T Nation

The Downside of Being Jacked

#1

Hi friends,

What are the disadvantages that you have encountered in your life because of your superior muscly physique?

Personally I feel that people assume I’m dumb as a brick, that I am self absorbed/vain and spend everyday all day in the gym.

When playing sports or practicing martial arts, I find that people lift to the next level because they are up against the “big guy” and hence try to hit extra hard ( because big guys are invincible and not subject to injury).

I also find I am at the end of a lot of “gym bro” jokes about the intake of excessive protein etc.

Anyway, I would not change a thing.

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#2

Whenever I need to change my clothes in the backseat of a car, I wish I was 20lbs lighter.

My traps setting off the 3d image scanner at the security checkpoints at airports is no longer funny to me either.

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#3

Downside - People ask me how much I bench.

Upside - I love seeing their faces when I tell them I don’t ever bench, I only eat 1 meal a day, I lift 2x a week and that’s it. Obviously that’s a lie, but seeing their faces makes it all worth it lol.

Wouldn’t change anything. I’ve always said being jacked is cool, but I always just wanted to be strong, getting jacked is just a side effect of that.

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#4

Same. I always say “400 is my best but I never bench, like ever” and they think I’m being a cocky asshole but it’s true I never bench and therefore I suck at it :wink:

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#5

Just getting asked to help move shit.
Oh you have a day off? We need a bit of help moving x and you’re a strong guy, wanna lend a hand?

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#6
  • Jeans.
  • People who feel the need to let you know how much they used to bench back in the day.
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#7

When guys want to talk training to show how much they think they know.

#8

Perceived as being dumb (I have a PhD in engineering), having to order custom suits and shirts, other men acting all passive aggressive in social situations… Frustrated women blurting out how they’d “never date me” although that topic never came up…

I’m older now so it subsided somewhat but back in the day…

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#9

I get this one a lot too. I have a MS in engineering and people always appear extra surprised when I tell them. There is some notion that physical and intellectual aptitude cannot coexist.

Haven’t had this one yet, but my wife asked me if could “not make my traps bigger” because my neck is disappearing.

#10

A lot of people seem to subscribe to a belief that the world adheres to an RPG style point buy system where you can’t have all of your stats be high.

I may have to dig for a bit to find it, but I read some data to show that intelligence, height, and strength are all correlated. Basically, life isn’t fair.

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#11

Not sure if that is meant to be a joke, but I think it might be a real thing. I always get a pat down on my lats. I assumed it was just because I was sweaty.

#12

Wear a suit. I generally do (shocker) and the way I am treated wearing a suit and in less-formal clothing is shocking.

#13

I’ve had this a few times, a friend of mine is always trying to make jokes about my physique or life choices.

Just recently been away on a stag do, glorious weather sat drinking beer in the sun with tops off kinda thing, I was reluctant to take my top off as I knew it would draw attention from the group. Took it off and low and behold it did, everyone commenting in a positive way, asking about my training and stuff. There was this older bloke there who was a relative of one on my friends, he seemed to get really annoyed that people were commenting on my physique.

Later that night after a lot of beers he leans in completely out the blue and says “I could knock you out if I wanted too” I laughed in his face.

So that and banging into door frames.

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#14

Not a joke. It is always my traps. Little circle on the area on the scanner.

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#15

BS in Mechanical Engineering here. I have gotten lots of comments similar to your comments (“I just thought you were a dumb meathead”).

FWIW, I am not sure how much an engineering degree proves intelligence. I’d like to think that only an elite group of people are capable of engineering, but I kinda think most people could do it if they wanted to.

#16

I disagree with this a little bit. I believe many more people are capable of doing it than they think. However, IMO engineering does require the capability for higher level abstract and analytical thinking that not everyone posseses. I only learned this recently when trying to show my wife how to do some complex algebra for a college course. Engineers see math as straight forward and the rules make sense. We have an innate “Number Sense” you could say. Not everyone has this.
I had an elementary teacher share the following example with me (as an adult trying to teach my kid math):
Take the number 12 - we know that the “1” doesn’t actually mean “1”. It means one set of ten units, and the two means “2” single units. So in reality 12 is “1 unit of ten + 2 single units”. When I learned this it was obvious and I didn’t have to think about it or construct it a different way. For a lot of children, including my son, the leading “1” couldn’t be anything other than “1 single unit”. The innate number sense was missing and had to be built.

#17

Could be I have an optimistic perception of people based on the people I hang with. I probably think that on average people are capable of getting stronger than they really are capable of (when you see 900 lb squats and deadlifts from people you know, it kinda changes your perception). The truth may be that I am just seeing the freaks.

I have always thought this stuff isn’t that hard. If it doesn’t make sense you are probably doing it wrong. Everything I learned in math and engineering just made sense. If it didn’t I wasn’t thinking about it correctly. I can’t say that for a literature class.

#18

I one woman I tutored that was in jeopardy of failing an a 101 alg. course couldn’t get all of the x’s and y’s. She was an awesome baker though, so I told her to think of the x as eggs any y as cups of flower, and what they equal is loaves of bread.

She killed it after that.

#19

I am oppositely wired, in that I excel in philosophy, theology, literature, political science, etc, but barely escaped my hard science courses.

I tend to see this reflected in how I approach training as well. My emphasis is on effort and I’ve never counted calories or macros, and when people start breaking out the sliderules to determine MRV, I’m out.

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#20

Do you like those subjects? I think interest in a subject is probably the most important. If one is interested in math for example, they would have an advantage vs. someone of equal intelligence that doesn’t care about math.

I was poor math student in high school when I did not see a point to learning it. I always liked working on stuff though, and decided on an engineering degree. Then I saw a point to it, and found it interesting. For me that made the difference between barely passing and top of the class. But I also have ADHD, so interest might be more important for me?