T Nation

More Muscular Dysmorphia


Hey there is another article on muscular dysmorphia, which apparently is an epidemic that must be stopped!


They give an extreme example of a guy who spend 4+ hours in the gym every day. Then go on to say 67% of men are "unhappy with their bodies" (I wonder what the exact question they asked was). Oh no! more people are going to the gym! We must stop them!

I keep picturing secret high level meetings of the Fat Acceptance crowd pouring money into research trying to prove that wanting to look better is always a disease. Like it's some sort of conspiracy :slightly_smiling:

I actually knew a girl who told me it was "wrong" not to eat a lot when you're with your friends. "You are supposed to enjoy yourself and eat and not worry" she said. She also told me how rude and full of myself I was when I would eat healthy.

Here is my take on it from my news satire blog:



"Dammit, these T-Nation types don't realize how sick they are...lifting tons of iron to improve their 'looks' and improve their 'health'....poor souls...pass me another box 'o Ring Dings"

NAFA must be peeing their pants in happiness....now it's US who's really sick...

MicroSlash - "Shaking his head at the stupidity of it all..since 1961"


wow, pretty sad. I like the statistic on the increasing number of men unhappy with their bodies over the past 30 years. I wonder if it has anything to do with the rise of obesity, hmmmm?

I also like the fact that they call Brad Pitt in Troy and Christian Bale in Batman "bulked up". Their look is very attainable by the average man - maybe not as quickly as they did it, but they're certainly not big. I think Pitt was only 180lbs in Troy. That's frickin' small for his height, but better than his usual manorexic look. I don't know what these people are trying to pull by making this such an issue.

I also like the fact that they don't bring up the metrosexuals or mirls. These two groups have got to be the most vain type of "man". Maybe they don't spend hours in the gym, but all their other time spent on looking good is certainly excessive, but they don't mention them, hmmm.


Ha, I never even thought of that. Queer Eye certainly hasn't helped people. Even I just realized the neighborhood I am moving into is a few blocks from a big gay area in Chicago, and the first thing I thought of was "oh crap, everyone's going to be better dressed than me" and that I better get serious about my diet and excercise. :slightly_smiling:

But of course it's the "meatheads" that are the enemy and need to be stopped at all costs!


That's the bit that I don't get. It's apparently ok to spend 3 hours a day preening yourself like peacock, but if you work out for an hour a day, your a sick bastard.

I think some of it is genetic. People look at a metro and think he is conceited and vain (and probably a wanker), but not a threat. But then you get some 250lbs dude with "CEO of Pain" written on his shirt and people freak out on a deep seated primitive level. They know that 2000 years earlier, if they had something that the CEO of Pain wanted, he could have taken it and there would be nothing they could do about it, and that makes them skeeered to their bones.


What's gonna happen when they hit 60 and 70 years old and the serious muscle wasting of old age kicks in? I'll tell ya. I'm gonna hobble up to them and kick their weak ass knees out, then hobble away at a relatively high speed.

People will do anything to try and feel better about themselves. Well, anything but work.


I thought Bail's physique was pretty good during the Batman movie. You don't see many guys walking around that look like that, unless you live in the gym. Much bigger and much more powerful than your comparison, Brad Pitt in Troy.
I think a lot of us suffer from these so-called "symptoms" but obviously the media blows it way out of proportion. We want to be healthy, fit, strong and God willing, big. Instead of clowning people who stay in very good shape and perhaps aspire for more, why don't they clown the obese fatasses that are killing themselves every day with food?


Because it's old news. I want new news, and better again if it's something bad about people better than me. I knew there was a reason I was lazy as fuck. I knew better! I was cleverer-er-er .. anyway, that's why.


I thought Bale's physique was great during the movie too, and he can obviously move. Considering what he ran himself down to for "The Machinist", he qualifies as a T-Man for being able to stick with a diet and exercise plan to perfection. Given that his job requires him to not bulk up, he does well. I'll bet if he had to do a massively-bulked-up action hero part, he'd do it.




I'm sick. I need help.....


How do you spend that much time in the gym and still look like this?


That was pure gold.


what are you talking about?! He's got the fashion-ware down and everything.

Wait - he's supposed to be fit too, you sicko!


I read a couple books on the subject of muscle dysmorphia in men and the "Adonis Complex".

The concept and concern is as much a good thing as the concept and concern over bulemia &c. in women. However, the moron media once again managed to totally skip over almost all pertinent info on a subject and sensationalize the concept, stripping it of all value.

When they talk about the muscle dysmorphia and Adonis Complex info, I believe they are referring to the quest for muscle that becomes detrimental to the person's normal function. We're not talking going to the gym every day to hit the iron and do some cardio. We're talking people who are neglecting their families and forgoing all other responsibilities (Meat) and generally reducing their overall health.

In one of Pope's books (don't have it in front of me, sorry) I think they said that when surveyed, more men were disatisfied with their chest than women.

The books are interesting, including discussion of how the standards in the male ideal body have changed over time, the developement of action figures, &c. so you should borrow it and read it over quick. But like anything else, form your own opinion and keep an open mind.

