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Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Arnold Schwarzenegger
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Chapter One

"Arnold! Arnold!"

I can still hear them, the voices of my friends, the lifeguards, bodybuilders, the weight lifters, booming up from the lake where they were working out in the grass and trees.

"Arnold -- come on!" cried Karl, the young doctor who had become my friend at the gym...

It was the summer I turned fifteen, a magical season for me because that year I'd discovered exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It was more than a young boy's mere pipe dream of a distant, hazy future -- confused fantasies of being a fireman, detective, sailor, test pilot, or spy. I knew I was going to be a bodybuilder. It wasn't simply that either. I would be the best bodybuilder in the world, the greatest, the best-built man.

I'm not exactly sure why I chose bodybuilding, except that I loved it. I loved it from the first moment my fingers closed around a barbell and I felt the challenge and exhilaration of hoisting the heavy steel plates above my head.

I had always been involved in sports through my father, a tall, sturdy man who was himself a champion at ice curling. We were a physical family, oriented toward training, good eating, and keeping the body fit and healthy. With my father's encouragement, I first got into organized competitive sports when I was ten. I joined a soccer team that even had uniforms and a regular three-days-a-week training schedule. I threw myself into it and played soccer passionately for almost five years.

However, by the time I was thirteen team sports no longer satisfied me. I was already off on an individual trip. I disliked it when we won a game and I didn't get personal recognition. The only time I really felt rewarded was when I was singled out as being best. I decided to try some individual sports. I ran, I swam, I boxed; I got into competition, throwing javelin and shot put. Although I did well with them, none of those things felt right to me. Then our coach decided that lifting weights for an hour once a week would be a good way to condition us for playing soccer.

I still remember that first visit to the bodybuilding gym. I had never seen anyone lifting weights before. Those guys were huge and brutal. I found myself walking around them, staring at muscles I couldn't even name, muscles I'd never even seen before. The weight lifters shone with sweat; they were powerful looking, Herculean. And there it was before me -- my life, the answer I'd been seeking. It clicked. It was something I suddenly just seemed to reach out and find, as if I'd been crossing a suspended bridge and finally stepped off onto solid ground.

I started lifting weights just for my legs, which was what we needed most for playing soccer. The bodybuilders noticed immediately how hard I was working out. Considering my age, fifteen, I was squatting with some pretty heavy weight. They encouraged me to go into bodybuilding. I was 6 feet tall and slender, weighing only 150 pounds; but I did have a good athletic physique and my muscles responded surprisingly fast under training. I think those guys saw that. Because of my build I'd always had it easier at sports than most boys my age. But I had it tougher than a lot of my teammates and companions because I wanted more, I demanded more of myself.

That summer the bodybuilders took me on as their protégé. They put me through a series of exercises, which we did together beside a lake near Graz, my hometown in Austria. It was a program they used simply to stay limber. We worked without weights. We did chin-ups on the branches of trees. We held each other's legs and did handstand push-ups. Leg raises, sit-ups, twists, and squats were all included in a simple routine to get our bodies tuned and ready for the gym.

It wasn't until the end of the summer that I got into real weight training. Once I started, though, it didn't take long. After two or three months with the bodybuilders, I was literally addicted. The guys I hung out with were all much older. Karl Gerstl, the doctor, was twenty-eight, Kurt Manul thirty-two, and Helmut Knaur was fifty. Each of them became a father image for me. I listened less to my own father. These weight lifters were my new heroes. I was in awe of them, of their size, of the control they had over their bodies.

I was introduced to actual weight training through a tough basic program put together by these bodybuilders. The one hour a week we had trained for soccer was no longer enough to satisfy my craving for working out. I signed up to go to the gym three times a week. I loved the feel of the cold iron and steel warming to my touch and the sounds and smells of the gym. And I still love it. There is nothing I would sooner hear than the sound of heavy steel plates ringing as they are threaded onto the bar or dropped back to the rack after a strenuous lift.

