When you talk to your grandmother about bodybuilding, she thinks of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the guy who made the muscle flexing festival popular, and in most countries his name is a symbol of big biceps and massive pecs. He had a superior structure, and some even argue that he destroys the modern gutbuilding pros despite being 50 lbs or so lighter. Question is, what did Arnold do to gain that “money” muscle?
A while back I read an article which had the same intention in mind – to tell the uneducated crowd what Arnold did to build them big and thick fibers. Strangely, the publication forgot to mention that Arnold used steroids, lots of them. Writing an article about how professional bodybuilders achieve muscular growth without mentioning steroids is like teaching someone how to ride a bicycle without tyres.
Everybody makes sure to mention Arnold’s popular quotes, including the one which compares the muscle pump from training to sexual culmination, but nobody ever talks about his confession to drug usage. In case you forgot, here’s the video:
As you can see in the clip Arnold admitted to using steroids. Of course, he also downplays the role of drugs, but trust me – they were important even at that period of time.
Bodybuilding is a sport built on drugs. Without steroids, there’s no bodybuilding. If somehow all steroids used by bodybuilders are removed from the sport and sucked down the abyss, bodybuilders will start looking anorexic to you. That’s because we are used to seeing mass monsters.
Back in the day I actually experienced similar jet lag. I was used to the videos of big men pumping muscles, and whenever I looked at true natural bodybuilders they appeared as malnourished pigeons. It’s a mind trick illustrating the effect those images and propaganda have on the perception of the young jedis looking to build impressive bodies.
So, what’s Oak’s secret?
Arnold did regular super high volume workouts, chased the pump, took a bunch of steroids and flexed his muscles in front of gym mirrors. That’s it. His superior genetics and good bone structure also helped a lot and created a look that is still on the cover of muscle magazines right to this very day.
Muscle magazines a.k.a. supplement catalogs will make sure to school you on how Arnold made it happen. There are many routines promising exceptional results. I’ve even heard of a bodybuilding program which was supposed to elongate your lower biceps and make them full like Arnold’s. Little do they know that this is almost impossible because the determinant factor is actually the length of the muscle bellies and tendons. This cannot be changed without surgery, and you have you to be pretty stupid to do it.
The result? A bunch of wannabes pumping muscles and feeling nostalgic about the “golden days”, even though they were born 30 years later. To this day there are delusional muscle worshipers who have posters of Arnold in their rooms. “One day I will make it! I will become a guy with big muscles and lots of money. All I have to do is follow Arnold’s six rules to success, take my protein powder and pump my muscles”, said Johnnie while measuring his biceps one day after starting a creatine loading phase.
Dream on. It’s never going to happen. It’s not supposed to. People always forget that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. We only see the movie, but the camera crew, the special effects and the hospital visits are always hidden, as they are not intended to be part of the spell casted on us.
There are about 199, 565, 332 people doing the same thing Arnold did training wise, but they are not going to become movie stars. Most are not even going to be famous in their gym let alone on a world stage.
To get to Arnold’s level you have to “break the rules”, which ironically is one of Arnold’s rules to success. However, the level of sacrifice is much higher than you may think. Anyway you look at it, you don’t get to the high floors without some element of selling out. You want to play, you gotta pay. You don’t join the club of THE BIG BOYS for free. If people only new what it takes to be famous, they would run away from fame as fast as a bodybuilder runs from a drug test.
So, what can we learn from Arnold about building muscle?
Pump and steroids.
P.S. I don’t know how you will survive this sick knowledge bomb.