T Nation

What's Wrong with Us?


#1

I want to see a study showing that people into intense exercise have a masochistic streak. Why the hell are we in the weight room 3, 5, or more days a week doing grueling lifts, pushing ourselves to get bigger, stronger, faster, harder, when the "normal" population doesn't even consider it?
I'd like to see any relevant comments, especially links to such a study.


#2

No offense, but your profile states you are in the military. I don't want to live in the world where our military begin to question their sanity because they enjoy pushing themselves and training regularly. Not only does this not make sense, but anyone claiming this behavior makes you "mentally diseased or abnormal" is who has lost their sanity.


#3

Maybe people like to challenge themselves.


#4

Oh no, Prof. I've been misunderstood. I was simply asking what makes the pain of exercise and the chase of a bigger PR so enjoyable.
And, for the record, there are a lot of fat people in the military.


#5

Who gives a fuck? People do what they do. Some people tie belts around their necks when they jerk off, some people lift weights. God knows the reasons.


#6

One of my sisters mates (Shes a psychology undergrad) reckons that FFB's (she knew me at 336lbs and now at 203) use obsessive exercise and diet to replace a previous food addiction. This way they can carry on the addiction in a more healthy way, according to her anyway. It makes some sort of sense I guess.

Note she doesnt say its a bad thing, but did compare my eating to "A smack head switching to methodone".


#7

The dumbest women I have ever met in my life have been undergrad psych majors.


#8

No shit. I'm Air Force. That isn't the point. There are so many because this ridiculous society we live in has demonized consistent true result producing exercise. They label it as extreme behavior and call anyone with an extreme physique "bigorexic" or a ton of other names all meant to describe a mental disorder.

The real disorder is the fact that human beings on a mass scale are becoming the fattest and (without the advancements of science and medication) the least healthy in generations. Sitting on your ass all day eating cupcakes is now "normal" behavior and doing hard work to stay in shape is "abnormal".

Why the hell would you look for justification of this in a study?


#9

I don't do it for the pain, I do it for the results, so no, I'm not a masochist.

I'm also not a pussy who's so scared of a little pain that I'll let it stand in the way of what I want.


#10


#11

Thats like asking why are fat people "ugly". It's just evolutionary thinking probably, the survival of the fittest. Those who push themselves harder and achieve more survive more.


#12

Are you saying that "bigorexic" is not a disorder?


#13

When people like you respond, do you even realize you immediately show your lack of reading comprehension? I mean, it isn't like its invisible to us.


#14

Exercise is healthy? Is that sane enough? lol


#15

I don't think it matters whether there is a study out there about this or not. Everyone has slightly different motivation, or reasons for training hard. I personally like a little bit of soreness/tightness, but not PAIN. If someone is a masochist, they are going to find reliable ways to access that pain. I feel the idea of someone masochistically exercising to access that pain would not be very successful, as the body adapts very quickly. I notice I can workout very hard on a body part one week, be sore, and the next week the same workout doesn't illicit the same physiological response.

I think the general public would like us to be "sick", it would make it easier for them to voice their dislike and disapproval of our intrinsic motivation which they utterly lack. I love this quote, wherever Roual got it:

Roual-
"We like to watch 'normal' people like you tell us about how they can't get in shape. We smile and nod sympathetically like we feel your pain, but actually, we're thinking that you're a pathetic piece of shit that needs to grow a spine and join a gym. You smile sheepishly and say that you just can't stay motivated and just can't stand that feeling of being sore. (For some reason you think that admitting your weaknesses somehow justifies them.) We listen to you bitch and moan. We watch you look for the easy way out. Because of people like you, Bob, we never miss a workout.

"You ask us for advice about diet and training and usually we politely offer some guidance, but deep inside we know you won't take our advice. You know that too. We smile and say, 'Hope that helps. Good luck,' but actually we're thinking, 'Boy, it would suck to be you.' We know that 99% of people won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, sacrifice and discipline, they stop listening and tune us out."

I can't tell you how many times I've told people who ask for help "I can tell you everything you need to know, diet and training. I can tell you how to get your body where you want it to be. You'll have to change the way you eat, and weight train. It's a lifestyle change, and it doesn't happen over night. But you WILL get the results you want" And they say "WOW, really!?! Thanks! That would be great!" And they never bring it up again.


#16

The only thing I have to say on the matter is from my own personal memory of not wanting to squat or deadlift in the high school weight room. Remember, if you can, to the first time you really pushed hard on a squat workout (or deads) and realized JUST how hard it was. If you were very skinny, you'll probably be able to relate better. You completed that workout, thinking to yourself, "THIS is what I need to endure regularly to stop being skinny??" I'm sure most people had to have questioned its difficulty (at least in the beginning) and weighed how important becoming a monstrous ox meant to you. I decided it was very important, and continued coming back for more. (And as your self-awareness and mind-muscle connections increase, you learn to latch onto it for certain types of enjoyment.)

I can't speak for anyone else, but this briefly describes how I went from 'normal' to the masochistic mass of intensity I now bring to my workouts.


#17

The only thing I have to say on the matter is from my own personal memory of not wanting to squat or deadlift in the high school weight room. Remember, if you can, to the first time you really pushed hard on a squat workout (or deads) and realized JUST how hard it was. If you were very skinny, you'll probably be able to relate better. You completed that workout, thinking to yourself, "THIS is what I need to endure regularly to stop being skinny??" I'm sure most people had to have questioned its difficulty (at least in the beginning) and weighed how important becoming a monstrous ox meant to you. I decided it was very important, and continued coming back for more. (And as your self-awareness and mind-muscle connections increase, you learn to latch onto it for certain types of enjoyment.)

I can't speak for anyone else, but this briefly describes how I went from 'normal' to the masochistic mass of intensity I now bring to my workouts.

Also, most normal people never get the opportunity to physically push themselves since it's not exactly built into our society past high school (and that barely counts). The desire to push oneself HAS to come from within, and I just don't believe many people ever find the motivation even when they are given the opportunity. I think this is the main reason most don't exercise at all, and the ones who do 'do the machines' or 'stick to the elliptical'.


#18

I enjoy lifting, reading, watching movies and long walks on the beach.

If I enjoy something I'm going do to it.

Most people are pretty close-minded, they think their way is the only way and people that do otherwise are weird or whatever they want to label them. Granted, hardcore bodybuilding can be extreme but people with goals and desires generally live happier lifestyles then those without goals.


#19

self improvement/progression/upgrading
It's human nature.
It's also why I like RPGs so much.


#20

Some of us enjoy getting out of our comfort zone. That's where you need to thrive to get beyond mediocrity.