What exactly is “bodybuilding”?

Dr. Melchiore Buscemi

April 28, 2023

What exactly is "bodybuilding"?

Bodybuilding is an activity that involves weight training and sculpting your body into the physique of your dreams. It is a meticulous craft that takes time and dedication to achieve your desired look.

It combines heavy strength training, specialized nutrition, and strict rest to develop a shredded physique. The sport can be a mental and physical drain for some, especially competitive bodybuilders.


Bodybuilding is a form of physical exercise that involves resistance training and a nutrient-dense diet to build muscle mass and reduce body fat. It is an activity that can be rewarding and enjoyable, but it also requires a lot of commitment and dedication.

On the other hand, strength training is a more specific activity focusing on developing a particular muscle group’s strength and size. It can help you gain a symmetrical, athletic physique and is a great way to build muscle and tone your body.

There are many different bodybuilding techniques, but the key is finding one that works for you and your personal goals. It is important to vary your workouts and use proper form and technique when lifting weights to reduce the risk of injury.


The nutrition aspect of bodybuilding focuses on achieving and maintaining a lean and muscular physique. Competitive bodybuilders use a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, calorie restriction, supplementation and peaking strategies to develop a competitive physique.

However, the literature on dietary practices of competitive bodybuilders is predominantly based on dieting regimes and is largely restricted to the ‘off-season’ or ‘contest preparation’ period [3,4,5]. This phase may be defined as a period before the competition (‘off-season’), during contest preparation (often 8-24 weeks before competition), or immediately before the competition (‘peaking’).

Many nutrition practices utilized by dieting bodybuilders lack scientific support and may result in micronutrient deficiencies. These include a deficiency of calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iron and other important nutrients.


Bodybuilding is a complex process that involves multiple factors, including nutrition, training, and recovery. It can also be physically and mentally draining.

Bodybuilders may supplement their diet with dietary supplements to help maximize muscle growth and increase strength. However, a person will only be able to maximize the effectiveness of supplements if they combine them with adequate training and a healthy diet.

Protein is important for bodybuilding because it helps your muscles grow and repair. A good diet should include many high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Protein supplements are popular with bodybuilders because they can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to maximize muscle growth. They may also contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can improve your body’s performance and help you get the most out of your workouts.


Bodybuilding competitions are an excellent way to build confidence, discipline and self-esteem. They also help teach you to set goals and work hard towards them.

Bodybuilders can compete in regional shows or professional federations like the National Physique Committee and the International Federation of Bodybuilding. They also have different divisions, so it is important to know your physique level before you start competing.

A competition day is usually divided into prejudging, finals, or a running format. Competitors perform a symmetry round, compulsory poses, comparisons, and individual posing routines during the prejudging.

During the finals, competitors perform a 90-second individual posing routine to music. The judges look for symmetry, shape, proportion, muscle tone, and poise.