Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Men: Do You Really Want Big Muscles?

A good article from Diet Blog.

Most of us don't really want BIG muscles as much as we want to look fit, strong, and healthy. Or maybe that's just me. Seriously, I don't train for size. I want to be fit for any sport I want to play, look good naked, and be stronger than most people would give me credit for. I stay around 190-195 lbs most of the time.

But there is a lot more pressure now for men to look perfect, with washboard abs and bulging pecs. We don't need that pressure any more than women have needed it for the last 50 years or so. And we are starting to suffer from the same body dysmorphic disorders generally thought of as a "woman's issue."

The Diet Blog took a look at this topic recently.

Men: Do You Really Want Big Muscles?

by J. Foster

There is a common thread in many male transformation stories. A guy starts off overweight - he eats poorly and is sedentary. Then he discovers how to eat right, how to lift weights, and before you know it - new words like cardio, metabolism, and HIIT become part of the standard vernacular.

At some point along the journey - fat loss turned into bodybuilding. Is this the answer for every man?

Is every issue the same?

People who undergo a physical transformation using diet and exercise are amazing. It takes courage, dedication, consistency, and plain hard work. It's impressive and worthy of respect. But what makes a man? A ripped physique? Great guns and a shredded six pack?

I would argue that few men would deny wanting a muscular physique. It's not just women that have body image issues. The sculpted models in magazines like Men's Health or Men's Fitness shout out from the magazine racks. They catch your eye and play on your mind.

The basic principles for muscle building include:

  • Eating 5-6 meals per day
  • More protein (pref. eaten at every meal)
  • Intense weight training workouts
  • Plenty of sleep.
The supplement industry would love it if you spent hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on shakes, Meal Replacement Powders, whey protein, creatine, glutamine, and anything else you can think of. There is no denying that many of these supplements are effective - but where does it end? When do you stop? Is it sustainable to live like this? Does every man have to be heavily-muscled - or lean and ripped?
Read the rest.

Final thought from the post: We must aim to look after our bodies, but the prevailing cult of physical perfection can distract us from simply enjoying life, recreation, and good health.

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