9 Different Types Of Bodybuilding – And The Risks Involved With The Sport

The world of bodybuilding can be overwhelming at first, but once you understand all the different approaches you can take to developing your physique, it becomes much more manageable.

By breaking down bodybuilding into several different categories, you can choose the one that’s right for you and focus on achieving your goals while staying focused on your personal preferences and needs.

With this in mind, here are three different types of bodybuilding you should know about. How many types of bodybuilding are there?

Well, that really depends on who you ask, but most people agree there are at least four primary categories of bodybuilding.

Here are the different types of bodybuilding and what makes them unique from one another.

Fitness Model

If you want to make a living by being fit, then try entering your local bodybuilding competition.

Fitness models are in high demand at competitions and can even earn opportunities to be sponsored.

There are also plenty of non-competitive fitness modeling jobs out there, with companies like Nike being a great example.

They look for fitness models all year round, and once you’ve entered your first competition, it becomes easier to apply for such positions as well.

A degree isn’t required either; if you have a slim build, clear skin, and visible muscle definition (even if it’s not that much), an agent will probably approach you while you’re working out.

You may need to produce photographs in order to get representation though.

Men’s Physique

The Men’s Physique division is specifically for men who want to show off their chiseled physiques in a competition setting.

You will not be able to gain much if any, mass or size in order to compete in Men’s Physique, so it’s important to stick with lean muscle and make sure your weight stays relatively low.

In general, you’ll want your body fat percentage under 12%. In order to get that lean, it may be necessary to add cardio into your workouts as well as manipulate your dieting habits.

Remember that muscles need food and water in order to grow—they can only do so if they have nutrients available!

Instead of eating mostly protein, fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables when possible as they are usually high in both macro-nutrients (carbohydrates & proteins) along with micro-nutrients (vitamins & minerals).

Eat often!

Bikini Model

If you’re looking to get into a more feminine form of bodybuilding, bikini modeling may be right for you.

Bikini models are often judged on their ability to look attractive while still possessing a toned physique.

These competitions usually have smaller weight classes, which allows female competitors to choose a category that is right for them.

Some women find it easier to compete in these types of competitions than others because they can easily control their diets in order to stay at or below a certain weight.

Overall, bikini model competitions offer an experience similar to what many women experience on a day-to-day basis.


different types of bodybuilding - a-strong-male-bodybuilder

A bodybuilder is someone who has a high amount of muscle mass, as well as all of the muscle structure and definition in their physique.

Muscles are what primarily make up a bodybuilder, and also determine how much weight they can lift or carry.

In other words, if you’re looking to get buffed up for an upcoming modeling shoot, you might want to pick up a few weights at your local gym.

As with all exercise routines, there are some things you should keep in mind:

  1. While increased muscle does increase your resting metabolic rate – that means that during periods when you aren’t working out – it doesn’t help it tremendously (not like cardio or Pilates).
  2. A balanced diet is essential to build muscle; don’t expect to add 5 pounds of muscle overnight! It takes time and dedication.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals if you’re not sure what kind of routine you should be following check out my 21-day course here.

The key to building a great body isn’t just lifting weights, but making healthy food choices as well!

Now, no matter which type of bodybuilding regimen you choose, remember:

Knowledge truly is power when it comes to fitness.

Make sure you know all about fitness before starting a new program.

Figure Competitor

This is a bodybuilder who spends the majority of their time preparing for bodybuilding competitions.

They will usually have to lose a lot of fat, but that doesn’t mean they can let themselves go; keeping muscle tone and symmetry is key here.

It might seem counterintuitive, but figure competitors often develop anorexia or bulimia during preparations for competition – it’s just that kind of sport.

With that said, figure competitors are in much better shape than models (who we’ll get to next).

Their physiques are tight and well-defined; nothing about them seems out of place.

Basically: if you don’t know what makes them different from other types of bodybuilders, these are your default preference.


This is someone who competes in powerlifting competitions.

A powerlifter has a very specific goal: to lift as much weight as possible.

This requires intense training, strict nutrition, and mental toughness.

A good workout plan for a powerlifter would be one that allows them to lift heavy, but also focus on other goals (such as staying lean).

Competing in a powerlifting competition can be extremely rewarding because it brings together hard work with an enormous sense of accomplishment.

However, many people aren’t willing to invest so much time into lifting; more importantly, not everyone wants to put that kind of strain on their bodies.

If you do want to compete as a powerlifter, find out about local competitions first.

Then make sure you know what events are available at each competition.

The most common ones are squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press (also known as military press).

Some organizations offer multiple or single lifts during each event; find out which your organization uses before you start making weight classifications or choosing your events.


CrossFit is a sport that combines weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics.

Competitors in CrossFit competitions must perform a variety of physical tasks—including sit-ups, pull-ups, and weightlifting —in any manner in which they can manage to succeed.

Unlike many other types of bodybuilding, competitors are judged based on how well they’re able to perform each task rather than their appearance.

This sport was developed by former gymnast Greg Glassman after he was inspired by classical Olympic movements.

