T Nation

Bodybuilding & Society

disclaimer: if people cant tell you lift with your shirt on please stay out of my thread as this topic is not one that affects you in even the least, thank you.

as most of us know bodybuilding or training to “big” (if youre not a competing BBer) has fallen out of style or at least the mainstream and it seems theres some stigmas that come with it these days. however, there also seems to be good things too, i think that theres still enough people out there who can appreciate someone who has achieved a stand-out physique.

bodybuilding makes you stand out. its what we all want though, for good and bad, so while i want this thread to discuss some of the negative things which come as result of bodybuilding i would really like to focus more on the positive things as this is a positive lifestyle afterall aimed at self improvement.

ok so while id like to mention im not freakishly large (6ft ~196) people know i lift and i get my fair share of both teasing and compliments.

bodybuilding really gave me a shitload of confidence though. perhaps its because im still young (20) but i think i flirt on that line between confident and concieted however thats not just from bodybuilding. it does feel really good though when people make positive comments about you. the most noticeable thing for me is that now when people make joking comments about me (playful kind not trying to bring me down) its no longer about how skinny i am and now its always a reference about my body.

i like that people always think i play some kind of sport or random comments i get that put a smile on my face. for example the other day in class the professor made some comment joking around about something like “yea doesnt he look good?” then he took it serious like “no, he does, he looks damn good - all those vitamins”

heres a question, how do you feel when people make steroid comments? some guys at my gym were talking about this and apparently one of the guys went upstairs and someone made a comment to him about either being on steroids or asking him how he could get some off him (not sure exactly) so do you guys get offended by those types of comments or do you just take them as compliments?

…i really just want to go over this again as im not trying to make a “hey look at me im so big thread” i just want a place to discuss how society percieves us, the one who are bigger than average.

I’m in the same boat as you. I’m not very big either, but the fact I lift is fairly obvious. I started getting funny jokes and stabs at what I do about half a year ago when my body started to get that look of somebody who enjoys lifting. Honestly though, I never look back for a second even with the fare share of steroid comments I get…

Most of my friends think it’s amazing, a lot of them come to me for advice and wish they had the dicipline I had (little do they know…)

As for society, I think it kind of sucks how a lot of ‘lifters’ are frowned down upon. But you have to look at hollywood for that, that’s where everything comes from. Arnold is gone, Stallone is gone. When they were in big buisness so was being bigger. Things always go around in phases though, and eventually being big will be cool again. Though, no girl will ever really like guys as big as the 90s and turn of the century Mr. Olympias, not in my opinion at least.

I read a post in a thread recently that mentioned that when most people see a beautiful and successful woman, they assume she slept her way to the top, ruling out hard work and intelligence. I think the same principle is involved here. When I started lifting and my weight skyrocketed, I would occasionally get those comments- are you taking something?!

I think it is something that will always happen, even outside the realm of bodybuilding. People are envious and make excuses for themselves; they don’t want to admit they don’t have the drive and discipline to follow the same path.

I still get a little frustrated by the comments like that, but I try to take it like you, as a compliment. I mean, we must be doing something right, right?!

Maybe that’s a little soft: who cares what other people think. You could probably squash them.

I like this thread. I’d love to tell everyone that I’m not vain in any way but that’d be a lie. While for the most part I “don’t care” what people think about me, it’s very rewarding to get comments on my appearance/size.

I’m working my way BACK up to 250lbs+. at a height or 6’-2" I was 271 at my all-time heaviest but I didn’t look or feel very good, although I was the strongest I’ve ever been.

My current goals are to throw away most (not all) of what I know about S&C and revive my old bodybuilding ways. Bring back training to failure, doing isolation movements after my compound movements, training for aesthetic balance and loving the pump!

I love the fact that a bodybuilding physique seems to be on the endangered list. I don’t even know when or why it happened but the superhero look seems to have fallen out of favor (which would explain why I’m so into it again!) for the forseeable future. It’s almost like driving an old, obscure car. You need to seek out the other hardcore members of your twisted subculture but you know one when you find one (and know who’d NOT one) as you have so much in common yet may be worlds apart.

Here’s to training, eating and looking like a bodybuilder!

Great Thread! really interesting subject.

No, i hate when people say “are you juicin’” for one, it is usually in a forward and un-tactful way, and also i know that people (not lifters) think if you take steroids you simply don’t work as hard as someone who doesn’t! I retort by asking them if they are going for Heroin-chic or if they have noticed any weight gain of their own of late… :wink: I wish! lol

I dont see much negative view about my physique (hitting <190lbs @ 5’8"), at least not to my face! I do turn alot of heads, and as i have mentioned before on another thread they are female, male, boys, girls, OAP’s - the lot. I wonder if some of the builder type blokes etc that seem to take a second take are envious, or if they think i have an attitude or something - Course i do. You seen me? :wink:

I kinda get embarrassed - nay, not embarrassed, Bashful when a doctor says “well you OBVIOUSLY workout” or the phamacists assistant says “you going to the gym today Joe?” as it is weird that people just know, without saying. I personally hardly see it, still eating and lifting to get as big as humanly possible! God help everyone in the next 10 years!

