If a dad bod means a man is comfortable in his own skin, does this mean that a ripped physique with a six-pack means a man hates on himself?

In mid June of 2019, news broke of an online survey that was commissioned by Planet Fitness, and conducted by Kelton Global, of 2,006 U.S. men and women.

“Our survey results show the majority of people think positively about dad bods, and men who identify as having them are proud of who they are,” stated Jessica Correa, senior VP of marketing for Planet Fitness, in a press release.

It’s not clear how the survey participants were recruited.

• Were they representative of a random sampling of people plucked off the street?

• Were they all members of a Gold’s Gym?

• Were many couch potatoes or otherwise sedentary?

• Were many triathletes, competitive powerlifters, physique athletes or CrossFitters?

Confident in Their Own Skin

One of the survey findings was that 78% of the women believed that men with dad bods were confident in their skin.

Forty-seven percent of women saw dad bods as the “new six-pack.”

Eighty-three percent of mothers would be proud to have a dad bod husband.

What does this mean?

The part about men with dad bods being confident in their skin? This kind of implies that men with hard bodies – the six-pack and all – are NOT confident in their skin! Is this even remotely believable?

Why is there even an association between how fit a person looks and how much confidence they have?

A man could be a total dad bod and have zero confidence – or sky-high confidence.

A timid, meek man might have a totally chiseled and ripped physique – and still be anxious about meeting new people.

Maybe some men just hate working out? How does this equate to confidence in one’s skin?

What a Ripped Six-Pack Body Exudes

The Planet Fitness survey, though reportedly done just for fun, cryptically denounces (dare I say “shames”?) those men who are faithfully committed to sculpting their physique and maintaining a body fat percentage that’s low enough to reveal the six-pack.

A man with a buff physique is certainly one who knows how to set a challenging goal and chase it down.

The self-discipline that’s required to have an underwear model’s body likely carries over to many other aspects of his life.

If you see a guy like the one below, it’s a pretty safe bet that he doesn’t have a drinking problem, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t snort cocaine.

Shutterstock/Jasminko Ibrakovic

I wonder if the surveyed women actually think that buff men are NOT comfortable in their skin.

One thing’s for sure: They can do the following tasks for a woman much easier than can Mr. Dad Bod.

• Shovel the snow without feeling pummeled the next morning

• Change a flat tire without fatiguing

• Rearrange furniture for an hour and then be able to hike with his wife afterwards

• Carry sick family members without difficulty

Maybe all of those things aren’t important to some women, but one thing about the survey really stands out:

That most of the women perceived the dad bod as a symbol of confidence in one’s skin.

Shutterstock/Ben Gingell

It can’t be said enough: It’s not an issue of confidence. Some men simply hate to exercise and thus avoid it, while others don’t care for it but still manage to get in a few gym workouts a week — at a moderate level, and therefore not enough for achieving a lean muscular build.

What man avoids serious strength training because he loves his flabby body?

Let’s have a survey of 2,000 men with dad bods and ask them about their workout habits.

Ask them why they don’t train seriously enough to achieve a V-taper and six-pack.

How many will actually respond, “Because I’m confident in my body the way it is,” or, “Because I already love myself”?

No. Many will answer with the classic reasons:

• Not enough time; too busy.

• Enjoy junk food too much to restrict it.

• Have tried to get a six-pack physique but it never comes (for the vast majority of men, this would be due to incorrect training and/or diet, not a genetic obstacle).

• Don’t want a lean muscular physique badly enough to work for it.

That last bullet point does NOT equate to “I already love myself and have self-confidence.”

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Steven Frame
Source: planetfitness.com/newsroom/news/dad-bod-still-making-women-swoon-study-finds