Yesterday, one of the most popular sites for bodybuilding disinformation known as T-Nation posted an article called: 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Look Like You Lift by Dan John. Unfortunately, the article did not reveal the real reasons why people don’t look like they lift and instead contained mostly mainstream broscience ideas including squatting deep to get big and other macho nonsense….etc.
What does it mean to ‘look like you lift‘?
Not many people actually think where this expression comes from because it’s considered obvious. However, it’s important that we go over it carefully. The whole ‘looking like you lift‘ thing comes from the general understanding of the mainstream crowd how one is supposed to look when he/she lifts weights. This image is based on what people have seen in movies, mainstream shows and the gym. This causes serious problems because we all know that most of the muscle guys in Hollywood such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson are/were on steroids. This means that the general idea of how one should look like when he is lifting weights is distorted due to all the disinformation around us.
After we’ve covered that, it’s time to expose the real reasons why many people don’t look like they lift.
1.Poor dietary habits.
To give credit where credit is due, Dan John’s article did touch on that. Nutrition is highly responsible for our body fat levels and muscle mass. You obviously can’t eat bad food all the time and expect to look good. That’s what the masses are doing and very few actually look like they lift. Usually those individuals are young and have very fast metabolisms but even that’s extremely rare.
We don’t advise people to eat clean all the time but it helps, if one eats things that are not considered junk at least 90% of the time.
In general, training cannot reverse poor nutrition regardless of popular opinion. It can help but not as much as you think.
2.Expecting to look like steroid users
The images of steroid addicts are used to determine how one is supposed to look when he/she lifts. They’re everywhere – on supplements, magazines, web-pages…That affects the general perception and causes pipe dreams to arise. People buy supplements with cool names and take them religiously hoping that one day they will look like they lift.
That day never comes.
You can’t expect to look like the steroid users naturally, ever. This is pretty hard for some to understand, because the images of muscle men we have in our brains have been installed their since young age through various moronic forms of entertainment such as wrestling and action movies like Rambo.
3.Expecting miracles from the basic lifts
Many people believe that after doing heavy sets of squats and deadlifts they deserve all the growth in the world. You can think whatever you want, but it’s not happening like that. Those two exercises are just exercises and they are not going to make you look like people who are on Trenbolone, Testosterone and many other anabolic steroids and fat burning drugs. You can become stronger and powerful, but you won’t look like Lazar Angelov or Simeon Panda by doing that alone.
It’s just not happening.
The master lifts are very useful and powerful tools, but even they can’t make you the Hulk naturally.
The whole purpose of training is to provide stimulus for growth. In order for that to happen it’s better to do a few things right than many things wrong. Focus on a few lifts and do them often. It also helps, if you set goals that are technically not required by bodybuilding such as doing 20 consecutive pull-ups, 10 muscle-ups or something like that.
People who do too many exercises lose focus and spread their energy way too much which causes losses and inability to progress. Stay away from gimmicky routines people advertise on their web-sites for just 19,99.
5.Not focusing enough effort on getting lean
As a natural who wants to look like he lifts you need to stay lean. Having extra body fat may help you appear bigger in clothes, but you will look like the average brah when you take off your shirt. Just look at people like Jason Blaha. He’s on steroids and pretty big, but he does not look as impressive because he has high body fat. Leanness is your friend. It will help you look bigger than you are without clothes and much more aesthetic. If you have to sacrifice some artificial size to achieve it – so be it.
It’s extremely hard to satisfy the expectations of the general public when it comes to muscles. After all, most people expect to turn into Arnold shortly upon starting lifting. That’s what the mainstream media and the supplements want us to believe. That’s why people often make fun of those who lift when they appear less impressive than expected. The disinformation agents in bodybuilding have caused just one more illusion.
With that said, as a natural you can look pretty impressive, if you have intelligently designed training routine and keep your body fat low. However, you will rarely appear like the Hulk when you wear clothes, but that’s the way it is and there are much sadder things in life than failing to satisfy your ego.