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I am a self-concious person - I will admit that right off the bat. I care about how I look, to a certain degree. That degree, is that I want to be seen as someone who knows what looks good on him, and uses it to his advantage, i.e. I want to be seen as a 'cool' dresser, as someone who is efficacious in his choice of dress (and by extension, must be efficacious in other parts of his life). I don't wish to make this my sole field of efficacy, but on first impressions, I would like someone to look at me and say, "that is a handsome man".

And I think I am rather handsome, all things considered. I used to hate my hair, but I discovered straightners, hair wax and the miracle of not letting ones mother cut ones hair. I used to hate my nose, but then I realised it wasn't really that big, and that it added character to my face. I used to hate my eyebrows, but I realised that they were distinctive, and that I can make great expressions with them (the same can be said of the rest of my very rubbery face).

But there is one thing I have never gotten over, and that is my physical body. I have fairly good lower legs, from years of cycling. My upper legs aren't flabby or anything, but they lack definition (is it normal for legs to wobble when you walk? I don't have fat legs, or chubby legs at all, but it always seems a bit weird - is that just muscle wobbling? :)). My legs are also incredibly pale and fairly hairy (although the hair wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't so chronically pale). The rest of my body is a pale, skinny freakshow - hell, I have no hair on my torso, except fine hair on my arms and some hair around my nipples! :)

The worst bit is that I have these incredibly weird ribs - I don't really know how to describe them. They are why I don't like standing up straight or walking upright when I'm wearing a tight-fitting shirt. They are my lowest pair of ribs, and they stick out about 2 or 3 inches, if one were to look at me from a bird's eye perspective. When I breath in, or stand tall and proud, I look like someone from a starving country (not helped by my generally skinny physique). It means I have this incredibly weird shape to my body, which I feel really weird about in public.

I'm wondering if:

a) There are any good programs for someone like me, who doesn't wish to body build, but would like to have a decent amount of muscle

:) There is anything I can do about these damn ribs - would putting on more muscle on my chest counter-act it, and do you think it is something I should man-up and just accept as part of who I am?

Thanks in advance,

Rory McSkellingbones

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Hilarious post, Tenure! :)

In all seriousness, though, I think the male body doesn't quit growing/maturing until about the age of 21, so you have a few more years to get over the awkwardness. My brother was 6'4" tall in HS but probably only weighed 140 lbs. He was about as awkward-looking as an 18 year-old could get. He looked like a giant stack of bones. Ribs and all other bones jutting out here and there. He looked hilarious in his basketball uniform. But as he got into his mid-20s, he filled out very nicely and turned into a very handsome young man. Now, in his early 30s, he's still pretty lean, but fighting off a slightly bulging belly. (He probably wishes his ribs were sticking out again.)

You can also take a look at your parents and grandparents. Figure out which one is the most like you physically and there's a good chance you will look the way they do. Take a look through the family album and see what they looked like throughout their lives and you may just see a preview of things to come for you.

As far as the tan goes, stick those pasty white thighs out in the sun once in awhile. :)

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Er, there's always a problem with looking at grandparents and parents, because one line is dead (grand-parents wise), and I don't know what the other line looks like (parent and grand-parent).

Hopefully I will fill out a bit - but isn't there anything I can do in the mean time? From what I've heard, there's no way to beef up, without eating tons.

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So you're saying you want to build up your body without body-building? That's an impossible contradiction. Any "program" you engage in that has the aim of building muscle without serious weight lifting is going to be a scam or a waste of time and not produce any useful results.

What's wrong with "bodybuilding" anyway? Don't you just have some misconceptions about it?

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Hilarious post, Tenure! :)

In all seriousness, though, I think the male body doesn't quit growing/maturing until about the age of 21,

Not to be a downer, but it's worse then that. Most guys I have talked with about the subject agree that they didn't really finish filling in until 25 or so. And what's worse, for most guys it is really hard to put on mass until that age even with effort. Metabolism is just cranked up too high, I suppose.

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Not to be a downer, but it's worse then that. Most guys I have talked with about the subject agree that they didn't really finish filling in until 25 or so. And what's worse, for most guys it is really hard to put on mass until that age even with effort. Metabolism is just cranked up too high, I suppose.
Honestly, I thought that too when I was younger. But I eventually realized I would never "fill in" until I actually did something, exercise-wise, to make it happen.
So you're saying you want to build up your body without body-building? That's an impossible contradiction.
Hah, I was going to say exactly that, but decided to take a more diplomatic approach.Yes, pretty much that is the bottom line. You can't build your body without at least some form of body-building. So the question is: what do you object to about bodybuilding? Perhaps we can find a program that minimizes the aspect you find unpleasant.
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So you're saying you want to build up your body without body-building? That's an impossible contradiction. Any "program" you engage in that has the aim of building muscle without serious weight lifting is going to be a scam or a waste of time and not produce any useful results.

I don't mean that I don't want to put effort in - what I mean is, I want a controlled effort, to put on some muscle, to fill myself out more, but I don't particularly desire big guns. In fact, I like having a fairly slim physique, and I would like to grow *some* muscle, but not lots.

