T Nation

Why Do You Want To Be BIG?



Has anyone ever asked themselves why they are so intent on being big? I know we all have different goals but... I'm simply curious why hugeness is one of them? Is it purely a function of ego fulfillment? Unfortunately, I have found that to be the case for myself.

A big body is typically much slower, less agile, less flexible, and more detrimental to long term health.

Conversely, a lean, muscular body can be at the pinnacle of health, speed, quickness, and flexibility. Think Men's Health cover, Pavel Tsatsouline, Edward Norton in "American History X," etc...

So why be big?


So you're telling me that ain't never been a "big guy" who was fast, agile, flexible and healthy?

Search "Pudzianowski"


Cause it looks cool.


A big body is detrimental to long term health...if it is big because of excess body fat. Any studies showing that muscles lead to early death?

Also, less flexible than whom? Even Ronnie Coleman can do a split and I know very few people under 200lbs who can do the same. Less agile? Agility is something you train for. If a larger bodybuilder began training for agility, they would become more agile. Your definitions seem a little too fixed. If your goal is to become a gymnast, more power to you.

I lift weights for strength and size because I want to see how far I can go. I treat everything in my life pretty much the same. Your question is like asking, "why do people want an education past college level?

Is it because of ego?" No, it is because of trying to be the best that you can at whatever you put your mind towards. I also have no desire to fit in as "normal". I shave my head. I have tattoos. I lift weights. I ride motorcycles. If I wanted to be normal, I would sit on my ass like everyone else.


Dunno. Cause I like it?

Was it on Joe Dirt, "Why is a sunrise good? Why are boobs good?" Don't know, it's just the way it is.

If I decide I want to be a svelte (i.e. small) runner guy I'll go be the smallest, fastest skelton bumbling along on two bony stilts.

But I don't. I want to be big and strong. I want to be able to pick up shit that other men would leave permanently pinned to the earth. I want to put stuff over my head that other men couldn't roll. I want to be a fucking rhinocerous in a world of gazelle physiques. It's just cool.

Further, people do all kinds of junk just because they want to; run, jump, play chess, solve differential equations, jump rope, etc. Sometimes they do it in competition with others or as a vocation and sometimes just for shits and giggles.

If you ask me, people who go out of their way to attack one particular segment, folks who want to get bigger and stronger, who perpetuate the stereotype of musclebound, meatheaded narcissists are themselves the ones with wounded egos and are small in a deeper manner then just in body.



Stereo-typed by the general public to be...yes, typically though...I'd have to say no.

I take it you haven't seen very many muscle bound guys do much other than weight train or walk around.

How many have you seen actually doing an agility drill, or stretching? Or with health problems that are directly related to the muscle mass the person has?

Point being that I'm willing to bet you'd be impressed with what a muscle bound person is capable of.

Hell, have you even seen professional football linemen stretch? They're muscular AND fat, yet are still very flexible.

Anyway, to answer your question, I want to be larger to be able to move more wieght, as I plan on competing in powerlifting for a long time.

I also feel that it looks good, and I like how it looks on me (so far), it will be look even better when I reach some more of my goals.

It probably doesn't look good to the average person, especially with the amount of fat I have, but my wife and I both like where I am so far, so why try to impress anyone else?

Third, I really believe that it is making me more healthy in the long run and I think I'll continue to be healthy throughout my life while lifting heavy and getting bigger as long as I mix in some energy systems work and keep my diet in check.


Well said!


Because I was always small, weak and picked on when I was younger.




Have you ever seen the movie "the Hulk", and I quote Nick Nolte, " to push onesself beyond God`s boundaries". nuff said.


Here is another epiphany- You ego has won anyways. It is obvious that once you realized that it would be too difficult to achieve your goals, you have assigned a bunch of negative characteristics and attributes to what you once sought. If that isn't ego defense of the highest order, I don't know what is.

Three cheers for you ego! It is HYOOGE!

B.T.W.- You are about the 10,000th person to come to this very same conclusion. For someone with a big ego, you aren't very origional or creative.


Nope. Never said that.

I did however imply that added size over some limit can be detrimental to speed, agility, flexibility, and health. We're speaking in different terms.

Pudzianowski would most certainly be healthier from his heart's perspective, faster, quicker, and potentially more flexible should he lose 50 pounds. But he wouldn't be stronger, hence his size. It's all about what you want. The question I asked is, why do YOU want to be big?


