I just read a Planet Muscle issue where publisher Jeff Everson writes about the difference between a bodybuilder and a physique competitor. He says "anyone who trains with weights is building their body and is therefore a bodybuilder". That’s right, you do not have to compete to be a bodybuilder!
Can you believe how times have changed? I can remember in my mid-twenties just hating it when people asked if I was a "bodybuilder". At the time there were many associations to being a bodybuilder that were not so great. Take your pick – "Steroids, narcissistic, no brains, no life outside the gym, etc." Knowing this, I’d answer, "If that’s what you want to call me". One thing for certain, I wasn’t always as proud as I am today to be a bodybuilder.
There are two big reasons why I’m now proud to answer that question with "Of course, I’m a bodybuilder". The first is I’m much more secure with who I am and what I represent. But, I want to talk about the second reason why I’m proud to be a bodybuilder; and probably why it’s easier for all of us bodybuilders to answer with "Of course, I’m a bodybuilder". Have you looked around lately?
Have you noticed that bodybuilding, in the context that Jeff Everson writes, has become main stream! Let’s compare some "then and now" examples of what I am talking about when I say bodybuilding as I (we) knew it 10-15 years ago.
5-6 small meals a day
Ten years ago people thought we were nuts eating 5 or 6 meals a day. How funny is that! Today, you can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without seeing the latest diet trend. Yes, you guessed it; all of them have one thing in common—5 or 6 small meals per day.
At WieFit (wiefit.com) of course all the physique competitors know they should be eating 5 or 6 meals each day. But, more and more, of our "normal" clients know that they should be eating more small meals, even before I suggest it. (They may not know what to eat, but at least I don’t have to work so hard on getting them to accept the fact that eating frequent, smaller meals is the best approach.)
Last night, I met with a 50 year old female, first-time client whose goal was to start shaping up. When I asked what her current nutrition was like, she didn’t use the common terms, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead she started, "For meal one, I eat..., and for meal two... .," and she went all the way through meal 5. This is a woman that lived her whole life eating "breakfast, lunch and dinner", and now she calls it Meal 1 through meal 5. So, is she a bodybuilder? Of course, she is!
Let’s look at the protein shake for a minute. Back in the day no one, but no one except a bodybuilder would drink a protein shake. When I first started getting serious about bodybuilding, I’d try to hide mine so people didn’t ask, "What’s that disgusting junk you’re drinking?" Next protein shakes were okay if you were an athlete. Parents and many coaches started encouraging their kids to drink them.
More recently those same parents and coaches were drinking shakes themselves. Not only is anyone who is interested in their health drinking a protein shake, but Smoothee King and other franchises specializing in protein shakes have sprung up everywhere, even in mall food courts. And now, it’s gotten to the point where the common person doesn’t just drink a shake, but asks, "What’s the best type and brand of protein for me?" I’d say protein shakes are pretty mainstream now. So, if you’re drinking a protein shake instead of a fast food meal are you a bodybuilder? Of course, you are!
Concentration on one or
two body parts during each workout
Sure, we bodybuilders have trained like that since Joe Weider came up with the Weider Principles in the late 1950’s. But, mainstream the recommendations were: at least three days a week of cardio and two or three days resistance training. On resistance training days do one exercise for each bodypart and 8-12 reps per exercise. Now don’t get me wrong. This is still good advice for anyone interested in improving his/her fitness level.
If you were training for football, your coach had you training three days a week. (Well, Roger tells me that he remembers when coaches were 100% against weight training of any kind, but that was before my time.) Today a 6′2″, 170lb kid on the football team came up to me and said, "Brian, should I do chest and bi’s, or should I do chest and tri’s together"? Bodypart splits are mainstream now. So, is that 6′2″ 170lb high school basketball player a bodybuilder? Of course, he is!
I read an article on Yahoo’s Homepage about a year ago that explained what a metrosexual was. It talked about a man who is not described by his sexual preference, but of a man who has certain characteristics such as "dresses very nice and appropriate for whatever the occasion might be, watches what he eats and might order a grilled chicken salad rather than a steak hoagie, goes to a hairdresser and not a barber, goes to the best gyms and clubs, might be seen reading the latest GQ magazine, and definitely shaves his chest and might even shave his arms and legs".
