Bulging Biceps and Rock Hard Abs: The Fitness Fantasies of the Modern Man

  • Added:
    Feb 08, 2013
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Sport Centre Uni Twente
Sport Centre Uni Twente
Photo by CIMIC Centre of Excellence (CCoE)

Last night I watched a TV Documentary about teenagers who had booked their summer holidays on a Greek Island. It was the usual story of sun, sea, sand, sex and the obligatory sojourn to the STI clinic. However, amongst all the booze cruises, vomiting and horrific initiation games came an almost hidden strand of thought that I found particularly interesting.

Physical Ideal verses eat a Meal

For many years now there has been an observation that the media portrays an idealised image for women to aspire to. From Heroine Chic to the bootylicious curves of Beyoncé, there are definite ideals of attractiveness. We absorb these subconsciously and, rightly or wrongly, aspire to achieve for ourselves. Magazines scream out at you from newsagent’s stands telling you about the latest look that you can achieve. When you then read the article inside the magazine and realise all the maintenance that the look involves, you know that you will probably end up spending a lot of money and a lot of time shaving, plucking, dying, sticking and styling to look the way that you want. I would often think (slightly enviously), as I glued in hair extensions, painted my nails and applied fake tan, that if I was a man then I wouldn't have to worry about this kind of thing. However, from what I'm starting to observe, this is no longer the case.

Grecian Gods

One perfectly coiffed young man appearing in the documentary declared that he waxed every part of his body excluding his legs because and I quote, "The ladies like it don't they?" It seems that gone are the days where men wouldn't be seen dead visiting a beauty salon. The modern man plucks his eyebrows, straightens his hair and books in for a manicure and spray tan. The cover images of Men's Health Magazine show hairless, tanned creatures with enormous biceps and washboard stomachs. It seems that aspirational aesthetics is no longer simply a feminist issue.

"I'll have a Pint of Your Best Whey Protein My Good Fellow!"

Feeling under pressure to have the kind of body that other men envy and women salivate over, male gym memberships are currently rocketing in number and the sales of whey protein shakes are noticeably increased. Health and fitness suddenly isn't enough, muscle bulk and low body fat is now the craved-for ideal. The positive offset of this wanted aesthetic is that young people are seriously thinking about their health and fitness. In a society that on the other hand is suffering from a huge obesity epidemic, this can only be a good thing.

The key is to be sensible about what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it. When joining a gym, always book at least an initial consultation with a personal trainer so that they can advise you on the safest way to achieve your ideal physique. Also, never skip your equipment induction; it is required for a reason. It may seem like a cheap option to research on the internet and lift home weights, however, learning to lift weights correctly and the best protein powders and health supplements to use is extremely important to avoid accidents and injury.

Author's Profile

Chris Michaels is a frequent contributor for Supplement Warehouse and has written many articles pertaining to all things regarding bodybuilding, supplements and equipment especially on such subjects as making the best of your whey protein powders and shakes.

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