One common stereotype of weightlifters is the “bro.” A bro is a young white male, between the ages of about eighteen to twenty-eight, middle to upper socioeconomic class, heterosexual, and big in size and stature. Bros can be seen strutting around the gym (only in the weights sections though), chugging water from gallon-sized jugs and occasionally taking a swig from a protein shake. Towards the end of a set, they elicit loud, manly grunts to help them push out those last reps, then receive high-fives from fellow bros for finishing strong. Their attire consists of basketball shorts, weight-lifting gloves, a weight belt, and a stringy-looking tank top that shows their nipples. It is assumed that bros are mere meat-heads who aren’t scholarly and only care about lifting weights.
Another stereotype that exists is that of the roided-up bodybuilder. These men are typically either black or white, ages twenty to thirty-five, middle to high socioeconomic class, and gigantic. Most people think of former Mr. Universe and seven-time Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the sort of “face” of bodybuilding. Other well-known bodybuilders include Frank Zane and Aziz Shavershian (Zyzz). These men have giant and bulging muscle mass, protruding veins, and hardly any fat content. To put these bodybuilders’ proportions in perspective, when Arnold was an competitive bodybuilder, he weighed 260 pounds (off-season), standing at 6’2″. Bodybuilders represent a hypermasculinity because they are so extremely buff. However, men of notable bodybuilding size are presumed to have used steroids.
I do not conform to either of these stereotypes because I am a female, asian, of average height and weight, deeply invested in my education, and a girly-girl. My fat percentage is average and my body is not excessively muscular, therefore, my physique does not prescribe to the common stereotypes either.