Bodybuilding Vs. Building Your Body

This is the truth about bodybuilding: If you do everything about it right, expend huge amounts of time and energy, you’ll end up stiff and muscle-bound, with very little functional strength and out of breath from merely tying your own shoelaces.

He’s huge, he poses well. But ask him to carry a piece of furniture to the third floor and he’ll shatter.

If you’re doing bodybuilding the wrong way, you’ll end up just as my personal laughing stock in the gym did: huge Arms, bulging chest, no upper back, well advanced beer gut and toothpick legs. And I forgot to mention: An inferiority complex to match his arms.

Bodybuilding as popularized by Arnold in the 1970s consists of isolating muscles in very specific exercises, long rests in between sets and eating lots of powdered protein. And don’t forget to add all kinds of drugs to the mix. That makes conventional bodybuilding  just about the most unnatural thing you can do to your body short of male pectoral implants.

Nothing in conventional bodybuilding teaches your muscles to work together in a group in order to execute vigorous movements. Nothing in it sharpens your sense of balance. And nothing in it is any good for getting your body in a posture of masculine grace.

As opposed to lifting weights. The Olympic way.

Olympic lifts – aka the clean and jerk and the snatch –  do all those good things mentioned above. Why? Because they force nearly all the muscles in your body into an extreme effort. Together. As a unit.

Actually, Olympic weightlifting very much resembles the heavy exertions our ancestors did, but we seldomly get around to do. Think: lifting a slain boar and carrying it back to the cave for nourishment. Think: Roman soldiers building earthworks and wooden palisades around their camp. Think: gangs of laborers lifting bullhead railbeams.

Rome’s finest lifted heavy things far more often than they did their swords 

Those are natural activities for men. Activities which millennia of evolution have made us suited to. Which our bodies have a need to execute in order to develop into their proper, masculine shape.

But here we are now, ourselves designed to lift and carry heavy things, but caught in the 21st century where such activity seems very much out of place. Which gets us back to Olympic weightlifting, the one thing ready to fill that void in the life of postmodern males.

Can you spot the difference?

The photo above illustrates perfectly the difference between a guy lifting weights vs a guy committed to conventional bodybuilding. Those two guys are among the very best at what they do, but I won’t tell you which is the bodybuilder and which the lifter.

Hint: one looks like a pacific whale after heavy exposure to Fukushima radiation. Subsequently it beached somewhere along California’s coastline and has since been taken in as a pet by the proprietor of a tanning salon.

Hint: one looks like a seriously athletic dude, equally ready for an MMA match or a 100 yard dash. Navy Seal recruiters masturbate to his image. Women feel their Pavlovian bell ringing violently. He would have beaten Brad Pitt’s ass if the producers had taken the trouble to cast a credible Hector.

Have you been able to solve the riddle? Did you figure out which one has build himself a body like a Roman statue by seriously lifting? And did you spot the one that has transformed himself – through a myriad of hours at the gym, ‘roids, protein powder and tanning – into a cross between trailer trash and oxen?

If you did, then it is time to break through the endless monotony of bicep curls and cable crossovers. Start picking up heavy things from the ground, then violently push them over your head, alternately clenching your teeth or screaming as you do so.

Get strong.

PS: So you guys know I’m not a 300 lbs tub of lard writing in his basement: This is me, taken with my cell’s camera, prior to writing this article. I am 35 years old, spend most of my time at work and love tobacco and booze. I work out only twice a week, for 45 minutes. My core exercises are the clean and jerk and the chinup. Everything else I do is designed to strengthen the various phases of the clean and jerk. Considering the miniscule amount of time I invest, I love the results.

Lazy but fairly well in shape. Thanks to the allmighty barbell.

Don’t Miss: All Girls Like Muscular Guys

130 thoughts on “Bodybuilding Vs. Building Your Body”

  1. Literally laughed so hard I almost crapped my pants after reading this article. Another fitness article by some weightlifting noob who thinks he knows it all after skimming through starting strength.
    Dipshit, realize that you cannot get to the size of a bodybuilder without being able to lift large amounts of weight. Mass is a result of progressive loading+time under tension for the muscles. If you cannot push and pull big amounts of weight, you will not be big.
    Furthermore, all because people don’t have balanced physiques does not mean they are body builders. Lifting for aesthetics does not make you a body builder. This is like saying everybody who plays pick up basketball once in a while identifies as “basketball player. ”
    Also, powder protein did not exist in Arnold’s time, and the reason why he got so big was because he had a background in Olympic strength training. As I said, you don’t get big unless you can move big weight and Arnold won championships in strength competitions before be started lifting for aesthetics.
    And you know why he started to lift for aesthetics, you scrawny weightlifting noob, you? Because he knew that mass was what people reacted to most viscerally. Women are attracted to that and that’s why he got cast in films to begin with.
    Glad to have ruined this entire post early. Run along now and go learn a thing or two about athleticism before you come on here preaching your inane bullshit.

