More than a century ago, Eugene Sandow the father of modern bodybuilding, first presented to the world an art form that combined strength and beauty, a simple yet sophisticated discipline that still puzzles and amazes even the most knowledgeable man. Today, bodybuilding revolves around drama, mystery and a long list of debates that are uncalled for. The importance of age in bodybuilding is just one of many subjects of popular controversy that need to be limited to what they truly are.
Eugene Sandow created a revolutionary perception of what the human body could achieve even when its true potential was unknown or better yet deemed as impossible, he proved that there’s no real limit to what human soul can accomplish with hard work and dedication. Age, just like genetics, doesn’t limit what someone can or can’t do, the importance of age in bodybuilding as surprising as it may sound is nonexistent.
The vast majority of the general population thinks that bodybuilding is a beauty pageant built on top of a mountain of iron and performance enhancement drugs, a conception that is stereotypically true but false at the same time. The previous description fits perfectly when discussing the world of competitive bodybuilding but not when trying to describe the real essence of bodybuilding, an art form that has no equal.
Real bodybuilding is born through the constant desire of self-improvement in both the physical and the spiritual parts that make us human. Bodybuilding feeds off of weakness and in exchange offers us health, strength, confidence, happiness, and a strong body. A true bodybuilder doesn’t care about age, genetics, potential or exterior opinions, a real bodybuilder only desires one thing; individual satisfaction.
The importance of age in bodybuilding is nonexistent regardless of the many incoherent facts that resurface over and over amongst popular magazines and online sources. Experts like to share facts that are short of being opinions with no real validation, facts that discourage thousands of individuals on a daily basis to follow their dreams and make them a reality.
Younger bodybuilders are criticized for their lack of age, experience, and knowledge while older individuals are discouraged because of their age and the “disadvantages” that it comes with. The truth is that no matter how young or how old one is, bodybuilding will always be the gateway to an active and stress-free life.
The importance of age in bodybuilding as a competitive sport does matter; professional bodybuilders have a very limited time frame in which they can reach the pinnacle of the sport before their body burns out and gets tired. The human body during its first decade and up to its teenage years isn’t fully developed and lacks the necessary hormones to reach a complete muscular physique that someone has in his/her thirties.
A 40-year-old body, on the other hand, doesn’t possess the youth and everything that comes with it like someone that is ten years younger. The body doesn’t perform or recover like it once did and results are harder to obtain but not impossible nonetheless. Age may matter if one desires to be a multiple Mr. Olympia winner but it plays no part in building a world class physique that’s magazine cover material.
The point of this article is to express in a very simple manner that the importance of age in bodybuilding is not important. It’s never too early or too late to start, the human body is capable of unimaginable feats that are often spoken of as improbable yet it doesn’t keep those who reach them from achieving newer heights. All the articles that say that age limits progress and productivity have probably never heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the youngest Mr. Olympia in history at 23 years old or Chris Dickerson, the oldest winner of the respective contest at 43 years old.
As the sport of bodybuilding reaches newer heights of popularity and it spreads into even the smallest corners of the world, the importance of age in bodybuilding seems to fade as considerable amounts of younger and older bodybuilders make their way into the spotlight like Eugene Sandow first did with the art of modern bodybuilding; an achievement that is still represented today within the Mr. Olympia competition through the first place trophy that bears his last name.