Is Bodybuilding Worth It? (why I don’t think so)


Bodybuilding has been around since the early nineteen hundreds, and the first competition was held on September 14, 1901. Of course, the bodybuilding world has changed dramatically since then.

In the modern world, is bodybuilding even worth it?

Bodybuilding is indeed a sport of passion and very little of anything else. Bodybuilding might be worth it if you are genetically elite or incredibly passionate. Bodybuilding takes a massive amount of dedication and effort day in and day out, and it is not easy. It is NOT for you if have no goals or not passionate about it.

But how much can you get from your efforts?

Realistically speaking, is bodybuilding worth it financially or emotionally?

This article will be delving into what bodybuilders make and if it is worth being 300 lbs.

Is Bodybuilding Worth It?

The average income for the American household in 2021 was about $87,864. This might be to feed and sustain 2-4 people. However, a bodybuilder could easily weigh as much as double an average human, and of course, they have other expenses [1].

bodybuilder lifting weights

Unless you have a massive passion for the sport, it is not worth it financially.

While the fitness market is massive, bodybuilding remains a tiny niche. It is growing faster than ever, but it remains small.

Apart from that, let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of being a bodybuilder.

Advantages of Being a Bodybuilder

  • It can make finding a partner a bit easier – or harder. Because you are incredibly passionate about something, you will be more attractive to some. But it might put most off of you.
  • If you’re good, you can make a lot of money. With the growth of social media, bodybuilders can milk their status and physique to get tremendous benefits and money via social media.
  • You do what you love. Even though some can make a lot of money with bodybuilding, most will not. Thus, you have to be doing it with passion.

Disadvantages of Being a Bodybuilder

  • It is incredibly unhealthy. As you might expect, lifestyle and steroid use are not healthy in the least, and most bodybuilders suffer from health ailments pretty early in their life.
  • It can be very expensive. As a young up-and-comer, the cost of food, drugs, and living as a bodybuilder will be eye-watering, and most will find it hard to justify the passion.
  • It is a personal, selfish sport. Contrary to what you may believe, this stuff takes a lot of time. Getting ready for a single show will require countless hours of cardio and weeks of dieting. This may make sustaining relationships quite hard.

Is Bodybuilding a Good Idea?

For Instagram? Absolutely. Otherwise, it depends. Bodybuilding takes much more commitment than most people realize, and many will start, and only a few will finish. If you consider it, maybe speak to someone who has done a few shows to get you greater insight.

Bodybuilding is a good idea if you love the idea of finding the limits of your own body and mind.

Many have said that bodybuilding was both the most complicated and most remarkable thing they have ever done, and that speaks volumes. If you genuinely love the sport and the sacrifice it requires, it will be worth it.

For some, it’s even a means to cope with trauma, and it becomes both a release and a safe space.

Are Bodybuilders Happy?

You might believe that being 300lbs with 8% body fat, having people swoon over you, and companies dying to brand you as their athlete is all rainbows and unicorns, but that isn’t always the case.

Bodybuilders are some of the happiest people because they get to live their dreams.

However, you will find that they are inclined to have a lot of mood swings. This is most likely due to the diet and training regime and drug use.

When you are in prep for a show, you are going through hell; the last week is known as “hell week” to some. When bulking, you constantly want to throw up, sweaty, and your clothes don’t fit. Throw anabolic steroids on that, and it’s no wonder they have some mood swings.

Is Natural Bodybuilding a Waste of Time?

The world of bodybuilding and fitness is filled with performance-enhancing drug users.

While there is nothing wrong with this, their sports aren’t tested for these substances, and some still want to take the natural route due to ethics, health, or religious reasons.

Bodybuilding is already hard to accomplish, so unless you have an undying passion for the sport, natural bodybuilding is a waste of time. Seth Feroce said it best, “I want to see freaks!”.

There is nothing wrong with natural bodybuilding. However, it will always be the category making less money, drawing a smaller crowd, and generating less buzz. You might earn some more respect from your peers, however.

What are the Disadvantages of Being a Bodybuilder?

Being a bodybuilder isn’t easy if the message isn’t clear yet. It takes years and years of hard work and discipline, and even then, you aren’t guaranteed a win on the day of the show. Something as small as 5 grams of salt could be the difference between winning and losing.

Let’s look at some of the drawbacks of being a bodybuilder.

  • Discrimination: You may not believe it, but bodybuilders get judged a lot. Whether it be for being stupid or not having good brain function, many still treat them as faceless meatheads.
  • Size Restrictions: This goes without saying; the larger you are, the harder life becomes. Fitting into car seats or planes becomes nearly impossible once you become big.
  • Food Bill: If you’re going to go the body-building route, you need to have a job that pays very handsomely. Your food bill will be pretty high, seeing as most bodybuilders consume more than 4000 calories per day.
  • Health Bill: If you are not aware, bodybuilders will abuse Steroids and other Drugs to get the best results on the day of the show. Doing so will come with health complications, and you will need to prepare for this by living as healthily as possible and following strict guidelines from a medical professional.
  • Time Sacrifices: Bodybuilders train anything from one to four hours a day, eat for three, and sleep anything between eight and ten. The time you have free to spend on family and friends will be very limited.

