This article was originally published on TheFunPost
We all wish we could stick to our workouts, but life gets in the way. Some people aren't like that, though. For bodybuilders and fitness models, there's no such thing as an off day, and some of the biggest names in the field look like something out of this planet! Check out some of the world's strongest people— they're probably more muscly than the rest of us combined!
You're not going to get these thighs by running around, ladies. If you want to be a muscle pro like this gal, you will need a few more tools. Back squats, hack squats, and front squats are a good start. Then, there's the leg press, the machine hamstring curls, and leg extensions. Don't forget a few stiff leg deadlifts, while you're at it. This kind of muscle is a project!
But if you do succeed, beware: Your passion for fashion might end. With powerful thighs like these, it's tough to find blue jeans. Every cut and fit is way off!
Bakhar Nabieva Says Hi
Who's this strong gal, right here? Why, it's Bakhar Nabieva, a fitness model and bodybuilder. A Ukrainian who grew up in Azerbaijan, she is now world-famous and nicknamed “Miss Iron Bum”. She has a growing following of 3.5 million on Instagram. Fans like her small waist and huge, powerful arms and legs. She is known for something besides her muscly look, though. Bakhar always wears black contact lenses to stand out in the gym. Honestly, we're a little creeped out!
She doesn't care what we think, though. According to Bakhar: "My goals don’t stop for anyone. Either you support me or I make it happen alone. Either way it’s going to happen."
Thighs of Steel
One look at this young lady, and you're bound to notice it. Her thighs are bigger than most male bodybuilders! Building up this level of muscle never seems to happen when we squat or run. She's clearly been working a lot harder. Lifting as she does means you create lots of microtears in that tissue, and you need extra protein to repair it and grow. How does she do it?
Bodybuilders swear by lean chicken breast, protein powder, and cottage cheese. Eggs are a big help, too. But the enemy is carbs. We have a feeling this gal cut the carbs a long time ago!
Little Hercules Is Real
Two decades ago, the world was introduced to an extraordinary youngster. This is Richard Sandrak, who was named the 'World's Strongest Boy' at age 11. At that point, he could lift around three times his own bodyweight. Naturally, people accused him of using steroids. But no, he says! He was just genetically gifted and his workout really worked out for him. Almost no one gets these results in middle school!
Does he still train, as an adult? Richard admits: "No, I don't lift weights. If anything it just got boring. I’m very proud of my past...People try to make me out as some freak of nature, plenty of kids have very similar physiques...It’s not something I don’t want people to know, it’s just that I’m not going to be stuck living in it."
When You're Beyond the BMI
Some people think a healhy BMI is key. But for a small subset of the population, this scale is really misleading, because muscle weighs more than fat. This bodybuilding babe is considered chubby if you look at her BMI score alone! According to Scientific American: "The BMI doesn't account for body composition; that is, the relative proportion of fat and muscle tissue. People often point out that a bodybuilder with lots of muscle and very little fat could easily have a BMI in the 'obese' category."
Looking at her closely, we can tell she doesn't have any love handles. In the fitness world, lifters have their own language. We rarely see body types that are this extreme. How would we even explain it?
A Pale Man's Plan
Bodybuilding competitions are a time to show off your hard work at the gym. Have you ever noticed that a tan helps the contrast? Participants in this sport realized that fact a long time ago. It is common to get a spray shortly before the stage. This gentleman had an intense beauty appointment, as we see. But it seems he forgot one key area. What's going on with his face?
We do not understand why he avoided his head, but the deed is done. His body is well sculpted, but the overall effect is bizarre. Is that against the rules?
Better Not Mess With Nataliya Kuznetsova
Meet Nataliya Kuznetsova — she isn’t your average girl bodybuilder. One look at her physique and you might think she is photoshopped, but that is not the case. We know Instagram is full of fakes, but she's the real deal. This Russian lifter has amassed around half a million followers on the platform. Today, she boasts 220 pounds of muscle and grit and stands at 5’7″. Her proportions are really incredible!
At age 14, she began a journey at the gym. Today, she holds the record for arm lifting, bench pressing, and deadlifting. But the truth is, she uses steroids and estrogen blockers. She admits it, actually!
The Real Mr. Bubbles
This fellow knows it: In bodybuilding, big biceps are a big deal. They certainly increase your strength, but the best thing about them is their instant visibility. The ladies love them, and the men back away from a fight. Flexing them is impressive, and it's always exciting to show off your hard work. Plus, powerful arms signify strength, and the greatest professional champions usually have tremendous size. Take a look at any Mr. Olympia!
