Bodybuilding is a form of exercise that is about changing the overall appearance of the human body through a super intestine regime of exercise and diet. In most cases it would appear extreme to the everyday person. It is often known for its professional or competitive nature where entrants are judged on their overall positions and appearance.

Competitive / professional bodybuilding has become increasingly prominent from the 19th century onwards. Before the 1970s, it was typically focused on defined muscle group and overall appearance. However, the rise of anabolic steroids in the 1970s saw a dynamic shift that lead to what we now see as the typical bodybuilder – Arnold Schwarzenegger possibly being the most famous example.

General muscle building is what people would normally hope to achieve from exercise. Generally considered to be one of the overall goals of a fitness regime, it revolves around building muscle through resistance and anaerobic exercises while maintaining a healthy diet that promotes muscle growth. With exercising, the general consensus is to work harder but with shake repetitions to achieve muscle growth.

The major difference between the two is how this increased muscle mass is created. In bodybuilding, the muscles are enlarged by a process called muscle hypertrophy. This is an enlargement of the muscles by the component cells becoming enlarged. While a natural process, successful bodybuilding looks to quicken this process by underlining known stimuli such as strength training, anaerobic exercise and combining it with a high protein and low carbohydrate diet. Muscular endurance training is also used to ensure that training can continue on a regular basis.

While bodybuilders focus purely on hypertrophy, general muscle building will focus on both hypertrophy and hyperplasia in equal measure. Hyperplasia in contrast to hypertrophy is the increase in the number of cells making up a component muscles. When muscles are damaged and micro-trauma occurs, the body naturally responds to this by replacing the damaged cells of the muscle back to its original state, but also adding more cells to reduce the risks or risks of damage occurring in the future. General muscle building will stress the muscles so that both hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurs. The overall result is that muscles are more defined because they are bigger in size and number. Another result is the muscles are stronger because the cells are both larger in number and size.

For general muscle building eating fats is essential. While bodybuilders must limit their fat intake, general health and fitness requires fats. However, it also requires that the right kinds of fats are consumed. Eating a block of butter is not going to help as these contain contained fats. Fats that are found in fish, nuts and seeds are called either mono or poly-unsaturated fats and these help to deliver essential vitamins around the body. By consuming these healthy fats, it ensures that muscles will grow.

While bodybuilding appears to have fantastic physical benefits for both health and appearance it is important to stress there are downsides such as joint damage, liver damage and stretch marks. It can be viewed as extreme given its strict nature and the vast majority of the general public would never undertake such an activity. There is also the underlining concern about performance enhancing drugs. However, general muscle building can be great for the body and provide that feeling of wellness without any of the extreme requirements of bodybuilding.