Always ask yourself – “what would minerva do”?

Strength does not come from winning – your struggles devcelop your strengths. When you go through hardship and you choose not to surrender, that is strength.

– Arnold


This is not something I would encourage, but her views and ideas are certainly of some humour. 

“Eating is about the principle part of my existence, and I always have the best I can possibly procure. For breakfast I generally have beef, cooked rare; Oatmeal, french fryed potatoes, sliced tomatoes with onions and two cups of coffee. At dinner I have french soup, plenty of vegetables, squabs and game… when supper comes I am always ready for it, and I then have soup, porterhouse steak, three fried eggs, two different kinds of salad and tea.”






‘Ever true in Hardy Oak Be’

Ever true in Hardy Oak Be

Much has been made of competitors – athletes – who lose their appeal midform, who don’t always shine the light of desirable virtues and instead are wishy washing.

“To any man who has had opportunities of judging.. it is obvious that by the very nature of things the typical athlete is something of a hot-house plant. When he is in “training” he can, doubtless, perform certain feats with great excellence – when “out of training,” oh! What a falling off is there. That is inevitable; for it would be remarkable if a man who had got into “condition” by artificial means could hope to keep it when he relapsed into his normal way of life. Training which consists of subjecting a man to a hard and fast food intake, keeping off the little luxuries which he has been accustomed to… and sending him off to bed at an absurdly early hour of night, absolutely aims at bringing about an artificial state of affairs” 1

These are all very interesting ideas, and aim at the virtues of not being willy nilly and succumbing to vices at certain times and not others – “surely man was not meant to be fit by fits and starts”

“The great test, I take it, of health and real physical condition is adaptability. Man should not be like a hothouse flower but rather like a hardy oak which can stand the heats of summer and the rude blasts of winter with equal composure.”

The most interesting characteristic of an inclined man with virtues of endurance, physical culture, etc seems to be one who for all intents and purposes can endure strife laugh and keep going, and whose appearance is never often afoul from those periods of ‘artificial states of affairs’. Sorry if this all sounds like a trifling paper of an adolescent intended as a report, but the ideas are so important and meanings so applicable to today and tomorrow its something worth ingraining. 2

The parting shot:

Athlete or sportsman.. which is the better oman of the two? What I do mean is better in the wider sense of the word, more physially fit, sounder in every way.. more fitted to stand hardship, privatio, fatigue, if he should contact any malady, better able to fi fight against it.

1- Eugene Sandow, Sandow’s Magazine of Physical Culture – Athlete or Spornsman – 1900
2 – In grained in the style of Frederick Douglass, who would order the weekly ‘liberator’ and ‘master’ its contents – or the new Dolphins head coach, who was seen troving Pat Riley’s book on basketball and taking copious notes)

The man that was Joe Lewis

A beautiful beautiful video

Style of growth


What is the nature of muscle ? By what means is its properties stimulated?
Must it always be blown up with heavier and heavier poundages, or, like a tree , a steady stream of constant nourishment is enough to carry it from small sprout to vine?
Oddly enough , the last method works – a study done with circuit training – a type of training in which the muscles of various groups are stimulated back to back to back with minimal to no rest in between sets leads to sizes growth similar in nature to single sets with increased overall weight. Apparently this method, according to the study, not only quickens the heart rate and circulations, but also facilitates muscle growth. One would think only muscle endurance would be improved – a separate property from muscle strength in which, for example a superior strengthened athlete can do more max weight with an exercise but one superior in endurance can do more reps with less weight – however it now appears circuit training may accomplish both.
The nature of doing circuits also is believed to be more tailored to muscle fiber sculpting then assimilation of larger fibers – which is why many use this form of training prior to competitions to bring out more detail in the house of musculature they’ve assembled.
One wonders ever how much one can improve overall build while only doing this method  (the muscle never encounters stress related to a new heaviar demand) but its benefits are still visible.

Visualization – what gives?

Visualization during intense bouts of exercise can help alter brain body maps – these are cortical regions of the brain that are physical mappings – perhaps a centimeter across for the face, the same amount for the hands, less for the back etc.

So what gives?

Visualizing alters the power of nerve impulses sent from that muscular region to that physical part of the brain (one part of the brain impeding the signal in another part, all on the Gettysburg battle field called the motor cortex) – this is why pain perception is so mysterious – it is not real.

To take a phrase out of Richard Feynman, “there is no such a thing” as pain, these are things mapped on the brain from nerves coming from everywhere, and your brain creates a ‘best guess’ as to where that location is in physical space. You don’t really have a ‘body in space’ – it is a genetically created map that doesn’t have to have any correlation to reality: people born without limbs can still feel them in space, and those with amputated arms still feel them wobbling about.

How is that possible?

Who we are as people – our essences – our souls, is based on this notion that you and I are real entites, beings that are physically here constituting the atoms of the universe and we walk hither and thither! Not so, says Brain Science – it is an ephemeral flash in the pan, a programmed guess that happens to be accurate 90% of the time but not all the time, and that’s why visualizing has any real influence it all, it shows you that your body, while running, while pushing yourself, while working, is something you can adapt your own perception of, and dampen or heighten sensory cues accordingly.

What a mystery!

Being an underdog facilitates improved athletic performance

The brauns have the brain

In a page from Williams James, scientists have discovered that exercise can lead to a ‘supersoaking’ of glycogen of the brain after continual intense workouts, leading to increased capacities of exercise practitioners for learning and work.

James, who wrote an Essay titled ‘The Energies of Men’, argued that to call upon those states of mind which cause one to work in absence of energy (in times of war, famine, hardship, distress, adversity) is “the most important thing that can happen to a man” – and that the energy laden within oneself is adaptable. Remiscent of a ‘second wind’ – James Further argues that the Brain works this way, and it requires a type of mental training, those who unravel this energy laden within all of us are the ones up quickly, at work forever,  while the common (lazy laggards) never dare to do anything great.

Per the New York times summary of the finding, intense exercise can juice the glycogen stores and cause decreased mental capacilities, but, if continued, the brain will instead ‘soak itself’ in the next round of sugar introduction in the bloodstream- using more than it had required before, allowing the organism to work to new heights. (Some 20%+ of the energy taken from foodstuffs is entirely devoted to maintaining synapse gradients in the brain anyway!)

This study goes along with other exercise ideas about how intense workouts facilitate brain power – exercise has been known to induce DNA transcription of a neurotrophic factor, which is associated with strengthening synapses (microtubulues?) The said factor is transcribed more so in memory areas of the brain like the hippocampus, and studies involving memory tests of recall and learning with individuals right after exercise compared to those who haven’t show those after exercise ‘have an extra advantage’ and they score higher on tests requring recall and memory encoding.

Beware the power of physical exertion – it quickens the heart, reduces cortisol, can lead to the release of endorphins, when paired with music, can be one of the most exciting and soul enchanting pleasures – it also aids memory centers and gives the brain more character. Dare to be great.