The Literature of Bodybuilding

[Via The Paris Review] The Atlas myth is a critical part of bodybuilding lore, an eternally recurring ur-story. From the famed Greek wrestler Milo of Croton, who allegedly invented resistance training by toting a calf on his back and increasing the load as it gained weight, down to the tales of men like Lou Ferrigno, who fashioned weights out of milk jugs and sand, bodybuilding stories are, at base, creation myths. Something muscular is forged from frail nothingness, and the creator lives happily ever after. (Milo, the story goes, was eaten by wolves or lions after getting stuck in the tree he was attempting to split with his bare hands, but at least he perished doing what he loved.)

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