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PHIL HEATH WINS HIS SIXTH MR. O IN VEGAS!
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InsIde ThIs MonTh
JAnUARY JANUARY JA JAN NUARY 2017
cover photograph By per BerNaL
Everything you need to know about the first European O in decades.
The SANDOe TrOPhY
Abies Nosa and Alla Meijer, Britain’s overall champions in men’s physique and bikini fitness discuss their gym routines. How Luke Sandoe became the latest British champion.
102 SIXTh SANDOW
Chasing history, Phil Heath wins the 2016 Mr. Olympia.
122 GIVe Me FIVe
Flex Lewis wins his fifth 212 Olympia.
130 BIG ShOTS
The best moments of Olympia Weekend 2016.
154 WINTer MASS
As the snow continues to mount, so should your absolute gains in muscle, strength, and power!
162 CheST TO The MAXX
Fresh off a sevenshow run in the first half of 2016, here’s how IFBB pro Maxx Charles intends to build even bigger, stronger pecs for 2017.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
Fresh off a handsdown Olympia victory that ties him with Dorian Yates on the all-time list, Phil Heath talks about his latest “statement win.”
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InsIde ThIs MonTh
JAnUARY 2017 SeCtIONS 12
A message from our editorial director.
GueST eDITOr’S LeTTer
IFBB Pro League and NPC president Jim Manion.
LAB TO GYM
Can simply flexing a muscle cause greater growth than lifting weights?
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
JuST The FACTS
Stay current with all the hot topics trending now at FLEXonline.com.
Vital training stats focused on the O this month.
FOOD & SuPPS
A look back on Bob Cicherillo.
All the happenings with the entire Team Weider roster. Plus, Dave Draper and more.
Techniques that work, routines that produce results, and a gym bag full of other tricks to help you make the most of your workouts.
All the things you need to eat and drink to reach your bodybuilding goals. A special feature on inflammation.
168 LAST SeT
Contest results, athlete profiles, and more from the world of competitive bodybuilding and fitness.
176 The ShOT
Phil Heath makes one lucky fan’s day…make that year!
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER David Pecker CHIEF CONTENT DIRECTOR Shawn Perine EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Leah Whisler ART DIRECTOR Matt Dolingo UK CONSULTANT John Plummer e-mail: email@example.com NUTRITION CONSULTANTS Mark Gilbert, B.Sc (Nutrition), CISSN and Tim Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., CSCS, FISSN
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President of the IFBB Professional League JIM MANION Founder and Chairman Emeritus JOE WEIDER (1920–2013) We assume no responsibility for returning unsolicited material, including but not limited to photographs, artwork, manuscripts, and letters. Every care is taken to assure the accuracy of the information in FLEX, but no responsibility can be accepted for the consequences of actions based on the advice contained herein. Weider Publishing Ltd makes every effort to ensure that the advertising contained in FLEX is derived from respectable sources. It does not; however, assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any claims and representations made therein, nor the quality or delivery of the products/services themselves. Editorial articles relating to food supplementation and sports nutrition reproduced in this issue of FLEX are for information purposes only and are not intended to solicit or otherwise promote any commercialised product containing the mentioned supplements. FLEX is distributed on an international basis. To the extent permitted by law, Weider Publications LLC and its affiliates: Weider Publishing Ltd, Weider Publishing Italia Srl and Mediafit SARL, do not accept liability for the effects of reported supplements or products, legal or illegal or any loss, injury or damage caused by their use. It is the responsibility of the individual to abide by the laws and dosage allowances specific to their country of residence. Always consult a doctor before commencing supplementation or changing dosages. Some supplements may not work effectively outside specific dosage ranges and may potentially cause harm if taken in excess. Not all supplements, combinations of supplements, or dose ranges of supplements may be suitable, safe or effective for everybody. Copyright © (2016) Weider Publications, LLC. Published under license from Weider Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. ‘FLEX’ is a trademark of Weider Publications, LLC. and may not be used or reproduced without the permission of Weider Publications, LLC.
The information in FLEX is intended to educate. Do not substitute it for the advice of a qualified health care practitioner.
FROM THE EDITOR
MAN OF THE YEAR! ■ Congratulations to Luke Sandoe, who is Britain’s newest IFBB pro after winning the super-heavyweight and overall titles at this year’s British Championships. I was in Nottingham to see Luke’s success and he did it the hard way, beating the strongest super-heavyweight line-up since the class started in 2009—the year Zack Khan won. Luke, like Zack, has sometimes struggled with his conditioning and risked wasting his potential. But neither man gave up and if Sandoe goes on to enjoy as much
LUKE SANDOE’S BIG WIN
hE DID It thE hArD WAy, BEAtING thE StrONGESt LINE-Up SINcE thE cLASS StArtED IN 2009—thE yEAr ZAcK KhAN WON. 12
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
international p popularity over the next seven years as Kha Khan has had over the last seven s he is in for some good times. tim We will have a major feature on Luke next month. The British Championships is the country’s country biggest event each year an and this month we reflect on the highlights. Sandoe rightly makes the headlines but several other o competitors made their m mark, none more so than Azeez Salu, S who won the juniors and finished fi second in the heavyweights. heavyweights At 21 years old and weighing 98 kg, this young man from Wakefield is a phenomenon. phenome I’ve seen every national final since 2002 and can’t remember a junior j with more muscle and those th I’ve seen include Flex Lewis an and Nathan De Asha, Junior potent potential doesn’t always translate into senior success but Azeez is defin definitely one to watch. One of the most striking stats of the weekend weeke was that 97 of the 679 entrants— entrants—or one in seven— were juniors, which reflects how popular body bodybuilding is in gyms today amongst among men and women, whether they they’re taking their physiques to the max or aiming for a less ext extreme look. Connie Slyz Slyziut, who became Britain’s first junior bodyfitness champion, ty typifies the new breed. Like Salu, S she seized the day and mad made her mark. It was
difficult not to feel for some of the old guard who didn’t get the results they wanted but new stars are emerging and the standard is improving. Physiques that would have been in the top three a couple of years ago are struggling to make the top six now. Finally, Korea seems an unlikely place for one of the greatest moments in British bodybuilding history. But at the Pro Asia Grand Prix in Seoul, two British men recorded first places—Flex Lewis in the 212s and Ryan Terry in men’s physique. It is the first time this has ever happened and wrapped up a memorable year that saw four British pros—Lewis, Terry, Nathan De Asha and Rosie Harte—win pro shows. Bring on 2017!
Luke Sandoe waS the Star of the 2016 BritiSh ChampionShipS and iS now an ifBB pro.
By JOHN PLUMMER
CH RI STO PH ER BA IL EY
Luke Sandoe with his super-heavyweight and overall champion trophies.
AN O FOR THE AGES Jim Manion with six-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath (left) and superstar Dwayne Johnson on the 2016 Olympia stage.
FLEX | jANuARY 2017
that a multiday expo and satellite events over the course of four days and you have a challenge fit for Hercules. Yet somehow Robin Chang once again outdid himself by producing what I believe was the greatest Olympia to date. I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate my good friend, American Media Chairman, President, and CEO David Pecker. Since taking over the event in 2004 David has committed himself to consistently increasing the profile of the Olympia—by raising athlete prize monies (nearly 250% over the past 13 years), expanding the expo floor space (to ease crowd movement), and creating new opportunities for our sport—to get the kind of media exposure we need to continue growing. A perfect example of this last point can be found in The Rock’s
Jim manion President, NPC, IFBB Pro League
Long before I became President of the NPC and the IFBB Pro League I was a bodybuilding competitor, and like you, a fan. I bought my first bodybuilding magazine in 1958 and attended my first competition in the mid-1960s, so I have a bit of history with this sport. Between then and now I’ve attended numerous Olympias, starting in the early ’70s, across the globe, witnessing some of bodybuilding’s greatest showdowns along the way. Yet as amazing as each of these events has been in its own right, none have impressed me more in terms of overall professionalism and entertainment value than the 2016 Olympia, held this past September in Las Vegas. As promoter of a number of shows myself, I know firsthand how big a job it is to stage a topflight IFBB competition. Add to
appearance at both the expo and at the Saturday night Olympia finals, during which he announced that next year’s Olympia would be broadcast on CBS Sports. Thanks to David’s continued efforts to increase our sport’s exposure, we are now poised to break out onto network TV. It’s certainly exciting times for bodybuilding, and David Pecker has had a key role in bringing about that excitement. Thank you, David, for your friendship and leadership. I’ve never felt more positive about the future of bodybuilding and the Olympia, and this past Olympia Weekend has given me only more confidence in that bright tomorrow. I’m prouder than ever to be President of the NPC and the IFBB Pro League and, like you, can’t wait to see what Robin and David have in store for us for next year’s Olympia.
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A MR. O FOR THE AGES
Ten years ago, the seemingly impossible became reality as a legendary Mr. Olympia was dethroned. Here is a look back at the inside story on Jay Cutler’s win over Ronnie Coleman. FLEXonline.com /cutlervscoleman
SOCIAL ALL-STARS PHIL HEATH It’s always important to keep the body moving after competitions as your body needs to get increased blood flow through cardio, stretching, and some moderate weight training. FLEX LEWIS I’m so blessed to travel and get to see the world doing what I do!!!
JUAN MOREL Another day in the office doing what I love, smashing these puny weights! People think that if you superset, you need to go light. Well, that is not what you should do.
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Always keep it heavy!! WILLIAM BONAC As I sit here in a hotel chair in Prague the morning after the #IFBB EVLS Prague Pro, I’m feeling proud with tears of happiness and the feeling of contentment! BIG RAMY Thank God for everything I have. And thanks to all the fans and supporters. I will do my best to be better every time. STEVE KUCLO I eat pretty much the same foods 90% of the time and throw in
some treats here and there. And I love dinners out with my precious wife where we indulge in whatever our taste buds desire. CODY MONTGOMERY Stay motivated to try to better yourself for tomorrow. SHAWN RHODEN Away from the fist pumping, cheering and clapping. Away from the bright lights and fans shouting. Here, there is no “Top 5.” You’re drained and depleted. This is where we do work.
OF COURSE, WE TWEET, TOO. CHECK OUT OUR DAILY UPDATES BY FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER AT @FLEX_MAGAZINE.
Just the Facts
Mr. OlyMpia Presents
BODYBUILDING BONANZA Ultimate NUtritioN preseNts the 2016 Joe Weider’s olympia FitNess aNd perFormaNce WeekeNd.
Total attendance for Olympia Weekend
The Winners 16
FLEX | january 2017
Number of consecutive wins for Fitness Olympia champ Oksana Grishina, Women’s Physique Olympia champ Juliana Malacarne, and Men’s Physique champ Jeremy Buendia
Million dollars in total prize money (highest for all eight divisions)
Square metres of space for fans at the Las Vegas Convention Center
Total booths at the Olympia Expo
When you call something the best of the best and say it’s bigger and better every year, some people assume they’re hearing hyperbole. Well, in the case of Olympia Weekend 2016, those people are wrong. Billed as the Super Bowl of bodybuilding, the contest started by industry icon Joe Weider has grown and grown just as its participants’ physiques have grown and grown to the point that it’s no longer recognizable from the first Mr. Olympia in 1965. This past September’s Olympia Weekend set new records, and with a hightech stage packed
Number of athletes competing in Olympia Expo events
with enough wow factor to satisfy the most die-hard stadium-rock fans, it was one of the most exciting in recent times. And speaking of rock, The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, was on hand to electrify the crowd and take the Olympia to a whole new level of entertainment. Add to that the event within the event, the Olympia Expo, with wall-to-wall fans watching, and in some cases participating in, obstacle courses, arm wrestling,
Companies exhibiting cutting-edge products and services
MMA, bikini and model searches, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, and other endeavours. Fans come from all over the world to experience the industry’s biggest show of the year and meet the sport’s most famous athletes. Check out these record-setting numbers and then relive all the championship moments with our expert, in-depth contest coverage, complete with Per Bernal’s stunning photographs of the world’s greatest bodybuilding and physique superstars.
Number of wins for 212 Olympia champion Flex Lewis (record)
Total number of IFBB Pro League athletes competing
Number of wins for Classic Physique champ Danny Hester and Bikini Olympia champ Courtney King
Number of consecutive wins for Mr. Olympia Phil Heath (tied with Dorian Yates)
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JUST THE FACTS
Flex Lewis scores his fifth straight 212 Olympia win to continue his Ronnie Colemanâ€“like domination of the division.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
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From left: Lionel Beyeke, France (4.), Shawn Rhoden, USA, (2.), Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson, USA (1.), Albert Busek, Kevin Levrone, Wiliam Bonac (3.), Vertreterin des Hauptsponsors Ultimate Nutrition, Roelly Winklaar, Curaçao (5.)
2016 MR. OLY In the over 50-year hIstory of Mr. olyMpIa, Germany has
had the honour of being its host country twice. Bodybuilding history was written in both 1972 in Essen (North Rhine-Westphalia) and in 1983 in Munich (Bavaria). One of the highlights in my 57 years in bodybuilding was the 1972 “battle” between Arnold and Sergio, that Arnold finally won. The Olympic Hall in Munich provided a worthy location for the 1983 Olympia debut of Lee Haney, the later record winner, and, for three-time winner Frank Zane, it was his farewell to Olympia. In the following decades, Joe Weider’s vision of creating a contest between the best of the best with Mr. Olympia reached a level that he fortunately was still able to witness. On October 21st and 22nd, Germany now experienced a special comeback with the first Mr. Olympia Europe, which has been accepted by the fans and enthusiastically celebrated throughout the competition. 20
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
MPIA EUROPE By alBert Busek / / / photos By MatthIas Busse
Great atMosphere In DortMunD
The Westfalenhallen in Dortmund have been the site of many great sport events since they were opened in 1925. in 2016, both bodybuilding professionals and amateurs took over the stage in one of the large halls. following several cancellations, 8 pros competed for prize money totaling $100,000. Parallel to this, the German Bodybuilding and fitness federation (DBfV e.V.) and Joe Weider’s German cup held the first amateur competition in the Bikini men’s Physique and BB classes at a very high level. The fans were very enthusiastic about this pro/amateur combination, and, for the amateurs, it was an unusual experience to stand on the same stage as the pros. This report deals only with the pros.
Dennis “The menace” James was ideally cast as the moderator of the evening. During my opening remarks in my capacity as the ifBB Vice-President responsible for europe, i especially remembered my friend and visionary, Joe Weider, who always regarded mr. olympia as part of his great legacy. The audience reacted with thundering applause—for Joe. of the 8 pros, it was immediately clear who the top 5 would be, not to diminish the accomplishments of the other three. This first mr. olympia europe was especially exciting because William Bonac had claimed two victories in october, both in Prague (eVlS Pro) and in finland (Nordic Pro), and the Dutchman had already
provided a major surprise in las Vegas by ranking 5th. Prague then turned out to be a real sensation, since he was immediately able to defeat three pros who had finished above him in las Vegas—Big Ramy, Shawn Rhoden, and Dexter Jackson. This automatically made William one of the favorites for the title in Dortmund. The big question was: After such a long season in 2016, would Dexter be able to improve enough again in this short time to be able to retaliate successfully? certain colleagues again brought up his age—but Dexter is not only “The Blade,” he is also a “Genetic miracle.” Before the competition, i asked him the big question as to what his secret is. His answer was a single word: “Genetics.” Shawn also has everything he needs to flexoNliNe.com
#2 INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENTS #1 DEXTER JACKSON
#1 win every competition. For me, it was incredibly exciting. When the 8 pros finally stepped into the spotlight for the prejudging round, it was clear that Dortmund would change things significantly— especially due to one athlete that nobody had particularly expected to do so well: Lionel Beyeke. Lionel had begun working with coach George Farah six weeks before Mr. Olympia Europe, and the results were incredible. Very good form was now added to his unusually attractive muscle line—an overall package that made quite an impression, especially among the fans. For years, many fans have hoped that Lionel would finally fully realize his outstanding potential. In Dortmund, he was already very close to achieving this and, in any case, on the right track. From the prejudging to
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
the finale, although there were only brief breaks in the 5 hours, considerable deviations in form, upward and downward, were seen in some cases. Shabunya made a huge leap upward here, especially in the back view and with an outstanding midsection. Lionel also showed improvement, making him clearly one of the top 3 candidates for me. Dexter, on the other hand, seemed to have lost a little sharpness following his outstanding performance in the prejudging – but he was still clearly ahead in his overall impression. Tomas Kaspar and Michael Kefalianos were not able to compete at this high level and had to make do with 7th and 8th place, whereby Michael could not gain control over his midsection at almost any time in the competition.
Five weeks before his 47th birthday, Dexter demonstrated once more that he cannot be judged or evaluated by conventional standards. A further attribute would be “Freak of Nature.” “The Blade” struck once more and showed his opponents their limits. He didn’t make even the slightest error in any phase of the competition and radiated the charisma of a champion. Some of his opponents were definitely close to him in certain comparisons, or even a little better in part – but all told Dexter was the superior athlete on the stage. By winning the first Mr. Olympia Europe title for 2016, Dexter achieved still another major victory and said immediately afterwards: “Now I need a break of at least 1 month.”
#2 SHAWN RHODEN
Of all the current pros, Shawn is one of those with the best muscle lines and the best proportions. He has the potential to win every title—every single one. At Mr. Olympia 2016, in second place, he was very close, but he was not able to maintain this form on the Europe tour. In Dortmund, he was in very good form and demonstrated his major strengths to the pleasure of the audience. All in all, he was Dexter’s main rival.
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#3 WILLIAM BONAC
The sensational winner of Prague did not have his best day in Dortmund. William needs maximum definition to win. As soon as his definition is diminished by just one percent, it becomes very difficult for him to compete successfully against the top pros. in Dortmund, William was not able to present onstage the steeliness he had in las Vegas or Prague and was very well served with 3rd place.
#4 LIONEL BEYEKE
for me, lionel was THe surprise of the day and was very clearly at least in 3rd place after the prejudging and finale. His round, full muscles are just as much a feast for the eyes as his magnificent muscle line and his very unusual symmetry. lionel has everything he needs not only
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
to become a threat to all of the current pros. He can also beat them if he is able to call up exactly 100% of his potential ability when he needs it. By the way: When it was announced that lionel was in 4th place, definite boos could be heard from the audience.
#5 ROELLY WINKLAAR
in the prejudging, Roelly already had intense cramps in his abdominal muscles during the first comparisons, and they became very severe in the “abslegs” comparison posing. This drawback immediately had a negative effect in such an intense field of competitors. Just the same, the fans loved him and couldn’t get enough of him. Roelly always goes straight to the heart of his fans. it is almost tragic to mention that he again had to accept a disappointing 5th place.
THE TOP 8 1. Dexter Jackson USA, $50,000 2. Shawn Rhoden USA, $25,000 3. William Bonac Netherlands, $12,000 4. Lionel Beyeke France, $8,000 5. Roelly Winklaar Curaçao, $5,000 6. Aliaksei Shabunia Belarus 7. Tomas Kaspar Czech Republic 8. Michael Kefalianos Greece
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
THAT GOOD FRESH OFF A HANDS-DOWN OLYMPIA VICTORY THAT TIES HIM WITH DORIAN YATES ON THE ALL-TIME LIST, PHIL HEATH TALKS ABOUT HIS LATEST STATEMENT WIN INTERVIEW BY JOE WUEBBEN
Welcome back. We’ve been here before: On the heels of Phil Heath winning a Mr. Olympia title. It’s been six years in a row, which ties Heath with Dorian Yates for Sandow trophies. The chatter among bodybuilding fans, followers, and reporters is that it’s starting to get boring, just as it did during the prolonged reigns of Schwarzenegger, Haney, Yates, and Coleman. Fortunately, Phil Heath speaks his mind at Arnold-like proportions, so it never gets that boring when Mr. Olympia is in the room. Less than a month after his 2016 win in Las Vegas, we caught up with the champ to get his thoughts on arguably his most dominating win to date. Same time, same place next year? Quite possibly, yes.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
FLEX: You won anothEr oLYmpia in convincing Fashion. But i know You’rE Your own toughEst critic, so tELL mE, did You Bring thE phYsiquE You wantEd to Bring?
