How to Get Involved in Bodybuilding Competitions

Bodybuilding is the practice of increasing the size of your muscles through intensive exercise. It generally uses a variety of bodybuilding exercises that target a specific muscle group. Several organizations in the United States offer bodybuilding competitions at the national level. Joining a bodybuilding club is a common way to get involved in these competitions.
Exercises
The major muscle groups targeted by bodybuilding exercises include the chest, shoulder and back muscles for the upper body. The main muscles in the arms are the biceps and triceps, and the primary leg muscles are the quadriceps and hamstrings. The abdominal muscles are the major muscle group for the trunk of the body.
Exercises that use a large amount of weight with a low number of repetitions build strength, while exercises that use a low amount of weight and a high number of repetitions build endurance. Bodybuilding exercises generally fit in the middle of these two extremes. Most exercise sets in bodybuilding consist of 8 to 12 repetitions.
The rest period between sets is also an important consideration for bodybuilding exercises. The ideal rest period between sets is usually about one minute. Larger muscle groups use more oxygen and require more rest, while muscle groups with good blood supplies benefit from a shorter rest period.
Organizations
The International Federation of Bodybuilders is currently the largest bodybuilding organization in the United States. It sponsors the Mr./Ms. Olympia contests, which is the top bodybuilding contest in the world. Additional contests sponsored by the IFBB include the North American Championships and. the World Championships. Competitors in these competitions must qualify through IFBB amateur events or receive a special invitation.
The National Amateur Bodybuilding Association conducts amateur and professional competitions, despite its name. The NABBA is based in England and its top competition is the Mr. Universe contest. Competitors in the United States qualify for the Mr. Universe contest through the USA National Championships.
The National Physique Committee is an amateur bodybuilding organization that holds contests at the state and national levels. These contests serve as the qualifying rounds for the IFBB circuit. The NPC was founded in 1982 by the Amateur Athletic Union, which no longer holds competitions.
Getting Started
Attending a contest is typically the best way to get started with competitive bodybuilding. This will give you a general feel for the manner in which these contests are conducted. A bodybuilding club often has information on upcoming bodybuilding competitions for its members.
Veteran bodybuilders are also a good source for information on bodybuilding exercises and competitions. They can provide inside tips on these competitions that aren't easy to obtain elsewhere. Professional bodybuilders typically train at the same bodybuilding club in a particular area.

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