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BergMuscle
03-27-2008, 12:43 PM
Just for my own curiousity, and because I'm on Easter Break from teaching and have time for this kind of stuff :D, do you consider yourself to be a beginning, intermediate, or advanced bodybuilder? And what criteria do you apply to your self-designation.

I consider myself advanced for a couple of reasons. First, I've been doing this for many years, made good gains, and built a good body. Second, I've read and learned a lot so that I can improve my own training and give (what I hope is) good advice to others. Finally, I'm able to take advice from others, regardless of how long they've trained, and not get defensive or argumentative if someone disagrees with me or contradicts something I've posted.

Bookman
03-27-2008, 12:52 PM
I'm intermediate because I know a lot, but I don't put it into practice in such a way as to result in significant gains. I like chocolate.

djl_ottawa
03-27-2008, 12:55 PM
Oh god, I would have to say beginner for me. Even though I read the forums, books and such I am still just starting out. When will I consider myself intermediate? No idea. When someone says "Wow, you look buff man!"? Not sure.

Wayne Evans
03-27-2008, 12:59 PM
Just for my own curiousity, and because I'm on Easter Break from teaching and have time for this kind of stuff :D, do you consider yourself to be a beginning, intermediate, or advanced bodybuilder? And what criteria do you apply to your self-designation.

I consider myself advanced for a couple of reasons. First, I've been doing this for many years, made good gains, and built a good body. Second, I've read and learned a lot so that I can improve my own training and give (what I hope is) good advice to others. Finally, I'm able to take advice from others, regardless of how long they've trained, and not get defensive or argumentative if someone disagrees with me or contradicts something I've posted.

Hey BergMuscle.....I'll chime in.

Me, is there anything lower than 'Beginner'?
Seriously, I'm a beginner with 2 1/2 years into this.

What criteria to determine that I'm a 'beginner'?
I feel I'm able to live up to what you note above and:
1) I've adhered to the necessary discipline over this amount of time.
2) I've corrected a lot of training errors early on from the patient forumites here.
3) I've went from 167# at 58 years old to 186 at 60.
4) I have DOMS 24/7/365 and curse myself until goals are met.

OK.....I defer anything I've forgot to mention here to all others.

A gruelling one to all...

djl_ottawa
03-27-2008, 01:01 PM
Me, is there anything lower than 'Beginner'?


Newbie? <grin>

jawter
03-27-2008, 01:01 PM
Beginner for me as well and most likely for a long time. Like many on this site I have a reasonable level of knowledge but most of which I do not put into practice, but the main reason I consider myself a perpetual beginner is because I am only lifting for my health and to have a reasonable body. I have no intention of making continuos size gains or to get into competition.

ectoBgone
03-27-2008, 01:03 PM
Intermediate. I have a good grasp on nutrition and consider myself to have solid form on all the major exercises. I'm at the point where I could definitely help a beginner, but I haven't been doing it long enough to have the big gains or heavy lifts that an advanced body builder would have.

steeldriver
03-27-2008, 01:08 PM
WOW, You know what, I have trained hands and arms for years - for pure strength, that is - and I have some of the strongest hands and arms you'll find. But when I joined Bodybuilding.com and saw the way most people here are built (men and women), I was totally intimidated. Most of the people here are built great! I don't know how strong everyone is, maybe some are strong, maybe some are not, but everyone looks great. I have never been on a Bodybuilding site before. It took me forever to get the nerve to leave a comment or drop a PM. And when I get an answer, I'm like, "Yea, they answered, and they were nice!" LOL.

So, as far as this bodybuilding thing goes, I am a beginner, for sure!

GnomusMaximus
03-27-2008, 01:14 PM
I consider myself short.

lukamar
03-27-2008, 01:14 PM
I've really never thought about it. I think 10 years ago I was very dedicated and was in great shape with BF% below 10 all year, worked 5 days a week and aerobics the other 2. Had good consistent gains was about mid 190's. Maybe back then I was advanced, Maybe.

Then I had my accident and was unable to do anything for years. When i started back I started from the beginning and with different goals. I lost almost all of my size, I could hardly lift any weight, I was fat and very
out of shape, and my motivation has ebbed a bit. So maybe that makes me an advanced beginner. LOL

jtroster
03-27-2008, 01:18 PM
After four years of learning and lifting I think I'm intermediate to advanced.

Roger035
03-27-2008, 01:22 PM
Im probably somewhere in between beginner and intermediate. I have a good understanding of my weekly sessions along with good form and nutritional values when it come to suppliments and eating clean. I've been asked many times at my gym in regards to form for certain excersies and what suppliments to take depending on what thier goals and needs are. Even though I don't consider myself to be in the intermediate catagory in full, it still nice to get compliments at the gym for my hardwork.

Wayne Evans
03-27-2008, 01:40 PM
Newbie? <grin>

Chuckle.....

Ahhh... 'sub-newbie' to you.....another <grin>

A gruelling one to all.

StudHammer
03-27-2008, 01:45 PM
I'd say I'm advanced...been training 19 years, competing in BB since 1992. Still learning though. You can never know everything.

dbx
03-27-2008, 02:08 PM
I'm not sure reading, studying, or even gym time counts for much when answering this question. At least, when I look at someone's physique I don't care how much or how long they've been doing anything....it's what I see that qualifies.

I started lifting at age 12....then took 16yrs off :) ....lifted in college....took 20yrs off.....been at it steady in some form for 6yrs. Read a lot, done a lot, know a lot. Having said that, when I look in the mirror I see someone who might be barely into the intermediate stage. To me, the true answer lies in the mirror, and it ain't always what we think of ourselves when we're away from it :).

Mr. Someday
03-27-2008, 02:17 PM
I'm not sure reading, studying, or even gym time counts for much when answering this question. At least, when I look at someone's physique I don't care how much or how long they've been doing anything....it's what I see that qualifies.

I started lifting at age 12....then took 16yrs off :) ....lifted in college....took 20yrs off.....been at it steady in some form for 6yrs. Read a lot, done a lot, know a lot. Having said that, when I look in the mirror I see someone who might be barely into the intermediate stage. To me, the true answer lies in the mirror, and it ain't always what we think of ourselves when we're away from it :).


I was gonna say advanced, but I'm thinking I should run some pics by Kev first for a second opinion. :D

ntrllftr
03-27-2008, 02:33 PM
I'd say I'm advanced...been training 19 years, competing in BB since 1992. Still learning though. You can never know everything.

