Lion of the Blogosphere

Muscle and IQ

“Bottledwater” writes in a comment:

I think muscle is MORE related to low IQ than fat is. I know a lot of really fat smart people, but none of the hyper-muscular people I know are smart. In fact the association between low IQ and high BMI might be entirely caused by muscle. In the book the 10,000 year Explosion, they cited genetic evidence showing an evolutionary trade-off between muscle and intellect.

There have been some studies showing a correlation between higher IQ and lower BMI (see JMan’s blog post), but there is no study I have been able to find in which the BMI is broken down by fat or muscle.

We are left with the stereotype of the skinny and weak braniac and the stupid musclehead. Stereotypes usually have some basis in reality.

Blacks are the most muscular race, but they score the lowest on IQ tests. (Liberals say this is caused by environment and not by genes.)

Men have a lot more muscle than women, but women are not smarter. Either men are slightly smarter, according to J. Phillippe Rushton, or women have caught up to men and have the same IQ according to James Flynn. Why isn’t male muscle making men a lot stupider than women?

One possible answer is that men are actually a lot smarter than women, but their extra muscle is holding them back from that potential. There is evidence that Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men who ever lived, was very weak. According to this web site, “Young Albert hated sports as a child, and they made him dizzy and tired, but he made up for his hatred of sports with his love for music.” Is Stephen Hawking’s motor neuron disease related to his super-high IQ?

On the other hand, Rick Rosner, who is supposedly one of the smartest men alive (and who once left a comment on my blog), is said to have been a body builder in his early years and he worked as a bouncer and a nude model. Chris Langan was also a bodybuilder and bouncer. However Andrew Wiles, one of the smartest men alive who has actually accomplished something, looks very skinny in his Wikipedia photo.

(Rosner and Langan both demonstrate that very smart kids who are raised in prole environments often don’t reach their full potential in life.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

Posted in Biology

97 Responses

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  1. I used to work at a physics research lab and there were both weight lifters and fat people in the technical positions. I’d say on average people were kind of skinny, but a lot of different body types. Some good looking athletic guys, pale skinny europeans and a bunch of asian dorks.

    I would argue that domineering, social transference, sociopaths tend to be athletic. I’m guessing that’s what most people think of when they think of “smart people.”

    albert magnus

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  2. Maybe Rosner and Langan were held back by the stereotype threat of being muscular? As a broad fellow myself, I demand that the federal government or at least the ACLU look into this horrible disparate impact.

    Bert Derpski

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  3. Steven Weinberg, who is probably the smartest man I’ve ever met face-to-face, is about 5’0″ tall and definitely non-muscular. Same with Edward Teller when he was still alive.

    albert magnus

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  4. Though Hawking suffers from Lou Gehrig’s Disease…hmmm

    (Interesting, Gehrig came from a working class background but attended Columbia for two years on a football scholarship. According to wikipedia he intended to study engineering before leaving to play baseball.)

    anon anon

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Isn’t it amazing that Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s disease? What were the chances of that!

      Tarl

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  5. I think that because big muscles are valued by the lower classes, very high IQ men of low class origin such as Chris Langen, can use their IQ to figure out how to pack on a lot of muscle, but I think low IQ Jersey Shore types are more genetically predisposed to have big muscles. When you talk to a high IQ man with muscles they’re typically experts on nutrition and you can tell they planned out their physique very strategically. When you ask a low IQ man how they got big muscles they say “I don’t know. Working out and eating.” Low IQ people don’t have to understand the science of muscle gain, because muscle gains comes naturally to them.

    smartandwise

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Jersey Shore guys are in no need to understand any science. The have big muscles because they use anabolic steroids, not because they are genetically gifted.

      r,javier11@gmail.com

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Exactly!

      Thomas

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • that’s crap. there’s not a lot of rocket science to muscle mass – protein and weight lifting. plus for some, steroids. you would be shocked at the lengths proles go to maintain physiques.

      the basic reason why musculature is prole is because there is a benefit in their communities to seeming tough. the need to use physical violence, or project a credible threat of the same, is the mark of a low-class community. high class people have no such threats and can look however they want.

      “bigness” whether from muscles or fat, sends a message not to mess with me because you never know if the fat is hiding muscles. kind of like prison facial tatoos, another phenomenon we rarely see amongst the upper class.

      lion of the lionosphere

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Another phenomenon we rarely see amongst the upper class…

        Yet.

        But it will come. What’s to stop it?

