Sunday, June 5, 2011


I've been reading the book Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder again and today I shall talk about it. Basically this is the story of a skinny college grad who's journey into bodybuilding takes him into bizarre and dizzying lows. The young lad graduated an Ivy League college and finds himself in New York scared of everything around him. He can not go a day without the fear of being attacked or mugged, so this fear led him into the YMCA where his plan is to get so grotesquely swole up that no one will ever mess with him. He takes up with the biggest guys there and very quickly rises among the gym's ranks. He turns his back on his job with a publishing company, his family, and his entire upbringing as he takes residence inside a tiny little basement in order to continue his quest for ludicrous size. After hitting a plateau, he decides to head to California to break the plateau and continue growing forever. While there, he moves in with three bodybuilders who all use steroids heavily and get him started on it. And finally comes the competitions, they being the bench press in addition to the tiny pants one. At that point, the realization that this is all been one long joke finally hits him backstage before a bodybuilding competition. After finishing on stage, he ultimately walked away from bodybuilding and back into the life he led back in the beginning of the story.

While this may or may not be partially fabricated doesn't really matter. I really enjoyed the read. This guy peppers his college learning and thus observations throughout his experiences. I really liked the blunt and pointed psychological observations as I tend to think a lot in that same fashion.

I understood being skinny and wanting to overcome that and thankfully I have the mind to know that there will be a stopping point for me. I have no desire to morph into a muscle balloon like the author, and is largely due to the fact that I am not doing it out of fear. I also have no desire to walk across a stage mostly naked showing off my body and have no idea why that seems to be the end all of muscle building. You can be built up and not have to have your body judged while you flex for an audience.

Anyway, I recommend the read if you are into fitness and are a total nerd, like myself.

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