I remember the first real workout I had as vividly as if it were last night. I rode my bike to the gym, which was eight miles from the village where I lived. I used barbells, dumbbells and machines. The guys warned me that I'd get sore, but it didn't seem to be having any effect. I thought I must be beyond that. Then, after the workout, I started riding home and fell off my bike. I was so weak I couldn't make my hands hold on. I had no feeling in my legs: they were noodles. I was numb, my whole body buzzing. I pushed the bike for a while, leaning on it. Half a mile farther, I tried to ride it again, fell off again, and then just pushed it the rest of the way home. This was my first experience with weight training, and I was crazy for it.

The next morning I couldn't even lift my arm to comb my hair. Each time I tried, pain shot through every muscle in my shoulder and arm. I couldn't hold the comb. I tried to drink coffee and spilled it all over the table. I was helpless.

"What's wrong, Arnold?" my mother asked. She came over from the stove and peered at me. "What is it?" She bent down to look closer as she mopped up the spilled coffee.

"I'm just sore," I told her. "My muscles are stiff."

"Look at this boy!" she called out to my father. "Look what he's doing to himself."

My father came in, doing up his tie. He was always neat, his hair slicked back smooth, his mustache trimmed to a line. He laughed and said I'd limber up.

But my mother kept on. "Why, Arnold? Why do you want to do it to yourself?"

I couldn't be bothered with what my mother felt. Seeing new changes in my body, feeling them, turned me on. It was the first time I'd ever felt every one of my muscles. It was the first time those sensations had registered in my mind, the first time my mind knew my thighs, calves and forearms were more than just limbs. I felt the muscles in my triceps aching, and I knew why they were called triceps -- because there are three muscles in there. They were all registered in my mind, written there with sharp little jabs of pain. I learned that this pain meant progress. Each time my muscles were sore from a workout, I knew they were growing.

I could not have chosen a less popular sport. My school friends thought I was crazy. But I didn't care. My only thoughts were of going ahead, building muscles and more muscles. I had almost no time to relax and think about bodybuilding in any other terms. I remember certain people trying to put negative thoughts into my mind, trying to persuade me to slow down. But I had found the thing to which I wanted to devote my total energies and there was no stopping me. My drive was unusual, I talked differently than my friends; I was hungrier for success than anyone I knew.

I started to live for being in the gym. I had a new language -- reps, sets, forced reps, presses. I had resisted memorizing anatomy in school; now I was eager to know it. Around the gym my new friends spoke of biceps, triceps, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, obliques. I spent hours going through the American magazines Muscle Builder and Mr. America. Karl, the doctor, knew English and I had him translating anytime he was free. I saw my first photographs of Muscle Beach; I saw Larry Scott, Ray Routledge, and Serge Nubret. The magazines were full of success stories. The advantages of having a well-developed body were incomparable. Guys like Doug Stroll and Steve Reeves were in the movies because they had worked out and created great physiques.

In one of those magazines I saw my first photograph of Reg Park. He was on a page facing Jack Delinger. I responded immediately to Reg Park's rough, massive look. The man was an animal. That's the way I wanted to be -- ultimately: big. I wanted to be a big guy. I didn't want to be delicate. I dreamed of big deltoids, big pecs, big thighs, big calves; I wanted every muscle to explode and be huge. I dreamed about being gigantic. Reg Park was the epitome of that dream, the biggest, most powerful person in bodybuilding.

From then on in my mid-teens, I kept my batteries charged with the adventure movies of Steve Reeves, Mark Forrest, Brad Harris, Gordon Mitchell, and Reg Park. I admired Reg Park more than the others. He was rugged, everything I thought a man should be. I recall seeing him for the first time on the screen. The film was Hercules and the Vampires, a picture in which the hero had to rid the earth of an invasion of thousands of bloodthirsty vampires. Reg Park looked so magnificent in the role of Hercules I was transfixed. And, sitting there in the theater, I knew that was going to be me. I would look like Reg Park. I studied every move he made, every gesture....Suddenly I realized the house lights were on and everyone else had walked out.

