July 26, 2010

Unnatural looking gym bodies

Homo sapiens evolved without weightlifting machines, jump ropes, and other modern inventions. Assuming they ate the diet that human beings are suited to -- rich in animal products and low in carbs -- and lived their normal lives, they were lean and muscular. Although pastoralists are not hunter-gatherers, they rely enough on animal food and do not even cultivate let alone consume the carby junk that farmers do, like corn, potatoes, wheat, rice, etc. And they are still physically active. It's only when people started farming that their health went down the tubes -- they got shorter, had weaker bones, and so on.

Still, some people in agricultural societies ate well, and in the capitalist societies up until about 1980 an increasingly large fraction of the population could afford a diet brimming over with animal foods. In our species' beginning, we might have gotten muscled by hurling projectiles, moving heavy obstacles out of the way, giving others a boost into a tree, pulling ourselves into a tree, sprinting toward a prey animal, sprinting away from a predator animal, and so on. Once capitalism set in and we no longer lived that way, we would have played sports, lifted heavy things for a living, and other activities that are not so different from what a hunter-gatherer would have done.

Once people started going to the gym, though, they started to look weird. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is about gym bodies that look off -- it's a gestalt impression. But every image of the ideal male body I've seen from the ancient Mediterranean through the movies of the 1970s and even somewhat of the '80s shows a very different looking person than the gym guy. To show what I mean, here is a 16th C. Italian sculpture of Ganymede, a mythological figure famed for his beauty, and here is a random shot of present-day gym dudes.

What are the differences, and why causes them? A computer program designed to recognize patterns could do a better job if it were fed a bunch of images of each type and then told us along which dimensions they differed the most, but I'll try to flesh out some of my overall impressions.

First, the gym guys are fatter. In some parts they have little body fat, but if you just look overall, they're not as lean as Ganymede. It would be the same if I compared them to a group of hunter-gatherers or pastoralists, who are always lean and cut. I attribute this to the gym guys' diet -- obviously they're lifting weight to build muscle, but they probably eat too much carbs, which boosts their insulin level and keeps more fat locked in fat cells instead of being burned for energy.

Also, their skin looks pretty matte, not glistening. Here I can't compare with Ganymede, but think of Stallone in the early Rocky movies. It's not just sweat, since it's true even when they're not working out. I think what's going on here is a lack of vitamin A among the gym guys. This vitamin is necessary to maintain the health of your epithelial cells -- anything on the surface, such as your skin, but also "inner surfaces" like your digestive and respiratory tracts. Low vitamin A levels will make your skin look like hell.

To build muscle, you need to eat protein, which gets broken down into amino acids, and these are re-assembled into human muscle protein. Vitamin A gets used up in this process, so if you eat a lot of protein and are lifting weights, you will probably deplete your store of vitamin A -- unless you get a decent amount from your diet.

There's really only one source for it, and that's liver. Of course, most gym guys don't eat liver in any form, unlike what regular people in capitalist societies used to do until very recently. Hunter-gatherers have good access to it, and even pastoralists do to a lesser extent. Vitamin A also comes from dairy products, although in far lower concentrations, so pastoralists make up for their relative lack of liver by consuming a lot more dairy. Eggs, too, are about as good a source as dairy. But unless these gym guys are eating a dozen eggs and a pound of Gruyere cheese or clotted cream a day, they're not getting enough vitamin A. (This vitamin only comes from animal products. A precursor to it comes from plants, but the conversion process is so inefficient that you'd have to munch a room full of spinach just to get enough -- like cows that chew grass all day.)

Next, their chest muscles are way too overdeveloped. You never saw these kind of man boobs before gyms existed. They have somewhat defined abdominal muscles, but not really anything on the sides of the torso -- again, I'm not talking something monstrously beefed up, but something lean and cut like Ganymede shows on his sides. You can't really see the definition of their ribcage, but that may just be the fat problem mentioned earlier. I also don't notice a clear distinction between the biceps and triceps. It's hard to see if that's there on Ganymede, but go watch a Dirty Harry movie where you see his arms, or when De Niro starts working out in Taxi Driver, or any random picture of hunter-gathers and pastoralists from google images. There's a thin strip between the biceps and triceps that should be flatter against the bone, with the other two standing out more. Gym guys instead have a single bulge on their upper arm. And while their shoulders stick out somewhat, the place where they meet the upper arm is not as cut as you can somewhat see in Ganymede -- or any basketball player's arms.

