Bodybuilding Parvenus: Exercises Are Now Brands, Freedom Is Lost

Here’s the situation: two businessmen, each of them with a variation of Christiano Ronaldo’s hair style and loads of dirty money to burn, were in the gym talking about wrist watch brands. On the outside those bozos appeared to be knowledgeable and passionate successful men.

However, I knew they were nothing but snobs addicted to shiny things.

“Unless, it’s a mechanical built with in-house mechanism, you might just as well put toilet paper around your wrist. All else just doesn’t cut it, and I will never accept it as a work of art. Quartz based mechanisms are for total losers,” said the fatter of the two who was a solid 7/10 whale.


The guy was one of those “I own the world.” rich people who have never worked a day in their lives and owe their entire monetary wealth to an inherited swine factory, which they would run into bankruptcy in about 3 months without daddy’s guidance and mafia connections.

“I would have to agree. I can’t see myself falling so low. Wearing watches with batteries? Those are for the plebs and their kids,” replied his buddy.

“I hear you man. My dad bought me my first mechanical luxury watch when I was 10. It was a silver Rolex – 100% original. I felt like a true king next to my friends wearing plastic watches found in cereal boxes. Since then I’ve never looked back. I don’t think a watch under 20k deserves the warmth of my wrist. Look at my new blink by the way – Rolex Daytona Platinum Ice Blue Dial. Got it last month.”

“How much?

“Dirt cheap – USD 65K. A steal, if you ask me, bro!”

“So, what’s that? A week worth of pay?”

“More like 3 days….hahahahahaha”

At this moment the two fatsos started laughing heroically with their rich men guts. The sounds reminded me of my childhood when we used to obsess over sneaker brands. The cool kids were wearing Nike, Reebok and Adidas while the poor ones had to stick to cheap unknown brands.

“Oh, man! It’s gorgeous. Rolex is my favorite brand and then comes Omega. The rest is for common people.”

“I feel you man. The other day I was in the store on main street and there was a beggar looking for a “good” watch under 200 bucks. Good luck, loser! The only thing you can find in that price range are Mickey Mouse poverty watches,” continued the proud Rolex owner.

His speech revealed immense egoism and the character of a logic deprived mental midget snob. I asked myself what would it take me to get one of those 65k watches and came with the following plans:

Plan A: Sell Everything

There is no doubt that if I were to sell everything I have, including my boxers, I would probably get close to 30-32% of what this Rolex is sold for. Hmmmmm….what about the rest of the money?

One of the possibilities floating in my mind is to take out a loan and only then sell all of my possessions down to my underwear and toothbrush. They wouldn’t give you a loan if you don’t have boxers on you anyway, correct? If everything goes according to plan this would get me about 50% of the money needed for the watch. What about the rest 20%? Well, I guess working in a mine for 20-30 years would do it.

Therefore, the final plan A is: work in a mine for 20-30 years, sign a loan contract and finally sell everything including your shoe laces. I guess at the end this epic sacrifice will be well worth the effort.

I will be living in a trash can but that is not important! What truly matters is that I will have something really nice on my wrist, and my new friends will be individuals taking a shower once a year, eating dog food and napping on cardboard boxes all day.

Of course, when I am broke and old I probably wouldn’t care what’s the time anyway, but hey – it’s still a Rolex.

Plan B: Become a Bodybuilding Guru

I heard that many bodybuilding gurus are making good bank through growth hormone smuggling and illegal anabolic steroids dealing. I guess I can join the camp to earn some money for my Rolex.

I hope that after a decade of growth hormone contraband and tanning bodybuilders, it would be possible to save at least 50% of the money needed for this watch. This seems like a great deal to be honest, almost a steal. Of course, there is always a possibility to go to prison, but I guess it’s still worth it for a Rolex. I will just bulldoze a really large whole in the ground and hide my money, gold and silver in a military capsule. My wealth will be waiting for me when I come out of the jailhouse in about 20-40 years, and I will use it to buy me that watch.

Sadly, inflation would have probably reduced the value of my hard earned growth hormone cash, but who said it was going to be easy? Besides, there’s another valuable option that can speed up the process – becoming a bodybuilding pimp.

I heard that competition is strong in this market segment, but if you put in the time you can earn enough to buy a Rolex in about a decade. Still, don’t be too optimistic! This can only happen if you don’t buy much of anything else – including a car. I guess I will have to be one of those pimps transporting their greedy glutes using a second hand bike. You gotta do what you gotta do to achieve your goal and live your dreams, am I right? Rolex, sweety, here I come.

***

Then, I stopped this ridiculous daydreaming and felt disgusted by the way companies have manipulated us into fighting over brands while they are making big cash and creating a fascist state.

Today, the logos on clothes and other products are bigger than your head and placed at a very easy to see place – the chest, right next to your heart. As a result the first element people notice about a product is not how it works or how it’s made, but rather who branded it. Sometimes when people choose their clothes they don’t read the labels explaining where it was made and what’s the material, but focus solely on the brand.

Back when I was a skater there was one rapper boy (actually he became a real mainstream rapper later) who did the following: he glued Nike’s Saturnian symbol on a regular pair of cheap tennis shoes just to be fashionable because at the time Nike were launching their SB line (skateboarding brand) of shoes, and many of the skaters who were trying to be rappers were into it. Similar examples reveal how brand awareness has been integrated deep into our minds. Getting out of the brand based existence is hard.

With that said, it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that certain brands equal quality and others are known to be low end garbage. Obviously, something with a reputable name on it would be better than a fake produced by under-aged workers in a dusty factory based one principle only – survival of the fittest.

Nevertheless, you can drive yourself crazy obsessing over brands in every aspect of your existence. Sometimes people just fight to protect the name of a specific brand and not really to defend a better product.

Even when there are two products of equal quality doing the exact same thing really well, there are still people writing on forums with an angry face in an attempt to shut down hard the supporters of the rival. One notorious example would be the constant battle between AMD and Intel processors. The truth is that both can work just fine and it’s irrational to treat them either as a church. I’ve heard crazy stuff. Back in the day when I was building my PC and looking for a processor I went online to gather some information. There were people calling themselves Intel Generals. What’s that? Somebody who would defend the brand until the end of times regardless of the fact that AMD’s alternatives can allow you to the same thing. Those guys will never learn that the processor you use is not your legacy.

Then all of a sudden I was like: “Wait a minute? Isn’t that what we do with exercises too?”

We like to separate into exercise camps. Many people are attracted to the macho “squat or die” brands of guys like Mark Rippetoe and John Broz, and defend those guys with a passion. When you are subscribing to the squat ideology, it’s not because you get can’t get strong using other exercises, but because you want to be part of the cool brand. In this case the squat is not seen as an exercise or a method to get stronger but as a subjective way to achieve manly status.

Back in the day I was part of the 5×5/only barbells camp and looked at other people doing machine or dumbbell exercises as losers choosing the easy path. In many situations this was correct – people are afraid to do difficult things. However, later on I finally understood that what matters the most is how hard you are willing to work, not the choice of resistance. What’s harder? Doing full range rows with 5 plates on a machine or pull-ups with 50 kg / 110 lbs added weight? In both cases were are talking about strength & effort so it’s all fine.

At end of the day, even rich people who can afford to buy expensive brands come to the painful realization that no matter what your watch is – the time is still the same. We only have so much of it and even if you have gold, silver or diamonds around your wrist, the real life clock is not ticking any differently for you. Brands could be useful when it comes to classifying plastic products, but their importance drops once we get closer to the real deal. There are different types of love, courage, passion and strength, but ultimately each one of those has a unique core that cannot be affected by corporate branding.

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