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This isn't about me, but a general question I've had lately.

Why do we have this current obsession in our culture with gaining muscle mass?

So, first off, I have a pretty normal body. I'm blessed with high metabolism and I'm normally pretty active, so I have very little fat. But I don't have huge amounts of muscle. I don't have gigantic biceps, six pack abs, etc. etc. And I don't care about having those things. Nonetheless, I am fairly strong and have decent muscle tone.

What I fail to understand is why anyone would *want* bulging muscles. Why would you want to look like that? Just personally, I find the bodybuilder look grotesque. I don't understand why six pack abs are considered sexy. Again, I think they look grotesque.

What's wrong with having some fat on your body? I don't mean being overweight, but I mean, what's wrong with having even 10% body fat?

Why would you want to weigh 200 pounds? I don't understand the obsession with ridiculous amounts of muscle mass...

Why would you want gigantic muscles? To what end?

Why are muscles even considered sexy in our culture in the first place? I don't find them sexy. Some muscle tone, yes. But when your muscles bulge, when you have six pack abs...WHY IS THAT SEXY?! I honestly don't understand. My girlfriend doesn't either.

I can understand wanting to be fit (fit is not the same as ripped) to avoid loss of bone strength later in life, and just so that you live longer. But do you really need six pack abs and big biceps to live longer? I don't think so...

Pardon me if there's little organization to my post. It's kind of a smattering of questions, but they are still legitimate. Maybe this is just a personal preference issue...but I just can't understand why anyone would want that look. Am I just an idiot? Am I failing to see something important here? Am I supposed to have bulging muscles? Is that what I'm supposed to want? Am I supposed to think that's sexy? (I'm very happy with my own body; I'm just asking in general here).

Edited by Krattle
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I train each week and look forward to the challenge of improving each time, either increasing the weight or number of repetitions. It gives me short term goals and the long term goal of gaining muscle, which I do for myself because I find it attractive.

It takes a lot of hard work to gain muscle and to visualise your achievement is very rewarding and motivates you to continue improving in each session.

I enjoy working out, I enjoy the challenge and having goals, and I enjoy the result because I find it beautiful in comparison to being underweight, weak and more prone to injury in other areas of life.

Whether or not you find it attractive is a personal issue, and for me, I consider the body of Frank Zaneto be appealing, only in the sense that I would love to look like that just for my own pleasure.

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This isn't about me, but a general question I've had lately.

Why do we have this current obsession in our culture with gaining muscle mass?

I'm not sure how wide spread this obsession is in our culture considering the vast number of people I see each day who do not look as you describe.

And the question you ask about why people appreciate the appearance of a muscular person may have a many different reasons, depending on who you ask. I would think that a relatively common answer is akin to the one provided by Bourcet; when people see a very muscular person they tend to think of hard work and strength, concepts that are generally valued in our culture. For the most part, it takes a considerable amount of effort and time to develop large muscles, hence the hard work. And from the dubious to the very useful, sometimes it's great to have a very strong person around (moving anytime soon and wondering how you are gonna get that armoire downstairs? :D ) With respect to strength, I would offer that many women, though not all, value a man who would seem to be able to protect her physically should the need arise. Then again, some women themselves seek strength to be independent in that respect. I don't think the attraction is so prevalent in reverse though; I don't think that many men really want to see muscle bound women, though I'm just speculating based on limited observation.

For oneself, these thing are also true. Large muscles are a visual reminder of one's accomplishment; massive strength has lots of uses for oneself.

For my own sake, I'm not really concerned with why other people either want to be muscular or don't want to be muscular. I can't see why that would be of significant quizzical interest to me. If they want muscles, by all means, let 'em go pump some iron. As long as one's muscle mass is not causing a detriment (in the big picture) to one's life, who cares?

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Capitalism Forever, I made it clear that this is not about me in my post. It's not. It's just an issue I've never understood. Frankly, I still don't.