Dorian Yates’ shadow no longer looms over Heath, who is now tied with him with six wins.
FLEX | jAnuArY 2017
So it’s safe to say this was a statement win for you? Definitely. I just tied Dorian Yates [with six Olympia wins]. I’m only going to be compared against legends. I’ve been compared with legends from the beginning. Honestly, I’m not going to let anyone steal this one from me by being negative, because that’s what people were
doing in previous years. They were just so unable to say, “Hey, he did his job. Was he the greatest ever? no, but he did his job and got the win.” This year? just crickets. no one’s saying anything. Guys are so negative these days, and they’re unable to acknowledge how cool this sport has become. People have the nerve to say that bodybuilding is declining. How is that possible when there’s a packed house at the Olympia every year and guys like The rock actually want to get involved? That brand right there is a billion-dollar brand. Why would The rock want to associate himself with trash and something on the decline? He doesn’t, obviously. And we were doing fine before him, too.
How do you look at other competitors during a show, either backstage or while competing? Are you sizing them up or just worrying about yourself? I try to get a friendly barometer of what’s going on, so I’ll look at guys, sure. Thing is, I’m still a fan of a lot of these guys, so I just want to see what they look like. I’ll look at all of them, then I’ll start looking at guys who are going to be my main competition. And I’ll think, “Oh, gosh, I really hope this person doesn’t think he has a shot, because he’s going to get embarrassed tonight.” And that’s what I told myself. Guys are going to get their feelings hurt. I looked at all of them, and I knew right away that they just did not have what I was about to present. I wasn’t trying to play any head games. I was just trying to keep it as calm and cool as ever this year because I just knew I had it won. I had it won backstage. I had it won at the press conference. When I finally peeled down backstage, I could see the reaction of everybody. They were trying really hard not to concede victory at that point, but they knew in their hearts that I wasn’t playing.
PrEVIOuS SPrEAD: PEr BErnAL. THIS SPrEAD: COurTESY OF WEIDEr HEALTH AnD FITnESS; PEr BErnAL (2); CHrIS nICOLL
PHIL HEATH: Absolutely, 100%. ultimately, I just showed the world that these other guys don’t have what I have. They just don’t. Those critics who have gone against me, they can just sit back and be quiet for a while. The competition wasn’t close. I came in there and beat everyone’s ass. I know it, and they know it, so much so that I haven’t received any congratulating texts from anyone other than William Bonac. They all were praying for my downfall, they were all hoping to win, and I understand that. It was really a letdown for all of them. And it wasn’t about them being off; it was about me being that good. And there was nothing they could do. And I’m only going to get better. People need to start acknowledging what the hell I just did. Because I’m not going to be around that much longer. I’m not going to be around here for 10-plus years, competing at 46 like Dexter [jackson]. They need to appreciate what they just saw.
i just showEd thE worLd that thEsE othEr guYs donâ€™t havE what i havE.
Shawn Rhoden and Heath are all smiles onstage during a break in the action.
i wasn’t trYing to pLaY hEad gamEs. i was trYing to kEEp it as caLm and cooL as EvEr BEcausE i knEw i had it won.
Heath doubled-up on leg workouts every week to improve from last year (left). Pinpointing specific areas has kept him on top.
PEr BErnAL; ErICA SCHuLTZ; PEr BErnAL (2)
Speaking of other competitors, who’s your rival right now? Do you even have one? Or has it become a “Phil Heath vs. the Field” situation like it used to be in golf with Tiger Woods? Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. Honestly, a lot of people think it’s boring because there’s no rivalry. Who are you going to stack up against me? no one. Shawn rhoden [who finished second to Heath at the Olympia] couldn’t
even win a show after the Olympia. So you can’t really use him as a rival going into 2017. There was barely even a rivalry between Kai Greene and myself, because I beat Kai more than he beat me. now it’s more me against the field. They’re all praying for my downfall, no different than they were for Tiger Woods. I’m sure people are jumping for joy now that Tiger can’t play anymore, because we all know if he comes out doing his job, it’s a wrap. Same thing with me. no one’s going to say, “I want to see Phil at his best, and my best is going to be better than his.” not one person is going to say that, because they know better. They all said the same thing going in: “If Phil slips, I’m right there.” That’s not a competitor. That’s like saying, “If Mike Tyson doesn’t
show up in the ring, I have a chance.” But I still train knowing anything is possible. I train knowing that I could potentially get hurt. It’s just me against myself at this point. I may sound arrogant, but I know I made this boring, because no one can even talk s--- anymore.
Your legs were noticeably bigger this year. That was a point of emphasis coming in for you, right? What did you do specifically for the lower body in the off-season? It was pretty simple. I trained legs twice a week and made them a bigger priority. I also did cardio earlier in my precontest prep, which normally I thought would make them smaller—but it actually made them bigger and harder. On my type of physique, the harder I get, the more 3-D I get. So even if I drop weight, I look better. As far as legs go, the guy who had the biggest legs there was ramy, right? Everyone talks about FLExOnLInE.COM
■ Every big sports-related company—from Nike to Weider—seeks to have the most successful athletes on its team, and Ultimate Nutrition just landed the biggest fish ﬁsh possible: six-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. This partnership won’t be just another athlete endorsement, though. In addition to doing appearances and advertising campaigns, Heath will be closely involved with Ultimate’s product innovations well into the future. Heath joins another former Olympia winner, the seemingly ageless Dexter Jackson, on the Ultimate team. In searching for a brand to partner with for the long
term, the reigning champ saw this decision as a no-brainer. “Why wouldn’t I want to be part of what Ultimate Nutrition is doing?” Heath says. “This is a company that stands for quality and integrity in addition to simply putting out the best products to help people achieve their training and fitness goals. More ﬁtness than anything, Ultimate Nutrition has longevity in the market, and that’s really important for me going forward. They’ve been around and have been hugely successful for many years. I’m always impressed by a person or a company that can sustain excellence for a long period of time.Ó time.”
To see Ultimate Nutrition’s full product line, visit ultimatenutrition.com
FLEX | jAnuArY 2017
PEr BErnAL; KEVIn HOrTOn; PEr BErnAL; MIKE MADEr
When Heath won his pro card at the 2005 NPC USA Championships (top right), big things were expected of him. Then in 2011, he dethroned close friend Jay Cutler to win the Mr. O.
phiL hEath joins uLtimatE nutrition
i’m onLY going to BE comparEd against LEgEnds. i’vE BEEn comparEd with LEgEnds From thE BEginning.
IT’S FUN KNOWING KNO OWING THAT THA AT IF I TRAIN TRA AIN HARD HAR RD AND AND HEAVY, HEA AVY, I CAN GET THAT THA AT GRAINY GR RAINY LOOK LO OOK AND NOT HAVE HA AVE TO KILL MYSELF WITH THE DIET.
Heath has his eyes on breaking the record of eight Olympia wins, held by Ronnie Coleman (pictured) and Lee Haney.
his legs. So what’s the biggest kick in the balls to somebody? It’s to take their best punch and not even move. I neutralized Ramy’s strength. I neutralized everyone who had good quads by improving mine. Now what are you going to say? Because everything else was on point.
You were 112 kg onstage at the Olympia this year, up 2.25 kg from 2015. Do you go
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
up from here in weight, like, say, to 114? We could have hit that number this year if we wanted to. I could have been more 3-D and even been 115, but maybe I wouldn’t have been as hard or as dry. I think next year 114 to 115 is in reach. Hany [Rambod] and I learned a lot this time around. I think it’s very possible to hit that number, but I don’t think it’s
What’s next? Rinse and repeat and do it all over again for 2017? Or is there going to be a new game plan for next year? Hany and I spoke about a game plan, and we’re really trying to fine-tune it already going into next year. But Ronnie Coleman told us this: “You have to go hard. You have to take advantage of the genetics and the area that you’re in. You’re able to build dense muscle and all this other stuff, but if you can’t maximize it because of your work ethic, you may still win, but you’ll have regrets.” I’m really just taking advantage of the muscle maturity I have at this point. It’s fun. It’s fun knowing that if I train hard and heavy, I can get that grainy look and not have to kill myself with the diet. Here’s some history for you: No Mr. Olympia has ever really peaked twice in back-toback years. Maybe Ronnie in ’98 and ’99, but that was it. So that’s my goal, to peak for the remainder of my career.
PER BERNAL; COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH AND FITNESS; ERICA SCHULTZ
necessary. I can’t just get bigger at the risk of losing balance.
BEST OF THE BEST The BriTish Championships showed how popular The ClassiC look has BeCome. BY John plummer
Romane Lanceford won the tall men’s physique category for the second year running.
are training for a classic muscular look, judging by the quality and quantity of physiques at this year’s ukBFF British Championships. a total of 458 of the 670 competitors in nottingham took part either in classic bodybuilding, men’s physique, bikini fitness, bodyfitness, women’s physique or fitness – the alternatives to hardcore bodybuilding. The junior categories are enjoying some of the fastest growth. no fewer than 97 competitors aged up to 23 lined up on stage at the national finals in these newer divisions. Three years ago there were no junior classes for the non-bodybuilding classes but this year they existed for men’s physique, bikini fitness and – for the first time – bodyfitness. asef Taheri and nicholas Budd won in junior men’s physique. whitley davies and Chelsea dyson took the honours in junior bikini fitness and Connie slyziut became the inaugural junior bodyfitness winner. expect to hear more about these champions in 2017.
celebrating the most aesthetic physiques of yesterday and today 36
FLEX | MARCH 2016
■ MoRe and MoRe Men
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SETTING THE STANDARD Abies NosA is the british overAll meN’s physique chAmpioN.
FLEX: How did you get into competing? Abies Nosa: I read about the first ever men’s physique contest in FLEX in 2013. I went on the UKBFF website to find more details and did one show, the London and SouthEast Championships, and came third. I wasn’t even aware back then that there were British finals. I thought I just had to come back and do the same show next year. Did you do anything differently this time? My main focus this year was my condition. I always manage to come on stage with plenty of fullness but I wanted to avoid being too muscular. It was a case of being full and in condition without being too hard. Sometimes if you diet too much it affects your face and men’s physique takes account of everything. What does it mean to be British champion? Ever since I first won it I have felt a responsibility because a lot of people look up to see what you’re doing so they can beat you. It’s my job therefore to look my best and not make it easy for them. How does training with your brother, Etin, help? It helps a lot. We have been together since the beginning. Everything I have learned is from him. He’s stronger than me so it’s always a challenge for me to keep
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
up with him. It’s better to train with someone stronger because they can push you. What’s your training split? Monday Legs Tuesday Chest Wednesday Back Thursday Shoulders Friday Arms Saturday Start again We train these body parts on these days but within that we change our routine every two weeks. How does that work? So for two weeks we might focus on detail and do higher reps and fewer exercises then for the next two weeks we might focus on strength and do fewer reps and heavier weights. The best way to shock a muscle is to train it differently regularly. Do you have a day off? I try not to! But sometimes I just do abs and cardio. For me, that is a day off. I just follow whatever instructions my brother has. We do a lot of supersets as well and mix up some muscle groups like chest and triceps. Are you worried you might get too big for men’s physique? When we started going to the gym our goal was to get stronger and bigger and we still want to do that. Competing is just part of what we do. If I get bigger and can’t do men’s physique I will do another class. You’re known for your chest. What’s the best way to develop this area? Work a lot on your upper chest. If you have a good upper chest the entire chest looks fuller. If your upper chest is weak then when you flex it, it doesn’t have such good shape or fullness. I don’t use barbells often because
my shoulders get injured. I use dumbbells more often; they help me to stretch out the area better on exercises like flyes. What do you do for abs? I keep it simple. I do lot of leg raises and Roman twists for obliques. I do about 10-15 minutes of abs at the end of a workout about three times a week. What cardio did you do in the run-up to the British finals? I like to mix up cardio. I don’t like to do it only in the gym. I like to run in the park and do the StairMaster. I also do a lot of battle ropes. I don’t want to just build muscle and not be able to run and be fit. Do you do fasted cardio at 5am? No. I don’t do fasted cardio. It doesn’t work for me. I tried it but I felt like I was going to collapse. I did two hours cardio every day before the finals – an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Describe a typical day’s eating. My coach Nathan Harman sends me a diet plan, which changes according to how I look. But I usually try to eat at least seven meals a day. For my first meal before cardio at 5 am I have oats and six egg whites, steak and a protein shake. For the rest of the day I have sweet potatoes, fish, vegetables or chicken, Basmati rice and vegetables although for my last meal I don’t have any carbs. What would be your goal in the pro league? The first goal for me would be to add enough muscle to step on stage against professionals and not look different. There is a big size difference between men’s physique here and in America.
Thousands of men across the country competed in men’s physique in 2016 but only one can call himself overall British champion. Abies Nosa took the title in Nottingham by winning his height class and the overall title. His full chest, detailed 28-inch midsection and facial aesthetics set the standard for others to follow.
By JOHN PLUMMER
ABIES NOSA AGE 29
PLACE OF BIRTH Nigeria
LIVES Milton Keynes
HEIGHT 178 cm / 5 ft 10
WEIGHT 83 kg / 183 lbs
CAREER HIGHLIGHT UKBFF British champion in men’s physique in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Arnold Classic Europe champion in 2015.
AMBITION To compete in America against the best and eventually win the Olympia.
TRAINING ADVICE Be patient. It’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t see progress.
SPONSORS Scitec Nutrition
SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: abiesphysique Facebook: abies physique
FLEX MAGAZINE PRESENTS
R . OLY MPIA 2016 M
PHIL HEATH PHOTO BY PER BERNAL
FLEX MAGAZINE PRESENTS
R . OLY MPI A 2016 M
PHIL HEATH PHOTO BY PER BERNAL
ALLA MEIJER AGE 34
PLACE OF BIRTH Russia
HEIGHT 172 cm / 5 ft 8
WEIGHT 60 kg / 132 lbs
CAREER HIGHLIGHT 2016 UKBFF overall British champion in bikini fitness.
AMBITION To be a good mother first and to inspire as many people as I can along the way.
TRAINING ADVICE Find the exercise sweet spot. The right combination of work and rest, along with good nutrition, will lead to results.
SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: allameijer_bikinifit
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
BY JOHN PLUMMER
ALLA MEIJER IS THE 2016 BRITISH BIKINI FITNESS CHAMPION. At 34 years old and a mother of two, Alla Meijer is almost eligible to compete in the masters division. But she proved at the recent British Championships that she is capable of defeating females of all ages when she won the tall bikini fitness height class and the overall title with a stunning combination of beauty and body.
FLEX: What does it mean to be British champion? Alla Meijer: It shows you can do anything as long as you have the necessary passion, drive, focus and support. But it also means that I owe immense gratitude to everyone that has in whatever way or form been a part of my journey. How did you get into competing? I started to compete after my second pregnancy. When I got the all clear from my doctor and came to the gym I realised that I needed extra motivation to keep pushing and to get myself in perfect shape quickly. So I set the date of my first competition and started prepping for it.
Did you do anything differently for this contest? My coach Sean O’Reilly and I had nailed my nutrition and total package in many previous shows therefore this time I kept doing absolutely the same things. What do you in a typical week’s training? I train my glutes and legs twice a week. For my upper body, I pay extra attention to shoulders so I devote a day to training them and I have a day for back and chest. Also, I never neglect stretching. I do both static and dynamic stretching. What are the best exercises for glutes?
There are plenty but I personally prefer doing high rep sets of American deadlifts, hip thrusts, kickbacks and hip abductors. These exercises work perfectly for developing all three gluteal muscles. What did you do for cardio? I normally lift with short-to-no rest time, which keeps my heart rate elevated and thus makes my workouts cardiovascular. I also love doing plyos and sled pushes to make my routine more diverse and fun. Describe a typical day’s eating. Every day starts with a glass of warm water with lemon followed by: Meal 1 Oats with water, blueberries and scoop of protein powder, plus half a grapefruit Meal 2 (post-workout) Scrambled egg whites, avocado, protein shake and banana Meal 3 Chicken, sweet potato and vegetables Snack Rice cakes with peanut or almond butter Meal 4 Fish or turkey with rice and vegetables Meal 5 Yogurt with a scoop of casein whey and a green apple I drink plenty of water as well as matcha and green tea. But my biggest addiction is coffee. What question do you get asked most about training? A very frequent question from women is: “Why do you lift? Aren’t you afraid to look like a man?” I consider lifting to be a perfect elixir for health. It stimulates muscles to grow, bones to strengthen and fat to melt. It helps me to build sexy curves. It transforms my mental state. Not to mention it improves sleep quality, energy and skin complexion. For me personally it’s also a form of meditation.
* See this month’s Muscle&Fitness for a feature on Alla Meijer’s abs training routine.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS LUND
BOB CICHERILLO BODYBUILDING’S TRUE GRIT
in 1987 i experienced my very first taste of bodybuilding in the USA when i flew out to Atlantic city to cover the NPc Nationals for flex magazine. This particular event turned out to be one of the most exciting and competitive contests in NPc history. This was the infamous show where future great Shawn Ray would earn his pro card after he beat the phenomenal Phil Hill in sensational fashion. Also competing was a young bodybuilder by the name of Bob cicherillo from Rochester, New York. At the age of only 21, Bob entered the 1987 Nationals as the reigning NPc Junior Nationals winner, but he would be the first to tell you that this was a major step up in class. However, he did place a creditable fifth in the heavy weight division. During the next several years, in an attempt to win that beloved pro card, i personally observed Bob cicherillo compete at the Nationals six more times. He also competed in the USA championships six times before eventually clinching his truly deserved pro card status, when he finally won the NPc USA championships in 2000. After 13 long hard years of training Bob cicherillo finally achieved his lifelong dream, and was now an ifBB professional bodybuilder. At the height of his pro career former flex editor Peter mcGough asked him why it took so long to win his card. Bob replied, “There’s no doubt that the endless journey to pro status has made me appreciate my success. This pro card means everything to me. it stands for 13 years in the trenches of the NPc ranks, and through hard work and perseverance, i was able to overcome the label as a guy who would never quite make it to the flexoNliNe.com
pros. People ask me if there’s a lot of pressure on me now that i’m a pro bodybuilder. That’s ridiculous, there was much more pressure on me to get to this level, and i had to deal with the anxiety of wondering whether i’d ever make it. The 1987 Nationals, a huge show with Shawn Ray (who grabbed the light heavyweight and overall titles) on the scene again, was arguably the most competitive Nationals in history. Phil Hill (heavyweight winner) and Shawn were just incredible. i got fifth in the heavyweight class at 210 pounds, and this impressive national level debut launched one of the longest pursuits of a pro card in bodybuilding history.” Asked how he felt about finally winning his pro card in 2000, after 13 long years of competing, Bob replied, “i was relieved more than anything else. A few days later, it dawned on me that i’m mr.. USA, a title that was the culmination of a lifelong dream. But the biggest thing was getting that monkey off my back and proving a lot of people wrong. i never retired or gave up out of disgust. i’d even become part
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
of a trivia question. ‘Who are the best bodybuilders to never turn pro?’ And it was always the same three or four guys who came up in response to that question: matt mendenhall, edgar fletcher, Rory leidelmeyer, and Bob cicherillo. i’m happy to be out of that legendary group. After spending $2.500 on NPc cards alone, i should own part of the NPc by now!” i became very friendly with Bob over the next several years, and photographed him training in the gym many times during his professional career, and i must say that he was one of the most laidback and easygoing bodybuilders i had ever met. Nothing was ever a problem for ‘chick’ and he always gave you 100% effort. Bob once told me that he was actually in the Police force, but left after 3 years, because it was very military and loaded with politics. “in fact,” Bob told me, “i was actually at the Police Academy when i was training for the 1987 NPc Nationals; however, i couldn’t even leave for the show until 4 pm on the friday of the pre-judging, which started at 5
pm. i left Rochester at 5.30 pm, got into Philadelphia at 6.30 pm, and had my father drive me to the show. We drove desperately to the show and arrived there just as the middleweights were being judged. i had only one hour to get ready for the Heavies. Talk about being nervous! i was allowed to weigh in late, which made me the last competitor to hit the stage, but i did, believe it or not make the top 5. However; at the nights show, the competitor who went on before me was the monstrous and almost unbeatable Phil Hill. i couldn’t believe it! Then it got worse. Phil started posing to mY music! i panicked and ran across to the music guy and asked him if he had put my music on by mistake, but he said that he hadn’t. So, there’s Phil bringing down the house and winning the heavyweight class with my damn music. What’s more, i had to follow him and pose to the same music! We quickly changed the music and i ended up posing to a real dramatic, but oh so slow song by Barbara Streisand. it was about
â€œThe 1987 NPC Nationals was arguably the most competitive in history.â€?