From that point on, my life was utterly dominated by Reg Park. His image was my ideal. It was fixed indelibly in my mind. All my friends were more impressed by Steve Reeves, but I didn't like him. Reg Park had more of a rough look, a powerful look, while Steve Reeves seemed elegant, smooth, polished. I knew in my mind that I was not geared for elegance. I wanted to be massive. It was the difference between cologne and sweat.

I found out everything I could about Reg Park. I bought all the magazines that published his programs. I learned how he started training, what he ate, how he lived, and how he did his workouts. I became obsessed with Reg Park; he was the image in front of me from the time I started training. The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw it was real and possible for me to be like him. Even Karl and Kurt could see it. They predicted that it would happen within five years.

But I didn't think I could wait five years. I had this insatiable drive to get there sooner. Whereas most people were satisfied to train two or three times a week, I quickly escalated my program to six workouts a week.

My father was baffled by my eagerness. "Don't do it, Arnold," he said. "You'll overtrain, you'll overwork yourself."

"I'm all right," I said. "I'm doing it gradually."

"Yes," he said. "But what will you do with all these muscles once you've got them?"

"I want to be the best-built man in the world," I said frankly.

That made him sigh and shake his head.

"Then I want to go to America and be in movies. I want to be an actor."


"Yes -- America."

"My god!" he cried. He went into the kitchen and told my mother, "I think we better go to the doctor with this one, he's sick in the head."

He was genuinely worried about me. He felt I wasn't normal. And of course he was right. With my desire and my drive, I definitely wasn't normal. Normal people can be happy with a regular life. I was different. I felt there was more to life than just plodding through an average existence. I'd always been impressed by stories of greatness and power. Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon were names I knew and remembered. I wanted to do something special, to be recognized as the best. I saw bodybuilding as the vehicle that would take me to the top, and I put all my energy into it.

Six days a week, I trained, constantly working to increase the amount of weight I could handle and the length of time I could stay in the gym. I had this fixed idea of building a body like Reg Park's. The model was there in my mind; I only had to grow enough to fill it. My dreams went beyond a spectacular body. Once I had that, I knew what it would do for me. I'd get into the movies and build gymnasiums all over the world. I'd create an empire.

Reg Park became my father image. I pasted his pictures on all the walls of my bedroom. I read everything about him that was printed in German; I had Karl translate the English stories for me. I studied every photograph of him I could get my hands on -- noting the size of his chest, arms, thighs, back and abdominals. This inspired me to work even harder. When I felt my lungs burning as though they would burst and my veins bulging with blood, I loved it. I knew then that I was growing, making one more step toward becoming like Reg Park. I wanted that body and I didn't care what I had to go through to get it.

That winter my father informed me I could only go to the gym three times a week -- he didn't want me away from home every evening. To get around his curfew, I put together a gymnasium at home.

The house we lived in was three hundred years old. It had been built originally by part of the Royal family. Upon moving out years before, they had stipulated that two people should inhabit the house: the Chief of Police for the area around Graz, a position my father held at that time, and the ranger in charge of all forests in the vicinity. For a hundred years it had been the custom for these two people to stay there. Our family lived upstairs and the forest ranger had the downstairs.

The house was built like a castle. The floors were solid and the walls were about five feet thick. It was a good place to have a gymnasium. The walls and floor could take the punishment of heavy weight. I had the basic equipment, such as benches and simple machines, designed and welded for me. My weight room was not heated, so naturally in cold weather it was freezing. I didn't care. I trained without heat, even on days when the temperature went below zero.

Three nights a week I went to the gym in town. I either had to walk or ride my bike eight miles home after ten o'clock. I didn't really mind the eight miles. I knew it was helping my body, increasing the strength of my legs and lungs.

