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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 \

November 2005

Vol. 64, No. 11

Hardbody, Fitness diva Adela Garcia page 184

Real Bodybuilding Training, Nutrition & Supplementation


64 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 73 The TEG men made some X-traordinary gains over the summer. Now it’s time to apply what they learned and pack on even more mass over the winter. Here’s the plan.

78 ONE-SIDED LEG TRAINING Sure, you put your pants on one leg at a time like everyone else, but it’s going to be a lot harder to squeeze into them once your thigh growth explodes. Eric Broser’s unique approach can make it happen one leg at a time.

94 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 4 Ron Harris teaches his young bodybuilding protégé about form, function and the size/strength junction.

100 100 POUNDS OF MUSCLE: THE NAUTILUS NORTH STUDY John Little’s ground-breaking experiment to determine optimal training frequency—and if building more than 100 pounds of muscle in one year is possible. Interesting stuff here, gang! Prepare to grow.

128 CHAMP-TRAINING ANALYSIS Sagi Kalev, page 142

100 Pounds of Muscle, page 100

Steve Holman studies Mr. O Ronnie Coleman’s training from R.C.’s “Redemption” DVD and comes to some startling conclusions—and ideas on how you can put some freak on your physique.

Barry Kabov and Karen McDougal appear on this month’s cover. Hair and Makeup Kimberly Carlson. Inset, Ronnie Coleman Photos by Michael Neveux.

142 SAGI KALEV: MIDDLE EAST MUSCLE This Israeli bodybuilder has got it all—mass, proportion and good looks (envy him, but also learn from his success).

158 WATER WORLD Jerry Brainum tells you how and why to hydrate for muscle growth, strength and health.

176 HEAVY DUTY John Little on Mike Mentzer’s midsection meltdown.

184 HARDBODY Fitness diva Adela Garcia hits you with her best shots.

200 RESEARCH TEAM Our crew puts new GAKIC to the test. Is it really instant strength in a can? Will you feel more like a man?

Mr. Olympia Preview, page 218

218 MR. OLYMPIA PREVIEW Lonnie Teper contemplates the Big Dance, with plenty of pics of the greatest physiques in the world. Damn!

230 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Bill Starr’s back-to-the-rack odyssey, part 5.

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30 TRAIN TO GAIN Prelude to mass—igniting the muscle fuse. Also, barefoot squat shock and Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine.

48 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman discusses up-front X power and comments on John Little’s Nautilus North Study.

54 EAT TO GROW The spice of life, testing tribulus and how to eat to turn up the heat—fat burning, that is.


Champ-Training Analysis, page 128

Charles Poliquin’s prescription for more mind gains and quintessential quad mass above the knee.

88 NATURALLY HUGE Smart Training, page 72

John Hansen’s advice on power-packed arms and competition training and presentation.

206 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper and Ruth Silverman have got news from the USA, the Swami has his say, and Jerry Fredrick snaps away (his Hot Shots will make your day.)

240 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Randall Strossen, Ph.D., chews up the it’s-only baloney, while Dave Draper provides some healthy brainwashing. Then Ron Harris discusses why you’re so vein—or not so veiny—and mass-monster madness.

250 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum’s always at the forefront of new research, and this month he tells you how scientists got a 358 percent increase in free testosterone in only 10 days— with over-the-counter products. T time. Bring it on!

Research Team, page 200

256 READERS WRITE Classy Hardbody hottie, “Muscles in Motion” mulling and more X-citing gains.

News & Views, page 206

Pump & Circumstance, page 212


rld enings from the wo For the latest happ Hot the d rea s, es fitn d of bodybuilding an d an News at www.ironm icm www.graph

In the next IRON MAN Next month we’ve got a whole slew of training features to get you growing as never before. First, Greg Zulak delves into forging freaking forearms and getting a gorilla grip. Remember, in a shortsleeved shirt your forearms are all anyone sees, so get ’em gnarly—as in big and crawling with vascularity. Zulie tells you how. Then we have a look at abbreviated workouts from Christopher Pennington. Who says you have to spend your life in the gym to get huge? Not Chris. He says you can be in and out in 30 minutes or less. Then watch your muscles morph into mountains. Plus, we have another entertaining, mass-gaining episode of “A Bodybuilder Is Born” from Ron Harris and more champ-training analysis from Steve Holman, not to mention X Files, your X-Rep primer. Watch for the defibrillating December IRON MAN on newsstands the first week of November.

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John Balik’s

Publisher’s Letter

Founders 1936-1986:

Peary & Mabel Rader

Unintended Consequences Usually, the phrase “unintended consequences” has a negative spin, and in bodybuilding it’s no different. Bodybuilding has taken on an undeserved negative spin because of drugs and the consequences of taking them. Bodybuilding, as an activity, sport and passion, is pure; it’s what we do with it that makes the spin positive or negative. Virtually everything in the world of sports and fitness has a strength-training/bodybuilding/sports nutrition component that has been “borrowed” (without credit) from the world of bodybuilding. That fact is not enough to give us—bodybuilding and bodybuilders—any credibility in the real world. Drug use has so poisoned the well of public opinion that extraordinary muscle development and strength are universally seen as a badge of drug use. The partially informed public talks about steroids, but we all know that steroids are just the tip of the iceberg. And like the tip of the iceberg that hid the huge danger to the Titanic, the stigma of drugs is ready to sink us. How did it happen? Is there any hope for redemption? Our shared interest in bodybuilding (for some an obsession) can take us in a multitude of directions and presents us with choices and opportunities. Where we end up is the result of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individual decisions. That undeniable fact governs all of life, and for most IRON MAN readers bodybuilding is life. The Ferrari ad says, “The only way to predict the future is to invent it.” Easier said than done. I’ve talked with many people who have a lifetime in bodybuilding, and a pattern has begun to emerge. Most of us start bodybuilding as teenagers because we want to gain muscle and be stronger. For some it’s an adjunct to other sports, and for others it is an end in itself. That’s a very simple goal, but in actuality, bodybuilding is like an upside-down pyramid of opportunity, with that simple goal as the crown. You start with that simple idea, and the pyramid spreads out above you. You don’t see the future above, but your decisions create that future. That’s the beginning, and in the next few issues I’ll explore what bodybuilding has meant to me by looking at a lot of the small decisions that have created the big picture for the world of bodybuilding in general and for me in particular. Next month I’ll cover the positive power of bodybuilding. If you have stories of your personal love affair with the weights, please send them to me via e-mail 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, Eric Broser, 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, Charles Poliquin, 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, Jake Jones

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:

26 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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A warmup is simply a means of priming the pump—pushing blood into the muscle so it will perform to the best of its ability on the heavy sets. If you block blood flow instead of (or in addition to) doing some lighter pumping sets, you end up with a warm, ready-to-fire muscle.

