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November 19, 2012

Comments

I'm going to flatter my ego too: did you pick up that subject after my remark on comedians and bodybuilders? ;)

Yes, this obsession with muscle hypertrophy is a very modern phenomenon. It did not really start until the 1970s.

The cool dudes in the 60s used to be rockers, hippies and druggos with skinny arms.

Since muscle is at the origin a prolish feature --- in intellectual work, you don't get to lift crates --- I suspect the generalization of "work-outs" is a sign of the masses imposing their values on the intellectual class. Before it was the reverse. The first bodybuilder ever, Eugen Sandow, was in his time looked upon as a weirdo.

Offspring of mostly vikings wants to add muscle? I'm shocked by this development. Scandinavian females are quite unique relative even to Europeans (owing to a culture that left them in charge of the land and household while the men were fishing or raiding).

In a decade of gym going I really can't say that I've noticed any big trend toward muscle-building among women. Not to say that it hasn't happened to some extent, just that the trend, if it exists, is not noticeable to the casual observer.

If the goal is to build muscle with little regard to health, it's pathological and prole. If the goal is to build muscle with good health in mind, it's good sense. Doing moderate amounts of resistance training is good for health. It lowers the risk of certain ailments such as arthritis and muscle pain. Just don't overdo it.

From the article:

"Pediatricians are starting to sound alarm bells about boys who take unhealthy measures to try to achieve Charles Atlas bodies that ONLY GENETICS can truly confer."

The best angle for attacking the Left's Blank-Slatism is to point out that they are not, in fact, Blank Slatists on two near-and-dear issues: sexuality and, as seen above, body image. They admit that whom we want to bang and what our bodies look like are genetically determined, so why not intelligence? They get all huffy-puffy if you put in that way.

"Yes, this obsession with muscle hypertrophy is a very modern phenomenon. It did not really start until the 1970s."

Did it? I thought the ideal male form was depicted as being muscular going back to ancient Greek sculptures.

I used to be into lifting weights, from about Jr. High onward, until I had kids and didn't have the time to spend hours a week in the gym.

I graduated high school in 1990, and the weight lifting culture was in full swing by then.

Remember that 1988 was the year that Lenny Dykstra showed up for spring training for the Phillies with a neck that was a lot thicker than it was when he played for the Mets. I say that that was the start of the steroids era in baseball, which trickled down to all sports very quickly.

Oh great, now when I go to MN for the holidays I get to listen to more people go on about their work outs:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/workout-routine-broken-down-for-coworker,1738/

On a more serious note. In general it's good that kids are getting some exercise in. However, I wonder if the increase weight lifting correlates to increase in narcissism. Does anyone know?

[HS: I am sure that kids work out not for long-term health benefit, but for short-term social benefits (better at sports, look better).]

"Did it? I thought the ideal male form was depicted as being muscular going back to ancient Greek sculptures."

Yes, but nobody ever tried to consciously mimic that look until Eugene Sandow in the 1890s. Obviously, some men had heroic proportions due to physical jobs or athletics, but Sandow turned 'bodybuilding' into a sport/culture. This culture was underground (and gay, although it is still pretty gay) until the 1970s (AHNOLD, Pumping Iron, ROCKY -- especially Stallone's rock hard physique in later films).

I don't think this is too troubling. Compare the number of kids who go overboard in the gym with the number of kids who go overboard with the Doritos and Pepsi.

@Drole Prole:

"Doing moderate amounts of resistance training is good for health. It lowers the risk of certain ailments such as arthritis and muscle pain. Just don't overdo it."

As with all such advice we've heard over the years, I wonder is that because strength training helps with those things, or is that because people who are able to strength train have fewer (and develop fewer) of those problems to begin with?

Of course, when you see this guy, it kills your spirit a bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfGkHZCX35A&feature=fvwrel

[HS: It's always important to consider which way cause and effect runs. It should be obvious that people in naturally better shape because of their genes (or maybe just luck) will enjoy exercising more. People enjoy what they are good at and dislike what they are bad at. It's no fun being the weakest guy at the gym.]