The only real problem I had with training at home was to get someone to work out with me. Already, since my experiences at the lake, I was a strong believer in training partners. I needed someone not only to teach me but to inspire me. I trained better, harder, if I was around someone whose enthusiasm was as strong as mine and who would be impressed by my enthusiasm. That first winter, I trained with Karl Gerstl, the doctor who had helped me with my initial program. Aside from his usefulness as a translator, it was especially helpful to be around Karl. He knew everything about the body. He was serious and worked hard. We trained the same way, except our goals and our diets were different: I wanted to gain weight, to bulk up; Karl wanted to lose it. But Karl gave me the boost I needed.

There were certain days when something held me back and I didn't train as hard as on other days. That was inexplicable to me. Some days nothing could hold me back. Other days I'd be down. On the down days I couldn't handle anywhere near my normal amount of weight. It puzzled me. Karl and I discussed it. He had read a great deal of psychology (at fifteen I barely knew the word, though his argument made good sense and in fact helped lay the foundation for my later thinking). "It's not your body, Arnold. Your body can't change that much from one day to the next. It's in your mind. On some days your goals are just clearer. On the bad days you need someone to help get you going. It's like when you ride a bicycle behind a bus and get caught up in the slipstream. The wind sucks you along with it. You just need some prodding, some challenge."

Karl was right. Every month, I had at least a week when I didn't really want to train and I questioned myself: Why should I train hard if I don"t feel like it? These were the days Karl pulled me out of it. He'd say, "Man, I feel great today! I want to do bench presses. Let's do twenty-five instead of twenty. How about a contest? Ten shillings to the one who does the most bench presses."

It worked perfectly. He forced me to get off my butt, to get my sluggish body moving. It became extremely important to have somebody standing behind me saying, "Let's do more, Arnold. Come on -- another set, one more rep." And it was just as important for me to help somebody else. Watching him work out, encouraging him, somehow drove me on to do an even tougher set.

I discovered that the secret of successful workouts had to do with competition. For me there was never any monkey business. I wanted to compete in bodybuilding. The small competitions with Karl took me i rom day to day. But my first goal was to win Mr. Austria (in the end, I never even entered the contest -- by then circumstances had already taken me beyond it). This initial goal inspired me to increase my program and steadily work harder. My training sessions stretched out to two hours a day. I kept adding weight, increasing the number of reps, bombing my muscles furiously.

From the beginning, I was a believer in the basic movements, because that was Reg Park's preference. At the times Reg hadn't accelerated his workouts for some major competition, he would stay with the basic exercises -- bench presses, chin-ups, squats, rowing, barbell curls, wrist curls, pullovers, leg extensions, calf raises. These were the movements that worked most directly on all the body parts. I was following his example to the letter. And as it turned out, I could hardly have chosen more wisely. The basic exercises were creating for me a rugged foundation, a core of muscle I could later build upon for a winning body. Reg Park's theory was that first you have to build the mass and then chisel it down to get the quality; you work on your body the way a sculptor would work on a piece of clay or wood or steel. You rough it out -- the more carefully, the more thoroughly, the better -- then you start to cut and define. You work it down gradually until it's ready to be rubbed and polished. And that's when you really know about the foundation. Then all the faults of poor early training stand out as hopeless, almost irreparable flaws.

I was building up, bulking, going after the mass, which to me meant 250 pounds of sheer body weight. At that time, I didn't care about my waist or anything else that would give me a symmetrical look. I just wanted to build a gigantic 250-pound body by handling a lot of weight and blasting my muscles. My mind was into looking huge, into being awesome and powerful. I saw it working. My muscles began bursting out all over. And I knew I was on my way.

Copyright © 1977 by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Douglas Kent Hall

Présentation de l'éditeur

Five-time Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia, and Mr. World, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the name in bodybuilding. Here is his classic bestselling autobiography, which explains how the “Austrian Oak” came to the sport of bodybuilding and aspired to be the star he has become.

I still remember that first visit to the bodybuilding gym. I had never seen anyone lifting weights before. Those guys were huge and brutal….The weight lifters shone with sweat; they were powerful looking, Herculean. And there it was before me—my life, the answer I'd been seeking. It clicked. It was something I suddenly just seemed to reach out and find, as if I'd been crossing a suspended bridge and finally stepped off onto solid ground.

