I am also a ex body builder, I won in 2014 a gold medal in Argentina. I love body building.
Body building is one of the most grueling and demanding sports you can take on. What makes it so hard isn’t the 2-3 hours of intense training but the rigorous amount of time you have to spend on all the other aspects such as nutrition, recovery, supplement and drug protocols. It is a 24×7 taxing process. It requires utmost perfection in everything and a lot of financial input as well (the drugs, supplements and diet costs a lot).
But even with the all the money, the best drugs, utmost dedication and impeccable work ethic you can’t be a champion bodybuilder unless you are meant to be. Yes! Read that again: ‘unless you are meant to be’. The limiting factor here is your genetics.
Now a quote will appear in everyone’s conscience that ‘hard work beats talent’. Well, sure it does but in everything else apart from the sport of bodybuilding. Genetics play a dominant role in every sport. But all those sports also involve a skill factor which can be sharpened with hard work and time. For example, a footballer might not be blessed with speed & power like Cristiano Ronaldo but he can surely work on that. Another example would be of Powerlifting. A lifter might not have the best genetics for bench press but he can overcome it by maximizing his squat & dead.
The Structure Of Your Muscles
How you will look on stage is influenced by the shape of your muscle fiber and muscle bellies. On stage looks are all that matters, judges don’t give a damn about your hard work and eating ethic here. To conquer a bodybuilding show you don’t just require sheer muscle mass or low body fat, you need the overall package of aesthetics and how your muscles flow with each other.
There are pseudo gurus who’ll tell you how to build peak in biceps and how to sharpen your muscles. The fact is that you can’t! Everyone is born with discrete muscle insertions and you can only grow your muscles in size and then cut the fat down to pop them up.
Thus, no amount of bicep curls is going to help you build biceps like Arnold’s, unless you have similar muscle insertions. Without the right muscle insertions, bulking up to 120Kg and then getting shredded to the bone won’t help you win the top championships. A classic example of this would be Greg Kovacs who was huge and ripped but not aesthetic.