TUJ is right. The ideal male form as depicted by artists has always been muscular. Not Mr. Universe muscular, but more muscular than your average American weekend warrior. The only difference between musclemen of the past and now, besides total size, would be in the development of the pecs, which in older depictions of the male form were relatively small compared to today's idealized male shape. This is because the pecs are not greatly utilized by daily physical demands, and so artists of ancient times thought it weird to make them bigger than they normally would be on a physically fit man. But the bench press made the idea of oversized pecs the norm.

[HS: Actually, there was a period in which the ideal male had a bit of a pot belly, as can be seen if you take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.]

Off topic --

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.


Soon to be making the internet rounds as "Marco Rubio is anti-science creationist derp who believes earth is 600 years old"

It's about status.

In times of old, being scrawny (or fat) meant that a person had no need to do physical labor. Such a person might be appealing as a mate, even if he was less attractive on an animalistic level.

Fast forward to the times when manual labor became low-status, and scrawny was in. Fat was out, because food had already become cheap and readily available -- fat signified a lack of self-control rather than enough wealth to afford extra food. The unmuscled office worker was appealing.

Spin on a few more decades, and manual labor is practically gone. The meaning of muscles changes. Now it means that a person is high-status enough to have leisure time for gym workouts, which means that he must be outsourcing things most people do for themselves (cooking, yardwork, whatever). Now we want a low-fat and somewhat muscled body.

In a touch of irony, that's also what would have probably been popular during prehistoric times. Fatness just didn't exist, but someone reasonably well-fed and athletic-looking was probably a successful hunter (or gatherer).

This confuses me. Whenever I am in Brooklyn I am astonished by the softness and flabbiness of the male SWPLs. Isn't having a sickly and frail physique considered ideal among SWPLs?

In a sidebar to the article, 80% of women said they always walk in front of their boyfriends, either to humiliate them or to signal other women how "in charge" they are. Of this group, 90% said they didn't understand why the 'men' put with it.

For an intelligent take on why it's worth training with weights and how to go about it, it's worth reading Starting Strength: http://aasgaardco.com/store/store.php?crn=199&rn=413&action=show_detail

From the book:

"A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or the spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.

[...]

Over and above any considerations of performance for sports, exercise is the stimulus that returns our bodies to the conditions for which they were designed. Humans are not physically normal in the absence of hard physical effort. Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem -- it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was -- and still is -- adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal. In other words, exercise is a substitute cave-man activity, the thing we need to make our bodies, and in fact our minds, normal in the 21st century."

"The cool dudes in the 60s used to be rockers, hippies and druggos with skinny arms."

Incorrect. I grew up in '60's California. At the time, hippies were a tiny fringe and were seen by most as freaks. The cool kids were the car guys, and while they didn't build their muscles in gyms, they had big biceps either through doing physical work generally (few office workers back then), doing pushups, or lifting barbells. I had two kids on my block in 1967 who regularly did that in their parents' driveway. Having skinny arms and a drugged-out appearance did not become mainstream-respectable before the early '80's punk scene.

[HS: I suspect the car guys were proles, but I wasn't around then.]

Working out is a major energy and confidence boost. I usually do it at lunch during the workday and its a nice way to break things up and get the blood flowing.

That being said you should set realistic goals. I hurt myself training to hard because my body just can't add that much muscle. Train hard but not too hard. There is more to be gained from feeling like you've done the best you can with your genetics.

HS:
"Actually, there was a period in which the ideal male had a bit of a pot belly, as can be seen if you take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art"

During this art period, were the pot bellied men muscular in all other ways?

DIH:
"exercise is a substitute cave-man activity, the thing we need to make our bodies, and in fact our minds, normal in the 21st century."

