I’ve tried Zumba, but it wasn’t challenging enough. I venture for jogs, by my knees can’t withstand the stress. I dove into HIIT exercises, which was rewarding, but still not quite what I needed. So, I took a page from my father, an ex-bodybuilder, and embraced the gym, weights, protein shakes, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding has become my addiction, my passion, my stress reliever, and my inspiration. Here are the reasons why I eat, train, and lift like a bodybuilder.
1. I like feeling strong.
I can lift and squat and bench-press an impressive amount for plenty of sets. That physical strength carries over into my mental toughness. If I can do 30 pull-ups at the gym, I can surely ask for a raise, I can deal with the stress from college, I can analyze situations. All around, bodybuilding makes me feel more confident in different aspects of my life.
2. I like feeling as though I earn each meal I devour.
After an intense workout, I know my body deserves the calories, protein, and carbs I’m about to eat. If I want to continue pushing myself at the gym, my body needs its fuel to recharge and grow.
3. I like being the friend people turn to about nutrition and working out.
Friends come to me with questions about leg workouts, protein inquiries, workout suggestions, and I like sharing my passion and helping people. Plus, it’s nice to not be known as the lazy one, although I’m always stuck carrying the heavy groceries.
4. I like being the girl who DOESN’T just grab a 15-pound dumbbell.
Because I was that girl in the beginning. But now I shock people as I grab a 40-pound dumbbell and proceed to execute a flawless dumbbell row. I like being able to lift more weight than some guys at the gym. I like breaking the stereotypical image that boys are stronger than girls, and only the boys use the free weights at the gym.
5. I like challenging myself.
The only way to grow as a bodybuilder is to mix up workouts, add more weight to an exercise, and try new things. I thrive on the self-competition bodybuilding presents. I will not rest until I hold plank for five minutes, I will not quite until I squat my body weight. There’s always something new to conquer at the gym.
6. I like that my body at rest is still burning a slew of calories.
For every pound of muscle you have, your body will burn about six calories per day. Two pounds of muscle is 12 calories; three is 18, and so on. I weigh a decent amount, and I know it’s all muscle, and based upon my metabolism, my body just burns and burns calories.
7. I like workout garb.
If I could wear compression shorts and sports bras all day everyday, I would be ecstatic. But, unfortunately, at an office, those duds are unacceptable. The gym is my reason to own drawers of comfy, form fitting exercise gear, and bodybuilding is my excuse to wear them all.
8. I like that my bodybuilding insists I live a healthier life all around.
After a workout, I want to take care of my body properly so all the hard work I put in, doesn’t go to waste. My morning workouts jumpstart my day and remind me to take pride in my body and continue to live a healthy lifestyle.
9. I like being knowledgeable at the gym.
I know what a Roman crunch is, and I know how to execute a barbell row and a deadlift, and I don’t shy away from the squat rack because I know how to use it. I like knowing how the gym is best suited for which muscle group I’m working out. Plus, I like dropping bodybuilding terms and people wondering how I know what progressive overload is or the difference between a push and a pull workout.
10. I like that I can wear whatever I want.
I’m always beach body ready. I used to think I looked alien-like, too skinny in places and, too plump in others. Now about 99% of the time, I like how every part of my body looks. Short shorts? Hell yes! Halter top? Absolutely! Tight Dress? Oh yeah! Crop top? Bring it on!
11. I like how I feel after a workout.
If I’m sore the day of or the day after, I feel accomplished. That sore feeling means my muscles are growing, and that’s exactly what I want. I feel invincible, relieved of stress, and pretty sexy when I leave the gym after a sweat session.
12. I like camaraderie at the gym.
People notice if you’re there constantly, and people will get to know you and want to know your workouts and share their workouts. It’s easy to make friends at the gym because you automatically have that common ground.
13. I like the balance bodybuilding represents.
Bodybuilding blends the art of symmetry of musculature, the science to both gain muscle and lose weight, and discipline. You can’t be a bodybuilder if you workout but don’t eat right, and you can’t go to the gym sporadically. Bodybuilding isn’t for the faint of heart and it takes true dedication, like anything someone strives to achieve. I’m dedicated to bodybuilding, and I remain dedicated to other parts of my life, such as, writing, and my relationships. Bodybuilding is the firm foundation I’m building my life on.