My biggest headache to being muscular? The way it makes being stylish such a challenge.
I work a corporate job in an advertising firm, so by nature of the industry I do feel a bit of pressure to stay up-to-date with the clothes I wear.
Some caveats: I’ve never been a slim guy. I stand 5′8″ and weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 230 pounds, which is about 60 pounds heavier than what I weighed in my youth. But I pack a lot of muscle—18″ arms from curling 100-pound barbells, and really thick, meaty thighs and back from squatting and deadlifting nearly 400 pounds on a regular basis. So I have a lot of mass on me, both in terms of muscle and fat.
Here are my very specific pain points in life:
1. Rolling up my sleeves.
All the style blogs say that when you want to roll up a long-sleeved shirt, the proper way to do it is above the elbow, the way James Dean used to do it.
Whether it’s folding your sleeves bit by bit, or doing some kind of fancy Master sleeve roll, this is ridiculously hard to do when your Popeye-sized forearms get in the way. Unless I get a shirt with some sort of polyester blend in it (which I hate, by the way), I can only roll them halfway up my forearms.
2. Getting off-the-rack blazers/coats to fit
I can’t afford designer brands or get stuff done bespoke, so I tend to do my shopping at more accessible “fast fashion” brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, Topman, or Uniqlo.
Occasionally I’ll pick up a nice blazer that I know will last me a couple of seasons, but while the torso fits just fine, the armholes are waaaay too tight, and because of that, the shoulder seams don’t line up properly where they should. I end up with some mad chafing on my upper bicep, where the armhole rubs up the whole day.
3. A lot of the more trendy fashions are off limits
There’s a huge sneaker culture in our industry, and the most highly-approved way to show off a great pair of sneakers? Joggers and pencil-rolled skinny/slim jeans.
This kind of fashion tends to look ridiculous though when you’ve got massive quads and hamstrings from tons of squats—sort of like Johnny Bravo tiptoeing around in dainty ballet slippers. The proportions are way off.
There are a ton more issues with being muscular, but these are the ones I have to live with on a daily basis. This isn’t to say I hate being muscular—I tell myself if my wife is ever trapped in a burning house with a huge tree blocking the door, I have the strength to save her.
(This is a real ambition, by the way—former WWE Superstar Chris Masters actually saved his momma from a fiery death just by being buff.)