I still don't understand. You don't need big muscles in order to be able to "protect your woman." I don't know what on Earth you think you need to protect her from anyway. It's not as if you have ninjas coming to attack you every day. You can learn a martial art, the majority of which do not require large muscles. They require you be fit, but not overly muscular. Who do you think would win in a fight? Jackie Chan or Arnold Schwarzenegger? I'm putting my money on Chan. Faster, more agile...he probably knows a hundred ways to kill a man with a single blow of his hand. Back in my Aikido classes, I used to beat up on a muscular cop all the time. A few simple flicks of the wrist and I had him writhing on the floor in pain. Again, you don't need huge muscles to be able to defend yourself...

In the entire lives of my parents, who are now in their 60s, my father never once had to protect my mother in a fist fight or any other form of physical violence. In our society, it's incredibly rare that you need to get in a fist fight to defend yourself. It's far more likely that your house will be burgled and you'll need to use a gun to defend your family. If you want to protect your woman, it's wiser to learn how to fire a gun. Even a muscle man will fall to a gun. A gun, especially something like a .357 magnum or a 45 caliber, is phenomenally more powerful than any human being. It takes far less time to learn how to fire a gun well than it does to gain lots of muscle. I speak from experience. My skills with a gun make me far deadlier than any muscle man.

Also, you don't need "massive strength" in the course of a normal life. In my own life, I have moved several times and have almost always done the moving of the furniture myself and never had any trouble or any pain afterward despite the fact that I am not muscle bound. Now, if you work for a moving company or a construction company or something similar, I can understand needed muscle...but even the movers I've used before have not been particularly muscular. In fact, they've all looked quite normal.

As for what Bourcet said, under what weight? You don't need to be muscle bound to be a normal, healthy weight. And what do you mean more prone to injury? Seriously, in my entire life I have never broken a single bone and never had a serious injury, even though I've had my fair share of accidents...I've fallen from some considerable heights before, tumbled over myself for some distance, fallen flat on my face, and just never broken anything...I don't see how I could have been any better off than I was just by having more muscle.

Edited by Krattle
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Look, I still don't understand what you mean. I'm not expecting anyone, myself included, to have bulging muscles.

I mean, what I'm trying to get it is that society in general expects men nowadays to have big muscles. You see it literally all the time, and it's just curious to me because even 20 years ago this obsession wasn't nearly as widespread.

You see TV ads constantly with these ripped male models who have 0% body fat doing exercises on the Bowflex or the Ab roller or Ab rocker or Ab this Ab that. You see it in movies all the time. If you want your male lead to be sexy, just give him muscles. Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman, Jason Statham, blah blah blah...in the new Sherlock Holmes movie, of all people, they made Sherlock Holmes extremely muscular. They made the new James Bond muscle bound...what happened to Sean Connery? He didn't need huge muscles to be James Bond, to be sexy.

Edited by Krattle
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That's the other thing, while it may be true that some muscle is attractive to women, it's also true that men typically *MASSIVELY* overestimate just how much. By 15 to 20 pounds according to some studies.

I'd also like to point out that the idea of "looking as though you can protect your woman" is typically couched in evolutionary psychology nonsense. Women do not know "instinctively" that a man can protect her brood. The human race doesn't operate that way! While non-sentient animals will feed on the children of other non-sentient animals (e.g. some birds eat the eggs of other birds), humans do not do that. We don't go around to other people's houses to gobble up the kids. There's no instinct, there's no such behavior...Do you honestly think that when women first see a man their first thought is: "gee, I wonder if he can protect my brood?" Umm, no. Sorry.

Edited by Krattle
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What is wrong with muscles in advertising, or muscles as a particular ideal? Is advertising supposed to show less attractive people? Are muscular bodies supposed to be considered unattractive?

Any thoughtful adult will understand where he stands relative to a "perfect" body (of which there are many kinds), and he doesn't mistake beautiful advertisement models for what he should look like himself.

Krattle, your thread reads something like, "I prefer this, and I can't believe some other people prefer that! Why do they?" There could be so many reasons. If you have a problem with the whole idea of finding muscles attractive, you should focus on the one or two bad reasons, in your opinion, that you think people have for finding them attractive, and try to explain why they are bad reasons. You should also listen to people who list the good reasons. Fact is, there are loads of good reasons.

