3 Lessons Everyone Can Learn From (Part 1): Bodybuilders
“Train like a Strongman, eat like a Bodybuilder, mobilize like a Weightlifter, and think like a Powerlifter” – Brandon Lilly
Do that for 10 years and imagine what an extraordinary athlete you’d be. This quote has sat with me ever since I read Brandon Lilly’s Cube Method, and has inspired me to write this series of articles.
It’s easy to criticize sports you aren’t active in – “bodybuilders are egotistical” “powerlifters are fat and lazy” but what if you forgot about these stereotypes and actually listened to their lessons.
These lessons will make you look outside the box of your sport or activity, giving you that competitive edge and making you a far superior athlete to the rigid individuals, who are stuck in their ways.
All sports have universal lessons. In this series I am looking to extract them, today I start with Bodybuilders.
Part 1: Bodybuilders
Dedication & Lifestyle
It would be very hard to argue against bodybuilders being the most dedicated individuals in sport. All athletes work hard during the 1-2hours of training, but bodybuilders are working their ass off 24hours a day.
They’re always looking for that extra 1% – be it perfecting lifestyle habits, nutrition or training. I think all athletes would massively benefit from taking a more holistic approach to their performance like bodybuilders.
Rather than just working hard at training, look closely into your lifestyle habits – how’s your sleep hygiene, what recovery protocols do you employ, how are you handling stress, are you maintaining good posture?
What you do during the other 22hours of your day will have a HUGE impact upon what you do in competition.
The diet of a bodybuilder is meticulous. An athlete or an average gym attendant is obviously going to have a different diet protocol to an elite bodybuilder but there is a lot to learn from the meticulous habits of a bodybuilder’s diet.
Be aware of what you’re eating and how it affects you personally. Are you really eating enough food? Do donuts before competition hinder your performance? Do donuts before competition aid your performance? Does dairy make you feel tired? Etc…
It’s natural to want to be a part of a group, that’s why people get wrapped up in systems – paleo, vegan, IFYYM, low carb, high carb. Though you must identify through trial and error what works best for you, some people love almonds as a snack but others would die if they ate one…
This does not necessarily mean you have to track everything you eat, just be aware of what you’re eating and how it’s affecting you.
One common trait amongst top bodybuilders is great symmetry. Symmetry means balance between muscle groups, something a lot of athletes and average joe’s are lacking.
A prime example is the posterior chain or lack of in our culture.
Look around you, you’ll see underdeveloped backs, glutes and hamstrings everywhere. The posterior chain muscles are arguably the most important group of muscles – vital for athletic performance, posture, injury prevention, plus they look freakin awesome.
I know you can’t see them in the mirror and yes – you do need to be able to push heavy weight as an athlete. Though the posterior chain does need extra work 99% of the time, due our culture of sitting on are ass all day – wake up, eat breakfast in a chair, sit and drive to work, sit at the desk, get back in the car, bench press, sit in front of the TV then sleep. This completely shuts the posterior chain off – here’s how to fix those issues.
You may have another area of weakness which isn’t your posterior chain, you still must work hard to create decent symmetry to increase performance and reduce the risk of injury.
What other lessons do you think can be learn’t from bodybuilding? – Comment below.
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