Being a *cough* Bodybuilder

Being new to the ‘bodybuilding’ world there’s been a lot of things I’ve had to get used to. One is being called a bodybuilder -well actually no one calls me this except for my husband….  At first I guess I was embarrassed, probably uncomfortable,  but mostly because of what comes to people’s minds….

A year ago I would have never thought I would be where I am today, training for shows and on my quest for a pro card. I’ll confess that I was slightly ignorant and completely turned off  by the whole thing at that time.

I couldn’t comprehend why these people would go on stage and do what I thought, was “showing off”. Why are they trying to be all “bad?”…why do they think they’re above everyone else just because they have muscles? errrttt, this was before I got the reality check. bodybuilder. I kind of have a hard time with the “bodybuilder” label. Mostly because of what people’s imaginations lead them to…meat heads, dumb, vain, obsessive, unhealthy, jock, etc….    

This is not me! I grew up as being a pretty good athlete. I was in volleyball, basketball, water polo, ended with a full ride swimming scholarship to the University of Nebraska. I had plenty MVPs, Athlete of The Years, records, etc… I was an athlete, a great label!! Anyway,  I finished school and had two boys, always in the gym, working out. Being a ‘fit mom’ ..another pretty good label.

Long story short, with being fit I always  had people ask me what I did. In the same week 3 random people asked if I competed. Also, a regular mom like me said she was thinking of doing one… I didn’t really know what they meant, I looked into it…. “WTF they were talking about Bodybuilding!  No way! That’s stupid! I’m an athlete! A fitmom! I could never trade in my label! Well I got over that in about 5 minutes and looked up a trainer, someone who had experience and could help me through the ropes of these shows. I contacted Mike and Trish Wood from Iron Addiction in Roseville, CA…. and that’s when it happened, I became a bodybuilder… and I loved it.

So did I trade in my athlete label?

There’s a cool website,, they list top 11 lists of various things… one post being “11 Sports Whose Participation May or May Not Be Athletes.” Bodybuilding is one listed, a few others were curling, golf, bowling, hunting, and racecar driving.

Here’s 11points argument:

Why bodybuilders are athletes: They lift weights for hours every day, have insanely low levels of body fat, and their competition is purely physical.

What I Think: Yes, we lift and have low body fat. The competition is physical, but tricky because subjective – your physique, posing, and presence on stage brings the whole ‘package’ together, you want the judges to like you. The strongest and biggest may not win.

Why bodybuilders aren’t athletes: A bodybuilding competition isn’t a sport, it’s a pose-off that requires absolutely no perceivable skills other than strategic lat popping.

What I Think: First, Ouch. lol. For my show I came in looking pretty good…. on stage I did terrible with posing! I’ll have to argue that the “strategic lat popping” is a skill. I lost by 1 point and my feedback was to work on posing. Ouch again! damn! It’s true I go back and look at pictures and think… ok yah that looks bad. Another skill is bringing in the whole package, -smile, movement, presence…the whole presentation.

okay so let’s take a look:

ath·lete, noun

a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

For me to be in the condition I was for stage took training. Workouts required stamina, strength, and physical skill.

Something that all athletes experience is the  process of a breaking through mental barriers. Bodybuilding does this, maybe even more often because of the strict eating. It’s more than just getting through a tough workout, set, getting a cardio session in…it tests your dedication, integrity, honesty, and ability to stick to a plan… which by the way is in effect 24/7! It’s trusting every workout and meal to get you to your goal. It’s so easy to steer off if you break focus. Honestly it sucks. lol. BUT it’s addicting and makes me feel amazing.

Bodybuilding has given me a physical strength that I’ve never had, I have more energy, I’m eating the healthiest I ever have, I’m inspiring others, I’m lean, and I’m a daily role model for my children and husband.

Honestly, when I started writing this post I was still confused  if a bodybuilder was an athlete. I was tinkering with using the word “competitor” instead. Looks like though that I convinced myself!  I am an athlete, and should be proud that I can stick to something so difficult. Just thinking of what I’m doing is making me exhausted. 🙂

If anyone out there doesn’t agree, you’re more than welcomed to train with me for a week. 

Do you think bodybuilders are athletes?

🙂 angie bryan


2 thoughts on “Being a *cough* Bodybuilder

  1. Bodybuilders are absolutely athletes! You may compete by “posing” but you also spend hours in the gym busting your ass, as well as watching your diet like a hawk. Plus weightlifting is an Olympic sport, so tell people to STFU and shove it 🙂

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