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In Pursuit of Muscle

Bigger, stronger, leaner, and we always want it all faster. Everyone who writes for IRON MAN is locked into the same series of challenges. How do we make our workouts more effective? How do I make my diet work better for my changing metabolism? What supplements work best for me? How do I stay motivated? What about that nagging injury that always seems to flare up when I’m really on a role with my workout? What does that do to my head?

What makes those challenges so intriguing are the variables. Let’s look at the biggest ones. Some, like genetics, are relatively fixed, but so is the passing of time. Time brings experience and shuffles the variables deck. The reality is that the mix of challenges is changing just as you change—and there’s no absolute solution, only a set of tools. That’s what the bodybuilding lifestyle is all about: a set of tools. For us here at IRON MAN, it’s all about using those tools in the pursuit.

Goals evolve with time, and so do the workouts. Anyone who’s trained for years knows the feeling—the “best” workout suddenly doesn’t do it, doesn’t feel good. Waning enthusiasm signals a need for a change.

Arnold has lived a life of supreme accomplishment because he’s taken the “stay hungry” philosophy of the gym and applied it to everything he does. To Arnold the bodybuilding lifestyle is an idea and philosophy that have evolved from the gym to business and then to government, as he himself has evolved. As he said to me in a recent conversation, “The rules and tools don’t change. They are the center of my actions.” They are Arnold’s foundation and compass—he depends on the skills created and perfected in the gym.

Arnold’s workouts have evolved to fit his present needs, but as he’s said, it’s still about joy—he enjoys his workout. That’s something we should all keep in mind; the work should produce more than muscle and physical strength. Arnold always talks about the workout also being mental and emotional training. Toughness, resilience, focus and joy—those are the other side of the physical coin and are no less important than the purely physical. In Arnold’s mind they’re more important.

As we go to press, the Governors’ Conference in Washington has just concluded. With 50 governors attending, Arnold was part of a small handful who made a real impression, as reported in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. He did it the way he always does it—by focusing on the problem and doing it with joy.

That last point, Arnold’s perpetual joyfulness, comes from his enjoyment at getting stuff done. As he’s said to me about government in general, “They get lost.” Ideology is fine, but the “bottom line” (another favorite term) is that we are here to serve the greater good, and that takes a global but focused view based on reality.

IRON MAN strives to collect and deliver information that you can use to further your pursuit of becoming bigger, stronger, leaner, faster. This issue contains an abundance of tools that will help you live your own “bodybuilding lifestyle.” Enjoy! IM

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