I had a three year hick-up in my early twenties. Other than that pretty much steady for 20 years. Been competing since 1999. Still learning like Stud, SO:

I would say I'm a I'm a I'm a... Hell I don't know maybe intermidiate to advanced.
Can I say that? :)

Geoff Richards
03-27-2008, 02:35 PM
I was gonna say advanced, but I'm thinking I should run some pics by Kev first for a second opinion. :D

by the size of those legs I would say advanced Mr S ;)

for me....beginner

if as Kevin says we should look in the mirror then lazy would be more honest

dbx
03-27-2008, 02:45 PM
I was gonna say advanced, but I'm thinking I should run some pics by Kev first for a second opinion. :D

Oh, I'm pretty sure I'd qualify you in the the "advanced" category :).

Just don't send any pics in your "off season" :p :D

Nah, I'm just tough on myself when it comes to a question like this. It's actually guys like yourself that raise the bar for guys like me.

hotdamnman
03-27-2008, 03:05 PM
I had to choose beginer, since I've really been at this for less than a year. Also there was no "fat b@stard" listed.

crazycelt
03-27-2008, 03:10 PM
I see myself as intermediate, but I have to admit I'll be in this category for a while..............

Spiceygamble
03-27-2008, 03:12 PM
I consider myself short.

*snarf... mumbles you got 4 inches on me...

lol!
:P


Just when I think I can consider myself an intermediate, I get surprised by some new tid bit & feel like a beginner all over again.
:)

djflex
03-27-2008, 03:17 PM
knowledge and experince level I am at least intermediate (25 years+overall lifting). However since I am kind of starting over again after 2 years of inconsistency i will say begginer is my stage of body development right now.......

ChocoChick
03-27-2008, 03:45 PM
I'm not sure reading, studying, or even gym time counts for much when answering this question. At least, when I look at someone's physique I don't care how much or how long they've been doing anything....it's what I see that qualifies.

I started lifting at age 12....then took 16yrs off :) ....lifted in college....took 20yrs off.....been at it steady in some form for 6yrs. Read a lot, done a lot, know a lot. Having said that, when I look in the mirror I see someone who might be barely into the intermediate stage. To me, the true answer lies in the mirror, and it ain't always what we think of ourselves when we're away from it :).

I agree with this.

And based on this, I'd say I am an advanced beginner in training, intermediate in nutrition.

Hound53
03-27-2008, 04:15 PM
beginner even though I have been lifting off and on since the early 80's. Mostly just to stay in shape. I have gained more knowledge from reading this forum in the last 5 months than I learned in 20 years of puttzing around the gym a day or 2 each week before.

IronIc
03-27-2008, 04:26 PM
Beginner for sure. But I have learned a great deal from the year I have spent here.

bulldog71
03-27-2008, 04:46 PM
Advanced beginner!

SR800
03-27-2008, 04:58 PM
Intermediate, based on how my body responds to training stimulus. I did take a break in my 30's. My knowledge gains have been exponential in the last couple of years that I have belonged to this forum. Enough to put on 18 lbs of clean weight in the last 16 months alone.

Pretty Hardcore
03-27-2008, 07:16 PM
Beginner, I have learned so much in the past 1-1/2 years but still have a long way to go.

mike_sargent
03-27-2008, 07:50 PM
Intermediate, judging by the strength benchmarks at exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html). Novice, judging by my weight.

Mike

ClarkDark
03-27-2008, 08:03 PM
I would classify myself as a well-informed intermediate. I'd definitely be in the advanced class if I had time to train more consistently, but the demands of wife, job, kids, etc. make it difficult to sustain intensity and frequency year-round.

chodan9
03-27-2008, 08:41 PM
Intermediate, judging by the strength benchmarks at exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html). Novice, judging by my weight.

Mike

Based on that ^ intermediate "I did notice they guaged squats by going parrallel "
but based on my knowledge and how far I feel I have to go then I would say beginner. I will always be a beginner until I can achieve consistency with my diet.

lukamar
03-27-2008, 09:07 PM
Intermediate, judging by the strength benchmarks at exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html). Novice, judging by my weight.

Mike

The problem with that site is it's "Weightlifting Performance Standards". While everyone here lifts weights, few would set their goal at weightlifting performance. It's like the apples and the oranges routine. I range from untrained to elite on their scale. Should i just toss a coin...LOL

StressMonkey
03-27-2008, 09:20 PM
Definitely a beginner. I have really learned a lot in the months I've been lifting from this site.

unimoose
03-27-2008, 09:28 PM
Oh I'm definitely still a beginner. I'm not even through my first set of goals yet and still have a lot to learn. Although after hanging around here a lot I kinda feel like an experienced beginner. ;)

Stenn
03-27-2008, 09:46 PM
Intermediate, judging by the strength benchmarks at exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html). Novice, judging by my weight.

By this guide, here's how I rate according to my lifts:

Squat: Intermediate :)
Deadlift: Intermediate :)
Bench Press: Novice :(
Press: Novice :(

In other words, I'm an intermediate below the navel and a novice above. (Note how my avatar only shows below the navel. :D )

Tyrbolift
03-27-2008, 09:54 PM
Self taught experience and knowledge: Definitely advanced
Physiology and technical scientific biology: Intermediate
Powerlifting and olympic and strongman knowledge: A preemie :)

Bronzebird
03-27-2008, 10:33 PM
Only 14 pounds of lean mass to go...then I'll be intermediate, overall.

beachstoyboy
03-28-2008, 12:03 AM
Intermediate, judging by the strength benchmarks at exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html). Novice, judging by my weight.

Mike

I like the EXRX numbers, they say I'm intermediate across the board (except for deads because of my grip strength), but I just chalk this up to a good strength base. I'm a beginner in reality. I am just starting to scratch the surface knowledgewise, and am even further back in terms of practical expericience.

beachstoyboy
03-28-2008, 12:12 AM
The problem with that site is it's "Weightlifting Performance Standards". While everyone here lifts weights, few would set their goal at weightlifting performance. It's like the apples and the oranges routine. I range from untrained to elite on their scale. Should i just toss a coin...LOL

I know this is a BB forum, but from what I have seen in this forum, there are a great many different goals, and most people seem to train for a combination of size and strength. And I like to see how my different lifts compare to each other, as I would like to develop balanced strength throughout my body.

meanmo
03-28-2008, 12:17 AM
I would say advanced in terms of diet, training and whole health... but I have zero interest in BB competition or even maximum hypertrophy, only balance, performance and longevity are concerns of mine at this point..

