T Nation

College and the Bodybuilding Lifestyle


#1

As I'm sure most are well aware, college social activities and the pursuit of physique development don't exactly correlate very well. For me the hardest part was wanting to go out and have fun but in college that usually entails excessive drinking and late nights. For any athlete, especially those that enjoy a good workout on the weekends without the stress of classes or other weekly constraints, those late nights and alcohol do not lead to any (if at all) progress.

The social factor plays the biggest part. It was definitely awkward ordering a club soda or water the first time with my group of friends when I decided that I didn't want to get shit-faced every weekend (after I already had a beer or two).

We, as fellow t-nationers, lead a different lifestyle and don't follow typical social norms.

I apologize if this seems more of a rant than an actual question but I am curious to see if any of you have any good insight/advice/stories about how you dealt with this type of situation. I don't mean to limit it to college, it could very well be high school, post college, or just daily life. I look forward to all that you may have to offer.

D


#2

[quote]dpais wrote:
As I’m sure most are well aware, college social activities and the pursuit of physique development don’t exactly correlate very well. For me the hardest part was wanting to go out and have fun but in college that usually entails excessive drinking and late nights. For any athlete, especially those that enjoy a good workout on the weekends without the stress of classes or other weekly constraints, those late nights and alcohol do not lead to any (if at all) progress.

The social factor plays the biggest part. It was definitely awkward ordering a club soda or water the first time with my group of friends when I decided that I didn’t want to get shit-faced every weekend (after I already had a beer or two).

We, as fellow t-nationers, lead a different lifestyle and don’t follow typical social norms.

I apologize if this seems more of a rant than an actual question but I am curious to see if any of you have any good insight/advice/stories about how you dealt with this type of situation. I don’t mean to limit it to college, it could very well be high school, post college, or just daily life. I look forward to all that you may have to offer.

D[/quote]

Haha, awkward to order water? Who gives a shit what you drink. To answer to your question would be to set your priorities. Is getting stronger and building a good physique your number 1 priority over having fun and getting shit faced? That is up to you!


#3

I don’t drink, and still go out quite frequently with my different groups of friends.

I honestly find college makes BB’ing easier: Gym is within walking distance, I’m forced to prep meals earlier. Staying out late/getting little sleep every night is stupid, it’s bad for gains and probably school work.

If you really feel getting fucked up nightly is the only way for you to fit in with friends, then you should work on better social skills. lol

But seriously dude, don’t stress out. Have fun in college, don’t make the gym something stressful. Figure out what role lifting/diet will take in your life, and go with it. I have friends who don’t lift Fri/Sat because they go out. Just make it work.


#4

I turn 28 next month and have never had a drink in my life. Never been hassled about it either. I’ll get asked “why” on occasion, but most people assume it’s because of my training and are cool with it.

It’s only difficult or awkward if you want it to be.


#5

I’m 21, I drink some (maybe once a week or 2) and don’t really get much flak for not drinking. As long as you’re still be social and fun most people aren’t going to care at all if your drinking water or straight vodka. Most they’ll do is ask why you’re not drinking. Just tell them. Or offer to be the driver, no one’s really going to complain that they get a free DD.

Also, the more impressive your physique the less people will question you about not drinking. Just how it works.

It’s not high school, people in college or older aren’t going to attack you for making a choice about yourself and sticking with it.


#6

dpais,
This is called “Growing Up”. It happens to some in college, some never. Your priority is tomorrow theirs is tonight. You’ll also have the benefit of not waking up next to Ms.Ugly the next morning (unless you’re into that).
Phileaux


#7

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I turn 28 next month and have never had a drink in my life. Never been hassled about it either. I’ll get asked “why” on occasion, but most people assume it’s because of my training and are cool with it.

It’s only difficult or awkward if you want it to be.[/quote]

This. It’s personal preference.

I’ve had drinks, but only on very rare occasions and never to the point of being “drunk”. As the first responder said, it’s about priorities. If you want to get hyooge and stronk, don’t drink and stay up all night or at least try to get to bed at a decent hour without binge drinking. If you want to go out and “have a good time”, then go for it. It’s all up to you.

Worrying about what someone else thinks of your life choices (barring they’re not detrimental to yourself or other people) will leave you struggling to progress in most things. Don’t worry about other people caring that you’re not getting drunk with them. That’s a shitty way to go about life.


#8

College and lifting correlated very well for me. Just saying.

I also shun time-wasting silliness like frat parties and bars.


#9

I don’t see why it has to be so black and white.

Is indulging once in a while ideal? Not exactly, but it won’t cause your hard-earned progress to disappear overnight either if you pick your battles wisely. Part of living the college lifestyle is living the college lifestyle. Do what makes you happy, just don’t take it to excess. Balance in everything.

The easiest solution seems to be make like-minded friends at your college gym. As an added bonus, the girls at college gyms also tend to be waaaaaaay hotter than the bar sloots.


#10

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I turn 28 next month and have never had a drink in my life. Never been hassled about it either. I’ll get asked “why” on occasion, but most people assume it’s because of my training and are cool with it.

It’s only difficult or awkward if you want it to be.[/quote]
Oftentimes, it’s the drinkers that make a big deal about it. For some odd reason, people get offended when you tell them that you don’t drink.


