Bodybuilding wasn’t around at the time of Genesis, so there wasn’t exactly a passage in the bible that said, “Yep, bodybuilding is fine!”.
So, we have to look at some passages and do some interpretation of what it says in the Bible.
- Interested in reading my near death experience with Jesus? Click here. (It’s all free and everything, I want to help convert people!)
While people have been working out since the dawn of time- taking it this seriously and making it a full sport has never been done before. Today’s bodybuilders would make even Rome’s strongest soldiers look like they’ve never done a push-up in their life.
So, is bodybuilding a sin?
No, bodybuilding itself is NOT a sin! In fact, it can be viewed as positively enjoying a hobby and building your body as a temple for god. However, if you start taking performance enhancers and/or start thinking you are better than your fellow brothers and/or God- then, bodybuilding will become a sin.
Let’s cover this more in-depth and look at some verses.
God Wants You To Enjoy Yourself and Have Hobbies
Bodybuilding at its’ core is a hobby.
And we know that God wants us all to have hobbies and enjoy ourselves.
Everybody has their own hobbies, and bodybuilding isn’t any different. People enjoy things like fishing, hunting, or even solving puzzles. Each one of us has our own interests- and that’s the glory of God’s creation.
So don’t think that God frowns upon you for wanting to do bodybuilding specifically, it’s a hobby like any other hobby.
If you enjoy bodybuilding, then do it.
Use Your Bodybuilding To Help Your Brothers and Sisters in God’s Name
One of the most important things about the hobbies you do is how it impacts your community.
For instance, if one of your hobbies is singing, you can sing positive things that help people get through tough times. This is one of the ways you can use your hobbies for good in God’s name.
Now, people don’t realize it- but you can use bodybuilding to help your brother and sisters in God’s name!
I Use My Muscles To Help My Neighbors Move
Notice your neighbors moving? They may have a hard time and may need multiple people to move some of the heavier objects that you can easily lift.
Whenever one of my neighbors moves in/out- I always offer to help if I can.
When people are moving houses, they are incredibly stressed and often need any help they can get. Most people have a hard time lifting those boxes filled up to the brim with their stuff.
If they have the hulk (you) down the street offering to help, it can seriously boost the efficiency and bring a smile to their face.
For instance, it took 3 people to move a nightstand that I could literally move just by myself. I took care of most of their heavy furniture and things like fish tanks and book boxes.
This will put a huge smile on their face and positively impact your community in God’s name.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons my family was Mormon (right now I am Lutheran) for a while was because of the unlimited kindness they offered. When my family moved across the country, their entire church came and helped us move in and refused to even eat any of the food we offered them. They did it for free and took time out of their own day to help us.
You offering your big muscles to help your neighbor move is not only a fantastic workout that will put on muscle, but put a positive light in the world and spread the good message of God.
It Converts and Spreads True Love
Most people won’t convert to God just by you banging on their door and asking them to read the scripture. But, when people see a true man of God offering assistance free of charge, they can feel that love and joy a real Christian spreads.
As Mark 12:31 said, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”.
There are many ways you can do this. Offering to help somebody bring their groceries to their car at a supermarket, or even help pushing someone’s car out of a ditch.
(When my car got stuck in a ditch at midnight on Christmas Eve, my friend Jack graciously came and offered to help me out. He said, ‘Tommy, those muscles are working, every time I feel you push I see the car physically move up this hill).
Are You Putting Bodybuilding Before God and Other? If so, it’s a sin. (Vanity)
Bodybuilding is a sport that can quickly get out of hand.
I’ve seen far too many people enter this sport and get an incredibly high ego or ‘god-complex’.
You have to realize, many people that start bodybuilding are doing it for a reason such as being bullied or not feeling good enough. And when these people put on muscle, they start to think they are better than everybody else.
I’ve seen people suddenly trash on others and say, “They don’t deserve what I have because I worked so hard for it and they didn’t”.
But to those people, I say to look at 1 John 3:17, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
I personally am very humble and pray to god before I do any max in the gym. In my video of me deadlifting nearly 4 plates, you can see me pray right before I snatch the bar.
But, bodybuilding is a tough sport that takes incredible discipline and determination. Because of this, when some people reach the goal they think they did it on their own and forget how much God had helped them.
