Adonis or Narcissus?

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There are a few different clans in the training/fitness world. Can’t equate it to a “caste system”, but closely resembles the feuding families in HBO’s Game of Thrones in the sense that there is feuding. I want to discuss 2 sides only today, and discard the corporate, just “recently certified enough to be hired” trainer who gleans knowledge from supplement company owned muscle fitness rags.

Folks who can deadlift a dump truck, bench press a methuselah tree, squat a Himalayan mountain. These guys have power, strength, guts and glory. The last part, alas, may only matter in their own circles. Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for them. I have a few friends, including some females, who can put seemingly strong-looking men to shame with the grace and elegance of their movements and the load they carry. The folks in that group tend to go so much into performance that their achievements extend past the levels of mere mortals and becomes almost cultish and obsessive. They even look down on people looking to get or already having the “Hollywood Physique” (genetics, good luck, vanity). To them, it ain’t cool to look good. If you’re fat but lift like the manliest of men, you’re alright. Who cares about the dedication, the discipline and the work it took you to get there? Mortals have no appreciation. Should they?

Super dialed-in eating habits. Superior genetics (sorry, some of us don’t have them, but that doesn’t mean we cannot max out our individual potential). Movie star looks. Super shredded, ripped, cut, chiseled body that looks like it can twist a 2″ Oly bar with the snap of a finger.
Zero functional muscular balance. Disproportion of upper body vs lower body limbs. Walks like a recently raped duck when gets off stage, or starts to move in any direction. Or suffers injuries because of the imbalances. Abides by the Adonis Index of 1.6 shoulder to waist ratio. Lots of targeting and isolation work.

There is none. I’m just curious if the people who go for looks only and are victim of what shrinks call the Adonis Complex, and if the folks whose lives revolve around how much they can bench or deadlift, brutally exposed in Chris Bell’s Bigger Faster Stronger, instead of building a life, become all victims of a form on narcissism? I try to not promote either, just good health, good posture, improved vitals, improvement of self and personal records without being obsessive over it. Are all trainers doing their work (the passionate, educated ones) out of some childhood issue or traumatic event (I was super skinny, yet super athletic, but with nothing to show for it, and I had to kick ass at martial arts to shut up the bigger, stronger folks, and I suffered massive back injuries in the late 90’s which ignited the trainer light in me)?

What’s cooler? To look good or to perform well? Is your choice validated by your own current state of body? What motivates you? Me, I just want to see how much I can mold my body, or improve my performance. Both are important, but not as important as being healthy, fit and being able to do what you’re supposed to do while knowing you need to get better. Staying the same is getting worse.

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