Dear fellow bodybuilder,
I am a mature student based in the UK. For my Masters Degree thesis I am investigating the construct of Muscle Dysmorphia.
My reasons for investigating this subject are many, but primarily because I am myself (albeit semi-retired) a competitive bodybuilder with the opinion that previous research has been driven by a 'common sense' perception of bodybuilders, not one grounded in science.
Over the years the bodybuilder has become increasingly more dehumanised. This had led to bodybuilders as a group being viewed as homogenous group with a singular identity.
After spending countless hours reviewing the literature (with a literature review currently being edited for publication)I have major reasons to doubt many of the research claims.
The overarching reason is research has generally focused on taking one time measurements which ignore context, and drawing, in many instances erroneous conclusions. Although, researchers have repeatedly stated it is not the intention to pathologise weight training, attention has shifted from identifying psychological disturbance resulting from body image concerns and 'muscle building' activities to concentrating on the activities themselves.
Research has tended to focus on perceived negative components of weight training, which further fuels the negativity surrounding bodybuilding. My research is aiming to provide context from a competitive bodybuilders perspective.
Therefore I am inviting you to take part in a longitudinal study covering a 5 month period starting 1st Feb 2011.
What do you have to do?
Just fill out 5 questionnaires on- line once a month (approx. 25 minutes time investment per month). I am looking for participants who are starting preparation for a summer competition, and participants who have never entered and have no plans to compete. These questionnaires are anonymous.
This study has been approved by the relevant ethical boards.
If you are interested in more details please get in touch via PM where I can give full contact details. If you agree to take part, full details regarding data protection, anonymity and all relevant ethical guidelines will be given.
Thank you for your time