        Tarl

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • You don’t know what you’re talking about. Go to any modern university …all the kids lift weight nowadays. In fact, if you don’t life, good luck getting the girl.

        ben

        August 20, 2013 at EDT am

    • I think that because big muscles are valued by the lower classes

      …and perhaps for that reason the subculture of meatheads that focuses on building hypermuscularily tends to be full of idiots. Notably big muscles take a lot of effort so any group of men with notably big muscles tend to be self-selected. The causal relationship between low IQ and a lot of effort spent on muscle is likely to be simply that: low IQ men gravitate towards muscle building because they have few alternatives to raise their value while higher IQ men face higher opportunity costs for spending that time and effort on muscle building (spending those hours on eg building wealth or gaining SWPL status points by traveling/volunteering/etc instead is likely to have higher social value returns for higher IQ men).

      This is especially true when trying to impress a woman. A bit of fitness and working out gives you a lot of points on the dating market when it’s full of chubby couch potatoes but the effort has rapidly diminishing returns as most women will not give you extra points for physical fitness beyond being in decent shape.

      For this reason if you want to study some intrisic (not self-selection based) connection between muscle and IQ, you’d have to take out all the notably big muscled out of the data set as they’re extremely self-selected. Actually, the best way to get to a data set that is not distorted by a self-selected set of heavy trainers should be to study youths. Few people get into serious weight training as teenagers (it’s actually a very bad idea for development). This would still be distorted by a few likely effects like the fact that higher IQ people seem to take longer to mature.

      but I think low IQ Jersey Shore types are more genetically predisposed to have big muscles

      In my experience, notably low IQ men tend to be visibly physically defective as well. Eg at school the academic losers tended to also be athletic losers and vice versa. The phenomenally stupid athlete or the extreme math genius who sucks at sports are the exceptions that tend to get noticed, not the rule. This is extra obvious if you grew up in a small enough town: those of us whose ancestors were the local wealthy back in the 1800s tended to be bigger, taller, stronger and smarter than those whose ancestors used to be the poor…

      The idea that everyone must have some talent of their own is just a PC platitude, plenty of people have nothing to go for them at all and mental and physical defects tend to go together.

      When you ask a low IQ man how they got big muscles they say “I don’t know. Working out and eating.”

      When people claim they don’t “know” how they managed something that obviously took a lot of work and planning, they’re downplaying the effort they put in and trying to come across as naturals. Sounds like what you’re actually seeing is a personality difference: your “high IQ” people are those who want to come cross as smart, deliberate planners while your “low IQ” people are those who want to come across as naturals who didn’t put in a lot of effort.

      Low IQ people don’t have to understand the science of muscle gain, because muscle gains comes naturally to them.

      The vast majority of low IQ people are physically weak chubbies.

      Jaakko Raipala

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • “The phenomenally stupid athlete or the extreme math genius who sucks at sports are the exceptions that tend to get noticed, not the rule. ”

        I think one reason for this stereotype is that people who are only good at one thing will dive headfirst into it because its all they’ve got going, while people with lots of talents will spend time developing them all. Also, extreme talent may be genetically strange and coupled with lots of other things.

        asdf

        August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  6. My brother has an IQ that’s probably north of 140 (based on military tests) and he works out like a psychopath. He doesn’t have the look of a steroid using bodybuilder, but he’s very muscular. He’s always had a group of friends that he’s worked out with, and none of them have ever seemed particularly dumb.

    This seems to be a class issue. There’s a subset of men from all social classes who take working out too seriously. In middle+ class populations, being visibly muscular isn’t the same indicator of stupidity that it is in prole populations. In middle+ class populations, working out is about looking good and competing with your friends. These middle+ class guys look like they could beat you up, but they’re not really fighters. Muscular proles are more likely to be meatheaded jerks who don’t have much else going for them. They gain social status by physically intimidating people and occasionally beating the hell out of them.

    Speaking of geniuses (although he’d argue he’s not one) who are muscular, I’ll bet Steve Hsu looks pretty good with his shirt off. Hsu is into MMA fighting.

    Robert

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Nassim Taleb probably wouldn’t argue with you if you called him a genius and I hear he lifts some heavy weights.

      Eric Falkenstein (who is not a fan of Taleb) once benched 405lbs.

      Dave Pinsen

      August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  7. I can’t really think of a fundamental biological mechanism that would cause smart people to be less muscular. However, smart people may value athletics less, since intellectual things are more interesting for them. This may cause them to shun activities that build muscle.

    AsianDude

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  8. Rosner was never a competitive bodybuilder, but it’s true that he has worked out frequently for decades (now down to four and a half sessions per day, according to his feed on Twitter, where he posts as @dumbassgenius). The repercussions of his pastime led to his being featured on an A&E show called Obsessed. Lately, he’s adopted caloric restriction, causing him to drop something like twenty pounds. If you ask him whether his dramatic reduction in muscle mass has resulted in improved mental performance, he may have an answer.

