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DEAD-ON MASS GAINS Power Your Way to More Muscle



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To Order Call 1-800-667-4626 More info at These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Send check or U.S. money order to: Muscle-Link, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Fax (805) 385-3515. All major credit cards accepted. Call for foreign prices. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Results using this product vary from individual to individual. For optimal results consult your physician and follow a balanced diet and exercise program. \ APRIL 2006 261

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150 DECEMBER 2009 \

September 2005

Vol. 64, No. 9

Dead-On Mass Gains, page 136

Real Bodybuilding Training, Nutrition & Supplementation


70 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 71 Our TEG men are experimenting again. Would you believe once-a-week leg work with a cardio chaser? It’s a new split for destination ripped!

84 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN Ron Harris, our in-the-trenches hard-core muscle guy, takes on a young protégé. The goal: mass and symmetry.

98 RESEARCH TEAM If you’re ready to jack up your bench press poundage, it’s time to pay attention to details—like your rotator cuff.

114 IN THE NO Jerry Brainum delves into the science of nitric oxide and outrageous muscle pumps. Swell info here, gang.

136 DEAD-ON MASS GAINS Chris Pennington gives you the goods on how to resurrect your size gains with the deadlift. Is it the true king of the mass moves?

152 TOP 10 DIET FALLACIES Ori Hofmekler, author of the Warrior Diet, explodes mealtime myths and nutrition superstitions. (A big breakfast is for fatties?)

A Bodybuilder Is Born,


page 84

Eryk Bui, page 178

Michael O’Hearn and Diannah Bays appear on this month’s cover. Hair & Makeup Yvone Ouelette Photo by Michael Neveux.

Lonnie Teper talks to the new pro who’s hell-bent on bringing back proportion and symmetry to the flex-for-pay circuit—and he’s one strong son of a gun too! Check out his training routine.

190 HEAVY DUTY John Little discusses Mike Mentzer’s forays into Hypertraining, featuring Dorian Yates, max negatives and new heights of hypertrophy.

Hardbodies, page 226

204 MUSCLE-BUILDING LESSONS Stuart McRobert returns with the ultimate split, abbreviated training and the sacred 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding.

226 HARDBODIES And now for something completely different: Tony Duffy’s incredible photographs of female muscle in motion—track athletes who’ve got it going on with serious sinew. Wow!

242 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Bill Starr takes you back to the rack for part 3 of his interesting introspection and revving recollections of cage rage. (Hey, wasn’t the rack a medieval torture device?)

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28 TRAIN TO GAIN Paul Anderson’s 1,000-pound squat, how to use a tape measure to get huge and jolting Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine column.

50 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman X-plains the X-Rep drop kick and why you have to overtrain to gain. He’s also got info on the ultimate lat exercise and periodization.

58 EAT TO GROW Low carb, high pro and the diet yo-yo. Plus, the wild pump protector and fat ejector you’ve got to try.

78 SMART TRAINING Research Team, page 98

Smart Training, page 78

Charles Poliquin delves into Olympic-style training for bodybuilders, as well as getting a grip on bigger gains.

167 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen gives mass-building advice to a young muscle seeker—complete teen routine included.

214 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper and Ruth Silverman investigate the lean and mean on the competitive scene. Jerry Fredrick’s Hot Shots are here too.

256 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Randall Strossen, Ph.D., analyzes the notorious noisemakers in your gym. There’s also an insightful Bomber Blast from Dave Draper, a drug-crash diatribe from Ron Harris and a Serious Training pictorial with the WWE’s Masterpiece.

266 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum’s new info on growth hormone will knock you out, which could affect your pituitary gland. Prepare to be dazed with plenty of rousing research.

Top 10 Diet Fallicies, page 152

Pump & Circumstance, page 220

272 READERS WRITE Out with the freakazoids, X-it to bigger gains and IM online—a new way to get your favorite mag.

WEB ALERT! For the latest happenings from the world of bodybuilding and fitness, read the Hot News at and

In the next IRON MAN Next month we conclude Ori Hofmekler’s look at the top-10 diet fallacies. It’s an eye-opening exposé that will have you rethinking your eat-togrow munch methods—maybe. We also have an arm feature with some techniques you’ve got to try if you want to turn your guns into cannons. Yes, it’s time to fry your bi’s and tri’s to pack them with new size—a veritable buggy-whip barbecue! Plus, we have another cool episode of “A Bodybuilder Is Born” from Ron Harris, an interview with the hot guy and gal who won the Fittest Couple award at the ’05 IM FitExpo and Eric Broser’s “Rep-Range Revelations” to show you how to supersize your muscle fibers. Watch for the getbig-all-over October IRON MAN on newsstands the first week of September.

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John Balik’s

Publisher’s Letter

Founders 1936-1986:

Peary & Mabel Rader

Majestic Muscle The sight of muscle in motion is fascinating to me—a source of awe and emotional pleasure. Aesthetically, the human body has been an inspiration and a medium of expression from the beginnings of art itself. One of the benefits of bodybuilding—and sports in general—is a heightened awareness of just how wondrous the human body is. In bodybuilding the beauty is expressed statically, like sculpture, and you have time to appreciate the symmetry, shape and development. Bodybuilding in its purest sense is both sport—the workout—and art, the display. At a bodybuilding event the artistic display is slow enough for the spectator to appreciate the nuance of development, but in other sports it’s lost in the speed of the action. Track-and-field athletes in motion are the ultimate expression of the maxim that form follows function. The body is a tool for running faster or going higher or farther. Award-winning sports photographer Tony Duffy has made capturing those magnificent athletes at their best his life’s work, creating images that are both artistically and athletically inspiring. Most of the truly creative people I’ve met are driven by a passion—some might say obsession—for their art. Whatever the art— visual, verbal or physical—that passion is a distinguishing characteristic of those who are top rank. Tony has it, and you can feel it in every one of his images. It’s with great pleasure that we feature some of Tony’s most striking photographs of female track-and-field athletes in “Muscles In Motion,” which begins on page 226. Charles Poliquin brings to IRON MAN a wealth of hands-on knowledge from his years of working with some of the best Olympic athletes and bodybuilders in the country. As I was reading in his column his answer to a question about the application of Olympic weightlifting to bodybuilding, I was transported back to my own experience with the Olympic lifts in the ’60s. Charles is right on in his assessment of their value and application. The various pulling movements he prescribes gave me new midback and trap development, and the front squat has no equal for building the lower thighs. Charles also explains the hows and whys of using acupuncture for strength and muscle gain. I’ve always believed that acupuncture had a place in rehab, but Charles makes clear why it belongs in every athlete’s arsenal of strength- and muscle-building tools. Great stuff! It starts on page 78. While I’m in my nostalgia mode, I must reflect on Bill Starr’s Only the Strong Shall Survive installment, which begins on page 242. “Back to the Rack, Part 3” is full of great insights—historically and from a training standpoint. The rack is second only to the barbell as the most resultproducing piece of equipment you can use. You can do everything from full-range movements to partials to isometrics. You can work your weak points to the max and do it safely, attack your sticking points or perfect your lifting—the only limit is your imagination. Your comments are always welcome. Please send e-mail to me at IM

Publisher/Editorial Director: John Balik Associate Publisher: Warren Wanderer Design Director: Michael Neveux Editor in Chief: Stephen Holman Art Director: T. S. Bratcher Senior Editor: Ruth Silverman Editor at Large: Lonnie Teper Articles Editors: L.A. Perry, Caryne Brown Assistant Editor: Jonathan Lawson Assistant Art Director: Christian Martinez Designer: Emerson Miranda Ironman Staff: Denise Cantú, Vuthy Keo, Mervin Petralba, David Solorzano Contributing Authors: Jerry Brainum, David Chapman, Teagan Clive, Lorenzo Cornacchia, Daniel Curtis, Dave Draper, Michael Gündill, Rosemary Hallum, Ph.D., John Hansen, Ron Harris, Ori Hofmekler, Rod Labbe, Skip La Cour, Jack LaLanne, Butch Lebowitz, Stuart McRobert, Gene Mozée, Larry Scott, Jim Shiebler, Roger Schwab, C.S. Sloan, Bill Starr, Bradley Steiner, Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D., Randall Strossen, Ph.D., Richard Winett, Ph.D., and David Young

Contributing Artists: Steve Cepello, Larry Eklund, Ron Dunn

Contributing Photographers: Jim Amentler, Reg Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Comstock, Bill Dobbins, Jerry Fredrick, Irvin Gelb, J.M. Manion, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru Okabe, Rob Sims, Leo Stern, Russ Warner

Director of Marketing: Helen Yu, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1 Accounting: Dolores Waterman Director of Operations: Dean Reyes Subscriptions Manager: Sonia Melendez, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 2 E-mail: Advertising Director: Warren Wanderer 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1 (518) 743-1696; FAX: (518) 743-1697 Advertising Coordinator: Jonathan Lawson, (805) 385-3500, ext. 320 Newsstand Consultant: Angelo Gandino, (516) 796-9848 We reserve the right to reject any advertising at our discretion without explanation. All manuscripts, art or other submissions must be accompanied by a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. Send submissions to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033. We are not responsible for unsolicited material. Writers and photographers should send for our Guidelines outlining specifications for submissions. IRON MAN is an open forum. We also reserve the right to edit any letter or manuscript as we see fit, and photos submitted have an implied waiver of copyright. Please consult a physician before beginning any diet or exercise program. Use the information published in IRON MAN at your own risk.

IRON MAN Internet Addresses: Web Site: John Balik, Publisher: Steve Holman, Editor in Chief: Ruth Silverman, Senior Editor: T.S. Bratcher, Art Director: Helen Yu, Director of Marketing: Dean Reyes, Dir. of Operations: Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator: Sonia Melendez, Subscriptions:

24 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Progressive-Movement Training

Neveux \ Model: Jeff Hammond

How Paul Anderson eventually squatted more than 1,000 pounds It’s called progressive-movement training because you gradually increase the length of an exercise’s stroke. Paul Anderson would do partial repetitions in the squat with a weight he could not full squat. Over a period of time he gradually lengthened the movement until he worked his way down to parallel with a new record. The science behind progressive-movement training and the results this method delivered were decades ahead of their time. It took generations of Ph.D.–bearing geeks to figure out how PMT produced Paul Anderson’s 1,200-pound squat—sans powerlifting gear—a mark that will remain untouched far into this millennium. Anderson recommended that you start squatting from a pin about four inches below the lockout with a weight that’s about 100 pounds over your one-repmax full squat. “I realize that this is a very light weight in comparison to what you can quarter squat with,” admits big Paul, “but this is part of the plan.” Burning out on max singles is not. Perform two sets of 20 to 25 reps. “I would say the secret lies in taking a lighter weight that you can do many repetitions with and just working it down that way.” It is amusing that in his recommendation to do high reps in the PMT routine Paul again beat science geeks to the punch. Much later Meyers (1967) discovered that the greater

the number of contractions, the higher the transfer of strength to the untrained part of the exercise. Every three workouts—once in three days for Paul and once in three weeks for mere mortals—lower the power rack pins three inches and knock off three reps. You may want to experiment with smaller drops, one or two inches, if your rack will accommodate that. Keep lengthening the movement and knocking off reps until you are down to two repetitions. Then take a few days off—Paul rested for two or three days—and try for a new personal best in the full squat. By the way, when you get down to two reps, most likely you are not going to be all the way in the hole (your deepest position). Don’t fret. Neither was Paul. Your max will still go up because you will have worked down to your sticking point. —Pavel Beyond Bodybuilding Editor’s note: The above is an excerpt from Pavel’s new book Beyond Bodybuilding. It’s available from Home Gym Warehouse for $49.95 plus shipping and handling. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit

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Ronnie Coleman


Knee Relief

Training around knee pain

If you haven’t suffered some sort of knee pain yet, consider yourself very lucky. I was fortunate enough to avoid it over many years of heavy leg training, but eventually my luck ran out. While I don’t pretend to have the prescription for healing the various types of knee injuries (I leave that to physical therapists), I’ve found a way to train around the knee pain and still get a great leg workout. As you might imagine, quite a bit of preexhausting is involved. •Begin with a 10-minute cardiovascular warmup on the stationary bike or treadmill. Try to get a little sweat going; the objective is to bring plenty of heat and blood into your knee area. •Start your workout with leg curls, preferably the seated variety. They take the pressure off the knee while at the same time helping to strengthen the tendons and ligaments around it. Always take time to do a couple of light sets of 15 to 20 reps before starting to pyramid up in weight for four work sets of 10 to 12 reps. •Next, move to the leg extension machine. Do two sets of 20 reps with a light weight, being careful not to bounce out of the bottom position (often more dangerous to a bum knee than squats). Perform three work sets of 20 reps with a weight that’s a bit more challenging. Now you should be ready for a press exercise. •Squats and hack squats are usually out of the question when you have a knee injury, but you can often do leg presses with no problem. You want to set your feet fairly high on the platform to minimize shearing force on the knees. Do two warmup sets of 20 to 25 reps, then four work sets of 15 to 20 reps. Don’t try to use the heaviest weight you can. Rather, strive to make a moderate weight feel heavier with little tricks. First, pause at the bottom of each rep before slowly driving it back up. Never lock out your knees at the top. Besides being a bad idea for an injured knee, not locking out keeps constant tension on the quads so that they don’t get a break until the set is over. When you can no longer do another full rep, lower just halfway for a few partial reps. You should be pleasantly surprised to find that in spite of your knee pain, you can still blast your legs and keep making gains. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. —Ron Harris Editor’s note: Check out Ron’s Web site,

“Working out is my hobby. I just love to train with weights, and that hasn’t changed from my first day in the gym to getting ready for another Olympia.” —The Precontest Bible Larry Pepe

Neveux \ Model: Ronnie Coleman

Neveux \ Model: Skip La Cour


Editor’s note: The Precontest Bible contains the exact precontest blueprints of the world’s best bodybuilders, including Dorian Yates, Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Lee Priest and Gustavo Badell. You’ll see their training routines, diets, cardio regimens and loads of incredible photos. The Precontest Bible is available from Home Gym Warehouse for $49.95. Call (800) 447-0008 or visit www

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YOU CAN BENCH BIG Add 20 Pounds to Your Bench Press Almost Overnight! How would you like a surge in upper-body power and a bigger bench press—say, 20 extra pounds on the bar—after only a couple of workouts? Sure, adding 20 pounds to your bench in two or three training sessions may sound crazy, especially if your bench press poundage has been stuck in neutral for a while. But nine times out of 10 this stall is due to an easily correctible muscle weakness—not in the pecs, delts or triceps but in a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint. During the bench press and almost all other upperbody movements these muscles protect the shoulder joint and prevent ball-and-socket slippage. If these muscles are underdeveloped, they become the weak link in the action and your pressing strength suffers, or worse, you injure your shoulder. One of the best ways to strengthen this area and create an upper-body power surge is with direct rotator cuff exercise. Once you start using the ShoulderHorn for two or three sets twice a week, your pressing poundages will skyrocket. This device allows you to train your rotator cuff muscles in complete comfort and with precise strengthening action. After a few weeks you’ll be amazed at your new benching power. There have been reports of 20-to-30-pound increases in a matter of days. A big, impressive bench press can be yours. Get the ShoulderHorn, start working your rotator cuff muscles, and feel the power as you start piling on plates and driving up heavy iron.

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How to Use a Tape Measure to Get Huge I’ve done it again, guys. I’ve forgotten to tell you about a training idea that will make you huge. I just assumed that everyone knew it because I did. Actually, it came to me the other day when I was talking with Tom Ferrugia on the phone. Tom was complaining that he was looking harder and more muscular but his measurements hadn’t actually improved in a long time. I asked him if he was using a tape measure to test his gains. He said he was. “How do you use the tape, Tom? “What do you mean?” he asked. “I mean, are you using the tape to test your pump on the exercises?” “No, I tape each day before I work out so I can really see if there is any difference before there’s any pump at all,” he replied. “Oh, no wonder,” I said. “The purpose of the tape is to tell you what’s happening to your body so you can find exactly the right number of sets you need for maximum pump. Yeah, I know you want to see if you’re growing. Even more important, it’s to make sure you’re growing. “If you use the tape the way I’m going to tell you, it will be like a Zen master. It will teach you things about your body that you could never learn on your own,” I explained. The concept works best on an instinctive-exercise program. Your instinctive program is made up of the exercises that you instinctively feel work better for you than others—the ones that seem to give you the very best pump and burn. For example, most of the exercises you run across seem okay, but some are great. In fact, they seem to be made just for you. A note of caution: Special exercises won’t always stay that way, but after you’ve been away from them for a while and come back to them, they’ll have a special magic again. Are you getting the picture? Instinctive exercises vary from person to person. When you find three or four that work for you for each bodypart, they become your instinctive exercises for that bodypart. Pattern a workout in which you train three bodyparts at each session, working the entire body twice per week. First, pick a bodypart that you want to get huge. Let’s say it’s arms. Write down the best measurement you’ve ever achieved with your arms fully pumped. I’m not talking about a year ago but recently. Let’s also assume the that best superpumped measurement you’ve ever achieved is 16 1/8 inches. Tonight you’re going to shoot for 16 1/4 (only an eighth of Neveux



an inch bigger). It’s not a big difference, but it’s bigger than you’ve ever gotten before, so it’s not going to be easy. Inscribe the following message somewhere in your mind and never forget it: Your goal is to get the best pump possible in the fewest number of sets and reps. By the way, I should mention something before I forget it: You can always get a good pump doing high reps, but it’s a false pump because it won’t build size. Granted, high reps make your arms feel as if they’re going to blow up, but the next day they look like buggy whips again. So try to keep your reps around eight. Your body knows exactly how many sets it needs in order to give you the best pump. The trouble is, you don’t, and you don’t know how to get the information from your body. I don’t care how long you train or how much you know, you just can’t learn this without a tape measure. And to further complicate matters, the precise number of sets you need to get maximum pump will vary depending on how much rest you’ve been getting, what diet you’re on, which supplements you’re taking—even subtle things like your emotional wellbeing will contribute to the picture. I’m going to show you how to cut through all that. Let’s assume you’ve already done your instinctive biceps routine and are now finishing triceps. After your last set you throw the tape around your arm, and it measures 16 1/4. You got it! You hit your goal. You’re elated. In fact, you feel so good that you decide to do another set. Greedily, you reason, “I can get more.” Grinding out the last few reps, you endure delicious pain. Then you throw the tape around your arm again, only to discover that it’s gone down to 16 1/8. Yes, it’s actually gone down. Why would your arm go down? It doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s just as tight, but it tapes at less than it did one set earlier. You’ve overtrained by one set. You couldn’t feel it—and you’ll never be able to feel the difference in this subtle secret to growth. When your arm is pumped that tight, you won’t be able to sense precisely when enough is enough. If you can hit that magic set where there’s maximum growth without overtraining, you’ll finally be able to reach your ultimate maximum genetic potential. You and your tape measure will have to find the magic number of sets that will give you this pump. That’s your growth secret. It’s what you’re striving for when you go for the pump. By the way, you can’t do this every night—maybe just once a week. Remember that it works best on your instinctive program; however, don’t be discouraged when your instinctive program goes stale. It’s supposed to. That means you’re adapting to the exercise program and you’re growing. It’s a signal for you to change your program for a month. Then you can go back to your instinctive program. —Larry Scott Editor’s note: Get All 33 of Larry Scott’s reports. Thousands of words of pure training inspiration—a treasure! The collection includes a three-ring binder and table of contents for easy reference, all for the low cost of $87. Mention that you saw the offer in IRON MAN and receive, free, the “Larry Scott’s Peak Biceps” DVD. Call (800) 225-9752 to order.

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Ball Bearings Risks and rewards of training with a stability ball Use of the stability, or Swiss, ball in training has become very popular. Stability balls were used for a variety of lowerback exercises, which came to be known as stabilization exercises and then core exercises. The term core exercise is as abused as the word holistic—no one really knows exactly what it means even though it conjures up ideas and images. You may have been given these stabilization exercises by a physical therapist or chiropractor. You may have started in the seated position on the large stability ball and done crunches across the ball and then exercises while lying facedown across the ball, raising your arms and legs in various movements. You can also pull the ball with your legs while your back is on the floor, and you can roll with it. Those types of movements, with various degrees of difficulty, have helped some people after injuries. Along the way, however, the exercises turned into movements that they were never designed to be. Any exercise or program design has to answer certain questions, such as, What are you trying to achieve? You usually want to get stronger, bigger and/or faster from training (most sportsoriented weight-training or weightlifting programs are designed to make the athlete faster and more explosive). Performing common weight-training exercises while standing on stability balls or wobble boards is supposed to increase core strength because of the difficulty of balancing during the exercise. Even so, you should be asking a lot of questions before you join the Pied Piper down the stability-ball core-exercise path. How much stability is really being developed? How much is the original intent of the exercise being compromised? What are the risks? The risks are the biggest concern. I’ve seen professional athletes who were advised to perform squats without weight or with light weight on the ball. The risk for that movement is


Clean Fuel Feeling tired and lethargic during your workouts? Maybe it’s your gym. Is it cluttered, overcrowded or just plain messy? A mess can stress you out, and clutter distracts the mind, making it difficult to concentrate. If you train at home, organize your home gym. If you train in a commercial gym, talk to the owner about shaping up the place—or find a better-organized gym. —Becky Holman

enormous. Some trainers actually advise their clients to stand on a ball while squatting. While attempting to develop core strength, you can easily fall off the ball and incur head and/or neck trauma, ankle sprains and fractures, shoulder dislocations, wrist injuries and more. You’re not a trained circus seal. Don’t stand on balls while performing squats. Other patients and athletes have told me of performing squats while standing on a wobble board. Some would begin their squats with 155 pounds and work up from there. Performing squats with weight while standing on a level surface requires enormous core strength from the glutes, erector spinae, obliques and abs, and anyone who’s ever done a properly executed squat with enough weight knows that. Squatting on a surface that tilts or moves may make muscles increase and decrease their activity, or firing, which can dynamically destabilize the spine and increase the risk of disk herniation and sprain. An athlete told me he was performing bench presses with 245 pounds while lying on a stability ball. That’s an absolutely absurd movement. He could easily slip on the ball, with the weight bar tilting to one side while he attempted to stabilize it and stop the ball from rolling. The ball could also deflate due to either defect or damage. Possible injuries from any of those situations include shoulder dislocation, elbow dislocation and fracture as well as significant risk to the wrists. Another consideration for reevaluating the use of the ball in training is the efficiency of the movement. If you like to perform dumbbell military presses to strengthen your shoulders and arms, then you should do so. It’s an excellent exercise. If you kneel or sit on a stability ball, you won’t be able to use as much weight, so a detraining effect will take place and the shoulder muscles won’t be as strong. What did you gain? How much core strength did you really develop? I’ll have more on that next month. —Joseph M. Horrigan Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the book, Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or at

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Hyperplasia a Get-Big Reality? Hyperplasia occurs when the number of muscle cells increases as a response to exercise. Most of the research on it has used animals—such as birds, rats and cats—as subjects. Jose Antonio, Ph.D., performed a study on a bird in which he used weights to progressively overload one wing and stretch the anterior latissimus dorsi muscle. The overload scheme started with a weight that was 10 percent of the bird’s Neveux



weight and increased it by 5 percent up to 35 percent. Two days of rest preceded an increase in weight. After 28 stretch days, the study recorded the greatest gains in muscle mass ever in an animal or human model of tension-induced overload—a 334 percent increase in muscle mass with a 90 percent increase in fiber number. [Note: Antonio’s research may give even more credence to the practice of using stretch-position exercises, like flyes for chest, and end-of-set partials in the semistretched position at positive failure, as described in the item below, for faster mass increases.] —John Hansen Natural Bodybuilding Editor’s note: Natural Bodybuilding is available from Home Gym Warehouse for $21.95 plus shipping and handling. To order call (800) 447-0008 or visit www


Hardgainer Solutions

Overriding central nervous system fatigue

Neveux \ Models: Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Many researchers believe that less than half of the fast-twitch fibers are involved in any all-out set. That’s right, a set to failure is not very efficient for stimulating growth. It’s even less efficient for hardgainers, who get maybe 20 to 30 percent fiber activation because of their poor nerve-to-muscle connections. In other words, their central nervous system craps out even earlier than the CNS of other bodybuilders on any given set, leaving most of their fast-twitch fibers snoozing. It’s a horrific muscle-building problem: The faster-growing fast-twitch fibers activate toward the end of a strict set, as dictated by the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment, but hardgainers get at very few of those fibers because their below-average nervous system shuts down early. Can they just load up on more sets to compensate? No, because they also have a less-efficient recovery system—they can’t tolerate a lot of work. What about just a few more sets with more explosive movements? Bad idea. As we said, most hardgainers have poor neuromuscular efficiency. That means explosive-style training isn’t very effective and is often dangerous. They must do their sets with strict style—and that does very little to overload the important semistretched position (near the turnaround) of the big mass-building exercises. So it appears that the harder a hardgainer trains, the less he gains because he overstresses his recovery ability and/or gets injured when he tries to explode with heavy weights to overload the sweet spot of certain exercises. It’s the frustrating hardgainer paradox. If only hardgainers could override their neuromuscular deficiency somewhat and overload the semistretched position in one set. That would make that set two to five times more effective at triggering fast-twitch-fiber growth—no explosive movement necessary. That’s exactly what X Reps do and why they’re so very important for hardgainers. X Reps basically extend a set past failure with power partials at the sweet spot of each exercise—no dangerous explosive actions necessary. You get at much more of the muscle in any one strict set—and you don’t have to do set after recoverydraining set. The end-of-set partial technique is an absolute godsend for hardgainers. Here’s why it works: When your nervous system craps out, leaving so many growth fibers unused or understimulated (70 percent in some cases), you move to the key point in the exercise’s stroke, like near the bottom of an incline press, and keep firing the muscle—pulsing in a very short five-to-10-inch range. You essentially leapfrog nervous system fatigue and get at a much larger percentage of muscle fibers with those power pulses at the target muscle’s maximum-force-generation point, where fiber activation is optimized. In other words, you get a quantum leap in mass-building efficiency without having to add sets, just what hardgainers need for jacking up growth stimulation to exceptional levels without volume overkill. In fact, X Reps can help slow-to-grow bodybuilders trigger more size increases in a few months than they have experienced in years. Exciting stuff! —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Editor’s note: The above is adapted from an issue of the IM e-zine. You can get one delivered to your e-mail box every week free: Visit and click on X Files. Go to any of the past installments and click on the subscribe link at the bottom.

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Are You Ready to FREAK OUT?! one potent muscle-swelling comIt’s the precise scientific combi1-MONTH RESULTS! bination—the ingredients are listnation your muscles need to grow ed at, along larger, freakier and stronger with results and more photos). after every workout. Plus, it Feed your muscles what they spikes insulin, the hormone that crave at the precise time when sends those key nutrients rocketing supercompensation is jacked to your muscles at that critical to the max, and you can start grow time. (If you don’t use this building more muscle immediateamazing combo, it’s like wasting ly—more monster mass half your workouts!) almost instantly. Plus, you’ll Insulin is a good thing and high- “The X Stack combined with X-Rep training got me to my most muscular refill spent fuel stores so you’re ly anabolic right after you train condition ever in only one month.” because that’s when your muscles —Jonathan Lawson fully loaded for your next workout (bigger, more powerful muscles; are extremely receptive—like wrung-out sponges waiting to soak up anabolic nutri- you can feel it working). You train hard; you deserve to freak out! ents so they can engorge to new dimensions. It’s the time when carbs will not go to fat cells—the time For More Info and Special to load up so your muscles fill out. Discount Pricing, Visit: The X Stack also includes titrated creatine, which heightens ATP regeneration to fuel future muscle tractions and fills out your muscle structures even Results using the X Stack vary from individual to individual. These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This product is not more (all of the key nutrients in the X Stack make it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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How weight training affects your androgen receptors

including testosterone and growth hormone. It also increases cortisol, an adrenal steroid that’s the primary catabolic hormone in the body. Little is known, however, about how specific modes of weight training affect androgen receptor content. A recent study examined how different modes of training affected androgen receptor content in the thigh muscles following a squat workout.1 The subjects were nine men, aged 19 to 32, with at least three years of training experience, including squats. They trained using two types of protocols. The first workout involved doing one set of squats, while the second consisted of six sets of 10 reps of squats. Blood was collected just prior to the workout and every 15 minutes after it for one hour. Muscle biopsies were also taken before and one hour after the workouts. No increases in total testosterone occurred after the single set of squats. After the multiple sets, however, testosterone increased 16 to 23 percent. Cortisol also didn’t change during the single set but rose 31 to 49 percent after the multiple sets of squats. The androgen receptor content wasn’t changed one hour after the single set of squats but dropped 46 percent after the multiple-set routine. The authors suggest that the multiple-set protocol led to higher metabolic demands and a transitory catabolic state reflected in the decreased androgen receptor numbers after the workout. The initial drop in androgen receptor content is followed by a rebound within 48 hours. The study implies that doing a single set of an exercise, even with heavy weights, stimulates little or no anabolic activity. On the other hand, those who advocate doing single sets of high-intensity training say that you must do such single sets to complete muscular failure, which didn’t happen in the experiment. Another study is needed to fill that gap in the research. Another finding was that having a high baseline level of testosterone did not correlate with maximal strength during training. A common misconception is that having high levels of testosterone automatically means increased strength and muscle size. What really counts is the number of androgen receptors, because without them testosterone doesn’t get into the cell and promote an anabolic effect. Though the authors don’t say so, the study has implications for overtraining. Because the initial response of trained muscle is a drop in androgen receptors, training again without giving your body time to compensate will rapidly lead to muscle catabolism; cortisol will overwhelm testosterone. Bottom line: Training too often—that is, with less than 48 hours of rest—is a sure way to produce losses in muscle size and strength. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Model: Mike Morris \ Equipment: PowerBlock selectorized dumbbells, 1-800-447-0008 or



Having an abundance of testosterone floating around in your blood means nothing unless it can interact with cellular receptors. Free testosterone, which is not bound to a protein such as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or albumin, locks on to androgen receptors located on the outside of cells. The testosterone-and-receptor complex is then transported deeper into the cell until it reaches the nucleus, where it promotes protein synthesis. When it comes to the anabolic effects of testosterone, the androgen receptor is the site of action. Anabolic steroid drugs, which are modified versions of testosterone, increase the number of androgen receptors. That increase, in turn, permits a greater level of protein synthesis, which translates to added muscular size and strength, especially when the user is also exercising. Weight training, particularly heavy training, also increases the number of androgen receptors. That’s why lifting weights gives you more muscle size than endurance exercise. Studies show that a combination of heavy weight training and anabolic steroids produces the greatest increase in androgen receptors. Lifting weights increases the level of anabolic hormones,

1 Ratamess, N.A., et al. (2005). Androgen receptor content following heavy resistance exercise in men. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 93:35-42.

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3-D MUSCLE BLAST Positions of Flexion Builds Mass Fast!

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Get maximum muscle fiber recruitment from minimal gym time—only four to six sets per bodypart. Discover how to build power and size with 3-D Positions of Flexion: big midrange movements, stretch overload to activate the myotatic reflex and continuous-tension peak contraction to finish off the muscle. This DVD explains Positions of Flexion, a breakthrough massbuilding method that has bodybuilders all over the world growing faster than ever and achieving skin-splitting pumps at every workout. See this exciting size-boosting approach in action, apply it to your own workouts and watch mass surge to dramatic new levels in record time. Turn your guns into cannons and your shoulders into boulders. Chisel your chest and pack your thighs with new size. Bonus: 10 Minutes to Granite Abs is also included on this action-packed DVD.


