Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder
At age 26, scrawny, Oxford-educated Samuel Fussell entered a YMCA gym in New York to escape the terrors of big city life. Four years and 80 lbs. of firm, bulging muscle later, he was competing for bodybuilding titles in the "Iron Mecca" of Southern California-so weak from intense training and starvation he could barely walk. MUSCLE is the harrowing, often hilarious chronic...more
What really got me was when this extremely well educated bodybuilder stops working his lucrative literary job and takes a job as a trainer at a gym. And why not? I have worked with a lot of bouncers who took jobs in clubs because they figured they would be there anyway, why not get paid for it? I have a friend who now works as a trainer at a gym, even though he is ...more
One man's transition from highly bread academic kid born in Princeton, NJ who growing up in NYC in the 70's was afraid of getting beat up or killed, ...more
Well told story of a man losing himself in bodybuilding. Perhaps a little light on insights into his motivations along the way. But for anyone who has ever fallen in love with weightlifting and bodybuilding, this book does justice to much of the allure. After all, it is the purity and simplicity of being lost in the pain and blinding effort of the reps that is the drug. The size is the outward proof that you belong in the tribe.
I would not say this is the ...more
I was an avid weightlifter in college and first read this book years after I graduated from college in 1989 and was more or less humored by its candor ... i classified it as entertaining.
Shortly after reading this book, I was invited to train with a powerlifting team and was seriously bitten by the weight-training bug to a point in which it became not only a huge part of my life, but, in part ...more
The story: Princeton and Oxford educated Sam gets a job in NYC before he starts a graduate program at Yale. Unfortunately this is New York City in the early 1980s and it is a scary place. Not only that, but his parents have just divorced. Looking for some sanctuary, he enrolls at the YMCA gym to beef up. Being 6 ...more
Fussell hates himself. That's not a gloss; he says so several times in the book. It's what led him to the gym in the first place. In the interim between his Oxford gra ...more
The book itself is absolutely compelling. The author does a great job of keeping the story moving, interspersing stories of himself (his regimen, his physical changes) with stories of the other people he met, as well as observations and explanations of the hidden world of weightlifter ...more
A fun read, though there are occasionally too much detai ...more