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Narcissistic bodybuilder


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Hello everyone... Happy Easter!

 

I grew up playing rugby (and hockey). I played fairly competitively. Once I graduated and got i job, i stopped playing rugby but kept up my 'rugby' training to keep in shape. Over the past couple of years I've found myself training more and more like a bodybuilder. There are no olympic platforms or bumper plates at my gym, so oly lifts are out of the question.

 

Anyways, I feel like I'm being a bit of a hypocrite training as a bodybuilder. I've always thought of bodybuilders as being narcissistic and a little vain. Obviously this is a generalization and I don't mean to offend any bodybuilders here. I remember seeing a bodybuilding competition on tv. I saw a huge, overly tanned, oiled man wearing nothing but a piece of cloth, grinding and flexing erotically to R&B music and couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable watching it.

 

Then of course there's the guys in the locker room gossiping about how 'soandso' doesn't have any calves and how 'whatshisname' really needs to work on his hams.

 

I guess i just wanted to share my frustrations on being a closet bodybuilder and see what some other opinions are. I train as hard as i can but feel that i'm a little misguided because i don't have a clear goal. I admire bodybuilders and powerlifters who train super hard for 12 weeks to compete in one single event.

 

I really hope I didn't offend anyone. It's just my own 2 cents and like I said, I am being a hypocrite....

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Certainly some bodybuilders appear narcissistic and vain, which is why I think I like watching the (natural) female bodybuilders much more. I think women in the sport embody what it should be about - building symmetry and mass while presenting it with very little body fat. Since the female body builder type is not considered attractive by many, there seems to be less vanity and narcissism. Don't get me started on the new bikini division however.

 

But I can see how it's very different for men. Some guys at my gym have a need to call attention to themselves and if they also become bodybuilders they sound like the men you've mentioned. I had 2 trainers in the past who were also bodybuilders. There were big but very quite and reserved at the gym. No yelling, screaming, flexing, posing while working out - no narcissism. And they somehow carried that aspect of themselves onto the stage. True class.

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My name is Ryan, and I have a problem. I, too have also become a "closet bodybuilder" this past few years, and I need help!

 

Seriously, though, I do relate. Since I can't train the same way I used to due to medical reasons, I've lost my ability to go all-out and work toward more strongman or powerlifting competitions, so training is a bit without overall focus compared to days gone by. This leaves me feeling less than fully motivated, as my best work in ANY area comes when I have a focus and a goal I'm working toward. Since I've had to change things up, I've shifted focus to trying to slowly lose fat while keeping relatively strong (at one point, strength was everything regardless of how much fat I would put on, and I'm trying to undo the damage of those years), so essentially, I now train just to keep fairly strong and am trying to...gasp...look better as well. It's not my first choice, but it's better than the alternative of sliding back to being weak and way too flabby, so I'm doing my best to enjoy it for what it is.

 

If you approach it with the attitude of simply training to be more fit and get stronger rather than thinking of it in bodybuilding terms, it seems to make things easier mentally. I know I'm never going to be like Robert, Giacomo and Jimi and walk on a stage to compete in a BB'ing show any time during this incarnation, but if I can improve my health a bit with getting in better overall shape/conditioning and keep most of the beloved strength I worked toward, that's all I can ask for at this point. If you need more than that, just find yourself some different goals to keep your focus and work toward something. Never pressed 300 lbs. overhead? Spend the next year working toward getting as close to that mark any way you can get that weight locked out. Curious as to how well the 20-rep squat program works? Give it a shot for a bit and see what you can do. Sometimes, if you don't have a major mission you're after, finding some smaller things along the way for a specific lift or program you want to test out is the way to go.

 

I started out a bodybuilder, then became an odd lifts fan, then a grip geek, powerlifter, strongman, and now back to bodybuilder all over again. I try to get away from bodybuilding, and I end up right back where I started

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Good posts!

 

Personally I feel that bodybuilding HAD the potential to be one of the best sports globally. When bodybuilding started, they would display their physiques as part of strength demonstrations. Not to mention they also strived for the "the Grecian Ideal".

 

I found a box of old bodybuilding magazines from the early 80's. There were pics of guys doing 95 lbs flyes, 500 lbs squats (ass to the floor!), 315 lbs behind the neck presses.... no leg extensions, hardly any other machines, a few curls here and there...

 

Wouldn't it be cool if there were a new breed of competition that returned to the old days of showing your physique through a series of strength movements!?

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  • 2 weeks later...
If you approach it with the attitude of simply training to be more fit and get stronger rather than thinking of it in bodybuilding terms, it seems to make things easier mentally. Never pressed 300 lbs. overhead? Spend the next year working toward getting as close to that mark any way you can get that weight locked out. Curious as to how well the 20-rep squat program works? Give it a shot for a bit and see what you can do. Sometimes, if you don't have a major mission you're after, finding some smaller things along the way for a specific lift or program you want to test out is the way to go.
Well said. I identify with this statement.
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