Christians and Body Building

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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Do you think it's okay for a Christian to be involved in body building competitions where one has to wear a tiny bathing suit, get all oiled up, and pose for everyone?

I ask because I know someone who does this and has the pictures all over his Facebook account. Let's just say I wouldn't want my fiance looking at them, and he gets all kinds of comments from girls. I sent him a message asking if he doesn't think that it could be a stumbling block, and told him that I for one wouldn't want my wife seeing another guy like that, but he never replied to me. Should I send another message? Am I wrong here?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I used to lift weights and powerlift, even after high school but I never could bring myself to wear skimpy outfits. I think you might have a point here.
 

Gryphonette

Moderator
I'm definitely uncomfortable with that, both from the immodesty angle, and to be honest, just with the whole "body-building" perspective. General good health doesn't appear to be the motive for those who really get into it.

Mind, now! This is NOT saying one single word against strength training, which I keep meaning to take up again, as that is very beneficial and helps to keep bones strong and tone muscles. Geriatric doctors (not that I'm at that point yet, only being in my 50's) earnestly recommend moderate strength training for their patients who can manage it.

So this is not to criticize appropriate use of weights, etc.

But driving oneself to be simply bulging with muscles, and putting oneself on display?

Ugh.

BTW, no, I wouldn't write him again. You did, he didn't reply, there's an end to it. I admire you for trying.
 

Gryphonette

Moderator
I believe it could easily be a question of vanity that might arise.

One thing I have notice about boys a few years shy of me and younger, is that they have become obsessed with having the perfect physique. I'm not talking about, mind you, being in shape. Rather, I'm talking about spending MUCH of their time daily to have a "sculpted, chiseled" body. They then buy the tightest shirts they can, go shirtless if at all possible (I'm not talkin' about playin' basketball out in the heat in a semi-non-public place), and so on and so forth.

Then again, my preceding paragraph could just be something chubby people like me say.
No, you're right as rain. How devoting hours and hours of one's life plus who knows how much money to achieve a "sculpted, chiseled" physique isn't indicative of vanity, I can't imagine.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
Just the phrase "Body building" shows its intent. Who are you building your body for? Advancement of self? "Hey look at me!"

We are called not to build our bodies, but our souls. That our "souls might be built up in the most holy faith" should be the aim of the believer.

That doesn't mean to neglect our bodies. Scriptures doesn't say bodily exercise is worthless, but it does say "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Tim. 4:8).

There is some little profit to bodily exercise but it should be viewed as that which keeps us fit, that we may follow after godliness.:2cents:
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
You should shoot him.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't suggest one engage in those types of activities because it might be a stumbling block for someone else. Modesty is always encouraged in Scripture, from what I can gather. This would seem to ignore that encouragement.
 

Gesetveemet

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's flesh and you will never convince him. Besides God's arm is bigger.

Free weights are the best exercise in my opinion.

At one time I bounced 290 for a double that's not much but I have long arms so it's more work than for a short guy. Now I just exercise my left arm so I can hang it out the car window.





.
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
You seem to forget that without body building we would have grave difficulty in recruiting for the The Power Team!.

But seriously I would see it as christain liberty, as long as they keep it in its proper place (i.e. not to an idolitrous level) then good luck to our beefcake brethren.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
You seem to forget that without body building we would have grave difficulty in recruiting for the The Power Team!.
:rofl:

But seriously I would see it as christain liberty, as long as they keep it in its proper place (i.e. not to an idolitrous level) then good luck to our beefcake brethren.
Yes, that makes sense. Although several people have brought up the question of idolatry, I was more concerned not about him lifting a lot of weights in general (I know there's nothing wrong with working out), but competing in competitions and posting pictures to show himself off posing in skimpy bathing suits.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
It may very well be a chubby guy deal. After all, where do you draw the line? My sons all want to beat me in the bench press, and they train hard, and I'm rewarding them as they are able to beat me in athletic activities. The first one who beats me in wrestling gets 1000 bucks.

What sort of strength training is legal and which form isn't? Did the pictures provoke you to lust after him? Which sort of athletics is NOT ever about vanity? And if a champion loves to run his race as the Scriptures say, isn't there a lawful feeling of accomplishment?

