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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bodybuilding Babes - What's Your Take on Them?

I was watching this MSNBC documentary called “Hooked: Muscle Women”, which followed a few hard core, competitive female bodybuilders, and also delved into the lifestyle and the minds of these women. It was pretty fascinating, to say the least!

Kristy Hawkins, one of the ladies featured and pictured above, has been competing since 1998, and has most recently won the 2007 NPC Nationals -(1st Place Light-heavyweight and Overall)
She got into it when she joined her first gym at the age of 15, and soon thereafter, learned that she had an absolute love of defining and shaping her body.
When asked what motivates her, Kristy says "It is a constant challenge--a lifestyle of dedication, discipline, and pushing yourself to be better than you were before. "

What struck me most about this film was the intense amount of dedication and obsession those involved in this activity seem to have. I mean, from the attention they must pay to every morsel of food they put in their mouths to the time spent in the gym enduring these grueling workouts for hours a day, it's pretty intense, and doesn't really leave room for much else in life besides a job. Most of them try to get endorsements so they don't even have to worry about that, and then can dedicate themselves to the sport full time.

The competition is fierce, and the competition circuit can be grueling. Although they have ANPC (All Natural) competitions, without a doubt, many of these women have tripped over into the realm of steroid use. Although strict drug testing is enforced, there are still ways to get around the tests. From the size of some of these women, without a doubt they're juicing anyway, and just know all the tricks.

When asked why they do it, most just confess that they love having control over the way their bodies look and also the power that comes with being this awesomely sculpted, muscular woman. For some, it's not just that, but also a condition called "bigorexia", where the person just never feels that their muscles and body are big enough (common among competitive bodybuilders). This sends them on a never ending quest to be the biggest and the best. The dedication and attention paid to each and every body part and muscle is intense, and a full time job. Also remaining mindful of exactly how many grams of protein, carbs, fat and water you're consuming on a daily and weekly basis has to be difficult and tedious at times.
But they persevere through all, and do it. All to look like this:

The effect on their love and personal lives is also an issue. Without a doubt, being an overly mesomorphic female shrinks the dating pool immensely for you, but these ladies claim to have many admirers. Also, they find that dating and marrying male bodybuilders works out best. It takes a man that's into it himself to both get what the fuss is all about, and also to not be intimidated by his wife's immense musculature. Mere mortal men need not apply! ;)

All in all, I have to say that I admire the hard work and dedication that these ladies commit to. However, that's not, and won't ever be the road for me. I like having muscles and being fit, but I scare people enough as it is when I'm completely ripped! I also would prefer not to deal with the amount of attention, both positive and negative) that these ladies endure daily. Takes a really strong resolve to not only do what they do, but deal with people's reactions to it. And you KNOW how people can be! I could only imagine the comments these ladies get. I've had guys say stupid things to me when they find out that I'm a boxer, or make dumb comments when I take off my sweater and they see my biceps (which aren't even big, they're just shapely and toned- WIMPS!) lol. Gotta give kudos to these girls for deciding that the end result is worth all that they go through, both in and out of the gym.

So, what do you think about female bodybuilders and their sport? Would it ever be something you could see yourself getting into? How about if your daughter, sister, girlfriend or mom started doing this? (they have bodybuilders in their 70's and 80's these days!)
How about you men? Like it, hate it, and would you date it? (hey, I had to go for the rhyme!). I'd like to know what you think!

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Alfonso de la Fuente Ruiz said...

I'd like to point out that Vigorexia (with "V") comes from latin preffix "vigor", which in turns means "virile strenght" and acknowledge that may be confused with anglosaxon word "big".
My opinion: I definitely would date them ;)

Laura-Junkfoodaholic.com said...

Although I admire people that are in shape and have beautiful muscle tone, but these women scare me! Eeek! It's just too much muscle for me.

Robin said...

Hi Fitness Diva,
I do not think bodybuilding women are sexy. To much muscle for a women, in my opinion. It is great that they take care of their health though. I feel the same way as Laura-Junkfoodaholic.com

Mystery Man said...

Well, I have two thoughts on this subject. I have much respect for female bodybuilders and what they accomplish. However, some of them get so buff and ripped that they end up looking like men or drag queen.

If I had a daughter would I let her get into this? If she wanted tom yes, but I would prefer she do it more as a fitness thing than to end up looking like a man. Just the way I see it.

btw, I love your blog (even if I rarely comment...lol)

I.C. Jackson said...

Bodybuilding women TOTALLY creep me out!

I wasn't really in tune with my femininity until I became a young woman, and now I could never imagine not being as feminine as possible.

These body building women are usually attractive from the neck up, but they look like walking, talking, Photoshop jobs to me.


Kevin in Manila said...

I saw the same documentary. Here are some of my thoughts:

*I much prefer the fitness competitor look to the female bodybuilder look.

*I love being strong and lean, but I wouldn't want my whole life to revolve around the gym.

*Women on male hormones inevitably look masculine, which makes them unattractive to 99% of men. Sadly, this scares many women away from weight training--they are afraid to look like "she-men."

A Virile Nagalingam said...

