, then trains for improvement or competitive edge, and engages in a corresponding nutrition usually not tremendously strict, but designed for desired results.

Bodybuilding contest preparation requires a body fat analysis and very strict adherence to a nutrition and training regimen. The body fat measurement is necessary to lose just body fat while maintaining every pound of lean body mass and for determining how long the restricted diet, modified training with additional cardiovascular and resistance training parameters with increased exercises, sets, repetitions, and decreased rest intervals or giant sets should last. All this is done to maximize muscle size, density, and detail to be competitive. Because of these drastic changes in training and nutrition required, calling many forms of resistance training bodybuilding is foolish and fraudulent at best. Again, everyone who lifts weights is not bodybuilding.

Resistance training for muscle gain or bodybuilding offseason and training for an upcoming show will vary in some exercises, exercise order, sets, repetitions, and rest intervals. Resistance training may also be used strictly for weight loss combined with cardiovascular exercise and proper nutrition. In this case, exercises, sets, repetitions, rest intervals, intensity, and nutrition will differ from both bodybuilding offseason and contest preparation. Resistance can be utilized for cardiac or other forms of rehabilitation, endurance training, sports performance of all types, muscle gain, weight loss, strength, and power. For this reason, it is very important not to refer to all forms of resistance training as bodybuilding. Bodybuilding only refers to a sport, exhibition, or competition that was started decades ago. I am an exercise physiologist, engaged in resistance for forty years, and at one time was a competitive powerlifter, but I have never and still do not ever call myself a bodybuilder or claim to be bodybuilding.