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“My friend is a professional lifter…or bodybuilder or something…and he has messed his back up so many times he can’t even workout anymore.”

“I bet you workout a lot, huh? My son’s friend…he has arms THIS big [holding hands so far apart that they would be the size of Branch Warren’s quads].  He’s a lot bigger than you.”

“You bench like three-fiddy?  Yeah, when I was, you know, BIG [arms go out to the side to show how big they used to be], I could bench 500…on an INCLINE.”

I live in a small town outside of the Denver Metro area, up the canyon in the mountains.  It is amazing to me how many people know someone bigger or stronger than me and yet the population of the town is roughly 9000. Now, that is not to say that there aren’t people larger than I am or stronger than I am in my town — there probably are. However, I find it difficult to believe that there are THAT many people, considering I hear comments like the above quite  frequently. Either that, or there are three people in a town of 9000 that are bigger and stronger than me and every single person I come into contact with knows these same three people. I am thinking that this probably isn’t the case.

RECENT: Training to Fix Muscle Imbalances

This happens to a lot of people that are more muscular or stronger than the average person — certainly not just me.  A lot of people bitch, piss and moan about it, complaining that others just want to “take away their hard work” or something similarly stupid.  As if the people you meet either at the grocery store, gas station, or post office are all so insecure that they are trying to one-up you. I don’t think so. There is a far more logical reason if you can put aside your fragile ego for a minute to look a little deeper.


I get tired of the stories, sometimes, too; I get it. However, I have never once felt like someone was trying to one-up me as much as I feel that people simply want to find a common thread with you and this allows them to make conversation. Muscular people obviously stand out and they want to relate to you. Your look is appealing to them and they might even secretly think they wish they looked like you, too. They want to “be your friend” or speak to you — not exactly a bad thing when you look at it this way.

I get more nods from twenty-year olds than I do anyone else. I am smart enough to know that twenty-year olds don’t find too many things appealing about someone my age, but if they are interested in wanting to have bigger muscles, I am all of a sudden a “cool” guy and they show that by nodding. The nod is subtle but it is essentially the same thing as someone asking what we feel are stupid questions or even lying about how big their friend’s arms are. It is simply a connection they are making in response to something they like about your appearance.

A Letter to the Haters: What You Can Learn from Bodybuilders

I think if more people could get away from their ego just a little bit, they would see this for what it is. The next time someone tells an outlandish story and you know that it is complete bullshit, go along with it anyway; smile and give them some conversation.  Responding in this fashion won't be an admittance that someone else is larger or stronger than you. Why? Because the person they are talking about doesn’t exist. Both of you know that but neither of you knows that the OTHER one doesn’t know. Make sense?

Just know that you are cool enough to someone else that they are willing to embellish (read: lie) to make conversation with you. Take it as a compliment. There might come a day when no one wants to not only lie to you, but a day when no one even wants to talk to you. Just Sayin’.

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