This research examined the nutritional practices and body images of 13 competitive women bodybuilders living in southern California and in the Midwest. Data collection included both structured interviews and survey methods. Findings indicate nutritional health and positive body image among this sample of women. None of the bodybuilders had anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) criteria, were binge eaters or used pathogenic weight control measures. Instead, they reported significant improvement in their nutritional attitudes and behaviors after beginning bodybuilding training. These data suggest a relationship between participating in competitive bodybuilding and other behaviors related to nutrition and self-perception.
Sharon R. Guthrie, Cathy Ferguson and Dixie Grimmett
Peggy Roussel and Jean Griffet
This paper suggests that the process of marginalization of women bodybuilders can be analyzed according to two theoretical frameworks. The first is essentially a pessimistic interpretation based on critical sociology and the concept of alienation, which discusses the limits of applying this concept to an empirical reality (in this case, female bodybuilders). The second considers the future of female bodybuilders as being constructed through the muscle cult. Our interpretation is comprehensive. The study stresses self-realization and self-fulfillment in female bodybuilders and discusses their attachment to the bodybuilding subculture.
Sara Long Anderson, Kate Zager, Ronald K. Hetzler, Marcia Nahikian-Nelms and Georganne Syler
The intensity and effort of bodybuilding training suggest an overinvestment in body shape and physical appearance, which has been suggested to be a risk factor for developing eating disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of eating disorder tendencies among a sample of collegiate male bodybuilders (BB, n = 68) and controls (C, n = 50) (nonbodybuilders), using the Eating Disorders Inventory 2 (EDI-2). T tests were used to test the hypothesis that bodybuilders' scores would be higher than those of controls. The mean scores on the EDI-2 did not indicate the presence of eating disorder tendencies for either group. Controls scored significantly higher than bodybuilders on the Body Dissatisfaction scale. Results indicate that when the EDI-2 is used, college-age male bodybuilders are not shown to be more likely to have eating disorders than a group of college-age male controls.
Keith Ewald and Robert M. Jiobu
This research explores the topic of “positive deviance,” that is, behavior which is pronormative but becomes deviant when pursued with an intensity and extensity going beyond conventional bounds. An application of Becker’s original explanation for marijuana smoking was adapted to the cases of serious, but not champion, long-distance runners and bodybuilders. Questionnaire data on 72 bodybuilders and 136 long-distance runners were analyzed using factors analysis and Guttman analysis. For runners, three dimensions were discovered and named “experience,” “sensation,” and “enjoyment.” Guttman analysis suggested that the three dimensions formed a sequence supporting the Becker model. No support for the model was found among the bodybuilders’ data. Reasons why the model might not apply to activities such as bodybuilding were discussed. Overall, it was concluded that the Becker model does explain socialization into positive deviance but that the conditions under which it does so must be further documented.
Tracy W. Olrich and Martha E. Ewing
A significant amount of attention has been given to the psychological effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use in sport (Bahrke, Yesalis, & Wright, 1996). However, apart from a few selected case studies, a relative dearth of information has been provided concerning the subjective experience of people using AAS. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of 10 men who were using or had previously used AAS. The participants in this study were weight trainers with primarily a bodybuilding emphasis. All had used AAS at some point in their training experience. The study involved in-depth interviews focusing on the AAS use experience. Nine of the 10 men described their AAS use experience in a very favorable manner. The men perceived increases in muscle mass, strength, peer recognition, social status, sexual performance, and vocational performance. These findings are discussed relative to current AAS educational programs and interventions.
