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Exercise Over-views: Bodybuilding AKA The Gym Rat


This article is the one of a series of overviews of popular exercise methodologies. Most people find one training method and stick to it, but in reality it is better to switch things up and use different methods like the tools they are.


Every training style has unique benefits you cannot get elsewhere, but they also have unique shortcomings. I will be doing a quick general overview of each method so you can understand what I’m referring to, and then listing pros and cons for each.


Bodybuilding: You may not consider yourself a body builder if you go to the gym, but most people working out tend to adhere to body-building style training.


This form of training is characterized by high reps of isolated movements, and multiple exercises in one session. A body-building workout might consist of 12 different exercises, performed over the course of an hour.


Popular programs such as P90X adhere to this methodology. This kind of training is really good at making you “look” fit, and it can be used to increase the size of specific muscle groups. However, if you don’t have enough variety, it can easily create muscle imbalances.


Think of the guys who are huge but can’t reach back around to scratch their own arse. This training is good for correcting imbalances and can be a powerful tool to prevent injuries in your other sports or activities.


On the flip side, it can also create muscle imbalances if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you work the same muscle groups too often.

Pros:

  • Best for gaining size, or making specific changes to your appearance

  • Good for strength building, though not the best

  • If done right, with a good variety of exercises, it can be good for injury prevention

  • Not as intense as interval training, so you can do it more, but not so light as endurance training. You get some endurance and some strength benefits.

Cons:

  • Can create muscle imbalances

  • You can gain a lot of size without gaining as much strength. You’ll still get strong, but there are better ways to get strong.

  • If you do these workouts too often, you can over-train and often get very specific injuries such as acute muscle tears.

  • Takes a long time: 1 to 2 hour workouts are common

  • Low cardio benefits if you take long breaks

  • Difficult to implement without a high level of expertise in health and fitness. It is best to buy a program or hire a certified trainer so they can teach you exercises and cater to your goals

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