The famous song , taken from Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:1, describes how different types of emotions and responses all have their proper time and place. I was biblically inspired once again by Andy Yoo, creater of Alternate Version of Psalm 23, and with whom I shared an extremely heterosexual man date this past weekend.
After my last post, which bashed Frankenstein-style training, I thought I'd take a few minutes to post on the positive side of bodybuilding.
1. It wasn't until relatively recently that bodybuilding training became so inane. Dan John points out in Never Let Go, that Arnold learned to Snatch and could do so with 110kg. He watched Robby Robinson and Lou Ferrigno train, and they trained like everyone else, except they were stronger. Full Squats, Presses, Rows, and even Cleans were what they used to build their bodies up. Then, while dieting for competition, they did the detail work to etch out the bits of definition that may have been missing.
The problem is that the detail work that they did only in pre-competition phase, somehow became the standard for what bodybuilders do year-round. This, of course, trickled down to the magazines, whose routines are almost entirely based on bodybuilding. So now you have guys who don't know how to squat or press (by press I mean standing overhead barbell press - as everyone of my ilk knows, but may be confusing for the less initiated), much less clean, doing supersets of behind the neck Smith presses with lateral shoulder raises for 4x15. And other guys who weigh 154 and desperately need to add 40-50 lbs, doing nothing but isolation work that will never get them bigger. They are so worried about losing their beloved 6-packs (which they fasted for 3 weeks to get), but as Rip says: What good is a six-pack when you have no ice chest to put it in?
2. Whether I like it or not, bodybuilding or bodybuilding inspired training is still what gets a lot of people into working out in the first place. Even if other sports have superior training techniques, they don't inspire as many people to start working out as the front magazine covers of bodybuilders.
3. Because of #2 (the fact that many people are inspired to start training because of bodybuilding, and use those kinds of programs), a lot of people who are unhappy with their body image are able to make a positive change for themselves and really help their self confidence grow. And it can be a healthy outlet for people who otherwise obsess over what they eat and such.
4. The supplement industry, although in large part snake-oil salesmen, does have some useful, quality products to offer. However, without the support of lots of bodybuilders and wanna-be bodybuilders, the industry wouldn't be nearly as big and products would be harder to get and slower to come out.
5. Bodybuilding begat Figure and Fitness. And some of those girls are babes.
I could go on, and there are other positives about bodybuilding and bodybuilding style training as well.
Even though I very firmly believe that this is not the best style of training for 99% of the population (basically anyone except actual bodybuilders, and even then, only sometimes), we must still give credit where due. So bodybuilding, my next round of Squats is for you!