Mystery and Excellence on The Human Body - Notes On Body Building And Strength

Notes On Body Building And Strength


Body-Building glossary

  1. Barbells — a rod of one meter to which disks of varying weights are  attached at each end and lifted with two hands.

  2. Dumbbells — two metal balls connected by a rigid handle long enough  for the grip of one hand.

  3. Machines — exercising machines with weights on cables and pulleys,  making it possible to use weight resistance in all directions.

  4. Workout — exercise

  5. Pecs — pectorals, the muscles of the chest.

  6. Squat — to sit on the heels with the knees bent.

  7. Bench Press — a lift of weights (barbells or dumbbells) until the arms are  extended; while lying on a bench, the action of lifting weight above the  chest until the arms are extended.

Note on Body-Building

A remarkable feature of the body — contrary to the over-used comparison —  is that it is not a machine. If you connect a 10 horse power motor to a 12 horse  power load, it will burn out. But if you demand a 12 horse power effort from a  10 horse power body, it becomes a 12 horse power body.

If you keep trying to work against heavier and heavier amounts of resistance, the body adapts by causing the muscles to become larger and stronger.  This principle of "progressive resistance weight training" is the basis of body building.

The bodybuilder attempts to achieve total development of every muscle in  the body, to create the fullest possible shape in each muscle, to have the muscles proportionate to one another, and to achieve an overall symmetry that is  as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Competitive bodybuilders use bodybuilding techniques to develop their  physiques to a degree human beings have never been able to achieve before,  and then compete with one another on stage to determine who has reached the  highest level of development.

Bodybuilders are virtually unique in the demands they place upon their  bodies. They require simultaneously maximum muscle mass and minimum

Notes On Body Building And Strength

Notes On Body Building And Strength

body fat, which is an extremely difficult state to attain. Therefore, the basic  principles of nutrition are as valuable to a bodybuilder as the basic principles  of training.

Although most bodybuilders who are engaged in competition eat meat  there are a few notable exceptions who are vegetarians. Here is a sample menu  (non-vegetarian) designed to gain weight:


4 eggs
8 ounces milk
2 slices whole-grain bread with butter
1 piece fresh fruit


1/2 pound meat, fish, fowl, or cheese
2 slices whole-grain bread with butter or mayonnaise
16 ounces milk
1 piece fresh fruit


1 pound meat, fish, fowl, or cheese
Baked potato, or beans
lightly steamed fresh vegetable
large raw salad
1 piece fresh fruit
8 ounces milk

»All this supplemented by high-protein, high-calorie drinks:

Blend together 16 ounces milk, 8 ounces whipping cream, 6 raw eggs, 6 teaspoons of lecithin, and 3/4 cup of milk-and-egg protein. Drink three times a day!


There are about 656 muscles in the body and they represent as much as 42%  of a man's weight and about 36% of a woman's. There is the cardiac muscle  found only in the heart. There is smooth muscle which lines most hollow  organs (like the stomach and intestines) and whose movements are involuntary. And there is skeletal muscle, under conscious control, that makes all of  our movements possible.

Notes On Body Building And Strength

Notes On Body Building And Strength

Skeletal muscle is made up of fibres whose diameter ranges from one tenth  to one hundredth of a millimetre. The number of fibres in any given muscle is  fixed at birth but exercise, especially weightlifting, will make them larger and  thus stronger.

In each muscle are found two types of fibres in proportions that vary  according to function. Fast-twitch fibres provide strength and power but are  quick to exhaust. Slow-twitch fibres provide sturdy strength and endurance.  Thanks to these two kinds of fibres man can suddenly lift a heavy weight or  run a marathon.

Each muscle is served by nerves, linking muscle to the brain and spinal  cord. A network of nerve circuits carries signals that direct the ebb and flow of  muscular energy. Many muscles must work together to perform even the simplest task. Every muscle has a particular function, but each works in a fluent  synchrony with others to achieve its role.

The basic building block for all voluntary movements is the motor unit: a  single neuron (nerve cell) and all the muscle 'fibres it supplies. Muscles that  require precise and fast control, such as the muscles of the eyes, have many  small motor units of only a few muscle fibres. Slow moving large muscles,  such as the calf muscles, have motor units of a thousand or more fibres.

Muscles move, and by their motion we move. Yet despite the variety of  actions we are capable of performing, muscle itself moves in only one way: by  becoming shorter. Muscle pulls but it cannot push. However much a man may  be pushing upon a wall, every single muscle doing work is doing it by pulling; the body's engineering sees to it that the pulling becomes pushing.

Muscles of the back


Notes On Body Building And Strength

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