T Nation

Most BodyBuilders Look Like Crap



TC's latest installment. Some things there needed to be said. To wit, I believe these truths are (mostly) self-evident:

"Getting big in itself is not a badge of honor; anyone can eat a lot if they put their mind to it."

I'd add anyone can bang grams of steroids and other shit to get big too.

"Generally speaking, the bigger a guy gets, the more insecure he was to start with."

"And the guys who got big to feel powerful? They end up having heart attacks at fifty"

The last truth is the most personal to me. I'm 46 now. Started this powerlifting journey later in life (early 30's) after retiring from basketball as a 190lb point guard. Went up to 275 in a few years, was as high as 285 before a contest, and hovered around 265 mostly when I was "lean". Recently had a Dave Tate OMG moment after some blood work. Glucose levels were creeping high. Cholesterol was up. And I started to think about my family.

The bodybuilding lifestyle is generally NOT healthy. It is NOT healthy to purposefully and forcefully get as big as you can possibly get. I've always thought those that would, my any means necessary (steroids), get as big as possible (for them), had a fucking screw loose somewhere in their psyche. As for me, I never PLANNED to get this big. I remember very vividly when I was a noob hovering around 240 telling a guy on my powerlifting team that I did NOT want to get any bigger. He was suggesting my squat would skyrocket if I went north of 250. Well, I went there and beyond quite by accident. Once I went north of 250, my inhibition against being that large vanished.

It's only now that I'm dropping all junk that I am aware of how fond I was of being 265-275. I'm a pretty lean 240 right now with plans to go to 230 and let me tell you, it's sobering to put on your XXL t-shirt that you used to fill completely out and have it hang a bit on you like a normal shirt. It's far from a dress, but it's not tight anymore. And I feel the tug of being that big guy.

But fuck that. I always just wanted to be that strong guy. And mostly, I want to be that guy that lives to 80 without diabetes and heart disease. I want to see my children grow up. I have a lot of shit left to do with my life.

Those of you on this quest to get hyooge better consider your health. You're the rare guy if you ever make money from being hyooge. And it's easy to become trapped in this paradigm where you feel young and invincible and have a mind set that you can always change it as you grow older. This lifestyle easily becomes ingrained habit - and some of those habits, like being active and eating better foods than the average knucklehead IS good. But there is much to it that IS unhealthy.

TC nailed this one. You'd be wise to ponder the long-term implications of any quest to be hyooge.

Feel free to flame away if you're one of those big guys on the quest to get bigger. But before you do, look around you for the next six months and report back to me on the number of 70-something year old men that you see walking around at 240 and above. Hell, don't wait 6 months. Go to a retirement community (not home - community) - drive around and report. And for you dumb bastards that would say now you don't want to live that long, report back to me when you're in your 50s and say the same idiotic thing.


Most men will be lucky to live past 75 years of age even if they only eat lettuce all day long. I think there needs to be a reality check on both sides.

Any extreme pursuit whether it involves motorcycle racing, pro football, or hang gliding has a risk component...and those who would rather avoid all risk in order to live an extra year aren't really living in my opinion.

The reality is, life is really fucking short so you had better make the most of any time you have left because fuck 50, you may not see tomorrow.

I agree with much of what TC wrote. I know people closely who are in the "size at all costs" mindset and one of them I actually worry about because I doubt he will last much longer and we are friends.

However, confusing that extreme with someone who wants bigger muscles than you personally deem is "acceptible" is a very large slap in the face to people who can find balance in their lives and maintain that goal as well.

Remember, ANY extreme pursuit can be viewed in those terms whether it be the med student who stays awake for 3 days straight for rounds or the NFL line-man who has trouble walking when he is 50 due to 5,000 head on collisions in his career.

Many would see those pursuits as admirable...but then degrade the guy with the big biceps?



Interesting topic BG and as someone closing in on 40 I understand a lot of what you are discussing.

Prof X I also see your point and have discussed this in the past, extreme goals are great in your 20's as long as you are prepared for the results in your late 30's and 40's.

Life is about living and things change as we go into different decades of our lives. Big reason why 20 year old guys cannot relate to older guys and internet fighting happens on this site.

