Pursuit of the muscular ideal: Physical and psychological consequences and putative risk factors

Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Feb;25(2):215-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2004.09.003. Epub 2004 Dec 30.


Developing a lean muscular figure for the purposes of sports and/or appearance has become a central issue for males. Concern has been raised because the desire to develop such a body build may lead to the adoption of numerous health-threatening behaviors. Consequently, this review presents a comprehensive analysis of the physical and psychological consequences that result from the use of steroids (legal and illegal), ephedrine, and deleterious dieting strategies specific to males. Putative risk factors for these behaviors will be identified, and the clinical disorder associated with the extreme abuse of these behaviors, muscle dysmorphia, will be examined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Culture
  • Ephedrine / administration & dosage
  • Ephedrine / pharmacology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sympathomimetics / administration & dosage
  • Sympathomimetics / pharmacology


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Ephedrine