    1. This.
      In addition, when I saw the authors picture, the first thing that popped into my mind was that I could probably break him like a kit-kat bar.
      Really shit post.

  2. I am so glad this article was posted. Everyday when I go to the gym, I see all these guys focused on purely “getting big.” These guys are all bulk and 0 athletisism. Big chest, but can’t run without getting winded. Big arms, but they keep getting embarrassed on the basketball court.
    I think that people’s fitness goals should be geared more towards physical activities and sports. Not getting “buffed.”

    1. ****”I see all these guys focused on purely “getting big.””
      The truth is, unless you can read these guys minds you are presuming to know what their focus is. Interesting your assumption is they are just there “get big”.
      ***** These guys are all bulk and 0 athletisism. Big chest, but can’t run without getting winded. Big arms, but they keep getting embarrassed on the basketball court.
      Again, I’m betting you haven’t spent any amount of time running, playing basketball or any other athleticism with all “these guys”. So what, you just look at these (apparently more fit) guys and say to yourself, “pffft, his arms are built but he prolly can run like me….. (can he?)”
      News: Weight training is part of every athletic professional sport.

  3. This is another terrible bodybuilding related article by someone who isn’t in good shape nor knows anything about bodybuilding.
    Roosh : get a handle on your bodybuilding related ROK posts

  4. bodybuilding is a sport like many others too. what’s our ancestors equivalent to playing soccer? would you call soccer players losers too since basically non of them has measurable upper body strength because all they do is run all day long?
    At the top level, it’s not about looks anymore, it’s about mad dedication and pushing yourself. Plus roids will only get you so far, it’s still the work you put in that counts more than anything else.

    1. In the last 20 odd years, (elite) soccer players have been resistance training their whole body. They’re fiendishly athletic these days. And the game is much more physical than it used to be. Same goes for pretty much all sports; from tennis to skiing. Even the potheads ( 🙂 ) competing in snowboard have strength coaches these days. As do the geriatrics playing masters golf.

  5. To me this is the male equivalent of the article you posted about women spending less time on their appearance and never being happier.

  6. Cleans
    Chin and Pull up
    Presses (Bench, military)
    Do it

  7. just get on a gear and quit bitching about it. i cant take much more of these bullchit fitness/weightlifting/bodybuilding articles

  8. To put it bluntly, you look rubbish mate. I’d be embarrassed to put that pic up which is why I’m guessing you hid your face.
    Bodybuilding isn’t a zero sum, all or nothing game. You used an example of one guy whose very countenance sets him up for easy ridicule. There’s plenty of competitive bodybuilders that are intelligent and live balanced lives.
    “did you spot the one that has transformed himself – through a myriad of hours at the gym, ‘roids, protein powder and tanning – into a cross between trailer trash and oxen?”
    I’ll bet the Oly lifter also acquired his results with a myriad of hours at the gym, roids and liberal amounts of protein. The tanning is irrelevant and not something only bodybuilders do.

    1. What I noticed as the most glaring error in the article, was the assertion that the BODYBUILDER is the one spending forever in the gym, and “resting a long time between sets.” That statement is 180 degrees opposite of what has been mainstream bodybuilding practice since at least the 60s.
      In mainstream bodybuilding, cumulative fatigue is THE main goal. As is hitting every fiber of ones muscles, from the fastest twist on down, to hypertrophy as many fibers as possible. You do that by fairly high volume for most training, and rests between sets short enough to not fully recover.
      Oly lifting (and to a lesser extent power lifting), training, is the complete opposite. Here the point is only to train those fibers that contribute to 1rm, your max lift. These fibers take a long time to recover, hence subsequent sets sans good rest is counterproductive; further sets will increasingly train lower and lower treshold fibers, which one have no business training when a single explosive max is all one is after. Hence the protocol of one rep, rest (sleep even) 30 minutes, 1 rep, rest 30, 1 rep……… Spending the whole darned day in the gym, but only doing 10-20 very high quality attempts. Needless to say, this kind of training has little to teach a non professional oly lifter. And neither does it have much to do with our ancestral environment, where explosive single max effort lifts with half hour rest breaks, were hardly the norm.
      Anyway, if ones goals are purely aesthetic, the shortest path from schlub to Tarzan is a protocol aimed squarely at producing aesthetic results. Which is definitionally Bodybuilding; not oly lifting, powerligting, starting strength high school football bulking, crossfit, MMA, nor pilates. BUT, and this is the key, beginners and intermediate bodybuilders should follow beginner and intermediate BB programs. Which means squats, deads, benches, presses, dips pullups and rows. Not the “finishing” isolation moves that the latest Olympia credits with giving his already massive physique the slightly more defined deltoid that may mean the difference between winning and not amongst guys that are already way beyond what anyone normal will ever be.