I usuaLLy dO gIaNT sETs fOR mORE COmPLEx LaRgER BOdy PaRTs LIkE CHEsT, BaCk, aNd dELTOIds, BuT I usE TRIsETs fOR smaLLER musCLEs LIkE BICEPs, TRICEPs, aNd CaLvEs.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
then that i began thinking that doing the lottery didn’t seem such a bad idea after all.” But Bob, being the true grit bodybuilder that he is was determined to make it, and with muscle dreams of Venice Beach followed by promises of a contract and magazine publicity from Joe Weider, Bob cicherillo continued his quest for bodybuilding greatness, even though the following year he only placed 8th at the NPc USA championships. During the years that i knew him, i was really surprised to learn that Bob was a firm believer in supersets, trisets, and especially giant-sets. Here’s what he had to say about that:
Lenda training biceps with her arch rival kim Chizevsky-Nicholls
one of my favourite shock techniques is to blast a muscle group with giantsets. Giant-sets are made up of four or more exercises for one body part, performed in rotation with little rest between sets. Giant-sets are unlike supersets, which are two exercises done back to back with little rest between them, and usually targeting two antagonistic muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps. However, giant-sets are similar to trisets (three exercises in rotation with little rest between sets). in my training, i usually do giant sets for more complex larger body parts like chest, back, and deltoids, but i use trisets for smaller muscles like biceps, triceps, and calves. i think that smaller muscle groups need fewer exercises to shock them. When i perform trisets and giantsets, i go through the combinations three or four times and that will be all i’ll do for that particular body part. i believe that the most important factor in designing combo-sets is to choose three or four exercises that hit the targeted body part from different angles in different ways. Therefore, for biceps, i wouldn’t do three types of curls with a straight bar, such as barbell curls, barbell preacher curls and straight bar cable curls. instead, i do, for example, eZ bar preacher curls and straight bar machine curls. i often incorporate machines, even though i love barbells and dumbbells, but there have been great advances in flexoNliNe.com
All exercises were performed using the pyramid system of training
my maIN OBjECTIvE Is TO dO THINgs my musCLEs dONâ€™T ExPECT IN ORdER TO kEEP THEm gROwINg. 48
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
Lenda winning the 2003 ms. Olympia.
Training with Chris Cook.
four pieces of equipment and run them in a circle. occasionally, i do giant-sets simply to save time. if you have only a half-hour instead of your usual hour for a workout, cram an entire workout into half the time by using giant-sets rather than doing half of a workout. odds are that you’ll be sore the next day. The main reason i do giant-sets or trisets, though, is to shock a body part toward new growth, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a lagging area. i’m pleased with my symmetry now, nothing’s really lagging. Still, every body part (except my thighs) is going to get zapped with a combo set every now then, just to keep them all guessing and growing at their maximum. i also use giant-sets to focus more on a specific section of a body part, say, lower outer lats or upper inner chest. By choosing exercises with an eye toward a particular area, i can really focus my intensity on it. Whatever the reason for combo sets, i use them sparingly. if you do giant-sets and trisets too often, your muscles will become accustomed to them and you won’t get a shock out of them anymore. Also, because they really increase
your workout intensity, doing them too frequently will lead to overtraining. in fact, you may need to rest the targeted muscle longer than usual after a combo set workout. i love variety. if something’s working for me, i keep at it for four to six weeks, but for the most part i continually shake things up. my main objective is to do things my muscles don’t expect in order to keep them growing. Advanced trainers need to be creative with shock techniques. Do something out of the ordinary—do one set of 50 reps, or do 10 sets of one exercise, or do giant-sets and trisets. if used only occasionally, pumping out three or four exercises in a row with little rest between them is almost always going to catch your muscles by surprise, thus forcing them to expand. Some experienced trainers do the same thing all the time and don’t make gains. Don’t be one of those sorry guys. Do something different. Shock your muscles and force them to grow. You may be shocked by the results.
gym equipment in recent years. i use modern technology to my advantage and choose lifts that are as different from each other as possible. of course, utilising exercise variety is a good rule whether you do combo-sets or straight sets. often, my combo-set workout incorporates the same four exercises i’d do in straight sets. in my regular workouts, i routinely attack my muscles from different angles, but the shock of giant-sets or tri-sets makes those exercises a new experience. Although i pause briefly between exercises, the increased workout speed of a combo gives me a good muscle pump. Giant-sets and trisets are out of the norm for me, so the shock brings more blood than usual into my targeted muscles. i know they’ve done studies that say the pump is overrated, and i agree that it’s not purely indicative of a good workout. However, like most bodybuilders, i use the pump as a gauge of how good my workouts are. i also believe in relatively high reps (generally 12-15) whether i’m doing giant-sets, trisets or straight sets. You won’t catch me straining through six rep sets anymore. low reps focus more on the tendons and ligaments and create strength. i’m into growing muscle, so i go for the pumping effect. for bodybuilders, strength should follow muscle growth, not the other way around. Beginners should not do giantsets or trisets. intermediate bodybuilders may want to try them, but they’re really for advanced iron pumpers (those with more than two years of training). even veterans should do combo-sets only on occasion, maybe once a month per body part. Generally, i use giant-sets and trisets to spark what might otherwise be a lacklustre workout or to shock a particular body part. if i’m dragging a little when i step into the gym or my workout has become too routine, the use of combo sets can really trick a first gear workout into fourth gear. You have to use your instincts when training. You’re not going to be Hercules every single day in the gym. if you’re feeling run down, do something different. Why not incorporate a giant-set? Pick
â€œI believed that it was rare for an athlete to have the opportunity to go out on top.â€?
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
LOOKING BACK in 2006, Bob cicherillo won his last ever bodybuilding contest, The ifBB masters Pro World then retired from the sport. But, it didn’t take long for Bob to find another career which some say is more demanding than that of a full time professional bodybuilder. According to Bob, “The title of ifBB Athletes Representative was placed in my lap after Shawn Ray decided to step down from the position. i was voted into this position un-opposed and i was elected by default. i have held this position ever since. in 2006, i retired from competitive bodybuilding for three reasons: first of all, i was 40 years old, and never really had any wish to compete in my 40s. Secondly, winning the masters title qualified me for the mr. olympia, which i was already hosting. So, i had the choice of being emcee or competing in it again. i knew then that hosting was the future for me, so the answer was easy. Third, i believed that it was rare for an athlete to have the opportunity to go out on top. if they cannot do this, they can
end up kicking and screaming or becoming bitter. i chose to go out on mY terms, as the winner, centre stage with my hand raised, championship belt and Ring!” last october, i tracked Bob down in Tampa, florida where he lives with his wife of ten years, Tocha, their nine-year-old daughter, milania Sofia, and three dogs, maximus, Hercules and xenus. i asked him if he had any regrets about leaving Gold’s Gym, and the unique bodybuilding lifestyle of Southern california. “i moved to california in 2001, after i signed a contract with GNc. in fact, i was on the next plane to meet with Joe Weider, who gave me a Weider Athletes contract. for the next 8 years, i lived the bodybuilding lifestyle that almost all bodybuilders dream about. Venice and, in particular, Gold’s Gym were always my goal going back to when i was a kid watching Pumping iron. i will always miss training at Gold’s, because it’s still the best gym in the world, especially if you’re a pro
bodybuilder. i even miss the Venice Beach crowd on weekends, even though it’s perpetually stuck in 1977! What i don’t miss is the insane traffic and cost of living. We decided to move to florida because my father wasn’t doing well at the time because of advanced prostate cancer, and i wanted to spend as much time with our family as i could. i also wanted to spend more time with milania who was only two years old at the time. my father passed away a short time later.” Bob or chick, as everyone calls him, emcees around 35 shows a year and has performed in this capacity at 13 mr. olympias. He is the current ifBB Athletes Representative. He is also involved with many industry businesses including ironmag labs, Blackskull, and europa Games. He promoted his first show in ft. Worth, Texas: Bob cicherillo championships, August 20th. You can contact him at: Facebook: Bob cicherillo fan page Instagram: @ifbbprobobchick twItter: @ ifBBprobobchick
CaREER ■ 1981 Natural America, Teen Tall, 4th Q 1983 ■ Mr. New York State AAU, Teen Tall, 1st Mr. New York State AAU, Teen Overall Winner Q 1987 ■ Junior Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 1st Junior Nationals NPC, Overall Winner Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 5th Q 1988 ■ USA Championships NPC, Heavyweight, 8th Q 1989 ■ Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 4th
North American Championships IFBB, Heavyweight, 4th USA Championships NPC, Heavyweight, 2nd
Q 1995 ■ USA Championships NPC, Heavyweight, 15th ■ 1996 Q Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 8th
Q 1990 ■ Nationals - NPC, LightHeavyweight, 5th
Q 1997 ■ USA Championships NPC, Heavyweight, 16th ■ 1999 Q Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 2nd
Q 1991 ■ Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 6th USA Championships NPC, Heavyweight, 11th Q 1992 ■ Nationals - NPC, Heavyweight, 14th Q 1993 ■ USA Championships - NPC, Heavyweight, 8th
Q 2000 ■ USA Championships - NPC, SuperHeavyweight, 1st USA Championships NPC, Overall Winner Q 2001 ■ Night of Champions IFBB, 11th Toronto Pro - IFBB, 5th
Q 2002 ■ Night of Champions IFBB, 2nd Olympia - IFBB, 18th Show of Strength Pro Championships IFBB, 7th Southwest Pro Cup IFBB, 2nd ■ 2003 Q Night of Champions IFBB, 6th ■ 2004 Q Arnold Classic - IFBB, 11th Ironman Pro Invitational - IFBB, 8th ■ 2005 Q New York Pro Championships - IFBB, 8th San Francisco Pro IFBB, 9th ■ 2006 Q Masters Pro World IFBB, Winner
CHARLES LOW THIAN
st 1 SET
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ASK THE CHAMP
By Anth Bailes, IFBB Pro and 2012 British Champion
OFF-SEASON TRAINING Q
I’m about to start a New Year off-season phase. But my weight and the amount I can lift always seem to plateau after about six weeks of off-season training. Any advice?
Off-season is when we bodybuilders make improvements, so it’s vital to get it right. First of all, you need to accept that you won’t get bigger and stronger in one continuous curve. We would all weigh 300 lbs and bench 600 lbs after a few years of training if that were the case. From personal experience, and from training clients, I have noticed that the body likes to progress in spurts. In between these spurts, it has periods when, no matter how much
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
extra food you eat or how much extra weight you add to the bar, little changes. If you constantly try to push forward during these fallow periods, you can get frustrated and accumulate fat or get injured. I have found a two-steps-forward, one-step-back approach works well in these circumstances. For example, let’s say you weigh 200 lbs and want to get to 220 lbs during off season. You push the food until your body starts to say ‘no’ and the scales stop moving, say at 215 lbs. When this happens, let yourself sit at 215 lbs for a month or so to allow your body to adapt to being that weight and back off with your eating and training. Constantly trying to increase bodyweight will
screw up your body’s insulin sensitivity and make it less efficient at partitioning nutrients to the muscles. Reduce your calories and maybe do some cardio. You can even allow your bodyweight to fall to about 210 lbs. This will reset your body and its ability to partition nutrients. Stay at 210 lbs for a few weeks, then attempt another push towards 220 lbs. It will be easier than constantly pushing, trust me, although I did say ‘easier’ rather than ‘easy’. Adopt the same principle with training. If you want to get your bench press from 250 lbs to 300 lbs, push hard to get as close to it as you can, but when you plateau, say at 280 lbs, pull back to doing 265-270 lbs for a few weeks before pushing again for that 300 lbs. I guarantee that at some point this winter, your progress will stall. Two steps forward, one step back is a great approach when this happens. Give it a go if you struggle with your offseason progress.
Anth (left) on stage with Mark Dugdale in Toronto in 2014.
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ask the champ
By Phil heath, six-time reigning mr. OlymPia
You’ve had a pretty gruelling schedule of travel and appearances most of the year. How did that change when you started O prep?
i did move around a lot the rest of the year, but once i started prep, i hardly travelled at all. i might have hit the road for an emergency or taken a little short-distance road trip, but otherwise the only thing i travelled for was to meet with my nutritionist and trainer, hany rambod. i might have gone to Colorado to meet with hany, to work out at armbrust pro gym, but that’s about it.
Q After six years at the top, what is the one question you wish people would stop asking? if i’m going to win in september.
Q If they made a Phil Heath movie, whom would you cast as 19-year-old Phil Heath?
Clearing the Calendar, Casting ChoiCes, and the one question Mr. o wishes people would stop asking 56
FLEX | january 2017
only a couple of actors out there might work. robert ri’chard, who played the son of samuel Jackson’s character in Coach Carter, might be right. people have said that Bow wow also looks like me—he’s smaller, younger.
HOW DID EIGHT-TIME MR. OLYMPIA LEE HANEY KEEP HIS WAIST SMALL AND TRIM HEADING INTO A SHOW? IT MAY HAVE BEEN MORE ABOUT WHAT HE DIDN’T DO.
Q COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH AND FITNESS
Besides being born with good genetics, what was your secret to keeping such a small waist and great abs?
protein like chicken, fish, and eggs. Beef wasn’t my favourite choice when I was trying to get lean. As far as exercises, I watch a lot of bodybuilders use weight when training abs—weighted side The No. 1 thing was making bends, weighted crunches, etc.— sure that I stayed on top of my which stimulates growth in that nutritional programme with clean area. What it also has the protein, the right caloric intake, tendency to do is to make the and smart supplementation. I abs, and particularly the obliques, wanted to see my abs year-round. too thick. When I was a young If I could gain five pounds and bodybuilder, I was training my abs, see my abs, great. If I could gain getting ready to do some side 2.25 kg and see my abs, all crunches, and Robby Robinson the better. So I would always said to me, “Never hit your eat in such a way as to give me obliques with resistance directly good-quality muscle but at the because it’ll stimulate growth to same time keep my body fat low the side.” That advice was right on year-round. I was a fan of clean target. That’s huge, and I see a lot of bodybuilders doing it. It’s OK if you don’t need a BONUS TIP nice tapering waist. STEP IT UP P For athletes in ““As As I g got closer l s tto a boxing, baseball, competition, co omp pe io , my y abs b and football, it’s all would wo ould d start a tto fa fade a e about functionality, a lilittle, ittle e so I’d d kick u up but in bodybuilding the e cardio ca a o instead ns ea off sta o starving a myse myselff it’s all about and a nd ds sacrificing i ing g aesthetics. You muscle mass.” muscl s want to have that nice, sharp look without stimulating oblique development. So no weights, period.
I would do incline situps with a twist, then at an angle that hits the serratus and intercostal area mainly but also the obliques secondarily. I would do no more than 20 situps total per set. I’d do 10 to the front, then five to each side. Another exercise was seated leg raises, or jackknives. I love this exercise because it takes a lot of pressure off the lower back and that allows you to isolate muscles in the lower abs. I’d do 10 to the front, then twist slightly and do five to the front, five to the left. I’d also do vertical knee raises. Same idea—I’d take my legs down, hyperextend them behind me a bit, then bring up the knees in front of me and do 10 to the front, five to the right, five to the left. Sometimes I’d do 10 to the left and 10 to the right but never more than 20 reps total. Then I’d do cable crunches, and I’d sometimes do four sets of those instead of doing inclines. Lying crunches were not one of my favourites for developing abs leading into competition. They were not even in my training vocabulary! It always felt like a more aerobic-type movement. The bottom line is that I would never recommend doing direct oblique work unless you’re training as an athlete for a sport.
HANEY’S ABS WORKOUT EXERCISE
Seated Leg Raise
Vertical Knee Raise
NOTE: For each exercise, Lee implements some twists on
these movements in order to indirectly work his obliques.
AsK tHe CHAMP
By FLEX LEWIS, FIvE-TIME OLyMPIA 212 ShOWdOWn WInnEr
SCOREKEEPER Lewis currently has a few ongoing winning streaks:
consecutive Olympia 212 titles (2012–16)
consecutive pro contest wins (2012–16)
consecutive Korean Grand Prix wins (2014–16)
consecutive Prague Pro wins (2012–14)
THe 212 CHAmP DOeS DOWNTIme HIS OWN WAY Were you able to relax after the 212 Olympia was over? Did you at least get a good night’s sleep after you won?
That’s a night when it’s a challenge to fall asleep, especially after you’ve won! There is a lot going on, on many levels, and all that excitement and energy doesn’t just vanish. And it’s inevitable that you start thinking about next year. It’s inevitable. After Olympia Weekend this year, I couldn’t relax—the following week I went to Seoul, Korea, to compete in the Korean Grand Prix, where I won, and then I made a guest-posing appearance at the NPC Greater New York Championships in the middle of October before I closed it down for the year.
FLEX | jANuARy 2017
Q My body always aches, old pains and new. Do I need to stop working out? As a matter of fact, I woke up this morning, got out of bed, and I was bent over like a pregnant woman because my back hurt. Physical therapy is the best thing you can do for it. A couple of years ago, after my 2013–14 prep for the Olympia, I went into a clinic— my body was worked over. Physical therapy made all the difference in the world. That’s where I’m headed now, to see Dr. Ruggiero. He’ll push everything back into place before I hit the gym for my morning workout. As far as stopping your workouts, that’s another subject
entirely. You need to understand your body and know how it responds and reacts to physical therapy and make the appropriate adjustments to your training. Some people might say that’s crazy, but for myself, I know that I’m going to be at the gym ready to give my all this afternoon.
Q Name three things you’re looking forward to this year. I’m looking forward to spending more time in 2017 with my wife and daughter and my family and friends. I’m looking forward to continuing to work every day on my legacy, and, of course, I’m looking forward to defending my title.
FRANCO COLUMBU THE TWO-TIME MR. O HAD TWO OF THE BEST PECS OF ALL TIME
COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH & FITNESS
■ There are a lot of things that make Franco Columbu unique. At 165 cm, he’s the shortest Mr. Olympia, winning the Sandow in 1976 and, at 40, in 1981. Kilo for kilo, he’s arguably the strongest champion bodybuilder of all time. He deadlifted 340, squatted 302, and bench-pressed 238, all while weighing less than 91 kg. In 1977, he finished fifth in the inaugural World’s Strongest Man despite some competitors weighing more than 45 kg more than him and his dropping out after dislocating a knee. And he must be the only chiropractor to have cameos in both Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator. What really stood out about Franco, however, was his torso in the ’70s. Despite standing 23 cm shorter, he was as wide and thick as his best friend Arnold Schwarzenegger. His chest and back still rank among the best of all time. In fact, no one has owned a denser upper chest than this Sardinian strongman. His pecs seemed to spill out of his sternum, and uniquely deep crevices separated the upper and lower regions. Columbu credits a regular barrage of free-weight, compound basics for his spectacular Golden Era chest.
COLUMBU’S CHEST ROUTINE EXERCISE
Dumbbell Flye 3 superset with Dip 3
COLUMBU ON CHEST TRAINING
■ “You have five or six good chest exercises, and the bench press with a barbell is far and away the best.” ■ “No. 2 is the incline press, and No. 3 is the dip.” ■ “Flyes are good, but know that you lose tension on the pecs near the top of the movement.” ■ “Before a contest, I’d add cable crossovers to my routine to focus more on bringing out details.”