According to experts, the best exercises for building biceps are the standing barbell curl, the incline dumbbell curl, the one-arm preacher curl, and the hammer curl. We have a feeling this fellow did them all!
That's One Tan Man
When guys become dads, many of them start to snack and relax. There's even a name for the new physique: The dad bod. Although magazines have been marketing the dad bod as a positive, not everyone agrees. Take this man for example. Even though he has a wife and son, he hasn't given up his fitness. Posing on the left, he flexes all his muscle groups for the camera. Nice work, sir!
We wonder if he walks around the house all oiled up and ready for a show. Everyone else is dressed while he wears a mankini. The contrast is a little silly!
Love Is Lifting
You know what they say: a couple that plays together, stays together. We wonder if that also applies in lifting weights, as we look at these two. It's rare, and it's kind of sweet. A husband and wife have a shared hobby sculpting their physiques. They surely have a mutual appreciation and cheer each other on. Don't we all wish we had a partner that pushed us to be our best? These two do!
They also clearly have a shared love of spray tan. But he has applied it to his face, while she left hers pale. On this matter, there's a different philosophy, to be sure.
Julia Vins Is a Tough Cookie
Meet Julia Vins, a 25-year-old Russian fitness model who's an Instagram sensation. Obviously, she stands out from the crowd. We can't look away! Nicknamed 'Muscle Barbie', she is a powerlifter, a Titan athlete, and a two-time world champ in her event. If you want to learn her fitness routine, you actually can. Julia offers an online program to help you learn how to build muscles fast and diet right.
According to Julia: "My shape is not the result of torment, it’s not the result of steroids (I know, many people suppose it). I just know what I'm doing. I train and continue to live a normal life."
Child Bodybuilder Giuliano Stroe
This is Giuliano Stroe, born all the way back in 2004. He is a Romanian gymnast and bodybuilder, and he's obviously just a child. Giuliano began lifting weights when he was two years old. Quickly, he found himself in the Guinness Book of World Records for a few things: The fastest ever ten-meter hand-walk with a weight ball between his legs, the most 90-degree push-ups, the human flag, the most human flag pullups, and the most muscle-ups. Whew!
Giuliano is pretty young, still. We don't know if bodybuilding is his ultimate ambition in life. But if he wants to be involved at the adult level, he certainly has a good start.
Tired From Training
This muscle mama looks exhausted! We have a feeling we know why. As we age, we don't recover as quickly as we once did. Bodybuilding is an activity that people do well into their middle age. Adequate rest in between sessions is important, according to experts. Sometimes, it's better to have a few intense workouts a week, with two or three days rest in between. But what do they do in their down time?
Some bodybuilders actually do yoga, as well. That may sound pretty far removed from deadlifting, but it all works in harmony. Make sure to get good sleep, too. That's when your body repairs the most!
Bulging Baby Daddy
For plenty of men, sticking to the gym and getting toned is a reason to boast. But fatherhood can be a real achievement, too. This fellow seems to have the best of both worlds. He has a defined physique and a brand new bundle of joy. One arm flexes perfect biceps. The other cradles his child. It's not the typical baby picture, but that's the appeal. What a contrast!
Will his son or daughter be athletic, too? It's too early to tell in this picture. But these things are often genetic. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the bench press!
Popeye Is Jealous
Many of us remember a distinct cartoon of a sailor named Popeye who loved to eat his spinach. When he popped open a can open, he swallowed it all in one go. Then, he would swell in size — just like this fellow, right here! We can't help but notice that those biceps look cartoonish. Even guys who work out every day never get to half that mass. What's his secret?
We are willing to bet he eats more steroids than spinach pie. But you never know: Some people are genetically gifted. He could be one in a million, and the haters can hate.
Know the Risks
We've been seeing young kids train hard online recently. But is that good for them? Maybe not. According to the Mayo Clinic: "Don't confuse strength training with weightlifting, bodybuilding or powerlifting. Trying to build big muscles can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons, and areas of cartilage that haven't yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight."
Experts recommend light resistance. That's strength training, not bodybuilding. But the results are so striking that parents keep asking their kiddos to try. They clearly do not know the risks!
Baby Got Back
A huge, strong back can really benefit you in all your athletic endeavors. If you think about it, the back muscles are involved in a lot of other movements. They help you to pull your arms down from above and twist your torso. They also stabilize your spine. Training these muscles make you more efficient in everything you do. This girl has transformed her back in a remarkable way, don't you think?
We can just imagine her power with a back like this one. But clearly, it didn't happen overnight. This is pure dedication, in physical form. In other words, what bodybuilding is all about!
