T Nation

Man's Obsession with Lifting, Fighting, Shooting, and Fixing

I think this might be a good conversation.

So many times I’ve questioned why many men have an extreme attachment to this lifestyle when in many cases they don’t compete, nor will they receive any significant social or economic reward, IF ANY. And obviously, I’m not talking about guys “trying to stay healthy” or guys “trying to keep in shape” who, despite they are doing good things for themselves, are not nearly as fanatical and attached to lifting and eating as others, like people on here. I’m talking about men who make it their business to be in the gym and eat the right foods, and in many cases, set their lifestyles up so they can pursue this activity.

Other than the fact that I simply LIKE being in the gym and “staying in shape” and looking presentable to others, if someone were to ask me, “Just why are you so attached and involved in that sort of thing, if it doesn’t provide much in return compared to how much you’re investing in it,” I wouldn’t know how to explain. It’s the same sort of reason that despite that I will NEVER be a skilled fighter–not even remotely–and most likely will not be in violent confrontations–I still like my boxing class once per week and think it’s important that I know how to throw a punch or kick and defend myself.

Then I read a historical and anthropological work in which it was explained that in ancient times, men who didn’t possess weapons and tools would likely not live long, and this could perhaps be the reason why men have attachments to their tools and guns in modern times, most of the time in cases where they aren’t in regular violent confrontation or don’t make a living in manual labor.

Why are you so attached to this lifestyle despite to most people the reasoning wouldn’t make sense? (And NO, I will not refer to people who don’t take this thing as seriously as “normal” or “ordinary” people, which might imply to some that going to a gym and eating big somehow makes someone special. )

It is my “Shangri-La” = My time, my place where I decide what goes on and no one else does.

I don’t care how I appear to other people or what they think they do their thing and I do mine.

Edit: LOL, I just read the whole title and I still spar Bi/weekly, shoot 1/month and I can fix most things I put my mind to.

I have been training in some way shape or form since I was 5 that’s when hockey started. In middle school I would often have 2-3 different practices a day. In Hs I would have 2 practices and weights almost every school day. It’s in me. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t go to the gym a couple hours everyday.

Maybe its something where you can control things in a world that can get pretty crazy. It also means setting goals and meeting them, it can be its own reward

Well you can’t go back in time and live your life as a viking so you do the best you can with the cards your dealt.

I think it comes down to the male competitive spirit. That is what it is for me anyways but in the gym I compete with myself. Every few weeks I want to lift more than I used to.

I also play semi-pro football which means I play for nothing, but my own pads, my own helmet my own uniform and do to get on cent in return. I know I will never “go pro” and make money but I do it because I love being a part of a team and competing.

Most importantly I love WINING!!

I have almost always trained. And when I trained I have always pushed myself to the edge. This meant learning how to periodize before I even knew what that was.

I loved to run and wanted to be an Olympian. I thought I was so fast. For a while there I actually was pretty damn fast.
I hyper extended my knee during the triple jump at a sports carnival then I wasn’t so good ever again.

For 3 years of my adult life I stopped serious training and took up golf. I basically played a lot of golf, drank a lot of beer and had a lot of sex.

Life was pretty good and I had fun but I felt like shit. I missed having a great body and feeling indestructible. I also noticed ladies weren’t so impressed anymore. I got depressed and even took up smoking. I had become what I had despised.

I hit a point and thought fuck it I’m going to change right now. I started eating nothing but meat, eggs, vegetables , oats, salads, fruit , nuts, water and coffee. I lost 16 kilograms in 2 months. I got stronger and started feeling better about myself.

I was lifting 4 times per week and feeling great. Gym time was my time away from it all. To me it was no different then gong to the pub. The pub was to just unwind and forget about work , life etc… to me the gym did all that and more. In the gym I didn’t have a problem in the world and I felt strong. I could lift way more then guys much younger then me. Not that it mattered but it gave me some stature that I once use to have. I get asked for advice almost every time I’m in the gym. I often use to train at odd hours just so I wouldn’t get distracted lol.

It’s about trying to improve ones self. How you get there depends on which path you take.
Often the journey is more important then the destination.

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
I have almost always trained. And when I trained I have always pushed myself to the edge. This meant learning how to periodize before I even knew what that was.

I loved to run and wanted to be an Olympian. I thought I was so fast. For a while there I actually was pretty damn fast.
I hyper extended my knee during the triple jump at a sports carnival then I wasn’t so good ever again.

For 3 years of my adult life I stopped serious training and took up golf. I basically played a lot of golf, drank a lot of beer and had a lot of sex.

Life was pretty good and I had fun but I felt like shit. I missed having a great body and feeling indestructible. I also noticed ladies weren’t so impressed anymore. I got depressed and even took up smoking. I had become what I had despised.

I hit a point and thought fuck it I’m going to change right now. I started eating nothing but meat, eggs, vegetables , oats, salads, fruit , nuts, water and coffee. I lost 16 kilograms in 2 months. I got stronger and started feeling better about myself.

I was lifting 4 times per week and feeling great. Gym time was my time away from it all. To me it was no different then gong to the pub. The pub was to just unwind and forget about work , life etc… to me the gym did all that and more. In the gym I didn’t have a problem in the world and I felt strong. I could lift way more then guys much younger then me. Not that it mattered but it gave me some stature that I once use to have. I get asked for advice almost every time I’m in the gym. I often use to train at odd hours just so I wouldn’t get distracted lol.

It’s about trying to improve ones self. How you get there depends on which path you take.
Often the journey is more important then the destination.

[/quote]
I am with you on the training at odd hours… I go work out at 4am!!

It’s a good excuse to get away from the wife for 7-8 hours a week :smiley:

Its no different then any other hobby people do. Fishing/cars/sports etc.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately actually, on my own personal level not a truly universal level, still haven’t put my finger on it. I just know the longer I go without lifting something heavy, the worse I feel. And that’s mentally, not physically.

Perhaps the lifting/fighting/shooting/fixing obsession is the genes which make us go ‘I am a man, respect me’ expressing themselves in the modern world.