Arnold shares his fitness and training secrets—demonstrating with a comprehensive step-by-step program and dietary hints how to use bodybuilding for better health. His program includes a special four-day regimen of specific exercises to develop individual muscle groups—each exercise illustrated with photos of Arnold in action.

For fans and would-be bodybuilders, this is Arnold in his own words.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 42502 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 256 pages
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster; Édition : Reprint (17 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007USA6RC
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°125.801 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un achat que vous ne regreterez pas 7 novembre 2004
Par Battle48
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce livre est en fait divisé en 2 parties.
Une partie autobiographique (riche intéressante et vraiment agréable à lire) et une partie decrivant plusieurs programmes pour démarrer le culturisme et qui permet de savoir comment Arnold effectue les exercices de bases.
La première partie est vraiment pleins de petis détails qui raviront les fans, bien racconté a la première personne avec un style lèger.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The education of a bodybuilder 28 août 2012
Par Vitinho57
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Super bouquin du plus grand bodybuilder de tout les temps!
Dans la première partie du livre, Arnold nous raconte comment il est entré dans le monde du bodybuilding et surtout comment il est devenu le meilleur de tous.
La seconde partie du livre traitre des exercices de musculation mais sans vraiment entrer dans les détails. En effet, le but ici est de familiariser le lecteur avec la pratique du bodybuilding.Cependant, vous trouverez tout de même d'excellent conseils et astuces.
Je recommande donc ce livre à tous ceux qui souhaitent en savoir plus sur Mister Arnold et sur le bodybuilding en général.
Pour compléter ce livre, je vous suggère un autre livre d'Arnold: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Il s'agit vraiment d'une bible (+ de 800 pages)qui traite du bodybuilding de A à Z, qui vous soyez débutant ou confirmé ou simplement curieux.

Bonne lecture et bon entrainement à tous!
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Génial 9 janvier 2011
A very good book for those who want to know more about Arnold and bodybuilding I recommend it to all the fans ! un super livre sur Arnold et le bodybuilding je le recommande à tous les fans de Schwarzy ,en plus c'est un bon moyen pour perfectionner son anglais!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Traduction du livre 15 octobre 2015
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Je ne pourrai pas mieux dire en vous signalant que ce livre m'a tellement emballé que j'ai décidé d'en faire profiter mes compatriotes français en en faisant la traduction!
Le fait que ce livre si inspirant n'ait jamais été traduit dans notre langue est une véritable lacune que j'entends combler.
Il ne me reste plus que quelques corrections à faire avant de contacter Arnold pour qu'il me donne le feu vert afin de soumettre le manuscrit à un éditeur.
Sylvain PAFUMI
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  202 commentaires
68 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great motivational piece for any aspiring athlete 9 avril 1999
Par Tristan Heberlein (vatolocouno@juno.com) - Publié sur Amazon.com
The book is an autobiography of Arnold, up through the mid-70s. It is interesting to be inside the mind of a super-athlete such as Schwarzenegger. He conveys how and why he rose to become what many believe to be the greatest bodybuilder of all-time. He writes about many of the distractions of the early days -- girls, school, parental disaproval, a year of army duty -- and how he dealt with these and managed to stay focused on his dream to be the best at the sport.
Within five years he became Mr. Universe. He perservered to become more than just a great bodybuilder. He became a superstar. After he had beat every other bodybuilder of his time, he decided to do away with competing and accomplish his next set of goals. He went into acting, and as we all know, became an international moviestar. In addition he went into the promotion side of bodybuilding, running competions such as Mr. Olympia, Mr. Universe, and of course, the Arnold Classic. He also set up many gyms in several countries.
The second half of the book is a rough guide on how to begin a progressive resistance program, additional motivational advice, nutrition and the like.
Throughout the book he demonstrates the many benifits he obtained from bodybuilding -- optimal health, discipline, mind control, etc. Basically, I found it very inspirational to read. However, I would suggest not to solely rely on the information in the second half for workout planning. Though it is good information, it is somewhat brief, and it is WHAT WORKED FOR HIM. Everyone varies in their response to weight training (i.e. how quickly their muscles grow) due to genetic predispositions, such as natural metabolism level, and and I would suggest getting additional, more comprehensive information, such as Gold's Gym Mass Building Training and Nutrition System, or check your local bookstore and do some browsing through the selection to see what appeals to your interest.
123 internautes sur 132 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why I gave this book to my son... 26 septembre 2005
Par Charles Runels Md - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
When I finished my first year of college, I had dropped to 135 pounds (at 6 feet and 2 inches...more than 100 pounds lighter than Arnold and the same height). I was over motivated in my studies of chemistry in a premedicine curriculum and finished that first year exhausted with mononucleosis but with a 4.0 average.