      1. Agreed. Don’t do Starting Strength or StrongLifts if your goal is aesthetics. Do something like Visual Impact bodybuilding. Though at the end of the day, if you can consistently get enough VOLUME in without excessive rest periods you will get to your genetic potential in a few years.
        And don’t worry about protein. The reason you gain so slowly is not lack of protein, it’s your non-elite genetics and lack of steroids.

      2. I wish you were the one writing an article on body building. Now that would be a good article.
        I never knew Olympic lifters trained this way. It’s is indeed very different from body building.

  9. This retard is doing clean and jerk and literally has no traps to speak of. Also fat and probably the only thing on his body above mediocre are his pecs and even those I’m not sure about.

  10. Typical powelifter crap. Your article sounds like something from the times calling the right loonies. You forgot to mention that Franco was both, can you deadlift 700 and win Mr olympia? I think not.

  11. Yeah, this isn’t a very good article. Bodybuilding is bodybuilding. Nothing more, nothing less. I can pick on anyone or anything, too, if I want to. Bodybuilding has its place and it can certainly augment other areas of athletic life. Plus, it’s more of an art than an athletic endeavour. Close, but no cigar, on this article, my friend. Valiant effort, nonetheless.

  12. Wow, awful. I love ROK but this is absolute garbage, written by a dude who has a garbage body. Do you really think you can give advice on this shit when you spend a little over an hour a week working out? Laughable.

  13. I agree more or less with the article, but you forget to mention some things.
    1. You can develop slow muscles and fast muscles. If you hit a boxing bag 100 times in one minute or you you slowly lift some weights: it will both create muscles, but the weightlifter will have slow arms. Which kind of muscles are the most usefull?
    2. It’s better to develop muscles with a technical sport. Swimmers have a nice body… and at the end they can swim very fast. Kickboxers or wrestlers have sinewy/stringy body. They can fight. they laugh with bodybuilders.
    What can a weightlifter do with his body? Why pay to lift weights? You can just do sit-ups, push-ups and other fast exercices like that. Avoid the slow muscles!

  14. The examples you show are a bit silly, the bodybuilder in the picture is at the most extreme level, while the weightlifter would probably look like something you would see in a hardcore gym very often doing bodybuilding exercises. Most guys in general aim for a look which is presentable in a tank top and reasonably functiona. However Bodybuilding exercises and weightlifting exercises are all very useful. Really you can’t relate the extreme end of the sport to people who workout naturally.

  15. The quality of this article is lacking in so many ways, full of arguments with gaps big enough to drive a semi through. I expect better from ROK. Not only that, the author covered his face on an article where he says he’s proud of his body? That’s a no-go, man, this author needs to step up their game.

    1. Preserving your privacy don’t mean you’re uncomfortable with your body.
      There’s just too many wackos on the internet.

  16. ALSO, the author’s at over 20% body fat. That’s fine if that’s how you want to live, but don’t be writing fitness articles. Seriously.

  17. What impresses girls is when you clean and jerk them off the floor and pin them to the wall in preparation to bang ’em good. They appreciate strength over muscle size when you can literally sweep them off their feet.

    1. i think the progression goes like this
      be puny and weak > get on gear > get bitch tits > get surgerized > abuse more gear/hgh/slin/clenbuterol > look fucking awesome on magazine covers

  18. Worst article on the internet. For a piece intended to advocate athleticism over size, the author looks neither big nor athletic. Basically he’s one big man away from skinny fat.

