Where have all the men gone?

“The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says” ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 6

Meet Brad Hamilton. Brad has had his abs etched using the latest development in high definition liposculpture. He has no traps, no tris, no real muscle to speak of…but he does have abs. Michael Behar’s excellent article in this months Mens Journal highlights this $20,000 procedure. It also highlights how far we have fallen. It wouldn’t be so depressing were it not for the fact that the before and after photographs are so utterly underwhelming. And no lack of lipids around your abs is going to alter the fact that you are a sad old wannabe.

Rather than take charge of his own health and well being Brad decided on the most invasive of short cuts and had someone vacuum the fat from round his abs. What’s more, he can put on up to 15 pounds of fat and his abs will still be visible. So will his complete lack of strength. Damn, for 20K he could have spent a couple of months on a Costa Rica living like Robinson Crusoe and getting seriously fit. He could have travelled to Brazil and trained with Top Team. He could have simply bought a Kettlebell, done RKC and changed his whole life for the better. But no, the surgeons table beckoned. Apparently the upside of this procedure is that the “patients” find a new passion for fitness, diet and exercise.

Brad says, “I worked out three days a week. I ate well. I took really good care of myself. But I wasn’t seeing results”. Boo hoo. You have no-one to blame but yourself. I hope you and your new found midsection will be happy. I am sure everyone at the gym is really impressed with your new found attitude to fitness. You have bought yourself a temporary solution to a long term problem. And what’s worse you’ve made yourself weaker for it. What next, pec impants, chin implants, penis enlargement?

Do you think he is now suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to hike his shirt up during meetings and shout “Yeah Baby”.

How ever you look at it, it’s sad. I feel for him. He has subjugated his personal disappointment for a while but in the process he has missed out on the most important part of the process. You cannot buy self actualization. In fact you can’t even earn it, you have to experience it and to forgo experience in favour of a quick fix in these days of opportunity as simply shameful.

Go swing.

About the author

I am a movement maverick, exploring beginner's mind and beginner's body through mobility, bodyweight training, breathwork, mindfulness, kettlebells and martial arts, focussing on self care, pain free movement and resilience. Find suggestions to get you moving over at http://100repchallenge.com Want to move with ease and imagination? For individual or group instruction please contact me.
  • Rannoch Donald RKC

    Hey Justin,

    I agree. We have tried to sanitise the whole process. This guys would, sadly, rather endure an invasive surgical procedure with all the risks that that entails than break a sweat.

    And yes, there has to be a very interesting phsycological back story to how he reached that point. And trust me, it has nothing to do with not being able to budge that last 5 pounds!

  • Justin

    Wow that is rediculous. The sense of accomplishment is half the fun of working out.

    It’s the fact that you pushed through all the hurdles, the tough times spent panting on the floor. It shows you have real dedication to something.

    The surgery is just a bandaid for his weight problem. I think it also represents bigger problems in his life. Things that he needs to learn about and fix before he’ll be truly happy.


  • Dr. Mark Cheng

    Remember that a keg is always more impressive than a six-pack! :-D

    Your writings are right on point, mate! Well done, yet again!


  • Boris

    I like my big wall of ab. I don’t think I’d have enough love to go round if I had more than one.

  • mc

    If they’re real men, they’ll do it in kilts.


  • Rannoch Donald RKC


    Kind of you to comment. Truth is, your “Cause or Effect” post was very much on my mind when I cam across the aritcle so thanks for making me think.

    I think the key issue here is one of confidence. Sadly, buying confidence never really works. Behind the fake rolex, the remodelled abs, the sports car is still the same insecure guy trying a little misdirection and slight of hand to cover up his insecurities.

    Go take a class, learn something new, sweat a little. Now that builds confidence!

  • Franz Snideman

    Wow Ranoch! Great post on how pathetic the “buy it” mindset is versus the “earn it” mindset. As we know, true changes have to come internally before we ever see them externally. Sadly, I think these kind of things are only going to get worse and the divisive line between hard workers and softees will become more pronounced.

    Hollywood and bodybuilding mags have definitely done a good job in femenizing true masculinty and are slowly transforming the image of what it means to be a man. I, like alot of men, want lean abs. But give me a break, buying ABS is as pathetic as buying a fake Rolex watch because you want people to think you’re rich.

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