Synonyms in the broadest sense

Body shaping, body modeling, weight training, strength training, muscle building,

English: bodybuilding


As the name bodybuilding suggests, this is a form of body modeling through targeted training methods to build muscle and strict control of food intake. The primary goal is not to increase strength, but to build muscle mass and define muscle mass through intensive training and dehydration of the muscles. Due to the use of high weights and maximum training intensity, injuries in bodybuilding, such as a torn muscle fiber in the chest or a torn muscle fiber in the upper arm, are not uncommon. In organized competitive sports, as in other competitive sports, the use of performance-enhancing preparations is prohibited.


First of all, it should be mentioned that the training methods listed below are only used for the purposes of bodybuilding. Although bodybuilding as a subset of fitness these methods should only be used at the advanced level for professional bodybuilders.

For joint problems or Cardiovascula- Training using these bodybuilding methods is also strongly discouraged.

Injuries and dangers of bodybuilding

When used correctly, the risk of injury in bodybuilding compared to game sports (tennis, Handball etc.) generally lower. By doping However, bodybuilding is often hit with negative headlines in the media. By taking muscle building substances (anabolic steroids) there is often an acute risk to the health, and isolated deaths from this abuse are not uncommon.

For many bodybuilders this is excessive Muscle building however, in conjunction with anabolic substances it has become a lifestyle and the risks are accepted. Unknowing beginners who by means of world wide web the unrestricted access to the substances described above is made possible.

There is, however, the possibility to train the body naturally without the help of doping agents and other substances. Natural body building is one of many ways to build muscle mass healthily. Read more about this topic under: Natural bodybuilding - what is it?

Further information can be obtained from:

  • Injury in bodybuilding
  • Muscle building and anabolic steroids


Supplements are Food supplementswhich are intended to enable optimal athletic performance in particular for athletes who consume more of this so-called sports nutrition.
In performance-oriented sport, efforts are currently being made to optimize performance with all available legal means. In addition to other aspects, the specific intake of permitted dietary supplements is often (too?) Ascribed to have great effects. Positive doping cases through (allegedly) contaminated supplements have led to uncertainty in recent years. Studies have confirmed that there is a risk of contaminated supplements !!!

More information is available at Supplements

Overview of exercise forms

  • Arm muscle training
  • Abs workout
  • Leg muscle training
  • Chest muscle training
  • Back training
  • Shoulder muscle training
  • Neck muscle training
  • Training with the Thera-Band®
  • Training plan

Training methods

These listed methods of bodybuilding have become established in bodybuilding in recent years.

You may also be interested in this topic: Aesthetic Fitness

Forced reps

With this method, the muscle is trained through approx. 5 repetitions until it is completely exhausted with overcoming (concentric) work. This is followed by 2-3 repetitions with the help of a partner. This helps to the extent that the movement can just about be carried out.


The method of forced reps is one of the most popular methods in Bodybuilding and causes increased muscle growth through increased stress stimuli.


The method of forced reps builds on the common muscle building training. It becomes like one Hypertrophy training (Muscle building) the Musculature exhausted with about 5-6 repetitions. However, after these exhaustive repetitions, the athlete completes more two to four Repetitions. However, since this is not possible without help, a partner has to provide support. This aid must be chosen in such a way that the movement is just about successful. The additional 2-4 repetitions should be performed extremely slowly. This requires a certain amount of tact on the part of the helpers. As the name forced implies, it is about the concentric phase. The focus is on the overcoming phase.


Correct movement is a prerequisite for achieving the desired muscle building in bodybuilding. Depending on the level of performance, between 4 and 6 sets can be completed per device. Beginners are strongly advised against this type of exposure. The final repetitions are crucial for success. After completing the repetitions, no more repetitions may be possible.


The forced reps can also be performed with self-help for certain muscle groups. With one-armed Biceps curl the support of the free arm can enable further movements.

Furthermore, the method of forced reps to the extent that the subsequent movements are performed with lower weights. As soon as no more repetitions are possible, lower weights should be chosen for subsequent reps.


The aim of this method is to put additional strain on the already fatigued muscle through further repetitions in order to increase the training stimulus. It is trained in the range of the supra-threshold strong to strong stimuli, and the muscle is thereby excessively stressed compared to the normal hypertrophy method. The consequence is an increased Muscle cross-sectional enlargement.


Since the movement is carried out in an isolated and controlled manner, risks are almost excluded with this method. The only risk of muscle overload is the risk of inexperienced athletes.

For more information see our topic: Injury in bodybuilding


Negative reps

Exercise the muscle with approx. 5 repetitions until you are completely exhausted. If no more repetitions are possible, the muscle is further stressed by slow, yielding (eccentric) work in the starting position with 2-3 repetitions. The training partner takes over the overcoming (concentric) work.


The method of negative reps caused by the eccentric operation of the Musculature increased muscle gain.