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Neveux \ Model: William Campbell

Prelude to Mass It’s usually the small details that add up to big results. Little by little, things like eking out one more rep, adding a few more pounds to the bar and overloading the maxforce point of an exercise (with turnaround partials and/or X Reps, for example) can lead to much bigger muscles— sometimes faster than you can imagine. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a proper warmup can be the difference between anabolic acceleration and stagnation. For example, we’ve discussed occlusion, or blocking blood flow to a muscle, and how scientists found that it can jack up strength significantly. In case you missed it, researchers placed a blood pressure cuff on subjects’ upper arms for two minutes. The cuff was then removed, and the subjects did wrist curls. Results: Those whose blood flow had been impaired showed a 20 percent strength increase over that of the subjects who didn’t use the cuff. Yes, 20 percent! (There have also been amazing size increases from occlusion; see past e-zines in the X Files section at for more.) That indicates significantly better fiber recruitment. Along the same lines, studies on warming up muscles found that doing a number of lighter sets prior to heavy work can help the target muscle contract much better than without those preliminary sets—about 20 percent better, in fact. Hmm, there’s that 20 percent figure again. So could occlusion merely be acting as a warmup? Absolutely! After all, a warmup is simply a means of priming the pump—pushing blood into the muscle so it will perform to the best of its ability on the heavy sets. If you block blood flow instead of (or in addition to) doing some lighter pumping sets, you end up with a warm, ready-to-fire muscle. Either way you get a rush of blood to the bodypart immediately after. Now, the question becomes how you can use that information to set the stage for the most grow power from your work sets. (Keep in mind that you want to max out hypertrophic stimulation with the fewest work sets necessary so you don’t drain your recovery system with too much volume.) We’ve said in the past that for big multijoint exercises like squats and bench presses you should do two warmup sets. Do the first one with about 60 percent of your first work-set weight and the second with about 80 percent. But there’s more to it than percentages. We’ve seen bodybuilders in the gym jerk through their warmups, wasting lots of time jabbering and not paying attention. Trust us, they’re severely limiting their gains

Igniting the muscle fuse

and creating the need to either do more warmup sets, more work sets or extensive rehab work once they get injured. We’re convinced that if you take care of a few details on your warmup sets, two is all you need on multijoint exercises to stimulate more muscle growth (how about 20 percent more?). Here’s how to make it happen: Warmup set 1: Take 60 percent of your work-set weight and do 10 reps—five full-range reps and five partials. Go from full stretch to complete lockout on the first five. Then do the second five only through the bottom two-thirds of the stroke, without locking out. That will lube your joints and get the blood pumping (partials produce occlusion). Warmup set 2: Up the poundage to 80 percent of your work-set weight. Do four full-range reps followed by four nonlock partials for occlusion. (Individual strength may vary; if four plus four feels too taxing, try three plus three. Remember, it should be a fairly nonstressful set that doesn’t tax your strength but amplifies it.) At the end of each warmup set you should feel blood flowing to the target due to occlusion from the nonlock partials. That blood increase will make your work sets significantly more effective. For example, on bench presses you’ll push the bar from your chest to just above the midpoint of the stroke on your partials. If you don’t feel blood moving to the target, especially after the second warmup, you may have done your warmup reps too fast. Keep each rep fairly slow and controlled to activate your nervous system, get your mind in touch with the target muscle and prime the pump. That quick, efficient warmup strategy can get you bigger gains from your heavy work, and it will take fewer work sets to get the fast-twitch blast you’re after (for the best work-set sequence see The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book at Try that warmup sequence on your big exercises at your very next workout. Remember, attention to the little things can make a big difference in your muscle gains. —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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Ankle Weights and


Barefoot Squat Shock Extensor reflex training for bigger gaining

You still see people wearing ankle weights when they jog because they think it increases intensity and burns more calories. Bad idea. While that extra weight near your foot may help strengthen the leg muscles, it can put excessive strain on the hips and knees. Your knees are fragile; they don’t need extra weight every time you pick up your foot to take a step. If you want to up your intensity and/or burn more calories, try running hills or stairs. Ditch the ankle weights. —Becky Holman

It’s a Russian joke (you had to be there): A guy wore shoes two sizes too small for him. When asked about his bizarre behavior, he complained about his miserable life and concluded that his only happiness was coming home and taking off his shoes. You’ll be even happier than that dude if you lose yours—at least for part of your squat workout. The forcefulness of muscular contraction is determined by the sum of the mental effort and various reflexes. When Dr. Fred Hatfield bounced out of the bottom of his thousand-pound squat, he took advantage of the stretch reflex. Another power-boosting reflex is called the extensor reflex. That causes the leg musculature to contract in response to pressure on the soles of your feet. It protects you against loading. Research suggests that always wearing shoes diminishes the sensitivity of the foot, which may turn off the squat-friendly reflex. Too bad because when the barbell is intent on squashing you like a bug on a windshield, you could use any help you can get. The rare squatter who’s recognized the problem is Dr. Fred Clary, a human crane who’s elevated 900 pounds. Fred regularly performs heavy thousand-pounds-plus walkouts barefoot “just to fire off those receptors.” Clary believes that training like that sensitizes the extensor reflex receptors and enables him to squat heavier. And he’s not alone. Brazilian jujitsu senior world champion Steve Maxwell, M.S., read about barefoot lifting in my book Power to the People! He ordered all the people he coached to lose their shoes—and they all succeeded in knocking a couple of extra reps off their leg exercises. The proof is in the pudding: It pays to add barefoot walkouts or squats to your routine. But since the gym owner might object if you go native with your dirty toenails scraping his floor, get yourself a pair of deadlift slippers. They look almost like ballet slippers—in fact, they’re probably available in pink. Have fun! —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 32 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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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 Refresh Your Instinctive Workout We human beings seem to be slow at absorbing new ideas— especially if the new idea is directly in front of us. As Irish poet Aubrey T. de Vere said, “Prejudice, which sees what it pleases, cannot see what is plain.” We’ve all heard of instinctive training, or I.T. Many consider it the most effective method of training, at least for advanced bodybuilders. It can generally be described as a system in which the trainee tries to intuitively discover the unique combination of exercises that will be most effective for his body. I.T. recognizes that each trainee is unique and therefore that the system of exercises just right for him may not be right for the next fellow. There are some problems, however. Here’s what usually happens: First, the trainee realizes that when he first starts a new routine, he makes his best gains; second, he notices that it isn’t long before he starts going stale on even the best of exercise programs. He eventually acquires a feel for the effectiveness of an exercise and can quickly label it either good or no good. Then, however, he learns to his dismay that the good exercise soon becomes no good, and he’s left to once again use his intuition to discover another set of good exercises. He searches for exercises that will produce that good feeling for long periods of time—and that’s part of the problem. He begins a new exercise that he’s selected instinctively as terrific. Initially it gives him a great pump, and he makes good progress. Soon, however, the exercise begins to peak, and he finds himself starting to get a flat feeling—not getting the same terrific pump. So he increases the weight or reduces his rest time to increase the intensity, all the while putting more strain on his joints, ligaments and tendons. He may suffer some slight injury. Let’s say he’s now flattened out and is even starting to slide down the back side of his progress curve. He still won’t change the exercise until he can no longer feel anything from the movement. He may even sustain a severe injury. If he doesn’t get injured, he continues to use the same exercise week after week, month after month, hoping that somehow that magic pump and growth will come back. That’s especially true on such standard exercises as bench presses and squats. He believes that every routine must include those and similar exercises, or he’ll never reach the top. Nothing could be further from the truth. About two years ago I became involved with using a computer to generate exercise programs. At first I was more than skeptical. How could a computer do what it had taken me 30 years of agony to learn? The first thing I noticed was not that the computer was better than I was at determining which exercise was better than another but that it was a whole lot faster than I was once I’d trained it to do the things I knew. I could give myself an entirely new program in less than a minute. I

