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When Did Movie Stars Get Into Steroids?
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Male movie stars were not expected to lift weights for much of Hollywood history.

Screenshot 2015-10-10 20.08.34

Stewart’s campaign ribbons

For example, around 1983-85 I was sitting in a repertory movie theater in Chicago watching Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart, playing a recuperating photographer who is temporarily wheelchair-bound, takes his shirt off at one point, and the three extremely effeminate black gays sitting in the row behind me erupted into tittering laughter at Col. Stewart’s physique, which was that of a middle aged man stuck in a wheelchair for several months.

By the mid-1980s, that wasn’t what a real man was supposed to look like.

In contrast to the 1950s, contemporary movie stars are supposed to not only look like they are pumping iron religiously no matter what the role (unless they are specifically supposed to be below their healthy weights), but they’re also supposed to shave their chests, even if they are trapped on Mars like Matt Damon in The Martian.

But when did this change?

Obviously, it must have happened right in front of our eyes — since movies don’t happen anywhere else — but the history of what we all had to have seen has largely gone unwritten.

Bodybuilding has a long history, although it was mostly a niche market.

The Works Progress Administration installed exercise equipment just south of the Santa Monica Pier in 1934. By 1959, Muscle Beach had become such a tourist attraction that the Santa Monica city fathers kicked it out, and the weightlifters relocated a couple of miles south to Muscle Beach Venice in municipal L.A.

Sword and sandal movies around 1960 employed Muscle Beach types in various roles, but these weren’t prestige undertakings.

When I was young, notable muscularity was considered a downscale, outmoded taste. 1960s rock stars tended to be very slender, and the general theory was that educated women didn’t like muscle men. It was an era of ectomorphs. Here’s a still from the Robert Altman film The Long Goodbye that briefly caught the present in 1973 — leading man Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe — and the future — Arnold Schwarzenegger as Uncredited Hood.

The rise of Schwarzenegger in the 1970s caused a certain amount of cognitive dissonance, as Schwarzenegger was obviously smart and cool. He earned enough interest from Hollywood in the 1970s that he had big roles in a documentary and a feature film about bodybuilding.

Eventually, in 1982 he got a starring role in a fairly big budget film, Conan the Barbarian, that did well. But in 1982 it was still easy to dismiss Schwarzenegger as simply the new Steve Reeves, It wasn’t until 1984’s Terminator that the idea of Schwarzenegger as the wave of the future began to sink in.

What about Sylvester Stallone?

1976’s Rocky famously launched the “we’re-gonna-need-a-montage” workout scene, but in the first couple of Rockys, Sylvester Stallone was not obviously on steroids.

Maybe he was, but it wasn’t as flagrant as it became.

I can’t recall offhand if the turning point was 1982’s Rocky 3 or 1985’s Rocky 4.

Probably the former, because Stallone directed John Travolta in 1983’s sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, in which Travolta is hugely ripped.

“Taxi Driver,” 1976

But, perhaps more influentially, the idea of “body transformation” as a tool of the craft of acting had infiltrated the prestige end of the movie business in the 1970s. A subtle early example was Robert De Niro losing weight to look nervous and uncomfortable in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 movie Taxi Driver, one of the most influential movies of all time.

Looking at the picture above, especially at the veins in his forearm, I’m starting to wonder if De Niro didn’t just lose weight for Taxi Driver. I’ve never once heard the word “steroids” mentioned in conjunction with this ultimate 1970s art film, but maybe the umpteen critics who have weighed in on Taxi Driver have just been naive about the essence of its appeal.

The ex-seminarian Scorsese, personally, is not the most masculine of men, but he’s perhaps the greatest artist of masculinity of his generation. If I Google “Scorsese steroids” I find countless references to his movies as such and such “on steroids,” but on the other hand I don’t see any speculation that Scorsese would ever encourage one of his actors to use performance-enhancing drugs. So forget I even mentioned the subject.

In 1980, De Niro was much celebrated and given the Best Actor Oscar for Scorsese’s Raging Bull. At the time, the ostensible subject of the hosannas over his body transformation was his putting on 60 pounds to play an older Jake La Motta in the coda. I suspect, however, that within Hollywood, more professional attention was devoted to how De Niro had added muscle for the fight scenes. (In the 35 years since Raging Bull, getting intentionally fat has not become a rite of passage for actors.)

When we walked out of Raging Bull in 1980, my friend Steve said, “That was amazing, but what was it about?” The only thing I could think of, then and now, is, “Masculinity.”

I don’t think it’s wholly unlikely that Italians such as De Niro, Scorsese, Stallone, and Travolta played a disproportionate role in introducing the bodybuilding aesthetic to American movies. After all, the sword and sandal productions were largely Italian. Moreover, the greatest work of art in Italian history is Michelangelo’s David.

Sean Penn, 1985

In the 1980s, Sean Penn began changing his shape from role to role. For example, in 1985’s The Falcon and the Snowman, he was a skinny and nervous cocaine dealer, while in 1986’s At Close Range, Penn was massive. He was much praised at the time for changing the shape of his body to suit his roles seemingly as easily as other actors changed their accents.

Penn went on to have some problems that sound like ‘roid rage, such as beating up a paparazzi so bad he spent a month in jail. (After his divorce from Madonna, she called him up to ask if she could employ his personal trainer. He said yes, and soon a toned-up Madonna emerged at the peak of her self-confidence on her Blonde Ambition tour.)

Sean Penn, 1986, trying to look like Michelangelo’s David

Pretty soon body transformation became a regular thing in Hollywood. I can recall laughing at how muscular Bruce Willis had suddenly become for 1988’s Die Hard. But after that, I don’t have as many memories of being surprised by actors’ new looks, because it was less surprising when a star suddenly added 30 pounds of muscle for a role.

Today, it’s normal for actors to change their bodies to suit a role. For example, about a half-dozen years ago I saw Jake Gyllenhaal at the yogurt stand. He looked ridiculous all inflated to play action hero The Prince of Persia. Last year, he played an insidiously skinny anti-hero in Night Crawler. So, I figured he must have sworn off PEDs, and good for him. But this year he was in a boxing movie, all ripped again.

Body transformation really is a useful tool for actors. For American Sniper, for instance, normally skinny and jittery Bradley Cooper bulked up with an extra 40 pounds of muscle and fat to play the calming presence of the defender of the flock.

But what kind of price do these guys pay? Besides the health issues, what does it do to actors’ psyches, attitudes, and expectations? What does it do to audiences?

I may have wrong the history of actors’ body transformation, with De Niro and Penn as key figures at the serious dramatic end of the business.

It’s a hard thing to research, precisely because there is a huge amount of click bait on the subject: a lot of people seem to like clicking on photos of actors who have changed how they look and reading about how they did it all eating kale and wrestling alligators or whatever the latest fad/cover story is. (A lot of magazine cover stories about actors getting in shape are cover stories. The basic way to get big fast is to lift free weights and take PEDs.) But the clickbait almost wholly refers to actors from from recent decades, so it’s hard to find much of a historical thread.

And the topic hasn’t aroused much intellectual interest at all. It probably helps explain a number of cultural trends, but nobody has written all that much about it.

(I wrote a little about the early history of steroids in football and other sports in Taki’s Magazine this week in “The Republican Drug.”)

In the always controversial exception-that-proves-the-rule category, here’s my review of the rare movie in which the character clearly was out of his head on steroids but the actor refused to risk his health by buffing up: 2010’s Casino Jack with Kevin Spacey being his usual pudgy self as Republican lobbyist / steroid abuser Jack Abramoff, whom George W. Bush greets when he’s escorting several Indian chief clients into the Oval Office with, “Hey, Buff Guy, what are you benching?”

As far as I can tell, however, no other reviewer got the point of Casino Jack’s screenplay. Maybe if the 51-year-old Spacey had gotten down to 8% body fat and done a round of interviews about his amazingly transformative workout routine, critics would have noticed what the movie was actually about. But, then again, probably not.

 
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  1. The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that’s really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he’s just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Predator definitely contained a memorable landmark moment in Hollywood's nascent obsession with cool muscles:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgPwXlTRuHs
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    Another example of how the gay aesthetic is so strong in media, just like how the anorexic androgene in fashion has been decried as sexist pig false standards of beauty, when it's gay dudes who run the industry. The former satisfies their need for hunk, the latter for twink.
    , @Percy Gryce

    so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.
     
    [cough] The gheys. [/cough]
    , @Anonymous
    To expand on what Cail said in the first paragraph, I think women are driving the trend towards more muscular physiques. Heterosexual men could care less whether their movie stars have high muscularity, women certainly do. What also coincides with the increase in muscularity in movie stars is female sexual freedom. As short term mating has become more possible, acceptable, and an actual thing in women's minds, they're most likely looking for a more short-term oriented physique in their movie stars.
    , @Matra

    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.
     
    Right. It's all about homosexual influence. Lifting is gay. Maybe if you have a micropenis and need to compensate weightlifting makes sense but otherwise it's a gay thing.
  2. For research try the Betty Ford Clinic. Always handy to see effects from constant demand for body transformation.

  3. Steve, stop using the word ripped.

    I’ve heard that growth hormone is a lot more useful (not to mention safer and easier) than steroids. That might explain the timing of muscles exploding in the 80s. Also, better steroids were invented then.

    • Replies: @Ic1000
    > Steve, stop using the word 'ripped.'

    Anon, at your link, read down to definition 5: "(bodybuilding) Having extremely low bodyfat content so that the shape of the underlying muscles become pronounced. Said especially of well-defined abdominal muscles."
    , @Jim
    But the effects of growth hormone are not reversible. I once saw a picture of Arnold when he was a teenager. His facial features were completely without the slightest hint of acromegaly.
    , @Jim
    But the effects of growth hormone are not reversible. I once saw a photograph of Arnold taken when he was a teenager. His facial features were completely normal with no sign of acromegaly.
  4. Counterpoint-

    Heat (1995)- Both Robert de Niro and Al Pacino are built like just-a-couple-of-regular-fellas.

    N=1, but it stands out in my mind as two “manly men”, one on each side of the law, who don’t have to life weights to be masculine.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Not only that, but Al Pacino manhandles Henry Rollins, author of the famous ode to iron.
    https://youtu.be/PGym1iVaWoY
  5. We’re not far out from prominent actors beginning to drop dead in their 40s and 50s the way wrestlers have been for the pas dozen years. I think it’s going to take a couple of high-profile deaths to blow the lid off of how many actors are juicing.

    • Replies: @Discordiax
    Steroids changed the way pro wrestlers looked in the 1980s with the rise of Vince McMAhon and the WWF--remember one of McMAhon's big court battles was over distributing steroids to his wrestlers.

    Pre WWF wrestler: google Dusty Rhodes, JAck Brisco, Terry Funk.

    Pro wrestlers in the 80s weren't just juicing, they were also using tons of recreational drugs, partying like rock stars while touring the country. Not that actors weren't, but actors have more down time to rest and rehab a bender, instead of medicating so that you can do a show in the next city, 300 nights a year.

    Pro wrestlers in the 90s and since have been on steroids plus tons of painkillers--the easiest way to make the moves and matches look more real was to hurt for real. Kurt Angle, who famously won his Olympic gold medal with a broken neck almost as famously now has to have his children open his bottles of pain pills. Google Matt Hardy--that guy doesn't look like a steroid user, but he is. HGH etc is the only way he could stay on the road with his injuries and keep his spot on the card.

    TLDR: Pro wrestlers aren't just dying from steroids, they're dying from steroids AND cocaine AND painkillers.
  6. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:

    Three black homos watching REAR window?

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Matthew McConaughey is a fitness buff who would drop insane weight for roles. I think it has made him haggard looking and has screwed with his brain (making him weird). Boxers from yesteryear, particularly heavyweights, would drop lots of weight quickly leading up to a fight. Tyson would go from 265 to 218 in a couple months. I wonder if this is also a factor in the prevalence of mental/physiological issues in the this group (everyone assumes it’s just from punches to the head)?

  8. More interesting to me is when did women realize anavar made them skinny horn dogs? Lady pop stars with man chins and veiny arms …

  9. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:

    Bronson?

    Or maybe white guys wanna look more black.

    In Rocky I & II, Weathers was much more muscular than Stallone.

    But Stallone really hardened for III.

    It’s not just about bulk but firmness.

    The thing is a lot of blacks are naturally muscular and defined whereas most whites need exercise to gain similar definition.
    Even so, compare white muscle with black muscle in 300: Rise of Empire. Black muscle just looks leaner.

    Mensah is built like Strode, Stapleton more like Kirk Douglas.

    One thing for sure, heavyweight boxers were less ripped in the 70s.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    One of my favorite heavyweights to watch was the Samoan David Tua. At 5'9", he often weighed as much or more than Wladimir Klitschko does today at 6'6".
    , @Chris Mallory

    Bronson?

     

    Back during the filming of The Dirty Dozen, Bronson impressed Jim Brown as a legit tough guy. I flipped through Brown's autobiography one time, reading the bit about filming Dozen. He commented that Bronson was one of the strongest men he had ever seen. Brown attributed it to the work Bronson had done in the coal mines when he was younger. He described walking around town with Bronson and Bronson would walk up to a car and jump over it.



    skiapolemistis

    Heston would use weights. Back when he passed, a fluff piece mentioned that he was one of the first leading men to do weight training.

    Connery was a bodybuilder, early in his career. There is some confusion his competition. His sources saying he got 3rd in the Mr. Universe in 1950.
  10. Damn you, Steve, for being the first public figure to attribute Bruce Jenner’s present condition to inadequate post cycle therapy. Meat heads either go on the awesome sauce full time, or use breast cancer drugs to restart their testicles (though some seem to recover without chemical additives; Arnold obviously has nuts of iron to be siring bastards in his old age). The latter trick was not discovered until the 90s or so, so Jenner very likely was an early victim of chemical castration.

    • Replies: @Trumpenprole
    Schwarzenegger always claimed he only took drugs for a short time when he was a youth. Plus he did it under the tutelage of some body-building doctors. That seems pretty plausible to me. There is a picture of him at age 19 with 20 inch biceps. I think once you have the size you don't need to keep taking the drugs, you just have to keep lifting weights.
  11. Kristoff, IQ, intelligence, Asians, Success, Racism, Blacks, Jews, “white”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-asian-advantage.html?_r=0

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-asian-advantage.html?_r=0
     
    Nicholas Kristof once again wields Occam's Butterknife in The New York Times.
  12. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:

    Old superheroes weren’t that muscular.

    But they got ridiculous later.

    Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner seemed pretty muscular for their time in 10 COMMANDMENTS.

    Sean Connery was pretty fit in 007 movies. But the Daniel Craig guy is more muscular.

    Richard Gere was considered pretty fit in American Gigolo.
    But that was then.

    There was also the WWF(pro wrestling) factor.

    Rap culture made the muscle thing more prominent.

    And the rise of homo culture boosted male narcissism.

  13. In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties – the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus – Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms.

    Most of Arnold’s success in bodybuilding came from him being a genetic freak, in addition to being a hard worker. There are pictures of him at 15, when I doubt he had access to any steroids, and he looks abnormally muscled. He didn’t even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.

    As for Stallone, he didn’t even learn how to box until the 3rd or 4th Rocky movie, I forget which. I read an interview once with the old codger who trained him, and apparently he broke a few of Stallone’s ribs in their first sparring session, at which point Stallone started to get serious. I know he’s been caught using PEDs, but I’m guessing the impetus in him developing his hyper-ripped physique was having the Klitschko-like Dolph Lundgren as his costar in Rocky 4. And there’s no PED I know of that will make you ripped; that requires extreme dieting (for an idea of what’s involved in that, read how a 45 year old Penn strength coach readied himself for his first body building contest: http://startingstrength.com/site/article/steel_odyssey#.Vhn4k7RViko ).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    [Arnold] didn’t even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.
     
    AFAIK Joe Weider proposed using the machines he was selling, but he got big and strong using the three basic powerlifting exercises: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. AFAIK that was the same thing Arnold did.

    Modern training methods also emphasize these three exercises. Also a lot of "revolutionary" new training methods consist of a return to the training methods of old strongmen. In other words, it's not impossible that Arnold's training methods were better than what most guys are using today.
    , @anonymous-antimarxist

    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties – the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus – Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms
     
    .

    First of all, ancient statues of real Gladiators show them as having more than a healthy amount of body fat. That was so that in most fights that were not to the death they could endure blows to their body armor and not suffer significant bruising or broken bones.

    A lot of the Steve Reeves, Hollywood "Body Beautiful" imagery is pure ante litteram Gay Porn

    Kurt Douglas was often paired in films with Burt Lancaster. Lancaster was know for his physique having been a former circus performer. Both joked how they were frequent;y asked by producer/agents to shave their body hair had pose together for "publicity photos".
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    That link is really annoying, as it doesn't include any information about the diet he was on to lose a lot of weight quickly and still keep his muscle.
  14. Vince Gironda was training Hollywood types back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Here’s a link to a photo of one of his well known clients from those days(Vince is the guy in the crazy Jack Lalane jumpsuit behind him).
    Reeves was probably on Dianabol for the two Herc movies he did, since Ciba was seeding the stuff to weight lifters and bodybuilders for a year or two before the official launch, which I think was 1960. Doesn’t looked to have stayed with it though. And of course his late 40’s bodybuilding wins were pre-steroid days.
    Stallone was definitely on something like D-bol and Deca for the first Rocky. Very lean and vascular. There was a character actor around the same time who was always looking very jacked, who played Conan’s daddy in Arnold’s movie.
    One thing about Stallone, Travolta, Arnold, and that goofy guy who got his faced rearranged by trying to box, is they all nows sport the same Roger Clemens Memorial HGH Bowling Ball Head™.
    These days, a lot more is known about steroids and actors have access to the same doctors as athletes. Most of them are adults when they start, and they get on and then get off, so it’s unlikely that there would be the same kind of health issues you get with Austrian kids who start at 14 or 15 and go on to use for a half century or more, one cycle after another.

    • Replies: @2Mintzin1
    "There was a character actor around the same time who was always looking very jacked, who played Conan’s daddy in Arnold’s movie."

    That would be the great Bill Smith, probably the first Hollywood actor I saw who was obviously on steroids. (Smith, accompanied by his triceps, made a decent living as the heavy in a succession of cheapo Biker/murder mystery movies around 1968-70).
    , @Lugash
    Clint Eastwood varied from skinny-with-muscles to fairly muscular. At times he has had freakishly developed forearms. Googling him reveals some rather gay photos from when he was young.

    Ben Affleck seemed to change around the time he did Daredevil, as did Jennifer Garner. His career seemed to recover from the tailspin it was in. Steroid tie in- Michael Clark Duncan was Daredevil as well.

    Karl Urban is a big guy who could probably be more muscular. In the Star Trek reboots it seems like he was filmed to minimize this and not overshadow Chris Pine.
  15. If you want to read something along these lines, and, btw, enjoy a good read, check out Muscle, by Sam Fussell. He’s Paul Fussell’s son, I believe. Lion of the Blogo always references him about the US class system. Brought back the word prole. His son Sam went to So Cal in the 80’s to be a body builder. After graduating from Oxford.

    Hilarious book. Check it out.

    • Replies: @namae nanka
    Steve mentioned it one of his article on his isteve.com site. Interesting book surely.

    It'd be interesting who'd be the actresses who got into it as someone mentioned pop stars getting veiny.

    Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2? It's not like she was far from help. And she at least was an influence on those who surely used them.


    Twenty years ago, Linda Hamilton thrilled female audience members when her character emerged in the movie “Terminator 2,” doing amazing pull ups with a clearly defined muscular physique, never seen on a woman in a blockbuster movie before. Dallas Malloy, then 14, was impressed and began lifting weights the day after seeing the film.
     
    http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2011-09-23/entertainment/tn-gnp-0925-malloy_1_dallas-malloy-boxing-bodybuilding
    , @i love carbs
    strong agree, excellent book -- steve, you won't regret reading it. and kudos to you for tackling this topic. don't have time to rant now, but long story short, you are basically more right than you realize, way more people have been using way more PED's for way longer than is discussed (we're talking even underwear models here). keep digging on this on.
  16. the machinist (2004):

    “Christian Bale dramatically dieted for over four months prior to filming, as his character needed to look drastically thin. According to a biography of Bale written by his former assistant, his daily diet at this time consisted of “water, an apple and one cup of coffee per day, with the occasional whiskey” (approximately 55-260 calories).[3] According to the DVD commentary, he lost 62 pounds (28 kg), reducing his body mass to 120 pounds (54 kg). Bale wanted to go down to 99 pounds (45 kg), but the filmmakers would not let him due to health concerns. In fact, the weight that the 6 ft 0 in (183 cm) Bale dropped down to was actually intended to be for a much shorter actor, but Bale insisted on seeing if he could make it anyway.[4] ”

    i think i might rather gobble peds all day.

  17. In the music field, consider Bruce Springsteen: critics’ darling for his first five albums, and a reasonable amount of commercial success for the last three of those, but then for Born In The U.S.A., he goes from skinny working class hero to seriously buffed-up hunk – remember the music video for “Dancing in the Dark”? – and monster sales, despite the aforementioned album being a piece of shit. I mean, the best song on it isn’t actually on the album, it’s the B-side of the “Dancing in the Dark” single – I’m of course talking about “Pink Cadillac”.

    Anyway, I’m thinking that without the swollen biceps, Born In The U.S.A. is no more than the reasonably successful follow up to “The River”, as befits one of the most overrated artists in the last 30 years.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Curle
    Many of us have had to accept the fact that some Lefty blowhard musicians or songwriters are also pretty good at what they do. Bruce happens to be one of them. BITUSA isn't his best album, but it is pretty good. The song 'Born in the USA' tells a tale of social change that is all too evident today, the de-industrialization of the US. That he points the finger at Republicans doesn't mean he never hits the mark. That the Right has no singer-songwriters of any substance is a problem the Right needs to deal with but doesn't yet seem to recognize. The last transgressive band (from a conservative posture) I can recall is L.A. band F.E.A.R. and they were virtually banned from the airways.
    , @I, Libertine
    Watch a video of a Police song from the early 80's. Look at Sting today, at age 60-something. Any other rock/pop singers in this category?
  18. When you first started mentioning this last week, I picked Stallone. You can kind of trace Stallone’s physique from 1970 to 1980.

    1970: Italian Stallion, also here

    1970: No Place to Hide

    1971: Bananas (this is great)

    He didn’t make anything between 71 and 74, at least not that I can see.

    1974: Lords of Flatbush

    1975: Capone, Farewell My Lovely, Death Race 2000, Kojak episode

    Then Rocky, 1976

    1977, at a boxing match

    1978: F.I.S.T>

    1978: Paradise Alley

    1979 : Rocky 2

    He certainly got huge starting with First Blood and Rocky 3, but his body seems different between 1971 and 1974. Also, his face seems different.

    But then, I’m useless at this stuff.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Here's a pic Sly tweeted of him and Kate Moss. Undated, but he looks like he's in his 60s here maybe? Lots of vascularity, as the body builders call it.
    https://twitter.com/TheSlyStallone/status/650826911254380544
  19. I’d fix that html glitch, but as I’ve mentioned a few times, I can’t edit my posts.

  20. I don’t think I took the change seriously until women started talking about men’s “sixpacks”. Google Books doesn’t find this meaning of “his sixpack” before 2003. Scenes in movies where women drooled over male strippers, I think we always assumed the strippers were gay. Wasn’t there some landmark feminist statement about lust for muscled men, like maybe “Sex and the City”?

    • Replies: @Cloud of Probable Matricide
    No way. Six pack in this sense is much older than 2003.
  21. Trumpenprole [AKA "Haven Monahan"] says:
    @Scott Locklin
    Damn you, Steve, for being the first public figure to attribute Bruce Jenner's present condition to inadequate post cycle therapy. Meat heads either go on the awesome sauce full time, or use breast cancer drugs to restart their testicles (though some seem to recover without chemical additives; Arnold obviously has nuts of iron to be siring bastards in his old age). The latter trick was not discovered until the 90s or so, so Jenner very likely was an early victim of chemical castration.

    Schwarzenegger always claimed he only took drugs for a short time when he was a youth. Plus he did it under the tutelage of some body-building doctors. That seems pretty plausible to me. There is a picture of him at age 19 with 20 inch biceps. I think once you have the size you don’t need to keep taking the drugs, you just have to keep lifting weights.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    Arnold lied. You don't rise to the top of the bodybuilding mountain without drugs to help you.

    He just kept usage secret and given he was Weider's fair haired boy(in more ways than one), Weider made sure no one associcated roids with Arnold.
    , @Scott Locklin
    Personally, I find this statement completely implausible. Since when do ISteve readers believe politicians?

    I've been lifting on and off for decades, and did other sports (Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) where chemicals are a factor. It's completely obvious when a kid shows up with lobster-red moon face and 40lbs of new muscle training 6 days a week, then deflates to pretty much where he started at training 3-4 days a week (which is what humans can achieve in the gym). The Oak was a great athlete, but he was a chemical athlete.

    Among the genetically gifted: pretty much the human limit is someone like George Hackenschmidt. For not so gifted athletes, Vince Gironda or Sig Klein represents what an average person with a perfect diet can achieve naturally.
  22. @jjbees
    Counterpoint-

    Heat (1995)- Both Robert de Niro and Al Pacino are built like just-a-couple-of-regular-fellas.

    N=1, but it stands out in my mind as two "manly men", one on each side of the law, who don't have to life weights to be masculine.

    Not only that, but Al Pacino manhandles Henry Rollins, author of the famous ode to iron.

  23. Well done Steve on pursuing this topic. For a long time nothing fascinated me more than the obvious hypocrisy on display with the whole steroid denial culture. Very homologous of our ‘do as I say, not as I do culture’. Its one of those unspoken but obvious lies of our modern age that just drives me crazy.

    To this day there are still many apologists who refuse to believe that nearly everybody with any noticeable muscle that’s in the public eye has used steroids for at least one cycle. I speak as a physiotherapist by training, but also a lifelong lifter. Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months, and when you see any 20 year old with muscle – forget about it. (This includes Arnold! I will give you one thing that confuses a lot of people – he has genetically long biceps tendons. This means his biceps ‘peak’ like tennis balls, which is why he looks so built in early photos. No amount of training or hormones can replicate this genetic quirk, despite all the articles purporting to help you achieve just that.)

    You can achieve a ‘muscular’ look in your teens/early twenties by lifting and simply being lean, but the actual amount of muscle mass is quite small. But even so i suspect that many lean muscular young actors didn’t get there naturally. Even cheerleaders nowadays are juicing. Female fitness models on you-tube are juicing. Old guys who want to write better are juicing.

    You don’t even need to believe that they are constantly juicing either. You can retain most of what you gain by simply continuing to lift heavy. Steroids permanently lift the ceiling on your genetic window. They also give you muscles in a pattern that natural gym just doesn’t – there are more testosterone receptors in the upper body than the lower body, for example. But more specifically the arms and traps have a greater concentration of receptors, which is why if you take a topical hormone replacement they get you to rub it on your shoulders/arms.

    Since you are interested you should read The Adonis Complex. You’ll love it – it has formulas in it: the Fat Free Mass Index is something objective you could use if you knew an actors height and weight to work out whether their level of muscularity is naturally achievable.
    Even if someone falls within the upper range of natural, there is a good chance, unless it’s obvious that they have been lifting for years, that they are not natural. Also its a fat free measure because its the combination of muscular and lean that’s unnatural. In nature we are either wiry or bulky.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Bradley Cooper in American Sniper went for bulky, and it worked well for his role. But that's pretty rare.
    , @Big Bill
    This is why I come here. Experts.
    , @reiner Tor

    Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months
     
    A 28 year old fitness coach who looked quite muscular (not Arnold level, but a very muscular guy by everyman standards) told me that his clients always got disappointed when they asked how long it took him to get those muscles and his answer was "over ten years, I started at age 17, and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now".
  24. @education realist
    When you first started mentioning this last week, I picked Stallone. You can kind of trace Stallone's physique from 1970 to 1980.

    1970: Italian Stallion, also here

    1970: No Place to Hide

    1971: Bananas (this is great)

    He didn't make anything between 71 and 74, at least not that I can see.

    1974: Lords of Flatbush

    1975: Capone, Farewell My Lovely, Death Race 2000, Kojak episode


    Then Rocky, 1976

    1977, at a boxing match


    1978: F.I.S.T>
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/MfGuBc0zVQU/hqdefault.jpg


    1978: Paradise Alley

    1979 : Rocky 2


    He certainly got huge starting with First Blood and Rocky 3, but his body seems different between 1971 and 1974. Also, his face seems different.

    But then, I'm useless at this stuff.

    Here’s a pic Sly tweeted of him and Kate Moss. Undated, but he looks like he’s in his 60s here maybe? Lots of vascularity, as the body builders call it.

  25. “We’re not far out from prominent actors beginning to drop dead in their 40s and 50s the way wrestlers have been for the pas dozen years. ”

    Michael Clark Duncan, I’m wondering. But Arnold’s still with us.

  26. Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don’t underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn’t competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25″ biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That’s why he’s still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn’t have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    • Replies: @anon
    When was Austria behind the Iron Curtain?
    , @Hibernian
    Austria was not behind the Iron Curtain after 1955. From 1945-1955 it had American, British, French, and Soviet occupation zones, but there were not separate nations as in Germany, then the entire country became neutral for the duration of the Cold War.
    , @Threecranes
    Of course we've all seen movie clips in which Arnold tries to run. He looks ridiculous, proving that there's a downside to every exaggerated distortion of Nature's template. Nothing's free. What he gained in massive bulk he lost in fluid agility.
    , @Gandydancer
    Austria was not behind the Iron Curtain. It was divided until 1955, but Schwarzenegger was born in '47.
    , @Joe Blow
    Bullshit on the quintuple bypass; Arnold has a congenital bicuspid valve, and that's why he went in for heart surgery.
  27. @awesome
    Well done Steve on pursuing this topic. For a long time nothing fascinated me more than the obvious hypocrisy on display with the whole steroid denial culture. Very homologous of our 'do as I say, not as I do culture'. Its one of those unspoken but obvious lies of our modern age that just drives me crazy.

    To this day there are still many apologists who refuse to believe that nearly everybody with any noticeable muscle that's in the public eye has used steroids for at least one cycle. I speak as a physiotherapist by training, but also a lifelong lifter. Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months, and when you see any 20 year old with muscle - forget about it. (This includes Arnold! I will give you one thing that confuses a lot of people - he has genetically long biceps tendons. This means his biceps 'peak' like tennis balls, which is why he looks so built in early photos. No amount of training or hormones can replicate this genetic quirk, despite all the articles purporting to help you achieve just that.)

    You can achieve a 'muscular' look in your teens/early twenties by lifting and simply being lean, but the actual amount of muscle mass is quite small. But even so i suspect that many lean muscular young actors didn't get there naturally. Even cheerleaders nowadays are juicing. Female fitness models on you-tube are juicing. Old guys who want to write better are juicing.

    You don't even need to believe that they are constantly juicing either. You can retain most of what you gain by simply continuing to lift heavy. Steroids permanently lift the ceiling on your genetic window. They also give you muscles in a pattern that natural gym just doesn't - there are more testosterone receptors in the upper body than the lower body, for example. But more specifically the arms and traps have a greater concentration of receptors, which is why if you take a topical hormone replacement they get you to rub it on your shoulders/arms.

    Since you are interested you should read The Adonis Complex. You'll love it - it has formulas in it: the Fat Free Mass Index is something objective you could use if you knew an actors height and weight to work out whether their level of muscularity is naturally achievable.
    Even if someone falls within the upper range of natural, there is a good chance, unless it's obvious that they have been lifting for years, that they are not natural. Also its a fat free measure because its the combination of muscular and lean that's unnatural. In nature we are either wiry or bulky.

    Bradley Cooper in American Sniper went for bulky, and it worked well for his role. But that’s pretty rare.

    • Replies: @awesome
    Agreed, and it looked more 'natural' as a result.

    My wife noticed that in the first half of The Martian Matt Damon's voice was deeper than usual, as well as compared to later on in the movie. I found it funny that towards the end of the movie when he was supposed to be all manorexic, his face actually looked fatter than it did in the beginning when he had obviously dieted down (while supplementing) for his shirts off scene.
    I'd hate to be his trainer, from interviews it sounds like he resents the work.
  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    (Regarding your current article)

    Two things you might like to know:

    Bay Area Gold’s Gym owners changed their gyms to Fitness SF after Gold’s CEO donated to American Crossroads. The ones behind the change thought it sent out too much of an anti-LGBT message.

    Also, Matt Kroczaleski, a world champion bodybuilder, just came out as transgender. You might be on to something.

    In my own life, I have noticed that gym goers, especially the weightlifting kind, tend to be more conservative than most people. One would not think Marin is so Democratic if one were to visit one of its gyms.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    In my own life, I have noticed that gym goers, especially the weightlifting kind, tend to be more conservative than most people.

    I heard a caller to one of the right-wing talk shows define liberal men by their lack of upper-body strength.
  29. @Priss Factor
    Bronson?

    Or maybe white guys wanna look more black.

    In Rocky I & II, Weathers was much more muscular than Stallone.

    But Stallone really hardened for III.

    It's not just about bulk but firmness.

