Ever wondered who gym guys are trying to impress? (It's not the ladies.)
In a society where everyone is constantly trying to better themselves, even the way we look is not given any slack. While girls turn to make up and shopping, guys turn to working out… and bulking up.
Not only do they dedicate many days of their week to the gym, they spend huge amounts of money buying protein powder and chicken breast meat. I spoke to three of my “gym rat” friends to understand why guys gym.
It turns out that guys are not just working out to impress us girls. They are working out to impress each other.
Most of the guys I spoke to said they frequent the gym at least three times every week.
“It’s an investment, and also a commitment. You can’t go to the gym once a week and expect to have results,” said Ryan Tan, 20, a Singapore Polytechnic (SP) student and gym-enthusiast.
“Practically, it is like having a girlfriend. You have to spend time with her, but it barely feels like a sacrifice, seeing how you enjoy the time spent,” he said with a laugh.
Daniel Yap, 19, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic engineering student, said: “It pretty much is an unspoken thing amongst guys, but when you’re bigger than someone else, it automatically means that you are superior and ought to be respected by him.
“Honestly, we work out not only to impress girls, although yes it is a bonus point, but more to be respected in the eyes of other guys.”
Ryan agreed: “It’s pretty much as fundamental to us as personal hygiene. We see guys who don’t gym as people who aren’t bothered with their appearances.”
For many of the gym rats I spoke to, putting on all that muscle added to their confidence. Besides getting a better physique, they found themselves better off psychologically and emotionally.
“I was made fun of when I was fat,” said Chris Toh, 20, a polytechnic student who was formerly from an all-boys school. His rejection by his peers affected his self-esteem, but bulking up through frequent visits to the gym restored his confidence.
“Being jacked meant that I wouldn’t be made fun of anymore, and it gave me a whole lot of confidence, and I felt a lot more attractive,” he said.
To the guys reading this who may feel bad about not having a ripped and super muscular body shape, take heart. You may be judged by other guys, but the girls don’t see appearances as such a major consideration in choosing a partner.
“Yes, we do think that buff guys are hot, but no, we don’t remember you for that…Honestly, we’d still be proud of them and enjoy being with them even if they were flabby and cuddly. Think about it, it’s like hugging a giant teddy bear – who wouldn’t like that?” said Sarah Tan, who is Ryan’s girlfriend.
The 20-year-old SP student added: “I love him just the way he is, muscles or not.”
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