Why are Bodybuilders so Weak?

Scroll a bit on Instagram, and you’ll be met with guys and gals pulling hundreds of pounds off the floor with ease.

You will see some bodybuilders having similar capabilities, but not too often.

Why is that?

Bodybuilding is about making movements as hard as possible, translating to accruing the most amount of muscle tissue possible. Strength athletes do the complete opposite by making movements as easy as possible while staying within the course rules.

This means bodybuilders will tend to have less strength than other athletes relative to their size. They’re still insanely strong compared to the average Joe, but compared to Eddie Hall, maybe not.

Do Bodybuilders Live a Long Life?

In the past five years, quite a lot of bodybuilders have been passing away at relatively early ages. Some were due to natural causes, but there is no denying the influence the lifestyle and Steroids play in this. The heart is simply not equipped to handle a 300+ lbs body.

The Baylor College of Medicine did a survey on 1578 pro bodybuilders and found that the average life expectancy was around 48 years. This is substantially lower than the world average of 73 years.

Is Bodybuilding Healthy Long Term?

One of the most excellent perks you can have as an athlete is longevity. The longer you can perform in your life, the greater your chance of succeeding in whatever your particular endeavor is.

Typically, bodybuilding is not healthy, at all, for a few different reasons.

  • Cholesterol Issues: By eating such a tremendous amount of food and, more worryingly, using so many anabolic steroids, we will see an elevation of blood lipids over time.
  • Blood Pressure: The most significant cause of increased blood pressure will be the sheer size of bodybuilders. Being too big and heavy can place great cardiovascular strain on the body.
  • Renal Issues: Massive amounts of protein do not cause damage to the kidneys. Combine this with anabolic steroid use, and we see renal damage happening dramatically.
  • Mental Health: Particular anabolic steroids like the 19-Nor family are known to be neurotoxic, which will catch up to users over time.
  • Diuretics: Often, before stepping on stage, bodybuilders will want to rid their bodies of all excess water. This means some will take diuretics that flush out their system quite rapidly and can be highly detrimental to health, even causing death.

Why Do Bodybuilders Have Heart Attacks?

heart attack

Heart attacks are classified as when a blood clot blocks oxygen from reaching the heart or a medical emergency.

There are various reasons why bodybuilders have heart attacks:

  • Excessive body weight
  • Steroid abuse
  • Super hypercaloric diets
  • Lack of cardiovascular fitness

The thing is – when you’re working out intensely, your heart rate and blood pressure skyrocket, and your body are flooded with stress hormones like cortisol.

This can eventually lead to wear and tear on the heart muscle, culminating in a heart attack.

So it’s not just bodybuilders who are at risk for heart attacks – any person who regularly exercises at an intense level is susceptible.

The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you’re taking care of your body in other ways as well; eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive stress in your life.

How to Become a Succesful Bodybuilder

Going into any job purely for money isn’t the best idea, especially if it’s something like bodybuilding. This is a sport of passion, and it’s doubtful that you will ever be able to succeed unless you genuinely love the sport to the core.

Let’s look at how you can succeed out of the sport based on what other athletes have done in the past.

1. Have Great Genetics

You can’t choose to do this, but having exceptional genetics for bodybuilding will take you incredibly far. This is because just having good genetics will put you several steps ahead of anyone else regarding muscle and bone structure.

2. Get Insanely Muscular

It is the name of the game. You have to pack on a substantial amount of muscle to be good in the sport. How you do that is up to you, but you need to be highly muscular to be someone in bodybuilding. How muscular? More.

3. Document Everything

To be sponsored by someone easily, you’ll have to have a large social following. This means you’ll have to create that large following – so get posting!

4. Take Care of Your Health

Recently Dexter Jackson retired after having competed for 30 years, making him one of the longest living bodybuilders on the planet. He was able to do this because he took care of his health and made sure not to push his drug use or bodyweight too far.

Final Thoughts: Worth it or not?

Bodybuilding is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy, but it’s not for everyone. It can be expensive and time-consuming, and it may not be the best way to achieve your fitness goals.

If you’re interested in bodybuilding, do your research first and make sure it’s the right choice for you. There are many other ways to get in shape that don’t involve spending hours at the gym every day.

Gaining muscle and staying in shape comes with a ton of benefits, but only if you stick with it long-term.

Don’t expect to see major changes after just a few weeks of training. It takes time and dedication to build muscle mass and lose weight.

Be patient and stay focused on your goals, and you’ll definitely see the results you desire in due time.

Joseph P. Tucker

Joseph P. Tucker is a co-founder of this tiny space, a husband to a beautiful wife, and a fitness enthusiast. He is passionate about helping others achieve their fitness and wellness goals, and he loves nothing more than spreading the gospel of health and nutrition all around the web.

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