Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Meathead's Manifesto

To most of the general populous, the term "Meathead" is not one that is looked upon favorably. It carries with it a negative connotation, implying a lack of intelligence evidenced by an excessive fixation on the body. Because surely those who find time to train (exercise, to the non-Meatheads) 5 days a week couldn't possibly be dedicating enough time to intellectual pursuits, right? Wrong, obviously. Going to the gym is about bettering oneself, and this is something that everyone should understand. It just so happens, though, that most of America is content to come up with ridiculous excuses for avoiding exercise, as embodied by the catchall, "I don't have time." This is, of course, complete rubbish. Those who claim not to have time to exercise are generally the same people that spend the majority of their time at home watching the garbage that now passes for quality programming. But that's what America has become: A nation of excuses. So instead of making the effort to improve his/her body - not to mention quality of life - the typical American not only hides behind excuses, but also seeks to demonize those who value physical fitness. The result is terms like Meathead; by portraying people with big muscles and low body fat as ignorant and detached from the "real world," two divergent paths are created. One can either choose to work out and be viewed as an animal, or follow the path to heart disease and feel smart. On a personal level, I've always preferred the path of the Meathead, and in reality there was never a moment where it was even a choice. Whether recreational or as something that pays the bills, weightlifting presents a powerful tool of self-worth. For my money, there does not exist another activity that so concretely shows the individual how much progress he/she has made. I can have the worst day of my life, and all I have to do to turn it all around is go to the gym and improve one rep on one exercise. And even if that doesn't happen, the release of endorphins that follows an intense session of lifting is enough to numb any pain, whether trivial or serious. Week-to-week the improvement is real and palpable, and seeing that improvement is an amazing feeling. So call me a Meathead for talking about the gym and prioritizing my time there. Snicker behind my back like I don't know what you imply (though you should probably know that by any standard measure you have less than a 1% chance of being smarter than me). Or better yet, hit the gym and see what all the fuss is about. If you like running, run. If you like cycling, ride a bike. And most importantly, know that when you say the word "Meathead" it is a compliment to people like me. And you can remain amongst the fellowship of the miserable, or you can jump on our bandwagon. There's always room.

By: Danny Amon

This piece was written by my roommate Danny Amon. Danny is a weightlifting enthusiast like the rest of us, continually indulging himself in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. I hope to post more articles by Danny and I ensure you that his articles will keep you intrigued.

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