AFTER MOVING TO AMERICA IN 1969, COLUMBU HAD A BRICKLAYING BUSINESS WITH ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER.
WEIDER ATHLETES WEIGH IN
JUAN MOREL What can I expect if I sign up with your personal training programme? A: Go to ifbbprojuandiesel.com, and there’s a whole range of options to choose from. It’s an online coaching programme that can be delivered via e-mail, text, or by phone, and it offers customized diets and different programmes for men and women, plus, contest prep and posing that includes video consultation. And there are ebooks!—The Mass Programme, with daily meals for bodybuilders at 70 kg, 90 kg, and 110 kg, and the Cutting Programme for those same weight classes.
MAMDOUH ELSSBIAY When did you start your Olympia prep for 2016 and how many weeks out? A: I started prep at 16 weeks out. It started in May.
You’ve just signed with AMI/ Weider. How does it feel to be on the team? A: You mean to be a Weider athlete again. I’ve had the honour of signing with Weider in the past, and it’s a great opportunity to be able to do so again. It has always been a prestigious honour, and for me, it comes with the background of my having grown up in awe of the great Weider athletes of the past.
How do you choose your posing music? A: Posing music needs to match both your personality and your physique. You don’t want to see a 135-kg guy posing to disco music or a 50-kg guy posing to heavy metal. Posing is an art, and your music has to match you and your flow.
CHARLES LOW THIAN; PER BERNAL (2)
Why did you wait so long to compete? While you’re waiting for the Olympia, do you miss being onstage? A: I’m already qualified and really I have never had a good offseason, so I decided to take the whole year off and just prepare for the O.
WilliaM bonac What helped you realize that you had the potential to make it to the pro ranks? A: My friends around me, especially my coach from back in the days, Khalid Almohsinawi, who pushed me to win my pro card. He also helped me with finding a sponsor and took care of my contest prep. With Khalid believing more in me than I did myself, I knew he saw some potential in me. From that moment I couldn’t let him down.
cody MontGoMery When you won your pro card, did the IFBB give you an actual, physical card? Also, does the IFBB communicate with you, for example with newsletters or e-mails or regular meetings? A: Yes, I actually received a card in the mail after applying for it once I had qualified for the pro ranks by winning the NPC USAs. The IFBB/NPC office in Pittsburgh is where the e-mails are sent to touch base with the league and get updates on rules, schedules for the year, and the new NPC Active Wear—always gotta support the NPC, where it all began for so many of us.
steve Kuclo What persuaded you to enter your first bodybuilding contest? A: I trained at a Powerhouse Gym in Michigan where a large group of competitors also competed. I had always thought I needed to be the size of Jay Cutler in order to get on a stage, but when I went to a few contests and saw that this was not the case, I decided to enter the Mr. Michigan teen division and the men’s open division to see how I would do. I won the teen and placed third in the open. At that point, I knew I had something. People told me I had something, too, and I believed it after I dieted and did the work to get onstage and win. I was hooked!
PER BERNAL; CHARLES LOW THIAN; PER BERNAL; JAMES PATRICK
dany Garcia How do you eat right all the time on the road, when you’re always relying on one kind of food service or another for your meals? A: When I’m on the road, I bring my meals with me. If trips are longer than three days and I don’t have access to regular food prep, I will bring containers and work with the hotel I’m staying at to have the kitchen prepare meals for me. At that point I keep it basic—grilled chicken, steak, rice, baked potato, salad. I also always ask for an additional fridge in the room to be able to store prepared meals, as well as a microwave. It takes pre-planning but it’s absolutely worth the effort.
ASk the AthleteS
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FLEX | JANUARY 2017
I didn’t want wan to be a model. I really just wanted to play football as a kid. I grew up as the biggest tomboy who ever lived. I was always playing football or some sort of sport. That’s all I cared c about. After I had this whirlwind career in the fitness industry, my roots as an athlete kind of got swallowed up by the desire to look a certain way. I would show up on o set and look awesome. But it started to really wear on me m that I looked the part, but nobody really cared if I was the part p or not. So I did something very unexpected after being in the industry for a few years and I just kind of fell off the map. The fact that I care so much about what I look like is disgusting to me. I’m an athlete first and foremost, and if I can’t can be that on all platforms then there is something wrong. People Peo were saying you’re an idiot, but if my heart is not in it then the what’s the point. My agent was super pissed.
SO WHY DID YOU LEAVE MODELLING?
I was a total tot unknown in the fitness industry. What did I have to lose? los I caused a huge ruckus because I had never competed. We have all these competitors asking, “Who is this chick? She is a nobody. Why is she on the covers of magazines all of a sudden?”
NOT YOUR TYPICAL PATH.
Modelling was w never on the table for me. I was actually doing hair and makeup m for a photographer. I was a stand-in while he tested his h lighting setup before the model got there. In some weird, weir roundabout way, one of those photos caught the attention attentio of a photographer in California.
HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED AS A FITNESS MODEL?
BY TAL PINCHEVSKY PINCH | PHOTO BY PER BERNAL
PERSONAL TRAINER AND SELF-PROCLAIMED TOMBOY AMBER DODZWEIT STEPPED AWAY FROM A CAREER IN MODELLING TO PLAY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. SHE RETURNED TO FITNESS WITH A NEW MESSAGE FOR WOMEN.
ABOUT A GIRL
I think in fitness fit it’s so natural to just have aesthetic goals. I want abs like you or I want legs like that. I want to look this way in a bikini. bi I think that’s all great. But when I came back my whole message m was, looks are great, but let’s talk about training for performance. Because deep down that’s the only thing that’s going to make you feel better about yourself.
HOW DID YOU CHANGE WHEN YOU RETURNED TO FITNESS?
When I left my modelling career I kind of flailed in life a little bit. I moved to Los Angeles and wondered what was I going to do. I couldn’t even e afford a gym membership, so I bought an Olympic weight we set, I put it in my driveway, and I just started creating these th programmes for myself to train for football. This is all I have. What can I do? That’s how I train my girls now. If all you y have is a set of dumbbells, I can completely change your you life with just dumbbells. Then there is no excuse. Screw dumbbells. dum I can do it with body weight. At the end of the day, people pe think, I can’t do that because I don’t have a gym membership. memb I take that excuse right off the table.
DOES ONE HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO THE GYM?
I was a tra track and field athlete and All-America. I was used to walking onto on the track and being the fastest girl out there. Football, because be of my size and lack of experience, was a totally different diffe story. I had to bust my ass to get a chance to start. I think thin about my first game starting, that first hit I made, at the Los Angeles A Memorial Coliseum, which is an enormous venue. It was w completely surreal. Having to actually work for something was really good for me.
HOW WAS THE TRANSITION?
It was the best b time of my life. The hardest thing that I’ve ever done, but it was awesome—we won the championship [in 2011].
HOW DID YOU ENJOY FOOTBALL?
That’s when whe I walked on to try out for the Los Angeles Temptation in the Legends American Football League. You have to bring bri a photo of yourself so they can identify you during tryouts. tryo I didn’t have any photos that I had printed, but there was a magazine cover that was out that month. So I went to the grocery store and bought it, walked up to the table to enter my name in, ripped the cover off, and handed them the photo. They looked at me like I had 13 heads. “This girl has to be kidding.” kiddin
YOU DIDN’T PICK A TYPICAL CAREER AFTER MODELLING, DID YOU?
Dodzweit played one season in the Legends Football League— founded in 2009 and formerly known as the Lingerie Football League—as a wide receiver and cornerback.
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BULGARIAN METHOD HOW TO APPLY THE REVOLUTIONARY WEIGHTLIFTING SYSTEM TO BODYBUILDING WORKOUTS Bulgarian. In weightlifting circles, the very word conjures up images of stern men in singlets with shaggy hair and consonantladen names hoisting barbells overhead again and again, day after day, in some torturous yet mysteriously effective programme, and all while hidden away behind the Iron Curtain. In the ’70s and ’80s, when the Bulgaria weightlifting team dominated world competition, its unique training methods caused a sensation in the iron game that still reverberates today. What is the Bulgarian method, and can it be applied to bodybuilding?
programme, but otherwise his athletes were practicing their lifts for low reps, often for singles, at near-maximum effort. And they were doing this with a seemingly crazy frequency—up to four workouts per day as often as six days per week. You’d think this would lead to a full-speed wall splat—utter physical and mental exhaustion. And yet the Bulgarians were thriving, rapidly growing stronger. In fact, Abadjiev did cycle in light and heavy periods for his athletes. He also broke up monotony and upped intensity by regularly
staging mock competitions, complete with full audiences. Nevertheless, the continuous repetitive grind of his programme screams overtraining. This was avoided because of the regularity of the stress. Just as a swimmer adapts to constantly performing the same strokes or a boxer adapts to throwing the same blows, doing only two or three lifts again and again allows the body to more easily adapt. Furthermore, doing single reps triggered what is called protein memory, strengthening neurological pathways and causing adapta-
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
BULGARIAN-METHOD BASICS To get stronger in a specific lift, focus on performing that lift with great frequency. Do an exercise up to six days per week and in up to four workouts each day. If you want to get stronger for single reps, do mostly single reps with near-maximum weights. To guard against overtraining, alternate heavy and light cycles.
Meet Ivan Abadjiev. He’s 84 now, but back in 1957 he won Bulgaria’s first weightlifting medal. More important, he was Bulgaria’s weightlifting coach from 1968–89, when the small, poor country of fewer than nine million citizens dominated Olympic-style weightlifting. Whereas other programmes avoided frequent work with low reps and focussed on auxiliary exercises like high pulls, Abadjiev took the opposite approach. He believed the way to get better at an activity was to perform it over and over. This is called the law of specificity. Weightlifting success is measured in competition by hoisting maximum weights overhead in two lifts—the snatch and the clean and jerk. So according to the law of specificity, to improve on those two lifts, you need to do them almost exclusively. Abadjiev added back squats or front squats to his
BY GREG MERRITT
Uzbekistan’s Uzb bekiista an’s R Ruslan usla an Nurud Nurudinov dino ov competes co omp pete es during d uriing g the e me men’s en’s 10 105kg 05kg g weightlifting we eightliiftiing g co competiomp petii tion ti ion at at the e Rio Rio 20 2016 016 6 Olympic O lymp pic Ga Games. ame es.
HOW TO TARGET MUSCLES BY DOING ISOLATION EXERCISES FIRST
GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/GET T Y IMAGES
tion in the muscle cells specifically for the act of doing increasingly heavier single reps.
BULGARIAN AND BODYBUILDING
Members of the Bulgarian weightlifting team had one job—Olympicstyle weightlifting. They had the time and resources to work out four times a day. We assume you won’t be going to the gym more than once daily. Furthermore, unless you’re a competitive
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
weightlifter, you’re unconcerned with how much metal you can raise overhead one time. In that sense, the chief goal of the Bulgarian method is antithetical to bodybuilding, which is all about stimulating growth in all muscles and not at all about single-rep strength in the snatch and the clean and jerk. Still, the Bulgarian method has applications for musclemaking. First, it can be adapted to a programme more conducive to
BULGARIAN BODYBUILDING ROUTINE EXERCISE
NOTE: Perform this routine four or five days y p per week.
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FLEX | JANUARY 2017
growth. As in our sample routine, select four to six compound exercises that together hit most body parts. Keep your reps in the 8–12 range, and push sets to failure. Perform this same routine at least four times per week and continuously strive to use more weight or get more reps. Alternate one week of Bulgarian-style training with two weeks of a more traditional bodybuilding routine. You can also do one exercise throughout a day. No, you won’t need to live in a gym. You can do curls with just a barbell or dumbbell, or you can work triceps with close-grip pushups. Do five sets of the exercise, ideally for 8–12 reps (though depending on the exercise and your strength, you may need to go higher), and do four or five such workouts in a day. Go through this one-exercise overload day once or twice per week in addition to your regular training, and skip working this targeted body part in your regular workouts.
Whether you’re contemplating doing the same five-exercise workout five times per week or you hit one body part five times in a day, at first blush, it probably seems crazy. That’s what they said about Abadjiev’s innovation, until the Bulgarians repeatedly brought home the most medals. The method’s “craziness” is the key to its effectiveness because it forces your muscles to adapt to frequent and unexpected stress by growing stronger and bigger.
BULGARIAN BODYBUILDING TIP SHEET
PAVEL Y THJALL
Select no more than six exercises for your routine. Focus on compound exercises, and push sets to failure. Do the same routine four to six days per week. You can also do one exercise, such as dumbbell curls (five sets of 10), multiple times in a day.
By Bryan Haycock M.Sc.
SHRUG IT OFF For spectacular traps, you can’t beat shrugs
Thick traps are the telltale sign of someone who lifts. Shrugs are a true isolation exercise and can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, and machines. With arms down and fully extended, raise the shoulders using only your traps in a shrugging motion. Don’t roll the shoulders forward or
back. The only line of resistance is straight up and down. Keep the head and neck in proper alignment with the spine. Too much forward movement of the head and neck can put undue strain on the cervical vertebra. AlTeRnATIve Cable shrug FORm And FUncTIOn The origin of the trapezius spans from the occipital bone on the back of the skull down to the T-12 vertebrae. It inserts into the acromion and spine of the scapula. The primary function of the traps is to elevate the shoulder girdle, and rotate and stabilize the scapula.
TERRIFIC TRAPS WORKOUT
FLEX | january 2017
Bentover Lateral Raise
LAB TO GYM
BY BRYAN HAYCOCK, M.SC.
CAN SIMPLY FLEXING A MUSCLE CAUSE GREATER GROWTH THAN LIFTING WEIGHTS? HYPOTHESIS What if tension can be developed in the muscle without lifting something? When posing, for example, both agonist and antagonist muscle groups are flexed at the same time, generating tension in the muscle. Could this be enough to cause muscle growth? RESEARCH Researchers from the University of Mississippi wanted to know if muscle growth could occur simply by moving your arms through a full range of motion while flexing. Subjects completed four sets of 20 flexing reps with 30 seconds’ rest between sets. In the other arm, they completed four sets of 8–12 repetitions on arm curls with 90 seconds’ rest between sets at 70% of their 1RM. FINDINGS After six weeks both biceps grew an equal amount whether using no load or 70% 1RM. Interestingly, the triceps of the group using actual weights shrank during the course of the study while the no-load group saw a small increase. Strength, however, was a different matter with the 70% 1RM group making significantly greater increases.
CONCLUSION Flexing your arm muscles through a full range of motion with no external load increases muscle size similar to high-load training. In addition, high-load training produced larger increases in strength compared with contracting with no external load.
APPLICATION This is a very interesting study. It comes on the heels
of other recent studies showing similar growth from low loads compared with traditional loads, given that the low-load sets are taken to failure. The most practical application of this research is for situations where heavy loads are not possible (such as in a hotel room) or not recommended, such as after injury. It would be interesting to see what would happen using blood-flow restriction protocols with no loads. I speculate results might be even better.
FOOD & SUPPS
NUTRITION TIPS TO FUEL TRAINING AND GROWTH
FOOD & SUPPS
BY CARLO FILIPPONE
HONEY-GINGER VENISON AND ROOTS FOIL WRAP SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 140 g of parsnips, pars cut in 2.5-cm cubes 140 g of beetroot, beet cut in 2.5-cm cubes 140 g of turnips, turn cut in 2.5-cm cubes 140 g of sweet swee potatoes, cut into potatoes 2.5-cm cubes c 140 g of brussels brus sprouts, cut in half hal 2 garlic clo cloves crushed with a garlic press p 2 sprigs fresh fre rosemary Black pepper pep and sea salt to taste tas 3 tbsp honey hone 2 tbsp coconut coco oil 2 2.5-cm cubes cu of fresh g ginger 2 225-g venison ven tenderloins tenderloin
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Cut out 4 30-cm squares squar of aluminium foil. Place all ingredients except the venison ve tenderloins in a mixing bowl and mix well. Place both tenderloins on a separate sheet of aluminium alum foil and pour equal amounts of the remaining remain ingredients over them. Put the remaining two tw pieces of foil over the ingredients and tenderloins, tenderlo and fold all the edges tightly to seal the ingredients ingre in the foil wrap. Poke a small hole in the top to of each foil packet. Place the foil wrap on a baking s sheet and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes. Remove Rem from the foil and place the fillets on a dish and top with root vegetables.
FLEX | JA JANUARY 2017
10g ABOUT THE CHEF
IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Carlo Filippone is the CEO of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine (elitelifestylecuisine.com).
BRIAN KLUTCH; FOOD & PROP ST YLING BY MAT T VOHR
BY ADAM BIBLE
OFFAL GOOD MEATS
JAROMIL A /GET T Y IMAGES
MAKE MEATY MOVES TO FEED MORE MUSCLE BY LOOKING FOR PROTEIN IN IMPROBABLE PLACES We often feature foods and recipes that will help get you out of the all-too-common and dull groove of eating chicken breasts and brown rice. Not this month, because we bet—unless you are unusually adventurous—you don’t typically head for a plate of brains or a slice of heart to get your nutrition needs. These meats, which are called offal, refer to the organs and entrails—liver, lungs, heart, brains, tongue…you get the grisly picture. But it’s a shame that we tend to shun these special meats, because they offer tons of protein and lots of other important nutrients. “Organ meats are very dense in high-quality protein,” says Matthew Kadey, R.D., a dietitian and the author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure Adventure. “T “They
also supply other nutrients, such as B vitamins, selenium, and iron, that are part of the big picture when it comes to physique transformation and overall health.” If you’re curious about these intriguing—and usually much cheaper—meats, ease into it by focussing on one or two to start. Be aware that organ meats can run high in cholesterol, but recent studies—including a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition—have shown that dietary cholesterol is not linked to high levels in the body. Kadey suggests replacing your standard protein (like steak or chicken breast) with an organ meat, once every week or two. Who knows, you might just get hooked!
TRY THESE! LIVER
Very nutrientdense, but not everyone is a fan of its stronger flavour. Common donors include calf, lamb, and chicken, and all varieties are packed with tons of iron. Liver also has plenty of vitamin A to boost your immune system and is a stellar source of vitamin B12 for a healthier nervous system. BEEF HEART
For those venturing into the daunting universe of variety cuts, beef heart is probably the most manageable meat because of its similarity to steak. teak. Beef heart eart supplies selenium, enium, an antioxidant oxidant that may slash your cancerr risk.
A great source of selenium, iron, and B vitamins, such as riboflavin. They are also higher in protein and leaner than steak cuts, with an interesting earthy and tangy taste.
Committing to eating brains can be a big step for even the most exploratory eater, but sautéing or roasting this cerebral dish will get you a delicate flavour not unlike scrambled eggs. Brains also have high levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that may lower your risk of heart disease. SWEETBREADS
Actually made from the pancreas and thymus glands of young animals. Breaded and fried or sautéed, they impart a creamy and moist flavour for the glandloving oving carnivore. TONGUE
Has a good amount of zinc, which is necessary for proper immunity but can also aid in testosterone production in the body. It also has 52% of your daily RDA of vitamin B12, which is essential for a smoothrunning metabolism. TRIPE
Just a fancy name for an animal’s stomach all cleaned up and boiled. Properly prepared, tripe has an almost-neutral taste and takes on the flavours of whatever it’s cooked in. Beware, it can have an odor and be chewy.
FOOD & SUPPS
ASK THE DIETITIAN
MACRO MATTERS FOOD QUALITY AND NUTRIENT DENSITY TRUMP JUST TRYING TO MEET YOUR DAILY MACRONUTRIENT NEEDS
What do you think about IIFYM? What are the benefits and drawbacks? 78
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Also known as flexible dieting, the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) approach to eating focusses on meeting daily goals of the three macronutrients, or macros: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Theoretically, as long as you hit your macro numbers, there is no limitation on what foods you can use to meet
those goals. IIFYM has some benefits, since it allows you the flexibility to eat your favourite foods while still seeing results. The biggest problem I see with IIFYM is that many people use a numbers-only approach. They can eat any foods they want, as long as they stick to the correct amount of
protein, carbs, and fats. This often means that as long as the numbers weigh out, food quality, nutrient density, and health can often fall by the wayside. For example, you could get 40 grams of carbs in the form of 180 grams of quinoa or 16 Sour Patch Kids. While you’ll “hit your macros” from either, the insulin response,
effect on satiety, and your subsequent energy level will be very different depending on which you eat. IIFYM can also be time consuming and complicated. If you are someone who enjoys tracking your food and has the time to put toward it, go for it. Just be sure you focus on food quality, with an emphasis on vegetables, fibre, and
high-quality protein, and choose whole foods over heavily processed foods.