Tyrbolift
03-28-2008, 12:21 AM
I would say advanced in terms of diet, training and whole health... but I have zero interest in BB competition or even maximum hypertrophy, only balance, performance and longevity are concerns of mine at this point..I bet you know a thing or two about bicycling as well.

Just a wild guess...

Karl_Hungus
03-28-2008, 12:58 AM
I know this is a BB forum, but from what I have seen in this forum, there are a great many different goals, and most people seem to train for a combination of size and strength. And I like to see how my different lifts compare to each other, as I would like to develop balanced strength throughout my body.

Yeah, I'm more interested in strength than size .... but, I'd consider myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced....

Capt. America
03-28-2008, 04:34 AM
Advanced...35 years under my belt and acheiving the goals that I set. I've had oppertunities to compete in bodybuilding and powerlifting....but I like to remain in the shadows and continue to lift till' this body shuts down...

Wooly_Ace
03-28-2008, 05:18 AM
I would have to say I'm between beginner and intermediate. I know some of the things I should be doing that I am not. I know some of the things I shouldn't be doing but am. But for the most part, I work my ass off in the gym and try to maintain some semblance of a good diet.

BergMuscle
03-28-2008, 06:48 AM
I'm loving the variety of self-assessments getting posted here. So much depends upon what we use as a standard to judge ourselves by.

I've noticed over the past year or so that every routine I see in a men's exercise/health magazines that shows a beginner, intermediate, and advanced version, I'm already doing what they list as "advanced". :cool:
I guess to them "beginner" is someone who has never lifted a weight. Around here having had iron in your hands recently is a general assumption; what you know and/or have acchieved is the varying factor.
And a lot of people I've learned from have rated themselves as "beginner" or "intermediate". :rolleyes:

samori
03-28-2008, 07:22 AM
I feel like an intermediate when in the gym

In the kitchen- I am no doubt a beginner. While I know what the right foods are and I'm pretty decent with my eating habits, I have always lacked the knowledge of what exactly is happening to my body as I eat different things at different times. I go by what I read on this forum, but still get confused.

I too am a shorty. Is it time for a start-up of the now defunct OV35 5'7" club???

John Prophet
03-28-2008, 07:45 AM
advanced in theory, workout dedication

beginner in diet/nutrition aspects...but I am now pretty focused in this area so I look forward to some good fat loss and increased definition soon

Bookman
03-28-2008, 09:02 AM
I'm not sure reading, studying, or even gym time counts for much when answering this question. At least, when I look at someone's physique I don't care how much or how long they've been doing anything....it's what I see that qualifies.

I started lifting at age 12....then took 16yrs off :) ....lifted in college....took 20yrs off.....been at it steady in some form for 6yrs. Read a lot, done a lot, know a lot. Having said that, when I look in the mirror I see someone who might be barely into the intermediate stage. To me, the true answer lies in the mirror, and it ain't always what we think of ourselves when we're away from it :).


I revise my answer. I'm a beginner.

fishaholic
03-28-2008, 09:14 AM
I consider myself a beginner still. I lifted for a few years when I was younger but I didn't have access to the info that is avail. nowadays. Now at 42, I started up again and have been going for 3 months of so and I'm seeing more progress a lot faster than I did when I was younger believe it of not. There is so much more to it than I ever imagined, and now with all the info avail. now, it's a lot easier to find out the right way to lift..

dbx
03-28-2008, 09:23 AM
I'm loving the variety of self-assessments getting posted here. So much depends upon what we use as a standard to judge ourselves by.

And this is what drives the answers you're getting.


I've noticed over the past year or so that every routine I see in a men's exercise/health magazines that shows a beginner, intermediate, and advanced version, I'm already doing what they list as "advanced". :cool:

But see, I wouldn't even get a goosebump from that, as I consider those kind of mags good for couch potatoes. They recirculate ancient info and package it as "New breakthrough!!!"


And a lot of people I've learned from have rated themselves as "beginner" or "intermediate". :rolleyes:

I feel your vibes, bro :). Here's the deal; I automatically included the missing category of "Pro" in my thought process. Then, I look at guys like Baldie, Mr. S, Kimsquit, OldSuperman, MM, etc., and figure they may not consider themselves quite at pro level yet, even though I kinda see them in this light. So, this leaves them in the "advanced" category, right? Well, if they're in the advanced category, it's just hard for me to put myself into a category just one notch down from that. They have "lived" a much stricter discipline than I could ever claim to have. I think many folks here are delusional, when they think that because they've puked a few times or get dizzy often during workouts, that they think they've pushed themselves anywhere near the competitive level. It's all very relative :cool:

bodyhard
03-28-2008, 09:44 AM
Advance...Although I have never competed I have done almost everything it would take to compete even dieting down to under 5% BF.

The sad thing is I LIVE the life of a bodybuilder but have NOTHING to show for it in terms of trophies (if I should win one)

I think I am insane.............

BergMuscle
03-28-2008, 10:02 AM
But see, I wouldn't even get a goosebump from that, as I consider those kind of mags good for couch potatoes. They recirculate ancient info and package it as "New breakthrough!!!"

Totally agree with you there, brother! That's why I've stopped buying those things. I page through 'em when I'm near a magazine rack and if I see something that interests me (heck, I'm the first to admit I don't know everything :) ) I'll buy the thing. I think I've picked up about two in the past two years - and that may stretching it.


I feel your vibes, bro :). Here's the deal; I automatically included the missing category of "Pro" in my thought process.

Hmm! Now that you put it that way, I probably should have included a "pro" catagory. Might see a few more placing themselves as "advanced".
Personally, I consider someone "advanced" if they (a) know what they're doing with the weights and have some progress to show for it and (b) are knowledgable enough to advise, and take advice from, other bodybuilders.

I think a lot more of you folks are "advanced", at least from my point of view.



The sad thing is I LIVE the life of a bodybuilder but have NOTHING to show for it in terms of trophies (if I should win one)

I think I am insane.............