This would explain modern Western male self-abnegation and manboobery. The spindly limbs and pudgy bellies and chipmunk cheeks of the archetypal male SWPLster is not just an affront to his physical health, but also to his mental and emotional state. His physical weakness thus reinforces his mental weakness, and he begins wearing t-shirts that say things like "This is what a feminist looks like".

However, weightlifting is not natural in that sense. Survival exercise was generally aerobic or blended. Lifting heavy things comes up only seldom, in a pre-civilization state.

"However, weightlifting is not natural in that sense. Survival exercise was generally aerobic or blended. Lifting heavy things comes up only seldom, in a pre-civilization state."

Really? Consider carrying children, carrying injured adults, carrying carcases of animals back from the hunt, moving rocks from the mouths of caves, etc.

I globally agree with the fact having a moderate amount of muscles and a nice body is required for a male to be (a) taken seriously (b) confident.

But I have three small critiques to submit to those who think that "YOU MUST WORKOUT OR YOU WILL DIE".

- A GI will be taken more seriously both with his peers and his commanders with a nicely hypertrophied physique. Will it work for a professional hacker, a screenwriter or a computer expert? My informed answer is: no. Too much muscle, and nobody will think you are smart.

- As Matt said, before Eugen Sandow and the rise of scientific and cultural bodybuilding, muscles were *respected* but they were not *expected* from everybody. Nobody cared if a sage or a rich man was fat or skinny. It was part of their being intellectuals rather than warriors. And at this time, intellectuals were as respected as warriors.

- Some people, especially in the power elite and the top-out-of-sight, actually take pride in their grotesque or puny physiques. They advertise them as signs that they are not required to live with, and be subjected to the sexual standards of, proles. Evangelos Venizelos and Timothy Geithner are examples of each category: obese and puny.

People in the 60s and 70s smoked a lot. I'm not sure there is a lot of evidence that smoking makes you skinnier, but its seems like its true. When I watch old movies they all look like the people I know who smoke a ton.

Alex:
"Nobody cared if a sage or a rich man was fat or skinny. It was part of their being intellectuals rather than warriors. And at this time, intellectuals were as respected as warriors."

I agree with this, but for a different reason: namely, women's attractiveness criteria. Women are aroused primarily by male status and dominance, traits which are in large part off-shoots of an attitudinal alpha male personality, not muscles. All else equal, women of course will prefer the sight of a healthy muscular man than a deformed grotesquerie, but the high status, spindly or obese winners with women are successful despite their lack of musculature -- physical attractiveness is simply not as important for men's sexual market value as it is for women's.

My beef with HS above is that visual artists throughout history rarely depicted the male form in anything less than toned muscularity. Effete, cherub-face adult men with atrophied bodies and stooped shoulders were hardly ever the norm in painting or sculpture. So what this tells us is that when male sexual desirability is reduced to the physical component, muscularity will nearly always beat out flabbiness or scrawniness.

DaveinHackensack, a child old enough to be truly heavy should be doing his own walking. My son weighs about fifty pounds, and it's been ages since I carried him anywhere. Most carcasses, too, are nowhere near as heavy as the weights routinely lifted in gyms. That sort of activity -- or supporting part of one's own weight, as in climbing -- is a combo of aerobic with anaerobic. That's the "blended" I already mentioned.

As for a boulder pinch-hitting as a door, I couldn't speak to prehistory, but personally I think I'd rather roll it than lift it.

"However, weightlifting is not natural in that sense. Survival exercise was generally aerobic or blended. Lifting heavy things comes up only seldom, in a pre-civilization state."

In all the pictures and video I've seen of indigenous people in Papua New Guinea or the Amazon Rainforest, the guys are all incredibly ripped. They appear to do non-stop carrying (mostly wood), hacking (wood and each other), and spear throwing (fishing, hunting and tribal conflict). They walk many miles a day at a brisk pace.