ABOUT THE DIETITIAN
Alissa Rumsey, R.D., C.D.N., C.N.S.C., C.S.C.S., is a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics in New York. alissarumsey.com FLEXONLINE.COM
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
Does it Help BuilD Muscle or roB You of Your Gainz? BY Mark GilBert,t, B.Sc. (NutritioN), ciSSN When I WRITE WrIte about a subject, I try to do serious homework so that I can bring you the ‘real deal’ on nutrition, fitness, and supplement topics.. But this habit can be a pain, especially when it comes to the e topic of inflammation. I knew this was a complex topic, with dozens of hormones and signalling molecules involved— most of which have effects on muscle (and on each other)— and I knew that inflammation can paradoxically be bad and good for muscle growth, strength and recovery. I also knew that there are currently several techniques, foods, and supplements (and I’ll discuss alll the main ones in this article) designed to both reduce and increase various aspects of exercise-induced inflammation.. But, initially, that just fuelled the e fire in my belly to get to the bottom of this complex topic. Little did I know, it would take me over 25 hours of intense geekery to improve my knowledge on this topic sufficiently to o confidently write an article on it…hopefully, you’ll find that it was worth it! InflammatIon and Its relatIonshIp P to TO exercIse and muscle USCLE Inflammation results from the ways in which the body reacts to certain kinds of real or perceived threats—like injury,
infection, or allergens. It can be obvious, like the swelling, pain, and redness of a sprained ankle or it can be unnoticed, like the moderately-raised levels of inflammation that occur within the cells of most people who are inactive and consume a poor diet. Of course, it can also be the damage that is intentionally induced by heavy, prolonged or unaccustomed exercise. This is the form of inflammation we’ll be discussing today. In and amongst all of this controversy, one thing we know is that when you lift weights, if you go heavy, or do it with enough intensity, you cause damage and/or disruption to your muscles—specifically, you damage myofibrils (which are the long, cylindrical structures that make up muscle fibres) and the sarcolemma (which are the membranes that cover the myofibrils). With severe damage, this can result in accumulation of calcium and muscle breakdown products, which signals events that lead to more musc breakdown, then, muscle subse subsequently, to repair. This, in turn, rn, causes some degree of inflammatory response. However, the degree of this response and how important it is as a stimulator of muscle growth, is hotly debated d between tw scientists and this the reaso why: 1)) you hear so reason fLexONLINe.cOm
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subjects. That means that even if you just ‘trashed your quads” with 30 sets, unless you’ve just taken some time off the gym or it was a much longer, heavier or more intense session than usual, or you are one of the ‘slow recoverers’ you aren’t likely to experience the highest degree of damage. for the purposes of this article, let’s start by looking at severe muscle damage. When people who haven’t done any resistance exercise in quite some time (or ever) are put through their paces, using heavy, repeated, ‘eccentric’ (negative or muscle-lengthening) contractions, this not only causes the initial damage to myofibrils and sarcolemma as described above but this damage signals a chain of events that can cause days or more likely weeks of further damage and breakdown of the muscle. Without getting into too much detail, levels of macrophages and the cytokine IL-6 are most dramatically elevated but also the cytokines IL-10, TNf-a and mcP-1, along with leukocytes (white blood cells, especially neutrophils). These, in turn, release hundreds of other factors. macrophages initially break down the damaged muscle but then tidy things up and ultimately improve the muscle-healing process. Others, like leukocytes, may cause further unnecessary damage and do not improve the healing process at all, acting more in a way that is consistent with an immune response to a bacteria or virus than to muscle damage. As is the case with macrophages, without mcP-1 and TNf-a, muscles seem to be unable to regenerate adequately and they might actually get smaller and not bigger following resistance exercise. However, if the levels of mcP-1 and TNf-a become excessive, then this also impairs growth and repair.
However, as I said, this ‘worst ca scenario’ of severe muscle case damage isn’t likely to happen in dam response to your next workout, respon even if you yo lift heavy and intensely, but the reason rea I mention it is that many recommendations recomm to increase or reduce red inflammation are based on studies stud that caused this extent of damage—either damag from using untrained human humans or causing massive muscular damag damage to lab animals. So we have to consider con the type and degree of damage damag that is actually occurring from heavy lifting in the real world when whe we consider the results of all of the research on this topic. So let’s look at the more typical damage that may occur from a heavy weights session. In the muscle, the trauma that occurs is more what scientists call ‘disruption’ than ‘damage’. And because concentrations of calcium and debris from damaged muscle is much lower, far fewer leukocytes (which amplify and prolong the damage) are drawn into the area, resulting in more moderate and brief muscle damage and inflammation. You’ll still have all of the other suspects—macrophages, etc—coming to clean up any damage but most guys will be at least 95 percent recovered by day four. To be precise, data compiled by Australian and Scandinavian scientists shows that almost 50% of guys recover within two days, almost 25% are 95% recovered by four days (and 100% by 7 days) and just under 30% take over a week (this was in weight-trained men and recovery was measured by the time it took them to re-gain their strength in the exercised muscle).
strategIes to alter InflammatIon OK, now the juicy stuff—there are dozens of ways to try to tip the inflammatory scales in your favour for better performance, muscle
ALL imAGeS: ISTOcKPHOTO
many conflicting messages around inflammation and 2) why it took me over 25 hours to brush up on the arguments on both sides of this debate. All of this is further complicated by the fact that, in the fitness industry, some coaches, trainers, and other gurus recommend minimising inflammation at all costs, while others talk of promoting inflammation as an important stimulus to instigate enhanced muscle growth. There are even supplements and diets specifically designed to both minimise and amplify the inflammatory response to exercise and even some evidence that both may have benefits…so what the heck is going on here?!?! It’s obvious that this is not a black and white issue, so here’s what I’ve come to think is the best way to look at it… Primarily, we must consider the ‘severity’ of the inflammatory response and secondly, there are the particular inflammatory pathways being stimulated, then there is the inevitable effect of genetics—some people recover really quickly, some very slowly and there’s everyone in between. So let’s put the severity of response in context for guys who lift weights. firstly, you need to be aware that even doing a single moderate lifting session, using a certain muscle group, will ‘protect’ that muscle from experiencing as much damage the next time you work it—and this protective effect lasts for at least the next six months. This is called the ‘repeated bout effect’ and it is the muscle’s way of remembering damaging events well enough so that it can protect itself from future harm. So if you lift weights regularly, you’ve trained up your muscles to substantially resist the kind of severe damage that evil scientists perpetrate on unsuspecting newby study
lIft IFT on THE ON the regular? REGUL Then you’ve trained up your muscles to resist damage. So even if you just ‘trashed your quads” with 30 sets, you aren’t likely to experience the highest degree of harm. fLexONLINe.cOm
growth and recovery—but do any of them work? The following are several of the most popular ways to alter inflammation and each one gives us clues as to whether (and/ or in what circumstances) we should try to reduce or increase inflammation…
ibuprofen. However, in older people, these drugs have been shown to actually enhance the benefits of weight training and this may be due to the fact that most people experience higher levels of inflammation and poorer control of inflammatory damage as they age.
muscle damage. They ey also increase performance. Whether their effects on inflammation n are a major part of their effectiveness s in not presently known but it’s a reasonably good bet!
arachadonIc acId (ara)
cold cOLD OLD or OR Ice ICE THERAPY therapy MAY may IMPA gaIns ImpaIr IMPAIR GAINS
Gym junkies who read up on nutrition and supplements may have heard of ARA. Back when some people first started challenging the idea that inflammation was bad and started suggesting that it was actually required for muscle repair, it was natural that ARA’s name came up. The oversimplistic theory was that ARA boosts cell-signalling molecules called ‘eicosanoids’ and these stimulate inflammation. Studies in test tubes and in rodents have shown that ARA may stimulate muscle growth. On the other hand, large amounts can actually decrease muscle growth. In human research, a 2007 placebocontrolled study showed that it may improve power performance but didn’t increase muscle mass. Also, this study showed that ARA may actually reduce inflammation, at least it reduced levels of IL-6 significantly. A very recent paper (also double-blind, placebo-controlled), published about five months ago as I write this, showed increased lean body mass, strength and power—it should be noted though, that the paper was funded by a company which sells an ARA product. This doesn’t mean the results are illegitimate but it should be a consideration. One important thing to remember with ARA is that when its inflammatory effects are blocked, this can reduce or completely inhibit protein synthesis (muscle building activity). This has been demonstrated with anti-inflammatory painkillers like aspirin and
You may have seen your favourite sports icon sitting in an ice bath after a heavy training session or competition, usually accompanied by the voice of a sports reporter describing how this treatment enhances recovery. many world-class coaches insist it does so entirely or to some extent by reducing—you guessed it—inflammation but is there really evidence that this torturous ritual is helpful? Well, the most recent study, conducted at Queensland University in Australia showed no changes in any inflammatory markers versus using active recovery (light exercise, designed to increase blood flow in the muscles and assist recovery). even more importantly, two separate studies have recently looked at groups of subjects who did resistance exercise followed llowed by cold water immersion ion (one study was 6 weeks ks and the other was 12 weeks). s). Both studies showed that hat the ice water significantly icantly reduced gains in size and nd strength! Unfortunately, since these two later, longterm studies didn’t measure inflammation, we don’t know if it was over-suppression of inflammation that reduced strength and muscle gains or some other effect of cold therapy.
While adding fish and flax oil to a typical diet, containing too many unhealthy fats will almost certainly decrease inflammation and improve health, it doesn’t seem to alter the inflammation that occurs after three days of very demanding exercise, according to a 2009 study from Appalachian State University. However, while fish oil doesn’t decrease exercise-induced inflammation, it may help increase muscle-building activity— in one study, when high concentration fish oil capsules were given en to subjects for eight weeks, the anabolic response to protein otein intake was boosted significantly.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
nItrIc oxIde Boosters Pre-workouts and other ‘pump’ product ingredients (like beetroot, cocoa, citrulline, arginine, etc.) which boost nitric oxide, seem to both reduce inflammation and
FISH & flax fIsh FISH FLAX (O (omega-3) OMEGA-3) O oIls ILS & INFLAMMATION InflammatIon INFLAMMAT
daIry D AIRY foods FOODS & Whey proteIn WHEY PROTE An increase ncrease in dairy foods in the diet was shown in a study in the American Journal of clinical Nutrition to decrease inflammation and several studies show this same effect with whey protein consumption. Whey protein’s effects on muscle may have little or nothing to do with inflammation but in those with an increased inflammatory load, such as (as suggested above) older people or overweight people or those who train very hard and often, this anti-inflammatory effect may reduce the protein breakdown or accelerate repair of protein in muscle.
leucIne + essentIal amIno acIds (eaas) Interestingly, one way the amino acid leucine and the other essential amino acids improve body composition and performance
thINK tWIce thInK CE Before B EFORE YOU you ICE Ice Two separate studies looked at groups of subjects who did resistance exercise followed by cold water immersion. Both studies showed that the ice water signiﬁcantly significantly reduced gains in size and strength.
may be via inflammation also. In a study using very intense eccentric muscle contractions in rats, those rodents given a high-leucine, eAA mixture had lower levels of IL-6 and other measures of inflammation and they recovered their strength much more quickly than the unsupplemented rats.
conclusIon In consideration of all of the above, it is clear that if inflammation is turned off or reduced too much, muscle recovery, and repair can be seriously interrupted. We know this because studies that knocked out the effects of some of these key players in inflammation have been shown to impair muscle repair and growth. On the other hand, several interventions that reduce inflammation also support muscle gains and repair (like amino
acids, dairy, whey protein, flax and arachidonic acid). moreover, excessive inflammation either means you’ve been training too hard, too often or too long for your recovery ability and that means your muscles don’t recover adequately between workouts and this means you don’t get the benefits of super-compensation (muscles getting a tiny bit bigger and/or stronger with each training session), so your progress will stagnate or even regress. The bottom line, after considering all of the research and potential strategies and supplements is that unless you have reached that point at which you are not recovering or progressing (or if poor diet or exercise habits may be causing unhealthy inflammation in your body), there is no advantage to trying to
reduce inflammation. for athletes and those who train really hard, there may be a benefit to occasional ice baths if they will be competing again in the next few hours or days and products like protein and NO obviously have been proven beneficial so we don’t have to be concerned that they’ll excessively reduce inflammation but going to extreme lengths to increase or decrease inflammation otherwise is probably not useful. marK gIlBert is an expert in Sports Nutrition and has worked with elite level athletes and formulated supplements for many of the industry’s biggest companies. See: www.MuscleDiet.net and the MuscleDiet YouTube channel!
FOOD & SUPPS
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
MAPLE PECAN PROTEIN CEREAL MAPLE PECAN PROTEIN CEREAL is
“grab and go” protein packed cereal that provides 240 kcal (1006 kJ) per bar and contains 24.7 grams of protein (from skimmed milk and soy protein isolate), 2.3 grams of fat (0.2 g of which is saturated), and 35 grams of carbohydrates (with only 9.6 grams of sugar), and a hefty 9.7 grams of fiber. Flavored with Splenda®, maple syrup and crunchy pecans, Maple Pecan Protein Cereal is also free from artificial additives and preservatives. Experts agree that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and this cereal makes getting a good breakfast fast and convenient.
MILK PROTEIN Increasing lean mass requires that protein synthesis exceeds protein breakdown. Milk contains casein and whey, two powerful proteins that affect both sides of the equation (i.e. casein decreases protein breakdown, whey increases protein synthesis). In normal cow’s milk, 80% of the protein is composed of casein while 20% is composed of whey. Casein is a slowly digesting protein provides a slow and sustained delivery of amino acids into the blood. This effect reduces whole body protein breakdown. Scientists 86
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refer to this as an “anticatabolic” effect. Unlike whey, casein is actually suspended in milk, and is a rich source of phosphorous and calcium. In 1997, a landmark study was published that compared amino acid kinetics (digestion and absorption) and protein accretion between whey protein and casein. In other words, scientists wanted to compare the effects of “fast” vs. “slow” proteins on rates of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown in young men. The results showed that whey protein (which led to rapid, but short lived increases in blood levels of amino acids) was effective for stimulating muscle protein synthesis but had no effect on muscle protein breakdown. In contrast, casein ingestion (which resulted in a slower and more prolonged increase in blood amino acid levels) led to only slight increases in muscle protein synthesis, but had dramatic effects on decreasing muscle protein breakdown. Since we know that muscle growth = muscle protein synthesis – muscle protein breakdown, this study also compared the net protein accretion during the seven hour experiment. Casein was the clear winner, as whole body leucine balance (a marker of anabolism) was greater during the casein
condition compared to whey. A fairly recent follow up study in 2012 examined the effects of ingesting 40 g of casein prior to sleep on rates of whole body and muscle protein synthesis. The results revealed that ingesting casein before bed increased muscle protein synthesis by 22%, and therefore represent an important strategy for athletes who are trying to gain lean (muscle) mass during training. Whey protein is the watersoluble portion of milk. Whey protein is typically very high in protein content (i.e. typically 90% or greater) in comparison to other forms of protein that can range from 10-50%. Whey protein is high in L-cysteine, all nine essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine), and all three branched chain amino acids (BCAA = leucine, isoleucine and valine). L-cysteine helps regulate blood sugar, decreases blood vessel inflammation and reduces exerciseinduced oxidative stress. The BCAAs are useful for helping reduce muscle soreness and speeding muscle recovery from intense training. Leucine is probably the most important amino acid of all as it can increase muscle protein
BY TIM N. ZIEGENFUSS, PHD, CSCS, FISSN
muscle protein synthesis. Aim for an intake of 20-40 grams, depending on your age and caloric requirements, every 3-5 hours.
SOY PROTEIN is a
Experts agree that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and this cereal makes getting a good breakfast fast and convenient. synthesis all by itself. Whey protein is considered a â€œfastâ€? protein because it is absorbed and digested very quickly and causes sharp increases blood levels of amino acids that only lasts for an hour or two. This is particularly useful during the post-workout period, where a rapid delivery of amino acids to muscle can quickly reverse the catabolic effects of
resistance exercise (in other words, whey protein is an effective stimulator of muscle recovery after training). Many bodybuilders also use whey protein in the morning for breakfast for the same reason. Overall, at 80% casein and 20% whey, milk protein is unmatched in its ability to decrease muscle protein breakdown and increase
moderately fast digesting protein that is rich in the essential amino acids and arginine. Arginine is a favorite of many bodybuilders for its effects on nitric oxide production (and enhanced muscle pumps). Soy protein is also rich in the phytonutrient genestein, which may also have nitric oxide boosting qualities, as well as several health-promoting isoflavones and saponins. Several studies have demonstrated the ability of soy protein to increase muscle protein growth, and although it is not as powerful in this regard as whey or milk protein, soy also contains beneficial antioxidants that may improve recovery from intense training. In addition, one study reported that soy protein increased growth hormone levels by 200%. Some bodybuilders and fitness gurus have claimed that soy protein might increase estrogen levels and/or decrease circulating testosterone levels. However, these claims have been largely debunked by recent research. Although using high doses of soy protein in isolation is usually not recommended, small amounts added to bars, protein powders, or food products can actually improve lean mass and recovery from training.
Luke Sandoe with the overall championâ€™s trophy.
The The SandoW Sandoe SANDOE aWard aWard AWARD AW ARD How Luke sandoe became 2016 britisH cHampion and new iFbb pro // bY JoHn pLummer pHotograpHY bY cHristopHer baiLeY
Years ago, Britain gave the bodybuilding world the Sandow,
a statuette of Anglo-German strongman Eugen Sandow that is awarded every year to the winner of the Mr. Olympia. Now, Britain has given the bodybuilding world the Sandoe...Luke Sandoe, the countryâ€™s 2016 overall champion and new IFBB pro. Sandoe earned his golden ticket at the biggest-ever UKBFF British Championships in Nottingham. A total of 679 competitors lined up for a marathon weekend of muscle that began at 11 am on Saturday and built to a thrilling climax on Sunday evening, when the bodybuilding class winners came back out for the overall posedown and the chance to win a coveted pro card. Hereâ€™s how the drama unfolded. flexonline.com
Luke’S Luke’S S Sky SKY Sky WaLk WALK WaLk K
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it Has been evident since Luke Sandoe first competed in 2012 that he isn’t made of the same stuff as most mortals. Sandoe has the most ridiculously full muscle bellies, which, along with his small joints, are ideal for bodybuilding. The extra size he displayed winning the Welsh Championships five weeks before the British finals established him as the firm favourite—but would he turn up in shape? Conditioning has always been Sandoe’s Achilles’ heel and some doubted he would ever bring his A Game and ascend to the pro league. It didn’t help that he was up against the strongest, deepest super-heavyweight line-up since the class for men weighing more than 100 kg was introduced in 2009. Sandoe; however, finally found a winning formula that meant that, for once, his sublime shape wasn’t blurred beneath a slight film of water or fat, which was just as well considering the opposition. The previous year’s gargantuan top two, Jamie Christian-Johal and Laurie Carr, were back looking bigger and better, weighing in at around a mighty 127 kg each. Carr’s crazy front width, huge arms and overall muscularity enabled him to leapfrog Christian-Johal, who despite falling to third, remains one of the country’s most exciting prospects. Christian-Johal added 7 kg over the year, but needs to add about as much again to fill out his six-foot-five frame. Samson Dauda also dropped a place and needs more size to be a first place contender, but has a lot of potential with his pleasing structure and tiny waist. 2014 super-heavyweight champion James Hollingshead bounced back from his disappointing 2015 by revealing plenty of detail and condition
c but was a little flat. Everyone in the top five had improved on the previous year, which showed how the standard had risen. Leeds’ Liam Crossley, who was sixth, was one of the year’s breakthrough stars. With a darker tan and a bit more finesse, he could be challenging for the top three. Some good names, like Aaron Hudson, missed out this year as the class of 2016 raised the superheavyweight bar.
a Luke Sandoe does a front double biceps. b Laurie Carr’s astonishing muscularity. c Jamie-Christian Johal shows plenty of detail. d Samson dauda during the quarter-turns. e Class winners posedown for the overall title. F The superheavyweight top three.
a Jenev Varghese’s spectacular abs and thighs pose. b heavyweight runner-up azeez Salu. c Lee Swinhoe shows his triceps. d hameed Juma’s side chest. e alex Babatunde finished fifth. F Marc hector’s great lines.
