So according to new research, if you read muscle magazines while working out, you may negate the benefits of exercise. One of the professors says the post-exercise "feel good effect" — not to be confused with an unsolicited hand-release in the shower — is wiped out once you look at pictures of sculpted abs.
I happen to know this is true. In another life, I edited Men's Health, where I was a rock-hard ass. When I wasn't working out in a spandex thong, I was writing insidious articles that promised flat abs in five minutes and three inches of muscle in a week. I was always vague on where that three inches of muscle would come from — but it was Pablo.
I lived the fitness life, packed both with muscle and misery. People say muscle magazines are depressing, but that's because people with muscles are depressing. By creating arbitrary, vanity-driven measures to judge your own physique, it makes it that much easier to raise the bar — daily — so you're never satisfied with how you look.
This is why you see so many tools at the gym, pumping furiously for hours, while the rest of their lives crumble. It's sad to see someone spend his one-and-only life preparing for a competition that doesn't exist, when he could be skimming leaves off my hot tub.
My advice, however, is not to quit the gym, but to treat it like a bank. Depositing effort there allows you to withdraw it later when at a bar. That's all fitness is good for really: Giving you a free pass to drink yourself silly… and, of course, "roofing" personal trainers.
And if you disagree with me, your thighs probably chafe when you run.