Someone asked this question on Quora:
Why do people waste their lives trying to build muscle? I just don’t get it. Do you like being strong? Strong for what, picking up objects? Do you feel you’ve accomplished something?
Personally, I think it’s gross and I wanted to know why people like it so much? I think it’s a waste of time.
Here’s my answer:
Speaking empathetically I understand your point of view! Although “Gross” is a strong word man!
Firstly, let me start by saying this: We all need muscles. As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass (sarcopenia), which also results in loss of functional abilities and thereby increasing the risk of falls and fractures.
So basically a person who weight trains and have relatively more muscle mass is less likely to be injured.
That’s the very reason why an athlete in almost every sport weight trains. You can check the following links for confirmation:
Now, I am sure you are pointing out to the fact that most bodybuilders build excess muscle which is of no use!!
I have a very simple answer to this fact:
We as humans are not logically by nature, but rather emotional!
Why on earth would:
1) Warren Buffet become a multi-billionaire to give it all away
2) Why would a F-1 driver, drive his car to the speeds of 300km/hr risking his life
We all lead lives of excess, however our circumstances shape our habits and what we become passionate about.
Jeff Bezos’s Quote explains it the best: “ One of the huge mistake people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions. Your passion chooses you”.
Consider my story: I was a teenage boy who simply wanted to fill his measly 33-inch chest with some brawn. Of course, I’ll be honest to admit vanity was my driving force!
I am the one on the right ( with blue lined t-shirt ), other two people is my mom and my younger brother.
Standing tall at 185cm and 140lbs and with a body type of an ectomorph, I wasn’t exactly happy with the way I looked. I also felt weak, and found myself under the weather at least few times every year ( basically I used to fall sick more times than normal people do). You can imagine my state of mind how badly I wanted to gain weight and put on some muscles.
Seeds were sown and I was hooked to weight training, and little did I know that it would become an all time consuming passion and eventually become my whole life.
Vanity now isn’t my driving force and my motivations have evolved.
Now, I am 180lbs and want to build up to 200lbs. For an average person it may seem like too much,
But do you consider it gross?
You can read my entire story here.
I was born underweight and stayed like that until my teens. Because I wanted to gain weight and look good, I read everything I could on bodybuilding, fitness, nutrition etc. I secured various certifications, and in the process I have helped hundreds of people to gain weight ( and lose weight ).
Thousands of people have joined my health club and I feel proud when they say that their lives have changed because of me. I recently launched a blog fabulousbody.com, and have authored a book ‘The Fabulous Body‘ which helps anyone to gain lean muscle, lose fat and optimise their health.
I am not saying this to brag or something like that, but to point to the fact that if a person does something with passion, knowingly or unknowingly he changes lives for good.
Now, I agree to the fact that bodybuilding is not what is used to be:
The legend on the left is Steve Reeves. He was 6’1″ (186cm), and weighed about 215lbs. I can bet majority of men if given a chance to look like him will definelty choose to be like him.
For an average person, this can be easily 30 to 40lbs heavier, do you think he looks gross?
Bodybuilding, weight training, if done in a proper way, can help you to build lean, proportionate and symmetrical muscles that not only makes you LOOK GOOD, but can also make you optimally healthy.
My vision is to help (in whatever way I can ) to bring back the golden age of bodybuilding (1940s, 1950s) where bodybuilding was all about looking good, feeling good, being healthy, weight training 3 times a week, with no drug or supplement use. Back then bodybuilders use to have a LIFE outside of the gym.
And now quickly few words on becoming strong:
Strength is celebrated. Over the centuries, men have played the role of protector, defender, and warrior.
In these modern times with all the technological advances, men are often required to sit behind a desk all day, but even then there is something primal in us that makes us want to become a stronger version of ourselves—to take care of ourselves and our families if need be, to push back if being pushed, etc.
It’s my belief that strength is an essential virtue for every man to have.
In my experience, the strength that we build in the weight room does transcend into other forms of strength (strength of character, strength of spirit, etc.), but that’s a topic for some other day.
To conclude, I hope I have shown you that everyone has their own journey, and building muscles is a beautiful art and if you do it with the right mindset and principles for a few weeks, you will be a weight lifter for the rest of your life.
Once you experience the sublime joy that weightlifters feel, you’ll find the hours spent weight training to BE THE MOST VALUABLE HOURS YOU HAVE LIVED:)