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muscle culture | Davey Wavey Fitness

Archive for the tag - muscle culture

Trade a Year of Your Life for the Perfect Body?

Would you trade a year of your life for the "perfect" body? Turns out, you don't have to.

According to a survey of British women aged 18 to 65:

Almost one in three would be willing to die younger [by at least one year] in exchange for the ‘ideal’ figure of the likes of model Kelly Brook or actress Scarlett Johansson. The finding is all the more shocking because almost all of those polled were in the normal weight range – or even underweight.

The study didn’t include men – or gay men, in particular. I suspect the numbers might be similar, as gay culture is very body-conscious and many gay men feel tremendous pressure to look a certain way.

If you would trade a year of your life for the perfect body, then I have two pieces of good news.

First, in this moment, you already have the perfect body. It may not look like the models whose muscles we so eagerly worship (see above picture), but your body – right now – is exactly as it needs to be. You can change the way your body will look and feel tomorrow, in a month or in a year – but you can’t change your body now; it is exactly as it must be in this very moment. Instead of resisting the way you look today, embrace and accept it. And then use your new-found energy to work toward creating a healthier tomorrow.

Second, while many people might trade in a year of their life for a healthier and stronger physique, the exact opposite is the reality. When you live a more active lifestyle, it has a significant impact on longevity and the prevention of debilitating disease. Work out and you’ll live longer – it’s really that simple. It’s why I like to remind my clients that they don’t have time not to work out.

You need not trade in a year of your life for the perfect body. Turns out, your body is already perfect. And making it stronger and healthier will cause you to live even longer. Looks like you can have your cake and eat it, too. So to speak.

Gay Men & Steroids: A Love Story?

The other day, I was showing a picture of a sexy, muscular guy on Grindr to a friend. My friend pointed out that the guy had gynecomastia (the development of abnormally large mammary glands in males), and was likely a user of steroids. I was surprised and shocked, but my friend told me that steroid use – especially among gay men – is fairly common. Even his roommate does steroids, he shared.

I was ignorantly unaware of what is seemingly an epidemic among gay men. In fact, a recent study revealed that 1 in 7 gay gym-going men admitted to steroid use. Some estimate that the actual number may be closer to 50%.

There is no no doubt that many people associate being gay with a certain gym and muscle culture. And while that gym culture doesn’t define a community as diverse as the gay community, it certainly is present and pervasive. Gay muscle culture is often traced back to another epidemic: AIDS. Physicians often prescribed steroids to people living with AIDS as a way to increase muscle mass on their otherwise frail frames. Moreover, pumped-up bodies became a symbol of healthiness.

Today, muscle culture is alive and well – and many gay men feel intense pressure to obtain lean, muscular builds. Under such pressure, taking steroids can seem like an easier shortcut than hard work and exercise. And there’s no doubt that steroids yield results. Unfortunately, steroids are plagued by tremendously dangerous and/or undesirable side-effects including:

  • Acne
  • Shrunken testicles – which leads to temporary (and possibly permanent) sterility
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Liver malfunction
  • Enlarged prostate and prostate cancer
  • Balding
  • Aggression
  • Liver failure
  • Stunted growth
  • Weight problems
  • Neurological issues

Of course, not all steroid users will experience all of the above side effects – but the list is long and daunting. If gay men and steroids are a love story, it’s certainly one that won’t end happily ever after.

If you (or someone you know) uses steroids, it’s important to talk to a professional. Most drug addiction treatment centers are equipped to deal with all kinds of drug addictions ranging from prescription drug abuse to steroid abuse.

But I want to know what you think. Are you – or someone you know – a steroid user? Why, despite the enormous risks, do people find steroids to be a viable option? Share your thoughts in the comments below.