Labor, agony, tedium, deprivation. The shattering damage to your joints and tendons. The shattering damage to your social and leisure life. The horrible diminishing returns as you approach the goal– an unholy small percentage of body fat– getting down to like thirteen per cent is manageable but that’s a merely OK body. To have any real muscle definition whatsoever you need to be below ten per cent body fat, which requires a hideous self-flagellatory cardio routine that makes you unbelievably hungry combined with a stark bare food regimen so that you’re constantly obsessed with food; the smell of food is like a whiff of a teenage girl’s ovulating vagina and a commercial for cookies is like porn.
And then once you get there you need to maintain it with hours upon hours of boredom and pain that you NEVER slack off on, just in case someone should happen to see you shirtless and that one extra millimeter of body fat you’ve accrued is the fulcrum of their decision whether or not to sleep with you. Because you believe that the world is this way– that you will have lifted weights religiously for years and years and years and then suddenly the ONE time you slack off for a few weeks is the time it will matter. Suddenly a beautiful intelligent interesting woman will be nearby and you will be required to remove your shirt, perhaps for a tourniquet or something.