And yes, bodybuilding disgusts me, like it does most wrestlers. But I realize that's my personal opinion, and that's all it is.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It may very well be a chubby guy deal. After all, where do you draw the line? My sons all want to beat me in the bench press, and they train hard, and I'm rewarding them as they are able to beat me in athletic activities. The first one who beats me in wrestling gets 1000 bucks.

What sort of strength training is legal and which form isn't? Did the pictures provoke you to lust after him? Which sort of athletics is NOT ever about vanity? And if a champion loves to run his race as the Scriptures say, isn't there a lawful feeling of accomplishment?

And yes, bodybuilding disgusts me, like it does most wrestlers. But I realize that's my personal opinion, and that's all it is.
Um...no...they didn't provoke me to lust after him. And I didn't mention vanity. Did you read all of the OP? :confused:

I'm wondering whether it's any better to be a male in a bodybuilding show than it is for a woman to be in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I wouldn't want my little sister, if I had one, nor my fiance, perusing those pictures.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I'm wondering whether it's any better to be a male in a bodybuilding show than it is for a woman to be in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I wouldn't want my little sister, if I had one, nor my fiance, perusing those pictures.
It's one of the differences between boys and girls. Women may find certain body types attractive, but there generally isn't the overwhelming hormonal response we guys feel when we see a skimpily clad nice looking female. And if it's immoral for bodybuilders to don those types of pants then what do you do with swimmers?
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
I'm wondering whether it's any better to be a male in a bodybuilding show than it is for a woman to be in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I wouldn't want my little sister, if I had one, nor my fiance, perusing those pictures.
It's one of the differences between boys and girls. Women may find certain body types attractive, but there generally isn't the overwhelming hormonal response we guys feel when we see a skimpily clad nice looking female. And if it's immoral for bodybuilders to don those types of pants then what do you do with swimmers?
Knitted high necked knee length swimsuits.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
For one thing, body-building does not actually make one strong. See Matt Furey's excellent take on this in his incredibly helpful book. I just started his exercize program, and I have found that it takes very little time, and gives me a huge energy boost. It's functional power, though, and not looks.
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
As a young lad I read "Education of a Bodybuilder" by Arnold Schwarzenegger and it was actually a very good seculer book. One of Arnolds ten rules for living still resonates with me to this day:

"Don't hang around with low lifes"
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm wondering whether it's any better to be a male in a bodybuilding show than it is for a woman to be in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I wouldn't want my little sister, if I had one, nor my fiance, perusing those pictures.
It's one of the differences between boys and girls. Women may find certain body types attractive, but there generally isn't the overwhelming hormonal response we guys feel when we see a skimpily clad nice looking female. And if it's immoral for bodybuilders to don those types of pants then what do you do with swimmers?
Who says it's one of the differences between boys and girls? Empirical investigation? I've read enough books on lust to know that it's not a male problem. In fact it's almost funny how some of them have made the point of pointing this out. :lol:

Also, I'm not talking about pants, I'm talking about tiny skin-tight spandex briefs that leave little to the imagination. Normal swimsuits don't put one's package on display (sorry if that needs to be moderated). And I didn't say that it was inherently immoral. I questioned whether it's expedient to flaunt pictures on the internet, and whether you would want your daughter to see them.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
As a young lad I read "Education of a Bodybuilder" by Arnold Schwarzenegger and it was actually a very good seculer book. One of Arnolds ten rules for living still resonates with me to this day:

"Don't hang around with low lifes"
Which is a direct rip-off from Scriptural discriptions of godly men.
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
I'm wondering whether it's any better to be a male in a bodybuilding show than it is for a woman to be in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. I wouldn't want my little sister, if I had one, nor my fiance, perusing those pictures.
It's one of the differences between boys and girls. Women may find certain body types attractive, but there generally isn't the overwhelming hormonal response we guys feel when we see a skimpily clad nice looking female. And if it's immoral for bodybuilders to don those types of pants then what do you do with swimmers?
Who says it's one of the differences between boys and girls? Empirical investigation? I've read enough books on lust to know that it's not a male problem. In fact it's almost funny how some of them have made the point of pointing this out. :lol:

Also, I'm not talking about pants, I'm talking about tiny skin-tight spandex briefs that leave little to the imagination. Normal swimsuits don't put one's package on display (sorry if that needs to be moderated). And I didn't say that it was inherently immoral. I questioned whether it's expedient to flaunt pictures on the internet.
It is perhaps interesting to consider how the early church dealt with Greek Culture and its naked sports practice, there must have been much the same concerns.

