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Myth: Bodybuilders Are Healthy

We’ve all seen pictures of tanned, oiled up bodybuilders competing for titles. With their bulging muscles and impossible physiques, one might think that a bodybuilder is the epitome of health. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.
On the day of a competition, mosttrue athletes are at a peak level of health and fitness. For a bodybuilder, it’s the exact opposite. Many are so weak and dehydrated that they’d have trouble running a mile. The reality is that professional bodybuilding can be very unhealthy – and many bodybuilders put their bodies through hell to look the way they do. There’s actually a bodybuilding saying, “Live fast. Die young. Be a beautiful corpse.”
In bodybuilding, the motivation is to look a certain way by building superficial muscles and winning an aesthetic competition. By it’s very nature, bodybuilding isn’t about being healthy. It’s entirely about doing whatever it takes to look a certain way.
According to, many bodybuilders suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure due to their taxing diets. Moreover, it takes a lot of effort for the human heart to supply blood such a large body mass – and so it increases the risk of heart issues and complications. And that’s without even taking into account the effects of steroid use.
With a goal of true health, proper diet and appropriate exercise are necessary requirements – but bodybuilding takes things to the extreme. Bodybuilding is about vanity and not health. I recommend putting health before muscles.

Eating To Gain Muscle

  1. Eat high-calorie whole foods.[5] You should be getting your calories from nutritious whole foods that will give your body the right kind of fuel to build up your muscles fast. Foods high in sugar, bleached white flour, trans fats, and additives are high in calorie but low in nutrition, and they're going to build fat instead of muscle. If you want your muscles grow and look defined, you need to eat an array of whole foods from every food group.
    • Eat calorie-rich protein dishes like steak and roast beef, roasted chicken (with the skin and dark meat), salmon, eggs and pork. Protein is very important when you're building muscle. Avoid bacon, sausage and other cured meats, which contain additives that aren't good for you to eat in large quantities.
    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all kinds. They provide you with fiber and essential nutrients and help to keep you hydrated.
    • Eat whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat, buckwheat, and quinoa instead of white bread, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, waffles and so on.
    • Eat legumes and nuts like black peans, pinto beans, lima beans, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and almonds.
  2. 2
    Eat more than you think you need. Do you eat when you're hungry, and stop when you're full? That sounds normal enough, but when your aim is to gain muscle fast, you need to be eating a lot more than you usually would. Add an extra serving to every single meal, and more if you can handle it. Your body needs the fuel to build muscle: it's as simple as that.
    • A good muscle-building breakfast might include a bowl of oatmeal, 4 eggs, 2 or more pieces of grilled ham, an apple, an orange, and a banana.
    • For lunch, you might eat a chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread, several handfuls of nuts, 2 avocados, and a big kale and tomato salad.
    • For dinner, have a big piece of steak or another protein, potatoes, vegetables, and second helpings of everything.
  3. 3
    Eat at least 5 meals a day. Don't wait until your stomach is growling to eat again; you need to be constantly refueling your body when you're in a muscle-building phase. This isn't going to last forever, so try to enjoy it! Eat two additional meals in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. 4
    Take supplements, but don't rely on them. You can't rely on muscle-building protein milkshakes to do the job for you. To build muscles, you need to be getting the vast majority of your calories from calorie-rich whole foods. That said, you can help accelerate the process by taking certain supplements that have been shown not to harm the body.
    • Creatine is a protein supplement that has been shown to help build bigger muscles. It comes in a powdered form, and you mix it with water and drink it a few times a day.
    • Protein milkshakes like Ensure are an OK supplement to have around for when you're having trouble eating enough calories between meals.
  5. 5
    Stay hydrated. Working out as hard as you have to in order to gain muscle can dry you out quickly. Combat this by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, and drinking whenever you feel thirsty. Ideally, you should be consuming around 3 liters per day. Drink extra water before and after workouts.[6]
    • Give up sugary or carbonated drinks. They won't help your overall fitness, and they might actually hold you back when it comes to strength training.
    • Alcohol isn't helpful, either. It dehydrates you and leaves you feeling low energy.
  6. 6
    Get to know your body better. What's working, and what isn't? As you change your, pay attention to what's happening with your muscles. Everyone's different, and a food that might not do much to one person might be helpful for someone else. If you don't see improvements one week, switch it up and try something else the next week.

