T Nation

Resentment in Bodybuilding


Brad and I always get into some great discussions (usually when we’re both in our cars using the Bluetooth), and this is probably one of the more interesting topics we’ve addressed.

I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on the subject.



I think I can shed some light on the resentment. I believe it stems from the hush hush nature of steroids and the unattainable physiques that get basically 100% of the coverage

As you guys noted most of us saw a picture and got into BBing saying “I want to look like THAT!”

Well as it turns out most of us never will, and it’s essentially a guarantee without steroids. I can understand feeling a bit resentful that you were sold an idea that is unattainable. I say this as someone who trained, ate, and lived as though I would absolutely be on the O stage one day for probably 8 years (after which I came to my senses and did that show to find out what I DID achieve)

That’s also the draw of finding out who is a “fake natty” or those “maximum LBM charts” … you think “oh okay I’ll never look like Arnold, so what Can I look like?” … “oh that’s why I don’t be look like him, he’s a fake natty”

Then you get to the point you guys are at… just freaking train and end up where you end up, it’s a hobby at the end of the day so put into it what you want and get out of it what it gives. It takes some maturity to get to that point though, it’s almost zen in a way

I love when you guys call people out, so many people tip toe around it and you guys don’t. Brad I have this image of you in my head watching some of these idiots and just shooting the computer screen after they say some dumb shit.

Blaha… I can’t believe anyone watches the guy. He must have made a career out of “calling out” Lame Nordstrom because I tried to watch some of his other stuff and theres just nothing there. Lyle is certifiably schizo or something, the rants I’ve seen him go on do not originate from a normally functioning brain. Paul carter I generally think is great, you could do a lot worse than his advise and writing. Meadows is too brutal to comment on, I think we all know that.


I resent the fact that you guys keep dissin’ my boy Hemingway!

Actually, I’m not sure if these writers/youtube personalities actually believe what they say(with the exception of Blaha, of course. He’s not sane.). Are they, in fact, telling their audience what they want to hear? Are they, underdeveloped and relying on theory and “science” to establish credibility, trying to create a market for themselves by discrediting those who have built good physiques? If you guys recall, Cressey and gang were doing the latter just a decade ago.


Internet Celeries is what they are called


[quote=“Lonnie123, post:2, topic:224691”]
Then you get to the point you guys are at… just freaking train and end up where you end up, it’s a hobby at the end of the day so put into it what you want and get out of it what it gives. It takes some maturity to get to that point though, it’s almost zen in a way[/quote]

IT’s all about perspective, and while many folks are very intelligent, you sometimes can’t see what’s going on when you’re in the midst of it. I love recounting stories from my old preps to current clients, because while most people view me as a very methodical, and analytical trainer and coach, there were some moments where I can now totally see how crazy I was -lol

I love when you guys call people out, so many people tip toe around it and you guys don’t. [/quote]

It’s a slippery slope, because we don’t wanna ever turn into a show where we bash people, or try to name drop and get people angry just to get views/listens, but we do try to be honest. Calling out someone, a “name” in the industry even, for something they believe or have done, doesn’t mean that we 100% hate, or even support that individual. Heck, Brad and I disagree on a lot of things, especially who we consider ourselves fans of.

I love reminding Brad how he used to spout Blaha’s BS about how he only looked like crap because he was sick, and hadn’t trained for years. Apparently plenty of people bought into it. He just always seemed to be full of it when I would give him a listen. No one who has actually “been there” in terms of years of training, dieting, competing, even just being around the sport in a serious manner, says or believes the crap that he does, He’s become the unofficial whipping boy for social media people chiming in on bodybuilding.

Lyle has put out some great stuff, but for whatever ego issues he’s got, he seems to find problems with everyone (especially those who have actually excelled in terms of their physique or lifting goals), and rub 99% of the people he intereacts with the wrong way. I don’t know the guy personally, but you can easily find his beefs and complaints all over the 'net.

Carter says some good stuff no question, but he’s also doing whatever he can to always garner attention and stand out online like every other twenty something social media attention whore. Does he train hard? I have no doubt. DOes he respect the iron, and “get it” like all serious trainers do? Sure thing. Does he constantly do the humble-brag and daily selfie like every single NPC bikini girl I’ve ever known? -lol yep and yep.

MEadows? Brad and I both love Meadows and respect his love of sport and how he didn’t bail on his “real job” and his family to pursue his goals. Of course everytime he would mention doing another contest, we would half joke about how we honest to goodness hoped that he wouldn’t die during his prep because we both knew how stressful it can be on a competitors family.



