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Book Review: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

arnold encylopedia or modern bodybuildingGuest post by Ted Hessing

I know, I know, you’re probably here for Josh’s amusing interviews, blogging challenges, and or beautifully poignant battles with Tourrette’s. Maybe some of you agree that Deadlifts can save your soul but there is no way you’re interested in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding or any of that nonsense. [For those who are, please bear with me for a minute ;’) ] How about success? Are you interested in a handbook to dominate a field, any field? Read on.

I should have just said Arnold. You don’t even have to give a last name. He’s an icon – a man who revolutionized (some say re-created) the sport of bodybuilding, action films, and perhaps even American politics. Best known for his brawn, few understand the brain that powers his success. For anyone interested in how a boy in a small, post-war town can accomplish so much, The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding is an excellent primer. Remember, when Arnold was elected Governor of California, French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac commented to the Economist “That’s not nothing.” This encylopedia provides and excellent insight to the method and manners

Ostensibly the book is about bodybuilding. And yes, there is a TON of excellent and pertinent bodybuilding material inside these pages. There are comprehensive workouts for every strength training athlete and a definitive guide to exercises of every shade for every body part imaginable complete with incredible pictures of the legends of this sport demonstrating proper technique. There is diet advice and competition strategy galore. I remember losing myself for hours in the pictorial history offered.

But that’s not all the Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding is about.

As pro bodybuilder Doug Wentz once told me “At this level everybody has talent.” By that Mr. Wentz meant that at the highest levels of competition, psychology is paramount to physiology. Dear World’s Strongest Librarian readers, can you possibly imagine any other examples where this is true? <cough, cross train your life, anyone?>…

Aside from real, practical knowledge on how to shape a body to your own demands and expectations, the real treat of this book is learning a master’s approach at attacking and surmounting a challenge. Philosophical thoughts that every high-energy producer faces in his or her life from ‘what is worth doing, and why’ to ‘how to turn subjective values to objective goals’ are broached implicitly. As you learn Arnold’s take on the sport, what it takes to be successful there, and how he defeated numerous challengers through out is career so, too, will you discover his implicit answers. Pure gold either as a motivational testament or as a case study in excellence.

Bodybuilders will certainly not be disappointed. Fans, admirers, and even detractors will be amazed equally and alike.

About The Author:

Ted Hessing amuses himself (and others) by pursuing goals like swimming 5 miles in open ocean or being Indiana Jones for a week and then writing about the results at Cubicle Warrior. You should stop by and say hello – he gets into trouble without adult supervision.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Larry Clark September 29, 2010, 2:36 pm

    Damn, I was just here, and you pounded out another book review. I wish I could focus like that and spit them out daily….Practice makes progress.

  • Ted Hessing September 30, 2010, 8:45 am

    That’s ’cause 1) Josh is a one-man wrecking machine and 2) he asked for some guest posting help!