Musings at the Gym

Why is the assumption always that if a person is exceptionally good looking, fit, and prides themselves on the personal dedication and discipline needed for being so, that they are necessarily compensating for a lack of “depth”, personal, or emotional intelligence? Why should outer beauty necessarily imply inner ‘brokenness’? Can’t a person be both physically and emotionally healthy?

I find it fascinating that it’s often the same people who tell you “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” in regards to a less than physical ideal (being polite) and personal merit, are usually the first people to tell you how “shallow” a person must be if they devote what they “see” as too much time to improving their appearance. I’ve been a bodybuilder for over 20 years now, my brother competed on the amateur circuit when we were younger, I’ve met a lot of fitness competitors and just average men and women who pride themselves on their physique, and I have to say the majority of them were very positive, intelligent and psychologically healthy people.

People who look good, generally, exemplify the hard work and conviction that’s necessary in staying that way. It’s not just the physical that makes them attractive; it’s the subconscious understanding of the dedication necessary to be so that’s attractive too. When you look better than the norm, especially in an era and culture where 66% of the population is clinically overweight, there’s an ambient understanding that it takes a mind for dedication and conviction to be so. That’s not to deny that some people don’t hit the genetic lottery jackpot, but largely, maintaining a great physique is the result of a focused effort.

The gym is the perfect environment for sexual equalization from a physical standpoint. In a club or at a party or any other social gathering our masks are on; we can hide deficits more easily with clothing, the lighting and sounds is conducive to giving us more appeal, our inhibitions may be altered due to alcohol, etc. But in the gym all of that is out the window. Oh, women attempt to hide their fat butts with sweat shirts tied around their waists, but everyone is sober – in fact we’re in a better than normal state of awareness from the exercise – both sex’s physical deficits and assets are out in the open.

It’s Darwinism at its finest and both sexes strive for attention in some form or another. Guys can only rely on their physical presence & prowess, and whatever Game they possess to impress since there’s generally no way to judge a man’s socioeconomic status in the gym. Women are stripped to a primal physical competition where they’re judged on their physical form which is men’s primary criteria for mate selection. This is why you commonly hear women complain about ‘hating’ going to the gym and why female specific gyms are profitable; it has less to do with the actual exercise and more to do with an inability to cope with the intense competition present on a level that most are unacustomed to in other social environments. This is why there is such a market for ‘women’ only health clubs such as Curves and Planet Fitness (yes PF gyms are for women), in fact I’ve yet to encounter a men’s only gym and I’d speculate that this is due to men experiencing far less intimidation in a gym setting.

I really wish I could type away here and tell you about all the hotties I see at my gym everyday, but that’s simply not the case. I can tell you I’ve seen a drastic change in the women who populate the “fitness clubs” now, and it’s not for the better. I’m sure I’ll read someone in the comments relate how they have gorgeous attention whores at their local gym, but that’s simply not my experience these days. The women at the gym NEED to be in the gym. Mostly overweight, mostly self-conscious, I can tell by the effort each post-Wall woman exerts as to whether they’re recently divorced (or planning to be). Just on observation, I see far more men in MUCH better shape than the sample of women present. I’d guess it at 80% – 20%, and that’s here in Florida, I can just imagine what it might be in other regions. Even the cardio and zumba classes are overwhelmingly filled with thick soccer moms, “doing it for fun”.

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Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

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12 years ago

It’s sad that our modern culture makes this artificial separation between being smart and being strong.

If you look at the ancient Romans and Greeks they appreciated you could and should be develop your mind as well as your body.

Timothy Webster
Timothy Webster
12 years ago

So, the hotties are all going to Curves and Planet Fitness? What happened to the women that used to come to the gym to ogle? Or was that just a legend and never true?

When I read the books of old time strong men, I get the impression that the gyms were pretty much “men only”. Saxon, Calvert, Jowett, etc.

HR Lincoln
HR Lincoln
12 years ago

As a member of a busy PF in flyoverland, let me say that hotties are few and far between. I’d guess that attendees (as opposed to membership) run about 60:40 male, and, of the women I see, 85% of them need to lose some weight. On the point of men being, on the whole, in much better physical condition than the women at the gym – this is true in spades. It is rare for me to see a superfit-looking woman at my gym that’s over the age of 22. Sadly, with the obesity epidemic being what it is, women… Read more »

My Name Is Jim
My Name Is Jim
11 years ago

To look good, women mostly need to lose fat and don’t have to gain muscle, so they don’t need the same level of equipment. Losing fat is mostly about diet, so it’s enough for the younger ones to just watch what they eat and have a cardio machine at home, or run around their nieghborhood. That I think is why there are a lot more hot women out there than hot female gym members.


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