Sometimes people are confused over the various terminology used when discussing various ways to workout. People might say they ‘lift weights’, do ‘strength straining’, are ‘sports training’, are doing ‘bodybuilding workouts’, or even doing ‘fitness workouts’.
It can get really confusing.
For almost all types of workouts listed above, weights are a critical component. However it is in how you use those weights and the manner in which you perform the weight training that denotes the actual type of workout you are doing. In this case we will compare two very popular styles of training; bodybuilding workouts and fitness workouts.
The Fit in Fitness
Fitness should be remembered for the ‘f’ in the name because that also means functional. People do all sorts of fitness training. The general concept is training that increases strength, stamina, explosive power, and cardiovascular ability. That typically means you train in different ways at different times to cover all of those areas.
Athletes or people who enjoy athletics as a hobby often employ fitness training to advance their ability in a chosen sport. Other people just use fitness training to get in better shape. The best example would be to describe a person who does fitness as having an ‘athletic body’ or ‘functional physique’ because they are training to utilize their body in a variety of ways.
Sculpting the Body
Bodybuilding workouts might have so similar aspects to fitness workouts, but the goals are completely different. That is not to say that a bodybuilder isn’t fit; for the most part they are very fit with strong muscles, a decent cardio capacity, and low body fat. However the goal of a bodybuilder is to shape themselves in a certain manner and to attain a specific look.
Most bodybuilders are focused on getting larger and building a very symmetrical and well proportioned body. That means employing a variety of strength and size building methods along with specific lifting routines to maximize the focus on specific areas when needed. While there is a certain degree of fitness attained in doing this, more so than an average person who does nothing, it is not at the same degree as someone who employs a difficult fitness routine.
Of course for the most part bodybuilders will be stronger than their fitness counterparts.
Are they really the same?
Some people think that fitness is the root of bodybuilding. From a historical perspective that is more than likely true. Originally the idea of becoming bigger and stronger had a lot of merit and the only people that engaged in ‘fitness’ activities were those who practiced competitive athletics.
People trained with weights and joined gyms to get healthier and stronger. As gyms became more popular and mainstream, more people flocked to them to pursue their own personal fitness along with bodybuilding. However bodybuilding workouts continued to progress and specialize leading to larger and well-proportioned individuals.
Over the years they have most certainly deviated and taken different paths. While bodybuilding has maintained a certain core number of practitioners, the fitness arena goes through constant changes and fluctuations. CrossFit started a huge ‘fitness trend’ getting numerous people involved in their style of strength and stamina challenges. Before that there were a variety of boot camps, cardio kickboxing routines, and dance classes.
No matter what you do, either is better than doing nothing at all. Bodybuilding workouts are very challenging and many times people start doing a more standard bodybuilding workout when they first join a gym. While fitness is different, most of the concepts and principles are ones discovered by bodybuilding and powerlifting in the pursuit of becoming bigger and stronger.
While both are certainly interlinked and share some similarities; there is and always will be a world of difference between bodybuilding workouts and fitness workouts.