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Why So Serious? The Life of a Bodybuilder

by Matt Weik

A famous line from the movie The Dark Knight is, “Why so serious?” said by the Joker. Maybe it’s just me, but I can see the pasty white-faced Joker walking up to many bodybuilders today and saying the same thing. Bodybuilders these days walk around like someone pissed in their Cheerios. What gives? Is life and bodybuilding that sad and depressing? It’s as if not many bodybuilders these days have fun while in the gym or even around town.

It takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile

If you want to conserve some energy for the gym, consider smiling more. You only use 22 muscles when you smile and 37 when you frown. So, consider smiling as your pre-workout fuel. But in all seriousness, WTF. Watch competitors in the gym and you’ll notice a common theme—they all look like they are getting ready to mug someone or that the gainz fairy is going to come in the middle of the night and steal all their gainz. I’m not saying bodybuilders should be skipping around the gym like a pixie or holding hands around a campfire, but enjoy yourself and have fun when training. Why so serious?

Look at competitors in football and other sports. Practice, games, off the field, etc., they are smiling. When Hines Ward (when he was playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers) would get demolished after making a catch in the NFL, he’d get up and be smiling the whole way back to the huddle and get ready to do it all over again. Some would consider him insane to think that’s enjoyable. But clearly, he enjoys playing and the competition that comes with being an athlete.

Watch a bench clear at an NBA game when someone makes an insane dunk. They get up and jump around as if they just won the lottery (which most of them do getting paid what they do per game). But, do you understand what I’m getting at? Heck, look at Branch Warren. If the dude smiled you’d think his face would crack into a million pieces. He enjoys going to the shooting range and playing with his toys (yes, those of us in the firearms community consider them toys even though they are extremely dangerous), but his facial expressions don’t match his enthusiasm. There’s something fun and exciting about sending lead down range and shooting at targets. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who was at the range and didn’t smile even a little bit when they were shooting.

Are bodybuilders wired differently?

It makes me wonder if some bodybuilders are just wired to be grumpy and miserable? I’m not saying the examples above are, it could just be their personality and that they are normally quiet individuals. Yet, it makes you wonder what it would take to get them to even crack a little smile or to show some sort of enjoyment during an activity. I mean heck, they have to force a smile on stage when they feel like they are about ready to physically die, yet they can still grin a little then for the judges. So, why not off the stage? Fake it if you have to! Just stop looking like someone stole your manhood and you’re moping around trying to find it.

What’s wrong with bodybuilding today? Are we supposed to walk around with a sour-puss face all the time like we hate everyone and everything? Because I must not have got that memo. I love training. I enjoy training with friends, family, strangers, whoever. And while pushing each other, we crack jokes, make fun of each other, and laugh.

Are we not supposed to have fun when training? Do we need to be that intense as to say if we joke around we aren’t capable of getting in a good workout—that we’re enjoying ourselves too much? I made a vow to myself and I tell people all the time, when I no longer love to exercise and work out, I’ll stop. If I can’t feel fulfilled following a workout that not only did I punish myself in the gym, but I had a damn good time doing it, I’ll hang it up and walk away. I say the same thing about my business. When I no longer wake up every morning excited to walk into the Weik Fitness office and help people better their health and lives is the day I’ll turn off the lights, close the door behind me, lock it, and walk away never to return. You’ll never see me continually do something that I don’t enjoy—it’ll never happen.

So, for the sake of everything holy, show some enjoyment in the gym and in your life. Just because you’re 250+ pounds of solid muscle doesn’t mean you need to walk around like Billy Badass. Take the stick out of your butt and laugh a little. Otherwise before you know it, life will pass you by and people will remember you for being the guy who never seemed happy.

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