Ewan Burkinshaw; union barbell

The Gintlemen: Stupid Bloody Tribe

The world of lifting – powerlifting, weightlifting, Strongman – can be very different to that of ‘regular’ gym goers. Ewan explores the male perspective in this week’s Gintlemen post.

Honestly. What a stupid and backwards set of people we are. What a set of idiots. Complete hooligans. We actively seek out pain. Then, when we find it we whinge about it, but carry on any way! Really. Strength athletes are, on the whole, a right set of idiots.

Leg day! We can’t wait for it. I can’t wait for it! Which is why I squat 4-5 times a week. I love squats. Want to get big, strong, fast, powerful? Have the legs to donkey kick god in the testes? Do squats.

But it’s not only this desire for pain (it’s almost embarrassing how applicable ‘no pain no gain’ is), our body standards are just daft as well. ‘Look at the fucking size of your arms lass!’, ‘power belly is coming along nicely pal!’, ‘you’ve lost 5kg, are you okay? You sure you want to train, there’s a takeaway over the road?’.

To overly simplify things, there is a direct correlation between size and strength. So stacking some timber on your frame is important. I hurt myself and went from wearing XX Large to X Large, and even down to ickle wickle Large once or twice. My god did it hurt.



At competitions it’s worse. In a society that seems to celebrate slim, slender, slight frames there is nowhere this beauty ideal is more reversed than a pub carpark when there is a strongman comp on. ‘Look at the size of that bastard’, ‘he’s got about 4 neck folds, watch out for him’ ‘which one of you ordered the XXXXL tee shirt? Was it you Darren? Good fucking effort lad!’

The things that make most people ugly are celebrated here. Scars, scabs, surgical wounds, stretch marks! God I love my stretch marks. Each one a medal, a victory. I’ve grown my muscles so big and strong my skin can’t fucking handle them. Damn right I love my stretch marks. I want them on my quads. If I get stretch marks on my quads I’m wearing nothing but hot pants.

These marks are hard earned, it shows you’ve worked. You got your head down and have grafted, and have the wounds to show it. We wear them proudly and we want more. Take your perfect, small, featureless bodies. We’re all going to be worm food anyway, might as well be a sexy bastard before then.

Strength athletes. Honestly. Stupid fucking tribe.

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