    The thing is a lot of blacks are naturally muscular and defined whereas most whites need exercise to gain similar definition.
    Even so, compare white muscle with black muscle in 300: Rise of Empire. Black muscle just looks leaner.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3G2MHjBF8vo/U7vMnEa8DYI/AAAAAAAAKhs/M8y1Aye3QRA/s1600/spartacus-Vengeance-Oenomaus.2jpg.jpg

    http://www.fatmovieguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/300-Rise-of-an-Empire-Image-1.jpg

    Mensah is built like Strode, Stapleton more like Kirk Douglas.

    One thing for sure, heavyweight boxers were less ripped in the 70s.

    One of my favorite heavyweights to watch was the Samoan David Tua. At 5’9″, he often weighed as much or more than Wladimir Klitschko does today at 6’6″.

  30. @robot
    I don't think I took the change seriously until women started talking about men's "sixpacks". Google Books doesn't find this meaning of "his sixpack" before 2003. Scenes in movies where women drooled over male strippers, I think we always assumed the strippers were gay. Wasn't there some landmark feminist statement about lust for muscled men, like maybe "Sex and the City"?

    No way. Six pack in this sense is much older than 2003.

    • Replies: @robot
    Changing the query to 'six-pack abs' I find a 1996 Newsweek, but I'm more interested in when women started to use it casually about sexy men.
  31. @Dr. Doom
    Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don't underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn't competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25" biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That's why he's still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn't have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    When was Austria behind the Iron Curtain?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A part of Austria was occupied by the Soviet bloc from 1945-1955.
  32. @Steve Sailer
    Bradley Cooper in American Sniper went for bulky, and it worked well for his role. But that's pretty rare.

    Agreed, and it looked more ‘natural’ as a result.

    My wife noticed that in the first half of The Martian Matt Damon’s voice was deeper than usual, as well as compared to later on in the movie. I found it funny that towards the end of the movie when he was supposed to be all manorexic, his face actually looked fatter than it did in the beginning when he had obviously dieted down (while supplementing) for his shirts off scene.
    I’d hate to be his trainer, from interviews it sounds like he resents the work.

  33. @anon
    When was Austria behind the Iron Curtain?

    A part of Austria was occupied by the Soviet bloc from 1945-1955.

    • Replies: @anon
    Yes, but Arnold is from Steiermark in the British sector. And in any case the occupation ended in 1955, when he was seven or eight years old. So the OP's theory that he got steriods from the Sovjet olympic program is pretty farfetched...
    , @Romanian
    Hey, Steve, off-topic:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Bakri_Muhammad

    Found an old interview when a Romanian war journalist went to interview Omar Bakri in Lebanon, that wonderfully vibrant British citizen (or at least former fixture in the Western jihadi scene).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7nBOc_4zq0

    The Romanian speaks in Romanian, but he only describes the setting in the beginning. Omar Bakri speaks in English and is subtitled. Despite the avuncular manner, he was very insistent on his vision of the Caliphate ruling the world. The Romanian part in the beginning says that he named his son Osama because he was born the day the Americans announced Bin Laden's death. The interesting thing is how easily he gets around throughout the world and especially the West without catching a cold from a bullet, or at least being denied entry. The man goes to Denmark to protest in front of the French embassy. If that's not globalization, I don't know what is.

    Maybe I should do a Houllebecq and console myself with the fact that polygamy will be legal when my country is "liberated".
  34. I don’t think Schwarzenegger lived in the Soviet-occupied part of Austria, but he can recall visiting relatives there as a child and being repelled by it.

    Arnold would not have been happy under Communism.

  35. @Anonymous
    Steve, stop using the word ripped.

    I've heard that growth hormone is a lot more useful (not to mention safer and easier) than steroids. That might explain the timing of muscles exploding in the 80s. Also, better steroids were invented then.

    > Steve, stop using the word ‘ripped.’

    Anon, at your link, read down to definition 5: “(bodybuilding) Having extremely low bodyfat content so that the shape of the underlying muscles become pronounced. Said especially of well-defined abdominal muscles.”

  36. Thanks to the knowledgeable readers who contributed their insights on the topic of the original post. This thread has some great comments.

  37. @Steve Sailer
    A part of Austria was occupied by the Soviet bloc from 1945-1955.

    Yes, but Arnold is from Steiermark in the British sector. And in any case the occupation ended in 1955, when he was seven or eight years old. So the OP’s theory that he got steriods from the Sovjet olympic program is pretty farfetched…

  38. @Dave Pinsen
    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties - the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus - Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms.

    Most of Arnold's success in bodybuilding came from him being a genetic freak, in addition to being a hard worker. There are pictures of him at 15, when I doubt he had access to any steroids, and he looks abnormally muscled. He didn't even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.

    As for Stallone, he didn't even learn how to box until the 3rd or 4th Rocky movie, I forget which. I read an interview once with the old codger who trained him, and apparently he broke a few of Stallone's ribs in their first sparring session, at which point Stallone started to get serious. I know he's been caught using PEDs, but I'm guessing the impetus in him developing his hyper-ripped physique was having the Klitschko-like Dolph Lundgren as his costar in Rocky 4. And there's no PED I know of that will make you ripped; that requires extreme dieting (for an idea of what's involved in that, read how a 45 year old Penn strength coach readied himself for his first body building contest: http://startingstrength.com/site/article/steel_odyssey#.Vhn4k7RViko ).

    [Arnold] didn’t even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.

    AFAIK Joe Weider proposed using the machines he was selling, but he got big and strong using the three basic powerlifting exercises: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. AFAIK that was the same thing Arnold did.

    Modern training methods also emphasize these three exercises. Also a lot of “revolutionary” new training methods consist of a return to the training methods of old strongmen. In other words, it’s not impossible that Arnold’s training methods were better than what most guys are using today.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    See the link I included at the bottom of that comment about the power lifter/strength coach who was able to compete in a bodybuilding contest after 63 days of extreme dieting and bodying building-type workouts.

    When I got my first weight set, in the '80s, it came with a black & white workout pamphlet written by Lou Ferrigno. His basic program consisted of squats, bench presses, military presses, bent-over rows, calf raises, curls, and sit-ups. Which goes to show that even a great bodybuilder was relying, in part, on "bro science" (years later, I got Arnold's big book on training, and his "basic" workouts included a lot more exercises and were programmed in a way that looked unusable for anyone without exceptional recovery ability). Modern basic programs like Starting Strength and 5/3/1 include the deadlift as well as squats, overhead press, and bench as their big 4 exercises, and relegate most of the rest to optional assistance exercises, since both calves and abs get worked by properly done squats.
  39. I think the body-changing as a part of acting started with Shelley Winters, who gained around 40 pounds to play Mrs. Rosen in “The Poseiden Adventure” in 1972.

  40. While feminists and social justice warriors are fighting body image pressures on women, the men are spending more more time cultivating their vanity in the gym.

    Having been out of the country over a decade, I couldn’t help noticing that pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general. I was feeling like Rip van Winkle. In Europe you don’t see the extremes of body shapes in public you do here. From the totally blimped out obese to the pumped and ripped paragons of fitness. I’ve found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna’s unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing.

    This article might not be in your usual media review but I found it an interesting treatment of the issue.
    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/print-view/building-a-bigger-action-hero-20140418

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @Wilkey
    "I’ve found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna’s unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing."

    It seems like it would be unattractive for genetic reasons. Fertile women are supposed to have a healthy layer of fat. To be that ripped is to at least appear, to a guy's subconscious, to be less fertile. Women who are in shape are attractive, from toned muscles to healthier and younger looking skin, but it detracts from that when they have no visible fat at all.
    , @E. Rekshun
    ...pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general.

    True. Not exactly TV personalities, but nearly every college and pro football coach seems to be out of shape and fat.
    , @AndrewR
    The "blimped out" line made me literally lol.
  41. @reiner Tor

    [Arnold] didn’t even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.
     
    AFAIK Joe Weider proposed using the machines he was selling, but he got big and strong using the three basic powerlifting exercises: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. AFAIK that was the same thing Arnold did.

    Modern training methods also emphasize these three exercises. Also a lot of "revolutionary" new training methods consist of a return to the training methods of old strongmen. In other words, it's not impossible that Arnold's training methods were better than what most guys are using today.

    See the link I included at the bottom of that comment about the power lifter/strength coach who was able to compete in a bodybuilding contest after 63 days of extreme dieting and bodying building-type workouts.

    When I got my first weight set, in the ’80s, it came with a black & white workout pamphlet written by Lou Ferrigno. His basic program consisted of squats, bench presses, military presses, bent-over rows, calf raises, curls, and sit-ups. Which goes to show that even a great bodybuilder was relying, in part, on “bro science” (years later, I got Arnold’s big book on training, and his “basic” workouts included a lot more exercises and were programmed in a way that looked unusable for anyone without exceptional recovery ability). Modern basic programs like Starting Strength and 5/3/1 include the deadlift as well as squats, overhead press, and bench as their big 4 exercises, and relegate most of the rest to optional assistance exercises, since both calves and abs get worked by properly done squats.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    OK, that does make sense.

    I don't think military presses are that essential if you're willing to do tons of stretching and mobility exercises, because the one big drawback of the bench press is that it reduces mobility because you don't use full range of motion. (The other big drawback is that it doesn't work your full body, but if you're doing tons of squats and deadlifts then that's not a problem at all.) Having said that, most people are usually unwilling to do mobility exercises (at least not enough of them), so it's probably better to keep the overhead press.
    , @poolside
    Lou Ferrigno appeared in several seasons of CBS' "The King of Queens," playing himself. Throughout his time on the show, there were several jokes made at his expense about bodybuilding and even steroid use.

    Over time, Ferrigno actually developed a pretty good sense of comedic timing.

    Here's a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald's character.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp-HEmlezDE
  42. I think you are right about the Italian connection, but it begins earlier. See the work of Dominique Padurano, for example: http://fordhampress.com/index.php/making-itaian-america-paperback.html

  43. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    On the other side of the gender aisle regarding body enhancement the women are also very busy what with the sheer number of implants, augmentations and plastic surgeries. Everybody wants to be more attractive, male and female, according to whatever the prevailing ideas of attractiveness are. People copycat what the stars are doing. Arnold had his own personal doctor giving him steroids while he was still a teenager; he was really bulked up by age 19. Insofar as his bypass surgery being attributable to his steroid use, who can really say for sure? Couch potatoes have bypasses all the time when in their 60’s. The trend is away from the bulked-up look to what’s called ‘functional fitness’ as exemplified by things such as cross-fitness, triathlons, boot camp-special forces type training, etc. Everybody’s got to have six-pack abs, men and women alike, or they’re just not with it.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    Even discounting the other heart issues caused by steroids, as I understand it, atherosclerosis is a function of LDL cholesterol, which is in turn a function of diet(saturated fat) and exercise. Eating the amount of food necessary to put on an extra 60-120lbs above what your BMI would indicate is healthy, even if there is no change of diet content and you just eat more food... is going to result in a more rapid plaque build up in the arteries. It will accelerate the time you have before an arterial blockage becomes life threatening.

    There are only so many meters of blood vessels a man has.
  44. Where does Robert Mitchum fit into this story?

  45. @Earl Lemongrab
    We're not far out from prominent actors beginning to drop dead in their 40s and 50s the way wrestlers have been for the pas dozen years. I think it's going to take a couple of high-profile deaths to blow the lid off of how many actors are juicing.

    Steroids changed the way pro wrestlers looked in the 1980s with the rise of Vince McMAhon and the WWF–remember one of McMAhon’s big court battles was over distributing steroids to his wrestlers.

    Pre WWF wrestler: google Dusty Rhodes, JAck Brisco, Terry Funk.

    Pro wrestlers in the 80s weren’t just juicing, they were also using tons of recreational drugs, partying like rock stars while touring the country. Not that actors weren’t, but actors have more down time to rest and rehab a bender, instead of medicating so that you can do a show in the next city, 300 nights a year.

    Pro wrestlers in the 90s and since have been on steroids plus tons of painkillers–the easiest way to make the moves and matches look more real was to hurt for real. Kurt Angle, who famously won his Olympic gold medal with a broken neck almost as famously now has to have his children open his bottles of pain pills. Google Matt Hardy–that guy doesn’t look like a steroid user, but he is. HGH etc is the only way he could stay on the road with his injuries and keep his spot on the card.

    TLDR: Pro wrestlers aren’t just dying from steroids, they’re dying from steroids AND cocaine AND painkillers.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    In the documentary about the rock band Quiet Riot, the segment about the death of singer Kevin Dubrow from an overdose includes comments from Dubrow's MD brother about the effects of polypharmacy being negligible when one is in their 20s but deadly in one's 40s/50s.

    It's not a drug killing these guys, but the multiple drugs interacting.

    Stallone certainly got big over time, but the Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise and the Brad Pitt in Troy are two entirely different people.
  46. @Anonymous
    Kristoff, IQ, intelligence, Asians, Success, Racism, Blacks, Jews, "white"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-asian-advantage.html?_r=0

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-asian-advantage.html?_r=0

    Nicholas Kristof once again wields Occam’s Butterknife in The New York Times.

  47. Is the choice is sport important? Pro wrestling, Baseball hitting, boxing use upper body. MMA and soccer are not as upper body intensive. Conner McGregor does not seem juiced.

    Sean Connery appears to not have used steroids in his junior mr universe contest. Was the fight in the rail car between Bond and the juicing Russian the last time normal beat juiced?

    Bruce Lee?

    MMA seems to involve extreme weight loss, to make weight. Rhonda Roussey competed in the Olympics at 154lbs, but dropped to 135 lbs to compete against mediocre athletes in the UFC. She probably regains 5 -10 lbs before the fight.

    THE TRUTH ABOUT MMA’S DANGEROUS WEIGHT GAME

    http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/11711953/the-truth-mma-dangerous-weight-game

    Shouldn’t a sniper be skinny?

  48. @Dr. Doom
    Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don't underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn't competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25" biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That's why he's still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn't have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    Austria was not behind the Iron Curtain after 1955. From 1945-1955 it had American, British, French, and Soviet occupation zones, but there were not separate nations as in Germany, then the entire country became neutral for the duration of the Cold War.

  49. @Priss Factor
    Bronson?

    Or maybe white guys wanna look more black.

    In Rocky I & II, Weathers was much more muscular than Stallone.

    But Stallone really hardened for III.

    It's not just about bulk but firmness.

    The thing is a lot of blacks are naturally muscular and defined whereas most whites need exercise to gain similar definition.
    Even so, compare white muscle with black muscle in 300: Rise of Empire. Black muscle just looks leaner.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3G2MHjBF8vo/U7vMnEa8DYI/AAAAAAAAKhs/M8y1Aye3QRA/s1600/spartacus-Vengeance-Oenomaus.2jpg.jpg

    http://www.fatmovieguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/300-Rise-of-an-Empire-Image-1.jpg

    Mensah is built like Strode, Stapleton more like Kirk Douglas.

    One thing for sure, heavyweight boxers were less ripped in the 70s.

    Bronson?

    Back during the filming of The Dirty Dozen, Bronson impressed Jim Brown as a legit tough guy. I flipped through Brown’s autobiography one time, reading the bit about filming Dozen. He commented that Bronson was one of the strongest men he had ever seen. Brown attributed it to the work Bronson had done in the coal mines when he was younger. He described walking around town with Bronson and Bronson would walk up to a car and jump over it.

    skiapolemistis

    Heston would use weights. Back when he passed, a fluff piece mentioned that he was one of the first leading men to do weight training.

    Connery was a bodybuilder, early in his career. There is some confusion his competition. His sources saying he got 3rd in the Mr. Universe in 1950.

  50. @Steve Sailer
    A part of Austria was occupied by the Soviet bloc from 1945-1955.

    Hey, Steve, off-topic:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Bakri_Muhammad

    Found an old interview when a Romanian war journalist went to interview Omar Bakri in Lebanon, that wonderfully vibrant British citizen (or at least former fixture in the Western jihadi scene).

    The Romanian speaks in Romanian, but he only describes the setting in the beginning. Omar Bakri speaks in English and is subtitled. Despite the avuncular manner, he was very insistent on his vision of the Caliphate ruling the world. The Romanian part in the beginning says that he named his son Osama because he was born the day the Americans announced Bin Laden’s death. The interesting thing is how easily he gets around throughout the world and especially the West without catching a cold from a bullet, or at least being denied entry. The man goes to Denmark to protest in front of the French embassy. If that’s not globalization, I don’t know what is.

    Maybe I should do a Houllebecq and console myself with the fact that polygamy will be legal when my country is “liberated”.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This guy (Omar Bakri) was a personality explored at length in "Them" by Jon Ronson. He'd been bragging about his friendliness with OBL before 9/11, then afterward anxiously begged Ronson to vouch for that being all made up.
  51. @Dave Pinsen
    See the link I included at the bottom of that comment about the power lifter/strength coach who was able to compete in a bodybuilding contest after 63 days of extreme dieting and bodying building-type workouts.

    When I got my first weight set, in the '80s, it came with a black & white workout pamphlet written by Lou Ferrigno. His basic program consisted of squats, bench presses, military presses, bent-over rows, calf raises, curls, and sit-ups. Which goes to show that even a great bodybuilder was relying, in part, on "bro science" (years later, I got Arnold's big book on training, and his "basic" workouts included a lot more exercises and were programmed in a way that looked unusable for anyone without exceptional recovery ability). Modern basic programs like Starting Strength and 5/3/1 include the deadlift as well as squats, overhead press, and bench as their big 4 exercises, and relegate most of the rest to optional assistance exercises, since both calves and abs get worked by properly done squats.

    OK, that does make sense.

    I don’t think military presses are that essential if you’re willing to do tons of stretching and mobility exercises, because the one big drawback of the bench press is that it reduces mobility because you don’t use full range of motion. (The other big drawback is that it doesn’t work your full body, but if you’re doing tons of squats and deadlifts then that’s not a problem at all.) Having said that, most people are usually unwilling to do mobility exercises (at least not enough of them), so it’s probably better to keep the overhead press.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Starting Strength suggests alternating between overhead press and bench press to get more balanced development of the shoulders, which, they say, reduces the chance of injury (though doesn't eliminate it - I did that and still tore my rotator cuff, but I also had previous damage to it, apparently). Another point they make is that, in sports or in real life, you usually don't exert force in a 90 degree angle from your body as in a bench press; you do so at some angle between that of the bench and overhead press (e.g., if you're pushing a disabled car, or pass blocking a defensive lineman). So, doing press and bench is more complete preparation: press trains you to transmit force using your whole body for stability, and bench lets you handle more weight, so you can get stronger than you would otherwise.

    In the case of 5/3/1, Wendler says he added press to improve his bench.
  52. @Dave Pinsen
    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties - the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus - Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms.

    Most of Arnold's success in bodybuilding came from him being a genetic freak, in addition to being a hard worker. There are pictures of him at 15, when I doubt he had access to any steroids, and he looks abnormally muscled. He didn't even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.

    As for Stallone, he didn't even learn how to box until the 3rd or 4th Rocky movie, I forget which. I read an interview once with the old codger who trained him, and apparently he broke a few of Stallone's ribs in their first sparring session, at which point Stallone started to get serious. I know he's been caught using PEDs, but I'm guessing the impetus in him developing his hyper-ripped physique was having the Klitschko-like Dolph Lundgren as his costar in Rocky 4. And there's no PED I know of that will make you ripped; that requires extreme dieting (for an idea of what's involved in that, read how a 45 year old Penn strength coach readied himself for his first body building contest: http://startingstrength.com/site/article/steel_odyssey#.Vhn4k7RViko ).

    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties – the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus – Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms

    .

    First of all, ancient statues of real Gladiators show them as having more than a healthy amount of body fat. That was so that in most fights that were not to the death they could endure blows to their body armor and not suffer significant bruising or broken bones.

    A lot of the Steve Reeves, Hollywood “Body Beautiful” imagery is pure ante litteram Gay Porn

    Kurt Douglas was often paired in films with Burt Lancaster. Lancaster was know for his physique having been a former circus performer. Both joked how they were frequent;y asked by producer/agents to shave their body hair had pose together for “publicity photos”.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I was referring more to the lack of muscle in Burton and Douglas's case. Compare Russell Crowe in Gladiator - not ripped, but muscled, and as you suggest, probably more like an ancient gladiator than either Douglass or Reeves.
  53. @Cail Corishev
    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn't seem to slow the women down any, so I don't think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that's really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he's just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    Predator definitely contained a memorable landmark moment in Hollywood’s nascent obsession with cool muscles:

  54. The real shift began with Rambo (I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in either the post or the comments). And Rambo is notable for another reason: Overseas sales.

    Macho cultures around the world gobbled this stuff up and fed the beast; which responded with Bigger and Badder II; III & IV.

    The shift into movies as a teaser for video games (and their comic book sensibilities toward masculinity) has only perpetuated the cycle.

    And years later, it’s almost as masculinity has gone to binary extremes: The Effete Hipster Wimpster or The Spornosexual Selfie Cyborg.

  55. I think it would be interesting to see which actors are clearly just using to get into shape for a role versus those who are pretty consistent users. I read an article 5 years or so in some fitness magazine written by a 50 year old amateur cyclist who went on steroids to see what it did for his performance so he could understand the effects better for elite cyclists. Not only did it have a significant effect on his power and recovery time, but once he realized what his body could do on steroids he struggled a bit with giving it up at the end of his experiment and returning his normal level of performance. I would think a lot of aging people/movie stars would feel the same way.

    Obviously a lot of athletes in their 30s rely on performance enhancing drugs to be able to compete with younger and faster competitors. I remember watching the 2008 Olympics and the announcer talking about how amazing it was that 41 year old Dara Torres was competing and what a testament it was to her talent. I think it’s pretty obvious that when a woman that age is competing at an Olympic level when none of her team mates or competitors were within 10 years of her age it’s blindingly obvious what is happening.

  56. @awesome
    Well done Steve on pursuing this topic. For a long time nothing fascinated me more than the obvious hypocrisy on display with the whole steroid denial culture. Very homologous of our 'do as I say, not as I do culture'. Its one of those unspoken but obvious lies of our modern age that just drives me crazy.

    To this day there are still many apologists who refuse to believe that nearly everybody with any noticeable muscle that's in the public eye has used steroids for at least one cycle. I speak as a physiotherapist by training, but also a lifelong lifter. Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months, and when you see any 20 year old with muscle - forget about it. (This includes Arnold! I will give you one thing that confuses a lot of people - he has genetically long biceps tendons. This means his biceps 'peak' like tennis balls, which is why he looks so built in early photos. No amount of training or hormones can replicate this genetic quirk, despite all the articles purporting to help you achieve just that.)

    You can achieve a 'muscular' look in your teens/early twenties by lifting and simply being lean, but the actual amount of muscle mass is quite small. But even so i suspect that many lean muscular young actors didn't get there naturally. Even cheerleaders nowadays are juicing. Female fitness models on you-tube are juicing. Old guys who want to write better are juicing.

    You don't even need to believe that they are constantly juicing either. You can retain most of what you gain by simply continuing to lift heavy. Steroids permanently lift the ceiling on your genetic window. They also give you muscles in a pattern that natural gym just doesn't - there are more testosterone receptors in the upper body than the lower body, for example. But more specifically the arms and traps have a greater concentration of receptors, which is why if you take a topical hormone replacement they get you to rub it on your shoulders/arms.

    Since you are interested you should read The Adonis Complex. You'll love it - it has formulas in it: the Fat Free Mass Index is something objective you could use if you knew an actors height and weight to work out whether their level of muscularity is naturally achievable.
    Even if someone falls within the upper range of natural, there is a good chance, unless it's obvious that they have been lifting for years, that they are not natural. Also its a fat free measure because its the combination of muscular and lean that's unnatural. In nature we are either wiry or bulky.

    This is why I come here. Experts.

  57. I also think its funny how Hollywood depicts “military fitness” as having a body builder physique or a shredded super lean body.

    First of all on the Discovery Channel documentaries of Navy Seal basic training one of the points that the instructors made was that it was essential that the candidates not show up “over trained” or with too low body fat. Otherwise they will never survive the constant cold weather/water exposure. Pneumonia, hypothermia, weight loss and cold fatigue claim numerous otherwise excellent trainees.

    Bradly Cooper as Kris Kyle depicted him as probably leaner than the still very fit 230 lb Kyle actually was. I wonder if lots of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan got really muscular bodies not so much out of military necessity but because they were simply confined to base for long periods and needed a way to work off stress.

    I believe one of the problems that the German army had during Operations Barbarossa and Blue was the the soldiers were trained too lean. Once the German soldiers were subjected to the long daily marches they were never able to maintain enough body fat necessary to survive the Russian winters. Even with better winter clothing and higher calorie rations, German soldiers worn lean during a long campaign froze to death at Stalingrad in large numbers due in large part from insufficient body fat ratios.

    Emergency attempts to help German soldiers maintain body mass only made the problem worse.

    http://www.peashooter85.com/post/70258263334/the-battle-of-stalingrad-and-the-deadly-meat

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    When I was in infantry training at Fort Benning years ago, most of the regular Army infantry and rangers had a little fat on them. They worked out a lot, but the Army served really high calorie meals, intentionally. They had their own Recommended Daily Allowance - the MRDA. A typical breakfast would consist of an entree such as biscuits & gravy with sides of eggs, pancakes, grits, coffee cake, etc.
    , @Marc
    The same goes for high altitude mountaineering. Building bulk and some intramuscular fat that will be burned off during the approach and prior to the summit push will serve you better than the developing the lean, well defined build that works best for rock climbing.
  58. 2Mintzin1 [AKA "Mike"] says:
    @Niccolò Arminius
    Vince Gironda was training Hollywood types back in the late 50's and early 60's. Here's a link to a photo of one of his well known clients from those days http://www.ironguru.com/images/clint%20eastwood.jpg (Vince is the guy in the crazy Jack Lalane jumpsuit behind him).
    Reeves was probably on Dianabol for the two Herc movies he did, since Ciba was seeding the stuff to weight lifters and bodybuilders for a year or two before the official launch, which I think was 1960. Doesn't looked to have stayed with it though. And of course his late 40's bodybuilding wins were pre-steroid days.
    Stallone was definitely on something like D-bol and Deca for the first Rocky. Very lean and vascular. There was a character actor around the same time who was always looking very jacked, who played Conan's daddy in Arnold's movie.
    One thing about Stallone, Travolta, Arnold, and that goofy guy who got his faced rearranged by trying to box, is they all nows sport the same Roger Clemens Memorial HGH Bowling Ball Head™.
    These days, a lot more is known about steroids and actors have access to the same doctors as athletes. Most of them are adults when they start, and they get on and then get off, so it's unlikely that there would be the same kind of health issues you get with Austrian kids who start at 14 or 15 and go on to use for a half century or more, one cycle after another.

    “There was a character actor around the same time who was always looking very jacked, who played Conan’s daddy in Arnold’s movie.”

    That would be the great Bill Smith, probably the first Hollywood actor I saw who was obviously on steroids. (Smith, accompanied by his triceps, made a decent living as the heavy in a succession of cheapo Biker/murder mystery movies around 1968-70).

  59. Jude Law:
    I can’t think of American star actor that skinny(outside of specific role).

  60. The change in standards of masculinity from the golden age of Hollywood to today is striking.

    My theory:
    In classic Hollywood movies, the alpha leading man dominates women and effeminate men through his superior will, nerve and wits (think especially anything with Bogart, Cagney or Robinson, but even in films with the very tall Gary Cooper or the decently sized Clark Gable, its his superior will and coolness under pressure that allows him to triumph over his cowardly foes). Today, that sort of masculine domination isn’t allowed, so masculinity has been forced to express itself in purely physical form. Sure, today’s dudebros have more muscle than flabby 1940s men, but today’s dudebros put up with feminist behavior from women that 1940s men would never have tolerated.

  61. Your article has me thinking about steroid rage as well as steroid bodybuilding.

    I can’t remember the title of the movie, but it was a propaganda film shot and released in 1942 about a small group of planes flying from California to Hawaii just as Pearl Harbor was being attacked. I watched a year ago during a short illness, I’d never seen it before.

    All of the men had normal physiques and ranged in height from maybe 5’6′ to 6′, so their weights were probably 120-160. It was really striking.

    But it wasn’t just their physiques that struck me, it was their behavior and how they treated each other. These were the nicest guys you ever met. They were considerate to each other, and well spoken. They were just like my dad and my uncle and their friends, all of whom fought in WWII.

    And this was a propaganda movie! This movie was shown to sell war bonds and stir up the people of America’s small towns against the Japs! So where was the rage, the virulent hatred, the over-the-top masculine wrath of God that goes with the built up bodies of modern actors? Not in that movie.

    Maybe the extreme rage-filled performances in today’s movies are as steroid-induced as the bodies of the actors.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    God bless you sir: the wisest post on this thread.
    , @Justpassingby
    The title of the movie you reference is "Air Force", starring John Garfield.

    It's much the same movie as the naval adventure "Destination Tokyo", but about the Air Corps.
  62. About Jimmy Stewart. This past week I got in contact with the son of the pilot of my dad’s B-24 crew. He sent me an astonishing memoir of their combat experiences which contained some anecdotes about my dad such as him in the nose of the B-24 counting German 88mm AA flashes on the ground so the pilot could evade the explosions. They crash landed with only one engine running after that mission. My father never spoke of these experiences. His bomb group alone lost over 500 men KIA. In another anecdote they are in Africa and take a jeep into the mountains where my dad ordered lunch in Spanish (the hotel owner being Spanish). My dad was Humphrey Bogart apparently. The only thing Dad ever told me was that a friend of his walked into a propeller blade and died in his arms. After the war he was loaned to the CIA to pose as a Spaniard in post-war Germany. In a later assignment in Spain he dealt with none other than Leon DeGrelle, who was then living in Spain under the name Juan Sanchez. Dad was a slightly built and mild-mannered man who did not like the sight of blood and was reticent about sexual matters. Yet he lived a life more fantastic than any movie super hero.

    Jimmy Stewart entered the Army before the war and eventually became a B-24 pilot. At 6’3″” and 138 lbs he was initially rejected for service but fattened up and got in. His bomb group was next to my dad’s. Dad said Stewart was highly regarded by the aircrews and his presence helped motivate those men to complete their missions. There is a youtube video of Stewart making a motivational talk for the soldiers, obviously on orders from the brass, and you can see the combat tension etched into his face.

  63. Quick summary of the article

    “I’m a wimp and I’m intimidated by muscular men”

    Suck to be you, Stevie

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "Quick summary of the article

    'I’m a wimp and I’m intimidated by muscular men'

    Suck to be you, Stevie"

    ROTFL

    That's funny but the this is more accurate:

    "Even guys wimpier than I are getting tough-looking in these films."

    Trans-flexuals.

    And I noticed that too.

    In yrs past, there were actors who were seen as tough and actors who seen as un-tough.

    Tough guys got tough roles, and un-tough guys got un-tough roles.

    Wayne was considered a tough guy. Eastwood and Bronson too. Some were buff, some were not, but they seen as tough. They had the tough guy look.

    In contrast, there were the jokers, comedians, and dorks. And they never played tough guys.

    There were some in between, like Paul Newman. Newman was pretty masculine but not a buff guy. He looked very fit in movies like SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, but he relied more on mind than body usually. He was like Bogart. In Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, he was the brains of the outfit. He was like Brando crossed with Bob Dylan. That was the appeal of HUD. Sort of tough guy but more in personality and attitude than in size or strength. And in Cool Hand Luke, he got clobbered by George Kenndy but still won cuz his personality was bigger. Harrison Ford is sort of like Newman. Not a big guy and had a kinda laconic personality. He often gets whupped by bigger guys in Indy movies. But he's just tough enough, lucky, smart, and resourceful. Ford gets whupped real bad throughout Blade Runner but manages to somehow come out on top. And he was pretty fit when he took his shirt off, enough to make women notice. But not buff.
    Another actor that sort of reminds me of Newman is Michael Caine who could convincingly take on all kinds of roles. He had personality and intelligence to carry them through. He could play comedy, romance, weakling, intellectual, ace spy(I love Ipcress File), and tough guy like in GET CARTER.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yZ0GLpbtMs

    Hoffman looked pretty fit in THE GRADUATE but he wasn't obviously a tough guy. And he didn't have the face to be a tough guy. But he did take care of himself. He actually looked more muscular in Tootsie than in The Graduate.

    Jon Voight was tall and fit in Midnight Cowboy, but not really tough guy material. He played sort of tough guy in Deliverance, especially when he was forced to take alpha role after Burt Reynolds got hurt real bad. (Voight was convincingly tough in Runaway Train, however, but more in terms of personality, surely tapped by Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest) Burt and Steve McQueen(who was quite fit but not super muscular) were action star icons of the 70s. Along with Roger Moore, it's interesting that middle aged men used to dominate action hero-ism. Bronson was big in 70s too. Coburn got famous in 60s with Flint movies.

    Anyway, most of these actors were natural tough guys or manly enough to play tough guy if necessary, as with Voight, Newman, and Caine.

    What is strange today is that a bunch of actors who don't look like tough guy material at all have taken on tough-guy roles, and these fellas look more buff or muscular than natural tough guys in the past.

    Though James Dean and Monty Cliff were not muscled-men, they may have partly set the template cuz they were such pretty boys or kid-look-alikes who could roll with the big boys. Fairy Monty Cliff even punched the Duke in Red River. And Bi-sexual Dean played crybaby roles but with such charisma that it could almost glow manly a bit.
    (James Stewart being slated to play tough hombres in all those Anthony Mann westerns was kind of a strange choice.)