  19. Now, now, everybody chill. Don’t be too hard on the brother.
    Remember, guys, posting an article about weightlifting on a men’s blog is going to trigger more disputes and counterpoints than a session meeting of the Taiwanese parliament. Every guy has his own pet theory about bodybuilding, and will defend it to the death….guys seem more emotionally invested in their fitness theories than Boethius was about the existence of the Divine Trinity.
    But let’s give this brother the benefit of the doubt, and concede his main point: all I think he’s trying to say is that you should focus on practical, real fitness, and not be some tanned juicehead monstrosity. OK, OK, so his pictures do not exactly stack up…but does it matter?
    I agree with the main point, however clumsily expressed: real fitness is not all about grotesque size. You need a balance.

  20. So many gym geniuses!
    Every dogmatic know-it-all self-proclaimed bodybuilding guru should post a picture of himself in this thread.
    I’m just so eager to learn about fitness that I want to see for myself who here has the most credibility.

  21. False dichotomy, except perhaps at the very highest levels of weightlifting and bodybuilding. I understand you are trying to encourage guys to lift heavy rather than just go in the gym and do three sets of curls, but there’s no reason to bash dedicated bodybuilders to make that point. Your MMA reference made me laugh. Do you seriously think MMA fighters limit themselves to olympic lifts? I wrestled D1 and I can tell you they don’t – because grappling/wrestling requires athletes to develop strength in small muscles in isolated positions in order to be successful. Olympic lifters, bodybuilders, wrestlers, etc. All have different requirements to be successful and all train accordingly. There is no correct discipline for a man to pursue but there are correct and incorrect ways to train for any discipline. Hell, I’d say if you want to get freaky strong, look great and develop athleticism, pursue gymnastics.

  22. Awesome pics. Great size. Look thick. Solid. Tight. Keep us all posted on your continued progress with any new progress pics or vid clips. Show us what you got man. Wanna see how freakin’ huge, solid, thick and tight you can get. Thanks for the motivation.

  23. I understand where the author is coming from – he has a point in training for performance vs training for show. It’s funny though weightlifting is one of those areas where everyone knows something about it. In other words, everyone has read an article/book or two and now they’re a self-proclaimed expert. To them there is only one way and it’s a dick measuring contest (you’re physique is better than the author’s? cool – leave him alone). You see it in gyms and you see it in the comments – they’re full of haters. Remember in training “everything works nothing works forever”.

    1. As for this guy posting a pic of himself – it’s a lose-lose.
      Guy looks worse than me – “do you even lift?”
      Guy looks better than me – “steroids”

  24. Overweight 35 year old guy who drinks and smokes while working out 45 minutes 2 days a week writes a full article wasting all of our time.
    Laughing points:
    1. Under photo of body builder “But ask him to carry a piece of furniture to the third floor and he’ll shatter.” When the OP would do the same thing but instead of shatter he would have a heart attack. Also the piece of furniture would be a 5lb bag of oreos he got from costco.
    2. Takes photo of body builder after competition or heavy work out and assumes that he is in better shape than him.
    3. Takes a prepped photo which no doubt include some sort of fast, angling and last second sweating but still shows that he is.. in fact… out of shape.

  25. I work out at a gym with a lot of huge, extreme body builders. For example, Phil Heath works out at my gym. The guy is ridiculously huge, but I’ll see him doing curls with 45 lb dumbbells, less than I use. All the body builders there believe in doing isolation exercises. They don’t do squats. Some of them are grotesque, and can’t even put their arms down to their sides. (Note: There are also plenty of squatters, but these have a different body shape from the extreme body builders).
    The author is correct to make fun of these types, and to say squats, deadlifts, and other compound exercises are the best way for a man to get into lifting, if he isn’t already an active lifter. I started last June, and I am close to doubling my strength on all exercises. This is what I needed, more than looks.
    I would say that once a man has done enough compound exercises to become strong, then he can decide if he wants to sculpt his body and make certain muscles bigger. However, basic health and strength comes before sculpting selected muscles.

    1. Elite bodybuilders do isolation exercises because they are working specific muscle groups that are lacking definition (ie they are looking for perfect muscular proportion). They didnt get to their size, though, by doing isolation.
      Articles like this really dont belong on ROK, complete rubbish and shows a complete lack of understanding. I won’t go on about the last pic, must be a troll.

  26. Oh yeah? Arnold was winning strength lifting championships for years before turning to bodybuilding. And that muscle bound “steroid whale” without real world strength you used as an example? He deadlifted 720 for reps. How much does your furniture weigh? How much do you deadlift yourself? This article is total crap.

  27. Post a couple vids of your clean and jerk so we can pick it apart. My guess is your lifts are as bad as your understanding of sports medicine. Opening with the muscle bound comment was good because I immediately knew not to take you seriously.