    As for blacks being the most muscular race, it’s possible, but IMO it’s overstated. Looking at racial comparisons of fat-free mass (a proxy for skeletal muscle mass that is imperfect, e.g. it doesn’t account for differences in bone mineral density, water weight, etc.), I find that blacks have about 5% more lean mass than whites (1). The black-white advantage drops to 1% among college football players (2), whose coaches probably train them similarly. Among the general population, black men strength train more often than white men (3). According to the same data, white women strength train significantly more than black women.

    Staying with the fat-free mass index, the difference between whites and Asians is much greater than the difference between whites and blacks (4).

    Lion, I would like to challenge you to adopt strength training and document what effects, if any, the resultant mass gains have on your life. Something like Body by Science or senescent muscleman Clarence Bass’s approach will require little of your time and should be enough for several pounds of lean over your first and second years. If you don’t like it, all you have to do is to stop lifting and let sarcopenia bring you back to rawboned bliss.

    Genserico

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  9. Weaklings and non-athletic types are drawn to science and engineering. If you have sports and the attention of women and easy available of physical or leadership jobs, there is no motivation for doing difficult science or engineering. Making progress in science and engineering is tedious and time-consuming even if you are smart. What jock would trade what they have for that?

    Dan

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  10. arnold schwarzenegger is smart

    r,javier11@gmail.com

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  11. Don’t forget about the important mathematician/logician Alonzo Church, who was legendarily portly and of key importance for theoretical computer science (Lambda Calculus, Church-Turing thesis on the universal nature of computation).

    Sanjuro

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  12. Hypotonia (low muscle tone) is a symptom of autism, including “high functioning” autism which in turn is associated with high IQ and savantism. As far as the difference between men and women, fat is easier to metabolize into breastmilk so this may be one explanation for the difference.

    I thought on average women were slightly higher IQ than men, but, men are more likely to be geniuses?

    Einstein probably would have been diagnosed with PDD-NOS were he a kid today.

    islandmommy

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • I thought on average women were slightly higher IQ than men, but, men are more likely to be geniuses?

      White men and white women have the same mean IQs. But the men have higher variance. Chuck Murray says the white STDEV is 16.7. And according to Steve Schue, men have 10% higher variance than women. In practice this means the intelligence difference between the smartest and dumbest white men is more dramatic than the difference between the smartest and dumbest white women.

      White men also have wider personality and behavioral distributions than white women. The higher white male variance on all sorts of characteristics is more proof white men have gone under more selective pressure to perform a wider range of labor force tasks than white women.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • The difference in SD between men and women is more likely due to men having only one X chromosome while women have two. A fortuitous combination of genes (or unfortunate as well) are more likely when you only have one copy of each rather than two. For women, good and bad genes tend to cancel out since they have two of each. The Y is probably not very significant even though it too is present in one copy. It is very small and contains only a few genes.

        dbp

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

      • The difference in SD between men and women is more likely due to men having only one X chromosome while women have two.

        And it makes more sense for evolution to do “outlier” experiments with the most reproductively expendable sex. Hence white men have much greater personality distributions than white women. White men also have more personality/behavioral range than the other races whose men are all basically the same.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

      • “White men also have more personality/behavioral range than the other races whose men are all basically the same”.

        It seems very plausible as White men appear to have a wide range of talents, where as Asian and Black men do not. The heterogeneity variance is the most apparent in White males and the least in Black males. A counter argument would be that Whites are a majority, but by observing the male citizens of Europe, one can see that such a diversity is not found in Asia or Africa.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

  13. Hard to say how the causality runs, it could just be the savanna hypothesis at work. Though I am sure I get more done when I lift regularly and get the resulting T boost. When my body composition improves, I don’t see any evidence that my mental performance declines, if anything it is the other way. Smart people shouldn’t be afraid of lifting weights, it’s a great way to stave off aging and discourage muggers. Kettlebells are the most efficient method I’ve found. Doug McGuff’s youtube lectures are interesting as well.

    Jostein

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  14. “There is evidence that Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men who ever lived, was very weak.”

