T Nation

Social Life vs Bodybuilding?


Like most people on this site, I like to consider myself a bodybuilder(or at least an aspiring one). And like a lot of you have surely experienced, this has almost gone against the current trend of society in how we try to live our lives.

My case. I have just entered college, am hoping to make big gains this year, but am constantly obstructed by the bane that is my 'social life'. That is, getting shit faced 3 days a week is seen as the status quo to being 'cool' in college.

Drinking alcohol has the role in inhibiting muscle gains, but there's also missing meals from being out all night and missing meals.(My metabolism dictates that I eat every 3 hours to keep making progress and that includes later at night).

Why is it that I am constantly pushed to go and get locked with my mates, and if I refuse for bodybuilding goals I am seen as a freak. I have limited myself to drinking every 2 weeks, but even that is not good even for them, longing to see me get drunk to be part of the crowd. Fuck that.

How have you dealt with this. Bringing meals to parties? Flat out refusing to go to most of em? I really wish to address the more developed and senior member of the site who have been there and managed to build a formidable physique regardless of societal pressures for them to stay average.


Have some balls, courage, or whatever you want to call it and stand up for what you want to do.

You can sugarcoat it any way you want, but this is what it boils down to.


don't do that If you want to be a part of the cool kids club. lol

social life is THE most important thing EVER. You never want to be alone at ANYTIME if you don't want to be a creeepy loner. lol no seriously the way I see it you do what you want to do in life and fuck the rest. Some time ago when I decided not to drink anymore I got dumped by my high school friends. I guess I don't really count for them. They would do anything, go anyplace just to hang out with the others.And It doesnt matter with who you are, the only important thing is to go out and get drunk. I dont work that way.

Do what you wanna regardless of the others


I'm facing the same problems currently. I limit myself to having a few shots and that is all once a week on Thirsty Thursdays. And for the other nights, I'll go along with to parties, but won't drink. I still have fun however watching all the shenanigans go on.

People just don't get that we have dedicated ourselves to something good. They dedicate themselves to putting poison into their bodies, why should our goals to better our physique be looked upon as weird?


I graduated college with good grades. I had a lot of fun. I put on a decent amount of muscle.

Most people understood why I drank a lot less than most everyone else. The people who didnt 'get it' I couldn't have cared less about. I don't know how it is in Ireland but not everyone needs to be excessively drunk more often than not to enjoy their social life. If you know what you are doing i.e you are in better shape than everyone else, eventually people will come up to you at parties and ask how you do it. I found it extremely annoying but it is what it is. And yes it is worth it.


SOmetimes, you have to remind yourself that you're going to look back years from now and wish you'd been a little stronger of character. I barely drank in college, and once I actually started training (I was already 20), people just assumed that was why. You have to ask yourself if what you're doing is really important to you, because if the answer is yes, then you should have no problem sticking to your guns. Don't be the guy who comes on here whining about how he needs advice, but then babbles on about constantly taking time off, or eating shit a few times a week, People like that are in their own way, and will never achieve their goals. It's up to you to decided if you want to be better than those people.



You live in Ireland, you're screwed.


I understand entirely. For my part, not only do all of my friends drink as their social activity, but they are also all smokers, and almost none are even mildly athletic.

At first it was hard. It sucked to sit around at parties having half of my friends constantly urging me to drink with them.

I found that, as everyone got used to it they came to expect it and even appreciate that one person was sober enough to drive. Often my mates will talk to me, saying how they wish they could restrain themselves from drinking, workout, and get big like I am doing. It's flattering really.

I still have fun, they still have fun. Its about persistence, dedication, and a will to succeed. In so many ways not different from anything in Bodybuilding.

If your social life interferes with your goals, you have to change one.

Good luck with it man.


I deal with this dilema also, I usually volunteer to be D.D. that way I still go out, and hang with friends and they dont give me shit for not drinking. You can also ask yourself the question I try and ask myself: Is this helping or hurting my progress? That question usually sets my mind straight.


I attend one of the biggest schools in the nation. Don't feel pressured to party, all that matters REALLY is making grades and do what you want to do. I dont feel awkward or dumb at all if i turn down going to a party if i want to make my body better looking. I partied all freshman year, then sophmore year i stopped partying for about 20 weeks straight cause all i cared about was making grades and getting bigger. It paid off tremendously.

As i got bigger and smarter more people began to take notice. Then after the 20 or so weeks when you go to the parties everyone is like Oshit look how big he is, all the girls will like you more and guys will respect you. I finish school next year, I weigh 250 now, im gonna weigh 280 by the end of next year. Im gonna major in accounting then head off to law school. Those are my goals and thats what i am going to do. Set Goals, Follow them dont worry about others, they will be jealous of you and your accomplishments.


Why night get S-faced once a week and just milk beers on the other nights. Don't be the guy that stays home eating chicken and broccoli on a Friday night. You can still make gains and have a social life. They are not mutually exclusive.


