T Nation

Why We Lift

Recently I was talking to some friends about lifting weights. Now I’m the only guy I know who’s serious about being big and strong in a bodybuilder sense of the word. I’m only young but it is my ambition.

So we were talking and I showed them a picture of Stan McQuay. Now he is not the biggest and most hardcore bodybuilder but the reactions I got were shocking.

“He’s too big.”
“You wanna look like that?”
and even “Ewewewewewew”

This shocked me. I would have thought my mates would be less critical.

So I wonder. Why do we do what we do?

For some people it is for athletic purposes and sport. This would be seen as fine.

But for the rest of us. Those of us who want to look good naked, but don’t want to be a Brad Pitt clone what is our reason?

I tried to explain it and could not find the words. I want to be strong and aesthetic, like all of us, and I don’t normally care what others think but this has got me wondering.

I feel that we have the ability to change our body, to reshape it and to sculpt it in a way. And yet a lot of people reject it and badmouth what we do.

How do you explain to some of these people why what you do is nothing strange or insane. It is what must be done

[quote]Vietnow wrote:

I tried to explain it and could not find the words. [/quote]

If you have to explain it, you are talking to the wrong person.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1377107

[quote]Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1377107[/quote]

Ironically, that article was the first one I thought of now that this site seems to be catering to every “Luigi”.

If this site were a heavy metal rock group, this would be the part of the concert where everyone folds up their Zippo lighters, tucks them in their pockets, and starts chanting, “sell out” over and over until they lose their buzz.

Most of the average population wouldn’t aspire for a bodybuilder’s physique…there’s nothing new about that.

It seems contradictory to me that so many people lift weights recreationally but only want to have “some muscle” or to “be in shape” (whatever that is). To me if you’re gonna do something you should aspire to be the best. It’d be like a college basketball player saying he just wants to be a mediocre basketball player, or an investor who only wants to make some money.

But, hey that’s just my humble opinion.

[quote]GT625 wrote:
Most of the average population wouldn’t aspire for a bodybuilder’s physique…there’s nothing new about that.

It seems contradictory to me that so many people lift weights recreationally but only want to have “some muscle” or to “be in shape” (whatever that is). To me if you’re gonna do something you should aspire to be the best. It’d be like a college basketball player saying he just wants to be a mediocre basketball player, or an investor who only wants to make some money.

But, hey that’s just my humble opinion.[/quote]

To be the best at bodybuilding, genetics aside, are you willing to do what Ronnie does?

Lifting weights in not a means to only one end.

To improve. To be the best we can be. To look down and know that “I MADE this”, I stepped up and showed some self control, sacrifice, determination and now I have solid proof that I can do it… can you?

When you friends look in the mirror everyday at their pot bellies they will know they have been defeated by the only person they have any control over, themselves. Defeat tastes really bad, worse than cottage cheese.

Why DONT they lift? That is an easier question to answer.

[quote]nikolo wrote:
GT625 wrote:
Most of the average population wouldn’t aspire for a bodybuilder’s physique…there’s nothing new about that.

It seems contradictory to me that so many people lift weights recreationally but only want to have “some muscle” or to “be in shape” (whatever that is). To me if you’re gonna do something you should aspire to be the best. It’d be like a college basketball player saying he just wants to be a mediocre basketball player, or an investor who only wants to make some money.

But, hey that’s just my humble opinion.

To be the best at bodybuilding, genetics aside, are you willing to do what Ronnie does?

Lifting weights in not a means to only one end.

[/quote]

When someone says, “bodybuilder”, why do so many on this site only jump to “Ronnie Coleman”? There are NPC contests all around the country with bodybuilders winning them like Phil Heath and Stan Mcquay who have the look of a bodybuilder.

Most SERIOUS bodybuilders don’t even want to look like Ronnie Coleman so why always go to him as an example of whatever your point was intended to be?

I long quit having such discussions with people. It’s something you either get, or you don’t.

I mainly lift now for injury prevention and sports performance. Though if I did not have enough size that people didn’t think twice about messing with me, I would train to change that.

i do it for a number of reasons i guess.

  1. i used to play sports and worked out for them. it feels weird not to work out now.

  2. i enjoy working out. it relieves stress. due to my line of work crossed with being a full time student involved in many activities, i get stressed frequently. my hour and a half at the gym every morning melts away any stress i have like butter for at least a few hours and helps me face the new day with a renewed sense of vigor. each morning at the gym is almost like a mini, personal phoenix.

  3. i like having muscles.

  4. i like having muscles.

  5. food seems to taste better when i work out hard, and i love eating.

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/why.htm

The last sentence summarizes my feelings nicely.

I don’t think your mates are being honest. Any normal adult male wouldn’t mind having a physique like Stan’s. However, most wouldn’t admit it because they don’t think they can ever come close to a physique like that. I think it’s just a case of sour grapes.

The only reason why I STARTED was because I wanted to look better.
Now I also enjoy working out it’s a bit addictive.
My problem is food…but that’s another topic…

I think it’s just a case of sour grapes.

think so too…

but here’s my response…

I JUST LOVE IT

I lift because I like to pick up heavy shit.
-mcjohn

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Most SERIOUS bodybuilders don’t even want to look like Ronnie Coleman so why always go to him as an example of whatever your point was intended to be?[/quote]

It used to annoy me to no end that guys would post about “improving” bodybuilding when their ignorance was obvious. Now I like it when guys post stuff like that: It lets me know from jump who is a fool to be disregarded.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
To improve. To be the best we can be. To look down and know that “I MADE this”, I stepped up and showed some self control, sacrifice, determination and now I have solid proof that I can do it… can you?

When you friends look in the mirror everyday at their pot bellies they will know they have been defeated by the only person they have any control over, themselves. Defeat tastes really bad, worse than cottage cheese.

Why DONT they lift? That is an easier question to answer.[/quote]

Excellent answer 1.

" I don’t think your mates are being honest. Any normal adult male wouldn’t mind having a physique like Stan’s. However, most wouldn’t admit it because they don’t think they can ever come close to a physique like that. I think it’s just a case of sour grapes. "

Excellent answer 2.

D

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
To improve. To be the best we can be. To look down and know that “I MADE this”, I stepped up and showed some self control, sacrifice, determination and now I have solid proof that I can do it… can you?

When you friends look in the mirror everyday at their pot bellies they will know they have been defeated by the only person they have any control over, themselves. Defeat tastes really bad, worse than cottage cheese.

Why DONT they lift? That is an easier question to answer.[/quote]

excellent answer, my thoughts exactly. Also to know that are mentally and physically stronger than everyone you know.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
I long quit having such discussions with people. It’s something you either get, or you don’t.

I mainly lift now for injury prevention and sports performance. Though if I did not have enough size that people didn’t think twice about messing with me, I would train to change that.[/quote]

I’ll echo the whole thing about bodybuilding being an “either you get it or you don’t” practice. I actually adopted that when I was kid whom was really dedicated surfing, people thought I was weird for being more concerned with my skill, than anything else in the vicinity of that sport. I got sick of most people asking phoney questions about my seriousness, so I just gave it to 'em like CaliforniaLaw said. I’ve transfered this to bodybuilding.

I’ve found that most people whom ask “why do you do it”, don’t really give a shit about what the answer might be. 90% of the time it’s an insincere question.

I have been able to reason it all out with a few people, but like I said someone whom is open minded towards whatever ( surfing/body building/etc ) practiced hardcore is rare.

CaliforniaLaw:

Why do you feel you need to look “big enough not to mess with”? Do you live in a rough area? Maybe you know mucho loose cannons?

How big are you guys?