I watched a very interesting video today, yet the video is kinda old.
You could see Daniel Racoveanu (bodybuilder) losing an arm wrestling contest against a professional of this discipline (Ion Ocescu).
The huge number of comments following the video made me laugh a lot. You could find all kinds of stereotypes concerning weight training and bodybuilding which is, let me remind you – ‘the sport to develop muscle mass in an aesthetic purpose’.
You could actually read that the bodybuilder had no strength and he was only pumping iron explaining his defeat. Actually, the term ‘pumping iron’ is regularly used when talking about bodybuilding and this word is not truly appreciated.
Compare what is Comparable
First, we must compare what is comparable. To say that Daniel doesn’t have strength only because he lost means absolutely nothing. Bodybuilding is a sport’s discipline (though not accepted as such) which, as already defined aims aesthetics.
In general, bodybuilders will work on a series of repetitions that allow the increase of muscle size, and not the research of strength. It is the primary goal of the bodybuilder (I refer you to my article Starting Bodybuilding).
Because he is one of the fastest rugby players in the world, he should necessarily run faster than anyone else?
No, and as we know, he will certainly lose against Usain Bolt but that does not mean that the South African player is slow.
Habana doesn’t train in rugby to be fast, he trains in a sport that requires different physical abilities such as speed…
For the Jamaican, he is training to be the fastest man in the world. If you put him on a rugby pitch, I am not sure he will finish the game because rugby requires more than just being fast.
In our case it is the same. This is not because Daniel lost an arm wrestling contest that he has no strength. If you put Ion on a bench press or squat, I would be surprised to see him lifting heavier than our bodybuilder. Each discipline is different.
Bodybuilding = Pumping Iron FALSE
If you type on Google the French word ‘gonflette’, the search engine refers you to the definition of bodybuilding while Larousse defines gonflette as the prominent muscles of the bodybuilder.
The term is yet pejorative and confusing. When mentioning this word, you immediately think of a guy with bulky muscles but no strength.
Yet this is not true. Take a guy like Ronnie Coleman who is the reference in the world of bodybuilding. Do you think that a 400kgs squat is not heavy? do you believe that lifting 9 times 185kgs for the incline press is not impressive?
I challenge anyone to perform such performances!
I saw a similar show to this arm wrestling contest where scientists had measured the sheer force of a tennis player and a bodybuilder.
Of course, you won’t be surprised that the results gave more strength to the tennis player than the bodybuilder.
Does it mean that the tennis player is stronger than the bodybuilder? NO, he simply trains on a different motion.
Let say that you’ve done bodybuilding for years but one day a friend show you an exercise you’ve never done before.
I can promise you that you’ll struggle hard at the beginning but after few days it will be as easy as any other exercise. It is a matter of training and habit.
I am willing to bet that if we did a thumb fight between a bodybuilder and a video game player, the latter would win.
I repeat once again that bodybuilders seek AESTHETICISM above all without meaning that they are weak. I promise you that you will have to train hard before lifting as heavy as they do.
Bodybuilding is a ‘useless sport’
I also read some reviews where people were obviously aware that bodybuilding was a totally different discipline from arm wrestling and that there was no reason to be mean with Daniel.
However, you could see that some critics did not concern the defeat of the bodybuilder but the fact that bodybuilding was a useless and stupid discipline.
It is true that wanting to have a perfect body is more stupid than fattening at MacDonald or getting drunk every night!
As some have mentioned, I know that bodybuilding can make you narcissistic. I recognize that there are some funny customers who look admiringly at themselves in the mirror every 15sec. But this is not the case for everyone!
You can also do bodybuilding or weight training for your pleasure and well-being. If only you knew how nice it is to feel your body work and feel healthier. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are looking at yourself in the mirror every day!
Bodybuilding can also be a revenge on life. Whatever the reason, bodybuilding is a passion like any other and no more stupid than playing video games or playing rugby.
Those who criticize are somehow jealous because they will never have the same body than them. We should all respect each other choice. Respect their passion as we would like them to respect ours.
There are people who have survived things, who have overcome obstacles through these hobbits, especially many in the world of bodybuilding.
So instead of being rude, we should encourage and admire their hard work even though you don’t appreciate their discipline.
I wish you all a good training my dear lifters!