Fitness and Body Building

There are statistics which show that, after years of training in body building, many of the persons who practiced this sport turned to fitness. The reasons of this change are different, from the most common ones, like the boredom which intervenes at a certain time, to health problems.

It is well-known that body building training of anaerobic type is very demanding. In most of the cases, the aerobic programs are avoided because sportsmen are afraid of losing muscular mass.

Another disadvantage of body building trainings is the fact that sportsmen have to work a lot with their chest blocked, in apnea, because of the great weights they use for increasing their muscles.

The respiratory blocking during the force effort is also known as the Valsalva phenomenon and it was initially studied in the case of weightlifters. Applying this technique can have as consequences, in time, rising of blood pressure, low blood feedback through the veins, varicous veins, etc. It is obvious that because of the ageing process, the blood veins become more rigid, a process favored by the arteriosclerosis which appears to younger and younger people. The elasticity of the walls of these blood vessels decreases, so while making force effort with really heavy weights, the sportsmen are in danger of having a stroke, because the vessels can break. This risk is much smaller in fitness.The weights used in this sport are small or medium, because the purpose of doing this sport is not a spectacular hypertrophy of the muscles, but fortifying, putting into relief and reshaping the muscles.

Another advantage of fitness is a richer and more varied area of exercises, inspired from the complex training of body building but also of many other sports. For example, we find in fitness plyometrics exercises used in athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting, fight sports, etc. These programs have as consequence the forming of much more functional muscles, which can cope with demanding situations in real life, not only with posing during body building contests.

Because there is no obsession for muscles, aerobic training can be introduced in the programs. Its advantages are: making the blood vessel walls more elastic, decreasing cholesterol and making excellent prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases.

Time is another factor which must be considered. While in body building the simplest divided program requires a minimum of four weekly trainings, in fitness, where all or most of the muscle groups are exercised during one training, three non-consecutive days a week are enough. The aerobic exercises can be done either in the free days, or additional to the training in the gym, in this case the total time of training being of one hour and a half at most.

Passing from body building to fitness does not have as consequence significant loss of muscular mass, even if the volume of the muscles is diminished. Anyway, the fortifying and relief of the muscles are not lost. This small loss is fully compensated by the advantages of practicing much more complex exercises and, why not admit, much safer for the health of the people.