now had an inexhaustible source of exercise changes. As for our experience with instinctive training, we’ve noted the body’s strong growth response at the start of a new exercise program and its equally impressive ability to quickly adapt to it. We’ve also noted that it took the body longer to adapt to some exercises. In the past, if we were training instinctively, we would have used only the exercises to which the body could not adapt readily. The others would have been discarded as no good. Gradually, we found that the exercises weren’t “no good” but that the body simply adapted to them more quickly. They were almost as effective but maybe for only a few days or weeks. We never gave the body a chance to adapt to the exercise. We didn’t train until we felt the exercise fall off; we always stayed on the steep growth portion of our progress curve. It was exciting and fun. We came to realize that the program should change long before the flat feel arrived. We wanted to benefit from the natural surge of growth hormone release, which occurred only during peak-output exercise. To do that, we had to change the program often to get new psychological, physiological and neurological stimuli. Yet even with that sophisticated approach to training, we wondered if it could be improved by somehow integrating the sensitivity of an instinctive trainee. I became much more critical of everything about training I’d held sacred. I became sensitive to the pump I was getting on all my exercises, even those I’d always considered my old standbys. Soon I realized I couldn’t do even my favorite exercises more than a few sessions in a row without feeling diminished gains. The need to be an instinctive trainee had not diminished; it had actually heightened. I needed to not only identify my instinctive training program but also continually refresh it so it would give me the gains I was looking for. I started getting gains faster and with fewer workouts per week. In fact, I put on 12 pounds of muscle in one month, and my bodyfat dropped. It may have had something to do with the better hormonal profile the training causes— especially the impact of growth hormone. Don’t overuse even the best of your instinctively selected exercises. Continually refresh them by becoming more sensitive to when they’re losing their effectiveness and quickly switch to something that restores your instinctivetraining program to its prime. —Larry Scott Neveux \ Model: Greg Adler



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A static grip can limit muscle action and growth. On many exercises it’s your grip that severely reduces your ability to isolate and innervate the target muscle. For example, standard straps just don’t do the job on pulldowns. The rigid, unyielding grip become the Achilles heel that limits growth stimulation. But what if you could eliminate grip completely? The patented Flexsolate gripless cuffs do just that, enabling you to fully contract the targeted muscle for exceptional fiber recruitment. You’ve never felt anything like it. With Flexsolate, you isolate to innervate and accelerate muscle growth. Once you try them, you’ll never go to the gym without them! Cable Rows

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Train Around Low-Back Pain One in three Americans experiences lower-back pain, and trainees are no exception. Some have made unwise exercise selections that contributed to their problem; others simply developed lower-back pain, and they happen to train too. The problem is how you should train around the pain. Trainees with 10 or more years of consistent training often find they must give up some exercises. Time after time they say, “I had to give up bent-over rows because of my lowerback pain,” “I had to stop squats because of lower-back pain [or knee pain],” or, “I had to give up bench presses [or overhead presses] due to shoulder pain.” I’ve addressed squats and lower-back pain previously in this space. The first thing to do while squatting is to stop looking up. Looking up increases the curve of the lower back and shifts the weight bearing to part of the vertebrae that shouldn’t be taking so much weight. Instead, look down slightly. That can shift the weight to a more appropriate area of the spine. Also, stop performing twists or using seated rotary torso machines. That places too much shear force on the disks (shock absorbers and spacers) between the vertebrae, which weakens the outer wall of the disk and can cause pain. If squats still cause back pain, try front squats. Many trainees who can’t back squat can still do front squats. If that doesn’t work, try the horizontal squat machine and hack-squat machine. Does the process of elimination sound familiar? If all those choices fail, you can take a break from squats for four to six weeks and try again with lighter weight. It may be that you simply need to let the inflammation calm down. If you have too much lower-back pathology (e.g., a collapsed disk), you may have to permanently substitute the 45 degree leg press. Don’t let your knees come all the way down, though. You don’t want

Neveux \ Model: Skip La Cour

If bent-over rows hurt your lower back, try pulling the bar to your lower abs.

your pelvis to lift away from the back of the seat; that stresses the lower back. Don’t use the vertical leg press if you have lower-back pain. That machine fell out of favor many years ago, partly because it can generate or aggravate lowerback problems. If you enjoy bent-over rows, try pulling the bar to your lower abdomen instead of your chest. By pulling low, you shorten the lever around your lower back. That may reduce your lower-back pain during that exercise. Bar position is more difficult to control on T-bar rows, which are usually eliminated early in training programs. Many trainees find the seated cable row more tolerable. Again, lighten the weight and perhaps cycle the poundage so your back isn’t being hammered by the same heavy weight month after month, year after year. If all three of those rows cause lower-back pain, try dumbbell rows and perhaps a seated row machine (a machine with a chest pad to lean against). I rarely support the use of machines, but this is a situation where a machine could be useful. Pulldowns done with various grip widths and handles can provide a great variety of training when used with the dumbbell rows and seated machine rows. If you can’t perform squats, rows or deadlifts any longer, you still may be able to do hypers, or back extensions. The hyper bench is usually about 45 degrees or horizontal. Raise your body to the point where your spine is straight. Don’t arch or hyperextend your spine. If you can do the exercise without lower-back pain, then your back muscles, glutes and hams will still get a terrific workout. The leg press will no longer seem to have missing components. If the hypers are uncomfortable, then you can try another machine. Most gyms have a variety of lower-back machines. Remember, your back muscles, along with your abdominal muscles, must be strong to protect your back. —Joseph M. Horrigan Editor’s note: Visit www for reprints of Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008 or at

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Here’s How To Put Your Muscle-Building and Fat-Loss Mechanisms on auto-pilot. Muscle-Building Technology Just Took A GIANT leap from the Past into the Future Dear friend, In the 1950s and ’60s, a handful of DRUG-FREE bodybuilders and elite celebrities made shocking gains in muscle size, (ranging from 25 to 30 pounds) in only three to four months while dissolving countless pounds of fat when they began using a special protein formula developed by renowned nutritionist Rheo H. Blair in Hollywood, California. For 40 years the formula was lost, until now. We recently “rediscovered” the “lost formula” he used to develop this special blend of protein and have made it available to you for the first time in years in Pro-Fusion™! Listen, you may be one of many bodybuilders who mistakenly believed that you’d have to “choke down” wretched-tasting protein all day long in order to achieve worthwhile training results. Well those days are over… Prepare to GROW!! When you start using this once “lost” growth technology available in Pro-Fusion™, you’re going to launch your progress into warp speed. Research has proven when you consume a combination of the long-lasting anticatabolic action of casein protein with the short-term anabolic action of whey protein, you trigger several mechanisms responsible for unparalleled muscle growth. At the same time, you’ll starve the stored bodyfat, causing your body to burn fat virtually 24 hours a day! Then all you have to do is feed that process every two to three hours, and you’ll teach your body to burn fat and grow muscles.

