In recent memory, weight lifting and physical fitness has become a rising phenomena in our society. Many people partake in it for their health and others do it to obtain a better body, but there is another subculture within this gym crowd that many people do not know about. They are male "College of Wooster" athletes, but centralized on the football team. The football players are the ones that use weight lifting as a way to improve their athletic performance such as running faster or hitting opponents harder. However, there are other issues that many people do not understand such as body image issues. I will sit and observe their habits within the gym setting, but take part in their activities; lifting weights, doing cardio sessions, general social activities, and whatever else can allow me to gain a foothold into their mental world. Beyond this I will try and do a few one-on-one interviews and collect surveys. My goal this year, with my I.S. project, is to immerse myself within this culture and experience firsthand what motivates these men in their quest for perfection on and off the field. I have been an athlete my entire life, which has given me the opportunity to be around every level of athlete from world class to "Average Joes". Within my own research, I want to explore what motivates athletes to develop a muscular body. This could range from positive attention they receive from having a desired look to the pressure they feel to maintain this look. The anxiety and homophobia associated with caring about ones body too much from the perspective of masculinity. Finally, I would like to examine the way ideals of the perfect body and goals change from athletes to graduating seniors.


Gunn, Raymond


Sociology and Anthropology


Gender and Sexuality | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2009 Tyler G. Arnold