T Nation

Is It All B.S.?

T-Mag presents itself as and probably is the authority of what the ideal “man” is if there is such a thing. Basically the theme is grabbing life by the balls and sqeezing it till you get all you can. The question I have is that a reality for most people?

Case in point my brother and my best friend both were close to what would have been ideal for T-men: big dudes, got lots of girls lived life to the fullest and let nothing hold them back. Recently though both got married and had baby boys and things as they say have changed. Doing anything no matter how small for themselves is gone completely no exageration. It is all about the wife, kid and work as it should be, not leaving room for much else.

Can an average guy really “have it all” even if he wanted it? Should that even be a concern once you get married and start a family? And is putting delusions of some cool adventurous life into the average guys head more harmful than helpful.

I mean if you are a movie star and have 10 house keepers, a cook and a mechanic of course you would have free time. But the reality is a 9-5 job 5-6 days a week (if you are lucky), a wife and kids demanding and desevering of your time when you get home and the maintenance and upkeep of your property. And I feel it is that reality that does most guys in and unless you want none of the above than you must choose between work/reality and play at some point.

Seems to me that reality and the ideas here only match up for a short period of time in a guys life and longer for a select few that have the freedom and means to continue it but might dissapoint a guy that is married sacrificing everything thinking he is not getting the most out of life because he is not “out there” like most of the modern men’s mags (T-mag, Mens Health, Maxim ect) say he should be. And thats why the modern guy ends up fat out of shape and depressed. Not by his choice just the reality of life for joe average.

Jeep

[quote]jeep7588 wrote:
T-Mag presents itself as and probably is the authority of what the ideal “man” is if there is such a thing. Basically the theme is grabbing life by the balls and sqeezing it till you get all you can. The question I have is that a reality for most people?

Case in point my brother and my best friend both were close to what would have been ideal for T-men: big dudes, got lots of girls lived life to the fullest and let nothing hold them back. Recently though both got married and had baby boys and things as they say have changed. Doing anything no matter how small for themselves is gone completely no exageration. It is all about the wife, kid and work as it should be, not leaving room for much else.

Can an average guy really “have it all” even if he wanted it? Should that even be a concern once you get married and start a family? And is putting delusions of some cool adventurous life into the average guys head more harmful than helpful.

I mean if you are a movie star and have 10 house keepers, a cook and a mechanic of course you would have free time. But the reality is a 9-5 job 5-6 days a week (if you are lucky), a wife and kids demanding and desevering of your time when you get home and the maintenance and upkeep of your property. And I feel it is that reality that does most guys in and unless you want none of the above than you must choose between work/reality and play at some point.

Seems to me that reality and the ideas here only match up for a short period of time in a guys life and longer for a select few that have the freedom and means to continue it but might dissapoint a guy that is married sacrificing everything thinking he is not getting the most out of life because he is not “out there” like most of the modern men’s mags (T-mag, Mens Health, Maxim ect) say he should be. And thats why the modern guy ends up fat out of shape and depressed. Not by his choice just the reality of life for joe average.

Jeep[/quote]

OoooHHHHHH!!!
if you only knew!!!
it sucks trying to fit it all in but in reality you have to make time for yourself and your wife should do the same!!! lifting really helps take the stress out of life

I am right there with bulldog, you have to make the time to be happy and do the things that are important.

Case in point… I have a really good job that supports my family and gives them just about everything they want for. The only drawback is the constant travel and long work days (at least 14 hrs 7 days a week). But the silver lining is the knowledge that at the end of the day I get to work out and train for a better body and better health that will keep me alive and with my family for years to come.

I was the same before I got married and find that no matter what is going on… you still have to do what is best for your body. Because lets be real, this is the only body you get so take care of it while you still can.

[quote]bullddogg wrote:
jeep7588 wrote:
T-Mag presents itself as and probably is the authority of what the ideal “man” is if there is such a thing. Basically the theme is grabbing life by the balls and sqeezing it till you get all you can. The question I have is that a reality for most people?

Case in point my brother and my best friend both were close to what would have been ideal for T-men: big dudes, got lots of girls lived life to the fullest and let nothing hold them back. Recently though both got married and had baby boys and things as they say have changed. Doing anything no matter how small for themselves is gone completely no exageration. It is all about the wife, kid and work as it should be, not leaving room for much else.

Can an average guy really “have it all” even if he wanted it? Should that even be a concern once you get married and start a family? And is putting delusions of some cool adventurous life into the average guys head more harmful than helpful.

I mean if you are a movie star and have 10 house keepers, a cook and a mechanic of course you would have free time. But the reality is a 9-5 job 5-6 days a week (if you are lucky), a wife and kids demanding and desevering of your time when you get home and the maintenance and upkeep of your property. And I feel it is that reality that does most guys in and unless you want none of the above than you must choose between work/reality and play at some point.