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Specificity Is More Than Just a Difficult Word to Pronounce It’s the reason strength training and aerobics are said to be mutually exclusive—but are they? According to the specificity-of-training principle, if you want to improve endurance, do endurance or aerobic exercise. If you want to improve muscle size and strength, do weight training. Different exercise produces different effects in muscle. Normal weight training, even with minimal rest between sets, doesn’t have much effect on aerobic capacity. It does, however, increase muscle force, glycolytic enzyme activity (the ability of muscles to use glycogen as a fuel source) and muscle creatine content, which also aids energy production. The net effect of weight training, if all goes well, is increased muscular size and strength. Endurance training produces different effects. When you do aerobics, you increase the number of mitochondria in muscle, because that’s where fat is oxidized during aerobic training. The body also increases capillary density to deliver more oxygen to muscles, since oxygen is required to burn fat as fuel. Myoglobin, the oxygen-containing pigment in muscle, is also upgraded for increased oxygen delivery. Along with those changes, muscle size is often reduced, since endurance training blunts muscle protein synthesis. About 25 years ago studies began to indicate that doing aerobic exercise concurrently with weight work interfered with muscle gains. Since then other studies have found either the same result or no negative effects of doing both weight training and endurance training. It’s obviously an important issue, since many bodybuilders do aerobics as a means of control-

ling body composition or losing fat before a contest. The latest study on the subject examined untrained men assigned to one of three groups: endurance training (ET), resistance training (RT) and concurrent training (CT). The study lasted 12 weeks and featured before and after measurements of body composition, peak oxygen intake and other values affected by aerobic and resistance training. Weight and lean body mass significantly increased in the RT and CT groups. Bodyfat losses occurred in the CT and ET group but not the RT-alone group. Maximal oxygen intake improved only in the ET group. The gains in muscle size and strength were similar in both the RT and CT groups, indicating that no adverse effects resulted from combining weight training and aerobic exercise. One surprising effect was the lack of improvement in maximal oxygen intake in the men who were doing both types of exercise—since they were doing aerobic exercise. The researchers suggested that the muscle size and strength those subjects gained may have diluted the gains in mitochondrial density, thereby preventing any significant improvement in oxygen intake. So the study shows that using a training system that features both weights and aerobics doesn’t adversely affect strength and muscle gains but does hinder improvement in endurance. Doing aerobics alone does improve maximum oxygen intake, so trainees who are concerned about that may want to separate aerobic from weight workouts. Doing weight training alone does increase muscle power more efficiently than, say, doing aerobics right after a weight workout. —Jerry Brainum

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Critical Mass Reps at the max-force point first, to hit that key spot with as much intensity as possible—after full-range reps—to take advantage of the size principle of fiber recruitment, as explained in The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book. Then if we do a second set, we may experiment with another variation—or even just do X Reps in the contracted position only for variation and unique fiber recruitment. So the answer to your question is that we’ve found it’s best to hit the max-force point when fatigue isn’t redlining. It’s the most important point on the stroke, so give it priority at most of your workouts.

X-Rep Drop Kick Q: X Reps are incredible, and they’ve really added a new level of intensity to my drop sets. My question is, When doing a drop set, why do you go to failure and then do bottom X Reps first? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do your set to failure, do the top contracted position first with X Reps, reduce the weight and then do full reps to failure followed by X Reps at the bottom?

Q: I was following this split for a while: Wednesday, delts and arms; Saturday, chest and back; Sunday, legs. I noticed that training lats and midback together on Saturday was limiting my intensity, so I decided to try this split: Wednesday, delts/lats/tri’s; Saturday, midback/chest/bi’s; Sunday, legs. I’m doing straight sets and usually two to three exercises per Close-grip V-handle chins, bodypart to hit the one of the ultimate lat three Positions of exercises in The Ultimate Flexion: midrange, stretch and contractMass Workout ed. The new split lets e-book, available at me focus better on each part of my back. For example, for lats on Wednesday I’m doing pulldowns (midrange), pullovers (stretch) and reversegrip pulldowns (contracted). For midback on Saturday I’m doing T-bar rows (midrange), one-arm dumbbell rows (stretch) and shrugs (contracted). What do you think? It feels much better to me. Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

A: That’s a variation we’ve used and still use on occasion when we need to mix it up. We do a lot of X-Rep juggling to keep things fresh and the muscles adapting. For example, on leg curls we’ll do a set to central-nervous-system exhaustion, get help back up to the contracted position and pulse there; when we can’t get any more contracted-position X Reps, we lower to the midpoint and pulse there. When we stall at the midpoint, we finish with X-Rep pulses at the max-force point, near the bottom of the stroke. The problem with that (and the drop-set version you described as well) is fatigue. By the time you reach the maxforce point, the muscle is riddled with lactic acid and not able to fire effectively, despite being in its strongest position (max-force point). Our preference is to do a set with X

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

A: Well, I’m old school—I believe you have to train each bodypart more than once a week to make gains—but if it’s working for you, so be it (it works for Skip La Cour, so I can’t be too critical). Other than that, your split looks good. Here at the ITRC we’ve found that splitting our back into lats at one workout and midback at another works surprisingly well. If you work them as one unit, you lose a lot of pulling power on the section you work second. For example, after we do a lat barrage of pulldowns, pullovers and close-grip V-handle pulldowns to hit the three Positions of Flexion, the rows we do to lead off midback work suck. Now that we’ve split it up, we’re much more powerful, and our midbacks have improved significantly.

Once your central nervous system hits exhaustion on an exercise, is it best to move to the contracted position for X-Rep pulses, like the bottom of cable crossovers, where the pecs are weakest? Maxforce-point X Reps in the semistretched position may be better for optimal fiber recruitment.

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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass have other surprises coming that will send your motivation, and your results, into orbit. Buckle up for takeoff! Q: I have two questions: 1) What’s your opinion of periodization—changing rep ranges on all exercises every six weeks or so? and 2) Which is better, volume training or short, abbreviated high-intensity-style workouts?

Neveux \ Model: David Yeung

A: Periodization makes a lot of sense on one level—from a recuperation standpoint—but most of the experts cite another reason to periodize: to work different fiber types. Hmm, if you use one rep range to zero in on one fiber type, won’t the other fiber types shrink during their hiatus? Not what a bodybuilder wants. Bodybuilders want to maximize the size of all fiber types to push muscle mass to extreme levels. Because of that, I prefer to use different rep ranges at each workout or spread the ranges out over two workouts. For example, you could do high-rep calf work at your first calf workout of the week and do lower reps at your second. As for the rest and recuperation aspect of periodization, I have my own, simpler version: I call it phase training. I like to ratchet down the intensity every six or eight weeks before cranking it up again for another high-intensity phase. It’s as if to keep gaining, you have to reach the brink of overtraining and then back off. It’s the way the body works. As for short, high-intensity workouts vs. highervolume methods, both will work. Bill Pearl used to train with 20 or more sets per bodypart, but he never trained to exhaustion on any set. It just didn’t suit him. He got at more muscle fibers by doing set after set. Others prefer to do fewer sets and push To keep the muscles growing you have to reach the harder—for example, past central-nervous-system brink of overtraining and then ratchet down your exhaustion with X Reps—to hit the majority of intensity for a week or two to completely fibers. When you do that, you have to pull back the supercompensate. volume. Is one style better than the other? It depends on you—your body, preferences and personality. Bill Pearl By the way, we consider upper traps an area different probably wouldn't have gained much on an HIT-oriented from midback. In your routine you may want to try bentroutine—because he would’ve hated it and quit if that was arm bent-over laterals as your finishing contracted-posithe only way. Luckily for all of us, there’s more than one tion exercise for midback. Then end with shrugs as a way to grow. stretch-and-contracted-position exercise for upper traps.

A: I find it very difficult to stay away from the gym for a week at a time, unless I’m on vacation—and even then I sometimes hunt down a gym so I can train. So my answer would be a week or two of low-intensity training. If you have trouble keeping the intensity low, do only one or two sets per bodypart. You may also want to try training each bodypart only once during that week—if you have a problem holding back. As for IRON MAN being the nuts and bolts of bodybuilding, it’s only going to get better. We now have coach Charles Poliquin writing his Smart Training Q&A for us, and we

New! The sharp black POF T-shirt with the original classic logo emblazoned in gold can give you that muscular look you’re after. See page 201 for details. Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of a number of bodybuilding best-sellers, including Train, Eat, Grow: The Positions-ofFlexion Muscle-Training Manual. For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, see page 189. For information on Train, Eat, Grow, see page 76. Also visit IM

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Q: I’m curious about what you think is better for curing overtraining: a week or two away from the gym or a week or two of low-intensity work. I find the real discipline comes in holding back during a workout. Thanks in advance for your answer. By the way, IRON MAN is truly the nuts and bolts of bodybuilding.

Steve Holman

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Low Carb, High Pro and the Diet Yo-Yo More protein can help you keep the fat off as you increase your lean mass No matter how you look at it, dieting to lose bodyfat is never easy. It demands a rigid decrease in calories. Dieting without exercise is a bad idea and doomed to eventual failure for a number of reasons. For most people, dieting minus working out equals a weight loss that’s about 50 percent fat and up to 50 percent muscle. The loss of muscle, or lean mass, lowers the resting metabolic rate. A slower metabolism means you must take in even fewer calories to continue losing weight. For most

people it just doesn’t work. Numerous studies show that about 97 percent of people who have successfully lost weight on a diet regain the lost weight and then some. Several years ago talk-show host Oprah Winfrey proudly displayed her newfound svelte figure, clad in a pair of size-10 jeans that had been hanging in her closet for years, pushing out a wheelbarrow containing the 67 pounds of fat she’d lost. The fact that Oprah’s weight loss didn’t only consist of fat, however, soon became distressingly clear. She not only regained all the lost weight but packed on a few additional pounds. Her case was a classic example of yo-yo dieting, defined as a rapid weight

Highprotein foods can help suppress appetite for longer periods.

loss followed by an equally rapid regain of the lost weight. Usually that involves a large loss of muscle during the diet. It sets you up for diet failure because the drop in resting metabolism that happens when you lose lean mass demands a permanent reduction in calories to maintain the weight—too tough for most people. Oprah’s mistake was too few calories and not enough exercise. If you can maintain weight loss for five years, your body resets the various hormones related to appetite and energy production, adjusting to a lower natural bodyweight so that it’s no longer a strain to maintain the new weight. Exercising makes it far easier for the body to make those adjustments. Recent studies that have compared low-carbohydrate to other fatloss diets point up the benefits of the low-carb strategy for the majority of dieters. Various mechanisms have been suggested to explain why— from a greater water loss to better thermogenic effects. More recent studies show that low-carb diets work simply because people on them average 1,000 fewer calories a day. The question is why people choose to eat less while on a lowcarb diet. Some say it’s because low-carb diets lack variety. Others say it’s because insulin control is the cornerstone of low-carb diets: Insulin promotes hunger by lowering

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GROW Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission blood glucose levels, so it makes sense that controlling insulin would decrease appetite. The problem with the insulin theory is that protein foods also promote insulin release, though not as much as carbohydrates do. Most low-carb diets emphasize a higher protein intake because protein helps maintain lean mass. Protein is, in fact, a key element of why low-carb diets are successful. Compared with fat or carbs, protein provides far more satiety after a meal. That leads to less eating and fewer calories. Protein stimulates gut hormones that signal the appetite-controlling mechanisms in the brain. The more rapidly the protein is digested, the quicker the appetite is suppressed. That explains why a rapidly acting protein source, such as whey, provides more appetite suppression than casein, another milk protein that is

more slowly digested and absorbed. Protein also helps curb appetites because it has a higher thermogenic effect. Thermogenesis, the conversion of calories into heat, leads to mechanisms that lower appetite. Animal proteins induce a higher thermogenic effect than vegetable proteins, leading to greater satiety. Carbs that stimulate A recent study insulin release promote shows that mainthe sensation of hunger. taining a highthe high-pro group consisted of lean protein diet after fat mass, while the control group gained loss can help maintain some fat. More important, satiety the new, lower weight.1 Researchers tracked 113 after meals was significantly greater in the high-pro group. Neither group overweight men and engaged in exercise other than women, aged 18 to 60, normal activity. who followed a low-calorie The study implies that staying on diet for a month and maina higher-protein diet maintains lean tained the weight loss for six months. After that they mass and blunts the regain of fat. were put in a high-protein You get increased satiety, greater appetite suppression and increased or a control group, with thermogenesis from a higher protein the protein group getting intake, and the more favorable body 30 additional grams of protein. That gave them an composition that results helps maintain resting metabolism. 18 percent protein intake, —Jerry Brainum compared to 15 percent in the controls. 1 Lejune, M., et al. (2005). AddiDuring the weight-maintetional protein intake limits weight nance phase the high-protein regain after weight loss in humans. group regained less weight and had slimmer waists than the control Brit J Nutr. 93:281-89. group. Weight gain that did occur in \ SEPTEMBER 2005 59

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Eat to Grow CURES

Hirsute Fruit

Bread can help reduce cardiovascular risks— as long as it’s the whole-grain kind.


Don’t Go Against the Grain According to a study reported in the December ’04 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, three servings of whole-grain foods a day reduce the risk of coronary disease— a 20 to 30 percent reduction, in fact. Whole grains don’t include white bread, white flour, white rice or white pasta. Nor are they found in corn flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K or any sugar-coated cereals. Also avoid the deceptively white breads that are treated with caramel coloring, molasses or raisin syrup—like pumpernickel, cracked wheat, wheat nugget and rye. Whole grains are 100 percent whole-wheat bread and 100 percent whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat crackers. Whole-grain cereals include Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts, Wheat Chex, Wheaties, 40% Bran Flakes, Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Whole Wheat Total, Puffed Wheat, Lowfat Granola, Corn Bran, Bran Buds and Fiber One. Remember, get a minimum of three servings a day to protect your heart and to keep you going strong. —Daniel Curtis, R.D.

According to Tsukuba Research Laboratories in Ibaraki, Japan, applying procyanidin B-2, a compound in apples, to the scalp increased the thickness and number of hair shafts in six months. It was applied topically, so it’s not known whether eating apples regularly can improve hair growth. But if you’re losing your hair, why not try it? They’re loaded with fiber and vitamins. Someday the saying may be, “An apple a day keeps the toupée away.” —Becky Holman


Better Potatoes Did you know that a regular potato is very high on the glycemic index, while a sweet potato is nearer the middle? That’s good to know if you’re concerned with insulin surges. Obviously, sweet is a misnomer that leads us to believe they are high glycemic, but they’re not. Maybe they should be called better potatoes. In fact, sweet potatoes also are higher in fiber and have more nutrients than regular potatoes. That makes them better on three counts. —Becky Holman

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Eat to Grow AMINO AMMO

Pump Protector and Fat Ejector ed by 34 to 36 percent. The genes L-arginine has recently emerged as the superstar amino related to fat oxidation increased conacid, displacing such previous favorites as glutamine and siderably in the arginine rats, with two leucine. That’s particularly interesting because L-arginine isn’t animals showing increases as high as even considered an essential amino acid, meaning one that 789 and 500 percent. must be provided in food. Like glutamine, it’s a conditionally The arginine treatment didn’t increase insulin or growth essential amino: one that’s required in greater amounts during hormone release. No side effects occurred, nor was the times of growth and stress. uptake or metabolism of any other amino acid adversely Although arginine has been largely associated with proaffected. Arginine did, however, increase the weight of the moting growth hormone release, its present popularity stems rats’ skeletal muscles, heart and brain. Other animal studies from its position as the immediate dietary precursor of nitric also show that arginine benefits protein synthesis, but it oxide. NO is both a gas and a free radical that is short-lived in doesn’t affect muscle protein breakdown, or catabolism. the body but that performs myriad vital functions. One of the substances increased by arginine reduces the A recent study featured the Zucker rat, a genetically altered availability of malonyl coenzyme-A, which is a primary inhibitor animal that exhibits the same effects of type 2 diabetes and of fat oxidation in the mitochondria. That substance increases obesity as humans—elevated blood glucose; elevated blood in the presence of carbohydrates, which explains why eating lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides; elevated resting carbs just before training blunts fat burning during the workinsulin levels; and dysfunction of the lining of blood vessels out. Specifically, malonyl that leads to atherosclerocoenzyme-A blocks the sis, high blood pressure Arginine, found in nuts and many pump-promoting enzyme that works with Land cardiovascular dissupplements, can enhance fat loss and protect your carnitine in shuttling fat into ease.1 Researchers gave heart. the mitochondria for oxidathe fat, diabetic rats argition purposes. nine because of the relaAnother recent study tionship between NO and showed that dietary arginine fat metabolism. NO inlowered levels of C-reactive creases the expression of protein in the body.2 CRP is a chemical that leads to increased activity of mitoa general measure of inflamchondria in cells. Fat is mation in the body, and oxidized in the mitochoninflammation is the cornerdria. When the genes of stone of most serious disrats are manipulated so eases, including cancer and that they don’t produce cardiovascular disease. Most NO, they always show supplements, even potent higher bodyfat levels than antioxidants such as vitaordinary rats, even though mins C and E, have little or they eat the same amount no effect on CRP. The effect of food. Inhibiting NO in on CRP may explain why rats also increases blood eating nuts and fish protects levels of triglyceride, or fat. the cardiovascular system; Since NO stimulates fat both foods are rich sources oxidation in fat cells, the of arginine. Eating 3.6 experimenters hypotheounces, or 100 grams, of sized that giving the Zucker diabetic rats, as they’re known, walnuts provides 2.5 grams of arginine. arginine would increase NO production and possibly Arginine is thought to lower CRP levels through several decrease bodyfat levels. Some rats got arginine as 1.25 possible mechanisms. Its antioxidant activity is independent percent of their overall caloric intake in drinking water for 10 of its role as a NO precursor, since NO itself is an oxidant. weeks. Other rats got no additional arginine. Arginine also positively affects immune function, which helps In the arginine rats, blood arginine levels rose 261 percent, to reduce the inflammation characteristic of high CRP levels. and NO was elevated by 70 percent. The bodyweights of the —Jerry Brainum arginine-treated rats were 6, 10 and 16 percent lower than the control rats at weeks four, seven and 10. Abdominal fat References dropped by 45 percent. Serum levels of glucose dropped 25 1 Fu, W.J., et al. (2005). Dietary L-arginine supplementation percent; triglycerides dropped 23 percent; free fatty acids reduces fat mass in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. J. Nutr. 135: dropped 27 percent; homocysteine dropped 26 percent. By 714-721. the 10th week of the study, NO production had increased in 2 Wells, B.J., et al. (2005). Association between dietary the arginine-treated rats by 71 to 85 percent, fat oxidation arginine and C-reactive protein. Nutrition. 21:125-30. had increased 24 percent, and glucose oxidation was boost62 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Myostatin-Blocker Bust

Neveux \ Model: Jay Cutler

About two years ago dramatic advertisements began appearing in bodybuilding magazines proclaiming that you could now “exceed your genetic potential.” The ads usually showed freaky animals, such as bulls whose bodies rippled with muscle or rats that appeared twice as hefty as their littermates. Those animals were either born without genes that code for myostatin or had been genetically engineered to block the activity of myostatin. The featured product was a natural myostatin blocker. Discovered in 1997, myostatin is a natural protein in the body that inhibits muscular growth. It also promotes fat accretion by lowering levels of leptin, another protein involved in fat synthesis. Scientists believe that myostatin inhibits the function of special muscle satellite cells that are required for muscle repair and growth. When myostatin is blocked or absent, muscles seem to grow at an unprecedented rate. It didn’t take long for someone in the supplement industry to figure out the benefits of producing a myostatin blocker. A candidate soon emerged in the form of Cystoseira canariensis, a brown sea algae. A study published in an obscure Bulgarian physiology journal found that the seaweed appeared to bind to and block the activity of myostatin. The problem was that this occurred in vitro—in a test-tube environment. No human trials had been done to see how the seaweed would affect myostatin in the human body. Such minor details didn’t deter some companies, which rushed the seaweed supplement on to the market, touting it as the solution for those who experienced slow muscle gains or who wanted to exceed their genetic potential. The ads implied that using the supplement would produce results


Can the muscle-growthinhibiting protein be stopped?

similar to those seen in the myostatindeficient animals: massive muscularity with little or no apparent bodyfat—the bodybuilding Holy Grail. Soon after the original myostatin supplement was released for sale, I contacted the scientist from Johns Hopkins University who had discovered myostatin to ask about the potential usefulness of the new supplement. He expressed skepticism, noting that myostatin research was still in its infancy and the full implications of blocking the protein in humans weren’t yet known. Even if the supplement worked as advertised, he suggested, it would be premature to offer it for sale. Somewhere along the line the initial excitement about myostatin-blocking supplements petered out. Could it be that the products didn’t work after all? A new study answers that question and explains why the supplements likely lost popularity.1 Twenty-two untrained men were randomly assigned to either a placebo or myostatin-blocker group. They trained three days a week for 12 weeks and took 1,200 milligrams— the recommended dose—daily of a commercial myostatinblocking supplement. There were no differences in strength, muscle gains or fat loss between those who took the supplement and those in the placebo group. Why did the myostatin blocker fail to work? It turns out that another natural substance in the body, follistatin-related gene protein (FLRG), inhibits myostatin. The myostatin-blocking supplement interfered with the activity of that protein, which prevented any inhibition of myostatin in the body. In other words, the supplement worked against itself, nullifying its own activity. The authors noted a few potential weaknesses of their study. One was the use of untrained subjects, who may not react to the supplement in the same way as more experienced trainees do. Another problem was the dose, which may have been insufficient to effectively block myostatin. On the other hand, considering why the myostatin blocker failed to work, it’s safe to say that this type of supplement works better in a test tube than it does in the human body, where more complex mechanisms govern its behavior. The lesson here: Never trust claims made about supplements that haven’t been tested on humans and expect the products to provide some measure of effectiveness. Or, to put it another way, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. —Jerry Brainum

Fruits vs. Vegetables

Here’s a provocative question: Which is more healthful, eating more fruit without a lot of veggies or the other way around? Well, fruit is higher in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol, but vegetables give you more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, those important disease-fighting compounds. While both can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, vegetables appear to do a better job of fighting the big C. All that considered, vegetables would have to be the winner. Of course, a diet with both is best, but if you have to choose, go for the veggies. —Becky Holman

1 Willoughby, D. (2004). Effects of an alleged myostatin-binding supplement and heavy resistance training on serum myostatin, muscle strength and mass, and body composition. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metabol. 14:461-72.

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Fat Can Be Good But… Fat is primarily a superior fuel for the muscles, in particular during prolonged intense exercise. By virtue of its lowglycemic-index number, fat doesn’t spike insulin and so can be an efficient fuel for low-carb dieters. Recent studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, revealed that fat fuel takes the form of lipid droplets inside the muscle tissue, known as intramuscular triaglycerols (IMTGs). Scientists believe that skeletal muscles have enormous capacity to burn IMTG stores during intense exercise. It’s been suggested that training intensely on a high-fat, low-carb fuel forces the muscle to adapt by gradually increasing its capacity to mobilize and utilize fat. So far so good, but there’s always a catch. Recent studies at the University of Wollongong, in New South Wales, Australia, revealed that a high-fat diet is associated with a significantly elevated ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids in the muscle. In other words, exercising on a high-fat diet depletes the omega-3 pool in muscle, making it more prone to inflammation and injury. In order to maximize the benefits of fat fuel, an active individual must supplement with omega-3s or foods high in

omega3s, such as flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil or fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna or swordfish). Note that wild fish is generally superior to farm-raised fish. —Ori Hofmekler Editor’s note: Ori Hofmekler is the author of the books The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle & Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publications ( For more information or for a consultation, contact him at, or by phone at (866) WAR-DIET.


Fill ’Er Up

Fenugreek for more muscle-glycogen uptake

Muscle glycogen is the primary fuel powering anaerobic exercise, such as weight training, and it’s partially depleted during exercise. To promote muscle recovery and repair following exercise, it’s vital to restore depleted muscle glycogen levels. There are various ways of doing that, including the intake of carbohydrates, especially simple, or high-glycemic-index carbs, following a workout. Since glycogen is nothing more than a complex, branched-chain form of carbohydrate, it makes sense to get your carbs after a workout to replenish muscle glycogen. Simple carbs promote a greater release of insulin, which, in turn, activates the primary enzyme required for muscle glycogen synthesis, glycogen synthase. Research shows that adding protein to postworkout carbs works even better than carbs alone because amino acids in protein boost insulin release. Some studies show that the added calories, not the protein, do that, but scientists hotly debate that. Single amino acids have also been identified as promoting the glycogen-repletion process. Arginine may help make glucose available for muscle glycogen synthesis, but other studies dispute that. Glutamine may help replenish glycogen because of its role in gluconeogenesis, the process of converting noncarbohydrate sources, such as amino acids, into glucose in the liver. Fenugreek seeds contain high levels of 4-hydroxyisoleucine, an amino acid not found in animal proteins. It mimics the effects of insulin in a high-carb environment. Specifically, 4-HL directly stimulates activity in the beta cells of the pancreas, the site of insulin synthesis and release. A recent study examined the effects of combining a high-carb intake and 4-HL on muscle glycogen replenishment.1 Trained cyclists who’d fasted overnight did a 90-minute glycogen-depleting ride on exercise cycles. They then got either high-dose glucose alone or glucose combined with 4-HL. The combination of high-dose glucose (1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight) and 4-HL (two milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) led to 63 percent greater muscle-glycogen replenishment than glucose alone did. There was no change in circulating levels of insulin, which pointed to an independent effect of the 4-HL alone. The implication is that using some type of 4-HL supplement would greatly accelerate muscle glycogen synthesis, and since it doesn’t affect insulin levels, there’s less chance of carb spillover into bodyfat synthesis. In any case, however, nearly all carbs you take in following a workout go directly into muscle and liver glycogen synthesis; energy sources are the body’s primary concern. —Jerry Brainum 1 Ruby, R.C., et al. (2005). The addition of fenugreek extract to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise. Amino Acids. 28:71-76.

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To Kick-Start Immediate Muscle Growth After You Train Breakthrough research in exercise metabolism now reveals this fact: What you consume (or don’t consume) immediately after training plays a critical role in determining your success or failure! That time period is known as the “anabolic window” of growth. The biggest mistake many bodybuilders make is eating a meal of chicken breasts, baked potato or rice and vegetables after a workout. This is an approach doomed to fail because by the time this meal digests, the anabolic window has slammed shut. The best way to produce this potent anabolic effect is simply by drinking an amino acidand-carbohydrate supplement within 15 minutes after training! RecoverX™ offers the ideal combination and provides the perfect blend of nutrients for postworkout anabolic acceleration. RecoverX™ contains 40 grams of the quickest-acting bio-available protein from hydrolyzed whey—extremely fast protein for immediate delivery—whey protein concentrate, glutamine peptides, arginine and 60 grams of carbohydrate to give you the necessary insulin spike.

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GROW Muscle-Training Program 71 From the IRON MAN Training & Research Center


e’ve made a radical change in our routine this month, but as usual there’s some method to our madness. If you look at our new program on page 72, you’ll see we’re using a different split from last month, one we’ve used before. In fact, it’s the exact split we used during our X-Rep experiment last year around this time (hey, if it worked once, it should work again). The big difference is, we’re only working legs once a week. What?! Haven’t we said that working a bodypart once a week has never given us results? That’s correct, but there’s a minor detail that makes the strategy viable now, at least for legs. We’re in our ripping phase, which means we’re doing more cardio than at any other time during the year—and it all involves legs. For example, Steve has been walking, running or riding an exercise bike at least five days a week. Jonathan has been wearing out his exercise bike, sometimes twice a day. All of that takes a considerable toll on our legs and lower-body recovery. On top of that, a new study shows that legs appear to take longer to recover

than upper-body muscles—even when no cardio whatsoever is involved. A report on that from researcher Jerry Brainum appeared in the August ’05 IRON MAN. In case you missed it, here’s an excerpt: “In a study presented at the 2004 meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, researchers from the University of Alabama examined just how long it takes to recover from a weight-training workout. Fifteen men and 15 women were tested for strength recovery at 48, 72 and 96 hours after a weight workout consisting of three sets of eight repetitions done with weights equal to 65 percent of one-rep maximum in the bench press and leg press. “Analysis showed that 66.7 percent of the male subjects needed 96 hours for full recovery on the leg press. In contrast, 93.3 percent of the men showed full recovery on the bench press after 72 hours. As for the female study subjects, 66.7 percent recovered on the bench press after 72 hours, while only 46.7 percent showed full recovery on the leg press at the 96-hour mark.”

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Models: Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson • Photography by Michael Neveux

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It’s a big blast of workout information, motivation and muscle-building science in your e-mail box every week—and it’s all free! Tons of practical training tips, analysis and size tactics are jam-packed into this e-zine from the IRON MAN Training & Research Center, where there’s more than 50 years of training experience to get you growing fast! Here are a few of the latest editions’ titles (online now):

Train, Eat, Grow /Program 71 We do a few more sets than three for our quads at any one leg workout, and we usually add intense X Reps. Plus, we’re doing lots of legrelated cardio. All that considered, we figure once-a-week leg training should be about right. So far our

strength has started moving up again on almost every exercise, which is a good sign, and our legs have gotten more shredded and vascular. We’ll keep monitoring our progress and maybe even continue the strategy after our photo shoot,

when we decrease our cardio. Maybe our legs will get even better once we scale back the cardio a bit. Our one leg workout occurs on Wednesday. We split the upper body over two days, Monday and Tuesday, and then repeat the split

IRONMAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 71 Monday and Thursday: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Rack upright rows or seated laterals (first set is a drop; last set with X Reps and X/Pause) 2 x 10(6), 10 Superset Forward-lean laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Standing laterals 1 x 8-10 Smith-machine behind-the-neck presses (X Reps; second set staged) 2 x 8-10 Superset One-arm cable laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Behind-the-back cable laterals (X Reps) or incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Cable upright rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Shrugs (X Reps) or Nautilus shrugs(X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Machine rows (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; second set staged and X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Behind-the-neck pulldowns (staged) 1 x 8-10 Superset Bent-arm bent-over laterals 1 x 8-10 Bent-over dumbbell rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Bent-over laterals (drop set; X Reps) 1 x 10(8) Preacher curls (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; last set staged) 2 x 8-10 Superset Concentration curls 1 x 8-10 One-arm dumbbell spider curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Incline curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Rope hammer curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Reverse wrist curls (X Reps and X/Pause) 1 x 15 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls 1x8 Aftershock superset Wrist curls (X Reps and X/Pause) 1 x 15 Forearm Bar wrist curls 1x8 Rockers 1 x 15-20

Tuesday and Friday: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Smith-machine incline presses (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; second set staged) 2 x 10, 8 Incline cable flyes (drop set and X Reps) 1 x 10(8) Superset Decline-bench presses (staged) 1 x 10, 8 Flat-bench dumbbell presses (X Reps) 1 x 10, 8 Superset Wide-grip dips (staged and X Reps) 1 x 10 High-low cable flyes (X Fade) 1 x 10 Low cable flyes (drop set and X Reps) 1 x 10(8) Narrow, parallel-grip pulldowns (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; second

set staged) Superset Chins (X Reps) Dumbbell pullovers Superset Pulldowns (X Reps) Rope rows (staged) EZ-curl decline extensions (first set with X Reps in press position; last set staged) Superset Motion-Transfer pushdowns (X Reps) Rope pushdowns (X Reps) Superset Undergrip pushdowns (X Reps) Stiff-arm kickbacks Tri-set Cable pushouts (X Reps) Stiff-arm kickbacks Bench dips (staged) Incline kneeups (X Reps) Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Tri-set Ab Bench crunches (drop set and X Reps) Twisting crunches Bench V-ups

2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 10, 8 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x max 1 x 15 1x8 1 x max 1 x 8(6) 1 x 10 1 x max

Wednesday: Quads, Hams, Gastrocs Smith-machine squats (second set X Reps; third set staged) Leg extensions (drop set and X Reps) Tri-set Sissy squats (X Reps) Leg extensions (drop set) One-leg leg extensions Hack squats (high and wide) Leg curls (drop set and X Reps) Leg curls (X Reps and X/Pause) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts One-leg leg curls Leg press calf raises (second set X Reps; last set X Fade) Superset Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises (X Reps) Superset Seated calf raises (X Reps) Machine donkey calf raises (X Reps) Seated calf raises Machine donkey calf raises (X Reps) Low-back machine (staged)

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3 x 10-12 1 x 10(8) 1 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 2 x 10, 8 1 x 10(8) 1 x 8-10 1 x max 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 3 x 15-20 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 12 1 x 12 1 x 15-20 1 x 15 1 x 8-12

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Model: Steve Holman

Cables can make X Reps more effective on some exercises.

on Thursday and Friday. We’ve tried to minimize the overlap, but we still get some. Here’s how our new split looks: Workout 1: Delts, traps, midback, rear delts, biceps, forearms Workout 2: Chest, lats, triceps, abs Workout 3: Quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back The major overlap occurs with back. We train traps and midback one day, and then the following day we work lats. Biceps also get some overlap: We work them that first day with midback and then give them some indirect work the next day, when we work lats, but that’s minor. Despite the small amount of overlap, we like this split a lot. And the once-a-week leg training on Wednesdays keeps our program in the five-day workweek schedule we must use (because we can’t train on weekends). Our split isn’t the only change we made this month, however. We’re closing in on our photo-shoot date, so we’ve cut back slightly on the compound-movement sets but made them more intense. On most of those exercises we’re doing the first work set with X Reps and X/Pause at the end, and we do a second work set in stage style. What the heck is X/Pause? Let’s take Smith-machine incline presses as an example. After doing two progressively heavy warmup sets, we load the bar with a poundage that we can get about nine reps with. When we reach central nervous system ex-

haustion, we lower to the max-force point, just above the chest, and pulse, firing the bar to almost the middle of the stroke on each X Rep. We get about four to six, then we rack it. After a six-second pause, we unrack the bar again, take it down to the X spot and blast out about three more X Reps. It’s very intense! That brief rest gives some of the fatigue products time to clear from the muscle, but it shouldn’t be long enough to take the stress off the fast-twitch fibers. In other words, they will still be engaged when you continue the set. After about a two-to-threeminute rest we reduce the poundage slightly and perform a stage set. Here’s the protocol for inclines: We rep out on the bottom two-thirds of the stroke first, which encompasses the X spot. At nervous system exhaustion we drive the bar to lockout, usually with partner assistance, and do the top one-third of the stroke to lockout. That’s a weak area, so a little partner assistance may be needed on each of those reps as well. We try to make the pecs work as much as possible in that top range. You may think the top range is mostly triceps, but by doing the bottom two-thirds of the stroke first, you essentially preexhausted your pecs, so you’ll feel the toprange partials in your pecs—believe us! It’s a wicked burn. A stage set is a unique way to extend the tension time—you get to attack the semistretched position, or X spot, first in the set. (That’s important, as you’ll soon see.) In fact, you could call that bottom-ofthe-stroke two-thirds movement exaggerated X Reps. The X-Rep-first stage sets work nicely on most compound exercises that have a lockout position, but we’ve found that the other way around—working the contracted position first—isn’t so great. The problem is, on exercises that don’t have a lockout position, where there is continuous tension throughout the rep—like machine rows and pulldowns—in order to use the stage technique, you have to do the contracted-position phase first and finish with the third of the stroke that includes the X spot.