    Tom Cruise and Matt Damon sort of tapped into this. Cruise is very pretty(though not as much as Delon), but he's become an action super-star. Damon was the ultra-white-bread-kid preppy type but became an action hero with Bourne movies.

    Cruise was pretty fit, even muscular in some of his roles. He combined looks and fitness. Damon got pretty fit for Bourne movies too.

    In Old Hollywood, I don't think they would have been slated for action roles.
    But then, I could be wrong. I never thought Glenn Ford was tough guy material, but he did play tough in a bunch of movies. And there was Alan Ladd, who was a short pretty guy but often played tough. And Cagney and Muni proved you could be smaller than most guys but still kick butt all over. But then, they tended to be underworld characters who played dirty than really fought man to man.

    Kevin Costner was sort of Old-Hollywoodish. He didn't have the build but he had good looks and was just manly enough to become a sort of action hero in stuff like Dances with Wolves and the Bodyguard(which I refuse to see as why is a white guy risking his life for a negress?)

    Bruce Willis and Michael Keaton showed that funny actors could play action heroes. Willis did better cuz he combined action with funny stuff whereas Keaton was all wrong as grim superhero.

    Maybe the most striking example of how a serious intelligent actor can transform himself into a bonafide kickass action hero was LAST OF MOHICANS. I knew Lewis was talented but he was really ass-whupping in that movie.

    This Jake Gyllendal is the most unlikely action hero cuz of his face. Even when his body is made tough, his face looks too kiddish.
    Otoh, he was convincing as a tough cop in Prisoners.

    But like Gordon Levitt, they just don't convince as action types even when they do a good job.

    But as movie audiences have grown younger, it seems Hollywood wants to present both young stars and unambiguous demonstrations of power(cuz kids don't really get complexity). This is sort of contradictory as a lot of young pretty-faced stars are not big and tough. So, they are made big and tough. (Twilight is interesting in featuring both aspects of manliness: the pretty romantic and the buff warrior).

    But then, it's what superhero fantasy is all about. Some geek-like person becoming super-strong. It's like Peter Parker turns into super-tough spidey. (Superman reverses this cuz naturally tough superman loses his power temporarily in part II.)

    And in Heavy Metal, some white boy with John Candy's voice enters the body of a bigass Negro.

    Bubblegum Crisis has some of this too as Mason uploads his 'soul' into Largo.

    https://youtu.be/i-IfEl6fRx4?t=2m40s

  64. Today’s fastest-growing fitness regimen is CrossFit, which emphasizes overall functional strength rather than extreme muscular development. It also attracts about equal numbers of men and women. It wouldn’t surprise me if one consequence might be a de-emphasis on heavy muscularity in actors.

    Peter

    • Replies: @Joe Blow
    Top level Crossfitters are increasingly muscular, and the events emphasize raw strength (deadlifting, squatting, overhead presses). I wouldn't be shocked if there is rampant steroid use in competitive Crossfit.
  65. @Anonymous
    (Regarding your current article)

    Two things you might like to know:

    Bay Area Gold's Gym owners changed their gyms to Fitness SF after Gold's CEO donated to American Crossroads. The ones behind the change thought it sent out too much of an anti-LGBT message.

    Also, Matt Kroczaleski, a world champion bodybuilder, just came out as transgender. You might be on to something.

    In my own life, I have noticed that gym goers, especially the weightlifting kind, tend to be more conservative than most people. One would not think Marin is so Democratic if one were to visit one of its gyms.

    In my own life, I have noticed that gym goers, especially the weightlifting kind, tend to be more conservative than most people.

    I heard a caller to one of the right-wing talk shows define liberal men by their lack of upper-body strength.

  66. @Dave Pinsen
    See the link I included at the bottom of that comment about the power lifter/strength coach who was able to compete in a bodybuilding contest after 63 days of extreme dieting and bodying building-type workouts.

    When I got my first weight set, in the '80s, it came with a black & white workout pamphlet written by Lou Ferrigno. His basic program consisted of squats, bench presses, military presses, bent-over rows, calf raises, curls, and sit-ups. Which goes to show that even a great bodybuilder was relying, in part, on "bro science" (years later, I got Arnold's big book on training, and his "basic" workouts included a lot more exercises and were programmed in a way that looked unusable for anyone without exceptional recovery ability). Modern basic programs like Starting Strength and 5/3/1 include the deadlift as well as squats, overhead press, and bench as their big 4 exercises, and relegate most of the rest to optional assistance exercises, since both calves and abs get worked by properly done squats.

    Lou Ferrigno appeared in several seasons of CBS’ “The King of Queens,” playing himself. Throughout his time on the show, there were several jokes made at his expense about bodybuilding and even steroid use.

    Over time, Ferrigno actually developed a pretty good sense of comedic timing.

    Here’s a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald’s character.

    • Replies: @ion

    Here’s a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald’s character.
     
    Ugh... Is Steve a Patton Oswald fan? I gotta tell you, my respect for him just dropped a bit.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    He also played himself (well) in I Love You Man. He was funny in that. And still huge.
  67. Col. Stewart’s physique, which was that of a middle aged man stuck in a wheelchair for several months.

    It also seems comical today that the narrow shouldered, skinny-armed, consumptive-looking Humphrey Bogart usually played a tough guy.

    Among 60’s rock stars, Roger Daltrey looked like he lifted weights. He had well-defined musculature, which as you say was unusual at the time.

    • Replies: @Clement Pulaski
    Bogart's toughness was generally based on him being the craziest guy in the room.
    , @cthulhu
    Daltrey is also fairly conservative. IIRC, he bought a farm when the band made some money, and actively worked it; he has also been married to his wife for over 40 years. None of the Who were ever hippies; when the hippies would try to give the band flowers, Keith Moon would take one flower, then with a beatific smile, chew it up and swallow it.
    , @Curle
    Given that Townsend is gay one wonders whether Daltry's looks landed him the gig.
  68. @Anonymous
    Steve, stop using the word ripped.

    I've heard that growth hormone is a lot more useful (not to mention safer and easier) than steroids. That might explain the timing of muscles exploding in the 80s. Also, better steroids were invented then.

    But the effects of growth hormone are not reversible. I once saw a picture of Arnold when he was a teenager. His facial features were completely without the slightest hint of acromegaly.

  69. @Cloud of Probable Matricide
    No way. Six pack in this sense is much older than 2003.

    Changing the query to ‘six-pack abs’ I find a 1996 Newsweek, but I’m more interested in when women started to use it casually about sexy men.

  70. @asdf
    If you want to read something along these lines, and, btw, enjoy a good read, check out Muscle, by Sam Fussell. He's Paul Fussell's son, I believe. Lion of the Blogo always references him about the US class system. Brought back the word prole. His son Sam went to So Cal in the 80's to be a body builder. After graduating from Oxford.

    Hilarious book. Check it out.

    Steve mentioned it one of his article on his isteve.com site. Interesting book surely.

    It’d be interesting who’d be the actresses who got into it as someone mentioned pop stars getting veiny.

    Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2? It’s not like she was far from help. And she at least was an influence on those who surely used them.

    Twenty years ago, Linda Hamilton thrilled female audience members when her character emerged in the movie “Terminator 2,” doing amazing pull ups with a clearly defined muscular physique, never seen on a woman in a blockbuster movie before. Dallas Malloy, then 14, was impressed and began lifting weights the day after seeing the film.

    http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2011-09-23/entertainment/tn-gnp-0925-malloy_1_dallas-malloy-boxing-bodybuilding

  71. @Anonymous
    Steve, stop using the word ripped.

    I've heard that growth hormone is a lot more useful (not to mention safer and easier) than steroids. That might explain the timing of muscles exploding in the 80s. Also, better steroids were invented then.

    But the effects of growth hormone are not reversible. I once saw a photograph of Arnold taken when he was a teenager. His facial features were completely normal with no sign of acromegaly.

  72. @Cail Corishev
    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn't seem to slow the women down any, so I don't think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that's really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he's just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    Another example of how the gay aesthetic is so strong in media, just like how the anorexic androgene in fashion has been decried as sexist pig false standards of beauty, when it’s gay dudes who run the industry. The former satisfies their need for hunk, the latter for twink.

  73. Sean Connery was a bodybuilder in his 20’s and competed in the 1953 Mr. Universe competition.

  74. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    As Men’s Health always says, if you want to put on 20 lbs of muscle just lose 20 lbs of fat. PEDs and/or lifting can give you bulk, but not get you ripped. A little weights and a lot of dieting gives you that.

    The rise in muscular, ripped male porn stars (even non-gay) and the prevalence of porn watching, even among young and middle-aged woman, has raised expectations as to what the male physique should look like to be attractive.

  75. Steve, it would be helpful if you used a metric more scientific than “looks like he uses steroids.” It is possible to build significant muscle with just weightlifting (doing it the right way, anyway) plus enough calories. Of course, it takes years of dedicated work to build a lot of muscle, and when someone builds a lot in just a few months, it does seem suspicious. But exercise science has come a long way in the past fifty years. Training protocols have become much more systematic than, say, training in 1945. Training has changed a lot even since the ’80s.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
  76. @Discordiax
    Steroids changed the way pro wrestlers looked in the 1980s with the rise of Vince McMAhon and the WWF--remember one of McMAhon's big court battles was over distributing steroids to his wrestlers.

    Pre WWF wrestler: google Dusty Rhodes, JAck Brisco, Terry Funk.

    Pro wrestlers in the 80s weren't just juicing, they were also using tons of recreational drugs, partying like rock stars while touring the country. Not that actors weren't, but actors have more down time to rest and rehab a bender, instead of medicating so that you can do a show in the next city, 300 nights a year.

    Pro wrestlers in the 90s and since have been on steroids plus tons of painkillers--the easiest way to make the moves and matches look more real was to hurt for real. Kurt Angle, who famously won his Olympic gold medal with a broken neck almost as famously now has to have his children open his bottles of pain pills. Google Matt Hardy--that guy doesn't look like a steroid user, but he is. HGH etc is the only way he could stay on the road with his injuries and keep his spot on the card.

    TLDR: Pro wrestlers aren't just dying from steroids, they're dying from steroids AND cocaine AND painkillers.

    In the documentary about the rock band Quiet Riot, the segment about the death of singer Kevin Dubrow from an overdose includes comments from Dubrow’s MD brother about the effects of polypharmacy being negligible when one is in their 20s but deadly in one’s 40s/50s.

    It’s not a drug killing these guys, but the multiple drugs interacting.

    Stallone certainly got big over time, but the Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise and the Brad Pitt in Troy are two entirely different people.

    • Replies: @Discordiax
    "It’s not a drug killing these guys, but the multiple drugs interacting."

    Right. The actors are roiding up and cycling down, but they don't have the painkiller dependence that the pro wrestlers do.

    According to Mick Foley's autobiography, he was at the doctor's once for a back issue. HE saw his x-ray and could clearly see the vertebrae that looked different. He said to the doctor that must be the one bothering him. Doctor said "No Mr Foley, that's your only healthy vertebrae."

    I think that the Sean Penn/Charlie Sheen generation were the pioneers, and pioneers always have a rougher time than those who come after and learn from their experience.
  77. It’s hard to imagine John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman (and come to think of it, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, James Dean, James Cagney, Errol Flynn) as muscled as Arnold. 😉

    A bit off-topic, I spotted this review of Paul Kersey’s book “Captain America & Whiteness” on Youtube.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    But Brando was more showy with his manhood.
    There was something very sexual and physical about him, sort of like Elvis before Elvis.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqhXBSW0Zns

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.

    Adam Sandler is like a cross between Segal and Brooks.

  78. Really great topic, worthy of investigation.

    So here’s my thought. Why, when our culture evidently embraces steroids all over the sports and entertainment field, did Congress actually bother to isolate and pick on ONE domain? Major League Baseball.

    Was the problem that the sport is still too white? Forget hockey and soccer, no one cares. But compared to basketball and football, baseball is much whiter. And the physiques are not as large as football and basketball.

    Of course (side note) football is also being attacked for being too masculine, hence the pink shoes, and moves at the youth level to reduce contact.

    But Congress surely could have found serious drug problems in either football or basketball. Or movies, as you point out. Why did they go after baseball? And so strongly? And for so many years?

    Is it because it has a longer history? Holds more of the American past, and thus must be destroyed?

    Won’t translate to international competition, whereas basketball and football export well?

    • Replies: @Scott Locklin
    Because baseball didn't test for steroids. Those other sports did.
  79. Col. Stewart? That should be Brigadier General James Stewart.

    An interesting footnote is that towards the end of his career, Brig. Gen Stewart actually flew, in an observer role, on a B-52 arclight bombing run over North Vietnam.

  80. @Brutusale
    In the documentary about the rock band Quiet Riot, the segment about the death of singer Kevin Dubrow from an overdose includes comments from Dubrow's MD brother about the effects of polypharmacy being negligible when one is in their 20s but deadly in one's 40s/50s.

    It's not a drug killing these guys, but the multiple drugs interacting.

    Stallone certainly got big over time, but the Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise and the Brad Pitt in Troy are two entirely different people.

    “It’s not a drug killing these guys, but the multiple drugs interacting.”

    Right. The actors are roiding up and cycling down, but they don’t have the painkiller dependence that the pro wrestlers do.

    According to Mick Foley’s autobiography, he was at the doctor’s once for a back issue. HE saw his x-ray and could clearly see the vertebrae that looked different. He said to the doctor that must be the one bothering him. Doctor said “No Mr Foley, that’s your only healthy vertebrae.”

    I think that the Sean Penn/Charlie Sheen generation were the pioneers, and pioneers always have a rougher time than those who come after and learn from their experience.

  81. @Harry Baldwin
    Col. Stewart’s physique, which was that of a middle aged man stuck in a wheelchair for several months.

    It also seems comical today that the narrow shouldered, skinny-armed, consumptive-looking Humphrey Bogart usually played a tough guy.

    Among 60's rock stars, Roger Daltrey looked like he lifted weights. He had well-defined musculature, which as you say was unusual at the time.

    Bogart’s toughness was generally based on him being the craziest guy in the room.

    • Replies: @elmer
    Bogart got the scar on his lip and trademark lisp because he was punched in the face by a prisoner during his stint as a Navy MP during WWI.
  82. It’s just that we are living in an increasingly dumb and prole world. That’s what dumb/prole people like. Also gays like men with muscles. We live in a dumb/prole/gay world.

  83. Is it possible, or even probable, that the stars listed in Mr. Soothsailer’s piece ingested steroids? Yes, of course. It is definitive, or absolutely certain? Well, I would have liked to actually seen specific evidence, rather than steroid-induced implications.

  84. “Repertory” really has no fixed definition, does it?

  85. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    While feminists and social justice warriors are fighting body image pressures on women, the men are spending more more time cultivating their vanity in the gym.

    Having been out of the country over a decade, I couldn't help noticing that pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general. I was feeling like Rip van Winkle. In Europe you don't see the extremes of body shapes in public you do here. From the totally blimped out obese to the pumped and ripped paragons of fitness. I've found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna's unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing.

    This article might not be in your usual media review but I found it an interesting treatment of the issue.
    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/print-view/building-a-bigger-action-hero-20140418

    “I’ve found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna’s unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing.”

    It seems like it would be unattractive for genetic reasons. Fertile women are supposed to have a healthy layer of fat. To be that ripped is to at least appear, to a guy’s subconscious, to be less fertile. Women who are in shape are attractive, from toned muscles to healthier and younger looking skin, but it detracts from that when they have no visible fat at all.

    • Agree: Percy Gryce, Clyde
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Men have fat on their bellies, women don't. A woman with a big belly looks pregnant, which is only attractive to the prospective father, and even to him it isn't really sexy.

    On the other hand, a sixpack on a woman is not really necessary. It's more than enough to have a flat belly. And too little body fat is definitely not attractive.
  86. @Harry Baldwin
    Col. Stewart’s physique, which was that of a middle aged man stuck in a wheelchair for several months.

    It also seems comical today that the narrow shouldered, skinny-armed, consumptive-looking Humphrey Bogart usually played a tough guy.

    Among 60's rock stars, Roger Daltrey looked like he lifted weights. He had well-defined musculature, which as you say was unusual at the time.

    Daltrey is also fairly conservative. IIRC, he bought a farm when the band made some money, and actively worked it; he has also been married to his wife for over 40 years. None of the Who were ever hippies; when the hippies would try to give the band flowers, Keith Moon would take one flower, then with a beatific smile, chew it up and swallow it.

  87. @Cail Corishev
    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn't seem to slow the women down any, so I don't think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that's really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he's just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    [cough] The gheys. [/cough]

  88. @Romanian
    Hey, Steve, off-topic:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Bakri_Muhammad

    Found an old interview when a Romanian war journalist went to interview Omar Bakri in Lebanon, that wonderfully vibrant British citizen (or at least former fixture in the Western jihadi scene).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7nBOc_4zq0

    The Romanian speaks in Romanian, but he only describes the setting in the beginning. Omar Bakri speaks in English and is subtitled. Despite the avuncular manner, he was very insistent on his vision of the Caliphate ruling the world. The Romanian part in the beginning says that he named his son Osama because he was born the day the Americans announced Bin Laden's death. The interesting thing is how easily he gets around throughout the world and especially the West without catching a cold from a bullet, or at least being denied entry. The man goes to Denmark to protest in front of the French embassy. If that's not globalization, I don't know what is.

    Maybe I should do a Houllebecq and console myself with the fact that polygamy will be legal when my country is "liberated".

    This guy (Omar Bakri) was a personality explored at length in “Them” by Jon Ronson. He’d been bragging about his friendliness with OBL before 9/11, then afterward anxiously begged Ronson to vouch for that being all made up.

  89. @Trumpenprole
    Schwarzenegger always claimed he only took drugs for a short time when he was a youth. Plus he did it under the tutelage of some body-building doctors. That seems pretty plausible to me. There is a picture of him at age 19 with 20 inch biceps. I think once you have the size you don't need to keep taking the drugs, you just have to keep lifting weights.

    Arnold lied. You don’t rise to the top of the bodybuilding mountain without drugs to help you.

    He just kept usage secret and given he was Weider’s fair haired boy(in more ways than one), Weider made sure no one associcated roids with Arnold.

  90. Some people (e.g., me) got into weightlifting/bodybuilding in the 60s because of sports. The pro football teams of that time (esp. our local team, the Chargers) hired strength coaches and pushed steroids at their jocks and we young pups followed suit (‘though I never got into the ‘roids as some of my fellow jocks did). I think sports is still the principal gateway activity into weightlifting/bodybuilding).

  91. Forgot to mention something interesting about Sylvester Stallone:

    In the 1974 Lords of Flatbush, Richard Gere was originally cast in the Perry King part (I think). But he was fired. Here’s Stallone’s tale:

    Yeah, the original part of Chico, which was played by Perry King, was originally supposed to be played by Richard Gere, but we never hit it off. He would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table. One day, during an improv, he grabbed me (we were simulating a fight scene) and got a little carried away. I told him in a gentle fashion to lighten up, but he was completely in character and impossible to deal with. Then we were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota. I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, “That thing is going to drip all over the place.” He said, “Don’t worry about it.” I said, “If it gets on my pants you’re gonna know about it.” He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true… but that’s the rumor.

    So he talks about how Richard was strutting, got a little carried away, but it was Stallone who got violent after Gere spilled some grease on his thigh.

    Rumor has it Gere was using heavily back then, and the director really liked Stallone, so it was Gere who got canned.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    What was Gere using? H?
  92. For more anecdata on H-wood chest waxing cf “Notes on the Hairless Man” by David Skinner for The Weekly Standard. 16 years ago but the course of subsequent trends has not strayed.

  93. @cthulhu
    Daltrey is also fairly conservative. IIRC, he bought a farm when the band made some money, and actively worked it; he has also been married to his wife for over 40 years. None of the Who were ever hippies; when the hippies would try to give the band flowers, Keith Moon would take one flower, then with a beatific smile, chew it up and swallow it.
  94. @Wilkey
    "I’ve found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna’s unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing."

    It seems like it would be unattractive for genetic reasons. Fertile women are supposed to have a healthy layer of fat. To be that ripped is to at least appear, to a guy's subconscious, to be less fertile. Women who are in shape are attractive, from toned muscles to healthier and younger looking skin, but it detracts from that when they have no visible fat at all.

    Men have fat on their bellies, women don’t. A woman with a big belly looks pregnant, which is only attractive to the prospective father, and even to him it isn’t really sexy.

    On the other hand, a sixpack on a woman is not really necessary. It’s more than enough to have a flat belly. And too little body fat is definitely not attractive.

  95. @awesome
    Well done Steve on pursuing this topic. For a long time nothing fascinated me more than the obvious hypocrisy on display with the whole steroid denial culture. Very homologous of our 'do as I say, not as I do culture'. Its one of those unspoken but obvious lies of our modern age that just drives me crazy.

    To this day there are still many apologists who refuse to believe that nearly everybody with any noticeable muscle that's in the public eye has used steroids for at least one cycle. I speak as a physiotherapist by training, but also a lifelong lifter. Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months, and when you see any 20 year old with muscle - forget about it. (This includes Arnold! I will give you one thing that confuses a lot of people - he has genetically long biceps tendons. This means his biceps 'peak' like tennis balls, which is why he looks so built in early photos. No amount of training or hormones can replicate this genetic quirk, despite all the articles purporting to help you achieve just that.)

    You can achieve a 'muscular' look in your teens/early twenties by lifting and simply being lean, but the actual amount of muscle mass is quite small. But even so i suspect that many lean muscular young actors didn't get there naturally. Even cheerleaders nowadays are juicing. Female fitness models on you-tube are juicing. Old guys who want to write better are juicing.

    You don't even need to believe that they are constantly juicing either. You can retain most of what you gain by simply continuing to lift heavy. Steroids permanently lift the ceiling on your genetic window. They also give you muscles in a pattern that natural gym just doesn't - there are more testosterone receptors in the upper body than the lower body, for example. But more specifically the arms and traps have a greater concentration of receptors, which is why if you take a topical hormone replacement they get you to rub it on your shoulders/arms.

    Since you are interested you should read The Adonis Complex. You'll love it - it has formulas in it: the Fat Free Mass Index is something objective you could use if you knew an actors height and weight to work out whether their level of muscularity is naturally achievable.
    Even if someone falls within the upper range of natural, there is a good chance, unless it's obvious that they have been lifting for years, that they are not natural. Also its a fat free measure because its the combination of muscular and lean that's unnatural. In nature we are either wiry or bulky.

    Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months

    A 28 year old fitness coach who looked quite muscular (not Arnold level, but a very muscular guy by everyman standards) told me that his clients always got disappointed when they asked how long it took him to get those muscles and his answer was “over ten years, I started at age 17, and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now”.

    • Replies: @awesome
    "and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now"

    Your trainer friend was sharing a secret about as plainly as he dares: after 10 years of natural lifting any gains you can make over 12 months is minimal. Maybe 1kg of pure muscle per year. Up to a maximum of 2kg if you are a genetic freak working out consistently more than twice a week with perfect diet and rest. Or not.

    Bodybuilding for size quickly hits diminishing returns as I think Warren Buffet said in the book The Snowball (Warren buffet lifted when he was young!)

    If your trainer suddenly started putting on muscle it was because of what he started putting in his muscles!
  96. @Trumpenprole
    Schwarzenegger always claimed he only took drugs for a short time when he was a youth. Plus he did it under the tutelage of some body-building doctors. That seems pretty plausible to me. There is a picture of him at age 19 with 20 inch biceps. I think once you have the size you don't need to keep taking the drugs, you just have to keep lifting weights.

    Personally, I find this statement completely implausible. Since when do ISteve readers believe politicians?

    I’ve been lifting on and off for decades, and did other sports (Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) where chemicals are a factor. It’s completely obvious when a kid shows up with lobster-red moon face and 40lbs of new muscle training 6 days a week, then deflates to pretty much where he started at training 3-4 days a week (which is what humans can achieve in the gym). The Oak was a great athlete, but he was a chemical athlete.

    Among the genetically gifted: pretty much the human limit is someone like George Hackenschmidt. For not so gifted athletes, Vince Gironda or Sig Klein represents what an average person with a perfect diet can achieve naturally.

  97. maybe the trend to bodybuilding has also something to do with the fact that over the last decades an ever decreasing share of men work physical. Somebody who works physical knows what a strong man looks like, thus he looks at the forearms, hands and movements of another men to judge his strength. Somebody who sits in the office instead has typical neither an idea how to move himself properly, nor how it looks when somebody else does it. An office guy does not know the biomechanics of human strength processing, which somebody who works physical intuitively understands. An office guy (or woman) looks at superficial signs of strength like big triceps and chest muscles, which get largely ignored by people who works physical.
    Also somebody who works with his body knows what a body can do and what not and he is rather bored by questions of physical strength, he is more interested in personalities and plots. Somebody who sits all day in the office gets home with an overdose of decisions, ideas, personalities and when he goes to the cinema in the evening he wants to see something different.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    That probably plays a role in it.

    If a man worked as a ranch hand, roofer, drywall installation or say a laborer at a cement plant they would know whats useful strength and whats not. The guys who do that work are generally skinny and muscular but not really noticeable. Some are naturally burly guys but they don't have the bodybuilding physique - it isn't natural or useful.

    Office guys can get a idea of what physical work is like if they watch Mike Rowe's "Dirty Jobs", some that stuff is backbreaking. He did one episode on roofers, talk about really physically demanding or his bit as a iron worker.

    For example I used to moon light as a piano mover on the weekends for extra $$$ in Los Angeles. It was just me and my boss moving everything from 400lb uprights to 1100 lb Grand Pianos(concert grands took 3 men since they weigh 1600 lbs). My boss was a short skinny guy and I was a short dumpy guy. The sort of strength we used was a lot different from than you use in the gym.
  98. @Niccolò Arminius
    Vince Gironda was training Hollywood types back in the late 50's and early 60's. Here's a link to a photo of one of his well known clients from those days http://www.ironguru.com/images/clint%20eastwood.jpg (Vince is the guy in the crazy Jack Lalane jumpsuit behind him).
    Reeves was probably on Dianabol for the two Herc movies he did, since Ciba was seeding the stuff to weight lifters and bodybuilders for a year or two before the official launch, which I think was 1960. Doesn't looked to have stayed with it though. And of course his late 40's bodybuilding wins were pre-steroid days.
    Stallone was definitely on something like D-bol and Deca for the first Rocky. Very lean and vascular. There was a character actor around the same time who was always looking very jacked, who played Conan's daddy in Arnold's movie.
    One thing about Stallone, Travolta, Arnold, and that goofy guy who got his faced rearranged by trying to box, is they all nows sport the same Roger Clemens Memorial HGH Bowling Ball Head™.
    These days, a lot more is known about steroids and actors have access to the same doctors as athletes. Most of them are adults when they start, and they get on and then get off, so it's unlikely that there would be the same kind of health issues you get with Austrian kids who start at 14 or 15 and go on to use for a half century or more, one cycle after another.

    Clint Eastwood varied from skinny-with-muscles to fairly muscular. At times he has had freakishly developed forearms. Googling him reveals some rather gay photos from when he was young.

    Ben Affleck seemed to change around the time he did Daredevil, as did Jennifer Garner. His career seemed to recover from the tailspin it was in. Steroid tie in- Michael Clark Duncan was Daredevil as well.

    Karl Urban is a big guy who could probably be more muscular. In the Star Trek reboots it seems like he was filmed to minimize this and not overshadow Chris Pine.

  99. @poolside
    Lou Ferrigno appeared in several seasons of CBS' "The King of Queens," playing himself. Throughout his time on the show, there were several jokes made at his expense about bodybuilding and even steroid use.

    Over time, Ferrigno actually developed a pretty good sense of comedic timing.

    Here's a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald's character.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp-HEmlezDE

    Here’s a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald’s character.

    Ugh… Is Steve a Patton Oswald fan? I gotta tell you, my respect for him just dropped a bit.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Look at the blogroll.
  100. @Warner
    Really great topic, worthy of investigation.

    So here's my thought. Why, when our culture evidently embraces steroids all over the sports and entertainment field, did Congress actually bother to isolate and pick on ONE domain? Major League Baseball.

    Was the problem that the sport is still too white? Forget hockey and soccer, no one cares. But compared to basketball and football, baseball is much whiter. And the physiques are not as large as football and basketball.

    Of course (side note) football is also being attacked for being too masculine, hence the pink shoes, and moves at the youth level to reduce contact.

    But Congress surely could have found serious drug problems in either football or basketball. Or movies, as you point out. Why did they go after baseball? And so strongly? And for so many years?

    Is it because it has a longer history? Holds more of the American past, and thus must be destroyed?

    Won't translate to international competition, whereas basketball and football export well?

    Because baseball didn’t test for steroids. Those other sports did.

    • Replies: @Warner
    Fair enough. As a basic cause. But it doesn't satisfy me as to why it was SO important that the Congress had to get involved and relentlessly so. It wasn't a 3 month-long investigation. It was a full decade of investigation. From an entire branch of government. Still seems like overkill and political overtones.
    , @Justpassingby

    Those other sports did.
     
    Sure they did....

    [said in the manner of a character in a Dashiell Hammet story.]
  101. Hollywood wasn’t entirely ignorant of strength training back in the Golden Age. The big studios supplied specialist coaches for clothing, appearance, and most other things to the actors.

    Don Loomis was MGM’s “flesh sculptor.” He helped Jimmy Stewart get up to the minimum weight to enlist.

    http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/old-hollywood-studio-exercise-techniques#.VhqwVRNVhBd

    With a few exceptions he wasn’t bulking up actors, though he did have some on weights.

  102. Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    “decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines” , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. “If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends.” Again, the nerve of these men – advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    • Replies: @elmer
    I work with laser optics. Motivational posters to get women into optics usually show people in a darkened lab wearing white coats and goggles while peering at green light beams. Cracks me up. The artists who contrive the posters have no background in optics so cannot convey what an interesting field it is. Thus they fall back on the cliche' lab scene described and nobody signs up.

    Another great one is showing technicians in bunny suits holding up silicon wafers. Just what every gal wants to do.
    , @elmer
    This woman Eileen Pollack surfaces regularly to remind us she worked hard to become a physicist but left the field because she felt she didn't belong. Boo hoo.
    , @Lugash
    As a man who's worked in IT for most of his career, I really wish the field had been less welcoming and driven me out. Then I would have done something more productive with my life, like begging on the corner.
    , @Anon7
    From the OT article at the NYT:

    "All this meshes with my own experience. Even though I felt more comfortable wearing a T-shirt and jeans than a skirt and high heels, after four years of studying physics at Yale I felt so much pressure to dress and act like a man that I became extremely uncomfortable about my identity as a woman."

    (Being required to think like a man was probably also somewhat wearing.)

    I visited an engineering school with my son who was looking at colleges. About 12% of the students were female, but they weren't evenly distributed between departments. Mechanical engineering had no females, while chemical engineering labs had a lot.

    Then I realized that the mechanical engineering students and profs were all dressed in very practical clothing, like tough jeans, heavy fabric shirts and steel toed work boots, because of the work they did. The girls who were doing chemical engineering were all dressed to the nines, in high heels and dresses - which were only enhanced apparently by the status-making long white lab coats. Safety goggles made them look smarter, just like glasses.

    Obviously, women who do tech in offices need to be encouraged to dress up. Whether or not they actually enjoy what software engineers actually do, or would be willing to do it for a multi-decade career after society's big investment in them, is another matter.

    (Because that would require that they think like men.)

    , @Justpassingby

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were
     
    Perhaps next week they'll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.
  103. @Dave Pinsen
    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties - the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus - Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms.

    Most of Arnold's success in bodybuilding came from him being a genetic freak, in addition to being a hard worker. There are pictures of him at 15, when I doubt he had access to any steroids, and he looks abnormally muscled. He didn't even have access to the best training methods, as a lot of what bodybuilders did back then was stuff that Joe Wieder pulled out of his hat.

    As for Stallone, he didn't even learn how to box until the 3rd or 4th Rocky movie, I forget which. I read an interview once with the old codger who trained him, and apparently he broke a few of Stallone's ribs in their first sparring session, at which point Stallone started to get serious. I know he's been caught using PEDs, but I'm guessing the impetus in him developing his hyper-ripped physique was having the Klitschko-like Dolph Lundgren as his costar in Rocky 4. And there's no PED I know of that will make you ripped; that requires extreme dieting (for an idea of what's involved in that, read how a 45 year old Penn strength coach readied himself for his first body building contest: http://startingstrength.com/site/article/steel_odyssey#.Vhn4k7RViko ).

    That link is really annoying, as it doesn’t include any information about the diet he was on to lose a lot of weight quickly and still keep his muscle.

    • Replies: @optingout
    Click on part two - the diet is specified. Essentially, 2 lbs ground beef, 3 sweet potatoes, a humongous protein shake, and unlimited cruciferous vegetables per day. Later beef was changed to chicken and fish. No fats. No sugars. 3 cheat meals over the 63 days. He was hungry and weak all the time.
  104. @Clement Pulaski
    Bogart's toughness was generally based on him being the craziest guy in the room.

    Bogart got the scar on his lip and trademark lisp because he was punched in the face by a prisoner during his stint as a Navy MP during WWI.