Whatever you do, don't let the entirely incapable media render a concept defunct because they don't have the intelligence necessary to fairly gauge and represent an idea.


Being a psyc major I gotta drop in nmy two cents, muscular dysmorphia, or as it is also known megamorphia, is an extreamly dangerous condition HOWEVER ALMOST NO ONE GETS IT, it is almost as rare as serious sociopathic behavior. It is the consistent, irrational, and obbsesive belife that you are far too small. Not simply that you are not big enough. If you look in the mirrior one day and think damn my abs are lookin good, but I gotta do more work on my biceps, you don't have it. What they should be talking about is the growing trend of anaorexia, and buleima in men.

The rate have more than tripled in the past ten years. THAT IS FUCKIN NUTS to use proper scientific terminology, and you can see it happening, my buddy Ben wanted to lose some weight, so his girlfriend tried to put him on a vegetarian diet, and stick him on an eliptical trainer, I put a stop to that right away and got him into the weight room. We must band together to stop the spread of male anorexia and stop the miss use of of the term mucular dysmorphia.


yes, certainly the concept of muscle dysmorphia is a valid one. It is possible to have a warped sense of image in that you think you are ugly, small and weak when you aren't. It is also possible to overdo things to the extent that it harms your job,family,etc.

In any case, there are certainly people that have this problem. But when the media extrapolates this to people dissatisfied with their looks/bodies or who go to the gym frequently is ludicrous. Not all women who are dissatisfied with their bodies are anorexics/bulemics, but they make the connection with men.

The problem doesn't lie with the concept, but with the media's portrayal of it. And the way they go about it is appalling. The obvious conclusion to draw is they want us to be fat. Crazy.


He's cured! He was able to beat the horrible disease and return to a normal life. Notice he's not squating, but doing leg extensions. I bet he did 3 hours of tricep kick backs too.


That is one fat mofo. he must be like, at least 30% BF! He looks like he doesn't even lift!


I've read numerous forums where people seem to get muscle dysmorphia and deication confused with each other. dedication is one thing and dedication is needed to get anywhere in this sport but muscle dysmorphia is something different.

dedication is planing your day, keeping alchol consumption low to zero, not missing a training session, wanting to get bigger which motivates you and keeps you going. then there's muscle dysmorphia, or bigorexia.

bigorexia si more than just checking yourself in the mirror frequently.

I get pissed off when I see posts like "Im glad I have bigorexia, it pushes me harder to get bigger" erm, if you truely had bigorexia then you wouldnt be glad you had it.

below is what it's like to suffer from bigorexia:

I suffer from 'bigorexia' and although it isn't as dangerous as anorexia, it's still a disorder that can and does cause alot of suffering.

since the age of 14 I've carried this disorder (Im 28 now) I haven't been out in public in a T-shirt for the length of time I've been this way. It's prevented me from doing alot of things (going abroad with friends, caused problems in relationships, had to quit playing tennis because I had to wear shorts, there's also things that I want to do but cant because this is holding me back - martial arts, play soccer for an 11-a-side team, trek peru to raise money and even just feel comfortable about my appearance)

summer time is the time of year I HATE, when it's warm I get really depressed, it causes me to think about the situation even more than usual and it's the time of year that I find very uncomfortable to live in - I wear a T-shirt and long sleeved shirt even on the hottest of days. I had to quit college a number of times - too self conscious and too uncomofortable in the summer wearing all those layers of clothing. Even at home I don't like wearing T-shirts because I find my skinny arms repulsive and don't like to look at them, I'm even starting to avoid looking in the mirror when I have no clothes on, suicide has also been in my thoughts.

I realise that bodybuilding is a 24/7 thing but I think I (and anyone else who suffers from this) takes it to another level. right from the first minute I wake up I'm thinking about the day ahead, thinking about my workout, thinking about my appearnce and how I look. I tend to avoid social events now down to the fact that I dont/can't miss a meal or training. even when doing other things like watching TV or a film or talking to someone, I find myself drifting off thinking about other ways I can gain weight and make myself better, thinking about new supplements or routines that might help.

I have started using gear and to be honest I'm now bordering on AAS abuse and I know that is bad and I need to do something about it.

Thing is, to go along with all what's been said above, I have the shittest genetics known to man. my gains both in size and strength are pathetic, even with the use of gear - this problem only makes things worse with the 'bigorexia'

you now might think - 'well he has a distorted perception of himself because he's a bigorexic' BUT measurements and stats on paper don't lie.

regarding my genetics and inability to gain decent size - it isn't down to training or diet, I feel I'm quite knowledgable on both. I'm suppost to be having some tests done in 2 months time to see if there's a medical reason behind all this but I'm yet to come off the gear so any tests will give a false reading.

regarding the disorder, I have been treated for it but even so, I still feel the only way I will improve is by gaining muscle.

Hope that has shed some light on bigorexia or muscle dysmorphia or what ever else it's called lol