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Train, Eat, Grow /Program 71

For example, on machine rows we tried pulling the handles to our chest, lowering two-thirds of the way down, just past the midpoint, and then pulling back up to the contracted position. When we couldn’t do any more of the contracted-position reps, we’d lower to full extension and do reps in the bottom one-third of the stroke. What we found is that if you don’t move through the bottom third— the semistretched point—at the beginning of the set, as you would on a straight set or an X-Rep-first stage set, that key fiber-activation position gets less work and you don’t get the prioritization you’re looking for. We’re sure that’s the

reason we weren’t getting good results with the contracted-position-first stage sets. It showed us the importance of overloading the stronger semistretched point as opposed to the weaker contracted position. Why can’t you simply do the semistretched, arms-extended position first, as we described for the basic stage-set protocol, on machine rows and pulldowns? The contracted position is just too weak to do it last. Other exercises in that category include chins and upright rows. We solved the problem by simply doing a second straight set, sometimes with X Reps, instead of a stage set on those exercises.

Another new concept you may have noticed if you looked at our new routine is what we’re calling an X Fade (no, it’s not a haircut). We like to do it on isolation exercises, and we usually do it on a second set after a standard set done with X Reps in the semistretched position. Say, what? Okay, here’s an example: On leg press calf raises we do a straight set with X Reps near full stretch first. After a brief rest we do another set to central nervous system exhaustion, but this time instead of lowering to the X spot, we get the weight into the top, contracted position and do X Reps there, lower to the midpoint and do X Reps and then lower to the

ITRC Program 71, Abbreviated Home-Gym Routine: Monday Through Friday Monday and Thursday: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Rack upright rows or seated laterals (first set is a drop; last set with X Reps and X/Pause) 2 x 10(6), 10 Superset Forward-lean laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Standing laterals 1 x 8-10 Dumbbell presses (X Reps; second set staged) 2 x 8-10 Incline one-arm laterals (drop set; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Shrugs (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Bent-over rows or chest-supported dumbbell rows (X Reps; second set staged + X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop set) 1 x 8(6) Bent-over laterals (drop set and X Reps) 1 x 10(8) One-arm dumbbell rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Preacher curls (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; last set staged) 2 x 8-10 Concentration curls (drop set and X Reps) 1 x 8(6) Superset Incline curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Hammer curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Reverse wrist curls (X Reps and X/Pause) 1 x 15 Dumbbell reverse wrist curls 1x8 Superset Wrist curls (X Reps and X/Pause) 1 x 15 Dumbbell wrist curls 1x8 Rockers 1 x 15-20

Tuesday and Friday: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Incline presses (first set with X Reps and X/Pause; second set staged) Incline flyes (drop set) Bench presses (X Reps; second set staged) Decline flyes (drop set) Narrow, parallel-grip chins (X Reps) Superset Chins (X Reps) Dumbbell pullovers

2 x 10, 8 1 x 10(6) 2 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10

Undergrip rows Decline extensions (X Reps in press position) Tri-set Kickbacks Stiff-arm kickbacks Bench dips Dumbbell overhead extensions Incline kneeups (X Reps) Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Superset Ab Bench crunches or full-range crunches Bench V-ups

2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 15 1x8 1 x max 1 x max 1 x max

Wednesday: Quads, Hams, Gastrocs Squats (second and third sets with X Reps near top) Leg extensions or hack squats (X Reps) Sissy squats (X Reps and drop set) One-leg leg extensions or one-leg squats Leg curls (drop set; X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts One-leg leg curls Standing calf raises (second set X Reps; last set X Fade, top to bottom) Seated calf raises (X Reps) One-leg calf raises (bodyweight)

3 x 10-12 2 x 10-12 2 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 2 x 10(8) 1 x max 2 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 3 x 15-20 2 x 15-20 1 x max

Note: Train Monday through Friday, following the sequence of workouts as listed. Also, it’s best to have a selectorized dumbbell set, such as the PowerBlock, if you don’t have a rack of fixed dumbbells of various weights. If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do old-style hacks with a two-second contraction at the top of each rep instead. Use partner resistance, towel around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.

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Train, Eat, Grow /Program 71

regular feature of this series. For those who wrote and complained, er um, suggested bringing it back, we appreciate the feedback, and we’re happy to oblige. We’re here to help you make the best gains possible, no matter where you train.

Model: Jonathan Lawson

semistretched position and finish with X Reps at the sweet spot. An X Fade is a great way to mix things up, and it enables you to stress different areas of an exercise’s stroke with the powerful XRep technique. The only problem is that you hit the semistretched point at the very end of the set, after you do X Reps in two higher positions on the stroke. That means fatigue may prevent you from getting a lot of overload there, but it’s precisely why you do X-Fade sets second, after a standard X-Rep set. Also remember that you hit the X spot on all the regular reps before you begin your X Fade. X/Pause and X Fade are a couple of new techniques you can try to intensify your workouts. For those who are training in a home gym or need a more abbreviated routine than ours, we’ve brought back our alternate routine for the home gym, which used to be a

The new Motion Transfer Cable Attachment has made a lot of our exercises safer, with more capacity for firing the target muscle. See page 98 for more details.

Editor’s note: For the latest on the X-Rep muscle-building method, including X Q&As, X Files (past e-newsletters about X Reps), before and after photos of Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson and our new X-Blog training journal, visit or For more information on Positionsof-Flexion training videos and Size Surge programs, see page 189. To order the new Positionsof-Flexion training manual Train, Eat, Grow, call (800) 447-0008, visit, or see the ad below. IM

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training

Olympic Muscle Q: Are the Olympic lifts of significant value to bodybuilders? A: The snatch and the clean and jerk are contested in the Olympic Games for the sport of weightlifting. They have little positive influence on furthering a bodybuilder’s goals; however, some of the assistance exercises that Olympic lifters routinely use for improving their results on Olympic lifts can help bodybuilders way more than snatches and clean and jerks. I’m talking about the various forms of the power snatch and power cleans, as well as the various forms of the Olympic pulls (snatch pulls and clean pulls)— roughly 70 exercises. One favorite exercise of Olympic lifters, which is unfortunately not used by bodybuilders, is the front squat.

Assistance Olympic lifts will benefit you most if you do them for multiple sets of six reps or fewer. Assistance Olympic lifts have to be done for low reps for two reasons. First, they make very high demands on your coordination. Second, they’re done explosively. Because the time under tension per lift is minimal, you need a high number of sets to reach minimal training volume. Here are two lower-body routines using Olympic-lifting assistance exercises that should help you build your lower body. It’s the sort of work that Olympic lifters do to move up a weight class or when they’re in a general preparatory phase. (Tempo notes: 3/1/1/0 means three seconds for the eccentric lowering, a one second pause at the bottom, one second for the concentric contraction and no pause at the top; X means an explosive concentric contraction.)

Routine A Power snatches (from midthigh) 5 x 4-6 use a 1/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets Clean pulls on podium 5 x 4-6 use a 2/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets Front squats 3 x 3, 3 x 6 use a 4/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets

Routine B Power cleans from the blocks 5 x 4-6 use a 1/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets Snatch pulls (from hang position) 5 x 4-6 use a 2/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets Back squats 6x5 use a 3/1/1/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets Alternate the two routines for four workouts of each, and you can be sure you’ll pack some serious mass on your traps, spinal erectors, glutes, quads and hamstrings. Q: Does acupuncture play a role in getting someone stronger and more muscular? Can regular visits to the acupuncturist help me get stronger and leaner?

Neveux \ Model: Mike Dragna

A: Acupuncture has been used by Chinese martial artists for centuries to help them recover from their training sessions or bouts. Acupuncture in the Western world is sought mainly by people who have failed to get healthy from the standard medical approach to long-term ailments, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure and fibromyalgia; however, bodybuilders and power athletes can get incredible performance benefits from acupuncture. We use acupuncture at the Poliquin Performance Centers to promote the following : Enhanced motor units recruitment. Each muscle in the human body is linked to a muscle acupuncture point (MAP). Stimulating that point for 10 to 15 seconds will temporarily increase the strength of a muscle by about 2 to 7 percent. That’s similar to a hefty dose of ephedra, without the side effects. You can stimulate those

While the clean and jerk and snatch won’t be of much benefit to bodybuilders, assistance exercises that Olympic lifters use can be. For example, front squats, power cleans and snatch pulls can do wonders for quad size in a matter of weeks.

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training Some experts say that acupuncture is voodoo, but it’s proven to have big benefits for athletes—everything from enhanced muscle fiber recruitment to increased fat loss.

points prior to a maximum lift and set new personal records. Stimulating MAPs radically reduces healing times in rehab programs. My IRON MAN colleague Peter Siegel, on one of his visits to the Phoenix Center, witnessed firsthand one of our athletes increasing his scapulae retractor strength by 25 percent after four successive stimulations of MAPs over a two-minute period. Enhanced recovery. Nearly two-thirds of the American people complain of some sleep disorder. Athletes are no exception. Acupuncture can readily solve sleep issues that are often the limiting factor in achieving optimal growth in strength and size. Acupuncture also assists recovery by normalizing hormone levels and promoting adrenal health. The healthier the adrenals, the better the athlete will do. Increased fat loss. Acupuncture protocols have been shown to increase fat loss, fostering appetite reduction, cravings elimination, enhanced metabolism or improved insulin sensitivity. Acupuncture is normally done in conjuction with the prescription of Chinese herbal formulas. Increased healing from sports injuries. For muscle

tears or pulls, I have yet to see a healing art that works better than acupuncture. For example, Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson was plagued by a nasty groin pull a few months before the Athens Games that was severely undermining his training. After a single acupuncture treatment he was throwing at full capacity the following day. Example two: A bodybuilder had torn both quads, and the surgical repair’s quality was subpar. Six months after surgery his right knee was barely bending 25 degrees, and he was having a lot of pain. He was pissing and moaning just getting into my SUV. So I took him to one of my acupuncturists. An hour and a half later we were driving back, and I gladly pointed out to him in my most politically correct tone, “Hey, Serbian meathead, I’ve been telling you for the last six months to get acupuncture on that nasty scar; now look at your knee angle.” His knee was relaxed in a 90degree bent position—and he could actually bend it to 120 degrees! “Inxkrrrredible,” he replied in his thick Serbian accent. In another case a martial artist who tore fibers in both quads was able to squat again five days after getting an electroacupuncture treatment. (That’s where the needles are hooked to a microcurrent device.) The microcurrent accelerates the healing of the muscle tissue significantly. Q: How important is grip work for bodybuilders? And how would you go about it? A: Without a doubt extensive grip work will help you forge impressive forearms. But there are more benefits than just hypertrophy for bodybuilders: Injury healing. More often than not, painful soft-tissue problems that plague the elbow, such as golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, go away in matter of weeks once a trainee starts grip training. Those ailments are often caused by an improper strength ratio between the elbow

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training Proper grip work can help you increase your reps in a number of exercises, including chins. Those two or three extra reps can help you build a bigger back. And, by the way, if you want to improve your grip big time, ditch the straps. Your forearms will get bigger and stronger fast.


after doing a grip specialization routine. A classic example is chinups. It’s not uncommon for trainees to squeeze out two to three extra reps per set once they work on grip strength for six weeks. Because the brain can devote more neural drive to the lats and elbow flexors, the forearms are working at a lower percentage of their maximum. The quickest way to develop your grip is to forgo the use of straps when you train your upper body. Just suck it up. Yes, your pullups may decrease by one or two reps per set for a short while, but, functionally speaking, your grip should match your upper-back strength. Frequency and variation are extremely important loading parameters in grip training. You don’t need to work on it for a long time, but you must do it often. At the Poliquin Performance Centers we like to do grip work at least twice within a five-day cycle. It’s important to constantly vary your training as grip strength is very specific. For example, I’ve seen athletes dominate in the Rolling Thunder exercise and yet fail miserably at crushing-type strength exercises. The reverse can be true. I have yet to see an athlete who does well at all measures of grip strength.


and forearm muscles. If the elbow flexors, such as the biceps and brachialis, are too strong for the forearm flexors, uneven tension accumulates in the soft tissue, resulting in elbow pain. Training the forearms and grip for 10 to 15 minutes just once every five days can correct the problem in record time. Increased functional strength. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and lack of grip strength can be costly. No amount of torso strength, as expressed by, say, bench press and chinup strength, will do anything if grip strength is under par. I’ve seen a martial artist incline-press 425 pounds but be unable to do more than 12 pounds on a hub-grip drill; the norm on the exercise is 30 pounds or more. His mat work was suffering because of his inability to maintain a strong grip on his opponents. Increased loading ability on many lifts. When your grip strength improves, you don’t need as much neural drive for the forearm and hand muscles to perform other exercises. That’s why many trainees report breaking training plateaus in a host of exercises, from deadlifts to curls,

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most successful strength coaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track and field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he is fluent in English, French and German) and speaking to other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.Charles Also see his ad on the next page. IM

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A r e d l i u b y d o B Is

Born Episode 1: The Commitment Episode 2: The Barrier of Pain by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

Episode 1:

The Commitment

Model: Jonathan Lawson


had seen this kid watching me at the new gym I’d joined for the entire three weeks I’d been a member. Unlike the other young ruffians in their late teens and early 20s, he actually seemed to have half a clue about what he was doing. His form wasn’t bad, he was using some respectable weights for his size, and he seemed to be training his entire body—unlike the others, who were stuck in an endless loop of bench presses and curls. I knew from the way he was always checking out my training that he most likely knew who I was from the magazines and was dying to pick my brain for information. Luck smiled down on him as he caught me leaving one day when I wasn’t in a particular rush. Just as I was about to cross the threshold into the parking lot, he cleared his throat and spoke up. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 85

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Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

Model: Lee Labrada

A Bodybuilder Is Born

“Excuse me?” “Yes?” “Uh, you’re pretty big, and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple questions.” Well, apparently he had no idea of who I was in the microcosm of bodybuilding, but at least he admired my development. That got him enough brownie points for me to hear him out. “What’s on your mind?” The kid hesitated, obviously nervous. “I was wondering how much you would charge to train me.” I almost laughed. What had given him the idea that I was a trainer? I’d been one back in 1989 and 1990, when I was younger than he was, and then again in 1999 and 2000 in California, but those days were behind me. “Sorry, I don’t do that anymore. I’m retired. Now I’m a full-time writer. I only go to the gym to train myself. Why don’t you check out my Web—” “I don’t have a lot of money, but I really want to be a bodybuilder. I want to win contests and have my pictures in the magazines. Please.” What part of retired had he not

I flashed back to my bedroom at age 19, literally wallpapered with posters and cut-out photos of my muscle heroes. comprehended? I was about to get blunt on his ass and give him a clear brush-off and wish him well, but then I saw the desperate sincerity in his eyes. I knew that look. I used to see it in my mirror about 12 years ago, when I would have given anything in the world to be one of the guys in the magazines like Rich Gaspari, Lee Labrada or Shawn Ray. I flashed back to my bedroom at age 19, literally wallpapered with posters and cut-out photos of my muscle heroes. How I would stare endlessly at the images of massive, ripped pecs, lats, quads, biceps, triceps and swear that one day I would own such as those. That look got to me. I eyed the front desk girl, who was following the entire conversation as she chewed her gum. And why not? She had nothing else to do. I decided to take this outside.

“Come on,” I gestured to him to follow me outside while I packed my gym bag and cooler into my truck. “What’s your name?” “Randy.” I stuck out my hand for him to shake. “Ron Harris.” I flipped open the cooler before stowing it away and pointed. “See that?” There was an empty shake bottle that had contained my postworkout shake, an empty quart water bottle, creatine, amino acids and caffeine-andephedrine caps. “This is just the tip of the iceberg, Randy,” I explained. “You should see my kitchen cabinets. What you do in the gym is just a tiny part of becoming a bodybuilder. If you really want to do this, it has to become your lifestyle.” “I know, I know all that already.” He didn’t sound too sure, and I knew he wasn’t. “I don’t think you do—not yet. This is not something that will happen in a week, a month or a year. Becoming an elite bodybuilder takes years. How old are you, Randy?” “Twenty-two.” “I’ve been training since you were

86 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

Model: Ron Harris

“There will be times when you’ll want to slack, times when you’ll want to quit, and most people do. Those chosen few who stay the course are the ones who come out on top.”

four years old, and I didn’t really get a handle on all of this until maybe seven years ago. You’re asking me to help you avoid all the years of mistakes and confusion that I had to go through—do you realize that?” “Uh, I guess.” “Listen. Ever hear of Steve Michalik and John DeFendis?” Randy shrugged. “Steve was a Mr. America back when I was a baby. John came to his gym one day and told him he wanted to be Mr. America too. Steve took him out to a lake in Long Island and held his head under the water for a while.” Randy’s eyes went wide. “What’d he do that for?” “He told young John that when he wants to be Mr. America as much as he wanted to breathe again, he’d be ready.” Now Randy was eyeing me with suspicion, wondering whether my smile was one of good will or evil intent. “Don’t worry, I’m not planning on trying to drown you. I want you to understand that this is a huge commitment you’re about to undertake.

Steve Michalik appeared on the September 1972 cover of Iron Man.

“Steve was a Mr. America. John [DeFendis] came to his gym one day and told him he wanted to be Mr. America too. Steve took him out to a lake in Long Island and held his head under the water for a while.”

There will be times when you’ll want to slack, times when you’ll want to quit, and most people do. Those chosen few who stay the course through it all are the ones who come out on top.” “I wanted to know if you think I have the genetics…” he started. I waved my hand for him to stop. “Genetics are important, but I’ve known a lot of guys who had gifted genetics but were too lazy or lacked the drive to do what it takes to be a champion. Think I have good genetics?” He nodded, unsure if that was the right response. “Ha! Not at all. I have known a thousand guys over the years who were able to build size and strength much easier than me, but you know what? Very few of them are still bodybuilding now. They were weak in the two places you need the most power if you’re going to last.” I pointed at my head, “Here,” and to my heart, “and here.” A light was dawning on Randy’s face. I could see he got it. “I understand. Um, do you charge by the hour or—” “I charge a hundred bucks an hour for consultations, but I’m not going to ask you for that. I want you to promise me that you’ll do everything I say, and that you will not quit. I’ve wasted my time before on guys who were all gung ho for a month or two and then drifted away. None of them ever did anything in bodybuilding. Do you promise you’re not going to let me down?” “I do,” he replied. “Can you be here at nine tomorrow morning?” Randy smiled for the first time. “Yeah, sure.” “Okay, make sure you get a good breakfast at least an hour and a half before that because you’re going to train harder than you ever have before. And I’m not talking about a bowl of Froot Loops, either.” “Right, I know.” “All right, then. I’ll see you at nine.”

88 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

Episode 2:

The Barrier of Pain Today was the first day of Randy’s life as a bodybuilder, although he didn’t know it yet. It was five minutes to nine in the morning, and I was sipping away at some nasty instant coffee I had brought from home in a thermos because I’m too cheap to give Starbucks a fivespot every morning. The goo stained my teeth faster than any dentist could whiten them back. Randy came bursting through the front door, his eyes as wide and attentive as if it were the first day of school. Which, in a very real sense, it was. “Uh, morning,” he greeted me. He was obviously waiting for me to tell him if it was even okay to put his stuff away in the locker room, since he was frozen in place.

The life of a bodybuilder is like no other life a man can live, and it is only understood by those who live it.

90 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Model: Daryl Gee

Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

With that I got in my truck and drove away. I wondered if Randy had any idea what he was getting himself into. The journey he was about to start was a long one, full of triumph and disappointment, elation and misery. The life of a bodybuilder is like no other life a man can live, and it is only understood by those who live it. At the same time, I was proud to once again have the opportunity to mold a young life and pass on what the years and many wiser men had taught me. Today, a bodybuilder had been born. It would be my job to raise him.

“Today is back,” I informed my new protégé. “But I did back two—” “Back,” I cut him off. “You’re on my schedule now if you want me to train you. If you don’t like it, nice knowing you.” He frowned, not expecting such a drill instructor attitude. It came from my having been too accommodating with past protégés, who had in turn taken the lack of discipline to full slacker mode. I had given them an inch, and they’d responded by taking a mile. If Randy failed, it wouldn’t be because I was too lax. “Put your stuff away, but bring your water bottle, wrist straps and belt,” I instructed him. “Meet me over by the chinup bar.” A few moments later he was ready to begin, shaking with anticipation. I had positioned a flat bench under the chinning bar. “Climb up there and strap in—overhand grip right where the bar bends on each side.” He obeyed, and that’s when I stepped up behind him and started tearing off strips of silver duct tape. Randy almost bolted when he heard the first ripping sound. “What’s that for?” he asked. I had my eye on the front desk, knowing that what I was about to do would not be considered proper gym behavior and could easily be grounds for my being expelled from the lovely facility. Luckily for me, the girl seemed preoccupied with two tall guys in full basketball uniforms competing for her affection. The manager was hidden away in his office. So far, so good. “That Steve Michalik guy I told you about yesterday was pretty nutty, but he did have young John DeFendis do something I thought was a good lesson in willpower and mind over matter.” Now I was crisscrossing lengths of duct tape around Randy’s hands, securing them to the bar. “He used to tape John to the chinup bar and wouldn’t let him loose until he had completed one hundred chinups.” “What?! Are you crazy, Ron? I can’t do that.” “Shhh! Keep your damn voice down. I’m a pushover, so relax. You only have to do 50.” Randy wanted to protest, but he must have realized that it was an important test. “Come on, all good reps, full

“[Michalik] used to tape John to the chinup bar and wouldn’t let him loose until he completed 100 chinups.”

Model: Skip LaCour

Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

A Bodybuilder Is Born

I criss-crossed lengths of duct tape around Randy’s hands, securing them to the chinup bar. range of motion.” Randy set his jaw in determination and got to work. I pulled the bench away so that there was nothing below him but air. Until he got 50 reps, he could stay up there hanging like a piñata. His first set yielded 12 reps, which wasn’t bad at all. He paused while hanging down for a minute and ground out eight more. “Right on, kid, that’s 40 percent

92 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

Models: Michael O’Hearn and Clark Bartram

Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

“It’s all about breaking through the pain barrier.”

“Everyone thinks they train hard, but very few guys in the gym have a clue as to what hard training is really all about.”

Model: Jonathan Lawson

right there!” From that point on the rest periods were longer and the sets were only three or four reps each. By the time he’d done 40, Randy was only getting partial reps and it was clear his lats, biceps and rear delts were all in searing agony. I knew part of him was deeply regretting having asked me for guidance. He glanced over his shoulder, searching for a signal that his chinup nightmare was over. “Hmm.” I pondered for a moment. “Ten reps to go; guess I’ll have to help out.” The last 10 reps were brutal. I pushed up on his feet with just enough force to let him complete them, and truth be told, by the last four I was pretty much lifting his entire 170 pounds, and he was fighting to keep from simply dropping like a brick back down. I quickly pushed the bench back under his feet and hopped up to tear the tape off. I had to move fast, because the cleaning guy was making his rounds, wiping down the equipment. Even though he spoke only five or six words of English, I am fairly certain he could have communicated the bondage scenario playing out on the chinning bar to the manager.

94 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

Models: Markus Reindhart and Humberto Morandell

“Most stop a set when it starts to hurt and further reps seem impossible, but a real bodybuilder knows there’s still a lot left.”

Commitment and the Barrier of Pain

“You learn to embrace the pain, to seek it out and make it your friend.” Randy collapsed into a sitting position on the bench, trying to massage the various parts of him that seemed to have been injected with sulfuric acid but finding his arms oddly uncooperative. His breathing came in rasping hitches, and his head was bowed to the floor. As I wadded up the pieces of tape into a lumpy silver softball, I explained the purpose of what I’d just put him through. “Great job. Nod your head if you can still hear and understand me, Randy.” There was a little bobbing movement from his sweaty head. “As you may have guessed, that wasn’t just about back training. One of the most important elements to being a successful bodybuilder is training hard. Everyone thinks they train hard, but very few guys in the gym have a clue as to what hard training is really all about.” Randy peeked up, squinting. His other eye was closed with salty sweat, but he wasn’t able to wipe it just yet. “I do,” he croaked.

“You’re starting to learn, but I’ve watched you in here and I know you’ve never taken a set that far, have you?” He shook his head, finally managing to get a forearm up to wipe the sweat from his eyes. “It’s all about breaking through the pain barrier. Most men and women stop a set when it starts to hurt and further reps seem impossible, but a real bodybuilder knows there’s still a lot more left inside him if he can only shut off that inner voice that tells him to stop. Were you hearing that voice a minute ago?” “Oh, yeah, it was screaming all right.” “And I know the pain was unbearable. But you kept going. Most guys can do chins for months and never get any growth because they don’t go to true failure. They don’t push their limits enough. I guarantee you your back is going to be sore for three or four days at least, and it will grow from what you just did.” “Right on,” he said, his breathing almost back to normal.

I knew the chins had knocked the crap out of Randy, so I only put him through one more tough set, a drop set of barbell rows that had him start out with 185, drop to 135 and drop again to just 95 for a total of about 25 reps. Dumbbell shrugs and hyperextensions rounded out his first back session with me. “Any questions?” I asked as I was about to send him on his way until next time. “Just one,” he hesitated, unsure of the appropriateness. “Do you ever get used to the pain?” That was a great question, one I was glad he’d thought of. “You never quite get used to it— at least it always hurts when you train hard. But I can tell you that you learn to embrace it, to seek it out and make it your friend, because it means you’re forcing the muscle to adapt and grow. Once you appreciate that, the pain takes on a different meaning and stops being something you dread.” He nodded, and I saw that the message was sinking in. I had the sense that Randy wasn’t going to join the long list of those I’d started down the bodybuilding path who hadn’t seen it through. The kid had a lot of heart, and he was destined to be very good. He had just learned a valuable lesson and had passed the test by not complaining or trying to quit at any point. Of course, that meant I was obligated to keep the heat turned up high. As he staggered over to the locker room, I gave him the good news. “Tomorrow is legs, young buck!” I saw the color drain from his face, but I knew deep down he was up to the challenge. The Force was strong in this one. Editor’s note: To contact Ron Harris, log on to www.ronharris IM

96 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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IRON MAN Research Team

Model: Berry Kobov

Bench Press Power Tools

It’s Time to Bulletproof Your Shoulders—and Watch Your Pressing Poundages Skyrocket 98 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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ace it, you want your bench press to go huge. You know, red zoneÑlike four big wheels on each side of an Olympic bar growling that guttural roar as you crank out rep after powerful rep. But it seems as if itÕs taking forever to get there. YouÕve been stuck at the same paltry weight for months. Is the solution more assistance work? Partials? Explosive reps? (continued on page 102)

by the Editors • Photography by Michael Neveux

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Model: Marvin Montoya

IRON MAN Research Team

Bench Press Power Tools

Model: Jonathan Lawson

Even slight form imperfections on certain exercises can trash your shoulders and set you up for a lifetime of pain. Don’t let it happen to you!

Trainees don’t realize that it’s not weak pecs, delts or triceps that prevent leaps in pressing prowess. Most of the time it’s underdevelopment of the smaller muscles that support the shoulder joint, a.k.a. the rotator cuff. Those four key muscles—the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor and the subscapularis—are often neglected to the point of stalled pressing poundages, not to mention chronic injury and unstable shoulder joints.

(continued from page 99)

A few weeks of specific rotator cuff work—with fairly light dumbbells—can have you adding 10, 20 or 30 pounds to your bench press and overhead-pressing poundages with ease. And more later as your ball-and-socket joints morph into industrial-strength jackhammers. It’s almost as simple as waving byebye—at least, that’s what the key rotator cuff movement, which is also known as an L flye, looks like. You may have seen people sitting on the floor next to a flat bench

performing L flyes with a dumbbell. Their arm is out to the side on the same plane as the torso, elbow bent at a right angle and supported on the bench—like they’re waving— dumbbell in hand. The forearm rotates down and forward, touching the bench, then moves back up to the waving, or L, position. It’s a simple move for a complex group of muscles that may be the hidden weak link that’s keeping your bench press poundage in the toilet. Thanks to the ShoulderHorn, you can do that move more precisely and more comfortably, training both arms at the same time and with complete stability of the upper arm—no bench necessary. Once you start using the ShoulderHorn for only two or three sets twice a week, you’ll feel your shoulders becoming more powerful and stable almost immediately. Your pressing poundages will start moving up again, and a lot of the aches and pains in your shoulder joints will disappear. It’s truly an upperbody power tool for the strength surge you’ve been looking for. (And you’ll sleep better too because that deep ache in your shoulders isn’t waking you up anymore when you roll over on your side.) Still, there’s more to a superior rotator cuff structure than just strengthening those shoulder stabilizers. You also have to know how the shoulders work and what exercises in your routine could be causing shoulder damage. Proper performance of exercises that stress your shoulders is also a key to preventing injuries, no matter how strong your rotators are. For example, a lot of people do lateral raises in a way that can damage the shoulder joints. The book that gives you all the info you need to bulletproof your shoulders and keep them injury free is The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and Jerry Robinson. It’s a largeformat manual with more than 130 pages and plenty of exercise and anatomical illustrations that will provide you with the shoulderstabilizing and -strengthening info you need to blast up bigger weights and develop the chest, delt and triceps you’ve (continued on page 106)

102 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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IRON MAN Research Team

(continued from page 102) been after

without a hint of shoulder damage. With this tome you’ll learn: •How the rotator cuff muscles work and where they are (excellent illustrations). •What can go wrong with those muscles and how it happens—

from fibrosis to calcium deposits to stiffness.