The The Quad Quad MonSTer MonSTer MonST STER ER sandoe’s biggest tHreat for the overall title came from heavyweight champion Jenev Varghese, aka the man with the crazy quads. Varghese had been grinding his way up the ladder for a few years as he battled to bring up his torso to match his freaky legs. There is a still a bit of an imbalance, but Varghese’s physique had major impact, with plenty of separation and pop and great
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muscularity and conditioning. Varghese’s main challenger in the under-100 kg class was junior winner Azeez Salu, who along with Sandoe was the talk of the show. Lee Swinhoe was virtually unknown at the start of 2016, but after winning in Leeds and backing it up here with similarly impressive condition, he is a force to be reckoned with. A slightly soft Hameed Juma was fourth, ahead of last
year’s over-90 kg heavyweight champion Alex Babatunde, who has an eye-catching front relaxed pose, and the improving Marc Hector, who continues to add size to his fabulous structure. The heavyweights were probably the class of the day and with everybody bar Varghese breaking into the top six for the first time, some established stars, like Rob Cannon and Neil Andrews, were squeezed out.
WaTTS WA ATTS uP UP c
tHere was controversY in the lightheavyweights as former middleweight champion and conditioning king Chris Jones brought mass and shreds by the bucketload, but only finished fourth. Tony Bailey, another man who always brings it, was third despite being big and vascular. A new top two established dominance. James Watts and Cliff Benton finished first and second respectively, just as they had done in the middleweights a couple of years earlier. Neither man looked quite as sharp at the heavier weight, which theyâ€™re still growing into, and lacked size alongside Jones and Bailey but both had more aesthetic structures, small waists and some fabulous body parts. In the middleweights, David Henderson became the first Northern Irishman to win an open weight class at the British Championships. Looking solid and evenly developed, with a particularly strong back, Henderson relished his time on stage and overcame a huge class that included defending champ Stephen Chandiwana. Gharib Nawaz inflicted a rare defeat on three-time British champion Gordon Singh in the lightweights.
WAt tS, HenDeRSon, toP 3: Simon HoWARD
a James Watts hits a vacuum pose as aesthetics prevailed in the light-heavyweights. b david henderson became northern Irelandâ€™s first champion. c Gharib nawaz wins the lightweights. Gordon Singh (2nd) is left and Jamie Stormont 3rd.
JunIor JunIIOR JuGGernauT JUGGERNAUT JUG T nobodY, except Luke Sandoe, made a bigger impression over the weekend than junior champion Azeez Salu, 21. The former rugby league player bulldozed his way through the pack last year to win the juniors and he was even more sensational this time, destroying a very good line-up with major league muscle and conditioning to become a two-time under-23 king. If Salu had stayed in bed we would have been hailing Guy Clifford-Harding as a worthy British champion. CliffordHarding had lovely lines and excellent conditioning but just had the misfortune to run into a junior juggernaut. Salu is the first two-time junior British champion since Flex Lewis, who won the titles in 2003 and 2004. Back then the junior age limit was 21; now it’s 23, meaning Salu could win as many as four junior titles if he chooses to stay in the division. He also entered the heavyweights and, weighing 98 kg, gave champion Varghese a mighty scare. At the other end of the age scale, Simon Evans delivered the most complete looking physique in the over40s. Alfie Noda did likewise in the over-50s. The standard in these classes has never been higher. Marian Sramko was the outstanding intermediate – the class for men who have never qualified for the finals before. He had impressive size and some seriously good body parts, including chest and arms. In classic bodybuilding, which restricts weight according to height, Piotr Jablonski’s big chest and wide shoulders took the short class and Andrew Fisher’s aesthetics prevailed in the tall category.
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BrITISh ChaMPIonShIPS By The nuMBerS
juniors aged 23 or under
masters aged 40 or over (35 For Women)
21 HOURS JABlonSKi, toP 3 PHotoS: Simon HoWARD
stage time over tWo daYs
a azeez Salu shows why heâ€™s such an exciting prospect. b
Mariam Sramko (centre) wins the over-90 kg intermediates. c Classic king Piotr Jablonski. d an elated Fadi Ghattas takes the beginners division. e Simon evans (centre) takes the over-40s.
PhySIQue PhySIQue PH HYSIQ SIQUE UE kInGS kInGS K INGS
abies nosa became the UK’s most successful amateur men’s physique competitor by winning his third British title. Nosa won the up to 178 cm height class, defeating impressive runner-up Olawale Shotubo and in-form Andy Ward. The Nigerian-born Nosa later took the overall, which was tough on tall champion Romane Lanceford, who keeps winning his class but never seems to nail the overall. Lanceford has the perfect men’s physique look, with a spectacular taper, tiny detailed waist and well-groomed looks and deserves a break into the big time but this was Nosa’s day and you couldn’t say he didn’t merit it. Jorawar Singh enjoys his trips to Nottingham. Last year he won junior men’s physique and he returned again to take the short height class. This young man knows how to diet. Mr. Aesthetics Meite Niamba went home with his second silver trophy in a fortnight after also finishing runner-up at the Arnold Classic Europe. Darren Johnson followed up his victory in the UK Nationals by wining the British title, defeating Jordan Cadore. It’s difficult to separate this pair: both have solid, well-chiseled looks.
Asef Taheri’s aesthetics won the tall junior class and Nicholas Budd took the short class with an upper body packing plenty of detailed muscle. Jason Thompson became Britain’s first muscular men’s physique champ. This category is still finding its feet: some competitors had crossed the line into bodybuilding and were marked down. Thompson had plenty of muscle but still presented a physique rather than a bodybuilder-type body. a Three-time British champion abies nosa. b Jorawar Singh – shredded. c darren Johnson wins again. d Junior champion asef Taheri. e nicholas Budd shows winning form. F Britain’s first muscular men’s physique champion, Jason Thompson. g abies nosa wins his class ahead of olawale Shotubo (left) and any Ward. H nicholas Budd defeats Jonathan halliday (left) and Isaac Francis.
BIkInI BIK KINI BaTTLe BA ATTL TTLE E witH Four stacked HeigHt cLasses, two junior categories and two masters divisions, bikini fitness continues to grow faster than a Brazilian’s butt. Talking of which, Brazilianborn Livia Melo used her combination of booty and beauty to win the short height class, which was as usual the most competitive of the day. Defending champion Krish Kataria looked better than ever but had to settle for second. Billie Whyatt had been steadily climbing the ranks and she finally scaled the summit by winning the up to 166 cm division. Whyatt builds muscle easily and does a great job of shaping it to suit the category. Junior winner Chelsea Dyson was second and defending champion Joanna Wolosz was third.
Eva Motie had a day to remember: first she finished sixth in the juniors then she won the up to 169 cm division. Finally it was the turn of the tallest women to take to the stage and Russian-born beauty Alla Meijer claimed the honours. Meijer’s fabulous shape and glutes then also won the overall. Whitley Davies’ lean and athletic figure won the short class in junior bikini fitness. Chelsea Dyson defeated Hannah Kent in the tall category. Masters bikini fitness was split into two height classes for the first time as more and more women aged over 35 train for the stage. Zulmira Woodrow’s pleasing shape won the short class and Liz Richardson, who has been on a roll, won the tall division.
a eva Motie takes the up to 169 cm class, flanked by runnerup Veronica Martynshyn (right) and third-placed hannah kent. b Livia Melo’s winning look. c Billie Whyatt shows her fabulous shape. d Junior champion Chelsea dyson. e overall champion alla Meijer.
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BodyFITneSS BOD DYFIT FITNESS SS
a natasHa mcFarLane’s well balanced and highly aesthetic package won the tall line-up, defeating the impressively conditioned Kristina Vassilieva. In the short class, Hungarian-born Barbara Kiss prevented clare Barks from successfully defending her title.
b c michelle leach did successfully defend her crown in masters bodyfitness. there were 27 women in the category but leach’s magnificent proportions stood out. leach’s gym buddy connie Slyziut was also in a league of her own in junior bodyfitness. What a set of shoulders she has built.
a overall champ natasha McFarlane. b Two-time masters winner Michelle Leach. c amazing junior Connie Slyziut.
WoMen’S WOMEN’S PhySIQue PHY HYSIQ SIQUE UE women’s pHYsique featured a wide range of body types ranging from bodybuilders to those who wouldn’t have looked out of place in bodyfitness, which made it difficult to assess. the judges
opted for the slender but shapely form of lorna macDonald. Runner-up linda Gartside once again came close with another high quality package and the super-shaped Kirsty Woolford was third.
Lorna Macdonald has the right look for women’s physique.
FITneSS FITN NESS
once again nobody could stop emma Paveley, who produced a sensational routine and a first-rate physique to win her third British title. Bikini fitness convert Kate errington was second with a captivating dance-style routine. the muchimproved physique of Vicki cale finished third in a class that has never had such depth of talent.
Top 3 (left to right) 3 kate errington 1 emma Paveley 2 Vicki Cale.
2016 ukBFF BrITISh ChaMPIonS Bikini Fitness Junior Bikini Fitness up to 163 cm
WhITLey daVIeS Junior Bikini Fitness over 163 cm
Men’s Physique up to 178 cm
Intermediates up to 90 kg
Men’s Physique up to 182 cm
Intermediates over-90 kg
Bodyfitness up to 163 cm
Bodyfitness over 163 cm
Masters Bikini Fitness under-165 cm
Masters Bikini Fitness over-165 cm
LIZ rIChardSon Bikini Fitness up to 163 cm
LIVIa MeLo Bikini Fitness up to 166 cm
Bikini Fitness up to 169 cm
men’s Physique Junior Men’s Physique Up To 178 cm
Junior Men’s Physique over 178 cm
Bikini Fitness over 169 cm
Masters Men’s Physique
Men’s Physique up to 174 cm
darren JohnSon Men’s Physique over 182 cm
Muscular Men’s Physique
MarIan SraMko Classic Bodybuilding up to 178 cm
PIoTr JaBLonSkI Classic Bodybuilding over 178 cm
Bodybuilding up to 70 kg
Bodybuilding up to 80 kg
Overall Men’s Physique
FadI GhaTTaS Junior Bodybuilding
Masters Bodybuilding over-40
Masters Bodybuilding over-50
aLFIe noda Intermediates up to 80 kg
daVId henderSon Bodybuilding up to 90 kg
JaMeS WaTTS Bodybuilding up to 100 kg
JeneV VarGheSe Bodybuilding Over 100 kg
Luke Sandoe Overall Bodybuilding Champion
SIXTH SANDOW CHASING HISTORY, PHIL HEATH WINS THE 2016 MR. OLYMPIA BY GREG MERRITT PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL
not this time, not after he locked in his rear double biceps. And yet this mr. olympia was, from top to near the bottom, one of the strongest of all time. numerous competitors were at their peak, leading to a furious free-for-all for the remaining top-10 slots. it was Ultimate nutrition presents Joe Weider’s 2016 olympia fitness and Performance Weekend brought to you by Amazon Sports nutrition, and, from the emergence of new contenders to The Rock’s exciting announcement about next year’s contest to the Gift climbing ever closer to the ultimate record, the future of bodybuilding is looking as bright as the las Vegas Strip.
Phil heath’s HEATH’S Reign atoP the REIGN BodyBuilding WoRld Was neveR in dangeR. 104
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YOU MAD, BRO? let’s talk about boredom. let’s talk about the who-gives-a-crap malaise that can cloud a long reign of domination—lee Haney pummelling another middleweight during his eight years on top, Sergio oliva (in ’68) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (in ’71) living so large no one else even dared to show up, Ronnie coleman at three bills, too much to touch. And now we have Phil Heath, and legions of bodybuilding fans are yawning. They weren’t when it was Heath versus Jay cutler or Kai Greene versus Heath, but now that the Gift’s not duelling with his mentor or his fierce and oh-so-bitter rival, who’s going to make this interesting?
OTHER THINGS Heath posed to “Waiting for My Moment” from the Creed soundtrack and said later, “I really relate to those lyrics.”
From left: Dexter Jackson, Shawn Rhoden, Phil Heath, Mamdouh Elssbiay, William Bonac.
i put the boredom question to Heath two days before friday’s first callout. “i think what happens is that people deep down know that i’m better, and they think it’s boring, so then they want to root for another guy,” mr. o answered. “But if it’s boring for them, then i plan on bringing some excitement, because i definitely know that i have new muscle. i know people come to the mr. olympia to see the unbelievable. it’s like, although
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it’s a ferrari, we’re tired of ferraris. We want to see some concept car we’ve never seen before. yes, this is great, but we wanted to be wowed.” Bereft of a close challenger, we’ve turned to virtual posedowns and conjectures about how he would’ve fared against other lineups. i didn’t bring this up, perhaps because i’ve been a perpetrator. He did. “i’m just here trying to be the best i can be, and i
think sometimes it takes the joy out of it to be compared to all these theories of what could be or what would be. This is what is. This is my reality. i’m here and i’m winning now.” He is indeed, though a lot of bodybuilding fans wish he’d lose. “i get it. People want to cheer for the underdog,” he said. “People want a close contest.” Those people were going to be disappointed, yet again, because it’s Phil Heath’s job to disappoint
COMPETITOR NO. 9 Roelly Winklaar is a concept car. This year he pushed his dimensions to another level. He was already the owner of the worldâ€™s hugest arms and delts, but now his back width wows, too. The pieces donâ€™t all fit
them. But they did see a fleet of phenomenal ferraris, many more than usual, and they were even wowed by some concept cars.
The high-tech stage backdrop with five enormous screens was phenomenal. Props to promoter Robin Chang for that and another sold-out contest.
2 SHAWN RHODEN
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Rhoden (left) unfurls his lat spread next to Elssbiay.
together. His belly can distend. His rear double biceps is still overwhelmed by his arms and delts. And his quads need more width and separation to stay in line with his ludicrous upper half. But you gotta be what you gotta be, and going gargantuan is Winklaar’s best strategy. COMPETITOR NO. 14 last year, mamdouh elssbiay caused a sensation when he stepped on the scales at the athletes meeting and 143 appeared. Still, he was fifth in that olympia, proving size isn’t everything. i argued that he had more than enough mass, and he’d have to dial in a lot more cuts to claim a Sandow. This year, he brought a much different look to the stage. His weight was still listed at a lofty 132, but he looked to be 4.5 kg under that by Saturday. Big Ramy had lost some of his wow factor, mostly because we’d seen his wheels and back broader before. But he had to decide: Do you want to just wow or do you want to win? He appeared a bit flat on
OTHER THINGS Rhoden had some new moves in his routine, courtesy of his posing coach, Melvin Anthony.
friday but much sharper on Saturday. This somewhat-lessbig Big Ramy with greater detailing and a superior flow is a concept car that should go into production. COMPETITOR NO. 15 if bodybuilding was judged on who is best maximizing their potential, William Bonac would be mr. o. Though standing only a generous 170 cm with narrow clavicles, he crammed 105 kg of meat on his skeleton and stripped away any evidence of fat or water. one can nitpick. He’d benefit from fuller pecs and hamstrings. But in regard to muscle quality and conditioning, Bonac’s physique was superb. “it’s a big improvement compared to last year, so i’m really happy with it,” he said after finishing just three points out of fourth place (the closest call in the contest).
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Jackson strikes a rear double biceps alone and a side chest with Elssbiay and Rhoden.
3 DEXTER JACKSON
COMPETITOR NO. 16 Shawn Rhoden’s legs have long been his strength. This time his wheels seemed deflated. That’s the bad news. The good news was he’d brought up his previously weak back. The result was better balance, even if he’d lost some of the punch he had when the focus was mostly on his quads and abs. The perpetually cool Rhoden has an x-shape that could potentially x-out Heath, but he’ll need some of that conceptcar freakiness to get there. COMPETITOR NO. 17 The Blade was a little dull this time. from the front, Dexter Jackson’s legs lacked separation. His abs and thigh were all abs with precious few thigh lines. His side shots, however, were superb. With his feathered outer quads, his side chest pose was the best in the contest. This disparity in compulsory poses, with guys looking much better in some than others made sorting out the top spots (but not the winner) a chore for the judges and will keep fans debating for a year. COMPETITOR NO. 18 The biggest bodybuilding story of 2016 was the comeback of the legendary Kevin levrone after 13 years off stages and at the age of (depending on the source) 51 or 52. At the press conference the day before the contest, he peeled off his sweat suit jacket to reveal his trademark curvaceous delts and arms. from the front, his upper half looked like a slightly smaller version of him in the ’90s. He exceeded my expectations as he traded impromptu poses with cedric mcmillan and Josh lenartowicz, though his back was less impressive, and, crucially, we didn’t see his legs. A day later, as he strode to centre stage to run through his poses, he was propelled via legs that looked almost ordinary. His 50-something knees had not cooperated with squatting and leg pressing prodigious kilos. Although he was destined to not place for the first time in a career of 63 pro contests (only once before had he even missed the posedown), the crowd roared. on Saturday, if you squinted just enough as he struck his
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4 MAMDOuH ELSSbIAy
5 WILLIAM bONAC
From left: Justin Compton, Josh Lenartowicz, Roelly Winklaar, Cedric McMillan.
Josh Lenartowicz, Justin Compton, and Nathan DeAsha highlighted a superb rookie class. I had DeAsha in Compton’s 10 spot.
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trademark shots to creed’s “Who’s Got my Back?” you could imagine it was 20 years ago and he was in his prime and contending for the Sandow. But of course we were all a lot younger then. COMPETITOR NO. 19 “obviously, a lot of people in this show have great quad development, and i didn’t think mine was lacking size. i just felt
like i was lacking the density and the maturity, and now that i’m 36 i needed to take advantage of these maturity years,” Phil Heath said backstage on Saturday when it was clear he was going to win. “So we really used different types of rep ranges, lots of eccentric movements, lots of holds, and a lot of recovery through dynamic stretching. i actually started researching different types of
stretching techniques, and i realized i was so bound up that i wasn’t able to grow. “Glute work was really important this year. A lot of times i’d avoid the glute machines because they’re usually dominated by bikini competitors, but i realized if i got stronger glutes i could do better squats, so i could actually have a denser look from behind at a higher weight. normally, to get
striated glutes i have to drop weight and really kill myself on the cardio. i didn’t have to do that this time, because i was doing more leg training.” The now six-time mr. o hit legs twice weekly in 2016, the only body part he doubled up on, and, including quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, sometimes with as many as 25 exercises. As a result, his lower body was noticeably fuller. As
OTHER THINGS Although it was clear from callouts that he wasn’t in the top six, McMillan sullenly milked the crowd for boos after his seventh-place announcement.