I don't see any diet-related cause for these muscular differences. I think it's due instead to veering off nature's course for building human muscle. Remember, we evolved in a world without devices meant to isolate this narrow muscle area or that one, so it was not possible to overdevelop one area and leave another one underdeveloped. Pulling yourself into a tree, hurling a spear, and lifting heavy objects all require the coordination of many groups of muscles at the same time. So does swinging a sword or a baseball bat, suplexing another man, dashing to the end zone, and the athletic variety of dancing. Even the workouts that non-jocks used to do (until the gym took over) stressed the entire body, or large parts of it anyway -- pull-ups, push-ups, sprinting, and so on.

Apparently it is impossible to reproduce that in the gym laboratory, although you might think you could just target this narrow set one day, then another narrow set the next day, and so on, until you hit all of the body. How do you know what the proportions should be, though? Should you spend the same amount of effort on every single muscle? Maybe our natural workouts, while using lots of muscles, don't use them all equally. And if they do differ, how would you know which should get more effort than which others? And how do you know which muscles are given a slow-twitch vs. fast-twitch stress in our natural workout? Trying to re-create this suite of nature's harmonious proportions through human artifice is sheer hubris. Maybe some gym wizard could come closer than the typical gym user, but even they still look weirdly out-of-balance.

For their narcissism -- wanting to "look good naked" -- the gym guys are punished with malformed bodies, unlike those who seek the mix of discipline and fun that comes from doing athletic activities, who are rewarded with classical sculpture bodies.

All that I've said applies to females, too. However, throughout our species' existence they were never the launchers of spears, the movers of large rocks, etc., so their natural workout should be different from that of males. In high school I noticed that the girls who played soccer had the best bodies in a feminine sense, probably due to the lack of upper-body workouts, and the lack of fast-twitch muscle stress that would cause them to bulk up (like I noticed on some field hockey and softball players). The least natural looking are the gymnasts, which isn't surprising given how explosive their activities are, and what a large role their upper body plays. Unlike the more demure soccer players, gymnast chicks strut around like guys with their shoulders out and their arms at a distance from their sides, even if they're only 5'1. Just like males, the gym girls end up looking not quite right -- just take a look at any women's fitness magazine cover. They look better than if they were fat, but it's a far cry from the natural softness that girls are supposed to have.

Fortunately, all you need for following the right path is access to a tree with sturdy branches within jumping distance, some flat or hilly land to sprint over, and some heavy shit to throw around. Probably the easiest thing is to find a tree branch that you'd have to jump your highest to reach: squat down, burst up with your arms stretched out, grab hold of it, and then do some chin-ups. Also swing back and forth like a little kid to make sure you don't get too serious. I tried that the other night and my arms felt more fully stressed than when I use dumbbells in my room. I think I'll keep those just for times when I have no time to work out in a more natural setting, but otherwise will try to adhere to what natural selection designed my body to do in order to be in top shape. Guess that's an excuse for more dancing.

28 comments:

  1. Ganymede is a homoerotic icon of youthful boyishness. Ancient Greeks were into contemplating that look. Platonically, of course.

    In contrast, gym rats strive to achieve the pillaging Viking look of mature masculinity. So it's a bit of apples and oranges.

    Where I agree with you is that said gymrats can look unnatural. There are a few reasons for this: Roids. Overemphasis on arms and pecs. Also, six-pack abdomens are unusual on mature men; mesomorphic men tend to get a bit of a gut with age, so a lean stomach looks odd on one.

    Anther incongruence is that men who tended to be muscular genreally came form laborer and warrior classes, and their bulk was usually accompanied by signs of wear: rough skin, rough face, rough manner. Today's white collar gym rats have the bulk of warriors and laborers but skin and faces of schoolboys.

