A couple weeks ago, I went to a screening of "Pumping Iron". It's a cult-classic documentary from the late '70s about the world of bodybuilding. And of course, it stars good old Arnie, pre-Hollywood fame. He was already the 5-time Mr. Universe/ Olympia winner by this time and was defending his 1975 title for the last time before retiring from bodybuilding. A 24-year old Lou Ferrigno, aka The Incredible Hulk, also makes an appearance as the "pipsqueak" upstart who hopes to take the title from old-man-Arnie (or rather, Lou's dad seems more intent on this).
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this. It is a HILARIOUS documentary that gives a good glimpse into the mindset of what it takes for world domination. At least in the bodybuilding world. And actually, maybe this same narcissistic god-complex is required to make it in Hollywood too. And maybe also in politics, if Arnie's behaviour and later accomplishments in life are anything to go by.
There are some priceless gems spouted out of Arnie that make you go "WTF?!? This guy ACTUALLY became the Governor of California and was seriously considering running for President?!" Case in point, my favourite WTF moment when he was talking about how bodybuilding made him feel:
"It's as satisfying to me as, uh, coming is, you know? As, ah, having sex with a woman and coming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like, uh, getting the feeling of coming in a gym, I'm getting the feeling of coming at home, I'm getting the feeling of coming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am coming day and night. I mean, it's terrific. Right? So you know, I am in heaven."
... ... ...
I mean, seriously right?!? I was in hysterics with a good LOL. (Especially considering the whole fiasco with his housemaid in the past month)
Anyway, while doubled over in laughter, Arnie also said something else that made me recall what my yoga teacher was telling me about building up my leg strength for Laghuvajrasana. She said that I should go down and come up a few times, going down lower each time, or at least training myself to keep dipping down lower each time before holding there for the final 5 counts. If I don't do this, my body will never get used to how it should be pushing itself lower to the ground.
Arnie basically said the same thing about doing reps in training. He said his competitor would do 10 reps of something, but he would go beyond this, doing an extra few more... coz "the last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens."
OK, so maybe only the first sentence in that quote is applicable. The rest is completely egotistical, unyogic and totally not applying Ahimsa to one's self.
Well, at least I got something out of that, right? Basically - don't be a wuss. To get the hang of Laghu, I should just rinse-and-repeat like my teacher and Arnie say. From a physical point-of-view, at least I know what good I'm doing.
Yeah Arnie, I'm gonna be a champion, just like you! *cough*