I’ve had several people write in objecting to my dismissal of gyms for the chess improver. And whilst I’m aware of studies connecting aerobic exercise to mental acuity (I’m prepared to admit that walking and swimming can be really good for you) I still have my doubts about the benefit of building muscles mass.
Of course anyone can be wrong so I’ve been doing some more research by Googling for body building/chess strength and inspecting pictures of chess tournament prize givings for signs of a muscle or two. The results do not appear to support muscle mass, the Googling results showing ‘chest’ instead of ‘chess’ and the photos showing something of an inverse correlation.
Meanwhile it’s difficult to imagine some people with muscles being chess players, even closet ones. Could Hulk Hogan really be a master strength player who is unwilling to admit the fact because of potential damage to his image? Somehow I doubt it.