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The Precontest Bible When I started bodybuilding in the late 1970s, I read a series of books called Three More Reps. Penned by master bodybuilding writer Rick Wayne and gym owner/contest promoter George Snyder, the books summarized seminars that had been given at Snyder’s gym by many of the bodybuilding superstars of that time. That impressive list included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Mike Mentzer, Robby Robinson, Danny Padilla, Kal Szkalak, Boyer Coe and many more. The books revealed the training and diet secrets of the best bodybuilders in the world. Now Larry Pepe, NPC judge and bodybuilding writer, has repeated the process in his book The Precontest Bible. In this prodigious 480-page tome, Pepe interviews 32 of the best bodybuilders in the world today—from current Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman to his predecessor Dorian Yates to seasoned pros like Chris Cormier, Lee Priest and Craig Titus to brand-new professionals like Mark Dugdale, Gustavo Badell and Eryk Bui. The book also includes three top amateur bodybuilders, Steve McLeod, Stan McQuay and Mike Ergas. Pepe uses the same format with each bodybuilder, which makes it easy to compare what the athletes do. The first page on each bodybuilder reveals his vital information: major titles, birthdate, height, contest weight, off-season weight and how far out he begins preparing for a competition. The next few pages cover precontest training. You’ll see how often each bodybuilder trains when preparing for a show and how he splits up his bodyparts. Also covered in this section is how much precontest cardio each one does. I was surprised at how many of them train six days per week, sometimes with a double-split routine, when preparing for a competition. And when it comes to precontest cardio, they don’t mess around. Many of them do it twice a day, six or seven days a week, for as much as an hour each session. Mike Valentino and David Dearth actually work up to doing cardio three times a day before a competition. Of course, some lucky individuals are always exceptions to the rule. Rich Gaspari admits to doing cardio only three times a week for 30 minutes per session, but he also uses a brutal version of drop sets during his precontest training, which burns up a lot of calories. Stan McQuay does cardio only twice a week when he’s preparing for a show; however, the luckiest bodybuilders in the book are David Henry and Dexter Jackson, who normally do zero cardio when preparing for a show and still stand onstage in ripped condition. The next section of the book is on precontest nutrition and supplementation. Every bodybuilder profiled eats at least six

The exact contest blueprints of the world’s best bodybuilders

times a day (King Kamali eats 11 times a day), with an emphasis on protein, complex carbohydrates and healthful fats. Ronnie Coleman, for all of his extremely heavy training and extensive cardio regimen, eats fairly few calories and carbohydrates when preparing for the Mr. Olympia. Jay Cutler favors alternating low-carb days with an occasional high-carb day to accelerate fat loss and keep the muscles filled with glycogen. He eats few calories and few carbs for three to four days (300 grams of protein and 200 grams of carbs). On his high-carb day, Jay eats only 200 grams of protein but between 700 and 800 grams of carbs. During the off-season he normally eats between 6,000 and 10,000 calories a day with 900 to 1,300 grams of carbs. Many bodybuilders get confused about what to do during the last week before a contest. Many theories persist on the proper way to carb deplete, carb up, eliminate sodium, cut out water and so on. Each bodybuilder profiled reveals exactly what he does in that last week. The majority favor carb depleting and carb loading. They also explain how they cut back on their cardio and weight training as a show approaches. The section on water depletion is most interesting. By and large bodybuilders drink lots of water leading up to a contest and then cut back as the show gets closer. Johnnie Jackson begins cutting back water intake as much as four weeks before the show. In stark contrast, Shawn Ray and Mike Valentino drink five gallons of water a day during the last week before cutting back in the final days before the contest. “Finishing Touches” explains each bodybuilder’s approach to posing, tanning, backstage pumping and how many days ahead they fly to a show to avoid water retention. The last section is called “Finish this Sentence.” The bodybuilders answer questions, such as what they like most and least about contest preparation, what foods they crave after the show is over and at what show they feel that they were in the best condition of their lives. The Precontest Bible is packed with information about what the top professional bodybuilders do to achieve their contest-winning physiques. Every detail is covered, including the settings they use on the cardio machines and the supplements they take precontest. If you want insight on what’s required to get the look of a champion bodybuilder in peak condition, pick up a copy of The Precontest Bible. —John Hansen Editor’s note: The Precontest Bible by Larry Pepe is available for $49.95 from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 4470008, or visit

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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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Stretching—The Truth

Some form of flexibility training is considered an essential part of any bodybuilding program. Bodybuilders stretch for various reasons, but most think that maintaining flexibility decreases the chance of injury. A simple definition of flexibility is the ability to move a joint through a complete range of motion. That implies that a lack of flexibility equals a decreased range of motion. A shortened range of motion, in turn, limits muscle size and strength gains, as well as increasing the chance of injury. Some bodybuilders stretch just prior to training, after training any particular muscle group or following a workout. Some even suggest stretching between sets of an exercise, with the notion that it helps the muscle recover faster. Recent research, however, shows that many of those ideas are simply false. According to the research, the effects of stretching differ when it’s performed regularly as opposed to acutely, or just before exercise. Most of the benefits of stretching come from everyday stretching activity. The belief that stretching before lifting weights is an effective warmup is mistaken. The most effective warmup features activity that increases the internal temperature of muscle, which decreases muscle viscosity and increases energy reactions and power. In practice, that means starting with a light set of the exercise you plan to do, using higher reps.

Is stretching really good for your workout and muscle growth?

Stretching the muscle you plan to train, however, leads to a loss of strength, averaging 2 to 5 percent. It results from a decrease in connective tissue stiffness—in other words, the stiffness actually adds to muscle strength. While tissue laxity induced by stretching would appear to lower the risk of injury incurred during heavy training, studies say it doesn’t. Regular stretching routines, or stretching at times besides just before or during training, do lead to performance improvement. The evidence of the literature is that regular stretching leads to increases in force and power, most likely due to an increased range of motion. Those improvements amount to an average increase of 2 to 5 percent—the same rate of strength lost when you stretch just before training. Whether you should stretch before training is your call. The small amount of strength loss may be offset by an increased range of motion and more efficient exercise. Trainees with a history of injury often feel that stretching a muscle before training helps them train that muscle harder. Since most of the benefits come from regular stretching as opposed to stretching just before or during training, it’s probably a good idea to consider stretching as a whole ’nother workout. —Jerry Brainum

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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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Older, Weaker, Slower? People get smaller and weaker with age. That’s particularly true if you don’t engage in some form of resistance exercise. Aerobic exercise keeps your cardiovascular system in shape but does little to preserve strength and muscle with the passing years. By the time a man who doesn’t exercise is 70 years old, he isn’t much stronger than a child of eight and is far less flexible. Surprisingly, until recently, scientists didn’t understand exactly what causes muscles to degenerate with age on a molecular level. A new study by a group of researchers from the Mayo Clinic, however, examined the effects of aging on muscle in 146 healthy men and women, aged 18 to 89.1 The primary finding was that muscle aging is caused by cumulative damage to muscle DNA, which is required to replicate muscle cells. When DNA is damaged, the cells don’t repair themselves correctly and eventually die. On a grand scale, that means a gradual loss of muscle with each passing year. The researchers also found that the DNA in muscle mitochondria, where energy is produced in cells, reduces with age. Having fewer mitochondria means less production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of cellular energy. Without adequate ATP the cell’s “housekeeping” functions shut down, and the cell dies. The loss of muscle mitochondrial DNA manifests such symptoms as age-related weakness, loss of muscle mass and related diseases, such as insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. Now scientists know exactly how the process of muscle aging begins and can design therapies to block the effect. What causes the loss of muscle and mitochondrial