How to Gain Muscle Fast

  1. 1
    Start with basic strength training.[1] Most workouts for your major body parts should start with basic, multi-joint strength training exercises that allow you to lift more weight overall, such as the bench presses for chest, overhead presses for deltoids, barbell rows for back and squats for legs. This will allow you to lift heavier on these exercises, while you're still fresh and have enough energy to better stimulate muscle growth.
  2. 2
    Go all in. Doing high-intensity workouts is the key to building muscle. Light workouts, even if they're long, don't go nearly as far to produce the right conditions for your muscles to break down and rebuild. Plan on doing a 1-hour session 3 - 4 times per week. This may sound like a surprisingly manageable plan, but remember that during each session you have to make it as intense as possible. Don't worry, your muscles will definitely get sore - and you'll soon start seeing some definition.
    • During each session, lift as much weight as you can using the correct form. Experiment to find out how much weight you should lift by doing reps with different weights. You should be able to do about 6- 10 reps without having to put the weights down. If you can't do more than 2 without feeling like you're going to pass out, go lower.
    • If you can do 10 or more reps without feeling a burn, add more weight. You simply will not get bigger unless you challenge yourself to go all in.
  3. 3
    Lift explosively. Do each exercise quickly, rather than slowly, for maximum muscle gain. Another way to put it is to "lift explosively"; instead of worrying about reps, time each exercise and lift as many times as you can. until the time is up. [2]
  4. 4
    Use proper form. To develop precise technique, do every rep with good form. Beginners, strive to keep the rep target inside your strength capabilities. Find the right groove for each exercise. Don't train to failure when you're just starting out.
    • You should be able to complete the full motion of an exercise without having to lean over or change position. If you can't, you need to be lifting less weight.
    • In most cases you'll start with your arms or legs extended.
    • Work with a trainer for a few sessions so you'll learn the right form for different exercises before continuing on your own.
  5. 5
    Alternate muscle groups. You don't want to work out the same groups with every workout, or you'll end up damaging your muscles.[3] Rotate muscle groups so that each time you work out, you're putting in an intense hour working on a different group. If you work out three times a week, try something like this:
    • First workout: do exercises for your chest, triceps and biceps.
    • Second workout: focus on your legs.
    • Third workout: Do your abs and chest again.[4]
  6. 6
    Avoid plateaus. If you do the same thing over and over each time you work out, you're not going to make progress. You need to be adding weight, and when you plateau with the new weight, switching up your exercises. Stay aware of the progress you're making and take notice when it seems like your muscles haven't changed in awhile; it could be a sign that you need to switch things up in the weight room.
  7. 7
    Rest between workouts. For someone with a fast metabolism, the rest period is almost as important as the workouts. Your body needs time to build muscle without burning a lot of calories doing other activities. Running and other cardio exercises can actually impede the growth of muscles. Take it easy in between workouts instead. Get a good night's sleep so you're fresh for the next workout.
  8. 8
    Develop the mind-muscle connection. Research confirms that tuning in to the mind-muscle connection can optimize your results in the gym. Instead of focusing on your day, or the blonde next to you, strive to get into a muscle-building mindset to help increase gains. Here's how to do it:
    • Visualize your target muscle growing as you complete every rep.
    • If you're doing lifts with one hand, place your other hand on the muscle you're hoping to improve. Doing this can help you feel exactly where the muscle is straining, and help you refocus your efforts.
    • Remember, it's not the amount of weight on the bar that's important; it's the effect of that weight on the muscle that leads to increases in the size and power you're after. This has a lot to do with how your thinking and what you’re focused on.