The other point to consider is how necessarily culteral our concerns are here. Culture is at the heart of morality so it is important but we are not dealing with absolutes here.
 

Olivetan

Puritan Board Freshman
What is the difference between body-building and ballet or other sports like swimming?

All of us have different habits and hobbies. They do not have to have a relation to spiritual things. We do them for fun or we do because we like it. So the problem does not lie in pants or body-building. The problem lies in the head of the body-builder. In what motivation does he do it? To have o good body shape,attract girls,win acompetition....
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
In what way is culture at the heart of morality?
Good call, what I meant to say was that we are called not to offend our culteral expectations (i.e. in dress, hair etc) and therefore because a standard is culteral it does not mean that we can offend that standard.

It is therefore not at the heart of morality, but it does interact with morality.
 

Gryphonette

Moderator
That's a fair question, actually.

What is the difference between body-building and ballet or other sports like swimming?
I'm thinking it's because pure "body-building" doesn't actually accomplish anything in the sense of increased ability.

Granted there are those who train to be weight-lifters, which I've always thought was a bit silly but still, it's something one actually does.

Swimmers try to increase their speed, ballet dancers work hard to improve their performance, but if all someone's doing is chiseling, sculpting, and bulking up so he or she can parade on a stage to be gawped at, It seems to me that's just a beauty contest with a really strange definition of beauty.

Make no mistake, I'm in no way questioning the salvation of those who both claim Christ and strike those odd poses for the judges.

But just as I don't think watching "Desperate Housewives" is a suitable past-time for Christians, I don't think focusing a significant amount of one's effort, money and attention on one's physical attributes is suitable, either.

Particularly when it involves dressing provocatively and plastering photos of oneself on the net for the world and God to see.
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
I'd say that it's not okay for anyone (Christian or not) to do, because it's gross. I don't even need to go to Scripture for that. ;-)
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Ifyour post was directed toward mine (and I'm assuming it was because of the "chubby" content), I'm not sure where you derived that I said strength and athletics and competition were wrong. If, however, your post wasn't directed toward me, just ignore me.
Just a general reply to a general remark! Sorry!

I was only trying to point out that terms like gross, unproductive, lust provoking etc...are dangerous because once you single out something as bad because of those terms then it's hard to stop.

As I've said, bodybuilding fills me with contempt, but it's still one step above ballet for a man, to me. There's a guy who is so effeminate that it physically bothers me who attends our church and does ballet. The wife and kids went to see a play he was in and came back absolutely revolted with him prancing around in tights. But I coached a homeschool wrestling team this season, and I'm sure if he went to watch our sweaty guys struggling he'd think ballet is not nearly as gross as wrestling.

For me things like bodybuilding are really none of my business, at least in terms of moral judgments using words like right and wrong. I'll save my ire for women laying hands on Elders during ordinations in the PCA and PCA TEs recommending Bishop Wright's views of wealth distribution and saying tattoos are morally neutral so go ahead and get them from the pulpit.
 

Gryphonette

Moderator
Mercy Maud! How long has THIS been going on?!?

...PCA TEs recommending Bishop Wright's views of wealth distribution and saying tattoos are morally neutral so go ahead and get them from the pulpit.
Tattoos available from PCA pulpits?

I've heard of multitasking but really....there are limits!







 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Do you think it's okay for a Christian to be involved in body building competitions where one has to wear a tiny bathing suit, get all oiled up, and pose for everyone?

I ask because I know someone who does this and has the pictures all over his Facebook account. Let's just say I wouldn't want my fiance looking at them, and he gets all kinds of comments from girls. I sent him a message asking if he doesn't think that it could be a stumbling block, and told him that I for one wouldn't want my wife seeing another guy like that, but he never replied to me. Should I send another message? Am I wrong here?
stop the hate :)

Bodybuilding is a sport that requires the utmost discipline in the sculpting and care of the body. The life of a bodybuilder is severely regimented in terms of diet, sleep hours, work hours.

But maybe, just maybe this guy is using this "honorable sport" as a means to get women. But this vanity is in all sports that guys participate in.
 
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