There are three ways to stress the muscles during strength training. The overcoming work in which an athlete lifts the weight against gravity, the static work in which the weight remains in a fixed position, and the yielding work in which the weight corresponds to the direction of action of gravity. The eccentric maximum force in trained athletes is approx. 5% greater than the static, and 10-15% greater than the concentric maximum force. The strain on the muscles is increased and the training stimulus is increased when working eccentrically.

Based on the method of forced reps, negative reps use a yielding way of working of the muscles. 5-6 repetitions of concentric work are done until you are completely exhausted, followed by 2 to 4 yielding repetitions. A partner helps with the concentric movement back to the starting position.

Since the stress is particularly high with this method, it is one of the standard methods in bodybuilding.


Between 4 and 8 sets are completed per device. As with the method of forced reps each set consists of 5-6 concentric repetitions until you reach maximum exhaustion. This is followed by 2 to 4 eccentric repetitions with the focus on slowly moving the weight downwards. The speed of movement is slow due to the heavy weight.


For exercises that are trained on one side (biceps- curl or leg press), the concentric phases can be completed with both arms / legs and the eccentric phases isolated with one arm / leg.

When doing pull-ups, the starting position can be achieved by using the legs to push the body into the starting position.


The aim of this method of negative reps is the approximately maximum utilization of muscle strength. By using eccentric forms of contraction, the Musculature due to increased stress compared to the forced reps heavily burdened. This leads to an increased Muscle building.


Since the negative reps method uses higher loads than the forced reps, the risk of overloading the muscles is correspondingly higher.

Note: Bodybuilding is one of the safest sports with the right movement. However, bodybuilding is falling into disrepute again and again, as substances that are harmful to health are often used in this sport.


Heavy duty training

This training method was developed by Mike Mentzer developed. According to the motto no success without pain (no pain no gain) With this method, the muscle is stressed to the point of approximate muscle failure. The muscle is loaded with 5-6 repetitions until it is completely exhausted. This is followed by 2-3 concentric repetitions with partner help and then another 2-3 slow yielding (eccentric) repetitions with partner help. This method is a combination of forced reps and negative reps.

You can find detailed information on this topic at heavy duty training

Partial Reps

With this method, the partial reps muscle is also loaded with approx. 5 repetitions until it is completely exhausted. This is followed by another 3 repetitions. However, the movement is not carried out to the full extent. E.g. The barbell is at Bench press returned only halfway.

You can find detailed information on this topic at partial reps

Pre Exhaustion Principle

With the method of the pre exhaustion principle, exercises are chosen in which two muscle groups are involved in the movement. (Example Neck press: Shoulder muscle and triceps brachii muscle.)

An isolation exercise (e.g. butterfly) before the actual exercise (Bench press), becomes the main muscle (in our case the shoulder muscle) pre-tired. It is important that there is no break between the isolation exercise and the actual exercise.

You can find detailed information on this topic at pre exhaustion principle


This method of cheating involves a deviation from the correct execution of movements. By about 5 repetitions, the muscle is stressed to the point of exhaustion. This is followed by 3 repetitions that can no longer be performed correctly due to fatigue. Example: At the Biceps curl the upper body is bent back slightly, when doing bench press by lifting the buttocks.

Note: This can damage the musculoskeletal system and should therefore only be used in professional bodybuilding. Under no circumstances should this method be used while squatting, deadlifting, or rowing.

You can find detailed information on this topic at cheatings


In this method, two exercises are performed in quick succession. Either the same muscle can be loaded (agonist super series) or two different muscles (antagonist super series). The supersets can be expanded to create tri sets and giant sets. Here, three, four or five exercises are carried out in quick succession.

You can find detailed information on this topic at supersets

Descending set

This method of descending sets is one of the most intensive methods in bodybuilding. It starts with 2 warm-up sets at 50%. This is followed by 4 consecutive series with 5 repetitions each until maximum exhaustion. A partner reduces the weight. It is important that no further repetitions are possible after the 5th repetition.

You can find detailed information on this topic at descending sets

Isolation Principle

This method attempts to target and train a muscle in isolation. This method is used especially in the definition phase. The focus is not so much on the heavy weight, but more on the correct execution of the movement. This method is only integrated into the training plan in the rarest of cases. It usually takes place at the beginning or at the end of a training session.

You can find detailed information on this topic at isolation principle

Split system

Beginners usually train all muscle groups in one day per training session. With the split system, on the other hand, the focus is only on a certain number of muscles per training unit. This method has the advantage that several exercises can be performed for a muscle and longer regeneration phases can be realized for the muscle.

Further information

  • Creatine and muscle building

You can find more information on this topic here:

  • Muscle building and anabolic steroids
  • Muscle building and supplements
  • Muscle building and alcohol
  • EMS training
  • Personal training
  • personal trainer
  • Training plan
  • Weight training and nutrition
  • speed
  • Aesthetic Fitness

All topics that have been published in the field of sports medicine can be found under: Sports medicine A-Z