Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Want to Look Like...

We probably couldn't count how many times we've heard people talk about how they want to be big and strong like Arnold. Then, when they realize that he was a combination of gifted genetics and over-the-top (for the time, anyway) steroid use, the gears switch and then it becomes being ripped like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Bruce Lee. I've seen where this gets to the point of an unhealthy obsession. We often have in our minds what we ideally would look like and it's likely that it looks like a luminary of the fitness world.

Over time, I've come to realize the folly of such thinking. Frankly, I think it could drive you nuts and leave you very unsatisfied. While we all are constructed the same basic manner, there are infinite variations on the theme. Our muscles have insertion and attachment points that vary from one to the next. The number of bundles differs as well as the tendon lengths. Our metabolisms vary and the number of fat cells we have determine how easily we store fat. The size, density and length of our bones has profound effects on how we look.

All of these (and more) variables conspire against you in efforts to look like someone else. Plus, there are tricks that many of these people use to look bigger and more muscular than they really are. You can make your abs look more ripped just by the proper angling. Try this: Look at your abs in a mirror from the front. Now, angle your body slightly and look at yourself in the mirror. Your abs will look more defined with your body at an angle. If you want to make your waist look slimmer, keep your body angled but twist your upper body so that your chest is facing the mirror directly. BAM! You're ready for a fitness magazine or a supplement advertisement! I've just touched on the bare basics. We haven't even gotten into pumping the muscles, dehydration, lighting, hair shaving, body oiling, and computer touch-ups used to make the extraordinary look the way that they do. The bottom line is these people that you want to look like probably don't look the way that you think that they do. You're seeing them in a way that they want you to see them. It may not be the same way that they really are.

So, don't get wrapped up in all of this, "I want to look like..." bullshit. That's what it is: bullshit. Just train for health and strength and everything else will fall into place. You're unique, like everyone else. Strive to look and be the best of yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After seeing you do the handstand push-ups on the T-handles I want to look like you.

People tend to think this is a more realistic goal since you're not really famous e.a. but you look just great.

In all seriousness, thanks for hammering on this again and again, I keep forgetting it.
(You do inspire this guy though!)