Is bodybuilding sinful?

Completely pulled out from nowhere and untrue hearsay. No part of male bodybuilding is homosexual. A clear sign you know nothing of the sport

Well, here is a quote from Iron Magazine, from the late Mike Menzer, a bodybuilding legend:

“And it’s also true that there’s a lot of homosexual hustling
going on. It’s been going on since the inception of
bodybuilding in the early part of the century. It appears that
there’s a faction of homosexuals who find bodybuilders
irresistible and are willing to pay them considerable sums of
money for sexual favors. I know a number of bodybuilders who
have done this, too, but for obvious reasons I’m not going to
reveal their names.”

I wont even get into what constitutes Satan music but this point is so out there that it doesn’t hold any weight at all

Nearly every commercial weightlifting gym plays very loud music over the loudspeakers. Oftentimes, this music is meant as motivational music. However, the lyrics to many of the heavy metal bands, and even modern music of many different genres (rap, dance, etc.) promote anti-Catholic values, such as drug use, promiscuity, etc. If you are listening to this kind of music for 2-3 hours per day or more, it’s not a good thing.

In combination with drug use is a nothing statement. There is no proof that diuretic practise is dangerous when combined with anabolics.

Both diuretics and anabolic steroids are commonly used in professional bodybuilding, and have been for years. Not only are many of these drugs illegal, but they most clearly violate Catholic doctrine, not to mention federal, state, and local laws surrounding illegal substances.

I would be rather intrerested to see this list.

I’ve already given you a handful of well-known bodybuilders that died as a result of drug use, or complications thereof. It’s not my role to conduct an empirical study on drug use in bodybuilding, though I am sure that some researcher has done so at some point in time.

But that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is a part of bodybuilding. The statement by Mike here is obvious - men will find these guys attractive. No duh? But it doesn’t mean anything for bodybuilders or bodybuilding itself.

It’s part of the culture of professional bodybuilding, and has been since its earliest beginnings.

That would be like me saying cooking is bad because people like to listen to music while cooking. Furthermore, lets say a non-bodybuilder was in a gym and this apparent Satan music was on, does that mean “getting fit” suddenly has consequences that are evil too?

If you listen to demonic music while working out in a gym, the long-term consequences of listening to this music are detrimental. Again, you cannot refer to “cooking” or “another sport” to divert attention to basic facts. Gyms are well-known for blasting this kind of music over the loudspeakers.

There is no proof that combining them is dangerous. Diuretics are also not illegal, by the way.

My point is simple: Bodybuilders, especially at the professional level, typically use steroids, drugs, diuretics, etc. This, too, is part of the normative bodybuilding sub-culture.

But it is your role to provide empirical proof when you make certain statements that have no factual basis.

The negative effects of prolonged steroid use (and other illegal substances) are well-documented within the medical community. The damage to a professional bodybuilder’s health can be long-term, up to and including death.

I missed where it was stated “potentially” sinful.

Apologies. Mine and your points would appear to be in agreement then.

No, it hasn’t. One quote does not cover this very general and unfounded statement. Bodybuilding and homosexuality do not mix.

Well, it’s not just a quote from some random person. It’s a quote from one of the leading and most prominent bodybuilders of his time, the late Mike Mentzer, which is more than sufficient evidence to make my point.

Here is what Dr. Alan Klein, Sociologist at Northeastern University, has to say about homosexuality in the bodybuilding industry, in his article, “Pumping Irony: Crisis and Contradiction in Bodybuilding”:

“Ironically, the selling of sexual favors to gay men is widespread in Southern Califarnia bodybuilding. Estimates of the activities range from 40% to 75% depending on who is queried., It is called “hustling” by people at the gym, but it only involves the male members of the community. Hustling is a range of transactions involving a bodybuilder and a gay male. Only on rare occasions is a woman the procurer of sexual favors. The act of hustling may entail selling one’s time for “beefcake” photographs, or nude dancing at all-male events, but primarily it involves sexual acts. The latter might be passive or active, depending on one’s conscience.”

