When people visit the gym, they generally aim to achieve either a bulky muscular body or a lean figure. You can accomplish either body type by different exercise routines, and they each have health benefits and potential risks. So, which body type is best for you?
A lean body is better than a bulky body for these reasons: Is more flexible, grants you a natural-looking toned figure. It’s achieved by the loss of the external fat to reveal underlying muscle. On the other hand, a bulky muscular body might appear attractive, but most of the time achieving it by unhealthy means can have profound health implications.
In this article, you’ll learn about the health benefits of both body types, how to achieve them and which one you prefer.
Bulky Body: A Basic Overview
We refer to the muscular physique common among bodybuilders, wrestlers, actors — picture The Rock by the term bulky body. This body type is trendy for apparent reasons, and many more people are going to the gym to achieve it.
Males more easily achieve a bulky body than females because of testosterone’s contribution to muscle growth and development. The process of attaining a bulky body involves several hours dedicated to the gym, strict diet plans, and in some cases, supplements.
To achieve a bulky body, bodybuilders go through two stages. The bulking phase, where they build their muscles, and the cutting phase, where they work to lose fat and define those muscles.
Bulky bodies are generally viewed as unhealthy because people have gone to extreme lengths to achieve this physique, including but not limited to the use of steroids, harmful supplements, and dirty bulking. Some exaggerated parts of a bulky body can give you an unnatural look — picture bodybuilders with massive arms and thin legs.
Large muscles consume lots of energy, and this translates to burning fat quicker. They also look nice, so it can help people have a more positive perception of themselves. Some research shows that muscle absence could be a useful indicator of depression.
Benefits of Bulky Body
Let’s take a look at what you stand to gain from building a bulky body:
- It looks good. We can’t deny that the bulky muscular physique can be attractive. If it’s your cup of tea, achieving it can help you feel better about yourself and improve self-confidence. You might get more than a few looks of admiration.
- Muscles protect your bones. Muscles serve as a protective covering over the bones and other underlying structures. A robust muscular layer protects and strengthens the bones and underlying tissue from external damage.
- Muscle burns fat. Muscles consume energy to help you move. The bigger the muscles, the more power they consume, and the more fat they burn.
- Muscles might help with depression. First off, achieving a muscular body can be a source of pride and can help improve mood. Researchers also observed that a lesser muscle mass correlates to a higher incidence of depression in males.
- Greater strength and stamina. The process of building muscles usually involves intensive resistance and strength training exercises, so you tend to have incredible energy and power from the extra muscle.
Risks of a Bulky Body
There some risks associated with achieving a bulky body:
- It can be tedious. There are usually a limited number of exercises you can participate in to achieve a bulky body, and they almost always take place in the gym. The repetition can have you bored with the process and give up.
- Dirty Bulking can have negative health implications. Some indulge in unhealthy eating habits like excessive fast food consumption to achieve a bulky body goal. While these foods speed up the bulking phase, they also result in elevated cholesterol and increase heart disease risk.
- Consumption of potentially harmful supplements. Bodybuilders tend to use supplements like protein powders to supply the additional requirements for the bulking phase. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t regulate these supplements, and they might contain excessive sugar, lead, arsenic, and over 100 toxic chemicals.
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Lean Body: A Basic Overview
A lean physique features lean muscles and little fat — picture a pilates or yoga instructor. A slender body affords you extra flexibility and a natural lean shape. Achieving this body type has more to do with fat loss than actual muscle development.
Everyone has a muscular layer underneath all the fat. By focusing on fat burning exercises, you can achieve a lean body. You might want to include a diet that supplies fewer calories than the daily requirement as part of the strategy. The body has to revert to fat stores to make up for the calorie deficit, resulting in weight loss.
In addition to the flexibility, a toned body offers long term fat loss. So cheating on your diet a few times doesn’t undo all your hard work.
Benefits of a Lean Body
Here are ways you could benefit from a lean body:
- You have more flexibility. A lean body allows you more flexibility than a bulky body, and this feature is crucial for activities such as martial arts and ballet.
- It is versatile. To achieve a lean body, you don’t have to stick to a rigorous exercise regimen. You can participate in different classes and get various workout experiences.
- It gives you a natural-looking figure. You don’t have to bother about bodybuilders’ exaggerated physique. Stick to the simple workouts for a lean body tone and achieve a natural look.
- You enjoy long-term weight-loss benefits. You could skip on a few days of exercise or cheat on your diet plan without fear of losing all your progress. However, please don’t make it a habit because sticking to the program will give you the best results.
- You have a lower risk of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. Maintaining a reasonable muscle layer combined with a healthy diet was related to a lower risk of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes
Risks of a Lean Body
Let’s take a look at the potential health risks of a lean body.
- Excessive loss of fat can cause you to fall ill. If you lose too much fat, it could mess with your immune system and cause you to fall sick frequently.
- You might ruin your skin. It would be best if you had a healthy level of fat to maintain healthy and beautiful skin. If you go on an extreme diet to achieve a lean body, you could lose essential nutrients and water for healthy skin.
- You might have less stamina and strength. Due to the workout routine for a lean body being milder than that for a bulky body, your power might be lesser than that of someone with a bulky body.
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Which One Should You Choose?
You might want to consider your goals to decide which body type is best for you. Certain sports like wrestling require a bulky physique, and if you’re a participant in such sports, then a bulky body would be the best fit.
If you appreciate the flexibility and versatility of a lean body, then go for it. Activities like ballet and martial arts benefit from the flexibility of a slender body.
Whichever body type you choose, It would be advisable to use only healthy ways to achieve your goals. Consider sticking to a nutritious diet, cutting out steroids, and moderate supplement use.
Bulky bodies and lean bodies both have benefits and potential risks. A toned physique is considered healthier in the long run. In achieving both body types, it’s best to seek expert advice and stick to healthy practices.
If you decide to opt for a bulky body, please consider the possible risks associated. You would benefit from taking only healthy measures to achieving your body goals though it takes much longer and requires more effort.
- Men’s Journal: 15 Negative Effects of Having a Low Body-fat Percentage
- Harvard Health: The hidden dangers of protein powders
- Vtfc: 5 important reasons to maintain lean body mass as you age
- InBody: Why Building Lean Mass Is Important for Everyone (even you)
- Healthline: Dirty bulking: Effectiveness, Downsides, and More
- India Times: What’s healthy: Lean muscle or bulky muscle?
- Livestrong: Differences between bulky muscles and toned muscles
- Esquire: The benefits of having a higher muscle mass
- Springerlink: Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training
- Fitday: The Dangers of bulking on the body
- Harvard Health: Strength training builds more than muscles