6 ROELLy WINKLAAR
for his weight, he said, “last year i was 109 and still beat people on size. This time i was 112, and that was better. That 2.25 kg difference gave me that 3-D look that i’m known for.” FIRST CALLOUT Roelly Winklaar, William Bonac, Dexter Jackson, Phil Heath, Shawn Rhodan, mamdouh elssbiay. With top-six perennials Dennis Wolf and Branch Warren absent, their two emptied spaces were filled by the most predictable candidates, Winklaar (seventh last year) and Bonac (eighth last year). in pose after pose, it was clear Bonac would make the greatest leap. it was also a fait accompli that no one was going to challenge Heath. SECOND CALLOUT William Bonac, Roelly Winklaar, mamdouh elssbiay, cedric mcmillan, Josh lenartowicz, Dallas mccarver. Here’s the future. Within a year or two, all six of these men could be contending for the Sandow. it’s important to remember that mccarver, with all his boundless potential, is still only 25, a point he hammered home at the press conference when he noted, “Dex is the same age as my daddy” (Jackson was 46 at the olympia). When i asked head judge Steve Weinberger about what he saw in mccarver, he shot back, “incredible. Great future.” The same could be said of lenartowicz, who had never
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From left: Compton, lenartowicz, Winklaar, McMillan, Bonac, McCarver.
7 CEDRIC McMILLAN
8 DALLAS McCARVER
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before even attended an Olympia. He avoided the rookie mistake of trying to come in too full and was justifiably rewarded for his panoply of cuts. This was the strongest top 10 since 2006. NEW TOP CONTENDER In the end, after The Rock announced that next year’s contest would be broadcast by CBS Sports and produced by himself and his business partner, Dany Garcia, and after Jackson had lumbered off disappointed and only Phil Heath and Shawn Rhoden remained at centre stage, there wasn’t much suspense to emcee Bob Cicherillo’s victory call. A wide gulf lay between one and two while two through four were bunched together. “Honestly, second through fourth changed a lot tonight, and it was very close,” Weinberger said. “You could’ve mixed any of those guys up, and you could argue it all day long.” “It’s a great feeling, a step in the right direction,” Rhoden said backstage with his silver medal and $150,000 check. “I didn’t feel as if the competition was as stiff as the end result says, but you just have to continue to move forward. I wish I’d had a callout with just me and Phil, pose for pose, but at the end of the day I’m
thankful that I moved up.” Rhoden will be 42 at next year’s Olympia, while Jackson will be two months shy of 48. In sharp contrast, Elssbiay will be turning 33—the prime age for a bodybuilder. Heath, the 13th Mr. O, thinks Ramy is destined to be the 14th, though Heath foresees this happening only after he retires with 10 Sandows. “He’s starting to become his own person and find his own path,” Heath said. “It’s not about just being bigger, it’s about being better.” On Saturday, Weinberger averred, “Ramy came back looking unbelievable tonight. He was really on, and he was very dangerous.” Having finally figured out, thanks to nutritionist Chris Aceto, how to dial it in, and now that he’s more focussed on wins than wows, Big Ramy is the new top contender. CHASING ARNOLD Heath’s greatest competitors, however, are the legends who preceded him. With six Sandows, he’s tied with Dorian Yates. All year long, every time he toiled in Armbrust Pro Gym in suburban Denver, the Shadow was staring down at him from a larger-thanlife photo. “No matter where I am in the gym, I turn around and there’s Dorian, and it’s that shot,
that Kevin Horton shot of him hitting the side triceps with his black socks on.” Reaching Yates’ level motivated Heath’s Olympia quest. Now just Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman, with eight Olympias each, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with seven, stand between him and the record. The Gift nearly choked up when I told him backstage during Saturday’s show that Arnold was in the front row with Franco Columbu. “Arnold is actually in my office in the gym. I see him every day, too. I love Arnold. He’s Arnold, man. He’s the reason why we bodybuild—not just because of how he looked, but his swagger was just unparalleled. To know that he’s here, I’m going to be very emotional if I win, because that means a lot. I need that nod from him. Because I’m already Mr. Olympia, but I want to be in that fraternity. It’s like you got three, that’s cool, but the cool kids are over here. Now that I’ve got six, I’m with Dorian. But if I get to Arnold...” he shook his head as he imagined reaching such a celestial height. “That’s what’s going to motivate me for seven, all year, to be up there with Arnold.”
2016 IFBB MR. OLYMPIA
Sept. 16–17; Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV 1 Phil Heath* $400,000
6 Roelly Winklaar $35,000
11 Victor Martinez $4,000
2 Shawn Rhoden* $150,000
7 Cedric McMillan $25,000
12 Nathan DeAsha $4,000
3 Dexter Jackson* $100,000
8 Dallas McCarver $20,000
13 Steve Kuclo $4,000
4 Mamdouh Elssbiay* $55,000
9 Josh Lenartowicz $19,000
14 Ben Pakulski $4,000
5 William Bonac* $45,000
10 Justin Compton $16,000
15 Akim Williams $4,000
Did Not Place ($2,000 each): Brandon Curry, Kevin Levrone, Michael Lockett, Lukas Osladil. *Qualified for 2017 Mr. Olympia.
11 VICTOR MARTINEz MARTINEZ MARTINE
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12 NATHAN DDEASHA EASHAA
14 BE bEN BEN PAKuLSKI PAK AKULSKI
13 STEVE VE KuCLOO KUCLO KU
15 AAKIM KIM KI WILLIAMS
The Rock, who received the “Man of the Century” award, handed Heath the Sandow trophy.
GIVE M FLEX EX LEWIS WINS HIS
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M E FIVE FIFTH 212 O OLYMPIA LYMPIA BY GREG MERRITT PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL
FLEX WINS. That’s a given. Undefeated in the 212 division, he collected his fifth 212 Olympia title on Sept. 18. If you’re keeping score, it’s Flex Lewis: 5, the rest of Earth: 0. But nothing lasts forever. If not next September, two Septembers from now, some other Earthling will likely become the second bodybuilder to win a 212 O title. The Welsh Dragon says six will be enough, and that makes the shocking emergence of a new heir apparent all the more intriguing.
SAME OLD GANG This class has been growing old, literally. Based on last year’s results, the three top contenders this year—Jose Raymond, Hide Yamagishi, and David Henry— were all 40-somethings, and together they have 32 years of pro experience. You can frame this in two contrary ways. On the
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FLEX LEWIS FLEXONLINE.COM
Above: The top three strike the front double biceps pose. Is Ashkanani’s place in the centre a sign of things to come? Right: Ashkanani and Lewis hit the crucial rear double biceps, which again provides Lewis his winning margin.
one hand, it’s remarkable how consistently excellent they’ve been even in middle age. On the other hand, it makes one wonder, if not lament, about the future of the 212 division. After all, Father Time is undefeated. Coming off his 212 win at the Arnold Classic, Yamagishi seemed the most likely to challenge Lewis. Instead, Japan’s greatest muscle export slipped out of the allimportant top five. Areas like glutes and pecs were sushi sliced, but his delt and quad separation were deficient. Once again, David Henry delivered the best most-muscular in the 212, and he brought the divots to his rear shots. If only his wheels matched his upper half, he could contend again. Moving up one spot from last year was the perennially peeled Eduardo Correa. Like almost always, EC nailed his high-def detailing, and he’s done an admirable job of expanding his left arm since he tore the triceps. He deserved third. To make room, I would’ve placed Jose Raymond fifth. The Bostonian couldn’t muster any quad separation, and his lower pecs, when relaxed, were melting. He did, however, showcase an abundance of his trademark graininess in the crucial rear double biceps, so the judges must’ve put a premium on that pose.
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SURPRISE And then, in a flash, he arrived. Ahmad Ashkanani. Learn to pronounce that name, because the 160-cm Kuwaiti sensation took the 212 division by storm in a mere few weeks. He earned his pro card just in March, and he O qualified only six weeks before the Olympia by winning his pro debut. Then, in his second pro contest, on bodybuilding’s biggest stage, he was trading poses with Lewis the legend. His upper body would look at home on an open Olympia competitor, and he sports the broadest back on a short man since Franco Columbu. His front and rear lat spreads allow him to attack most 212ers, including Lewis, at their greatest vulnerability: width.
Moving forward, the conundrum for Ashkanani will be how to bring up his lagging legs without sacrificing too much back size, because when you’re brushing up against the 212 limit, in order to add somewhere you need to subtract from somewhere else. For now, though, let’s celebrate the muchneeded arrival of a new top contender with a physique that stands in sharp contrast to most shape-over-size 212ers. When Ashkanani heard Raymond’s name announced in third, he rocked back as if struck, stunned at what he had accomplished in his brief rookie season. Top two in the world. And he’s only just begun. SIX IS ENOUGH It wasn’t quite Flex at his best. His chest was a bit flat, and he didn’t possess his full panoply of striations. But he still displayed that pleasing combination of shapely curves and deep
2016 IFBB 212 OLYMPIA Sept. 16-17; Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
1. Flex Lewis* $40,000 2. Ahmad Ashkanani* $17,000 3. Jose Raymond* $8,000 4. Eduardo Correa* $5,000 5. David Henry* $3,000 6. Hide Yamagishi $2,000
7. Charles Dixon 8. Guy Cisternino 9. Ronny Rockel 10. Alejandro Cambronero 11. Mark Dugdale 12. Dobromir Delev 13. Shaun Clarida 14. Sami Al Haddad 15. Marco Rivera
Did not place: Babak Akbarnia, Kim Jun Ho, Vojtech Koritensky, Andrej Mozolani. *Qualified for 2017 IFBB 212 Olympia.
AHMAD HM ASHKANANI SHKA
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4 EDUARDO CORREA
JOSE O RAYMOND RA AM
As evidenced by their spaghetti pecs, Correa and Henry brought the high-definition. high-deﬁnition.
separation. What’s more, no one in any Olympia division had a better flow to his physique than the Welsh Dragon. Number 5 was an easy and unanimous decision. “It’s been the best prep of my life because of balance, with the baby being the focus of everything,” he said of his 10-month-old daughter, Adiena, whom wife Ali Rosen brought onstage moments after his victory. “I found a sixth gear I never knew I had.” Of the surprising emergence of Ashkanani, Lewis said, “We need new blood in this sport, and, that said, with him coming in and new
5 DAVID HENRY guys coming in in 2017, it just stirs up the pot. For me, my goal has always been six 212 [Olympia] titles, and I’ll be very happy if I get that sixth to walk away and pass it on to somebody else.” I put it to his coach, Neil Hill, who also shepherded 170-cmWilliam Bonac to a fifth in the open Olympia. Would 165-cm Lewis be advancing to the big league after one more title? “We’re definitely thinking about it,” he answered. “I’ve seen how amazing he looks heavier.” Lewis, Hill explained, would need 18 months off stages to grow into the open class. Or could the next Olympia be the last time the Welsh Dragon locks in his rear double biceps? “I’m not saying retirement,” Lewis stated backstage after his fifth 212 O win, “but my goal has always been to get six and then move on. And if I do, I’ll know I helped to grow this division and that I’m leaving it in good hands.” FLEXONLINE.COM
BIG I SHOTS BackstaGe, sId sIdestaGe, Ge, BehInd h n the curtaIn…flex rt …fl x was everywhere r coverInG o n the h o. check out our favourIte f olympIa m weekend moments. t . PhotograPhs by erIca schultz
Phil Heath checks the goods before going onstage to tie Dorian Yates with a sixth straight Sandow.
FLEX | january 2017
1 // Flex Lewis poses for a photo with a fan who sports some pretty impressive guns himself.
2 // Blondes do have more fun! 3 // AMI president and CEO David J. Pecker speaks with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions. Big things are happening in 2017!
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1 // Hey, we sure can’t blame India Paulino for checking out her assets in the mirror. 2 // One of the many events that tested strength, agility, stamina, and athletic prowess. 3 // Now here’s an Olympia Weekend fan with enough muscle to stand with the big boys.
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4 // There was a rumour floating around that Roelly Winklaar was going bananas backstage…
1 1 // Yes, even Mr. Olympia competitors need their nap time. We’re glad we weren’t the ones tasked to wake them up. 2 // Um, I think you’re supposed to lift that, dude. 3 // Who says bodybuilders aren’t limber? 4 // Tanji Johnson, decked out in purple, rehearses her moves before thrilling the audience with her Prince tribute routine. 5 // William Bonac was one of the biggest surprises of the evening. Finishing eighth here in 2015, Bonac presented a physique that was bigger, harder, and crisper to leap up to fifth this year.
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FLEX | january 2017
1 // Dexter “the Blade” Jackson with a fan who really nails the trademark bodybuilding thumbs-up pose. 2 // Olympia fans hit a quadruple biceps pose in front of the FLEX letters. 3 // It doesn’t get more macho than arm wrestling. These guys were still locked in battle when the lights went out for the night. 4 // Sometimes when you hit a wall, you just have to climb it. 5 // Really, is there anything we can say about this photo other than, “Great shot!” 6 // You can’t have Olympia Weekend without lots of heavy lifting (and we’re not talking about at the buffet). Here, a competitor blasts out of the hole.
1 1 // Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman (right) with Andy Haman. Big Ronnie looked healthy and happy. 2 // Victor Martinez leans on the dumbbell rack as he checks out the action happening out front on one of the TV sets backstage. 3 // Steve Kuclo gets the oil treatment. 4 // Shawn Rhoden (left) and Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay hold a private presser at the O Expo. 5 // Box office sensation, TV star, WWE superentertainer …this guy sure draws a crowd! Johnson takes a selfie with a few hundred friends at the AMI/Weider booth.
FLEX | january 2017
FLEX | january 2017
1 // Big weights were tossed around everywhere you looked. 2 // Donâ€™t try this at home! Oksana Grishina warms up backstage. Her incredible Michael Jackson routine, complete with a slippery moonwalk and the lean, was the highlight of Friday nightâ€™s show. What will she do next year? 3 // Grishina, now a three-time Fitness Olympia champion, does her interview backstage. Can she make it four in a row? 4 // Believe it or not, this was not the winner of the Olympia Backstage Limbo Championships.
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1 // Hardcore bodybuilders, fitness fanatics, and weekend warriors alike enjoyed all the excitement of the Olympia Expo.
2 // One has to wonder what’s going through the mind of Phil Heath backstage. Maybe he’s thinking he needs a bigger house for all his Sandows? 3 // Now that’s power walking! flexonline.com
1 // Michael Lockett and fan. 2 // Meet the Olympians is the designated fan night of the weekend, when people get up close and personal with the athletes. It was so packed, it spilled over to the Orleans Arena floor. You can see the beginnings of what will be the Olympia finals stage. 3 // From left to right: Kevin Levrone, Josh Lenartowicz, and Cedric McMillan posedown at the press conference. 4 // Heath makes a deal with a fan that if he loses this year, he will grow his hair.
5 // You can tell from his expression that Rhoden canâ€™t wait to get it on. Either that or go back to his room and eat another Tupperware meal of fish and broccoli.
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1 // We bet this guy would kill it on the playground. 2 // Lukas Osladil proves just how irresistible Pringles can be. 3 // New Bikini Olympia champion Courtney King can barely contain her excitement backstage after her win. 4 // Would you have the stones to spot this guy in front of all those people? 5 // Dallas McCarver, in his second Mr. Olympia, cracked the top ten with his eighth-place finish. McCarver, only 25 years old, is definitely a rising star and one to watch for on future Olympia stages.
FLEX | january 2017
FLEX | january 2017
1 // From left to right: Bethany Wagner, Regiane DaSilva, Grishina, Johnson, and Whitney Jones.
2 // Brandon Curry pumps his lats. 3 // Is this guy cool or what? Veteran Dexter Jackson has seen it all and done it all, so he knows to relax until his name is called. 4 // Wow! First, to heave it off the floor and then to clean it to shoulder height? Talk about impressive! 5 // Fans and competitive athletes alike get to try their hand at all sorts of competitions to show their strength and endurance skills. 6 // Jose Raymond sits with a pair of light dumbbells (for him), as he zones in on the moment. Raymond finished third in the 212 O.
1 // Heath exudes pure confidence backstage. 2 // Levrone autographs an iconic shot of himself taken by Per Bernal back in the day. The Maryland Muscle Machine said he will be back next year. We canâ€™t wait to see what he will unveil with more training time under his belt. 3 // IFBB president Dr. Rafael Santonja (left) with Johnson, and IFBB Pro League president, Jim Manion. These are big-time movers and shakers in the industry. 4 // Three very nice distractions at the Olympia Expo. 5 // Two-time Figure Olympia winner Latorya Jackson shows what winning looks like. 6 // Somebody call Theseus! That pesky Minotaur is back.
FLEX | january 2017
FLEX | JANUARY 2016
THE WINTER MASS BLAST
IN THE WINTER MOST FOLKS PREPARE TO ADD ON MORE AND MORE LAYERS OF CLOTHING. BUT WE GYM RATS TURN OUR FOCUS TO ADDING MORE LAYERS OF MUSCLE. by ERIC “MERLIN” BROSER
■ ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I LEFT MY NATIVE NEW YORK FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WAS TO AVOID THOSE DREADED WINTERS. I am not a big fan of the cold, snow, ice, or nasty wind that freezes your bones no matter how bundled up you are. The truth is, I hate having to bundle up at all. My extremely limited wardrobe of T-shirts, shorts, tanks, and sandals is just fine for me—and I’d be happy never to have to don a ski cap, gloves, a
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
scarf, or a bulky winter jacket again. These days, the only wind-chill factor I want to worry about occurs when the airconditioning kicks on at the same moment I stick my head in the fridge to grab some food. When it comes to physique transformation, winter provides the perfect environment for manifesting maximum mass. With cooler temperatures comes the time to start packing away more calories, push heavier iron, and force the bathroom scale to
withstand greater and greater loads. That said, there is no good reason to let yourself get overly sloppy, since mounds of muscle can be added without pushing your belly out farther than your chest. Just take an intelligent approach to your training and diet. NOTE: Eric Broser is a trainer,
a strength/contest prep coach, a model, an author, and a gym owner. For more info, go to b-built.net. Follow him on Instagram @coachericbroser.
PREVIOUS PAGE & THIS PAGE: PER BERNAL
CHEST Using the seated chest press machine saves fatigued muscles from having to balance the weights.
Incline Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Flye
Seated Chest Press Machine
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Machine Preacher Curl
BICEPS Incline dumbbell curls provide a little extra stretch in the bottom position.
FD/FS: The MuscleMaking Programme FD/FS, short for fibre damage/ fibre saturation, is one of four specialized training protocols I have developed as a trainer and a coach. I find this programme particularly useful for heightening hypertrophy during periods of calorie surplus, such as the winter or off-season. While I cannot explain the entire concept here, suffice to say it’s a very intense and gruelling training method. At the core of the programme is using techniques that are best for causing muscle trauma (fibre damage), such as heavy weights for low reps, and emphasizing eccentric contractions and stretching under tension. This is followed by very high-repetition, constant tension work to display as great a muscle pump as possible. When a muscle is damaged, it sets in motion a cascade of physiological events that lead to a very profound anabolic response. In fact, without creating damage, there is little reason for your body to build bigger and stronger muscles. Once you have caused the necessary fibre trauma, it is vitally important to let your body repair it. By flooding the muscles with blood (fibre saturation) via high-rep training, you can bathe them with nutrients, oxygen, hormones, amino acids, antioxidants, and more. This will facilitate the recovery process before you even leave the gym. But instead of just talking about it, let’s get to it!
LEGS Do full reps to use quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Doing half reps will give you only half results.
■ Tempo refers to the speed at which one completes the various contractions within each repetition. In the charts it is expressed in seconds, with X meaning “as explosively as possible.” The first number is seconds for the eccentric 158
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(negative) contraction; the second number is seconds at the midpoint; the third number is seconds for the concentric (positive) contraction. Because of the extremely intense and gruelling nature of FD/FS training, it is easy for both the muscles
and the central nervous system to become overworked, which will serve to slow down progress. After three straight weeks on this programme, take one week to train with lighter weights in the range of 12–15 reps to allow for active recovery.
