She stares straight ahead, her gaze can pierce through your soul. She’s exhausted. She’s fatigued. She’s determined. She’s ready.
With 65-pound dumbbells in each hand, hanging casually next to her hips, she takes in a deep breath and regards herself in the mirror – not out of vanity, but out of a concern for maintaining proper form and technique. She’s a professional in mind and spirit, though not in livelihood (yet).
With astonishing confidence, grace, and strength, she lifts one dumbbell up to her chest, the cold metal barely grazing her collarbone. She exhales and slowly lowers the heavy weight back to her side, returning it perfectly to where it previously was. Then she lifts the other dumbbell upward in the exact same manner, this time her other collarbone experiences the unforgiving touch of the frosty iron. All the while, curious onlookers can see large veins running down her hardened biceps as she powers through these lifts. It seems like with each repetition, the veins get more pronounced as her biceps grow larger and larger.
The blood rushing into her arms coincides with the blood rushing into the private areas of the males in close proximity. They are unable to concentrate on their own workouts because they are too distracted by hers.
But none of them would have it any other way.
Oh boy. Have you ever experienced a scenario similar to this? I know I have. Maybe not at my local gym – though there have been a few isolated incidents – but certainly while watching Internet videos of female bodybuilders lifting heavy weights. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing such a beautiful phenomenon in recent days, drop whatever you are doing and conduct a few Google searches to whet your starving appetite.
For people who love female bodybuilders, athletes, weightlifters, and fitness models, there are few things that turn us on more than to watch our beloved ladies grind at the gym. Glamour photoshoots behind a pristine white backdrop are fine. So are professionally-done photo sessions taken on an immaculate white sandy beach. But few pieces of media can seriously contend with a video (even if it’s grainy and shot on an iPhone) that showcases a muscular woman laboring hard to become – or remain – a muscular woman.
Indeed, workout videos are our porn. This is nothing new. There already exists a blog post exploring this topic. However, what deserves further examination is a specific moment in these videos that particularly makes our hearts leap out of our chests:
The moment of muscle peak.
This is probably best exemplified in the above example of a female bodybuilder doing bicep curls. But it’s even more evident when she’s doing preacher curls. Preacher curls are, in case you are not familiar with exercise jargon – isolation lifts in which you place your arms against an incline bench (or pad) and lift either a barbell or dumbbell upward toward your chest, targeting specifically your biceps. Visually speaking, preacher curls make for excellent video fodder because you can noticeably see the participant’s biceps swelling up as he or she completes the lift.
When we see a muscle-bound woman’s face strain as she struggles to finish the final repetition of her grueling set, it’s difficult to watch this with zero physical reaction. How can your pulse not start to race, your heart beat a little faster, and blood not rush to your groin? I’d stop being such an adamant female muscle lover if such reactions ceased to take place inside me.
It is at this moment when her biceps are at its largest. “The Moment of Muscle Peak” is so arousing because it symbolizes in a single still frame why we love female bodybuilders so much: They had to earn their gorgeous muscles through hard work and hard work only. No shortcuts, no underserving gains, and certainly no free passes. She didn’t earn her muscles by paying a plastic surgeon to implant them underneath her skin. She may take drugs, but drugs alone do not produce large muscle mass. That only comes from expending sweat, energy, and burning more calories than some of us consume.
Here is the video that inspired me to write this post. It shows world-renowned Swiss female bodybuilder Jay Fuchs doing preacher curls at the gym. Follow her (or periodically revisit) her Instagram account if you don’t already. She completes a few repetitions of preacher curls with her left arm. We see the veins pop out of her skin. We see her bicep grow to its largest possible size. We see it expand and contract. We witness how tired she must be. We empathize with her struggle and admire how she is able to persevere through it. But we also notice how beautifully her bicep “jumps” up as she squeezes the dumbbell close to her chest. It’s as though it’s going to burst open. We are amazed how her skin is able to physically contain so much swollen flesh.
But alas, her muscles are able to expand and contract without her skin peeling open. What a miracle! After she is done with her set, she drops the dumbbell on the floor and flexes for her audience. We now see, in a classic sequence, the simple dynamic of “cause and effect.” We see her lifting weights at the gym. And now we see the results of her years of hard work!
How Miss Fuchs transformed herself into an Angelic Muscle Goddess isn’t a mystery. It’s not a secret. There’s no magic potion that made it happen. It’s all out in the open. The ways and means are as simple as it gets: Hard work, hard work, and more hard work. She has nothing to hide. She also has everything to gain. So do we.
Jay Fuch’s social media feed, as well as the feeds of hundreds of other beautiful muscular women around the globe, provides a simple yet provocatively arousing look into why some men love muscular women so damn much. “The Moment of Muscle Peak” isn’t just confined to when her muscles are actually at its largest. It’s the exact moment (or moments) when you symbolically get to witness what it is that separates a muscular woman from a “normal looking” woman. It’s the moment when it stops being all fun and games and, as the colloquialism goes, “shit gets real.”
