The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    muscle dysmorphia

    What is muscle dysmorphia?

    Sometimes called bigarexia, muscle dysmorphia is the opposite of anorexia nervosa. People with this disorder obsess about being small and undeveloped. They worry that they are too little and too frail. Even if they have good muscle mass, they believe their muscles are inadequate.

    In efforts to fix their perceived smallness, people with muscle dysmorphia lift weights, do resistance training, and exercise compulsively. They may take steroids or other muscle-building drugs, a practice with potentially lethal consequences.

    Who gets muscle dysmorphia?

    Both men and women. So far there are no statistics available, but researchers suspect the disorder is more common in males since the culturally defined ideal male is big and strong while the ideal female is small and thin.

    Consequences of muscle dysmorphia -

    The constant preoccupation with perceived smallness interferes with school and career accomplishments. It robs friendships and romantic relationships of spontaneity and enjoyment. Since the person is exceedingly self-conscious at all times, s/he cannot relax and enjoy life without worrying about how other people may be seeing, and criticizing, the perceived smallness.

    In almost all cases, people with muscle dysmorphia is not small at all. Many have well-developed musculature, and some even compete in body building competitions.

    Muscle dysmorphia may be one kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder. People with this problem cannot or will not stop their excessive exercise even when they are injured. They will not give up their unhealthy steroid use even when they fully understand the risks involved.

    Treatment of muscle dysmorphia -

    Many people with this problem resist getting treatment stating that they are content with the way they are. Some admit they are afraid that if they give up the drugs and exercise, they will wither away to frailty.

    Family members and concerned friends may be able to persuade the person to at least get an evaluation by focusing on the problems caused by the behaviors, such as job loss, relationship failure, and physical harm.

    Nonetheless, about half of people with this problem are so convinced of their perceived smallness that they refuse help and continue their excessive exercise and steroid use.

    For those who enter treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with medication holds promise. The best place to start is an evaluation by a physician trained in sports medicine. Ask for a referral to a mental health counselor who also works with athletes. After both professionals have completed their evaluations, consider their recommendations and choose a course of action that is in your own best interests.

    Related to Anorexia?

    Andy is a classic example of what Dr. Harrison Pope calls "muscle dysmorphia." Pope, chief of the biological psychiatry laboratory at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., says there's nothing inherently pathological about being an avid gym-goer, but it shouldn't take over your life.

    He suspects the disorder may somehow be related to anorexia nervosa. "They are both disorders of body image," he says. "The preoccupations simply go in opposite directions."

    Muscle dysmorphia isn't as acutely life-threatening as starving yourself, Pope says, but its victims are more likely to take other risks with their health, such as using steroids or other bodybuilding drugs. One muscle dysmorphic woman was hospitalized for kidney failure, brought on by her high-protein diet and steroid use. Within months of her release from the hospital, she was back on the drugs and unhealthy diet.

    In a 1993 study of steroid use among weightlifters, Pope noticed that a substantial number—10 percent of the 156 men he interviewed—saw themselves as punier than they really were. His curiosity piqued, he later launched another study comparing 24 muscle dysmorphic men to 30 healthy bodybuilders.

    The study is ongoing, but so far he's found that the men who think they're too small are much more likely to have histories of other mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

    Men More Vulnerable?

    That makes sense to people like Charles Staley of the International Sports Sciences Association. He's worked as a strength coach for years, and says he's noticed the disorder not just in weightlifters but also among shot-put, discus and javelin throwers. He traces it to a lack of self-esteem.

    "Bodybuilding can be a way for people with low self-esteem to call attention to themselves," he says. "If someone doesn't have much else going on in their life, their whole self-image gets caught up in their body."

    Guys may be more vulnerable, because social stereotypes dictate that men should be muscular, but Pope says it's not just a guy thing. Another study, this one of 38 competitive female bodybuilders, found that 32 of the women had symptoms of the disorder.

    Who's Got It?

    Since muscle dysmorphia is still gaining recognition among psychiatrists—and because many people who have it refuse to seek treatment—it's difficult to estimate how widespread the problem is. But with so many people working out at home and at health clubs, the number could be substantial.

    "There are probably more than 10 million people who lift weights," he says. "Even if only 1 percent suffered from muscle dysmorphia, that would be 100,000 people."

    Even in recognizing the disorder as something worthy of established diagnostic guidelines, Pope isn't optimistic that much can be done for these patients. Like anorexics, they often refuse to get help. And the likely treatment—antidepressants like Prozac or Zoloft—might not go over well if the patients thought the pills might affect their ability to work out.