"People don 't realize that in any given lineup of 20 competitors 10 are hustling. We have always had gays in the gym… I learned from _____who was hustling, that all the guys were doing it and that really opened my eyes. But now there is such a heavy gay concentration in the gym.

Hardly anyone is spared, allowing the novice to feel that hustling is a rite of passage rather than a deviant act."

There is no such thing as demonic music besides music that was solely intended for the purpose of being demonic. Furthermore, gym music and bodybuilding… really? This is a stretch at best for an argument against bodybuilding

You won’t have to look too far to find the demonic and Satanic elements within the music industry. Bombarding oneself with this kind of music for 2-3 hours per day is not a good thing.

It isn’t a normative part of bodybuilding.

Steroid use is rampant in professional bodybuilding circles. It’s been that way for decades.

Similarly, I have read studies that indicate prolonged steroid use is not always unhealthy.

These studies, if they do exist, runs contrary to traditional medical opinions on the dangers associated with steroid abuse.

Here’s what Dr. Alan Klein has to say about post-competition bodybuilders:

“Following the contest there is an institutional gorging, accurately termed “pigging out.” In groups and singly bodybuilders go out to eat vast quantities of food. In a single evening some will gain 15 pounds. On one occasion an informant consumed 7 pies. Another downed 24 donuts. The way binging and dieting occur institutionalizes borderline bulemic and anorexic behavior. These we know are syndromes involving intrapsychic disorders, but in bodybuilding they become structured into an acceptable cultural product. Epidemiological research suggests, however that rapid weight fluctuation is positively correlated with certain forms of cancer and cardiac irregularities.”

I am not making any judgments of individuals in sports, but have to take some time to reflect on these teachings about dignity from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it’s sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

“Following the contest there is an institutional gorging, accurately termed “pigging out.” Oh really? “Institutional” is it? This kinda thing makes me laugh. I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about. That or he purposefully tainted his studies or his subjects. In groups and singly bodybuilders go out to eat vast quantities of food Yes, vast qunatitites would be appropriate considering most of these guys are over 280lbs.. In a single evening some will gain 15 pounds … You are kidding right? This is not humanly possible. However, over a short period of time weight can fluctuate - but it is mostly water weight. Most people experience water weight fluctuations. Granted, not to this degree, but bodybuilders during a show diet specially (as do all athletes). On one occasion an informant consumed 7 pies. Another downed 24 donuts Photo proof or it didn’t happen. Seriously. Bodybuilders know better than this. They wouldn’t touch the stuff. Not only that, but even if it did happen… 7 pies in one day compared to the average american who eats 100 pies a year and 700 donuts a year (I am obviously exaggerating, but you understand the point). The way binging and dieting occur institutionalizes borderline bulemic and anorexic behavior **No… no it doesn’t. In that case everybody I know is borderline. Correlation fallacy here. Everybody binges. **. These we know are syndromes involving intrapsychic disorders, but in bodybuilding they become structured into an acceptable cultural product. Epidemiological research suggests, however that rapid weight fluctuation is positively correlated with certain forms of cancer and cardiac irregularities. This has to be the most laughable of all. Sure, even if this is true, why is it relevant to bodybuilding? He is implying here that it is by mentioning it. But even his english and sentence structure betrays his true understanding. He knows he is stretching for this conclusion

Is bodybuilding a sin? Don’t know. I suspect it’s a sin to call what passes for MY fitness regime these days “bodybuilding.” After a blown disc in my back and nerve damage from a rare reaction to a flu shot, (and laziness), I don’t put up the big weight anymore, but I still do well enough to pass as a 30 year old (I’m 40), and I still turn on most of the older women and some of the younger ones. I’m happy enough. :thumbsup:

Argument from authority fallacy. I am sure you can see that here. The above, then, is null and void.

Unless you can provide me credible evidence to the contrary, I beg to differ. I have given you two (2) very credible authorities: The first is one of the prominent bodybuilders of his time, the late Mike Mentzer, and the second, a Ph.D. sociologist that has written extensively about the ties between homosexuality and bodybuilding. Given that you have provided no evidence supporting your counterclaim, and I have given you two credible authorities to the contrary, my point stands.