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Some people gain great joy out of sculpting their bodies to maximum efficiency and remaining in tip-top shape. This happens to be an admirable trait in our society, though a very rarely practiced and honed one so people tend to idolize the fit as having virtue. Indeed, I'm sure some do. But I don't think anyone considers it a necessity or something to be expected of you. If no one important in your personal life is riding you, I don't see why you care. I don't.

You could also see where a passion for fitness is bad. You have to weigh it with other, more important values such as your own happiness. If someone is miserable in the gym all day, what kind of life is it to deal with the misery? Now you've got huge muscles, and an unsatisfying personal life. Not much has been accomplished.

Edited by TheEgoist
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Also, you don't need "massive strength" in the course of a normal life.

I don't "need" an XBOX 360 in the course of my normal life, but I sure do enjoy playing it sometimes. Must everyone limit what they do to what is "needed"? Is it for you to decide what other people need in their lives?

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Look, I still don't understand what you mean. I'm not expecting anyone, myself included, to have bulging muscles.

No, that is not how I meant the question. :D You are saying that someone is expecting someone to have bulging muscles, and I am trying to fill in the someones. I guess your answer is "society in general," but that's vague at best, and on this forum, we will only process precisely formulated input. ;)

You have stated that you aren't expected to have bulging muscles--but if guys in general are expected to have them, why would you be an exception? Clearly, you can get by in this society without being overly muscular, and so can anyone else.

It is true that some people do place a whole lot of emphasis on body-building, and there are some people who tend to admire them for it. Is the reason for this admiration that you are wondering about?

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Yea, that's how I read it as well. I'm not sure why one would be so concerned with what others do with their bodies.

Me too. His posts are too full of vague generalizations and hyperbole to be considered proper arguments against body building. They just come across as childish rants.

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So, first off, I have a pretty normal body. I'm blessed with high metabolism and I'm normally pretty active, so I have very little fat. But I don't have huge amounts of muscle. I don't have gigantic biceps, six pack abs, etc. etc. And I don't care about having those things. Nonetheless, I am fairly strong and have decent muscle tone.

What I fail to understand is why anyone would *want* bulging muscles. Why would you want to look like that? Just personally, I find the bodybuilder look grotesque. I don't understand why six pack abs are considered sexy. Again, I think they look grotesque.

What's wrong with having some fat on your body? I don't mean being overweight, but I mean, what's wrong with having even 10% body fat?

Why would you want to weigh 200 pounds? I don't understand the obsession with ridiculous amounts of muscle mass...

Why would you want gigantic muscles? To what end?

Here's why I want big(er) muscles:

* I think it looks good. I love the look of the human anatomy, especially when it's well developed and without too much fat to cover it up.

* Exercise is a physical and mental challenge which I love; it demands focus and mental toughness.

* I love the feeling of having strength, vitality and good health.

* When I get old the more strength and muscle i'm able to build now the longer I can hopefully maintain a good quality of life. As we get older we start to lose muscle mass, bone mass and joint health. Strength training slows the physical decline.

* After years of heavy squats, chicks really digg my butt. :D

So, the short answer would be; because it fits my values.

Why are muscles even considered sexy in our culture in the first place? I don't find them sexy. Some muscle tone, yes. But when your muscles bulge, when you have six pack abs...WHY IS THAT SEXY?! I honestly don't understand. My girlfriend doesn't either.

SOME women probably find it sexy because it's a manifestations of physical strength and fitness. They may consider that to be more masculine, perhaps they see such men as better "protectors", and they may find it a turn-on to find their own bodies contrasted against a (much) bigger, stronger man.

Others may see it as sign of higher social status.

Then there are women who don't like it all.

People are different, no big surprise there.

Personally I think anyone who believes they have to look a certain way to attract women is seriously mistaken.

I can understand wanting to be fit (fit is not the same as ripped) to avoid loss of bone strength later in life, and just so that you live longer. But do you really need six pack abs and big biceps to live longer? I don't think so...