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  2. From female gymnasts in one sentence to female gym rats the next? Usually you're not that imprecise.

    Women should certainly have more body fat percentage than men. Past that, "de gustibus non est disputandum", nu?

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  3. Those in your pic are most likely all roiding - hence the bloated, unnatural look. Plus their routine is made entirely of isolation exercises which has the result of making them look like a "collection of bodyparts" rather than a developed whole that comes from full body basics (cleans, squats, barbell presses, deadlifts).

    Chin-ups will develop more muscle/strength than just dumbbell curls.

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  4. My cousin who works on a farm is a nicely built young man, although not obviously over muscular. I have a friend who is a gym rat/ body builder, and is rather hugly muscular looking. Anyone who looks at this guy would be intimidated to get into a fight with him. Anyway, on a bet they had a competition to see who could lift more bales of hay into the loft without assistance. Everyone put their money on old Goliath...

    My cousin won. His muscle were more useful than my fiends, they were developed to work while my friends muscles were develped by repetitive movements. So while my friend may be able to bench more than my cousin, my cousin can do more heavy useful work than my friend. I think it has to do with my cousin having developed more and different muscle than my friend.

    just goes to show you, nothing can beat hard work for building strength!

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  5. female swimmers look about as unnatural as gymnasts. they're rather tall and very broad shoulered. i've mistaken them for men from the back.

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  6. The reason those guys are weird looking is because they're on steroids. Steroids fill the muscle with fluid, in addition to building actual fibres. Though a well muscled look is achievable. Check out pictures of Eugene Sandow or George Messerschmidt (SP?) from the turn of the century.

    Regarding diet: I think you're way off with your demonizing of starch. Some of the healthiest populations on earth eat starch. Look at the Kitavans. They eat a diet that is about %80 yams. Usain Boldt, record holder in the sprints, grew up on Jamaican yams.

    Wrangham's hypothesis alleges that humans evolved with the help of a carb rich diet. This hypothesis has yet to be disproven.

    Chimpanzees eat a high carb diet. They feast on high starch (low sugar) fruits all day long. A male chimp is five to ten times (depending on your source) as strong as a grown male human.

    We produce ample amylase. Clearly this enzyme is carb specific and the product of some evolutionary adaptation. Amylase does not really digest anything but starch.

    Starch helps deliver protein to muscles. When starch consumption rises, protein needs are lower.

    There have been some very interesting discussions about this at: http://180degreehealth.blogspot.com/

    A lot of people, myself included, have noticed that since reintroducing starch to satiety, we feel better in the gym and have more endurance.

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  7. I don't know how that happened, but the name of the wrestler is George Hackenschmidt. Not Messer.

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  8. Underachiever7/26/10, 2:26 PM

    I think Michelangelo's statue of David is probably close to ideal for a body.

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  9. "So it's a bit of apples and oranges."

    Even the sculptures of mature manly men would show the same differences, so even if the gym rats are going for a different look, they're still shooting themselves in the foot. Consider the ancient Greek sculpture of Laocoon and His Sons:

    Laocoon

    As with Ganymede, he has little body fat, all the torso is defined including the ribcage, the upper arm is not a single bulge, the shoulders meet the upper arm sharply, and he doesn't have man boobs.

    He's not portrayed as an adolescent, given the wrinkles and full beard on his face.

    "From female gymnasts in one sentence to female gym rats the next?"

    Sure, given that gymnasts are a particularly vivid and extreme example of what female gym rats look like.

    "just goes to show you, nothing can beat hard work for building strength!"

    You also wonder if any of the gym rats could do well in any athletic activity, i.e. one that involves much or all of your body in coordination. Gays are the prototype here -- they lift weights to look good or impressive, but they look weird and can't actually do anything with their malproportioned muscles.

    Re: starch, it's all sugar once you give it a little time to digest. A potato will flood about 1 cup of sugar into your bloodstream. The only starches that humans ate were the occasional tuber.

