A Farewell To Arms

Though technically not one of the most outstanding things I’ve ever seen in the gym, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s visit to my high school in 1991 definitely ranks up there as one of my top moments in bodybuilding.

Arnold’s limo arrived at the football field and drove the long way around the track. Finally, Arnold got out of the car. He surveyed the crowd and announced into the mike: “I see a flabalanche!”

After Arnold completed his address, the president of the senior class presented him with a school t-shirt. Arnold held up the shirt by each sleeve and declared, “I never accept a shirt without trying it on first.” At this point, I thought we were about to be treated to an impromptu posing routine by the greatest bodybuilder of all time. Unfortunately, Arnold just pulled the t-shirt over what he was wearing. I guess Arnold figured that at age 43, there was no need for reality to eclipse the legend.

Still, he did not disappoint. Arnold electrified the crowd by hitting a huge double bicep pose – the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen in a short sleeved shirt.

Of course, Arnold’s signature muscle is his bicep. He credits his arms, the peak of his biceps, with winning him championships. Nevertheless, Arnold also worked hard to build a well balanced physique. No bodybuilder advances in the sport without symmetry among all muscle groups.

In fact, I don’t think the typical fitness amateur accomplishes much without giving appropriate attention to each body part. Your respect for a fellow gym member declines real fast as your eyes shift from his bulging arms to his A-cup chest. Similarly, guys with big upper bodies betray their lack of seriousness with their scrawny bottom halves.

The general population’s obsession with arms certainly makes for some pointless workouts. I’m always amazed when I can finish an entire leg routine while a couple guys take turns doing barbell bicep curls at a neighboring squat rack. Ok guys, you’re right: It’s the eighth set of curls that’s going to make the difference.

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One Response to A Farewell To Arms

  1. Donnie says:

    I’ve never understood guys in the gym that only work the “mirror muscles”. Granted, I love legs and love working legs, but that doesn’t mean I work them harder and more often than other bodyparts. That would leave me not proportional.