Summer is (pretty much) here, and the time has finally come lads; you can show off your rig. Throw the budgies on, rip the shirt off and get down to the beach, before those cheeky last few days of winter roll in. Plus nothing beats the freedom of stripping off on a 40 degree day, removing the stifling shackles of your cotton body prison (wow... dramatic).
But before you show off the body you've no doubt sculpted over winter, be warned, it's not always acceptable to walk around flaunting what the dumbbells gave you. In fact, the wider public has some very strong opinions on just how acceptable it is to be walking around sans-shirt in public, and basically it comes down to how close you are to a body of water.
"My personal rule is if you're in the street and you're more than 1 km from the beach or waterside and you're shirtless then 'there's no excuse other than being a douche,'" offered Thaddeus_J_Anderson, a Reddit user who weighed in on the debate.
Another user decided to flip the tables. Yes, you might be in peak summer condition, but how would you feel if everyone adopted your shirt-free approach?
"This issue boils down to: do unto others as you would have them do unto you," says user sydneybluestreet. "Would you be happy to see topless people everywhere (including the old and the fat)? Not everyone, probably including you, likes a fleshfest. So maybe you're proud of your toned abs. Save it for appropriate places and people. Don't take offence. Just bring a shirt with you to the pool."
It's not good news for your body, in fact even a survey of our Women's Health colleagues found that shirtlessness was unacceptable beyond the road closest to the beach or pool. Meanwhile going shirtless anywhere indoors is a MASSIVE no no, even if you're in the shape of your life.
"Yes, but if you have a good body you’ll automatically be considered a douchebag by jealous guys," says 2d_active. And girls apparently.
With such conclusive results, it seems there's a good rule of thumb to follow; if you can see the ocean/water, you're fine to go shirtless. But the minute you step indoors, cover up. Don't worry, you can still show off your gains, you've just got to be tactical and choose the right shirt.
As for going shirtless at the gym... we're all for it, no matter what the court of public opinion decides. Nothing feels better or freer. Go. For. Gold!