Why muscles age and what to do to slow the process

DNA is long-term, out-of-control oxidation. Mitochondria are highly prone to oxidation because ATP production releases a lot of oxygen in the cell. That promotes the activity of free radicals, by-products of oxygen metabolism that are the destructive elements in oxidative reactions. As people age, the built-in antioxidant systems of the body, such as the superoxide dismutase system of enzymes, begin to falter. That sets the stage for the degenerative aspects of oxidation in cells. In fact, that’s a major theory of the aging process. The effect is especially troublesome in sedentary people who don’t exercise. Exercise promotes the body’s built-in antioxidation system. Some scientists think that may be the main value of exercise in helping to forestall the aging process and the degeneration of brain and body. The scientists who found this elemental cause of muscle aging suggest that the process begins at age 30. The same is true of such other conditions as osteoporosis, a bone-wasting disease more common in women than in men, which begins at about age 30 but doesn’t usually become apparent until after age 60. By then, however, the damage is extensive, resulting in fragile bones and hip fractures. Can exercise block the loss of mitochondrial DNA in muscle? The Mayo researchers didn’t reach that question, but common sense and observation of people who stay active and continue to exercise as they age indicate that exercise probably helps. Nutrition also enters the picture. Rats that get fewer calories as they age show little or no degenerative muscle changes. Specifically, old rats fed about 30 percent less than other rats have muscles that appear the equivalent of a quarter their age. That effect is thought to be due to less muscle oxidation, which protects the muscle mitochondria and maintains the energy-producing function of the cell. That in turn maintains muscle repair even though the body is aging. Reducing total calories by 30 percent isn’t practical for most humans, of course, and it’s unclear whether humans who did that would benefit the way rats do. Another, easier option would be to eat nutrients that protect the vulnerable mitochondrial DNA from oxidation, such as coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid and acetyl L-carnitine. Research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that intake of those nutrients led to complete regeneration of muscle mitochondria and protected against further damage. Typical doses would be 30 to 60 milligrams a day of CoQ10, 200 milligrams of lipoic acid and 1,000 milligrams of acetyl Lcarnitine. —Jerry Brainum 1 Short, K.R., et al. (2005). Decline in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function with aging in humans. Proced Nat Acd Sci. 102(15):5618-23.

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COST OF REDEMPTION Mr. Olympia’s Mind-Numbing Training DVD This 3-plus-hour DVD is a masters class on what it’s like to train without limits. Sit back and be amazed and inspired by a man who walks the walk. Mitsuru Okabe spent 4 days with Ronnie in 2003 just prior to his sixth win in a row of the Mr. Olympia. This DVD is shot in an absolute “you are there” style. There are no set ups, no retakes, nothing but the real Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie is absolutely focused on his goal and he lives his life to make it happen. You will see him do 800-pound squats, 75-pound dumbbell curls and an astounding 2250-pound leg press—almost every 45-pound plate in the gym! It’s the stuff of legends. But more than just the sets, reps and the nutrition, you get an insider’s view of the personality that always lights up any room he enters. It hits all the right notes: instructional, inspirational and a pleasure to watch a man at the top of his game. Four Stars.

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Up-front X Power Q: In The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book you say to do one positive-failure work set, rest, and then do a second positive-failure work set with X Reps—but I’ve been using Xes on the first work set with great results. I do two progressively heavier warmup sets, my first work set with X Reps at the end, and then one or two standard sets. What I’ve noticed is that additional sets after the initial X-Rep set are more effective due to a kind of preexhaust effect that comes from working in the X zone on my very first set. Just an FYI from the trenches. A: Jonathan Lawson and I have noticed that the more experienced we get with X Reps, the better they work on the first work set. On some exercises we’ve been experimenting, doing the first set with X Reps at the end, and on the second set doing either a drop set or a stage set. The stage work seems to be especially effective because you’re essen-

tially doing exaggerated X Reps right off the bat. The first phase of a stage set includes the max-force point, or the X zone. For example, on Smith-machine incline presses we do the bottom two-thirds of the stroke first, moving the bar from the bottom to just above the midpoint. We usually get about eight, and then we have to help each other move the weight to lockout, where we do the top third of the stroke, trying to squeeze the pecs at the lockout position on each one. The stage set is a killer technique. It enables you to better emphasize the max-force point up front in the set due to the partial range of the first phase, which we like a lot after a standard X-Rep set. On some exercises you may want to make your effort even more intense by adding standard X Reps at the max-force point as soon as you finish the stages (get details in the new e-book Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building, available at So on Smith-machine incline presses, you do the bottom twothirds of the range (exaggerated X Reps) to exhaustion, then move to the top one-third of the range. When you hit exhaustion there, lower to the max-force point down near your chest and fire out as many X Reps as you can. If you can’t manage any movement, max out on a static hold at that key mass-building position. Talk about a pump! Obviously, you need an attentive spotter for exercises like inclines and bench presses, or you could end up overloading your Adam’s apple along with the target muscle. Q: Why can’t you just do X Reps at the middle of the stroke of every exercise? If you’re doing bench presses, drive out your last full rep, bring the bar down to just a little below the middle, and pulse through the middle of the movement. Same with barbell curls: Just do the middle portion after regular reps.

Neveux \ Models: Lee and Alexander Apperson

Training the right way with a spotter can help you get the most out of workouts infused with X Reps.

A: That may work to a degree; however, most scientists think that the max-force point is below the middle on most exercises. That means pulsing from below the middle (where the target muscle is semistretched) up to the midpoint makes more physiological sense. It may depend on the exercise, of course. I find that lower on the stroke is best for incline presses, but closer to the middle is best for cable curls. As for squats, well, there’s just no way you’re going to get X Reps below the middle of the stroke after you hit exhaustion. We suggest top-range X Reps on free-bar squats in The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book, but you may still want to do a set of hack squats or Smith-machine squats to add the X factor to your big quad movement in the important semistretched position—below the parallel point. Q: How can I increase my chest size? I’ve just started X Reps, and I love them. The burn in my chest is

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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass

insane, so I think X Reps will help, but how do I get that cut under my pecs? I’ve used decline-bench presses, but that doesn’t seem to help. One more question: I’m hitting my chest on Monday and Friday, but I train all my other bodyparts once a week. Should I hit my chest only once a week too? A: In my experience, training a muscle only once a week results in slow to no gains for the majority of trainees— especially when it comes to weak bodyparts. We’ve tried it several times here at the ITRC (because we want it to work for us; training each bodypart once every seven days would be ideal), but it’s always resulted in shrinking or stagnant muscle growth. Hitting a muscle about once every five days is best, at least for us. The Nautilus North study reported on page 100 may seem to indicate otherwise—that you need more than a week between bodypart hits to get maximum muscle growth. But notice the average of the peak-lean days. When each of the 11 subjects was fully recovered and had gained the most overall muscle, it was around day six. That’s in line with our findings. The results of that study are interesting. Though they back up our findings, keep in mind that there are lots of unknown variables—such as what the subjects were doing before the experiment began; were they overtraining and then getting gains from that overtraining period during the experiment’s 14-day rest? It’s also possible that some of the subjects trained hard at one time, took a layoff and then entered the study. That would skew the results because they were regaining muscle during the two-week experiment. Muscle is much easier to rebuild than build from scratch. Here’s another issue: We don’t know if any of the subjects were experienced bodybuilders. If most of them weren’t, they wouldn’t be used to high-intensity anaerobic work, which could prolong recovery from the unfamiliar load. Another fly in the ointment is that we don’t know which muscles got larger and which stagnated or got smaller over the 14-day rest. We’ve seen studies showing that quads need longer recovery times than other muscles, so it’s pos-