Good points. I don’t want the show to turn into a celery bashing podcast (which it definitely is not, but in this sport there are plenty of extreme people so it’s bound to come up), but I always hate when people say “there’s a certain someone on a certain webpage who says…”

Either have the guts to say who it is or don’t bring it up. They go half way in their courage, making it look like they are calling someone or something out, but don’t want to commit all the way.

For me now I’m only willing to take the hobby far enough to where I can do what I need to do without sacrificing my relationships with my wife and kid. Sorry babe, you can’t get a 15 minute break from the kid because I have to do my cardio.


Can’t believe people would knock Cressey.


I wrote “a decade ago” (perhaps earlier) and this is for those who recall posts and articles from writers like him who were telling people how to gain muscle while claiming bodybuilders using normal bodybuilding methods that conflict with “science” get big “in spite of what they do”. I have no opinion on his writings on athlete training.

Do you think the trend of small guys parroting “science” only started recently?


Unfortunately I bought into it for some time. :flushed:


dt79 can you elaborate on what he said exactly?


If I recall correctly it was the same nonsense non-bodybuilders who don’t even look like bodybuilders often spew: splits are only suitable for genetically gifted, drug-aided people; you only need one exercise per muscle; “train for performance” (whatever the heck that means) and the physique will follow; and BBers should go through strength phases because after each phase the BBer will have a higher ceiling for growth potential, and so on.

His injury prevention and mobility stuff is great though! Magnificent Mobility is an awesome DVD and I do the drills religiously.


Brick nailed it. The part I quoted about uneducated bodybuilders getting big “in spite of what they do”, and this was a reference to genetics, not drugs, is an almost direct quote.


I know this is almost a month later, but I’ve been trying to formulate my own resentment in bodybuilding. More specifically, my resentment with the bodybuilding community. And I think I can sum it up in three main themes: Hypocrisy, Guilt, Exclusion

There’s been a lot of articles around the web lately concerning motivation and how people should stop seeking external motivation because all of the motivation you need should come from inside yourself. I understand this is aimed at the Resolutioners, but to be honest, I have a little bit of a problem with this being shoved down people’s throats.

Disclaimer: If you can’t even GET to the gym without external motivation, that’s a problem. But that is not what I’m talking about.

What bothers me is all these articles and pros talk about how ALL of their motivation for working out is internal, and ours should be too, even though they also claim that the reason they started going to the gym is because they saw Arnold in movies or Ferrigno as the Hulk when they were kids (external motivation anyone?)

It’s annoying how many individuals who are experts or pros recount the external motivation that got them in the gym in the first place, but because they no longer need it, nobody should. Hypocrisy.

I personally don’t have any problems getting my ass to the gym. But some days I don’t feel motivated to squat 3x6 with 350 lbs – I’d rather get to the gym and do 3x10 with 300 instead. So maybe I watch some YouTube videos of leg workouts to get me amped up a little more so that the heavy weights don’t seem so daunting.

Perhaps I’ve hit a plateau or my training has become stagnant and I just need a change…but I don’t know what that change is. So I come to these forums to get inspiration/motivation for new exercises or rep schemes or intensity techniques.

I suppose I’m just tired of feeling guilty, or that I’m not a real bodybuilder because I need help getting amped up or I need extra motivation and inspiration sometimes.

There is a hardcore sense in the bodybuilding community (I’ve even felt it here) that you are not a real bodybuilder unless you’ve competed.
–> I know that Arash does NOT feel this way, so I want to use him as an example. Arash Rahbar trained his ass off using bodybuilding techniques and diets for 20+ years before competing. I can only imagine that his body didn’t actually change A LOT in those last 5 years or so, although I’m sure minor tweaks were made. Does this mean that Arash wasn’t a bodybuilder until he entered into the Classic Physique division?
That is an example of how I feel, even though I’ve only been training and eating this way for a decade, rather than two decades.

I don’t know about everyone else, but the main reason I love the late 60s and 70s for bodybuilding is the seeming inclusiveness of the industry. From all the footage you see, everybody who was training had so much fun and welcomed anybody into the gym that wanted to train. Sure, when it got down to competition time, it was all business and people might have gotten mean, tempers may have flared. However, the air of frivolity and joviality of that time is very alluring.

Now the industry is different and it’s very judgmental, all the way at the top down to the average Joe at the bottom. It’s all about brands now – the brand of clothing you lift in, what supplement brand you use, what internet celebrity you support. People are very exclusive based on what brands you sport.