The Face of a Champion
There are those who train all year for the big moment. When you're up on stage, there's nothing like that rush. The crowd cheers as you flex your stuff, and the judges hold up hard numbers to validate your hard work. But while you're showing those muscles off, don't forget to smile. Whatever you do, don't make this face! We don't know how to read the expression, but it looks crazy to us.
We will allow the possibility that this contestant is mid-smile. Maybe the camera caught her as she was starting to move her mouth, and it's not fair to freeze her here. But this is the picture we have, for now. Yikes!
Yanik Marquis Used to Be a Fat Kid
Yanik Marquis was once bullied in school for his chunky appearance. Then, he made a change. He recalls: "I wanted to go to the gym and lift some weights and build some muscle. I was never really focused on losing fat — I just wanted to be bigger and more muscly. I started exercising and training and lifting weights, and my body started changing...that kind of brought upon less people talking about my body in a negative way because I started to look better."
Yanik decided to try out bodybuilding at 18, and see where it lead. 8 years later, he was declared Mr. Wales! The transformation is remarkable, as seen here. Impressive!
Choon Tan Is the Man
This is Choon Tan, a small man who stands at 4ft 10in. He has a genetic defect, but it didn't stop him from earning the title of Britain's smallest bodybuilder. Bullied for years, he decided the best course of action was the gym. He explains: "I didn’t feel that I was as good or the same as everyone else. I got bullied and tormented because of it...Those several years were undoubtedly the worst of my life, but it is what led me to an incredible eye-opening journey."
Today, he tries to inspire others to believe in themselves. He says anyone can change their lives, in any situation. We certainly think he has walked that walk!
She's Down With the Brown
Bodybuilding is all about the look, once you've got the strength. When you are getting ready for a competition, you must prepare. Wax everything, do a detox diet and put on some self-tanner. Just didn't do it this way. Maam, what are you doing? That tan is a bit overdone, don't you agree? It just doesn't seem to enhance her natural color. It is a very unnatural color, in fact.
Nevertheless, she looks proud and ready to complete. We wonder if the judges are allowed to take off points for a bad color job. Probably not, so she is lucky!
Mom Has a Wild Hobby
Being a mom means you have a lot of duties. You probably cook and clean, and you have to tend to the physical and emotional needs of your kids as a full-time job. Plus, many moms have a full-time job on top of that full-time job. It all sounds overwhelming, and there is no vacation. Is there a hobby that can help with that stress? This picture seems to have the answer: Bodybuilding!
Some kids would be embarrassed. But we see this family is supportive with their amusing flexes. Mom has the real muscles, and that's okay with them. Might they follow in her footsteps?
Stefi Cohen Holds a World Record
Stefi Cohen is jacked, there's no doubt about it. Look at those abs, those biceps! Not only is she a powerlifter, but she's also a physical therapy doctor and an Instagram sensation. How strong is she? Well, she has 25 records, including deadlifting 456 pounds. She has also squatted 446 pounds and benched 226, both records now. Some of her astonishing lifts were done when she was just 114 pounds. It's incredible!
We bet she is inspiring to her physical therapy clients as they build up their own strength. We would trust her know-how of the human body, after just one look. How can you not?
This Is Not Photoshop
This man clearly wakes up in the morning with goals. It's hard for us to believe that ever takes a day off the gym. Unlike us, he does pull-ups, lat pull-downs, and all kinds of dumbbell rows. But honestly, these results don't seem achievable without a little help. Does he juice at the gym? Other lifters would accuse him of exactly that, but we can't prove anything from a photo.
It can get bad, if you're into that kind of thing. According to WebMD: "Some steroid users pop pills. Others use hypodermic needles to inject steroids directly into muscles...Abusers have been known to take doses 10 to 100 times higher than the amount prescribed for medical reasons by a doctor."
The Real Life Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor was the being associated with thunder and lightning, the protection of mankind, and fertility. He had long blond hair and lots of rippling muscles. Recently, Marvel has made him into a recurring character in their films, played by Chris Hemsworth. Although the actor beefed up considerably for the role, we think the studio may have missed a better candidate. Is this not a real-life Thor, right here?
No, he doesn't have the name recognition. Hollywood puts a lot of stock in that, we know. But he certainly has the bulk and the build. We like what we see!
Danica Goodheart Is a Veterinarian
We find Danica Goodheart impressive on a number of levels. She hits the gym hard, she defends her notion, and she helps cute little critters. Danica is a U.S. Army veterinarian and a figure competitor with Danica Goodheart with devoted Instagram followers. Why? Well, she just seems to have a heart of gold. According to Dr. Dan: "I had always wanted to serve my country and decided what better way to serve than helping to heal and treat our four-legged soldiers.”
