Captain America: Civil War is one of the biggest movies of the summer, if not the year. The success of the Marvel films — 13 so far, starting with Iron Man in 2008 —and what it has done to our collective popular culture has been much debated recently, but it’s having another effect.

Men want Marvel hero bodies, like Captain America’s (Chris Evans), seen here keeping a helicopter from taking off while holding onto a building, a thing that no human can actually do.

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It shouldn’t have to be said that these kinds of physiques are not natural, normal or healthy, but a story over at Salon says that “bigorexia” is the latest craze and that men are looking to bulk up.

If you want to look like a superhero, get ready to quit your job and your social life and dedicate your life to eating protein and working out all day, every day, because that’s what it takes.

The regimens are not fun. Evans apparently snacks on appealing foods like brown rice, walnuts and porridge when he’s training to put the suit on. Chris Hemsworth’s (Thor) stunt double ate up to 35 times a day and said such restrictions made spending time with other people difficult. Actors get paid to do it, and it’s still hard on them. As soon as they’re off the sets, they transition back into more normal physical shapes because even they can’t keep it up.

Body-building, known as “musculation” here in France, has also become popular in Paris as gyms have proliferated in the past few years. Groups of guys lift weights, stare at their reps in the mirror and then take the elevator a couple stories to use other machines or exit the building. They’re not interested in fitness, they only want bulk and muscular strength.

If you’re inspired by the Marvel-hero look, ask yourself why you want a body like that? What would you do with it? If the people who are required to have them don’t keep them longer than necessary, what’s the appeal?

Here at Your Personal Trainer, fitness is the goal, not just big muscles. Fitness is a combination of being physically fit and healthy. This is achieved through a combination of factors, but you have to begin with a goal: what do you want to be able to do with your body that you can’t do now? Do you want to run a marathon? Or not get tired climbing the countless stairs required in an average Paris day? Lifting a bunch of weights won’t help you do those things, but acquiring an overall fitness level will.

Get in touch. We can talk about how to do it together.

PS. If you want to be horrified by what it takes to really be camera-ready in a Marvel movie, check out another interview with Thor’s body double about how he slims down for roles and GQ’s full story on what happens when an average man tries to look like a hero of legend.

 

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