Do what you love and work hard for it, just dont be a dumbass. Know what the outcomes will be for that desire.

<---------- Ignore the Avi Lost a bet, its DJHT


Excellent post sir. That's why my mornings consist of cardio first thing more days of the week than not at this time. That and weighing everything that goes in my mouth for the next 6 months or so.....and have been for awhile now.

It's not my place to judge what any one else wants to do - if you want to weigh 300 lbs then I won't tell you not to. For me a jacked 225 is where I'm headed - no need to carry a bunch of unnecessary weight - especially at my age. : )


Um, cool, Mr Midlife Crisis. Thank you for that.

I'm sure everyone here already knows the risks involved. And like every other athlete we accept them.

I think 240 pound old men serves as a terrible example though. Obviously. Recovery abilities change and force most people out. Also the digestive reasons limit growth and maintainance of muscle. Injury over the gym career another reason.

And why woukd we look in a nursing home for pictures of what a healthy aged person is?


What kind of "huge" and "getting as big as they possibly can" are we talking about?

Is this involving a lot of bodyfat gain as well?


I agree completey...but there seemed to be no distinction made between someone who understands what they are getting into and guys who are breaking 310lbs with abs whle using 5grams of anabolics a week.

Also, yeah, there are guys who are just obese but some guys simply carrying a little extra body fat have goals that are long term that some of you shouldn't be judging that way.

By the way, I am pming you my progress pics.


I am sure he left that vague on purpose.

There seem to be some here who still think the rest of us are telling people to become obese.


Yes. That is the main point of the article BG is referencing. Though even Jay Cutler is at a pretty unhealthy extreme at 300 pounds - relatively lean or not....but we all know that Pro BB at the extreme end is a less than healthy endeavor for a variety of reasons.


This is easily the most civil and well thought out threads I've witnessed on this site. I feel somewhat blessed to not be consumed by the idea of being the biggest guy in the gym and a large part of that is simply because it's life long goal of mine to be healthy. By Tnation standards I'll always be the little guy, and I came to terms with that long ago.

Another solid post by BG, always have enjoyed your take on things and to Prof. X, nice to see you contributing!


Dear Lord...I actually agree with Count Chocula.

I have many patients over the age of 65 and all I can say is, the idea of the super healthy 70 year old is so rare that I have only seen ONE patient who came in for treatment who was 76 with no health problems and on no medication.

I am not saying there aren't many more out there, but if you really think that most peiople, bodybuilders or not, are hitting 65+ while living like they were 40 or below, you may need a wake up call.

Living to be the oldest is only good if you have kids who don't mind wiping your ass when you can't anymore.


I dont know if this is truly an accurate statement count, to a point we all have vanity issues. Most not all but most on this site have a goal either that be strength, BB, or strongman. When you are younger you WILL increase your risk to obtain these goals, which is not a bad thing its how we have great elite people in the world. HOWEVER some will go past the limits with negative outcomes and not really have the knowledge that what they are doing also has negative side effects. That be meds, body weight or heavy wieght lifting.

I dont think any of us old guys are trying to look down on anybody here, we are just sharing our experience so that maybe, maybe it will benifit the younger generation.

Prof X I got it man and responded. Sucks about the PSN, I have been bitching in the Geek thread.




Hahahahaha well put. :slightly_smiling:


You're being an asshole.

I didn't say nursing home. Report back to me when you can start counting ANY elderly guys weighing much. ANY. Way to the miss the point of the post tool. Asshole.


Did you read TC's article? No? If you did, you'd have your answer.

But why don't you answer this question: How many people do you know of that can get "hyooge" without drugs and eating themselves relatively "fat"?


No. I didn't leave it vague on purpose. I referenced the article as the context. You didn't read it? And, are you "lean" Mr.-eat-another-hamburger and shut up? :slightly_smiling:


For a "doctor" your arrogance and ignorance is astounding. You know good and fucking well that isn't any elderly healthy males walking around weighing north of 220. Period.


FUck, this thread is making me want to get as big as possible before I hit 30. GOTTA CATCH EM ALL!


I'm starting to realize I can't stand most of the posters in these forums and it's making me an asshole too.