    Eating lots of starch will give you energy, but it's not sustainable. That's why anyone not on a low-carb diet feels the need to snack all day (whether they give in or not). Usain Bolt is a freak who would look good and perform well no matter what he ate. Normal people are going to get wrecked by relying on starch rather than fat for energy.

    And it doesn't matter what chimpanzees eat because we're not chimpanzees. What matters is what human beings are adapted to. It's like saying look how strong some shark is, and therefore we should start breathing water instead of air.

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  10. "it's all sugar once you give it a little time to digest."

    Actually the way the body digests starch is different than the way the body digests simple sugars.

    "The only starches that humans ate were the occasional tuber."

    There is no evidence that categorically proves what early humans ate, actually.

    "Eating lots of starch will give you energy, but it's not sustainable."

    Well, endurance athletes don't run marathons on a low carb diet. (Not that I look up to endurance athletes as great specimens)

    "That's why anyone not on a low-carb diet feels the need to snack all day (whether they give in or not)."

    Not what I have found. When I eat starch I can go longer between meals than when I am trying to burn fat as a caloric source.

    "Usain Bolt is a freak who would look good and perform well no matter what he ate."

    So now diet has nothing to do with athleticism?

    "Normal people are going to get
    wrecked by relying on starch rather than fat for energy."

    Normal people? Like the generations upon generations of Kitavans, Pacific Islanders, Europeans, and Okinawans who do just great on a high starch diet? They aren't normal?

    "And it doesn't matter what chimpanzees eat because we're not chimpanzees."

    While there are differences between chimp and human digestive anatomy, it is not as glaring as, say, the differences between humans and carnivorous animals like cats.

    "What matters is what human beings are adapted to."

    As I noted, humans are well adapted eating starch. Amylase is the product of many generations of natural selection. Probably wouldn't have occured had we not gone through a carb saturated period of our relatively recent evolution.

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  11. We don't need proof, just good evidence. Most starchy foods come from recent cultivation, not things we acquired during most of our existence. Therefore we're not well adapted to them.

    Endurance athletes are about as unnatural as you can get -- both the diet and type of activity. They have terrible health profiles.

    Athleticism matters, but not Usain Bolt, since you could give him anything and he'd be fine. The most athletic are hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, neither of whom get much starch at all -- not farmers who eat corn and potatoes. Pretty clear.

    Pacific Islanders are adapted to fish and coconuts, neither of which have much carbs at all. Ditto Okinawans -- mostly fish and pork. The Japanese were hunter-gatherers until a few thousand years ago; much shorter time as farmers compared to the Chinese, for example.

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  12. "Most starchy foods come from recent cultivation, not things we acquired during most of our existence. Therefore we're not well adapted to them."

    That's like saying we only domesticated cows so many years ago, at the beginning of the Neolithic. Therefore we are not adapted to eating them.

    We have the digestive and enzymatic systems to assimilate starch just fine. Thus, we ate starch at some point in our evolution. Amylase breaks down starches very well.

    "Endurance athletes are about as unnatural as you can get -- both the diet and type of activity. They have terrible health profiles."

    You said that the energy starch gives someone is "not sustainable". I gave you an example of someone using carbs to sustain activity. For hours. Something that someone on low carb could do as well.

    "Athleticism matters, but not Usain Bolt, since you could give him anything and he'd be fine."

    How do you know this? Until a low carbing sprinter wins the Olympics (I don't believe this has ever occured), then Usain Bolt does matter. He is a glaring example of someone who eats high carb and is a magnificent athlete. You can't just sweep that away as all genetics or something.

    "The most athletic are hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, neither of whom get much starch at all -- not farmers who eat corn and potatoes. Pretty clear."

    Actually the most athletic people in the world come from Western Africa and they eat a high carb diet. This is proven constantly in sports. The best sprinters eat high carb.

    "Pacific Islanders are adapted to fish and coconuts, neither of which have much carbs at all."

    And they are also perfectly adapted to yams and taro. Weston Price found the least amount of tooth decay worldwide among the Polynesians, people who ate plenty of tubers.