•Weight-training exercises to modify or avoid to protect your shoulders. (Did you know that types of some upright rows can trash your shoulder joints?)

•Specific rotator cuff exercises and how to do them (the ShoulderHorn is a perfect fit).

•Specific training programs (more excellent illustrations).

•Stretching exercises for your pecs, delts, biceps and external rotators to keep you injury free and growing as fast as possible.

•Important information for athletes, along with rehab routines for sports-specific injuries. •The complete bodybuilder’s injury-prevention routine.

You’ll be amazed at how much better your shoulders feel and how much more weight you can hoist once you start training your rotator cuff muscles regularly and properly.

Model: Jonathan Lawson \ Equipment: PowerBlock selectorized dumbbells, 1-800-447-0008

Bench Press Power Tools

Model: Tamer Elshahat

•Technical info, from detailed biomechanics to pathology. (Author Joseph Horrigan is a doctor of chiropractic who owns and operates the Soft Tissue Center in Southern California; he also pens IRON MAN’s popular Sportsmedicine column.) Shoulder injury is one of the major reasons trainees have to sacrifice gains on many of the most important strength- and mass-building exercises—from bench presses to chins to pulldowns to squats (yes, you have to have proper shoulder flexibility to hold a bar behind your neck and squat properly, without excessive forward lean). You’ll be amazed at how much better your shoulders feel and how much more weight you can hoist once you start training your rotator cuff muscles regularly and properly with the ShoulderHorn and incorporating the info in The 7Minute Rotator Cuff Solution into your program. All it takes is a couple of sets added to your delt or chest routine twice a week. The ShoulderHorn retails for $59.95, and the book goes for $29.95. It’s right around $90, total, but you can get both for only $59.95 (you get the big $29.95 book free). That’s a small price to pay for bigger gains in muscle size and pressing poundages, not to mention bulletproof shoulders that are pain free and power-packed. To get the special IM Research Team price of only $59.95 plus shipping and handling from Home Gym Warehouse, call (800) 4470008, or visit www Ask for the Research Team Rotator Cuff Combo. You need to know your Tshirt size to get the proper ShoulderHorn fit—and then get ready for your bench press poundages to soar! IM

106 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Composition by Emerson Miranda


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In the NO e d i x O c i r t i N f o e c n s e i p c m u P e The S l c s u M s u o e g a r and Out y Brainum by Jerr

hy by Mic Photograp


t’s the latest rage in bodybuilding supplements: nitric oxide boosters, food supplements that supply the amino acid L-arginine. Since Larginine is the substance from which the body synthesizes nitric oxide, taking NO boosters promotes increased blood flow to muscle due to a rapid dilation of blood vessels. The result is a pronounced muscle pump. While you’re probably aware of the psychological benefits of getting a pump—like the impetus to train harder—you may not know about the physical benefits. The increased blood flow provides a greater delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle, which may have anabolic, a.k.a.

hael Neveu


muscle-building, effects. What isn’t revealed in the many ads that tout the benefits of nitric oxide supplements are the myriad ways that NO affects health and fitness. While nitric oxide is unequivocally involved in blood vessel dilation, that’s just a small part of its role in the human body. Those who know nothing about nitric oxide supplements likely have heard of the drug Viagra, which is prescribed mainly to treat impotence. It does that by enhancing nitric oxide release in the penis, which in turn promotes a blood flow so powerful that it can overcome defects in the blood flow system caused by disease. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 115

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IN THE NO Until about 20 years ago NO was dismissed as a junk substance that had few, if any, redeeming qualities. After all, how could something that’s a component of smog and acid rain have any health benefits? Indeed, since nitric oxide is a gas that dissipates in six to 10 seconds, how could it have time to accomplish anything important? Another key point: Not only is NO a gas, but it’s a free radical as well. Free radicals are unpaired electrons that are usually created as by-products of normal oxygen metabolism. They can adversely affect health in a number of ways, mainly by attaching themselves to other electrons, such as those found in various fats, creating metabolic havoc that’s been linked to everything from cancer to cardiovascular disease to premature aging. Less well known are the vital roles that free radicals play in helping to destroy invading pathogenic organisms, such as bacteria, as part of the immune response and in the production of thyroid hormone. Although it’s a free radical, NO is a relatively stable substance. Nitric oxide was first isolated in 1772 by Joseph Priestley, who also discovered oxygen and is considered the father of chemistry. As noted, however, no particular significance was attached to it until 1987, when scientists were looking to find the true identity of a mysterious substance that potently dilated blood vessels. They referred to it as “endothelial relaxation factor.” The endothelium is the lining of blood vessels, which are composed of smooth muscle. The unknown substance appeared to relax such muscle upon contact, leading to a dilating effect. In various experiments scientists found that touching the surface of any blood vessel with acetylcholine led to a rapid dilation. Eventually, they discovered that the effect occurred because the acetylcholine promoted the release of nitric oxide. That led to an explosion of

Model: Robert Hatch

NO Comes to the Fore

studies looking at the effects of nitric oxide in the body. Thanks to the work that followed, we now know that NO has both good and bad effects, depending on when, where and how much is released. In the brain it acts as a neurotransmitter. In smooth muscle it has a relaxing effect that can lower blood pressure. Under pathological conditions, however, the intense release of NO is involved in septic shock, in which the blood pressure

drops too low, too fast, resulting in the failure of multiple organs and death. In fact, the effects of NO in the body are so diverse that one noted researcher, Dr. Solomon Snyder, declared, “In my 25 years of research I have never seen a molecule that so pervasively affects normal and abnormal body functions.” In 1998 three scientists shared the Nobel Prize in medicine for their research into the effects of nitric oxide.

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Model: Joe DeAngelis


NO Power: How It Works NO is synthesized in the body from the amino acid L-arginine through the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. NOS exists in three forms, or isoforms: neuronal NOS (NOS-1), inducible NOS (NOS2) and endothelial NOS (NOS-3). Depending on where they are, they produce various effects. For example, NOS-1 acts as a neurotransmitter in the gastrointestinal tract, and animal studies show that it’s involved in appetite regulation. It’s also the isoform that’s involved in penile erection. NOS-2 is particularly active in immune reactions and is part of the inflammatory response. It also tends to be the bad guy of the three enzymes, producing too much NO at the wrong time, leading to serious health problems. NOS-3 governs blood flow and pressure, as well as inhibiting blood platelets, which are involved in the clotting process. Nitric oxide works with hemoglobin to deliver oxygen to

cells. Perhaps its most familiar function relates to nitroglycerin, which is given to people who suffer from a narrowing of coronary arteries, the blood vessels that feed the heart muscle. When the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen as a

Nitric oxide can prevent the blood platelet adhesion that creates internal blood clots.

result of occlusion of the coronary arteries, taking nitroglycerin will rapidly relieve pain because it’s converted into NO. The NO immediately relaxes the smooth muscle in the tightened arteries, leading to increased blood flow and a relief of pain. It does that by stimulating an enzyme called guanylate cyclase, which leads to an increase of cyclic GMP, the substance that relaxes smooth muscle. Nitric oxide helps prevent cardiovascular disease in several ways. It prevents the blood platelet adhesion that creates internal blood clots, which can impede blood circulation to the heart, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Animalbased studies show that taking supplemental arginine can both prevent and reverse atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in arteries that is the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes. The brain needs NO for memory formation, but released at the wrong time and in too high a quantity, NO can also promote brain pathology. An example of that occurs during a stroke, when an excess amount (continued on page 122)

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IN THE NO It’s believed that a lack of NO can lead to muscular weakness.

Viagra works by enhancing nitric oxide release. (continued from page 118) of gluta-

Model: Berry Kabov

mate, an amino acid that stimulates neuron activity, is released, leading to overstimulation of brain neurons. The glutamate surge creates an increased calcium flux into the brain, where the calcium, in turn, activates NOS, causing NO to be released at the wrong time and in too great a quantity. Under those conditions NO acts like a typical free radical, destroying vital brain neurons. Scientists know that the primary cholesterol carrier in the blood, low-density lipoprotein, is dangerous only when oxidized. It turns out that oxidized LDL inhibits the activity of local NOS in blood vessels, leading to elevated blood pressure and further damage. Studies published a few years ago found that after people eat a high-fat meal, their arteries contract and blood pressure can soar. But the same studies show that taking vitamins C and E after the meal prevents the effect. Basically, the free radicals produced from the high-fat meal interfere with NOS function, lowering NO in the blood vessels, but antioxidants such as vitamins C and E prevent that and also prevent the clamping of the blood vessels.

NO and Exercise All three isoforms of NOS are found in skeletal muscle, principally neuronal (continued on page 127)

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Model: Mike Dragna

NO is involved in promoting glucose uptake into the muscles.

(continued from page 122) NOS. NO

not only increases blood flow in muscle but is actively involved in muscle contraction and force production as well. That implies that a lack of NO would lead to muscular weakness. NO in muscle is also involved in respiration through increased oxygen delivery and in promoting glucose uptake into muscle. Just contracting a muscle increases NO because the contraction elevates intracellular calcium, which activates NOS and, consequently, NO Studies have shown some interesting relationships between exercise and NO release. The increase in blood flow that occurs with aerobic exercise produces a shearing effect inside blood vessels that is a known impetus of upgraded NO production and may explain the often noted blood pressure–lowering effects linked to aerobics. Training small muscle groups, such as the forearms, leads to an upgrading of NO release in that area but doesn’t affect NO release elsewhere in the body. On the other hand, training larger muscle

groups, such as the legs, results in upgraded NO release not only in the trained muscles but also throughout the body. Studies show that in those who exercise regularly, resting levels of NO are higher,

The B-complex vitamin folic acid is important for maintaining NO levels.

leading to, among other things, lower blood pressure at rest and a lower heart rate. The increased cholesterol metabolism that results from both weight training and aerobics leads to more efficient NO release, since unclogged blood vessels are far more efficient at synthesizing and releasing NO. How much NO is released during exercise depends on several factors. Those who have damaged arteries, such as people with atherosclerosis, release more NO during exercise than those who have normal arteries. That’s probably a compensation effect to help the body increase blood circulation during exercise. Another factor is exercise intensity and volume. The harder and longer you train, the more NO your body produces. One study showed that an exhaustive 45-minute workout increased both neuronal and endothelial NOS activity in rats.1 People who have excessive bodyfat levels produce higher levels of NO, but in them the NO produced likely acts to increase overall body inflammation. Many scientists who study the \ SEPTEMBER 2005 127

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Many scientists who study the effects of NO believe that the beneficial effects of exercise may be largely due to the interaction between exercise and NO release.

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Model: Greg Blount


Palmitic acid, a primary fatty acid found in saturated fat, inhibits NO production in blood vessels, which may explain the link between highsaturated-fat intake and cardiovascular disease. effects of NO believe that the beneficial effects of exercise may be largely due to the interaction between exercise and NO release. All the risk factors linked to cardiovascular disease that are blunted by exercise, such as high blood fats, elevated insulin, high blood pressure and so on, are modified by NO, which is increased by exercise.

Polyphenol compounds found in wine protect NO functions.

NO and Nutrition The key to maximizing the health benefits of NO is to maintain the optimal balance and release of it at the right time. As noted above, excess NO is linked to overall inflammation, which is believed to be the cornerstone of all major degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Clearly, the nutrient most associated with NO production is the amino acid L-arginine, but many others also affect NO synthesis, release and control. Since out-ofcontrol oxidation induced by free radicals inhibits the enzymes that produce NO, most dietary antioxidants will help preserve optimal NO functions in the body. Studies show that the polyphenol compounds found in red wine and green tea not only protect NO functions but also prevent the out-of-control inflammation that results from excess activity of inducible NOS. Methylated forms of L-arginine have no biological activity but do displace arginine in reactions that involve NO synthesis. Green tea is known to block that inhibiting effect. Various herbs, including ginseng and Ginkgo biloba, increase the activity of NOS. Other nutrient interactions with NO include the following: • Palmitic acid, a primary fatty acid found in saturated fat, inhibits NO production in blood vessels, which may explain the link between high-saturated-fat intake and CVD. Interestingly, another fatty acid found in meat, stearic acid, doesn’t have any effect on NO production.2 •Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, put the brakes on inducible NOS, which lowers inflammation.3 • The B-complex vitamin folic acid is particularly important for maintaining NO levels in blood vessels because a substance produced from folic acid is required to activate NO synthase enzymes.4 •A deficiency of the trace mineral selenium leads to excess production of inducible NOS. • Cocoa potently increases NO production, likely because of its


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IN THE NO Training larger groups, such as the legs, however, results in upgraded NO release not only in the trained muscle but also throughout the body.

Training small muscle groups, such as the forearms, leads to an upgrading of NO release in that area but doesn’t affect it elsewhere in the body.

rich flavonoid content.5 • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) lowers NOS in blood vessels but

also inhibits inducible NOS.6 • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) inhibits inducible NOS, lowering inflammation.7 • In low or normal amounts NO promotes testosterone release. In higher amounts it effectively blocks testosterone synthesis and release in the Leydig cells of the testes. •Testosterone itself promotes NO release by stimulating the activity of NOS enzymes, as does IGF1, the primary product of growth hormone. • NO is not directly involved in growth hormone release, but it does play a role in the activity of growth-hormone-releasing hormone, which is released in the brain. Add it all up, and it makes sense to say yes to NO.

References The brain needs NO for memory function.

1 Roberts, C.K., et al. (1999). Acute exercise increases nitric oxide synthase activity in skeletal muscles. Am J Physiol. 277:E390E394.

2 Moers, A., et al. (1997). Palmitic acid but not stearic acid inhibits NO production in endothelial cells. Exp Clin Endocrin Diabetes. 105(Supp):78-80. 3 Chen, Y., et al. (2003). Suppression of inducible nitric oxide production by indole and isothiocyanate derivatives from brassica plants in stimulated macrophages. Planta Med. 69:696700. 4 Das, U. (2003). Folic acid says NO to vascular diseases. Nutrition. 8:686-92. 5 Fisher, N., et al. (2003). Flavonal-rich cocoa induces nitric acid–dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. J Hypertension. 21:2281-2286. 6 Eder, K., et al. (2003). Conjugated linoleic acid lowers the release of eicosanoids and nitric oxide from human endothelial cells. J Nutr. 133:4083-4089. 7 Bergamini, S., et al. (2001). Nacetulcysteine inhibits in vivo nitric oxide production by inducible nitric oxide synthase. Nitric Oxide. 5:349-60. IM

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Dead On Mass Gains Deadlift Your Way to a Bigger, Better Physique by Christopher Pennington / Photography by Michael Neveux

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Illustration by Jake Jones www.Bodybuilding


eed to pack on mass fast? Then it’s time to start using one of the most basic and challenging exercises in existence, the deadlift. This lift has stood the test of time as one of the best strength- and mass-building exercises around. Very few movements are as tough or as rewarding. It just doesn’t get any harder than pulling a heavy weight from a dead stop off the floor. Working diligently on deadlifts will enable you to tap into all your available strength reserves, giving your body an incredible stimulus for muscle growth. This exercise is not easy, fun or flashy. In fact, one word I would never use to describe a deadlift workout is enjoyable. That’s the very reason trainees largely avoid the movement. Many times I’ve been on the receiving end of funny looks from other gym members while I was grinding out one of my ownspecial-blend deadlift workouts. Because the deadlift is tough, people usually choose alternative exercises. Some of them may be good, but very rarely do they pack the same punch.

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It takes intense focus and determination to get through a deadlift workout.

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Model: Robert Hatch

The simple fact is, it takes intense focus and determination to get through a deadlift workout. Any veteran of the iron game will tell you the same thing: It’s not for the faint of heart. Anyone who seriously takes on the challenge, however, will be fully rewarded. The deadlift works every muscle from your rectus capitis posterior major down to your extensor digitorum brevis— from head to toe. Everyone who performs heavy deadlifts on a regular basis displays a physique that stands out. It’s a build that has strength, thickness and proportion. Very few exercises work as many muscles or have the same positive impact on strength and muscle growth as the deadlift. At this point you’re either planning on never attempting a deadlift workout due to the sheer physical intensity involved, or you’re foaming at the mouth in anticipation of trying deadlifts at your next workout. For those of you who are ready to take the next step, I’m about to make things more interesting. As if the exercise isn’t difficult enough, I’m going to show you how to make it even harder with a few unique workouts. (You can thank me later.) Before I get into the workouts, though, some comments on deadlift technique are in order. For this discussion we’ll focus on the conventional deadlift as well as two popular variations, the sumo-style deadlift and the snatch-grip deadlift.

deadlift setup and execution. The first aspect of proper deadlifting is grip selection. It’s amazing how often lifters overlook it—and how such a small detail can have a major effect on training Nothing will tweak your lower back faster than having your hands placed at unequal distances from the center of the bar. Most bars have at least one ring on each side equally spaced from the center; use them as markers to judge your grip width. The next question that usually comes up is whether to use a mixed or standard grip. A mixed grip—on

Conventional Deadlift Technique

which you grip the bar palm down with your right hand and palm up with your left hand (or vice versa if you’re left-handed)—is normally reserved for powerlifters. Unless you’re a powerlifter or looking to get into the sport, I don’t recommend it. A mixed grip lets you lift heavier weights, which is a must in a sport in which the sole factor for success is poundage lifted; however, the extra weight comes with a cost. Because the mixed grip is asymmetrical, the right and left sides of the body experience irregular stresses. That results in uneven muscle development and eventually poor posture. Unfortunately, the imbalance is unavoidable when you use a mixed grip, which is why I

This is the most popular method of performing the movement. It’s very important to focus on proper form because this is one exercise where there’s little room for error. From personal experience I know that neglecting optimal exercise technique will dramatically increase your chances of injury. A few years ago I sustained a lowerback injury by performing it completely incorrectly: too fast, with too much weight and without keeping a proper arch in my lower back. To help keep your chance of incurring this injury low, take to heart the following discussion of proper

It’s better to use straps more for highrep sets than heavyweight sets.

highly recommend the standard grip for bodybuilders, football players and all other athletes. The standard grip style disperses the load equally through the upper and lower body, bringing uniform back and shoulder development. An added benefit of the standard grip is the extra grip-strength development it provides. A weak grip is a weak link, and it will keep you from using a true maximum weight— which brings me to straps. Although it’s okay to use straps once in a while, it’s easy to let them become a crutch. It’s better to use them more for high-rep sets than heavyweight sets. Decrease the poundage you use on the lift, and take your time so your grip strength can develop. You’ll be pleased at how improving grip strength improves overall body strength. Once you have the grip out of the way, the rest of your body falls easily into place. Your feet should be set at roughly shoulder width apart. Keep your head and eyes straight, your chest up, your hips low and a slight arch in your lower back. As you lift the weight, push evenly with both legs while your lower back and upper back contract statically to maintain an upright posture. When you perform the lift correctly, the stress is distributed throughout your body naturally. A common and dangerous mistake trainees make on deadlifts is straightening their legs without keeping their torso upright. When you do that, your hips rise too soon and your back rounds. Straightening your legs too quickly makes it impossible to keep your chest up (continued on page 144) and your \ SEPTEMBER 2005 139

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right—it’s a major cause of injury that you should avoid at all costs! You may have to reduce the weight and slow down the rep speed if you find yourself doing it. Once you get the form down, the heavy weight will follow—just don’t rush it.

Deadlift Form and Function Over time variations in exercise technique have developed to suit lifters’ individual needs. That’s how it works with most lifts. People make little changes. It could be a different grip spacing or angle of movement or a change in the range of motion. The conventional deadlift has two popular alternatives, sumo style and snatch grip. Both variations may seem very similar to the original, but they are actually different enough to be two totally separate exercises. They seem similar because the only distinction is grip width, but the

change in grip has a major impact on which muscles are stressed.

Sumo-Style Deadlifts This exercise comes from powerlifting. Many competitors began using this style because it gave them favorable leverages, enabling them to lift more weight. To perform the sumo-style deadlift, take a very wide stance and use a narrow, mixed grip, with your hands toward the center of the bar. Basically, the sumo-style deadlifts is a specialty lift for powerlifting. The conventional deadlift does a better job of building symmetrical back thickness and overall body strength.

Model: Robert Hatch

(continued from page 139) torso up-

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Sumo-style deadlift.

Snatch-grip deadlift.

It’s generally agreed that the idea for this variation came from Olympic weightlifting—specifically, from the competitive lift called the snatch. The setup for the snatchgrip deadlift is identical to the conventional style except you use a very wide grip. If you’ve never used that grip spacing before, it will feel awkward and uncomfortable. It takes a little getting used to, so keep the weight light and spend a few weeks just getting familiar with the movement and how the grip feels. I’ve seen large lifters with broad shoulders grip all the way to the end of the bar with their hands bumped up next to the collars. I wouldn’t recommend anything quite that wide, but a snatch grip should be considerably wider than a conventional grip. The wide grip forces more of a lean in your torso, which makes your lower back, glutes and hamstrings work harder. The snatch-grip deadlift is an underutilized movement that goes

Model: Robert Hatch

Snatch-Grip Deadlifts \ SEPTEMBER 2005 145

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largely unappreciated. Use it occasionally for the benefits it provides in extra lower-back and hamstring stimulation. I like to prescribe it for athletes who have weak hip extensors or need to increase running speed.

Model: Robert Hatch \ Equipment: Powertec power rack, 1-800-447-0008 or


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When should you do your deadlifts? In a split routine do them on a leg day. If you use a total-body routine, do them at least once a week. If you plan on using max weights on this exercise, make sure to schedule an off day afterward for recovery. I remember reviewing the program of one athlete who couldn’t figure out why his bench press strength had stalled. I analyzed his training program, and it turned out that he was doing his bench press workout on the day after his deadlift workout. While his chest was rested, his whole body was experiencing a degree of systemic, or total-body, fatigue. What’s more, since the lower back and hamstrings are worked heavily during deadlifts, they couldn’t support the heavy benching he was doing. Following are three workouts that use the deadlift as their core exercise. In other words, your main focus is making progress on the deadlift. All other lifts take a backseat. Sometimes, however, you have little choice in the matter because, depending on how hard you work the deadlift, you may not have much energy for any-

thing else. The deadlift drains the body of its strength reserves by working so many muscles. It provides plenty of mass stimulation on its own. You can start incorporating the workouts into your program immediately. Perform each one for roughly two to four weeks, and then move on to the next. Here’s a typical weekly split that incorporates the deadlift session. Due to the difficulty of these workouts you may need to add an extra day off. Monday: Chest, back Tuesday: Off Wednesday: Legs (deadlift workout) Thursday: Off Friday: Shoulders, arms Saturday: Additional abs, extra cardio Sunday: Off

Deadlift Workout 1 This is based on an ascendingdescending schematic: The reps ascend, or increase, on each successive set, while the weight descends, or decreases. The workout is very deceptive because it looks easy, but it tricks your body into working with heavy weight for a greater volume of reps than a The snatchgrip deadlift can help increase running speed.

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straight set of low reps would do. The rep and weight progressions change just enough with each new set to provide a new stimulus while still being slight enough to keep the intensity high. Also called a modified pyramid, this workout keeps you in a low rep range instead of moving you into higher rep ranges the way a traditional pyramid would. Deadlifts 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 1 x 5 Rest two to three minutes between sets. Assistance work Leg extensions 2 x 10 Seated calf raises 4x8 Weighted situps (or ab exercise of your choice) 2 x 8

Deadlift Workout 2 I originally designed this workout to increase the explosive leg and back strength of offensive linemen. It worked very well in that regard and brought another, unintended bonus—it also increased muscle size in the legs dramatically. You need a sturdy box for this workout. To perform the on-box jumps, jump explosively onto the box, step off and repeat. It does take some coordination, so if you feel unsafe or don’t have access to a box, substitute jumping in place or light jump squats instead. In this routine and the one that follows, perform the lettercoordinated exercises like supersets, one right after the other, taking no rest between the two exercises and resting only between supersets.

Model: Robert Hatch

A1: Deadlifts 5x3 A2: On-box jumps 5x5 (Take three to five minutes’ rest between supersets.) B1: Barbell calf raises 3x6 B2: Crunches 3 x max (Take one to two minutes’ rest between supersets.) C: Back squats 1 x 15

Deadlift Workout 3 This is a bread-and-butter

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Deadlifts will add new density and thickness to your physique.

Model: Robert Hatch

routine for those looking to increase strength and size. It’s a workout I come back to time and time again to stimulate mass gains. You’ll need a power rack or at the very least a set of safety racks to complete it. The strategy is to contrast high reps and moderate weight with low reps and heavy weight on the same exercise in the same workout. Variations in weight are done by using partial-range deadlift lockouts and full-range deadlifts. You perform deadlift lockouts by setting the pins in a power rack at the point from which you will pull the bar up. These enable you to use a much heavier weight than you could use on a full-range deadlift. You do deadlift lockouts, which are heavy load, alternated with conventional deadlifts with a moderate load. You change the pin level on the lockouts after two sets at each height. Why is this workout so good? Many variables come into play—the body is forced to adapt to all of the competing demands. On each set the rep range changes, the range of motion changes, and the weight on the bar changes from heavy to light. It’s a surefire way to shake things up.

You’ll be pleased at the way improving your grip strength improves your overall body strength.

A1: Deadlift rack lockouts (pins set below knees) A2: Deadlifts B1: Deadlift rack lockouts (pins set at midthigh) B2: Deadlifts

2x2 2x6 2x2 2x6

After those eight sets your legs and back should be fatigued, so it’s normally not advisable to do anything further for the lower body. What you can do afterward is extra work for an upper-body muscle that may be lagging, such as the biceps or side delts. Remember to keep good deadlift form and increase the load slowly. The deadlift is a tough exercise on its own. Try some of the suggested workout variations, and you should see dead-on gains in strength and mass. IM

For information on the SuperGripper (pictured at left) see page 263. 150 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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Top 10 Diet Fallacies

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Diet Fallacies

Exploding Mealtime Myths and Nutrition Superstitions, Part 1 by Ori Hofmekler Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Markus Reindhart


ri Hofmekler is an exercise and nutrition researcher who has some very strong beliefs about diet. His mission is to expose some of the fallacies and misinformation that exist on the subject of proper nutrition and eating habits. While his views are controversial, and you (and many here at IRON MAN) may not agree with everything he says, Hofmekler’s points are critical food for thought. —the Editors \ SEPTEMBER 2005 153

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Top p 10 Diet Fallacies

Contrary to what you may have been told, morning is the worst time to eat. When you wake up, your body is already in an intense detox mode, clearing itself of the endotoxins and digestive waste of the previous evening’s meal. During the morning hours, when digestion is fully completed (while you’re on empty), a primal survival mechanism known as the fight-or-flight reaction to stress is triggered, maximizing your body’s capacity for generating energy, being alert, resisting fatigue and resisting stress. The survival mode is primarily controlled by a part of the autonomic nervous system known as the sympathetic nervous system, or SNS. When it’s in gear, the body is in its most energy-producing phase, and that’s when the most energy comes from fat burning. All that happens when you do not eat the typical morning meal. If you do eat a breakfast of, say, bagel, cereal, egg and bacon, you’ll most likely shut down this energyproducing system. The SNS and its fight-or-flight mechanism will be substantially suppressed, and your morning meal will trigger an antagonistic part of the autonomic nervous system known as the para sympathetic nervous system, or PSNS. The PSNS will make you sleepy, slow and less resistant to fatigue and stress. Instead of spending energy and burning fat, your

Model: Darrell Terrell

FALLACY 1 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

body will be more geared toward storing energy and gaining fat. Under those conditions detox will be inhibited, and the overall metabolic stress will increase, with toxins accumulating in the liver, giving your body another substantial reason to gain fat: It stores the toxins in fat tissues. The suppressing effects of morning meals often lead to energy crashes during the daytime hours, when you’re working, bringing frequent cravings for pick-me-up foods and substances like sweets, coffee and tobacco. Eating at the wrong time severely interrupts the body’s ability to be in tune with the circadian clock. The human body has never adapted to such interruptions. We are primarily programmed to rotate between the two autonomic nervous system parts: The SNS regulates alertness and action during the day, while the PSNS regulates relaxation, digestion and sleep

during the night. Any interruption in the cycle may lead to sleepiness during the day, followed by sleeping disorders at night. Morning meals must be carefully designed not to suppress the SNS and its highly energetic state. Confining morning food intake to fruit, veggie soups or small amounts of fresh light protein foods, such as poached or boiled eggs, plain yogurt or white cheese, will maintain the body in an undereating phase while promoting the SNS with its energyproducing properties. Note: Athletes who exercise in the morning should turn breakfast into a postexercise recovery meal—small amounts of fresh protein foods plus carbs; for example, yogurt and a banana, eggs plus a bowl of oatmeal, or cottage cheese with berries. An insulin spike is necessary to effectively finalize the anabolic actions of growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor 1 after exercise, but

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Athletes who exercise in the morning should turn breakfast into a postexercise recovery meal.

An insulin spike is necessary to effectively finalize the anabolic actions of growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor 1 after exercise. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 155

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Top p 10 Diet Fallacies after the initial recovery meal you want to maintain your body in an undereating phase by minimizing carb intake in the meals that follow. Applying small protein meals—with minimum carbs—every couple of hours will sustain the SNS during the day while providing amino acids for protein synthesis in muscle tissue, promoting a long-lasting anabolic effect after exercise. Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day; that distinction goes to your postexercise recovery meals. It’s when you eat that makes what you eat matter.

FALLACY 2 Eating before exercise will give your muscles instant energy. It’s been generally assumed that the human body operates like a machine, so in order for it to work, it must be fueled like a machine. Eating before exercise seems to make sense. But does it really?

In order to give the muscle nutrients and energy, food must be fully digested. Digestion is the process in which the body breaks food down into smaller compounds, yielding molecules of amino acids, fatty acids and glucose that are transferred to the body’s tissues through the circulatory system. The digestion-and-elimination process, which occurs in the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys, requires substantial amounts of energy. During digestion, blood flow shifts from the brain and muscles to the above organs, which profoundly affects the brain and muscle tissues, lowering their capacity to perform work and resist fatigue. What about meals that require almost no digestion, such as those made from fast-assimilating nutrients? Fat is digested and assimilated more slowly than protein or carbs, but is a preexercise meal of fastreleasing proteins and carbs (such as whey and sugar) the way to go? In theory such a meal should nourish the muscle tissues with amino acids and glucose to inhibit muscle breakdown and provide instant energy. It

all makes sense, but in real life things often work differently from the way they work in theory. Recent studies have demonstrated that eating fast-releasing foods before or during exercise could be counterproductive, to say the least. Investigators at the School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Birmingham, in England, found that eating carbs before exercise adversely elevated plasma cortisol levels. And there was a significant reduction in postexercise cortisol when subjects didn’t eat carbs before exercise. Furthermore, there was a faster shift from carb burning to fat burning during exercise if there was no preexercise meal. What has failed to reach mainstream nutrition awareness is the fact that protein-rich foods raise cortisol if applied incorrectly. Studies at the University of Lubeck in Germany found that eating fastreleasing protein foods, such as hydrolyzed, or predigested, proteins, before exercise has an even more profound cortisol-elevating effect than whole-protein foods. Note that chronic elevated cortisol

Eating carbs before exercise can elevate cortisol.

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Thinking that fat can make you fat causes phobias that can lead to severe unhealthy consequences. has been associated with muscle waste and fat gain, particularly abdominal fat. So a preexercise meal may rob the brain and muscles of energy due to the digestion process, but eliminating the digestion effect of the meal may only make things worse by elevating cortisol, compromising your ability to build muscle and burn fat. Ironically, the same meal that appears to be counterproductive when eaten before exercise can be

most beneficial when applied after exercise. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of postexercise recovery meals on total muscle recuperation—energy replenishment and increased protein synthesis. Recent studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston, revealed that applying fast-releasing proteins and carbs after exercise had substantial anabolic effect on stimulating net muscle protein synthesis, even in cases of elevated cortisol.

FALLACY 3 Eating late will make you fat.

During digestion, blood flow shifts from the brain and muscles to other organs, lowering the work capacity of the brain and muscles.