sible that the legs grew while other muscles stayed the same or regressed. Then there’s diet: We don’t know how the subjects were eating, and their meal timing and macronutrient makeup would have been critical to recovery. If some or all of their diets were crappy, that would have skewed the results and prolonged recovery. Even so, we’ll extrapolate and surmise that the average experienced bodybuilder probably needs from four to seven days between bodypart hits—and even that depends on intensity. Let’s say you can recover completely in one day from one set of medium-intensity barbell curls. It may still take you five days to recover from three sets of all-out squats. In the study some subjects needed more than six days and some fewer to hit their peak-lean levels, but the average was around six days. To us that means each individual has to experiment to find his or her best recovery period. (So much for oversimplifying the bodybuilding thing. Turns out everybody is unique after all, and recovery varies with stress levels, intensity, diet, age and training volume. Whew!) After lots of experimentation at the ITRC, which continues indefinitely as far as we’re concerned, Jonathan Lawson and I have found that we tend to make our best gains training each bodypart about once every five days. That fluctuates with intensity levels and diet. If we’re training very hard during a calorie deficit, such as our summer ripping phase, we tend to need more recovery time (although we’re often too motivated to take the hint). We applaud Little for his efforts and hope to hear more from him on the subject. His dedication is helping all of us learn more about how the body adapts to high-intensity stress. About that line under your pecs—it could be a prime fat-storage site on your body. Leaning out will help. Decline presses usually get the building job done, but you may want to try wide-grip dips, elbows out, chin on chest. You can even put your feet up on a bench to get your form precise. X Reps are great on those when done near the low point. You can really feel your lower pecs when you fire out partials in the semistretched position. 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 203 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 179. For information on Train, Eat, Grow, see page 70. Also visit IM

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Having low bodyfat enhances those deep lines under your pecs. If you’re looking for an exercise that will help you build more muscle there, try wide-grip dips, emphasizing the low, semistretched position.

Steve Holman

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The Spice of Life Various spices contain active ingredients that have potent effects on health and well-being. Ginger, for instance, not only prevents morning sickness in pregnant women but also provides potent antioxidant and anticancer effects through its active ingredient, gingerol. Capsaicin, the active factor in hot peppers, stimulates

Curcumin, the active substance in turmeric, may counter the toxic buildup of beta-amyloid, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, in the brain.

From building a better brain to reducing joint pain, curcumin’s got potential

metabolism and provides anti-inflammatory effects. Cinnamon not only tastes good but also increases insulin sensitivity. Perhaps the most versatile of all is turmeric. Turmeric is cultivated in India, China and other Asian countries, and its active factor is curcumin. Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India, suggests that it’s an effective treatment for maladies as diverse as arthritis, inflammation, skin diseases, fever, infections and jaundice. Traditional Chinese medicine uses turmeric to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, to control bleeding and to treat chest congestion. Modern Western medicine has confirmed the effectiveness of curcumin’s many traditional uses. Studies show that it’s a potent natural antioxidant and antiinflammatory and has anticancer and antibiotic effects. It also helps treat peptic ulcers. Curcumin helps prevent the

spread of cancer by blocking substances that tumors use to produce new blood vessels. Without new blood vessels tumors shrivel up and die. Research shows that curcumin appears to work against breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. Its effects in preventing new blood vessel formation also make curcumin useful against diabetic retinopathy, the major cause of blindness in diabetics. Other studies show that curcumin helps protect the liver from toxic substances that would otherwise destroy liver cells. Whether that effect would be useful to those who take oral anabolic steroids, which can be toxic to liver cells, isn’t known. One property that has been established, however, is its ability to increase the flow of bile in the liver. That’s important because excessive use of oral anabolic steroids causes swelling in the liver, which impedes normal bile flow, and curcumin’s naturally occurring anti-inflammatory behavior may help counteract that. One way that curcumin provides anti-inflammatory, as well as anticancer, effects is by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase type2, or COX-2. Drugs that inhibit the enzyme are used to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. They recently attained notoriety from reports that they promoted cardiovascular disease. The COX-2 enzyme works by promoting the synthesis of prostaglandins, hormonelike substances made from dietary fat. When COX-2 activity is blocked, inflammatory properties of some prostaglandins

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GROW Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission are reduced, resulting in an analgesic, or pain-killing, action. COX-2 drugs replaced COX-1 inhibitors, which caused problems because they attacked the mucosal barrier that protects the gastrointestinal lining. COX-2 drugs were supposed to prevent that side effect. As it turned out, however, COX-2 drugs inhibited synthesis of a protective prostaglandin in blood vessels called prostacyclin, which prevents clotting in blood vessels, a major cause of heart attacks and strokes. Even worse, COX-2 drugs didn’t oppose the synthesis of thromboxane, a prostaglandin that promotes blood clotting. That meant COX-2 drugs could promote heart attacks and strokes in some people. Curcumin is a natural COX-2 inhibitor but doesn’t appear to adversely affect prostacyclin. It follows that curcumin helps prevent cancer and inflammation throughout the body. Alzheimer’s disease has an inflammatory component, and related studies of curcumin are the most interesting of all. The major cause of Alzheimer’s is thought to be an increase of beta-amyloid protein in the brain. In excess it potently causes inflammation in the brain, resulting in the destruction of neurons, especially in the portions of the brain that govern intellectual activity. Recently published studies show that curcumin appears to not only prevent the buildup of toxic beta-amyloid in the brain but also remove excess already present. Although the finding is preliminary, anyone concerned about developing Alzheimer’s might well consider taking some form of curcumin, which is nontoxic, before the disease manifests itself—in short, as a preventive.

As an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin has some exercise-related benefits. A recent study involving mice showed that giving them curcumin led to a decrease in markers of muscle damage, such as creatine kinase and various inflammatory cytokines.1 The mice got curcumin three days before they were put on a regimen of downhill running, which, as Curcumin works against the inflammation that’s a largely eccentric responsible for most joint pain. exercise, causes extensive muscle damage. Those mice recovered cumin with piperine, a substance more rapidly than a group that didn’t extracted from black peppers (sold get curcumin. as Bioperine), significantly increases Curcumin may prove useful for the absorption of curcumin and treating any condition associated other nutrients, such as coenzymewith inflammation, such as joint pain Q10 and beta-carotene. and muscle aches. In combination You can use curcumin as a spice with other natural joint remedies, or take it in supplemental form. such as glucosamine and chonSome curcumin supplements also droitin, it makes sense and should contain piperine to enhance absorpprovide synergistic benefits. While all tion (by 2,000 percent!). A good the supplements aid in reducing dose for both protective and antiinflammation (the major cause of inflammatory effects is 2,000 miljoint pain), glucosamine helps heal ligrams daily in divided doses. That injured joints, and curcumin reduces will also extend the activity of other the inflammation that delays the antioxidants you take, such as vitalong-term healing process in conmins E and C. nective tissue. —Jerry Brainum The only problem with curcumin is 1 Davis, J.M., et al. (2005). Curthat it’s hard for the body to absorb it. That said, judging from the nucumin enhances performance recovmerous studies attesting to its beneery after exercise-induced muscle fits, some of it must get absorbed. A damage. Med Sci Sports Exer. few studies show that taking cur37:S128. \ NOVEMBER 2005 55

