We at Cracked know the majority of our visitors closely resemble greek gods and therefore won't need much information about the greatness of their contractile tissue. We have a page about it anyway.
Muscles are awesome. They make us move things, like food through our intestines or blood through our venes. Or that girl on our bed.
Pictured: a healthy balance of muscles, fat and really really soft skin.
Without muscles, we would only consist of bones, skin, and a few organs, which would look really silly.
Our muscles can grow or shrink, depending on the exercise they get and the food we eat. Without stimulation, the muscles degrade over time. Why? To conserve energy. Big muscles need a lot of it.
In our western civilization, food is plentiful. It would be no problem for our body to carry lots of sexy muscle mass. Instead, it chooses to give us fat deposits. Does our body hate us that much? No, it just doesn't trust us. It has a hard time believing that the steady supply of food will continue forever.
As it does.
Back when most of us were still working hard, be it on a farm or in a factory moving heavy stuff, additional exercise wasn't really necessary.
They sure do look healthy.
For your average office worker however, big muscles just aren't necessary anymore. It's the same for your average rap billionaire.
Hey, these arms could at least take 50 bullets before being saturated.
So to avoid being an undefined mass of grease, we must exercise and build our muscles. Basically, you fight your own body, breaking down muscle fibres and forcing the bod to rebuild them stronger than before. It's really a love-hate relationship. Beat it with a stick and reward it with a carrot afterwards (or a nice steak).
As for exercising, there is the good way, the bad way, and the douchy way (which is actually the same as the bad way, only with more hair gel)
If you are not like Michelangelo's David de Douche above, you are probably serious about building your muscle mass. In addition to eating like a horse that had to carry Hoss Cartwright for a whole season of Bonanza, there is no way to avoid those three fuckers then:
There is no more ground-stomping, ball-smashing, pet-killing, tear-inducing exercise than the good old full squat. Load up that bar with insane amounts of cold hard steel, put it on your shoulders, go down and pray. Don't forget to grunt, moan, and make other devilish sounds to let the whole gym know you are in for serious business. Like the quite serious business of bad injuries:
This very good exercise is known to crush lots of small animals. Make sure to lift with good form. This fellow obviously missed deadlift class:
The Bench press
This is the exercise nearly everyone does in the gym, and they are right doing so. It can even make your neck look thinner:
Great job, Mr Spotter.