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?
Love the post!
I’ve stopped trying to lose weight and trying to look good, but I still go to the gym every day because I love being strong. Not freakishly strong but practically strong…strong enough to change the huge water cooler at work and not having to call a man to help me, being able to move furniture around my house unassisted…that kind of thing.
I just went through your archives. I agree with you on people spending a lot of time working on smaller muscle groups. Which I really don’t get. I mean…what exactly can you do in real life with big biceps?
I am a big fan of squats and lunges, push ups and pull ups.
Btw I left the wrong link up there, I just recently started a workout journal, it’s http;//selfinflictedpain.wordpress.com. I’d appreciate suggestions.
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