    Dunno. He looks in decent physical shape in this shirtless photo from 1945, neither scrawny nor flabby. Keep in mind he was in his mid-60’s at the time.
    http://www.rowsdowr.com/2013/02/06/photo-shirtless-albert-einstein-relaxing-on-a-boat/

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • He has no muscle definition whatsoever. Most men, even into old age, have at least some sculpted-ness on their arms, even if they don’t work out. Einstein’s arms look like thick strands of spaghetti.

      islandmommy

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • not obese but hardly fit.

      lion of the lionosphere

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  15. Tom Wolfe’s books have a lot of observations muscles and brains — e.g., Charlie Croker:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/tom-wolfe-clear-eye-for-the-different-human

    Steve Sailer

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  16. Andrew Wiles indeed looks as if a puff of wind would blow him away. Peter Sarnak, on the other hand, is built like a brick shithouse http://www.mozzochi.org/Goldfeld/Page3/3P117.jpg

    John Derbyshire

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  17. Lion: Blacks are the most muscular race

    Oh really? Then why are pure muscle mass sports like weightlifting dominated by whites and Middle Easterners? How is this “muscularity” measured?

    Jaakko Raipala

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • I believe what Lion meant was their dominance in sports involving fast-twitch muscles and explosive power (short distance running and basketball are what come to mind). For professional weightlifting, you need powerful calves; blacks tend to have hilariously skinny calves.

      markus

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • oh, and Blacks do tend to be naturally toned without much work.

        markus

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • To be top of the line in those solo-sports competitions requires strong future time orientation (brutal solo training) and independent financial backing, and/or the ability to raise financial backing. You’re looking at such a small handful of people who on physical merit alone could be competitive to begin with, that the other determiners will become all the more vital.

      islandmommy

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • very good point. blacks naturally have lower body fat, but that doesn’t make them necessarily stronger, and definitely not in absolute terms. whites have neanderthal DNA, which might give them strength, but also more fat since they developed in temperate/cold climates. blacks don’t need as much fat, in fact they need less because of the heat, and also because in africa there’s more food around than in the cold climates. they also need to be able to run easier (sweat), thus lower body fat.

      all in all, if I had to choose, I’d pick to have naturally low body fat

      Zack

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • The lack of Neanderthal DNA is what separates blacks and other races. Lower intelligence and the unability to develop complex bureaucratic societies.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

  18. We are left with the stereotype of the skinny and weak braniac and the stupid musclehead.

    We now know white Ectomorphic nerds like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos – both huge Star Trek fans – can be exceptionally ruthless competitors because nerd execs have only minimal ability to establish emotional connections with their workers and partners.

    This wasn’t always obvious because nerds used to merely work for emotionally intelligent managers who never promoted them to the juiciest value transference spots. But with the rise of the tech giants, we now see what white ectomorphs in management can do when they’re able to direct their high IQ and aggression against business competitors. And it ain’t pretty if you’re on the opposing side. Look at how Jobs brought supposedly more alpha music industry execs to their knees. Or how Jeff Bezos smashed the print media.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Bezos and Jobs are/were unapologetic micromanagers, perfectionists and control freaks.

      High IQ + aggression + nerd/aspergery/OCD personality + business instincts has become a devastating trait combination in the computer age.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • So far we haven’t a witnessed any of these qualities in a man combined with devasting looks who could smooth talk any women to bed. This would be a crushing blow to 99% of the males out there.

        JS

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Two more points,

        1) Classic value transference types – hedge fund managers, elite consultants, male marketing execs, etc – are more “feminine” than nerds because classic executive alphas are as good as reading emotions as the most savvy women. Nerds are too logic oriented to compete with classic alphas at picking up social cues. This fits with Roissy’s observation the best womanizers have a certain feminine side to their personality.

        2) Steve Jobs was an exceptionally dangerous businessman because in addition to having nerd-CEO traits, he was also gifted with marketing and design genius. Two traits that are usually associated with women. And, in fact, Jobs banged lots of hot women in his day like Joan Baez.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • We haven’t seen a guy yet, who could produce an actual tangible product, earn billions from it and seduce women from his model good looks and confident mind reading skills. Jobs was close, but he wasn’t quite there because he came off as an awkward geek during his prime years.

        JS

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • So far we haven’t a witnessed any of these qualities in a man combined with devasting looks

        Not in a famous white IT nerd, no.

        And yes, Jobs came closest.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Both were adopted too. Could this have something to do with their driven personalities?

        newyorker

        August 20, 2013 at EDT am

      • Ellison was also adopted, and is more alpha than Jobs in appearance and lifestyle. But Jobs had his friend beat, simply because Oracle is a dullard database company that serves no purpose for the average person.

        JS

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

    • But it also shows that they really need to be founders to have a chance of being at the top. They’d never be able to climb their way up the ranks of an established firm.

      anon anon

      August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Correct! Lion recommended the ambitious to step on others while climbing to the zenith of the corporate ladder. Chances of making it is slim, as others pull you down before any ascension happens.

        JS

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Both were adopted too.

        I didn’t know Bezos was also adopted. But it’s plausible their adoption is another factor.