What's wrong with "bodybuilding" anyway? Don't you just have some misconceptions about it?

I don't have any misconceptions about it (that I'm aware of... otherwise they wouldn't be misconceptions but deliberate evasions), it's just that I don't wish to be a muscle machine. Some people do enjoy having large muscles, but I don't particularly desire that. More muscle - yes; loads more muscle - no.

Inspector: I'll check out this 'Mike' guy later, when I get back from work today (yes, working on a Saturday).

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Honestly, I thought that too when I was younger. But I eventually realized I would never "fill in" until I actually did something,

My experience was that I was 165lbs from 17 to 25 with hardly any fluctuation. Now, at 32 i am 210(not fat) where I evened out at about 28, with no significant change in my lifestyle. My job is physically demanding and is probably responsible for my muscle( I have never lifted weights.) The only change is that I eat less now then I used to. Perhaps it varies for individuals but I see no other causal factors for me.

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I don't mean that I don't want to put effort in - what I mean is, I want a controlled effort, to put on some muscle, to fill myself out more, but I don't particularly desire big guns. In fact, I like having a fairly slim physique, and I would like to grow *some* muscle, but not lots.

Tenure, you don't need to worry about becoming an Olympian bodybuilder by weight lifting because having huge muscles takes a long time, a huge diet and a meticulous training regime. If you adopted a better diet and did a standard weight lifting program then I believe you would see some very satisfactory results (I'm assuming you've never trained with weights before) without being too muscular. You don't have to spend hours in the gym either, it only takes roughly 3 hours a week because training is only the stimulus for growth- make sure you get plenty of rest and have a decent diet though.

Failing that you could try taking up a martial art which will offer you a better body, a means of self-defense (there's no right to bear arms in the UK after all!) as well as greater concentration and focus and many other benefits!

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Interesting - I like the idea of doing a Martial Arts for the very reasons you describe. Does regular practice mean ones muscles and tonality build up, due to the regular use of those muscles? Is this also true of the slower paced Martial Arts. I'm thinking specifically Tai Chi - the whole concept of which attracts me, in its slow study of moves, building up to a greater whole.

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Interesting - I like the idea of doing a Martial Arts for the very reasons you describe. Does regular practice mean ones muscles and tonality build up, due to the regular use of those muscles? Is this also true of the slower paced Martial Arts. I'm thinking specifically Tai Chi - the whole concept of which attracts me, in its slow study of moves, building up to a greater whole.

Yes. In fact it probably applies more to tai chi because of the length of time those poses must be held. In other arts which are more ballistic, I find that they are great to stay in shape until you get good at them...then you are too relaxed to be working the muscles. An additional benefit of tai chi, especially, even over other martial arts, is probably going to be better posture which will help almost anyone's appearance even without altering muscle tone. In a good school there should be a good amount of focus on proper body mechanics generally, and posture in particular, since that is the primary source of power generation.

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So this is a bit of an ancillary point, but my ex-gf is convinced that the martial arts necessitates a violent viewpoint, and is bad for one's out look on life, because it means that people are just focused on beating up other people. I severely disagree, especially on this last point, but I can't think of anything pithy to reply with.

On an even more ancillary point, I'm really afraid I'm losing touch of her as a human being. We split up for a reason, and for a reason I greatly feared - one which has come true. I value her as a person and to see what she's doing to herself, mentally speaking, at her Christian University... I thought people like Rand were being melodramatic when talking about fear or disgust over a bad mental process, but I see what they mean now. I hate more that there is nothing I can do - she is eradicting the last vestiges of her mind, the last sparks of her fire, as it were.

Edited by Tenure
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Interesting - I like the idea of doing a Martial Arts for the very reasons you describe. Does regular practice mean ones muscles and tonality build up, due to the regular use of those muscles? Is this also true of the slower paced Martial Arts. I'm thinking specifically Tai Chi - the whole concept of which attracts me, in its slow study of moves, building up to a greater whole.

I'd have to go with Inspector on this one. If you want to build muscle mass, you're going to have to lift. Martial arts will probably build tone, and strength, but without significant resistance training, especially if you're a skinny guy like I was at that age, building mass will be difficult.

What do you have against "body building". I don't really consider what I do body buildilng per se. It is meant to compliment a training routine for endurance sports, but it is critical to that none the less.

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I shall make this clear: I am not against body building per se, but I do not wish to body build beyond a certain point. It's more an aesthetic thing, that I think a slim but muscly body, for me, is more attractive, than a really big hulk. With enough determination, I could achieve that, but jesus, I really don't want to look like that. :o

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Gotcha, then a bit of weight lifting wont turn you into the hulk. It will however fill out your muscles just slightly even, and make you look better.

I have a disproportionately smaller upper body than lower body, and even a little bit of weight lifting, while it didn't turn me into Lou Ferrigno, did help change the proportions enough to help the situation.

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If you want to build muscle mass, you're going to have to lift. Martial arts will probably build tone, and strength, but without significant resistance training, especially if you're a skinny guy like I was at that age, building mass will be difficult.