But, I decided I would take a different strategy my second year of college. I bought this book (the summer of 1979) and studied it carefully. Here's what happened...

I spent the summer resting and then started school at 145 pounds. I determined to follow the book to the letter (even the going to bed and getting up at the same time...which doesn't make for the best social life for a college sophomore). I also watched my thoughts carefully and practiced some of the techniques that Arnold suggests as well as experimented with a few of my own.

When I finished that school year, I weighed 198 pounds and still sported a 29 inch wasit. People who saw me the summer after my second year of college who hadn't seen me since the previous summer, sometimes didn't recognize me.

I gained 53 to 63 pounds of muscle in one year (depending on when you start counting) and did it eating the diet described in this book. I even started with 6 weeks on the non-weights/calesthenic routine before lifting the weights. Then I spent the rest of the year doing the "beginner" routine. Oh, I didn't touch any anabolic steriods but supplemented with brewer's yeast, descicted liver, vitamin C, and Bee Pollen.

I took to heart the advice about record keeping and about eating at the same time with strict adherence to the diet recommended.

Now, at the age of 45, I still train almost daily, and still use some of the techniques I learned from this book (and teach them to my patients). Still have the 6-pack (though my sons joke with me when I blur out to a "4-pack" and start telling me to get in shape).

Here are some of the points that have been especially helpful...

1. Always leave yourself a little hungry when it comes to exercise (stop before you would like so you want to come back the next day). But, when in the gym train very intensely.

2. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate (it helps intensity and forces growth).

3. Don't let anywone get in the way of your most improtant dreams.

4. Eat and go to bed at the same time daily as much as possible (the body thrives on regularity).

5. Keep records. The records motivate you.

6. Use strict form.

My oldest son's hormones just kicked in (turned 13) and so I bought him this book (still have my old copy, but it's a trophy now that's torn and stained with sweat from 20 years ago and it's not for loan). I think men should celebrate their strength and their intelligence at whatever level nature has allowed them. In this book, Arnold teaches the development of brain and brawn.

Having followed Arnold (like many others) since he was more of a cult hero, it came as no surprise that he would gain a position of power and responsibility. In this book, he teaches the focus that made him a success in and out of the gym. This book helped me gain and maintain the health that I have now at age 45 (so that I might inspire my patients) and helped me go through medical school and grow stronger and healtier along the way.

Thank you Arnold...here's to you!!

Charles Runels, MD

Author of "Anytime...for as Long as You Want: Strength, Genius, Libido, & Erection by Integrative Sex Transmutation."
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Austrian Oak's inspirational story 23 mars 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Actually, Arnold wrote this book long before his Hollywood career took off. He tells an honest story about his life and career as a bodybuilder back in a time when bodybuilding was considered strange and obscure. Arnold helped shatter all the myths and stereotypes about the sport and realistically tells us how gruelling and demanding the sport really is. He is correct in accessing that certain body types have a better chance at succeeding while others have many obstacles to overcome. Sheer muscle mass is only part of the sport. Just as important is definition and symmetry. Arnold was blessed with just about perfect body symmetry so he was a natural. This doesn't mean he didn't work hard. In fact you'll gather inspiration as you read about him always pushing himself and striving to do better. Arnold is also not shy about some of the seedier elements that were around at the time he was in competition. Promises of contracts, endorsements, and money could disappear as fast as the unscrupulous businessman who took advantage of them. This is a great book about a great man and brought bodybuilding the dignity it deserves.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 How One Book "Shaped" A Life.... 11 octobre 2006
Par John P. Morgan - Publié sur Amazon.com
I received this book in 1980 when I was fifteen years old. The funny thing is, I don't really remember how it came to me. Did I receive it as a gift? Did I buy it? I don't really remember, all I remember is that I owned a copy of this book and it really changed my life.