In some Papua New Guinea tribes there is no concept of female beauty, only strength. A woman is judged based on how many puppies and babies she can carry on her back, and how well she can hack pulp out of tree trunks. The women tended to have very defined arms and strong legs, but pudgy tummies.

"The women tended to have very defined arms and strong legs, but pudgy tummies."

And thank god at least two races evolved away from that dispiriting condition of existence and toward valuing, and selecting for, female beauty.

"Most carcasses, too, are nowhere near as heavy as the weights routinely lifted in gyms."

Mastodons? Mammoths? Granted, I assume early men were stripping the carcasses rather than moving them whole, but if you think about it, there were plenty of applications for strength back then (including for fighting other men).

As for aerobics, and how we adapted in that regard, see p.19 of Lou Schuler's book New Rules of Weight Lifting For Women. Try using the "see inside" feature at its Amazon page and searching for "Kenneth Cooper": http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Rules-Lifting-Women/dp/1583333398/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353368803&sr=8-1&keywords=new+rules+of+lifting+for+women

Interesting, chesswife.

I was thinking of times older than that, before wood was hacked, but civilization of that low level has been around long enough for us to have made some adaptations.

I wonder if the change in entertainment personalities is as simple as the value of talent vs. "hotness" changing, and if the kids aren't trying to build muscle just to imitate what they see in the media. Perhaps it's as simple as that.

How come nobody bothered to mention how useless and stupid this survey question is? They've changed eating habits or exercise habits to build muscle? What does that even mean? "Oh yeah, I didn't eat order that extra (30% larger than 30 years ago) scoop of ice cream, I don't want to get fat." All this means is that people wish they weren't gaining so much weight.

Men of ancient historical and prehistorical times may not have been regularly lifting weights, but they were certainly doing "bodyweight exercises." You can get quite fit and muscled just using your bodyweight, no special equipment is required.

BTW, if any of you work out now or are thinking of doing so, I recommend considering Starting Strength. The author is not a fan of Joe Weider and bodybuilding, btw, and thinks the idea of six-pack abs is ridiculous and dangerous -- that even naturally thin individuals who lift should have at least 10% body fat.

I started exercising regularly in May, after recovering from hospital stay that got me a little more focused on my health. For the first five or so months, I did about an hour of aerobic exercise (stair master, running on the treadmill, elliptical) followed by 15-20 minutes of lifting with dumbbells and machines. I was burning 3000+ calories per week and not losing any weight, maybe putting on a few pounds. All that aerobic exercise made me hungry and didn't change the way I looked at all.

For the last month and half, I've been doing the Starting Strength program. Not losing weight with it either, but my body composition is starting to change, as the program predicts: more muscle, a little less fat. So far so good. And I don't do any cardio, except for an occasional 5 minutes on a rowing machine as a warm up. Don't miss the cardio at all, and I don't dread going to the gym like I used to when I was spending so much time on a treadmill.

Another nice thing about lifting weights is the possibility of making incremental progress. I've always thought that's one reason guys in steady blue collar jobs did it. If you're career is a straight line -- a comfortable salary, but little opportunity to advance -- it's nice to engage in an activity that give you a sense of advancement. Maybe some get the same feeling from playing World of Warcraft though, I don't know.

I remember a time when people were normal, that is neither fat or muscle-bound. Nowadays you´re either one or the other. Morbidly obese or abnormally ripped (with steroid, creatin, etc use).
Lifting weights is bad for you, don´t let anybody tell you otherwise, Siggy. It´s bad for your joints.

"HS: It's always important to consider which way cause and effect runs. It should be obvious that people in naturally better shape because of their genes (or maybe just luck) will enjoy exercising more. People enjoy what they are good at and dislike what they are bad at. It's no fun being the weakest guy at the gym."

