T Nation

What...The F**k...Happened?

so earlier i posted a thread to discuss the good and bad of being standing out as a bodybuilder or just someone larger than the average Mens Health subscriber.

my new topic for discussion is: how the fuck did it get this way?

im a fairly young guy, in my 20s, i didnt live through the peak of bodybuilding during the 70s and 80s. however, it seems more and more people talk about this new craze where the abs are the new back and pecs and the “abercrombie look” is the new “power look”. where did this pussy mentality come from of eating soy and granola? how can we change this and get back to being real human animals again?

i think the movie 300 had a lot to do with it as did the new craze in MMA. i will admit that i myself was affected by it all. i watched the movie 300 when it came out and thought “omg these guys are jacked i want to look like that” i was also training MMA at the time so i was on a mission to stay very lean and just get those abs from 300. to make a long story short i got it out of my head that id ever be competing in MMA and needed to stay in a weight class and also that the type of training/dieting i was doing was not producing positive results and was hurting me.

one day i said fuck it, im always hungry and i just cant take this anymore so i ate, ill never forget that day, i started with something small and just couldnt stop myself from eating. i ate everything in the cold cut section of my fridge then went to the corner store bought 5 dozen eggs and ate a dozen every hour or so along with a shitload of nuts and cheese and whatever i could get my hands on.

i also stopped doing all that gay circuit shit and got with a serious program with a lot of squats deadlifts and pushing myself to failure which i actually enjoy.

about a year later and im up about 25 lbs which may not seem like much but i look a shitload different, especially on my back.

this may be answering my own question but i think what did it for me was some magical moment of clarity when i saw how skinny i was becoming and thought “this is bad, i dont want this” i see 300 now and laugh that i ever thought those guys were impressive.

but then again, where is the next Arnold movie star? why do we have Leonidas? where is the Hulk? why do we have Spiderman? …why do we have Brad Pitt in Fight Club how did it get this way?

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
one day i said fuck it, im always hungry and i just cant take this anymore so i ate, ill never forget that day, i started with something small and just couldnt stop myself from eating. i ate everything in the cold cut section of my fridge then went to the corner store bought 5 dozen eggs and ate a dozen every hour or so along with a shitload of nuts and cheese and whatever i could get my hands on.
[/quote]

You ate 60 eggs in one day?

[quote]tedro wrote:
You ate 60 eggs in one day?[/quote]

Haha, I had to reread that part the first time through.

I think that, sooner or later, the more intelligent people will realize that, once you take away the cameras, makeup, and lighting, the 300 “look” really is pretty lame, and will try something else.

Honestly, though, I don’t give a flying fuck what other people do in their spare time - at least they’re in the gym, which is more than we can say about the other 80% of the population. It’s not my place to judge another persons goals (I’m more worried about my own, thanks), and if 1 out of 5 of them decide to switch from Spartan superstar to bodybuilder-to-be, then I think it’s a pretty good deal.

A lot of us here caught the mass bug by lifting for some other purpose. They just might, too, and, sooner or later, a few of them may start flocking our way. We just might get the next Arnie outta it. Who knows?

I hate to break it to you, but Bodybuilding never has, and never will be mainstream. Even in the 70’s and 80’s, in the time of Pumping Iron, the rise of Sly and Arnie, and “pro” wrestling, bodybuilding has always been an outsider sport, and has always had a lot of stigmas attached to it.

Don’t lose any sleep over it.

That’s weird - I thought the 300 look was more about looking like you could actually rip someone’s head off and not about having abs. I thought they did a decent job of actually looking like soldiers.

My guess is that it got this way because businesses realized that focusing people on abs is more profitable than general fitness.

  • Producing ab videos is less expensive than aerobics videos, because people don’t expect to see a room full of people jumping around.

  • Ab exercisers are a lot smaller and cheaper to ship to customers than full-body workout machines.

  • Gyms don’t need lots of expensive equipment and space to satisfy people who really just want to do some cardio and ab training class after work.

  • Because many people will never develop big abs just from ab work alone, they keep coming back for more of it year after year, hoping their flat stomachs will eventually become ripped stomachs.

  • When all a shitty gyms customers care about are their abs, they never notice that the trainers are monosyllabics earning slightly more than minimum wage.

  • Nobody feels much shame about failure to actually achieve Tyler Durdern abs because we have shirts on most of the time anyway.

[quote]HoratioSandoval wrote:
That’s weird - I thought the 300 look was more about looking like you could actually rip someone’s head off and not about having abs. I thought they did a decent job of actually looking like soldiers.[/quote]

+1ish. I will say that abs were the standout point of their physique, but at least they got a bunch of guys to not look like pussies while kicking ass. From that point, though, I think movies like this still instill the notion that people should essentially just be ‘ripped’ instead of becoming mass monsters.

It’s all in the individual’s taste, though.

