This might sound controversial to you. By my personal experience as a lifelong competitive athlete who's also dabbled in olympic style lifting, as well as amateur gymnastics and normal barbell strength training for sports here's what I think.
The amount of food required to sustain an unusually built physique is not only unsustainable, but also just irresponsible to yourself. The strict dieting and large consumption of calories required on a daily basis become a time-drain as well as a financial liability. And to cap things off, cheating on meals one day and eating less than you need, for any reason such as getting tired of chewing and cooking or just getting tired of your foods, causes a literally painful process of muscle atrophy whereby the body eats itself and shrinks in size.
If you're constantly lifting, you're always in a race to prevent atrophy and it gets tiring.
And the ups and downs of lifting heavy, building muscle and then missing a meal and then losing some muscle over and over isn't really a good investment of your time.
It's unfortunate because being strong feels great, but any little setback in your food prep sends you down a twisting path of hunger and losses -- which sucks for anyone.
There's got to be some middle ground where a little preventative exercise with light weights is better than none at all. And I would think so, in moderation.
For me, at my natural bodyweight I start my weakest benchpress at 90lbs. An olympic bar and two 25lb plates. My personal best is really only a bench of 180lbs, and it takes me a while to build up to that from 90lbs -- about 8 months of training with no setbacks due to skipping meals.
The thing, though, is that your financial situation can change wildly over time. So if you're 6 months into training and something happens and you can't afford your meal plans you atrophy and have to start the process over. If you lack stability then you'll probably never make it past a certain point without having to start over again.
And if you think about it, all that money spent on a gym membership and food is completely erased at every reset point -- like burning gas in a car. Even if you do bodyweight, you still invest time and money in food.
As a dependent, if you can rely on being funded and fed by someone else it makes more sense. But if you are a business owner or an independent contractor or even just in jobs with high turnovers you can't depend on consistent funding. So I just feel like it's a little irresponsible to build a ton of muscle if you don't have guaranteed long-term financial stability.
If we look and see who has perfect physiques in the real world it's pro-athletes who are funded and fed by team owner hired team nutritionists and team chef staff.
Actors who are trained and fed by personal trainers, nutritionists and chefs for movie roles, and models who are trained and fed by agency personal chefs, trainers and nutritionists.
In other words, they are financial dependents. The working Joe who builds houses or takes calls in customer service isn't. Whatever the job is, if it's a full time job then working out is not your number one priority. They expect your work to be your main priority.
So, really, if it isn't your job to be in good shape then it's kind of unsustainable to try and force that. And that, I think, is the reality.
Many people just buy a cheap and tasty supply of food and save for rent or retirement and then cover their bodies with clothes so no one has to see. That's the direction our society pushes people because of how we do jobs and make money and spend and commit our time.
We might prefer everyone get to live like a pro-athlete but that is not fiscal reality. And I don't even know if we produce enough protein to even sustain everyone living that way. I honestly don't think we do or else it wouldn't be financially sustainable for everyone to try it.
It's like driving a Ferrari to work everyday. It's great and fun, but also unsustainable. The milage will add up and cause costly repairs. The maintenance, insurance and upkeep will be unsustainable. Same sort of thing.
Most Helpful Opinions
If you are going for massive bulk then yes, it will take a tremendous amount of time and calories to build and maintain that body size. But most people at that level are professionals who have the time for that. The average person can still lift weights with out having the specific goal of bulking up. The moderate weight lifting will strengthen their muscles and bones and help to slow down muscle atrophy as they get older.
I am 42 and I hit the gym 3-4 times a week. There are times when I feel like I am taking a piss n the ocean but then I see people my age or even younger who are obese and can barely walk 20 ft without gasping for air and that gives me motivation to keep my health up. I lift and sometimes do some cardio. You do not need to have the goal of being the next Mr. Iron Man in order to stay fit. I am glad that I do it because I know that I am investing in my health. I do not spend any money on powders as it is not necessary for my goals. I avoid processed food as much as I can and I consume veggies , moderate amounts of protein and plenty of water.
Totally agree. I got way carried away chasing my genetic limit.
I wanted to know how far I was capable of going. Ultimately my budget limited me before my genetics. To this day I've never been able to find it.
I don't know if I ever will.