Finally: there's a downside to the gym

A study on the sex lives of “highly active men” has concluded that endurance training is bad for the male libido

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By Caroline O'Donoghue on

If there’s one thing that I’m a surly, unreasonable bitch about, it’s the gym. 

I hate the gym.

I’ve always hated the gym. I hate that I’m never sure whether I’m using the machines correctly. I hate how unnatural it feels to be there, how it feels like a factory, and how every body there is on an endless assembly line toward a goal that becomes more unreachable the closer you get to it. You’ve run five miles on the treadmill? Try six. You’ve lifted 10kg of weights? Now try 20. On and on, the endless lifting and toning and running and sweating and monitoring. I get that lots of people enjoy the gym, and I have heard the many reasons why. It’s good for your mental health! It makes you feel strong! I get it, I know, good for you. I still hate the gym. 

Because of this, I am delighted whenever any anti-gym propaganda comes out, and today is such a day. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise this month conducted by the University of North Carolina examined the sexual habits of highly active men. The researchers contacted a range of running, cycling and triathlon training groups, presenting each with a survey on their sex lives and how much they exercise. “Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men,” the conclusion states. 

Celebrate your right to be a sexy, doughy little cream puff

While a bit of exercise is good for boosting your endorphins and generally making you feel a bit sexy, there's a "tipping point" where men become too tired or uninterested. Which sucks if your partner is one of those guys that is always in Pure Gym with a gallon of Protein Powder, and great if your one of those people who lies to My Fitness Pal about how "energetic" your stairs climb was. It doesn't matter if you're a bit round and soft and lazy, because super fit people aren't shagging that much, anyway! 

Unfit men the world over have decided to rejoice in the news. Judd Apatow's set are thrilled.  But whether you're a gym person or not, take a night off to shag your partner or just go to town on yourself. Celebrate your right to be a sexy, doughy little cream puff. 


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