There are loads of reasons to get into bodybuilding beyond just the obvious benefit of putting on muscle and feeling better about your body, and this piece is intended to encourage and inspire people to get into weight lifting by compiling stories and comments from people who have gained greatly from getting into bodybuilding. We’re currently reaching out to people who we think are worth hearing from on this topic, and have already got some great input as published below.
Here is the query we are putting out:
Looking to hear from bodybuilders on the joy of bodybuilding and why you do it. All personal stories welcome, the more detail the better. Your submission will be published in an article intended to inspire people to get into bodybuilding and fitness.
We hope to inspire at least 1 person to get into weight lifting for the first time, or get back into it after falling into a funk 🙂
To summarize the main points people have made on what’s great about weight lifting so far, they’d be the following:
- Gain confidence
- Reduce stress
- Meeting new friends
- Self-improvement and self-development
- Improves your mind (think more clearly, make better decisions)
- Makes you feel good about yourself
- Inspire others
I’m sure we’ll be able to add a lot to this in the next few weeks. We have published the best submissions we’ve got on this topic below, and I really recommend having a read through each one – I hope you enjoy it as I certainly did.
Body Building is a part of life for me. It makes me feel good ever time I am depressed. Body Building acts as a painkiller in my life.
Let me explain you with an example, What does a child do when he/she is sad or angry at something ? He/she runs to his mom's lap. It makes them feel good. In my case GYM acts as my mom. At some times of life when I am depressed or anger at something working out at GYM makes everything fine for me.
The thing I like the most about bodybuilding is it makes you fit and body stays in a proper shape. Having a good physic also help in boosting self confidence. I have here people saying me you always look so energetic and filled with confidence. My friends ask me the reason for my confident level and charm on my face I give all the credits to GYM.
A great posture and physic also indirectly help you gain more reputation in society. Getting compliments from friends and people near me helps me keep motivated. Overall it has became a part of my daily routine now, it doesn't matters how busy I am. Sometimes when I cant go to GYM i do workout at my home.
This days are going so hard for me. Because of quarantine I can't go to GYM. I stay in India and I am at home from around 1 month. What I miss the most is my Workout area.
--Hitesh Parmar, rangoli tech
I have been bodybuilding since 2001 and now my age is 33 and what I learned from bodybuilding is that bodybuilding not only keeps your body but also keeps your mind fit and young. It immensely boosts your personality and confidence and works as a wonder for people with low self-esteem. Bodybuilding also helps you to get rid of various mental and physical illnesses. I personally was suffering from a chronic condition of pneumonitis but bodybuilding worked like a wonder for me and I don't know how medical science will define it but it really worked for me. Also, bodybuilding helps to channel your extra energy to be released in a good way ultimately helping you in anger management and other psychological issues like that.
--Parikshit Chanda, allfitnesslovers.com
Humans are built to move and weight lifting gives us a variety of health benefits, including maintaining bone density, reduced body fat and sleep that is both longer and deeper.
But besides the physical benefits, many people don’t think about the psychological benefits. People who regularly lift weights have a greater sense of self-esteem; beliefs about their body image change even after a single session of weight training. As a result, those with depression and anxiety have better outcomes in their treatment. And for all of us, bodybuilding, even with light weights, increases the efficiency of our brains, allowing us to think more clearly and make better decisions.
The Takeaway: There are lots of physical benefits from bodybuilding, but there are also a variety of psychological benefits from weight-resistance training as well.
--David Ezell, DavidEzell.com
At the risk of sounding cliché, I can honestly say that bodybuilding changed my life. In fact, it has shaped me - literally and figuratively - into the strong, fit, goal-oriented woman I am today. My passion for fitness started in high school with the 80s aerobics craze. While I enjoyed the high impact aerobic classes, at 5’8,” 100 lbs and nicknamed Olive Oyl, l really didn’t want to lose weight so I timidly made my way to the “manly side” of the gym. I still remember that first day, hiding behind a weight machine, watching the guys and trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. But, with a little bravado, I asked for help and discovered that the grunting and gawking guys were very nice and always willing to answer my questions. Within days I was hooked (albeit very sore!); I absolutely loved the way strength training made me feel and I loved the way my scrawny body was transformed. So I kept at it, training harder, lifting heavier and growing stronger. My strength became my secret weapon – it gave me self-confidence and worth beyond measure. Although getting strong wasn’t why I started lifting, it’s what kept me motivated, especially throughout those early years when I was by myself among a sea of men. I’m still at it thirty six years later and it’s become my career as a fitness trainer. In fact, my body is better today than it was when I was in my 20s. I am so grateful to have fallen in love with fitness at such a young age, and my mission is to share the incredible benefits with as many people as I can!