They start to think they are better than other people and even God. They think they are the best people in the world and untouchable.
If this is the case, you are sinning.
Don’t Make Bodybuilding Your Idol or Obsession
Remember, God first.
I know bodybuilding can get intense and you feel like you just need to keep pushing harder to get the results you want. I know that when you reach or don’t reach your goals you get more addicted to the sport.
It’s a hunger for more, you want to work harder and prioritize it.
But, when you put bodybuilding as your obsession and your idol, you are now sinning.
Leviticus 19:4 says, “‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God”.
You’d be surprised how many people start worshipping bodybuilding as more than just a sport. They put the iron and barbell above everything else in their life, even God.
Above, we talked about how some people get that god-complex and think they are above others. But now, we are talking about the people that live, breathe, and eat bodybuilding.
When bodybuilding turns into an obsession, you are now sinning. There is a difference between a hobby you love doing 5-6 times a week for a few hours a day- and a thing you constantly think, do, and ignore God for.
When bodybuilders start ignoring God, start skipping prayer for the gym, stop thinking of ways to help their neighbor and family in need, and put the gym first, it has become an obsession (and sin).
As Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other”.
You cannot serve bodybuilding AND God. God is your master, NOT bodybuilding!
Your Body as God’s Temple and Creation
When it comes to bodybuilding and sinning, people immediately jump to the idea and argument that your body is God’s temple and shouldn’t be messed with.
That is right! You shouldn’t be ruining God’s temple nor creation.
But, bodybuilding is actually making it healthier and better. And we know that we, according to 1 Corinthians 6:20, need to “honor God with your bodies”.
To say bodybuilding is ruining God’s creation is almost comparing a track or wrestling athlete to a sinner. Both sports will naturally change the body and build muscle while losing fat.
In fact, it’d be comparing any amount of weight loss to sinning.
Bodybuilding is actually a sport that is GREAT for God’s temple. In fact, there’s a famous Socrates quote that goes: “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
If anything, bodybuilding is bringing out the true beauty of the body God has granted us. God has allowed all of us to grow our bodies and ‘unlock’ more of his creation through weight lifting.
Additionally, bodybuilding improves life expectancy, lowers blood pressure, and makes people healthier.
But, there is one caveat with bodybuilding that could cause you to actually harm his temple- performance enhancers.
Don’t Take Performance Enhancers
Performance enhancers are used frequently in bodybuilding.
Look, I know a ton of people use them, but natural bodybuilding is healthy and effective.
And look, I know a lot of performance enhancers can be somewhat “safe”- but there are always side effects, even if you don’t see them right away.
Take one of the most famous bodybuilders, Zyzz, for example. He died as a direct result of using a performance enhancer.
Many of these performance enhancers have ways of altering your body in bad ways, which damages God’s temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-3:17 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple”.
If you end up destroying your body as a result of performance enhancers, you would be sinning according to this scripture.
Many physicians today have healthy ways to enhance your performance in bodybuilding without using dangerous performance enhancers. An example of this is ‘test prescriptions’ for those that are low on that hormone.
Your Discipline With God Can Be Strengthened Through Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is a sport that relies on doing a lot of work and believing in something that you don’t think is going to work out.
Instant gratification is the idea of you wanting something, and it instantly happening. Bodybuilding takes months to years of hard work before you see any progress.
Sound familiar? Have you ever been in a rough patch in life where you pray and pray and it seems like God ignores you?
Then suddenly a month later everything comes together and you realized God was helping you the whole time?
Having the discipline to relentlessly go to the gym nonstop and believe in something you don’t see happening every night can strengthen your relationship with God.
Praying, and not seeing results right away but KNOWING that ONE DAY God’s plan will finalize is just the same as working out. You know those results will come, you just have to be patient.
Conclusion of Is Bodybuilding a Sin?
So no, bodybuilding is NOT a sin provided you don’t get a god-complex, you keep upholding your oath to God, you keep helping your community, and you stay away from performance enhancers.
Be a good bodybuilder, lift some heavy fricken weights, help your brothers and sisters, and glorify God in your everyday actions- and your hobby is not a sin at all.