Indeed. Yet it seems that this is *never* done in much modern medicine, at least not in the studies for which popularly disseminated advice is based. I've noted a trend of purportedly healthy products/activities showing no benefit on close analysis (e.g., fish oil, multivitamins), and there's your observation that overweight people live longer. Since most medical studies are correlational, they are poorly able to pin down actual causal relationships.

Hence, I view much popular advice as suspect, including the purported benefits of exercise, unless they have some sort of properly controlled experimental data to back it up (which, presumably, is difficult to impossible to construct in a way that addresses long-term effects).

HS:
"People enjoy what they are good at and dislike what they are bad at. It's no fun being the weakest guy at the gym."

The gym may be less fun for weaker men, but I have yet to see a weak man come out of a gym six months after starting a weightlifting program unhappier than when he went in.

[HS: That's biased by the fact that you are only looking at men who didn't quit before six months.]

DaveinHackensack, come off it. Nobody ever lifted a mastodon singlehandedly, and you know it.

Nobody here has said that old-style life-based exercise doesn't increase muscle. The point is that it doesn't increase muscle to the same degree that weightlifting does.

Weightlifting is a modern shortcut -- bigger muscles in less time.

"HS: That's biased by the fact that you are only looking at men who didn't quit before six months."

But that's my point. The guys who stick it out for six months (the time needed to start seeing some really noticeable results and to fill out a shirt) are invariably happier than when they first went into the gym. Whatever degree of lesser enjoyment weaker men get out of the gym is overridden by their much increased happiness if they force themselves through six months of unpleasantness. Ask these guys if they regret their six months of hard work, and I doubt one of them would say they do.

[HS: You didn't get my point. The majority of people who start working out a gym quit before a month. So you are only looking at the people who enjoyed it enough to stick it out. People who hated it and quite probably would have still hated it if they were somehow forced to keep at it.]

I go to the gym, semi-regularly. It's a good way to deal with stress, whether you are there for the physique or not; there's clearly short term benefits. There's been some studies that suggest improvement of working memory with strength training.

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/11/17/hlsa1117.htm

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1135414

I'm not sure that the trend of teenagers hitting the gym and using supplements to gain muscle mass is a good thing. They could stunt their growth if they over train and don't get enough sleep.

"Lifting heavy things comes up only seldom, in a pre-civilization state."

There would be many opportunities for heavy lifting in both pre-civilization and pre-Industrial Revolution states. In hunter gatherer societies men would developed toned legs after walking long distances, make weapons out of stone, chop wood, etc.

In pre-machinery civilizations blacksmiths would get to work out their biceps hammering metal. Bricks also had to be carried and laid to make buildings.

"For the last month and half, I've been doing the Starting Strength program. Not losing weight with it either,"

Go on the Atkins diet. While the other low carb diets (including the SWPLized version of Atkins known as the "Gluten Free" diet) work, Atkins is the best low carb diet because it emphasizes eating fat, even more so than protein. Protein based low carb diets such as Dukan don't work as well because fatty foods fill you up faster than protein.

Interestingly, once your body gets used to burning fat you won't get as much of a sugar rush from eating carbs, at least in my experience. Eating fat over protein makes your metabolism more resitant to weight gain.

Also, for any general health advice, I always recommend visiting the longecity.org website where health supplements, and, to a lesser extent, pharmaceutical treatments are discussed in considerable detail.

I found this discussion to be very interesting. It's something I've wondered about before.

I follow a Buddhist-type "middle path" with weight lifting. I do it twice a week, moderately, and eat more around the times that I work out. Then I sort of fast until the next workout. It's worked pretty well. So I get to look nicer and have more confidence, but not spend my life in the gym. Moderate resistance training also helps with depression.

Another consideration with bodybuilding is that it may put extra wear on the internal organs - since bodybuilders have to eat (and digest) more than a typical person.