    "Ditto Okinawans -- mostly fish and pork."

    Okinawans are the longest lived people in the world today, and they eat a lot of starch. Seems like they are adapted to starch eating just fine.

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  13. Cow example is wrong -- we were eating large ruminant animal meat forever; the fact that it's a new large ruminant animal doesn't matter. We never ate lots of starches.

    I've already noted that we did eat starches, hence have enzymes for them. They were simply not a big part of the diet -- true for contemporary hunter-gatherers and pastoralists too, as these require cultivation, aside from the odd tuber.

    And sure, if you eat 10,000 calories of starch, you'll have enough energy to run a marathon. By not sustainable, it means for a given amount of calories or weight of food. You burn through glucose very quickly, get a sugar crash, then require more right away or feel the pangs of hunger.

    Fat is metabolized more slowly, hence lasts longer. That makes it more sustainable -- no need for constant refills or a boatload of it in one sitting like carbo-loading.

    Usain Bolt doesn't matter because he's only one person, and obviously a freak case at that. You have to look at all of humankind. There the evidence is clear: H-Gs and pastoralists are lean, muscular, and athletic, while farmers universally suffered terrible health.

    West Africans do have genetic adaptations that help them despite their diet -- namely a mutation in the myostatin gene. Typically this gene turns off muscle growth; the mutation breaks this, causing muscle growth to continue even in the presence of a poor diet. Hence muscled black guys who are poor and otherwise nutritionally deficient in the ghetto.

    Also, don't underestimate the prevalence of pastoralists in West Africa -- farming is a lot newer than H-G and pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Those PI-ers were eating yams, but not relying on them. I've already noted that we've eaten starches -- just not a lot. They were relying mostly on fish and coconuts.

    I'm stopping this thread here because you need to read some more history and anthropology to get a good feel for the health consequences of agriculture. There's too much for me to list in a comment section, and it'll get tedious spinning our wheels. Jared Diamond has a great summary in Guns, Germs, and Steel, as well as an article he wrote called "The worst mistake in the history of the human race."

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  14. Getting back to the main topic, I doubt steroids play a role because we see the same difference in body type even for people who don't use steroids -- namely, casual gym users or those who go regularly but are not so committed that they're juicing.

    Before gyms were around, these guys would buy a booklet or ask around and learn about the type of workout you'd get in an army boot camp -- chin-ups, push-ups, etc. Or just play sports too.

    Now these guys do isolating exercises in a gym and look like less-extreme versions of the gym rat. Even though they aren't using steroids, their physique still looks out of proportion, with the same areas overdeveloped and underdeveloped as the gym rats.

    Steroids are probably making it even worse for the gym rats, but the main problem seems to be everyone's move toward trying to artificial workouts that don't stress the whole body and in the same proportions as a natural workout would.

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  15. Mark Wahlberg, back in his underwear model days, had a nice physique (my opinon),http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1345&bih=595&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=mark+wahlberg&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=


    I thought Mario Lopez, on "Saved by the Bell", had a pretty nice looking physique. He might have been able to have been just a bit bigger, but he was nicely proportioned.

    I remember admiring Steve Reeves physique when I was a kid wacthing movie reruns (Hercules movies, Sinbad and all that):

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=steve%20reeves&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1345&bih=595


    Modern competitive bodybuilders use so many steroids that they lose that layer of baby fat in their skin, and it ages their face prematurely, but their skin also. Since their skin is so thin, the veins and muscles show out. The guys that win the Olympia these days have gotten so big as to be ridiculous.

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  16. I have read plenty of literature on HG diets. Weston Price's 'Nutrition And Physical Degeneration' is a good one.

    If you feel the need to edit me, fine. I can only assume that it is because you can not back up your grossly inaccurate and exaggerated statements like 'farmers universally suffered terrible health'.

    If farmers suffer such horrible health, then why do so many people live long healthy lives the world over while including grains in their diets?

    So censor away. This is the last time I read or comment on your web site, because obviously you can not handle a healthy debate.

