Can Bodybuilding and Lifting Weights Turn Into Unhealthy Addiction Eating Your Life?

Addictions are what makes this world vibrate. The main difference between them is that some kill you faster than others and hurt more. Other than that the principles are exactly the same – you want to get more and more of the same thing.

A while ago I was looking to buy me a computer tablet so that I can get away from the desk and brainwash myself while giving a chance to my ecto parts to rest in bed. Naturally, I went online and started researching the offers of the local stores. Then, I began watching reviews of the specific models I had chosen. One of the guys doing product presentations opened the box of a tablet and said a something that later found itself in my notebook. “I’ve opened 100s of boxes, and yet every time I do it I still experience euphoria,” he said.

At the end I didn’t buy the tablet because it didn’t survive my one month test ,which was supposed to determine whether I need it. Still, this guy’s statement is something I remembered because it reveals the principle behind addiction and in this particular case the shopping version – every time you buy a new thing, you experience a high and that’s why you have to keep on buying and opening new packages.


Some people even call shopping a modern form of hunting. You find an item (target) and then you begin researching. When you are ready “you pull the trigger” and order it. These days people order mostly from the Internet which adds another element – the waiting part. Many individuals feel like kids the week before Christmas. Everyday you check your mail, hoping that your new trophy has arrived. Sooner or later, it’s on your working desk. Some people use a knife or scissors to open the package while others prefer the savage approach and tear right through it. Those individuals behave like impatient vampires who want to consume their victim as fast as possible – no waiting. When you finally see your new acquisition for the first time, you experience a climax. You’ve won. The victim is in front of you – dead. It’s yours now. The hunting is over and you can go home and eat for a day or two. A few weeks pass and it’s all forgotten. Your new acquisition is a given. It’s not exciting anymore. You are hungry and you need something else – a new victim, a new high. For people with perpetual amount of coins this can turn out to be a never-ending vicious hobby while for others with less coins it can be an economical destruction. With that said I am not against buying things as long as you can afford them without going in debt, and you truly find a function for them in your life.

While shopping can be considered a low level materialistic addiction, the same core principle applies to other more advanced versions. You can be addicted to other things, including spiritual experiences.

Believe it or not, some people are addicted to helping others and making them happy. Obviously, this is not the most popular addiction in the world, but it does exist. Without a a shadow of a doubt, I don’t have a similar problem, but I have seen others who actually do. Quite often it’s due to a built-in perpetual guilt. Some feel guilty of everything and self-torturing themselves while giving away to other people or animals makes them feel better. A simple example would be somebody who squats down and gives a few bucks to a beggar on the street. It makes you feel good inside and your deep internal guilt diminishes for a moment. This is also a form of addiction, it’s just considered a higher level compared to other more worldly things. Nevertheless, it still proves that our actions are nothing but part of different cycles that end with a few moments of inner piece. Those moments are the core of every addiction, and even if you suffer from a more sophisticated form, you are still subject to similar rules that cannot be broken because of your human status.

It seems that no matter who you are, you will be addicted to something that will end up being your master one way or another. Question is, are we going to choose cocaine and crack that suck the living life out of you or are we going to stick with a slower killer that ensures a healthier and more prolong honorable existence on this planet? What’s it going to be? Cocaine, chicken burgers or rice and oatmeal?

There are many idiots out there who call themselves collectors. They collect things that may or may not be functional. Recently I watched a few videos on YouTube of a watch guy. The man probably has watches worth more than everything I own. He is one of those brain dead snobs who can’t stop spending money. However, since he is a wealthy dude, he gets away with it to a certain point, but guess what? It never ends. In every video he wants more and more. I think at the core of this experience is the fact that his hobby does not involve doing anything other than searching and buying. Obviously, he is not making those watches himself and is just a consumer/sponsor which cheapens the whole thing.

Lifting weights on the other hand requires you to get involved and use verbs other than “have” or “get”. You don’t need a ton of money to go to the gym or the local park and receive the working out form of high. It doesn’t matter how you look at it – it’s better than polishing watches or jewelry that is too expensive to wear outside of your own bathroom. Therefore, bodybuilding and lifting weights in general have the chance to be a more elevated form of addiction because there is an element of doing something using your own skills.

Of course, the mainstream has it’s own steroid window shopper version. We have bodybuilders who get so addicted to the status and sense of piece that come with having a large muscular physique that they jump on the steroid train. This diminishes the spiritual side of the training experience, because every newly added muscle cell can be considered a new purchase. You begin with a small dose, get some new muscle, and then you have to up the dose again if you want to experience the same pleasure again. A decade later you may found yourself taking grams and grams of all kinds of muscle elixirs while shaking that thong in front of thousands of people. When does it stop? The answer of modern bodybuilding is – it doesn’t stop as long as your liver is working. “Juice till you die,” is a motto that fits the whole activity really well.

The “constantly wanting more” mechanism is natural for our human nature. As the old cliché goes “you always want what you cannot have”. This principle is to a certain degree responsible for all human based progress. You are never satisfied. You want more and more and more and more and more and then some more. That’s how the “more” addiction operates. You can try to shut it down, but as long as your heart is beating, it will be there. It’s part of you. You can try to control it but you cannot cut it out. Some consider it an imperfection while others see it as a driving force needed to succeed. I believe the best way to treat this mechanism is as a powerful beast that can be a killer or a protector.

At the end, the answer is: “Yes, bodybuilding and lifting weights could turn out to be a scary and expensive addiction completely consuming your life, if you choose to play the size and ego game.” Still, the activity has the potential to be one of the healthier choices out there that kill you slowly. My observations say that balance is the key to a longer life with optimal functioning. Whether this is your thing, you have to decide yourself. Some prefer to go all in (YOLO) and sell their soul to feed their addiction, while others are able to see through and seek equilibrium. Even if it’s true that both movies end the same way, the story line is what counts the most anyway.

One comment

  1. Hodgie_Baby

    Great points here. I struggle at times with finding a balance between spending time with my family (wife, two young children) vs. the urge/desire to stick to my program and train whenever a free hour avails itself, chasing the spiritual high that a shock to the CNS can bring. I admit I come with an addictive personality; it has caused friction at times in my relationship with my wife. Better than cocaine, though.

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