T Nation

Comical, Silly, and Irritating Bodybuilding-Related Questions


I thought maybe there’s a break to be taken from heavy training and nutrition talk for some more light-heartsd conversation matter. Being my hobby was becoming more apparent to the world as my first prep was going on, and especially as it progressed to later stages–because the hobby was “worn on my sleeve” and on my face even when fully clothed in long-sleeved shirts (it was eventually worn in my gaunt face and in my blood-shot eyes)–I encountered more questions and statements than ever.

Most of the BB-related convo has been nothing but complimentary and benign and friendly curiosity on a topic that others do not know much about. It’s almost as if I had fans already going into my first show rooting me on and adding to my motivation.

But… some questions had me questioning the intellect of the average person. I am a very tolerant and empathetic guy, but some of them actually induced slightly palpable hostility and sarcasm from me, which I will get around to.

Here are some, ranging from benign to silly… to infuriating (well, only one of them, as mentioned).

People: What are you getting for this?
Me: What do you mean?
Person: (Usually it’s one or the other answer.) I dunno, any money or something.
Me: I am here working with you earning a living. I love bodybuilding. That’s all. Do you go home and watch TV for money. Whether I earn money from BB or not, are result is the same: I am employed, in the same way you are employed, regardless of what you do outside of work.

I don’t always answer the above in such as a smart-aleck way, but I have on several occasions.

People: "So your diet is just all protein?"
Me: "No, it’s not all protein. Here, it’s on my phone."
People: "Wait, so you eat fruit and dairy and carbs?"
Me: “That’s right.”

People: "Why are you doing this? You don’t have to take it to such an extreme. You can just be in shape."
Me: “Plain and simple: I love it.”

People: "So you just eat salads?"
Me: “Yes, I have subsisted on just cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce for six months and I am still standing.”

People: “You’re getting too skinny.“
Me: “I’m 170/180/190+ pounds (depending on month of the prep). What in god’s name is a 5’10” man supposed to weigh? By the way, do skinny people fill out large shirts at 5’10”?”

People: "So what happens after, when you’re all done with this stuff? Does all the muscle just turn to fat?"
Me: “It is impossible for muscle to ‘turn into’ fat.The muscle just atrophies.”

People: "Here, have one (presents off-menu food). What can just one do?"
Me: “ONE will not do much, but then there is always ONE. And then ONE becomes several more throughout the entire prep, until it’s not a prep anymore!”

People: "Did you take off work to do this?"
Me: “WTF do you mean did I take off work?” or “Huh?!”

People: “Will this be on TV?” (HAHAHAHA!)
Me: “No, the world does not care about BB, let alone natural BB.”

People: "You must be in the gym all day."
Me: “Right, I don’t work. I just go to the gym all day.”

There are more, but perhaps I will go to the ONLY statement or question that sort of has me inclined to literally slap or punch the person!

Drum roll…

People: “Do you just not eat?”

Now THIS… is the ONLY question that provokes hostility in me. How the hell does a grown adult ask this?! Does one think I subsisted on air for five months and am still standing doing that?!

I was drinking a diet soda at work on Thursday and some co-worker says to me, “So you’re back to eating and drinking again?” I answered, “I have been eating and drinking for as long as I am alive! What did you think?”

Another one asked, “Are you back to eating again?”


Conversation between my fiancee and myself two days ago.

See above (and I’m 5’9" at 213ish and about 22%).

Turns out she mentioned to some of her colleagues I weigh my food (for the last five and a bit months, since I decided to stop being fluffy) and their response was pretty incredulous. I took about a half hour to explain my plan (five minutes) and the why (25 minutes, and that wasn’t quite enough to explain).


I always loved when co-workers would presume out loud at gatherings that “you probably never touch carbs” to which I would always reply about how difficult it is to get over 400g a day worth -lol



I am 43 and been lifting 31 years I’ve had time’s where i was huge 6 1 270 , just under 5 bench and 7 pull. Here are some ive heard
My dad, your starting to look like someone shoved and airhose up your ass.

Just cause you can deadlift 700 lbs dont mean you’re tough.

Aren’t most bodybuilders gay.

I got a freind who could bench 1200 lbs.

If you get to big you won’t be able to wipe your ass.

Steriods will make your dick shrink

Shouldn’t you be eating steak instead of chicken breast.

You mean you wear an iowa shirt and were at gym instead of watching game.

I know a guy was squating so much weight his eyeball popped out.

Your to old to lift heavy, just do treadmill like me, and maybe a few curls.

Girls think big muscles are gross, (from a guy who is pear shaped).

Or last night after work when i went to bbq joint , to get smoked meat club sandwich, and have a screwdriver. The two guys in skinny pants, with news boy hats, and ear gauges, were telling the chubby girl with huge rack, i am just compasating for an inadequacy, after she accidentally brushed her boob on my shoulder reaching for something.

A lot of guys are just straighr up jealous , they consider over muscled men peacocks, while they wear jewelry, and have all kinds of tattoos, most girls would rather have a well muscled man than a frail or overly obese man. I have plenty of fat but i also have very wide shoulders, traps,and decent arms. A just saw a guy at grocery store i haven’t seen in 7 years , he used to be jacked natural but trsined hard. I asked if he still lifted his wife or girlfriend said, he’s to old for that now . Imagine that an overweight women not wanting her man to be in shape.


Good post. Also, the whole notion of women not liking muscular men is false! Lol.


Yeah i don’t think the Rock would be hurting for dates even if he was poor and not famous.


Im on a roll only lifters will say yeah my quads are fried from my leg workout i killed it, and non lifters are like why do you train if you are sore afterwards. I need to start playing video games where i shoot shit up, instead of lifting that will make me BAD.