How long you live is determined by alot more than how fit or muscular you are, and going to the extremes may even have a negative effect. However, the quality of life as you get older can be seriously impacted by this. The strength of bones and joints are very much effected by the pressure put on them, and this - as well as maintaining strenght and muscle mass - is a loosing battle as you age.

If it's worth years of rigorous exercise is another question of course. For some people, like myself, who likes exercise it's pretty simple. Those who don't... well, noone really cares. If you prefer thin, fat, fit or anything inbetween - big deal...

Pardon me if there's little organization to my post. It's kind of a smattering of questions, but they are still legitimate. Maybe this is just a personal preference issue...but I just can't understand why anyone would want that look. Am I just an idiot? Am I failing to see something important here? Am I supposed to have bulging muscles? Is that what I'm supposed to want? Am I supposed to think that's sexy? (I'm very happy with my own body; I'm just asking in general here).

Yes, every man is supposed to look atleast as Daniel Craig. Anything less and you can no longer be called a man. If you have a face like Gregory Peck you may be cut a little slack. ;)

Edited by Alfa
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I *do* understand your question, and to answer part of it (the "why people like big muscles"), I answer with: "they just do".

Partially biological, partially cultural, partially mystical (just kidding!).

Why do man men like slender, long-legged, brunettes, and other like petite, athletic-type, blondes? No idea, and they probably don't either.

Some people like cheese, some prefer mustard.

Why are we drawn to beautiful faces, and not others? Strangely, a beautiful woman (at least the face) is universally considered beautiful - across cultures. There are exceptions, of course, and many "average or typical" woman can go either way, since beauty is partially in the eye of the beholder. However, distinctly ugly woman, are pretty much considered "ugly" by everyone, and the same goes for beautiful ones.

I think it is the same for the physiques of men. There are variations, such as "extreme" muscles and exaggerated proportions, but a slender, tone, male physique is universally more attractive than a heavy one. Why? Don't know, but it is.

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I still don't understand. You don't need big muscles in order to be able to "protect your woman." I don't know what on Earth you think you need to protect her from anyway. It's not as if you have ninjas coming to attack you every day. You can learn a martial art, the majority of which do not require large muscles. They require you be fit, but not overly muscular. Who do you think would win in a fight? Jackie Chan or Arnold Schwarzenegger? I'm putting my money on Chan. Faster, more agile...he probably knows a hundred ways to kill a man with a single blow of his hand. Back in my Aikido classes, I used to beat up on a muscular cop all the time. A few simple flicks of the wrist and I had him writhing on the floor in pain. Again, you don't need huge muscles to be able to defend yourself...

In the entire lives of my parents, who are now in their 60s, my father never once had to protect my mother in a fist fight or any other form of physical violence. In our society, it's incredibly rare that you need to get in a fist fight to defend yourself. It's far more likely that your house will be burgled and you'll need to use a gun to defend your family. If you want to protect your woman, it's wiser to learn how to fire a gun. Even a muscle man will fall to a gun. A gun, especially something like a .357 magnum or a 45 caliber, is phenomenally more powerful than any human being. It takes far less time to learn how to fire a gun well than it does to gain lots of muscle. I speak from experience. My skills with a gun make me far deadlier than any muscle man.

Attraction is not necessarily something logical.

Shave your head, get tattoos all over yourself, add a broken nose, a couple of scars and cauliflower ears and go out to a nightclub of your choice. That would probably make most men run from you and women swarm around you. It certainly doesnt make you any more dangerous than before and you won't be a better "protector", but to alot of women you'll seem like dangerous, exciting, badass alpha-male who'll give her multiple screaming orgasms in the sack.

Of course, thankfully, women with their values more straight would avoid you, but the fact remains that it's not by appealing to their logic that you will attract the others. Talking about aikodi-skills and how good you are with a gun would not get you anything.

And the fact here is that alot of women like to feel safe and protected. One way for that to happen is with a physically big and strong man. It's not a matter of there being something to actually be protected from, or who would win a fight between Arnold and Jackie Chan. It's a feeling of her wanting to physically surrender into his care.