  105. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:
    @Hrw-500
    It's hard to imagine John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman (and come to think of it, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, James Dean, James Cagney, Errol Flynn) as muscled as Arnold. ;-)

    A bit off-topic, I spotted this review of Paul Kersey's book "Captain America & Whiteness" on Youtube.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z8pulD6udk

    But Brando was more showy with his manhood.
    There was something very sexual and physical about him, sort of like Elvis before Elvis.

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.

    Adam Sandler is like a cross between Segal and Brooks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.
     
    He must have had some other quality going for him.
  106. @cthulhu
    In the music field, consider Bruce Springsteen: critics' darling for his first five albums, and a reasonable amount of commercial success for the last three of those, but then for Born In The U.S.A., he goes from skinny working class hero to seriously buffed-up hunk - remember the music video for "Dancing in the Dark"? - and monster sales, despite the aforementioned album being a piece of shit. I mean, the best song on it isn't actually on the album, it's the B-side of the "Dancing in the Dark" single - I'm of course talking about "Pink Cadillac".

    Anyway, I'm thinking that without the swollen biceps, Born In The U.S.A. is no more than the reasonably successful follow up to "The River", as befits one of the most overrated artists in the last 30 years.

    Many of us have had to accept the fact that some Lefty blowhard musicians or songwriters are also pretty good at what they do. Bruce happens to be one of them. BITUSA isn’t his best album, but it is pretty good. The song ‘Born in the USA’ tells a tale of social change that is all too evident today, the de-industrialization of the US. That he points the finger at Republicans doesn’t mean he never hits the mark. That the Right has no singer-songwriters of any substance is a problem the Right needs to deal with but doesn’t yet seem to recognize. The last transgressive band (from a conservative posture) I can recall is L.A. band F.E.A.R. and they were virtually banned from the airways.

  107. @Jack D
    Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    "decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines" , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. "If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends." Again, the nerve of these men - advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    I work with laser optics. Motivational posters to get women into optics usually show people in a darkened lab wearing white coats and goggles while peering at green light beams. Cracks me up. The artists who contrive the posters have no background in optics so cannot convey what an interesting field it is. Thus they fall back on the cliche’ lab scene described and nobody signs up.

    Another great one is showing technicians in bunny suits holding up silicon wafers. Just what every gal wants to do.

  108. @Jack D
    Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    "decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines" , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. "If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends." Again, the nerve of these men - advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    This woman Eileen Pollack surfaces regularly to remind us she worked hard to become a physicist but left the field because she felt she didn’t belong. Boo hoo.

  109. Interesting article, as almost all of Steve’s are. I was struck by the phrase, “the greatest work of art in Italian history is Michelangelo’s David.” Maybe. But there’s truly an embarrassment of riches, isn’t there? Kind of like referring to “the greatest work of music in German history.” But what am I saying? It can’t be that the Europeans, evil, genocidal, and incorrigibly “racist” as they’ve always been, actually built civilization. Together with their progeny around the world, they’re “the cancer of humanity,” aren’t they?

  110. @asdf
    If you want to read something along these lines, and, btw, enjoy a good read, check out Muscle, by Sam Fussell. He's Paul Fussell's son, I believe. Lion of the Blogo always references him about the US class system. Brought back the word prole. His son Sam went to So Cal in the 80's to be a body builder. After graduating from Oxford.

    Hilarious book. Check it out.

    strong agree, excellent book — steve, you won’t regret reading it. and kudos to you for tackling this topic. don’t have time to rant now, but long story short, you are basically more right than you realize, way more people have been using way more PED’s for way longer than is discussed (we’re talking even underwear models here). keep digging on this on.

  111. Steroids is a different physique, it’s the V-shaped torso. Natural muscle is like “bulky” Bradley Cooper. Without steroids lifting weights will put muscle around your hips mainly, and it will take months. To get big shoulders lifting naturally involves getting a noticeably big butt. When you take steroids, you don’t have to kill your back and knees with deadlifts and squats and get odd muscles in the nether regions at all, yet people in the gym will be asking “what do you do for your shoulders” within a couple of weeks.

    • Replies: @2Mintzin1
    "Steroids is a different physique, it’s the V-shaped torso. Natural muscle is like “bulky” Bradley Cooper. Without steroids lifting weights will put muscle around your hips mainly, and it will take months"
    Sorry, Sean. That is crap.
    I know from that form the experience of lifting , on and off, for about 35 years.

    The v-shaped torso is one of the natural formations of the male body, just as the slender waist/wide hips formation is for the female body.

    Lifting weights will increase muscle in those areas of the body which are exercised heavily...a man who starts out with a V-shape (shoulder width to hips proportion is the key) will have the same basic shape after lifting weights.
  112. Off topic but Rick Fumiyiwa’s film Dope is quite interesting, especially as it may somewhat reflect THNC in his upbringing.

    Indeed the California raised Nigerian descent Fumiyiwa has a lot of interesting things to say himself.

    The following argument may be kind of obvious but few people other than Steve Sailer make the kind of balanced and reality based point that he makes here:

    A common belief and reality for African American filmmakers like Famuyiwa is that films with a majority black cast and direction often face obstacles in securing funding and support for such projects.[16] Famuyiwa explains that there is a formula to be followed in order for anything to happen for a black director saying, “Make it under $10 million, put this much into marketing, make 25 to 35 million dollars and we’ll walk away with a profitable film. And as long as you can deliver scripts that are under $10 million with no effects, that you can shoot in 30 days and get back ‘X’ amount, I think you can always have a steady stream of a certain kind of film.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Famuyiwa

    I shall be watching his back catalogue because I quite enjoyed Dope.

  113. Steroid use as a competitive edge in diversity? I’m surprised no one made the connection.

  114. @Harry Baldwin
    Col. Stewart’s physique, which was that of a middle aged man stuck in a wheelchair for several months.

    It also seems comical today that the narrow shouldered, skinny-armed, consumptive-looking Humphrey Bogart usually played a tough guy.

    Among 60's rock stars, Roger Daltrey looked like he lifted weights. He had well-defined musculature, which as you say was unusual at the time.

    Given that Townsend is gay one wonders whether Daltry’s looks landed him the gig.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Roger Daltrey is a cousin of Mick Jagger. Daltrey had been a sheet metal worker, he punched Townsend out during argument and nearly got sacked.
    , @Clyde
    Pete Townshend Says He Is Bisexual
    November 8, 1990
    Pete Townshend, guitarist for The Who, has divulged his bisexuality in a new book in which he says, ''I know how it feels to be a woman.''

    Townshend, who has been married to Karen Astley since 1966 and has three children, revealed that he has been involved in homosexual relationships.
    He made the statements in the book Rock Lives: Profiles and Interviews, a collection of interviews by music writer and radio host Timothy White.

    ''I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman,'' Townshend said in an interview with White that ran on White's radio show in September 1989. ''And I won't be classified as just a man.''
    Townshend said his aversion to the macho rock star ethos surfaced publicly in the ''Rough Boys'' song on the 1980 album, Empty Glass.
    Townshend called the song a ''coming out, an acknowledgment of the fact that I'd had a gay life, and that I understood what gay sex was about.''
  115. @Anon7
    Your article has me thinking about steroid rage as well as steroid bodybuilding.

    I can't remember the title of the movie, but it was a propaganda film shot and released in 1942 about a small group of planes flying from California to Hawaii just as Pearl Harbor was being attacked. I watched a year ago during a short illness, I'd never seen it before.

    All of the men had normal physiques and ranged in height from maybe 5'6' to 6', so their weights were probably 120-160. It was really striking.

    But it wasn't just their physiques that struck me, it was their behavior and how they treated each other. These were the nicest guys you ever met. They were considerate to each other, and well spoken. They were just like my dad and my uncle and their friends, all of whom fought in WWII.

    And this was a propaganda movie! This movie was shown to sell war bonds and stir up the people of America's small towns against the Japs! So where was the rage, the virulent hatred, the over-the-top masculine wrath of God that goes with the built up bodies of modern actors? Not in that movie.

    Maybe the extreme rage-filled performances in today's movies are as steroid-induced as the bodies of the actors.

    God bless you sir: the wisest post on this thread.

  116. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    While feminists and social justice warriors are fighting body image pressures on women, the men are spending more more time cultivating their vanity in the gym.

    Having been out of the country over a decade, I couldn't help noticing that pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general. I was feeling like Rip van Winkle. In Europe you don't see the extremes of body shapes in public you do here. From the totally blimped out obese to the pumped and ripped paragons of fitness. I've found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna's unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing.

    This article might not be in your usual media review but I found it an interesting treatment of the issue.
    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/print-view/building-a-bigger-action-hero-20140418

    …pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general.

    True. Not exactly TV personalities, but nearly every college and pro football coach seems to be out of shape and fat.

  117. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:
    @Anonymous
    Quick summary of the article

    "I'm a wimp and I'm intimidated by muscular men"

    Suck to be you, Stevie

    “Quick summary of the article

    ‘I’m a wimp and I’m intimidated by muscular men’

    Suck to be you, Stevie”

    ROTFL

    That’s funny but the this is more accurate:

    “Even guys wimpier than I are getting tough-looking in these films.”

    Trans-flexuals.

    And I noticed that too.

    In yrs past, there were actors who were seen as tough and actors who seen as un-tough.

    Tough guys got tough roles, and un-tough guys got un-tough roles.

    Wayne was considered a tough guy. Eastwood and Bronson too. Some were buff, some were not, but they seen as tough. They had the tough guy look.

    In contrast, there were the jokers, comedians, and dorks. And they never played tough guys.

    There were some in between, like Paul Newman. Newman was pretty masculine but not a buff guy. He looked very fit in movies like SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, but he relied more on mind than body usually. He was like Bogart. In Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, he was the brains of the outfit. He was like Brando crossed with Bob Dylan. That was the appeal of HUD. Sort of tough guy but more in personality and attitude than in size or strength. And in Cool Hand Luke, he got clobbered by George Kenndy but still won cuz his personality was bigger. Harrison Ford is sort of like Newman. Not a big guy and had a kinda laconic personality. He often gets whupped by bigger guys in Indy movies. But he’s just tough enough, lucky, smart, and resourceful. Ford gets whupped real bad throughout Blade Runner but manages to somehow come out on top. And he was pretty fit when he took his shirt off, enough to make women notice. But not buff.
    Another actor that sort of reminds me of Newman is Michael Caine who could convincingly take on all kinds of roles. He had personality and intelligence to carry them through. He could play comedy, romance, weakling, intellectual, ace spy(I love Ipcress File), and tough guy like in GET CARTER.

    Hoffman looked pretty fit in THE GRADUATE but he wasn’t obviously a tough guy. And he didn’t have the face to be a tough guy. But he did take care of himself. He actually looked more muscular in Tootsie than in The Graduate.

    Jon Voight was tall and fit in Midnight Cowboy, but not really tough guy material. He played sort of tough guy in Deliverance, especially when he was forced to take alpha role after Burt Reynolds got hurt real bad. (Voight was convincingly tough in Runaway Train, however, but more in terms of personality, surely tapped by Nicholson in Cuckoo’s Nest) Burt and Steve McQueen(who was quite fit but not super muscular) were action star icons of the 70s. Along with Roger Moore, it’s interesting that middle aged men used to dominate action hero-ism. Bronson was big in 70s too. Coburn got famous in 60s with Flint movies.

    Anyway, most of these actors were natural tough guys or manly enough to play tough guy if necessary, as with Voight, Newman, and Caine.

    What is strange today is that a bunch of actors who don’t look like tough guy material at all have taken on tough-guy roles, and these fellas look more buff or muscular than natural tough guys in the past.

    Though James Dean and Monty Cliff were not muscled-men, they may have partly set the template cuz they were such pretty boys or kid-look-alikes who could roll with the big boys. Fairy Monty Cliff even punched the Duke in Red River. And Bi-sexual Dean played crybaby roles but with such charisma that it could almost glow manly a bit.
    (James Stewart being slated to play tough hombres in all those Anthony Mann westerns was kind of a strange choice.)

    Tom Cruise and Matt Damon sort of tapped into this. Cruise is very pretty(though not as much as Delon), but he’s become an action super-star. Damon was the ultra-white-bread-kid preppy type but became an action hero with Bourne movies.

    Cruise was pretty fit, even muscular in some of his roles. He combined looks and fitness. Damon got pretty fit for Bourne movies too.

    In Old Hollywood, I don’t think they would have been slated for action roles.
    But then, I could be wrong. I never thought Glenn Ford was tough guy material, but he did play tough in a bunch of movies. And there was Alan Ladd, who was a short pretty guy but often played tough. And Cagney and Muni proved you could be smaller than most guys but still kick butt all over. But then, they tended to be underworld characters who played dirty than really fought man to man.

    Kevin Costner was sort of Old-Hollywoodish. He didn’t have the build but he had good looks and was just manly enough to become a sort of action hero in stuff like Dances with Wolves and the Bodyguard(which I refuse to see as why is a white guy risking his life for a negress?)

    Bruce Willis and Michael Keaton showed that funny actors could play action heroes. Willis did better cuz he combined action with funny stuff whereas Keaton was all wrong as grim superhero.

    Maybe the most striking example of how a serious intelligent actor can transform himself into a bonafide kickass action hero was LAST OF MOHICANS. I knew Lewis was talented but he was really ass-whupping in that movie.

    This Jake Gyllendal is the most unlikely action hero cuz of his face. Even when his body is made tough, his face looks too kiddish.
    Otoh, he was convincing as a tough cop in Prisoners.

    But like Gordon Levitt, they just don’t convince as action types even when they do a good job.

    But as movie audiences have grown younger, it seems Hollywood wants to present both young stars and unambiguous demonstrations of power(cuz kids don’t really get complexity). This is sort of contradictory as a lot of young pretty-faced stars are not big and tough. So, they are made big and tough. (Twilight is interesting in featuring both aspects of manliness: the pretty romantic and the buff warrior).

    But then, it’s what superhero fantasy is all about. Some geek-like person becoming super-strong. It’s like Peter Parker turns into super-tough spidey. (Superman reverses this cuz naturally tough superman loses his power temporarily in part II.)

    And in Heavy Metal, some white boy with John Candy’s voice enters the body of a bigass Negro.

    Bubblegum Crisis has some of this too as Mason uploads his ‘soul’ into Largo.

    • Replies: @Threecranes
    I don't know what he looked like without a shirt, but for sheer scary manliness Richard Boone was tough to beat. When he growled on screen, even the audience obeyed.
  118. I wonder if Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee had any impact. I don’t know if they were steroid users, but they brought that ‘ripped physique’ form of masculinity to their movies in the ’70s. You also had a handful of football players crossover to Hollywood in the ’70s, from Carl Weathers to Jim Brown to others. Between martial arts, football, and bodybuilding, there were a number of ways masculine athletics began intersecting with Hollywood in the ’70s. I would give those intersections as close of a look as Scorsese and the Italians.

  119. @Curle
    Given that Townsend is gay one wonders whether Daltry's looks landed him the gig.

    Roger Daltrey is a cousin of Mick Jagger. Daltrey had been a sheet metal worker, he punched Townsend out during argument and nearly got sacked.

  120. @Jack D
    Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    "decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines" , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. "If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends." Again, the nerve of these men - advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    As a man who’s worked in IT for most of his career, I really wish the field had been less welcoming and driven me out. Then I would have done something more productive with my life, like begging on the corner.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    As has been mentioned before, in the early computer age, computer science was actually rather welcoming to women. Before electronic digital computers existed, "computer" was a job title. A largely female workforce of "computers" would spend their days with an adding machine, computing ballistics tables and such. When their job was taken over by machines, it was natural to re-train these women to operate the machines. Computers in the early days were found only in large government labs, the social security administration, the census bureau, etc. and was a clean, 9 to 5 job that was quite appealing to women (no one wore "I CODE THEREFORE I AM" T-shirts"). Only when programming entered its "stay up all night drinking Jolt Cola and not bathing" heroic phase when teenage boys were able to gain access to machines did women lose all interest.
  121. @Curle
    Given that Townsend is gay one wonders whether Daltry's looks landed him the gig.

    Pete Townshend Says He Is Bisexual
    November 8, 1990
    Pete Townshend, guitarist for The Who, has divulged his bisexuality in a new book in which he says, ”I know how it feels to be a woman.”

    Townshend, who has been married to Karen Astley since 1966 and has three children, revealed that he has been involved in homosexual relationships.
    He made the statements in the book Rock Lives: Profiles and Interviews, a collection of interviews by music writer and radio host Timothy White.

    ”I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman,” Townshend said in an interview with White that ran on White’s radio show in September 1989. ”And I won’t be classified as just a man.”
    Townshend said his aversion to the macho rock star ethos surfaced publicly in the ”Rough Boys” song on the 1980 album, Empty Glass.
    Townshend called the song a ”coming out, an acknowledgment of the fact that I’d had a gay life, and that I understood what gay sex was about.”

  122. I think the volleyball scene in Top Gun (1986) also played a role.

  123. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Cail Corishev
    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn't seem to slow the women down any, so I don't think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that's really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he's just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    To expand on what Cail said in the first paragraph, I think women are driving the trend towards more muscular physiques. Heterosexual men could care less whether their movie stars have high muscularity, women certainly do. What also coincides with the increase in muscularity in movie stars is female sexual freedom. As short term mating has become more possible, acceptable, and an actual thing in women’s minds, they’re most likely looking for a more short-term oriented physique in their movie stars.

  124. @Dr. Doom
    Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don't underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn't competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25" biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That's why he's still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn't have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    Of course we’ve all seen movie clips in which Arnold tries to run. He looks ridiculous, proving that there’s a downside to every exaggerated distortion of Nature’s template. Nothing’s free. What he gained in massive bulk he lost in fluid agility.

  125. @Anonymous Nephew
    That link is really annoying, as it doesn't include any information about the diet he was on to lose a lot of weight quickly and still keep his muscle.

    Click on part two – the diet is specified. Essentially, 2 lbs ground beef, 3 sweet potatoes, a humongous protein shake, and unlimited cruciferous vegetables per day. Later beef was changed to chicken and fish. No fats. No sugars. 3 cheat meals over the 63 days. He was hungry and weak all the time.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    Thanks - because when I clicked for part 2 there wasn't a link there. Be interested to read it.
  126. @Lugash
    As a man who's worked in IT for most of his career, I really wish the field had been less welcoming and driven me out. Then I would have done something more productive with my life, like begging on the corner.

    As has been mentioned before, in the early computer age, computer science was actually rather welcoming to women. Before electronic digital computers existed, “computer” was a job title. A largely female workforce of “computers” would spend their days with an adding machine, computing ballistics tables and such. When their job was taken over by machines, it was natural to re-train these women to operate the machines. Computers in the early days were found only in large government labs, the social security administration, the census bureau, etc. and was a clean, 9 to 5 job that was quite appealing to women (no one wore “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” T-shirts”). Only when programming entered its “stay up all night drinking Jolt Cola and not bathing” heroic phase when teenage boys were able to gain access to machines did women lose all interest.

  127. Although today’s male movie stars appear much more muscular than the stars of the yester years, I would argue that there were more sportsmen among the latter than the former. For that matter, I’d wager on the latter over the former in a fight. (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding “show” muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    Acting, even for men, always seemed to me to be tinged with femininity, but today’s “muscular” actors seem even more feminine and obsessed unhealthily with male physical beauty. Yes, it does seem more than a bit homosexual.

    One of the more amusing moments in the “Makings of…” segment of the “Conan the Barbarian” DVD for me was a scene of Arnold falling (during the scene in which he is chased by “wolves” after being freed from gladiatorial slavery) and screeching in a very feminine fashion “Ahhhhhhh, that HURTS!”

    The average American men seventy or so years ago (those of World War II) were more diminutive than those today (practically the size of today’s American women, and much trimmer), yet they could carry more weight and march longer on feet. They were tougher and more manly.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    The average American men seventy or so years ago... were tougher and more manly.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp... I don't know, it's just doesn't work for me.
    , @pumpyouup
    (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding “show” muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you're talking about. There are no such things as "show muscles" and "functional muscles". That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.

    Adaptations to training tend to be fairly specific. Lifting weights in 6-12 rep sets as bodybuilders are fond of tends to make you best at doing that. Whether or not that is "functional" depends on what you are trying to do. It's not very functional for, say, a soccer player.

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he'll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder's routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.
  128. @Scott Locklin
    Because baseball didn't test for steroids. Those other sports did.

    Fair enough. As a basic cause. But it doesn’t satisfy me as to why it was SO important that the Congress had to get involved and relentlessly so. It wasn’t a 3 month-long investigation. It was a full decade of investigation. From an entire branch of government. Still seems like overkill and political overtones.

    • Replies: @Niccolò Arminius

    But it doesn’t satisfy me as to why it was SO important that the Congress had to get involved and relentlessly so. It wasn’t a 3 month-long investigation. It was a full decade of investigation.
     
    MLB was the instigator. A lot of their product interest is built around the record book and theoretically being able to compare players over generations. AAS messed all that up. What I want to know is how much Waxman was paid to make it all happen and how much it cost MLB. Probably much less than you might think.
  129. Human growth hormone tastes good and it’s good for you.
    The only drawback is price. Movie stars can afford it and they have a professional incentive not to rot. I recall Stallone getting arrested with a suitcase full of HGH in Australia decades ago and he hasn’t turned into a lizard or anything.

    • Replies: @JSM
    Stallone hasn’t turned into a lizard or anything.

    Are you sure? His latest boxing movie coming out, about him coaching Apollo Creed's son, he looks like shite!! As in, ow! my eye! bad
  130. @Jack D
    Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    "decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines" , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. "If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends." Again, the nerve of these men - advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    From the OT article at the NYT:

    “All this meshes with my own experience. Even though I felt more comfortable wearing a T-shirt and jeans than a skirt and high heels, after four years of studying physics at Yale I felt so much pressure to dress and act like a man that I became extremely uncomfortable about my identity as a woman.”

    (Being required to think like a man was probably also somewhat wearing.)

    I visited an engineering school with my son who was looking at colleges. About 12% of the students were female, but they weren’t evenly distributed between departments. Mechanical engineering had no females, while chemical engineering labs had a lot.

    Then I realized that the mechanical engineering students and profs were all dressed in very practical clothing, like tough jeans, heavy fabric shirts and steel toed work boots, because of the work they did. The girls who were doing chemical engineering were all dressed to the nines, in high heels and dresses – which were only enhanced apparently by the status-making long white lab coats. Safety goggles made them look smarter, just like glasses.

    Obviously, women who do tech in offices need to be encouraged to dress up. Whether or not they actually enjoy what software engineers actually do, or would be willing to do it for a multi-decade career after society’s big investment in them, is another matter.

    (Because that would require that they think like men.)

  131. @reiner Tor
    OK, that does make sense.

    I don't think military presses are that essential if you're willing to do tons of stretching and mobility exercises, because the one big drawback of the bench press is that it reduces mobility because you don't use full range of motion. (The other big drawback is that it doesn't work your full body, but if you're doing tons of squats and deadlifts then that's not a problem at all.) Having said that, most people are usually unwilling to do mobility exercises (at least not enough of them), so it's probably better to keep the overhead press.

    Starting Strength suggests alternating between overhead press and bench press to get more balanced development of the shoulders, which, they say, reduces the chance of injury (though doesn’t eliminate it – I did that and still tore my rotator cuff, but I also had previous damage to it, apparently). Another point they make is that, in sports or in real life, you usually don’t exert force in a 90 degree angle from your body as in a bench press; you do so at some angle between that of the bench and overhead press (e.g., if you’re pushing a disabled car, or pass blocking a defensive lineman). So, doing press and bench is more complete preparation: press trains you to transmit force using your whole body for stability, and bench lets you handle more weight, so you can get stronger than you would otherwise.

    In the case of 5/3/1, Wendler says he added press to improve his bench.

  132. @anonymous-antimarxist

    In a couple of sword and sandal movies from the sixties – the Burton Alexander movie, and Spartacus – Neither Burton nor Douglas as Spartacus have any noticeable musculature in their arms
     
    .

    First of all, ancient statues of real Gladiators show them as having more than a healthy amount of body fat. That was so that in most fights that were not to the death they could endure blows to their body armor and not suffer significant bruising or broken bones.

    A lot of the Steve Reeves, Hollywood "Body Beautiful" imagery is pure ante litteram Gay Porn

    Kurt Douglas was often paired in films with Burt Lancaster. Lancaster was know for his physique having been a former circus performer. Both joked how they were frequent;y asked by producer/agents to shave their body hair had pose together for "publicity photos".

    I was referring more to the lack of muscle in Burton and Douglas’s case. Compare Russell Crowe in Gladiator – not ripped, but muscled, and as you suggest, probably more like an ancient gladiator than either Douglass or Reeves.

  133. @anonymous-antimarxist
    I also think its funny how Hollywood depicts "military fitness" as having a body builder physique or a shredded super lean body.

    First of all on the Discovery Channel documentaries of Navy Seal basic training one of the points that the instructors made was that it was essential that the candidates not show up "over trained" or with too low body fat. Otherwise they will never survive the constant cold weather/water exposure. Pneumonia, hypothermia, weight loss and cold fatigue claim numerous otherwise excellent trainees.

    Bradly Cooper as Kris Kyle depicted him as probably leaner than the still very fit 230 lb Kyle actually was. I wonder if lots of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan got really muscular bodies not so much out of military necessity but because they were simply confined to base for long periods and needed a way to work off stress.

    I believe one of the problems that the German army had during Operations Barbarossa and Blue was the the soldiers were trained too lean. Once the German soldiers were subjected to the long daily marches they were never able to maintain enough body fat necessary to survive the Russian winters. Even with better winter clothing and higher calorie rations, German soldiers worn lean during a long campaign froze to death at Stalingrad in large numbers due in large part from insufficient body fat ratios.

    Emergency attempts to help German soldiers maintain body mass only made the problem worse.

    http://www.peashooter85.com/post/70258263334/the-battle-of-stalingrad-and-the-deadly-meat

    When I was in infantry training at Fort Benning years ago, most of the regular Army infantry and rangers had a little fat on them. They worked out a lot, but the Army served really high calorie meals, intentionally. They had their own Recommended Daily Allowance – the MRDA. A typical breakfast would consist of an entree such as biscuits & gravy with sides of eggs, pancakes, grits, coffee cake, etc.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    Alpine Ski racers are exceptionally well conditioned athletes. But they try to maintain a layer of subcutaneous fat so they can survive the long seasons and often constant cold exposure without the respiratory infections that can kill their competitive chances. The Navy Seals know that nothing demonstrates toughness and character like persistent exposure to cold.
  134. @poolside
    Lou Ferrigno appeared in several seasons of CBS' "The King of Queens," playing himself. Throughout his time on the show, there were several jokes made at his expense about bodybuilding and even steroid use.

    Over time, Ferrigno actually developed a pretty good sense of comedic timing.

    Here's a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald's character.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp-HEmlezDE

    He also played himself (well) in I Love You Man. He was funny in that. And still huge.

  135. Is it just me or is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes’ muscles? I’m trying to imagine the sort of catty article Steve would write if one of his enemies devoted so many hundreds of words to analyzing the physiques of Hollywood hunks.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I am interested in human biodiversity. Everybody is interested in it, I just try to think a little more systematically about it.
    , @mauve glove
    Somehow this reminds me of the classical question: "how many guys does a guy have to have sex with before he can say that he is honestly not gay (versus being "in denial of his own homosexuality)?"

    To fully explore this question is like writing a book, but, the correct answer is not any of the following numbers: 0, 1, 2, 5, 17 or 500+.

    , @vinteuil
    "...is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes’ muscles?"

    Ummm...are you trying to insinuate that he might be a closeted homosexual? or do you have something less ridiculous & tiresome in mind? please do tell!

    Look, dude - Steve Sailer has a certain market niche, pretty much all to himself: noticing interesting & important stuff that everybody else in the media refuses to notice. This post is a prime example.

    You seem to find this particular case of noticing...disturbing. Why is that?
  136. @Priss Factor
    "Quick summary of the article

    'I’m a wimp and I’m intimidated by muscular men'

    Suck to be you, Stevie"

    ROTFL

    That's funny but the this is more accurate:

    "Even guys wimpier than I are getting tough-looking in these films."

    Trans-flexuals.

    And I noticed that too.

    In yrs past, there were actors who were seen as tough and actors who seen as un-tough.

    Tough guys got tough roles, and un-tough guys got un-tough roles.

    Wayne was considered a tough guy. Eastwood and Bronson too. Some were buff, some were not, but they seen as tough. They had the tough guy look.

    In contrast, there were the jokers, comedians, and dorks. And they never played tough guys.

    There were some in between, like Paul Newman. Newman was pretty masculine but not a buff guy. He looked very fit in movies like SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, but he relied more on mind than body usually. He was like Bogart. In Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, he was the brains of the outfit. He was like Brando crossed with Bob Dylan. That was the appeal of HUD. Sort of tough guy but more in personality and attitude than in size or strength. And in Cool Hand Luke, he got clobbered by George Kenndy but still won cuz his personality was bigger. Harrison Ford is sort of like Newman. Not a big guy and had a kinda laconic personality. He often gets whupped by bigger guys in Indy movies. But he's just tough enough, lucky, smart, and resourceful. Ford gets whupped real bad throughout Blade Runner but manages to somehow come out on top. And he was pretty fit when he took his shirt off, enough to make women notice. But not buff.
    Another actor that sort of reminds me of Newman is Michael Caine who could convincingly take on all kinds of roles. He had personality and intelligence to carry them through. He could play comedy, romance, weakling, intellectual, ace spy(I love Ipcress File), and tough guy like in GET CARTER.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yZ0GLpbtMs

    Hoffman looked pretty fit in THE GRADUATE but he wasn't obviously a tough guy. And he didn't have the face to be a tough guy. But he did take care of himself. He actually looked more muscular in Tootsie than in The Graduate.

    Jon Voight was tall and fit in Midnight Cowboy, but not really tough guy material. He played sort of tough guy in Deliverance, especially when he was forced to take alpha role after Burt Reynolds got hurt real bad. (Voight was convincingly tough in Runaway Train, however, but more in terms of personality, surely tapped by Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest) Burt and Steve McQueen(who was quite fit but not super muscular) were action star icons of the 70s. Along with Roger Moore, it's interesting that middle aged men used to dominate action hero-ism. Bronson was big in 70s too. Coburn got famous in 60s with Flint movies.

    Anyway, most of these actors were natural tough guys or manly enough to play tough guy if necessary, as with Voight, Newman, and Caine.

    What is strange today is that a bunch of actors who don't look like tough guy material at all have taken on tough-guy roles, and these fellas look more buff or muscular than natural tough guys in the past.

    Though James Dean and Monty Cliff were not muscled-men, they may have partly set the template cuz they were such pretty boys or kid-look-alikes who could roll with the big boys. Fairy Monty Cliff even punched the Duke in Red River. And Bi-sexual Dean played crybaby roles but with such charisma that it could almost glow manly a bit.
    (James Stewart being slated to play tough hombres in all those Anthony Mann westerns was kind of a strange choice.)

    Tom Cruise and Matt Damon sort of tapped into this. Cruise is very pretty(though not as much as Delon), but he's become an action super-star. Damon was the ultra-white-bread-kid preppy type but became an action hero with Bourne movies.

    Cruise was pretty fit, even muscular in some of his roles. He combined looks and fitness. Damon got pretty fit for Bourne movies too.

    In Old Hollywood, I don't think they would have been slated for action roles.
    But then, I could be wrong. I never thought Glenn Ford was tough guy material, but he did play tough in a bunch of movies. And there was Alan Ladd, who was a short pretty guy but often played tough. And Cagney and Muni proved you could be smaller than most guys but still kick butt all over. But then, they tended to be underworld characters who played dirty than really fought man to man.

    Kevin Costner was sort of Old-Hollywoodish. He didn't have the build but he had good looks and was just manly enough to become a sort of action hero in stuff like Dances with Wolves and the Bodyguard(which I refuse to see as why is a white guy risking his life for a negress?)

    Bruce Willis and Michael Keaton showed that funny actors could play action heroes. Willis did better cuz he combined action with funny stuff whereas Keaton was all wrong as grim superhero.

    Maybe the most striking example of how a serious intelligent actor can transform himself into a bonafide kickass action hero was LAST OF MOHICANS. I knew Lewis was talented but he was really ass-whupping in that movie.

    This Jake Gyllendal is the most unlikely action hero cuz of his face. Even when his body is made tough, his face looks too kiddish.
    Otoh, he was convincing as a tough cop in Prisoners.

    But like Gordon Levitt, they just don't convince as action types even when they do a good job.

    But as movie audiences have grown younger, it seems Hollywood wants to present both young stars and unambiguous demonstrations of power(cuz kids don't really get complexity). This is sort of contradictory as a lot of young pretty-faced stars are not big and tough. So, they are made big and tough. (Twilight is interesting in featuring both aspects of manliness: the pretty romantic and the buff warrior).

    But then, it's what superhero fantasy is all about. Some geek-like person becoming super-strong. It's like Peter Parker turns into super-tough spidey. (Superman reverses this cuz naturally tough superman loses his power temporarily in part II.)

    And in Heavy Metal, some white boy with John Candy's voice enters the body of a bigass Negro.

    Bubblegum Crisis has some of this too as Mason uploads his 'soul' into Largo.

    https://youtu.be/i-IfEl6fRx4?t=2m40s

    I don’t know what he looked like without a shirt, but for sheer scary manliness Richard Boone was tough to beat. When he growled on screen, even the audience obeyed.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Robert Mitchum was a very physical actor.

