A Means to an End: Weight Training and Muscle Dysmorphia. Introduction. Review of Literature.
A Means to an End: Weight Training and Muscle Dysmorphia
Body image disturbances are on the increase within the male population (Buhlmann, et al. 2010; Pope et al, 1997). A high rate of dissatisfaction with overall muscularity is also evident (Buhlmann et al., 2010).
Muscle Dysmorphia (MD) is a preoccupation with and perception of insufficient muscularity (Pope, et al., 1997).
MD seems to impair individuals’ social functioning, cause distress and have some control over their lifestyle (Olivardia et al., 2000; Cafri et al., 2008; Cella et al., 2012 ).
There is little known about the development of MD. Therefore the present study aimed to explore the feelings, emotions and experiences of weight training males in order to understand the risk of MD development.
The three concepts that emerged were cognition,affect and behaviour. These concepts also formed part of the framework proposed by Tod and Lavallee (2010).
The risk of MD development doesn’t appear to be directly caused by weight training. It is seems that predisposed concerns, thoughts and feelings direct behaviour, such as weight training. This behaviour then can become dysfunctional and allows for the accentuation of these feelings.
Therefore, from this study, it would seem that the next step in reducing the risk of MD would be to target these predispositions and the external influences. This could involve educating, those deemed “prone”, about media literacy, and safe strength training.