Bodybuilding: “Traksis is full of football players, rarely with bodybuilders”


“Coaches are full of football players, rarely with bodybuilders”

Tue 08.02.22 | 06:07 | Of Shea Westhoff

Picture: imago pictures / Lubo Ivanko

Bodybuilding is always suspected to be an unhealthy sport. The President of the Association of Berlin Bodybuilders would like to clear up the prejudices. A sports doctor surprises with his assessments.

“We do not have the best reputation,” says Michael Williams self-critically about his own subject. He is chairman of the “Association of Berlin Bodybuilders and Fitness Athletes eV” The physical pain under the click irons in the gym, it seems to inflate the muscles properly, but the sport is not considered very healthy and is said to wear the joints.

Not to mention the topic of doping. Bodybuilders are often “associated with steroids,” Williams agrees. When popular bodybuilding influencer Kevin Wolter honestly told in a Funk interview last year that he himself had been using steroids for a few years []this put the already controversial sport back in the twilight.

“weight is relative”

“A lot of people send their bodies to hell way too soon because they do not know what they’re doing,” Williams says. “Some people are not very informed.” It is very important: “When you do bodybuilding, you are very critical of the most precious thing that God has given us – the body.”

Williams himself has been in the sport for more than 30 years, competing in the 80-pound class and achieving numerous competitive successes. In 2007 he became Berlin champion.

For the 58-year-old, bodybuilding means much more than men covered in baby oil or women showing off their muscles. Namely, to know his own body and shape it through the right training and the right diet. “When someone first uses a barbell, they are bodybuilding – even if he or she calls it fitness,” Williams notes.

“Many people believe that muscle building is associated with heavy training.” But on the heavy irons, Williams says: “Weight is relative. It’s always about technique to prevent injuries. We are bodybuilders, we know our bodies, we know our lifts. We know what’s right and what’s wrong. . ” For him, that’s what makes it so attractive to work with it: “What should I eat? What promotes muscle growth? It promotes health.”

He even eats between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day, which is normal for men his age. But as soon as the “build-up phase” begins before competitions, the calorie requirement increases to up to 4,000. “It can seem like a lot,” says the bodybuilder. “But if you spread it out over the day, it’s not.”

Handball and basketball are over at the age of 50 years

Surprisingly, Williams received approval from Berlin sports doctor Fernando Dimeo. “Sports orthopedists have their practice filled with football players every Monday. But there is rarely a bodybuilder,” he says. He also thinks that bodybuilding is very healthy, “if you take the time and exercise sensibly.” It is important to train the body evenly.

A heavily trained biceps without the correspondingly trained triceps on the other side of the upper arm, for example, leads to a poor posture of the arm and is therefore unhealthy. A matter of balance.

“If you do it sensibly, you can do it for a very long time,” Dimeo says. “You can adjust the load. It’s completely different from other sports like handball and basketball, sometimes it’s just over at the age of 50.”

But the same goes for bodybuilding as for any other sport: As a professional sport, the risk of injury is higher than if you work out in the gym two to three times a week.

“high number of unreported cases”

The problem with doping remains: The number of unreported cases is considered to be very high, also because illegal performance-enhancing drugs are said to be easy to get your hands on in some gyms. Bodybuilders “die like flies” after competitions, as influencer Kevin Wolter puts it in a radio interview, due to drug abuse.

“It is believed that many people dope themselves because it makes muscle growth easier,” confirms Dimeo. It’s a big problem. Nevertheless, he warns against general suspicion and reminds that there are people who are actually able to “build an incredible muscle mass without the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs – just as there are people who can do what they want, they just do “it does not get muscle.”

“The number of unreported cases is there, let’s not fool ourselves,” Williams confirms. Even he only takes legal additives like amino acids and L-carnitine. “I’m not familiar with steroids.” Bodybuilding should not just be reduced to doping, he says. In fact, it seems like it would be too short-sighted.

Broadcast: Inforadio, 6 February 2022, at 14.15

Posted by Shea Westhoff

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