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Bigorexia - myth or raw reality?

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  • Bigorexia - myth or raw reality?

    Ok, for the beginning I can say it is not legend. But seriously, what do you think about bigorexia? In many places I've seen it defined in a way like this:

    "For some men muscle development is such a complete preoccupation that they will miss important events, continue training through pain or broken bones, even lose their job rather than interrupt their physical development schedule.

    Obviously, continuing to train through pain is relative- to gain extreme, you have to go extreme. Ability to fight through pain should be a well-known friend to most of the people going to the gym and training at least semi-hard.

    Where do you think the line of bigorexia goes? Obviously most of the people wanting to grow have a similar thing to bigorexia: Never being COMPLETELY satisfied with their current state of development (That is a natural part in any sport, or actually almost any area of life). But where do you think this turns into sick behaviour? It's easy for a non-bodybuilder to think that these guys and gals wanting to get bigger and bigger are suffering bigorexia. I know there are lots of competing bodybuilders here, and would like to hear especially their opinion.

    I watched this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4j1obXY_2o
    I think it has decent load of crap on it though. The guy first in the morning eats a breakfast and thinks about his workout? He must be suffering from a bigorexia! Just like a person who wakes up in the morning, eats a breakfast (or more likely, drinks a cup of coffee) and thinks about what he/she will do at work today. I can not imagine eating a breakfast (or eating in a scheduled/planned way) is a symptom of eating disorder. Otherwise there would be hundreds of millions of people suffering from eating disorders - Think about all the people trying to lose weight (all those weekend warriors, mothers-on-eternal-cutting-diet etc)

    How many of you see this when you look in the mirror?


    As I tend to ramble quite a bit, I'll give you a bottom line/ things to think:
    What is "unhealthy" bigorexia? What is the opposite? What is a bodybuilder's definition of bigorexia? Do you think this is yet another way for jealous people to bash people that want to have a good physique?
    The fight against my worst enemy
    " - So what is discipline? -Mike Tyson: Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it. - And how do you that?
    -Mike Tyson: [Smiles] With discipline.
    "

  • #2
    This is a bodybuilding forum. Everyone will tell you Bigorexia is bullshit.

    "For some men muscle development is such a complete preoccupation that they will miss important events, continue training through pain or broken bones, even lose their job rather than interrupt their physical development schedule."

    Can't think of any good bodybuilders who let their lives go out of whack. Ronnie Coleman worked full time as a Policeman when he won the Olympia. Jason Wojo got huge while being in school for like a million years. At least half the round table experts at this site are balancing bodybuilding with a family, whatever their job is, and some business venture of their own.

    I'm pretty sure I've never seen a case of Bigorexia. Yes, big guys will look in the mirror and say they want to be bigger, but they know they're big. They're not crazy.

    On the other hand, I have seen girls at my college develop what I'd call exercise induced anorexia. Instead of just eating nothing, they also use the elliptical machines and treadmills to get rail thin. It's a sad sight to see. Whenever I see one of these girls I think to myself "what kind of sick fuck is designing jeans for adults with 12 inch diameter legs?"
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ptarleton?feature=mhum

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    • #3
      I think its valid to an extent. It stands to reason if a person can think they are fat looking in a mirror that someone might think they are not muscular enough as well.
      International Elite Raw Powerlifter
      Blood - Sweat - Chalk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Future View Post
        I think its valid to an extent. It stands to reason if a person can think they are fat looking in a mirror that someone might think they are not muscular enough as well.
        I agree...toss in a little "obessive compulsive" in the mix and it could be entirely posssible....a real recipe for disaster.
        Heckman aka "WISE" OLD MAN

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        • #5
          I think there is such a thing as body dysmorphia - but to call it Bigorexia and treat it as if it is an illness is a little over the top IMO.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FightingScott View Post
            This is a bodybuilding forum. Everyone will tell you Bigorexia is bullshit.
            I agree mostly, it is very exaggerated, and I do not know a single person who would be suffering from bigorexia. Still depends on how you define it. I see bigorexia mostly as bullshit. Although I think the "bigorexia"-thing isn't so IN yet, at least I rarely ever hear anyone using it (and I hope it stays that way). I think there's more than enough rumours, misunderstandings and similar shit about bodybuilding among the big crowd.