    Menacing and easy-going.

    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ab/1b/97/ab1b97393d5e51f514125943781e8583.jpg
  137. @Anonymous
    Is it just me or is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes' muscles? I'm trying to imagine the sort of catty article Steve would write if one of his enemies devoted so many hundreds of words to analyzing the physiques of Hollywood hunks.

    I am interested in human biodiversity. Everybody is interested in it, I just try to think a little more systematically about it.

  138. @anonymous
    On the other side of the gender aisle regarding body enhancement the women are also very busy what with the sheer number of implants, augmentations and plastic surgeries. Everybody wants to be more attractive, male and female, according to whatever the prevailing ideas of attractiveness are. People copycat what the stars are doing. Arnold had his own personal doctor giving him steroids while he was still a teenager; he was really bulked up by age 19. Insofar as his bypass surgery being attributable to his steroid use, who can really say for sure? Couch potatoes have bypasses all the time when in their 60's. The trend is away from the bulked-up look to what's called 'functional fitness' as exemplified by things such as cross-fitness, triathlons, boot camp-special forces type training, etc. Everybody's got to have six-pack abs, men and women alike, or they're just not with it.

    Even discounting the other heart issues caused by steroids, as I understand it, atherosclerosis is a function of LDL cholesterol, which is in turn a function of diet(saturated fat) and exercise. Eating the amount of food necessary to put on an extra 60-120lbs above what your BMI would indicate is healthy, even if there is no change of diet content and you just eat more food… is going to result in a more rapid plaque build up in the arteries. It will accelerate the time you have before an arterial blockage becomes life threatening.

    There are only so many meters of blood vessels a man has.

  139. Is there any more chilling line in all moviedom than this? “You have got a lot of hard bark on you, mister comin’ down here like this. Now, you put two holes in me and I owe you.”

    Boone to Newman in Hombre

    • Replies: @Mark Green
    What a forgotten but altogether great western!
  140. A few thoughts, related to gays:

    1. Much in the same way women don’t notice that anoerexic models are pushed by gay men and not by straight men, we’re not noticing how the push for the ripped/jacked look is pushed by gay men and not straight women.

    Gay men love the aesthetic of the bodybuilder. The Muscle Mags of the 1930s-today were largely bought by gay men but they used the cover of being into “fitness.” Jack LaLanne and other muscle-dudes of the past spoke about this, and how their early careers were supported by gay men. And those cheesy sword-and-sandal movies of the 1950s and 1960s (the B-movie ones, not the Hollywood a-listers)? All kept alive by gays going ot repeat viewings (hence the line in The Rocky Horror Picture Show about seeing a “Steve Reeves” movie).

    Since the 1970s, gay influence on pop culture has grown thanks to the normalization push, Now with gays out, about, and in positions of powers, they are selecting for their stars muscle-bound/ripped dudes they fantasize about. Gay casting directors and publicists and studio executives are thus heavily pushing this fantasy for their own private amusement. (And lets not forget what happened in boy’s toys—Mark Hamil, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, jokingly once compared a figurine of Luke Skywalker made in the late 1970s with a Luke figurine made in the late 1990s for the re-relases—the new figurine had gained about 30lbs of He-Man esque muscle in comparison to the 1970s one, and Hamil didn’t have any of those 30lbs at any point during the original trilogy.)

    However, most women aren’t into it. Although a small percentage are, if women fiended after jacked muscularage, body building competitions and pro wrestling shows would be much more tilted towards a female audience. They aren’t; the watchers are men. The rare Magic Mike film notwithstanding—-and Magic Mike took an awful lot of a hype to make it a hit—-female-audience-centered movies have men who are thin, fully clothed, and often do not look “intimidating.” Witness the careers of, say, Ryan Gosling or Richard Gere, whose movies are almost always targeted to female audiences, but rarely to men. (I might even throw the usually wispy Leo DiCaprio in there, but Scorcese has made sure that Leo has made a few movies that appeal to the males).

    Women seem to understand the difference between “in shape” and “ripped,” and appreciate the former more than the latter, but even then, not as much as other qualities. Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    2. Most bodybuilders were considered “sissies” by non-bodybuilders throughout the early 20th century; the average male instinctively understood (1) that the excessive investment in looks denoted a gay enterprise; and (2) that male bodies built for action were far different than male bodies built for show.

    And athletes instinctively or studiously avoided weights because they knew that weight training could make you “muscle constricted’; what made you stronger in the weight room actually was a detriment on the Basketball court or baseball field. It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing—witness early 1980s NBA players versus late 1990s NBA players—it’s the difference between 10 black guys with “smooth muscle” and “10 black Arnold Schwartzeneggers running down the court” in about 15 years (I don’t know if anyone every bothered to wonder whether Ron Artest was on steroids when he violently attacked fans in Indiana back in 2004, but it seems a likely reason—overreaction via ‘roid rage).

    Today, as blue collar jobs in the U.S. are largely extinct, most non-Mexican men in the U.S. actually do not know that a bodybuilder physique is not what you get from doing tough labor. So most young men are confused by the gay-led culture that tells them that women like huge ripped dudes, much in the same way women are confused by gays into thinking men want anoerexic chicks.

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training. That’s because most guys going in for the training are hardcore workout dudes who lift, while the training is about, you know, training you how to kill, not how to be the buffest dude.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    I went to Sicario last night with my wife, her sister, and the sister's current boyfriend. (The sister is very attractive; "free spirited," to put it politely; and has had a lot of boyfriends.) After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case--a movie star who is ugly. She said, "He's not unattractive."

    I would say, objectively, he's not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though.

    BTW, Steve, I hope you review Sicario. I found it very interesting and a vivid depiction of the violence that goes on routinely just south of our border with barely a mention in the American media.
    (WARNING: SMALL SPOILER) After the shootout between US agents and cartel gunmen at the Juarez border crossing, shown briefly in the trailer, one of the agents says, "This will make the front page of every newspaper in America.”

    Responds another, “No, it won't even make the paper in El Paso.”
    , @Boomstick

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training.
     
    That's because they're stressing the candidates to select the mental attributes they're looking for. They're depriving them of sleep and food while playing mind games and putting them under intense physical requirements. It's not unusual for candidates in the Ranger School to lose 20-30 lbs over the length of the two month course. Those conditions can't be maintained in the long term.
    , @Scott Locklin
    "It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing"

    Dudebrah: no. This isn't even remotely true. Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don't become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example. People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

    You're also smoking something if you think women don't throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I'll give you a hint: they ain't all gaylords, and it ain't to impress their friends.

    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.
  141. @Anonymous
    Is it just me or is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes' muscles? I'm trying to imagine the sort of catty article Steve would write if one of his enemies devoted so many hundreds of words to analyzing the physiques of Hollywood hunks.

    Somehow this reminds me of the classical question: “how many guys does a guy have to have sex with before he can say that he is honestly not gay (versus being “in denial of his own homosexuality)?”

    To fully explore this question is like writing a book, but, the correct answer is not any of the following numbers: 0, 1, 2, 5, 17 or 500+.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    No, sweetie-darling - the correct answer is 0.
  142. Also Steve, music—especially rap—has been found to have steroid abusers:

    http://www.prweek.com/article/1254318/steroid-scandal-gains-steam-upon-entering-hip-hop-arena

    Basically, all those marvelous shots of black males with six packs who sing about thug life and then croon love songs?

    Yeah, the kids got hosed on that.

  143. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    While feminists and social justice warriors are fighting body image pressures on women, the men are spending more more time cultivating their vanity in the gym.

    Having been out of the country over a decade, I couldn't help noticing that pretty much everyone on camera in the US, from newscasters to talkshow hosts and so on have really transformed their bodies in general. I was feeling like Rip van Winkle. In Europe you don't see the extremes of body shapes in public you do here. From the totally blimped out obese to the pumped and ripped paragons of fitness. I've found the sinewy females with the washboard bellies aping Madonna's unwholesome stringy example particularly disturbing.

    This article might not be in your usual media review but I found it an interesting treatment of the issue.
    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/print-view/building-a-bigger-action-hero-20140418

    The “blimped out” line made me literally lol.

  144. @Anonymous
    Is it just me or is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes' muscles? I'm trying to imagine the sort of catty article Steve would write if one of his enemies devoted so many hundreds of words to analyzing the physiques of Hollywood hunks.

    “…is Steve weirdly obsessed with other dudes’ muscles?”

    Ummm…are you trying to insinuate that he might be a closeted homosexual? or do you have something less ridiculous & tiresome in mind? please do tell!

    Look, dude – Steve Sailer has a certain market niche, pretty much all to himself: noticing interesting & important stuff that everybody else in the media refuses to notice. This post is a prime example.

    You seem to find this particular case of noticing…disturbing. Why is that?

  145. @Twinkie
    Although today's male movie stars appear much more muscular than the stars of the yester years, I would argue that there were more sportsmen among the latter than the former. For that matter, I'd wager on the latter over the former in a fight. (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding "show" muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    Acting, even for men, always seemed to me to be tinged with femininity, but today's "muscular" actors seem even more feminine and obsessed unhealthily with male physical beauty. Yes, it does seem more than a bit homosexual.

    One of the more amusing moments in the "Makings of..." segment of the "Conan the Barbarian" DVD for me was a scene of Arnold falling (during the scene in which he is chased by "wolves" after being freed from gladiatorial slavery) and screeching in a very feminine fashion "Ahhhhhhh, that HURTS!"

    The average American men seventy or so years ago (those of World War II) were more diminutive than those today (practically the size of today's American women, and much trimmer), yet they could carry more weight and march longer on feet. They were tougher and more manly.

    The average American men seventy or so years ago… were tougher and more manly.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp… I don’t know, it’s just doesn’t work for me.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    You left out probably the toughest of them all, Sterling Hayden. Read his wiki.
    , @WhatEvvs
    That's because actors used to be interesting people and had lives before they went to Hollywood. (Same deal for directors, writers, and cinematographers.)

    Guys like Paul Newman, Chuck Connors, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Robert Ryan, Richard Widmark, Lee Marvin, Jimmy Stewart....had interesting lives, military experience, had overcome adversity, etc. The list goes on, I just named a few favorite actors whose bios I know. I'm sure this is true of every Hollywood actor of previous generations. I don't think that any of them ever intended to be actors. Most of them "fell into it" at a certain point of their young manhood. (The only actor from the golden era who intended to be an actor that I know of was Monty Clift, and it's not an accident that he was gay.) Stewart was a B'way actor but he started as a dabbler in Princeton.

    The guys you cited are all of a later generation and they wanted to be actors. There's just something strange about that.
    , @Chris Mallory

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp… I don’t know, it’s just doesn’t work for me.
     
    Would the casting be limited to American actors? Several of those you listed are from overseas. But the movie could be recast somewhat convincingly today. A couple of those you listed are too young for the parts. Other than Bo Hopkins who was killed off early, Oates was the youngest in the Wild Bunch and he was in his 40s.

    For the Holden role either George Clooney or Russel Crowe. Both are leading men who can pull off the world weary look.
    Borgnine- Tom Sizemore or Ray Stevenson Stocky menacing types.

    Warren Oates- Woody Harrelson
    Ben Johnson- Josh Brolin
    Brolin and Harrelson can both do physical roles and add a bit of comic relief in the manner of Oates and Johnson.

    The Robert Ryan role would be the hardest to cast. Maybe Jeff Bridges, since Ryan was the oldest cast member.
  146. @Dave Pinsen
    When I was in infantry training at Fort Benning years ago, most of the regular Army infantry and rangers had a little fat on them. They worked out a lot, but the Army served really high calorie meals, intentionally. They had their own Recommended Daily Allowance - the MRDA. A typical breakfast would consist of an entree such as biscuits & gravy with sides of eggs, pancakes, grits, coffee cake, etc.

    Alpine Ski racers are exceptionally well conditioned athletes. But they try to maintain a layer of subcutaneous fat so they can survive the long seasons and often constant cold exposure without the respiratory infections that can kill their competitive chances. The Navy Seals know that nothing demonstrates toughness and character like persistent exposure to cold.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    There used to be an (NBC?) show in which athletes from different sports competed in events including weight lifting, swimming, running, etc. IIRC, one year the 2nd place finisher was an Austrian skier (I think the 1st place finisher that year was Jason Sehorn, the white cornerback who, for a time, was considered the best all-around athlete on the NY Giants).
  147. @Harry Baldwin
    The average American men seventy or so years ago... were tougher and more manly.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp... I don't know, it's just doesn't work for me.

    You left out probably the toughest of them all, Sterling Hayden. Read his wiki.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The stepfather of a friend of mine.
    , @Kylie
    Sterling Hayden is a good choice for a genuine tough guy. I thought of him as I read this thread. And Cary Grant, while not a tough guy, was in good shape due to his background as an acrobat.

    But my top pick for genuine tough guy would be Victor McLaglen.
  148. @mauve glove
    Somehow this reminds me of the classical question: "how many guys does a guy have to have sex with before he can say that he is honestly not gay (versus being "in denial of his own homosexuality)?"

    To fully explore this question is like writing a book, but, the correct answer is not any of the following numbers: 0, 1, 2, 5, 17 or 500+.

    No, sweetie-darling – the correct answer is 0.

    • Replies: @mauve glove
    You're not following along very closely here. The whole point is that it's a trick question, and that, given the orthodoxy, there is no level of experience at which you are allowed to say that you are not a male homosexual, because, given the extended SJW orthodoxy, ultimately and strictly, a male is not allowed to be other than homosexual or at least plenty gay enough. Supposedly only what is wanted are healthy, free, fearless heterosexual men who wouldn't blink at whatever the truth about their sexuality might be, but just call it flatly as they see it. But that is all tricks. Thus for example if you think "zero" is the correct answer, the response you get has this flavor: "Oh, afraid you might like it huh? How do you know unless you try it? 'At all costs must not look inside that closet door and find my straight self inside of it.' You just keep telling yourself that honey."

    And again, vinteuil, since you seem to not notice nuance, the quotation marks are not me speaking as myself, but rather an attempt at exemplifying the high-progressive weltanschauung on these topics, and pointing out the bad faith, because whatever number you stop at there is a similar bitchy put-down waiting for you in response. It's a moving the goalposts kind of thing. Ideally I can avoid writing the book, and not have to script out the remarks for the other numbers, as most readers are probably already done with this little study exercise on their own.
  149. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The celluloid tough guy who really was one in real life was Charles Bronson. One of fifteen children and poor he worked as a coal miner, receiving one dollar for each ton of coal he mined. He later was an aerial gunner in WWII on a B-29 bomber and went on twenty-five missions. He was a pretty strong and muscled guy but certainly not some roided-up pretty boy.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Lee Marvin, interestingly enough, was a rich kid who got in a lot of trouble in school, enlisted in the Marines, was badly wounded in Saipan, then got work in war movies as an extra who could serve as technical adviser. I hadn't known about how upscale his childhood was, though.
  150. @mauve glove
    Human growth hormone tastes good and it's good for you.
    The only drawback is price. Movie stars can afford it and they have a professional incentive not to rot. I recall Stallone getting arrested with a suitcase full of HGH in Australia decades ago and he hasn't turned into a lizard or anything.

    Stallone hasn’t turned into a lizard or anything.

    Are you sure? His latest boxing movie coming out, about him coaching Apollo Creed’s son, he looks like shite!! As in, ow! my eye! bad

  151. @education realist
    Forgot to mention something interesting about Sylvester Stallone:

    In the 1974 Lords of Flatbush, Richard Gere was originally cast in the Perry King part (I think). But he was fired. Here's Stallone's tale:

    Yeah, the original part of Chico, which was played by Perry King, was originally supposed to be played by Richard Gere, but we never hit it off. He would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table. One day, during an improv, he grabbed me (we were simulating a fight scene) and got a little carried away. I told him in a gentle fashion to lighten up, but he was completely in character and impossible to deal with. Then we were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota. I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, “That thing is going to drip all over the place.” He said, “Don’t worry about it.” I said, “If it gets on my pants you’re gonna know about it.” He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true… but that’s the rumor.

    So he talks about how Richard was strutting, got a little carried away, but it was Stallone who got violent after Gere spilled some grease on his thigh.

    Rumor has it Gere was using heavily back then, and the director really liked Stallone, so it was Gere who got canned.

    What was Gere using? H?

  152. Austria didn’t have to stay in the Iron Curtain long before they got wind of the new amazing vitamins. Steroids were like magic back then. They were muscles you could inject. Before some of the guys started getting cancer and heart disease from using a lot, there was no down side to be seen. BTW, those guys who believe that having muscles doesn’t attract women are probably the same ones that believe size doesn’t matter. WOMEN LIE, DUDE!
    TV and Movies were made for steroids. Women have pretty faces and big boobs, but men pretty much just have muscles. Those handsome guys just lucked out, they didn’t make themselves look that way. Even now, with the health effects of PEDs like steroids well known, the payoffs are hard to resist. A nobody middle of the road athlete can be a superstar with just one cycle of injectable edge. Those movie stars who don’t have a lot of talent can get a lot of roles with rock hard abs and big shoulders alone.

  153. @Warner
    Fair enough. As a basic cause. But it doesn't satisfy me as to why it was SO important that the Congress had to get involved and relentlessly so. It wasn't a 3 month-long investigation. It was a full decade of investigation. From an entire branch of government. Still seems like overkill and political overtones.

    But it doesn’t satisfy me as to why it was SO important that the Congress had to get involved and relentlessly so. It wasn’t a 3 month-long investigation. It was a full decade of investigation.

    MLB was the instigator. A lot of their product interest is built around the record book and theoretically being able to compare players over generations. AAS messed all that up. What I want to know is how much Waxman was paid to make it all happen and how much it cost MLB. Probably much less than you might think.

  154. @reiner Tor

    Let me tell you it takes years to pack on naturally the sort of muscle that some actors put on in a few months
     
    A 28 year old fitness coach who looked quite muscular (not Arnold level, but a very muscular guy by everyman standards) told me that his clients always got disappointed when they asked how long it took him to get those muscles and his answer was "over ten years, I started at age 17, and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now".

    “and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now”

    Your trainer friend was sharing a secret about as plainly as he dares: after 10 years of natural lifting any gains you can make over 12 months is minimal. Maybe 1kg of pure muscle per year. Up to a maximum of 2kg if you are a genetic freak working out consistently more than twice a week with perfect diet and rest. Or not.

    Bodybuilding for size quickly hits diminishing returns as I think Warren Buffet said in the book The Snowball (Warren buffet lifted when he was young!)

    If your trainer suddenly started putting on muscle it was because of what he started putting in his muscles!

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    In the 1st 3-9 months (the novice phase), you can put on a lot of muscle. After that, it slows down asymptotically.
  155. @Anon7
    Your article has me thinking about steroid rage as well as steroid bodybuilding.

    I can't remember the title of the movie, but it was a propaganda film shot and released in 1942 about a small group of planes flying from California to Hawaii just as Pearl Harbor was being attacked. I watched a year ago during a short illness, I'd never seen it before.

    All of the men had normal physiques and ranged in height from maybe 5'6' to 6', so their weights were probably 120-160. It was really striking.

    But it wasn't just their physiques that struck me, it was their behavior and how they treated each other. These were the nicest guys you ever met. They were considerate to each other, and well spoken. They were just like my dad and my uncle and their friends, all of whom fought in WWII.

    And this was a propaganda movie! This movie was shown to sell war bonds and stir up the people of America's small towns against the Japs! So where was the rage, the virulent hatred, the over-the-top masculine wrath of God that goes with the built up bodies of modern actors? Not in that movie.

    Maybe the extreme rage-filled performances in today's movies are as steroid-induced as the bodies of the actors.

    The title of the movie you reference is “Air Force”, starring John Garfield.

    It’s much the same movie as the naval adventure “Destination Tokyo”, but about the Air Corps.

  156. @Threecranes
    Is there any more chilling line in all moviedom than this? "You have got a lot of hard bark on you, mister comin' down here like this. Now, you put two holes in me and I owe you."

    Boone to Newman in Hombre

    What a forgotten but altogether great western!

  157. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:
    @Threecranes
    I don't know what he looked like without a shirt, but for sheer scary manliness Richard Boone was tough to beat. When he growled on screen, even the audience obeyed.

    Robert Mitchum was a very physical actor.

    Menacing and easy-going.

  158. Steve and others in the comments are conflating, to some extent, taking steroids with weight training. With a proper diet and a good routine, it is entirely possible for a man to put on an impressive amount of muscle without the former. I’m not saying steroids aren’t an important part of this phenomenon, but don’t assume that every muscular guy is on drugs (if he looks like Ronnie Coleman, okay, fair enough).

    Furthermore, if steroids didn’t exist, I suspect we still would have seen this bulking up trend in our society, albeit to a lesser degree. I think it was an inevitable result of a more prosperous society and the proliferation of mass media combined with our evolved psychological tendencies.

    Men like to be the biggest, toughest guy in the room, and women find muscles attractive (though only to a degree; most women seem to strongly prefer the Brad Pitt Fight Club physique to a hulking bodybuilder). I think both of those desires are innate and hold true across cultures (though undoubtedly to differing degrees). It was bound to happen that bodybuilding techniques would be adopted by some non-bodybuilders looking to get an edge up on the competition, which in turn created something of an arms race (pun unintended). This was undoubtedly more intense among male actors and athletes than in the general population at large, but it has happened everywhere. No one wants to be the skinniest/weakest guy in the room.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
  159. @whorefinder
    A few thoughts, related to gays:

    1. Much in the same way women don't notice that anoerexic models are pushed by gay men and not by straight men, we're not noticing how the push for the ripped/jacked look is pushed by gay men and not straight women.

    Gay men love the aesthetic of the bodybuilder. The Muscle Mags of the 1930s-today were largely bought by gay men but they used the cover of being into "fitness." Jack LaLanne and other muscle-dudes of the past spoke about this, and how their early careers were supported by gay men. And those cheesy sword-and-sandal movies of the 1950s and 1960s (the B-movie ones, not the Hollywood a-listers)? All kept alive by gays going ot repeat viewings (hence the line in The Rocky Horror Picture Show about seeing a "Steve Reeves" movie).

    Since the 1970s, gay influence on pop culture has grown thanks to the normalization push, Now with gays out, about, and in positions of powers, they are selecting for their stars muscle-bound/ripped dudes they fantasize about. Gay casting directors and publicists and studio executives are thus heavily pushing this fantasy for their own private amusement. (And lets not forget what happened in boy's toys---Mark Hamil, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, jokingly once compared a figurine of Luke Skywalker made in the late 1970s with a Luke figurine made in the late 1990s for the re-relases---the new figurine had gained about 30lbs of He-Man esque muscle in comparison to the 1970s one, and Hamil didn't have any of those 30lbs at any point during the original trilogy.)

    However, most women aren't into it. Although a small percentage are, if women fiended after jacked muscularage, body building competitions and pro wrestling shows would be much more tilted towards a female audience. They aren't; the watchers are men. The rare Magic Mike film notwithstanding----and Magic Mike took an awful lot of a hype to make it a hit----female-audience-centered movies have men who are thin, fully clothed, and often do not look "intimidating." Witness the careers of, say, Ryan Gosling or Richard Gere, whose movies are almost always targeted to female audiences, but rarely to men. (I might even throw the usually wispy Leo DiCaprio in there, but Scorcese has made sure that Leo has made a few movies that appeal to the males).

    Women seem to understand the difference between "in shape" and "ripped," and appreciate the former more than the latter, but even then, not as much as other qualities. Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    2. Most bodybuilders were considered "sissies" by non-bodybuilders throughout the early 20th century; the average male instinctively understood (1) that the excessive investment in looks denoted a gay enterprise; and (2) that male bodies built for action were far different than male bodies built for show.

    And athletes instinctively or studiously avoided weights because they knew that weight training could make you "muscle constricted'; what made you stronger in the weight room actually was a detriment on the Basketball court or baseball field. It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing---witness early 1980s NBA players versus late 1990s NBA players---it's the difference between 10 black guys with "smooth muscle" and "10 black Arnold Schwartzeneggers running down the court" in about 15 years (I don't know if anyone every bothered to wonder whether Ron Artest was on steroids when he violently attacked fans in Indiana back in 2004, but it seems a likely reason---overreaction via 'roid rage).

    Today, as blue collar jobs in the U.S. are largely extinct, most non-Mexican men in the U.S. actually do not know that a bodybuilder physique is not what you get from doing tough labor. So most young men are confused by the gay-led culture that tells them that women like huge ripped dudes, much in the same way women are confused by gays into thinking men want anoerexic chicks.

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training. That's because most guys going in for the training are hardcore workout dudes who lift, while the training is about, you know, training you how to kill, not how to be the buffest dude.

    Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    I went to Sicario last night with my wife, her sister, and the sister’s current boyfriend. (The sister is very attractive; “free spirited,” to put it politely; and has had a lot of boyfriends.) After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case–a movie star who is ugly. She said, “He’s not unattractive.”

    I would say, objectively, he’s not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though.

    BTW, Steve, I hope you review Sicario. I found it very interesting and a vivid depiction of the violence that goes on routinely just south of our border with barely a mention in the American media.
    (WARNING: SMALL SPOILER) After the shootout between US agents and cartel gunmen at the Juarez border crossing, shown briefly in the trailer, one of the agents says, “This will make the front page of every newspaper in America.”

    Responds another, “No, it won’t even make the paper in El Paso.”

    • Replies: @whorefinder

    After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case–a movie star who is ugly. She said, “He’s not unattractive.”

    I would say, objectively, he’s not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though
     

    Well she's not saying he's physically attractive, just that he's "not unattractive." Basically, she's saying he's famous, which will make any woman find him more attractive than she would if he weren't. He has a symmetrical face, which helps him, but it is really her attraction to him due to his fame that makes her rationalize (to you) that he isn't all ugly.

    I'm sure many women who've slept with Jack Nicholson rationalized away his ugly, creepy looks with self-sustaining arguments about how his face has "character" and "confidence" and that "he's handsome in an unconventional way" and all sorts of other lies women will tell themselves when faced with a man whom they are attracted to for something other than his looks.

    As to Del Toro, he's fascinated me since The Usual Suspects because he seems to be such a bad, mumbly actor, and yet is praised to the hilt. I literally couldn't understand a word he said in The Usual Suspects (part of the joke, I guess, but I didn't think it was set up well), and he hasn't been in anything as a lead that made money, but he's been plugging along, in A-list films, named in the advertisements, garnering critical praise in a bunch of roles.

    Maybe his style of acting is just something only critics get, or maybe they enjoy his weird takes on characters---his take on the comic book villain The Collector in the various Marvel-Avengers and -Guardians of the Galaxy films is just so...off-puttingly bad/weird...that it really makes you notice. Or maybe Del Toro is really good at schmoozing the critical-interview circuit and the producers of Hollyweird enough to convince them that his bad acting really is great acting.

    Del Toro's certainly no Steve Buschemi, another ugly, non-leading actor whose great work is so obvious that even non-critics love his stuff -(Buschemi's performance in Ghost World should be remembered as career-defining, as it deftly united his great acting skills with a character his looks were born to play.) Then again, Buschemi's picked a lot of crowd-pleasing films to be in and been memorably good in them (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Mr. Deeds, Airheads) while Del Toro has little beyond The Usual Suspects.

    , @Anonymous
    I do think women care about looks less than men do, but it's also just hard for men to really understand what women do and don't find physically attractive.
  160. WhatEvvs [AKA "Anonymuss Annie"] says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    The average American men seventy or so years ago... were tougher and more manly.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp... I don't know, it's just doesn't work for me.

    That’s because actors used to be interesting people and had lives before they went to Hollywood. (Same deal for directors, writers, and cinematographers.)

    Guys like Paul Newman, Chuck Connors, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Robert Ryan, Richard Widmark, Lee Marvin, Jimmy Stewart….had interesting lives, military experience, had overcome adversity, etc. The list goes on, I just named a few favorite actors whose bios I know. I’m sure this is true of every Hollywood actor of previous generations. I don’t think that any of them ever intended to be actors. Most of them “fell into it” at a certain point of their young manhood. (The only actor from the golden era who intended to be an actor that I know of was Monty Clift, and it’s not an accident that he was gay.) Stewart was a B’way actor but he started as a dabbler in Princeton.

    The guys you cited are all of a later generation and they wanted to be actors. There’s just something strange about that.

  161. @Twinkie
    Although today's male movie stars appear much more muscular than the stars of the yester years, I would argue that there were more sportsmen among the latter than the former. For that matter, I'd wager on the latter over the former in a fight. (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding "show" muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    Acting, even for men, always seemed to me to be tinged with femininity, but today's "muscular" actors seem even more feminine and obsessed unhealthily with male physical beauty. Yes, it does seem more than a bit homosexual.

    One of the more amusing moments in the "Makings of..." segment of the "Conan the Barbarian" DVD for me was a scene of Arnold falling (during the scene in which he is chased by "wolves" after being freed from gladiatorial slavery) and screeching in a very feminine fashion "Ahhhhhhh, that HURTS!"

    The average American men seventy or so years ago (those of World War II) were more diminutive than those today (practically the size of today's American women, and much trimmer), yet they could carry more weight and march longer on feet. They were tougher and more manly.

    (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding “show” muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you’re talking about. There are no such things as “show muscles” and “functional muscles”. That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.

    Adaptations to training tend to be fairly specific. Lifting weights in 6-12 rep sets as bodybuilders are fond of tends to make you best at doing that. Whether or not that is “functional” depends on what you are trying to do. It’s not very functional for, say, a soccer player.

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he’ll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder’s routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you’re talking about. There are no such things as “show muscles” and “functional muscles”. That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.
     

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he’ll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder’s routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.
     
    Bodybuilders are not as "strong" as they look when put to wide ranges of athletic tests.

    What is the purpose of the "bodybuilder's routine"? It's to win an appearance contest, i.e. for show. They are not building functional muscles in the sense that they are not designed to enhance output of force in specific movements over a time frame, but to display muscle size and definition (with lots of flashes going off).

    "Show muscles" and "functional muscles" aren't meant to be anatomical terms. They are simply shorthands for types of strength training that lead to very different outcomes. No one is suggesting that gearing training toward "show" muscles mean the bodybuilders have no strength. Don't get all self-righteous knocking down a straw man.

    Back in the early 1990's when Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Spetsnaz trainer, had me do one arm military presses with barbells (high weight, low rep), he wasn't looking to make my chest or shoulders look big or muscular for a show contest. He intended for me to increase the force output of not only the main chest or shoulder muscles, but also the "stabilization" muscles that provide functionality over a wide range of motion (and especially at the extreme outer ranges of motion, such as being able to ragdoll another man while gripping him with my arm stretched out, as in Judo), all the while keeping my weight as low as possible (in other words, high efficiency in terms of force output over bodyweight). Same thing with kettlebell training (back the 90's, they weren't very common in the U.S.). And also lots of plyometric exercises. To that I added Ashtanga Yoga after seeing Rickson Gracie do his Ginastica Natural routines.

    If you looked at how, for example, MMA fighters train today (or how boxers and wrestlers have trained all along), they are all exercises that are designed to put out maximum force over a specific range of motion and time frame. They are functional strength and conditioning exercises. And such exercises have become rather routine, as popular science has caught up with the fitness world.

    But I can tell you that back in the 70's to 80's, that wasn't always the case. A lot of people did bench presses, bicep curls, and other even more "isolation"- oriented lifts (that only worked a single plane of muscle strength) that may have produced impressive looking muscle bulges, but did not provide functional strength, that is, being able to put out force over a wide range (and planes) of motion over a sustained period of time.

    When I was doing Brazilian Jujitsu about 15 years ago, I had come from a Judo background and had been undergoing Russian-style training thanks to Pavel. With his advice, I went for what he called "wiry strength" rather than bulking up with show muscles. I was about 180-200 lbs. and looked pretty lean (think the Bruce Lee-look only much taller). Some of the guys with whom I trained were bodybuilders with HUGE looking muscles, and they used to be shocked by my grip strength and how easily I was able to throw them or sweep them (which was a combination of my decades-long Judo skills and the fact that I was, in their words, much stronger than I looked (and, again, as I mentioned in the other tread, *I* too ate plenty of humble pie when I trained with wrestlers from a major Midwestern powerhouse during their offseasons - I was ragdolled plenty and consumed a lot of anti-inflammatory medication).
    , @Dave Pinsen
    I would think most competitive bodybuilders incorporate the major compound barbell lifts (squats, deadlifts, press, and bench), but there are lots of bros in a typical gym who never do deadlifts or standing overhead presses, and, if they squat, they don't go anywhere near parallel. Those guys often have showy upper body muscles but lack functional strength, because they have a lot of weak links in the chain (their lower backs, for example, if they're doing all their shoulder pressing sitting down leaning against a backrest).

    It's not intuitively obvious to non-lifters that when you start to overhead press a certain amount of weight, you feel it stress your abs and buttocks, for example, and when you start squatting heavy weight every muscle below the bar is working.

  162. Bodybuilders have some tricks to make their muscular definition more prominent. These include tanning, as muscles are more prominent on darker skin, dehydrating themselves in the days leading up to a competition, and oiling their bodies before going on stage. Some actors undoubtedly do the same.
    One trick used in muscle-magazine photos, which actors could use when shown shirtless from the front, is to apply tape on the person’s back in a X pattern. This tightens the skin on the front of his body and makes his muscles stand out.