  28. Did I just read an article about olympic lifting by a guy that doesn’t even snatch?
    Roosh, you should delete this article and let me write “Why Strongmen will get you strong and laid”. Its the best of Olympic lifting, Powerlifting, and farm boy strength. And women get wet for it.

    1. the problem with “aesthetic” bodybuilding is that it doesn’t really show under clothes, unless they are very well tailored clothes. while all women respond positively to a well-balanced, low bodyfat athletic physique, it’s not gonna get you laid in and of itself.
      if fucking more women is the goal, getting big (without getting unreasonably fat) is a good strategy, because there is a niche of women who go for that. they tend to be low class hoodrat types though.

  29. “BasileosHerakleios is a hobby historian extraordinaire who puts the paleo into paleo conservative. He enjoys fine suits and filling them out well. Time allowing, he seeks out grown men wearing short pants and flip-flops, extends his index finger and laughs heartily.”
    Shit spouted by those with neither the skill or ability to achieve that which they criticise. Don’t be surprised if one of those “grown men” with 21 inch arms crack your fucking skull to teach you a lesson.

  30. I really hope the idiot who wrote this article watches this vid

    I don’t want to spend any more time writing a reply for this noobie, but i can’t help but wonder: who the fuck let you post on RoK?
    Btw, this is a video of a lifetime natural bodybuilder who’s in his 40’s now. Focused only on “getting big”, he seems pretty athletic to me, don’t you think?

    Trust me, you’re wrong in 99% of the shit you posted.

  31. I’m going to do a Roman legion workout, these guy’s were the dogs fucking bollocks.
    Start the day with a roll call parade regardless of where you are carrying a sword, helmet, heavy armour, a dagger and shield around all day
    Whilst on a campaign 32km march in 5 hours with full gear then building a new camp, dismantle camp following morning and start march again.
    On fort garrison duty, 20 mile march every 5 days, cleaning horses, washing clothes and equipment every day accompanied by combat training and core exercises daily.
    Spend half of your life in the service building shit like roads, Hadrians Wall, Amphitheaters, Forts, Cities, clearing forests, draining marshlands, building bridges, excavating mines.excavating ditches whilst fighting Barbarian hordes.
    No beer because it is inferior to Roman wine, basic diet on the go is oats, barley, spelt, rye and bread/wheat. Animals to be looted from conquests for meat. ox, sheep, goat, pig, deer, bore, and hare in some regions for marrow and meat, in others elk, wolf, fox, badger, beaver, bear, vole, ibex, and otter.

  32. Alright, OK so the article is full of holes. However, I’d much rather look like the guy in the left hand side picture than that bodybuilder.
    99% of women would prefer him too. Bodybuilders just look bizarre.

    1. Ummm… Do you know how hard it is to come anywhere close to the size of the bodybuilder in that picture?
      Reality is, if you want to look like the guy on the left train like the guy on the right. When you reach a size and level of leanness you are content with, maintain it.
      If you’re goal is to build muscle train like a bodybuilder

      1. Probably the best advice here.
        Elite bodybuilders are of interest for the rest of us for showing how far the human physique can be taken in the corner cases of maximum genetic potential, unlimited drug use, and no limitations on training.
        If the rest of us do what they do, we will build physiques a fraction of theirs. Which is fine, since that is a look most guys are content with in the first place.
        As for oly lifting’s potential for building physiques, I personally still think Pisarenko at his peak was the most impressive looking dude that was ever captured in a photo or video,
        but with genetics like that (shoulders seemingly three feet wide for a start…), he could for sure have looked just as badass with much less effort and drugs if he had focused solely on lifting for aesthetics.
        As the article author (amongst others) rather clearly demonstrated with his picture, not everyone that oly lifts end up looking like Pisarenko 🙂

  33. The main point of the article stands. Functional strenght and fitness is better than just size. Size is mainly about roids and other drugs. You don´t want your man tool to shrink, do you? Not to mention early death and other serious health issues that go along with performance-enhancing drugs.
    On the other hand, weightlifting seems to put an excessive strain on your joints and your back.

      1. no he’s actually spot on. I’m not saying the delivery by any means was good. but it’s kind of like having a drag racing car as a daily driver. it goes super fast straight, but if you have to turn its worthless. the poster is attempting to say a physique that can be utilized is better than one that cant. Like owning a Ferrari, if you aren’t driving it whats the point. the problem is the presentation of this article comes out like someone vomiting all over your dick during a blow job.

      2. Do you ever say anything helpful for people trying to improve their bodies and get stronger?
        Because this kind of commentary isn’t helpful or interesting.