It’s often said that night is the worst time to eat. The logic: Night is when the body typically slows down and, therefore, is more prone to gain fat. Makes sense, but is it true? There are no conclusive studies or any evidence to prove that eating late causes more fat gain than eating early. Studies reveal that other variables, such as the frequency of meals, the glycemic index of (continued on page 161) \ SEPTEMBER 2005 157

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Top p 10 Diet Fallacies of max GH spike during the night, promoting protein synthesis in the muscle tissues and fat burning by providing the nutrients required for facilitating GH actions. Do not betray your biological destiny. Don’t deny yourself late meals. If you do, your body may come back with a vengeance to reclaim what was taken away from it. The effects often include chronic cravings for food at night, which may result in bingeing. Finally, late meals often have a relaxing effect on

the body, preparing you for sleep. If nothing else, they can help bring a happy end to a tough day.

FALLACY 4 Fat makes you fat. The claim that “Fat is fat and therefore makes you fat” isn’t theoretically incorrect, but in real life it’s misleading. Dietary fat consists of a huge variety of fat molecules divid-

(continued from page 157) food, calorie intake and hormonal balance are the real power brokers in the body’s capacity for burning or gaining fat. Even so, the notion that eating late causes fat gain is deep rooted. For most people, who typically eat several meals during the day, a late meal may be an additional meal, and any additional meal may be one too many. The result can be fat gain. Does it mean that eating late is a bad idea? Quite the opposite. If you plan your meals properly and the evening meal turns out to be the main meal, then eating late can be highly rewarding. There’s a substantial amount of evidence that humans have adapted well to nighttime eating. We carry the genes of our huntergatherer ancestors, who were busy gathering and hunting during the day and eating at night, when they were at rest. Indeed, our bodies are biologically programmed to work around the circadian clock—active during the day and relaxing at night. As mentioned above, our inner clocks are controlled by the two antagonistic autonomic nervous systems, with the result that our bodies digest and use nutrients better at night than during the highly stressful hours of the day. What’s more, night is the time when growth hormone peaks (peak secretion occurs during non-REM, SWS deep sleep). GH is known to be a potent muscle-and-bone builder and a fat burner. Late meals, if applied correctly, can be highly anabolic. Note that GH actions cannot be effectively finalized without the interference of insulin. Eating late may well help you take advantage \ SEPTEMBER 2005 161

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Top p 10 Diet Fallacies ed into groups and subgroups; each plays a different role in the body. Numerous studies have demonstrated the critical functions of essential fatty acids (EFAs), phospholipids and cholesterol compounds in regulating such functions as blood pressure, inflammation, lipid metabolism, stress reaction, buildup of cell membranes, nerve functions, immune actions and steroid hormone production. It’s clear that the role of dietary fat goes far beyond just being a fuel for energy or vehicle for storage. The real question is, Do dietary fats convert efficiently into energy? Is the human body well adapted for using fat as an immediate fuel for energy? The answers aren’t simple, but even so, they’re yes and yes. Studies at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, England, revealed that different people respond differently to a high-fat diet. Some mostly stored their excess fat calories,

while others experienced increased total energy expenditure and fat oxidation with no fat gain. Why are some people more prone to gain fat from eating fat than others? There’s a substantial body of evidence that certain variables profoundly affect a person’s capacity for using fat for fuel. Gender, frequency and intensity of exercise, source of dietary fat and diet composition are all on that list. Recent studies done at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense, discovered that women have higher levels of lipid-binding proteins, with a higher capacity to use fat fuel in the muscle tissue, than men. Interestingly, the same studies found that men’s capacity for using fat in the muscles significantly increases when they increase exercise intensity. The effect of exercise intensity on fat burning was further investigated at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. Studies revealed that fat serves as a most efficient fuel in the form of intramuscular fat, which functions as an important and most effective substrate source of energy, particularly during prolonged intense exercise. According to the thrifty genes theory (Journal of Applied Physiology. 96:3-10; 2004), humans have primarily adapted to survive cycles of famine and feast (essentially, undereating and overeating); exercise and rest. It has also been suggested that humans have adapted better to primal foods—foods on the bottom of the food chain, such as nuts, seeds and fertile eggs—than they have to later, top-of-the-foodchain fatty foods Late meals can have a relaxing effect that come from on the body, preparing you for sleep. farm animals (lard and butter, for example) or pro-

cessing (margarine). Based on those points, it’s been suggested that following a lifestyle that mimics primal feeding cycles and physical activity would most likely trigger the thrifty genes that help us better survive, making us more efficient at using fat and carb fuel with an increased resistance to fatigue, stress and disease. Primal-fat foods such as nuts and seeds are also good sources of amino acids and fat-soluble vitamins. In their raw state they contain phytosterols, which are cholesterollike plant compounds that predominately support the production of sex steroid hormones. To take advantage of nuts and seeds, eat them alone or with veggies and protein. Do not combine them with sugar or grains. Nuts and seeds are naturally low on the glycemic index, meaning that the nutrients are released slowly. Generally, the human body is better adapted to foods that have a low glycemic index number. Thinking that fat can make you fat causes phobias that typically lead to extreme lowfat diets and severe consequences, including malnutrition, chronic fatigue, eating disorders, impotence, compromised immunity and fat gain.

FALLACY 5 Carbs are your enemy. Carbs are currently regarded as the culprit responsible for the obesity epidemic in our society. The belief is that carbohydrates are not essential nutrients and therefore can be severely restricted or even eliminated from the diet. Low-carbdiet advocates argue that insulin is a bodyfat-promoting hormone and should be tightly controlled by chronically restricting carbs. Thanks to the current popularity of lowcarb diets, everyone thinks carbs are the enemy. But are they? Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s examine the assumption that carbohydrate isn’t an essential nutrient. That fails to recognize the two most critical biological functions of carbohydrate (besides being a fuel): 1) the activation of the pen-

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Top p 10 Diet Fallacies tose phosphate pathway and 2) the finalization of growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor actions, as well as the enhancement of androgens actions. The PPP is a critical process that’s responsible for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and all energy molecules, including ATP and NADPH, which are needed for all metabolic functions—in particular, recuperation (healing of tissues), immunity and growth. In addition, the PPP is a precursor for another metabolic pathway, the uronic acid pathway, which is responsible for steroid hormone transport, the production of proteoglycans (essential for connective tissue and cellular signaling), the synthesis of spingolipids (lipids that are necessary for neural protection) and overall detoxification. The pentose phosphate pathway, which occurs mostly in the liver, is derived from glucose, or carb metabolism. Here’s the problem: When a desperate need for energy occurs, such as during prolonged starvation or due to chronic severe restriction of carbs, the PPP shuts down its main function and instead switches into sheer energy production. It’s likely that energy demand is a top priority for the body, and, therefore, in times of a desperate need for energy, the body would suppress certain important metabolic functions, such as the PPP, to accelerate immediate energy production. Note that 30 percent of glucose oxidation in the liver can occur via the PPP. One may argue that glucose can be synthesized from fat or protein. Yes, but not enough! Since the synthesis of glucose from fat or protein,

known as gluconeogenesis, is actually a very limited metabolic process that occurs mostly in the liver, any severe restriction of carbs, in particular in active individuals, may adversely suppress the PPP’s critical functions due to insufficient glucose supply during an increased energy demand. The PPP actions also decrease with age, a fact that may contribute to the decline in steroid hormone production and the typical muscle waste associated with aging. So dietary carbs are necessary for the full activation of the PPP and its critical functions. Severe chronic carb restriction—below 70 to 100 grams a day for active individuals— may lead to an adverse suppression of the PPP, with an overall decline in the sex hormones, compromised immunity, impaired growth and accelerated aging. Besides playing a vital role in the activation of the PPP, dietary carbs also help finalize the actions of the most anabolic agents, including growth hormone, IGF-1 and the sex steroid hormones. Studies at Stanford University in California and Helsinki University in Finland revealed that insulin is a potent promoter of IGF-1 and the sex hormones’ action. Researchers found that insulin helps finalize the anabolic actions of GH, IGF-1 and androgens by downregulating certain proteins that suppress both IGF-1 and androgen action, in particular in the muscle tissue. A recent study done at the University of Texas proved that postexercise carb supplementation taken with essential amino acids profoundly stimulated net muscle protein synthesis. Interestingly, simple carbs had a

Studies show that men’s capacity for using fat in the muscles significantly increases when they increase exercise intensity.

more profound effect on enhancing anabolic actions after exercise than complex carbs. Nonetheless, as a general rule, the human body is better adapted to using complex carbs than simple carbs. Again, it’s when you eat that makes what you eat matter. As you can see, the biological functions of dietary carbs go far beyond energy production. Chronic carb restriction may lead to total metabolic decline in the long run, with severe consequences that would affect survival—lack of capacity to regenerate tissues and procreate. Next month we’ll have the remaining five of the top-10 diet fallacies that may be limiting your progress. Editor’s note: Ori Hofmekler is the author of the books The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle & Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publications (www.dragon For more information or for a consultation, contact him at, www or by phone at (866) WAR-DIET. IM

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge

Q: I have an out of-the-ordinary training program. I work out on Monday morning, hitting chest, then again Monday night, working chest again. I do that double training for a different bodypart each day. I’m consistently sore and feel like I’m getting stronger. I’m 16 years old and have gained 20 pounds. I wonder if my training program is going to continue to build muscle now that I’ve been training for 10 weeks. I read your column every month, but I’m not familiar with some of your recommended exercises, like barbell rows, donkey calf raises and wide-grip chins. I work out mornings and evenings because of the way Arnold used to train. Please help me with my routine. My goal is to be 250 pounds at 6’1”. A: Your question reminds me of myself when I first began training at 14. I was confused about how to set up a program for building the massive size that I admired on the bodybuilders I read about. Since Arnold was my idol, I thought the obvious solution was to copy his training program. I had the book Pumping Iron, and I decided to follow the same training program that Arnold was using to get ready for the ’73 Mr. Olympia. At the time, Arnold was training six days a week on a double-split program. I trained chest, back and legs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and shoulders and arms on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Monday, Wednesday, Friday program required two workouts per day—training chest and back in the morning and legs at night. Since I was in high school at the time, I would get up at 5:30 a.m. and train in the back room of my parents’ house before school and then train legs when I got home. Despite the high frequency of training and the high volume of sets (I was doing 20 to 30 sets for each bodypart), my body responded by gaining 20 pounds of muscle in my first year of training. That was due to my age and the fact that I’d never done any weight training before. In other words, when you first start training, particularly at a young age, you can do everything wrong and still get great results. You’re correct in assuming that your gains will most likely not continue as your body adapts to your highvolume training routine. Your motivation for your twice-aday workouts may also begin to wear off as your results slow down. My suggestion is to cut back on the number of sets you do and train each bodypart twice a week instead of just once. That will enable you to develop more strength in addition to muscle mass. The size and strength that you acquire on the program will help create the foundation for a massive physique. The best way to design a program is to split up your body into two training days so you work half the muscle

Monday and Thursday Chest Bench presses Incline presses Dumbbell pullovers Back Wide-grip chins Barbell rows Deadlifts Shoulders Seated military presses Lateral raises Bent-over lateral raises

5 x 12, 10, 8, 6, 6 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10-12 4 x 6-10 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6 (continued on page 172)

Neveux \ Model: Tomm Voss

Teen Muscle Building

groups on one day and the others the following day. You can do that the first part of the week, Monday and Tuesday, and then repeat it later in the week, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday would be rest days for your body to recuperate and grow. I know that will be a big change from training twice a day, every day, but the added recuperation is what your body needs to grow. You’ll find that your strength develops much faster, which will go a long way toward helping you build even more muscle mass in the future. Concentrate on using the basic exercises because they’re the ones that are the most effective for developing muscle mass. Keep the sets moderate and use weights that will limit your repetitions to six to 10. That rep range is the best for developing muscle and strength. Here’s a sample training routine you can use to build size and power:

One of the big mistakes young bodybuilders make is following the workout regimens of their physique idols. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 167

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge Tuesday and Friday Abs Hanging knee raises Incline situps Legs Squats Leg presses Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Triceps Pushdowns Dips Biceps Barbell curls Preacher curls

4 x 12, 10, 8, 6

3 x max 3 x max 5 x 12, 10, 8, 6, 6 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6 3 x 12, 10, 8 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 6-8 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6

As for your confusion over such exercises as barbell rows, wide-grip chins and donkey calf raises, those are all valuable mass-building movements. I recommend a copy of my new book, Natural Bodybuilding. It describes and illustrates the correct way to perform those exercises for maximum effectiveness. Q: What kinds of nutrition or vitamin supplements should I take to shed fat and develop lean muscle? What kinds should I take to develop more strength without extreme muscle mass? I’m a woman who is just getting started, and I don’t want to get bulky. What exercises can I do to tone my lower back and waistline? A: The number-one supplement you need to build lean muscle is protein powder. You can take either whey protein or a combination of whey, casein and egg protein. I prefer the latter because it is digested much more slowly and provides a steady supply of amino acids to the muscles. Whey is a high-quality protein, but it’s digested very quickly. For that reason, whey protein is great to take right before or after a training session (including cardio), but I prefer the other type of protein during the rest of the day, especially right before bed, when you need a slow release of protein throughout the night. I use Muscle-Link’s ProFusion protein powder and Muscle Meals meal replacement powder for my protein supplements. They’re made with a combination of whey, casein and egg protein. I also like creatine and glutamine for building and maintaining muscle. The creatine helps supply more energy and power for the workout itself, and the glutamine helps with recuperation and growth following a workout. I usually take creatine before and after my workout and the glutamine before and after my workout, first thing in the morning before I eat and right before I go to bed (with my last protein drink). For getting rid of fat, there are many fat burners on the market. For my last competition, I took a product called T3 from a company called SAN. T3 contains guggulsterones, which help mobilize stored bodyfat. I also took another product from SAN called Tight, which contains caffeine, green tea extract and guggulsterones. I think both of these products helped me burn bodyfat at a faster rate—in combination with a reduced calorie diet and some cardio. I’ve just started using a product called C Gone from Pride Nutrition ( It contains chromi-

um picolinate, acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid, substances that help to shuttle carbs into muscle instead of the fat cells. The best supplement for strength is probably creatine. Your strength is really more a matter of your training program than any specific supplement. You’ll develop greater strength simply by training with the right amount of resistance and the right exercises. Using the basic exercises with heavy weights that limit your repetitions to three to six is the way to develop your strength. After the workout is over, the protein will help repair the damaged tissue, which will make the muscle stronger. The carbs you eat or drink before the training session will be used for energy during the workout, so make sure you get enough carbs. If you’re low on carbs or haven’t eaten for several hours before you train, you’ll probably be weaker than normal. The best exercises for the lower back are hyperextensions, deadlifts (with a moderate weight) and stiff-legged deadlifts. Hyperextensions and stiff-legged deadlifts work the hamstrings and glutes pretty hard too. As for the waist and abs, you can do many exercises for that area. Incline situps and crunches work the upper abs, and hanging knee raises, vertical leg raises and lying leg raises work the lower abs. You can also work the intercostal muscles, which are on your sides over your rib cage, by doing alternate crunches and twisting knee raises. I don’t recommend training your lower back and abs more than three times a week. The most you should work your lower back is twice a week because you use that muscle so much during other exercises and during regular activity. Here’s a good ab routine: Superset Crunches on bench Hanging knee raises Superset Incline situps Incline knee raises

3 x 30 3 x 20-30 3 x 30-50 3 x 20-30

Note: A superset means you do two exercises in a row with no rest between them. Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Natural Mr. Olympia and is a two-time Natural Mr. Universe winner. Visit his Web site at www .natural You can write to him at P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561, or call toll-free (800) 900-UNIV (8648). His new book, Natural Bodybuilding, is now available from Human Kinetics Publishing. IM John Hansen Neveux

Barbell shrugs

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Cinderella Man

Eryk Bui Takes Mass with Class to the Pro Ranks by Lonnie Teper


et’s cut to the chase, shall we? Eryk Bui made chop suey out of his middleweight opponents in Dallas, at the ’04 Nationals. I mean, if that had been a boxing match, you’d score it as a first-round knockout. Ripped and ready, with 173 sculpted pounds of muscle on his 5’5” frame, the 34-year-old Bui caused more than a few jaws to drop the moment he stepped onstage at the Friday-night prejudging. Not that it was going to be an upset victory; it just took him longer than expected to get there. After shredding his way to the ’02 USA Lightweight title, Bui moved up to the middleweight class at the Nationals that season—and dropped a depressing 11 places in the standings. The highly driven Bui, who was born in Saigon, Vietnam, on December 25, 1970 (he has five brothers and a sister), bounced back with a third-place finish at the ’03 USA and moved up another notch at that contest in 2004. Better, but not good enough. Not nearly good enough. I could see it in his eyes in Dallas last fall. The show was being held at the same venue where he’d gotten spanked two years before. Game day would bring the Eryk Bui many of us had been expecting for some time. In fact, the chap with the terrific guns, wheels, calves and lower back not only dominated the middles, but, according to some folks in the seats, was also the most complete bodybuilder onstage that night and could have won the overall. That honor, of course, went to Chris Cook, but Bui and the other class winners all earned pro status, and he will make his flex-for-pay debut at the ’06 IRON MAN Pro.

How well will Bui do as a professional? Only time will tell. But time has already proven that he’s much more than a physique artist: He has a degree in biology, is a dedicated father and volunteers his time working with children who have afflictions such as ADHD and bipolar disorder. Bui also has a strong point of view on where bodybuilding has been, where it is today and the direction it should be taking. On a warm May afternoon I gave Eryk a tour of the grounds at Pasadena City College—including a visit to the campus weight room to chat with students in a bodybuilding class. We ended up at my office, where the tape recorder was turned on, and Bui opened up. LT: You left Vietnam when you were four years old. Where did you go? EB: I think we went to Camp Pendleton [in California] first. I don’t have a boat experience. My father was a military officer and doesn’t talk about this much, but we did go by plane. We stayed with a few sponsor families. Then my parents moved to Port Arthur, Texas. At that time people were shuffled all over the country. My parents worked several jobs to make ends meet. We [the children] took care of each other while they were out working. They saved up money and opened up a small seafood market. From there they opened up a seafood dock in Sabine Pass, about 15 miles from Port Arthur. We built the dock from the ground up, and it was a family ordeal. My father bought this crane and taught himself how to use it. The shrimpers would go out, catch the seafood and come back with it. We would unload it, pack it and ship it to where it was needed.

LT: You played high school football, didn’t you? EB: Yes I did, at Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson. I played fullback on offense and in the secondary on defense. I would have liked to wrestle, but they didn’t have a team. They did have powerlifting, though, and I was a finalist at the state championships three years in a row. LT: What were your best lifts? EB: At 140 pounds, my best squat was 565, I benched 325, and my best deadlift was 540, I believe. LT: Bet you were always a strong kid. EB: Yes, the first time I ever benched, I was horsing around with the lineman in the football weight room and benched 225. My coach saw me do it, thought I had a lot of potential and started a weightlifting team. LT: You graduated from St. Thomas University in Houston with a degree in biology, but you didn’t go there right out of high school, did you? EB: No, I originally went to St. Edwards University in Austin; I had an academic scholarship and pow-

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Bui took second at the ’96 NPC Lone Star Classic (left) and first at the ’98 Musclemania Natural Championships (above). Recently, he won his class at the ’04 Nationals (right).

erlifted, but I got homesick and stayed only one year. I called up my brother, who was going to St. Thomas, and I transferred there. It was much closer to home. LT: And the success in powerlifting continued? EB: For sure. I won a national championship there; I squatted 600, benched 365 and deadlifted 600 at a bodyweight of 147 pounds. I’ve always loved the challenge of heavy weights. The combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding is the best way to build a quality physique. LT: You were a premed student in college but decided that your cuts would come on the bodybuilding stage. EB: I did take the MCATS and was accepted at the University of Houston, but I decided to take some time off and ended up never going. My parents still give me hell about that. It just got to the point where I wanted to do something for myself and not because my parents wanted me to. LT: How did bodybuilding enter your life? EB: I was at the gym and met

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[former National overall champ] John Sherman. He knew I had a good background in powerlifting, and I talked with him about how he would benefit as a bodybuilder learning various power movements; he taught me about bodybuilding. I entered and won my first contest, a natural show in Texas, in 1994 at about 149 pounds. It went by height classes. My first NPC contest was the John Sherman Classic the next year; I won my class. Bodybuilding came easily to me, but I was probably dieting way too hard back then. Now I set my goals, then ease into them rather than going hard closer to the contest and hurting my chances of peaking right. A lot of the guys on the amateur circuit today make it way too hard on themselves. They peak too early or get too far out of shape and have to kill themselves to get into shape. LT: How did you end up in California? EB: I was doing a lot of modeling and was traveling a lot from Houston to Los Angeles. Also, I figured if I wanted to continue bodybuilding, why not make myself more accessible? It was a marketing move, and it worked out well. LT: You retired from competition in 1999, then came back three years later to have a terrific 2002 season, winning your division at the Cal, the Los Angeles Championships and the USA. Talk about a resounding return! EB: Yes, I wasn’t going to compete anymore— never thought I had a chance of turning pro. Then in 2002 I ran into a buddy of mine named John Noonan. He was doing the Cal, and he told me to do it. That was only 20 days before the contest. I won my class but was disqualified because I wasn’t eligible to compete. I had not competed in a show for three years. After that [California judge] Ken Taylor told me to do the Los Angeles Championships, which was six weeks later. I won the middleweight class at 165. Then I went from 165

to 147 in one week and won my class at the USA. LT: What did you do, marry a treadmill? EB: I was 161 on Tuesday; I fasted until the weigh-in and was seven pounds under the limit. I felt like my skin was crawling [laughs]. I wouldn’t suggest this technique to anyone, but I was desperate to make weight. LT: You went to the Nationals as a middleweight and got crushed, finishing 12th. EB: That’s right. More advice for bodybuilders: West Coast bodybuilders should do the USA until they become well-known; the Nationals are more of an East Coast show. I don’t think I looked bad at my first Nationals. I just got lost in the shuffle. I wasn’t at my best but thought I could have finished in the top five. I went from 147 at the USA

earlier in the year to 176 at the Nationals. I made the mistake of thinking size over conditioning for that contest and the next two USAs. Conditioning was my main priority for the ’04 Nationals; I was very, very focused. Like I said, the Nationals is usually an East Coast show, so my thinking was, “I can’t give the judges any choice.” I knew if I came to Dallas at the top of my game, I could not be beaten in my class. LT: You won your pro card, told me you were going to make your pro debut at the ’06 IRON MAN Pro, then backed off and told others you were going to pass on moving to the next level and would come back to the Nationals as a light heavyweight. I thought that was nuts; so did [NPC President and IFBB Vice President] Jim Man-

Son Austin’s first front double-biceps pose (above), and a recent photo with Dad at the gym.

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ion. EB: [Laughs] It was also marketing. I have to stay visible and didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle. There have been a lot of middleweights who won, turned pro and disappeared. I’m very competitive, and it’s very hard for me to train hard, diet hard and battle for fifth through 15th. At the amateur ranks I’m right there, every time I compete. And there were health concerns. It’s no secret that it’s chemical warfare at the pro level. I’d like for it to scale back, and the recent letter from Ben Weider [regarding aesthetic considerations and judging standards] sent a very positive message to me to try and push the sport back into a positive light. LT: Do you think the judges actually will follow the guidelines—no distended midsections, no synthol, rewarding V-tapers, etc.—and not reward the people who have been dominating the sport to this point? EB: I think it may take some time. The supplement industry is not at its all-time high right now, to say the least, and a lot of that has to do with public perception. We have a responsibility to help change the perception. I did my own survey, asking people who train whose physique they would rather have, Ronnie Coleman’s or David Henry’s. Invariably, it was Henry’s. LT: If you ask people walking down Colorado Boulevard [Pasadena’s main strip] whose physique they’d rather have, mine or Ronnie’s, I might win that too. On the other hand, there are the people who pay the big-ticket prices at the Olympia, the Arnold and other major contests. Who do they want to see onstage? Bodybuilding is a muscle show, and people want to see freaks— especially if they’re spending a lot of cash. EB: Yeah, but there was a time when bodybuilding was admired— when there were physiques that people could attain. Yes, people will pay the big bucks to see a freak show, which is what it is today, but we don’t want that. I really love the sport of bodybuilding and want to see it go back to the days of beautiful physiques that also looked

healthy. Guys like Steve Reeves, Lee Labrada, who looked great yearround. I mean, somebody who is fat in the off-season, hardly recognizable, then kills himself for three or four months to look good the day of the contest—that’s not what bodybuilding should be about. It should be about looking in shape all the time. Not only do you look bad when you go up and down in weight, it’s a serious health risk. It’s bad for the heart. LT: The IRON MAN is nearly nine months away, but you look to be in good shape right now. EB: I’m 205 pounds at about 8 percent bodyfat. With my powerlifting background, I’m always lifting heavy. But, as I caution people, you have to lift heavy but lift smart. I go heavy on bench presses and squats but don’t always push it on deadlifts because that can cause your torso to thicken up. Keep your waist small, and the rest of you will look big. My heart is not in it to get freaky; That’s never been my game. I’m sure I could get up to 215 pounds and still look decent, but I’m very active, and have a son [Austin, who’s eight] to think about. I want to be able to run around with him and enjoy life. LT: I know you’re very proud of your son, but most people don’t know that there’s a story behind the story. EB: That’s true. Back in 2000, I was going through a very bitter custody battle with my ex-wife. She was living in Texas at the time, and my son and I were here in California. In the end the judge awarded her physical custody. LT: You must have been crushed. EB: I was broken and shaken. I walked away with nothing left to fight with. Dealing with life without my son was the hardest thing I had ever endured. I was spiraling downward fast, without the will or strength to break my fall. I had to do something fast to make the emotional trauma subside. I didn’t want to eat; I couldn’t function. Being slaughtered in court and losing my rights as a father made me feel as if I had no control over anything. LT: How (continued on page 186)

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(continued from page 181) did you


get through those difficult times? EB: I turned to the one thing that I had always been able to excel at—weightlifting. I went to the gym every day to vent my frustrations and build up an ample supply of endorphins to combat my depression. To help my focus, I ran three miles every day. My sense of control and focus

Bui wants to make proportion and symmetry his calling card as he moves into the pros. eventually returned after almost a year of serious gym training. Looking back, I could not have made it back out of my abyss without bodybuilding. It gave me back my sense of control and taught me to never give up because you never know what can happen unless you try. It reminds me of the old saying, “When life gives you nothing but sour lemons to work with, make lemonade and always keep your glass half full.”

LT: How often do you see Austin now? EB: I get Austin for the traditional holidays—Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also get him for the summer, and I try to see him every two or three months. Austin’s my biggest fan—and my biggest critic. He’s at all my national shows, and I can hear him in the audience, shouting out, telling me to flex my legs, lift my chest, stuff like that. He’s already a better poser than I am! LT: You have your own oneon-one personal-training business, correct? EB: Yes I do. It’s in Santa Ana, about five miles from where I live. It’s on the 10th floor of an office building. I have a good clientele. LT: Let’s take a closer look at next season’s IRON MAN. You’ll be hitting the stage at about 190? EB: At the Nationals I weighed in at 173; by prejudging I was 184. At the finals I was 191; I think I’ll be around 190 to 195 at my pro debut. LT: What do you bring to pro bodybuilding? EB: What you saw at the Nationals: good muscle bellies, small joints, balance. I need to work on my back—my width is okay, but I need to bring up my lower lats. Whenever I hit a front doublebiceps, I envision a perfect circle. That really shows onstage. I also can get hard and striated—anyone can be big and soft. LT: Can you be a good pro? EB: Absolutely. I can see myself cracking the top five at the IRON MAN. LT: You’re only the second Asian bodybuilder to go pro in the United States—Kris Dim was the first—and one of three Asians pros in the world, including Japan’s Hidetada Yamagishi. Is that a plus? EB: I think so—I think I’ll be very marketable with the Asian population; there has been some talk of a pro federation starting up in China. If that ever happens, that would be a great opportunity. By the way, how come Weider/AMI hasn’t signed any Asian bodybuilders? LT: I don’t know. I work for IRON MAN. By the way, Weider/AMI has in fact signed an Asian bodybuilder—Kris Dim. EB: Oh, okay, why don’t they sign

two? [Bui and L.T. crack up]. LT: Where do you train? EB: At two places—24-Hour Fitness in Costa Mesa and Gold’s Gym in Huntington Beach. LT: What’s a typical precontest training protocol for you? EB: I do a four-on/one-off routine. I used to try to hit each bodypart three times a week, but couldn’t do it. I do bi’s and chest on day one, shoulders and tri’s on day two, back and calves on day three, and quads and hamstrings on day four. Then I take a day off and do the same cycle again. I train once a day, even prior to a contest. I do a minimum of three sets, a maximum of six, per exercise. My reps range from three to 20, and I do three to four exercises per bodypart. It also depends on how I feel. You have to listen to your body. If I’m tired that day, I’ll do less weight, more reps. I never do light weight— lifting small weights builds small bodies. LT: Can you list a typical routine? EB: Sure. Day 1: Chest and biceps Flat-bench barbell presses 7 x 20, 20, 6-10, 1-2, 1-2, 15-20, 15-20 Incline barbell presses 4 x 20, 20, 8-10, 8-10 Incline dumbbell presses 5 x 15-20 Dumbbell flyes 5 x 10-12 Barbell curls 6 x 15, 10, 10, 5-8, 2-4, 2-4 Dumbbell curls 6 x 10, 10, 10, 4-6, 4-6, 10 Day 2: Shoulders and triceps Military presses 5 x 20, 15, 10, 5-8, 5-8 Dumbbell overhead presses 5 x 20, 20, 15, 12, 12 Dumbbell lateral raises 5 x 20, 15, 10, 10, 20 EZ-curl bar extensions 5 x 12, 8-10, 8-10, 8-10, 12 Incline dumbbell extensions 5 x 8-10 Day 3: Back and calves Bent-over barbell rows 6 x 20, 20, 20, 15, 12, 6-8 One-arm dumbbell rows (per arm) 4 x 12, 10, 10, 10 Seated machine calf raises 3-4 x 20 Leg press calf raises 3-4 x 20 Machine donkey calf raises 3-4 x 20

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Day 4: Quads and hamstrings Squats 7 x 20, 15, 12, 10, 5-8, 2, 1 Leg presses 4 x 30* Stiff-legged deadlifts 5 x 15, 12, 10, 10, 10 Sumo-stance deadlifts 6 x 20, 12, 10, 5-8, 5-8, 5-8

LT: You’re one strong sucker. Didn’t you bench-press your weight, 195, 50 times at the Olympia Expo? EB: Yes, I did. And it’s on tape if people don’t believe it. That same weekend I shot my first DVD, called “Taking Care of Business,” and made a prediction that I would win the Nationals. I’m squatting 600 for reps on the DVD, and that was only three weeks before the Nationals.

LT: What are your best squat and bench? EB: My best squat is 725. My best bench is 495. I’ve also deadlifted 670 in the past, but I don’t go that heavy anymore. LT: Any major injuries? EB: Not really—I’m very strict with my movements. I concentrate on the negative. I go slow and controlled. I’m not thinking quads on squats; I’m thinking glutes and hamstrings to support me going down. I’ll think quads on the way up. You have to distribute the weight. LT: Any advice for natural bodybuilders? EB: They need to lift heavier more often. You have to stimulate your body, give it a reason to grow. If I don’t feel that soreness the next day, I don’t grow. You also have to eat well. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are solid meals; I take shakes or eat bars for my other meals. For those who are just starting out, make sure you have breakfast, lunch and dinner nailed before you start thinking about protein shakes, bars and powders. LT: Speaking of food, it seems as if you always stay hungry— hungry to continually improve. EB: Well, I love the sport and will continue to do it—as long as it stays fun. I have other things going on in my life and can walk away from it as well and be content.


*I use the leg press as a secondary movement, in addition to squats. I always squat and never use the leg press as a primary movement. A single set consists of 10 reps with my feet together to hit my outer sweep, 10 reps with my feet shoulder width to hit the medial portion of

my quads, and 10 reps with my feet in a sumo stance to hit my inner thighs. It’s an awesome compound movement.