I'm not saying it's the only way, or that you somehow need big biceps for her to do that, or that all women react the same... but, it's easy to notice that women in general prefer men who are bigger and taller.

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I could get behind the Daniel Craig Standard, although he's pretty buff in this particular picture, I've seen others of him not looking nearly so good:

daniel_craig_shirtless_2.jpg

But, I stipulate, I personally think women like the Crossfit Girls look good:

CF_Girls.jpg

I think this perception that "society in general" believes that whoever should look a certain way comes from certain kinds of commercials--namely, the ones that attempt to convince you that there's something wrong with you and sell you something as a result. Almost all of the commercials of this kind I have ever seen that are targeted at men are for fitness equipment/gym memberships and display some ridiculous dude with abs that look like an illustration from a medical textbook.

I'm in favor of some definition, and not really even as much as Daniel Craig up there with his overdeveloped trapezius and pectoral muscles. My brothers, for instance, would look ABSURD with that level of development because they are BEAN POLES. (Both of them eight inches taller than I am and narrower across the shoulders.) Every guy has a different look that suits him and his body type. My housemate is kinda short and squat with long arms and an *amazing* amount of muscle under the flab, and should he ever decide to get in shape he would be pretty built just because that's the way his body is shaped.

If you feel good and healthy and "stripped for action", you probably look quite good for whatever your body type is. So stop worrying about it.

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Thank you Alfa and Megansnow for not just bashing my post and understanding that I have a real reasons for what I'm asking.

I beg to differ, Alfa! Attraction can always be explained logically, and I much to prefer to appeal the mind of a woman than her body. In fact, if I remember correctly, the first time I ever attracted a date without flirting or looking sexy, was....god knows, 8 years ago, I was teaching a course on Japanese history and she was impressed with my intellect. Now, she didn't work out for many other reasons; we just weren't compatible. But the point remains appealing to the mind, the logic, of women is quite effective. I've done it successfully three times, and twice had very, very long-lasting, rewarding relationships. I'm in one now. It just depends on the woman. I'd rather attract women who care about the mind more than the body than pimp myself just so I can brag about how many women I've attracted.

But even when the reasons for attraction *themselves* are irrational, like you only go for bald men even though baldness has no relevance to personality or character, you can still explain the attraction itself using logic. The woman has a trait she's attracted to: baldness. So she looks for bald men. Simple, pure, logic. Why does she like bald men? Could be any number of reasons, depends. Maybe she thinks it's a sign of virility, maybe she just doesn't like hair, maybe she thinks it makes you look tough and she likes tough-looking men. WHO KNOWS. But there is *always* a reason, if you just take the time to introspect. Attraction is not controlled by hormones, genes, biology, anything. It's all personal preference that you've developed *volitionally* throughout your life.

In response to rl096: maybe I'm not drawn to beautiful faces? That is to say, the mainstream, contemporary standard of beauty. I think the mainstream, contemporary standard of beauty is, frankly, ugly. I don't like any Hollywood actresses, I despise the supermodel look...nor do I believe symmetry makes you beautiful. Half of beauty, for me, is in the emotions and expressions in a person's face. Even a person many would consider ugly can be quite attractive to me if I see intelligence and strong emotions in their eyes and the way they control the muscles of their face.

Hmm, I'd also like to add that I don't like women who want to surrender into my care. I prefer independent women, and would even like a woman who knows how to defend herself (like how to shoot a gun). I'm not here to care for or pamper my woman. She has to have a brain, motivation, ability, and preferably she shouldn't be afraid of defending herself. My current woman knows how to fire a gun, for instance.

Edited by Krattle
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Simply, because musculature in the way modern bodybuilders (outside of Crossfit) form it is completely unnatural (and quite gross looking.)

Having enormous pectoral muscles is useless, it is known as a 'beach' muscle, because there is no natural activity which would cause that muscle to grow to giant proportions other than bench pressing. The modern standard of 'muscular' doesn't seek to build an ideal human body, it seeks muscle at all costs.

As a gay man who is attracted to masculinity, I still find most heavily muscled bodybuilder types (again, outside of Crossfit) to be gross and undesirable.