    1. I remember a large study many years ago that concluded that oly lifters were the ex-athletes with the lowest incidence of lower back problems. Presumably due to the posterior chain strength and flexibility they required for their sport. Lots of lower back problems are due to weak and inflexible posterior chains.
      Wrists and knees are trouble spots for oly lifters (knees only forthose who practice oly style full depth cleans, not the power version). I know boxing coaches who tell their students to stay the heck away from cleans, because of how repeated hyper extension of the wrist when racking the barbell makes it floppier and less stable when punching.

  34. Arnold did compound movements to build his size. Isolation exercises are advanced movements for advanced bodybuilders. Frank Zane and Tom Platz were extremely flexible. Take this article down please, it is not well researched.

  35. Whatever. If your sole source of exercise is the inside of a gym and not lugging a 40 lbs pack up a mountain, trekking half a day on skis to a remote cabin or doing a ridiculous bike ride or marathon trail run, you aren’t a man. You’re a shallow, insecure little boy.

  36. Article is largely true. The functional strength developed by Olympic weightlifters is vastly superior to that of the bodybuilder. Olympic weightlifters, depending on the methodology, e.g. Russian or Bulgarian, etc., will also be working with heavy pulls, front squats, and back squats. Some even bench press in the off season if they are not competing.
    The main reason why bodybuilding is more popular is because it’s easier to get into. You can go to any gym and practice bodybuilding, but you cannot do that for Olympic weightlifting. Also the Snatch and Clean and Jerk are considered technical movements and need time in order to learn whereas a deadlift, or squat, or bench are relatively simple.

  37. What functional strength are you guys talking about? Olympic lifters move a perfectly weighted barbell in 1 direction in 1 dimension. Up. Even powerlifters move things up and down.
    True function is found in strongman. Guys like Mariusz Pudzianowski and Derek Poundstone look more like bodybuilders. Savickas, the strongest man ever, looks more like a Teamster union rep on break than a strongman, but he can move some serious weight.
    Not only are these guys putting heavy things overhead like Olympic lifters, they are putting odd sized objects (like logs) up, running with huge barrels, pulling trucks, picking up boulders, deadlifting cars, and other varied shows of strength.
    If you want to look like a strong man and be a very strong man, do Strongman.

    1. It makes no sense what so ever to use bodybuildes or strongmen as comparison for normal guys. Unless you want to inject massive amounts of steroids and human growth hormone.

  38. BB wrote: “On the other hand, weightlifting seems to put an excessive strain on your joints and your back.”
    I’ve found that the opposite is true. Lifting weights for years has greatly improved the condition of my joints and my back.
    If you’re wary of injuring yourself, study and learn the science behind strength. Exercise is a science, and many people have strength-trained with weights for years without a single injury. Because, when they first started, they admitted their own ignorance, they studied the materials, and they learned the science behind human performance. Your body was meant to move around, to lift, pull and push things; doing this should not hurt your body, unless you make a mistake because you’re not careful or you lack the requisite knowledge.
    These days, I try to spend as little time in the gym as possible. I do that by creating intense workouts for myself, about 30-40 minutes each, that primarily target my weaknesses No matter how fit I feel or look, my workouts should always make me feel like a noob. Sweat dripping, chest heaving, “Oh shit, I feel like I’m about to fall over and die,” that’s the feeling I want to have at the end, no matter how many years I’ve been doing this.
    Target weaknesses? Absolutely. Learn more about the science of exercise? All the time. That’s what has worked for me.
    As for the article, the fact that the man in the final photo does not look particularly fit was far less important to me than was the way in which this article pedestalises weightlifting “for the best possible results,” but it fails to provide serious, concrete examples – backed up by science – of what readers might do to achieve those results.
    I didn’t get any instructional value from this article; it is essentially a screed. The author has written an article that seems more focused on bashing some kind of “fitness heretic,” whom he sees as inferior to the figure of an idealised “fitness saint,” and less focused on providing readers with usable info. And the small amount of usable info therein (i.e. why Olympic lifts are great for strength-training) was sieved through a kind of oddball-nostalgic, “We should do as the Roman centurions did” filter. The whole article comes off sounding sorta strange, and not very serious.

