What exactly is Bodybuilding?
BB’s are people who either try put on/lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. Power lifters are people who just simply put on weight to lift as heavy as possible. You may think they are similar but they are completely opposite. Bodybuilding is all about being in the best shape as possible with the least amount of body fat, whereas power lifters would contain quite a lot of body fat.
The four types of bodybuilding are professional bodybuilding, natural bodybuilding, female bodybuilding, and teenage bodybuilding.
What am I?
Well personally I would be neither of these; I would be leaning towards more of a fitness model than anything. I prefer the look where you are not to huge yet still have a significant amount of muscle and a low body fat. A lot of the younger generation are aspiring to be like fitness models, take for eg; Zyzz, Jeff Seid, Steve Cook and Rob Riches.
When did I start?
I started weight training when I was in secondary school as it was a requirement in order to make the rugby team. However I didn’t really know what I was doing until I was 18. I did a lot of research into body building and what I learnt the most was the DIET. Up until then I had no idea what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. When I was bulking I was eating a lot of junk food to gain weight rather than eating good carbs- such as potatoes, rice etc. And when it came to cutting towards the summer, I learnt that in order to get into good shape (abs) you really needed to be strict with your diet. However I do love my food and junk food so I came up with a solution that worked for me. I found that after dieting - I would reward myself and and literally eat anything I wanted. This may not work for others but this certainly worked for me. I felt that I wasn’t completely depriving myself of the food I loved. So for example if I was going on holidays during the summer, I would start this diet 10-12 weeks before, depends on how serious you are.
Why did I start?
After seeing pictures and movies of these ripped guys (Zyzz etc), I just aspired to look like them. When seeing what they looked like before and after, I knew it was possible. It just required a significant amount of discipline and hard work. What I did over the winter was gained weight and then during the summer I would cut it all up and lose the body fat. What people need to understand is that this transformation does not just happen overnight it can take years. The difference between one summer and the next could be literally 3/4kg muscle increase which is significant. It really does show.
How often do you gym?
I like to train at least 4 times a week if not more. It varies between the seasons- winter and summer. During the summer I could train up to 6 times a week, I generally doing my cardio in the morning before I eat and then do my weight session in the evening. I like to change up my cardio routine so it doesn’t get boring. Preferably HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the best type of cardio training if you’re trying to lose weight. So for example- 1 minute walking/ jogging and 1 mintute sprinting. Do between 10-20 minutes of this and the fat will shred very quickly!
Why is there so much controversy over this topic?
I think when you walk by someone and who are massive and shredded, people automatically think “steroids”. This is a major topic in bodybuilding. Yes a lot of bodybuilders do take steroids, however a lot of them also don’t. I myself do not and would never take steroids as I am against all that. I prefer to do it naturally. Taking protein/ weight gainer/ creatine is NOT steroids, its just natural supplements which your body needs if you’re training. Whey protein is essential for training as it recovers your muscles after your workout. Creatine is good for putting on muscle quickly- water weight. Weight gainer is good for people who struggle to put on weight.
What keeps me motivated?
I like to set myself goals and reach them within a certain time frame. I think the most important thing is to not compare yourself with someone else but to compare yourself with what you looked like this time last year or this time last month. This is the only way you will improve. If you compare yourself with someone like Zyzz and after a year you think “I don’t look like him yet, I’m giving up”, this defeats the whole purpose of training. It took all these bodybuilders/ fitness models years to look how they look!
So just be patient and stick to a plan which works for you. You look at these bodybuilders/ fitness models now and think wow they are amazing. Just understand they were EXACTLY LIKE YOU IN THE BEGINNING, they had to start off with 5kgs dumbbells and work they’re way up!
What would you recommend to newbies?
I personally only use whey protein. I would recommend to just start off with whey protein (myprotein.ie and bulkpoweders.co.uk). If you want to put on quick muscle as well you can also get creatine if you like. I think the most important thing about training is to enjoy it, pick a goal and try reach that target within 6 weeks (whether its gaining 10 kg or going up in your bench press/ squat to a certain weight). When you set yourself goals it makes you work that extra bit harder and keeps you from straying away from that goal. After 6 weeks, change your program up as your body gets used to it and it is very important to shock the system by doing something else.
3 exercises that are most effective
If I had to pick 3 exercises they would be
3. Bench Press
Squats because not only does it do your legs but it’s an all-round workout and essential for growth.
Deadlift because it helps you grow/ widen and thicker out your back, which makes you look bigger. In order to put on weight squats and deadlifts are essential to quick gains.
Bench press because it helps your chest grow and makes you looks fuller.
Thanks for your time Sean, hope you guys find this helpful.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body" -Tom Sobal