Are Bodybuilders All Vain And Selfish?

bodybuilder pose
July 19, 2023 0 Comments

Table of Contents


In this article I will be answering the question “are bodybuilders all vain and selfish”. Unfortunately there is a general stereotype that is prevalent about people who devote lots of time and effort to lifting weights.

Many people think of bodybuilders as vain, selfish and narcissistic. This may be true in some instances, however, it is not true of all bodybuilders. This article will explore this topic in greater detail.

Are Bodybuilders All Vain And Selfish?

The truth is that it is unfair to label all bodybuilders as vain and selfish. This is an unfortunate stereotype and it is ignorant to make this assumption of all bodybuilders without getting to know them.

As humans we make connections and associations with our lizard brain. Humans have a herd instinct, which is what causes many people to share certain views without exploring their beliefs further.

There are some bodybuilders who become vain and selfish. Bodybuilding is a selfish activity that demands time and effort put towards it. If it becomes an unhealthy obsession then it can strain relationships and other areas of life.

Many bodybuilders are not vain or selfish and do good in their communities. They help other people by sharing knowledge and deliver value to others in some way.

It is important to judge people on their character and how they treat others. You can’t simply stereotype all bodybuilders as being selfish and self absorbed. This is unfair and ultimately an ignorant viewpoint to take.
bodybuilder pose

Stereotyping Bodybuilders As Vain Is Unfair

Viewing all bodybuilders as vain and selfish is unfair and deeply ignorant. Unfortunately we as humans have a tendency to pigeon hole others and have certain views about groups of people that can be ignorant.

You can’t label all bodybuilders as vain and selfish. It is true that there are some bodybuilders who fit this mould, but the majority don’t. Many bodybuilders are in loving relationships and have quality friendships.

They find a way to balance bodybuilding in a healthy way with the rest of their life commitments. If you become addicted to bodybuilding and your obsession becomes unhealthy, this is when you can become very self absorbed.

It doesn’t happen to every bodybuilder, but some may have personality traits and insecurities that make them more predisposed to developing addictions. 

Ultimately, you have to judge people based on how they behave and treat others. Examine their personality traits rather than making sweeping assumptions about them.

Previously on this site I have talked about whether lifting weights for vanity is good or bad.

Bodybuilding Requires Dedication And Discipline

Just like making progress in any other worthwhile pursuit, you must be dedicated and be disciplined. Consistency is key with success in any area of life.

This is true when it comes to lifting weights and improving your physique. The people who have made the most progress have all been doing this for many years and remained consistent.

You have to train with effort and intensity consistently, ensure that your nutrition is good and show discipline to stick to your meal plans. It shows discipline to eat healthy food as opposed to showing no discipline and eating unhealthily.

Maybe some people are jealous of bodybuilders and try to put down their achievements by labelling them as self absorbed and vain. The truth is, success in any area of life calls for some introspection and a selfish approach to be able to make progress.

This is why narcissists tend to be high achievers a lot of the time. Their big egos simply cannot allow themselves to be failures. So they constantly strive to achieve more in order to satisfy their own elevated image of themselves.

It is true that there is a degree of selfishness needed to achieve success in bodybuilding. However, this doesn’t mean that all bodybuilders are inherently selfish.

Many are able to compartmentalise their behaviours and direct a tunnel vision towards their goals. They are able to treat others well and be unselfish in their acts and behaviours. 

I have discussed how bodybuilders can avoid becoming too narcissistic. Narcissism is a positive trait overall for achievement, but it is best in small doses. 

Bodybuilders Have Different Personalities And Motivations

Every bodybuilder is an individual person. People are different and have different personalities. Some bodybuilders are highly introverted, others are very social and extroverted.

In addition, people start bodybuilding for different reasons. Some people may be very insecure and feel inferior to other people physically. This spurs them on to build more muscle to feel better about themselves.

When taken to extremes, insecurity can also lead to personality problems. For instance if you are deeply insecure about feeling inferior to others physically, then you build loads of muscle, you may start feeling superior to those same people.

This can lead to more narcissistic tendencies and behaviours. Some bodybuilders start just as a form of stress relief and to improve their mental health. They may enjoy the way that exercise makes them feel, the improved physique is just a by-product.

Many bodybuilders are fantastic people. Because they are disciplined and have strong work ethic, this often spills into their other endeavours in life. People look up to them as an example to follow and aspire to.

Nick Wright’s Views On The Selfish Lifestyle

Nick Wright is a popular figure in the fitness community. He has competed in both bodybuilding and powerlifting. He knows how selfish the bodybuilding lifestyle can be and shares some interesting views.

He explains that many outsiders view bodybuilders as self absorbed. But that they believe bodybuilders are self absorbed purely out of ego. In addition he acknowledges the selfish and demanding lifestyle that bodybuilding calls for.

Bodybuilders often become obsessed with results. Nick explains how his partner would go out with her friends in the evening, but he couldn’t think of anything better than spending time in the gym.

He gives good advice when he says that an obsessive lifestyle can lead to boring relationships and can put strain on them. You have to recognise when you are becoming self absorbed and modify your behaviours.

Final Thoughts

Are bodybuilders all vain and selfish? The truth is that this is a stereotype. Some bodybuilders can become deeply obsessed and selfish. However, this is not true of all bodybuilders.

On the whole, bodybuilding is a healthy activity that can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Being in better shape and physically stronger helps to improve your confidence and self esteem.

Ultimately, we shouldn’t judge others based on pre conceived notions of an activity. Character, personality and behaviour is how we should judge other people.

There are many bodybuilders who are humble and do great work in helping others to improve their fitness. The late John Meadows is a great example of a man who did so much to add value to the lives of others. He will be sorely missed in the bodybuilding community.

If you have any comments at all relating to this topic please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

>> Why Do People Start Bodybuilding?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.