  39. Shittiest article I’ve read in months on ANY site, not just ROK. There was no real info, just shitty myths that were popular in 2006, regurgitated by a guy who is built like a geography teacher. If you only work out 2x a week for 45 minutes, have no visible development beyond average, why the hell are you writing a fitness article?
    I want to say that this kind of shit is not the norm for ROK, but honestly it is. It just happens to be the worst case yet.
    I’ve got nothing against Roosh, his regular site his great. This one on the other hand, is awful. It’s like Business Insider but for Red Pill guys. No attempt at quality, just quantity, hits, and comments. And on that note, how about you guys get the undergrad in college who talks about money and game to write something about how Apple is doomed?
    Hey you know what, can I write that one? I’ve never invested my money, I’m broke, and don’t even follow consumer tech much…BUT twice a week for 45 minutes, I’ll read shitty business articles.

  40. but the remedy is simple: stick to what you know.
    write about: travel, and game, and possibly side hustles.
    don’t write: shit-tier pop sociology, broke college guy talking about money and game, relatively unsuccessful people talking about books and tips on how to make it, etc. and of course, guys who are weak and underdeveloped giving fitness advice.

    1. Roosh started blogging as part of the process of learning game, not as part of already being an expert. By your advice, he should have never started writing DC Bachelor. He should have just “stuck to what he already knew.” –which at that time was playing video games.
      Roosh is good at explaining things to novices clearly, sorting out and explaining why some things work and others don’t, without wandering off into nerd-world the way Mystery did. I find his articles on body building and strength training interesting, legit, and accessible. And again, they’re orientated towards novices starting out trying to get to basic competence, not the inner circle cognescenti.
      Apparently there’s a big gap in the exercise world, a space where no novices are tolerated but only shouted at and jeered. This might be another good space for him to fill. He seems to be good at creating spaces where dickishness towards beginners isn’t tolerated.

      1. No, I don’t think Roosh started his first blog as soon as he made the effort to learn game.
        This guy on the other hand is a complete newb, and this article has no useful advice, only misdirected hate and shitty, old myths long proven wrong.
        Not only is he not giving advice for a good healthy physique, but he even admits he has no intention of getting there himself.
        2x a week for 45 minutes, and proud of it…proud enough to consider himself an expert on fitness.

  41. This article is crap.
    The distinction between bodybuilding and weightlifting is this:
    – in bodybuilding the goal is to build an aesthetically pleasing body;
    – in weightlifting the goal is to pick heavy things up & put them back down –
    regardless of what result repeatedly doing that will have on your body shape.
    Your typical Olympic powerlifter has a barrel shaped body …
    typical example:
    A good bodybuilder has a more Y shaped body.
    Olympic powerlifeters are only interested in getting strong …
    they have no incentive to ever get lean/ripped
    since they will lose some strength in the process of slimming down.
    Bodybuilders want to be both strong and lean (aka “ripped”).
    Since these goals are somewhat contradictory,
    they have to be attacked in separate phases of a training program.
    For GAME, bodybuilding is FAR superior to simple weightlifting.

    1. Powerlifting has weightclasses y’know. The only competitors who have any reason to look like a tub of lard are super-heavyweights who will take any mass they can get. Powerlifters in any other weightclass, and that’s most of them, tend to be shredded because they need to pack as much muscle into that weight limit as possible.
      Here, this video illustrates the difference between weight classes pretty well:

      You’ve now been educated. You’re welcome.

    2. What the fuck is an “olympic powerlifter”? The fact that you called it that shows your ignorance. First off if you knew how “olympic powerlifter” train you’d know they are worry about their strength in relation their bodyweight, so yes they are worry about losing weight just as much as that bodybuilder. Olympic weightlifter have to do much compound movement exercise that they don’t have time for cardio so they have to resort to dieting to cut weight. He’ll, in general, squats and Deadlifts are just secondary exercises. I’ve done both bodybuilding and weightlifting and I can tell you weightlifting is way more challenging and requires more skills. You need good dieting, strength, speed, effective muscle memory, flexibility, and technique to be effective. Hell you could be 40 years old and do bodybuilding but you definitely cannot do olympic weightlifting at that age. Now you’ve been educated again.

  42. It’s amazing how butthurt everyone gets about fitness and body building here.
    I’d imagine receiving a similar reaction if I were to go into a beauty salon and tell all the ladies there how useless beauty salons are.

  43. Gimme a break! The biggest, most pressing body building problem in the world today isn’t the one mentioned in this article. Rather, the biggest problem is the one preventing you from getting your lazy fat ass out the door and to the gym every day until doing so becomes a habit, a lifestyle, so that when you do ever have to miss your workout, it depresses you–and with a diet to match. Master *that* problem and then you can debate the finer points of maintaining flexibility to match your new-found 30 lbs of additional muscle and single-digit body fat. Until then, for 99.99% of guys in the world, this article’s issue isn’t their problem.

