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What is the difference between bodybuilding and fitness?

You might think that the huger your muscles get, the healthier you will be. while you should know that having a bulky muscular body does not guarantee your well-being and strength. Bodybuilding builds muscle mass, it reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity and gives you a better bone health. However, when it comes to lift an object (the amount of force your muscles can produce), the shape and size of your muscles don’t really matter. Fitness, on the other hand, puts a lot of emphasis on the overall performance of the muscles and their flexibilities. Thus, you can own small biceps and still be as strong as a large and sweaty bodybuilder. Fitness makes you stronger and keeps you in shape. Bodybuilding grants you the miracle of rapid weight loss and huge muscles. Fitness enhances your general health, so does bodybuilding. Let’s pause for a second here. We all know that there are benefits in both bodybuilding and fitness, let us dig into their differences:


Bodybuilders develop muscle fibers by having weight training (lifting heavy weights). They possess a perfectly sculpted physique that looks good on the stage at the competitive exhibitions. Their perfect physique is the result of lifting heavy weights. The lifting causes microscopic tears in the muscles; therefore, their body is required to repair breakages and expand the storage capacity. A strong blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, increasing their sizes. This is how bodybuilders develop well-developed muscles. This procedure is called “hypertrophy”. Due to hypertrophy, bodybuilders need to focus on one specific muscle and having repetitive workouts on that.

On the contrary, in fitness people try to stay active and focus on every muscle evenly. Fitness is more concerned with the overall health of the body. The trainings are more about removing body fat and having a nicely shaped body. To make the muscles stronger, they just simply stretch them. Fitness gives the body an aesthetic look. It focuses on the core that is the stomach and the shapes of the legs. They engage in a lot of cardiovascular exercises and carry out a high number of reps with smaller weights. This will allow their central nervous system to learn how to productively join motor units while lifting. Compared to bodybuilders’ work out, fitness routines are usually shorter and more intense. In short, burning calories to have a fit and flexible body is the simplest definition of fitness. 


Another key distinction between fitness and bodybuilding is the amount of devoted time each requires. Bodybuilding needs at least a two hours daily dedication to the gym. It demands constant hard work for a long period of time– usually 5 to 6 times a week

Fitness sessions usually last from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. It can be stretching in a gym or running in a park. Comparing to the bodybuilding, fitness requires less time, less effort and less pressure on muscles.


In many ways, the diet of a fitness trainee and a bodybuilder is mostly the same. They both should avoid junk foods and eat healthy. While they both emphasize on a balanced diet, bodybuilders usually take more proteins and supplements to boost their exercise routines. Food is not the primary difference between them but is the amount of caloric intake per day.

Bodybuilders should consume more than 5000 calories per day and 50% of that should be protein. They also increase the number of times they eat food in a day. Their diet usually involves fish, meat, eggs, and whey proteins. The remainder is usually from low fat or carb options, such as multigrain, vegetables and fruits. 

People who focus on fitness often consume no more than 2500 calories in a day. Their healthy food choices include vegetables, salad, fruits, non-oily meat, etc.

Both fitness and bodybuilding come from the basic human need to have the ultimate fitness potential and the only primary difference is the reason for training.

Now that you have enough information about both workouts, which one do you think you should choose to reach your goals?!