So, men are asking other men to do sexual things for them? Big surprise. That happens just about anywhere you go.

No, again this is part of the professional bodybuilding culture, especially in southern California, the Mecca of bodybuilding. Again, see above.

Unless you can show otherwise, a devout Catholic would be well-advised to stay away from this kind of homosexual activity within the bodybuilding community. Anyone considering entering this sport should know that this kind of activity is quite common in professional bodybuilding, especially in southern California. Forewarned, is forearmed.

Yes, in some professional circles this is true.

Finally, you concede the truth. If steroid use is prevalent, even in some circles of professional bodybuilding, this is another warning sign for devout Catholics to be wary of this sport.

I think I’ve made my point. Bodybuilding, as a sport, has elements of homosexuality in the form of “favors” between gay men and bodybuilders, and anabolic steroid usage among participants.

These two reasons alone, along with the others cited earlier, are more than ample reason to be very skeptical of the sport from a Catholic perspective. If someone does decide to pursue professional bodybuilding as a career, they should be wary of the drug use, homosexuality, binge eating post-competition, immodest attire, and the narcissistic elements of posing, as well as the other dangers mentioned earlier.

So the real question is this: If a devout Catholic wants to avoid the abovementioned dangers, how can he or she possibly engage in the sport of bodybuilding and still remain a devout Catholic, what with the skimpy attire, steroid abuse, homosexuality, et al? And, do we have have any evidence that any professional bodybuilders, are, in fact devout Catholics?

This argument still ties into the authority fallacy.

The authorities are credible eye-witnesses that have personally attested to firsthand knowledge about the exchange of homosexual favors between gay men and professional bodybuilders. Again, you have cited no evidence either refuting their claims, nor providing us with any evidence whatsoever supporting your assertions.

Ok well, not where I’m from.

Bodybuilding sprung out of Muscle Beach, California. That has been the Mecca of bodybuilding for decades now. Many of the major publications in bodybuilding come from this area of the country, and even Joe Weider, one of bodybuilding’s kingpins, built his business and bodybuilding publishing empire out of southern California. That is where the bodybuilding culture – depraved as it is – originated.

But that doesn’t make it wrong or immoral.

Professional bodybuilding, from a Catholic perspective, would be wrong and immoral on the grounds already stated – drug use, homosexuality, narcissism, immodest attire. Not every bodybuilder engages in these activities, but they are quite prominent in bodybuilding culture. This is an argument against the cultural aspects of bodybuilding, not any particular individual.

If you have ever read the autobiography of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or watched the movie, “Pumping Iron”, you will fully understand this depraved culture of professional bodybuilding.

Again, drug use is prevelant in any sport.

Some sports more than others. In the case of bodybuilding, however, steroid use for increasing strength, and the use of diuretics (as you noted earlier) are generally common. Bodybuilders are well-known for touting various supplements, muscle-enhancing pills, and the like. Yes, we do see steroid abuse in other sports, but we’re only focused on one sport right now – bodybuilding.

Well, posing is part and parcel of this sport. Just like certain gymnastic routines which require poses etc.

Well, there is a difference between the near naked bodybuilder that poses in the mirror for hours on end for competition purposes, and a fully-attired male gymnast. You could feasibly make an argument about female gymnast attire and “posing”, but again, that’s not the topic under discussion.

Any Catholic that takes up this sport should be aware of the potential dangers associated with the sport and culture of bodybuilding. There are more than ample red warning signs.

And again, you refuse to acknowledge that I have argued against this point well enough to make it invalid

Yes, you have argued. But you have not supplied any credible evidence nor authoritative proof to back your “opinions”. Case closed.

And I don’t see your point here. Ok? It sprang out of Cali. Cool. Hollywood gave us a film industry. What does that say for films? Oh wait yes it says nothing for films.

Again, you are missing the point. Hollywood is still very much the center of the film industry. Just as southern California is still very much the center of the sport of bodybuilding.

If you want to become a professional bodybuilder, you don’t typically move to Alaska, or Ohio. Sure, you can train anywhere you want, but the Mecca of the culture of professional bodybuilding has always been southern California and Muscle Beach.