    1. I wasn’t addressing the above comment to the original writer but rather to the general pop of guys. That is, I meant “you” in the plural sense. Frankly, the OP looks better than 90% of 35-year old guys, most of whom have never seen the inside of a gym.

  44. you know why there’s so much hate and confusion out there about bodybuilding?
    cause bodybuilding is a scam.
    if you don’t have elite genetics or drugs, it doesn’t fucking matter what program you do. you’re never even gonna look close to the guy on the left, much less the guy on the right.
    sure go to the gym, gain your 5-10lbs of noob gains. diet and lose some fat. be happy. that’s all you can do as a law-abiding man of average genetics.

    1. You can gain more that 5-10lbs, but obviously nothing like a Mr Olympia contestant. For regular guys, the gains are very slow past the initial spurt. But with determination, you can get bigger and bigger, ounce by ounce, or even gram by gram, over a long period of time if you just stick with it.

  45. Pavel Tsatsouline is a great trainer if you want the lean strong look versus bodybuilder look. I have trained with him and he rocks! Learn the Russian method too which is kinda cool. Check out for the tips.

  46. Personally, I think bodybuilding is a weird sport, and elite weightlifters are way more impressive than elite bodybuilders. And I also believe its true that training for weightlifting will put you in a more generally athletic state than training for bodybuilding.
    But this essay is pointless. You think weightlifting is good for men? Describe its benefits. Tell us about the positive impact it has had on your life, and can have ours. Explain to us how to do it effectively? No need to trash talk bodybuilders.
    And also the ploy to increase your credibility with that photo backfired. You should have instead posted a video of your clean & jerk and snatch. Oh wait, it sounds like you don’t even snatch… wut?

  47. Well, I’m sure Roosh will be soliciting articles from various commentators in due course. As an ectomorph who can’t keep the nutrition intake to build muscle (I’ll do 3 days of 150g protein then have nothing but black coffee for a week) all this powerlifiting blah is over my head.
    Gamewise, the point of exercise is to have testosterone dripping off your body, and a permanent endorphin high. So long as you have that, you’re as fit as you need to be.

  48. This is what i love about ROK readers. red pill through and through. if we see something as shit we call it out, even if it’s from a usually reliable and valuable resource

  49. For the last 2 years I train strictly like a monkey. I do stuff that ancient people did to survive. The essence of my training is 3 major exercises and their countless variants. These exercises are (in that order) – pull ups, dips and push-ups. I do what they call “Ghetto workout” or “Street workout” these days.
    The ex-soviet union countries are full of “playgrounds” with pull-up/dip bars. Soviet people didn’t have access to “modern” gyms, protein shakes and mass gainers. Bodybuilding as you know it today was forbidden back then. And people still were lean, strong and functional. All that by almost exclusively doing body weight training.

  50. the author lifts twice a week 45 minutes, his arms look about 13-14 inches, his shoulders are barely there, and his traps almost non existent…. thats about the body you will get with that meager effort, its better than average, but kind of embarrassing at the beach.
    Try working out 4 days per week , for 40 minutes each, with 2 of those days having 2 sessions, for 6 sessions per week total. do that for just 6 weeks and then show us another pic.

  51. the weightlifter in the pic, looks like a bulgarian, they lift 6-7 days per week, and many hours per day. volume works!

  52. LOL OP is a phaggot. Not sure if srs. Take your skinny-fat self to the gym instead of typing up this nonsense.

  53. the lack of knowledge of everything related to fitness on this website is awful. I guarantee that no one commenting, including Roosh, knows anything about serious lifting, be it oly lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, etc. jesus guys

  54. Addendum: jesus christ dude look at your body, you are in no way allowed to give fitness advice again.

  55. If you honestly think that Markus Rühl ( the bodybuilder on the pictures) can’t move a piece of furniture, then you are out of your mind. He’s a pro bodybuilder, and most pro bodybuilders move crazy ass weights which often exceed the weights amateur powerlifter and olympic lifters lift. A big and heavy body is hard to move around of course, big muscles make it harder to tie shoelaces or whatever, but trust me, big guys are often strong (and Rühl is not your average meathead who you see on the streets, who has no legs but puffy synthol muscles). Does Rühl take steroids? It’s obvious. But he still has to use crazy big weights to maintain his size. Steroids are not magical pills, they are just aids for development. Don’t be confused!

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