    Signs of Muscle Dysmorphia

    Harrison Pope and several other researchers put together this set of criteria for diagnosing muscle dysmorphia:

    1. The person is preoccupied with the idea that their body is not lean and muscular. They spend long hours lifting weights and pay excessive attention to diet.

    2. This preoccupation causes major distress or impairs the person's social or professional life. The person may forego important social, work-related or recreational activities. They may avoid situations where their body will be exposed. The person continues to work out or diet even when they know it could hurt their health or well-being.

    3. The focus of the person's concerns is on being too small or not muscular enough, as opposed to concerns about being fat.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What you all think? true or some BS? i think its bs beacuse i think its just a hobby, like people who play game or sports..
    I am not big YET

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  3. #2
    Sculpted by Science brickt.'s Avatar
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    No, I don't think it's BS. Check my sig lol.

    I've got quite alot of insight into mental illness, and I can tell you, when the brain decides to go haywire, the psychological rabbit hole goes very, very deep.
    Poo is also LBM - The Built

  4. #3
    Wannabebig Member
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    hmmm.....but hey its better then anorexia...

    and one thing i wana ask you. when will you stop? do not take offence to this
    I am not big YET

  5. #4
    Sculpted by Science brickt.'s Avatar
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    Probably never.

    Even at 220 and 8% I will be thinking, man, my legs SUCK. and I've got some fat here...
    Poo is also LBM - The Built

  6. #5
    Senior Member AzBboy's Avatar
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    I don't find it b/s but I do have OCD thats the sole reason I weightlift.

  7. #6
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    but hey if it dosent Fvck with your life.. i would keep lifting..being the bigges mofo on the block..and its hobby..so nothing to loss unless its compermising your life in a way
    I am not big YET

  8. #7
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    i have a friend that I truely believe has this. it is a real disorder from what I here. But who cares that i feel small and need to get bigger. Thats what drives me to put up more weight or to lift heavy. When they don't realize the what drives us to do it. The "symptons" are just like anorexia where your mind tells you that you look to fat (but opposite of course). But I would rather be dysmorphic than anorexic.

    The doctors dont get why we do it, they just look at the facts. If they had any clue what we do, they would change their minds.
    Make Shift IF diet
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    "My fault. I was fiddling with the Gravitational Constant of the Universe again.
    I've set it back - you might need to reboot, though..." -Built

    "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal--
    nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude" - Thomas J

    "Obsessed is what the lazy call the dedicated" - Slim Schaedle

  9. #8
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    I wouldnt call it an illness, as in something like anorexia, but I sometimes look in the mirror and think how small i look. Then someone will say, damn you're looking big! But i still feel like i need to get bigger. I think of it more as motivation
    "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

    "You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time." -Gordie Howe

  10. #9
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    I'll stop at 300. Anything less is weak and girly.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Everyone has a disorder nowadays. If you aren't fat or skinny fat, married to an ugly wife with 2 kids and making $40 000 a year, you've got some type of disorder. It's ridiculous.

    How's this for a disorder: Wearealldifferentandchoosetoliveourlivesdifferentlywhichisperfectlynormal-phobia
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

    "We have a lot of people like that on our campus, all hippies and things, that go around preaching against corporations, jocks, preps, accountants, and anyone else that feels the need to shower more than occasionally." - Shankerr

    "Damn man why are some women just so demonic and evil.. its like you wanna get a stake and mallet and an erection at the same time." - WBBIRL

  12. #11
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    I also think i have this and a girl im sort of seeing who is a trainee mental health nurse agrees. I seriously see myself as a fat and very unmuscular person no matter what all the time however her my ex my family and friends all say im massive and so do people i meet that i dnt know yet everytime i look in the mirror all i see is a fat tub of lard and dnt think i will ever be happy.
    my journal
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=68545

    weight 202 - (bf around 14%)
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    200 pound at 10% bf by next summer

  13. #12
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    HILL, I think you suffer from Wearealldifferentandchoosetoliveourlivesdifferentlywhichisperfectlynormal-phobia
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

    "We have a lot of people like that on our campus, all hippies and things, that go around preaching against corporations, jocks, preps, accountants, and anyone else that feels the need to shower more than occasionally." - Shankerr

    "Damn man why are some women just so demonic and evil.. its like you wanna get a stake and mallet and an erection at the same time." - WBBIRL

  14. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Crippler
    Everyone has a disorder nowadays. If you aren't fat or skinny fat, married to an ugly wife with 2 kids and making $40 000 a year, you've got some type of disorder. It's ridiculous.
    I agree 100%.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
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