    Peter

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Also, wine to increase vascularity. I had a college apartment mate who was a bodybuilder. He had us paint his back with tanner with a paint brush. He was 5'4", so I called him the interesting hulk.
  163. WhatEvvs [AKA "Anonymuss Annie"] says:

    Natural muscles. The great Harry Greb:

    At 48 seconds see him flexing his bicep; later on, observe his prominent brow ridge – Neanderthal ancestry?

  164. @Jack D
    Here is an article that cries out for the iSteve treatment:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/what-really-keeps-women-out-of-tech.html

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    "decorated not with “Star Wars” posters, science-fiction books, computer parts and tech magazines, but with a more neutral décor — art and nature posters, coffee makers, plants and general-interest magazines" , then more women would sign up. Can you imagine the nerve of leaving computer parts and tech magazines around in a computer science class? How sexist can you be?

    Also apparently, the men in computer science need to dress better and not act nerdy. "If the actor wore a T-shirt that said “I CODE THEREFORE I AM” and claimed to enjoy video games, the [female] students expressed less interest in studying computer science than if the actor wore a solid shirt and claimed to enjoy hanging out with friends." Again, the nerve of these men - advertising that they are actually dedicated to and enjoy their work! This type of outrageous sexist behavior should be outlawed in our brave new egalitarian society.

    These folks are beyond parody.

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were

    Perhaps next week they’ll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs

    Perhaps next week they’ll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.
     
    If they did we might have better clothing. Lauren is allegedly and I think in reality straight - most of his clothing (except for the awful Winter Olympics ugly sweaters) is great stuff. Ungaro is straight too. Fine designer.
  165. @Harry Baldwin
    Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    I went to Sicario last night with my wife, her sister, and the sister's current boyfriend. (The sister is very attractive; "free spirited," to put it politely; and has had a lot of boyfriends.) After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case--a movie star who is ugly. She said, "He's not unattractive."

    I would say, objectively, he's not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though.

    BTW, Steve, I hope you review Sicario. I found it very interesting and a vivid depiction of the violence that goes on routinely just south of our border with barely a mention in the American media.
    (WARNING: SMALL SPOILER) After the shootout between US agents and cartel gunmen at the Juarez border crossing, shown briefly in the trailer, one of the agents says, "This will make the front page of every newspaper in America.”

    Responds another, “No, it won't even make the paper in El Paso.”

    After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case–a movie star who is ugly. She said, “He’s not unattractive.”

    I would say, objectively, he’s not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though

    Well she’s not saying he’s physically attractive, just that he’s “not unattractive.” Basically, she’s saying he’s famous, which will make any woman find him more attractive than she would if he weren’t. He has a symmetrical face, which helps him, but it is really her attraction to him due to his fame that makes her rationalize (to you) that he isn’t all ugly.

    I’m sure many women who’ve slept with Jack Nicholson rationalized away his ugly, creepy looks with self-sustaining arguments about how his face has “character” and “confidence” and that “he’s handsome in an unconventional way” and all sorts of other lies women will tell themselves when faced with a man whom they are attracted to for something other than his looks.

    As to Del Toro, he’s fascinated me since The Usual Suspects because he seems to be such a bad, mumbly actor, and yet is praised to the hilt. I literally couldn’t understand a word he said in The Usual Suspects (part of the joke, I guess, but I didn’t think it was set up well), and he hasn’t been in anything as a lead that made money, but he’s been plugging along, in A-list films, named in the advertisements, garnering critical praise in a bunch of roles.

    Maybe his style of acting is just something only critics get, or maybe they enjoy his weird takes on characters—his take on the comic book villain The Collector in the various Marvel-Avengers and –Guardians of the Galaxy films is just so…off-puttingly bad/weird…that it really makes you notice. Or maybe Del Toro is really good at schmoozing the critical-interview circuit and the producers of Hollyweird enough to convince them that his bad acting really is great acting.

    Del Toro’s certainly no Steve Buschemi, another ugly, non-leading actor whose great work is so obvious that even non-critics love his stuff -(Buschemi’s performance in Ghost World should be remembered as career-defining, as it deftly united his great acting skills with a character his looks were born to play.) Then again, Buschemi’s picked a lot of crowd-pleasing films to be in and been memorably good in them (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Mr. Deeds, Airheads) while Del Toro has little beyond The Usual Suspects.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Anonym
    Young Jack Nicholson was moderately good looking, no homo. Google him. Unconventional yes, but even I can see it. He would only have to hit that grin a few times in order to close. And who is more charismatic than Nicholson?
  166. @Priss Factor
    But Brando was more showy with his manhood.
    There was something very sexual and physical about him, sort of like Elvis before Elvis.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqhXBSW0Zns

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.

    Adam Sandler is like a cross between Segal and Brooks.

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.

    He must have had some other quality going for him.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times. . . . He must have had some other quality going for him.

    Steven Seagal now looks like the tough guy version of Chris Christie. There's one martial arts movie in which he wore a muu-muu most of the time. Talk about total body transformation, he started out as a lean guy.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Seagal was charismatic, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a master of a novel (from a film perspective) martial art, Aikido. He showed off all of that in his first big movie, Above The Law (1988).

    Someone wrote earlier in this thread that Arnold looked funny running - Seagal had an odd way of carrying his arms while running, maybe due to his aikido training.
  167. @Scott Locklin
    Because baseball didn't test for steroids. Those other sports did.

    Those other sports did.

    Sure they did….

    [said in the manner of a character in a Dashiell Hammet story.]

  168. @Cail Corishev
    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn't seem to slow the women down any, so I don't think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    The Arnold movie that's really striking to me is Predator. In Conan, his size was part of the story, and it was a fantasy world where everyone was bigger than life anyway. But in Predator, he's just a very good soldier, but his arms are freaking enormous, and they seem to go out of their way to emphasize them with the camera work. Some of the other guys (Ventura, Weathers, the Indian guy) are huge too, so you can tell that was a thing then.

    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.

    Right. It’s all about homosexual influence. Lifting is gay. Maybe if you have a micropenis and need to compensate weightlifting makes sense but otherwise it’s a gay thing.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    Actually no. It's just a fun way for guys to blow off stress and bullshit. Beats knocking the c**p out of one another in a MMA gym.

    Now if you work at a job that has a lot of manual labor in it, you don't need it. You really don't have the energy to work out say after a hard day doing roofing or lining a foundry with 30lb bricks.

    Bodybuilding is another thing altogether, don't confuse the two. Bodybuilding is the narcissists express.

    The cruel thing about bodybuilding is that all men's magazines and bodybuilding rags basically promote a distorted and basically unobtainable body image that most men can never have unless they do a boat load of PED's. They, the WWF and the movie industry are why guys think a massive muscled body is the norm or equates it with being a tough guy.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Gays are men, and men are more focussed on physical appearance than women, so probably a higher percentage of gays than straights lift weights. Also, I suspect that during the peak of the AIDS crisis, having a muscular physique was a way to signal your relative health. And, an added motivation in the past might have been to deter bashers.

    That said, not all gays lift, and most men who lift (just like most men in general) aren't gay.
  169. @whorefinder
    A few thoughts, related to gays:

    1. Much in the same way women don't notice that anoerexic models are pushed by gay men and not by straight men, we're not noticing how the push for the ripped/jacked look is pushed by gay men and not straight women.

    Gay men love the aesthetic of the bodybuilder. The Muscle Mags of the 1930s-today were largely bought by gay men but they used the cover of being into "fitness." Jack LaLanne and other muscle-dudes of the past spoke about this, and how their early careers were supported by gay men. And those cheesy sword-and-sandal movies of the 1950s and 1960s (the B-movie ones, not the Hollywood a-listers)? All kept alive by gays going ot repeat viewings (hence the line in The Rocky Horror Picture Show about seeing a "Steve Reeves" movie).

    Since the 1970s, gay influence on pop culture has grown thanks to the normalization push, Now with gays out, about, and in positions of powers, they are selecting for their stars muscle-bound/ripped dudes they fantasize about. Gay casting directors and publicists and studio executives are thus heavily pushing this fantasy for their own private amusement. (And lets not forget what happened in boy's toys---Mark Hamil, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, jokingly once compared a figurine of Luke Skywalker made in the late 1970s with a Luke figurine made in the late 1990s for the re-relases---the new figurine had gained about 30lbs of He-Man esque muscle in comparison to the 1970s one, and Hamil didn't have any of those 30lbs at any point during the original trilogy.)

    However, most women aren't into it. Although a small percentage are, if women fiended after jacked muscularage, body building competitions and pro wrestling shows would be much more tilted towards a female audience. They aren't; the watchers are men. The rare Magic Mike film notwithstanding----and Magic Mike took an awful lot of a hype to make it a hit----female-audience-centered movies have men who are thin, fully clothed, and often do not look "intimidating." Witness the careers of, say, Ryan Gosling or Richard Gere, whose movies are almost always targeted to female audiences, but rarely to men. (I might even throw the usually wispy Leo DiCaprio in there, but Scorcese has made sure that Leo has made a few movies that appeal to the males).

    Women seem to understand the difference between "in shape" and "ripped," and appreciate the former more than the latter, but even then, not as much as other qualities. Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    2. Most bodybuilders were considered "sissies" by non-bodybuilders throughout the early 20th century; the average male instinctively understood (1) that the excessive investment in looks denoted a gay enterprise; and (2) that male bodies built for action were far different than male bodies built for show.

    And athletes instinctively or studiously avoided weights because they knew that weight training could make you "muscle constricted'; what made you stronger in the weight room actually was a detriment on the Basketball court or baseball field. It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing---witness early 1980s NBA players versus late 1990s NBA players---it's the difference between 10 black guys with "smooth muscle" and "10 black Arnold Schwartzeneggers running down the court" in about 15 years (I don't know if anyone every bothered to wonder whether Ron Artest was on steroids when he violently attacked fans in Indiana back in 2004, but it seems a likely reason---overreaction via 'roid rage).

    Today, as blue collar jobs in the U.S. are largely extinct, most non-Mexican men in the U.S. actually do not know that a bodybuilder physique is not what you get from doing tough labor. So most young men are confused by the gay-led culture that tells them that women like huge ripped dudes, much in the same way women are confused by gays into thinking men want anoerexic chicks.

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training. That's because most guys going in for the training are hardcore workout dudes who lift, while the training is about, you know, training you how to kill, not how to be the buffest dude.

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training.

    That’s because they’re stressing the candidates to select the mental attributes they’re looking for. They’re depriving them of sleep and food while playing mind games and putting them under intense physical requirements. It’s not unusual for candidates in the Ranger School to lose 20-30 lbs over the length of the two month course. Those conditions can’t be maintained in the long term.

  170. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think hollywood has appreciated muscled men for longer than your post suggests. Brando, Yul Brynner, Charleston Heston. But it was for certain roles, not by default. Now everybody does it, and people get huge compared to those guys from 60 years ago. It’s very hard to believe steroids are not involved.

  171. @Harry Baldwin
    Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    I went to Sicario last night with my wife, her sister, and the sister's current boyfriend. (The sister is very attractive; "free spirited," to put it politely; and has had a lot of boyfriends.) After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case--a movie star who is ugly. She said, "He's not unattractive."

    I would say, objectively, he's not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though.

    BTW, Steve, I hope you review Sicario. I found it very interesting and a vivid depiction of the violence that goes on routinely just south of our border with barely a mention in the American media.
    (WARNING: SMALL SPOILER) After the shootout between US agents and cartel gunmen at the Juarez border crossing, shown briefly in the trailer, one of the agents says, "This will make the front page of every newspaper in America.”

    Responds another, “No, it won't even make the paper in El Paso.”

    I do think women care about looks less than men do, but it’s also just hard for men to really understand what women do and don’t find physically attractive.

  172. @ion

    Here’s a scene from his first season, I believe, when he puts down iSteve favorite Patton Oswald’s character.
     
    Ugh... Is Steve a Patton Oswald fan? I gotta tell you, my respect for him just dropped a bit.

    Look at the blogroll.

  173. @anonymous
    The celluloid tough guy who really was one in real life was Charles Bronson. One of fifteen children and poor he worked as a coal miner, receiving one dollar for each ton of coal he mined. He later was an aerial gunner in WWII on a B-29 bomber and went on twenty-five missions. He was a pretty strong and muscled guy but certainly not some roided-up pretty boy.

    Lee Marvin, interestingly enough, was a rich kid who got in a lot of trouble in school, enlisted in the Marines, was badly wounded in Saipan, then got work in war movies as an extra who could serve as technical adviser. I hadn’t known about how upscale his childhood was, though.

  174. @anonymous-antimarxist
    You left out probably the toughest of them all, Sterling Hayden. Read his wiki.

    The stepfather of a friend of mine.

  175. @Erik Sieven
    maybe the trend to bodybuilding has also something to do with the fact that over the last decades an ever decreasing share of men work physical. Somebody who works physical knows what a strong man looks like, thus he looks at the forearms, hands and movements of another men to judge his strength. Somebody who sits in the office instead has typical neither an idea how to move himself properly, nor how it looks when somebody else does it. An office guy does not know the biomechanics of human strength processing, which somebody who works physical intuitively understands. An office guy (or woman) looks at superficial signs of strength like big triceps and chest muscles, which get largely ignored by people who works physical.
    Also somebody who works with his body knows what a body can do and what not and he is rather bored by questions of physical strength, he is more interested in personalities and plots. Somebody who sits all day in the office gets home with an overdose of decisions, ideas, personalities and when he goes to the cinema in the evening he wants to see something different.

    That probably plays a role in it.

    If a man worked as a ranch hand, roofer, drywall installation or say a laborer at a cement plant they would know whats useful strength and whats not. The guys who do that work are generally skinny and muscular but not really noticeable. Some are naturally burly guys but they don’t have the bodybuilding physique – it isn’t natural or useful.

    Office guys can get a idea of what physical work is like if they watch Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs”, some that stuff is backbreaking. He did one episode on roofers, talk about really physically demanding or his bit as a iron worker.

    For example I used to moon light as a piano mover on the weekends for extra $$$ in Los Angeles. It was just me and my boss moving everything from 400lb uprights to 1100 lb Grand Pianos(concert grands took 3 men since they weigh 1600 lbs). My boss was a short skinny guy and I was a short dumpy guy. The sort of strength we used was a lot different from than you use in the gym.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    When I was squatting and deadlifting, I helped a guy move house once. I definitely found it useful, having since moved house in an untrained state. Perhaps that is a poor example though if you are talking about the average guy who comes in to do curls. I lifted to have functional strength. The funny thing is that people who lift for functional strength and don't overdo it end up looking better and symmetrical compared to the bodybuilder types.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving... the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.
  176. @awesome
    "and even a few years ago I was nowhere near where I am now"

    Your trainer friend was sharing a secret about as plainly as he dares: after 10 years of natural lifting any gains you can make over 12 months is minimal. Maybe 1kg of pure muscle per year. Up to a maximum of 2kg if you are a genetic freak working out consistently more than twice a week with perfect diet and rest. Or not.

    Bodybuilding for size quickly hits diminishing returns as I think Warren Buffet said in the book The Snowball (Warren buffet lifted when he was young!)

    If your trainer suddenly started putting on muscle it was because of what he started putting in his muscles!

    In the 1st 3-9 months (the novice phase), you can put on a lot of muscle. After that, it slows down asymptotically.

  177. @Matra

    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.
     
    Right. It's all about homosexual influence. Lifting is gay. Maybe if you have a micropenis and need to compensate weightlifting makes sense but otherwise it's a gay thing.

    Actually no. It’s just a fun way for guys to blow off stress and bullshit. Beats knocking the c**p out of one another in a MMA gym.

    Now if you work at a job that has a lot of manual labor in it, you don’t need it. You really don’t have the energy to work out say after a hard day doing roofing or lining a foundry with 30lb bricks.

    Bodybuilding is another thing altogether, don’t confuse the two. Bodybuilding is the narcissists express.

    The cruel thing about bodybuilding is that all men’s magazines and bodybuilding rags basically promote a distorted and basically unobtainable body image that most men can never have unless they do a boat load of PED’s. They, the WWF and the movie industry are why guys think a massive muscled body is the norm or equates it with being a tough guy.

  178. @Anonymous

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.
     
    He must have had some other quality going for him.

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times. . . . He must have had some other quality going for him.

    Steven Seagal now looks like the tough guy version of Chris Christie. There’s one martial arts movie in which he wore a muu-muu most of the time. Talk about total body transformation, he started out as a lean guy.

  179. @prosa123
    Bodybuilders have some tricks to make their muscular definition more prominent. These include tanning, as muscles are more prominent on darker skin, dehydrating themselves in the days leading up to a competition, and oiling their bodies before going on stage. Some actors undoubtedly do the same.
    One trick used in muscle-magazine photos, which actors could use when shown shirtless from the front, is to apply tape on the person's back in a X pattern. This tightens the skin on the front of his body and makes his muscles stand out.

    Peter

    Also, wine to increase vascularity. I had a college apartment mate who was a bodybuilder. He had us paint his back with tanner with a paint brush. He was 5’4″, so I called him the interesting hulk.

  180. I remember thinking Stewart looked lame (when shirtless) in Rear Window, as well. It’s my all time favorite movie, though. And let’s see DeNiro or Denzel pilot bombing missions over Nazi Germany in WW2 in the early 40’s.

    Richard Egan was a naturally muscular actor back in the 1950’s. Here’s Wicked Woman Beverly Michaels oogling his physique (at .59.)

    Before Charles Bronson was Charles Bronson, he was Charles Dennis Buchinsky. His true calling as an actor was as a heavy, not a leading man. Very buff in the 1950’s, as seen in one of my other favorite movies – Crime Wave, starring Sterling Hayden.

  181. @whorefinder
    A few thoughts, related to gays:

    1. Much in the same way women don't notice that anoerexic models are pushed by gay men and not by straight men, we're not noticing how the push for the ripped/jacked look is pushed by gay men and not straight women.

    Gay men love the aesthetic of the bodybuilder. The Muscle Mags of the 1930s-today were largely bought by gay men but they used the cover of being into "fitness." Jack LaLanne and other muscle-dudes of the past spoke about this, and how their early careers were supported by gay men. And those cheesy sword-and-sandal movies of the 1950s and 1960s (the B-movie ones, not the Hollywood a-listers)? All kept alive by gays going ot repeat viewings (hence the line in The Rocky Horror Picture Show about seeing a "Steve Reeves" movie).

    Since the 1970s, gay influence on pop culture has grown thanks to the normalization push, Now with gays out, about, and in positions of powers, they are selecting for their stars muscle-bound/ripped dudes they fantasize about. Gay casting directors and publicists and studio executives are thus heavily pushing this fantasy for their own private amusement. (And lets not forget what happened in boy's toys---Mark Hamil, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, jokingly once compared a figurine of Luke Skywalker made in the late 1970s with a Luke figurine made in the late 1990s for the re-relases---the new figurine had gained about 30lbs of He-Man esque muscle in comparison to the 1970s one, and Hamil didn't have any of those 30lbs at any point during the original trilogy.)

    However, most women aren't into it. Although a small percentage are, if women fiended after jacked muscularage, body building competitions and pro wrestling shows would be much more tilted towards a female audience. They aren't; the watchers are men. The rare Magic Mike film notwithstanding----and Magic Mike took an awful lot of a hype to make it a hit----female-audience-centered movies have men who are thin, fully clothed, and often do not look "intimidating." Witness the careers of, say, Ryan Gosling or Richard Gere, whose movies are almost always targeted to female audiences, but rarely to men. (I might even throw the usually wispy Leo DiCaprio in there, but Scorcese has made sure that Leo has made a few movies that appeal to the males).

    Women seem to understand the difference between "in shape" and "ripped," and appreciate the former more than the latter, but even then, not as much as other qualities. Jack Nicholson is close to living proof that women value looks a lot less than men.

    2. Most bodybuilders were considered "sissies" by non-bodybuilders throughout the early 20th century; the average male instinctively understood (1) that the excessive investment in looks denoted a gay enterprise; and (2) that male bodies built for action were far different than male bodies built for show.

    And athletes instinctively or studiously avoided weights because they knew that weight training could make you "muscle constricted'; what made you stronger in the weight room actually was a detriment on the Basketball court or baseball field. It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing---witness early 1980s NBA players versus late 1990s NBA players---it's the difference between 10 black guys with "smooth muscle" and "10 black Arnold Schwartzeneggers running down the court" in about 15 years (I don't know if anyone every bothered to wonder whether Ron Artest was on steroids when he violently attacked fans in Indiana back in 2004, but it seems a likely reason---overreaction via 'roid rage).

    Today, as blue collar jobs in the U.S. are largely extinct, most non-Mexican men in the U.S. actually do not know that a bodybuilder physique is not what you get from doing tough labor. So most young men are confused by the gay-led culture that tells them that women like huge ripped dudes, much in the same way women are confused by gays into thinking men want anoerexic chicks.

    N.B. In many of the U.S. special forces unit training, it is common for the guys to lose muscle during training. That's because most guys going in for the training are hardcore workout dudes who lift, while the training is about, you know, training you how to kill, not how to be the buffest dude.

    “It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing”

    Dudebrah: no. This isn’t even remotely true. Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don’t become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example. People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.

    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.
     
    In my experience, most women from middle class and up tend to prefer the tall, lean muscular look (think crew/rowers) rather than the bulky "meat heads" look. My wife (who, by the way, was a world class collegiate athlete) thinks that the "meat heads" look is "gross and low IQ."
    , @whorefinder

    Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don’t become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example.
     
    Again, pro athletes ---especially basketball and baseball---believed this to be true, and it was only when steroids offered the promise of strength plus fast recovery+agility that they jumped on board beginning in the late 1980s. Supplementation may or may not have had the same agility-inducing effects, but most pro athletes didn't buy it and avoided the gym; those who did go to the gym, like Wilt Chamberlain and Reggie Jackson, were likely using steroids, as Steve pointed out they both entered the "legend" status of their careers after spending time at Muscle Beach.

    People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

     

    With steroids. The steroid kick in football began in the 1960s-1970s ., as Steve has pointed out. Art Donovan, a 1950s football hall of famer, used to joke that the only weight lifting anyone did in the old days was a pint of Schlitz. Weight training in football coincided with the rise of steroids.

    Pre-steroids, people worked out through running and drills, and, in extreme cases, by doing farm chores; in a probably apocryphal story, MLB legend Rogers Hornsby was told as a rookie he was good but that he needed to be "farmed out" (i.e. sent to the minors for a spell); Hornsby, mistakenly taking this literally, spent the winter literally working on a farm.


    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.
     
    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail ---they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens). Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man's bodybuilding physique. Women appreciate a man who's "in shape", but they have other things on their list that are much higher.

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.

    As to looks, women vote with their feet, and their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off. They aren't the audience for bodybuilding or wrestling shows. Sorry man, the boydbuilder look just ain't what women want.


    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.
     
    Not irrelevant, it's just a demonstration that the ideal body type for a special forces mission isn't arnold in his prime; as Steve has pointed out, it's more major league first baseman. The kind of body that with stands a lot of pain quietly and moves fast enough but is still strong enough to kill isn't the guy winning Mr. Olympia.
  182. There’s nothing “Gay” about Steve’s post but the comment section seems queerer than a three dollar bill.

    Muscles, body building, and steroids seem to attract a certain audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    “Joey, do you hang around a gymnasium? Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?”

  183. “When I was young, notable muscularity was considered a downscale, outmoded taste. 1960s rock stars tended to be very slender, and the general theory was that educated women didn’t like muscle men.”

    In the 1960s culture was (mostly) made by and for the upper middle class. Today it run by technocrats who have scientifically worked out that the best way to make money from culture is to appeal to the lowest common denominator and ruthlessly weed out anything unnecessarily high brow. Working class white guys are more likely to want to be muscle-bound hunks than upper middle-class guys. Working class women like muscle bound hunks more than educated upper-middle class women.

    Educated people also like to think they are above judging people about looks. Consider US commercial television compared to British public television and US indie films. TV shows made for upper middle class people tend to have actors with more realistic guy or girl next door looks, or educated people with quirky, charasmatic looks.

  184. 2Mintzin1 [AKA "Mike"] says:
    @Sean
    Steroids is a different physique, it's the V-shaped torso. Natural muscle is like "bulky" Bradley Cooper. Without steroids lifting weights will put muscle around your hips mainly, and it will take months. To get big shoulders lifting naturally involves getting a noticeably big butt. When you take steroids, you don't have to kill your back and knees with deadlifts and squats and get odd muscles in the nether regions at all, yet people in the gym will be asking "what do you do for your shoulders" within a couple of weeks.

    “Steroids is a different physique, it’s the V-shaped torso. Natural muscle is like “bulky” Bradley Cooper. Without steroids lifting weights will put muscle around your hips mainly, and it will take months”
    Sorry, Sean. That is crap.
    I know from that form the experience of lifting , on and off, for about 35 years.

    The v-shaped torso is one of the natural formations of the male body, just as the slender waist/wide hips formation is for the female body.

    Lifting weights will increase muscle in those areas of the body which are exercised heavily…a man who starts out with a V-shape (shoulder width to hips proportion is the key) will have the same basic shape after lifting weights.

    • Agree: Anonym
  185. @whorefinder

    After the movie I mentioned that Benicio del Toro is an interesting case–a movie star who is ugly. She said, “He’s not unattractive.”

    I would say, objectively, he’s not a physically attractive guy. A sexually active woman says different. He definitely has that compelling quality of a star, though
     

    Well she's not saying he's physically attractive, just that he's "not unattractive." Basically, she's saying he's famous, which will make any woman find him more attractive than she would if he weren't. He has a symmetrical face, which helps him, but it is really her attraction to him due to his fame that makes her rationalize (to you) that he isn't all ugly.

    I'm sure many women who've slept with Jack Nicholson rationalized away his ugly, creepy looks with self-sustaining arguments about how his face has "character" and "confidence" and that "he's handsome in an unconventional way" and all sorts of other lies women will tell themselves when faced with a man whom they are attracted to for something other than his looks.

    As to Del Toro, he's fascinated me since The Usual Suspects because he seems to be such a bad, mumbly actor, and yet is praised to the hilt. I literally couldn't understand a word he said in The Usual Suspects (part of the joke, I guess, but I didn't think it was set up well), and he hasn't been in anything as a lead that made money, but he's been plugging along, in A-list films, named in the advertisements, garnering critical praise in a bunch of roles.

    Maybe his style of acting is just something only critics get, or maybe they enjoy his weird takes on characters---his take on the comic book villain The Collector in the various Marvel-Avengers and -Guardians of the Galaxy films is just so...off-puttingly bad/weird...that it really makes you notice. Or maybe Del Toro is really good at schmoozing the critical-interview circuit and the producers of Hollyweird enough to convince them that his bad acting really is great acting.

    Del Toro's certainly no Steve Buschemi, another ugly, non-leading actor whose great work is so obvious that even non-critics love his stuff -(Buschemi's performance in Ghost World should be remembered as career-defining, as it deftly united his great acting skills with a character his looks were born to play.) Then again, Buschemi's picked a lot of crowd-pleasing films to be in and been memorably good in them (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Mr. Deeds, Airheads) while Del Toro has little beyond The Usual Suspects.

    Young Jack Nicholson was moderately good looking, no homo. Google him. Unconventional yes, but even I can see it. He would only have to hit that grin a few times in order to close. And who is more charismatic than Nicholson?

  186. Action movies these days often feature literal comic book characters. Costumed superheroes have always been depicted as having bodybuilder physiques. This seems less gay and more playing on adolescent insecurities/wish-fulfillment to me. Probably the movies are doing the same thing for the generation (X) that never grew up.

    This makes me wonder whether the pioneer of the enhanced actor was Christopher Reeve, the original Superman. He bulked up a lot in a short amount of time to play the Man of Steel right at the height of the original Pumping Iron/Gold’s Gym era. It seems he was trained by David “Darth Vader” Prowse, who casual scanning of the internet suggests was a bodybuilder who did not use steroids (supposedly) so probably Reeve was clean too.

    I’m pretty dumb so it took me until the late 30ish Daniel Craig got so huge for Casino Royale to figure out what was going on.

  187. @rod1963
    That probably plays a role in it.

    If a man worked as a ranch hand, roofer, drywall installation or say a laborer at a cement plant they would know whats useful strength and whats not. The guys who do that work are generally skinny and muscular but not really noticeable. Some are naturally burly guys but they don't have the bodybuilding physique - it isn't natural or useful.

    Office guys can get a idea of what physical work is like if they watch Mike Rowe's "Dirty Jobs", some that stuff is backbreaking. He did one episode on roofers, talk about really physically demanding or his bit as a iron worker.

    For example I used to moon light as a piano mover on the weekends for extra $$$ in Los Angeles. It was just me and my boss moving everything from 400lb uprights to 1100 lb Grand Pianos(concert grands took 3 men since they weigh 1600 lbs). My boss was a short skinny guy and I was a short dumpy guy. The sort of strength we used was a lot different from than you use in the gym.

    When I was squatting and deadlifting, I helped a guy move house once. I definitely found it useful, having since moved house in an untrained state. Perhaps that is a poor example though if you are talking about the average guy who comes in to do curls. I lifted to have functional strength. The funny thing is that people who lift for functional strength and don’t overdo it end up looking better and symmetrical compared to the bodybuilder types.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving… the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    When I was squatting and deadlifting
     
    When pressed for time, deadlifting and one-arm military presses (with a long barbell, so as to work the stabilization muscles as much as possible) can pretty much cover most of functional strength training.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving… the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.
     
    One of my old Brazilian Jujitsu training partners used to beat Chicago Bears players in grip strength contests, and he was smaller than all of them except the kickers. They used to marvel at him and ask how, and he'd answer "Judo and Jujitsu, man, a lot of Judo and Jujitsu is grip fighting." It's often amazing to other athletes how strong a grip Judoka and Jujitsuka have, but if you grip and throw resisting grown men around all day, that's what happens.

    I think Judoka may have even stronger grip strength than wrestlers, because the "handles" in the two sports are different (lapels/collars, sleeves, and sleeves as opposed to actual body parts), and the opponents (the weight being thrown) tend to be farther out from one's body because of those handles. Of course, wrestlers probably beat Judoka handily being the sheer ability to pickup and throw a human body.

    By the way, back when I was getting into the Soviet-style strength and conditioning training, Pavel Tsatsouline would advice me never to wear gloves while doing strength training. He'd say 1) "You aren't going to be wearing gloves when you are grappling with people or moving heavy objects suddenly in real life" and 2) "Not wearing gloves make you grip the bars and weights harder and pre-tense your muscles and increase the functional efficiency of the exercises."
    , @midtown
    Moving stuff is the purest application of weightlifting.
  188. @vinteuil
    No, sweetie-darling - the correct answer is 0.

    You’re not following along very closely here. The whole point is that it’s a trick question, and that, given the orthodoxy, there is no level of experience at which you are allowed to say that you are not a male homosexual, because, given the extended SJW orthodoxy, ultimately and strictly, a male is not allowed to be other than homosexual or at least plenty gay enough. Supposedly only what is wanted are healthy, free, fearless heterosexual men who wouldn’t blink at whatever the truth about their sexuality might be, but just call it flatly as they see it. But that is all tricks. Thus for example if you think “zero” is the correct answer, the response you get has this flavor: “Oh, afraid you might like it huh? How do you know unless you try it? ‘At all costs must not look inside that closet door and find my straight self inside of it.’ You just keep telling yourself that honey.”

    And again, vinteuil, since you seem to not notice nuance, the quotation marks are not me speaking as myself, but rather an attempt at exemplifying the high-progressive weltanschauung on these topics, and pointing out the bad faith, because whatever number you stop at there is a similar bitchy put-down waiting for you in response. It’s a moving the goalposts kind of thing. Ideally I can avoid writing the book, and not have to script out the remarks for the other numbers, as most readers are probably already done with this little study exercise on their own.

  189. @pumpyouup
    (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding “show” muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you're talking about. There are no such things as "show muscles" and "functional muscles". That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.

    Adaptations to training tend to be fairly specific. Lifting weights in 6-12 rep sets as bodybuilders are fond of tends to make you best at doing that. Whether or not that is "functional" depends on what you are trying to do. It's not very functional for, say, a soccer player.

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he'll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder's routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you’re talking about. There are no such things as “show muscles” and “functional muscles”. That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he’ll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder’s routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.

    Bodybuilders are not as “strong” as they look when put to wide ranges of athletic tests.

    What is the purpose of the “bodybuilder’s routine”? It’s to win an appearance contest, i.e. for show. They are not building functional muscles in the sense that they are not designed to enhance output of force in specific movements over a time frame, but to display muscle size and definition (with lots of flashes going off).

    “Show muscles” and “functional muscles” aren’t meant to be anatomical terms. They are simply shorthands for types of strength training that lead to very different outcomes. No one is suggesting that gearing training toward “show” muscles mean the bodybuilders have no strength. Don’t get all self-righteous knocking down a straw man.

    Back in the early 1990’s when Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Spetsnaz trainer, had me do one arm military presses with barbells (high weight, low rep), he wasn’t looking to make my chest or shoulders look big or muscular for a show contest. He intended for me to increase the force output of not only the main chest or shoulder muscles, but also the “stabilization” muscles that provide functionality over a wide range of motion (and especially at the extreme outer ranges of motion, such as being able to ragdoll another man while gripping him with my arm stretched out, as in Judo), all the while keeping my weight as low as possible (in other words, high efficiency in terms of force output over bodyweight). Same thing with kettlebell training (back the 90’s, they weren’t very common in the U.S.). And also lots of plyometric exercises. To that I added Ashtanga Yoga after seeing Rickson Gracie do his Ginastica Natural routines.