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Food Facts

Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez

That can affect your workouts and health


T Factor: Testing Tribulus Tribulus terrestris, also called puncture vine, is credited with an array of virtues. Some claim it improves sexual function in humans. In Turkey it’s commonly used for blood pressure and cholesterol treatment. In China and India it’s been used to treat liver, kidney, urinary and cardiovascular problems; of course, the Chinese and Indians have been using ingredients for centuries that Americans have only recently begun to examine. But what does science have to say about this herb? I know what you’re thinking: “Trib is old news.” Not true, my friend. As long as the guys in the white lab coats keep looking at this herb, new information will be coming down the pike. For instance, did you know that trib may have an anticancer effect? Saponins from tribulus terrestris were shown to have a potent inhibitory effect on the Bcap-37 cancer cell line in a concentration-dependent manner. In English, that means the more trib the cancer cell line was exposed to, the better effect it had. Also, we can’t ignore the potential sex-enhancing properties of trib. TT extract increased sexual behavior and intracavernous pressure in both normal and castrated rats—meaning they were hornier and their peckers were harder. A recent study placed 24 adult male rats in two groups of 12. Group 1 was treated with distilled water, and group 2 was treated with TT at a dose of five milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight orally, once daily for eight weeks. The researchers found a 58 percent increase in androgen receptor immunoreactivity in the TT group, results that were statistically significant compared to the control. Chronic treatment with TT in rats increases AR immunoreactivity in certain regions of the brain. In essence, the trib sensitizes the rats’ brains for the next booty call— and they weren’t even drinking beer. Another report showed that tribulus engendered a mild-to-moderate improvement of sexual behavior in rats. TT extract appears to possess aphrodisiac qualities, probably due to androgen-increasing effects. I think trib definitely needs to be looked at more closely; perhaps, once its specific active components are better identified, we’ll have a clearer understanding of how this herb can affect bodybuilders and other athletes. —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Editor’s note: Jose Antonio, Ph.D., is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish. They’re good for both heart health and hormone production. The American Heart Association suggests that if you have heart disease, you need at least one gram a day. Others should try to get at least two grams a week. Fish oil capsules are a good alternative if you can’t eat fish often. Bromelain, an extract of pineapple, has shown some promise in treating arthritis and joint pain. Two other substances are also being tested: the enzyme trypsin and the antioxidant rutin. If you want to try bromelain, it’s available in supplement form at most health food stores. Folic acid, a B-vitamin, appears to help control the level of homocysteine, an amino acid by-product, in the blood. That’s important because there’s evidence that elevated homocysteine is a risk for heart disease and may be linked to inflammation and other diseases, such as colon cancer. Folic acid is found in beans, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables and meat. If you want to supplement, take a B-complex capsule with about 200 micrograms. —Becky Holman

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Many studies show that eating foods that are rapidly used energy sources, such as carbohydrates, just before a workout blunts the use of fat as a fuel. Carbohydrate drinks do, however, offer a few notable advantages when drunk during the workout. Drinks that contain the proper level of carbs (8 percent or less) combined with some electrolytes (minerals) to speed fluid uptake provide hydration even more efficiently than plain water. Carb drinks maintain energy levels during workouts that exceed an hour and blunt the rise in cortisol that would normally occur after an hour of hard training. But it’s all at the expense of fat burning. I’ve seen people eat full meals immediately before or even during workouts. Such meals will have a delayed digestion, as blood is shunted from the gastrointestinal area to the working muscles, so the food goes more or less undigested until the workout ends. In addition, weight training is powered mainly by stored muscle glycogen, which is a reflection of what you ate 24 to 48 hours earlier. The only benefit derived from eating just before or during a workout is psychological. But what’s the time interval after a meal if you want to burn the most fat during a workout? A new study, involving obese women over age 50, examined the issue.1 That group may seem to have little relevance for a younger population, but the principles governing the study apply to anyone, regardless of age. The women ate meals either one or three hours before exercise. Not only did exercising three hours after a meal result in greater fat oxidation, but the level of fat burning was also similar to what happens after fasting. The three-hour interval led to lower heart rates during exercise and lower glucose, lactate and insulin levels, all of which favor fat burning. Why did eating a meal one hour before exercise lead to less fat burning? The authors explain that eating so close to a

When to eat for maximum fat burning during exercise

If you want to burn fat during a workout, when you eat is just as important as what.

workout increases the carbohydrate content of the blood, resulting in a blunted fat-burning effect. The meal produces higher levels of lactate, which blunts fat burning during exercise. Elevated insulin levels after a meal also block fat release and oxidation during exercise. The lowered heart rate occurred because of the heart’s role in supplying blood for digestion purposes the first hours after a meal. By the three-hour point the meal was digested, leading to less stress on the heart during exercise. Even though the study featured obese older women, the relationship between fat use and exercise applies to anyone, regardless of sex or age. In effect, the longer you wait between your last meal and your workout, the greater the level of bodyfat you’ll burn during the workout. —Jerry Brainum 1 Dumortier, M., et al. (2005). Substrate oxidation during exercise: impact of time interval from the last meal in obese women. Int J Obesity. In press.

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Eat to Grow AMINO AMMO

Glutamine: The Muscle Amino

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Glutamine was a relatively obscure amino acid until a few years ago. It was considered a nonessential amino acid, meaning that it could be synthesized in the body from other amino acids, such as glutamic acid and the branched-chain aminos. In addition, the body content of glutamine is extensive, with glutamine composing half the free amino acids found in muscle and blood. More recently, however, glutamine became recognized as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that under certain specific conditions the body can’t provide sufficient glutamine to meet its needs, and thus an outside source is necessary. That first became apparent in critically ill hospital patients, especially those suffering massive loss of protein, such as burn patients or those recovering from major surgical procedures. Plasma levels of glutamine dropped rapidly in such patients, and the skeletal muscles became catabolic. Muscle protein was broken down to provide free glutamine to support body functions. Doctors soon realized that giving glutamine to those patients rapidly ended the catabolic muscle conditions. Glutamine proved to be a potent anticatabolic nutrient. The information trickled down to the athletic community, including bodybuilders, and the reputation of glutamine as a “muscle amino acid” emerged. Various studies show that intense exercise can induce a type of immune suppression that glutamine can counter. Intense exercise causes a loss of glutamine, and certain immune cells use it as a primary fuel. So a lack of glutamine may adversely affect your immune system. Intense exercise also promotes a rise in cortisol, the major catabolic hormone in the body. Cortisol breaks down amino acids found in muscle. Some studies show that glutamine opposes that effect of cortisol, thereby sparing muscle amino acids and preventing muscle catabolism. Other studies show that glutamine may favorably affect muscle glycogen synthesis, which would positively affect recuperation and recovery after hard training. Glutamine has been linked to increased muscle protein synthesis. It’s among the most potent stimulators of cellular hydration, or incorporation of water into cells. Cell hydration, in turn, induces a process that results in upgraded anabolism, or protein synthesis. Another way that glutamine may help foster muscle gains is by increasing the release of growth hormone. But not all studies show that glutamine is useful for bodybuilding purposes. In one, presented at the 2005 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine by researchers from Ohio, 12 men were randomly assigned to either a glutamine or a placebo group (six men in each group).1 All the subjects trained with weights twice a week for seven weeks, using only three exercises: bench presses, shoulder presses and squats.

Or is it?

Researchers tested glutamine for anabolic contributions but came up short. Was the training hard enough to require extra glutamine?

