The question ”Do you even lift, bro?” can kill people. When muscle addicts hear it, something in them breaks as if sand has seeped into the main mechanism. The system immediately switches to hell mode and starts producing self-destructing cells. It’s a like a demon takes over. The eyes change too. They fill with desire to kill and destroy the surroundings.
This process could be even more intense if the person you are asking is a dedicated natural lifter. Question is, why does this rather simple question trigger similar reactions in supposedly mentally stable people?
When I was in my lift ”heavy or die” period I used to consider barbell training the highlight of my existence. I was still doing everything else as before, but I only cared about progressing in the weight room for a few months. During that period I thought everything outside of the gym is trivial nonsense that only weaklings think of. Fuck work, fuck personal life, fuck everything. That’s boring stuff for boring people who only care about fitting into social circles.
”More biscuits on the bar is where it’s at,” I was often saying to myself.
After a few passionate months of hardcore permabulking and lifting it finally happened – I was hit by a ”Do you even lift?” question. The attack came from a family member and was rather strong. Quote: ”Do you even lift, fatso?” End of quote.
Those words felt like a 44mm bullet in the chest because just two weeks prior I had performed a do-or-die deadlift session. My white socks were soaked in blood from shin wounds. I still remember that day. I felt like a real warrior, and this feeling is hard to forget. I also experienced severe nose bleeding from squats during the same period. In other words, I was training until there are blood drops on the floor, and yet people were still seeing me as a non-lifting fatso. I guess this is how I looked.
As you can see, I know how it feels to receive this painful question as a natty lifter. You are doing everything you are supposed to (lift heavy and eat ”right”) but despite all effort you are still not getting the desired results – only mean remarks from individuals who don’t lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee. Those same people have the nerve to ask you whether you are the king of extra large burgers. Seriously? Get lost and read some Cosmo.
At this point we have to ask ourselves – what forms people’s idea how guys who lift look like? That’s actually easy to answer – the media. The magazines, the movies, the commercials, the YouTube clips and the social media posts are among main sources of ‘fake reality when it comes to muscle appearance. Those elements form massive prejudices, which create opportunity for some serious drama later on when people realize that natural bodybuilders can never look like the Photoshopped guys on the cover of muscle magazines. It just can’t happen. Sorry.
This reminds of the movies brainwashing women that somewhere there is a handsome man with tons of money from a legal business waiting for each one of them. Many delusional teens and young adults think that love behaves like the thing presented on the cinema screen. To some degree this is why there is so much disappointment in relationships. When you understand that your prince is not really a prince, the chair underneath your feet disappears. The same goes for large muscles – we have the media telling us that rice, chicken breast and pump exercises make you big, but after a few years you realize that’s not the case at all. Voila. You are now on the floor.
This simple realization could potentially destroy the minds of many. Most people prefer to remain delusional and refuse to accept the truth that’s right in front of them. Those are the same individuals sending me e-mails which politely inform me the natty limits will soon be shattered.
Example: ”Hello, Mr. ShitGeneticsOrNot. I am a 15-year-old boy and I have already destroyed the stupid limits in your ‘guide’ for natural bodybuilders. What can I say? You must have some really bad genetics, brah! Have you considered trying to actually lift heavy? Advise: Check yourself before you wreck yourself! By the way, I am writing this using my 19 inch all natural arms. Suck my cock maggot!”
While similar letters are amusing, they usually come from people who underestimate their body fat levels tremendously and think they are 7% when they are in fact 37%.
This delusional behavior reminds me of a special breed of wackos – the hipsters treating autobiographies of famous rich people like sacred texts. You can often see them on the bus reading thick books, which supposedly reveal the secrets of the big CEOs.
Here’s the deal: first, the mainstream media is a criminal organization for the most part. Second, do you really expect to find the truth about a man in an authorized biography written under the dictation of his PR team? Do you really think similar books can be objective? If so, you are probably one of those #how-bad-do-you-want-it guys who believe you can reach the size of Ronnie Coleman naturally by eating powders at the right time. You probably also think big money can be made with honest labor. It’s true that in many situations you can make more by working harder, but when it comes to millions and billions and trillions – that rule does not apply.
At the same time, if you are wise enough to see that the question ”do you even lift, bro” is based on false expectations, you may suffer from a lengthy depression. It all depends on how much you have invested in that muscle game. Many people are not affected, but the maniacs cry at night. The end of the dream hurts their souls and makes them feel useless. You look at yourself and see ”nattiness” – an element that you now hate because you are stuck with it. That’s why it hurts so much when people ask you whether you lift or not. You lift, but you look like shit compared to the fitness models on Facebook and Instagram. It’s like doing all the work and getting paid confetti instead of real money. That could potentially drive you insane. The love of muscles/ego is a dangerous thing.
This painful realization could cause a major crisis in the careers of natural bodybuilders. I would even say this is the biggest test you will pass through – a test that will determine your future in this game. Different people find different answers to this situation – some pin and get balloon muscles while others bitch and hate on forums. Of course, there is also a third option, but you will have to figure it on your own because it requires a personal ingredient called ”choice” that can only come from you. Nobody can give it to you. You have to choose the path.
So, what is the true meaning of’ ”do you even lift?”
It’s a question meant to determine how well you are answering the expectations of society. While sometimes that’s a nice reality check, especially if you are a permabulker, it could also be a trap for your emotional power. The society consists primarily of humanoids who just want to shape you and do not care whether the frame is based on false principles and Photoshop or real values and strength.
If something is accepted, there is no need to question it. Just shut up and do as expected.
Ultimately, I think that you should answer to ”Do you even lift, bro?” according to real standards instead of bending for mainstream expectations. ”Do I even lift?” That’s for me to decide. Thank you for asking.