        But it also shows that they really need to be founders to have a chance of being at the top.

        They may risen to the top anyway. IT is the most IQ meritocratic of all major industries and the most vulnerable to sudden changes in the competitive environment relative to value transference organizations that have higher entry barriers.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

      • “IT is the most IQ meritocratic of all major industries and the most vulnerable to sudden changes in the competitive environment relative to value transference organizations that have higher entry barriers”.

        IT is low status, but is also meritocratic simply because it’s a trade where results performed is either functioning or not.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • Any field that is not populated with SWPLs is less prestigious. Wall St, Finance and Academia are the only areas of career prestige.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • It’s interesting how IT and computer science are fields predominantly of Asian and Indian stock, yet most of the textbooks and instructional materials are for the most part written by White men. There are more Indians who author computer books than East Asians simply because of HBD. Indians are more related to Caucasoids.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • “Any field that is not populated with SWPLs is less prestigious. Wall St, Finance and Academia are the only areas of career prestige”.

        I forgot BIGLAW. Lion’s favorite field as a former law student.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • The dearth of East Asians in the Humanities/Liberal Arts departments of any university could be also of HBD. Asians are generally less confrontational and less extroverted, combined with their lesser ability in writing and oratory endeavors, they would be unfit for these disciplines, despite their high IQs. I’ve seen a few East Indians who are Liberal arts academics, and only 1 East Asian.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • Second generation Asians will be more Americanized and have better English skills, and they will then dominate humanities with their superior work ethic.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • Ashkenazis dominate the liberal departments of the universities, where as Asians do not, despite both groups having high IQs. Ashkenazis also show a higher ablity verbally and are more verbally expressive. They also dominate the legal field that requires a preference for confrontational types.

        Ashkenazis were also overrepresented in STEM fields before the mass influx of Asians. This would support TUJ’s theory that Caucasians have a higher variance in abilities.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • Or as people assimilate, they move on from STEM and value creation to liberal arts and value transference.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

      • “Second generation Asians will be more Americanized and have better English skills, and they will then dominate humanities with their superior work ethic”.

        Eastern European Jews were heavily discriminated in the universities in early 20th century for their uncouth behaviors, and by the 1960s many of them were in the universities as humanities professors, in addition to being doctors, lawyers and engineers.

        Asians have been here just as long, and have not done anything variably remarkable, with the exception in the STEM fields, where they thrive as high paying low level doctors, engineers and scientists. The counter argument is that Asians are not “White” as Jews, so they are being discriminated from rising to the top, but this far from being true, as Asians are drawn to disciplines where they can perform well, similar as to why Blacks dominate certain sports.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Anyone who knows the history of NYC before it became a SWPL pussified town, the Big Apple was ridden with organized prole crime consisting of Italians Jews, and the Chinese. The Italian and the Jewish mobsters both challenged the authorities ruthlessly to get what the want, where they became an national expansive operation. The Chinese mobsters were only interested in the confines of Chinatown and exploiting only their own. This proves my point that Asians are generally less confrontational and less aggressive outside their realm of things, traits that could be interpreted as “positive” when it comes to societal and global progress.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Japanese have been in America for 100+ years, and I do not see Sansei(3rd gen) and Yonsei (4th+gen) , thoroughly Americanized with no ability to understand Japanese at all, getting interested in lib arts at all.

        Colmainen

        August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

      • IT is low status,

        The fame of the tech giants has raised IT’s social status.

        It’s interesting how IT and computer science are fields predominantly of Asian and Indian stock,

        That’s because the American Compsci programs suck at teaching code. Coding is easy unless you’re doing the most cutting edge stuff. All one needs to learn how to program is example code. Anyone with an IQ >=105 could learn it well enough to land a middle range tech job as long as they’re giving enough example code to learn off of.

        Japanese have been in America for 100+ years, and I do not see Sansei(3rd gen) and Yonsei (4th+gen) , thoroughly Americanized with no ability to understand Japanese at all, getting interested in lib arts at all.

        Off the top of my head, the only Japanese Americans who are famous for their work in lib arts I can think are Francis Fukuyama (who wouldn’t have stupidly predicted the end of history if he had been given a foreign policy education in Japan) and George Takei.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

  19. “Blacks are the most muscular race”
    Only in blogospherians’ homoerotic fantasies.