Bui and Austin paid a visit to L.T.’s weight-training class at Pasadena City College. Editor’s note: To contact Eryk Bui for personal appearances—or if you can get him a deal with Weider/AMI—log on to his Web site,, or write to him at 2855 Pinecreek Dr., A420, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. IM

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Hypertraining • by John Little •

Mike Mentzer has been justly praised for bringing forth new methods of raising the intensity of bodybuilding workouts. For example, while he didn’t create such techniques as rest/pause, his endorsement certainly popularized their use in the bodybuilding arena. Other techniques, such as Infitonic and Omni-Contraction, were unique to Mike.

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“Where is it etched in stone that one rep of a set must be followed immediately by another? Or, as I once blindly and uncritically accepted, that only the last rep of a set should require 100 percent intensity of effort?” —Mike Mentzer \ SEPTEMBER 2005 191

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Heavy Duty

One lesser-known training technique that Mike used with many of his clients and colleagues, including six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, is hypertraining. According to Mike, Arthur Jones, the retired head of Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries and the MedX Corporation, described a technique in which each positive, or concentric, repetition would be immediately followed by a supernegative, or partner-assisted eccentric, contraction. One maker of exercise equipment, Life Circuit,

edge, no one had ever tried it—until fairly recently.” “Fairly recently” was 1993, to be exact, and the location of the test run was Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. The individual who tried it was Mike Mentzer, and the individual on whom he tried it was Dorian Yates. I know because I happened to be in Gold’s Gym that day and witnessed the phenomenon. Indeed, I took pictures of the event as it unfolded. Here is Mike’s account: “In the early part of 1993 I super-


Photo courtesy of Northern River Productions

Mentzer put Dorian Yates through a hyperworkout that involved one set of machine incline presses and one set of Nautilus curls.

even developed a line of computerized machines in the early 1990s that incorporated this technique into its programming. According to Mike: “Several years after learning about rest/pause training, Arthur Jones described a variation of the technique in which not only was every positive rep a maximum effort but also every negative aspect of the rep. He called it hypertraining. With hypertraining, however, Jones did not suggest a pause between each rep. Instead, he advised that each successive rep follow the preceding in conventional fashion. Did it work? Well, to the best of my knowl-

vised Dorian Yates in a hyperworkout that involved one set of machine incline presses and one set of Nautilus curls. The machine incline presses required the aid of several spotters who helped Dorian lift the weight—600 pounds!—into the top position for the first fullrange rep. In other words, he started from the top, straight-arm position, lowered the weight in regular fashion and then, immediately, pressed it back up. Once he was in the top, contracted position again, he lowered the weight once more, this time as slowly as he could, hyperemphasizing the negative. As soon as the weight touched

bottom, another spotter and I reduced the weight by about 15 percent—to 510 pounds—while Dorian was afforded a seven-second rest/pause. Then we helped him to the top again so he could perform another hyperrep and a half.” All told, Dorian performed four repetitions in that fashion. He did only four because it simply wasn’t possible—after putting out that much effort—for him to perform five! As Mike told me, “Dorian made it clear at that point that he had had enough. Only those who train in the Heavy Duty fashion can imagine how brutally demanding a set of reps like that might be, with each rep involving a maximum positive and a maximum negative. It’s hyperintense!” I recall this spectacle quite clearly as well: Dorian’s chest was pumped almost beyond belief, and he was sweating profusely from those four reps—but then it was time to hypertrain his biceps! Let’s let Mike pick up the story: “Dorian performed the hypercurls on a Nautilus machine without the rest/pause between reps. He started the set with the entire stack of 150 pounds, plus an additional 25pound plate pinned to the stack. That weight wasn’t enough to limit him to one maximum positive, so I instructed him to do as many as he could, which turned out to be three. The third positive rep did require an all-out effort of several seconds to complete. “Once he reached the top, contracted position, I told Dorian to resist the negative a bit less than maximally while I grabbed the movement arm and manually applied more negative resistance. He resisted heroically, as if the fate of the world hinged on his effort, taking several seconds to lower the weight. As he reached the bottom, extended position, I quickly removed the 25-pound plate, whereupon Dorian performed another two reps followed by a near-maximum negative. “Now that his biceps were fatigued, he was able to proceed for a couple more reps, with each being a true hyperrep—a single maximum positive followed by a near-maximum negative. (continued on page 196)

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(continued from page 192) He report-

ed the same experience with the curls that he’d had with the inclines—brutally demanding and hyperintense were the words he used to describe it.”

The Hypertraining Zone While hypertraining is certainly an advanced means of raising the intensity of muscular contraction, the question logically arises as to

why one would opt to put oneself through such an intense experience. Again, let’s hear from Mike: “In a more technical, deeper, scientific sense, high-intensity training is really about high-intensity muscular contractions; i.e., the harder, more intensely a muscle is made to contract, the greater the growth stimulation.” Mike employed this advanced technique on other clients with equal success. He told me that all of

his clients who used it experienced a greater than usual strength increase in each of the exercises they used it on (at that time Mike was using it on incline presses, Nautilus curls and leg extensions almost exclusively), and one client actually reported a size increase in his biceps after each of three hypercurl workouts. Those involved just one set of hypercurls performed as part of Mike’s Ideal Routine during his shoulder-and-arm workout, which took place every 12 or 13 days. Mike was once asked if he believed hypertraining was the best way to train for rapid, large-scale increases in strength and muscular size. He answered, “If you understand that 100 percent intensity of effort is the factor responsible for stimulating growth, then it is not inconceivable that a set of hypers would produce that degree of stimulation. I used rest/pause—which is similar to hypertraining—very successfully in 1979 and more recently have noted considerable success using hypertraining with a few, select personal-training clients.” Indeed, Mike used rest/pause training very successfully during a six-week period preceding his first professional competition, which took place only three months after his perfect-score victory at the ’78 Mr. Universe contest. In that short span of time, he was able to significantly improve on his Mr. Universe condition and gained an additional six pounds of muscle. As it’s exceedingly difficult for advanced-level bodybuilders to add more muscle, it is no small feat that Mentzer was able to do that, going on to win his first professional contest, the Florida Cup, over the likes of the mighty Robby Robinson. Mike never wrote a full treatise on hypertraining. He said, “Since all of this is relatively new and experimental, I can’t provide you with any definitive conclusions. After I’ve collected more data from my training clients using this revolutionary high-intensity technique, I’ll draw as many valid inferences as I can and then report them.” Sadly, fate had other plans, and Mike didn’t live to complete his research into the applications of this technique.

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four total sets in such a workout. For chest you might use the advanced techniques on incline presses after a set of dumbbell flyes performed in the conventional fashion to positive failure. For back you might use them for close-grip, palms-up pulldowns. For biceps use them with barbell or machine curls; and for thighs try them with leg extensions. “As always, use your best judgment as your guide. I’d also suggest that you limit the number of reps to no more than four or six, again because of the magnitude of the demand. Remember, the greater the level of stress, the greater the likelihood of overtraining. If after a workout or two you note that your strength has remained the same or decreased, reduce the frequency with which you use these techniques to every second or third workout. “For those with lesser recovery ability or exercise-stress tolerance, using any of these techniques except in an extremely abbreviated program such as the Consolidation Program listed in my books may prove excessively stressful. Just as certain types of people find it nearly impossible to tolerate extremely

The harder you train, the more growth you stimulate, but if you don’t rest enough, you won’t grow. Mentzer had many of his clients working out but once every four to seven days. Model: Abbas Khatami


He did leave behind some information in his papers, indicating certain precautions that one should take in experimenting with this technique. They will serve as his final word on the matter here: “We do know with absolute certainty that even conventional Heavy Duty, high-intensity training, in which only the last rep of a set requires 100 percent intensity of effort, exacts an enormous toll on the body’s limited reserve of resources, or recovery ability. Whereas a conventional set carried to positive failure might be viewed as something akin to exposing your skin to one hour of the summer sun at the equator, a set of rest/pause or hypertraining might be closer to two or more hours of such exposure. The main point to keep in mind is that the stress imposed on the physiology is of considerably greater magnitude when you use these techniques. None of my personal-training clients ever does more than four or five sets in any given conventional Heavy Duty workout. “My suggestion is that you start by substituting rest/pause or hypertraining for only one of your sets per workout, with never more than

intense sunlight stress even for short periods, there may be those for whom these high-intensity techniques may be too demanding. Of course, no one will know for sure unless he or she tries, but in all cases start out very conservatively, using one of these techniques on one exercise per workout.” And, finally, one last warning for those who haven’t read Mike’s books, particularly those who are ignorant of the very real dangers posed by overtraining. Mike had his clients working out but once every four to seven days (or longer) for a good reason. The harder you train, the more growth you stimulate, but if you don’t rest enough, you won’t grow enough, and this process takes time. If you plunge into this capriciously—i.e., if you think that you can adapt an ultra-high-intensity technique such as rest/pause or hypertraining to your everyday, lower-intensity, multiple-set workouts—you’re in for a rude awakening. Not only will you get weaker and smaller, but as Mike cautioned, “You run the very real risk of driving yourself so deep into an overtraining condition that it could literally take you six months to recover.” If you train hard and smart, however, you’ll reap all of the many benefits that advanced Heavy Duty training has to offer. Editor’s note: For a complete presentation of Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system, consult his books Heavy Duty II and High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, available through the ad on page 173 of this issue, from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008, or by visiting Mentzer’s official Web site, John Little is available for phone consultation on Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system. For rates and information, contact Joanne Sharkey at (310) 316-4519 or at, or see the ad mentioned above. Article copyright © 2005, John Little. All rights reserved. Mike Mentzer quotations that appear in this series provided courtesy of Joanne Sharkey, © 2005 and used with permission. IM

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Model: Berry Kobov

The Ultimate Split and

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Model: Randy Vogelzang

Abbreviated Training

Once youÕve trained for at least 12 months on a solid full-body program, experiment with a split routine. But if you use one of the typical splits that appear in most bodybuilding magazines and books, youÕre unlikely to make much, if any, progress. by by Stuart Stuart McRobert McRobert •• Photography Photography by by Michael Michael Neveux Neveux \ SEPTEMBER 2005 205

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Muscle- Building Lessons Most of the popular splits undermine bodybuilding progress for average trainees. Just because a certain split works for a genetic phenomenon who may be bolstered by drug support, it doesn’t mean that it will also work for natural, genetically average bodybuilders. With the ultimate split I’m about to describe, you’ll hit each bodypart three times every two weeks; that is, once every four or five days per bodypart. You’ll train three nonconsecutive days each week, which will give you four full days of recovery every seven days. The popular split routines usually include more training than nontraining days, which is counterproductive for most bodybuilders. Next, you’ll put exercises that primarily work your lower body in one routine and those that almost exclusively work your upper body in another routine. That’s a good

way to divide the exercises so that there’s only minimal overlap between the two routines. Now, choose three nonconsecutive training days, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and alternate the two routines as follows: Week 1 Monday: Calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, abs Wednesday: Neck, shoulders, chest, lats, triceps, biceps Friday: Calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, abs Week 2 Monday: Neck, shoulders, chest, lats, triceps, biceps Wednesday: Calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, abs

Training calves one leg at a time can provide more focus and more neuromuscular efficiency.

Friday: Neck, shoulders, chest, lats, triceps, biceps

Continue with that rotation. Week 3 is the same as week 1, week 4 will be the same as week 2, and so on. Keep in mind that the ultimate split will help you build strength and size only if you •Choose good exercises. •Use correct exercise technique. •Train hard enough. •Train progressively. •Avoid using too many exercises and/or sets.

Model: Steven Segers

In other words, apply the 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding, which begin on page 210. Here are two sample routines you can plug into the ultimate split: Workout 1 Deadlifts or stiff-legged deadlifts 2x6 One-legged calf raises 2 x 12-15 Leg presses 2 x 8-10 Leg curls 2 x 8-10 Crunches 2 x 10-12 Side bends 1 x 12-15 Hyperextensions 2 x 8-10 Note: Do one to two progressively heavier warmup sets prior to the work sets listed for each exercise.

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Muscle- Building Lessons

If any of those exercises aren’t safe for you or the equipment isn’t available, substitute comparable movements. This is abbreviated training, and it’s precisely what most body-

Do two progressive ly heavier warmup sets prior to your work sets. Studies show that a warm muscle can contract much harder than a cold one.

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Model: Marvin Montoya

Workout 2 Parallel-bar dips, bench presses or incline-bench presses 2 x 6-8 Pulldowns or machine pullovers 2 x 6-8 Seated cable rows 1 x 6-8 Seated dumbbell presses (on a 75 degree bench) 2x6 Lateral raises 2x8 Shrugs 2x8 Incline dumbbell curls 2 x 6-8 Lying L-flyes or ShoulderHorn (see page 98) 1 x 8-10 Neck-forward flexions and extensions 1 x 10-12 Note: Do one to two progressively heavier warmup sets prior to the work sets listed for each exercise.

Muscle- Building Lessons builders need if they want to make good progress. The short workouts will enable you to train hard, with focus. The four full days of recovery each week will give you the chance to recuperate fully. Then you should be able to add a small amount of weight to the bar on most exercises every week or two. That’s a world away from longer, more frequent training, where you don’t recuperate fully and you only go through the motions in the gym. Just clocking up workouts doesn’t yield progress. Clocking up progressive workouts is the one thing that will yield strength and muscle. Abbreviated training is the approach of choice because it’s more practical and time efficient than conventional or so-called advanced methods that require commitments of greater time and energy. One of the biggest problems in the bodybuilding world is the belief that simple training routines are for beginners only. Wrong! Also keep in mind that training provides only the stimulus for growth. What you do outside the gym determines whether the stimulation yields growth. The effective strategy for most bodybuilders is short routines, correct exercise technique and hard work combined with sufficient nutrition and recovery time. All of that, properly applied, produces growth in strength and muscle— and it applies to beginners, intermediates and advanced trainees, although the training for specific individuals can vary. For example, the training of supergifted, competition-level bodybuilders can be another story altogether, but that applies to a very small minority. Combine the Ultimate Split with the 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding, and the rest is up to your genetics and your persistence. The big bonus is that you need to train only three times a week. You’ll have more time for the rest of your life and you’ll probably make better progress than ever before.

The 10

Commandments of Bodybuilding ¥ by Stuart McRobert ¥


he requirements of bodybuilding are straightforward, but most bodybuilders think otherwise. Thus they get caught up in complexities and irrelevances. As a result, they fail to make progress. In my “Anticrash Course,” which appeared in the December ’04 and January ’05 issues, I summarized 16 key lessons of bodybuilding. Those keys aren’t the last word on bodybuilding, but they are what you should live by if your primary concern is to build as much muscular size as your genetics will permit, drug-free. I speak from 30 years of personal experience—my own training and my observations of countless bodybuilders. In my youth I was obsessed with trying to build a great physique. I trained as the famous bodybuilders of the time recommended. I became a recluse. All I wanted was to study training, train and apply myself to recuperating between workouts. I became very knowledgeable—but not about what really mattered. And there was no wisdom accompanying the knowledge. I couldn’t distinguish between good and poor instruction. If it was in print and supposedly written by a champion bodybuilder, I believed it. I had no time for people who discussed realistic goals, overtraining or the dangers of certain exercises or specific techniques. Being young, I could apparently get away with using harmful training methods—but only temporarily. I paid for that recklessness and ignorance a few years later, when

knee and back problems devastated my training. Had I listened to people who urged a conservative approach to training, I probably wouldn’t have caused the initial damage. In other words, had I lived by the following 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding, all the study I did wouldn’t have distracted me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them to guide me. I’ve seen the same thing with countless other people. Rather than focus on a limited set of the best exercises, they hunt around for other exercises. Rather than focus on a sensible routine, they jump around from one routine to another. Rather than focus on correct exercise technique, they give it short shrift. Rather than focus on basic poundage progression, they dwell on other components of training. Rather than focus on excellent nutrition, they fuss over supplements. Rather than get at least eight hours of sleep each night, they fret over some comparatively trivial details of recuperation. I wish someone had gotten hold of me as a teenager, drummed the 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding into me, made me study correct exercise technique until I was a master of it and then kept me focused. A pivotal lesson I didn’t learn for many years is that a lot of training alternatives apply only to drugassisted bodybuilders and the genetically blessed. High-volume, high-frequency and superhighintensity training don’t work for

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The 10 Commandments natural, genetically average bodybuilders—a.k.a. hardgainers. For many years I followed those training methods, as have thousands of other hardgainers; but without drug support—or fantastic genetics— those methods just don’t work. In fact, they’re harmful and hinder progress. Hardgainer is a relative term. When training correctly—which includes applying the 10 Commandments—a hardgainer

can become a good gainer. While a hardgainer’s ultimate genetic potential is modest compared to that of the competitive elite, he or she can still make impressive progress. Keep the 10 Commandments as your principal guide, and don’t let anything distract you. That’s the gospel that would have kept me on the bodybuilding straight and narrow, and it’s the gospel that will keep you gaining to the best of your genetic potential.

The 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding 1) Train safely; avoid pain that can lead to injury. 2) Always use correct exercise technique. 3) Use a smooth, controlled rep speed.

Model: Jonathan Lawson

4) Weight train no more than three times a week. 5) Focus mostly on compound exercises. 6) Don’t skimp on warmup sets. 7) Do no more than 20 work sets per workout (not per bodypart, per workout!). 8) Train hard but without the use of extreme intensity techniques. 9) Eat, rest and sleep well to recuperate properly.

Model: Derik Farnsworth

Just clocking up workouts doesn’t yield progress. Clocking up progressive workouts is the thing that yields strength and muscle.

10) Build strength, which means to train progressively and increase your poundage in small increments. IM

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Lonnie Teper’s

Latest Doings: Keeping Up With…

Wayne’s World DeMilia pushes expo, supplement line


And a Tokyo bodybuilding bash?

Sayonara. Wayne and Carlo may be turning Japanese—promoters, that is.

Rumors have been floating about that former IFBB vice president and Mr. Olympia promoter Wayne DeMilia has been contacted about producing a professional bodybuilding contest in Asia, with a $600,000 purse awaiting the top finishers. I wanted to find out the facts from the horse’s mouth; a call to DeMilia in early June supplied them. “I have been approached by every bodybuilding federation you can think of,” DeMilia admitted. “At least 10 different people have called me about putting on events for them. As I told them, I am only interested if I can create something better than what I left.” What about the talk of an Asian show? “Carlo Teani [an Italian former IFBB official] has been approached by some Japanese companies that are trying to put on a pro bodybuilding event in Tokyo during Golden Week in 2006,” DeMilia said. “Carlo referred them to me. They have an interesting concept, but they want me to travel back and forth from New York to Tokyo every 14 days. I have a family to think of [DeMilia remarried in 2003 and has a 13-year-old son, Marcellus]. That’s too much time on the road. I made them a counteroffer. “They have a two-year plan, and in the second year they want to expand to four contests. They’re talking about significant prize money. Can this come off? I’d say it’s a

NPC State Shows

’05 California Championships


50/50 chance at best.” What is coming off is DeMilia’s Chicago Health, Fitness & Nutrition Expo, which is set for October 29 and 30 at McCormick Place. “We’ve expanded this event to get a more diversified audience in place,” Wayne said. That expansion will include a Best Body Magazine Bikini Challenge, four disciplines of martial arts, a FAME Fitness and Model Expo, a hip-hop dance competition, ultimate fighting, skateboarding…. Hey, to get all the details, log on to Wayne has also teamed with IFBB judge John Calcione to start a supplement company, Anti Oxidant Force. So far they have four products, said Wayne. “We have an antioxidant, an alternative to Viagra [ship a bottle immediately!], a muscle-building product and a diet product. “The antioxidant product also helps people with HIV.” said DeMilia, who made a study of antioxidant benefits in 1998, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer (he had successful surgery in 1999 DAVE TRULEY and has been cancer free since then). MEN’S OVERALL To find out more about the supplements, check out


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Backlash The old bodybuilding-dais-to-soundstage shuffle Kevin Levrone has put the barbells away and is going full steam ahead in his acting career.

It’s taken a while, but Kevin Levrone has made good on the promise he made me in Overland Park, Kansas, in 1998— that he was going Hollywood. One of bodybuilding’s all-time greats, Levrone retired from competition after the ’03 Mr. Olympia to pursue an acting career. So far, so good. Kevin secured a featured role in “Backlash,” an action-adventure flick that began filming in Trinidad on June 6. Set for a fall release, the film features the Maryland Muscle Machine as an assassin named Turk. According to a press release, one of the highlights of the movie will be an epic fight between Levrone and ultimate fighting champion Ken Shamrock. Sorry, Kev, I’m going with Ken on this one. “I’ve always been good on-screen,” said Levrone, “and now I’ve really learned to take the focus, drive and energy I use in the gym and apply it to developing my acting technique.” Levrone, who competed in the 230-to-250 range during his 12-year pro career, has trimmed down to about 215 pounds for his new vocation and says he hopes “to be the guy with the brawn—and the brains.” Good luck, Kev, and be sure to send me a postcard.

erican Idol—in Frank Zane is an Am rld anyway. the bodybuilding wo

Big Joe Barker

Big Joe carried 245 pounds on his 6’2” frame when he won the superheavyweight class at the ’04 North Carolina Championships. Now the 28-year-old from Harmony says he’ll bring a package that will be “harder, fuller and drier, with 20 pounds more muscle, to the Nationals.” Joe, who trains at the Gold’s Gym in Winston-Salem, started pumping iron at 17, when he was a skinny 165-pounder working out for football. “I got bitten by the iron bug after seeing how well my body responded to serious weight training. I gained 50 pounds of muscle in my first year of training with a diet of only protein and creatine.” Barker competed in his first contest at 19 and has been onstage every season except for 1997 and 2001. After finishing ninth at the ’04 Junior Nationals, he’s aiming for a top-10 finish—and a pro card in the near future. “I know there will be some real quality competitors at this year’s Nationals,” Barker admits, “but I’m bringing my A game this time. There will not be a more shredded super on stage this year, Barker was big at the ’04 N.C. period. If there is, he’ll have to be dead from too little bodyfat!”



Bikini Day at the gym. Looks like our workout is going to be a long one—and we’re doublesplitting too.

Yep, bodybuilders alw ays exaggerate their bodypart measu rements.

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The Lean Body Promise

Back on the


Labrada makes war on fat


Whatever Happened to… Steve Michalik During his heyday Steve Michalik was Mr. America, Mr. USA and Mr. Universe. These days he runs a unique family-oriented fitness center in Farmingdale, New York. Mr. America’s Family Fitness Express was developed to meet the growing fitness and exercise needs of children and adults. It’s located at 360 Smith Street in Farmingdale, in the same building that houses Powerhouse Gym. “I have been involved in the fitness sector since I was young,” says Michalik. “Over the years I have acquired a great deal of knowledge Fast track to getting in and understanding of different kinds of exercise shape. Former Mr. America Steve Michalik operates Mr. routines. We are offering families and individuals America’s Family Fitness an opportunity to get involved in a fast, effective Express. and fun program.” The facility features hydraulic technology–based equipment that doesn’t have to be adjusted or modified for each user. Settings always remain constant, allowing groups of people and families to work out together without having to reset the equipment as they move through the circuit. An added perk is that Michalik is available to gym members for training advice or to answer questions. For more information, call (631) 694-0200.

Don Long update


Lee Labrada was lean and mean during his career as a bodybuilding star. Now the president and CEO of Labrada Nutrition gets points for telling the rest of us how to do it. Labrada’s new book, The Lean Body Promise, promises to deliver the ultimate bodyfat-burning solution, a plan that yields startling and dramatic results with just 30 minutes a day, in as little as 12 weeks. Labrada’s program features short resistance and cardio workouts and a metabolismboosting, five-meal-a-day eating plan. Lee Labrada, who knows a bit about getting lean, “My program is based on the principle I call shares his tried-and-true Banex, which is balanced nutrition and exercise,” methods. he says. “Most people fail for two reasons: Either they start out with the wrong information, or they can’t sustain the motivation necessary to stay on their program. In my book, I give you the right information and teach you how to sustain motivation so you can get into shape and stay in shape for the rest of your life.” The Lean Body Promise contains real-life success stories; a nutritional plan that includes simple, effective strategies and recipes, motivation-building measurement tools that are key to sustaining the programs and step-by-step exercise programs and photos. For more information about this exciting new book, contact Teresa Brady at

“King Kong” Long roars again. At you can buy top-of-the-line supplements and get training and nutritional advice from the man himself.

Don “King Kong” Long isn’t letting three-times-a-week dialysis sessions slow him down. The former NPC National champ, now working as a personal trainer in Warrensburg, Missouri, wanted to stay involved in the sport he loves so much. The result of that passion? Welcome to, a Web site that offers workout tips and opportunities for readers to purchase an extensive variety of quality nutritional supplements to aid in reaching their goals. “My Web site is the bomb,” said a beaming Long. “It gives you the breakdown of each nutritional supplement we carry, along with an explanation of what it’s supposed to do. The site also gives you an opportunity to ask me questions on how to improve your workouts, nutrition and supplements, and there are diets available that will get you on the right track to eating correctly.” Sounds good, Don. Seems like you’ve put together a great store that will meet everybody’s fitness needs. I’m glad to hear that the drive and dedication you had in the gym has transferred to the business world.

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Add NPC Contests: Backstage Story

’05 North Carolina These Sopranos know how to make A bodybuilding stage sing

Body-Business Men

The Valentino brothers, a.k.a. the Sopranos, put on another fine rendition

putting together the emcee notebook and Pat’s excellent job as the MIKE AND PAT VALENTINO main expediter, my duties as the host of the event the past several years have been a snap. Once again the competition was outstanding. Men’s bodybuilding winner Jason Wojciechowski was peeled and went on to win the The North Carolina champions for 2005 (from left): Holly Baroni, figure; Tangola Morgan and Jason Wojciechowski, light-heavyweight class at the Junior USA a week later. Keep an eye bodybuilding; and Kristen Lowe, fitness. on the 31-year-old from Durham. Congrats as well to Holly Baroni, a 33-year-old from Cornelius who took the figure title; women’s bodybuilding champ Tangola Morgan, 33, from Salisbury; and fitness winner Kristen Lowe, a 32-year-old from Greensboro. Last year’s overall bodybuilding winners, Shaun “Ain’t No Chump” Crump and Britt Miller, guest posed, as did local standouts Marc Jacobs and Patrick Richardson, the NPC National Lightweight champions of the past two years.



Southof the North Carolina Championships in April at the High Point Theatre in High ern SoPoint. This pranos? marks the Mike and 22nd year Pat Valentithat Mike, no have been making who’s the North CaroliNPC North na competiCarolina state tors offers chairman, they can’t and Pat, who refuse for works in conthe past 22 struction, have years. promoted Great shows. Thanks to work, guys. Mike’s efforts in

ADD N.C. ACTION No Lack(ner) of chutzpah here


After the judging photographer Mike Lackner (shooting for the NPC News) and I decided to walk down to the local mall. Now, we didn’t know at the time that High Point is the furniture capital of the country—or that the shopping center consisted only of furniture stores. (Although you’d think we might have figured that out after seeing that the place was called The Atrium Furniture Mall.) As a matter of fact, Mike became so enamored with a chair we saw at Klaussnerhome, he picked it up and was going to walk out of the place with it. Klaussnerhome’s design consultant, Heather Weidman, had to remind Lackner that the store wasn’t having a giveaway that day. The embarrassed Lackner, a former Collegiate National champ who is often mistaken for WWE star Bill Goldberg, tried to get out of the mess by saying he thought Vince McMahon had bought the chair and he was trying to save his boss the shipping charges. Weidman, a Cameron Diaz look-alike, was a good sport about the whole thing and didn’t call security after I explained that Lackner suffered from identity crisis syndrome and had left his medication at home.

Mike Lackner

The Chair Man

Mike Lackner tries to walk off with the furniture at The Atrium, but L.T. and Klaussnerhome’s Heather Weidman (above left) stop him in his tracks. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 217

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Tragic News

Quadzilla R.I.P. Paul DeMayo, 1968–2005


Master Flash

A phone call from Jay Cutler on Thursday evening, June 2, brought shocking news. Paul “Quadzilla” DeMayo, the ’94 NPC National champion, had died earlier that day in his Medford, Massachusetts, apartment. At only 37 years of age, he went way before his time. The cause of death was believed to be a drug overdose; I called the Boston medical examiner’s office and was told QUADZILLA AND FRIEND that the autopsy results wouldn’t be completed for 16 weeks. Sadly, I had missed a call from DeMayo one week earlier. “L.T., you there?” his unmistakable Bostonian accent boomed out of the answering machine. “It’s Quadzilla. I can’t believe the guy who gave me my nickname isn’t there.… I can’t stay on the phone long.… I’ll call you back.” I met Paul in 1988, when Marty Demirjian flew the Paul DeMayo, who died on June 2 in then-20-year-old phenom from Malden, Medford, Massachusetts, earned the Massachusetts, out to California to see a pro contest moniker “Quadzilla” for his tremendous being held in Anaheim. A year later I saw him onstage thigh development. The ’94 National champ was featured many times in the for the first time, at the Junior Nationals. He finished pages of IRON MAN. fourth but was a huge star in the making, no doubt. DeMayo edged an unknown by the name of Kevin Levrone to win the ’91 Junior Nationals, then went to Pittsburgh three months later and took third in the best Nationals heavyweight class of all time. Levrone won his pro card at that one, with Flex Wheeler second, Ronnie Coleman (yes, that Ronnie Coleman) in fourth and Matt Mendenhall finishing fifth. Paul was crushed over the defeat. “I just beat him [Levrone] three months ago,” he said in despair after the show. I assured him the decision was a just one, and that his having lost only to future megastars Levrone and Wheeler was a major feat, not a disappointment. He moved to Venice, California, shortly after that, but life in the mecca didn’t produce the results onstage he’d hoped for. It did, however, produce several photo shoots with Michael Neveux, along with several appearances on the IM cover and all the photo ops with other mags that ensued, all of which made him a colossal media star. Two more crushing losses came at the ’92 Nationals and the ’93 USA. After moving back to Boston, DeMayo, who had just turned 27, finally ran down that elusive pro card with a victory at the ’94 Nationals. But the win didn’t seem to bring him much joy, despite the fact that he’d picked up a Met-Rx contract and a new ’Vette. And when he finished 12th in his first and only try at the Mr. Olympia a year later and failed to place in the three grand prix that followed, he was beside himself. He never competed again. Paul had a failed marriage, spent 18 months in jail on domestic-violence-related charges and then even returned to Southern California (Orange County) for a while in 2001 before heading back to his roots for good. We hardly talked after that, but I mentioned to a few friends I was worried about him. Rumors of a substance abuse problem, unfortunately, appeared accurate. His hopes of getting a contract with another supplement company and returning to the pro stage never materialized. I heard he was out of work often and was hurting for money. Imagine how you’d feel if you were once at the top of your game and then had your world turn upside down. DeMayo had many friends and admirers; let his family know you cared by signing on to Paul’s guest book, maintained by the DeMayo family at I got to know Paul extremely well after his move to Southern California. He seemed to have inner demons that prevented him from ever being really happy, despite the tremendous amount of success he achieved. What they were, God only knows. Now he has found the peace I know he longed for. Thanks for all the special times, Quadzilla. You’ll be dearly missed.



DeMayo demonstrates his promise at the ’91 Nationals with thengirlfriend Jill Greeley on his arm.

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The Chinese Steve Reeves

John Rowley


I’m saddened to report that Gordon Wong, my good friend for more than 40 years, passed away on May 24 of esophageal cancer. He was 63. I first met Gordon when he joined my Pasadena Gym at age 17. My training partner, Richard Kee, took Gordon under his wing, and he gained 70 pounds of muscle in two years. Gordon benched-pressed 425 pounds; later he won the ’69 AAU Mr. Los Angeles Gene Mozée remembers Gordon Wong, who contest and the ’70 Westpassed away in May. ern America, and because of his terrific symmetry, was referred to as the “Chinese Steve Reeves.” Gordon was a brilliant guy who had a very sharp mind. He was the editor of his brother Donald Wong’s popular magazine, Muscle Digest, and was an excellent photographer and a good writer. He and his brother operated two bodybuilding gyms in Southern California, in Montebello and Costa Mesa. Donald became a medical doctor 35 years ago and still has a successful practice in San Gabriel. Gordon was a total natural bodybuilder and was very well liked. He was a real gentleman and a role model who represented everything that is great about bodybuilding. —Gene Mozée

Blast From the Past


Gordon Wong


Photography by Bill Comstock

Robert Hatch, men’s overall.