To me, living the life makes a man or woman an advanced bodybuilder. Besides, you can't carry a trophy everywhere you go (well, I suppose you could <some fun visuals flash through my mind> :rolleyes: ), but you/we do showup everywhere with our muscles. I would never say I have "nothing" to show for this.

Oh, and please let's remember this poll is for fun. In my opinion, any man or woman who has posted here and picked up a weight at least once in the past week is miles ahead of the "average Joe/Jane" on the street. :D

Oh, and BH, you are insane, but so am I. ;)

dbx
03-28-2008, 10:20 AM
Hmm! Now that you put it that way, I probably should have included a "pro" catagory. Might see a few more placing themselves as "advanced".

Again, a difference in view; It's understandable that by adding the "higher bar" category" (pro) that people will find it easier to include themselves in a higher category. But to me, it's just the opposite. It opens my eyes to the vastness of the sport itself, and even further humbles my own opinion of where I fit.


Personally, I consider someone "advanced" if they (a) know what they're doing with the weights and have some progress to show for it and (b) are knowledgable enough to advise, and take advice from, other bodybuilders.

I think a lot more of you folks are "advanced", at least from my point of view.

Again, personal perception and self standards. Given your ^ viewpoint, I'd clearly belong in the advanced category. But I need only look to some others I previously mentioned to know I do not belong in the same standing as they. But again, this is obviously a subjective topic :).

jspirate
03-28-2008, 10:42 AM
I am an intermediate. I feel like I am advanced, but recent videos and frequent injuries probably make me a beginner. As such, I selected the middle ground (intermediate).

As they say, "the first part is to admit you have a problem." You can not fix the problem until you admit it. After two years of lifting, I have finally admitted that I am a beginner. Now I am gonna fix that :)

lukamar
03-28-2008, 10:51 AM
Again, a difference in view; It's understandable that by adding the "higher bar" category" (pro) that people will find it easier to include themselves in a higher category. But to me, it's just the opposite. It opens my eyes to the vastness of the sport itself, and even further humbles my own opinion of where I fit.


Interesting discussion the last bit here. I think you have to go back to the original question. "do you consider yourself to be a beginning, intermediate, or advanced bodybuilder". A lot has to do with your perception of yourself at the moment, and it is true that you have to compare where you sit at a given moment with those that you know who may be more or less down the road in the journey. After all this is a visual competitive sport.

Then there is genetics, some will never get to the stage of others even with incredible dedication and there are those that are blessed who will far outstrip others with little work and shallow dedication. Is one really more advanced than the other?

kimsquit
03-28-2008, 11:19 AM
Then there is genetics, some will never get to the stage of others even with incredible dedication and there are those that are blessed who will far outstrip others with little work and shallow dedication. Is one really more advanced than the other?I dunno Marty...I think the whole "little work & shallow dedication" thing is a myth. IFBB Pro Paul Dillett (http://www.bodybuilders.com/paul.htm) has often been accused of being "lazy" and not reaching his full potential but I sincerely doubt that he achieved the size and conditioning he did by farting around in the gym and eating cheezies.

IMO, just because someone spends a lot of time & effort in the gym doesn't mean they are 'advanced'. I see lots of people who spend time & effort in the gym but they look exactly the same from year to year. To be advanced means you're advancing...in other words, making noticible progress from year to year.

...and by noticible progress I don't mean something that only you can see and your wife pretends to see when you call her into the bathroom to check it out. ;)

Mr. Someday
03-28-2008, 11:32 AM
Again, a difference in view; It's understandable that by adding the "higher bar" category" (pro) that people will find it easier to include themselves in a higher category. But to me, it's just the opposite. It opens my eyes to the vastness of the sport itself, and even further humbles my own opinion of where I fit.



So were you searching for the "wannabe" category? :D

And for the record, I would never include myself in a "pro" category by any stretch...I've never won anything...best I've ever done is 2nd place. I aprreciate the kind words, but there are plenty of peeps on this site way ahead of where I'll ever be. MM has an amazing physique....no flaws...that is why he has won at the national level. That is a pro in my opinion. I do not have the physique to ever compete at the national level, but I can be very competitive at the local level at big shows, and that's good enough for me. Hell, Bodyhard, if he could make my weight class, would most certainly beat me if he was lean enough. He has a very pleasing physique and fewer flaws than I have.

Defiant1
03-28-2008, 11:40 AM
Advance...Although I have never competed I have done almost everything it would take to compete even dieting down to under 5% BF.

The sad thing is I LIVE the life of a bodybuilder but have NOTHING to show for it in terms of trophies (if I should win one)

I think I am insane.............

Join the club.

I don't know why I even bother to train hamstrings..... I don't care about them.


But I do anyway. For fear of offending the "contest gods".

Though I have no intention of entering a contest.

lukamar
03-28-2008, 11:41 AM
...and by noticible progress I don't mean something that only you can see and your wife pretends to see when you call her into the bathroom to check it out. ;)



As soon as I hit send I thought I would have to defend that statement, Chris.

I'm not talking about the pro's or the guys like you that are competing. I think you guys are in a totally different category from the rest of us. I didn't have the total drive or dedication to do that 20 years ago and i sure don't have it now.

I was talking about that guy, the one that's in every gym, who comes in does a few easy exercise a couple of times a week for 15-20 minutes and departs looking like he sends all his time lifting weights. We have one guy in his 50's that is like that and it's depressing...LOL If he was dedicated like you guys he would probably place well but he's just muddling through.

ChocoChick
03-28-2008, 11:42 AM
Join the club.

I don't know why I even bother to train hamstrings..... I don't care about them.


But I do anyway. For fear of offending the "contest gods".

Though I have no intention of entering a contest.

Give them to me, then.

Thankyouverymuch. :)

fubar993
03-28-2008, 11:42 AM
intermediate, but only because of my diet habits. I train hard in the gym and my lifts weights have really come back over the last few months. I suppose, even if I did diet great, I guess I would still be intermediate.

kimsquit
03-28-2008, 01:17 PM
As soon as I hit send I thought I would have to defend that statement, Chris.*chuckle* it's good to have an actual bodybuilding discussion on this forum.


I was talking about that guy, the one that's in every gym, who comes in does a few easy exercise a couple of times a week for 15-20 minutes and departs looking like he sends all his time lifting weights. We have one guy in his 50's that is like that and it's depressing...LOL If he was dedicated like you guys he would probably place well but he's just muddling through.but is he really muddling through, or has he simply learned that working hard is not the same as working smart?

