The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 5

Only a tiny percentage of bodybuilders take part in competitions. Strength is secondary to muscular size for a bodybuilder, although building strength is an important part of building size, especially for beginning and intermediate bodybuilders.

Here's most of the entry on Body building in the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA:

Also spelled “bodybuilding,” a regimen of exercises designed to enhance the human body's muscular development. As a competitive activity, body building aims at displaying pronounced muscle tone and exaggerated muscle mass and definition for overall aesthetic effect. Barbells and dumbbells and other devices are used in the exercises. For the use of similar exercises for sports training and conditioning, general conditioning, and rehabilitation therapy, see Weight training.

Body building was practiced from the time of the ancient Babylonians, but the modern competitive form grew largely out of European strongman theatrical and circus acts of the 19th century. The first American physique contest, staged by physical culturist Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955), took place in 1903 in New York City, with the winner named “the most perfectly developed man in America.” Thereafter many promoters staged body-building competitions, the most important annual events becoming the International Federation of Body Builders' Mr. Universe contest (founded in 1947) and its later and more prestigious Mr. Olympia contest. From the 1920s through the '60s, Charles Atlas, the 1922 Macfadden title winner, vigorously promoted the activity through a program of mail-order lessons advertised around the world.


The subcutaneous fat (under the skin), and visceral fat around some internal organs (the deeper fat in the body). Females have a higher bodyfat percentage because of the genetics and hormones that distinguish their gender.

To be lean means having a bodyfat level of no more than 10% to 12% for a male, and 15% to 17% for a female. To be extremely lean — ripped in bodybuilding lingo — would mean reducing bodyfat to no more than half of those percentages.

Bodyfat storage patterns are genetically determined. For example, it's possible to be lean overall and yet not have visible abs.

Bodyfat can be measured, or at least approximated, using skinfold thicknesses at specific sites over the body, along with a computation formula.

Bodyfat percentage changes can be shown by monitoring the waist girth using the same conditions, and the thickness of a single pinch of fat at the same point on the waist (for a man) or hips (for a woman).

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