            On the other hand, I have seen girls at my college develop what I'd call exercise induced anorexia. Instead of just eating nothing
            I thought that is very usual with anorexia. Must agree with the rest, the media isn't helping it either nowadays. Instead of assisting people in normal, healthy habits and simple solutions they just offer what they get the most money out from.
            The fight against my worst enemy
            " - So what is discipline? -Mike Tyson: Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it. - And how do you that?
            -Mike Tyson: [Smiles] With discipline.
            "

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FightingScott View Post

              On the other hand, I have seen girls at my college develop what I'd call exercise induced anorexia. Instead of just eating nothing, they also use the elliptical machines and treadmills to get rail thin. It's a sad sight to see. Whenever I see one of these girls I think to myself "what kind of sick fuck is designing jeans for adults with 12 inch diameter legs?"
              that was the story of my ex girlfriend.

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              • #8
                I think that bodybuilding, as a sport, hobby or profession, is no more susceptible to having enthusiasts being obsessive/compulsive than any walk of life. People who have diverse backgrounds, higher education and many different interests and occupations are just as susceptible to suffer from lack of confidence, self worth, etc. I sincerely feel that the media overplays anything that is health and/or sports and fitness related, because it is a topic of interest. How many people in your circle of friends could stand to lose 10-15lbs? Or more? And how many actually do something about it, rather than just talk about it? I know that I want to be bigger, and most people that I know with the same interest in bodybuilding feel the same way. But I don't know anyone who has blown off family, friends, relationships, jobs, etc., just to train and eat to get bigger. Not saying that they aren't out there, as I have read numerous posts here about not letting bodybuilding consume your whole being. I guess myself and the people I hang with have a little more balance in their life than that.
                STEEL




                "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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                • #9
                  We all want size, strength, improvements across the board right? Some have a limit or a line they won't cross, some have no limit. Depending on your goal or the actual reality of reaching that goal maybe it's worth it. Who can decide that for you but you? Bigorexia might be as simple as someone not acknowledging the fact that they have increased in size ( some cases doubled ) eventhough they have. Maybe that is the disorder. If it's someone who constantly wants to grow, or is constantly pushing the envelope then you just described every type of athlete. Someone in track and field who is never fast enough, speedorexia? Someone who is trying to increase jumping ability, jumporexia? You get my point. Bodybuilders are athletes and they are extremely critical of themselves.
                  Last edited by Beefsalad; 06-13-2009, 09:31 PM. Reason: too long and douchey

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                  • #10
                    I think in order for something to qualify as a mental disease it needs to interfere with the patient's life.

                    If someone looks in the mirror and is never satisfied with their physique, but has a good life, enjoys their pursuit of a better physique, and leads a balanced and happy life then there's nothing wrong with them. No 'bigorexia' or whatever.

                    But if you showed me someone whose just living in complete misery for the sole reason that they're not yet as big as Art Atwood, and their obsession to become bigger has, on more than one occasion, caused them to cast aside their friends, family, and responsibilities - then that person has some sort of problem.
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/ptarleton?feature=mhum

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FightingScott View Post
                      I think in order for something to qualify as a mental disease it needs to interfere with the patient's life.

                      If someone looks in the mirror and is never satisfied with their physique, but has a good life, enjoys their pursuit of a better physique, and leads a balanced and happy life then there's nothing wrong with them. No 'bigorexia' or whatever.

                      But if you showed me someone whose just living in complete misery for the sole reason that they're not yet as big as Art Atwood, and their obsession to become bigger has, on more than one occasion, caused them to cast aside their friends, family, and responsibilities - then that person has some sort of problem.

                      It is beyond me how it could possibly be a disease, mental or otherwise, when said "disease" requires so much effort and self-discipline.

                      I think that 90% of the American public is far too lazy to to ever worry about catching bigorexia. Not to mention the fact that, as has been said, most everyone in our community leads fruitful, meaningful lives.

                      Since when did self-discipline and maximum effort become undesirable traits?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rainjack View Post
                        It is beyond me how it could possibly be a disease, mental or otherwise, when said "disease" requires so much effort and self-discipline.

                        I think that 90% of the American public is far too lazy to to ever worry about catching bigorexia. Not to mention the fact that, as has been said, most everyone in our community leads fruitful, meaningful lives.