Shawna Walker women’s overall.

Carrie Schindley, fitness and figure overall.

’05 Contra Costa Championships Hayward, California: May 28

Rowley in Raleigh? John Rowley, the former owner of the gym made famous in “Pumping Iron,” stopped by the North Carolina Championships to visit old pal L.T. and enjoy the show.

A fella I hadn’t seen in about a decade, John Rowley, showed up in High Point to watch the contest, and it was nice having dinner with him afterward. Who’s John Rowley, you ask? The guy who at one time owned the R&J Health Studio in Brooklyn, New York. You know, the gym where Lou Ferrigno trained for his historic battle with the Big Fella in “Pumping Iron.” R&J was one of the oldest gyms on the East Coast and was considered the mecca in its area. Dennis Tinnerino, Ray Stern, Downtown Leon Brown, Bev Francis, Steve Weinberger and IRON MAN scribe Jerry Brainum were also frequent visitors. These days John, his wife Cathy and their four children live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where they own several businesses. Rowley, who was somehow mistaken for Billy Joel by a few folks at the contest, recently reentered the fitness world with a new book, How to Climb the Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas. In it he writes of how to set goals, how to stay motivated and how to add a fitness lifestyle to an already busy life. Oh, and he’ll be writing for IRON MAN too. To contact him, call (919) 761-3214, or write to

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Ruth Silverman’s


Ms. O Shocker


It’s not often I’m speechless, but that’s what happened on June 5, when the e-mails about the finals of the Ms. Olympia being rescheduled for the expo on Saturday morning, October 15, instead of being held on Friday night with the other women’s shows started arriving. In place of the greatest women’s pro bodybuilding competition, the promoters have scheduled a model search named for one of their magazines. Just when you thought it was safe to book your tickets to Vegas. What happened? people wanted to know— and what did I think? Where to begin? Thwarted in their efforts to do away with the gnarly girlies altogether (see P&C in the March and May ’05 issues), the big, bad suits at Weider/AMI have done the next best thing—relegated them to the status of a carnival sideshow. I heard that the switch is an attempt to attract people to the expo, which is a statement in itself. Still, you can’t help thinking that someone got a promotion for figuring out how to stash the unsightly sight of the female flexers where the thousands of nonbodybuilding fans from the general public who’ll be buying tickets to the Friday-night show will never see them. Bottom line: It sucks, especially for the women who have worked hard for years to make it to the O with the expectation that it would be the highlight of their careers. But unfor-

How low a blow can it go?

tunately it’s their contest—they being the promoters, our friends at Weider/AMI, not IFBB officials—and they can hold it whenever and wherever they want. While it’s true that AMI bought a half interest in the Olympias only, not the IFBB, it wouldn’t surprise this observer if officials (other than Ben Weider, who owns the other half) have to choose their battles here. (My money’s on the challenge round being gone in October, whaddaya think?) It’s not likely that the decision to “reschedule” the Ms. O will do much for the promoters’ bottom line, conventional wisdom being that the hardcore women’s bodybuilding fans are the ones who shell out money to come to these shindigs, more so than fitness and figure aficionados. The expo ticket is 10 bucks vs. $50 for the cheapest ticket at the women’s finals—if people come. Naturally, there are rumors of boycotts by ticket buyers as well as athletes, but, seriously, wouldn’t that be giving them what they want? The promoters aren’t the only ones giving up on the Ms. Olympia. Despite what you might have read elsewhere, Lenda Murray was telling folks in June that she would not be competing in Vegas. Could it be she wasn’t interested in the reduced circumstances being offered to the ladies who flex? For a completely different view of Lenda, turn to page 237.


Hmm. We see a tribute to the legendary ArnoldFranco dualposing routine in the making here.

Okay, the low-risepants thing is getting ridiculous. Not that we're complaining!

lly figured out The U.S. Army has fina . ent istm enl st boo how to

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Photography by Ruth Silverman

All That Said Some things are hard to take seriously Even before this latest nail in the coffin of women’s professional bodybuilding was hammered… Six months after the mandate for a 20 percent size reduction across the board in the three women’s physique sports was issued, efforts to stamp out excessive muscularity in the fairer sex continued to be hotly debated. Some folks were even arguing that the edict discriminates against women because it doesn’t mention the men. (Clearly they hadn’t read the item in the July Pump & Circumstance about the ban on bloated bellies and other ugly blemishes for the boys.) That group included the anonymous writer of an e-mail letter that was circulating in early June, who suggested that a genderPeople have actually suggested that the IFBB deliberately selected bias lawsuit was a-brewing. Signing herthe very muscular Iris Kyle as Ms. self—or himself—“the girl that has the Olympia for 2004 because it wantammunition to do it,” the writer had a list ed to kill off the women’s sport. Do of charges: “Women stayed in Luxor while they really believe anyone is thinking that far ahead? men stayed at Mandalay Bay; women stayed at Mandalay Bay while a select few of the men stayed in the newer section, The Hotel; women’s prejudging held on different day from finals” and the ever-popular “prize money.” Let’s take a step back here. Someone’s complaining about being put up at one of the more luxurious hotels in Vegas? And don’t the amateur men routinely compete over two days? I’ve written about the gap between the competitors’ expectations and the financial reality of staging a hardcore women’s physique show—also about mixed signals the competitors get regarding what the standards are and how the winners look. We all know there are IFBB competitions where female bodybuilders are treated well and that this season saw new shows added to the schedule. Could the Olympia promoters have done more to publicize the women’s contests last year? Oh, yeah. Have the women had legitimate complaints over the years? Ditto. Is it crummy of the promoters to pull the rug out from under the bodybuilders—and from under the Pro Division’s efforts to change the shape of women’s bodybuilding (pun in tended)? See the item at left. But where is it written that someone is owed a living because she works out hard in the gym? To the women who don’t want the businessmen to tell them how they should look: This is America (as the e-mailer so eloquently put it). I will defend with vigor your right to get as big, hard and ripped as you want, but folks aren’t obligated to put you in their magazines if they don’t like it. To the e-mailer, who was seeking pros to come forward with incidents that might be lawsuit-worthy, I say, wake up and smell the Pro Tan. Haven’t you heard? Ain’t nobody stayin’ at the Mandalay Bay this year.


HanginÕ With the Honeys

Blooming flower. Amber Littlejohn says living in Orlando, Florida, agrees with her. The 5’8” formerly West Coast figure luminary moved to Disney World land more than a year ago.

Mmm, mmm! Have some candy, says D.J. Don’t mind if I do.

’05 CALIFORNIA PRO FIGURE 1) Mary Elizabeth Lado* 2) Amber Littlejohn* 3) Michelle Adams* 4) Tara Scotti 5) D.J. Wallis 6) Chastity Sloan 7) Monica Guerra 8) Gina Comacho

9) Jane Awad 10) Melissa Frabbiele 11) Trish Mayberry, 12) Nancy Hirsch, 13) Anna Larson, 14) Colette Flack, 15) Chrissy Garcia, 16) Debbie Leung *Qualifies for the Figure Olympia.

Gina Comacho doesn’t know it yet, but she nabbed an eighth-place finish tonight.

For more on the Cal Pro Figure turn the page.

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Cal Cuties


Picking up where we left off last month


Talented trio takes a bow (from left): Ryan, Johnson and Rollolazo.


Three of fitness’ finest performers—Kelly Ryan, Tanji Johnson and Nicole Rollolazo—are now strutting their stuff in tandem at an event near you. Billing themselves as the Vibe Tribe, they brought down the house at the Contra Costa Championships in Northern California and were booked for the USA at the end of July.


What a Good Idea!

Mary gets the point. What’s a shy girl to do? According to Mary Elizabeth Lado, she’s the unlikeliest of figure champions ever. “I used to be shy about wearing a bathing suit on the beach,” says sport’s new Louisiana belle, who so far in her freshman year of quarterturning for quarters has actually made a few bucks, having taken third at the Figure International and scored backto-back wins in Pittsburgh and California. Somehow her reticence didn’t stop the 5’7”, 134-pound former collegiate softball star—at Chipola College in Florida—from getting onstage when figure called. Though she may still be a bit reticent when she’s bikini-clad and under the spotlight, in sweats and surrounded by her peers with a couple of hours to kill before their turn onstage at the Cal, she sparkled for a roving reporter. “I was always athletic,” she said in her distinctive L’usiana drawl. “If I wasn’t playing softball, I was in the gym.” Her competitive career just happened: “I went to a figure show, and I said, ‘Dang! I want to try that.’” A quick trip from second in her class at the ’03 Louisiana Championships to overall champ at the ’04 Figure Nationals ensued, and Mary Lado is unexpectedly having a ball. After months of remaining in contest-ready condition, she was planning a rest until the big show in October, where the 26-year-old from Metairie will be, in this opinion, the most likely candidate to shake up the top three.

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Hot off her win in Pittsburgh, Mary Elizabeth Lado danced into Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend and sashayed off with the top prize at the California Pro Figure, which was held with the NPC state championships of the same name on May 27 and 28. Though Lado’s physique appeared flat compared with her earlier appearances this year, she definitely has the package the judges are looking for: long and curvy; well toned but not to the point of T.U.–bodybuilder muscularity. Chorus line at the Cal. Just blocks from the (Come to think of it, that could be a description of old MGM studio in Culver City, California, Figure O champ Davana these bodies sang to the judges (from left): Medina.) Observers in the D.J. Wallis, Michelle Adams, Mary Elizabeth packed house at the VeterLado, Amber Littlejohn and Tara Scotti. ans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City thought it was a very close call between Lado and second-placer Amber Littlejohn, who was in superb form, but the decisions were unanimous. In third, Michelle Adams looked better than she had in Pittsburgh, with the well-conditioned Tara Scotti in fourth and the always-in-contention D.J. Wallis rounding out the top five. Scotti missed out on a top-three finish by two points, but it’s all good. She’d qualified for the O at the Eastern Seaboard a couple of weeks earlier and went on to her first pro win at the Toronto show the following week. In fact, nobody new got an Olympia nod at this one, as the top four already had theirs. With 25 beautiful bodies in the lineup and the judges scoring to 16, anyone who made the top 10 had a good day.


Let Mo Tell You How Read the book or see her live


Monica Brant has been attracting photographic flashes, not since fitness was invented but pretty near. Brandishing the total fitness package of body, beauty and brains—plus a generous side of business sense—she hit the scene in 1991 and has been in the winner’s circle ever since. Fitness Olympia champ in 1998, Figure O runner-up for the past two years, the recently married Mrs. Brant-Peckham also has a long-established legacy of passing on what she’s learned about looking good, eating right and earning success in the fitness industry. (Every year after her Monica Brant Fitness Classic in July, I receive at least one e-mail letter—with photo—from a fitness or figure hopeful that begins, “Monica Brant suggested that I write to

you….”) So it makes sense that she’d get around to putting it all in a book. In Monica Brant’s Secrets to Staying Fit and Loving Life, she speaks to the “real-life concerns and challenges of all women, providing an approachable yet supereffective method of shaping the body through training and nutrition,” according to a press release from the book’s publisher, Sports Publishing LLC. The contents include training programs for “different goals and time frames, from quick circuit workouts to intensive muscle-building regimens” as well as a simple nutrition guide with recipes, meal suggestions and tons of tips. Monica Brant’s Secrets should hitting the bookshelves about the time this issue hits the stands. Check it out, ladies, at www.sports Who better to inspire converts to a fit and healthy lifestyle?

Attention campers: The third FEM (Fun, Educational and Motivational) Camp, hosted by Monica Brant, will take place in Venice, California, on September 2–4. The jam-packed program includes three training sessions at Gold’s, Venice, one beach workout, plus two classes in fitness and figure stage presentation, one business-of-fitness seminar, a modeling seminar, a photo shoot with a top photographer plus seminars in makeup and nutrition with Nancy Jambazian and Kim Oddo, respectively. To get the total skinny, go to


Personal Growth

Speaking of people who are blooming

I used that very word to describe Shannon Meteraud’s presence backstage in Pittsburgh. In fact, when we spoke there, someone in the group joked that she could be pregnant. Giggles all around, and Meteraud, who has a young daughter, admitted that it was a possibility for the near future. Even she couldn’t have guessed that the deed was done. The following Friday, right before she competed in and won the Eastern Seaboard Pro Figure, Shannon and hubby Tres Bennett got the happy news. “I think I’m the first person ever to win a pro contest while pregnant,” said the Eyes twinkling, Meteraud suggest- beaming 5’2” North Carolina gym ed that she’d set another record in owner—and fitness and figure October: the first very pregnant champ—from her perch at the lady to compete in the Olympia. GNC booth at the Cal. She may also be the first fitness model to convince her sponsor to stick with her, inspiring a campaign that will follow her progress as she stays fit through her pregnancy and gets back into shape for competition afterward. Good work, Shannon—and good for GNC.

Cathy Catches On Onetime bodybuilder— and ’03 Ms. International Lightweight winner— Cathy LeFrancoisPriest made her long-awaited downshift to figure at the California Pro. Though she finished in the pack of 17th-placers, the judges had encouraging notes for Cathy, who had shed more than muscle since her last competition. (She and bodybuilding’s Lee Priest are finito.) LeFrancois-Priest has been a photographer favorite throughout her career. Look for her to definitely do better as she gets into the rhythm of figure competition.

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Cathy LeFrancoisPriest—figuring out what to do next.


Canadian Girls Rule

More Backstage Well, almost

Ontario-born Jane Awad, who lives in Brooklyn, New Yawk, does a deadon impersonation of some of the ladies in her adopted neighborhood. Tab her as the figure pro most likely to break out of the pack next.


Good for our physique-world neighbors to the north, who’ll be sending a pair of marvelous quarter-turners to the O, thanks to the results of the Toronto Pro Figure. Held on June 4 at Niagara Falls in conjunction with a men’s bodybuilding contest of the same name, the show also yielded a historic inevitability: Tara Scotti’s first pro win. She scored a solid one over a pair of Canadian champs, Debbie Leung and Jane Awad, who finished a point apart in second and third, respectively. D.J. Wallis just missed out on an Olympia invite again with a fourth-place finish, while a name remembered from another decade, Italy’s Christina Casoni, turned up as the fifth-placer here. Scotti, who hails from New York (no national bias there), has been in every figure lineup except the International this season. Though she’s met her goals for 2005—to win a pro show and get Tara’s invited to the ’05 IFBB Toronto Pro Figure theme: Figure O—she number says she 1) Tara Scotti* one in probably 2) Debbie Leung* Niagara. won’t be able 3) Jane Awad* to resist the opportunity to compete before a 4) D.J. Wallis hometown crowd at the New York Pro in 5) Christina Casoni August. 6) Melissa Frabbiele 7) Chandra Coffey 8) Tammy Leady 9) Marcy Porter DOMESTIC SCENE 10 Tammy Strome 11) Kari Odiatu, 12) Martha Lombardo-Grant, 13) Alejandra Abdala, 14) Carina Isaksson,15, Pia Maria Johnsen, 16) Lisbeth Halikka, 17) Susanne Bock, 18) Aristea Rizos

Debbie Leung’s T-shirt says it all. Technically speaking, the 5’2” trainer from Calgary, Alberta, traveled farther to get to Toronto than she did to get to the Cal.

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They I-dood it! Best wishes for a wonderful life for the former Cynthia Bridges, who married her honey, Todd Satalowich, in April. “We feel exceptionally lucky to have found each other,” reported the ecstatic bride. The couple went right to work building their new life— and their new personal-training studio in Simi Valley, California. “It's called Flex Appeal, inspired by the book written by Rachel McLish some 20 years ago, when I was first getting my start in fitness,” said Cynthia, who turned pro after winning the North American Fitness championships in 1999. “So no honeymoon yet, but now we are bound by vows and business.”


*Qualifies for the Figure Olympia.


Knots Tied

To contact Lonnie Teper about material possibly pertinent to News & Views, write to 1613 Chelsea Road, #266, San Marino, CA 91108; fax to (626) 289-7949; or send e-mail to

You can contact Ruth Silverman, fitness reporter and Pump & Circumstance scribe, in care of IRONMAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033; or via e-mail at

You can contact Jerry Fredrick, ace photographer for Hot Shots and Hardcore Training, in care of IRONMAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033; or via e-mail at

IRON MAN Hardbodies

Muscles in Motion Female Track-and-Field Athletes Muscle Into IM Photography by Tony Duffy

Ann Marie Turpin (5’9”, 135 pounds). A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, where she won three conference championships in the heptathlon, a seven-event test of all-round ability, she was also the Big West Scholar-Athlete of the year for 2004.

All photos © 2005 Tony Duffy. All rights reserved.

And now for something completely different. Looking to show our appreciation for the female form and its aesthetic muscular possibilities in a new way, we went to Tony Duffy, world-famous track-and-field photographer. He obliged with some spectacular images for our Hardbody section, as you’ll see on these and the following pages. Duffy’s career took off in 1968, when at the age of 30 he went to the Olympics in Mexico City. An amateur photographer, he came away with a photo of Bob Beamon’s incredible world-record long jump that was selected as one of Sports Illustrated’s Photos of the Century. Duffy soon became a professional photographer, founding the sports-photo agency Allsport, which was a world leader in its field and is now part of the Getty Images empire. Duffy has always enjoyed shooting women’s sports. From 1983 to the early ’90s he photographed female bodybuilding extensively for a variety of magazines. His favorite sport to shoot is track and field, as it encompasses the widest range of physical endeavor— from sprints to long distance, from jumps to throws. He also believes that women track-and-field athletes have the best muscular development in any Olympic sport. IRON MAN is honored to feature Duffy’s images, photos that show the muscular development that inspires him. The women are truly amazing, and the photos are breathtaking—but we don’t need to tell you that. Behold the artistry of Tony Duffy. —the Editors 226 SEPTEMBER 2005 \

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IRON MAN Hardbodies Lisa Austin (5’9”, 140 pounds). A U.S. junior international and AllAmerican triple jumper when she attended the University of Texas at Arlington, Lisa is seen here training at Santa Monica College in Southern California. She is now a Reebok certified master trainer. Below: Sani Roseby (5’2”, 130 pounds). An explosive All-American sprinter and hurdler and a key member of UCLA’s ’04 NCAA Championship team, Sani was caught by Duffy’s camera at the ’04 Pac 10 Championships in Tucson, Arizona. She’s competitor 2 in front.

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IRON MAN Hardbodies

Leslie Russell (5’10�, 139 pounds). A member of the Sheffield Elite Track Club, the former Leslie Miller is now married to Cleveland Browns defensive back Brian Russell. She plans to make the Olympic team in javelin in 2008.

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Koya Webb (5’11�, 140 pounds). A member of the Sheffield Elite Track Club and a former conference heptathlon champion, Koya is taking a year off from track after winning the WNSO Fame Sunshine State Fitness Model Search as well as the Fame figure competition, both held in Miami in March 2005.

Ann Marie Turpin.

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Leslie Russell. While attending San Diego State University, the former Leslie Miller was an All-American heptathlete. This shot shows her practicing the shot put, one of the seven heptathlon events. Opposite page, bottom left: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (5’10”, 150 pounds). J.K., as she’s known, is widely regarded as the greatest female athlete of all time. The world record she set in the heptathlon in 1986 still stands, and she’s a former long jump worldrecord holder. She has won six Olympic medals, including three golds. Duffy caught her competing in Atlanta in May 1996, at the opening of the Olympic Stadium. Opposite page, bottom right: Dana Ellis-Buller (5’4”, 125 pounds). The Canadian-record holder in the pole vault, Dana is also a former gymnast. Married to U.S. vaulter Russ Buller, she’s seen here clearing the bar for a Canadian record in Los Angeles in May 2004.

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Lenda Murray (5”5”, 152 pounds). Before the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, the reigning Ms. Olympia tried out various Olympic events for a photo essay titled, “Ms. Olympia Goes Olympic.” She showed unexpected talent for hurdling, which she said she’d done in high school some 10 years before. Gail Devers, on seeing the photo, said, “She hurdles just like me”—the ultimate compliment. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 237

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IRON MAN Hardbodies Tonette Dyer (5’11�, 157 pounds). One of the stars of the Sheffield Elite Track Club, Tonette has parlayed conference titles and All-American honors in sprint into a professional career under the tutelage of Coach Rahn Sheffield. Her best times are 11.20 (100 meters), 22.34 (200 meters) and 51.15 (400 meters).

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Only the Strong Shall Survive

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Back to the


Real Results With Isometrics or Was It All a Hoax? Part 3 by Bill Starr • Photography by Michael Neveux


n the early ’60s isometrics seized the country with the virulence of an influenza epidemic. Anyone seeking more strength spent a portion of his training time pushing and pulling against a stationary bar. On the heels of pure isometrics came muscle contraction with movement, which was called isometric-isotonic exercise. More properly, it should have been named isotonic-isometric exercise, since you moved the bar slightly before locking it into an isometric hold. Having to move a weighted bar a short distance before locking it against the pins for a 12-second count proved to be much more effective than pure isometrics. That was the method that Dr. John Ziegler taught Louis Riecke from the very beginning, and Riecke’s amazing progress had the whole world talking. Using Ziegler’s program, Riecke had added 155 pounds to his Olympic-lifting total in six months, which was unheard of. Even more impressive was the fact that he was in his mid-30s.

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Ziegler’s other test subject, Bill March, also continued to improve. He set a world record in the press with 354 at the ’63 Philly Open as a 198-pounder. Riecke earned a world record for himself the following year as a 181-pounder with a 325 snatch, done split style, at the YMCA Championships in Los Angeles. It was primarily due to the stunning success of those two athletes that the strength-training community became convinced that the new form of training was valid. While Bob Hoffman’s claims about the merits of iso training were often taken with a grain of salt because he was prospering from the sale of courses and power racks, others came out in support of the new method. Prominent researchers with nothing to gain, such as Dr. C.H. McCloy of Iowa State University and Dr. Arthur Steinhaus of George Williams College in Chicago, provided data that backed up what Ziegler was recommending. Each month Strength & Health featured articles about the success of athletes and coaches who wholeheartedly endorsed isometrics. The University of Alabama and Florida State University put their highly regarded stamps of approval on the training system. In 1961 the Seminoles had a perfect 10–0 season, which prompted even more collegiate teams to purchase power racks and start doing isometrics. Anyone who’s ever been associated with professional or collegiate athletes knows that if top teams begin doing something new, all the others must follow suit or fall behind, especially in the recruiting game. S&H also published glowing accounts of the improvements made by many well-known athletes. Frank Budd, who set a world record of 9.2 seconds in the 100-yard dash, was using isometrics, as were discus thrower Jay Sylvester, high jumper John Thomas and the teen shot-put sensation from New York, Gary Gubner. With so many testimonials from renowned scientists, coaches

Today most trainees use the rack for safety rather than isometric exercise.

Model: King Kamali

Real Results With Isometrics or Was It All a Hoax?

Back to the Rack

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Back to the Rack and athletes, there was no question that if a person wanted to get stronger, he must start using the York Functional Isometric Contraction System. Nevertheless, it was really Bill March who carried the torch for isometrics. His rapid rise in Olympic lifting, his good looks, his powerful physique and his availability made him the perfect model. Every month the magazine featured him in an article about isometrics, and he adorned more S&H covers than anyone except John Grimek; he was also on the cover of the York course. While Vern Weaver, Grimek and Steve Stanko, working in different types of power racks, appeared in the magazine as well, March was the official poster boy for isometrics. For the most part those who wanted to include the new technique in their routines chose isotonic-isometrics over pure

Moving a weighted bar a short distance before locking it against the pins is best. isometrics. Of course, in order to do the more advanced form of the system, you absolutely had to have a York power rack—or a facsimile— and they weren’t always available. That was the situation I found myself in when I moved to Marion, Indiana, to take the position of youth director at the YMCA. Our meager budget couldn’t handle a York rack, so I made one. It had to be the most absurd—and ugliest— power rack in the country but was most functional, and that’s all I cared about. And it did help me and my lifting mates make some gains. There are several reasons why moving the weighted bar a short

distance before locking it against the pins proved to be more productive than pure isometrics. Whenever you pushed or pulled against a fixed bar, it was very difficult to determine if you were, in fact, exerting yourself to the maximum. You might only be putting 60 percent of your effort into the rep. On the other hand, when you moved a weighted bar a short distance before holding it tightly against a set of pins, the guesswork was eliminated. Either the bar stayed flush against the pins, or it didn’t. So, if you weren’t able to hold 315 pounds against the pins for 12 seconds, you knew that you needed to use less weight. One of the cardinal rules that Ziegler set down was that time is more critical than the amount of weight being used. Another plus in favor of moving a weight before doing an isometric contraction was that you could

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Neveux \ Model: Tito Raymond

Real Results With Isometrics or Was It All a Hoax?

Pure isometrics isn’t that demanding. Moving a weight to the lock position is more taxing.

gauge your progress from workout to workout. If you started off using 185 for your press lockouts and within three weeks you were handling 225 for the required count, you knew for certain that you were getting stronger in that position. That was motivational. In contrast, there wasn’t any positive proof that you were making progress with pure isometrics, other than having one or more of your free-weight exercises move up. Another motivational factor had to do with the psychology of numbers. Strength training is all about numbers. The lifter who can squat 500 is stronger than the one who only does 495. It’s much more satisfying to be able to lock 365 against the pins for 12 seconds than it is to push against a fixed bar for the same count. Going through a complete isotonic-isometric session was extremely taxing. Pure isometrics isn’t that demanding, and I preferred to exhaust my body, for I believed it

benefited my cause much more. Even though the York course didn’t require any warmups other than calisthenics, toe touches and some stretches, I always spent adequate time making sure the muscle groups I was about to put under dire stress were ready for the work ahead. When I was only able to do the pure isometrics, even after I did some calisthenics, I still felt as if my muscular system wasn’t thoroughly prepared. So before I got in the rack for one or more pulling isos, I would do a set or two of power cleans with a light weight. And I used the same idea prior to squatting or pressing. In addition, in the first position for any series of exercises, such as pulls, I would do a couple of light warmup sets for three reps without holding my final rep against the top pins before hitting my target weight. Then, if I felt sufficiently warmed up, I would only do one set at the other positions. That, I believed, allowed me to handle more weight

on my work set and lowered the risk of injury. If you do the iso correctly, you put a great deal of stress on the muscles and attachments, so it only makes sense to prepare them for the extreme exertion. Now I come to the part of the drama that eventually altered forever not only strength training, competitive weightlifting and bodybuilding but also nearly every other competitive sport. In Part 1 of this series I noted that Ziegler got close with Russian officials and lifters at the ’54 World Championships, in Vienna. That’s when he learned that they were experimenting with a new form of training, isometrics, and also using male hormones, primarily testosterone. Back at his home in Olney, Maryland, Ziegler researched the subject and did some testing of testosterone on his own. It was his opinion that the steroid produced by the body wasn’t very effective in building muscle and improving strength, so in conjunction with the CIBA Pharmaceutical Company, he developed a synthetic hormone called Dianabol. At the same time he was introducing March and Riecke to isometrics and isotonic-isometrics, he was also giving them Dianabol. Ziegler and Hoffman kept the steroid use a secret, although for different reasons. Hoffman realized that Dianabol would give his York lifters a tremendous advantage over their opponents, and when the results started coming in, he did his best to secure the secret even more. He wanted the general public and athletic community to continue to think that it was the rack work that was responsible for the spectacular progress the two test subjects were making. That would ensure the sale of more courses and racks. If people knew that March and Riecke were using drugs, Hoffman’s income would drop, and there was no way he could benefit because he couldn’t market Dianabol. Ziegler had a different reason for wanting to keep Dianabol under

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Back to the Rack wraps. His primary motive for helping to create the anabolic steroid was purely humanitarian. He never received any monies for the sale of the drug, nor did he benefit from the windfall at York when the company’s yearly gross shot up because of all the orders for racks and courses. Ziegler wanted to create a drug that would help bedridden patients and those recovering from surgery or prolonged illness to rebuild their muscles faster and be restored to better health more rapidly. He thought that by testing the drug on robust specimens such as Olympic lifters, he could get feedback more quickly. He could also avoid medical regulations regarding drug testing. He was a rogue and proud of it. It so happens that the rogues in history are the ones who often break barriers, and Ziegler was certainly doing that when he helped bring Dianabol to the athletic scene.

Once it became clear that the steroid was the main reason for March’s and Riecke’s spectacular gains, Ziegler was even more adamant that the drug remain a secret. He feared the consequences if word leaked out, believing that athletes, with their competitive natures, would abuse the drug— which, of course, is exactly what happened. He told me that he wished that he had never conceived the idea of creating Dianabol, and he was certain that the end results were going to be more damaging than beneficial. The use of steroids by March and Riecke remained a secret for a surprisingly long time when you consider how athletes gossip. I did hear a few rumors about York lifters using male hormones, but there was never anything in print to confirm it. For good reason, as Hoffman was controlling the press.

He told me that he wished he had never conceived the idea of creating Dianabol. In the mid-’60s things began to change. Out of nowhere average lifters began making gains similar to those achieved by March and Riecke. Tony Garcy, Bob Bartholomew, Gerald Moyer, Russ Knipp, Dr. John Gourgott and Bob Bednarski were suddenly vying for berths on international teams. Soon after Tommy Suggs moved to York from Texas, he became a full-blown heavyweight, won the Junior Nationals and the Collegiates and qualified for the Olympic Trials. His sudden success made a big impression on me, since we had competed on equal terms in Texas. Those who had a connection to

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York had learned about the magic pink pills. Dianabol started out as a pink pill, and then the color was changed to blue. Don’t ask me why. The point is, those outside the circle remained ignorant of the athletes’ steroid use. Even after I moved to York to become Tommy’s assistant at Strength & Health, I still didn’t find out about Dianabol until I’d been there for six months. Once word started to spread, it swept across the country like a wildfire. The cat was out of the box, and as Ziegler predicted, it was Pandora’s box that had been opened. I want to clear up a common misconception here: York lifters, other than March, did not get Dianabol from Ziegler. He adamantly refused any requests for the drug and encouraged Hoffman not to assist them in getting it from other sources. His advice fell on deaf ears. Hoffman liked the advantage the steroid gave his lifters and made arrangements with a physician in York who provided it free of charge. Dianabol became part of the recruitment package. Represent the York Barbell Club, and received protein, vitamins, sweats, T-shirts, travel expenses to meets and anabolic steroids. Not unexpectedly, with a residency rule requiring lifters to live in the area

Russ Knipp

Model: Berry Kabov \ Equipment: Powertec power rack, 1-800-447-0008 or

Real Results With Isometrics or Was It All a Hoax?

Isometric exercise builds strength, and the stronger you get, the more power you have to stimulate growth.

where their team was based set aside, the York team grew quickly. When it came to weightlifting, Bob Hoffman was the AAU. Lifters from California to Texas to New York and everywhere in between discovered that when they started taking Dianabol, it didn’t matter how they trained. They still made fast gains. The opinion among lifters was that the great progress that March and Riecke made was a direct result of the anabolics and that isometrics was a smokescreen—a well-designed hoax to sell courses and racks. Isometrics and isotonic-isometrics fell out of favor as fast as they had shot to the forefront. The truth of the matter, though, is that Ziegler’s rack programs did

Lifters learned that when they started taking Dianabol, it didn’t matter how they trained.

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Model: Berry Kabov

Real Results With Isometrics or Was It All a Hoax?

