September 6, 2011

Giving birth

“My delts and traps are really starting to come in.”


This comment is one that is all too common among bodybuilders and the fitness obsessed. In the mind of those making those comments the focus on the body has become so extreme that the muscles take on their own personas. They think about them 24/7, feed them a special diet, and have activities specifically geared for them to flourish and stand out.

They are giving birth to their muscles.

The muscles become their own entities that take a lot of time and energy to look a certain way, yet often those showcasing these bodies don’t talk about the extreme methods they have taken to get there: anabolic steroids, human growth hormone or clenbuteral. On the competition stage they have a few moments of hard won enjoyment, but this is short lived as they are probably dehydrated and exhausted from a hard night spent sleeping with a layer of tan paint on their skin. I’ve watched people crumble under the stress of this profession/hobby and have close friends that have ended up locked into eating disorders as a result.

Not everyone takes their fitness to the bodybuilding or fitness stage, but they still might be falling into the trap of being too concerned with the external appearance of their bodies. As I’ve discussed before, what will this ultimately get you?  Will you be healthier if your delts are symmetrical? Will you lead a more fulfilling life? If you study anatomy you will find that most people are not symmetrical and will never have the same muscular development on both sides of their bodies. What function would we really need this for? I truly believe it is our asymmetry that makes each person unique and beautiful.

Another long standing ideal, in this case specific to women, is the “myth” of the flat stomach. Most women won’t ever achieve this unless they use Photoshop! The female anatomy is designed so that the uterus is rounded and essentially by “removing” the uterus we are removing what makes a women a women!


There is nothing wrong with wanting to be and look strong, fit, and healthy, but when it becomes the main thing in your life such that you start naming your muscles Billy Bob or Suzy Ann there is a problem. Take a step back. What are your other interests? What do you enjoy doing outside of the gym or working out? Perhaps dedicate yourself to spending one “gym” day each week pursing something new.

If you decide you miss your muscles I’m Billy and Suzy will still be there waiting.

Photos: Classicbodies.com, marcird.com

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