I see lots of guys using crappy form or RoM and no matter how much time they put in, they're always going to be outstripped by someone using better form and RoM. Sure, genetics is a factor but I think that too many people use it as an excuse to not take a critical look at why they aren't making the progress they desire.

dbx
03-28-2008, 01:31 PM
So were you searching for the "wannabe" category? :D

And here I was....trying to be humble...... :p

youngdad
03-28-2008, 01:51 PM
I think "beginner" is actually way too qualifying, so I would have to say, "Pre-Beginner"

Mr. Someday
03-28-2008, 03:22 PM
And here I was....trying to be humble...... :p

Sorry...just couldn't resist!! :D

lukamar
03-28-2008, 03:39 PM
*chuckle* it's good to have an actual bodybuilding discussion on this forum.

but is he really muddling through, or has he simply learned that working hard is not the same as working smart?



I'll have to change the subject, don't want to get accused of talking about BBing...LOL

He does work smart and he did put his time in when he was young but few people could maintain the mass he has with 15 minutes twice a week, unless they used a boflex, with out some very good genetics. You are 100% right a lot of people, me included, sometimes use genetics as an excuse rather than just trying to get to the best they can accomplish with what they have to work with. Now if I only had got my fathers genetics and not my mothers...:D

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 08:37 AM
This poll would have been much more interesting if the OP had selected the option that lists all the usernames that voted and what they voted for :)

Stenn
03-29-2008, 08:49 AM
This poll would have been much more interesting if the OP had selected the option that lists all the usernames that voted and what they voted for :)

Yeah, I see that at this point, almost 60% of us consinder ourselves to be advanced. It would be interesting to see who thinks so highly of themselves. ;)

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 09:08 AM
I am trying to avoid labels these days, because I don't think I fit the category of neither a bodybuilder nor a powerlifter. Just a fat guy who is pretty heavily muscled compared to the average guy.

In spite of that I'd consider myself advanced only because of the amount of muscle and knowledge about weight training I've gained over the past 15 years of doing this. Unfortunately because I can't seem to lose the fat I'm carrying, I do not call myself a bodybuilder.

As a sidenote, the woman I work with (the busybody who has a habit of revealing or bringing up personal things about me in the presence of others) always refers to me as a bodybuilder, which I sort of bristle at. Probably because of a combination of being labeled, and people thinking that this fat guy thinks he's a bodybuilder. :(

Stenn
03-29-2008, 09:18 AM
As a sidenote, the woman I work with (the busybody who has a habit of revealing or bringing up personal things about me in the presence of others) always refers to me as a bodybuilder, which I sort of bristle at. Probably because of a combination of being labeled, and people thinking that this fat guy thinks he's a bodybuilder. :(

If your office held a bodybuilding competition today with everyone shaved down, oiled up, tanned, and thonged, who do you think would win?

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 09:24 AM
Yeah, I see that at this point, almost 60% of us consider ourselves to be advanced. It would be interesting to see who thinks so highly of themselves. ;)yes...with only 35 beginners in the forum, who's posting all of the "is it okay to have a shake at night?" and "why aren't my arms growing?" threads?

:rolleyes:

I chose not to vote in the poll, but I train beside an IFBB pro in my gym so I have a good enough grip on reality to realize I'm still a novice at this ;)

Stenn
03-29-2008, 09:30 AM
I train beside an IFBB pro in my gym so I have a good enough grip on reality to realize I'm still a novice at this ;)

I once saw a competition-ready bodybuilder in the gym I workout at in Ireland. It was hard not to stare. I could not readily assume this guy was of the same species as myself, let alone on the same skill level.

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 09:37 AM
I once saw a competition-ready bodybuilder in the gym I workout at in Ireland. It was hard not to stare. I could not readily assume this guy was of the same species as myself, let alone on the same skill level.

That's exactly what I'm getting at: the poll asked if you consider yourself an advanced bodybuilder, not if you consider yourself advanced over your flabby next-door neighbour.

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 09:39 AM
If your office held a bodybuilding competition today with everyone shaved down, oiled up, tanned, and thonged, who do you think would win?

That is very true. ;) There is only one other guy (one of our computer room guys) who would give me a run for my money.

Gunn27
03-29-2008, 09:46 AM
I chose not to vote in the poll, but I train beside an IFBB pro in my gym so I have a good enough grip on reality to realize I'm still a novice at this ;)Well, if you are a novice... then I think we have a couple of hundred delusional voters. ;)


If your office held a bodybuilding competition today with everyone shaved down, oiled up, tanned, and thonged, who do you think would win?Whadya have to go and put that image in my mind for? :eek:

Stenn
03-29-2008, 09:49 AM
That's exactly what I'm getting at: the poll asked if you consider yourself an advanced bodybuilder, not if you consider yourself advanced over your flabby next-door neighbour.


That is very true. ;) There is only one other guy (one of our computer room guys) who would give me a run for my money.

I guess it's all relative. At the office, Minotaur is the advanced bodybuilder but here at bb.com he, I, and most other folks are quite a bit less than advanced.

Hmmm... I see that the poll now shows over 65% advanced. Wanna bet that most of the voters are not also advanced in years? :D

lukamar
03-29-2008, 10:19 AM
I train beside an IFBB pro in my gym so I have a good enough grip on reality to realize I'm still a novice at this ;)

I think all of a sudden there are a lot of advanced bodybuilders here den according to the poll this morning. I'm eagerly waiting to hear the wisdom flow. :D And it would have been interesting to see how people rated themselves.

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 10:20 AM
I really don't know. There are so many successful training "programs" for lack of better terminology. I have been lifting so long, and my love and dedication for it has let me put any ego aside and try new things. When I first becamse a member here, the first thing I changed was decreasing my total sets, as I was doing too much. But, I also raised the intensity and learned to make myself progress.

After so many months of experimentation and reading here, I have changed my training several times. In fact, I just changed it a couple of months ago -not my movements, but how I do them. It is too easy to be infatuated with a routine and be afraid of change.

The plan I use now uses concepts of DC that I have learned from reading Mr. S's posts and training. The main point is progression, and when I cannot progress any further, I move to another exercise with similar movement working the same bodypart. Next, is rest time between each set, now down to 25 to 30 seconds. However, for Legs, I have admit it is 3 minutes, but I progress.