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contribute to the gains made by the test subjects. And all the other lifters—such as Garcy, Bartholomew and Bednarski—also used the program he set down. What got lost because of Hoffman’s subterfuge was the hard-and-true fact that rack training is one of the very best ways to increase strength, particularly the isotonic-isometric system. I have used it on advanced athletes at the three colleges where I served as strength coach. Every one of them responded favorably, and none were taking steroids. The gains they made were a direct result of the training system, not an ergogenic aid. The primary reason that isometric training is not a part of strength programs today is coaches don’t understand the basic concepts well enough to be able to teach it to their players. And unless they were taught the system by Ziegler, they are totally unaware of the subtleties involved—or, more correctly, unless

they were taught by the doctor or by someone who learned from the doctor. Coaches stay with what they know. It’s safer than venturing into uncharted territory, especially when their jobs depend on the progress made by their athletes. Even so, when I teach isometric training to coaches and athletes at clinics, they learn the technique readily because it’s so simple. That’s another reason rack training isn’t in common use: Complicated is considered better than simple. Chains, rubber bands, elaborate machines and contraptions have to produce more strength than just lifting a weighted bar a few inches and then holding it against a set of pins for 12

Isometrics can be great for changing up your routine and preventing overtraining.

seconds. That’s the current thinking, but it’s wrong. There’s no better way to gain strength than by doing isotonic-isometrics. Obviously, you must have a power rack in order to use this system. On the ideal rack the holes for the pins are set close together, and the uprights should be wide enough apart to enable you to perform a wide range of exercises. If your routine includes overhead lifts, such as military presses or jerks, you want the rack to be higher than the finish position of the movements. If the power rack that’s available to you doesn’t meet all of those standards, you can still do some isos. Whenever I encountered a rack that didn’t have the holes close together, I resorted to standing on two-by-fours to get the exact position I was seeking. Since I wouldn’t be moving my feet during the iso, it didn’t pose a problem. The question arises: What positions in the rack are the best to do? The answer is, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. A bodybuilder would select different exercises from a shot-putter, and an Olympic lifter would do a different routine from what a powerlifter uses. In other words, your iso workout should be sport specific. For example, powerlifters have little use for overhead power, so there’s no reason for them to include any pressing positions in the rack. Instead they’ll benefit by selecting various benching placements. There are many ways to incorporate isos into your routine. One is to use them in place of your regular exercise for a certain bodypart. I’ve had athletes come to me saying that they only had 30 minutes in which to train, for whatever reason. I gave them a rack routine in which they did three pressing positions, three for pulls and three for squats. While they warmed up, I got the rack ready, and I helped them change the positions after each set. They were able to zip through the workout with time to spare. I’ve also used isos to make a change in a routine. When I notice that people’s pulls lack snap and they’re obviously overtrained on that lift, I have them stop and replace whatever pulling exercise they were doing with two or three pulling

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Back to the Rack positions in the rack. That serves two purposes: It helps relieve their fatigued condition because it’s not as demanding as the full-range movement, and it hits their attachments more directly and benefits them strengthwise. Another plus is that it allows them to leave the gym with a positive frame of mind rather than a negative one. There’s no better way to improve a weak area than by using isos. I introduce them to athletes for that express purpose, and it always works. Typically, a lifter will have difficulty coming out of the bottom of a squat or pressing the bar through the middle on a bench press or finishing the top of a power clean or power snatch. Once the weak spot is identified, that’s where you want to set the top pins in the power rack. Take the sticking point in the bench, for example. Do a set or two

of light benches for 10 to 12 reps, and then place the bar on pins that are a few inches below the higher ones. Say you can bench 255 for five reps: That’s going to be your work weight for your final set in the rack. Use 185 on your first set. Press it up against the top pins for three reps, but don’t hold it against them. Just tap them and lower the bar. You do set two in the same fashion with 225. On the third work set, with 255, press the weight up and tap the higher pins twice. Then lock the bar against them on the final rep and hold it snugly in place for 12 seconds. Should you be unable to fix the bar against the pins for the full 12 seconds, don’t do another set. Just make sure you use less weight the next time you work that position. Always remember that time is more important than the amount of weight on the bar. Conversely, if you

were able to hold the bar tightly against the pins for the required count, use more weight the next time around. This discussion will get you started on isotonic-isometrics. Next month I’ll get into things like the mind-set you need for doing this form of strength training, the technique and the many ways you can incorporate it into your current program. Note: The Powertec power rack is a great piece of equipment for isometric-style training. It’s available from Home Gym Warehouse. Call 1800-447-0008, visit www or see page 269. Editor’s note: Bill Starr was a strength and conditioning coach at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 2000. He’s the author of The Strongest Shall Survive and Defying Gravity. IM

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Histrionics Don’t Help ome years ago I trained in a gym that had a front room for the bodybuilders (big, carpeted, filled with machines and mirrors), a side room for the aerobics classes (spacious, light and airy) and a back room for the weightlifters (small, dank and stuffed with three lifting platforms). The front room was all spit and polish, and the gym owner was always doing one of two things: vacuuming the rug or polishing the mirrors. Occasionally he did a third thing: cursing whoever had sneaked in the chalk and sullied his janitorial jewel. By contrast, the back room was unkempt and always smelled of Tiger Balm or dirty socks, and if you’d forgotten your T-shirt or sweats, you could probably find something on the floor that would fit. As you might guess, people often dressed up to use the front room or the side room, but dressing down would have been more appropriate for the back room. For the most part, the regulars got along whether they were


Big groans don’t always lead to big gains.

Neveux \ Model: Mike Dragna


Mind It’s not about broadcasting how much pain you’re in

in the bodybuilding, weightlifting or aerobics segment. It was just accepted that each group had its own goals and its own way of doing things. The weightlifters were interested only in how much they could lift—their domain was moving big weights, and some of them were pretty good at it, with more than one having represented the United States on world championship or Olympic teams. One day when they were minding their own business—wearing torn-up, smelly clothes, getting chalk everyplace, dropping heavy weights from arm’s length overhead, etc.—they heard the most agonizing sounds imaginable issuing from the bodybuilding room. It sounded as if some brave soul were enduring torture under the Inquisition. The lifters piled out of the back room to see what Herculean labor was taking place in the land of chrome. What greeted them was not a primitive—like themselves— bouncing around armloads of big plates on each end of the bar. Instead, they saw a handsome young man doing flyes with a pair of 15-pound dumbbells. On each rep he made sounds that suggested imminent death. The lifters went back to their 400-pound clean and jerks without uttering a peep, even though there was some feeling that the kids in the child-care center probably could have outrepped the young bodybuilder. Such histrionics in the weight room aren’t limited to situations like that one. Undoubtedly, the biggest group of actors these days comes not from the bodybuilding end of the spectrum but from guys who see themselves as lifters. They spend so much time and energy talking about how hard they train, you wonder how they ever have any time and energy left to actually lift anything. They don’t just talk the talk; they drop to the ground, gasp for air and give the groan of death with the best of them. Have them do a few reps on a machine, and they’ll give you a display of agony you’re unlikely ever to see in such truly punishing events as, for example, the Tour de France, the Ironman Triathlon or the Olympic marathon. In fact, this group has such capable actors, you’d think the wrestling world would be able to find more than one future superstar within its ranks. “So, what’s the big deal?” you ask. “Doesn’t that just get them psyched up for a better performance? Isn’t that why all those powerlifters bang their heads on the bar before they squat or have their coaches give them a smack in the chops before they come out for a lift?” It’s true that grimacing, grunting and groaning, even as they’re tying their shoes, can be considered freedom of expression—much like the color they wear. As for improving their performance, you’re dead wrong. In fact, in most cases those

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Body shenanigans will only take the edge off their efforts. Mental Might They’re essentially energy leaks. The idea of the Yerkes-Dodson law is that up to a certain point, increasing arousal improves performance. At that point, however, continuing to increase arousal increasingly diminishes performance. The law also tells us that optimal arousal levels are lower for more complex tasks than for simpler ones. Basically, fueling the emotional fires often makes for a less than ccording to Robert Ellis, blazing performance. Ph.D., author of How to How do you feel after a stressful day, even if you Make Yourself Happy and were glued to a chair the whole time? Tired, right? Remarkably Less Disturbable, That’s because jacking up your emotional system isn’t “There is really nothing wrong just a psychological process; it has correlating physiowith dissatisfaction. It spurs us logical effects such as an increased heart rate, sweaty on to improve our lives. The palms and so forth. The net effect of stepping up your problem occurs when we beemotional output is that it places demands on your come defeated by our dissatisbody—keep it up for a while, and you’ll be tired, faction. Sadly, that happens all whether you actually do anything or just continue too often, usually due to irragetting psyched up. tional and demanding beliefs.” That explains why top performers, as opposed to The point is, keep striving to the actors, know exactly when to hit the emotional improve your physique in the accelerator. They know that hitting it too soon is a gym. Just because you don’t waste and will only diminish their performance. Corresemble the pros with their rectly timed, however, hitting the gas will help them genetic superiority (and pharmashoot forward in a very big way. Research has ceutical helpers) doesn’t mean demonstrated that top performers have an ability to you’re a failure. That’s an irraknow when to fire up their emotional systems while tional belief. You can be dissatisfied, but channel that emotion into those with lower performances seem to get overyour workouts, not into your attitude outside the gym. aroused at all the wrong times. —Becky Holman At the ’96 Olympics there was a weightlifter who had gotten plenty of precompetition ink, and what he said was less than modest. When he came out to lift, he was already rocking and rolling: He stirred up the crowd, about how hard he works or how much he suffers in training. he hit some poses for them, he exhorted himself to lift the Save your energy for actually moving some iron, and your world. Instead of producing the phenomenal performance the results will speak, if not shout, for themselves. naive might have expected, he didn’t even lift as much as —Randall Strossen, Ph.D. some guys who were half his weight. There was another guy who, having already locked up the gold medal, came out for a Editor’s note: Randall Strossen, Ph.D., edits the quarterly world-record attempt and was greeted by a tremendous surge magazine MILO. He’s also the author of IronMind: Stronger of support. The lifter indicated with his hands that he would Minds, Stronger Bodies; Super Squats: How to Gain 30 like the crowd to please hold it down. Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks and Paul Anderson: The MightiLest you think the second lifter was half asleep, close obest Minister. For more information call IronMind Enterprises servers could see that when he started to pull on the barbell, Inc. at (530) 265-6725 or Home Gym Warehouse at (800) he tripped some internal switch, and, after everything was 447-0008, ext. 1. Visit the IronMind Web site at www done exploding, he was standing up with the bar overhead and the record in his pocket. Don’t be fooled into thinking that big groans lead to big gains or that the game is to see who can mouth off the most

Get Happy Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

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Neveux \ Model: Will Harris

Bomber Blast

Goals Take You There ou don’t take your bow to an empty field and randomly shoot arrows in the air, do you? You do! Well, so much for my brilliant analogy. Let me put it another way. When Tiger Woods steps onto the golf course and tees his ball, a specific goal consumes his mind, doesn’t it? He chooses his club, addresses the ball, concentrates deeply and swings with just the right amount of force and finesse to put the ball in the distant cup. Without the goal, he might just as well have used a baseball bat in place of a nine iron, a boccie ball in place of a golf ball, and beat the thing into the ground rather than seeking a hole in one or par for the course. He could have stayed home, practiced his swing or made another commercial; it doesn’t matter without the goal. “Tiger beats boccie ball into fairway with baseball bat at Pebble Beach. Fans go wild!” What’s the world coming to? You’ve gotta have goals, bombers—big ones and small ones. That’s part of this month’s message. What are our goals? Our goals are piled high like apple pie in the sky. Oh, my! (I studied under Dr. Seuss.) We train to get in shape and stay in shape, get healthy and stay healthy, lose fat and stay lean, get strong and stay strong. We exercise to improve our well-being and impress our peers, overcome disabilities and diminish limitations, increase vigor and gain confidence, develop discipline and sharpen character, be more decisive and less divisive. The act itself, seeking admirable goals, makes us better people. We lift for the challenge, wellness, goodness, fun, diversion and fulfillment. Isn’t it remarkable? I’m not inventing this stuff, these are not my imaginings, and I’m not even exaggerating. I’m stating some seldom-considered facts. Each item listed is true and right on, whether it’s a predetermined goal or not. If they aren’t on your list of training goals, add them—free of charge. They belong there. How about specific goals? You know—to win a contest, look slick at the beach, break a state powerlifting record, climb Mt. Fuji or scare your mother-in-law. Goals become more understandable and real when they are envisioned and dwelt upon; they gain substance and structure and direction as they are imagined and examined. And when you discuss them in tangible terms with friends, they are no longer simple goals; they become commitments—



they’re the real thing happening. Your goals, objectives and purposes, when considered with honesty and passion, are truly inspiring. Furthermore, the greater the consideration and passion, the greater the motivation and reality of accomplishment. Got muscle-building goals? (Please, don’t say no.) Make them work for you like the burly, handsome Clydesdale draft horses that pull brewery wagons stacked with kegs of beer across the countryside. They love to work and flex their muscles, strut and toss their heads. In seeking my specific goal—getting in shape for a Broadway musical extravaganza by the month’s end—I shall do nothing different. I’ll let the goal sit in the driver’s seat and take control around the turns and up the slopes. I suspect training finesse and order and pace will increase as the target date approaches. My focus will subtly sharpen, and my mood will rise with the added pitch of adrenaline. The menu will be the same, though an unconscious tightening will be applied. There will be no misplaced workouts, no temptation to risk injury, no far-fetched powerlifting, no devastation—only sound, near-sane training. I might gargle and practice the scales—do, re, mi. Tracking down a special objective—for a month, for a cause—I can do this. It’s fun and revealing and fortifying. It’s worthwhile. Goals are a must. Of course, if your goals are far-fetched, unreasonable or silly, they will be costly and painful obstacles to your progress. They will cause grief and disappointment; injury, lost confidence, confusion and apprehension. Those aren’t the teammates you want hanging around your corner of the playground. You must experience them, however, to know them; and then you must eliminate them before they become troublesome thugs. Beat it, ya bums. Above and beyond making goals, make smart goals, or, as they’re called in success books, realistic goals—big ones, or long-term goals, and small ones, or short-term goals. Zoom, zoom! A final thought: Folks without goals are aimless and lost. Though they might possess character and strengths, the absence of a solid goal means their potentials go untapped, undeveloped and unrealized. They wander around looking and acting foolish. They waste time with trivial distractions, accomplish nothing, develop bad habits and eventually get in trouble. Without a purpose people contract laziness, an insidious sickness of the mind, body and will. They do the bare minimum to make it through the day and wonder why life is so unfair, dull and woeful. Apathy takes up residence in their flesh like an impoverished transient. Cynicism fills their voices. Readers of IRON MAN: You have smart and solid goals of assorted shapes and sizes in various stages of completion. You’re constantly planning, applying, constructing, advancing, enjoying, overcoming, discovering and growing. Occasionally you lose some ground, take a step back, slip up or fall down. Good for you. You had me worried there for a second. “How will they learn to pick themselves up?” I wondered. “When will they develop humility?” Godspeed. —Dave Draper

Web alert: For more from Dave Draper, visit and sign up for his free newsletter. You can also check out his amazing Top Squat training tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and forum.

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Blood Port ere’s a brief from Kenneth R. Kensey, M.D., coauthor of The Blood Thinner Cure: A Revolutionary Seven-Step Lifestyle Plan for Stopping Heart Disease and Stroke: “I recommend that men and postmenopausal women donate a pint of blood every eight weeks— the maximum allowed by the American Red Cross.


According to a study conducted in Finland, men who donated blood were up to 10 times less likely to have a heart attack than men who didn’t.” —Becky Holman

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Motion Transfer Cable Attachment ou’ve seen the various handles for cable equipment—everything from a narrow parallel grip to a wide pronated grip. Gyms everywhere are soon going to be trashing most of those in favor of one that does it all: the Motion Transfer Cable Attachment. An ingenious design by David DeJesus enables you to vary the width of the grips by moving two pins. The bar-inside-a-bar design—kind of the way a telescope collapses—is what makes it possible, along with the locking pins. You can go from narrow to medium to wide, depending on the exercise, and you can adjust the bar in seconds. But there’s more to this cool attachment than the adjustable width of the handles. They also swivel. Each grip has a patented four-point swivel/rotation action. That means as you pull, your hands can move, twist and adjust—they’re not locked in a position that may inhibit target-muscle activation and/or tweak tendons and joints. With the Motion Transfer Cable Attachment your hands can rotate to a more natural parallel or near-parallel


position on exercises that are uncomfortable for your wrists and/or shoulders (like undergrip pulldowns). It simply makes every pulldown or cable-row variation more effective— and less dangerous—from top to bottom. The MTCA is more, though, than just the ultimate back blaster. You can use it for triceps pushdowns, upright rows, curls, reverse curls, shrugs and various forearm and ab exercises. The swivel handles give all of those movements a more comfortable feel—and that means better muscle-building results. The Motion Transfer Cable Attachment is a must-have for every home gym with a cable unit, and commercial gyms will love its functionality (they can throw out most of their pulldown bars and eliminate clutter). We’ll say it one more time: Ingenious. For more information visit www or www It’s available from Home Gym Warehouse for a limited time at the rock-bottom price of only $99.95 plus shipping and handling.


Get a better handle on your back training—and other bodyparts too.

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Avoiding the Big Crash t’s a situation bodybuilders who use steroids have been dealing with for many years. Once the steroid cycle comes to an end, the struggle is on to hold on to as much size and strength as possible—and it’s always an uphill struggle. For most users a flood of depressing aftereffects starts just a couple of weeks after the final injection. First, the inhuman fullness in the muscles goes away, much as a balloon loses air. Next, the strength and endurance in the gym come down. Weights that were easy just a month ago are now impossible to lift. When you were on, you always felt like doing more exercises and sets. Now you get tired after a couple of exercises and feel like going home. Your sex drive when you were on your cycle was akin to that of an 18-yearold in a room full of Nude Miss World finalists. Now Mr. Happy isn’t standing up to express his fervor quite so often. And due to rising estrogen levels, you may also be gaining a lot of bodyfat, even though you still eat the same foods. That’s known


as the big crash, and it’s a miserable experience. In recent years bodybuilders have been more diligent about counteracting those aftereffects in postcycle therapy with drugs such as Clomid and human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. That’s a good idea, but it rarely does an adequate job. If anything, it seems to merely delay the inevitable for a few weeks. More recently, bodybuilders have turned to effective, legal supplements to diminish the crash and bring their bodies back into normal function. Estrogen inhibitors such as Ergopharm’s 6-OXO can play a big role. Bodybuilders are using this supplement for one to four months to bridge steroid cycles or to help them make the transition to drug-free training. The reviews so far are exceedingly positive. So, if you know the Big Crash all too well from personal experience and have no desire to go through it again, give these supplements a try. —Ron Harris Editor’s note: Ergopharm’s 6-OXO is available from Home Gym Warehouse. Visit or call (800) 447-0008.

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Serious Training


Chris Masters, a.k.a. WWE’s Masterpiece Photography by Jerry Fredrick Location: Gold’s Gym, Venice, CA

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MASTERPIECE Serious Stats Weight: 279 Height: 6’4” Age: 21 Age began training: 16 Bodypart split: Monday: chest and biceps; Tuesday: legs; Wednesday: off; Thursday: delts and triceps; Friday: back; Saturday: off; Sunday: cycle begins again Sample workout (back): Pulldowns 3 x 8-10 Reverse-grip bent-over rows 2x8 Chest-supported rows 3 x 6-8 Hammer Strength seated rows 3 x 10 Three-quarter deadlifts 3 x 10 Factoid: Masters has been touring all over the world with World Wrestling Entertainment’s RAW. \ SEPTEMBER 2005 265

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Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Growth Hormone K.O.

A more recent example of the effect boxing can have on the brain is Muhammad Ali, who may be the greatest heavyweight champion ever and who was voted second to Robinson in an Associated Press poll of the greatest boxers of the 20th century. Ali doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, but it’s clear from his slurred speech and slow gait that the once lightning-fast fighter is suffering. In his case it’s Boxing is undeniably brutal—the goal is to knock out Parkinson’s; the brain cells that produce the neurotransyour opponent, the sooner the better. Films and novels mitter dopamine have been severely damaged. have depicted the sad postboxing lives of many fighters. Ali was born with an abnormally small pituitary gland, Some of the greatest champions of the ring have ended up the area of the brain where dopamine is produced, and broke and in poor health, despite having earned millions that area seems to have been selectively damaged by in their prime. It doesn’t happen only to the pugs without blows to the head. Of course, Ali didn’t realize that, and it a punch, either. certainly didn’t affect his earlier boxing skills. Like RobinSugar Ray Robinson held the middleweight title of the son, however, Ali fought past his prime and consequently world five times and won the welterweight title once. took many head punches that would never have landed in Considered by most boxing experts the best pound-forhis younger days. pound fighter ever, Robinson was untouchable in his Traumatic brain injury can lead to severe damage to younger days. His punches came fast and hard, and by the the pituitary gland. Located just behind the nose in the time his opponent realized what hit him, Sugar Ray had brain, the gland produces many vital hormones, including danced away, often leaving his opponent lying on his growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone and goback. nadotropins such as luteinizing hormone, which controls Financial pressures, however, made Sugar Ray stay in testosterone synthesis. the ring too long. He was still fighting at 40 and began to Statistics show that more than 1.5 million Americans lose to men who wouldn’t have lasted three rounds with have suffered some form of TBI. Often it’s the result of him in his younger days. Ray took a lot of punches in head trauma, as from a violent car accident, but anything those last fights, and the resulting head trauma may have that violently hits the head can lead to TBI. About 40 contributed to the severe case of Alzheimer’s disease that percent of patients with moderate or severe head injury eventually caused his death. show damage to the pituitary gland. The hormones most affected by TBI are growth hormone and gonadotropins, Boxers and other headthe two primary anabolic hormones in trauma victims can suffer the pituitary. damage to the pituitary In some cases the damage is caused gland, which can impair GH by direct injury to the pituitary gland. Or release. the damage may ensue from vascular injury, which limits blood flow to the gland, leading to the death of cells. A common cause of TBI is a concussion, an injury to the brain that often involves a temporary loss of consciousness and that has occurred in 40 percent of people diagnosed with TBI. The injury is common in contact sports, such as boxing, football and ice hockey. In fact, a boxer’s primary objective is to induce a concussion, which usually means knocking out the opponent. No boxer walks away from the sport without suffering some form of brain injury. While a series of knockouts results in the greatest degree of brain damage, even being hit in the head repeatedly causes a shearing effect in the brain—because brain tissue is thrust violently against the skull—leading to an actual loss of brain cells. The cumulative effect can be devastating and may take years to show up. Early symptoms include slurred speech and slowed movement. The worst aftermath of being hit in

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the head repeatedly, as in boxing, is a type of dementia age 60 many people are deficient in GH, a condition that’s that looks like Alzheimer’s disease: pugilistica dementia. called “somatopause.” Changes in the body that occur Jerry Quarry, a great heavyweight of the ’70s who fought with a GH deficiency are typical of the physical decline Ali, died from it, as have countless other fighters. associated with aging. They include a reduction in skeletal All fighters know the risk of brain damage, and most try muscle mass and strength; increased bodyfat, especially to end their ring careers before they lose their marbles. in the abdominal area; an increase in low-densityBut a lesser known consequence of years spent in the ring lipoprotein cholesterol, which is the type most linked to has recently been recognized. Since boxing is a definite cardiovascular disease; impaired blood clotting, which risk activity for the development of TBI and since TBI is also predisposes them to heart attacks and strokes; inknown to lead to damage in the pituitary gland, creased blood pressure; reduced heart power; lowered researchers tested 11 recently retired or still competing immune response; and lower bone mass. boxers to check their growth hormone levels.1 A lack of GH and IGF-1 is also associated with mental decline, including the loss of memory common with age. None of the boxers could be considered bums, since all IGF-1 is involved in maintaining energy processes in the were current or former world champions. Their average brain, the formation of new neurons, nerve stimulation age was 38, with an age range of 18 to 55. None reported reactions and other vital brain functions. Without GH and any serious illness, and none were taking any type of IGF-1 a toxic metabolite of the essential amino medication. But seven of the fighters complained of acid methionine, homocysteine, memory impairment, while another four comincreases in the brain, resulting in plained about fatigue. None showed any further degenerative changes. symptoms that would suggest pituitary Knowledge that those gland problems, such as a tendency to adverse effects are linked to sleep, cold intolerance, low blood a deficiency of GH and pressure, low blood glucose levels, IGF-1 has led to the reduced body hair, decreased sex concept of GH therapy. drive, excessive urination and As a peptide hormone, thirst. GH must be injected. Even so, 45.4 percent of the Another possible altersubjects had a growth hormone native treatment feadeficiency—rare in men that tures the use of growth young. In another 36.4 percent hormone secretagogues. the status of their growth horNew research suggests When GH-replacement mone release was uncertain. that some drugs used therapies are provided to Based on that finding, the to treat Alzheimer’s people deficient in the horauthors suggest that GH defidisease may help mone, the effects of GH deficienciency is probably a common protect brain cells and cy diminish. occurrence in boxers at all levels increase GH release. Providing GH therapy presents and occurs at a significantly some formidable problems, however, younger age than it normally does. starting with its high cost—potentially Many readers are probably thousands of dollars. Since it’s not an thinking that while this information officially accepted form of therapy, it is interesting (or maybe not), it doesn’t isn’t covered by medical insurance. apply to them since they aren’t boxers. But conSide effects are also common, most often with sider the fact that any type of concussion, which higher-than-normal physiological replacement always involves some brain injury, can damage dosages: edema, or water retention, muscle pain and the pituitary gland and result in a permanent loss carpal tunnel syndrome, which pinches nerves in the of GH release. That could happen to an 18-year-old enwrists and hands. In addition, the long-term life-extengaged in some form of martial arts, where head trauma sion effects of GH remain speculative at best. Some scienresults in a knockout. Or a car accident in which you get tists even suggest that long-term use of GH may shorten knocked out. That can injure the brain enough to cause life span, though the evidence for that is sparse. pituitary trauma, either as a result of direct injury to the The reason GH declines with age has to do with the two gland or through damage to the blood vessels that serve hormones that control its release in the brain, growthit. hormone-releasing hormone and somatostatin. GHRH Another aspect to consider is that the product of promotes GH release, while somatostatin blocks it. With growth hormone, insulinlike growth hormone 1 (IGF-1), is age somatostatin becomes dominant. The pituitary gland known to be vital for the maintenance of neurons, the still continues to synthesize GH and exhibits no defects functioning cells of the brain. Recent studies show that unless affected by trauma. That explains why drugs such GH itself exerts a protective effect on brain cells. A lack of as GH secretagogues work in older people; they bypass adequate GH may promote brain degeneration. somatostatin. GH release is also affected by brain neurotransmitters, Restoring Growth Hormone: which are the chemicals that regulate nerve impulses in A New Method? the brain. One neurotransmitter linked to GH release is acetylcholine, which is also linked to memory and learnGrowth hormone and IGF-1, which is stimulated by ing functions. In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells that GH, drop about 14 percent with each decade of life. By \ SEPTEMBER 2005 267

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Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Providing GH therapy presents some formidable problems, starting with its high cost—potentially thousands of dollars. Side effects are also common. synthesize acetylcholine are destroyed, which results in the intellectual deficit characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. The present medical treatment of Alzheimer’s involves drugs that inhibit the primary enzyme that degrades acetylcholine in the brain. But since acetylcholine also promotes GH release, a group of researchers looked at whether the same drugs used to treat AD could also promote GH release.2 For eight weeks 24 older men were put on either a placebo or the drug donepezil, trade name Aricept, which is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

They took a five-milligram dose for the first four weeks, 10 milligrams for the second. There was a 53-percent increase in GH and a 31 percent increase in IGF-1 in the drug group. That change equals a shift to hormone levels typically seen in men 20 years younger, or about age 40. Still unclear is whether that level of GH increase would reverse some the negative effects seen with a GH deficiency. If this drug does work, it would dramatically reduce the current cost of GH therapy and also produce little or no side effects. One point to consider is that the drug therapy would be useful only for

those with a full-blown GH deficiency. For all others, using it would have little or no effect on GH release.

References 1 Kelestimur,

F., et al. (2005). Boxing as a sport activity associated with isolated GH deficiency. J Endocrinol Invest. 27:RC28-RC32. 2 Obermayr, R.P., et al. (2004). The age-related downregulation of the growth hormone/insulinlike growth factor-1 axis in the elderly male is reversed considerably by donepezil, a drug for Alzheimer’s disease. Expr Geront. In press. IM

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Readers Write Out With the Freakazoids! Editor’s note: The argument is that hardcore fans, the ones who pay the big bucks for tickets to pro shows, want to see the biggest, freakiest dudes onstage, not symmetrical physiques that they’d like to emulate. Anybody out there want to comment? We’re listening. By the way, in our online poll, the question was, Which physique would you like to have 24/7? Results: Frank Zane beat out Steve Reeves, 26 to 25 percent. Others in the running were Arnold, 22 percent; Dexter Jackson, 13 percent; Lee Haney, 6.6 percent; and Ronnie Coleman, 7 percent.


X-it to Bigger Gains

I read John Balik’s Publisher’s Letter in the June ’05 IRON MAN, and I felt I needed to reply. I went online [at] and voted for my ideal physique (Steve Reeves), and I noticed that the big steroid freaks are not getting the majority of the votes. It appears as though your readers are more into the Reeves and Frank Zane look, which is no surprise to me. I know this isn’t news to you, but bodybuilding is dying! Most people do not want to see a bunch of bloated-gut freaks in panties. The general public looks down on bodybuilding, which is really sad. I think bodybuilding should turn back into something healthy and admired. It could be used as a powerful weapon to combat the obesity epidemic. Bodybuilding cannot be saved by drug testing; its problems run deeper than that. Bodybuilding must change how it’s viewed by the general public. It has to attract new converts. It has to expand into the mainstream. That might sound bad to some people, but change is always painful. Remember when chopper motorcycles were viewed badly? Look how times have changed. Did this hurt the motorcycle industry? The hardcore bodybuilders will hate the idea, as they will see it as a danger to them. Everyone is always afraid of the new thing, but the hardcores will always be hardcore. A bodybuilding explosion will not change that. They might even find themselves in the situation where they are able to do what they love and make a living from bodybuilding, which is something a lot of us dream of but very few can do. If the sport is to be changed, it has to be changed by someone. I hope that person is John Balik. I’m not saying ditch the whole competition posedown thing; just change it. Drug testing can be beat, so don’t use it. Set a standard like a max weight for a person’s height, and judge on symmetry— which would be a lot cheaper than drug testing anyway. I’m not against steroids; I am against drug abuse. Set the bar so everyone can compete, steroids or not. Chris Sharp via Internet

Frank Zane won our online poll.

I happened upon [] a few days ago, and since then, I’ve been all over it. The concept described as X Reps is amazing. I’d always wondered why my traps and calves seem to grow like weeds compared to the rest of me. After reading through all the material on the site, I realized that I was doing the exercises for those bodyparts with X Reps. For a smaller guy, I have huge traps and very muscular calves. I commonly shrug up to 315 pounds and do calf raises with more than 500. I could never seem to get my thighs, chest or arms to grow much. I put X Reps to the test at the gym, and I have never pumped up so big in all my life! I just ordered The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book because I finally found what I have been looking eight years for. Already my arms are thicker and bigger. Thank you! Tony Kemp via Internet

Home, Sweet Home Please tell me you have not discontinued the home-gym alternate routines that have appeared in the Train, Eat, Grow series for years. They’ve been absent from the past few issues. Those programs are great training aids for myself and I’m sure many others, who don’t have access to a commercial gym. Mitch Daniels Suffolk, VA Editor’s note: We decided to put the home-gym routine on hiatus due to space constraints, but thanks to a barrage of e-mails like yours, it’s back, starting with this issue.

IM Online I’ve had a hard time finding IRON MAN on the newsstand and in stores. Getting the whole magazine online is just too awesome. I love it. Fred Gallo via Internet Editor’s note: It is very cool, isn’t it? For those who haven’t checked it out yet, visit and click on the cover labeled as IRON MAN Digital. Vol. 64, No. 9: IRON MAN (ISSN #0047-1496) is published monthly by IRON MAN Publishing, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Periodical Mail is paid at Oxnard, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Please allow six to eight weeks for change to take effect. Subscription ratesÑU.S. and its possessions: new 12-issue subscription, $29.97. Canada, Mexico and other foreign subscriptions: 12 issues, $49.97 sent Second Class. Foreign orders must be in U.S. dollars. Send subscriptions to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Or call 1-800570-4766. Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the USA.

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Ironman Magazine 2005-09  
Ironman Magazine 2005-09