Thursday, June 22, 2023

The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding

It's clear that muscle mass is negatively correlated with mortality. I don't know if the link is causal, but I think there's a decent chance that it is. With that in mind, I've decided to put some effort into increasing my muscle mass. To learn as much as I can about doing so in the smartest way possible, I turned to perhaps the greatest bodybuilder of all-time.

Arnold Schwartzenegger is from a small town in Austria. He idolized American bodybuilders (especially Reg Park, who parlayed his bodybuilding fame into playing Hercules in a film, which young Arnold watched as a child), and made it his mission to become one of them. He hit the gyms and eventually started working out with other bodybuilders and they all helped each other get stronger through experimentation.

Arnold has shared these learnings with the world in his book, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. It is fantastic!

I've done cardio workouts all my life through sports, but I've never really done any weight training. The book had everything I needed to know to get started. I've already referred to it many times as I have been ramping up my resistance workouts since buying a gym membership about a month ago.

But it's not just aimed at beginners like me. While I'm working towards his Basic Training workouts (with the help of Youtube to teach me some of the more complicated exercises), there is an Advanced Training section and also a Competitive Training section (which I don't really aspire to reach, but to each their own!) for those who are really serious!

But even the Basic Training is going to keep me busy for a while. For example, every third workout I'm supposed to do 50 chinups across as many sets as neccessary. Starting out, I could only do 4. After just a few weeks following his methods/suggestions, I'm now up to 9 and feeling great about it!

The gym has never been an interesting place for me. But with the improvements I'm seeing, I'm now excited to the hit the gym and get a great rush when I hit new levels.

The book clocks in at 800 pages but it's got a lot of pictures and sections that won't apply to everyone.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the possibility of increasing their healthspan/lifespan.

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