This is where bodybuilding - modern bodybuilding - originated, and this is where many, many an aspiring bodybuilder has gone to pursue their career in this sport. This is where the main publishing houses for bodybuilding are located. This is where the kingpin Joe Weider is located.

Schwarzenegger didn’t move from Austria to Ohio to train to become Mr. Olympia. He moved to southern California. You simply cannot sit here on this thread and tell me that you are unaware of the influence and importance of southern California on the sport of bodybuilding – Otherwise, you would be deluding yourself.

You have grouped bodybuilders as individuals together as perpetrators of this “culture” you so despise.

Many sports have their own sub-culture. Professional bodybuilding is no exception. Case closed.

But the use of steroids (and the abuse of steroids) is not limited to bodybuilding.

Again, you are going off-topic. Bodybuilders will often use steroids to increase their strength. Yes, the same holds true for football, and some other sports that require immense strength. Nevertheless, you cannot negate the fact that many well-known professional bodybuilders have a long history of abusing steroids. Case closed.

If you want to hate on my sport for a particular reason, I will hate on yours for a particular reason.

I have not leveled “hate speech”. Strong, documented, and hopefully articulate opinions. But never “hate speech”. Take a deep breath.

I still don’t see what is wrong with this. You said it yourself, competition purposes.

You know as well as I do that any professional bodybuilder must spend thousands of hours practicing various bodybuilding poses. This is part of the sport. The poses are done in front of a mirror, and each muscle is carefully analyzed by the bodybuilder to look for areas of one’s physique that needs improvement.

This overzealous attention to one’s muscular physique is not only unhealthy, but also can foster narcissism if the bodybuilder isn’t careful.

But it is. If its about modesty, then modesty we shall discuss relevant to sports.

Bodybuilders, by the very nature of the sport, parade around in very tight and skimpy attire during competitions. This is not only immodest but indecent.


Finally, at the end of this long road, you agree with me. Case closed.

I have cited several legitimate reasons for one to avoid the sport of bodybuilding, with ample, credible, and well-documented supporting evidence. With all due respect, it appears that you are more interested in being antagonistic, than actually providing evidence or support to back your counterclaims. Spouting your opinion is not evidence. This is, therefore, an exercise in futility.

It is quite obvious that you actually agree with the majority of my statements, and have even stated so yourself numerous times throughout the thread. Perhaps we only disagree on finer points.

The bottom line: Any truly devout Catholic interested in pursuing the sport of professional bodybuilding would be well-advised to tread carefully, as the sport quite clearly could lead one into sinful behavior. My case rests. Thank you.

Wow - what a debate that is going on here!

I think that it has gone a bit off track…LOL

Can we all agree that a drug using, homosexual, devil worshiping bodybuilder who admires himself for hours a day in a mirror and parades around in skimpy clothes is engaging in sinful activity? :confused:

Bodybuilding is a sport, but for most of the participants it is more a part of their lifestyle. Even if we wanted to, most of us are not genetically disposed to develop the muscle mass that the competitors have. We do it because we like to feel strong, and healthy, and look good. AND, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. It is a virtue.

I have been in many gyms and have not observed any overt homosexuality. There were a couple of guys who I wondered about?? I have not been offered steroids. As far as the music goes - it plays.

I have a friend that I met at the gym. We work out together. He is a professional trainer. He is quite a bit stronger than I am and mentions often that it is not a competition. He tells me to be careful and avoid injury. His thinking is fairly pervasive around the gym. We are not trying to show off.

I think that bodybuilding is a great Catholic activity. It actually helps to subjugate one’s lower faculties.

I realize I’m resurrecting a very old thread, but I have a lot of thoughts on Christian bodybuilding.

I’ve been pumping iron for over 6 years now and love it. I do not compete, and I lift naturally. :thumbsup:

My Master’s thesis combines my favorite hobby (bodybuilding) with my love of theology. If anyone is interested in a thoroughly researched, original take on whether bodybuilding is sinful or a hobby that encourages virtue, you are welcome to read my thesis. Perhaps I can send it to someone over Catholic answers? Otherwise it’s on kindle:

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