Regarding six-pack abs: found this interesting:

http://caloriecount.about.com/forums/fitness/six-pack-abs-unnecessary-unrealistic-possibly

Also, someone mentioned about bodyweight exercises being historical. This is correct: "Early use of the pushup can be traced to ancient Medea, present-day Northern Iraq, in the 5th century B.C. The Medes uses a wooden board called a Takhteh Shena. They would place their hands on it and perform exercises by pressing their bodies in a variety of different angles to increase strength and flexibility. This was part of their military training. You can also trace the creation of the pushup back 5,000 years ago to yoga. Yoga involves specialized breathing techniques, meditation and exercise to increase health. Many poses, such as the downward and upward dog, resemble the pushup seen in gyms across the world."

http://www.livestrong.com/article/410934-what-is-the-origin-of-push-ups/#ixzz2CpGTfG16

Unbearably Sane,

You've piled up a few straw men there. I never argued that early man single-handedly lifted mastodons, or that modern training methods were not more effective than their every day activities.

BB,

"Lifting weights is bad for you, don´t let anybody tell you otherwise, Siggy. It´s bad for your joints."

Not if it's done with free weights, and done correctly. One of the points the authors make in Starting Strength is that some of the putatively safer machines put a lot of stress on joints by isolating a movement, and that many injuries come from people over-training one area and under-training a complementary area.

Jayman,

There's research out there that doesn't suffer from Siggie's correlation concern (young, healthy guys who like going to the gym). E.g., studies showing that weight training increases bone mass among post-menopausal women.

TUJ,

"Go on the Atkins diet."

Done it a few times, with good results the first time, and diminishing results subsequent times. Starting Strength specifically advises against doing it during its program. You're supposed to eat a minimum of 3500 calories per day on it, which would be tough to do while avoiding carbs.

@Alex , that certainly would explain why so high a proportion of working class guys bulk up and do it hard. Hardly anyone does the kind of work that would take naturally anymore (at least in the West).

Interesting how common it is for gay men to be ripped, regardless of class (and openly gay men are rarely lower class, possibly because of the homophobia of prole men). I think it's a Freudian thing to reconnect with their macsulinity, but some gay guys are pretty masculine, at least more so than the typical straight SWPL guy.

Which brings me to my next point, I think SWPL guys are often weak looking because they probably feel that athleticism implies conformity. Like most leftists, SWPLs are quite conformist, but hate "right wing style conformity" things like non-soccer sports games, the military, large BBQs and the 4th of July. Things like recycling, gay rallies, the millitary when it accepts LGBTs, and modern art norms are fine.

I guess I can say this because while I consider myself pretty SWPL'y (i live in a blue state and study the humanities at a liberal arts college), I play a lot of sports, tennis among them (more SWPL than basketball but less so than soccer) and consider myself athletic.

Just my two cents.

Regarding weightlifting's affect on the joints. I think that's probably true if someone is working out improperly, excessively or with heavy weight. That kind of exercise is about ego not health. But I doubt there are any negatives if done in moderation. In fact, many doctors recommend that older men and women work out to combat muscle and bone loss that starts around 40.

If someone is worried about joint damage then they should be more worried about jogging. It might not be so bad in moderation but if you're overweight, running marathons or have had an injury you might reconsider. I'd recommend brisk walking instead. There's a reason heart patients are walking instead of jogging. You can get just as much benefit from walking as long as you maintain your target heart rate.

I've never been a "bodybuilder" but I used to lift a lot. I started in 8th grade and switched to calisthenics after a year or so. I went back to weights in college before returning to calisthenics. I did another year of weights in my mid 20s before returning to calisthenics again. Now I do a combination of calisthenics (pushups, pullups, dips, lunges, etc) with some moderate dumb bells thrown in for variation.

I've found that I'm doing better now (maintaining health, physique, etc with less effort) than when I was living in the gym. I think its because I was actually working out too much before. It might not have been too much if I'd been scarfing down protein shakes and sticking a needle in my butt but that's not me.