I didn't have too many male influences in my life at the time. My dad during this time in my life was kind of absent. He was there physically, but not emotionally. I know now that he was still grieving the loss of my mother that had happened five years earlier, but when I was fifteen, I had no idea. I just thought and felt like I was somehow a burden in his life. When I was fifteen I was kinduv gawky. Think of Napoleon Dynamite without the glasses and the curly hair. I was 6'tall and weighed a whopping 105lbs....106 lbs if I didn't go to the bathroom that day. I was constantly teased and taunted about how skinny I was. I remember wanting to dig a hole in the backyard and not coming out of it until I was "really old" like 25...

But somehow this book appeared in my life and it was like I was given something magical. I literally "devoured" it. Maybe that's why I was so thin, I ate books rather than protein. But after reading it I decided that I wanted to workout. I had perfect symmetry. My arms, my chest, and my legs were all 13" around. So, I dragged out my dad's old weight bench and his barbells and dumbells and started working out with the advice I got from this book. At first, I worked out in secret. I didn't want to hear anything negative. I was so fragile. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, as well. The slightest comment could send me into a tailspin. So I worked out as soon as I got home from school when I knew I would be alone for at least two hours. Before working out I would just lay on the workout bench with my eyes closed and I just imagined myself being in great shape. In my mind I would "hear" people telling me how great I looked, how strong I had become, how "buffed" I was. I was visualizing my desired outcome even before I knew anything about visualizing. And when I had completed my little "mind trip" I started working out and I always seemed to have really great workouts. I mean, I had fun. It seemed like every workout I was getting stronger and stronger. In no time at all, I went from 105 lbs to 135 lbs. Other people began to notice changes in me. I noticed changes, as well. I seemed more confident and more relaxed. For the first time in my life, people actually wanted me on their teams in P.E. What was that all about? It felt great, but it also felt weird.

I kept reading this book and anything else that had to do with Arnold, Frank Zane, and Dennis Tinnerino(my favorite bodybuilders at the time). I finally let people in on my "secret" that I was working out. I joined a real gym when I was 16 and got even more results. But I noticed that I was no longer having fun working out. I almost made it like an obsession. I felt like I had to workout. I had to improve. I had to get better than I was previously. If for some reason I felt tired one day and didn't want to workout, I made myself feel like a loser because of it. I became really hyper-critical of myself and my efforts. At 18, I felt I had reached the "end of the road" of what I could do naturally and so I started taking steroids. I got really strong and really big really fast but I noticed that I was always angry and always upset. I really never put the two together.

A few months before my 22nd birthday, I had what some call an emotional breakdown but what I like to now term as an emotional breakthrough. I stopped taking steroids and immediately I saw myself getting smaller and weaker. All the gains I had made seemed to vanish overnight and I became even more depressed. I wanted to kill myself and I actually attempted suicide. I swallowed over 60 sleeping pills and drank a 750ml bottle of vodka, when I came to and I realized that my plan failed I became even more despondent.

And then about a few months later I was sitting in my dad's garage and I saw this book sitting in a box of other things that were mine and I looked at it and just smiled. I remembered how I loved to workout just because. I didn't have some magnificent obsession other than just wanting to workout. I read Arnold's book again and even though I must've read his words about training the mind twenty times before, nothing seemed to stick but somehow this time they grabbed hold of me and I had a realization that the body is absolutely nothing without the mind...without the soul...without the spirit...and it dawned on me that what the mind can believe, the body will acheieve. The body is simply a vehicle that the mind uses. And so I started working out again, but this time the focus was on having fun and enjoying the process. I didn't want to be a competitive bodybuilder. I wanted to be in great shape and look good with my shirt off, but I had no desire to stand up on stage in my underwear doing all kinds of poses and once I defined my focus, I began immediately getting into better and better shape.

