It takes a lot of willpower, time and energy to take up and stick with bodybuilding, but once it becomes a part of your life you will undoubtedly reap the rewards.
Bodybuilders have taken to US-based knowledge sharing forum, Quora, to describe how the muscle-building lifestyle changed their lives for the better.
TRAIN have rounded up a selection of personal stories to inspire you to reach for that dumbbell.
Andrei Cimbru, from Stockholm, Sweden
“I learned to enjoy going to the gym, to be a bit better than yesterday and to calibrate and adjust my workouts and diets accordingly. I learned to focus more on the exercises that are essential for strength and included more cardio and HIIT exercises. The whole process taught me a little bit more about myself, each time.
“I’m not a freak about aesthetics and I don’t want to look like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson but going to the gym consistently has given me peace of mind, calmness and it has transformed how I approach all aspects of my life; I’m more patient, grounded and self-aware.”
Mitaka Di, from London, UK (Fitness professional and International Sports Science Association certified)
“In the process of weight lifting I’ve become a more competitive individual. In order for you to develop a well-rounded physique you have to really push yourself. It’s the last few reps that build up character and really show what you are made of. To feel the burning sensation of lactic acid in your muscles is what separates the mediocre lifter from the advanced one.
“The winners know that the body will quit a thousand times before the mind. Before you achieve success, you have to visualize it. You see the results before you’ve achieved them.
“Bodybuilding has taught me to pursue my dream, to do what I really enjoy and not to give up on those last few reps.”
Akash Sehrawat, from San Francisco, USA (personal trainer)
“Bodybuilding made me super healthy. My fasting insulin is three, which is awesome; my resting heart rate is 52; my digestion is systematic and I have loads of energy.”
“Bodybuilding has given me a definite boost in confidence. I was once an anxious and nervous man in public places; today I can stand more confidently.
“I have learnt so much about food and nutrition and I am still learning.
“Bodybuilding has tested my willpower and commitment level and has helped me increase it. Now I am not only physically stronger but mentally, too.”
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Nicholas Charles, from Florida, USA
“Bodybuilding didn’t change my life. It gave me a new one.
“Following many months of serious illness as a teenager, I started to hit the gym and several things happened: people started to pay more attention to me, I felt good enough to spark conversations with total strangers, I landed my first girlfriend, and I had the confidence to dish back whatever insults people threw at me.
“I kept going in college and took it to another level. Then I started to notice: I wouldn’t have to chase girls, they chased me. I developed greater confidence and self-worth and I effortlessly made lifelong friends at my gym.
“Everything began to click. I discovered the power of becoming both mentally and physically strong.”
Shawn Ramirez, from Atlanta, USA
“Bodybuilding taught me the value of patience and the long game. If you know you will get your goal within a reasonable time, then why rush it? Do your best, and know that you are heading in the right direction. Rushing will just get you injured.
“It showed me how to persevere – get your reps in and move on with your life. I don’t expect to enjoy them and I don’t expect to feel a certain way before I do something, I just do my reps.
“I also learnt that if you aren’t prepared then you aren’t going to succeed. If you don’t put in the time, then you will fail when the time comes to perform. Don’t just grab that bar and throw it up. First, get your learning reps in and then spend the first two to three weeks understanding the limits of your body.
“Overall, bodybuilding has made me a better person; I really wish I started sooner. Bodybuilding was a big part of my maturing process.”
Rohit Tripathi, from Prague, Czech Republic
“Working out made me full of confidence and that’s the key to feeling comfortable in your own skin. Confidence comes from within, and developing it means feeling good about who you are, where you are and what you have to bring to the table.
“Being comfortable in your own skin is the clearest indicator of confidence. It is the most attractive way you can ever be. Women can literally smell it on you. It smells so nice!”