Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel W. Fussell

By Samuel W. Fussell

Publish yr note: First released in 1991

A hilarious and harrowing firsthand account of the eccentric global of hardcore bodybuilding

while blue-blooded, storklike Samuel Wilson Fussell arrived in manhattan urban clean from the collage of Oxford, the airy younger graduate gave the look of the final individual on the earth who will be attracted to bodybuilding. yet he used to be intimidated through the hazards of the city—and made up our minds to cope with it. At twenty-six, Fussell walked into the YMCA health club. 4 good years of extensive education, protein powders, and steroid injections later, he had received 80 kilos of natural muscle and was once competing for bodybuilding titles.

And but, with forearms like bowling pins and calves like watermelons, Fussell felt weaker than ever ahead of. His punishing routine of routines, medicinal drugs, and nutrition had decreased him to near-infant-like helplessness and immobility, leaving him hungry, nauseated, and susceptible to outbursts of " 'roid rage." yet he had come to prevail, and there has been no backing down now.

Alternately humorous and interesting, Muscle is the real tale of 1 man's obsession with the pursuit of perfection. With perception, wit, and clean candor, Fussell ushers readers into the wild international of juicers and fitness center rats who sacrifice their lives, minds, our bodies, and souls to their desires of glory in Southern California's so-called iron mecca.

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Additional info for Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder

Sample text

They looked bowlegged, absurdly stiff, and infinitely menacing. At the corner light, they stopped and turned. “Go on, now,” Mousie said, encouraging me. Fledgling builder that I was, I followed. I too jutted my arms out from my sides, keeping my elbows on the same line as my shoulders. I too carefully walked with my legs spread far apart to prevent the horrors of inner-thigh chafing from the immense size of the quadriceps. I utilized The Arnold Mental Visualization Principle and imagined myself an itinerant pillbox.

Sweepea pinched and prodded my aching body. He delivered his verdict with a sad shake of his head. “He’s an ecto, man. ” I felt thoroughly defeated. I recognized the term from the magazines. They were filled with geneticspeak, classifying every human being into three basic body types: endomorphs, the naturally obese; mesomorphs, those born stocky and muscular; and ectomorphs, the lanky and bony. According to bodybuilding lore, you can change the way you look through weights, and racial stock might be taken into consideration (with advantages to Italians, Germans and Blacks), but of the three basic body types, ectomorphs have the most problems gaining muscle mass.

My “personalized program” emphasized the bench press, the deadlift, and the squat, the three major power movements in the gym. They also just happened to be the three most painful movements in the gym. Under Mousie and Sweepea’s care, I learned to wrap my knees, rise, and approach the squat rack “so angry you could spit tacks,” as Mousie put it. Then, attacking the weight, I burrowed the back of my neck below the bar and ripped it off the rack, resting the whole weight just beneath my shoulders.

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