How Big is Too Big?

Like just about anything, working out – and the desire to be bigger – can become an addiction.

You’ve probably seen guys and girls with muscles on top of muscle on top of muscles. I’ve seen guys (like the man in this picture) whose muscles are so large that it interferes with the body’s functionality. You can’t really walk down a street when your thighs are the size of redwood trunks.

I also don’t find it particularly attractive.

How does it happen? Did he wake up on day and say, “I want to be huge!” Probably not. If you’ve ever tasted the sweetness of achieving your fitness goals, you’ll probably understand the slippery slope. Achieving the results you want is intoxicating. For a lot of people, it helps them feel good about themselves. And so it’s much more alluring to raise the bar again and go for even bigger muscles, rather than to switch into a maintenance mode. It’s a state of always striving and never really arriving.

I enjoy working out. I like the way my body feels after I’ve spent 90 minutes exercising it and getting it moving. And yes, I enjoy achieving results. But I try to check myself so as not to let my gym time fuel a real addiction. And as an extra safeguard, I’ve told my friends to wave a red flag if I ever start showing signs of addiction.

Indeed, there is a fine line between being athletic and healthy, and being too big. How big is too big for you?

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  1. Jacques Zeefenbergen says:

    Ignoring all practical implications, I find uber-body builders both admirable and confusing.

    They have that amazing drive and will-power…which is something I admire. It is inspiring to see someone set a goal and achieve it.

    But hell, how absorbed into oneself must one be to actually look like that? I find the complete focus on self unalluring.

    Personally speaking, bodybuilders do not strike my fancy. I love toned guys. Not too much, though. Like Davey, he’s toned to perfection. Anything more would be unsavory…

  2. BoonesFerry says:

    Is there really such a thing as too big? To each their own. Love them all ♥

  3. When nothing but spandex fits? When you have become too big for any sport but bodybuilding or powerlifting and yet you’re not competing in either?
    It also depends on your bodytype or the size of your frame. I have a very large frame, big chest, etc and at 6′ I start to look unfit and underfed below 190lbs. A good friend of mine, who is also 6′ has a much smaller frame and looks just fantastic and very fit at 155lbs.

  4. Dante Elegante says:

    Nice post! But I think you were trying to say fine line at the end of the post, but you said mine line? I don’t know you tell me! Thanks!!

  5. Just like cake, too much of a good thing, is not always a positive thing. I think there is a point where it becomes unnecessary, like Davey said, an addiction. It is could almost be categorized with being overweight.

  6. You know that picture is fake, right? The man is a bodybuilder, but nowhere near that size — it’s photoshopped.

    Not that gym addiction or “bigorexia” isn’t an issue … just not on that unrealistic scale!

    • Is it fake? I was marveling at how someone could ever get that big. It’s kinda hypnotizing but not in a good way.

  7. Too much of anything can be bad. I don’t find muscles that huge to be attractive either. The implications of training that intensely do have long term health issues as well. It’s about moderation. One can be fit without being overly bulging. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t care for any competition that illicits people to be unnatural. How big is too big for me. Tough one Davey. I would say I wouldn’t mind firm and developed but when muscles begin to be their own entity I would say its a turn off.

  8. damn I thought this post was about cock size

  9. I just want to say that that picture is super heavily photoshoped. That man looks nothing like that in reality.

  10. It’s surely a matter of personal taste and aesthetics. For me I love a guy who is cut. But overly big is what to my eyes is looking unnatural.

    The biggest thing I notice about this is the guys who are top-heavy. They only work the upper body. They always wear pants in the gym- never shorts. Their legs look like pencils in proportion to their upper bodies. I think this is more prevalent in straight guys than gay guys. They think “chicks dig” big chests and arms.

  11. Lance Webster says:


  12. To me having definition is plenty, where you can notice the line where muscles meet and whatnot, but much more than that, is a big turn-off. Honestly imagine trying to have sex with the guy in that picture, weather gay or straight, I would feel like I would be suffocated! and probably smashed into a pulp, sex with that would be dangerous to my health! If his thighs don’t get in the way that is.

  13. I am all about health, fitness and human performance. Who am I to judge someone for wanting to get big and strong?

    For me, the line is easy to draw, however. When someone begins to use anabolic steriods to increase growth, they have crossed the line between what can be naturally achieved (and considered attractive) and are taking risks to just look bigger.

    After years of hard training for sports and too much time in the gym, I can honestly say that if you see someone working out who looks unnatural, they probably are.

  14. “Too big” isn’t something I feel comfortable calling people. Are there guys at the gym who are so densely muscled that I find them unattractive? Sure. But I’m sure there are guys at the gym who find me altogether too thin; and I don’t think I’m “too small”.

    “Too big” I think, to piggyback a bit on what Parker said, is however big you are when you start encouraging deleterious health effects in pursuit of a certain aesthetic.

  15. Personally I think it depends on the person… I am a little guy (5’4″ 130 lbs. 19yrs) and I feel that were i am now I’m actually a little bit too muscular for my frame. I’m I guess what some would call lucky and have never had a weight problem. Once i started attending college a year and a half ago and had access to a free almost 24 hr gym I decided to start working out. I gained muscle quickly and now I’m starting to feel slightly stocky lol. I’ve always been attracted to leaner more toned guys and trying to fit that mold myself i think that i overshot the mark. I’m trying my best to stick to cardio and light weights but every now and then I feel the pull back into the free weight room at the gym. Honestly it’s up to you what to do with your body, strive for what you want but also remember what your capabilities are. I have realized that i will never be the slim yet toned 6’2″ model type that i want to be but I do know that i have to get comfortable in my own body and learn to love myself before i look in the mirror and not after 🙂

  16. There is no such thing as “too big”, as long as they’re hairy. There is no such thing as too skinny, as long as they’re hairy ;-))

  17. I think muscle like that is just sick and disturbing