Bodybuilders: Unwelcome and Misunderstood

It seems that bodybuilders are destined to forever be an elite minority, unappreciated and maligned by mainstream society. Who cares? Bring on the iron!

April 10, 2013

By Frank Hoffmann

When people ask you: “Why do you do it? What are you, some kind of iron junkie?” Don’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand, they won’t understand why we do it. We do it for the feeling of stepping into battle with the iron, the rush of hitting a new max and the pain and suffering that comes along with that. We do it because we love to set goals and we bust our asses in the pursuit of them. We do it because it allows us to release our pent up anger and aggression. We do it because we know that most others don’t have the balls to train like we do. We do it for that feeling of camaraderie and competition between training partners. We do it for the feeling you can only get when you have a mind numbing heavy-ass weight in your hands, straining for all you’re worth while your training partner screams in your ear with Slayer blasting in the background as you slowly grind towards that goal you’ve been chasing. That’s why we do what we do.

We’re used to the stares that we get when performing heavy bench presses, deadlifts, weighted dips and maxing out on the military. It’s commonplace for us to get constant warnings from gym managers and personal trainers to keep our noise level down, to stop using up all the 45’s and telling us that our training methods are intimidating the other members. Let's not forget my all time favorite: “NO CHALK ALLOWED!!!”

Tell me, what the hell do they expect us to do? We’re killing ourselves training with a vengeful intensity preparing for our powerlifting meets, bodybuilding and fitness competitions or simply pursuing a new PB. With hardcore gyms few and far between we are forced into commercial gyms like cattle against our will because there is nowhere left to go. So we have to make due with what we got but no one is going to tell us how to train by restricting the way we lift with a bunch of useless rules – especially not some pencil-necked canfitpro certified personal trainer who can’t even deadlift his Nike Frees. But it’s these same individuals that come up to us afterwards begging for training advice, supplement tips and meal plans. Go to HELL, you’re not one of us. We’re an elite group that know how to train and respect the gym as if it were our church. We’re just different and people don’t understand us; they will never understand us.

When it comes to the iron game it’s about man versus weight and the ultimate pursuit of size and strength. And that’s it. That’s all it is. The need to lift is something that cannot be explained, nor should we need to explain it. Not everyone can do what we do; we are the chosen ones. We don’t need your acceptance and we don’t need you to understand us, we just need you to stay out of our way and let us lift.

Here's some added motivation!

Frank Hoffmann is a former NCAA and Professional CFL football player from Toronto, whose passion for health and fitness stems from his years as a personal trainer. Frank works as a freelance fitness and lifestyle writer while holding down a nine to five job and believes having a full-time job is no excuse to not be fit. Check out his fitness blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Nine2Fit.