It originated in Santa Cruz, California, but has since expanded internationally with more than 10,000 affiliated gyms worldwide.

On average, a competitor will have completed 5–20 WODs before participating in one of these high-intensity competitions. 

To prepare for them, many people will train up to six days per week and eat an extremely restrictive diet.

The goal is to work out so hard that you lose as much fat as possible while building as much muscle mass as possible.


In strongman competitions, competitors must demonstrate their ability to lift and carry heavy objects—sometimes up to 500 pounds—for distances up to 25 feet.

Lifting weights is only one part of a strongman competition; athletes must also drag sleds or push trucks over a set distance.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be an able-bodied Arnold Schwarzenegger, then consider training for a strongman competition!

You’ll want to prioritize improving your grip strength and full-body strength before attempting any weightlifting feats.

This type of bodybuilding is probably most recognizable to non-lifters, who may have seen strongmen on television shows like The World’s Strongest Man.

These competitors have to be strong and powerful in order to lift things like cars and large stones over distances or with limited rest periods.

Additionally, they have to have plenty of endurance because many contests require them to move objects over long distances.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can try your hand at being a competitive strongman or woman!

Arm Wrestler

Arm wrestling is a form of strength-based wrestling where each participant grasps one arm of a specially designed chair with their dominant hand and an opponent grasps its opposite arm.

Arm wrestling tournaments can be broadly divided into professional and amateur categories, although there are some professional events open to amateurs.

There are also separate competitions for women.

The World Armwrestling Federation has promoted professional arm-wrestling since 1985 and sanctions various international championships in addition to other tournaments including national and local level contests.

Competitions generally take place between two participants (singles) in a best-of-three or best-of-five series of matches (three times with one minute’s rest between rounds).

However, many styles exist and include singles competition, doubles competition, mixed doubles (one woman and one man on each team), hold ’em competition, crush’em competition, and Iron Man Competition.

These different variations on arm-wrestling all require different skills.

Are Bodybuilders Healthy?

different types of bodybuilding - Strong man practicing weightlifting in the gym

While bodybuilders may appear to be healthy, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy.

While many bodybuilders maintain great physiques, eating an unbalanced diet with unhealthful foods and avoiding regular exercise could lead to health problems.

It’s also worth noting that there are different types of bodybuilding.

If you compete, you might be at risk for disordered eating; if you don’t compete but like to take pictures of yourself or do other things that promote attention on appearance, you might have already crossed into problematic territory.

It takes a healthy approach for most people to obtain physical fitness goals without hurting their bodies or self-esteem—in other words, just because someone looks fit doesn’t mean they are!

Are Bodybuilders On Steroids?

Having a lean and muscular physique is every man’s dream.

To achieve that, many bodybuilders resort to performance-enhancing drugs (PED) such as anabolic steroids in order to build muscle fast and enhance their stamina during workouts. 

However, studies have shown that PEDs may cause serious side effects like high blood pressure and heart disease which lead to death.

Instead of using illegal substances, you can take advantage of all-natural herbs which are safer and effective in building muscles without any harmful side effects.

Such herbal products include Glucosamine Sulfate and MSM supplement among others.

These health supplements will provide your body with key nutrients needed for muscle growth while helping you burn fat at the same time.

Combining these supplements with regular exercises will help you become more fit than ever before.

Just remember not to overdo it with exercises since overtraining can also cause adverse health effects like injury or weight gain due to water retention.

Flybird Fitness

What Are The Side Effects Of Bodybuilding?

While bodybuilding is generally a safe way to exercise, there are some side effects that come along with building muscle.

It’s important to understand what these side effects are so you can avoid them as much as possible.

You don’t want to deal with any of those uncomfortable and sometimes painful side effects! 

Here are three common side effects of building muscle:


Some people may experience increased testosterone levels when they begin a bodybuilding program.

However, it’s important to note that an increase in testosterone isn’t always beneficial.

High levels of testosterone can cause men to develop enlarged testicles or benign tumors on their vocal cords, which leads to hoarseness in their voices.

Also watch out for acne on your back, chest, and shoulders if your testosterone increases too quickly during your workout routine. Women also have high levels of testosterone, but there aren’t many complications due to lower estrogen. Testosterone affects women by making their bodies burn fat more effectively at rest and while exercising–therefore increasing lean muscle mass while decreasing body fat storage around certain areas such as their hips, thighs, and abdomen.

Overuse Injuries

Any repetitive activity like bodybuilding can lead to overuse injuries because muscles get used to moving in a particular pattern over time and then become injured when attempting different movements.

To protect yourself from injury when lifting weights, be sure to vary your workouts frequently with reps (time spent doing repetitions), sets (total number of times a specific movement is performed), and types of exercises (the actual movement).

Growth Spurt

Bodybuilders often experience growth spurts after beginning a new weight-training routine.

During growth spurts, children grow taller than average or advance several shoe sizes in a matter of months.

As adults continue intense workouts and build muscle mass, they will probably notice another growth spurt; however, most adults won’t be able to see these changes without being measured by someone else for comparison.

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