But not only did I apply this "mind stuff" to working out, I applied it to every area of my life. And it worked in those areas, as well! You see, what makes Arnold such a genius is that he has focus and determination. He has natural gifts and abilities, but he uses them. We all have gifts and talents and abilities but instead of capitalizing on them, we say, "Oh, if only I won the lottery..." We won the lottery the day we were born. We had about a one in a seven billion chance of being the people we are today. Talk about odds!

People think that Arnold is lucky and that he had all the "breaks". Y'know what I am beginning to understand more and more? We make our own luck...we create our own breaks...there is nothing against us...EVER! We must learn to use our minds in the right way. We must envision successful results. I was a 15 year old kid and I was imagining myself getting results and I did! I had no idea what I was doing and yet it worked! The question is not whether or not will vision create an outcome, the question is, what kind of vision are we holding? Because whatever our vision is, we will receive an outcome that is in alignment with our mental image.

I urge you to buy this book. Hey, I don't like Arnold as Governor, either. But I still admire his tenacity, his determination, and his focus. He truly is a great success story...
30 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Revealing Autobiography Of Big Arnie! 16 août 2002
Par Barron Laycock - Publié sur Amazon.com
When this book was first released in the late 1970s, Arnold had yet to embark on a serious movie career, with only the starring role in "Pumping Iron" under his belt, and that being a limited success at that, playing only in art cinema houses and in limited distribution. It was long before his actual starring role in "Conan" (which had been rumored for years in bodybuilding circles before it finally came to fruition in the early 1980s. So it is interesting to read of the specificity of his plans and his supreme confidence in himself and his ability to succeed at anything he chooses in this well-scribed ghostwritten autobiography published long before.
Those of us who had become familiar with Arnold and his progress in the public domain knew the world was hardy prepared for this steamroller of a human being, a man for whom the normal rules simply do not seem to apply. Other famous bodybuilders had tried to use their muscles and brawn to jump-start a Hollywood career, and although several such as Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott had been major stars in action films during the 1960s, neither was able to translate what was in actuality a brief spurt of public interest in men with superior physiques into a sustaining career.
Yet from the beginning there was something about Arnie that defied the rules other mortals belabored under. Using the modest investment cash gained from the sale of his small gym in Munich to start himself, Schwarzenegger bought an apartment building and soon bought more property, growing up into the booming California real estate market in a way that propelled him into the ranks of the wealthy long before he ever read a movie script. Similarly, he and bodybuilding buddy Franco Columbo started a masonry business in Santa Monica, putting their brains and brawn to active work, and raking in the resulting financial dividends, reinvesting them to make the money work as hard as they did. This was no ordinary muscleman, and indeed, no ordinary young man. As George Butler reveals in his book "Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Portrait", Arnold was more focused and driven than anyone he had ever been introduced to.
Instead, what we are treated to here is the real man behind all of the miscalculations and misrepresentations of the media, a man extremely driven to succeed in America, and willing to make the sacrifices to do it. Many people have underestimated him, only to find out later that there is much more to the man than an Austrian accent and a huge bicep. If a guy with a last name like Schwarzenegger can so beguile the public to become one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980s and 1990s, than perhaps we do have to recognize that America is still the land of opportunity. The latest rumblings have him interested once more in running for political office, most likely for the Governorship in California. Yet it is perhaps too soon to assume he is finished as a movie star. He is currently filming "T-3', the third of the Terminator movies, and has plans to also make a third Conan epic. If either of those is a big a success as is possible, than perhaps he will stick around for a while. And for those of you that think he is to old to look like Conan in his mid fifties, just remember, those who underestimate this guy are usually wrong. Enjoy!
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