--Lynn Montoya, @lynnmontoyafitness on Instagram
I've been a natural bodybuilder since 2012 and just went pro last year. I'm hoping to compete nationally in 2021.
People always ask how I got started. I actually used to read my dad's Muscle & Fitness magazines when I was in high school and would use his weight bench in our unfinished basement. I loved how the people featured in those publications could sculpt their bodies through diet and exercise and always wanted to give it a shot. I taught fitness classes and was always into working out and nutrition (but also constantly battled my weight). That goal always sat in the back of my mind.
Fast forward to getting a corporate job, getting married, having two kids, and trying a variety of different workouts and fitness trends, from running marathons to Tough Mudder competitions to CrossFit...but the elusive bodybuilding competition was still gnawing at me. So I came across a figure competition coach and trained with her for 12 weeks, dropped 15 pounds and entered my first competition in 2012. I came in 4th out of 5. I swore I would never do that again, it was so hard...but I LOVED how I looked and felt. My one-and-done goal turned into competing every year since that show. This past year, I won my pro card in 3 different natural organizations and made my pro debut in masters figure and won!!!
Needless to say, I'm hooked and there's no turning back. My hobby also launched my side hustle/passion business, Allison Jackson Fitness. Now I help other working moms reach their health and fitness goals. I still have my corporate job and still compete, but coaching has been an incredible experience that I just love...and I never would have discovered it if I had stopped after that first competition.
I wouldn’t use the term “Bodybuilding”, although I do want to look good aesthetically, my focus is more to build a proportionate physique whilst staying fully functional, I want to be able to run faster, jump higher, move my body like an athlete. I like to explore many forms of fitness, including CrossFit, calisthenics, movement training, etc. Hence, I like to call myself a “Fitness enthusiast”.
But it all started with bodybuilding, I used to be relatively thin and I was quite timid as a child. Bodybuilding improved my self-confidence immensely and as I say to people, it gave me wings. I walk around feeling strong and good about how I look, I am not being self-centered but it just lifted my self-confidence. When I look in the mirror, I feel happy with what I see, I see that my hard work is paying off and that makes me feel confident.
I was Determined to Make A Change.
Have you ever been called skinny or weak? These are all words I hated hearing when geared towards me. Especially after I recovered from an ACL injury, I was quite weak and because I used to play football Semi-Professionally in London. A lot of people used to say that I can’t play anymore and that I have gone weak after my ACL reconstruction, I was underweight.
I wanted to prove everybody wrong and decided to isolate myself and I was determined to make a change. Bodybuilding changed all of this and changed my life. From 58kg, I went up to 72kg in a year and a half and gave trials and I got selected for a Semi-Professional football club AGAIN.
It requires hard work, but the best thing about it is, only YOU can make a change. The more you put in, the more you get out of it. It is an addiction for me to see the change in my body on a consistent basis and that pushes me to work hard because I don't want to take a step back. To Fight the Stress
Over the years bodybuilding/fitness has been my rock, the only thing that kept me sane and disciplined. I have always reverted back to the gym in the time of stress and worked it out. It really helped me to deal with stress and anxiety, if it wasn’t for fitness, it surely would have affected my mental health and mind. The negative effects of stress are:
Stress causes negative thinking
Stress destroys enjoyment in life
Stress reduces the ability to focus
In case you haven't noticed, most people aged 30 and over are out of shape. They have beer bellies and are overweight. They look very unattractive because of this and are fat. If you bodybuild, you can be different from these people, I always preach this to anyone that is interested in pursuing their fitness journey, consistency is key, you need to have a mindset to stay in it for the long term and make it a lifestyle.
It will help you with your injuries, it will help you with your posture, prevent you from diseases, benefits are endless. When you grow older, you will still look young and that is priceless my friend.
Almost anyone can do it for a few weeks or a few months, but can you do it for 20-30 years? And if the answer is YES, you are one composed individual and that in itself is a huge success. In my opinion, it makes you different from the rest of the crowd.
--Ahmed Ali, disruptionltd.com
I'm an amature body builder I don't compete, and I'm not at a stage where I would even want to. I bodybuild entirely for myself.
I'm all about self-improvement and self-development. Every morning I have a personal goal to be a little bit better at something than I was yesterday. Body Building is a great tool for me in to meet that goal, and it has some awesome positive effects in many other areas of life!
When I step in the gym, every singe day my goal is to add a little bit of weight, or at least one extra rep than I did the last time I was performing that lift. On the surface, it feels great to be meeting personal goals in strength alone, but here is where it really makes it worth while.
I see benefits in discipline and self control daily. When you're thinking about bodybuilding, you're also focusing on applied self discipline. You make healthier choices for yourself and you make decisions that are good for you and your goals. It forces you to apply thought to choices you previously wouldn't have cared about.