    If you looked at how, for example, MMA fighters train today (or how boxers and wrestlers have trained all along), they are all exercises that are designed to put out maximum force over a specific range of motion and time frame. They are functional strength and conditioning exercises. And such exercises have become rather routine, as popular science has caught up with the fitness world.

    But I can tell you that back in the 70’s to 80’s, that wasn’t always the case. A lot of people did bench presses, bicep curls, and other even more “isolation”- oriented lifts (that only worked a single plane of muscle strength) that may have produced impressive looking muscle bulges, but did not provide functional strength, that is, being able to put out force over a wide range (and planes) of motion over a sustained period of time.

    When I was doing Brazilian Jujitsu about 15 years ago, I had come from a Judo background and had been undergoing Russian-style training thanks to Pavel. With his advice, I went for what he called “wiry strength” rather than bulking up with show muscles. I was about 180-200 lbs. and looked pretty lean (think the Bruce Lee-look only much taller). Some of the guys with whom I trained were bodybuilders with HUGE looking muscles, and they used to be shocked by my grip strength and how easily I was able to throw them or sweep them (which was a combination of my decades-long Judo skills and the fact that I was, in their words, much stronger than I looked (and, again, as I mentioned in the other tread, *I* too ate plenty of humble pie when I trained with wrestlers from a major Midwestern powerhouse during their offseasons – I was ragdolled plenty and consumed a lot of anti-inflammatory medication).

  190. @Scott Locklin
    "It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing"

    Dudebrah: no. This isn't even remotely true. Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don't become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example. People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

    You're also smoking something if you think women don't throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I'll give you a hint: they ain't all gaylords, and it ain't to impress their friends.

    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.

    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.

    In my experience, most women from middle class and up tend to prefer the tall, lean muscular look (think crew/rowers) rather than the bulky “meat heads” look. My wife (who, by the way, was a world class collegiate athlete) thinks that the “meat heads” look is “gross and low IQ.”

  191. @Anonym
    When I was squatting and deadlifting, I helped a guy move house once. I definitely found it useful, having since moved house in an untrained state. Perhaps that is a poor example though if you are talking about the average guy who comes in to do curls. I lifted to have functional strength. The funny thing is that people who lift for functional strength and don't overdo it end up looking better and symmetrical compared to the bodybuilder types.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving... the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.

    When I was squatting and deadlifting

    When pressed for time, deadlifting and one-arm military presses (with a long barbell, so as to work the stabilization muscles as much as possible) can pretty much cover most of functional strength training.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving… the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.

    One of my old Brazilian Jujitsu training partners used to beat Chicago Bears players in grip strength contests, and he was smaller than all of them except the kickers. They used to marvel at him and ask how, and he’d answer “Judo and Jujitsu, man, a lot of Judo and Jujitsu is grip fighting.” It’s often amazing to other athletes how strong a grip Judoka and Jujitsuka have, but if you grip and throw resisting grown men around all day, that’s what happens.

    I think Judoka may have even stronger grip strength than wrestlers, because the “handles” in the two sports are different (lapels/collars, sleeves, and sleeves as opposed to actual body parts), and the opponents (the weight being thrown) tend to be farther out from one’s body because of those handles. Of course, wrestlers probably beat Judoka handily being the sheer ability to pickup and throw a human body.

    By the way, back when I was getting into the Soviet-style strength and conditioning training, Pavel Tsatsouline would advice me never to wear gloves while doing strength training. He’d say 1) “You aren’t going to be wearing gloves when you are grappling with people or moving heavy objects suddenly in real life” and 2) “Not wearing gloves make you grip the bars and weights harder and pre-tense your muscles and increase the functional efficiency of the exercises.”

    • Replies: @Anonym
    Deadlifting (or squatting) is definitely a great exercise to hit most muscle groups and combine in a coordinated way. As to an exercise to follow it up with, there are a few. Some sort of bench (pushing) and a pulling exercise are quite logical.

    As a routine, the police entrance exam type exercises are good and cheap. They often advocate pushups, situps, pullups or chins. Burpees are great, but are less often tested AFAIK. Doing just those exercises you can get quite athletic looking with a good deal of functional strength, though more strength/power endurance than pure strength.

    As for grip strength, there are some guys who are phenoms at it. I remember a Turkish guy who had exceptional grip strength. Maybe he was a bricklayer during the day or something.

    Also agree with doing away with gloves and belts for lifting if the purpose is being strong outside the weight room.

  192. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I was in the USMC infantry from 1976 to 1980. Most everyone lifted at least from time to time – the USMC encouraged this but most of the guys needed little encouragement, it was largely a macho/muscles/prison rules type environment and demographic. However, lifting was nearly unknown among the “general population”, it was confined to various subcultures like this.

    Simply looking like you had muscles was considered sort of low class and barbaric, it wasn’t until I was out in the 80’s that I saw widespread adoption or even awareness of weight training as something normal people did. In the 70s, mentioning weight training in the USMC to civilians sounded to them almost as exotic as hand to hand combat training or bayonet drills.

    Just an observation from a guy who was doing weight training during that era. Offbase, we were obviously distinguished by our haircuts in that long-hair era, but also very much by our musculature, you just didn’t see mainstream young civilian guys looking like that. FWIW, keeping bulk on in the infantry was fairly hard with all the humping and physical privations of our operations, though that hardly stopped anyone from their efforts. But generally, the really bulked up guys were in other jobs where they could consistently nurture this sort of thing with the regular rest/nutrition that is also essential.

    Nowadays, and for probably at least 20 years, between the buzz haircuts and the weight training, all the young guys look like only Marines did then. I figure this development is somewhat analogous to all the Walter Mitty dentists/lawyers at first buying Harleys so they could look like outlaw bikers and then it just became self sustaining on its own.

    This happened also within a few years of the spread of bodybuilding, maybe a trend?

  193. My impression was that “Pumping Iron,” the 1977 doc that featured Arnold, was the cultural-thing that made weightlifting and bodybuilding respectable. Like Steve, I recall that in the ’60s and ’70s the weightroom was a strange place — hardcore football-type athletes, gays and weirdos with disturbing obsessions with masculinity might spend time there, but very few normal guys would. The people who created and promoted “Pumping Iron” made a point of arguing that bodybuilding should be thought of as an art in the art-world sense, and they campaigned hard in the NYC cultural-media world to sell the idea. Not long afterwards, normal people started pushing iron around.

    FWIW, according to Wikipedia’s entry on “Pumping Iron,” “The film served to popularize the then somewhat niche culture of bodybuilding, helping to inspire the fitness craze of the 1980s; following the film’s release, there was a marked increase in the number of commercial gyms in the United States.”

    A few other notes.

    * Lisa Lyon is an interesting figure to look into. She was an art student who became a bodybuilder in the ’70s. She claimed that her bodywork was body art, thereby anticipating the tattooing and piercing fads, and she was friends with and was photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, which added to the arty allure. Plus: pretty hot back in the day.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Lyon

    * Another factor: The fashion and makeup industries started targeting men hard in the ’80s. Their attitude was, more or less, “we’ve exploited women and their fantasies and insecurities about as much as we can, now let’s go colonize and exploit the guys.” (Not a fantasy on my part: I remember reading articles in the fashion-trade press back in the ’80s where designers and CEOs were saying this stuff quite directly.) That was the origin of big, dramatically-lit ads with half-naked guys showing off pecs and six-packs. I didn’t think the fashion and makeup businesses would succeed at making guys as self-conscious and narcissistic as women — surely evolution had made that impossible. But I was wrong. Guys now routinely hydrate their skin and wear tight V-necked t-shirts made of clingy material that my wife likes to call “nipple T’s.”

    * I think videogames may be a factor too. Those things are full of bulked-up characters who run through their adventures like Arnold runs. Young adult guys these days seem to have spent ‘way more time with their minds and heads in videogames than than in movies, so it’d be normal if they’ve been affected by that.

  194. @anonymous-antimarxist
    Alpine Ski racers are exceptionally well conditioned athletes. But they try to maintain a layer of subcutaneous fat so they can survive the long seasons and often constant cold exposure without the respiratory infections that can kill their competitive chances. The Navy Seals know that nothing demonstrates toughness and character like persistent exposure to cold.

    There used to be an (NBC?) show in which athletes from different sports competed in events including weight lifting, swimming, running, etc. IIRC, one year the 2nd place finisher was an Austrian skier (I think the 1st place finisher that year was Jason Sehorn, the white cornerback who, for a time, was considered the best all-around athlete on the NY Giants).

  195. @Anonymous

    Steven Segal was one of the less buff action heroes in more recent times.
     
    He must have had some other quality going for him.

    Seagal was charismatic, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a master of a novel (from a film perspective) martial art, Aikido. He showed off all of that in his first big movie, Above The Law (1988).

    Someone wrote earlier in this thread that Arnold looked funny running – Seagal had an odd way of carrying his arms while running, maybe due to his aikido training.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Seagal was charismatic, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a master of a novel (from a film perspective) martial art, Aikido.
     
    There is some dispute over how he obtained his black belt in Aikido (he was, at the time, married to the daughter of an Aikido master in Japan).

    In any case, Gene Lebell has a funny story about Seagal.
  196. @pumpyouup
    (As I mentioned in another thread, bodybuilding “show” muscles are not the same as functional muscles.)

    God I hate this stupid meme. You have no idea what you're talking about. There are no such things as "show muscles" and "functional muscles". That has absolutely no basis in anatomy.

    Adaptations to training tend to be fairly specific. Lifting weights in 6-12 rep sets as bodybuilders are fond of tends to make you best at doing that. Whether or not that is "functional" depends on what you are trying to do. It's not very functional for, say, a soccer player.

    Serious bodybuilders are inevitably strong. But ask a bodybuilder to out-lift a powerlifter and he will likely fail, even if he has more muscle. Ask him to do more pushups than a martial artist and he'll lose. Ask either of those guys to go to the gym and complete the bodybuilder's routine and they will fail due to lacking the necessary balance of muscular strength and endurance.

    I would think most competitive bodybuilders incorporate the major compound barbell lifts (squats, deadlifts, press, and bench), but there are lots of bros in a typical gym who never do deadlifts or standing overhead presses, and, if they squat, they don’t go anywhere near parallel. Those guys often have showy upper body muscles but lack functional strength, because they have a lot of weak links in the chain (their lower backs, for example, if they’re doing all their shoulder pressing sitting down leaning against a backrest).

    It’s not intuitively obvious to non-lifters that when you start to overhead press a certain amount of weight, you feel it stress your abs and buttocks, for example, and when you start squatting heavy weight every muscle below the bar is working.

    • Replies: @midtown
    This is correct. The deadlift is the primordial lift and the most important and far-reaching of all lifts -- even moreso than the squat. If all you have time for is one exercise, do 5x5 of DL. Maybe throw in some pushups between sets.

    With regard to the trainer who gained muscle much more quickly than previous years, I believe it is quite possible if he had been doing the typical bench-and-biceps stuff and then discovered the powerlifting and explosive exercises. Those can add muscle pretty quickly if you haven't done them before, even if you thought you were working hard with the bench and bi routines.
  197. @Matra

    The pilot of Magnum, p.i. opens with Tom Selleck coming out of the water shirtless. He was considered one of the sexiest men of the time, and he was in great shape, but he barely had any definition to his abs, and of course loads of chest hair. Didn’t seem to slow the women down any, so I don’t think it was women who demanded leading men all try to look like extremely buff teenagers.
     
    Right. It's all about homosexual influence. Lifting is gay. Maybe if you have a micropenis and need to compensate weightlifting makes sense but otherwise it's a gay thing.

    Gays are men, and men are more focussed on physical appearance than women, so probably a higher percentage of gays than straights lift weights. Also, I suspect that during the peak of the AIDS crisis, having a muscular physique was a way to signal your relative health. And, an added motivation in the past might have been to deter bashers.

    That said, not all gays lift, and most men who lift (just like most men in general) aren’t gay.

  198. When I was young, notable muscularity was considered a downscale, outmoded taste.

    One of the most toned physiques in Hollywood in the ’60s was none other than Wally Cox. But only his friends knew about it. It would have ruined the dweebish image that was his meal ticket.

    Though he did guest as a safecracker on Mission Impossible, and in the opening credits you can see him in what’s now called a “wife beater”.

    For example, about a half-dozen years ago I saw Jake Gyllenhaal at the yogurt stand. He looked ridiculous all inflated to play action hero The Prince of Persia.

    I once did a temp shift at the Metrodome when the Twins hosted the A’s, and entered through the employees’ entrance– right behind Mark McGwire and José Canseco. “Ridiculously all inflated” didn’t come to mind, but hindsight suggests maybe it should have.

  199. @Twinkie

    When I was squatting and deadlifting
     
    When pressed for time, deadlifting and one-arm military presses (with a long barbell, so as to work the stabilization muscles as much as possible) can pretty much cover most of functional strength training.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving… the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.
     
    One of my old Brazilian Jujitsu training partners used to beat Chicago Bears players in grip strength contests, and he was smaller than all of them except the kickers. They used to marvel at him and ask how, and he'd answer "Judo and Jujitsu, man, a lot of Judo and Jujitsu is grip fighting." It's often amazing to other athletes how strong a grip Judoka and Jujitsuka have, but if you grip and throw resisting grown men around all day, that's what happens.

    I think Judoka may have even stronger grip strength than wrestlers, because the "handles" in the two sports are different (lapels/collars, sleeves, and sleeves as opposed to actual body parts), and the opponents (the weight being thrown) tend to be farther out from one's body because of those handles. Of course, wrestlers probably beat Judoka handily being the sheer ability to pickup and throw a human body.

    By the way, back when I was getting into the Soviet-style strength and conditioning training, Pavel Tsatsouline would advice me never to wear gloves while doing strength training. He'd say 1) "You aren't going to be wearing gloves when you are grappling with people or moving heavy objects suddenly in real life" and 2) "Not wearing gloves make you grip the bars and weights harder and pre-tense your muscles and increase the functional efficiency of the exercises."

    Deadlifting (or squatting) is definitely a great exercise to hit most muscle groups and combine in a coordinated way. As to an exercise to follow it up with, there are a few. Some sort of bench (pushing) and a pulling exercise are quite logical.

    As a routine, the police entrance exam type exercises are good and cheap. They often advocate pushups, situps, pullups or chins. Burpees are great, but are less often tested AFAIK. Doing just those exercises you can get quite athletic looking with a good deal of functional strength, though more strength/power endurance than pure strength.

    As for grip strength, there are some guys who are phenoms at it. I remember a Turkish guy who had exceptional grip strength. Maybe he was a bricklayer during the day or something.

    Also agree with doing away with gloves and belts for lifting if the purpose is being strong outside the weight room.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Belts don't make you weak; they magnify the effect of the Valsalva maneuver by giving your abdominal muscles something to push against.
  200. @Anonym
    Deadlifting (or squatting) is definitely a great exercise to hit most muscle groups and combine in a coordinated way. As to an exercise to follow it up with, there are a few. Some sort of bench (pushing) and a pulling exercise are quite logical.

    As a routine, the police entrance exam type exercises are good and cheap. They often advocate pushups, situps, pullups or chins. Burpees are great, but are less often tested AFAIK. Doing just those exercises you can get quite athletic looking with a good deal of functional strength, though more strength/power endurance than pure strength.

    As for grip strength, there are some guys who are phenoms at it. I remember a Turkish guy who had exceptional grip strength. Maybe he was a bricklayer during the day or something.

    Also agree with doing away with gloves and belts for lifting if the purpose is being strong outside the weight room.

    Belts don’t make you weak; they magnify the effect of the Valsalva maneuver by giving your abdominal muscles something to push against.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    And as a result, the abdominals have less need to contract in order for your legs and posterior chain to lift the same load. As a result, all else being equal, abs will be weaker. When it comes to having to lift the same weight in the wild I would prefer my muscle memory not trying replicate a performance that could only be achieved with a belt. Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely. In a lot of sports the extra core strength is not a minus.
  201. @Dr. Doom
    Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don't underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn't competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25" biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That's why he's still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn't have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    Austria was not behind the Iron Curtain. It was divided until 1955, but Schwarzenegger was born in ’47.

  202. @Anonym
    When I was squatting and deadlifting, I helped a guy move house once. I definitely found it useful, having since moved house in an untrained state. Perhaps that is a poor example though if you are talking about the average guy who comes in to do curls. I lifted to have functional strength. The funny thing is that people who lift for functional strength and don't overdo it end up looking better and symmetrical compared to the bodybuilder types.

    Wrestling and BJJ is also good for moving... the strength is very functional and the grip strength is golden.

    Moving stuff is the purest application of weightlifting.

  203. @optingout
    Click on part two - the diet is specified. Essentially, 2 lbs ground beef, 3 sweet potatoes, a humongous protein shake, and unlimited cruciferous vegetables per day. Later beef was changed to chicken and fish. No fats. No sugars. 3 cheat meals over the 63 days. He was hungry and weak all the time.

    Thanks – because when I clicked for part 2 there wasn’t a link there. Be interested to read it.

  204. @Dave Pinsen
    I would think most competitive bodybuilders incorporate the major compound barbell lifts (squats, deadlifts, press, and bench), but there are lots of bros in a typical gym who never do deadlifts or standing overhead presses, and, if they squat, they don't go anywhere near parallel. Those guys often have showy upper body muscles but lack functional strength, because they have a lot of weak links in the chain (their lower backs, for example, if they're doing all their shoulder pressing sitting down leaning against a backrest).

    It's not intuitively obvious to non-lifters that when you start to overhead press a certain amount of weight, you feel it stress your abs and buttocks, for example, and when you start squatting heavy weight every muscle below the bar is working.

    This is correct. The deadlift is the primordial lift and the most important and far-reaching of all lifts — even moreso than the squat. If all you have time for is one exercise, do 5×5 of DL. Maybe throw in some pushups between sets.

    With regard to the trainer who gained muscle much more quickly than previous years, I believe it is quite possible if he had been doing the typical bench-and-biceps stuff and then discovered the powerlifting and explosive exercises. Those can add muscle pretty quickly if you haven’t done them before, even if you thought you were working hard with the bench and bi routines.

  205. @Harry Baldwin
    The average American men seventy or so years ago... were tougher and more manly.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp... I don't know, it's just doesn't work for me.

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp… I don’t know, it’s just doesn’t work for me.

    Would the casting be limited to American actors? Several of those you listed are from overseas. But the movie could be recast somewhat convincingly today. A couple of those you listed are too young for the parts. Other than Bo Hopkins who was killed off early, Oates was the youngest in the Wild Bunch and he was in his 40s.

    For the Holden role either George Clooney or Russel Crowe. Both are leading men who can pull off the world weary look.
    Borgnine- Tom Sizemore or Ray Stevenson Stocky menacing types.

    Warren Oates- Woody Harrelson
    Ben Johnson- Josh Brolin
    Brolin and Harrelson can both do physical roles and add a bit of comic relief in the manner of Oates and Johnson.

    The Robert Ryan role would be the hardest to cast. Maybe Jeff Bridges, since Ryan was the oldest cast member.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Re Tom Sizemore as a stocky, menacing type: great example of that in this scene from Heat.
    https://youtu.be/oKicGA1nAIk
  206. @cthulhu
    In the music field, consider Bruce Springsteen: critics' darling for his first five albums, and a reasonable amount of commercial success for the last three of those, but then for Born In The U.S.A., he goes from skinny working class hero to seriously buffed-up hunk - remember the music video for "Dancing in the Dark"? - and monster sales, despite the aforementioned album being a piece of shit. I mean, the best song on it isn't actually on the album, it's the B-side of the "Dancing in the Dark" single - I'm of course talking about "Pink Cadillac".

    Anyway, I'm thinking that without the swollen biceps, Born In The U.S.A. is no more than the reasonably successful follow up to "The River", as befits one of the most overrated artists in the last 30 years.

    Watch a video of a Police song from the early 80’s. Look at Sting today, at age 60-something. Any other rock/pop singers in this category?

  207. @Scott Locklin
    "It was only when steroids allowed for strength that was still flexible and agile that weight training became a thing"

    Dudebrah: no. This isn't even remotely true. Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don't become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example. People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

    You're also smoking something if you think women don't throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I'll give you a hint: they ain't all gaylords, and it ain't to impress their friends.

    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.

    Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don’t become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example.

    Again, pro athletes —especially basketball and baseball—believed this to be true, and it was only when steroids offered the promise of strength plus fast recovery+agility that they jumped on board beginning in the late 1980s. Supplementation may or may not have had the same agility-inducing effects, but most pro athletes didn’t buy it and avoided the gym; those who did go to the gym, like Wilt Chamberlain and Reggie Jackson, were likely using steroids, as Steve pointed out they both entered the “legend” status of their careers after spending time at Muscle Beach.

    People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

    With steroids. The steroid kick in football began in the 1960s-1970s ., as Steve has pointed out. Art Donovan, a 1950s football hall of famer, used to joke that the only weight lifting anyone did in the old days was a pint of Schlitz. Weight training in football coincided with the rise of steroids.

    Pre-steroids, people worked out through running and drills, and, in extreme cases, by doing farm chores; in a probably apocryphal story, MLB legend Rogers Hornsby was told as a rookie he was good but that he needed to be “farmed out” (i.e. sent to the minors for a spell); Hornsby, mistakenly taking this literally, spent the winter literally working on a farm.

    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.

    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail —they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens). Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man’s bodybuilding physique. Women appreciate a man who’s “in shape”, but they have other things on their list that are much higher.

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.

    As to looks, women vote with their feet, and their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off. They aren’t the audience for bodybuilding or wrestling shows. Sorry man, the boydbuilder look just ain’t what women want.

    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.

    Not irrelevant, it’s just a demonstration that the ideal body type for a special forces mission isn’t arnold in his prime; as Steve has pointed out, it’s more major league first baseman. The kind of body that with stands a lot of pain quietly and moves fast enough but is still strong enough to kill isn’t the guy winning Mr. Olympia.

    • Replies: @Niccolò Arminius

    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail —they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens).
     
    You sound like my wife. Thirty-two years later, her rationalization hamster has convinced her she was not turned on by my physique, but she still admits to love at first sight. I remember her running her hands all over my arms, chest, and shoulders, just like all the other girls did. And you don't have to be that big or even ripped, although leanness is a big turn-on to women.

    All that is necessary to boot up the initial female limbic reproduction program is a "golden ratio" V torso (44 chest, 32 waist) and a pair of 16" diameter guns, in my case achieved without any supplements other than a couple of milk shakes with raw eggs and honey added. I worked out three days a week (all body) and never had a full six pack, but it was enough to get propositioned several times a week from women and girls. Incidentally, there are genetically gifted guys who have that look and those dimensions without ever picking up a barbell or a Nautilus machine. And yes, they are invariably somewhat alpha.

    Back in the 60's, most guys began weight training at around 11 or 12 years old during off-season football. I'd already started, because I wanted to pound somebody who had beaten me in a fight. The girls responded, a wonderful side effect, as I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone and good genetics of the born fighter. The V torso is typically indicative of upper body fighting power, which is why you see women drooling over guys who never work their legs. Think of MMA fighters with twig legs.

    Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man’s bodybuilding physique.
     
    This is somewhat true for the steroid era, and especially true for modern bodybuilders (post 1985), who really have a Y torso with a 40" or so waist due to drug induced visceral fat and/or distended organs. Chicks don't like that look.

    Women appreciate a man who’s “in shape”, but they have other things on their list that are much higher.
     
    That list changes depending on the time of the month and if she's of reproductive age, she's going to be very interested in V torso males for a few days every cycle, even if she is in self-denial, as they usually are about what gets them going. And it gets really interesting when they hit 50 and go on post menopausal testosterone supplementation a la Suzanne Summers. Every day is ovulation day.
    , @reiner Tor

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.
     
    Lifting weights (especially the deadlift and the squat, but there are some other lifts, too) will change your posture for the better. This feeds back on your confidence - straightening out your spine will raise your confidence immediately.

    Lifting weights will also increase the amount of testosterone in your blood, because your body will produce more of the stuff. It will also change your behavior: you will be cockier, more assertive, and so on. Maybe you were born with a lot of testosterone anyway - good for lucky you. For the rest of us it's beneficial to lift weights.

    And becoming more muscular (less thin, in my case) and with a straighter spine just changed the way others treated me, too, which also had a feedback on my confidence.

    I'm an extreme ectomorph, and at a young age I was given similar advice to what you are giving (i.e. along the lines of "be more confident"), but I realized that confidence cannot come out of hot air (you cannot become more confident by pretending to be more confident), and even real life success (like getting a higher income) didn't change it much for me. (On the other hand I knew a few thin guys who were nevertheless cocky, but that wasn't the majority of thin guys and most importantly I wasn't one of them, and they just seemed to have been born that way.) Even doing endurance sports didn't change that for me. Lifting weights, on the other hand, slowly but noticeably changed the way I behaved at company meetings. When I had a couple of injuries a few years ago (unrelated to lifting weights, but nevertheless preventing me from lifting), my confidence started to decrease. (Though it was slower than the actual decay of my muscles.) I restarted lifting, and, voilà, my confidence bounced back.

    their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off
     
    It's called a false dichotomy. There are many possibilities in between and outside the range. Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs). If you look like that, good for you, but I'd still need to train a lot to look like Ryan Gosling. Many (I'd think most) people have less muscles (often way less muscles) than Gosling, and they also have more fat.

    In other words, you seem to be saying that "you don't need to lift weights because chicks dig guys who lift less and use less PEDs than did Arnold". Yeah, but the guy you gave as an example still lifts a lot of weights and probably also does a lot of PEDs.

    If I could give an advice to my 18-year-old self, I'd tell him to lift weights. That's the advice I'd give to anyone. Unless you're using a lot of PEDs, you won't look like Arnold (I'm afraid not even like Gosling, though depending on genetics you might grow more muscles but also with more fat).
  208. http://radicalbaseball.blogspot.com/2014/08/nolan-ryan-tom-house-and-steroids.html

    Steve,
    This is more about baseball, and I’m not sure if someone else mentioned it here or in your post at Taki (too many comments for me to wade through), but you seemed to have missed the Tom House confesssion on steroid use in 1976, not to mention the testing done in baseball in 1973.

  209. Matt Damon probably didn’t shave his chest. Don’t you remember him from the John Wayne remake? He can hardly grow a mustache.

  210. @Chris Mallory

    I think of the cast of Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson were all completely convincing as real men, genuine tough guys. Try to imagine the same movie cast with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Junior, Chris Hemsworth, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp… I don’t know, it’s just doesn’t work for me.
     
    Would the casting be limited to American actors? Several of those you listed are from overseas. But the movie could be recast somewhat convincingly today. A couple of those you listed are too young for the parts. Other than Bo Hopkins who was killed off early, Oates was the youngest in the Wild Bunch and he was in his 40s.

    For the Holden role either George Clooney or Russel Crowe. Both are leading men who can pull off the world weary look.
    Borgnine- Tom Sizemore or Ray Stevenson Stocky menacing types.

    Warren Oates- Woody Harrelson
    Ben Johnson- Josh Brolin
    Brolin and Harrelson can both do physical roles and add a bit of comic relief in the manner of Oates and Johnson.

    The Robert Ryan role would be the hardest to cast. Maybe Jeff Bridges, since Ryan was the oldest cast member.

    Re Tom Sizemore as a stocky, menacing type: great example of that in this scene from Heat.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Re Tom Sizemore as a stocky, menacing type: great example of that in this scene from Heat.
     
    Well, Tom Sizemore played that type on film. I question how tough he actually was/is. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I heard that Dale Dye put the major cast members of "Saving Private Ryan," including Sizemore through a ten-day "boot camp," and all the actors except Tom Hanks wanted to quit, but were persuaded to stay by him. Maybe that's just the rumor spread by Hanks' publicist.

    That, of course, did not stop Sizemore (and Vin Diesel) from talking like he was a trained warrior afterwards.
  211. @Dave Pinsen
    Belts don't make you weak; they magnify the effect of the Valsalva maneuver by giving your abdominal muscles something to push against.

    And as a result, the abdominals have less need to contract in order for your legs and posterior chain to lift the same load. As a result, all else being equal, abs will be weaker. When it comes to having to lift the same weight in the wild I would prefer my muscle memory not trying replicate a performance that could only be achieved with a belt. Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely. In a lot of sports the extra core strength is not a minus.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely.
     
    Depends on the exercise and the lifter. At some point, if they continue to add weight on their squats, everyone will need a belt. And, assuming correct form in both cases, a guy who squats 405lbs with a belt in the gym will be stronger "in the wild" without his belt than a guy who squats 225lbs without a belt in the gym.
  212. WhatEvvs [AKA "Anonymuss Annie"] says:
    @Justpassingby

    Strangely, the solution involves interior decorating: If computer science classrooms were
     
    Perhaps next week they'll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.

    Perhaps next week they’ll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.

    If they did we might have better clothing. Lauren is allegedly and I think in reality straight – most of his clothing (except for the awful Winter Olympics ugly sweaters) is great stuff. Ungaro is straight too. Fine designer.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.
  213. “In the 35 years since Raging Bull, getting intentionally fat has not become a rite of passage for actors.”

    I can think of two cases immediately, both serious dramas like “Raging Bull”: Stallone in “Copland”; Charlize Theron in “Monster”.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Also Bradley Cooper in "American Hustle."
  214. @Dr. Doom
    Stallone started this trend as much as Schwarzenegger. Stallone did it by casting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Rocky III. Don't underestimate what Pro Wrestling did to musculatures in the movies. Also Mr. T being on the high rated A-Team and the Presidential Fitness Program with Schwarzenegger. Arnold is from Austria, a country behind the Iron Curtain at the time. The Soviets and the East Germans were infamous for feeding steroids into their women athletes at the Olympics. Schwarzenegger probably got the first steroids in Austria from their Olympic Program. He was notorious for losing most of his muscle mass when he wasn't competing for Bodybuilding titles, but when it came about time for a Mr. Olympia, his muscles ballooned overnight into those huge 25" biceps that had the Whole World sit up and take notice. The documentary where Arnold competes against the Legendary Lou Ferrigno, TVs Incredible Hulk, put muscles front and center. Rocky IIIs double whammy of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who both appeared at the First Wrestlemania put millions of kids on Vitamin S all over the country. Schwarzenegger has paid a high price for juicing. Before he left the films to go into politics, he had a Quintuple Bypass. Quintuple! They had to also bypass his Aorta as well as all four chambers of his heart. That's why he's still alive. Those wrestlers that died didn't have a bypass and croaked. Guys like Genetic Freak Scott Steiner and Hulk Hogan are probably alive due to bypass surgery.

    Bullshit on the quintuple bypass; Arnold has a congenital bicuspid valve, and that’s why he went in for heart surgery.

  215. @prosa123
    Today's fastest-growing fitness regimen is CrossFit, which emphasizes overall functional strength rather than extreme muscular development. It also attracts about equal numbers of men and women. It wouldn't surprise me if one consequence might be a de-emphasis on heavy muscularity in actors.

    Peter

    Top level Crossfitters are increasingly muscular, and the events emphasize raw strength (deadlifting, squatting, overhead presses). I wouldn’t be shocked if there is rampant steroid use in competitive Crossfit.

  216. @WhatEvvs

    Perhaps next week they’ll have an article on how fashion design offices can be changed to get more straight men involved in that line of work.
     
    If they did we might have better clothing. Lauren is allegedly and I think in reality straight - most of his clothing (except for the awful Winter Olympics ugly sweaters) is great stuff. Ungaro is straight too. Fine designer.

    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    His men's shoes are superb. I'm positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week's salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist

    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

     

    True. On the Calvinists' recent trip to the UK, we went outlet shopping at a place near Oxford. It was a day of torrential rain, and most stores in the mall weren't very busy, but the two Polo/RL outlets (one for men's clothes; one for women's) were just mobbed.

    Maybe a vestigial hunger for the fruits of the West lingers on both sides of the Atlantic . . . .

  217. @anonymous-antimarxist
    You left out probably the toughest of them all, Sterling Hayden. Read his wiki.

    Sterling Hayden is a good choice for a genuine tough guy. I thought of him as I read this thread. And Cary Grant, while not a tough guy, was in good shape due to his background as an acrobat.

    But my top pick for genuine tough guy would be Victor McLaglen.

  218. WhatEvvs [AKA "Anonymuss Annie"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

    His men’s shoes are superb. I’m positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week’s salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    His men’s shoes are superb. I’m positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week’s salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.
     
    The top shelf shoes for men from Ralph Lauren were at one time made by Edward Green and Crockett & Jones in Northampton, England (which at the time, under their own branding, cost around $1,000+ and $600+ a pair, respectively). I think some years ago RL bought a factory in Italy and have produced its own since. Some people seem to think the quality of RL's own manufacture does not equal those supplied by EG and C&J earlier.

    I do not know firsthand whether that is the case (I did buy EG and C&J shoes when I was stationed in England), because I have never seen the Italian-made top end RL shoes.
  219. @Zimriel
    "In the 35 years since Raging Bull, getting intentionally fat has not become a rite of passage for actors."

    I can think of two cases immediately, both serious dramas like "Raging Bull": Stallone in "Copland"; Charlize Theron in "Monster".

