As a whole, bodybuilding at its purest form is a discipline and lifestyle like no other; it’s the only way in which the human body can successfully transform itself into a walking masterpiece. As the world grows and expands, bodybuilding does the same by reaching newer heights of popularity that are showcased within the competitive aspect of the sport.
The dangers of competitive bodybuilding are something that young athletes need to consider before dedicating their life to the stage. Below is a brief explanation of what one can expect from the cult sport.
Let’s begin this article with one of the most common dangers of competitive bodybuilding known as excessive dieting which can present itself in the form of bulking or cutting. Both of these types of dieting have been used by bodybuilders for decades to build and then showcase their physiques. Cutting and bulking are needed to change the way the human body looks, cutting is usually used for showcase purposes while bulking is needed for function and progression.
The easiest and most productive dieting method out of the two is bulking as it consists of placing the body in a caloric surplus that will directly lead to rapid weight gain and improved strength. The main risk used by bodybuilders during a bulking cycle is taking it too far and ballooning up to a weight that places too much stress on their bodies. Professional bodybuilders tend to weigh well over 300lbs in the offseason which leads them to suffer from severe physical conditions like those of an obese individual.
Cutting is the complete opposite of bulking as it’s used to strip the body from the excess fat and water that is stored while bulking. While there’s nothing wrong with going through this process at a steady rate, professional athletes rely on Performance Enhancement Drugs that allow them to lean out at an incredibly fast pace. Competitive bodybuilders take their physiques to unthinkable extremes, reaching single digit body fat numbers in which the body is placed into a very vulnerable position.
Bodybuilding has always been criticized by society due to its constant steroid use and negative image, everyone knows it but no one wants to admit it. For years, competitive bodybuilders have risked their health just to obtain an unnatural physique that will award them a plastic trophy with no actual value. The dangers of competitive bodybuilding are fueled by vanity and ego; two factors that drive and generate competitiveness with little to no reward.
Steroids are compounds that no human body should ever have to endure as they go against human nature at its purest state. Steroids, hormones, and the different chemical compounds that are used to achieve unnatural levels of growth have been deterioration the health of thousands of individuals from all around the world who find comfort in building an enhanced physique that symbolizes everything that’s wrong with the competitive aspect of the sport.
The constant abuse of anabolic steroids has created massive monsters with poor health, protruding stomachs, failing organs, breathing problems and undesirable physiques. The biggest dangers of competitive bodybuilding aren’t steroids or hormones, the danger is trying to be better than someone else, a principle that goes against everything that bodybuilding stands for. Real bodybuilding is about building one’s physique to its natural potential in which the primary goal is maintaining a good state of health.
The dangers of competitive bodybuilding don’t always represent themselves as steroids or extreme diets; the most common are poor lifestyle habits. As it was already discussed, steroids can generate a great amount of side effects, some of them are short-term while others take the time to develop. As far as lifestyle habits go, competitive bodybuilding pushes the human body into an unbalanced environment that it really doesn’t belong in.
While the main short-term health risks associated with constant anabolic steroid use are acne, hair loss, aging, bloating, shortness of breath, disrupted sleeping patterns, and poor cardiovascular endurance, long-term side effects include organ failure, muscular atrophy, infertility, and death. As it that wasn’t enough, other dangers of competitive bodybuilding can represent themselves on a daily basis without notice.
Many bodybuilders practice bad habits that include: avoiding any other type of physical activity other than lifting weights, distorted sleeping patterns, unhealthy dieting schedules (eating every two hours), excessive food consumption, and unhealthy (constant) muscular stimulation that can potentially lead to knee, hip, vertebrae, shoulder, and unbearable joint pain.