Aging bodybuilders and those in pursuit of improvements in body composition often fall victim to programs that are inappropriate for them and the expectations that are driven by a desire to keep up with their physical conquests of the past. My intention as a former competitor with more than 20 years of experience training and coaching others is to offer insight for those who are training hard despite the physiological changes that tend to come with age.
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Politics in the sport of bodybuilding is like a pissing match for republicans. It's almost like a contest for who can be more right-wing on as many given topics as possible. For many in the fitness industry, it's considered manly to be pro-gun, anti-union, pro-war, anti [universal] healthcare, pro-life, anti-choice, pro-cuts, anti [social] spending, and so on and so forth. If you're a liberal, a left-winger, or heaven forbid a democratic socialist (like yours truly), you're considered to be an immature, ill-informed, weakling. I mean take Arnold for example. Although he married a Kennedy, he's a Republican to the core, and when Democratic lawmakers in California didn't pass his party's initiatives quick enough, he publicly suggested they were acting like 'girly men.' The press had a field day - and the Democrats? They passed the budget.
Let me start by saying I love bodybuilding. It’s arguably one of the hardest activities to master, which is what I think makes it great. But who is anyone kidding? Competitive bodybuilding is not a quest for optimum health. It’s entirely about achieving a lean, muscular and symmetrical appearance. There is no judging criteria for health or any health-related measures but with the recent passing of another bodybuilder perhaps this should be taken into consideration.
ATTENTION: The following article is for bodybuilders and other physique athletes looking to build muscle. Athletes training for specific sports or for function may not find it as useful, however the techniques listed could still be used in phases where hypertrophy is the goal.
There are many factors that determine how easily (or not) someone is able to gain muscle. Genetics are the biggest factor and this include things like hormone levels, receptors, type of muscle fibers, myostatin levels, ability to absorb nutrients, protein synthesis rates, etc. The other factors related to optimal muscle growth are more easily manipulated: diet, supplementation, training, determination, consistency, etc.
You might be aware that resistance leads to growth in many ways, but you may not be aware that other factors can also contribute to growth. In fact, massage therapy can aid your growth in ways that you might never imagine.
Massage is usually considered a luxury, an occasional relaxing splurge, but the truth is that massage therapy is a form of alternative medicine that has bona fide medical applications; in most states it even requires practitioners to be licensed by the state medical board.