Now it’s the battle of the beautiful bulging muscles‘

2015-05-09 08:51
Aesthetics athlete Mikyle Naidoo training at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s gym.

Aesthetics athlete Mikyle Naidoo training at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s gym. (Jonathan Burton)

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A NEW fitness era is dawning across the world, changing perceptions of body builders and gym goers in all walks of life.

Relatively new in the history of body- building and fitness, the trend of aesthetic fitness has been all over social media in the past year or two, motivating many to change their training regimes in order to obtain what they say is “the perfect physique”.

According to aesthetic athlete and former trainer Mikyle Naidoo (23), the goal of aesthetics is acquiring the Adonis physique: broad shoulders, a tiny waist and large legs.

According to Naidoo, the body structure of the athlete should be balanced.

Shoulders broader than the waist, quadriceps matching the torso, calves matching the biceps in size and wide laterals make up the “perfectly proportionate” aesthetic figure.

There has been a noticeable shift in the gym industry across the world and the evidence is on social media platforms.

“There has been a move from muscle modelling into fitness modelling over the past few years,” Naidoo said.

Naidoo, who started competing in fitness competitions from the age of 17, said he has also noticed an increase in steroid use as ordinary gym-goers who aren’t necessarily training to compete try to keep up with the trend of acquiring an aesthetic body structure.

According to Naidoo, an athlete must have a maintainable body fat of seven percent, but has to drop to four percent during competitions.

Warren’s Gym owner Amy Niemandt agrees that there has been a shift to fitness training and aesthetics.

“In my gym the main focus is still on bulking up but Crossfit and the appeal of aesthetics has taken off in the gyming community.”

Durban-based sports psychologist Kirsten Van Heerden said we are living in an age of narcissism, and for many the appeal of aesthetics is just to get a lean body to post pictures of oneself on social media networks.

Without generalising, Van Heerden said this has always been the case.

“It could be a continuation of what the media portray in fashion magazines as the perfect body and people turn that into a trend and strive towards it,” Van Heerden said.

“A lot of people go to the gym to look good and not to be fit.”

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