    While you’ll often hear claims that some people are “easy gainers” and others are “hard gainers,” referring to their ease of gaining muscle, in reality there’s relatively little individual variation.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  20. I dunno about low IQ/high muscle in all cases. most of the white proles in my area of the midwest that many middle class like to call ‘white trash’ tend to have both low IQ and be out of shape, the type who down a 2 liter of mountain dew while playing call of duty. A lot of the more muscular body-builder types in my area seem somewhat higher IQ/socioeconomic status and pretty complex health/fitness plans.

    highproleorlowmiddle

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  21. i have spent some time thinking about this question. we are comfortable talking about IQ in terms of statistical distributions – 99th percentile IQ, 75th percentile etc. there similarly should be percentiles for fatness/musculature.

    i think the reason why there are not a lot of muscle bound high class people is partly a combination of (1) muscles serving no real value for smart upper class types, whereas they have real street value for proles; and, (2) simple fact that it is less likely for someone to be at the 90th+ percentile on multiple distributions. eg, 90th+ percentile in IQ, and 90th+ percentile in musculature.

    sort of like the old saying that god gives gifts unequally.

    lion of the lionosphere

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  22. When I was in university, just a few years ago, probably half the white guys had weight-sculpted physiques. Even a lot of the Asian STEM nerds did. It seems like bodybuilding’s the norm for young men, regardless of class, simply because it’s what young women have come to expect. You essentially need to be a gym monkey just to be in the running nowadays.

    Scott

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Good physique is not enough to attract babes. There are plenty of fit and sculpted Asian men who would never be considered attractive by women around them, simply because anything above the neck is not aesthetically pleasing to the female eyes.

      JS

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Agreed. A guy needs both a good body AND pretty boy facial features if he hopes to have a decent sex life.

        I had the former but not the latter, so I’ve always been incel.

        Scott

        August 20, 2013 at EDT am

      • PUA by in large has been a failure because unattractive guys, particularly beta White men, and the overrepresentation of East Asian and Omega Indian men, have been indoctrinated that by dressing well, and being fit are sufficient enough to attract women.

        JS

        August 21, 2013 at EDT am

    • Yup….the driving factor behind a lot of the fitness craze nowadays is women. No doubt about it, there’s a lot of pressure on men to workout. Even the women in our STEM department tended to go more for the muscular guys, unless you had a fairly good height advantage.

      L

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  23. If you find pseudoscience amusing I’d recommend looking at any of the bodybuilding/strength development magazines or websites. They’re loaded with “advertorials” for various supplements that are so full of jargon as to be incomprehensible by anyone who lacks a Ivy/Stanford/MIT/Caltech biochemistry PhD. It probably should go without saying that 99% of the supplements are absolutely worthless, and that most of them are definitely not cheap.
    Actually, to venture a bit OT, some years back an acquaintance who’d been in the publishing industry before becoming a paralegal got a job that entailed reading the medical reports submitted as part of personal injury lawsuits. He said that most of the reports from chiropractors reminded him of rejected unsolicited manuscripts for science fiction novels.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  24. I wonder if we will ever learn the lion’s height and weight.

    Or perhaps he could provide us with plaster casts of his arms, gilded for the edification of future generations.

    islandmommy

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  25. I’d say that the correlation between IQ and muscle is either non-existent or even slightly positive. The stereotype of the weak guy w/ a high IQ seems more likely a product of an egalitarian narrative. People love to believe that if there’s a positive trait associated with someone, he or she must have negative traits as well. These traits might have zero correlation, however, since people can point out examples of them existing (which will occur) people will use it as their basis for their proof that the stereotype is in fact correct.

    This is one of the shortcomings in how stereotypes can be false.

    Mike

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  26. You’ll find a lot of smart folks associated with Starting Strength. E.g., the lady who runs the operations there has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke, if memory serves. And one of the certified coaches is an aviation engineer for a major airline; another is an emergency physician with a Ph.D. in anatomy in addition to his MD; etc.

    Dave Pinsen

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  27. The correlation clearly doesn’t hold today, and in fact it’s reverted. Smarter people read more, are more educated and have more discipline. Therefore, they would work out more, and eat better. Moreover they make more money and will afford to eat healthier. Manhattan is case in point. What’s interesting about Manhattan is that people are in a better shape, more fit, and they are also taller!!!

    What smart people aren’t — they aren’t super-muscular, because that requires commitment to crazy levels that are clearly unhealthy and usually involves juicing, which they won’t do.

    Zack

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • “What’s interesting about Manhattan is that people are in a better shape, more fit, and they are also taller!!!”

      I see a lot of doughy and slightly overweight women in Manhattan.There’s so many transplants in NYC who come from other parts of America where fashion and fitness aren’t emphasized.

      JS

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

      • Really? Then you need to get out a bit more, JS.

        Fat white girls are basically non-existent in most parts of Manhattan. That’s the best part about living here.