Maybe it’s when Minna Pajulahti is attempting an impressive single deadlift. Or when Lisa Cross finishes her last squat. Perhaps it’s seeing Theresa Ivancik grunt her way toward completing a set of shoulder presses. Or seeing a female Olympic sprinter cross the finish line. Or a lady CrossFit athlete climbing up and down a rope.
It’s the moment when she’s at the peak of her power. When she’s actively doing the hard work necessary to transform herself into a better version of herself. It’s not for show. She’s not showing off for the camera or trying to put on a performance. She doesn’t care if she’s wearing makeup or if she looks “camera ready.” All of that is inconsequential nonsense. The only thing on her mind is finishing her set, breathing steadily, and moving on to the next lift. The rest will take care of itself. She doesn’t care one iota if her hair is unkempt or if she doesn’t quite look like a polished supermodel. After all, when you have muscles that big…who has the right to criticize you?
The Moment of Muscle Peak is when she is at her most unstoppable. It’s when we are helpless to do anything else but witness “true beauty” in action. Unlike a boring and passive Sleeping Beauty, a female bodybuilder busting her tail at the gym is a Wide Awake Muscle Queen Who Refuses to Take Shortcuts and Deserves Her Accolades. She ain’t no princess, sweetheart. She isn’t even a queen, despite the idiomatic expression. Instead, she’s a peasant. She’s Cinderella without the Fairy Godmother granting her temporary “princess status” until the clock strikes midnight.
She’s so damn beautiful because she’s a peasant who earned her regal status not by merely wearing a tiara, but by building up so much muscle on her body that you can’t help but mindlessly stare at her while you struggle to pick up your jaw off the floor.
A female bodybuilder isn’t at her most powerful when she’s got some hapless guy in a headlock or a scissor hold. Nor is she at the height of her authority when she has someone tied to a bed while she squeezes his balls until he begs her to stop. That is, in my humble opinion, a somewhat superficial form of expressing one’s power. Rather, she’s at the height of her power when she’s all alone in the weight room, with sweat dripping down her face, struggling to finish that one final rep before she can’t handle it anymore. Afterward, as she’s breathing hard like a racehorse and chugging down water to help her recover, she’s at her weakest. But in her weakness she finds her strength. She punishes her body so that it can emerge even more powerful than before. She’s drained of her energy for now, but not for very long. Eventually, she’ll refuel and rest up to the point where she can do it all again…this time harder and more strenuously than before.
Female bodybuilders are lone wolves. They aren’t lonely by choice, rather it’s a byproduct of the life they’ve chosen to lead. More often than not, her workouts are not made public. A short 30-second video clip posted on YouTube or Instagram doesn’t do justice to her full training regimen. It’s not even a drop in the bucket. The vast majority of the time she’s all alone at the gym (or at least, she’s all alone in her own personal bubble) away from smartphone cameras or preying eyes. She grinds away for several hours a week in the privacy of her own little world. She spends an inordinate amount of time cooking unglamorous food that tastes the same but plays a crucial role in helping her build muscle mass. She’s constantly reading up on supplementation tips and making valuable contacts – both in-person and online – who can help her succeed at her dream of living life as a bodybuilder.
These lone wolves do have their moment in the spotlight, however. They do compete in bodybuilding shows. They do pose for sexy photo or video shoots. They do meet starry-eyed clients for muscle worship or wrestling sessions. They do walk out in public and see the stunned faces on complete strangers who were not expecting to randomly see a woman with so much muscle. When you’re an entrepreneurial female bodybuilder, it’s impossible to be kept a secret forever.
But once again, that’s just a drop in the proverbial bucket. The process it takes to be a bodybuilder isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it terribly exciting day-in and day-out. But for those of us who do appreciate the arduous journey it takes to become a Divine Muscle Goddess, we cannot help but stare with our undivided attention as she’s lifting that heavy dumbbell. In that moment, she’s defying gravity, challenging our preconceived notions, and taking one step closer toward reaching her final destination. We can’t always describe why we love watching this; but we do regardless.
The Moment of Muscle Peak, therefore, has two meanings: It’s both the moment when her muscles are at its most swollen and strained; and it’s the moment when she’s at her most empowered. It’s both literal and figurative. When Jay Fuchs is isolating her biceps and lifting that dumbbell toward her beautiful chest, she’s showing us two sides of her personality. One side is her willingness to do the hard work necessary to develop large muscles. The other side is her devotion to striving toward an ideal.
And what is that ideal? She wants to be the best version of herself that she can possibly be. She refuses to settle for anything less than that. And why would she? What would be the point?
As fans of Miss Fuchs and countless others like her, we do not see any other point. Seriously. If you can think of a reason why Jay shouldn’t pursue her personal ideal, you can tell us after we’ve picked up our jaws off the floor.