Body Building’s Weird Culture

English: 1996 North American Body building Cha...

Body Building: A very weird culture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A hilarious article by Hamilton Nolan in Gawker takes a look at the very weird culture in body building. Key quote:

I distinctly recall being in the gym one weekend years ago and watching one huge hulking bodybuilder smile and laugh as his slightly shorter, runtier bodybuilder sidekick/ weed carrier recounted how he, the sidekick, had rushed out to buy the big guy some Pedialyte early one Saturday morning when big guy woke up and found that his muscles were momentarily without their literal baby food, which must be had at precise hourly intervals. Just a couple of 240 pound guys giggling ’bout fetching baby food for one another, that’s all. It was one of the most disconcerting sights I’d ever seen. Had they been a gay couple, or adult babies, it would have made perfect sense. It would have been sweet, even. But these were exactly the types of dudes who, if anyone insinuated that they possessed even the slightest hint of gayness, would have raged and rended their garments and thrown weights into the gym mirrors and gnashed their teeth and ripped pieces of metal off of the gym equipment and eaten that metal, with their teeth, right then, no homo.

I used to do a bit of body building as a teenager then realized how completely pointless it was compared to doing functional exercise or an actual sport. Plus, getting big muscles just looks ridiculous. I genuinely believe that serious body builders suffer from severe body image issues and are compensating for other perceived inadequacies. I’ve trained in boxing and other Martial Arts pretty much my whole life, and cannot count the number of times an ultra aggressive muscle bound idiot has come into the gym thinking he can beat up on everyone simply because he is bigger than everyone else. It almost always results in serious humiliation for the body builder as he painfully finds out that being able to bicep curl a small child does not translate into being able to take (or give) a punch. This is not to say that lifting weights and eating healthily isn’t good, but taken to an extreme like most body builders do is, at least in my opinion, an indication of quite serious insecurities.

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  • Chris

    Sounds to me like you are projecting some insecurities of your own. You probably go
    into MA and boxing because you yourself had self images, or you got
    your ass whooped at some time and now you are ragging on bodybuilders?
    Let people do their thing… If you dive deep into the bodybuilding
    community you will see a community of positive people who encourage and
    support one another. Why don’t you spend time as a writer learning how
    to uplift people instead of being a hater.

  • rob

    stop hating

  • Dylan Squats Aldred

    “cannot count the number of times an ultra aggressive muscle bound idiot has come into the gym thinking he can beat up on everyone”
    I sort of think using out-dated disproven terms like muscle-bound makes you an idiot. Pretty much every competitive athlete does weight training. It doesn’t make you muscle bound, it makes you a stronger athlete as has been proven over and over again.

    “It almost always results in serious humiliation for the body builder as he painfully finds out that being able to bicep curl a small child does not translate into being able to take (or give) a punch.”
    A lot of bodybuilders, including myself aren’t trying to be good fighters, we’re trying to be bodybuilders. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard of people who are into fighting trying to fight bigger guys at parties or bars just because they are bigger. Elitism as far as which sport is better is usually done by people who aren’t experienced athletes who don’t fully respect the dedication it takes to do a sport to it’s fullest.

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