Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thoughts on Gym Nuts

I was at the gym the other night, and I was thinking about some of the regulars, the ones who are ridiculously muscular. And I was wondering, why? Why do they go?

When I think about people who go to the gym, there are two categories: 1) people who go to stay fit, energized, and healthy, and 2) people who go because they want to look buff.

I fit into the first category. When I came back from learning in Israel, I started driving everywhere and eating all the food I missed in Israel (Dunkin' Donuts, Entenmann's, etc.). And I put on 35 pounds, and started feeling sluggish and lazy. Thankfully, I was able to take some weight off, and no longer have to deal with having a pot belly before I was 40. So for me, going to the gym is all about keeping off the excess weight. It's also refreshing and it really wakes me up.

But the people in the second category, what's up with them? I find it weird when a guy is into his body so much. It's interesting how a man can sometimes be so feminine and so masculine all at the same time.

Now if the guy's gay, then I don't have any taanos. That's what they're into in that community, so whatever.

But otherwise, what for? If you look decent and have some personality, brains, and most importantly, self-confidence, you shouldn't have much of a problem attracting women. You don't need to look amazing. And if you have no personality or you're a schmuck, having the huge pecs will only take you so far. And if someone's wife/girlfriend is that demanding about the guy's looks, then come on. If that's all they care about, then you're talking about a lousy relationship. Then again, if the guy is super-demanding about how his significant other looks, I can't fault such a woman for giving her man a hard time.

And if you're doing it for yourself, then what's that all about? So you can feel good about yourself when you're in the shower? Or at the pool? If that's the case, that's sad. That just means that you don't have a whole lot going for you, so you figure that by working out like crazy and having a chiseled physique, that'll give you value as a person. As if that'll make you feel good about yourself and give you self-confidence. See a shrink, buddy.


Anonymous Liza said...

There seems to be a common double-standard with men and women in terms of staying in shape. Women must be trim, but men have the right to the pot belly.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Isaac Kaplan said...

Liza: seems like that stereotype is especially true in the frum community. Obesity among men is more common here, where many guys pig out on greasy potato kugel every shabbos.

Also: it's about the demands and desires of men and women. Men are more into looks (stronger sexual urge, whatever it is), so they find it more important. But many women aren't as demanding that their husband get rid of the pot belly, especially if their husband is bringing home a load of cash. If the pot belly bothers you that much, then you tell your husband either to do Weight Watchers, or find another wife. If enough women wanted it, the stereotype would change. But too many women give a free pass, especially to wealthy guys.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys often do it as a power trip. They like to see other guys who envy their body. Its not always a gay thing ... just a desire to inspire envy

7:11 PM  

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