Should We Blindly Follow A Bodybuilding Routine?
By Vishwanthar on Training
April 15, 2009
Are bodybuilding routines really worth performing? Let me try to explain my views and answer this question. I just browsed into a popular magazine which spoke about building huge quadriceps. By the way, it has been years since I peeked into a bodybuilding magazine. The routine for building huge quadriceps spoke about doing leg extension, leg press and hack squat. I really don’t know what era these article writers are in. Do these individuals who write the articles know that a leg press, or a hack squat machine, or any machine work under a two dimensional axis, whereas the human body functions on a three dimensional axis. The three planes/ axes/ of motion are saggital, tranverse, and frontal. Performing under a machine may cause repetitive pattern overload, as machines limit the natural movement of the body. For example, the path of the bar is linear and unchanging when a bench press is performed on a smith machine. Whereas, in a free weight bench press the bar path will change during each repetition as it has to counteract the fatigue and loading of the working muscle specific to the motor task. What happens when the path is unchanging because of the fixed axis of a machine? It leads to various injuries to the joints and can result in long-term injuries.
Most of the workouts outlined in bodybuilding magazines are flawed to a great extent. “Ask and you shall receive” goes the saying. The so called bodybuilding experts who author these magazines cater to our needs, as we ask for an ACE routine. How do they do it? If we carefully observe these magazines, we will realize that they just go in circles and try their very best in creating numerous routines. If you pick up a magazine of this month’s edition and read the content it is the same message but with different outlook the next year. There will barely be any changes whatsoever. We do not realize that, at the same time, they are also trying to market various muscle enhancing and fat burning products. Moreover, these magazines support their claim quoting many scientific studies which cannot be trusted. We should know that a human body is at constant flux, for a so called scientific study which is conducted on few individuals under controlled conditions cannot provide a clear picture. Dr Mel Siff with his extensive research on various topics on fitness has his own doubts about these so called scientific studies; he states in an article titled What Research Does Not Tell You, “Modern sports science relies extensively on testing human or animal subjects in the laboratory under strictly controlled conditions. The results from these tests are then applied or extrapolated to the world of sport in an attempt to improve sporting performance, often being quoted or followed with a fervor that often parallels fundamental religion. The research material soon finds its way into university text books or popular articles in the magazines proliferated by the various fitness groups and then almost becomes gospel for generations of instructors, teachers and many sport scientists. The fact that most of this research is sponsored by companies and groups with vested interests in products such as drugs, sportswear, and training equipment may result in the results being discarded or interpreted in a way which is more favorable to certain predetermines viewpoint.” I am aware that this is a very long quote but please read it thoroughly and take cognizance of it. And know for yourself, how flawed our perception is about various fitness related issues.
In addition, bodybuilders of gargantuan proportion are well advertised in these routines. One who even glimpses through these magazines will be allured to buy the supplements, for the alleged- expert bodybuilder proposes to use these expensive supplements to build the desired physique. We don’t realize that many of these supplements don’t work, and when one realizes that the dream of owning a huge physique is a farce, frustrated they look out for other avenues to build muscle and involve in the use and abuse of steroid thereby gratifying their ego. The professional bodybuilders who speak about these various routines and supplements are all blatant liars. If we witness their workouts we will realize that what they speak is far from truth, as they use powerful life-threatening chemicals and drugs to build their body. Their vital organs can fail any time because of drug abuse. How on earth can they talk about health and other related topics? Many professional bodybuilders have had kidney failures, heart attacks, and many other dangerous health conditions. We need to know that looks are deceptive, for these bodybuilders may seem to enjoy great health and well being. THIS IS REALLY NOT THE CASE.
I am glad and restate that I no more read these magazines. Regular interaction with my peers, reading books from reputed sources and, last but not the least, regular research in the internet have all helped me to learn better about fitness. I have committed lot of mistakes following these bodybuilding routines. I have had many injuries because of them. I have realized that functional training to be really beneficial and see to that individuals in my gym train keeping in mind the three planes of motion thereby respecting the body’s natural ability. Training injury free is of out most importance. It feels good as a trainer to see my men train injury free. Lastly, I am not suggesting that all the routines are defective, but most of them in the mainstream magazines should be considered with extreme care, as they seem to neglect the basic tenet of training principles.
PS: I will speak about functional training and its benefits in a subsequent post.