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  17. Very interesting. I have a question - I'm a young woman trying to lose weight (excess body fat, not muscle mass), so I've cut out the grains, upped the dietary fat, and have been doing some exercise, including resistance training. However, I don't have a gym membership so I can't do real deadlifts, bench press, etc. - those are full body exercises right? I currently try to approximate them with my (weak, 5 lb) dumbbells.

    In the meantime, I've found that using my own body weight works fine for lower body exercises (Squats, leg lifts, etc. - i can feel that the muscles are harder now) and core strengthening, but it's harder for women to do the same upper body exercises that men can easily do, like pull-ups, push-ups, etc. especially because i have weak wrists and pretty much no arm strength to speak of. i want to build some strength, but still look soft and feminine, and not like a gym rat- what exercises should i do? any recommendations?

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  18. No, I said you need to read history and anthropology. You obviously haven't, since you'd know about the decline in height, bone brittleness, dental decay, and everything else that shows up in the archaeological record once people started farming. Not to mention that lifespans plummeted. The phrase "disease of civilization" would ring a bell.

    And you'd know about the 20th Century recovery of our previously tall heights once we no longer ate mostly starches like corn and potatoes but shoved those aside in favor of animal products. The Dutch are an extreme case here, but the pattern is general: loss of starches and carbs and gain of animal products lead to better health everywhere. Those gains only stalled out during the 1980s through today because we moved back to relying more on carbs.

    I even pointed you to two easily accessible sources. Here is a free copy of Diamond's 6-page article. It's over 20 years old, and more evidence has only accumulated since then:

    http://www.environnement.ens.fr/perso/claessen/agriculture/mistake_jared_diamond.pdf

    Another essential read / browse is Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture.

    "So censor away. This is the last time I read or comment on your web site, because obviously you can not handle a healthy debate."

    Yeah you'll be missed dearly. Taking a break from the internet for more than an hour would be a healthy thing.

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  19. Yeah sure if you're an idiot and do nothing but bench press and curls, you'll look wack. A gym membership is not a black box to looking great. But as long as you educate yourself to proper splits and pay close attention to technique and form, also eat healthy, and do not neglect cardiovascular stuff, a good gym regimen with free weights is hard to beat. Trust me on that. There's hardly a professional athlete around who doesn't use free weights and do isolation exercises.

    Also women love bestial strength, though few admit it. So, though a Ganymede physique may appeal in an aesthetic art museum way, when it comes to animal sex, at least when she's really horny &ovulating etc, a girl will enjoy the natural feeling of submission to brute force that a stronger man brings to the table. This is especially true if you are under 6 feet. A Ganymede trying to pin her arms back would just be pathetic.

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  20. Gabriel, you're being cut off now. You say there is scant archaeological evidence from before and after agriculture, betraying your total ignorance of the topic. I even pointed you to a foundational book chock full of such data, Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture.

    Paleopathology is now a full-fledged discipline. The jury is *in* -- farming destroyed human health via starchy and carby foods, as well as helping to spread epidemic diseases.

    Weston A Price did not only look at Polynesians -- the common factor for those who had good teeth and health was low carbs. If you weren't trying to misrepresent his work, you'd also point out that Australian Aborigines had perfect teeth yet were hunter-gatherers and did not cultivate grains or starches.

    You keep failing to distinguish degree vs. kind -- I've already noted that we ate starches, just not much. Certainly those PI-ers did not -- mostly fish and coconuts.

    You should also read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. He reviews the anthropological evidence in the first half of the book, a lot of which has been forgotten.

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  21. "Yeah sure if you're an idiot and do nothing but bench press and curls, you'll look wack. "

    But then most people do. What fraction of men walking out of a gym look like the man-boob type and what fraction look like Michelangelo's David or a basketball player?

    "So, though a Ganymede physique may appeal in an aesthetic art museum way, when it comes to animal sex, at least when she's really horny &ovulating etc, a girl will enjoy the natural feeling of submission to brute force that a stronger man brings to the table."

