Is bodybuilding sinful?

[quote="rayne89, post:18, topic:207710"]

Working out is one thing -competing, I just don't see how one could be modest and compete.

[/quote]

Absolutely.
After that 20K run that most people simply could not do, pride is sure to follow.

Good question.

I would say that a sense of self-satisfaction is sorta kept within one’s self…like…yeah, I set a goal of having 18" biceps and I worked very hard to do so and I’m happy that I reached my goal.

Vanity, on the other hand, would be to me something like, Look at my !8" biceps, everyone! Aren’t you impressed?

I guess too that there’s a difference in bodybuilding for competition and bodybuilding for the sake of having a fit body. Sort of like the difference in competing just for the judges or playing to the crowd. Perhaps a subtle difference? Or maybe no difference at all?

An athlete competes. One might have a problem with something a biker wears, biking shorts tight biking shirt may not seem modest. How about a swimmer? To most swim suits are not modest. A volleyball player, short shorts, not very modest. A runner, tight shorts.

I think by most peoples defination any faithfull Catholic or even any Christian in general should never participate in sports, because most sport attire is just not modest.

Well competitions are a goal an athlete may have set for themself. I don’t know very many bikers or runners who train all year long to skip the competition. It is an end to measure your goal. So I guess I would never see bodybuilding in any different light than I would see a biker or runner.

Judge Smailes to Ty Webb, when Ty tells him that he doesn't compete in golf for money:

"Well, how do you measure yourself with other golfers?"

Ty: "By height"

-Caddyshack

;)

[quote="TheQuestioner, post:17, topic:207710"]
But the actual Body Building part (off season) is not unhealthy, and an opportunity for penance. In fact that is when they are most health conscious. The judging part is a little hard because they must lose as much fat as possible while maintaining muscle, so they starve themselves and eat very little (an opportunity for fasting and penance), much like a boxer who starves himself to make weight.

It's ok if you don't see it as a legitimate sport. But I will have to disagree with you when calling it intrinsically evil. Look at the opportunity for penance and fasting that these people can do everyday. Surely they can save many from souls by training their bodies and offering their sore, achy and tiring bodies as penance.

[/quote]

I'm not trying to say it is intrinsically evil, and I'm really only talking about pro-bodybuilding here anyway. There's a huge difference between a lot of normal looking bulk, and the double-bicep vein popping look of pro bodybuilders. There's a problem with pushing your body beyond normal limits simple for looks, and that's what bodybuilders do. Athletes train for the performance. Bodybuilders train for the looks. It's not practical application.

Working out to gain bulk and strength with moderation in mind is always a good thing, as training our bodies to be stronger and better is good for us, and can enable us to live longer, and be there when people need us.

Modesty is also still an important consideration. Go look up some pictures of bodybuilding competitions, and you will see speedos and bikinis in nearly every single picture. This is not modest.

IMO beauty contests cannot be called good under any circumstances because they make into a competition what God has naturally given us. Sports competitions are fine because the contestants win or lose based on ability. If you lose a sports competition, you train harder, if you lose a beauty contest, do you get prettier? :confused:

I can’t think of any competition of the Olympics in which the attire is “modest”. Perhaps the issue is with the viewer and not the competitor? The human body is not sinful or dirty. We weren’t born with clothes on. There is a difference between dancing on a pole with the sole goal to get a “rise” out of the viewer, and a figure skater, swimmer, body builder.

No, bodybuilding is not sinful, it’s a sport like any other. I can get sinful if one starts to abuse their body with chemicals, etc. But the sport itself is not sinful. I have yet to see a Church document that forbids Catholics from participating in sporting competitions. I have yet to read about a “scantily clad” figure skater, body builder, runner, swimmer, or any other athelete rebuked by the Church for being “immodest”.

as stated before bb is a sport just as biking and running is a sport.

on modestly look up any picture of a biker and you will see speedo shorts, the same with swimming and any sport of speed.

Beauty contest are not just about beauty, there is a lot behind the scenes that the audiance does not see. There is composer, physical fitness, the ability to speak in public. If a contest loses she will normally go back and retrain in these areas.

[quote="Rence, post:27, topic:207710"]
I can't think of any competition of the Olympics in which the attire is "modest". Perhaps the issue is with the viewer and not the competitor? The human body is not sinful or dirty. We weren't born with clothes on. There is a difference between dancing on a pole with the sole goal to get a "rise" out of the viewer, and a figure skater, swimmer, body builder.

No, bodybuilding is not sinful, it's a sport like any other. I can get sinful if one starts to abuse their body with chemicals, etc. But the sport itself is not sinful. I have yet to see a Church document that forbids Catholics from participating in sporting competitions. I have yet to read about a "scantily clad" figure skater, body builder, runner, swimmer, or any other athelete rebuked by the Church for being "immodest".

[/quote]

exactly!

I am surprised that nobody has mentioned steroids. Is injecting your body full of artificial and potentially dangerous chemicals really how a Catholic is supposed to treat his body? That would concern me more than the outfits and the vanity.

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:30, topic:207710"]
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned steroids. Is injecting your body full of artificial and potentially dangerous chemicals really how a Catholic is supposed to treat his body? That would concern me more than the outfits and the vanity.

[/quote]

well that goes with any sport. It is cheating yourself and any of fellow athletes.

[quote="st_lucy, post:31, topic:207710"]
well that goes with any sport. It is cheating yourself and any of fellow athletes.

[/quote]

Other sports ban steroids, test for them, and don't encourage using them. You aren't going to compete as a bodybuilder without steroids.