Hell, it even comes down to experience. I encounter a lot of this shit before because people tell me about it. I lift with anybody. Just the other day, I wanted to squat…so I asked the kid squatting if I could work in with him (he said yes). When we finished up, he told me it was really awesome to lift with somebody ‘as advanced’ as I am because most people that look like me/are as strong as I am don’t ever give him the time of day.

I find these two examples of exclusivity to be mind boggling.


To summarize, I feel that the hypocrisy, guilt-trips, and exclusion that the bodybuilding community creates causes a lot of resentment. I realized that y’all touched on these topics via individual people and situations in the podcast, but I thought I’d make it much more conceptual and thematic.

As always, feel free to disagree with me.


I dont even think there was an “industry” back then, and it was referred to as “Physical Culture,” it was a movement moreso than an industry… Sure Joe Weider and whoever else had their magazines and equipment or whatever, but you essentially had a handful of people putting stuff out.

Now that there is a viable living to be made if you can just get your voice/product/brand out there in a specific niche I think it does create that divisiveness. When there are 900 pre workouts you have to stand out somehow. [quote=“IronAndMetal, post:13, topic:224691”]
When we finished up, he told me it was really awesome to lift with somebody ‘as advanced’ as I am because most people that look like me/are as strong as I am don’t ever give him the time of day.

I think he just meant that it was cool that you wanted to work in with him. I really doubt the guy had gone up to strong people and asked to work out and they told him “Get lost pip squeak, the real men are lifting!” … Im not strong by any means, but even if I saw someone weaker than me at the gym using what I needed I would just wait until they were done and do my shit. However, any time I asked one of the strong guys at the gym something they were more than willing to help me out (often at the expense of their own workout it seemed)


There are former IFBB pros and top NPC competitors who lost all motivation to lift at all! And that’s fine, especially for a pastime. In the end, they’re just human beings whose interests and priorities changed. Same goes for elite athletes, some of whom look like chubby schleps now, which is fine too!


I’ve always been very fascinated by this.

I used to be really into long-distance running, and met a lot of interesting folks at races over the years. Most of the “local elites” that I knew were going to be lifetime runners; they truly enjoy running and will continue to run and compete as Masters athletes well into their 40’s and 50’s - but most of what I heard about the world Elites (especially from other nations) was that once their competitive careers were over, they basically didn’t bother to run any more. For them there was little pleasure in running if they were not doing working toward high-level competition.

I find it fascinating (and perhaps not all that surprising) that people who pursue sport at the highest levels may derive less pleasure from doing it on a recreational level. Oddly enough, it makes me grateful that I’m just a guy who likes working out - although I certainly respect athletes who put their blood and sweat into a lifetime of competition that decide to give it up, I’m personally happier to have this as a recreational pursuit that I’ll keep for life.


Good post!

All of this stuff can and does wear people down. Plus people want to just “live their lives” after awhile. We know the saying, “have/has no life.” It doesn’t literally mean that one is not living; it simply means what they’re doing leaves room for little or nothing else or everything else takes a backseat. There’s also no room for spontaneity. This is the reason I won’t be competing again. It would involve neglect of other things.


Do you still play football, in any capacity?

After my baseball career ended, I didn’t watch for four years, talk about with others or play for seven!


Great thread.

I believe it really boils down to hypocrisy on so many levels:

  • Promoted as a healthy activity, when at high levels it is certainly the opposite.

  • Shady supplements, coaches, drugs, promoters, and competitors really does not allow for a general positive air around the sport. Assume everyone is lying to you and trying to get over on some level.

  • Sold a bill of goods that are not attainable without tons of $$$ and risking personal freedom as well as personal health.

  • This sport seems to attract people with some sort of emotional issue or personality disorder which in turn can be exacerbated in some cases with the pressures of the sport (took me awhile to realize I may be coming off poorly to people when I speak about bodybuilding. Today, I go out of my way either to avoid speaking about it or downplay it big time just because I really don’t want to be viewed like these YouTube guys.)

Yeah, it is bad when you are embarrassed to tell “normal” folks that you are a bodybuilder because you don’t want to be viewed as a douchebag. This is coming from someone with +20 years training, competing, and coaching. My main career is in a fitness related field along with my education & certifications. I live this stuff but so many times, I just have to shake my head.

Maybe I am just old now :slight_smile:



Glad to find this thread here. And the discussion is much more helpful.