The Golden One Physique Ideals
In the last Wednesday Q&A I answered the question whether I have any gym inspirations other than myself. I showed British Sam Bond as one of my first inspirations when I was just beginning in the gym, in this article I strive to explain my thoughts on the matter.
The first thought that will inevitably strike many a mind is probably that “he isn’t shredded as fuck”. That is indeed a most accurate assessment. Instead of being ultra-lean he looks brutal, masculine, powerful and strong. He actually is rather strong as well and bases his training around getting as strong as possible (this in addition to living an active life).
He is also claiming to be natural, which I have no doubt he might very well be. Even if he is not, he still has a natural looking physique and my fair estimate would be that his blood-work is looking quite good indeed (along with his general health). Important to remember when discussing whether person a or person b is natural or not is to discern what health implications it might have for them. Injecting hormones is not always unhealthy. Being natural is not always healthy. It is fully possible for a natural to go around at 5% body-fat, but it is one of the most unhealthy things you can do and you will mess up your own hormonal production.
Also, yet again to illustrate when external hormones might be beneficial to your health is when you get older and your natural testosterone levels drop and you decide to add testosterone to your system, not doing so might actually be the unhealthier option.
So it isn’t black and white when it comes to health and naturalness.
A thing that could be done is to, instead of asking “is he natural or not?” be asking “is he healthy and productive or not?”. Just to shut a few heretics up I could go and get my blood-work done, and I promise you that I would be beyond health. The gym lifestyle can be incredibly healthy, as long as one does not decide to become ultra-shredded over an extended period of time or to use other performance enhancing drugs than testosterone (in a naturally occurring range).
So, in other words, shredded glutes and illegal substances are not something that I hold in high regard. For me, performance, well being and productiveness is far more important than having an unnaturally low body-fat percentage. This does not only stem from a health perspective either. Aesthetically I genuinely think that 8-12% is more appealing than say 4-6%. I recognize that in the sport of Bodybuilding getting as lean as possible is an important factor. But then again that has nothing what so ever to do with health or performance (also quick disclaimer, I have huge respect for the Bodybuilders who push through their hard diets for competition, this is a great test of will and this is something I can respect).
Moreover I have never had any physical ideals with incredibly low body-fat levels. I don’t imagine that Hercules, Beowulf, Thor or Achilles would want to go around with leaf thin skin, they would just die when getting a wound. Now I am not saying that you should be fat. Everyone who has followed my Facebook page for a while will know that I am always eager to bash on the fat acceptance community. Being obese is not acceptable and this is due to health reasons, not aesthetic reasons. And whereas being ultra-shredded isn’t nearly as detrimental to your health as being obese it is still not something I want to be associated with. Looking dominant, strong and brutal is more glorious, and the reason for this is usually that to get that look you have to be able to back it up. This page is called Narcissus so I might as well highlight my own physical prowess: I am heroically strong, my legs are beautiful, my squat is heavy and my kicks are powerful. The appealing thing with an epic physique does (at least in my eyes) not lay in the visual but rather what lies behind. I would absolutely hate if I couldn’t back my brutal looking physique up with epic deeds of strength, if I couldn’t prove myself it would all just be an illusion. Although there is nothing wrong with that, the sport of Bodybuilding is all about the illusion after all. However, for me it is not about the illusion but of physical and martial prowess, of strength of character and of mind.
My physical ideal as of now is the above picture. Lean, but not lean enough to detract from the look and feeling of power. Not an unhealthy level of body-fat but yet with a desirable amount of definition. I wouldn’t say it is quite perfect as it would be cocky and I am actually humble (not serious).
I model myself after an epic hero, I also want to match that with the intellect of an epic philosopher (but that is for another glorious text). An epic hero must look the part because he can back it up. He looks strong because he is strong!
To conclude my thoughts I don’t strive to be the most ‘shredded’ as it is neither appealing nor healthy. I strive to be the most glorious and epic and brutal looking and at the same time be able to back that up with performance. I want to be happy and productive in my life and I know I can’t be that if my body is not taken properly care of.
Below are some other heroic physiques that I have modelled my physique after.