3 things anyone can learn from bodybuilding even when you are not into bodybuilding! There is something to learn from everyone.
We got this idea after we had a chance to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of our idols, on stage in Melbourne Australia.
We have been heavily influenced by the old school bodybuilders and strongmen like John Grimek and Steve Reeves, we even have multiple videos and article about the old school training:
There are obvious flaws in modern bodybuilding but also many good sides. It’s important to learn to appreciate the good sides and not always focus on the negatives.
There is something to learn from everyone even if you are not into their craft yourself. Bodybuilders have massively contributed to the fitness world and they deserve the credit for their contribution.
1: MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION AND LASER-TARGETING
A great deal of the exercises we use today and the exercises that are used in strength and conditioning and general strengthening originate from the bodybuilding.
Many bodybuilders were the innovators who invented different exercises to target different muscles of the body. Before bodybuilding most exercises were not really “surgical” but mostly big movements like animal movements and compound lifts.
Bodybuilders largely invented how to laser focus on any muscle - and this is very useful knowledge when it comes to developing the body.
Mind-muscle connection is one of the greatest training techniques you can use and mostly only bodybuilders and maybe some yogis (mindfulness) use it.
Mind-muscle connection simply means that you learn how to contract the targeted area with your mind to enhance the contraction of the muscle and to make sure the right muscle and area get activated.
Mind-muscle connection is useful for any exercise you do. Like stated in the previous article, the right form of the exercise is the form that best achieves the purpose of the exercise.
Mind-muscle connection allows you to focus on the right muscles in any exercise. For example, when you do a pull up, you want to maximize the contraction of your back muscles.
This technique allows you to fix weak links and imbalances when you do mobility drills. It also enhances your results from any exercise by a massive margin.
What mind-muscle connection really is, is just mindfulness and body intelligence. It's kinesthetic awareness of understanding what is going on in the body the moment you are doing an exercise. It means being present in the moment when you train.
Mind-muscle connection originates from bodybuilding and it was first invented by the German bodybuilder and strongman Max Sick. In his book Muscle Control released over a hundred years ago (1911) he called this technique "muscle control".
Bodybuilders basically learned how to contract a specific muscle to drive growth in this muscle. First they learned to target a muscle with their mind and then they learned to develop the muscle with an exercise.
Bodybuilders also took the “flexing” and posing to the furthest which is also about contracting certain muscles while resting the rest - this is a lot harder than many may think!
2: ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND BALANCE
In bodybuilding symmetry and balance are important because that is the way you achieve the most aesthetic look. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to describe himself as the "sculptor" who would always have a keen eye for symmetry and balance.
Bodybuilders generally want to develop every muscle in the body. For example, their arm development and their exercise selection to target all heads of the biceps and triceps are the best in the game.
Bodybuilders have basically invented dozens of exercises to emphasize different parts of the arms - this is impressive and useful knowledge because elbow injuries often come from imbalances in the forearm and arm muscles.
The same can be applied to all other types of training - everything needs to be in balance whether it’s size, strength or mobility.
Everything is connected and too much focus on one area will lead to imbalances which can then lead to injuries and weakened performance.
When it comes to health, structural balance and posture are some of the most important factors to take care of.
If you want to achieve the healthiest and most attractive physique, the structural balance of your body makes a massive difference. Structural balance means posture and posture is what will make you stand out and perform at the highest level.
This may seem obvious but when you look at most fields of fitness whether it’s mainstream fitness, calisthenics or powerlifting, attention to detail and balance are partly neglected.
3: DISCIPLINE AND MENTAL FORTITUDE
It takes discipline to be good at anything you do and bodybuilders are no different here.
It takes discipline to eat healthily, lose fat and stay consistent with your training.
Dorian Yates (six times Mr. Olympia) used to say that there were many big guys in his gym but only a few had the mental fortitude to actually get lean and push to the next level.
If you ever see a pro bodybuilding show, you realize that these guys and gals are real professional athletes and they deserve credit for their effort.
It takes decades to develop a muscular and symmetrical body. Then it takes real resolution to cut down the body fat and be able to pose and perform on stage.
Whether you are into bodybuilding or not, in order to get healthy and strong, you have to be disciplined and willing to push the envelope in the gym and your lifestyle habits.
I hope you liked the article. As previously stated, bodybuilding did a great contribution to our work although we are not into pure bodybuilding ourselves.
Bodybuilding is largely behind the mainstream fitness and why there is nowadays a gym in every hotel and on almost every block. Arnold said that in his time this was not the case and finding a good gym wasn't easy.
If you have used weights in the gym, you have probably used bodybuilding or old school strongman movements which have a history of over 100 hundred years.
Train hard, stay safe.