T Nation

Adonis Complex? I got your Adonis Complex RIGHT HERE

You guys ever see this new book out called the Adonis Complex? It’s a
book pertaining to the ‘new’ obsessive pursuit of muscular development
by men in our culture. They compare GI Joes doll bodies from the 70’s to
the 90’s. They contend it’s an unhealthy drive that men have today to
look more muscular and leaner…they compare to the rising trend in
women with anorexia and bulimia (Barbie dolls thinner and prettier as
each year goes by…blah blah). Anyway, this kind of pisses me off; it’s
like, “Oh, it’s soooo unhealthy to want to be superior and better
yourself…just ‘accept’ yourself for who you are” kind of thing (even if
you’re chubby or thin or whatever). What is so damn wrong with using
nutrition, supplementation, even if it DOES mean pushing yourself
beyond what ‘normal’ people do to look good??? God forbid people
should work harder on themselves to be stronger and fitter! Any
comments or thoughts on this?

Check out the Big Woof article in issue 70 of t-mag. This topic pisses off a lot of people.

I agree with your opinion. The bottom line is that here in the States too many people have just become to damn lazy in all aspect of their life. More and more people always want the easy way out be it in diet, training, work, academia, personal life etc. Too damn many people just want the easy way out and dont want to work for anything any longer. Wasn’t this country built on hard work, self-reliance, and above average dreams, goals or personal expectations? Now for an individual to want to better themselves beyond the ‘norm’, the liberal crowd slams these types of dreams. But they support the types who want a handout, or they want the easyway out. They want you to think that taking a little magic pill will help you achieve your goals. They know it wont, but it creats a state of dependancy. Don’t fall for this! Believe in yourself, work hard toward your goals! There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve your potential and then taking it a few steps further. This hold true in many facets of life, be it training, diet, work, school and personal relationships.

I agree and disagree. First, I am part of the “liberal crowd”, so don’t characterize us FOR us–speaking for myself, I have no such agenda as was ascribed to me (or to those of my social/political leanings) by another message here. I agree that such a book may dissuade someone from making a self-improvement attempt, which would be harmful. But then again, it does make a valid point that many of us guys are going way overboard, at the espense of our health (not in promotion of it) to achieve a physique that is almost beyond reach for some of us. I mean, people injecting oil into their muscles? Loading up 20 pills a morning? There’s clearly a difference between fitness and an unhealthy obsession, and often the obsession does indeed come from a sense of inferiority in contrast to the magazine-cover “ideal” that we’re faced with daily. Ever notice none of the magazines show pictures of guys “in progress”? All we see are the finished successes, so we never know to what extent we measure up, which drives us mad from fear that might not.

i’ve saw this book about 6 months ago at the bookstore. i skimmed through it and found it to be very amusing. my opinion is that we all have a little adonis complex. we all want to look better and feel better about ourselves.

some don’t do anything about it because they’re lazy, not motivated, “no time”, or whatever. others take it to extremes and abuse steroids.

with our subculture, this game of bodybuilding and weightlifting, most of us are in the middle. we eat right because it makes us feel better and look better. we get ample amounts of sleep so we have more energy and so we can recover. we train hard so we get stronger and bigger. we use supplements so we can recover quicker or achieve our goals faster. for some of us, we use anabolics in order to surpass our genetic limits.

i think we all have adonis complex. we’re either in the state of denial or we accpet the truth that we’ll always want to look better.

I think there is not a minute in the day where I’m not thinking about my health and body. I never miss a meal, I never miss a workout except when I’m sick, I read T-Mag religiously every week, I pose in front of the mirror every time I see one even if I’m 175/13. In 5 years, I never had a day without supplements. I think my number 1 goal in life is to have a better body, be healthy and age slowly. But I will never do anything that could harm my health for the sake of a superior body. I’m not depressed when I look at pro bodybuilders because I think I look good for a 30 year old, and I’ll look even better at 35, thanks to Biotest and t-mag. Do I have the Adonis complex? Maybe… but not to a point where it is a disorder.

I think it’s unhealthy to be depressed everyday because of your body which is 250/5. That is disorder. Pumping 60k a year in drugs to look like a freak…looks like disorder to me. But I think the average people, readers of t-mag, those who fight everyday to improve their physique and can enjoy life even if they don’t look like Marcus Rhul (yuk!) deserve some respect, and deserve to get laid every day in the week.

I just finished reading the book and I found several problems with it.

  1. Like many of you said, the authors need to make a better distinction between a healthy lifestyle (including the judicious use of anabolics) and insanity (e.g. a 250 lb guy who wouldn’t take off his shirt because he was “too small”). The latter has a problem. The former does not.

2. The MAJOR PROBLEM with the book is that is presupposes a universal set of ideals. For example, the authors, in their "do you have the adonis complex" test, sight one symptom as "missing social functions to workout". I think anyone with any amount of dedication to physical improvement can say yes. However, I strongly doubt that the authors would point a finger at a person who missed dinner plans to work late, thus furthering his professional career. This is the same argument that concludes that marijuana, for example, is a horrible drug simply because it is illegal. The question really is WHY is weed illegal? Is it more a dangerous to a person (or society) than alcohol? No, it is simply that alcohol is used by those in power and is therefore legal!

Although the analogy might not be airtight, the point is a focus on health and fitness is simply not an overly important goal of the authors, thus they see those who give up what the authors perceive as "lifes pleasures" to workout as "crazy". Truly, the only difference is that to those involved in health and fitness as a lifestyle, some of "life's pleasures" are working out, feeling better than 95% of the population, etc.

The authors just simply missed the point, that different priorities are not inherently "crazy" nor "obsessive", they're just different!

After reading my earlier post, I want to add that I didnt want to try and turn it into a political issue. This isn’t the place for it. I just get so damn sick of so many people always slamming those of us who choose to improve our bodies and strenght through weight training. I’ve had people who I went to school with tell me I’m not an athelete since I didn’t play organized sports in high school and college. Also I’ve been told I was arrogant for wanting to improve my physique. That kind of rhetoric coming from people who appear on a “I’m 200 lbs overweight and happy” type talkshow. That kind of crap pisses me off. It seems to me that the whole aspect of being a manly man is being shunned. Look at the movies that are out. Arnies movies aren’t hits any more. Segals movies go straight to video. There aren’t any ‘heros’ like Wayne, Eastwood, etc. on the big screen any more. At least not much. Willis doesnt do tough guy movies any more. Most of what you see is just dramas where once action stars are reduced to Mr. Sensative.

I know there are a few good movies with heros, but it is a far cry from action-hero movies of days-gone-bye. I just seems many people are trying to make us feel ashamed to be a true man. It is okay be a sensitive guy, but we shouldn’t have to be ashamed to have a little T flowing through our veins. If we were faced with a condition like a WWIII it definately would not be the flabby, soft, “I’m satisfied with my body” crowd that would survive. Remember Darwin… " Survival of the fittest"

Nothing about this Adonis thing but for you guys wanting to follow an emerging tough guy movie star with some actual talent here’s a name for you. Vin Diesel. He’s been in a couple big name flicks such as “Saving Private Ryan”, “Boiler Room” and his best action flick so far “Pitch Black”. Given “Pitch Black” wasn’t exactly a blockbuster but if what you want to see is a cock d bad ass, this is the flick. He’s got a couple flicks under way, one in particular, “Diablo”, where he plays the classic, a cop. He’s actually produced one or two independents that got recognition at Sun Dance. Bottom line, he play’s a bad ass real well and he can even act and to top it all off the guy is huge (for a actor anyway).