Now that I'm working out less I'm focusing on major muscle groups with compound movements. I might not look like Conan but I'm not that far off Daniel Craig who was recently mentioned on another post. And it only takes me less than 2 hrs / wk plus walking. I very much agree with Shiva that you don't have to go to extremes. You can get a lot of benefit from a good diet, moderate exercise and just walking.

"Interesting how common it is for gay men to be ripped, regardless of class (and openly gay men are rarely lower class, possibly because of the homophobia of prole men). I think it's a Freudian thing to reconnect with their macsulinity, but some gay guys are pretty masculine, at least more so than the typical straight SWPL guy."

Steroids, also diuretics and thyroid medications like T3. Very easy to obtain at many large urban gyms frequented by gay men.

There is a subset of gay men who are huge, ripped -- I've been to circuit parties before where it seems every other guy is 200 + pounds at less than 10% body fat, but plenty who are not athletic at all or fat or sickeningly thin.

HS:"People who hated it and quite probably would have still hated it if they were somehow forced to keep at it."

Perhaps, but that doesn't square with my observations, nor with the lack of regret experienced by most people who claim to hate working out but stuck with it regardless. People who don't like exercise but go to the gym anyway are pretty happy after they've put in the months of work, both by the results they see in their bodies and by the euphoria that is a natural biochemical consequence of lifting heavy weights. Runner's high is a good example of this, as well.

Exercise is pretty universally a mood lifter and dopamine booster, even in weaklings who claim not to like working out, or actually don't like working out, as much as naturally endowed mesomorphs.

"In fact, many doctors recommend that older men and women work out to combat muscle and bone loss that starts around 40."

There is no evidence that exercise is beneficial to health. The life expectancy of athletes and professional sportsmen is inferior to the mean.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=36503.0

The few studies that show that exercise is good for health were written by government shills and have poor methodology.

As Henry Ford and Winston Churchill said, "exercise is for losers".

Working out your muscles makes them stronger and hypertrophied, but it does not improve health or joint health... it may perhaps reduce the risk of falls in old persons, that's all.

"People who don't like exercise but go to the gym anyway are pretty happy after they've put in the months of work, both by the results they see in their bodies and by the euphoria that is a natural biochemical consequence of lifting heavy weights. Runner's high is a good example of this, as well.

Exercise is pretty universally a mood lifter and dopamine booster, even in weaklings who claim not to like working out, or actually don't like working out, as much as naturally endowed mesomorphs."

If you were thinking a bit deeper, you'd understand that the reason humans feel "high" during high-intensity exercise is because the human body delivers endorphins to NUMB THE PAIN caused by lactic acid formation and general strain.

The human body was NOT DESIGNED to do high-intensity exercise everyday, and especially not things like sprint running. There's evidence that sprint running was only used in prehistoric humans to escape predators, and was not used to pursue preys.

I don't understand the point of getting high, personally, whether it comes from meth, cannabis, or exercise. Humans were not made to be perpetually happy.

"The human body was NOT DESIGNED to do high-intensity exercise everyday, and especially not things like sprint running."

Lol

If men aren't adapted for high intensity labor then how did the Roman Colosseum and Pyramids get built? Did they use Star Trek-esque tractor beams to move all of the marble and brick instead of fit men?

"Exercise is pretty universally a mood lifter and dopamine booster, even in weaklings who claim not to like working out, or actually don't like working out, as much as naturally endowed mesomorphs."

Working out also improves working memory and slows its decline for older men.

And in response to Matt in RTP, I'd caution against using steroids too much because over-stimulation of dopamine can cause mania and other mental abnormalities.

"Lol

If men aren't adapted for high intensity labor then how did the Roman Colosseum and Pyramids get built? Did they use Star Trek-esque tractor beams to move all of the marble and brick instead of fit men?"

What was the average life expectancy of a peasant or a slave back then, genius? Compared to the life expectancy of a priest?

"And in response to Matt in RTP, I'd caution against using steroids too much because over-stimulation of dopamine can cause mania and other mental abnormalities."