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:32, topic:207710"]
Other sports ban steroids, test for them, and don't encourage using them. You aren't going to compete as a bodybuilder without steroids.

[/quote]

that simply is not true. There are many who compete in bb who do not use steroids.

[quote="st_lucy, post:28, topic:207710"]
as stated before bb is a sport just as biking and running is a sport.

on modestly look up any picture of a biker and you will see speedo shorts, the same with swimming and any sport of speed.

Beauty contest are not just about beauty, there is a lot behind the scenes that the audiance does not see. There is composer, physical fitness, the ability to speak in public. If a contest loses she will normally go back and retrain in these areas.

[/quote]

It's a contest based primarily on the looks of the person involved. How can you consider that a good thing? Losing because you are not as fast or as strong as somebody else is totally different from losing because you are subjectively not as good looking.

[quote="Rence, post:27, topic:207710"]
I can't think of any competition of the Olympics in which the attire is "modest". Perhaps the issue is with the viewer and not the competitor? The human body is not sinful or dirty. We weren't born with clothes on. There is a difference between dancing on a pole with the sole goal to get a "rise" out of the viewer, and a figure skater, swimmer, body builder.

No, bodybuilding is not sinful, it's a sport like any other. I can get sinful if one starts to abuse their body with chemicals, etc. But the sport itself is not sinful. I have yet to see a Church document that forbids Catholics from participating in sporting competitions. I have yet to read about a "scantily clad" figure skater, body builder, runner, swimmer, or any other athelete rebuked by the Church for being "immodest".

[/quote]

I've never seen the Church rebuke anyone for immodesty. How is that an argument? If it's immodest for girls to walk around on a beach with skimpy bikinis, how is it different when they are competing?

Check out this guy's blog, and some of the replies he got: bodybuilding.about.com/b/2009/01/08/bodybuilding-faq-is-bodybuilding-a-real-sport-and-are-bodybuilders-athletes.htm

There are some but the majority do use steroids. However, you aren’t going to go and compete in the IFBB against “pros” without steroids. If you want to win as opposed to just compete in bb you have to use. That is the whole reason that they have organizations for natural bodybuilders who don’t want to use any drugs.

First of all, yes the Church has rebuked people for immodesty and gave clothing guidelines. The Pope just issued guidelines for dressing when being present at Peter’s Square. Yes, it is a valid arguement. If it was against the rules of the Church to participate in sports and to dress appropriately for those sports the Church would not be shy about saying so.

Second of all, if a person (not saying specifically you) can’t tell the difference between someone wearing a skimpy bikini on a beach and someone competing at the Olympics, then with all due respect, maybe those don’t have the maturity to watch or be there at all. So perhaps, no offense intended, it may be in one’s best interest and that of one’s immortal soul, to not watch the Olympics or any other sport for their own good, lest they fall into sin.

The Church does not frown upon body building, the Olympics or any other sport.

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:35, topic:207710"]
There are some but the majority do use steroids. However, you aren't going to go and compete in the IFBB against "pros" without steroids. If you want to win as opposed to just compete in bb you have to use. That is the whole reason that they have organizations for natural bodybuilders who don't want to use any drugs.

[/quote]

well just as all baseball players are not pros, not all bb are pros. That doesn't make them any less in their prospective sports.

At what point do you draw the line? When does “appropriate sports dress” become immodest clothing and inappropriate? Or is anything allowable?

Appropriate sports attire is appropriate for the sports arena where the goal is to showcase the athlete and his/her accomplishments. Appropriate sports attire becomes immodest clothing when it is not in the sports arena and the goat is to showcase sex.

Obviously if one’s modesty hinders them from wearing the attire appropriate for weight lifting, figure skating, or gymnastics, or swimming, they won’t be able to compete in that arena. And that’s okay, as they can compete in another area. But it’s inappropriate to criticize those who wish to participate in these events. The Church has NO restrictions that forbid Catholics from participating in these events, either in the Olympics or not. Local competitions are the same.

One should be able to tell the difference between dancing on a pole while men oogle them, and athletes competing in the sports arena. The two are not the same.

There is not too much more fabric involved in ballerina attire, yet that is considered classic attire for a ballerina.

The actual act of weightlifting, like any other exercise, is not sinful. In fact, when done properly, strengthening one’s muscles through weightlifting can be a healthy, life-prolonging activity.

Where you run into trouble with bodybuilding, however, is the following:

1.) Posing – Striking bodybuilding poses in the mirror can lead one to pay too much attention to one’s physical appearance, and could potentially lead to narcissism. An over-emphasis on one’s physical appearance at the detriment of one’s spirituality is not advisable.
2.) Attire – Professional bodybuilders typically wear skimpy attire, which would violate general guidelines of modesty advocated by the Church. Gyms that have athletes wearing this kind of attire are also inappropriate, as they promote immodest looks bordering on voyeurism.
3.) Drug use – Some bodybuilders abuse drugs for the purpose of improving strength, refining muscles, etc. This is not only illegal in some cases, but would also generally violate Church norms surrounding drug abuse.
4.) Homosexuality – There is a quite dominant part of male bodybuilding culture that is homosexual. This, again, goes against Church doctrine.
5.) Magazines – Most of the bodybuilding magazines are one step away from a Playboy or Playgirl magazine. The magazine reading material for the modern-day bodybuilder is awfully close to being pornographic.
6.) Music – Most of the athletic gyms play loud, sometimes Satanic music over the loudspeakers - music that advocates drug use, sex, etc. This can’t be healthy for an ordinary Catholic to bombard their ears with this kind of music for hours on end daily.

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