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[UPDATE] extreme workout motivation - you can do it

Note: I pulled this off of another thread at the beginning of the year which I now cannot find.

Your life is now.

It is not what you did, or looked like, or lifted yesterday. It is not what you will do tomorrow or hope to achieve with your physique in the future. It is now. Do you ever notice that "I really couldn't give 2 wanks and a rats ass" feeling you get when some arrogant, has-been jerk says, "'oh yeah, I used to be really freakin' huge maaaan! I bench pressed 4 million pounds!" As Mr. Personality continues his self centered, biased story of what he used to be, you find yourself extremely uninterested to the point where you'd rather jack off your grandpa! Well, thats how others feel when you and I talk about what we used to do or what we are dead set to accomplish in the world of muscle and fitness. People are impressed only with what you are NOW.

Today is your opportunity to live the real life. Today is your time to get out of the swamp of the status quo. Yes, today is your time to give purpose and drive to your fitness life. Don't keep doing the "Easy" exercises. Don't just do a certain number of reps and sets- no matter if you are straining or not. Don't stop your sets when the burn and pain starts. Remember, now is your time. This is your hour. When I'm in the gym, I see people who are about as focused as a fart. They are all over the road. They'll run many different half-assed exercises together and wonder why they look no different that last year.

Fear can be a bad thing in your life, but it can also yield results.The only fear you need is the fear that you will continue living a life much smaller than your hopes and dreams'.. and awake someday to find yourself past your prime, a product of your mediocre lifestyle as a fitness enthusiast. Or worse yet, you might die unexpectedly tomorrow, next week or next month with your music still in you. Your life is now. Your life is now, or never. When I turned 30, this hit me hard. Up to that point, I was in my 20's. IT didn't matter how late into my 20's I was, I was still in my 20's! Then 30 hit. I realilzed that IF I'm going to be muscular and strong, it had better happen now. Yes, you can be big and strong into your 40's. But I think many agree that the 30's are where its at! I had to decide that the time was now.

You possess unfathomable strength and ability, but you are rarely calling on your tremendous mental and physical resources. They demand to be stretched, exercised and challenged. They demand to be used to their full capacity. The reward your abilities promise is nothing short of greatness and excellence. Have you ever been told you have "potential'" Let me tell you something about "potential"'''. "potential" means that you're not doing it. Think about it'' Would you say that Jay Cutler has "potential?" No, because he's doing it! He's training hard, eating big, and keeping his focus. He is past the "potential" stage. Thats where I want all of us to be. To be to the place where every week we are setting and reaching goals in our fitness. Be it strength, size, or just a funny story from your daily walk as a bodybuilding enthusiast as proof that you are living the life and having a great time doing it!

Let me be blunt, in hopes of making my true point: Everyday you step into the gym, and do not commit yourself to greatness, you are falling asleep, allowing yourself to suffocate in an atmosphere of mediocrity. Is the spirit-killing atmosphere I reference real? Bodybuilding is supposed to be such a positive and demanding sport where just by association with it, you start aiming to better yourself. You only need to look at the newspaper or TV to know we are surrounded by negativity that cares little about inspiring greatness. You are never far from people who care nothing about being different, better, stronger, trying harder, or aiming higher. You know who they are. You get stares and double takes from them at the store when you have to go from the gym, to the store to get more protein for supper. With your swole still in full effect, you got cannonball shoulders bursting out of your sleeveless shirt, and swole chest trying to bust its way out. Furthermore, you're freaking everybody out with pipeline veins crawling beneath the surface of your skin'' so much that it causes all the heroine addicts to orgasm! Yes indeed, you live in an atmosphere of mediocrity, and like poison gas it will dull you, bore you, disillusion you and lessen you if you don't wake up and do something about it. If you are not getting comments from people about your physique, you are still in the mediocrity. If people at work are not tripping out on your disciplined and strict dietary practices, you are still in the mediocrity.

My friend, your life is now. Take a stand against mediocrity, weakness, skinnyness, and obesity. Make your greatness non-negotiable. Put it into higher gear.

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