Seems to me that reality and the ideas here only match up for a short period of time in a guys life and longer for a select few that have the freedom and means to continue it but might dissapoint a guy that is married sacrificing everything thinking he is not getting the most out of life because he is not “out there” like most of the modern men’s mags (T-mag, Mens Health, Maxim ect) say he should be. And thats why the modern guy ends up fat out of shape and depressed. Not by his choice just the reality of life for joe average.

Jeep

OoooHHHHHH!!!
if you only knew!!!
it sucks trying to fit it all in but in reality you have to make time for yourself and your wife should do the same!!! lifting really helps take the stress out of life [/quote]

I know after we had our first kid, we have 3 now, it takes a while to adjust and get your wits about you. After awhile, you figure out how everything fits in. Marriage and parenthood are huge responsibilities, so it just takes a little while to adjust the other activities in your life.

Your assuming that your brother doesn’t think he has it all. Having kids and a wife and a happy family is all you need.

[quote]Todd S. wrote:
Your assuming that your brother doesn’t think he has it all. Having kids and a wife and a happy family is all you need. [/quote]

That is like saying that personal health or physical shape has nothing to do with happiness or living a full life. I think anyone with a truly happy family is blessed and should cherish what they have. I do, However, also think that there seems to be an attitude that, if a man focuses on his own life to any degree as an individual after he gets married, this is wrong somehow.

The moral of the story is, don’t get married.

Jeep~
With all those things on a person’s plate, even more so is he a T-Man! Much more so than someone whose a millionaire with housekeepers, cooks, personal trainers, etc!! The gyms are full of people with family, jobs, kids, etc…who are fit and train and live healthy…training is the time they give to themselves.

I agree that it takes some time too adjust to having kids, but you’ll adapt and eventually you’ll wonder what life was like without kids. The first few months will be tough because babies tend to want to wake up at night because they’re hungry. But this too will pass.

When my wife said she wanted a baby I thought it was BS as well. I thought for sure my life would be over. When I heard people say that having kids was hard work but worth it I thought they were in denial. Then I had my own, and realized they were absolutely right. Rather than being a burden, my daughter has enriched my life. You need to have the right attitude about exercise. My wife and I don’t view exercise as a luxury but as a necessary component of our overall health. Did I make changes in how I work out? Sure.

Before, I’d spend hours in the gym doing the whole bodybuilder thing of several exercises per bodypart and doing direct work for arms and calves. Now it’s all about training economy - a few compound movements to work the whole body and done. It also helps that I have room for a squat rack and bench in my basement. Nothing fancy - just the basics. I realize that not everyone has room for even a squat rack.

However, I’m pretty sure you could find room for a 300 lb. Olympic set. If not, then you should seriously think about whether you have room for a child, because those little creatures will take over your whole house. But even if all you have room for is one Olympic set, and all you have time for is 2-3 exercises. you can still get a pretty damn good workout on a program of deadlifts and overhead presses.

Will your biceps lose their “peak?” Probably. Will your chest lose some size? Probably. Should you care? Definitely not. Pretty biceps and pecs won’t help you carry around your kids or haul in mounds of groceries and diapers. You’ll need a strong back for that, and DLs will do just the trick.

One final point. With childhood obesity becoming rampant, the best thing you can do is set a good example for kids by exercising yourself. Setting a good example works. Right now I’m helping my daughter do pull ups. She just loves it.

[quote]Todd S. wrote:
Your assuming that your brother doesn’t think he has it all. Having kids and a wife and a happy family is all you need. [/quote]

Although the wife/kids lifestyle may be right for some, to say that it’s “all you need,” for many guys couldn’t be further from the truth. I have no desire to have children personally, not because I actively dislike kids or look down on those who choose that lifestyle, but just because I personally have no interest in them. And I think that children should be raised by parents who are tremendously enthusiastic about having them and will care for them with all their heart and soul. There’s nothing worth than half-assed, disinterested parents, and I see plenty of it, as if they had the kids just because it’s the “thing to do” at at that stage in their lives.

I know myself fairly well and know that I would be absolutely miserable being tied down like that and living the sort of lifestyle that children and parenting require. I would (no joke) be one of those guys who eventually goes off the deep end and either runs away to start a new life on the other side of the country, or goes into a murderous fit one night and shoots his whole family, or commits suicide . . . I would just be horribly miserable. And that’s not to say that I don’t recognize the obvious parental love that one will have for one’s own kids – I do. I just don’t think I could find any sort of overall happiness if I ended up in that lifestyle.

