Bodybuilding in many ways is an extreme sport. We have athletes who have extreme amounts of muscle mass with extremely low body fat. However, that doesn’t mean that everything in bodybuilding must be done in an extreme manner.
When I was dieting for Mr Kuala Lumpur 2012, I did a lot of research via the Internet, books and asked other competitors and friends about their diets. Two of them told me, “I’m taking 500g of protein daily, with almost no carbs and fat. I’m basically only eating egg whites and steamed chicken breast”. Ok, I get it, it is recommended that a bodybuilder takes a high protein, low carb diet if he wants to lose fat but that is unnecessarily extreme. Unless you’re the size of a pro bodybuilder, your body isn’t going to utilize all 500g of protein. And going that low in carbs, you’re going to be so damn lethargic. Other unnecessary extremes I have seen are extreme training parameters. Either someone is doing too many sets or too few and using too much weight or too little. To these guys I say, chill. You’re only gonna need 2g of protein per pound of lean body weight AT MOST. And I wouldn’t lower my carbs to less than 80g per day even when I’m dieting (50g if you’re female). Training wise, choose a weight which you can perform your target number of reps with proper form and you won’t need more than 20 sets per body part, even for large ones.
Alright, so now that I’ve written about bodybuilding parameters which should be handled with moderation but are often taken to the extreme, what parameters SHOULD we take to the extreme? And there should be some, right? Cause if there is nothing that should be to the extreme in the sport, how could we push ourselves and what separates the champs from the wannabes? Well, there are, but these parameters are often not discussed about, hard to quantify and often forgotten. Champs know that these parameters are what they should be concentrating on while wannabes are distracted by which protein powder is better or is high intensity training or volume training better.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about consistency, discipline, determination and the willingness to suffer pain and deprivation (especially when strict dieting). In the end, the person who pushes himself the hardest in the gym, no matter with high intensity training or volume training, will be the best bodybuilder. So will the person who sticks closely to his diet and resists the temptation of unhealthy foods, alcohol and late-night partying. In short, keep your weights, reps, sets and macros moderate, but keep the fire and determination in you burning stronger than ever!