I gotta' tell you, when I first saw Tobey Maguire slingin' his web in Spider Man, I was hugely disappointed. You have to understand, I was brought up on Spider Man comic books; my appreciation of muscle comes from Spider Man comic books.
But to see this pasty-faced leaf-muncher playing my childhood hero? To see that muscle-less wimp in leotards? To see some guy named Tobey playing Spiderman? Tobey is what some guys name their dick.
It broke my heart. I felt cheated.
Sure, sure, Tobey 'bulked up' for the role, but even so, he was probably only ten pounds away from playing the horseshit-shoveling anorexic jockey in Seabiscuit.
Please Lord, just give me five minutes in a locked room with the producer of that movie. Come to think of it, if it's not too much to ask, throw in the producers of Daredevil, Fantastic Four, and the James Bond movies so I can pummel 'em like so many beef carcasses, a' la Rocky:
C'mon, Pierce Brosnan as Bond? Pierce Brosnan? What's he gonna' do, limp-wristedly flail away at Blofeldt's kneecap? Okay, so you've recently hired a new Bond, but he looks more like Rod Stewart than Sean the-definitive-Bond Connery.
I mean, who wants a superhero that doesn't work out, or worse yet, doesn't look like he works out? Not me. I want my fictional characters to look the part. Similarly, I aspire to the same standards. I not only want to bend steel with my bare hands like Superman, I want to look the part, too.
With all this talk lately about functional strength and General Physical Preparedness and kettle bells and Bosu balls and all the rest of the happy horeshit going on around the 'fitness' world, I'm almost ready to run way to the other side, to the polar opposite. I'm almost ready to start shooting buckets of 'roids and go the Gunter Schlierkamp, I'm-so-massive-I-have-to-strip-naked-and- coat-my-body-
That's right, it almost makes me want to become one of those competitive bodybuilders we always make fun of. But not quite.
For the most part, stereotypical competitive bodybuilders can't run, can't play hoops, can't even unsnap a date's bra without pulling something. And if they attempt to do some remotely explosive movement, like trying to catch a soup can that was hurled at their head? Why, they'd cleave muscle from bone. Better to let that soup can hit them in the head and see birdies.
And then there's that parading-on-stage thing that I don't much care for. The only thing I want to see on stage is Gwen Stefani or some naked chick popping ping-pong balls out her hoo-hah.
But I don't much like the other extreme of the physique pendulum, either. I don't care if you can easily sling a kettlebell while standing one-legged on a Bosu ball — what the heck is that going to prepare you for? Throwing a sack of groceries onto the countertop during an earthquake?
Some have lately accused Testosterone Nation of being a bit schizophrenic regarding our content. Are we a bodybuilding site? Are we a functional training site? Are we an Olympic lifting site? Are we animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Or are we the Internet equivalent of a camel, which by most accounts, since it offers a little bit for everybody, is a horse built by committee? Some have started to think of Testosterone as dysfunctionally versatile like, I don't know, a strip club that also will rotate your tires while giving you career counseling.
As such, I think it's time for a little clarification.
We were, have been, and remain primarily a bodybuilding site. HOWEVER, freakish proportions aren't necessarily our thing. Competition ain't necessarily our thing. Instead, we want to look formidable; we want to look badass.
But here's the important thing — we also want to be badass.
We want to be the last person in the room some wanna-be tough guy would want to pick a fight with. If some crack addict is looking to snatch a purse, he's not going to snatch your date's, he's going to look for some woman who's walking with Ryan Seacrest, for chrissake. He may be a crack addict, but he's not nuts.
And if he's a meth freak who's so amped up he can't recognize badassity when he sees it and snatches her purse anyway, we want to be able to run him down and use the brick wall as the cheese grater to his big-piece-of-cheddar of a face.
Testosterone doesn't disdain muscle without strength. Neither do we disdain strength without muscle, but both are...disappointing. I think even powerlifters feel this way about the latter. I think they want strong guys to look strong. I think they're actually close to T-Nation philosophy in this regard. Would most of the heavyweights — really formidable looking bastards — trade a hundred pounds of size if it meant they could squat 50 pounds more?
Well maybe, since it would automatically mean they'd be world record holders in that weight class, but you get the idea.
We want big muscles that work.
That's why we'll run, and will continue to run, articles that not only address traditional bodybuilding topics and methodologies, but also articles about Olympic lifting, powerlifting, and even GPP stuff, primarily because it can all make you bigger or better looking.
That's what a lot of people don't get. If you've been doing conventional bodybuilding movements for five years, incorporating some Olympic lifts into your workouts can add phenomenal amounts of muscle.
And if we run an article by Dave Tate that talks about squatting technique, it's not necessarily because we think you're going to read it and win a meet at the Albany YMCA. Instead, it's going to teach you how to squat big weights and squatting big weights will add on big muscle.
GPP? Throwing sandbags? Flipping tractor tires? Hitting a goddam tire with a 20-pound sledge? We don't talk about those things so you can get a job as a farmhand. Instead, those things can both lean you up and add on muscle if you do them in conjunction with more traditional bodybuilding routines.
Want to round out your delts and add some meat to those things you call forearms? Swing a 20-pound sledge every other day for three weeks and see what happens.
But if you only flip tires or fling sand bags, you won't get big. You'll just start wearing overalls and a straw hat and say things like, 'You best not be looking at me, peckerwood.'
John Berardi talks about something called Energy Flux, and it has nothing to do with Charlize Theron in black latex. In essence, the more calories you turn around, the more food you eat and then burn up — energy flux — the better your physique. That's another way all this supplemental GPP work we write about can play a role.
Oh yeah, and screw Crossfit and their like. What, you have so little imagination that you need a website for housewives and pampered stockbrokers to give you your daily, completely arbitrary workout?
Run 400 meters
Do 20 push-ups
Dance like a cast member of the Broadway musical Cats for 15 minutes
That's a workout! You're all winners!
A program needs progression. A program needs to be cycled. Oh yeah, a program needs weights, too, and bars, and cages. Going to the park and jumping around like a poodle dog with a peach pit up his butt is not going to make you look much better.
I almost forgot. Testosterone Nation also wants to look good naked. Our sculpted buttocks are nothing more than fleshy lures for attracting hoochie mamas. And if they ain't bitin', try a little chicken skin or a night crawler. Whatever it takes.
However, if you are interested purely in getting stronger or building athleticism and don't care about building muscle or looking better, that's okay. Go ahead and use us for that, too; use us as if we're a drunken sorority chick.
Just remember, we're primarily a site about building muscle, strong and functional muscle that makes us look badass and be badass.
This is what we're trying to lure!
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