Every so often we here at the NSFA get emails asking if we have someone who can teach weight lifting or body building. When we dig into the questions a bit we generally find the person asking wants to use weights to gain some muscle mass, to look and feel better - that's not what weight lifting or body building means though. So what do they mean?
Weight lifting and body building are both sports. There are competitions and scoring involved. Weight lifters score points and win medals by lifting increasingly heavy amounts of weight. These are the really big folks you see in Olympic and other such competitions. Body builders are scored by judges on their aesthetic achievements. These are the people who do poses (and sometimes exercise routines) on a stage.
People often confuse both of these thing as well as the type of work we do (more on this below) because weight training machines and tools are used in all three. The difference is in why and how they're being used, and the pedagogy behind each is very different as well.
Neither weight lifting nor body building are what we, the NSFA, train our members to teach. Our Resistance Trainers (RTs) and Personal Trainers (PTs) teach you how to do training with weights for health and physical fitness improvement. If you, as a client, want to learn the competitive formats of weight lifting or body building, you must find a sport coach certified in that. Some people do both personal training and sport coaching but we only teach and certify people for the personal training part here at NSFA.
Finally, if you're considering improving your fitness level there is really nothing better than weight training! Unfortunately there are many folks who will tell you that weight training or seeing and RT or PT is only for athletes like weight lifters or body builders, or that you have to have the dedication of such athletes to participate in weight-based exercise. Not true! Anyone can participate; just go at your own level. The only person you need to compete with is yourself, and you don't have to look like Arnie to be successful.
NSFA Executive Director & Course Conductor