There are two main reasons why people start lifting weights – to improve their physique and to hack life by joining the strength forces.
Like little kids, we often look up to the muscle monsters lifting heavy barbells. We identify them as Gods among men and see a savior in their actions and accomplishments. Little by little, the heavy barbell starts to look like a key to freedom. Is this really the case or just an illusion? Is the ability to lift heavy stuff always accompanied by a strong character?
Undoubtedly, strength athletes and muscle monsters have a different lifestyle than most people. If you want to become big and strong, you must subject your body to a very specific conditioning. You can’t live like an ordinary person and expect to be extraordinary. Therefore, the muscular superheroes train, take steroids and eat a lot. Those are the actions required to become as strong as humanly possible in the 21st century.
But what happens when you take those guys out of their anabolic environment? Are they just as strong or does their strength evaporate like a malnourished muscle?
If you take away the steroids, bodybuilders will shrink down to their natural potential. This leads me to the conclusion that muscle men are not really that strong outside of their castle. This effect is amplified even further by the fact that big muscles are often used as a bandage covering deeper problems. When that bandage is removed, an apparent weakness is exposed. Muscle men lose their identity, and their ego bleeds.
However, isn’t that true for everybody? What is a runner in a phone-booth? What is a musician in a world with no musical instruments? Are we all weaklings outside of our comfort zone? I guess so.
The misery is increased even more by our tendecy to identify with our professions and “free time” addictions. We forget that before drones we are humans first. Our true identity should not be lost once we are in a situation full of factors that could be considered unfavorable.