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“Do You Even Lift?” (DYEL) is a condescending expression used on body building and fitness forums to question the legitimacy of someone’s fitness expertise or weight lifting routine. Similar to other interrogatives like “U Mad?” or “U Jelly?”, the phrase is mainly used to aggravate another user during arguments about physical fitness.
On February 16th, 2002, Body Building forums member squirrel submitted a post asking how to work a specific arm muscle. In the thread, forum user bubbaT responded with, “yo’all better shut ya fukin mouth yo bee-yotch,” to which user Chris C replied “do you even lift?”
On March 20th, 2004, user danh of the weight lifting enthusiast Testosterone Nation forums submitted a post titled “do you even lift?”, which asked the members of the off topic section several questions about their lifestyle. On February 24th, 2006, Body Building forums member HmongKing asked “do you even lift?” while criticizing another member’s abdominal fitness expertise. On March 28th, 2007, Body Building forums member NINEZeRO used the expression in an argument about the weight lifting ability of mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko.
On April 8th, 2009, user countryboyWVU of the anabloic steroids discussion forum AlinBoard asked “do you even lift?” while criticizing another user’s physique (shown above). On September 3rd, 2010, a poll titled “Do you even lift?” was submitted to the Body Building forums, which received several replies mocking the original poster’s avatar photograph. On November 8th, 2010, 4chan’s /fit/ (fitness) board member Zyzz started a thread titled “u mad?”, which included a photo of himself flexing his arm next to a woman. In the thread, an anonymous user asked “do you even lift?” in response to a photo of a man flexing his bicep.
On July 25th, 2011, a Facebook page for “Do you even lift” was created, receiving over 2,400 likes within nine months. On December 21st, a thread featuring photos of animals with fitness related descriptions was submitted to 4chan’s /fit/ board, which included a photo of a gorilla with the text “lol do any of you fags even lift?”
Steve Pulcinella Image Macro
On January 17th, 2011, a promotional video for the Iron Sport Gym in Glenolden, Pennsylvania was uploaded to YouTube. In the video, an unenthusiastic customer is given a tour of the facility, causing co-founder Steve Pulcinella to become increasingly agitated. At :26, Pulcinella gives the customer a look of disapproval immediately after a female weight lifter performs a clean and jerk lift.
Shortly after, an image macro of Pulcinella’s look of disapproval with the caption “Do you even lift?” (shown left) began appearing on sites like the Body Building forums and 4chan’s /fit/ board. On December 13th, Pulcinella was asked about his reaction to the macro in an “ask me anything” post on the /r/weightroom subreddit, where he revealed that he thought his head looked “funny.” Shortly after, the online retailer Zazzle began selling t-shirts with Pulcinella’s likeness and the abbreviation “DYEL?” (shown right).
Bodybuilding.com Live Chat Raid
In mid-November 2012, an unknown number of Anonymous members coordinated and carried out a raid against the live chat section of the customer support department at Bodybuilding.com, trolling the site’s staff members with the phrase “do you even lift?” On November 13th, Redditor MisSigsFan submitted a post titled “/b/ enjoys body building (a lot of screencaps but it’s worth it)” to the /r/4chan subreddit, which featured a screenshot compilation of 100 live chat logs revealing humorous exchanges between the staff members and trolls.