I tried explaining this to my wife and she just couldn’t understand. Maybe you have to be a guy to understand this. I want to explore the answer to the question, “why do men work out?” I’m not interested in a surface-y type of answer. Deep, deep down, why do men work out? Here are my thoughts.
Way back in the days of the creation of man, the inner workings of the brain, the conglomeration of synapses to what makes men tick began to take shape. Back in those days, it was man vs man. Man vs. beast. Man vs everything. Men were the providers, the top dog, and the protectors. I think that some of these attributes carry over today. What man doesn’t want to be alpha? Maybe you aren’t alpha of the world, but maybe you are alpha of your own little group. Guys want to be the best at something, They just do. Deal with it. If you ask a guy, “why do you work out?” You’ll probably get a multitude of answers. “I DO IT FOR ME!” Yes, that’s true, but why? Really, why? There is the ever so popular, “because I want to look good naked”. There’s “to pick up chicks bro (high fives any guy within five feet).” Then there’s the “I’m in training for ___________.” There’s also “ummm crossfit….because crossfit.” I can say that because I love crossfit. But the answer to the perplexing question goes much deeper than this. The answer lies in how we compare ourselves to others.
Let’s talk a walk down hypothetical lane. Me and my buddy walk into a gas station in a strange town. We walk in, I make my way over to check if they stock Cheerwine, they don’t, so I grab the Muscle Milk in chocolate because it tastes amazing and I need my protein fix. I’m parched, so I make my way up to the line. As I walk up, I wait for my buddy to meet up with me because that’s the polite thing to do. As I’m standing there, I notice a dude looking at me with a stank eye. I glance over my shoulder because I’m sure he wasn’t looking at me, I didn’t even do anything. But there is no one behind me. So two thoughts enter my mind. The first thought is “can I take this guy?” Now before everyone jumps on me with the whole “why does everything have to be so violent with guys?!” Hear me out. There are a million scenarios on why this guy could be looking at me. There are 999,998 in which he doesn’t want to fight me. I’m not concerned about those. I don’t get hurt in those. I’m concerned about the scenario in which he wants to fight me. So why do I work out? I need to make sure that if that scenario ever happens, I can take this guy. I size this guy up in my mind in a matter of 0.2 seconds. In the female world, this equates to the 0.2 seconds leading up to “is my butt smaller than hers?” I can then come to the conclusion that a) I can take this guy, or b) I can’t take this guy. Now I’m sure you noticed by now that I said 999,998 but I only mentioned one scenario. The other scenario is that he doesn’t want to fight me, he wants to fight my friend. Why? I don’t know. Maybe my buddy looked at him funny in the parking lot. It’s irrelevant. If this scenario is true, the thought process is a little different. You still have to consider if you can take this guy. You don’t want to be the guy who runs away like a little girl while his buddy gets randomly attacked in a shady gas station. But let’s say he wants to attack BOTH of you….with four of his friends. Now it is not a matter of “can I take them?” It is now a matter of “can I outrun my buddy?” This is quite possibly life and death. Of course this scenario only happens if your friend decides to run too. If he doesn’t run and wants to fight, well, looks like I’m getting hurt today. Let me summarize – “can i take him?” “can I outrun you?”
Maybe this is all satirical. Maybe this is scientific fact based on years of study. I am a psychology major after all. Maybe we will never know. One thing is for sure, you’ll laugh the next time you see two dudes look at each other at a gas station. AROO!
P.S. This is my best “Fight Club” looking pic