Some might deem me “selfish” for feeling this way (although it’s a feeling and not a choice) but I beg to differ. Those people seem to say that it’s bad to only “live for oneself” and not for others (i.e. wife and kids), but I do not see adding more humans to the world as some sort of moral obligation, nor do I even consider it to be necessarily a net plus in a world that’s got issues with overpopulation. I’m not saying that having kids is necessarily a bad thing, or that I’m terribly worried about the idea of overpopulation, don’t get me wrong, but I do not think the world NEEDS more people, and least of all that it desperately needs one or more from me. If anything, I might even be being selfless by choosing this lifestyle.

I have plenty of friends (in their late 20’s and early 30’s) who are married and have recently had their first kids, most of whom are just tickled about it and live for that whole lifestyle, and relish getting together with each other to talk about what kind of stroller they have (no joke!). And I know one or two guys who are in the same boat (just had their first kid) and I can tell that they’re not of like mind, i.e. the wife had given an ultimatum to get married by a certain point or else, so they did, and then wanted kids soon thereafter because the clock was ticking, so they did that too, and now they have this “wonderful” new lifestyle to come home to everyday and, although they’re putting on a happy face, I shudder to think of how things might end up for their lives/marriages a few years down the road.

We’re not all the same.

Everything definately does change when you get married and have kids, however I wouldn’t say it was a negative change.

Before I was married, I either spent the day at the University or work, then hit the gym or played Rugby (one or the other almost every evening), out for the evening, and repeat the next day.

Then I got married, went back to school to complete a Master’s Degree, bought a house, and had our first then second kid (oh yeah, don’t forget work).

When I wasn’t at school/work I only wanted to be with my family. Yes I ended up out of shape but I don’t regret it.

Now, I have a little more stability and I’m able to manage work/family balance and I am building a garage gym and planning on playing Rugby next season with a local club.

What prompted me to get back to weight training was that it really took seven years of limited activity (likely since I was in my twenties) before my appearance degraded to the point I wanted to change it. Charles Staley quoted Anthony Robbins in an article once, “don’t try to change a bad habit until it negatively affects you” (or something like that).

That’s when I found EliteFTS and then T-Nation.

[quote]Todd S. wrote:
Your assuming that your brother doesn’t think he has it all. Having kids and a wife and a happy family is all you need. [/quote]

Not saying that at all for him or my friend they are perfectly happy I assure you. This is my observation and thoughts only viewing things from the outside like a fly on the wall. Just seeing what they have done and are doing seems to be in some ways not all, contrary to what the message is being presented on what it means to be a guy in the “cool sense.”

Not saying that being a “family man” is wrong in any way actualy what they have done and are doing impresses the hell out of me. And I am not saying that T-mag advocates leaving your wife or kids high and dry for your own pursuits, but it and many other media sources targeting young men kind of put I feel too rosy of a picture on what guy could be given the pressures of a family and job in the modern world.

I am just trying to figure things out for someone like myself who reads all the stuff presented out there and thought that at least some sort of balance may be achieveable but to be honest I don’t see it other than maybe working out. Meaning how many guys out there, married with a wife and kids and a job are able to lead what would be deemed an adventurous testosterone filled life climbing mountains, surfing, snowboarding, running with the bulls, competeing in athletic events not job related ect. I would say not many. Again just an observation not knocking having a family.

Jeep

It all depends on what the definition of “having it all” is. It may be different for everyone. Since I have a wife and kids, working out will always be secondary. If that means I will never have a body like most T-men, so be it.I think most men will agree with that. I will always work around their schedule when lifting. I know firsthand the effects of having an father who was always too busy with his own hobbies to make time for mine. I swore I’d never do that. Some weeks, I may only get to workout once or twice because of soccer, etc. But it’s all good. I feel like I do “have it all”.

[quote]Todd S. wrote:

Having kids and a wife and a happy family is all you need. [/quote]

If this is your opinion and simultaneously your reality, I’m happy for you. I don’t think this holds true for everybody, though, definitely not for me.

[quote]jeep7588 wrote:
Meaning how many guys out there, married with a wife and kids and a job are able to lead what would be deemed an adventurous testosterone filled life climbing mountains, surfing, snowboarding, running with the bulls, competeing in athletic events not job related ect.
[/quote]

Jeep, how many guys WITHOUT a wife and kids are able to lead that kind of lifestyle? I don’t know where people get both free time and money to finance it with… I usually get up at seven and get home at nine or ten. I’m a single, younger guy, and I don’t have time to do any of the things you mentioned. If I get some studying in and have enough time for a quick workout, I’m lucky. So I suppose I’m coming at this from a slightly different perspective… I wonder when a person would have time for a wife (not to mention kids) in the first place!

[quote]Damici wrote:

Although the wife/kids lifestyle may be right for some, to say that it’s “all you need,” for many guys couldn’t be further from the truth. I have no desire to have children personally, not because I actively dislike kids or look down on those who choose that lifestyle, but just because I personally have no interest in them. And I think that children should be raised by parents who are tremendously enthusiastic about having them and will care for them with all their heart and soul. There’s nothing worth than half-assed, disinterested parents, and I see plenty of it, as if they had the kids just because it’s the “thing to do” at at that stage in their lives.