        Renault

        August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

  28. Blacks look more muscular because they have smaller waists, but if you compare apples to apples (black vs white athletes) the difference in lean body mass is negligible — less than 5%.

    As far as building a quality physique, it is not hard.

    250-300 mg testosterone per week for a year.

    the effect between that and training natural is night and day.

    Matt in Logan Circle

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  29. Plenty of smart guys could be bodybuilders or athletes — they just aren’t interested.

    Tarl

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

    • Gym rats are proles. They heard it from Lion.

      JS

      August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  30. John Urschel is an All Big 10 guard, who is reportedly one of the strongest on the team in the weight room.

    He has also completed a bachelor’s and a master’s in math and is working on a second master’s in math education. He has also had one paper already published in a peer-reviewed journal and has a second under consideration.

    He may be in the top 10 percent in both muscles and IQ.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/80900/psus-urschel-solves-student-athlete-puzzle

    Mike Perry

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  31. I’ve thought about the same thing when I was trying to built muscles and study at the same time. It is retardedly difficult to built muscle and at the same time sit down and study for something complicated. Muscles however, does not necessarily mean low iq. It could be that people who aren’t smart find distraction in muscle building, middle class and prole women tend to see muscles as a plus, so there’s actually pressure to built muscle from a evolutionary perspective.

    Your physiology and psychology changes when you acquire more muscles as well, I actually feel more confident about myself than when I was just skinny, then again, you get mood swings and get a lot more emotional at the same time. Evolution and genes are definitely at play though in terms of ability to gain muscles, the black guys I’ve seen at the gym are always the biggest dudes there, and they don’t even work out all that much.

    When you leave the working and middle class behind though, height and other things play a bigger role in attracting women. Working and middle class people are all about muscles because there’s utility in it, manual labor, handy work, police, military etc. all find it useful to built muscles.

    L

    August 19, 2013 at EDT pm

  32. Many years ago I received a one year membership to a Gold’s Gym type place by winning a TV trivia contest. This gym was located in a downtown office building and I started going. Most of the guys there were the body building types and I was there mostly for the aerobic machines. In those days there weren’t nearly the number of weight training enthusiasts we see today. I quickly discovered (from being stared at in the locker room) that the place was full of gays. I made an association at that time between gays and body builders that I’ve never shaken. Given that gays are supposed to be smarter than the average male, and assuming that a high percent of body builders are gay, doesn’t it stand to reason that body builders are smarter not dumber than the average male?

    Curle

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

    • Times have changed. Most kids are getting into lifting nowadays because it’s the only way they can get the girl.

      ben

      August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  33. Paul Fussel’s son was a bodybuilder. He wrote a book about it. I remember the interview on Nightwatch, Charlie Rose’s old show.

    Anyone who spends a lot of his time pumping iron or at any athletic endeavor is going to be limited intellectually, but I’m 100% positive that given 100 smart people and 100 dumb people the smart people would, on average, be superior physical specimens in EVERY way controlling for ethnicity.

    Take Bobby Fischer. He prized physical training (for chess!) and was very robust especially considering he may have been 100% Ashkenazi.

    This is what Terman found. His Termites (all with childhood IQs > 140) were “robust” on average, not offensive linemen or female shot putters, that is too great a deviation from the norm.

    It is natural to want those who are good in one area to be bad in others, but there seems to be some g factor for all-round human quality.

    As for dogs: The Standard Poodle is also beautiful without the tres prole hair-cut, athletic, long-lived, etc. If you’ve ever met one, you’d know. They’re not just smart. They’re simply superior.

    Hugh Lygon

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

    • You’re probably thinking of footage of a pre-reykjavik interview where he was shown preparing upstate for the spassky match, and yes he would work out during this period, but it was for a relatively brief time and a concerted effort. He was certainly no athlete, though he did enjoy bowling.

      islandmommy

      August 20, 2013 at EDT am

    • “He prized physical training (for chess!) and was very robust especially considering he may have been 100% Ashkenazi.”

      Meet the strength & conditioning coach for Yeshiva University (He also works as a personal trainer in Manhattan). Nothing stopping Ashkenazis from putting on muscle.

      Dave Pinsen

      August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

  34. I found this gem:

    “I agree with commenters who say that part of the reason is that the Hopkins girls don’t dress slutty and don’t put forth the effort to wear makeup and bleach their hair and the various other things that less academically gifted young women are more likely to do to enhance their sexiness.”

    But, if anything, this makes a woman LESS attractive if you have ANY taste.

    One of the most beautiful women I’ve seen was a German graduate physics student at a really podunk state school I was attending at the time. She was so attractive I pretended to be doing something else for half an hour just to look at her while she chatted with some fellow German student.