PAVEL Y THJALL
Sissy Squat (body weight)
Lying Leg Curl
Seated Leg Curl
Standing Calf Raise
EATING FOR MASS
Follow these guidelines to make solid gains in muscle while keeping your waistline in check
■ Increase high-quality carbohydrates to encourage an anabolic response; however, make your largest carb-containing meals breakfast and at the post-workout feeding. ■ Limit “cheat” or “junk” meals to 1–2 times per
week. If possible, have these off-plan meals post-workout, when the body is physiologically set up to push calories toward muscle cells and not fat cells. ■ Eat a variety of high-quality proteins, carbs, and healthy fats to take advantage of the nutrient and amino acid profiles in each. ■ Prepare a protein shake in ice to keep by your bed when you sleep, for when you wake up. FLEX
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LATS/TRAPS/REAR DELTS/ABS EXERCISE
Close-grip Upright Row
Wide-grip Pullup Close-grip Seated Cable Row
7–9 7–9 9
7–9 7–9 9
Reverse Pec Deck
Underhandgrip Barbell Row
Partial Deadlift (knee height)
PAVEL Y THJALL
■ Eat smaller and more frequent meals, so calories are high at the end of the day but without the bloat that occurs from overly large single feedings.
FRONT AND LATERAL DELTS/TRICEPS/CALVES EXERCISE
PAVEL Y THJALL
Seated Barbell Press
Seated Dumbbell Press
Single-arm Behind-the-back Cable Lateral Raise
Seated Lateral Raise
Close-grip Bench Press
Overhead Dumbbell Extension (both arms)
Seated Calf Raise
SHOULD SHOULDERS DERS Cable laterals have the added benefit of providing constant tension through the full range of motion.
by MICHAEL BERG, N.S.C.A.-C.P.T. . . photographs o graaphs by by PER R BBERNAL ERRNAL
HEREâ€™S HOW IFBB PRO LEAGUE BEAST EVEN BIGGER, STRONGER PECS FOR 162 6
FLEX F X | JANUARY 2017
Maxx charles MAXX CHARLES Intends INTENDS to TO BuIld BUILD LD 2017's CONTEST 2017'S contest STAGE stage flexonline.com
Professional bodybuilding is the sum of a million bits of minutiae, a loo looPing reel of small, often indistinguishable victories that can only be truly understood by those who undertake them.
it’s a series of barbell-hoisting, dumbbell-heaving, lonely cardio sessions, flavourless chicken breasts, cramp-inducing posing practice, candid critiques in front of a dusty mirror, and miles upon miles logged on the road and in the air to photo shoots, guest appearances, and the contests that serve as one’s proving ground. of course, judges can place you, but they can’t define you. So when a gauntlet of seven contests closes with a disappointing finish, there’s only one thing an iron warrior can do—pick himself up, dust himself off, and begin anew. That’s exactly where we find maxx charles on a Tuesday evening. He’s home on long island, new york, having flown back from the inaugural arnold classic asia in Hong Kong last august. far from dwelling on a sixth-place finish among a field of 13, he’s already rediscovering his training groove at the world-famous Bev francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset. Today, it’s chest day, meaning a 5 p.m. appointment with his two training partners, j.B. Baptiste and nick cappello.
Hunting For HardwarE “after seven shows, i’m ready for a break from competition to focus on an even better (package) for 2017,” he says. not that the 180-cm, 120-kg charles doesn’t have plenty to be proud of this season, which included seventh at the arnold classic, fifth at the Vancouver Pro, fourth at the new york Pro, and a runner-up finish at the Toronto Pro. Still, however, the goal remains steadfast—the Haitian Sensation wants more pro titles to go along with his first ifBB victory earned at the Tampa Pro in 2015. That, he knows, can only be accomplished through even more effort in the gym and ample attention to that aforementioned minutiae that makes up every single workout. His chest routine, for instance, involves plenty of nuance to go with his stable of standardbearing exercises, which includes three presses, a dip, and a flye. PrEssEd into action “i start with the incline barbell press,” charles says. “That’s to hit the upper pecs, which is an area i always want to focus on.” relatively new to his incline
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work are two sets of 20–30 reps apiece to begin, before he ramps up the kilos and drops the reps to the 8–15 level for four to five sets. “Knowing as much as i know now about training, i’ve learned how to work to make the muscle react better, and that’s where the higher reps came from,” he explains of his instinctive approach. also notable are his wider than standard grip on the bar and the pathway of each repetition—he slowly lowers the bar toward the very top of his upper chest and stops a few centimetres before touching down metal to skin before reversing. That, he says, provides for a pec stretch he finds perfectly suited to his structure. He’ll go as high as 225 kg. droP ZonE His next stop is another press, this time the flat bench for the middle pecs. Here, he forgoes the early high-rep sets and pyramids up over the course of four to five sets, bringing the bar down directly toward the midline of his pectorals. “i’ll go up to five plates per side, then on the last set, drop a plate and continue repping until
failure,” charles says. “The drop allows me to go down deeper and stretch the muscle out a little more. also, since i’m doing the flat press second, a dropset helps me get as much out of it as i do from the first exercise when i’m at my strongest.” He heads next to yet another press, this time the Hammer Strength machine—“only the incline version; i don’t like the others,” he says. Here, he aims for three sets of at least 20 reps each and is careful to maintain his elbow position. “i keep them up as high as my shoulders, right in line with my wrist, which allows again for a stretch at the bottom and a better angle to push. i find that it keeps the tension right on the pecs.”
snaPshot maX charles
Birthdate // Feb. 21, 1977 Height // 180 cm Weight // 120 kg (contest) Birthplace // Port-au-Prince, Haiti Current residence // Long Island, New York Sponsor // Scitec Nutrition Contest history // 2015 Tampa Pro, 1st; 2015 New York Pro, 3rd; 2013 USA Championships, super-heavyweight and overall winner (earned pro card) Online // Facebook and Twitter @Dominate2DMaxx; Instagram @ maxx_charles
fliP, then diP
once the pressing is in the books, charles heads over to the triceps dip machine. He’ll sit backward on the apparatus so his chest is in contact with the seat pad, a position that allows for a slight forward lean—exactly what you need to better engage the pecs rather than the triceps, which get most of the load when you dip upright. He’ll follow that with a flye movement—usually either a pec-deck flye or a standing cable crossover from the upper pulleys. “When i do the cable, i angle my body forward,” he explains. “i look up, but not too much. What i’m doing is seeking out the best position for a stretch across my pecs when my elbows go back.” for these, focus is paramount, as he maintains full control over each rep and extends the set as far as it will go. a typical set may end up at 30 or 40 reps before his form breaks and he stops, although he never counts. “i try to go especially slow on the negative, like about three seconds at least,” he says. “i’m only doing one flye movement now instead of two like i used to, so i try to get the most out of it i possibly can.” PusHin’ on anyone who has seen charles do chest wouldn’t be surprised that this particular muscle group played a role in his initial love of bodybuilding. “i was told that even when i was young, like 2 years old, if i saw someone running or doing a pushup, i would stop and watch,” he recalls. “fitness and training are something i’ve always been fascinated by…as i got older i couldn’t wait to start working out myself.” now the stakes may be higher—this is his livelihood, after all—but the love remains. it’s why there’s little doubt that charles will reemerge in the 2017 competitive season with plenty of firepower to continue moving up the pro ranks and further solidify himself as a threat in any show he enters. “i’m just going to take the time to make the improvements i need to,” he adds. “i’m as motivated as ever.”
FLEX | january 2017
charles’ training sPlit
Sunday // Hamstrings Monday // Back Tuesday // Chest Wednesday // Legs Thursday // Shoulders Friday // Back Saturday // Legs (touch-up), Biceps (sometimes) Note: Charles only occasionally trains arms, as at 61 cm they began to overpower his upper-body proportions.
charles’ chest routine Exercise
incline Barbell Press flat-bench Barbell Press
Hammer-strength incline Press
machine Dip (not pictured)
30–40 (to failure)
cable crossover or Pec-deck flye
note: charles doesn’t count reps for most exercises; he goes to failure, which tends to be in the listed ranges. *The final set is a dropset, during which he lowers the weight after failure and immediately continues repping until failure again. flexonline.com
Yes, thatâ€™s Phil Heath onstage in his moment of triumph. But who is signing his poster?
LAST SET YOUR ONE-STOP SOURCE FOR MUSCLE NEWS
By Eric VElazquEz
SETTING STANDARDS The advenT of new divisions and whaT some view as unfair judging requiremenTs for women STEVE WEINBERGER
MAURIZIo PolVeRellI; PeR BeRnAl
Q: What can you tell us about judging the new Classic division? What are the judging criteria that set it apart from others and what is your opinion of where it fits in the big picture of the IFBB and its appeal to fans? A: Classic physique differs from bodybuilding, in that, by limiting the body weight according to the athlete’s height, a limit is put on the amount of muscle that can be developed. This is great for the bodybuilder who previously could not be competitive because they could not, or did not want to, develop a massive body. Classic physique also offers a division for the physique competitor who has found it hard to contain the development of muscle size. Previously, this athlete had to make the difficult decision whether to cut back on training to try to limit, or even lose, muscle size or to work to develop much more muscle and move up to bodybuilding. Judges are still looking for the
athlete who has the best balance of muscle size, fullness, shape, symmetry, and hardness, but now these will all be contained by a limit on both height and weight. The division is very appealing to fans who prefer the lessmassive look and yet still appreciate the beauty of the developed human form.
SANDY WILLIAMSON Q: Some female competitors feel obligated to get breast implants in order to meet what is, in their eyes, an unwritten requirement on shape. Is this a real issue? A: This question comes up frequently in my seminars. Since I have implants, I am definitely not against them, just not for competition. There have been many IFBB competitors who have won competitions without implants. Competitors often have implants before they start competing or they get them thinking that implants will help them in competition, and it’s often the opposite that occurs. As
Classic physique bridges the gap between modern bodybuilding and physique with less emphasis on extreme size.
judges, we’re looking for overall symmetry of a physique no matter the division. For women, upper chest is a very difficult area to develop and implants actually highlight the lack of upper-chest development, which takes away from a competitor’s overall symmetry. I can honestly say in the 30 years I’ve been judging I’ve marked competitors down because implants were either too big, which distorts their overall look, or the implants highlighted the lack of upper-chest development, detracting from the competitor’s overall symmetry. My advice for competitors has always been to get implants if it’s something you want for yourself, but don’t do it for competition. FlexonlIne.CoM
By HELEN o'REILLy
Paveley Paves the WAY THE Way
Emma PavElEy wins gold for thE UK at thE arnold ClassiC EUroPE.
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
in the top s six in| both bikini and fitness was impressive. In the men’s me physique height classes, Etin Et Nosa, who was second to his h brother Abies last year, finish finished second again. Meite Niam Niamba followed up his win at the Scottish Scot Grand Prix with a well-deserved second place. well-deserv Connie S Slyziut was third in junior bodyfi bodyfitness and also took sixth in the open class. The bodyfitness open classes also saw S Samantha Forbes’ impressive shape take third. The lovely lovel shape and presentation of current presentatio Welsh Grand Gran Prix Champion Katalin Jasztrab took the runner-up runnerspot in masters bodyfitness. bo
Emma Paveley with her winner’s trophy and gold medal from the Arnold Classic Europe.
UK FINALISTS FItNess
Emma Paveley [1st], Vicky Cale [4th], Kate Errington [6th]
UP to 172 cM
Alla Meijer [2nd], Emma Howie [3rd], Anastasia Parikos [4th]
Katalin Jasztrab [2nd]
MeN’s PhysIQUe UNder 174 cM
Meite Niamba [2nd], Andy Ward [5th] UNder 178 cM
Etin Nosa [2nd] UNder 186 cM
UNder 95 KG
Jason Thompson [5th] UNder 182 cM
Rasto Valent [6th]
Rob Thurston [4th] Silvana Imbrogno [4th]
Hameed Juma [4th]
Austin Williams [6th]
Romane Lanceford [4th] MUscUlar MeN’s PhysIQUe
BodyFItNess Samantha Forbes [3rd], Melissa Nicola [5th], Connie Slyziut [6th] and Nancy Jones [6th]
Connie Slyziut [3rd]
Jacob Butterfield [4th] BIKINI FItNess
Eva Motie [4th], Whitley Davies [6th]
■ There are 192 countries within the IFBB community and 91 of them were represented on stage when the Arnold Classic Europe moved venues from Madrid to Barcelona in September. The UK team was one of the biggest, providing 120 of the 1,100 competitors in the amateur contest that ran for three days. Leading UKBFF officials Bill and Wanda Tierney ensured that all UK competitors had their registration fee of 150 euros paid. Arnold was at his best and made his usual appearances on the stages to the delight of the competitors and crowd. The top six in each class were awarded trophies. Eight Brits went one better by going home with gold, silver, or bronze medals. Pride of place belonged to fitness star Emma Paveley, who took to the stage with a new and absolutely fabulous routine and won first place. Emma has improved her physique and routine since stepping out of the junior ranks just three years ago and is now a regular on the international stage. She has since won both the British Championships and Diamond Cup as well. The whole team were delighted to see her win, especially her fitness teammates Vicky Cale (who had improved her physique massively since her last outing to finish fourth) and sixth-placed Kate Errington (who made her debut as a fitness competitor with a very nicely choreographed routine). In the up to 172-cm bikini height class, the stunning Alla Meijer finished second, one point ahead of Emma Howie in third. A third Brit, Anastasia Parikos, was fourth. Seeing three UK girls
BY GILES THOMAS
ROOKIE RASCAL BRITAIN’S ROSIE HARTE WAS NAMED IFBB ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN 2016.
■ For an IFBB athlete in their first year as a professional, the main goal is simple: pick a first pro show, win it and get to the Olympia. Anything else is disappointing and means going back to the drawing board. Super-Brit Rosie 'Rascal' Harte had this aim in mind when she began her debut year. Rosie had won her pro card in October 2015 when she received a clean sweep of first places in women’s physique from the judges at the UK Amateur Olympia in Liverpool. After this win, Rosie, her coach Patrick Tuor and myself (her partner) agreed there was no time to be wasted – she was ready for her first pro event. At the Dallas Europa in June, Rosie repeated her victory with another perfect score from the judges – no mean feat considering she was an unknown European travelling over the Atlantic in her first-ever pro show. That success meant Olympia qualification, and for the big event in Las Vegas four months later Rosie brought her best package to date and placed a respectable 12th of 30 against the best of the best women’s physique athletes in the world. I spoke with an IFBB official last year about the criteria for women's physique, which the IFBB introduced in 2012 to effectively replace female bodybuilding and was told: "We basically want Cory Everson. When she was winning the Olympia female muscle was at its absolute height of popularity." This chimed with what Rosie has always tried to achieve. She says: “Even before I began in women’s physique in 2014, I'd been competing in the UKBFF and IFBB for three years as a female bodybuilder and I'd always sought to retain my femininity. It’s too important to me to ignore.”
Rosie Harte (centre) on stage in the Women’s Physique Olympia.
R O S I E ' S R E S O LV E
“I CAN'T WAIT TO COME BACK EVEN BETTER NEXT YEAR AND GET INTO THE TOP FIVE.ÕÕ FIVE.’’ It seems the IFBB noticed her efforts: she was named IFBB Rookie of the Year at the Olympia weekend in Las Vegas, an amazing achievement as all first-year female pros from all divisions (fitness, bikini, figure and physique) are eligible. “We actually left the gala dinner just as the awards were being announced,” says Rosie. “I was tired. I’d been up since 3am.” A message from Olympia promoter Robin Chang the next morning alerted her to the win. "Robin asked me to come down to the superstar seminar later that
morning to receive my award,” says Rosie. “When I arrived I sat in the audience. Bob Cicherillo, the emcee, came over and asked me to get up on the main table with Phil Heath, Flex Lewis and sit between Juliana Malacarne and Cedric McMillan. It was surreal.” What does the award mean to Rosie? “Any recognition is amazing but when you feel so strongly about bringing a physique and a look and you get rewarded like this, it’s an incredible feeling,” she says. “I can't wait to come back even better next year and get into the top five.” FLEXONLINE.COM
ON THE RISE
By RogeR LockRidge
Russian supeR-heavyweight vitaly Fateev plans to be an inteRnational sensation on the competition stage
fateev’s leg workout EXERCISE
Lying Leg Curl
Seated Leg Curl
Standing Single-leg Curl
15, 20 (per leg)
Standing Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
■ Age 33 ■ Residence Moscow, Russia ■ Height 180 cm ■ Weight 120 kg (contest), 130 kg (off-season)
ART YOM SAMIgUllIN
■ In 2014, Russian bodybuilder Vitaly Fateev won his pro card at the Arnold Amateur Europe. The 33-year-old made his pro debut at the 2015 Arnold Classic and came away with a ninth-place finish. “The most important moment in my career was the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, when I debuted and where I placed ninth.” He competed twice more that year, capping off his first pro year by finishing in the top five at the Phoenix Pro. More success would come his way in 2016 via a fourth-place finish at the Arnold Brazil. Fateev believes in high-volume training and basic compound movements: “I use 70% compound movements, and 30% are isolating and shaping exercises. In general, I love hard work.” Although his future in the sport appears to be bright, Fateev knows that what separates good bodybuilders from great champions are their weaknesses. “In general, I need to do a little more work on my hamstrings and back so my focus has been there for the most part.”
BY JOHN PLUMMER
■ British fans have marvelled for some time at Luke Sandoe’s shape and muscularity. Now, after winning the 2016 British Championships, we will get to see how he fares against the best in the world on the IFBB pro stage. Sandoe added size and conditioning in 2016 to become the best in the land. Like 2015 British champion Sasan Heirati, who enjoyed a promising rookie year in the pro ranks, Sandoe isn’t the tallest bodybuilder but he has cartoon-like muscle bellies that come alive when he poses. Good luck to him in 2017.
BODYBUILDER OF THE MONTH
COLEMAN VS. HANEY
WHAT IF THE TWO WINNINGEST MR. OLYMPIAS SQUARED OFF?
FLEX | JANUARY 2017
RONNIE COLEMAN best pose
REAR-LAT SPREAD worst pose
ABS AND THIGH strengths
BACK, BICEPS, THIGH SIZE weaknesses
PRO WINS YEARS AS PRO
66 129 HEIGHT 180 OLYMPIAS 15 WEIGHT
BILL COMSTOCK; ROBERT REIFF
■ Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman share more in common than just the record for most Sandows. They’re from the South, they’re 180 cm, and they’re celebrated for their dominating back width. In 1991 they were both at the Olympia. It was Haney’s final contest, and fanboy Coleman was working backstage just for the experience. What’s more, when Haney was at his biggest (1991) and Coleman at his best (1998), both were 113. There are also great differences. Coleman competed in more than four times as many pro contests than Haney did. He also retired at 43, while the legend he calls “my idol” quit at only 32. Then there are the scales. Coleman competed at 135 in 2004, nearly 23 kg more than Haney’s peak. The second eight-timer (1998–2005) would have made the limbs of the first eight-timer (198491) look almost small. Still, slim-hipped Haney could have used his shape advantage to counter Coleman’s size supremacy. It’s unfortunate that the careers of the two winningest Mr. Os didn’t cross, but we can imagine what it would have been like if they’d posed down when each was at his best.
PRO WINS YEARS AS PRO
16 111 HEIGHT 180 OLYMPIAS 9 WEIGHT
LEE HANEY best pose
FRONTLAT SPREAD worst pose
SIDE TRICEPS strengths
ARM SIZE, HAMSTRINGS
■ The e Wednesday edne da Athletes’ Meeting is the first official get-together - o the er o of all the t competitors c p it r of o the Mr.. Olympia. Usually, ual it’s pretty pre y uneventful. u en ful. The he eg guys s show w up in sweats, s eat with wiit their th r fo food d in tow, and sit patiently a ntl (orr iimpatiently pati tly in some so o e cases) ses as s they ey drop p off the their posing osiin music, m ic, pick ick up ttheir ir badges, b ge , numbers, n be e tickets, i ets, etc. c Smallll talk S t lk and sideways si ew glances g a ces p prevail re here. h re e. This T i year,, EastLabs ye E tLa abs photographer phot ap p er Igor Igo or Kopcek Ko o ek brought broug along a ong a poster poste e of o Heath He h onstage ons age with wiit the e Sandow, ando ow, which whi ich Heath ath signed sig gned d for f Kopcek’s Ko op ek’s son, so o Jakub. k b.
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