[A2V9IS17] « If you control your nutrition, you can shape your body at will! ». A rational management of food intake by bodybuilders

Eric PERERA[1]

[1]Associate Professor, SantESiH EA 4614, University of Montpellier,e-mail: eric.perera@umontpellier.fr 


Here is how Cédric sees people eating French fries, six month after entering a bodybuilding training room: « If I give it greasy food (speaking about his body), I run the risk of being nauseated by these chips and the organism will not miss out on the chance of stocking all this unhoped for fat, which would ruin 5 weeks of daily efforts. Ridiculous! ». Certain foods become a source of aversion; eating is no longer a pleasure. These words are even more surprising when discovering Cédric’s dietary habits. Indeed, he eats alternatively 33 grams of plain rice and then, one hour later, 100 grams of chicken, which he repeats 16 times a day. In order to stay awake, he takes pure caffeine, in addition to the usual products: vitamins and food supplements. How is such a fast change in food tastes and distastes possible? How does it occur?This can only be understood by examining the logic that governs the world of bodybuilding. Each aspect of life is reorganized around one single aim: maximal muscular development. Thus, increasing muscular mass is the ultimate aim of bodybuilders, which means that pleasure can only come from activities that bring them closer to this aim. Eating becomes a completely instrumental activity; bodybuilders speak of « nutrimentation ». Phases of drastic dieting are followed by calorific orgies. These modifications are the result of the continuous inculcation of puritan ethics which progressively organize every aspect of their life.

Key words: Body-building, nutrition, asceticism, muscle, exploitation 


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