    Also Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle.”

  220. @Anonym
    And as a result, the abdominals have less need to contract in order for your legs and posterior chain to lift the same load. As a result, all else being equal, abs will be weaker. When it comes to having to lift the same weight in the wild I would prefer my muscle memory not trying replicate a performance that could only be achieved with a belt. Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely. In a lot of sports the extra core strength is not a minus.

    Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely.

    Depends on the exercise and the lifter. At some point, if they continue to add weight on their squats, everyone will need a belt. And, assuming correct form in both cases, a guy who squats 405lbs with a belt in the gym will be stronger “in the wild” without his belt than a guy who squats 225lbs without a belt in the gym.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    For some reason my post got eaten.

    I think that there will be a limit that everyone has, raw squat versus belted. Raw will be lower. Switching from raw to belted will likely result in an immediate increase in weight you can handle. This does not mean you suddenly got stronger, it is just changing from an apples to oranges squat, in much the same way as adding a bench shirt or a squat suit will provide a boost over raw numbers. And sure, that boost will increase your numbers as you train for the crutch, but unless those areas that further improve in strength were a weakness before I doubt you will see much improvement in say, a sports application.

    In sports (or "sports") that don't require as much application of force through the core (sprinting? Bodybuilding definitely - as minimal abs enhances the V taper), there may be something to be gained by squatting with a belt. But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.
  221. @whorefinder

    Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don’t become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example.
     
    Again, pro athletes ---especially basketball and baseball---believed this to be true, and it was only when steroids offered the promise of strength plus fast recovery+agility that they jumped on board beginning in the late 1980s. Supplementation may or may not have had the same agility-inducing effects, but most pro athletes didn't buy it and avoided the gym; those who did go to the gym, like Wilt Chamberlain and Reggie Jackson, were likely using steroids, as Steve pointed out they both entered the "legend" status of their careers after spending time at Muscle Beach.

    People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

     

    With steroids. The steroid kick in football began in the 1960s-1970s ., as Steve has pointed out. Art Donovan, a 1950s football hall of famer, used to joke that the only weight lifting anyone did in the old days was a pint of Schlitz. Weight training in football coincided with the rise of steroids.

    Pre-steroids, people worked out through running and drills, and, in extreme cases, by doing farm chores; in a probably apocryphal story, MLB legend Rogers Hornsby was told as a rookie he was good but that he needed to be "farmed out" (i.e. sent to the minors for a spell); Hornsby, mistakenly taking this literally, spent the winter literally working on a farm.


    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.
     
    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail ---they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens). Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man's bodybuilding physique. Women appreciate a man who's "in shape", but they have other things on their list that are much higher.

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.

    As to looks, women vote with their feet, and their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off. They aren't the audience for bodybuilding or wrestling shows. Sorry man, the boydbuilder look just ain't what women want.


    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.
     
    Not irrelevant, it's just a demonstration that the ideal body type for a special forces mission isn't arnold in his prime; as Steve has pointed out, it's more major league first baseman. The kind of body that with stands a lot of pain quietly and moves fast enough but is still strong enough to kill isn't the guy winning Mr. Olympia.

    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail —they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens).

    You sound like my wife. Thirty-two years later, her rationalization hamster has convinced her she was not turned on by my physique, but she still admits to love at first sight. I remember her running her hands all over my arms, chest, and shoulders, just like all the other girls did. And you don’t have to be that big or even ripped, although leanness is a big turn-on to women.

    All that is necessary to boot up the initial female limbic reproduction program is a “golden ratio” V torso (44 chest, 32 waist) and a pair of 16″ diameter guns, in my case achieved without any supplements other than a couple of milk shakes with raw eggs and honey added. I worked out three days a week (all body) and never had a full six pack, but it was enough to get propositioned several times a week from women and girls. Incidentally, there are genetically gifted guys who have that look and those dimensions without ever picking up a barbell or a Nautilus machine. And yes, they are invariably somewhat alpha.

    Back in the 60’s, most guys began weight training at around 11 or 12 years old during off-season football. I’d already started, because I wanted to pound somebody who had beaten me in a fight. The girls responded, a wonderful side effect, as I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone and good genetics of the born fighter. The V torso is typically indicative of upper body fighting power, which is why you see women drooling over guys who never work their legs. Think of MMA fighters with twig legs.

    Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man’s bodybuilding physique.

    This is somewhat true for the steroid era, and especially true for modern bodybuilders (post 1985), who really have a Y torso with a 40″ or so waist due to drug induced visceral fat and/or distended organs. Chicks don’t like that look.

    Women appreciate a man who’s “in shape”, but they have other things on their list that are much higher.

    That list changes depending on the time of the month and if she’s of reproductive age, she’s going to be very interested in V torso males for a few days every cycle, even if she is in self-denial, as they usually are about what gets them going. And it gets really interesting when they hit 50 and go on post menopausal testosterone supplementation a la Suzanne Summers. Every day is ovulation day.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone
     
    Are you aware that lifting weights increases your testosterone levels? You had higher testosterone, and the girls noticed.
  222. @Dave Pinsen
    Seagal was charismatic, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a master of a novel (from a film perspective) martial art, Aikido. He showed off all of that in his first big movie, Above The Law (1988).

    Someone wrote earlier in this thread that Arnold looked funny running - Seagal had an odd way of carrying his arms while running, maybe due to his aikido training.

    Seagal was charismatic, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a master of a novel (from a film perspective) martial art, Aikido.

    There is some dispute over how he obtained his black belt in Aikido (he was, at the time, married to the daughter of an Aikido master in Japan).

    In any case, Gene Lebell has a funny story about Seagal.

  223. @Steve Sailer
    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

    True. On the Calvinists’ recent trip to the UK, we went outlet shopping at a place near Oxford. It was a day of torrential rain, and most stores in the mall weren’t very busy, but the two Polo/RL outlets (one for men’s clothes; one for women’s) were just mobbed.

    Maybe a vestigial hunger for the fruits of the West lingers on both sides of the Atlantic . . . .

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    It was a day of torrential rain, and most stores in the mall weren’t very busy, but the two Polo/RL outlets (one for men’s clothes; one for women’s) were just mobbed.

    Maybe a vestigial hunger for the fruits of the West lingers on both sides of the Atlantic . . . .
     
    And along the Pacific too, for that matter.

    I don't shop at physical stores any more (who has the time?) and only buy online, but back when my wife used to drag me to outlet malls, I'd see every RL outlet mobbed by Asians, rain or shine.

    They apparently think that RL merchandise is hot stuff, even the outlet junk made by child labor in Bangladesh and grossly oversized to fit a wide range of body types.
  224. @Dave Pinsen
    Re Tom Sizemore as a stocky, menacing type: great example of that in this scene from Heat.
    https://youtu.be/oKicGA1nAIk

    Re Tom Sizemore as a stocky, menacing type: great example of that in this scene from Heat.

    Well, Tom Sizemore played that type on film. I question how tough he actually was/is. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I heard that Dale Dye put the major cast members of “Saving Private Ryan,” including Sizemore through a ten-day “boot camp,” and all the actors except Tom Hanks wanted to quit, but were persuaded to stay by him. Maybe that’s just the rumor spread by Hanks’ publicist.

    That, of course, did not stop Sizemore (and Vin Diesel) from talking like he was a trained warrior afterwards.

  225. @WhatEvvs
    His men's shoes are superb. I'm positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week's salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.

    His men’s shoes are superb. I’m positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week’s salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.

    The top shelf shoes for men from Ralph Lauren were at one time made by Edward Green and Crockett & Jones in Northampton, England (which at the time, under their own branding, cost around $1,000+ and $600+ a pair, respectively). I think some years ago RL bought a factory in Italy and have produced its own since. Some people seem to think the quality of RL’s own manufacture does not equal those supplied by EG and C&J earlier.

    I do not know firsthand whether that is the case (I did buy EG and C&J shoes when I was stationed in England), because I have never seen the Italian-made top end RL shoes.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    I had a hunch that they were English-made. Certainly they were English-inspired. They were a handsome medium brown calfskin with superb detailing that set off my nephew's boring but well cut BB suit to a T. I'm sure that the interviewer just looked at those shoes and felt....good. I sure did.

    Who gets the job? The kid with the Ralph Lauren shoes.
  226. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Ralph Lauren became a near-billionaire by designing clothes that treat America and its cultural traditions with respect.

     

    True. On the Calvinists' recent trip to the UK, we went outlet shopping at a place near Oxford. It was a day of torrential rain, and most stores in the mall weren't very busy, but the two Polo/RL outlets (one for men's clothes; one for women's) were just mobbed.

    Maybe a vestigial hunger for the fruits of the West lingers on both sides of the Atlantic . . . .

    It was a day of torrential rain, and most stores in the mall weren’t very busy, but the two Polo/RL outlets (one for men’s clothes; one for women’s) were just mobbed.

    Maybe a vestigial hunger for the fruits of the West lingers on both sides of the Atlantic . . . .

    And along the Pacific too, for that matter.

    I don’t shop at physical stores any more (who has the time?) and only buy online, but back when my wife used to drag me to outlet malls, I’d see every RL outlet mobbed by Asians, rain or shine.

    They apparently think that RL merchandise is hot stuff, even the outlet junk made by child labor in Bangladesh and grossly oversized to fit a wide range of body types.

  227. @Dave Pinsen

    Reality is, you can lift a lot of weight without a belt, safely.
     
    Depends on the exercise and the lifter. At some point, if they continue to add weight on their squats, everyone will need a belt. And, assuming correct form in both cases, a guy who squats 405lbs with a belt in the gym will be stronger "in the wild" without his belt than a guy who squats 225lbs without a belt in the gym.

    For some reason my post got eaten.

    I think that there will be a limit that everyone has, raw squat versus belted. Raw will be lower. Switching from raw to belted will likely result in an immediate increase in weight you can handle. This does not mean you suddenly got stronger, it is just changing from an apples to oranges squat, in much the same way as adding a bench shirt or a squat suit will provide a boost over raw numbers. And sure, that boost will increase your numbers as you train for the crutch, but unless those areas that further improve in strength were a weakness before I doubt you will see much improvement in say, a sports application.

    In sports (or “sports”) that don’t require as much application of force through the core (sprinting? Bodybuilding definitely – as minimal abs enhances the V taper), there may be something to be gained by squatting with a belt. But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.
     
    I agree!

    By the way, check out this old footage of the legendary Judoka (and early mixed martial artist as well as a famous pro wrestler in Japan) Masahiko Kimura training his pupils: https://youtu.be/lkDBflFtPIw

    600-1000 Hindu pushups daily is no joke.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    "Raw" doesn't refer to lack of a belt, to a lack of equipment that actually does some of the lifting for you (knee wraps and bench shirts, in particular). Raw power lifters use belts.

    And wearing a belt doesn't immediately lead to an increase in weight you can squat; it just reduces the chance of injury. In my case, I had 6 visits to a chiropractor in one year squatting without a belt; 0 the next year squatting with one.

    You don't "train your body" to push against a belt; you push the same way you would otherwise, but the belt magnifies the effect. Any professional powerlifter could easily lift an average person without a belt.

    The best way to lift for sports, martial arts, real life, or whatever, as Mark Rippetoe has argued (convincingly) is to do the standard barbell exercises, not to try to modify them to make them look more like something out of your sport. The big four barbell exercises are designed to work the most muscle mass over long ranges of motion. They build strength. Strength is applicable to any physical activity.
  228. @Anonym
    For some reason my post got eaten.

    I think that there will be a limit that everyone has, raw squat versus belted. Raw will be lower. Switching from raw to belted will likely result in an immediate increase in weight you can handle. This does not mean you suddenly got stronger, it is just changing from an apples to oranges squat, in much the same way as adding a bench shirt or a squat suit will provide a boost over raw numbers. And sure, that boost will increase your numbers as you train for the crutch, but unless those areas that further improve in strength were a weakness before I doubt you will see much improvement in say, a sports application.

    In sports (or "sports") that don't require as much application of force through the core (sprinting? Bodybuilding definitely - as minimal abs enhances the V taper), there may be something to be gained by squatting with a belt. But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.

    But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.

    I agree!

    By the way, check out this old footage of the legendary Judoka (and early mixed martial artist as well as a famous pro wrestler in Japan) Masahiko Kimura training his pupils:

    600-1000 Hindu pushups daily is no joke.

  229. @Niccolò Arminius

    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail —they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens).
     
    You sound like my wife. Thirty-two years later, her rationalization hamster has convinced her she was not turned on by my physique, but she still admits to love at first sight. I remember her running her hands all over my arms, chest, and shoulders, just like all the other girls did. And you don't have to be that big or even ripped, although leanness is a big turn-on to women.

    All that is necessary to boot up the initial female limbic reproduction program is a "golden ratio" V torso (44 chest, 32 waist) and a pair of 16" diameter guns, in my case achieved without any supplements other than a couple of milk shakes with raw eggs and honey added. I worked out three days a week (all body) and never had a full six pack, but it was enough to get propositioned several times a week from women and girls. Incidentally, there are genetically gifted guys who have that look and those dimensions without ever picking up a barbell or a Nautilus machine. And yes, they are invariably somewhat alpha.

    Back in the 60's, most guys began weight training at around 11 or 12 years old during off-season football. I'd already started, because I wanted to pound somebody who had beaten me in a fight. The girls responded, a wonderful side effect, as I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone and good genetics of the born fighter. The V torso is typically indicative of upper body fighting power, which is why you see women drooling over guys who never work their legs. Think of MMA fighters with twig legs.

    Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man’s bodybuilding physique.
     
    This is somewhat true for the steroid era, and especially true for modern bodybuilders (post 1985), who really have a Y torso with a 40" or so waist due to drug induced visceral fat and/or distended organs. Chicks don't like that look.

    Women appreciate a man who’s “in shape”, but they have other things on their list that are much higher.
     
    That list changes depending on the time of the month and if she's of reproductive age, she's going to be very interested in V torso males for a few days every cycle, even if she is in self-denial, as they usually are about what gets them going. And it gets really interesting when they hit 50 and go on post menopausal testosterone supplementation a la Suzanne Summers. Every day is ovulation day.

    I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone

    Are you aware that lifting weights increases your testosterone levels? You had higher testosterone, and the girls noticed.

    • Replies: @Niccolò Arminius
    Oh, yeah. It's a nice positive feedback loop. But, I was not one of the those guys that came by it through good genetics. I was also a year ahead in school, thus a "year" behind in getting the test surge of puberty. Back then, we didn't know all the things that are known now, such as how winning or standing around in "power poses" raises test. Not to mention epigenetics.
  230. @whorefinder

    Go look at what Jack Lalaine used to do if you need a real world example; very strong with the weights, very flexible and agile, and an all around athlete -his idea of supplementation was drinking quarts of pig blood. When bodybuilding is done by itself with no supplemental exercises, obviously, the people who practice it don’t become real flexible or agile, or even particularly strong, depending on their regimen. In general, athletes train strength lifts rather than pumping their guns, some of which require a great deal of flexibility and agility: Olympic lifting for example.
     
    Again, pro athletes ---especially basketball and baseball---believed this to be true, and it was only when steroids offered the promise of strength plus fast recovery+agility that they jumped on board beginning in the late 1980s. Supplementation may or may not have had the same agility-inducing effects, but most pro athletes didn't buy it and avoided the gym; those who did go to the gym, like Wilt Chamberlain and Reggie Jackson, were likely using steroids, as Steve pointed out they both entered the "legend" status of their careers after spending time at Muscle Beach.

    People started lifting weights for sports performance because it gives them an edge in sports performance. In fact, people arguably never stopped lifting weights for sports. Weights have always been used by American football players, for example.

     

    With steroids. The steroid kick in football began in the 1960s-1970s ., as Steve has pointed out. Art Donovan, a 1950s football hall of famer, used to joke that the only weight lifting anyone did in the old days was a pint of Schlitz. Weight training in football coincided with the rise of steroids.

    Pre-steroids, people worked out through running and drills, and, in extreme cases, by doing farm chores; in a probably apocryphal story, MLB legend Rogers Hornsby was told as a rookie he was good but that he needed to be "farmed out" (i.e. sent to the minors for a spell); Hornsby, mistakenly taking this literally, spent the winter literally working on a farm.


    You’re also smoking something if you think women don’t throw themselves at muscular men. Why do you think meat heads do what they do? I’ll give you a hint: they ain’t all gaylords, and it ain’t to impress their friends.
     
    Stop being silly. Straight men doing bodybuilding do try it impress women, but they largely fail ---they, in fact, are mistaken in thinking big muscles=more girls, much like women who think anoerexic=better. (and most of these bodybuilders work out for reasons of poor self image as teens). Only a small percentage of women get hotter the bigger the man's bodybuilding physique. Women appreciate a man who's "in shape", but they have other things on their list that are much higher.

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.

    As to looks, women vote with their feet, and their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off. They aren't the audience for bodybuilding or wrestling shows. Sorry man, the boydbuilder look just ain't what women want.


    The fact that specops guys lose muscle while training BUDS or whatever is irrelevant. Active specops guys are often yoked, because being a fat specops guy is only useful if they have to go without food for a month, or are in cold climates.
     
    Not irrelevant, it's just a demonstration that the ideal body type for a special forces mission isn't arnold in his prime; as Steve has pointed out, it's more major league first baseman. The kind of body that with stands a lot of pain quietly and moves fast enough but is still strong enough to kill isn't the guy winning Mr. Olympia.

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.

    Lifting weights (especially the deadlift and the squat, but there are some other lifts, too) will change your posture for the better. This feeds back on your confidence – straightening out your spine will raise your confidence immediately.

    Lifting weights will also increase the amount of testosterone in your blood, because your body will produce more of the stuff. It will also change your behavior: you will be cockier, more assertive, and so on. Maybe you were born with a lot of testosterone anyway – good for lucky you. For the rest of us it’s beneficial to lift weights.

    And becoming more muscular (less thin, in my case) and with a straighter spine just changed the way others treated me, too, which also had a feedback on my confidence.

    I’m an extreme ectomorph, and at a young age I was given similar advice to what you are giving (i.e. along the lines of “be more confident”), but I realized that confidence cannot come out of hot air (you cannot become more confident by pretending to be more confident), and even real life success (like getting a higher income) didn’t change it much for me. (On the other hand I knew a few thin guys who were nevertheless cocky, but that wasn’t the majority of thin guys and most importantly I wasn’t one of them, and they just seemed to have been born that way.) Even doing endurance sports didn’t change that for me. Lifting weights, on the other hand, slowly but noticeably changed the way I behaved at company meetings. When I had a couple of injuries a few years ago (unrelated to lifting weights, but nevertheless preventing me from lifting), my confidence started to decrease. (Though it was slower than the actual decay of my muscles.) I restarted lifting, and, voilà, my confidence bounced back.

    their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off

    It’s called a false dichotomy. There are many possibilities in between and outside the range. Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs). If you look like that, good for you, but I’d still need to train a lot to look like Ryan Gosling. Many (I’d think most) people have less muscles (often way less muscles) than Gosling, and they also have more fat.

    In other words, you seem to be saying that “you don’t need to lift weights because chicks dig guys who lift less and use less PEDs than did Arnold”. Yeah, but the guy you gave as an example still lifts a lot of weights and probably also does a lot of PEDs.

    If I could give an advice to my 18-year-old self, I’d tell him to lift weights. That’s the advice I’d give to anyone. Unless you’re using a lot of PEDs, you won’t look like Arnold (I’m afraid not even like Gosling, though depending on genetics you might grow more muscles but also with more fat).

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs).
     
    Really? I suppose anyone can look very muscular with a good trainer, a nutritionist, and, yes, some PED, but that guy's face screams, "I am a lover, not a fighter. Here, let me play a song on my guitar for you." He doesn't look like the kind of a guy I could rely on to put out for the team in the trenches.
  231. @reiner Tor

    I was unknowingly signaling (falsely) high testosterone
     
    Are you aware that lifting weights increases your testosterone levels? You had higher testosterone, and the girls noticed.

    Oh, yeah. It’s a nice positive feedback loop. But, I was not one of the those guys that came by it through good genetics. I was also a year ahead in school, thus a “year” behind in getting the test surge of puberty. Back then, we didn’t know all the things that are known now, such as how winning or standing around in “power poses” raises test. Not to mention epigenetics.

  232. WhatEvvs [AKA "Anonymuss Annie"] says:
    @Twinkie

    His men’s shoes are superb. I’m positive that my nephew got a job because I convinced him to buy a pair of RL brogues for the interview. They cost a week’s salary, but he had the money because of those classy shoes.
     
    The top shelf shoes for men from Ralph Lauren were at one time made by Edward Green and Crockett & Jones in Northampton, England (which at the time, under their own branding, cost around $1,000+ and $600+ a pair, respectively). I think some years ago RL bought a factory in Italy and have produced its own since. Some people seem to think the quality of RL's own manufacture does not equal those supplied by EG and C&J earlier.

    I do not know firsthand whether that is the case (I did buy EG and C&J shoes when I was stationed in England), because I have never seen the Italian-made top end RL shoes.

    I had a hunch that they were English-made. Certainly they were English-inspired. They were a handsome medium brown calfskin with superb detailing that set off my nephew’s boring but well cut BB suit to a T. I’m sure that the interviewer just looked at those shoes and felt….good. I sure did.

    Who gets the job? The kid with the Ralph Lauren shoes.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I had a hunch that they were English-made.
     
    Edward Green shoes, in my opinion, are the best men's shoes in the world. My wife bought me a pair of EG Jodhpur boots for a special birthday once, and (even though I ride Western in a baseball cap, flannel shirt, and jeans) I always wear them when I ride. One of my neighbors (a close friend) who rides and hunts with me ribbed me about them a while ("Those are some pretty riding boots you got there, bud"), but I just shot back, "Hey, my horse don't mind, and the ladies like 'em."

    The kid with the Ralph Lauren shoes.
     
    Only the top end RL shoes are worth the money. The lower end stuff is overpriced junk, and looks it too. RL makes the vast bulk of its money selling the lower end and the outlet junk that is not made at the same factories and to the same standards as their high end goods ("Black Label," "Collection," etc.).
  233. @WhatEvvs
    I had a hunch that they were English-made. Certainly they were English-inspired. They were a handsome medium brown calfskin with superb detailing that set off my nephew's boring but well cut BB suit to a T. I'm sure that the interviewer just looked at those shoes and felt....good. I sure did.

    Who gets the job? The kid with the Ralph Lauren shoes.

    I had a hunch that they were English-made.

    Edward Green shoes, in my opinion, are the best men’s shoes in the world. My wife bought me a pair of EG Jodhpur boots for a special birthday once, and (even though I ride Western in a baseball cap, flannel shirt, and jeans) I always wear them when I ride. One of my neighbors (a close friend) who rides and hunts with me ribbed me about them a while (“Those are some pretty riding boots you got there, bud”), but I just shot back, “Hey, my horse don’t mind, and the ladies like ’em.”

    The kid with the Ralph Lauren shoes.

    Only the top end RL shoes are worth the money. The lower end stuff is overpriced junk, and looks it too. RL makes the vast bulk of its money selling the lower end and the outlet junk that is not made at the same factories and to the same standards as their high end goods (“Black Label,” “Collection,” etc.).

  234. @reiner Tor

    Personality and power are far more important than looks/money for a man to grab a woman; being a powerful man with a confident personality will net a man far more female attention than having big muscles.
     
    Lifting weights (especially the deadlift and the squat, but there are some other lifts, too) will change your posture for the better. This feeds back on your confidence - straightening out your spine will raise your confidence immediately.

    Lifting weights will also increase the amount of testosterone in your blood, because your body will produce more of the stuff. It will also change your behavior: you will be cockier, more assertive, and so on. Maybe you were born with a lot of testosterone anyway - good for lucky you. For the rest of us it's beneficial to lift weights.

    And becoming more muscular (less thin, in my case) and with a straighter spine just changed the way others treated me, too, which also had a feedback on my confidence.

    I'm an extreme ectomorph, and at a young age I was given similar advice to what you are giving (i.e. along the lines of "be more confident"), but I realized that confidence cannot come out of hot air (you cannot become more confident by pretending to be more confident), and even real life success (like getting a higher income) didn't change it much for me. (On the other hand I knew a few thin guys who were nevertheless cocky, but that wasn't the majority of thin guys and most importantly I wasn't one of them, and they just seemed to have been born that way.) Even doing endurance sports didn't change that for me. Lifting weights, on the other hand, slowly but noticeably changed the way I behaved at company meetings. When I had a couple of injuries a few years ago (unrelated to lifting weights, but nevertheless preventing me from lifting), my confidence started to decrease. (Though it was slower than the actual decay of my muscles.) I restarted lifting, and, voilà, my confidence bounced back.

    their movies have Ryan Gosling with his clothes on, not Arnold clones with their shirts off
     
    It's called a false dichotomy. There are many possibilities in between and outside the range. Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs). If you look like that, good for you, but I'd still need to train a lot to look like Ryan Gosling. Many (I'd think most) people have less muscles (often way less muscles) than Gosling, and they also have more fat.

    In other words, you seem to be saying that "you don't need to lift weights because chicks dig guys who lift less and use less PEDs than did Arnold". Yeah, but the guy you gave as an example still lifts a lot of weights and probably also does a lot of PEDs.

    If I could give an advice to my 18-year-old self, I'd tell him to lift weights. That's the advice I'd give to anyone. Unless you're using a lot of PEDs, you won't look like Arnold (I'm afraid not even like Gosling, though depending on genetics you might grow more muscles but also with more fat).

    Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs).

    Really? I suppose anyone can look very muscular with a good trainer, a nutritionist, and, yes, some PED, but that guy’s face screams, “I am a lover, not a fighter. Here, let me play a song on my guitar for you.” He doesn’t look like the kind of a guy I could rely on to put out for the team in the trenches.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You need to take a lot of roids to change your face. He probably has the face he was born with.

    I don't think I'd trust any Hollywood clowns in the trenches next to me, regardless of how they look like. But I don't think their faces would be the most important features to choose my prospective comrades. In general I don't watch many movies, and I'm not sure I've seen any movie by Mr. Gosling (in fact I had to google to check how he looked like, though his name was familiar), so I cannot say I really care for him. But if he's the prototype of a guy who chicks do dig, then lifting weights (as long as it's done in a sane way and without excessive use of roids) must appeal to women.

    Besides the benefits of an all round better life quality, higher testosterone levels, etc., all important in themselves even in the absence of an enhanced sex appeal.

  235. @Anonym
    For some reason my post got eaten.

    I think that there will be a limit that everyone has, raw squat versus belted. Raw will be lower. Switching from raw to belted will likely result in an immediate increase in weight you can handle. This does not mean you suddenly got stronger, it is just changing from an apples to oranges squat, in much the same way as adding a bench shirt or a squat suit will provide a boost over raw numbers. And sure, that boost will increase your numbers as you train for the crutch, but unless those areas that further improve in strength were a weakness before I doubt you will see much improvement in say, a sports application.

    In sports (or "sports") that don't require as much application of force through the core (sprinting? Bodybuilding definitely - as minimal abs enhances the V taper), there may be something to be gained by squatting with a belt. But I think combat sports are best prepared for raw:
    A) The lift is most similar to how you naturally lift a person.
    B) Training the abs more will benefit swivelling, which is very useful in grappling and punching. Not to mention other movements that involve abs, which is most of it.
    C) Since you are practicing how to lift safely in real life, your technique is likely to follow through there. Training your body to push against a belt that is not there is not a good thing IMO.

    “Raw” doesn’t refer to lack of a belt, to a lack of equipment that actually does some of the lifting for you (knee wraps and bench shirts, in particular). Raw power lifters use belts.

    And wearing a belt doesn’t immediately lead to an increase in weight you can squat; it just reduces the chance of injury. In my case, I had 6 visits to a chiropractor in one year squatting without a belt; 0 the next year squatting with one.

    You don’t “train your body” to push against a belt; you push the same way you would otherwise, but the belt magnifies the effect. Any professional powerlifter could easily lift an average person without a belt.

    The best way to lift for sports, martial arts, real life, or whatever, as Mark Rippetoe has argued (convincingly) is to do the standard barbell exercises, not to try to modify them to make them look more like something out of your sport. The big four barbell exercises are designed to work the most muscle mass over long ranges of motion. They build strength. Strength is applicable to any physical activity.

  236. @anonymous-antimarxist
    I also think its funny how Hollywood depicts "military fitness" as having a body builder physique or a shredded super lean body.

    First of all on the Discovery Channel documentaries of Navy Seal basic training one of the points that the instructors made was that it was essential that the candidates not show up "over trained" or with too low body fat. Otherwise they will never survive the constant cold weather/water exposure. Pneumonia, hypothermia, weight loss and cold fatigue claim numerous otherwise excellent trainees.

    Bradly Cooper as Kris Kyle depicted him as probably leaner than the still very fit 230 lb Kyle actually was. I wonder if lots of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan got really muscular bodies not so much out of military necessity but because they were simply confined to base for long periods and needed a way to work off stress.

    I believe one of the problems that the German army had during Operations Barbarossa and Blue was the the soldiers were trained too lean. Once the German soldiers were subjected to the long daily marches they were never able to maintain enough body fat necessary to survive the Russian winters. Even with better winter clothing and higher calorie rations, German soldiers worn lean during a long campaign froze to death at Stalingrad in large numbers due in large part from insufficient body fat ratios.

    Emergency attempts to help German soldiers maintain body mass only made the problem worse.

    http://www.peashooter85.com/post/70258263334/the-battle-of-stalingrad-and-the-deadly-meat

    The same goes for high altitude mountaineering. Building bulk and some intramuscular fat that will be burned off during the approach and prior to the summit push will serve you better than the developing the lean, well defined build that works best for rock climbing.

  237. @Twinkie

    Ryan Gosling looks like someone who does lift a lot of weights (and probably also takes PEDs).
     
    Really? I suppose anyone can look very muscular with a good trainer, a nutritionist, and, yes, some PED, but that guy's face screams, "I am a lover, not a fighter. Here, let me play a song on my guitar for you." He doesn't look like the kind of a guy I could rely on to put out for the team in the trenches.

    You need to take a lot of roids to change your face. He probably has the face he was born with.

    I don’t think I’d trust any Hollywood clowns in the trenches next to me, regardless of how they look like. But I don’t think their faces would be the most important features to choose my prospective comrades. In general I don’t watch many movies, and I’m not sure I’ve seen any movie by Mr. Gosling (in fact I had to google to check how he looked like, though his name was familiar), so I cannot say I really care for him. But if he’s the prototype of a guy who chicks do dig, then lifting weights (as long as it’s done in a sane way and without excessive use of roids) must appeal to women.

    Besides the benefits of an all round better life quality, higher testosterone levels, etc., all important in themselves even in the absence of an enhanced sex appeal.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I don’t think I’d trust any Hollywood clowns in the trenches next to me, regardless of how they look like. But I don’t think their faces would be the most important features to choose my prospective comrades.
     
    It was just a gut reaction on my part. I don't have an algorithm in determining my comrades-in-arms. However, I do think that the human face tells much - science seems to provide at least some evidence of this.

    I suspect the vast majority of actors and actresses are not serious people who are trustworthy, but surely there are exceptions. Although I don't know whether the following story is true, but if it were, this is a man I could trust to watch my back in trenches: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/buscemi.asp

    Even before I read this bit about his post-9/11 efforts, by the way, I always enjoyed Steve Buscemi's acting. And apparently, he also looks out for his friends in a fight:

    In April 2001, while shooting the film Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, North Carolina, Buscemi was slashed and badly scarred on the face while at the Firebelly Lounge, intervening in a bar fight between his friends Vince Vaughn, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, and a local man, who allegedly instigated the brawl.[28][29]
     
    That's from his Wikipedia page.
  238. @reiner Tor
    You need to take a lot of roids to change your face. He probably has the face he was born with.

    I don't think I'd trust any Hollywood clowns in the trenches next to me, regardless of how they look like. But I don't think their faces would be the most important features to choose my prospective comrades. In general I don't watch many movies, and I'm not sure I've seen any movie by Mr. Gosling (in fact I had to google to check how he looked like, though his name was familiar), so I cannot say I really care for him. But if he's the prototype of a guy who chicks do dig, then lifting weights (as long as it's done in a sane way and without excessive use of roids) must appeal to women.

    Besides the benefits of an all round better life quality, higher testosterone levels, etc., all important in themselves even in the absence of an enhanced sex appeal.

    I don’t think I’d trust any Hollywood clowns in the trenches next to me, regardless of how they look like. But I don’t think their faces would be the most important features to choose my prospective comrades.

    It was just a gut reaction on my part. I don’t have an algorithm in determining my comrades-in-arms. However, I do think that the human face tells much – science seems to provide at least some evidence of this.

    I suspect the vast majority of actors and actresses are not serious people who are trustworthy, but surely there are exceptions. Although I don’t know whether the following story is true, but if it were, this is a man I could trust to watch my back in trenches: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/buscemi.asp

    Even before I read this bit about his post-9/11 efforts, by the way, I always enjoyed Steve Buscemi’s acting. And apparently, he also looks out for his friends in a fight:

    In April 2001, while shooting the film Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, North Carolina, Buscemi was slashed and badly scarred on the face while at the Firebelly Lounge, intervening in a bar fight between his friends Vince Vaughn, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, and a local man, who allegedly instigated the brawl.[28][29]

    That’s from his Wikipedia page.

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