Body Building is more than merely lifting weights. Body Building entails pushing all your muscles through full contraction and extension against greater and greater resistance over time to develop a honed physique. This is done by using weights in isolation exercises in conjunction with varying muscle groups each work out.
Being an artist in addition to a body builder I feel gives me the advantage of my knowledge of human anatomy and proportions of beauty. After all it's not always the biggest guy who wins, but rather the most muscular with the best proportions it seems. Remember the documentary Pumping Iron? Arnold Schwarzenegger was 6 ft 2in at an average competitive weight of 240 lbs. Lou Ferrigno was 6 ft 4in coming it at 265 lbs. Lou The Incedible Hulk Ferrigno made Arnold look small. Wrap your mind around that for a second. Yet, Arnold won. In my opinion it was because he had the best proportions of all his competitors. Arnold did study art history books of the masters like Rodin, Da Vinci, and the ancient Greece-Roman sculptors. Keeping proportions in mind I know my calves have more to go still but they've shown improvement as well as my legs have. I used to be really top heavy but I'm more even now.
Hitting the gym 6 days a week and eating 6 meals a day is not easy and it has taught me a huge respect for craft and for the process of things. Great things take time, as Microsoft was not built in a day. The 6 work out days per week and 6 meals per day take tremendous discipline and time management to stay on point. This is the same time management skill set I use to complete my illustration and fine art projects as well work on my graphic novel each week.
Proportions are always key. When you're working on depicting the figure whether from a photo or from a life model, you're going to have to keep an objective eye on the proportions of the work your creating. That's funny because you're thinking the same thoughts in body building. How are the arms in relation to the torso? How's the definition on the back? Are the calves coming along? Is there hamstring separation in the the thighs? Body Building is an art form especially when inquiries are made through this thought process.
Probably more so than anything else my mindset has changed. I enjoy the process of craft. The process for which I'm building my physique and the process by which I create my artwork are both equally enjoyable to me. The paint brush, the pencil, clay, iron, are all things I can create with. I can't wait to start competing.