Sunday, June 24, 2012

Crossfit, Bodybuilding, and Getting Girls to Sleep With You

As many of you know, I've been crossfitting for a good while now, and I love it.  It's given me a completely new outlook on fitness; I have a much more performance-based mentality than I used to.  Whereas I used to care mostly about having nice pecs and biceps (curls for the girls), I now concern myself with more worthwhile goals, like lifting heavy shit over my head, doing lots of pullups, and training my body to move the way it's designed to move.  Sure, looking good naked is a nice side effect, but that's not why I do it.  For simplicity, here's a short summary of the differences between crossfit and what everyone else is doing...

Crossfit approach:  Performance oriented.  Get faster and stronger.  Do fundamental exercises like squats, deadlifts, and presses, which will produce strength that translates into real life activities.  Do more work in less time, use proper form, and train your body to be an athletic machine.  Build strength, power, endurance, and athleticism. 

Bodybuilding/general gym approach:  Work out to look good.  Do silly things like bicep curls and leg extensions.  Use the elliptical machine for cardio.  Work your muscles groups individually, in isolation from the body as a whole.  Whack off to yourself in the mirror.  

And now that I have this new crossfit mentality, I have to admit... I'm a little embarrassed.  I'm embarrassed because for so long, my only motive for working out was to look good; I can't believe I was ever so vain.  And this is, in my now older and wiser mind, not the way to look at fitness.  It gives me and everyone else in the performance realm a bad name... including crossfitters, power lifters, track athletes, endurance athletes, and anyone else who has real, substantial goals that aren't rooted in narcissism.  Unfortunately, most avid gym-goers are still stuck in this bodybuilding mentality, only working out for aesthetic purposes, to look good for others.  In other words, they're not doing it for themselves... they're doing it for other people.  And here's what's wrong with it.

Finding your motivation in impressing others is completely unsustainable. 
I've experienced it first hand.  You see, before I found crossfit, I was stuck in this cycle...
1.)  Become obsessed with working on my body and make myself look good (approximately 3 months)
2.)  Grow completely bored with it, yet still go through the workouts since I'd already come so far (another 3 months)
3.)  Realize I don't care about the gym as much as I did 6 months ago, stop going completely (1 month)
4.)  Get fatter and softer, lose both muscle and self confidence, revert to step 1.

Why did I become bored?  Because my motivation didn't come from within.  I was working out so other people would look at me and think one of two things… either “He looks great, I wish I looked like that,” or, “Wow, he looks hot, I’d love to bone him.”  Yes, seriously.  What I’ve learned is that girls don’t care if you have a six pack.  Or if you have big shoulders.  Guys don’t either.  Sure, a nice body can be sexy.  But you know what’s even sexier?  Confidence.  Confidence in yourself, confidence in your body, and a general I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-you-think-because-I’m-comfortable-in-my-own-skin attitude.  And real confidence, much like motivation, doesn't come from the opinions of others... it comes from within.

Crossfit builds real confidence.  Just try it.  The first time you're able to string together a series of double-unders, or when you do your first muscle-up, or when you hit a new PR (personal record)... when you accomplish something you never even thought was possible, you'll feel it.  You simultaneously realize that a) you're awesome, and b) your opinion is the only one that matters.  And it's real... because you're doing it for yourself, not for someone else's meaningless opinion of you. 

The bodybuilding approach doesn't make you faster, stronger, or a better athlete.  It just makes you fake.
In fact, there's a good chance it'll make you less athletic.  I fell victim to this myth when I first began to lift weights.  I expected that with my new found muscle, I’d automatically be better at sports.  I expected to step on to the football field and have a leg up on everyone else; I thought I would dominate in pickup basketball.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It made me slower and less coordinated.  You see, being really strong on the leg press machine and being able to press 300 pounds on the chest press machine don't exactly translate to real world strength.  Neither does lifting a weight slowly to increase the muscle's time under tension.  And neither does doing something retarded like the seated shoulder press... call me next time you need to push something overhead without using your legs or hips.  Just stand the fuck up.  These things may build you muscle, but that muscle has no practical use.  It's all for show.  You're still slow, clunky, and you probably couldn't do anything that requires real life strength, like carrying someone out of a burning building.  Not unless they were strapped to a cable crossover machine at least.

What is aesthetic beauty without something real to back it up?  Does it matter how big your legs are if you couldn't outrun my grandma?  No.  Not in my opinion.  You’re a paper tiger, and you can’t hide behind that front forever.  Bodybuilders are like girls who wear too much makeup.  Take Kim Kardashian, for example.  Yeah, I ran into her once.  She wears an absurd amount of makeup.  It may look aesthetically pleasing, but the idea that you need a mask to make yourself feel confident enough to go out in public… there’s nothing more unattractive.  I don’t care how hot it makes you feel, it's not you, and hence it's not hot.  If you don't look good without makeup, then you don't look good, that's my philosophy.  The same is true for bodybuilders, or even your average gym rat.  The muscles are their makeup.  They may look good on the outside, but they may as well be sporting total body muscle implants, because they can't do anything substantial with them.  It's just fake, and I can't stand it.

