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Americans are in Better Shape than Europeans (in some ways)

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  • Americans are in Better Shape than Europeans (in some ways)

    On my trip to Europe last summer, I noticed something peculiar when walking down the street: there were almost no really fit and muscled people anywhere. Sure, there were plenty of skinny and scrawny people everywhere, but rarely did I see a person walking down the street with some serious muscles.

    While in the US, we're generally more unhealthy. I find that the tail ends of healthiness are bigger in the US than in Europe. We have a lot more grossly obese people, but we also have a much larger segment of the population which is in really good shape. Europe has a ton of skinny people.....who can't bench press 50 pounds. (I hope no one is offended by my generalizations. This is just based on my observation. I could be wrong)

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Yes of course, and i guess all such things also because of your environment where you live, your living facilities and living style also matter to your physic and fitness. Which you could also find in some other continents of the world. As of different color size and shapes of people.

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    • #3
      You may be equating visibly muscular with health...and that's not always true. I've hiked in Europe and I'll tell ya, many of those "scrawny" 80-90 year olds can easily beat me on the trail. You would have to look at overall health, not just what we "see."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Vman View Post
        On my trip to Europe last summer, I noticed something peculiar when walking down the street: there were almost no really fit and muscled people anywhere. Sure, there were plenty of skinny and scrawny people everywhere, but rarely did I see a person walking down the street with some serious muscles.

        While in the US, we're generally more unhealthy. I find that the tail ends of healthiness are bigger in the US than in Europe. We have a lot more grossly obese people, but we also have a much larger segment of the population which is in really good shape. Europe has a ton of skinny people.....who can't bench press 50 pounds. (I hope no one is offended by my generalizations. This is just based on my observation. I could be wrong)

        Anyone else have thoughts on this?
        That your report is very superficial and that you are wrong as well! I am pretty convinced that an average Scandinavian is in better shape than an average american living in Florida or Mississippi! That's based on my personal observations from travelling around - just like you...
        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

        - Schopenhauer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
          That your report is very superficial and that you are wrong as well! I am pretty convinced that an average Scandinavian is in better shape than an average american living in Florida or Mississippi! That's based on my personal observations from travelling around - just like you...
          You bet we are :P We have almost no obesity at all. 95% of the people you see on the streets here in Sweden have no visible problem with overweight, and the vast majority aren't even very chubby. It's almost an odd thing to see a person who is truly obese even in crowded cities, and more often than not, these people are tourists or at least somehow handicapped, such as confined to wheelchairs.

          I reckon the difference is that in Sweden at least, steroids are illegal unless for medical purposes. Gym owners will ban you if they catch you using it, but some people I've chatted with in the states, well they reckon that up to 70-80% of the regulars of their gyms openly use 'roids. That just doesn't happen here. There are random blood checks done on regulars in many gyms and if you get caught, it's a crime punishable by law.

          The fittest people I've known have not had bulging muscles. They've been 'scrawny muscular' - because whatever sport they practice require that sort of lean muscle. Have you ever seen a good parkour artist, mountain climber or horse back rider with 'serious muscles'? No? That's because they don't need it and it would just get in the way from leaping off buildings and doind ridiculously awesome stunts. They can still bench press their rown body weight, just saying...

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          • #6
            Re-read my post. I'm saying that the average American is less healthy, but it seems to me that very few Europeans are in extremely good shape, fit and muscular. There are plenty who are skinny sure. But muscles? You really don't see that as much as in the state.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Reindeer View Post
              I reckon the difference is that in Sweden at least, steroids are illegal unless for medical purposes. Gym owners will ban you if they catch you using it, but some people I've chatted with in the states, well they reckon that up to 70-80% of the regulars of their gyms openly use 'roids. That just doesn't happen here. There are random blood checks done on regulars in many gyms and if you get caught, it's a crime punishable by law.
              Wait a second. Private gym owners blood test their regular customers for roids and turn them into your govt if they come up positive?

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              • #8
                I really think you would need to travel the whole world to get a clear picture. As a basic observation the USA do seem to do everything to extreems, good and bad.
                Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.

                Started Primal 15th October 2012
                Height 5'9"
                Start weight 200lb
                Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
                Goal was 168lb's

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                • #9
                  The only explanation that I can think of is related to sports as you mention. In the US, American football is number 1. So, most males start lifting lots of weights as early as junior high. Even if you're not on the football team, you have to go compete with your classmates and lift as well.

                  In Europe, it's mostly soccer. No reason to really do bench presses at the gym. I really don't think it's steroids. I've been living in the states for a long time, and I've known of only two people who actively did steroids to gain muscle. If it was 70-80%, I'd probably have known hundreds.

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                  • #10
                    Interesting thought.

                    All I know is that I always feel "big" when I am at home (Germany) and reasonably small or average here (Southern U.S.; even at my highest weight).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by specsAreGrok View Post
                      Wait a second. Private gym owners blood test their regular customers for roids and turn them into your govt if they come up positive?
                      Most gyms doesn't do it, because they have to pay for the tests. But sometimes this happens. I know of a gym that knowingly allowed steroids, and even before the clients got arrested by the cops, the gym lost customers due to the rumors. Steroids are looked down upon a lot more here than in the states and if it's present at the gym, chances are that people will consider a different place, because this makes the gym seem irresponsible and not very serious at all. Usually the clients will simply get suspended, and have the right to refuse a blood test unless the police is involved. If they do refuse it, though, the owner can ban them from the gym.

                      The cops, however, have the right to pick people and do blood tests, if they have reason to suspect illegal substances. If the tests come out positive, you'd risk fines or even jail time.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by specsAreGrok View Post
                        Wait a second. Private gym owners blood test their regular customers for roids and turn them into your govt if they come up positive?
                        Yeah, is that for real? If so, that is some serious big brother shit right there. I would object. Not because I use steriods, but just on the principle of having to submit to blood testing to use a gym.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
                          Yeah, is that for real? If so, that is some serious big brother shit right there. I would object. Not because I use steriods, but just on the principle of having to submit to blood testing to use a gym.
                          As I said, I'm fairly sure you don't have to as long as the police is not involved. However, the substances ARE illegal, and if you refuse the blood tests - and there is reason to believe you really are on the stuff - you could get suspended depending on your contract, yes.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Vman View Post
                            On my trip to Europe last summer, I noticed something peculiar when walking down the street: there were almost no really fit and muscled people anywhere. Sure, there were plenty of skinny and scrawny people everywhere, but rarely did I see a person walking down the street with some serious muscles.
                            What does "some serious muscles" mean here - "steroid monkeys"? Oh yeah, you have them in Europe also, but in general I think the Europeans carry much less fat over their muscles, and will appear "scrawny" in normal clothes. A typical big muscled up North American gymrat at the weight of 240 and body fat around 18-20% that diet down to below 200 lbs. and 8 % of bodyfat will also appear much smaller in normal clothing’s….
                            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                            - Schopenhauer

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                              What does "some serious muscles" mean here - "steroid monkeys"? Oh yeah, you have them in Europe also, but in general I think the Europeans carry much less fat over their muscles, and will appear "scrawny" in normal clothes. A typical big muscled up North American gymrat at the weight of 240 and body fat around 18-20% that diet down to below 200 lbs. and 8 % of bodyfat will also appear much smaller in normal clothing’s….
                              Take for example someone like Mark Sisson himself. Not total meathead muscles but to the point that you can take one look at him and say, "Man that guy works out". I get your point but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about people who are good shape and have some muscle.

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