​Head Coach and Next Level founder Christian Matyi – a/k/a "XN" – gives notoriously complex answers to even the most simple of questions.  He'd always rather you "think more" than "know more." So you can only imagine what'll happen when there wasn't any question even asked . . . 

You never know what his many years of coaching will inspire him to claim as "relevant" to your progress. 


Contemplating the source of bodybuilding narcissism.

The question was asked:
is it the narcissistic who seek out bodybuilding?
Or does bodybuilding create narcissists?


Bodybuilding creates nothing. 
It's a thing; a tool; a practice. 
It has no power to create. 
Bodybuilding does have, however, the power to encourage.

It is like any practice we undertake:
It can encourage qualities, good and bad, 
yet the practice itself can not create those qualities.

Bodybuilding can encourage admirable qualities to shine
or foul qualities to become tumors.
But it can not, unto itself, actually create those qualities within a person.

Bodybuilding can expand ego
and encourage self-congratulation and a sense of superiority;
it can encourage the idea that one is more special,
more admirable,
more revered,
and more entitled to attention than anyone else.
It can encourage these ideas,
but only if those ideas were already within the person.

Bodybuilding can not create narcissism;
it can only encourage thoughts of self-focus
to ripen into self-centered narcissism.

If one does not sort out their ego stance at the beginning
bodybuilding will fertilize everything they've foolishly left buried.
Bodybuilding practice will not discriminate:
it will encourage the growth of the good seeds
but also encourage the bad.

So many come to bodybuilding wanting and demanding.
And they foolishly forget:
to focus so much on wants and demands is, by very nature, self centered.
Bodybuilding will encourage whatever is there within.
And for so many what is within is demands and wants.
And so this self-centeredness grows larger.
But the bodybuilding didn't create it.

The foolishness of the individual
who thought putting their wants in the center was wise
is what creates the narcissistic monster.

And it's a monster who spits poison 
and steals from those around it.

Yet to blame bodybuilding for narcissism
is like blaming the rain for the growth of weeds.
It's like blaming the sun for your sunburn
instead of realizing you were at fault for not seeking cover.

Bodybuilding can not create narcissism.
It can only encourage what is already there.

And it does a remarkable job doing it.
Be wary.
Be wise.