Friday, July 10, 2009

Classic Physique Building vs. MD (Muscle Dysmorphia)!

(Photos above: left - MD magazine cover Aug 09 issue; right - classic physique builder John Grimek, Mr. America 1940, 1941, Mr. Universe 1948, Mr. USA 1949)

We just couldn't pass this up! In the recent (Aug 2009) issue of Muscular Development magazine, they have an article on "Muscle Dysmorphia in a Young Woman" in their Research: Health section.

The article describes a case, published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research (2009, vol 23: 988-995), where a 23 year old woman bodybuilder met the psychological profile for someone having "muscle dysmorphia." The conclusion of the MD writers (Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey) was to "spin" this finding into something acceptable by saying "While many people undoubtedly have unrealistic body images, extreme focus and dedication are required to reach championship levels. In champions, preoccupation and dedication are considered admirable, but are classified as psychological disturbances in less-accomplished people."

So in other words, Blechman and Fahey are trying to say that "less-acomplished people" (apparently referring to academic researchers who study muscle dysmorphia) are simply "jealous!"

Now, here is the interesting thing, earlier in the article, Blechman and Fahey describe muscle dysmorphia in the following way: "An increasing number of men have a similar condition called muscle dysmorphia where they become overly obsessed with muscle mass and body composition and have a compulsive need to work out and diet. They will evade important social and work responsibilities to maintain their workout schedule. They OFTEN TAKE DRUGS AND SUPPLEMENTS THEY KNOW ARE UNHEALTHY IN ORDER TO ATTAIN THEIR GOAL." [the caps are ours]

So going by the above definition, it is not the preoccupation, extreme focus, or dedication that are the problem. Anyone who is successful in any field will have an abundance of those. It is the fact that those suffering from this condition are WILLING TO ENDANGER THEIR HEALTH BY TAKING DRUGS that is the main problem.

Hmmm....then by their own description, doesn't muscle dysmorphia describe the whole of the mainstream, roid-based, bodybuilding world?! Doesn't it exactly describe what they engage in and what they promote and value? Perhaps MD magazine should rename itself "Muscular Dysmorphia!"

What a sad state modern, mainstream bodybuilding as become! But fortunately there is a better way - classic physique building (which is pre-roid, Golden Age bodybuilding)! In the editorial of our last issue, we put forth a CPB "Credo" that really separates classic physique building from the insanity of the mainstream, roid-based bodybuilding world. We said:

We believe in:

1) cultivating health above all (of body and mind)
2) building a classic physique
3) using pre-roid, Golden Age methods
4) setting a good example for others

Are we dedicated? - yes! Are we focused? - yes! Are we a bit pre-occupied? - yes! But are we willing to damage ourselves with unhealthy drugs and substances for the sake of a physique? - no! Classic physique building is a healthy form of physical culture. The same cannot be said for the mainstream, roid-based bodybuilding that MD promotes.


P.S. For a free, 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine) - a pdf zine patterned after the muscle mags of the pre-roid, Golden Age (the 1940s and 50s) - just email us your name, the name of your city (not your address), state/province, and country. That's it! Any info you send us will be strictly confidential. We don't share our info with anyone. You won't get on any unwanted lists or receive any automated email (even from us)!


Anonymous said...

Could we describe these physiques with only one -one- word?

jonny said...

modern bodybuilding is a joke & this just proves it

Ibrahim said...

The old time strongmen and bodybuilders lived a long and healthy live, mostly. Todays bodybuilders won´t be able to have such a body they have now.
On the other hand it does not look human any more. It´s more like they aliens or something. Just disgusting!!!

Johnny G said...

those today think that their bodies are not disguisting and that lies the problem.. they have a warped view of what is good looking and what is shock value and they have it mixed up as all in one ..seems today everything has to be extreme, but when we all show them what can be accomplished with proper diet and a strong workout program only then can these misguided souls really appreciated what Classic is...Anthony you keep doing what you are doing and maybe just maybe a new wave of physical culture might catch on AGAIN!!!Won't that be GRAND!!!

- CPB - said...

Hi Everyone,

Johnny makes a great point! Today, because of the propaganda and constant visual bombardment of steroid-enhanced physiques by the mainstream muscle mags, some guys have a "warped view" of what is attractive! But fortunately, those guys that think a "Hulk-like" cartoonish physique is attractive are in the minority.

I'm sure if you asked most women and most guys what kind of physique they find attractive, they would choose a Steve Reeves physique over a Jay Cutler physique almost everytime.

So, we classic physique builders are definitely in the public mainstream in terms of appeal! And the modern, "mainstream" muscle mags are definitely on the "margins" and look increasingly "cult like" to most regular people.

The CPB mission, of engaging in classic physique building as a healthy form of phyiscal culture, is a good and much needed one. All we need to do, is get our message out to the public and I think the public will embrace it!

CPBzine now has subscribers from all over the world. So, wherever you are - whether it is Japan, Belgium, Germany, USA, Canada, Estonia, England, Brazil, Poland, Spain, Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Mexico, France, Italy, India, Cypress, Switzerland, South Africa, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Venzuela, or Sweden - help us spread the word!

Here is how you can help - If you participate on other blogs, boards, or have your own website, you can let people know about Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine and CPB Blog) by posting our link. If you are a member of a gym or fitness club, perhaps you can print out the last page (back cover) of CPBzine and take a few copies to post at your club. You can also let your friends know about us.

With your help, pre-roid, Golden Age bodybuilding (classic physique building) can truly recapture the mainstream and perhaps save many young people from falling into the self-destructive behavior of drug use promoted by the roid-based, cult-like world of the modern muscle mags.

All the best (and thanks for your support!),

CPB (Anthony)

Casey Butt said...

Personally, whenever I see one of those grotesque monsters I marvel at the depth of mental disorder they have, yet goes untreated.

Johnny G said...

one last point would be when you see the men who grace the covers like People magazine and are considered the sexist men, you see the Hugh Jackmans, the Gerard Bulters, and so on - You don't see Ronnie Coleman...I truly believe if Reeves, Tanny or one of those other former Golden Era bodybuilders would be around today they would also be in the discussion of sexist men...My wife would tell ya that I'm straight as an arrow, but we are having a discussion of what make the human anotomy appealing for both men & we are discussing for ourselves what will make me a better looking before we go off on some of the training technique of today we have to ask ourselves what will make me be a better me, and if some of the split training and some of the NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS can make me look more like a Classic Physique then maybe we should implement them in our program....even the Old Timers were looking to improve at a faster rate...we now do have the science and the knowledge to improve ourselves thru NATURAL means...I know some of us and that would include me thinks that Steve Reeves had if not at least one of the greatest physiques, but it would be tough for me to put in a 2 to 3 hour program 3 times per week and if thru the years we realize we can develope a Classic Physique thru split programs then we should be open to those ideas and not so hard headed to think that one way is the only way - all we can do is to keep the eye on the prize and keep it Classical and Natural