Bodybuilding helps with self confidence! When you look good you feel good! A lot of my friends and family struggle with weight and self image, and bodybuilding even at the most amature level has helped remove those worries from my world. I can be confident in my self-presentation, which helps me build and maintain relationships in my personal life, and in business!
Simply put, I bodybuild because it makes me feel good. Sure I'm an amature, and I'm not perfect, but I do it because I see benefits in my appearance and demeanor, and I love having another outlet to improve myself and inspire others.
--Parker McCumber, ParkerMcCumberOfficial on Facebook
I started bodybuilding around 8 years ago after I got into a bad car accident that severely injured my spine. I wasn't able to walk without a walker and spent a few years in physical therapy to strengthen my back and muscles. It was miserable. The process to get back to normal was agonizing but during that time I told myself that I never wanted to take my body for granted again. Being able to walk across the room without any support became a miracle in itself, so after the physical therapy, I started training more with a coach at the gym to gain as much strength as possible. A lot of the friends I made at the gym, including my trainer, taught me how to eat well and how to build muscle. My body changed so much and family and friends were amazed and told me how different I looked. The before and after was like seeing two different people standing in the mirror. I started to get into bodybuilding after I got stronger. My trainer had asked if I wanted to join a team for a bodybuilding competition and I said yes. We prepared for the year and I was challenged by the commitment to eat well and get stronger. When the competition came around, my team and I placed first. It was like a dream to come so far and my family was so proud of all the change I had gone through in my journey. To this day, I know my journey inspires many people so I make it a point to tell people to never give up hope.
--Jeremy Jhon, Title Loans Express
I got into being a personal trainer and bodybuilding after retiring from dancing (I was a professional ballerina and then went on to do musicals and cruise ships). I live by the quote If you're not growing, you're dying. and bodybuilding is a continual journey to keep challenging and changing our bodies, much like ballet. We can always be improving whether that's symmetry, strength, tone, posture, posing, there's always work to put in. There's no such thing as perfection in anything, there's always a chance to do more and be more and the skills and discipline that come from bodybuilding overflow into all areas of our lives.
There's also other parallels such as nutrition, discipline, fluidity of movement from one pose to the next; even Arnold took ballet classes to improve his bodybuilding posing. Besides the training and nutrition, some of the other wonderful things are the friends I've made from it, getting to wear the most fabulous sparkly bikinis and being back on stage.
--Eve Dawes, Glamour and Gains by Eve
I attach great importance to health care, especially diet, exercise, and mental health. I am confident that these 3 great benefits can change your life right away. I hope to bring some value to your article.
1. Massage helps reduce stress
All negative thoughts, work troubles, studies, emotions will disappear, instead focusing on the perfect weight thrusts or run for anxiety that will fly with the wind.
“At that time, you will see only one thing that is an opportunity to help you feel better, practice is the best way to help you fight negative things in life, a form of therapy that you can help themselves overcome current difficulties. A benefit of fitness is hard to find elsewhere. ”
Sometimes the way to solve life's problems is simply to start working out.
1. Fitness brings you many new friends
Whether you practice at home or practice at the gym, you are part of a world of passionate people. All you need to do when you join this community is to challenge yourself and overcome it.
“Once you start doing a change exercise, there are millions of other people working every day to do that, and it's a motivation for you even though you've never met them before.
Fitness is like in your life, it never goes your way. But for many people, exercising is how you regain yourself, and when meeting someone just like you, encourage them with a simple sentence Hey, I see you have changed today.
1. Fitness is life's exercise
If you only take a break from exercise that only gives you pain, then you are completely wrong.
Finding a passion in fitness will help you change more of your negatives into more positive things in your life.
You can become a source of motivation for many people, friends, family, and society.
Many people have found themselves a new opportunity, a new life thanks to the fitness. And I hope you are, too.
--Keith Myers, TheHempire
I don't know if I can add a lot more than what has already been said, but there is one aspect that I want to offer. Body building is a life long sport that provides a lot more than just a great looking body. I picked up my first set of weights when I was 14, and I will be 63 years old this year. I still bang the iron around 3-4 days per week. I won't kid any of you that my physical prowess has slowly declined over the years, at least in my eyes, but you plan for that as you get older. I've adjusted my workouts and routines all my life to get the most out of what I have to offer. Body building also embodies building of character as well. A dedicated person will learn focus, grit and determination, and how to work towards a long range goal. It also teaches you humility, persistence, discipline, and a belief in yourself. You could certainly argue that other sports can do those things just as well, but it comes down to just one person on that stage that embodies all of those attributes. The majority of us haven't or won't go pro, so these are the qualities that employers are looking for in their next hire. Just two cents from an old guy.