    There's variety in female mate preferences, but only a small number are into brute strength. When are hormones raging their most in females, when is their sex drive strongest, etc.? From roughly 15 to 24, peaking around 20 or so.

    Those girls are not chasing after big galoots. They are swooning over Michael Hutchence, Johnny Depp, John Taylor, and their present-day counterparts. They do want someone to take control, overpower them, sweep them off their feet, etc., but it's not based on sheer strength (though these guys are not skin and bone). It's more of a magical spell or charisma that they cast over the girls.

    Dreamy looks are what peak-fertility girls desire. In the mating competition, sheer strength does not attract girls so much as shove the other male competitors out of the way.

    So forget "art museum" mode -- just look at whose pictures 19 year-old girls plaster all over the walls and ceiling of their room. Not Conan the Barbarian, but some athletic pretty boy.

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  22. Those girls are not chasing after big galoots

    lol of course not, not in itself, obviously i mean adjusted for looks. You gotta get the girl first, get to the point of fucking first before muscles matter in that way. It's like with a big cock, few girls (15-20 anyway) actively seek it out, but only a fool thinks its not a big asset for sexual dominance which they dig big time when theyre horned up.

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  23. Underachiever7/27/10, 9:48 AM

    I think the female preferences span from the statue-of-David look on the one hand to the Taylor Lautner look at the other. A smaller number of women like the swimmer's body; however, this is too skinny for most women. Very few women like the beefcake look.

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  24. You should look into the crossfit training. It's more about building utility strength rather than bodybuilding.

    A lot of the professional athletes that compete in the crossfit games have that lean look to them.

    Watch this Video to see what I'm talking about. I've been doing it for a couple months and have gotten some good results.

    It has a lot of the bodyweight excercises you were talking about like pullups too. Yesterday I did the Angie workout which is basically just 100 pullups, 100 situps, 100 pushups, and 100 squats in as little time as possible.

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  25. Next, their chest muscles are way too overdeveloped. You never saw these kind of man boobs before gyms existed.

    This is probably the most striking difference to me, even when compared to classical statues of actual mature adult males like Hercules or Zeus, rather than a child like Ganymede.

    There are values of lean, as well, I think, and how responsive this is to diet. Eskimos are not Maasai, even though they both eat a lot of meat. Bodybuilders and their "cutting" look much more monstrous to me than these moderately chubby guys.

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  26. Bodybuilders are ugly and malproportioned because almost all of them are juicing to the extreme with harmful steroids. The steroids do a lot to give one a bloated look, make the skin look funny, overly masculinize the face, give you boobs, and screw everything up physically. If you don't go on the roids, you'll never end up looking that strange.

    Focusing on one body part isn't really practical, as you need to strengthen all the body parts to see real progress. However, if you roid up, then you can just inject yourself wherever you want to see growth. So you end up looking like those guido freaks rather than Brad Pitt.

    The worst part about the roids is that after you quit, you deflate really fast. I'm talking 1-2 pounds of muscle disappearing, per day. Then, since your testosterone levels will be permanently depressed by the chemical affect of the roids, your ability to build muscle naturally will be really diminished. I know guys that roided up and got huge; then quit and look really flabby or scrawny, even though they still work out. Just The longterm health and physical appearance effects of steroids are pretty bad, so I wouldn't reccomend it.

    Also, a good bodybuilding regime helps with overall health (energy, stamina, mood, blood pressure, immunity, etc. Steroids screws with all those things.

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  27. The parkour guys are amazing to watch and I think, very attractive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOOlUR9Cg1Q&feature=related

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  28. I think this is an excellent analysis of modern day fitness but I have some issues with it. Firstly, volleyball and diving girls are much hotter than soccer girls.

    In terms of your solution, the problem is that it doesn't really work out all of the muscles properly and is basically just another attempt at recreating a gym. Firstly, you are just guessing at what humans did thousands of years ago. There are things like breaking trees to use as firewood, digging dirt, lifting up dead animals and carrying them around, that are not a part of your workout. You then have to guess exactly how much time you allocate to each activity as this will effect how much each muscle grows.

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