You say it as if it were fact, but it's just an opinion.

My personal opinion is that his heart would get weaker as he lost muscle mass, he could easily get slower and less quick by losing 50lbs of muscle, and his flexibility wouldn't improve by losing the muscle, unless the actual muscle mass is what's preventing him from stretching to a certain point.


So forget the implications. Why don't you provide us with the information that led you to these conclusions. You know, wroks cited, annotated bibliography.

Or is thiis all coming from an "I feel" perspective?
You are making some prety bold statements.
Can you back them up?


I don't necessarily "want to be big" in the sense powerlifter, 280 lbs mofo sense of the word. But I can see why other people would. Have you ever thought it would be fun to drive a tank to work? Wouldn't it be cooler to BE a tank?

I started at 170 and I've since been 193. It just feel awesome. I'd wrestle with friends and stuff and just demolish them; talk about a surge.

In the long term, I'd rather be as big as possible at a maintainable level of leaness. For factors like health, girls, energy etc. be cause those things are personally more important to me.*

But that doesn't change the fact that being huge and lifting heavy is one of the best highs you can get on this Earth. Motorcycling probably isn't good for your health either but for some people it's worth it. [i want a motorcycle]

*Two things in this sentence that the big guys might disagree with.

1) I agree that a lot of girls like huge guys but the ones I like don't

2) I agree that you can be 300 lbs and 50x healthier than the rest of fat america. However, you still aren't as healthy as you would be with CV training, and if your doing CV training your probably not as big as you could be.

At a a too-small 183 lbs,



It's fulfilling.

Many things in life are outside of your control. Your body, and what you can do with it, is basically under your own complete control.

If I go to the gym and work very damned hard, I can force my body to adapt.

I can push and increase the volume of something by adding a few reps. If I've done that already then perhaps I can add a bit of weight and keep the reps in a range that aids my goals. If I'm so inclined, I can enhance endurance or specific skills.

At times I get to sweat, strain, feel an intense burn and generally know that I have the ability to focus, concentrate and push myself. There is a reward in hard effort and it's name is progress and satisfaction. Somehow, as well, there is honor in the honesty of iron.

Personally, I am not chasing a particular size. I am chasing progress and size or strength are something that may demonstrate that I've worked very hard for a very long time, at least to those that can recognize it.

I've got a long way to go. In fact, the road is probably endless... it's a journey that I will treasure.


I don't know of any studies, but weight is certainly a load on the heart and joints.

Good point. I don't mean to be fixed in my definitions, but I agree that I've presented them that way. I've also known 350lb linemen from my college who could outrun skinny bastards in the 40, but that doesn't change the point. The upper limit of their speed, quickness, and flexibility is set lower due to their incredible size. Ronnie Coleman would find quickness and flexibility more easily attained were he 100 pounds lighter.

I admit I'm a little weird with my response, but here me out. It's about making yourself feel self-fulfilled. That is how I define ego. There is internal focus, and there is external focus. I call internally focus dominated people "ego-centric." But that's just me, and I'm likely one of them.

I don't mean this to be scathing even if it comes across that way, but those are self-centered and maybe even egotistical, pride-centered statements. I have them too, but we need to recognize them for what they are.

Being lean and muscular for the sake of impressing and self-fulfillment is prideful and (dare I say) sinful, but improving ones health is not. The motivators are what I'm questioning.


k. thanks for the feedback. I don't think you're right, and you certainly don't know me at all, much less well enough to make those kind of conclusions.


There are way too many assumptions going on here! My point is simply that excess size likely inhibits performance in other physical areas!

If you're weight training in the first place, you're ahead of 99% of the population in terms of health and likely speed and flexibility as well. But that doesn't change the fact that being less than huge may benefit those "other" physical qualities!

I'm not saying that bigger guys can't be quick or flexible! I simply contend that they could be quicker and MORE flexible if they were smaller!


Of course you don't. Thats the tricky part of ego defense mechanisms.

Also, when assigning somethng as egotistical, look out for the trap of assigning an overly virtuous sense of importance to you own goals. Sel righteousness is just another form of egoism.

And vey true, I don't know you personaly, but based on what you have written, it's just plain obvious.