#11

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
If you really feel getting fucked up nightly is the only way for you to fit in with friends, then you should work on better social skills. lol
[/quote]
Exactly. Find new friends, lol. College campuses are typically pretty diverse, even the weirdest of people can find like minded people to be friends with. Wait 'till you get out into the working world where your progress depends on “fitting in” and brown-nosing.


#12

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I turn 28 next month and have never had a drink in my life. Never been hassled about it either. I’ll get asked “why” on occasion, but most people assume it’s because of my training and are cool with it.

It’s only difficult or awkward if you want it to be.[/quote]
Oftentimes, it’s the drinkers that make a big deal about it. For some odd reason, people get offended when you tell them that you don’t drink.[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience. I’ve never known anyone to make a big deal about it. To be fair though, I don’t go out of my way to tell people I don’t drink. I’m never the first to bring it up.


#13

This, again?

If you don’t want to do it, cool. Would I recommend living a “true bodybuilder life” if you’re not likely to make a large amount of money off of it for the foreseeable future? No. College is a magical motherfucking time and should be enjoyed thoroughly.

That being said, as long as you’re confident that in 20-30 years you won’t look bad and say “Fuck, why was I so adamant about chikkin and brokkli every 2.5 hours instead of out making connections, enjoying the social life?” Then you’re cool.

(Note: No, I’m not saying you have to drink to do this. I do think there needs to be moderation at that point in your life.) But, that being said, I can now assert from personal experience that post-grad life is highly regimented and you will make tons of progress afterward.

.02


#14

I agree with previous posters who have said it is all about moderation. The guys that get drunk every Friday and Saturday night will likely not make much progress once they’ve surpassed the beginner stage. But at the same time, when I hear guys say that if bb’ing is a priority to you you shouldn’t drink at all (implying that the person who occasionally drinks isn’t dedicated) are also wrong. If you don’t want to drink during college for personal reasons, more power to you. However, if it’s solely for physique/lifting related reasons, I’ll say this: I hope your progress matches up to your Spartan lifestyle. It reminds me of guys who look down on someone for occasionally enjoying a cheeseburger.

The way I typically approach it is to have one night every two weeks (in the fall it’ll be tailgating before Husker football games) where I cut loose and have a great time, never to the point of being belligerent or making terrible choices. On other weekend nights I still go to parties and DD, nobody gives you any flak for not drinking if you’re driving people home that night. The people that say “Who cares if people give you a hard time for not drinking, pussy” are being silly, imo. People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand


#15

There is no reason you need to conform to the standards around you if you don’t want to. The only approval you need is your own.


#16

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience honestly, although I’ve been married since I was 21, so I haven’t really had to concern myself that much with it recently. Things may have changed.


#17

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience honestly, although I’ve been married since I was 21, so I haven’t really had to concern myself that much with it recently. Things may have changed.
[/quote]

Yeah I’ve also never drank, and I feel as long as you’re not a douche who brings up that you don’t drink or that you’re awesome for doing so, girls don’t care. Honestly seems to set me apart from the rest of the ‘crowd’, the fact I don’t need alcohol to have a good time.


#18

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience honestly, although I’ve been married since I was 21, so I haven’t really had to concern myself that much with it recently. Things may have changed.
[/quote]

Lol your opinion might not quite count then :wink:

IMO if the girls are turning you down because you don’t drink you either have a shitty personality or you are hitting on the club/party girls. IMO more high quality woman won’t care assuming you have other good qualities to offer that don’t need alcohol to manifest


#19

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience honestly, although I’ve been married since I was 21, so I haven’t really had to concern myself that much with it recently. Things may have changed.
[/quote]

Lol your opinion might not quite count then :wink:

IMO if the girls are turning you down because you don’t drink you either have a shitty personality or you are hitting on the club/party girls. IMO more high quality woman won’t care assuming you have other good qualities to offer that don’t need alcohol to manifest [/quote]

I was referring to some guys who will try to go in depth into why alcohol will hurt their gains or goals at parties with anyone who asks. And yes I definitely agree that alcohol is far from necessary to attract women; I was talking more about the party scene not necessarily about meeting girls in search of a relationship


#20

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
People (girls) aren’t going to be impressed by you explaining to them why you don’t drink, they’ll just think you’re no fun (best case scenario) or a douchebag. Sometimes I’ll nurse a single beer throughout the night to make it more comfortable approaching girls, as it looks a little awkward without a drink in your hand[/quote]

Hasn’t been my experience honestly, although I’ve been married since I was 21, so I haven’t really had to concern myself that much with it recently. Things may have changed.
[/quote]

Lol your opinion might not quite count then :wink:

IMO if the girls are turning you down because you don’t drink you either have a shitty personality or you are hitting on the club/party girls. IMO more high quality woman won’t care assuming you have other good qualities to offer that don’t need alcohol to manifest [/quote]

I was referring to some guys who will try to go in depth into why alcohol will hurt their gains or goals at parties with anyone who asks. And yes I definitely agree that alcohol is far from necessary to attract women; I was talking more about the party scene not necessarily about meeting girls in search of a relationship[/quote]

Got ya. Agreed