Ask The Trainer #106 – The Bodybuilding Lifestyle


How did you get into this lifestyle instead of another? Do you face any problems with this lifestyle such as people’s comments about you, clothes shopping, and amount of time committed?



From the time I was about 4 years old, I was fascinated with muscular physiques. Part of the reason was because, throughout my childhood, I battled numerous health problems that nearly claimed my life on several occasions.

I was always weak, frail, and sickly. I badly desired to be the opposite of those things. When I would see muscular physiques, to me that represented a realistic possibility to transform weakness into strength, which is what I wanted. I was always in and out of the hospital. That caused me to miss a lot of school. Most of the time I was unable to participate in Phys-Ed class or sports. As a result, I had trouble relating to other kids and was socially awkward. This always made me a target for being teased and bullied.

At that point I didn’t care so much that I didn’t have friends, I just wanted to be left alone. I figured that if I had big muscles and was stronger than everyone around me, they would be too intimidated to try and mess with me. My theory proved to be accurate! The more muscular I became, the fewer people would harass me. In fact, not only did people stop harassing me, but they actually began to respect me.

Potential Problems

You also asked about potential problems I might face living his lifestyle. Yes, I unfortunately do.

Out on the street, I’d say I receive much more negative than positive feedback. People are always making comments steroids and asking if I use them. Sadly, a large percentage of the public believes bodybuilders are all big, menacing, stupid apes who take bucket loads of steroids to look the way they do.

To the contrary, most of the bodybuilders I personally know and interact with are among the most intelligent, talented, genuine, and kindhearted, health-conscious people you could ever meet! They’ve built their bodies with knowledge, gut-busting hard work, and high-quality supplements. They do NOT need drugs to get the job done!

I used to get upset with people making derogatory comments, but I’ve learned to just laugh them off. Ignorant people will generalize and make ignorant statements. So, you just have to let that stuff roll off your shoulders.


Clothes shopping can be challenging, especially when it comes to buying shirts. Most clothing companies design shirts for more of an “A-frame” build than a “V frame”. Shirts tend to be very tight fitting in the shoulders, chest and the arms, but then have tons of extra material flaring out around the waistline.

This is especially true with formal clothing. I can’t just go out and buy a suit to wear. When I do, I have to spend extra money to have it tailored so I look acceptable in it. And don’t get me started about most t-shirts. (They make me look like a pop-up tent!)

In closing, one final tip I want to share is the importance of finding a mate who is also into fitness, or who will least support your passion for it. If not, there’s naturally going to be a conflict of interest as to how you spend your time. As you already know, following this type of lifestyle requires a great deal of discipline. So make sure you are “equally yoked” with someone who will support you…and you can help lift up too!

No matter what, this journey is well worth the effort. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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