Crossfit, on the other hand, places functionality over aesthetics.  We care most about what we can do with our bodies, rather than how we look because of it.  We care about our 400m time, or how many kipping pullups we can do, or how much we can deadlift.  We don't really care about how our backs look while we do it.  Okay, maybe just a little bit.  Crossfitters do look good, but we have substance behind it.  Those muscles actually serve a real-world purpose.  It's just more real.  And that's sexy.

Okay look, if bodybuilding is your thing, that's great.  I'm not here to rain on your parade; this is all just my opinion.  But I've been there.  I spent years working out with the sole intent of looking good, and I can tell you that it's a dead end street.  It is indeed the cul-de-sac of fitness.  But if you really like taking pictures of yourself half-naked and putting them on Facebook so everyone can see how hot you look, then by all means do it.  It's too vain for me.  It makes me feel like a tool.  And it's oddly feminine.  It makes me feel like a little, girly tool.

I'm just happy I found crossfit.  And I'm never looking back.


  1. Never really thought about it in so much depth but everything is so true there Burn. Went to Globo Gym to try and get bigger for the girls to stare at you. But not only did my arms/shoulders get bigger, so did my gut. And never really did leg workouts cause they were 'naturally' big already from years of soccer.

    And to get the girl, they want to feel protected when they are in your arms, and shouldn't be afraid you might squish them if you do have the 35-40" biceps.

  2. You speak as bodybuilders are weak, bodybuilders often use 70% of their maxiumun strenght... and sometimes go one repitions to shock the muscle to become bigger and stronger, so dont talk shit.

  3. what A bias blog. You are an Idiot! Bodybuilding takes more that just doing Isolated movements. You must Have the knowledge in nutrition and workout technique to get big muscles. Lots of dedication And upkeep. This was problably written by someone who couldnt get a physique that looks like it was carved. Bodybuilding is one if not the hardest sports on Earth. You are a total dumbass

  4. I've been working out with a bodybuilding routine for 6 years. I'm 6'4 and 205lbs of gut, just abs. Oh, and I run a 4.5 second 40 yd dash, 50 second 400m, and can do a 360 dunk. Yet you claim bodybuilding makes me unathletic... CROSSFIT OR DIE!!!!!!

  5. I started spending a little over two hours in the gym about a year ago doing sets after sets just to get a pump. Honestly, I got kind of addicted to it and had to keep going back to get bigger and bigger cus.. well I loved it. Once you see those gains and your friends see those gains its impossible to stop. Gym advocates I cannot deny that it does get lonely sometimes.. When I went back home after my first year at college the girls were like wow what happened he got muscle now! I was like hell yeah and finally felt important and validated. Then I pledged a fraternity and lost all of my muscle in less than three months and got this rock hard beer belly lol. What felt like years of work was just gone. I've since then started doing crossfit and I am faster, more coordinated, and my body moves how it should. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with bicep curls and I'll tell you a secret.. a lot of crossfitters do heavy curls to help with their pullups and pulls every now and again. The point of the story is... my pride felt good when I was bigger but I've never felt so sluggish and solid like a tank in my life. I remember horsing around with people and they'd always be like dude you'd probably beat my ass in a fight at your size. Truth is, the CrossFit me would probably whoop the bodybuilding me just because i'm more explosive and can put up more weight now. Heavy deadlifts, cleans, presses got my arms stronger than ever. Before crossfit i was curling 50s for reps I can now curl 55s for reps just like i'd never quit curling. And I haven't done a curl workout in 4 months. I bench the same weight, squat the same weight, and deadlift 50 pounds more and I'm wayyy more athletic. Bodybuilding is good for building muscles... Crossfit is good for performing simply because that is what crossfit is.. its performance based. The two should not really be compared. I will say that bodybuilders that know what they are doing look better naked than crossfitters that know what they are doing but not by a lot and after feeling fit and agile like I'm back on the field again i'd take a 20 min strength session of crossfit followed by a 12 min metcon or nasty girl any day over going back to my ego based gym days. To you guys bashing crossfit you just gotta try it. Kipping pull-ups sound stupid but they kill your grip... involve your core and make you more explosive. its not about hypertrophy which is why you guys are getting so bent out of shape. A lot of crossfitters are fed the basic info and think they know everything about fitness and put off this uptight arrogance but it's because they feel on top of the world. I walk around giving zero fucks after doing crossfit and people can assume what they want but my girl knows better ;)

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