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February 12, 2015

Bodybuilding: A Way to Better Health

bodybuildingBodybuilding: Sculpting Your Ideal Body

It’s difficult to sculpt a great looking body and not be healthy. That’s the main reason we are writing a series of articles on the art and science of bodybuilding.

This is the first of a five part series on bodybuilding and what it takes to sculpt your ideal body. For this series I interviewed Chris George, a personal trainer. Chris works with competitive bodybuilders – amateurs and professionals. Chris was kind enough to take me through some workouts to demonstrate the exercise principles of bodybuilding and has discussed some of the key nutritional principles behind the sport as well.

In this first article we will discuss bodybuilding as a way to achieve better health. In the second article we will discuss the different type or forms of bodybuilding. The third article will deal with the importance of working with a trainer. The fourth will focus on the exercise aspects of bodybuilding. And, the fifth article will address the nutritional aspects of bodybuilding.

We are publishing these articles this month as a lead up to the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival which is being held in Columbus, Ohio March 5-8.  We wrote about the Arnold Sports Festival last year in this article.

Bodybuilding: a Way to Better Health

Bodybuilding has received a bad rap over the years for a couple reasons. Some of the negative publicity it has received is related to the use and abuse of anabolic steroids and growth hormone by some competitors. Some see bodybuilding as a sport that exploits those with self-image problems, or attracts individuals who are over absorbed by their self and bodies – a sport that some view as too vain to be healthy.

Here’s something to consider, though. I saw this as a Facebook post.  A well built physique is a status symbol. It reflects how hard you worked for it, no money can buy it. You cannot inherit it. You cannot steal it. You cannot borrow it. You cannot hold on to it without constant work. It shows dedication. It shows discipline. It shows self-respect. It shows dignity. It shows patience, work ethic, passion. 

In its simplest form bodybuilding is nothing more than the application or practice of the science of exercise and nutrition to shape, develop, or sculpt the body of your desire. And, there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to look more attractive. Can you sculpt an athletic body by not exercising and not eating right? No!

My conclusion on all this after spending time to learn more, is that bodybuilding is one way, and maybe even the best way, to achieve optimal health. And, that’s because at its core bodybuilding is nothing more than the strict application of sound nutrition and exercise principles. And, those principles can help people like you and me obtain better health. Like much of medicine bodybuilding is both science and art.

Certainly, not everyone – not even most people  – wants to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger looked in his prime. But, nothing says bodybuilding has to take you to that extreme (and to get to that extreme does require artifical assistance). You can decide how far you want to take it, decide what type of body you want (taking into account your natural body frame and type), then apply the principles to obtain the body you want.

One thing is for sure. Bodybuilding is probably more mental than anything. It requires great discipline 24 hours a day especially when it comes to eating. You only have to worry about the exercise for an hour or two a day (more if you are a competitor), but nutrition is a 24/7/365 commitment.

One can cheat and get stronger and bigger by taking anabolic steroids and growth hormone, though one still has to workout. But, to get a finely sculpted body also requires solid nutrition. All the steroids in the world will not allow one to overcome a poor diet. As we have said before you cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.

Most competitors know that the so-called desired 6-pack is made in the kitchen (proper eating). I’ve come to the conclusion that bodybuilders understand nutrition better than any group of health professionals and that includes physicians and nutritionists.

And, where there is good nutrition, there is good health. We challenge you to eat smarter and exercise more intelligently and if you do that you can sculpt that body you always wanted, or at least get closer to it than you are now!


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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