It is evident that to be stronger is better to be weaker, that having more muscles is better than having less muscles. Strength is desirable, and the stronger you are, the better.
A question on my mind:
From a physiological perspective, how does one in-fact become stronger? How does one grow stronger muscles?
Let me explore:
1. Strength, not size
The first question I have is regarding strength– muscular strength, not muscular size. Why?
Well– just because you have bigger muscles doesn’t necessarily mean that you can lift heavier weights. For example a bodybuilder with very impressive muscles may not be able to deadlift 405 pounds, yet can do other exercises with great proficiency. Someone with smaller muscles (and less bodyweight) might be able to deadlift more than the ‘jacked’ bodybuilder.
Of course there are a trillion ways to measure muscular strength, but for now, I will just focus on a ‘powerlifting’ mentality (ability for a ‘one rep max’).
2. Recruiting percentage of muscular fibers
Let us assume that you cannot add any more bodyweight to your frame. This means that in order to become stronger and increase your one-rep max, you must be able to recruit a larger percentage of your muscle fibers/nerve fibers/bones, etc. But certainly there must be a limit when you are able to recruit 100% of your body to lift a certain weight, you need more muscular mass.
And how can you gain more muscular mass? Of course over-stressing your muscles (increasing weight/load), and consuming more protein (animal meat as supreme).
3. How many times to eat in a day?
I don’t necessarily think that there is an optimal number of times to eat in a given day. I know that if you want to maximize your creative productivity, it seems that one meal a day (no breakfast, no lunch)– ‘intermittent fasting’ is optimal.
However, if your ultimate goal is to increase your muscular mass (weight of your muscles), then it seems that the more meat you eat, the better. So perhaps the question is:
How much meat can you consume in a 24-hour period (day?)
4. Why become physically stronger?
I have a theory:
What if mental strength was directly correlated with physiological (muscular) strength?
In other words:
What if increasing your ‘one rep max’ for deadlift actually made you more mentally powerful as well?
What if by increasing your mental strength, you were also able to increase your artistic-creative strength/power?
Thus to simplify the argument:
Perhaps you need to maximize your muscular strength in order to maximize your artistic strength.
For myself, the ultimate goal is to maximize my artistic strength. And what if IN ORDER TO reach the next level of my artistic powers, I needed to increase my physical strength? And what does that require? More epic attempts in the gym, as well as more consumption of meat.
5. Focus on physiology
Physiology as physical strength and health.
Unfortunately in academic/scholarly/philosophical/artistic circles, the body (physiology) isn’t respected, nor credited.
I genuinely believe if all academics became more muscularly strong, they would be more prolific academics (in terms of their scholarly creativity as well as output).
Furthermore, I believe if you took (already productive) artists — and gave them a meaner (stronger) deadlift, they would probably become MORE artistically productive!
Of course, this is just my theory. And who is the best to experiment this notion on? Of course, myself!
6. Powerlifter x Artist
In an effort to simplify my life, and maximize my power– I am going to start focusing on two simple things:
Physical strength and output, as well as artistic strength and output.
I can say that some of my best creative insights have occurred while lifting weights at the gym, or just walking out and about. And when I achieve a new personal record (PR) in my ‘one rep max’ for any of my lifts, I feel as if I unlock new mental pathways in my brain. I feel mentally stronger, elevated, and super-human. And in terms of effort, I can say that attempting a new 1-rep max PR in deadlift is 1000x more difficult, challenging, and interesting than any academic or mental pursuit I’ve had in life.
7. What stamp do you desire to leave on humanity?
No matter how much effort, time, and meat I eat– I will probably never be stronger than Eddie Hall (500kg deadlift). And no matter how hard I try at lifting weights, I will never become as buff as Ronnie Coleman or Arnold in their prime. But that isn’t the point. The point is for me to use physical fitness as a means to become a more prolific, stronger, and more creative innovator/artist. Working out for the sake of working out is silly to me. Working out in order to become mentally stronger and artistically stronger seems like a better use of your energy/time/human-metabolism.
The body will die, the body will decompose, but generally speaking– the ideas, art-works, books, writings, and children we leave behind will continue to live on, thrive, and grow. Thus it seems that ultimately the best use of our human metabolism is to CREATE ART (art in a very general sense– art as whatever you create that has your soul imputed into it).
Leave your stamp on humanity with your artwork, and never stop hustling– you can never fail.