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Thank you Alfa and Megansnow for not just bashing my post and understanding that I have a real reasons for what I'm asking.

I beg to differ, Alfa! Attraction can always be explained logically, and I much to prefer to appeal the mind of a woman than her body. In fact, if I remember correctly, the first time I ever attracted a date without flirting or looking sexy, was....god knows, 8 years ago, I was teaching a course on Japanese history and she was impressed with my intellect. Now, she didn't work out for many other reasons; we just weren't compatible. But the point remains appealing to the mind, the logic, of women is quite effective. I've done it successfully three times, and twice had very, very long-lasting, rewarding relationships. I'm in one now. It just depends on the woman. I'd rather attract women who care about the mind more than the body than pimp myself just so I can brag about how many women I've attracted.

But even when the reasons for attraction *themselves* are irrational, like you only go for bald men even though baldness has no relevance to personality or character, you can still explain the attraction itself using logic. The woman has a trait she's attracted to: baldness. So she looks for bald men. Simple, pure, logic. Why does she like bald men? Could be any number of reasons, depends. Maybe she thinks it's a sign of virility, maybe she just doesn't like hair, maybe she thinks it makes you look tough and she likes tough-looking men. WHO KNOWS. But there is *always* a reason, if you just take the time to introspect. Attraction is not controlled by hormones, genes, biology, anything. It's all personal preference that you've developed *volitionally* throughout your life.

I agree that it's about preferences that are developed volitionally throughout life, and as such there are rational and logical explanations behind them. So far i'm with you. But, attraction does not work by an appeal to reason. This is because it's an emotional response to previously formed value judgements(some of which are probably formed very early in life, therefore deeply rooted and many times universal - i.e a large majority of people will share similar value judgements).

This is quite important to understand, because while it's true that in a civilized society there are not many real dangers for a woman to need protection from - and there certainly are better ways to protect your loved ones than to build big muscles and learn how to punch others in the face - it still does not change how someone would feel towards certain physical characteristics.

Your example is not an example of appealing to her reason. Here's what I think happened:

She saw that you were confident, intelligent, competent and you were coming from a position of some power and authority. These are all very, very attractive things. And when I say she was not attracted because an appeal to reason i'm not suggesting that intelligence is not attractive. On the contrary, I think alot of women will find that to be very attractive. She saw you demonstrate these characteristics and responded accordingly, like an automatic subconcious reaction.

Appealing to her reason would have been like walking up to her and say; "Hey baby, obviously i'm a confident, intelligent and attractive male specimen; just look at how I conduct my classes for all the proof you could ever need. So, just give me your number and we'll hook up later. Ok?". That would have been... well, almost as bad as Dimitri the Stud:

:D

See the difference here?

So when you argue against the whole "protector" thing it's a bit like "women shouldn't be attracted to that, because...". Fact is though, many women are, even if it doesn't rationally make the most sense.

Hmm, I'd also like to add that I don't like women who want to surrender into my care. I prefer independent women, and would even like a woman who knows how to defend herself (like how to shoot a gun). I'm not here to care for or pamper my woman. She has to have a brain, motivation, ability, and preferably she shouldn't be afraid of defending herself. My current woman knows how to fire a gun, for instance.

I don't think they are mutually exclusive. Good examples of that are Dominique and Roark, and John Galt and Dagny.

Simply, because musculature in the way modern bodybuilders (outside of Crossfit) form it is completely unnatural (and quite gross looking.)

Having enormous pectoral muscles is useless, it is known as a 'beach' muscle, because there is no natural activity which would cause that muscle to grow to giant proportions other than bench pressing. The modern standard of 'muscular' doesn't seek to build an ideal human body, it seeks muscle at all costs.

As a gay man who is attracted to masculinity, I still find most heavily muscled bodybuilder types (again, outside of Crossfit) to be gross and undesirable.

The pectorals work the glenohumeral joint through flexion, extension, adduction/abduction, transverse adduction, transverse flexion and medial rotation. It does quite alot more than just make people look good on the beach. Not that I think there's anything wrong with looking good on the beach though.