I like many types of women but when you can pick up a size 14 girl like a ragdoll and pound it , you are the man , peace bro.


Friend: Can I start lifting with you?

Me: Sure man, I lift these days and time.

Friend: does the gym just have a month membership?

Me: … I workout in my garage… but it’s gonna take more than a month to make a difference. It’ll take a year to make any real noticeable changes.

Friend: oh, I just want to get a lot stronger… I don’t want to look like Arnold or anything. I’m fine with how big I am.


I feel like the questions and comments this and any lifting related sport gets are below average intelligence more so than other hobby’s people don’t understand. Can anyone think of some other hobby that might get asked a lot of facepalm type questions?


Depends on the girl…obviously, my lady likes it. But just yesterday my mother insinuated that I look “not good”.

I get a lot of jackass statements from my co-workers. For example:

“Oh man…you really love meat, don’t you?” (yes, supposed to be a double entandre)

(10 am…eating my second meal): “What’s that? Meal number 12?”

My favorite comments come from my once-obese manager. He’ll offer cookies to people or some other kind of sweet. He comes to me, I turn it down: “Come on man, you’ve gotta live at least once in your life!” Maybe one leg day out of a month or even more, I’ll take a cookie: “Geez man, these are so unhealthy for someone like you!” WTF DO YOU WANT ME TO DO!?

My favorite of the favorite questions is this:
“Why do you want to get that big?” (this usually coming after someone sees a magazine on my desk, or I left up one of these posts on my laptop or something. And none of use are ‘that big’ in my opinion.)
My response is usually: “Why don’t you want to get that big?”

I went to school for philosophy. In specific, I studied Ancient Greek epistemology and metaphysics as my concentration, but I also studied metaphysics and epistemology through the end of the Modern period (Kant, Nietzsche, end of the 1800s). Anyway, this is still a hobby of mine to this day. I used to be very proud of it and would speak of it, use the knowledge a lot. Nothing but stupid questions and jokes…facepalming and headdesking all over the place. I don’t ever bring it up in conversation, I stopped bring books places with me, and I don’t tell people what I have a degree in anymore.


I think most hobbies/interests are like this, it’s just with lifting more people have been exposed to it and have at least some experience with it so they feel free to comment. They might do some “Commando Boot Camp” class and start telling you lifting will make you bulky and slow. Same thing with martial arts etc, people commenting on UFC fights from their great experience (getting a black belt in a strip mall karate class when they were 8). People pick shit off TV/read it on Reddit and think they have some sort of basic knowledge on a subject and try relate to you. Talk to them about shooting and they’ll start going on about how they want a Desert Eagle because they are the most powerful guns in the world. Talk to them about WW2 and they’ll say the Soviets had only 1 rifle per 2 men and so charged German positions unarmed (they saw this on Enemy at the Gates or something). People live in a bubble and are ignorant of everything that isn’t in their little niche.


Chicken legs: Why do you squat so much? You are going to ruin your knees.

Me: I love squats, leg day is my favorite.

Chicken legs: Not me, I don’t want my legs to get too big.

Me: What do you do for leg day?

Chicken legs: I play basketball, it hits my legs really good.


My son is a first-year grad student in Philosophy.

(Apologies for the derail)


I’ve heard some variation of this (‘I don’t want to get too big’) as an excuse for inadequate/mediocre lifting practices my whole gym-life. Whenever someone tells me ‘I don’t want to get too big,’ my standard answer has always been ‘Don’t worry–you won’t.’


If they get too big, stop working out! It will go away.


Not if he’s overtraining them! They’ll grow even bigger!


Well, perhaps being muscular is not a necessity for most women in choosing a man. I don’t think it would be for sane women considering a marriage or serious relationship has far more important components than some dude’s muscles. However, for some people to think that women–as a whole–are not interested in an attractive physique or find that heavily roided-up men are gross, is asinine, I believe. Nearly every IFBB pro has a woman, and nearly every bodybuilder I know or met, drugged or not, behemoth or aesthetic, has a woman, with many being married. So I have no idea where that notion came from.

I myself am a faithful man and have a very dim view on infidelity. However, and I don’t say this in thinking I am hot shit, but I believe if I were single at this stage of life (I actually thank god I am not, considering the nightmare of the current dating scene these days that I often hear about or can imagine), I believe I would have no shortage of dates, mostly because of this subculture/hobby/sport/whatever the heck you call it. There is no shortage of bodybuilding-related events to go to, no shortage of competitors (male and female) to befriend and socialize with, and no shortage of gyms to hit up. So this whole notion that dudes with muscle are looked at as undesirable.

Even an ordinary dude like myself gets perhaps not tons of attention, but enough attention, because of what I look like and my hobby. And this is coming from a man who at some times of his life thought he was highly undesirable to the opposite sex.

Though again, thank god I found my wife.


I’ll say that this stuff used to bother me when I was younger and took myself more seriously. Something that opened my eyes was talking to Mike Tuchscherer about it one day. I asked if he got tired of people making jokes about him being big and strong, and he said “Well, if I didn’t want to deal with it, I wouldn’t weigh 265lbs”. Kinda put it in perspective for me, haha. At this point, I know people are just busting my balls, and I have a laugh about it. I also know they’re going to ask me to help them move, and they’ll pay me in food.

Although I’ll also say that, as a strongman, when people confuse me for a bodybuilder, I just take it as a compliment.


I eat a fat based diet and I’ve always hated “how do you look like that despite eating the way you do?”

I always respond “I look like this because I eat the way I do.”