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Bodybuilding/Weight training effects on Wellness & Mental Health


Bodybuilding is a use of progressive exercise and diet to control and develop ones musculature and for aesthetic purposes. Weight training is a form of bodybuilding and is strength training that involves lifting weights for developing the strength and size of the skeletal muscles. It utilises the force of gravity in the form of weighted bars, dumbbells and weight stacks in order to oppose the force generated by the muscles through contraction. 

It involves a manipulation of a number of repetitions also known as reps, sets, tempo, exercise types and weight moved to cause a desired increase in strength, endurance and size. These variations are all based on individual goals as well as certain other factors . 

This sort of training helps to tone, lift ,firm, shape the body and also increase lean body mass. It helps to increase metabolism so enables you to eat more and use up nutrients from food. 

Beyond Aesthetics 

There is a big misconception that Bodybuilding or weight training is more about vanity and aesthetics but it definitely goes beyond that in most cases.  It helps not only to attain a fit body, increased muscle mass,  but a fit mind. 

During training there is often a mind muscle connection. The more focused and locked in on every rep/movement performed the more effective the results. At this level of connection nothing else in the outside world matters since all the energy and focus is directed to towards the exercise.

Weight training exercises helps to boost mind and mental well being. It can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression . 

 

How Bodybuilding changed my life

I grew up not eating much, though I was very active so my physique as a kid was quite skinny and lanky in comparison to siblings. I also had personal insecurities and a childhood/upbringing which made me a certain type of kid. I was very short tempered and dreaded being called skinny even if it was a joke I took it personal so I did have confidence issues. Even though at some point I started eating a lot my metabolism was so fast as I wasn't gaining any weight .

When I turned 17 I decided to take matters into my own hands and was determined to put on some good weight. I purchased a few dumbbells and a small bench , did a lot of research and realised I was a hardgainer and it was possible to grow muscle mass with the right training and diet. I trained every day in my room, saw little changes which was enough to encourage me to keep going but realised at 17 there was a limit to how much mass I could grow and it would take time and patience especially because I was training at home and not necessarily eating how I should.

Few years later I signed up to a gym, a raw gym with no fancy equipment just men and women who were serious about training . I was a bit intimidated at first as everyone seemed to know what they were doing at the gym and I had to struggle with very light weights in comparison to others in there but most were very helpful and pushed me and told me never to compare with another person as everyone started from where I started. I learned a lot about myself, built discipline which I applied in other aspects of life , my confidence grew, was a lot calmer and saw no need in getting mad easily, the gym was where I'd take out any aggression and negative energy and it started to make me a better person seeing progress physically, strength wise and mentally. It was also fascinating that I could literally sculpt my body by lifting weights and with the right diet. I never looked back since and have always been into weight training/bodybuilding but obviously now incorporate other types of fitness or training that are also effective for overall health and wellness. 

For most the changes might start from the outside as the more confident a person feels about his external appearance and how capable they are of working hard at something and getting desirable results it will trickle down to the other aspects of their life and mindset . This eventually boost self image/ self esteem and eventually a healthier mental state and calm. 

The benefits of bodybuilding are not restricted to aesthetics. It is one of the safest and effective way to train your body while incorporating other aspects such as aerobic exercises for cardiovascular health, a good diet and weight training. This combination will help grow, maintain strength and muscle mass, improve body composition, conditioning, performance and enhance emotional state .