Christine M. Brooks
Recently the International Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB) implemented a uniform rule that many protesters felt was designed to use the female players as sex objects to attract an audience. In marketing terms, the FIVB implemented a sexual appeal strategy to market their sport. This is only one example of the use of sex and eroticism to promote a sport. There are many others including cheerleaders, fitness programming, bodybuilding, men’s professional soccer and Australian Rules football. Sex in advertising has been a long-debated subject and very little is known about its lasting effects. Sexual appeals play to the sexual survival motive that consists of three elements: sexual gender, sexual impulse and sexual inhibition. Whenever any of these elements appear in advertising, the general goal is to arouse desire for a product. In this paper I examine the strategic purpose for using sexual appeals, the manner in which they impact target audiences, and the potential consequences of this marketing approach. It is clear from the literature that sexual appeals draw attention to the sport using it. However, this attention occurs at the risk of target audiences perceiving the athlete as poor quality, as a negative symbol, or as something less that a true athlete. Sponsors must also worry about being associated with sports that use sex appeals because if the spectator is irritated then this irritation could transfer to the sponsor’s products.
Arny A. Ferrando and Nancy R. Green
The effect of boron supplementation was investigated in 19 male bodybuilders, ages 20–27 years. Ten were given a 2.5-mg boron supplement while 9 were given a placebo every day for 7 weeks. Plasma total and free testosterone, plasma boron, lean body mass, and strength measurements were determined on Days 1 and 49 of the study. Plasma boron values were significantly (p<0.05) different as the experimental group increased from (±SD) 20.1 ±7.7 ppb pretest to 32.6 ±27.6 ppb posttest, while the control group mean decreased from 15.1 ±14.4 ppb pretest to 6.3 ±5.5 ppb posttest. Analysis of variance indicated no significant effect of boron supplementation on any of the dependent variables. Both groups demonstrated significant increases in total testosterone, lean body mass, 1-RM squat, and 1-RM bench press. The findings suggest that 7 weeks of bodybuilding can increase total testosterone, lean body mass, and strength in lesser trained bodybuilders, and that boron supplementation had no effect on these measures.
Andrew Pardue, Eric T. Trexler and Lisa K. Sprod
Extreme body composition demands of competitive bodybuilding have been associated with unfavorable physiological changes, including alterations in metabolic rate and endocrine profile. The current case study evaluated the effects of contest preparation (8 months), followed by recovery (5 months), on a competitive drug-free male bodybuilder over 13 months (M1-M13). Serum testosterone, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin were measured throughout the study. Body composition (BodPod, dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), anaerobic power (Wingate test), and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were assessed monthly. Sleep was assessed monthly via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and actigraphy. From M1 to M8, testosterone (623–173 ng∙dL-1), T3 (123–40 ng∙dL-1), and T4 (5.8–4.1 mg∙dL-1) decreased, while cortisol (25.2–26.5 mg∙dL-1) and ghrelin (383–822 pg∙mL-1) increased. The participant lost 9.1 kg before competition as typical energy intake dropped from 3,860 to 1,724 kcal∙day-1; BodPod estimates of body fat percentage were 13.4% at M1, 9.6% at M8, and 14.9% at M13; DXA estimates were 13.8%, 5.1%, and 13.8%, respectively. Peak anaerobic power (753.0 to 536.5 Watts) and RMR (107.2% of predicted to 81.2% of predicted) also decreased throughout preparation. Subjective sleep quality decreased from M1 to M8, but objective measures indicated minimal change. By M13, physiological changes were largely, but not entirely, reversed. Contest preparation may yield transient, unfavorable changes in endocrine profile, power output, RMR, and subjective sleep outcomes. Research with larger samples must identify strategies that minimize unfavorable adaptations and facilitate recovery following competition.
Nura Alwan, Samantha L. Moss, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale, Ian G. Davies and Kevin Enright
). The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness hosts over 2,000 competitions annually, in 196 affiliated countries. Approximately 1,300 female and male athletes competed at the World Fitness Championships in 2017 ( Rowbottom, 2017 ) and this number is anticipated to increase, with around 1
Ahmed Ismaeel, Suzy Weems and Darryn S. Willoughby
Competitive bodybuilding is unique in that participants are judged by appearance rather than performance. Through rigorous diet and training practices, a bodybuilder aims to achieve not only a muscular physique, but one that is also symmetrical and well proportioned ( Heyward et al., 1989 ). To