Bodybuilding is one of the most rewarding physical activities you could ever wish for. You get out of bodybuilding what you put into it, which is perhaps a great metaphor for life itself. Bodybuilding teaches you about the importance of hard work and discipline, plus it shows you the importance of physical exercise. The bodybuilding lifestyle however, isn’t always as glamorous as it may appear to be in the magazines. The bodybuilder we see on the internet and read about in magazines are professionals, with decades of experience and numerous lucrative sponsorships. Everyday bodybuilder who compete for fun, or who simply train to look great, do not lead the bodybuilding lifestyles you read about on the internet. They don’t train on Muscle Beach or in Gold’s Gym, Venice, they don’t compete in the Mr Olympia for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, and they don’t appear on the cover of health, fitness, and muscle magazines. The life of an everyday bodybuilder can be a fairly isolated life. Here’s a look at some potential drawbacks associated with leading a bodybuilding lifestyle.
Finding shirts and suits that fit is a nightmare – Bodybuilders are constantly in search of those ever-elusive gains, and while it is fantastic to watch your waist shrink as your arms, back, and shoulders expand and fill out, this can present new problems. You see, the everyday shirts you see in stores up and down the country are designed for everyday people, not bodybuilders. This means that finding clothes, particularly shirts and suits, that fit you nicely, can be a real nightmare. Often you will find that the shirts fit perfectly fine around your midsection, but they’re far too tight around your upper body. This means you need to purchase a vastly oversized shirt if you wish to be comfortable, which will look ridiculous. The same goes for suits, which is why bodybuilders often have to have their suits custom-made, which is not cheap. You can purchase clothes designed specifically for muscular individuals, but they certainly don’t come cheap.
Your food bills will be expensive – To build muscle you need to be taking in more calories than your body can burn off, and the bigger you are, the more calories you need. You also need plenty of protein for building lean muscle and promoting repair and recovery, so you will need to be digging pretty deep into your wallet when it comes to your weekly food shops. To keep costs down, stick with the basics like eggs, oats, pasta, whole grains, healthy oils, and lean proteins. You should also buy in bulk because this works out much cheaper in the long run, and you can always freeze what you don’t use right away. While you will spend a lot on food, if you shop smartly you won’t spend anywhere near as much as you may have initially thought.
You will lead a fairly secluded life – If you’re serious about your gains, you will need to eat, sleep, and breathe the bodybuilding lifestyle. This means that, while your friends are out partying eating hot wings and drinking shots at the bar, you will be in the gym, pumping iron and drinking a protein shake. You can still have a social life and have fun, but if you want to make any real progress, partying and dining out should be kept to an absolute minimum. Dating is also tough because you have to find the time to train, shop, and prep your meals etc, which means it will take a very special kind of person to date a bodybuilder.
Eating out is a nightmare when cutting – When bodybuilders are cutting weight, the idea is for them to lose as much body fat as they possibly can, while preserving lean muscle in the process. To do this they need to be in a caloric deficit, and they need to be eating the right foods. If you’re out and about and need to eat, finding clean and healthy foods that will not ruin your diet can be very tough. It’s the same when you’re invited out for a meal, or to social gatherings. Most menus have very limited choices when it comes to healthy options, which is why many bodybuilders simply do not bother eating out when they’re cutting.
You will never look good enough in your own eyes – Bodybuilding is all about making progress. Each week you look in the mirror, you will want to look fuller, leaner, more ripped, and more shredded than ever. No matter how great you look to other people, in your own eyes you will never look perfect, and you will never be 100% happy with how you look. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it helps prevent complacency and ensures you continue to push yourself in the gym, and in the kitchen when it comes to your foods and supplements.
You will be sick of the sight of chicken – Chicken to a bodybuilder, is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because it is affordable, it’s low in calories and is very high in protein, plus it is versatile so it can be prepared in many different dishes. It is a curse because you will have eaten so much of the stuff that you will be sick of the sight of it.
Much of your Sunday will be spent prepping your meals – Meal prep Sundays are a very real thing in the bodybuilding world. Every Sunday, bodybuilders across the world will wake up, make their way into the kitchen, reach for the empty Tupperware, and will begin prepping their meals for the week ahead. Prepping your meals in advance will make your life very easy for the upcoming week, but it can be a pain having to do it every Sunday. Bodybuilders will often cook off a batch of protein I.E chicken breasts, lean beef, turkey, eggs, etc, and will portion it up into Tupperware with a complex carbohydrate source such as rice or pasta, a serving of vegetables for nutrients, and perhaps a drizzle of oil for healthy fats. These Tupperware containers can then go into the fridge, or can be frozen, and can simply be re-heated when needed.