Weight training for Body & Physique
Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one’s musculature. An individual who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. In professional bodybuilding, bodybuilders appear in line-ups and perform specified poses (and later individual posing routines) for a panel of judges who rank the competitors based on criteria such as symmetry, muscularity, and conditioning. Bodybuilders prepare for competitions through a combination of intentional dehydration, elimination of nonessential body fat, and carbohydrate loading to achieve maximum vascularity, as well as tanning to accentuate muscular definition.
Increased physical attractiveness
Many people take up weight training to improve their physical attractiveness. There is evidence that a body type consisting of broad shoulders and a narrow waist, attainable through strength training, is the most physically attractive male attribute according to women participating in the research. Most men can develop substantial muscles. Most women lack the testosterone to do it, but they can develop a firm, “toned” physique, and they can increase their strength by the same proportion as that achieved by men (but usually from a significantly lower starting point). An individual’s genetic make-up dictates the response to weight training stimuli to a significant extent, training can not exceed a muscle’s intrinsic genetically determined qualities, but clearly polymorphic expression of Myosin heavy chains is possible. Workouts elevate metabolism for up to 14 hours following 45-minutes of vigorous exercise.
Cutting and bulking
The general strategy adopted by most present-day competitive bodybuilders is to make muscle gains for most of the year (known as the “off-season”) and, approximately 12–14 weeks from competition, attempt to lose body fat (referred to as “cutting”). The bulking phase entails remaining in a net positive energy balance (calorie surplus). The amount of a surplus in which a person remains is based on the person’s goals, as a bigger surplus and longer bulking phase will create more fat tissue. The surplus of calories relative to one’s energy balance will ensure that muscles remain in a state of growth.
The cutting phase entails remaining in a net negative energy balance (calorie deficit). The main goal of cutting is to oxidize fat while preserving as much muscle as possible. The larger the calorie deficit, the faster one will lose weight. However, a large calorie deficit will also create the risk of losing muscle tissue.
The precise effectiveness of the cutting and bulking strategy is unknown, with only limited observational case studies on the subject. No studies involving precise hypercaloric feeding combined with resistance exercise have been conducted.