Some might deem me “selfish” for feeling this way (although it’s a feeling and not a choice) but I beg to differ. Those people seem to say that it’s bad to only “live for oneself” and not for others (i.e. wife and kids), but I do not see adding more humans to the world as some sort of moral obligation, nor do I even consider it to be necessarily a net plus in a world that’s got issues with overpopulation. I’m not saying that having kids is necessarily a bad thing, or that I’m terribly worried about the idea of overpopulation, don’t get me wrong, but I do not think the world NEEDS more people, and least of all that it desperately needs one or more from me. If anything, I might even be being selfless by choosing this lifestyle.[/quote]

Not only were you faster, but you expressed exactly what I wanted to say. I don’t want to be a hubby either. Good post.

It depends on how much value you place on physical well being. If you believe it and make it so, then it is true.

It also depends on the values you want to instill in your kids. Growing up in my family a high value was placed on physical activity and fun. We would go camping, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, all of us wrestled, and most of our family functions revolved around physical activity. To us, that was fun.

In doing so we also had to learn ballance. When the fun was over, it was time to go to work and school. That is also what makes having fun valuable. It’s not like you can only have one or the other. They actualy compliment each other. When working you know that you are going to have fun later, so you have someething to look forward to. When you’re goofing off, you know you have to get to work later, so you savor it. Makes it that much sweeter.

So, No I don’t think is is a bunch of b.s.

[quote]dukefan4ever wrote:
It all depends on what the definition of “having it all” is. It may be different for everyone. Since I have a wife and kids, working out will always be secondary. If that means I will never have a body like most T-men, so be it.I think most men will agree with that. I will always work around their schedule when lifting. I know firsthand the effects of having an father who was always too busy with his own hobbies to make time for mine. I swore I’d never do that. Some weeks, I may only get to workout once or twice because of soccer, etc. But it’s all good. I feel like I do “have it all”.[/quote]

Not sure if you saw my reply but I am just talking about the media created reality of having it all contrasting that with reality. I come from a very tight knit family and my Dad always made time to work out and still does. I am talking about the adeventurous lifestyle you see promulgated out there wandering what it might be doing to the average guy’s physche I know it affects me. And all the opinions are great, thanks.

Jeep

By the way, in my previous post I wasn’t even thinking too much about the working out aspect of life. That seems like a simple issue to resolve/deal with compared to the overall, massive lifestyle change and committment to kids and all that goes with them that parenting requires.

[quote]nephorm wrote:
jeep7588 wrote:
Meaning how many guys out there, married with a wife and kids and a job are able to lead what would be deemed an adventurous testosterone filled life climbing mountains, surfing, snowboarding, running with the bulls, competeing in athletic events not job related ect.

Jeep, how many guys WITHOUT a wife and kids are able to lead that kind of lifestyle? I don’t know where people get both free time and money to finance it with… I usually get up at seven and get home at nine or ten. I’m a single, younger guy, and I don’t have time to do any of the things you mentioned. If I get some studying in and have enough time for a quick workout, I’m lucky. So I suppose I’m coming at this from a slightly different perspective… I wonder when a person would have time for a wife (not to mention kids) in the first place![/quote]

I was going to say the same thing. Even if you’re single, if you have any kind of real job, you won’t have time for running with the bulls. Unless you’re single and wealthy enough so that you don’t need to work, dream on about the “adventurous lifestyle.”

Again, it’s all about keeping the right perspective. If you have a job that you enjoy, you won’t be yearning for the “adventurous life.” Nothing says you can’t compete in sports. Unless you live clear out in Podunkville, you can probably find a powerlifting meet near you. Chances are you’ll be able to find a sports league. Will you be world class? No. In fact, many of these leagues are low key and designed for fun rather than the ultra-serious competitor.

They have a beginners hockey league near where I live that specifically says “no experience, no problem!” There’s no checking, and the point is to have fun and learn a sport, not beat the crap out of each other. Sounds wussy, until you realize that we all need to go to work the next day. Clients, customers, and co-workers won’t be confident of your ability if you show up to work with a broken nose and missing teeth. It’s all about perspective.

Personally, I have more respect for a successful professional person with a family who still finds time to play “wussy” hockey or some other sport than a 20-something hamburger flipper who still lives in his parents’ basement whose only success in life is “athletic stud.”

Call me crazy, but people marry because they look forward to kids and a wife, not because they think paying attention to them is life-draining.

I can imagine how annoying it must be sometimes, but the truth is, if you want it, it doesn’t matter how much you have to work for it, it would still be worth it.