How to Become a Bodybuilder

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A bodybuilder is a weightlifter who trains extensively to sculpt his or her body for competitive judging. Bodybuilders often compete in contests where they are judged on their overall fitness, muscular appearance, and figure. Becoming a successful bodybuilder requires intensive dedication to fitness and diet and may take years to accomplish. Bodybuilders often work with such fitness and health specialists as nutritionists and athletic trainers.


Flickr: A. Blight
Education Specialized training
Starting pay Varies
Median pay Varies
10 yr growth N/A
Related professions Fitness trainer, fitness instructor
Author Selena Robinson

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Bodybuilder Job Overview

Bodybuilders dedicate themselves to developing their bodies into the most muscular and fit specimens they can be. This involves making a serious commitment to diet and exercise, as well as to continuing to adhere to this way of life for an extended time. Becoming a bodybuilder often includes a significant financial investment as well, since gym memberships, nutrition supplements, and travel to bodybuilding competitions all cost money.[1] Bodybuilders must be good at setting goals and then developing plans to reach them. Otherwise, they may lose sight of their intention to win an upcoming competition and make diet or fitness choices that could derail their chances of winning.[2]

Bodybuilder Education

To become a bodybuilder, an individual does not need to complete a formal education such as a high school diploma or a college degree. However, he or she does need to learn about how the body responds to fitness training and nutrition and then make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce fat, develop muscle, and build endurance. Bodybuilders must also learn about the proper use of dietary supplements that contribute to unusual muscle development. Since the goal of a bodybuilder is to grow muscle, he or she must learn how to perform exercises in a way that helps muscles grow to their largest possible size. This might include a workout routine that features several "push to failure" sets, which involve lifting the heaviest possible weight a few times per session.[3]

Bodybuilder Training

Most successful bodybuilders undergo intensive training sessions at regular times during the week. A typical bodybuilder training routine includes working each major muscle group on a single day each week. These workouts usually consist of several exercises that target one group of muscles such as the back, the abdominals, or the upper body. After completing one set of each exercise, the bodybuilder may take a short break and then resume completing additional sets until the session is completed. Many bodybuilders favor this workout schedule, since it gives them time to rest the group of muscles they have just worked.[4]

Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview

Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Also See: How to Become a Fitness Instructor, How to Become a Fitness Trainer, How to Become an Athletic Trainer, How to Become a Nutritionist