When in contest shape, it is exceptionally hard to find any FBB classically attractive--most "freak" lovers are infatuated with the freakiness (vascularity, separation, overall conditioning)and forget that these women are also dieting down and cannot (mostly) stay in that condition year round. Muscle is attractive, yes even big muscles, but the competition look is a very expensive and serially realized fantasy that is unhealthy to cultivate for any fan.

the FBBs they selected for the documentary hardly illustrate the extremes in FBB physiques--only the salacious side of the 'biz' which makes for good tv.

The Fitness Diva said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alfonso. Apparently, both versions of the word are used. Glad to know that you're on the ladies' side! Or at least, at it! ;)

Yeah, too much for me too, Laura!
I just prefer a more feminine look (for myself), personally.

Robin, the dedication they put into it is mind boggling. Better them than me! ;)

The Fitness Diva said...

Thanks for commenting, Mystery Man!
Yeah, I'd rather a daughter of mine kept it on the ligher side, too, simply because these ladies get a hard way to go when they're outside the gym and around the general population. Must take a thick skin to handle it.

LOL, I.C. Guess we won't be seeing you bench 250 anytime soon, then? ;P

I am not with that program, either.
I could see a competitive female athlete taking steroids to make yourself faster or better in her sport(not that I would, or condone it, but I at least see the sense in it) but not to make yourself freakishly big. Takes away too many of your womanly privileges The men start to treat you like you're a man yourself!

Nagalingam, you're right...they could have gone FAR more extreme with the choices of FBB's on that documentary, but I think that they still wanted the audience to be able to relate to the ladies on the most human of levels. The ones that go monster size....you just wouldn't be able to focus on who they are, you're so busy gawking at them in wonder, disgust, awe or whatever it is that they make you feel. I get why MSNBC chose who they chose. I also picked less hard core FBB models for the post for the same reason. I could have shown a few that look downright beastly. But then, it just becomes a circus, and that's not what I'm looking to highlight.
Thanks for dropping in!

Kevin in Manila said...

Diva, you probably already know this, but anabolic steroids do some really gross things to a woman's body. We're all adults here, but I'd rather not get too graphic. Let's just say the "masculinization" goes beyond big muscles.

Merry Christmas

The Fitness Diva said...

Kevin, I know exactly what you're talking about, and Yiiii!!

Let's just say, "it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature!" ;)

EastCoastLife said...

Wishing you and your family a Merry Xmas!!

djmadmike said...

i use to date a track athlete and she had some buffness to her but she was all woman...the sexy-ness comes from the hard work, determination and confidence...visually it can be scary but during the off season the likes of lenda murray and others look good cause they take care of themselves all year i.e. nails and hair...

your "Health Assistant" said...

Happy Healthy Holidays!!!
to you and your Family!!!

attygnorris said...

I don't like it when they look really masculine (like in the first pic). I really admire the dedication that it takes to make their bodies look like that though.


Furkidsmom said...

I like to see nice muscle tone, but not the super muscular ones.

Merry Christmas!

Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

Mike Foster said...

Hope and peace for this holiday season and for a fantastic 2009!
Wow! That's some big muscles!!!
Happy Holidays!

john b said...

I agree with Laura, they are scary! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


I admire them but it is not for me. I think some muscle tone is very attractive but too much of a good thing here. Merry Christmas!!

David & Jan said...

Thanks for your comments and feedback Diva. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and all the best for 2009.

iWalk said...

I do not think bodybuilding women are sexy too. I love the kind like you, Diva. :)

It's big day today!

Merry Christmas and a happy happy happy new year!

Amy Grindhouse said...

I think to each their own and it's to be admired, the amount of work and dedication that it would take to be successful as a female body builder.

...also, Happy Holidays Fitness Diva!

your "Health Assistant" said...

Happy Healthy Holidays!!!
for you and your family!


Jacqueline said...

I must admit that when I was in my teens, I wanted to walk in this direction until I saw some of the ladies who had gone overboard.

Besides, I don't think I could ever get my mind in the right stratosphere to make it a career. More power to 'em though.

Pam said...

Like you, I admire these women's dedication and commitment. But, I tend to think that anything to extreme is not a good thing. While I tend to be a "live and let live" kind of person, I think female body building definitely falls into the extreme category.

May the holiday season bring you peace and joy.

Beth said...

I like to work out and have a little muscle, but I don't want to look like a man LOL.

SHIELA said...

I still prefer the original sexy body :)

Anyway, I'm here to greet yu a very Merry Christmas.

Enjoy the holiday.

Marketing Business Review said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

I wouldnt care to date them, I like them if they arent using steroids, since their voice may even change to a more masculine, that I do not likle at all.

BTW, Thanks to visit my site.

Detox Diet Divas said...

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Chip said...

I think all muscle is sexy! As for female bodybuilders, I've met and spoken and dated with quite a few female bodybuilders in my time and only found one that
isn't 100% sexy woman and she happened to be a lesbian.
Maybe it's partly because I bodybuild too, and know
the dedication and sacrifice, but if you really get
to know the woman and not just judge from the
unusual outward appearance, you will easily see the
beauty and sexiness shining through. Fit women are so much more womanly IMO than your average girl, and female bodybuilders even more so.

Chris.ch said...

I like 'em very much! The bodily strength often reflects a confident strong character.

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