Capital Investigates: Male Body Image

9 August 2013, 06:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A Capital Investigation has found some men in the East Midlands are spending more than 20 hours in the gym a week because they're feeling more pressure to get the perfect body.

We spoke to more than 300 men at gyms in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby about why they work out, this is what they told Capital:

- Is body image the main reason why you work out?  - 66% per cent said yes. 

- How many hours a week do you spend in the gym? - The average was 8 hours, but 5% said they would work out for more than 20 hours.

- Which celebrity has your ideal body? - David Beckham. 

Gym Report

Capital reports from Virgin Active in Nottingham, listen here

'20 hours is excessive'

Luke Hamer is the fitness manger at Virgin Active in Nottingham:

'I think if someone is spending 20 hours in a gym then they aren't doing anything right at all, it depends what you are training for but if you are just looking for a decent body or a decent image then 45 minutes to an hour a day is plenty.'

Media Influence

A lot of people we spoke to during our investigation said the media and health magazines are a big influences especially on younger men, who aspire to get the perfect body, but many go the wrong way to achieve it. 

Joe Hicks, who's 34 years old and from Leicestershire is a profession actor and fitness model he says there is too much pressure on men these days to look a certain way: 

'The idea of the masculine male who takes about ten minutes to get ready is well and truly gone, I always go back to the James Bond scene where Daniel Craig walks out of the ocean in very tight shorts, women swoon, and young lads think 'wow I want that reaction'..'


Last year a new body disorder was formed called Musclerexia, where in extreme cases men will go to the gym three times a day, calorie count and still not be satisfied with their body. 

Lauren Benton is the Chief Executive of body dismorphia charity BODY in Derby, she says they've seen an 82 per cent rise in the number of men asking them for help. Lauren told Capital FM East Midlands:

'A lot of guys I'm seeing at the minute are really trying to put on as much muscle as possible. So many guys are getting addicted to the gym, they're eating protein as well as drinking protein and still they are not as big as they want which leads on to a disorder.'

Fore more information on Musclerexia contact Body.