Building large pectorals, or any other muscle, is no more unnatural than doing crossfit. It's no more unnatural than applying your mind and the use of different tools for some purpose, in this case building larger muscles.

I also think the term "bodybuilder" is used very loosely. Anyone who lifts heavy objects with the purpose of building muscle could be regarded as a bodybuilder. That would include crosfiters, Daniel Craig and weekend warriors. Then there are competitive bodybuilders. Some of them are happy amatures, they have more muscle than the avarage man and Mr. Craig, and when they compete they manage to have incredibly low bodyfat. Most of those who don't use drugs and stay lean could blend in in any crowd as long as they keep their shirts on. Then you have drug-assisted and professional bodybuilders. They tend to look like freaks. They have enormous, bloated, muscles and tend to be as wide as they are tall. Those are not the guys you'd see in comercial for the latest ab-macine, showing off their six-pack abs, spray-tans and shiny veneers.

Point is, there's a huge difference between "bodybuilders". The great majority of which actually look very normal.

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I agree I don't get this image being pushed of having very muscular men. I just don't see why it should be desirable. I can find almost exclusively negatives to say for it, and certainly any positives are outweighed by the negatives in almost every case.

As human beings, we're the rational animal, we survive and thrive primarily by using our big brains, not our big muscles. Need to lift something heavy? Why, with the modern marvel of the fork lift, you can quickly lift more than you ever could with any amount of your own muscular strength no matter how developed. Need to protect yourself or others? With the handy dandy tool known as the gun, you can take down any big bad person before they could lay an overly meaty finger on you. So with our brains we've invented tools that can do the jobs of muscles and better. Additionally, it requires much more time and effort devoted to constantly keeping up your muscular physique than to just get and learn how to use a tool, time and effort that could be spent on other things. And as has been said, for how much time and effort you put into it, even on top of what time and effort could be spent on acquiring and learning how to use tools instead, think about how rarely, if ever, you will actually really need to put to use that heavy lifting or potential for beating up somebody, assuming said somebody is not armed or maybe better trained in martial arts of some sort. Somebody also mentioned that it is a challenge and gives visible reminders for what you've done, but I think there are many more useful challenges you can do, since a challenge is really generally good to succeed in for what it accomplishes, not just that it was hard. Doing something just because it is hard sounds like a pointless stress to put on yourself I think. You can have visible reminders of your accomplishments just fine too. People do things that earn them patches and medals or they may get tattoos related to accomplishments or maybe they wear clothing they themselves made or they cut their own hair, et cetera, et cetera.

So based on that line of thought, when I see anybody who is particularly muscular, I just find it rather repulsive looking as all I think to myself from their image is about what an inefficient waste was put into achieving and maintaining that image and also that it may even (in some cases) be a visible sign of a misunderstanding of what is the nature of a human being, that we're primarily about surviving and doing well by our smarts, not our brute strength. People with a lot of muscle also can start to give me an impression of having a distorted form in a way similar to somebody who is very overweight. The comment about some females wanting a guy to be quite muscular so he looks like he could protect them and not caring as much for if the guy could well demonstrate possession of and skill with a gun, that the image does more for them romantically because they'd "feel" protected, sounds ridiculous and stupid, not just fine as a line of motive for desiring muscular guys. It reminds me of the same stupidity of when Roark was building the house for the really fussy family and the daughter complained that her room "felt" dark and wanted the design changed to make it lighter and they didn't care that Roark's design actually gave more light because it still "felt" dark to the girl. Screw relying on the guy for protection anyway. Get yourself a gun and learn how to use it. It isn't like that other person will always be there anyway. If somebody is going to try to mess with you, they'd probably try to do it when they think you are alone anyway.

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LOL, Dmitri...I remember listening to that a while back. That's the thing, though...from your points and others people have made, I can understand wanting to build muscle for your own purposes, whatever they may be. But, if your sole purpose is to attract women, then that's like Dmitri. You're just being blatant about your purpose. And frankly, I don't find it attractive in women when they're making obvious attempts to attract me like showing cleavage so I don't understand why women should find guys who go to the gym just for the sake of being more attractive to the opposite sex attractive.

