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Perspective and Balance

I believe, as Peary and Mabel Rader, IRON MAN’s founders, believed, that this magazine is about much more than just building bigger, stronger muscles. That’s because the workout is a hub that creates both a physical reality and many intangibles.

The process of getting stronger and building muscle is a physical, mental and emotional journey. It is transformational, and the end product is literally a new and improved you. Bodybuilding and its cotransformer, nutrition, are powerful agents for change. The workout is the precursor of growth—but growth isn’t optimal unless scientific nutrition and supplementation are part of the hub.

The hub is the center of change. It alters the spokes with its whole body/mind effect and affects how the spokes attach to the rim. The rim can be seen as your life. If you’re not first and foremost strong and healthy, the rest of your life cannot be as productive and rewarding as it could be; that is, the spokes will be weakened, and the rim won’t be "true"—you will be "out of round." Your life’s balance will be altered.

That doesn’t mean that the workout-nutrition hub should take up all of the space. The hub is the core of the wheel’s strength, but it’s not the whole wheel. Also, the hub will be larger for younger bodybuilders than for older ones; the older you get, the more you have going on in your life.

I talk with bodybuilders who range in age from 12 to 80-plus, and they all talk of the hub and how it has changed and enriched their lives. They may not call it that, but it is a point from which the rest of their lives radiate. The barbell, plus nutrition, has the potential to transform anyone who will work at it in an intelligent way. As my dear friend, the late iron guru Vince Gironda, once told me, "The barbell looks dumb, but you have to be smart to use it correctly."

Everyone who works out with weights, whether machines or free weights, is a bodybuilder. Those are the tools of the bodybuilder, and they’re involved in the transformation, even if the trainee is "just" training to stay in shape. The younger bodybuilder wants maximum development in the shortest possible time, while the older bodybuilder sees progress as a multifaceted gem.

The size of the hub varies with the goals of the individual just as the number and content of spokes that radiate from it are chosen by the individual. The rim that attaches to those spokes is the culmination of the choices. The balance of the wheel is yours to create. IM

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