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The discipline of bodybuilding

Updated: Mar 1

Julien Bertherat with Callum Georgallides.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Callum Georgallides (pictured with yours truly) recently for an upcoming episode of the 2 Guys on Fitness podcast.

Callum is a great guy who is interested in bodybuilding and adding muscle mass through his gym training. In the course of our conversation, Callum told me about how he trains, who he trains with (the Body & Lifestyle Transformation Coach Joe Ballinger), his diet and how he sets goals for himself.

This latter part of our conversation was very interesting and I was impressed at how Callum has set long-term goals to reach his driving training objective, which is to add muscle and size to his frame.

From my experience, a lot of guys become interested in bodybuilding to make the kinds of gains that professional (and amateur!) bodybuilders show on social media platforms such as Instagram. These impressive changes in the physiques of such bodybuilders can be inspiring to those starting at the gym, and can also suggest that it is possible, through a combination of weight training, diet and the use of supplements, to build an equally impressive and attractive physical aesthetic.

What I think can get lost along the way in the endless scroll that is social media - visually driven as it is - is the time it takes to add muscle through training, as well as the sacrifices that need to be made along the way. There are few sustainable quick fixes or hacks in the physical training world, especially where bodybuilding is concerned, and many risks when attempting to cut corners to ‘blow up’ and put on that all-important mass.

Callum understands this last point clearly and, in the course of our conversation, was keen to underline how long it takes to make gains, together with how much consistent and precisely delivered training is required to do so. Callum also argued how bodybuilding is in many ways a lifestyle choice over an exercise programme. It is or can be, particularly for men, a way of life that can carry bodybuilders through decades of their lives.

I am not a bodybuilder. Rather, my background is in sports and the dynamic of training for performance on the field, but I have huge respect for the men and women who follow the bodybuilding path.

On a superficial level, it may appear to be a narrow pursuit, concerned only with the look of the body over physical fitness, but I think it is more than that. There is more psychological texture and depth to bodybuilding than meets the eye and it is a fascinating example of the existential struggle we all face to be the best version of ourselves in a challenging world. To my mind, those who invest so much time, focus and energy in bodybuilding so it delivers the gains desired are to be respected.

So, the next time you see that guy (or girl) on the gym floor lifting the weights and working with the cables, as you may have seen them do countless times before, give that athlete the respect he or she is due as they make their way down the long bodybuilding road. It may not appear to be, in its day-by-day repetitious manner, a glamorous activity, but it is a noble one.

It is also a discipline that all of us who exercise regularly can learn from, regardless of the goals we set for ourselves at the gym.


The Bodybuilding episode of the 2 Guys on Fitness podcast, featuring Callum Georgallides, will be out towards the end of February 2023.

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