Here’s another imaginary email from a simulated reader that I found quite interesting:
What a great post about Arnold. I really enjoyed those classic pictures. I just wanted to comment that I hope you’re not saying we should all bulk up like Arnold. I’m trying to tone up a little, but I have no interest in looking like a bodybuilder. I don’t want to get too big.
Average in Albuquerque
Average, I couldn’t agree with you more. Like you, I also strive in my affairs to be neither too rich nor too good looking.
In fact, a great many people apparently live in fear that they may wake up one morning with a chiseled physique. Almost daily, I hear a group of guys at the gym, leaning against the equipment, chatting about how they really have no desire to get “big.” When I share with co-workers my passion for fitness, the conversation frequently lapses into how they bypass the gym due to the risk of packing on mass.
I believe it was bodybuilding pro Mike Matarazzo who summed up exactly what is required to get big: 1) freakish genetics and 2) use of anabolic steroids. I would also add to his list tremendous heart, drive and commitment to the sport.
Women especially should stop using outsized muscularity as an excuse for a spotty gym record. In females, low testosterone levels make extreme muscle growth virtually impossible.
Finally, I really haven’t heard a strong case against a powerful physique, even if it were possible for the average man to achieve. What is the downside of broad shoulders, an intimidating profile, a waist and set of glutes that looks great in jeans?
If you’re only going to go through life once, why not do it with big arms?