To my surprise, I have not lost strength. In fact, I have gained strength and conditioning. So, finally, after years of experimentation, I feel confident in my future growth. Given that, for training, I am guessing at high-intermediate and still learning, but not advanced enough to teach anyone, since everyone is different. You have to go through a lot of pain and experimentation.

As far as nutrition, I am intermediate. This has stunted my potential gains and I have to figure out how to better manage this, mainly increasing my good calories and protein.

/ End dissertation :p

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 10:22 AM
Well, if you are a novice... then I think we have a couple of hundred delusional voters. that's why it would have been nice to have the voters identified :)


I guess it's all relative. At the office, Minotaur is the advanced bodybuilder but here at bb.com he, I, and most other folks are quite a bit less than advanced.I hear what you're saying however I think that's an example of "massaging the data" to fit the desired result.

IMO it's not relative at all. Granted, the OP asked a very broad poll question, however it's still about comparing apples to apples. Using Mino as an example (sorry Frank), Mino isn't the advanced bodybuilder at the office, he's the only bodybuilder at the office - so comparing him to his co-workers is unrealistic in terms of where he's at as a bodybuilder.

In other words, if you are going to rank yourself as a bodybuilder, then you ought to be realistic and rank yourself against other bodybuilders...which is why I accept that I'm still a novice.

Whiskeyjack
03-29-2008, 10:25 AM
Intermediate. I've been training in various ways for many years and in many situations, locations, stops and starts; I competed at the intermediate level in BB and PL; I have a certain degree of advanced knowledge from both reading and experimentation; but now I just dabble. I still learn a lot; recently on here I discovered a better way of doing upright rows, for instance.

My dad once said that if you can't write a book, the next best thing is to learn to appreciate books properly. He wrote a book; I got a degree in literature. Similarly, I'm an advanced admirer of advanced bodybuilding, weightlifting, and powerlifting.

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 10:28 AM
In other words, if you are going to rank yourself as a bodybuilder, then you ought to be realistic and rank yourself against other bodybuilders...which is why I accept that I'm still a novice.

I can't agree with that, Chris, though I admire your humility. Results say that you are far beyond a novice. What say ye to that ;)

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 10:29 AM
perhaps I'm being cynical but I suspect that if the poll was entitled "how long is your schlong" and the choices were

small
average
gigantic

we'd see pretty much the same ratio in the poll results ;)

dbx
03-29-2008, 10:33 AM
...which is why I accept that I'm still a novice.

But..but..but you know it's good to have a PWO shake, that almonds & walnuts have EFAs, fruit won't kill you, cottage cheese is a source of casein, what A-21s are, good form is important, rest is essential, and that abs are made in the kitchen. Doesn't this make you like...an advanced pro???!!!

ntrllftr
03-29-2008, 10:33 AM
In other words, if you are going to rank yourself as a bodybuilder, then you ought to be realistic and rank yourself against other bodybuilders...which is why I accept that I'm still a novice.

I guess you can take that a bit further by saying, the ones who compete for example:

do not place: novice

Place 3-6: intermediate

1-2 place: advanced

overall winner: Superhero

Seriously though I think you hit the nail on the head. Have to compare to others in the same level.

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 10:37 AM
I can't agree with that, Chris, though I admire your humility. Results say that you are far beyond a novice. What say ye to that ;)ahhh...but the results are what I'm basing my self-evaluation on. The fact that I've done well in some local novice competitions and won a Provincial bodybuilding title only indicates that I'm on the right path. If I'm advanced then where does nationally-ranked forum member "Most Muscular" fit it? I'm certainly not on par with him in terms of acheivement and conversely, he's not on par with Jay Cutler.

me, Most Muscular and Jay are all bodybuilders so it's apples to apples to apples.

And before anyone jumps in, I'll say right now that competitive bodybuilders aren't "different". They're living the lifestyle...which is what bodybuilding is all about whether you compete or not.

lukamar
03-29-2008, 10:41 AM
Intermediate. I've been training in various ways for many years and in many situations, locations, stops and starts;


I finally realized how little I knew as soon as I started training people and had training problems cropping up every day that I had to deal with. I now find myself observing everyone from beginners to advanced people because i can use something from each of them for my clients.

One thing I see very often is people that think they are a lot more advanced than they really are, at least in my eyes.

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 10:46 AM
ahhh...but the reults are what I'm basing my self-evaluation on. The fact that I've done well in some local novice competitions and won a Provincial bodybuilding title only indicates that I'm on the right path. If I'm advanced then where does nationally-ranked forum member "Most Muscular" fit it? I'm certainly not on par with him in terms of acheivement and conversely, he's not on par with Jay Cutler.

me, Most Muscular and Jay are all bodybuilders so it's apples to apples to apples.

And before anyone jumps in, I'll say right now that competitive bodybuilders aren't "different". They're living the lifestyle...which is what bodybuilding is all about whether you compete or not.

Well, that does make good sense, but it is a rationale. You can also rationalize truthfully, just by analyzing your progression from when you began. Someone with not nearly the knowledge and dedication that you have, that even had the same genetic potential, would not have nearly the same results.

You might say that you are a novice-advanced (even though that is low IMO), but only compared (in your opinion) to the people you mention, i.e. Most Muscular and Jay Cutler.

I think this poll should not include pros as a gauge, who are in a totally different league. Not to mention they have a little "help." [make that a lot] ***Edited for clarity from kimsquit's response: I am not including natural pros in my comment.

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 10:50 AM
One thing I see very often is people that think they are a lot more advanced than they really are, at least in my eyes.and that, as Frank Zappa once said, is the crux of the biscuit.

The more you think you know, the less open you are to learning. In other words, if I'm advanced then what the hell could I have left to learn? I'm advanced dammit, so you can't possibly tell me anything I don't already know.

Look at all the threads about gym idiots who blow off good advice - all those people figure they already know everything there is to know and as a personal trainer, I'm sure that you, Marty, have come to realize what a difficult mindset that can be to break in someone.

So to my thinking, the longer I'm at this, the more I realize just how much I don't know...and that keeps my mind open to change and to learning something new.

dbx
03-29-2008, 10:51 AM
Well, that does make good sense, but it is a rationale.

Yes, a very good rationale, and the same one I used to respond in this thread.