Naturally i would be aroung 150lbs at my height and bodytype, so i am a good 40lbs above baseline.

I like to stand out, i hated standing out around 13-14, but since i got older (28 now) i like - as most do - to stand out from a crowd.

For me the only negative is lads wanting a piece when i go out on a night. Showing a bit of muscle and you always get the napoleonic fuckers who want to fell a guy twice their size. I like a good scrap though - but as i have gotten older and more responsible (and honestly, more aware of my own mortality) i had to learn to walk away and try to learn to live with the CRUSHED EGO I LIVE WITH! lol just kidding… sniff…

The nicest thing about this place, is the fact i can tell you all about the ways in which people react to my physique, and you don’t think i am trying to show-off about it or be big headed. You understand the social ramifications or social politics (for want of a better phrase…?)that a bodybuilder has to live with - as you go through it too…

It is really nice. Thankyou to everyone.

Joe

Steroid accusations piss me off to no end. Not because the comments arent necessarily true, it’s just these people make it out to be that I’m a “cheater” or slacker or that everything I’ve put into bodybuilding hasnt meant shit because I juiced a couple years ago and still to this day use the odd pro-hormone.

I dont care that people know I used. It makes no difference to me; I just dont appreciate their 180 pound, chip on their shoulder, attitudes.

The whole steriod thing makes some people really piased, Ive seen people get into fights because one guy made a comment about the other guy doing steriods even now he didnt. In high school its the worst, you have anyone who is over like 150 and everyone thinks there on juice.

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
For me the only negative is lads wanting a piece when i go out on a night. Showing a bit of muscle and you always get the napoleonic fuckers who want to fell a guy twice their size. I like a good scrap though - but as i have gotten older and more responsible (and honestly, more aware of my own mortality) i had to learn to walk away and try to learn to live with the CRUSHED EGO I LIVE WITH! lol just kidding… sniff…[/quote]

I’ve noticed that, too. I honestly don’t know why that happens, unless they harbor some insecurities and want to prove themselves to everyone (read: most likely the ladies) by making the bigger guy stand down.

Lucky for me, I rarely party anymore. And when I do, it’s most always in places where I know the right people, so there’s never been any trouble.

I get the steroid comments every so often (even though I’m not a particularly large fellow), but I most always take them as a compliment. I ran into a kid I hadn’t seen in two years…one of the first things he said was, “what are you on, man? You gotta be on something.”

I went to the gym last night and two people asked me if I was gearing up for next football season. I thought that was funny, and have noticed that some of the bigger regulars are beginning to open up to me with small talk and jokes (before, I’d always kept to myself with a blasting iPod) - I guess that means I’ve separated myself from the rest of the crowd since last summer.

Honestly, man, I wouldn’t let the steroid comments rattle you - from what I’ve noticed, they are usually laced with a little bit of envy. And, it’s not like the benefits of being big don’t make up for the occasional stupid comment by non-lifting folk.

Bodybuilding changed my life for the better. I owe this lifestyle so much, I could never pay it back. My friends laughed at me when I said I was going to lose the weight when I was an utter fat ass, and then build it all back with muscle. They told me I’d never do it, and that I’d give up after a month.

It’s now been almost 2 years since I’ve been “body building” and all my friends now ask how I did it. I get steroid accusations from all my friends, although in a joking manner, I take it as a compliment. Everywhere I go, people ask me how I’ve gotten in such great shape, how I got so “big”, although not big in my eyes, big in theirs, and I just tell them hard work and ridiculous dedication.

People that don’t live this lifestyle just can’t grasp what it takes, and why we do what we do. But I don’t give a flying fuck, I’m in this to build as much muscle as I can, get as big as I can and have a shit load of fun doing it. I take the compliments with a grain of salt, although I won’t lie I enjoy getting them from the woman :).

And my new body has gotten me laid a couple times, but it’s far from the reason I continue to do what I do. I’ll be doing my first show July 12, and I can’t wait. The things that go through your mind as you get closer are crazy, and I know I’m going to love the rush it gives me when I step up on stage.

I’m going to stop now, because I feel as if I could just go on an endless rant, but what it boils down to is body building is my life, and it will continue to be as long as possible.