Eh, I don't know. I stay on a low dose of 250 mg testosterone weekly and blast up to 750 mg 3 times a year for 10 weeks. I've never experienced anything worse than balding. But the truth is that exercise hurts, and it is almost always driven by vanity.

I am vain. So that is why I lift. Purely aesthetics. I've cut down to 600 calories a day, 0 carbs, and been so weak I've passed out pumping gas, and then gone on benders of 10,000 calories a day, eating ice cream, Chinese food, and donuts until I've become physically ill. I've torn tendons, ripped calluses off, and pinched sciatic nerves. This is with good form, mind you, but at some point, it is inevitable.

If I could look good and spend 15 minutes a day pressing a button, I would.

I can't believe it's been six and a half hours and nobody's asked Matt about his circuit party experiences.

Matt,

Not everyone is gay or vain. The Starting Strength guys don't seem to be either. They don't wear tight or skimpy clothes when they workout, try to get to unhealthily low body fat percentages, etc.

"You didn't get my point. The majority of people who start working out a gym quit before a month. So you are only looking at the people who enjoyed it enough to stick it out. People who hated it and quite probably would have still hated it if they were somehow forced to keep at it." - Half Sigma


Sounds like low future time orientation to me. I was a fitness freak and in really good shape like two years ago but now I'm a slob again. It's gonna take a grueling effort and some patience to regain my athleticism. Point is even for people who "like it" as you claim it's not necessarily easy or fun when starting back out. Remember how Bruce Wayne had to rebuild himself physically and mentally in the Dark Knight Rises? It's like that for everyone.

"Interesting how common it is for gay men to be ripped, regardless of class (and openly gay men are rarely lower class, possibly because of the homophobia of prole men). I think it's a Freudian thing to reconnect with their macsulinity, but some gay guys are pretty masculine, at least more so than the typical straight SWPL guy." - Social Critic


This is a myth much like other leftist myths such as girl power (anything you can do I can do better!) or how other cultures were robbed from that's why they didn't invent electricity. Most homos are NOT better looking than average. They're actually flabby and disgusting or wimpy and skinny. Most west coast and north eastern proles have also adopted elite liberal culture and having a gay friend is cool especially among prole women. The few homos you see ripped and buff are the exceptions just like the Harvard educated black man president. Both are held up as the norm or the potential norm by an agenda driven media.

Dave,

"Not everyone is gay or vain. The Starting Strength guys don't seem to be either. They don't wear tight or skimpy clothes when they workout, try to get to unhealthily low body fat percentages, etc."

Very true. I like Starting Strength. I began on that, and still incorporate deadlifts, squats into my workout regimen.

However, it cannot be denied there is some vanity in of gym culture!

Matt,

No doubt -- there are plenty of mirrors in gyms (though the Starting Strength guys aren't into mirrors much either).

Re gays and working out, in one of Augusten Burroughs's memoirs he joked that if you're a gay New Yorker and you stop working out, other gays will grab you, throw you in the trunk of a car, and dump you off in the mens room at the Paramus, NJ Red Lobster.

There is no evidence that exercise is beneficial to health. The life expectancy of athletes and professional sportsmen is inferior to the mean.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=36503.0
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I think most pro athletes are pathological and do whatever it takes to maximize their level of performance even if it means lower their life expectancy. Many just overdo it.

"What was the average life expectancy of a peasant or a slave back then, genius? Compared to the life expectancy of a priest?"

The lives of workers were shorter than priests, but so what? Shorter lifespan does not necessarily indicate high intensity labor wasn't selected for in human males. Males only have to live long enough to reproduce to pass on their traits.

Male laborers were also more numerous then non-laborers which means their physical strength genes should still show up in high frequencies in modern populations. Until the Industrial Revolution there have always been far more manual laborers than every male non-laborer. The population of Roman Italy is estimated to have been 30-40% slave and indentured servant.

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