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 10:57 AM
I think this poll should not include pros as a gauge, who are in a totally different league. Not to mention they have a little "help." [make that a lot]I gotta disagree with you Mark, no professional bodybuilder was born a Pro. They all started out as a noob in the gym.

And I think it's unfair to label all professional bodybuilders as "enhanced"... I think thats a slight on all the natty pros out there like Layne Norton and isn't any different that the "genetics" excuse that Marty & I were discussing earlier. IMO, genetics & juice don't make someone advanced...being dedicated to the lifestyle does. The more dedicated you are, the further you'll go :)

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 11:02 AM
I gotta disagree with you Mark, no professional bodybuilder was born a Pro. They all started out as a noob in the gym.

And I think it's unfair to label all professional bodybuilders as "enhanced"... I think thats a slight on all the natty pros out there like Layne Norton and isn't any different that the "genetics" excuse that Marty & I were discussing earlier. IMO, genetics & juice don't make someone advanced...being dedicated to the lifestyle does. The more dedicated you are, the further you'll go :)

True, my bad. I retract my statement about "pros," as I know that there are many natty pros whom are extremely advanced, and I didn't intend and do not label all pros as enhanced.

chodan9
03-29-2008, 11:05 AM
advanced in theory, workout dedication

beginner in diet/nutrition aspects...but I am now pretty focused in this area so I look forward to some good fat loss and increased definition soon

I had been meening to ask how it was going "and maybe get some motivation in the process". I new you had found some new resolve in your diet. I am trying to get more consistent in that area too.

Stenn
03-29-2008, 11:31 AM
and that, as Frank Zappa once said, is the crux of the biscuit.
I thought that the crux of the biscuit was the apostrophe. :)

The more you think you know, the less open you are to learning. In other words, if I'm advanced then what the hell could I have left to learn? I'm advanced dammit, so you can't possibly tell me anything I don't already know.

In Zen this is called "Beginer's Mind". It's a state of mind in which the person is able learn quickly and effectively without preconception, judgement, or ego-stroking. When folks lose their Beginner's mind, it becomes more difficult for them to reach enlightenment because they have to overcome their own, self-imposed mental barriers.

It's admirable that you think this way, but I still think you could give yourself a little more credit. I think we should start a new poll:

"What level of bodybuilder is kimsquit (and how big is his shlong?)" :D

EMISGOD
03-29-2008, 11:37 AM
Beginner, I have learned so much in the past 1-1/2 years but still have a long way to go.

While I chose the "Advanced" choice and have been doing this on and off for around two decades, I'm still constantly learning new stuff. With this, it definitely is a matter of "the more I find out, the less that I know"...about the only aspect of this I have not actively attempted is competition, but I think that ship has probably sailed for me (not that it was ever much of an interest anyway). Human performance has really been pushed and advanced in that time and it's kind of exciting to be on the cutting edge of that, even if only to somewhat of a limited extent (unless I am under-stating things, which is possible) as we do here...

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 01:43 PM
Yeah, I see that at this point, almost 60% of us consinder ourselves to be advanced. It would be interesting to see who thinks so highly of themselves. ;)

I don't think that would be a good idea. It could only start a pissing contest because different people have different ideas and criteria for who is in which category. We've been through this before.

It's not much different than the question "What is a bodybuilder" or "What is a runner?" For some people, if they think they are, they are; other people disagree and say you're only a bodybuilder if you've gotten up on stage; you're only a runner if you've run x number of races; you're only a powerlifter if you've competed. Some people set the standards and criteria for other people. That's why labels are pointless except to start arguments. Just do the best you can for you and don't worry about what category you fall into or what label you carry.

BergMuscle
03-29-2008, 02:11 PM
I don't think that would be a good idea. It could only start a pissing contest because different people have different ideas and criteria for who is in which category. ...

It's not much different than the question "What is a bodybuilder" or "What is a runner?" For some people, if they think they are, they are; ...

Just do the best you can for you and don't worry about what category you fall into or what label you carry.

Thanks, Frank.
As the OP I'll just point out that the question in "What do you consider yourself to be?" It's about self-perception (and maybe a bit about self-motivation althought that wasn't on my mind at the time).

Personally I agree with all the criteria that people have used because, in every case, it's true for them. I don't care who labels themselves as what and for what reason. Just as long as we all are looking at what we have accomplished and where we headed and how we are going to get there.

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 02:19 PM
I put myself in the currently 22% category. I'm lonely :(

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 02:20 PM
Don't get me wrong, I was in no way criticizing you or the post. I agree with the "What do you consider yourself to be?" That's all it should be (imo) unless you make the commitment to get up on stage and allow yourself to be judged by others.

lukamar
03-29-2008, 02:37 PM
I put myself in the currently 22% category. I'm lonely :(

Well there is only 14.12% in there with me...LOL We gotta start sucking up to all these advanced guys and sponge up some of their vast knowlage..:D

Mark1T
03-29-2008, 02:57 PM
Well there is only 14.12% in there with me...LOL We gotta start sucking up to all these advanced guys and sponge up some of their vast knowlage..:D

K. ;)

kimsquit
03-29-2008, 03:24 PM
It's not much different than the question "What is a bodybuilder" or "What is a runner?" For some people, if they think they are, they are; other people disagree and say you're only a bodybuilder if you've gotten up on stage; you're only a runner if you've run x number of races; you're only a powerlifter if you've competed. Some people set the standards and criteria for other people. That's why labels are pointless except to start arguments. Just do the best you can for you and don't worry about what category you fall into or what label you carry.I can understand where you're coming from, Frank, but isn't also fair to acknowledge that any given activity or pasttime does have some accepted standards or criteria...I mean without it, where's the commonality that binds us as a group?

Social order requires some sort of established criteria that the majority of people can agree on. I'm not sure that it falls under "labelling" to say that you have to graduate from medical school to call yourself a medical doctor, or that you have to participate in boating to call yourself a sailor.

Maybe you graduated at the bottom of your medical class and maybe you've foundered every boat you've ever owned, but even if you suck at it you still possess that common bond with those particular interest groups.

Being a bodybuilder requires adopting a certain lifestyle and while I won't attempt to define it, I wager that our individual interpretations aren't that far apart. That's the sort of unspoken commonality I'm referring to and it doesn't have to degrade into me setting my interpretation over yours.

