Vigorexia: The Disorder That Makes Men Unable To Stop Working Out

The obsession with a “perfect” body is also a masculine reality. Although the demand is much stronger with women, more and more men are struggling tirelessly to achieve the “dream body”.

Vigorexia is basically the name given to the self-image disorder that makes many men simply unable to stop weight training in search of a body with extremely defined musculature - this excessive bodybuilding practice has increased 45% among men.

This is a new question, but one that is increasingly gaining attention, as in Brian Cuban's book on male self-image: “I felt that there was a lack of understanding about male self-image and male eating disorders, especially body dysmorphic disorder.”, explained the author in a statement published in The Huffington Post.

Excessive Concern


Cuban believes that it is important to return studies on self-image to the male audience, as this has always been considered an exclusively female problem. For Kate Fridkis, we need to increase the number of campaigns that value all types of male bodies, just as with the female body. She also states that men should be encouraged to talk about self-esteem more often.

According to Sheri Jacobson of Harley Therapy Clinic, vigorexia may be the result of men who care too much about their appearance and who believe they are defective in some way, always believing that they are not muscular enough.

Men's Health journalist and editor Jonathan Thompson agrees. He says men are increasingly conditioned to think that they need to have six pack abs, wide pectorals and big arms. For him, many men believe that an extremely muscular form would make them feel more successful, attractive and powerful.

Other points of view


However, we must not confuse this disorder with who is a bodybuilder or with men who work out normally, reminds us the personal trainer Rob Blakeman. “There are, of course, many reasons why men will want to look overly muscular, ” he says, stating that the use of “pseudoscientific” terms is no good at all.

The fact is that the practice of physical activities is healthy and is good for us, especially by releasing endorphins; However, like alcohol, it is possible that it becomes an addiction, which is not yet seen as such because it has health benefits. The point is that even a healthy thing, when in excess, has its negative effects.

In the case of physical activities, when we practice excessively, we may have muscle ruptures and kidney and liver problems, for example. In addition, in terms of mental health, there are increasing cases of depression, aggression and anxiety among people who cross the line at the gym.



Ideally, always conduct a psychological self-assessment and try to find out what can motivate a person to work out excessively. There are usually childhood traumas behind this obsessive search for a perfect body, and in some cases psychological therapy is a good way to find a solution to the problem.

Asking for feedback from friends and family is also a very valid attitude, and if these people show that they are concerned, it is a sign that it might be time to take it easy at the gym and, if it is too difficult to slow down, to seek psychiatric help. and / or psychological - there's nothing wrong with asking professionals for help. It is hard to accept that this may be necessary, but such acceptance is critical as well.

Equally important is always to keep in mind that rest is critical for our body to be healthy and able to regain energy. Treating yourself like a machine is never a good deal.

* Posted on 25/08/2016