My goodness! Twelve years ago I was a couple of days out from my first bodybuilding show. I had shaved my body and Heidi and I went to King’s Island. I felt like a nut. Everyone was looking. You would have thought I was walking around naked! It was just unheard of for a man to walk around with his body shaved. But now, it’s socially acceptable to be a "metrosexual".
So, is a metro sexual who watches what he eats, works out in an upscale gym and yes, even shaves his chest a bodybuilder? Of course, he is!
So, is my mom, who makes sure she has a high quality protein source with meals 1, 3, and 5, and drinks an UMP shake for meals one and two a bodybuilder? Of course, she is!
Healthy Supplements that help with Fat Loss
I haven’t looked in a while, but I’d say outside of UMP, that Lean Out is one of our best selling products at WieFit.com. And, I can also tell you that of the combined six hundred clients (about 300 online and 300 face-to-face), only 20%, or around 120 are "physique competitors". The rest is comprised of your average school teacher, stay at home mom, insurance agent, medical sales rep, soccer coach, college student, retail store manager, mailman, etc.
We see them all, and nearly all purchase and benefit greatly from Lean Out (which is a very safe and powerful fat loss supplement, that actually improves their heart health, controls blood sugar levels, and prioritizes stored fat as their body’s’ preferred fuel source – unlike your average "full of caffeine or ephedrine stimulant" fat burner).
So, is my daughter’s school teacher a bodybuilder? Of course, she is! (Way to go, Mom!)
Is it just that I’m noticing it more, or do we now have twenty or so choices when it comes to fitness magazines? I can remember when it was Muscle & Fitness, Flex, MuscleMag, and maybe a few others. Now we are inundated with them. There’s a magazine targeted to just about anyone with an interest in fitness regardless of age, sex, training experience, lifestyle, etc.
Trust me, 6-7 years ago when I was featured in a magazine like Muscle and Fitness, the only people who would see it or mention it were fellow physique competitors. Today when I am in a Muscle in Fitness or another Fitness Magazine, it seems like everyone from my mailman to my mechanic says "Hey, I got my subscription of ‘abc magazine’ and saw your spread!" So, is my mechanic a bodybuilder? If he wants to improve his body, of course, he is!
Audience at Physique Competitions
specifically the Arnold Classic
I remember 12 years ago, the year before Heidi and I were married, my buddy George who owned a Custom Clothing Company (mainly suits) asked Heidi and I if we would work for him at a booth at the Arnold Classic. My goodness, I had no idea of the freak show I was about to witness. I’d have to say that 80% of the thousand walking around at the expo had arms as big as or bigger than mine (and half of them were women!). It was for physique competitors and marketed 100% to physique competitors.
This past year, as I was working at the Beverly International booth with Heidi and all of the Beverly family, Heidi came up and said, "Do you remember how different this was the first time we worked here?" She said, "People bring their kids now, and most of these people don’t look like they compete". I said, "Because they don’t. She was most surprised when her uncle’s friend from California stopped by the booth to say "hello". He had his wife and two daughters with him and has never stepped on stage and probably never will (he does lift weights, follows most of this list, and looks great). Is Heidi’s Uncle’s friend a bodybuilder? Of course, he is!
Man, I can’t wait until the next time someone asks me "So, are you a bodybuilder?" And I reply, "Of course I am, aren’t you?"
› Steve Kuchinsky I read the magazine. Brian Wiefering was featured, and I was hooked. I said to myself, “I want to look like that”. I didn’t just want to look like that; I was willing to devote my life to achieving a physique similar to Brian’s.
› Joe Lewandowski, NPC Natural Eastern USA Overall Champ Men’s Physique Diet, Training.
› Steve Mousharbash Bodybuilder to Men’s Physique Competition, How I Did It I knew the judges were going to be looking for the beach body look, a great six pack and a nice chest and arms.