Just grow a pair and do your thing.
I'm a Junior right now and I still remember my first semester of course...
Bottom line is, you don't have to cut back on social time at all. In my rugby team, the 2 manliest players on the pitch (my friend and I that is; both play front row) don't drink and nobody's giving us shit about it.

If you're out all night, drink non-alcoholic beverages and stop to get some grub. I do this all the time "Yo, lemme grab a chicken sandwich beforehand, I'll find you guys inside!" I'll also leave the club in between to get a burger which led to a couple interesting encounters in the past :wink:

At floor parties it's even easier, just bring your gallon jug. It's a great opener, too because chicks will instantly notice it... Plus it pays off to be the only muscular dude in a room full of 5`10, 170lbs skinny-fat frat boys, don't you ever forget that!

By the way, sleeping time sure is a variable that will definitely be impeded by college life style. My word of wisdom is that if you have to make the decision, choose food over sleep anytime e.g. if you've been out late, GO TO BREAKFAST and then nap til lunch.


Man I thought I was the only one dealing with this problem.I just recently got into a new group of friends but their all mma guys I started training with but man these guys drink like crazy its nice tho because they all respect what I'm trying to do and don't urge me to drink. They will ask if I want a shot to be nice but won't force me I stick to my redbull or lemonade.

The only real problem is food I usually eat like shit when I go out but I make sure the food I have has some substance high protein and carbs not like nachos or pizza usually a cheese burger and potatoe skins.but go out have fun and just have the will power to not drink if u want it bad enough u can stay away.


When I go out I always buy the tallest glass available of straight vodka (no ice). Cost you about $20. Of course it is disgusting. You just walk around with it and stick your tongue in it from time to time for the burn. Everyone will ask "What is that?" Just hand it to them, they will try it and gag. You will be known as that sick fu


Agreed. I doubt going out and cutting loose once a week is going to noticeably hamper your progress, so long as you structure your schedule to accommodate and handle your business the rest of your week.

While you don't HAVE to get hammered to have a good time, do you REALLY want to look back on the best years of your life for letting loose and snagging ass and see only chicken and broccoli? Totally depriving yourself of what is a potentially once-in-a-lifetime experience simply for the sake of being hardcore ain't as cool as those AnimalPak ads might make it sound.


I am in college too (junior,) and I deal with it all the time.

Lately, I have been telling people that my doctor pulled some blood for a check-up, and something is wrong with my liver, so he asked me to stop drinking until we figure it out. They usually hush up after that.

I still go out. I like to order a Makers Mark (Whiskey) on the rocks. That one drink can last me all night, and I usually don't even finish it. Because the ice melts, it stays 'full.' This method is similar to Level 0's method; most people our age don't drink straight whiskey (although I do enjoy the taste.)

I take shakes with me to class and when I go out at night. At class, I go to the bathroom and drink them so I am not labeled a 'douche bag.' When I am out, I drink them alone in my car. No one knows, and I still get my food. I've started wearing XXL's so that people can't really tell I work out.

I think Stu's advice is the most valuable in this thread. If you want to get bigger and stronger, you will. If not, don't.


I either bring food, skip them, or go for about an hour be bored off my ass and go home. Most of the time it's skipping them.

I have this rule that for me to go to a party my 4 best buds have to be there as well. One lives out of town and one doesn't go to college this usually only happens once a month or so, other than that, I do my own thing.


I think this is the part that I aim to avoid the most. When you are sober and you have a bunch of drunk dudes being all nut huggy it just gets weird. When I go to a party I know the conversation will inevitably turn to how I look but it really does get old.

In your first few years it's a great feeling when you start noticing people staring at you in the gym and when you are just walking around, but eventually it will start to bother you, weird how that works.


Some on this site will accuse you of being a "sheeple" for joining in the festivities. As if to be a free-thinker you must be a hermit or a monk, but I have a different perspective.

Your primary focus while in college should be drum roll your education. Like all things in life you get what you put into it. Just because you can pass a class with minimal effort doesn't mean that's how you should approach it. Don't simply go through the motions - challenge yourself daily and you'll be better off academically and, later, economically.

After that there are no rules. It's not as if getting shitfaced or huge means jack shit to anybody but yourself. So don't feel like you must make complete sacrifices.

There is a limited time and place for everything in life: adding quality muscle mass, socializing, dating girls without much baggage. All these things are available for only a limited time in life. Be selective of your time, but I highly encourage you to take advantage of it all!

PS: I'm not suggesting you need to drink to be social - just wanted to clear that up.


This sounds stupid to me, I don't see how people can't have a balance between the both. Is there a problem with going out and not drinking? Sure your friends will rag on you but it's nothing bad, man up. Bring food with you, go buy some food that's half what decent when you go out. Fuck, there are ways to work around things without becoming a social outcast.

I go out all the time, I never drink (moreso because I enjoy driving than anything). Plus, there are TONS of things you can do besides going to clubs and bars to get shitfaced. Just gotta search around a bit sometimes.