                        Since when did self-discipline and maximum effort become undesirable traits?
                        I don't think that is how the definition of a mental disorder would qualify a disease. If you are disciplined, put forth maximum effort, and live a happy, meaningful life, then you don't have a disease.

                        On the other hand, I can definitely see how it could be a disease. If you spend every waking hour thinking about "getting big", and you are never happy, sacrifice other meaningful things in your life to satisfy your obsession, miss work due to obsessing over your lifestyle, cast off social interaction because of your obsession...and etc...then how would that not be a mental disease?

                        There's a difference between living a productive life while still constructively chasing a passion and the opposite which is casting away other meaningful things in your life to pursue something that never puts you into a state of well mental being.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by davidb View Post
                          I don't think that is how the definition of a mental disorder would qualify a disease. If you are disciplined, put forth maximum effort, and live a happy, meaningful life, then you don't have a disease.

                          On the other hand, I can definitely see how it could be a disease. If you spend every waking hour thinking about "getting big", and you are never happy, sacrifice other meaningful things in your life to satisfy your obsession, miss work due to obsessing over your lifestyle, cast off social interaction because of your obsession...and etc...then how would that not be a mental disease?

                          There's a difference between living a productive life while still constructively chasing a passion and the opposite which is casting away other meaningful things in your life to pursue something that never puts you into a state of well mental being.
                          How many people do you know spend every waking hour thinking about getting big?

                          How many high school kids play basketball year around to improve their skills?

                          I think you missed the point of my post. I was being sarcastic. Maybe the internet is not the best medium available for gleening the intent of a post.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rainjack View Post
                            How many people do you know spend every waking hour thinking about getting big?

                            How many high school kids play basketball year around to improve their skills?

                            I think you missed the point of my post. I was being sarcastic. Maybe the internet is not the best medium available for gleening the intent of a post.
                            Based on some of the OCD comments on this board by some of the teenagers that post here and post the exact same thing over and over and over again about things such as diet, I can name a few immediately.

                            Tell me what being "OCD" about bodybuilding is if it's not a mental problem? Most of the individuals that are successful at bodybuilding and have done so for many years are that way because of how they successfully balance life and their bodybuilding pursuit. Jason Wojo is a prime example of this. He's able to carry on his normal life while not sacrificing it.

                            In your example with basketball....what if a high school kids sacrifices every waking minute of their life for their pursuit of the sport. What if their school work suffers. Is that an obsessive compulsive disorder? It sure is.

                            Again...maybe you can't understand this because you don't have this problem. The vast majority on this board most likely don't since this board is full of mature individuals. But just because you don't have any issues doesn't mean others can't. And quite honestly, one of the things I like about this board is how they basically warn against OCD behavior. Even Dante constantly warns against. Now is he talking about "bigorexia"? Probably not that exact definition. But he's obviously seen something in some lifters that is very detrimental to their life in general when he warns against ruining your life for bodybuilding.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by davidb View Post
                              Based on some of the OCD comments on this board by some of the teenagers that post here and post the exact same thing over and over and over again about things such as diet, I can name a few immediately.

                              Tell me what being "OCD" about bodybuilding is if it's not a mental problem? Most of the individuals that are successful at bodybuilding and have done so for many years are that way because of how they successfully balance life and their bodybuilding pursuit. Jason Wojo is a prime example of this. He's able to carry on his normal life while not sacrificing it.

                              In your example with basketball....what if a high school kids sacrifices every waking minute of their life for their pursuit of the sport. What if their school work suffers. Is that an obsessive compulsive disorder? It sure is.

                              Again...maybe you can't understand this because you don't have this problem. The vast majority on this board most likely don't since this board is full of mature individuals. But just because you don't have any issues doesn't mean others can't. And quite honestly, one of the things I like about this board is how they basically warn against OCD behavior. Even Dante constantly warns against. Now is he talking about "bigorexia"? Probably not that exact definition. But he's obviously seen something in some lifters that is very detrimental to their life in general when he warns against ruining your life for bodybuilding.

                              I would not base my argument on the postings of pubescent children in need of attention.

                              But that's just me.

                              I don't consider kids who play AAU summer ball as OCD. I am sure there are some who eat and sleep hoops, but that is hardly a mental condition.

                              Give the post whoring teens a real life which includes paying rent, and supporting a family, and they will shut up post haste. As it stands, they have no life to manage.

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