Let's say you're obese. A rational, selfish reason for going to the gym would be to loose weight so you can live a healthier and longer life. But if you're just doing it to be more attractive to women and you don't care about your health, then that I don't understand.

Ah yes, I have to say I agree fully with bluecherry on this. Exactly, what if the big muscular guy is actually bad in fights and what if he's not around? Would you rather want to *feel* as if you can be protected, or would you rather *know* that you can be protected, because you know your boyfriend/husband has actual skill at something that can actually protect you? Or, for that matter, why not go learn how to defend YOURSELF. Women can learn how to handle guns and do martial arts just as well as any man.

Now, maybe it's personal preference, but yes, I think there are far better challenges to accept than bodybuilding. Not that I eschew physical challenges; sometimes I enjoy them. But usually I enjoy mental challenges. For me: becoming fluent in Japanese, mastering the philosophy of Objectivism and learning how to think rationally, becoming talented enough on the piano to play Rachmaninoff. These are all challenges I've put myself up to and gained just as many visible, tangible returns from. You can see improvement in your skill at piano very easily, you can see improvement in your thinking ability readily, and so on...

Edited by Krattle
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LOL, Dmitri...I remember listening to that a while back. That's the thing, though...from your points and others people have made, I can understand wanting to build muscle for your own purposes, whatever they may be. But, if your sole purpose is to attract women, then that's like Dmitri. You're just being blatant about your purpose. And frankly, I don't find it attractive in women when they're making obvious attempts to attract me like showing cleavage so I don't understand why women should find guys who go to the gym just for the sake of being more attractive to the opposite sex attractive.

Let's say you're obese. A rational, selfish reason for going to the gym would be to loose weight so you can live a healthier and longer life. But if you're just doing it to be more attractive to women and you don't care about your health, then that I don't understand.

If it's ONLY to attract women it would be outright stupid. That would mean a big comitment and alot of hard work for something that would give very little in return. Not that I think there's anything wrong with wanting to look good, and it's nice if others appreciate it too, but only an idiot would work hard for years if the only thing they got from it was some smiles, giggles, women tossing their hair and an ocassional compliment or squeeze on their arm. And that IS pretty much all you'd get from women unless you look extremely good, and even then they'll quickly loose the interest if you're no more than a handsome face and nice body. There has to be more to it than that for it not to be a complete waste of time.

Heck, if it's about the women it's "easy":

Step 1. Be awesome.

There is no step 2.

:D

Seriously, for us guys, looks only go so far.

Ah yes, I have to say I agree fully with bluecherry on this. Exactly, what if the big muscular guy is actually bad in fights and what if he's not around? Would you rather want to *feel* as if you can be protected, or would you rather *know* that you can be protected, because you know your boyfriend/husband has actual skill at something that can actually protect you? Or, for that matter, why not go learn how to defend YOURSELF. Women can learn how to handle guns and do martial arts just as well as any man.

But again, people are not attracted to what they "should" be attracted to. They are attracted to what the ARE attracted to. Besides, there are other aspects to take into account also. Masculine/feminine polarity being the biggest one, in this case the physical contrast.

Now, maybe it's personal preference, but yes, I think there are far better challenges to accept than bodybuilding. Not that I eschew physical challenges; sometimes I enjoy them. But usually I enjoy mental challenges. For me: becoming fluent in Japanese, mastering the philosophy of Objectivism and learning how to think rationally, becoming talented enough on the piano to play Rachmaninoff. These are all challenges I've put myself up to and gained just as many visible, tangible returns from. You can see improvement in your skill at piano very easily, you can see improvement in your thinking ability readily, and so on...

Yes, that's a personal preference. Now for me, exercise doesn't take up so much time that I can't enjoy other things also, and it actually adds to them(I get more calm, relaxed and focused when doing other things). For me strength training has been the best "challenge" i've ever undertaken. I cannot even begin to describe what it has done for me, but then I also started from a very poor physical(and somewhat mental) condition. Which is why I also like arguing passionately for it. However, it's important to understand people have different values and preferences as well as different contexts.

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