Bodysuits and Muscle Suits – What is Possible and What is Not

We know that facial masks and bodysuits have been used both in movies, on TV, and by crisis actors for at least 30+ years. As for bodysuits, in the past, they were quite rudimentary and only used with clothes on to make the impression of someone being bigger, bulky and/or fat. As they got better and more realistic, they began to show some more skin, and for the last couple of years muscle bodysuits have become quite popular – and this is also where some “truthers” have gone totally off the rails, just like some of the “transgender investigators” who does not understand hormones or how a child develops if the mother is deficient in some nutrients.

As you might know, I worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 25 years, and during all those years I also worked with bodybuilders – getting them from being fat offseason slobs into shredded muscular monsters ready for the stage. I’ve worked with hundreds of bodybuilders, both men and women, as well as fitness competitors, and professional athletes within all major sports. I’ve spent thousands of hours in the gym coaching them, I’ve taken thousands of body fat measurements pinching the skin using calipers, I’ve been coaching at more than 50 competitions, and also done deep tissue massage on more than a hundred athletes since I was certified in 1999.
So yes, I know anatomy in and out, I know all about how muscle bellies look relaxed and flexed in all possible angles, how small muscles moves and becomes visible depending on rotational movements, and so on.

So, sure, you can make quite ‘realistic’ bodysuits as long as there is very little muscle definition, as in the average untrained male and female bodies, including those with obesity. This is simple to understand since you cannot ‘flex’ fat, and even as you move about, your arms and legs just look like jiggly lifeless blobs of “skin sacks.” However, when it comes to a lean more muscular physique with visible muscle bellies that stretches, flexes, and show striations depending on interior or exterior rotations and movements, we are in a whole other ballpark.

You cannot flex a fake muscle belly unless the bodysuit is very thin and simply follows your natural muscle, but in that case the whole point of fake muscles is lost. This is extremely evident to a trained eye.
Still, there are baby-truthers out there with ridiculous claims such as that many ‘juiced-up’ actors have bodysuits, including former weightlifters and bodybuilders. I even heard someone saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Rock had bodysuits their whole career. That is simply extreme ignorance, embarrassingly so.

Now, with todays ‘advanced’ muscle bodysuits, you can easily fool the untrained eye in a movie, as you rapidly change camera angles, lightning (with a lot of covering shadows,) and can use CGI post-processing to touch up and make the footage look more real and life-like.
However, simply wearing a muscular bodysuit and showing it off will never look realistic, at least not to someone familiar with anatomy and muscular function.

If you actually want to learn how a muscular body looks, perform and changes as it moves, I suggest that you start looking at bodybuilding competition videos – and not all the pro shows or the Olympia, but rather amateur shows, those with less muscle mass that are comparable to the more jacked movie stars. Also, more important, study training videos with some of these bodybuilders, including powerlifters and Olympic weight lifters. Look at how they look while they sit down and talk or when they rest, comparing to how they look when they lift and muscle bellies bulges and vascularity comes out. Impossible with muscle suits.

Here’s a few cues to study and keep in mind.

  • Body temperature governs vascularity to a high degree. If you’re cold, veins are barely visible and much smaller even when you’re shredded. In warm weather vascularity is more pronounced, and when physically active and when flexing or lifting, they really pop out.

  • Relaxed muscle tends to drop/sag a little, this is very visible if you look at the biceps, the upper arm muscle, when someone is holding their arm out a bit from their body. But as soon as the muscle tense a little bit, being flexed, it pops up and the shape changes drastically, and this without moving the angle of the elbow.

  • Same can be said for triceps, the back of the upper arm. A relax triceps is more like a big lump, and it drops down when relaxed with a straight arm hold out at shoulder level. However, when flexed it looks like a horseshoe and displays a lot of muscle fiber striations.
    Simply flexing a muscle without moving the joint angle changes its shape completely.

  • The shape of the biceps will also change completely as you rotate your hand. If you keep your palm downwards while you bend your elbow, your biceps will keep its long shape and not flex into a “ball” as it does if you rotate your hand and your palm faces upward. Keeping your palm downward or rotating if from upward to downward will also activate the brachialis muscle, the ball-shaped muscle that sits between the biceps and the triceps and is very visible from the side during these contractions. This is very hard to emulate on a big muscle suit.

  • Relaxed muscle looks somewhat smooth and it’s mostly the tie-ins between muscle bellies that is noticeable and tells you that the person is in great shape if he or she is just sitting there not moving. However, as soon as the muscles are moving and/or under stress, striations and separations appear, this is very visible in the shoulders and across the chest, and especially in the legs.

  • When lifting the arms over shoulder-level, muscle suits can look very weird as the shoulder does not correctly rotate and cannot simulate the contractions and relaxation between the three muscle heads, making the shoulder of a bodysuit look like a ball that pops out from the tie-in of the chest muscle. Extremely weird looking.

  • The difference between the agonist, the antagonist, and stabilizing muscles. The agonist is the muscle that is contracting to a load, for example the biceps in a curl. The antagonist in that case is the triceps on the backside of the arm, and while the agonist contracts, the antagonist relaxes. This is also difficult to emulate in a big muscle bodysuit. And stabilizers are muscles that contracts to keep the body stable and in balance during a movement. In a simple biceps curl, your abs and lower back may contract a little to keep you from falling forwards.

  • Abdominal muscles. These change their shape a little as you breath and especially if you pull them in a little and/or flex them. Big pronounced abs that look somewhat flexed all the time is usually from visceral fat pushing them outwards and from growth hormone abuse. Also, there are some weirdos that inject their muscles with oil and/or solutions that causes intra-muscular inflammation, making the muscle bigger and denser for a few days. Many at the pro-level, such as the Mr. Olympia, uses this. And, I suspect Liver King uses this for his always popping abdominal muscles. It could also be small implants, but they appear to change their shape and contract a bit more in his workout videos, so they’re probably real but enhanced with some oil. And although he might inject some oil, and use a ton of anabolic drugs, his muscle mass is real. No suit as some ignorant “truthers” claim. Easy to spot if you watch his exercise videos.

A bodysuit only looks somewhat realistic at a first glance when the actor is standing relaxed. However, if you look for more than a few seconds you can see that the abdominal muscles do not change, they are contracted in the same position. This is even more pronounced when they start to move.

Now, if you spent some minutes studying real life muscle as I suggested, you should laugh as soon as you see these bodysuits in movies. A good example is ‘Bill & Ted: Face the Music’ from 2020 with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter wearing bodysuits in a couple of scenes that some “truthers” use as “proof” of fake muscle. Seriously, it looks so bad I’m embarrassed for anyone thinking it’s the slightest realistic.

Now, compare that silly crap with this. Play it in slow motion if you have to, and really study how the muscles contract, how they pop, how muscle fibers and striations shows and changes, how vascularity changes, and so on. Learn to identify the details.

And now watch the training clips with The Rock. Sorry baby-truthers, that is not a bodysuit.

If you want to learn more or if you have questions, hit me up at our uncensored community, the last standing sanctuary for real truth-seekers.

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