    Go to graduate seminar even at a crappy school. Then go out into the street.

    You’ll see the difference!!!

    Hugh Lygon

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

    • So you never heard the old saying ‘nine out of ten women in California are beautiful, and the tenth goes to Stanford?’

      Curle

      August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  35. Herman Kahn was supposed to have a very high IQ and he was obese.

    Direktoraat

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  36. Building muscle is not as simple as many presume. It takes, above all, commitment and the delay of instant gratification for future reward. Both of these traits are correlated with IQ.

    ben

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  37. That Scooby fellow on YouTube who features diy weightlifting vids is an aerospace engineer and is building a plane in his garage. he’s not roided out, but he has decent muscle mass and definition for a guy in his 50s. But he is quite methodical and scientific about his approach to working out and has likely used his brain to maximize his genetic potential for muscularity. I don’t think there’s much correlation between muscles and IQ.

    bobo

    August 20, 2013 at EDT am

  38. Years ago there was a show called “Test the Nation” in which various categories of people (celebs, scientists, blonds, weight-lifters) all competed on an IQ test. The weight-lifters were tied for last place with the blonds.

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-107422298.html

    So weightlifters might be relatively dumb, meanwhile various studies have shown that the weakest people in society (anorexics) have high IQ’s.

    Smart people tend to be tall and skinny; dumb people tend to be short and muscular (unless they’re severely dumb, in which case they have some kind of organic affliction impairing all physiological traits)

    People 100,000 years ago were much more muscular than today, and genetic evidence shows sweeping changes in dystrophin-associated alleles, suggesting a direct trade-off between muscles and brains.

    I have seen high IQ people who work out a lot, and while their muscles are quite evident, they rarely achieve that big bulky look that low IQ weight lifters achieve. Usually high IQ weight lifters just look really toned.

    smartandwise

    August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

  39. I am non-muscular with a high IQ. Although I think my wimpiness is the more extreme of the two. If my IQ is in the top 20% my physical weakness is in the botton 10 or 15% compared to other men.

    Although being thin/non-muscular seems to have hurt me in some ways I wouldn’t change a thing. I have never lifted a weight in my life or had the desire to do so. It just doesn’t interest me. I have kind of felt like a rebel all these years. Being non-muscular and comfortable with it goes so much against society’s norms. I also feel like a rebel because I have no tattoos while everyone and their grandma are covered in them.

    Now that I have reached middle age it seems less and less people even care about my lack of muscularity. (I would get negative remarks when I was a young man, they would call me “skinny ass” and such. It seems like I am growing old gracefully with a slender build compared to say a bulky guy with tattoos who was a former lifter and steroid user.

    Jay Fink

    August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

    • I have marveled at the fact that the athletic, much-lusted-after cheerleader types who tormented me in middle school are all fat cows today, while I’ve stayed scrawny (which I guess is good, at my age).

      islandmommy

      August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

  40. Hey Lion –
    When I was bouncing (checking IDs, mostly), I weighed about 172 at a little under 5’11” with 8 to 10% body fat. Now that I’m 53 years old and not bouncing, I’ve intentionally dropped to 148 with 6 or 7% body fat. I wasn’t a good bodybuilder – varicose veins, not enough bulk – but was a decent art model. Still go to the gym a few times a day.

    I think being healthy in general ought to correlate with mental function. Driving around L.A., I see plenty of people who are obviously unhealthy and whose brains don’t seem to be functioning optimally. In terms of not having your brain all gummed up, I think that skinny would be better than fat.

    And about not living up to my potential, that’s true, but I have a good job and a nice family and am even nominated for an Emmy this year (knock on lots of wood).

    Also not sure I was raised in a prole environment. Yeah, we watched lots of horrible 70s TV, but my schools were good, my stepdad had three years of college, and my mom was just a thesis short of her M.A.

    Rick Rosner

    August 20, 2013 at EDT pm

  41. Rosner, Langan, Dolph Lundgren are all bodybuiders and musclelar guys. And as to life expectancy, i’d rather be musclular and ripped and live up to 70 thant a bit overweight and without muscle, as you recommend, and die at 90.

    Bruno from Paris, France.

    August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

    • You may have a different perspective on that when you’re 70. For that matter, I think you’d have a different perspective on that if you were in your 40s.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 21, 2013 at EDT pm

      • I was once at the grocery store and a handsome, if older, man was in front of me. I assumed he was late 50s. With one hand he deftly lifted his case of beer onto the conveyor with rippling arm muscles. I stood there silently and involuntarily ogling, and since he was buying beer he had to give his year of birth… 1935!! I nearly fell over.

        islandmommy

        August 21, 2013 at EDT pm


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