Mr. Someday
03-29-2008, 04:26 PM
Lot of really good, well thought out disussion in here...kudos to all who chimed in!

I hate to try and simplify it, but I can't help going back to something in Baldie's old sig that resonated with me 'you are a bodybuilder when others say you are'. Clearly, that can incite some disgruntled opinions, but the point hits home. When others can clearly see you live the lifestyle instead of pay it lip service, then you are 'there' in my humble opinion.

rocketman44
03-29-2008, 04:52 PM
I'm beginning to be intermediate....

What I mean is that I've been lifting weights for over 30 years, but only in the past year have I become knowledgeable, due in large part to this site.

So I'm not sure what that makes me.

But I do split routines and not 'beginner' programs, if that means anything.

lukamar
03-29-2008, 04:53 PM
Baldie's old sig that resonated with me 'you are a bodybuilder when others say you are'.

I love that as well but I add a bit to it.

"You are a bodybuilder when others you admire say you are'.

mic65frit
03-29-2008, 06:09 PM
I'd have to say a beginner...still trying to find my way around the stations, and working on my correct form.

Mike

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 07:49 PM
I can understand where you're coming from, Frank, but isn't also fair to acknowledge that any given activity or pasttime does have some accepted standards or criteria...I mean without it, where's the commonality that binds us as a group?

...

Being a bodybuilder requires adopting a certain lifestyle and while I won't attempt to define it, I wager that our individual interpretations aren't that far apart. That's the sort of unspoken commonality I'm referring to and it doesn't have to degrade into me setting my interpretation over yours.

But what are they... who sets the standards? How do you put your finger on it? You and I may think that our personal interpretations are not that far apart, but a third guy may have a different take. We have that gray area where a guy picks up a few weights, cleans up his diet, builds a little muscle, drops some fat and calls himself a bodybuilder. I sure as hell ain't gonna insult him by telling him he's not. Not for me to say.

I've seen photos of competitors who appear to me to be just muscular fitness enthusiasts, not "bodybuilders". I see a bigger guy with a bigger thicker physique and to me he is more of a bodybuilder. People go ga-ga over Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Jay Cutler, et al. as paragons of bodybuilding, but to me they are a warping of bodybuilding and taking it to excess.

That's why I'm just suggesting (and that's all I'm suggesting) is that like any other personal pursuit, people won't agree, because there is no formally accepted standard. Bodybuilding, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. ;)

Btw, we actually don't disagree; I'm just looking at things a little differently: as a non-bodybuilder. :D

Minotaur
03-29-2008, 07:54 PM
"You are a bodybuilder when others you admire say you are'.

Sometimes it does take a consensus to decide what is what. The only problem with that is the example I gave before... the woman I work with calls me a bodybuilder, but I know clearly that I am not. Of course I don't admire her, so maybe the axiom does hold true. :D

BergMuscle
03-29-2008, 09:15 PM
Man, oh, man, have I opened a can of worms here.

I only ask one thing: don't anyone quit doing what you've been doing! I consider all of us to be a step above the "average Joe/Jill" who's never lifted a weight and/or thought twice about what they put in their bellies.
Beginner, intermediate, or advanced, whatever you consider yourself you are doing something really good for yourself.

lukamar
03-29-2008, 09:21 PM
Would you like some bread with that Dan..:D

http://skugg.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/can-of-worms.jpg

Baldiewonkanobi
03-30-2008, 06:26 AM
You are a Bodybuilder when others refer to you as a Bodybuilder. Thus advanced. The big HOWEVER. Inside we are all rookies and Wookies. Every day is a new challenge. Injury, sleep, weather, over training, diet, and the F'ing aging process which keeps marching on. If I squat 225# for 10 reps at 67 and 276 days old, trust me, it was a LOT tougher than when I was 7 days younger. Settling under the weight my old arthritic bones tremble, old nerve synapses struggle for that mind body connection, fleeting memories of doing 405 at this same power rack flash by, and momentary doubt is erased as the first rep begins and the blood rushes thru hardened arteries. Well....lets call it Advanced Wookie.

Whiskeyjack
03-30-2008, 09:14 AM
I can understand where you're coming from, Frank, but isn't also fair to acknowledge that any given activity or pasttime does have some accepted standards or criteria...I mean without it, where's the commonality that binds us as a group?

Social order requires some sort of established criteria that the majority of people can agree on. I'm not sure that it falls under "labelling" to say that you have to graduate from medical school to call yourself a medical doctor, or that you have to participate in boating to call yourself a sailor.

Maybe you graduated at the bottom of your medical class and maybe you've foundered every boat you've ever owned, but even if you suck at it you still possess that common bond with those particular interest groups.

Being a bodybuilder requires adopting a certain lifestyle and while I won't attempt to define it, I wager that our individual interpretations aren't that far apart. That's the sort of unspoken commonality I'm referring to and it doesn't have to degrade into me setting my interpretation over yours.

Chris, this ^^^^ is pure poetry. Tried to rep you but I have to wait still. Yesterday I'd intended to propose drawing out a matrix of possibilities with which to consider Berg's original question more closely, but now I don't think it's at all necessary.

I'm involved with an external hiring process just now as hiring manager and one of the criteria we wrestled with was: as an asset criteria what defines "maritime experience"? You'd think it would be easy - it's not - your point about the relativity of being a sailor really resonates. There are relativities and contingencies everywhere; the commonality is ultimately what's important (if less so in hiring!), and that's why I love this post of yours: it unites rather than discards. Well done.

bodyhard
03-30-2008, 09:38 AM
I can understand where you're coming from, Frank, but isn't also fair to acknowledge that any given activity or pasttime does have some accepted standards or criteria...I mean without it, where's the commonality that binds us as a group?

Social order requires some sort of established criteria that the majority of people can agree on. I'm not sure that it falls under "labelling" to say that you have to graduate from medical school to call yourself a medical doctor, or that you have to participate in boating to call yourself a sailor.

Maybe you graduated at the bottom of your medical class and maybe you've foundered every boat you've ever owned, but even if you suck at it you still possess that common bond with those particular interest groups.

Being a bodybuilder requires adopting a certain lifestyle and while I won't attempt to define it, I wager that our individual interpretations aren't that far apart. That's the sort of unspoken commonality I'm referring to and it doesn't have to degrade into me setting my interpretation over yours.

Very well put..