The physique of the movie character matches the role that they play. Someone who spends their days jumping from rooftop to rooftop and running around will most likely be pretty lean and thin.

Someone who works out with only bodyweight and has questionable nutrition and sleep is more likely to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club than a pro bodybuilder.

The next time we have a movie with a guy running around throwing cars around, the main character might look a bit more like a bodybuilder.

someone has to agree with me on this, the most annoying phrase is
ALL I want to do is get toned, not big

I fucking hear that from guys and girls all the time.
I think maybe one of the reasons is, is that its harder to get big, I mean how much time does it take to build a really big body. I mean it takes a while so maybe thats why. People dont have the dedication and patience.

Not to be negative, but I think it comes down to one thing and one thing only: MOST PEOPLE DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT A MUSCLE, WOMEN INCLUDED!

I once though that most women actually gave a shit about a muscle, but most truly do not. At least this is from what I have observed living in the five boroughs of New York City. It is a rarity to see anyone who is jacked in the five boroughs of NYC. Its actually almost never. I do not think women want a fat or out of shape, unhealthy guy, but the few that really care about a guy who is actually jacked are a tiny minority.

Most people do not give a shit about being jacked due to many things.

Most people do not want to be jacked.

In order to be successful in becoming jacked it takes some major lifestyle measures. Having to attend a gym regularly, sleeping 7 to 9 hours per night, measuring and preparing food, eating every 3 hours, looking at yourself in the mirror, and talking about PRs and growth are completely alien practices to most of the population!
So, if such practices and a lifestyle are alien, then why would mainstream media pay ANY attention to them?

I love my hobby and plan on competing soon but it has caused more problems in my relationships with women than I care to remember, which is why I only date women who are interested in fitness or who will put up with my lifestyle and respect it.

Most fellow men do not give a shit about our hobby either. Not having more than 2 drinks, not wanting to take a weekend break in the Hamptons doing every drug under the sun and partying with next to little sleep, not hunting down and chasing women until 6 AM, and fidgeting over gym time and meals is not their bag either! They do not give a shit. Most young people under 35 simply want to have fun and their brand of fun is not a fitness person’s brand of fun. At least this is what I have observed and experienced.

Women have liked my physique. I get at least a few stares per day, a few comments per week, and the old cop a feel of the guns, shoulders, and upper back almost every day from my female co workers (nurses, doctors, foodservice staff). However, as I said, these same women do not want to be a part of the practices that lead to an advanced physique.

As stated above, it takes some sacrifice to get to our goals. Personally, I am having a blast and this is what counts to all people! No one can live your life for you and in order to be happy, you must meet your own PERSONAL needs, not the needs of others. This does not mean being uncaring towards others. It simply means organizing your life to get your needs and desires met without being uncaring or ungiving to others. However, most people have not set getting jacked as a goal. Even if some of them want to have an advanced physique, some people are simply not in the position to do so. I have met medical students who have asked me about working out who work the most ungodly hours, have high levels of stress, and have poor nutrition and sleep habits. Being jacked is not in the cards for them, at least not in the current state of their life they are in. CEOs, hedge fund managers who deal with other people’s or organization’s millions of dollars, and financial analysts who work insane, erratic hours; I do not think they can be a bodybuilder. People who work 60+ hours per week and have kids most likely are not going to get jacked either, most likely.

We are in a recession now, and otherwise intelligent, well educated people now have to work two jobs to make ends meet. Our housing market is the worst it has been since the Great Depression. Most struggling middle class people do not give a rat’s ass about hobbies in general anymore.

So, in conclusion, society is not going to promote bodybuilding simply because people don’t give a shit about bodybuilding.

I even remember speaking to Jim Wendler on the phone once about a seminar he was supposed to hold here last year at St. John’s University over here in Queens. It was cancelled. I asked him why. He said “dude, no one care about that stuff there, there is no one there!” I then told him about the cost of living here, rent, transportation, gas, etc. He said “no wonder, people are too busy working!”

Find a woman who is supportive of your goals.

Thats the only answer.

She used to say bodybuilders were disgusting.

Now she thinks Frank Mcgrath is good looking.

Sure, thats some competition for me ;}

But the point is her views are changing as she is more accustomed to what I like it. She’s supportive of me, and my goals, no matter what…and thats what you need.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Women have liked my physique. I get at least a few stares per day, a few comments per week, and the old cop a feel of the guns, shoulders, and upper back almost every day from my female co workers (nurses, doctors, foodservice staff). However, as I said, these same women do not want to be a part of the practices that lead to an advanced physique.[/quote]

I disagree with you when you state [quote]I once though that most women actually gave a shit about a muscle, but most truly do not.[/quote] From what I’ve noticed in regards to myself and others, they do (at least, in a college setting). Maybe not to the extent some of us guys go through (for, say, a great rack) - it certainly won’t make up for a lack of personality - but to say they don’t care at all is a definite stretch.