Her body is just as impressive: Fans can’t get enough of her physique, and she's happy to provide progress pictures. The woman is motivated, patriotic, and smart. What more could we want?
One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
Bodybuilding competitions are a time to judge the best of the best, and that's what we're going to do here. We like the entire front row, except for one guy. The palest contestant hasn't put in the work, and it shows. While everyone else has beautifully defined abs, he has pudge. While everyone else has powerful, veiny thighs, he has chicken legs for days. How did he even get in?
We suggest that he put in the hours at the gym and try again next year. With the right plan, incredible progress can be made. So far, it's still a dream. We're rooting for him, though!
Jessica Buettner Can Outlift You
Candian powerlifter Jessica Buettner was a diabetic and a pharmacist. She had medical knowledge and a health problem, and she decided to solve it at the gym. These days, she's doing well. She shares: "Once you find something that makes you feel good about yourself, whatever that is, work at it and don't let anyone tell you different...For me that thing is powerlifting, and the mentality shift is an even greater positive psychological transformation than the physical has been."
Her deadlift is an impressive 545 pounds, which is stronger than many guys. Despite her illness, she is always looking to push her limits at the gym. Millions are inspired!
Yuan Herong Is a Doctor
Yuan Herong is a doctor in China practicing traditional Chinese medicine. Clearly, she already had academic talents. But she is physically gifted too! Yuan was interested in martial arts when she was young, but she ultimately chose weights With more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, people cannot believe she has the time to work out this much while practicing medicine. She seems to be a total superwoman, don't you think?
Yuan does go to the gym five times a week, minimum. She has a personal trainer and competes in professional bodybuilding contests. But that's not all: She models, in her free time!
Shanique Grant Is Miss Olympia
Shanique Grant is a two-time Women’s Physique Olympia Winner. But recently, she shared: “I have been and I am ready to finally announce my retirement. There’s so much more life to live...At 25 years old and living out here in Las Vegas, I have never been anywhere besides where my boyfriend, Jeff, took me for my birthday, and that was the first time I ever stayed on the strip. I’m ready to live my life. I’m ready to be a mom. I’m ready to be a wife.”
Yes, she's retired now. It's time to be a mom and focus on that challenge. Others can try to take her throne. But the pictures don't lie: Shanique was a beast, in her prime!
Definition for Days
Building muscle and losing enough fat to let it show is a delicate dance. But should you really cut out all carbs? According to WebMD: "Timing is critical in muscle development because you need carbs and protein to perform strength training and protein and carbs for muscle recovery. The best plan is to eat a diet containing both nutrients and small amounts of healthy fats throughout the day...More than half your calories should come from healthy carbs."
With all the fad diets on the net today, it's surprising to hear that. But yes, if you want to look like this cut, young Instagrammer, you need to get your nutrition right. This body never happens by accident!
The Itsy Bitsy Bikini
For bodybuilding, the National Physique Committee is the biggest amateur organization in America. Their bikini division of bodybuilding contests generally has the most contestants. Surprise, surprise: There is always an audience! According to the NPC guide, bikinis show "a foundation of muscle which gives shape to the female body, full round glutes with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute area, and a small amount of roundness in the delts".
We can see how this garment perfectly covers the bits that need covering while showing off every vein and bulge. The men wear little manikins, too. They just go topless!
She Lost Her Shoes
This majestic muscle woman has the look. She's got a grey leotard, a confident pose. and long, flowing blond locks. She has a medal hanging from her neck that we assume she earned after years of hard work. She is toned and tanned, and ready to take on the world. The only problem? She's missing her shoes. You should never go into action without good traction. That can be downright dangerous!
Where did they go? Nobody knows. But if she wants to work out more today, we insist she finds a replacement. Those are probably the rules at the gym, too!
The Blushing Bride
Don't be misled: Even the fiercest bodybuilders have a soft side. This strong woman has found her match, probably also at the gym. It's time for the wedding bells, and she's found her gown. We can see she's made no effort to hide her muscles with a conventional cut. She's showing off her arms and legs as usual. And now, she prepares to walk down the aisle, all dolled up.
The wedding album will be unusual, perhaps. But she is already living her life the way she wants, which is full of muscle. Try to challenge her, why don't you!
She's a Winner
You may wonder just how time must be invested to look like this gal. The answer is good news, even if you're a busy person: On average, professional bodybuilders go to the gym 5 days a week. But each session is just one hour long. That's about 5 hours a week. But frankly, we've been to the gym a lot more than that and never got results like this. What is their secret?
We suggest getting a real trainer, instead of winging it. All sorts of things must be balanced, and the techniques have to be right. It's both a science and an art!