Bodybuilding is defined as developing the body through diet and exercise for competitive exhibition. It is designed to develop the muscles and to promote fitness and health. The person involved in bodybuilding is referred to as a bodybuilder. The aim of bodybuilders is to display their toned muscles, sometimes exaggerated muscle mass, to a panel of judges that will determine who has the most aesthetic looking physique. These competitions involves doing several poses, sometimes as a group and then as individuals. Most of the time, these bodybuilders undergo rigorous weight-lifting exercises; eat high-protein foods, vitamins and mineral supplements, as part of their diet. Some of the devices used by bodybuilders to tone their muscles include dumbbells, barbells and other resistance-training devices.
It was a German-born citizen named Eugen Sandow that promoted the practice of bodybuilding. He is often referred to as “The Father of Modern Bodybuilding”. In his days, he would usually perform some routines that show his well-developed muscles in front of spectators. He was very successful in these shows that he eventually marketed the equipment that he used to develop his muscles. These exercise machines include dumbbells and pulleys and was adopted by the masses. The winners of Mister Olympia are awarded by a bronze statue of Eugen Sandow as a tribute.
One of the most notable faces of bodybuilding is Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who started it in the late 1960s. He promoted bodybuilding through the big screen in his movie called “Pumping Iron”. Since then, bodybuilding became widely popular in the United States as well as in Europe.
Bodybuilders use a lot of methods to maximize muscle development. Some of the most popular ways of developing the muscles include weight training, special nutrition that includes protein and supplements, and sufficient rest and sleep between workouts. Weight training most of the time involves gym exercise. This is where dumbbells and barbells kick in. An enormous and well-planned workout routine would develop muscles faster.
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Carbohydrates and protein play a very important part in bodybuilding nutrition. Carbohydrates provide the body with enough energy to sustain a rigorous training. Carbohydrates are very important in adding muscle mass which is the goal of bodybuilding. Generally, bodybuilders seek out slowly digesting carbohydrates which tends to release energy in a more stable way. Protein, on the other hand, is needed by the body to contract muscles. It’s a general knowledge that protein needs to be consumed often throughout the day, most especially during and after workout and before going to sleep.
Bodybuilders require more calorie intake than the average person of similar weight. These extra calories are needed to support their rigorous training and to increase their muscle mass. Proper diet combined with exercise to lose body fat is always needed before a competition. Each bodybuilder will require a different ratio of proteins and carbohydrates as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. After consulting a dietician and a gym instructor, it is also equally important to obtain these needed vitamins and minerals from a reliable source.
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Dancers perform during the National launch of the Revised National Nutrition Programme, the latest Lancet Series and the Cost of Hunger report
Image by UNICEF Ethiopia Photos from the National launch of the Revised National Nutrition Programme, the latest Lancet Series, and the Cost of Hunger report. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Westerbeek
Food security & nutrition programme, Greater Monrovia, Liberia
Image by EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Liberia's 14 year long war from 1989 to 2003 devastated the country. 10 years after the end of the war, basic services have not yet been restored. ECHO funded a nutrition programme by Action against Hunger (ACF) in favour of Pipeline and Chicken Soup Factory communities from 2009 to 2010. Today, the same communities continue to be supported via EU development funds.
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