You are correct, though, when you say most women don’t want to deal with the dedication and strange practices of this lifestyle in the pursuit of something that is extremely difficult.

But that goes for most things that require any effort and discipline - most women don’t want to deal with you when you’re hitting the books 6+ hours a day in between a job (or jobs) and classes to make sure you stay in school and hit your career goals.

Once you get that big paycheck (or those big muscles), then they start coming around a little more often to show appreciation for your efforts.

The same girls who tease me for stealing food from the cafeteria are also the same ones who ask me to flex, or compliment my chest, when they get a few drinks in them.

http://www.gymjones.com/knowledge.php?id=36

…Its the article from the Gym Jones website about the 300 transformations. I think its pretty inspiring stuff, and can apply to bodybuilding as much as anything.

The problem I is there are probably very few impressively built guys that can act worth a shit. Arnold’s movies weren’t bad, considering his limited acting abilities, and I always enjoyed the Van Damme and Lundgren movies. They weren’t the biggest guys in the world and there movies weren’t the greatest but they were watchable. The recent movies I remember seeing with reasonably built dudes starred John Cena and the Rock, and the movies were pretty damn terrible. After seeing the movies, I would never sit down to watch them again. But if kickboxer, predator, red scorpion, universal soldier, etc. were on right now, I’d probably make a protein shake, sit my ass down, and watch them.

Another thing is, as was mentioned, most people aesthetically don’t want to look like bodybuilders. If I wanted to look like a fatass, I’d eat shit and drink Cokes all day. I don’t want to look like that, so why would I do it.

Overall though, everybody I see and talk to at the gym is usually trying to get bigger and stronger, even if they don’t know how to do it.

I enjoyed all of T.C.'s movies. I’m confused… is it T.C. or Vin Diesel?..

Save it for Race Wars, junior!!

Some sentiments and thoughts… a lot of girls I know really don’t care for the large, incredibly-muscular look, but want a guy that knows he can take care of himself physically. I think once a girl becomes familiar with the lifestyle, the less they realize that muscles aren’t something to be looked down on, or scoffed about.

@ Bricknyce, I agree with just about everything you say. I know it’s repeated over and over around here, but it takes a special kind of person to do what we do. We have to really CARE about our love for the sport / lifestyle. As far as women are concerned, once they’re exposed to the dedication and discipline that it takes to do what we do, they respond favorably to it, because again most women I know like a man who’s confident, self-assured, and knows what he wants and how to get it. Bodybuilding is obviously a huge confidence boost, and translates over in to day-to-day activities. Since I’ve started my journey, I’ve seen my social life become less dependant on superficialities, seen my grades and work ethic improve, and many other factors that just can’t be written down in a training book or told to others that don’t understand it.

For those of us that are enlightened, we can try to preach the word, but self-actualization comes through hard work and true soul-searching, which are things that I think bodybuilders go through every time we step into the gym.

You mean CT??**

Way to fuck up a joke. lol

[quote]SSC wrote:
Some sentiments and thoughts… a lot of girls I know really don’t care for the large, incredibly-muscular look, but want a guy that knows he can take care of himself physically. I think once a girl becomes familiar with the lifestyle, the less they realize that muscles aren’t something to be looked down on, or scoffed about.

@ Bricknyce, I agree with just about everything you say. I know it’s repeated over and over around here, but it takes a special kind of person to do what we do. We have to really CARE about our love for the sport / lifestyle. As far as women are concerned, once they’re exposed to the dedication and discipline that it takes to do what we do, they respond favorably to it, because again most women I know like a man who’s confident, self-assured, and knows what he wants and how to get it. Bodybuilding is obviously a huge confidence boost, and translates over in to day-to-day activities. Since I’ve started my journey, I’ve seen my social life become less dependant on superficialities, seen my grades and work ethic improve, and many other factors that just can’t be written down in a training book or told to others that don’t understand it.

For those of us that are enlightened, we can try to preach the word, but self-actualization comes through hard work and true soul-searching, which are things that I think bodybuilders go through every time we step into the gym.[/quote]

wow man insightful post to say the least

[quote]GetSwole wrote:
You mean CT??**

Way to fuck up a joke. lol[/quote]
Yea, yea C.T. lol…
So, what’s the deal with the alias? Is it C.T. or Vin Diesel?

The examples of this are all over…big is just simply not accepted mainstream. The other day I rented the new Conan video game. Has anyone seen this? Conan looks like a male fitness model WTF??? This is CONAN for fuck’s sake the biggest, baddest rip your head off with his bare hands mofo, yet they have this puny little guy. He should look like a total freak, like the incredible hulk instead they have this ummm pathetic example.

What the hell does this have to do with anything? It’s just another example of how the “ripped” look is much better accepted by the general masses than a massive beast is. When I was a teenager I used have hundreds of Conan comics and he was huge in them. Haven’t seen one for quite a while I really hope they’re not making the comic book look like the same Conan in the game.