[quote]crod266 wrote:
The whole steriod thing makes some people really piased, Ive seen people get into fights because one guy made a comment about the other guy doing steriods even now he didnt. In high school its the worst, you have anyone who is over like 150 and everyone thinks there on juice.[/quote]

My friend always gets steroid comments. He’s 15 and maybe 160ish at 5’7’'ish. The fact that he gets so pissed when people say it doesn’t help his case; either does the mild acne.

I lift and people can tell. My wife lifts and people can tell. Friends and colleagues no longer mention they should exercise or go to the gym more around us anymore. We do not talk about working out to others much. Their interest usually ends with “We get up at 4:30 a.m…”

Funny part, people like to point out to me what meat is available at functions with food.

I was introduced recently to a colleagues wife as “the guy who body builds” even though I had never discussed it with him.

Good times.

I’m not that big in my standards, only 195 lbs, but at my school I get alot of steriod comments. At first I got pissed but then it really doesn’t matter what they think.

Now when people bring it up I just say yeah man i totally juice, even though I dont. After you just go with it, they leave you alone. It is almost funny, saying yes is the last answer they expect you to say. I dont care if my school thinks I take steriods. It doesn’t make any difference.

Just think of it as a good thing, people notice something, and like some people have said, it is almost envious.

Some fat wannabe powerlifter guy came up to me when I was popping some BCAAs and gave me a steroid rant which took like 15 minutes. It kind of pissed me off when he said “yeah but amino acids are just mini-steroids and it snot right”

uh ok.

Some kid asked me if he could get some of those steroids(BCAAs) I was popping after a workout. I’m like, sure bro, $5. a pill, you’ll get fucking huge.

I shouldn’t have told him I was kidding and that they’re amino acids… could have made some money…lol.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
Some fat wannabe powerlifter guy came up to me when I was popping some BCAAs and gave me a steroid rant which took like 15 minutes. It kind of pissed me off when he said “yeah but amino acids are just mini-steroids and it snot right”

uh ok.[/quote]

haha thats funny, yea people always think pills=steriods. when I take bcaa at the gym alot of people look at me like omg look what hes doing

[quote]Defekt wrote:
Some fat wannabe powerlifter guy came up to me when I was popping some BCAAs and gave me a steroid rant which took like 15 minutes. It kind of pissed me off when he said “yeah but amino acids are just mini-steroids and it snot right”

uh ok.[/quote]

Oh man, I’ve been told that whey protein and creatine are basicly steroids too. If that’s a steroid, then real steroids must make me into a super hero!

Well i have been lifting for 9 months, and yes you can tell i lift :slight_smile:

1)Popping BCAA’s MAN i get funny looks putting them in my mouth
2)T-Nation people think its a GAY website as theres near naken men on it
3) I use protein powder OMG ROIDS !!!
4) Im to serious and need to stop working out so much

SIGH !

im bigger than 98% of people i run into, Im not that big(sounds kinda repetitive throughout this thread) 6’2 just under 100kg, i was 107 at the start of the year but been sick and lost about 10kg…i get the roid comments from people i havent seen in awhile, also people who dont know me consistently ask if i play football or rugby(i hate playing sport)

i get little shits wanting to test me on a weekly basis, although where i go on a saturday night im a regular and i get along with the majority of people and security there

apparently im incredibly intimidating as ive been told this multiple times whilst out, yet im generally one of the happiest looking people there

sorry bit of a ramble, im hungover lol

[quote]Tex Ag wrote:
I lift and people can tell. My wife lifts and people can tell. Friends and colleagues no longer mention they should exercise or go to the gym more around us anymore. We do not talk about working out to others much. Their interest usually ends with “We get up at 4:30 a.m…”

Funny part, people like to point out to me what meat is available at functions with food.

I was introduced recently to a colleagues wife as “the guy who body builds” even though I had never discussed it with him.

Good times.[/quote]

lmao!! yup! I went to a christmas party with my wife… not a good one, her parents friends over in North MA, and i was stood alone for a while and this guy approached me and goes “so you workout then?” (Uhh sorry fella, I’m married!! lol) and sparked up a conversation about exercise etc (he was a triathlete - and the conversation was welcome)…

Also i went to an Employment agency in the UK a couple weeks back, and i filled out their application etc and sat down. the woman was chatty and says “so… you normally work in the Fitness Industry?” i confirmed, and she goes…“so… what, are you like a bodybuilder or something?” I said… er… i train peoplem, and she says… “Oh, so you train bodybuilding then?” i just said “Yeah”

hehe

I like it, its an identity i guess.

Joe

[quote]Artem wrote:
Some kid asked me if he could get some of those steroids(BCAAs) I was popping after a workout. I’m like, sure bro, $5. a pill, you’ll get fucking huge.

I shouldn’t have told him I was kidding and that they’re amino acids… could have made some money…lol.[/quote]

Same thing at my gym with protein powder… my friends think I’m getting jacked because I’m “abusing the protein” - lol