That is correct. I would like to add that without taking extra testosteron (and many other things) and a strict diet you will never get to look like that even if you go to the gym often. Same thing with women - we just don't have the body chemistry to ever get to that point naturally.

dimitrihc7.jpg

BTW this is a pic of my brother in law from his competition few months ago which I attended.

I lift weights myself and I will probably do it for the rest of my life. I feel a lot better, stronger (yet I am not bulky in any way), and most of all - I can better manage my weight (I was not getting that just with doing cardio). In time, as I grow older, the benefits of weight lifting will become more significant (bone density, counteracting slower metabolism ect).

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Great. :confused:

Can you answer my question, or more accurately, her point, about the martial arts necessarily leading to a violent thought process, because of it being aimed at the 'destruction of life'.

Sure, it's complete bunk. Martial arts generally focus more on the preservation of self, rather than the destruction of life. Through long term study and training in conditioning and techniques that allow this. They are sports for crying out loud.

Nighty night, T.

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In fact, I like having a fairly slim physique, and I would like to grow *some* muscle, but not lots.

That's probably a good thing because, if you have a "slim physique" (ectomorph) then it is likely impossible, genetically speaking, for you to become particularly muscle-bound. Barring steroid abuse.

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Interesting - I like the idea of doing a Martial Arts for the very reasons you describe. Does regular practice mean ones muscles and tonality build up, due to the regular use of those muscles? Is this also true of the slower paced Martial Arts. I'm thinking specifically Tai Chi - the whole concept of which attracts me, in its slow study of moves, building up to a greater whole.

Martial arts don't build up your muscles at all. That's a myth based on a lack of understanding of how the body works. For example, there's no such thing as "muscle tone."

Soyou want your muscles to grow larger, but you're not going to do any bodybuilding because you're afraid you're going to go from slender to "big guns" after one workout? Yeah right.

I'm just gonna put it bluntly-- you're never going to get any noticeable results from anything other than weightlifting. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't really know what they're talking about.

That's probably a good thing because, if you have a "slim physique" (ectomorph) then it is likely impossible, genetically speaking, for you to become particularly muscle-bound. Barring steroid abuse.

That's really untrue... another myth spawned because people who don't do it right fail to get any results and declare it impossible. It's fully possible for an ectomorph to go from 145 scrawny pounds to over 200 pounds of lean muscle in only a couple years of lifting.

Edited by grim001
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Martial arts don't build up your muscles at all. That's a myth based on a lack of understanding of how the body works. For example, there's no such thing as "muscle tone."

Soyou want your muscles to grow larger, but you're not going to do any bodybuilding because you're afraid you're going to go from slender to "big guns" after one workout? Yeah right.

I'm just gonna put it bluntly-- you're never going to get any noticeable results from anything other than weightlifting. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't really know what they're talking about.

That's really untrue... another myth spawned because people who don't do it right fail to get any results and declare it impossible. It's fully possible for an ectomorph to go from 145 scrawny pounds to over 200 pounds of lean muscle in only a couple years of lifting.

I disagree with your assessment that nothing but weightlifting will give you muscle tone. I weigh 210lbs with not much fat and I have never lifted weights.

I would agree that lifting weights is probably the quickest and most efficient way to bulk up. For me, and others, it holds no interest. Bores me to tears in fact. So my primary means of staying fit for my whole life has been martial arts because it keeps me entertained at the same time. Admittedly it is more strenuous then most since I am into the mixed martial arts stuff, but there are still benefits to other forms of activity which do in fact create tone for people. Pilates and yoga are not all that different from tai chi and they undoubtedly work to tone your muscles. The beauty that I have found in the more strenuous systems is that the diversity of movements increase not just your muscle mass but also the integrity of your whole system with stronger joints and tendons and more sturdy bones. It also has a tendency to work whole muscle groups rather then isolated muscles. I understand that this can be done with lifting also, but martial arts does it organically. (I don't mean that in the hippie way)

Tenure: Regarding the violence idea, she really has no idea what she is talking about. The more I and others I have known, study martial arts, the less violent we become. It is a fairly consistent fact. What basically happens is, by fighting, and learning to fight, you begin to have less and less to prove; feel more and more confident in your own abilities. I don't know what kind of circles you run in, but what happens is when someone "steps up to you" you have a little internal, and eventually external smile, because the thought that comes to mind is "does he think he is going to hit me harder then the trained fighters I play with every week? and you say somewhat reluctantly, "ok...if you want to..." The fight or flight is lessoned and usually the fight itself stops before it begins. Most angry idiots are very uncomfortable swinging on a guy walking towards them with a grin.

What you find out is how very delicate the human body actually is and how to protect it. Not just from attackers but also from accidents and general wear and tear. Her mistake seems to be the same one pacifists make. That they can only exist because someone else(generally police and soldiers) are willing to confront the harsh fact of reality that some people are truly violent and not at all rational and that they can only be met with the same. It's a cop out and an evasion. Like eating a hamburger and hating the killing of cows.

Edited by aequalsa
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BTW this is a pic of my brother in law from his competition few months ago which I attended.

Wow! What a cool shot! Now all it needs is a globe super imposed onto his back and you've got the new cover for AS! :confused:

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