They did three sets of each exercise. They got 10 grams a day in four divided doses of either a glucose placebo or glutamine, twice daily on training days (before workout and before bed). After seven weeks the groups showed no differences in strength increases or body composition. That led to the conclusion that glutamine was ineffective for increasing strength or changing body composition. The problem with the study is that other studies have shown glutamine to be most useful under conditions of intense training that borders on overtraining. Unless a catabolic stimulus is induced in muscle, glutamine is nearly useless. The routine listed in this study was neither intense nor anywhere close to being catabolic. So we wouldn’t expect glutamine to provide any benefits. We also don’t know whether the study subjects were on a high-protein diet, which could also influence the results, as would carbohydrate intake; lowering carbs increases the need for glutamine under hard-training conditions. The Ohio study is hardly the final word on glutamine. —Jerry Brainum 1 Thistlethwaite, J.R., et al. (2005). The effects of glutamine on muscle strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exer. 37:S45.

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Modern Americans typically don’t need to struggle to survive. With a sense of safety and with basic needs—like food and shelter—taken care of, we aren’t generally engaged in primal activities. Today we live lives that don’t fit our primal biological makeup. As a result we suffer from myriad metabolic problems, with symptoms such as obesity, inability to cope with stress and dependence on drugs. Scientists believe that from the late Paleolithic period— about 10,000 years ago—we inherited genes that help us better survive. Known as thrifty genes, they induce powerful metabolic actions that increase our capacity for generating energy and resisting stress.1 Survival is an active struggle against destructive forces. We have survival mechanisms that help us adapt to changes in food availability, changes in climate or environment. We also carry mechanisms that help us better survive when we face major stressors. Our survival mechanisms must be triggered in order to exert their beneficial actions. If they weren’t triggered, the body wouldn’t be actively surviving. Life doesn’t leave us with many choices: If you aren’t actively surviving, you’re passively dying.


How Protein Gets You Lean

Researchers believe that humans and animals have adapted to follow certain feeding cycles that involve famine and feast (undereating and overeating) as well as cycles of exercise and rest (fight or flight and relaxation). The only way to actively survive today is by incorporating exercise and feeding cycles that methodically train the body to resist fatigue and stress, both nutritionally and psychologically. The body’s survival depends on its capacity for using fuel. Training the body to shift between carb and fat fuels forces it to improve its use of both. Training it to exercise in a way that mimics primal fight-or-flight activities by incorporating strength, speed and velocity in special complex sets triggers primal adaptation mechanisms that further improve the body’s capacity for generating energy, sustaining power and resisting fatigue and stress under intense or extreme conditions. We’re all programmed to survive. What we need to do is exercise our survival capabilities and thereby get tougher, leaner and healthier. —Ori Hofmekler

Every meal should include some protein. Why? Well, it keeps musclebuilding amino acids circulating. That will protect muscle tissue, keeping it in a building mode instead of a burning one— for energy. It also signals your body that it’s okay to have more muscle. You probably figured that out. But did you know eating more protein also has a higher energy cost? That recent discovery explains why higher-protein diets are as effective at burning fat as they are at building muscle. A “higher energy cost” means it takes more energy to digest protein. So you burn extra calories without doing a darned thing. Therefore, increasing your protein intake at the expense of carbs will be like a calorie reduction. —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson X-treme Lean e-book

1 Chakravarthy,

Illustration by Christian Martinez

your body Survive and Thrive Train to live well

M.V., and Booth, F.W. (2004). Eating, exercise and “thrifty” genotypes: Connecting the dots toward an evolutionary understanding of modern chronic diseases. J Appl Physiol, 96:3-10. 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 For more information or for a consultation, contact him at, or by phone at (866) WAR-DIET.

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Train, Eat,

GROW Muscle-Training Program 73

From the IRONMAN Training & Research Center

Model: Jonathan Lawson

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson • Photography by Michael Neveux s we mentioned last month, our annual photo shoot occurred in mid-June, almost three weeks earlier than last year. This time around we included new hybrid techniques, like X-centric training, X/Pause and X Fade, which we believe are the reasons our results came much faster this past summer, during our second X-periment. We were both five to 10 pounds heavier than at our Õ04 photo shoot but in the same, or perhaps better, ripped condition. ThatÕs impressive, especially for Steve, who just turned 46. He finally saw the scale hover in the 200-pound range in his hardest, most shredded condition ever. Jonathan dialed it in too, with more muscularity at a heavier bodyweight. We were very happy that we improved, but the question remains: Could we have been even better? Muscle just shouldnÕt be that difficult to build. Sure, weÕre fairly advanced, so gains wonÕt be 20 pounds a year, as they were in the beginning of our lifting careersÑor could they be? After analyzing everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, Why the eff not?!

One of our strategies that raised an eyebrow and created an ah-ha moment was how we approach winter training. We usually continue to hit it fairly hard five days a week, but we also try to maintain visual contact with our abs. WeÕve always thought that staying fairly lean makes it easier to get shredded as summer nears; howeverÑand this is a big howeverÑit also makes muscle much, much more difficult to build. Huge muscles are a luxury for the human body, not a necessity. Before your metabolism will permit a lot of leanmass gain, your body has to be damn sure famine is never going to happen. In other words, you need a fairly large calorie surplusÑof the right nutrientsÑto kick your body into anabolic overdrive and prevent it from burning muscle for energy. Just as important, those calories have to be spread out over the course of the day every day. Hunger is an absolute no-no. Keep your body in positive nitrogen balance and positive calorie abundance, and if your workouts are intense enough to stimulate growth and you get enough recoveryÑBam!Ñnew muscle should appear very quickly. \ NOVEMBER 2005 65

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© 2005 IRON MAN Magazine

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 73 Bodybuilders in the presteroidinsanity era—Arnold, Dave Draper, Larry Scott—used to approach winter as a muscle-feeding/building frenzy. A pretty good layer covering the abs was considered a necessary evil during a max-muscle-building phase. These days that’s not so much the case because a lot of bodybuilders cycle anabolic steroids throughout the winter. The right pharmaceuticals make excess calories a minor player. Sure, the body needs something to work

with, but thanks to drugs it’s always in anticatabolic mode, being overly efficient with all the muscle-building blocks it receives. (No, it’s not fair, but it’s reality.) Anyway, you can see where we’re going with this: We’ll be shoveling in more musclebuilding calories over the winter, which means we’re throwing ab visibility out the window. We’ll have more on our winter mucho-mass diet next month. Let’s segue into training, as our new split is rather ingenious, something we adopted

before the end of summer—and it’s a gain maximizer. We’ve mentioned before that we’ve never been able to come up with an ideal split, mainly because we can’t train on the weekends. We’ve said that, ideally, we should be on a three-on/one-off split, with a leg-training workout falling between two upper-body workouts. If you do the math, you’ll see that you can’t use that split without training on the weekends. Our solution was to still train on a three-way split,

IRONMAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 73 Workout 1A: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) Seated forward-lean laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Barbell shrugs (X Reps) Cable upright rows (X Reps or staged) Nautilus rows (X Reps) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps or staged) Bent-over laterals Cable curls (X Reps or staged) Concentration curls Rope hammer curls Barbell reverse wrist curls Barbell wrist curls Rockers

2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15

Workout 2: Quads, Hams, Gastrocs, Low Back Smith-machine squats (X Reps or staged) 3 x 8-10 Leg extensions (X Reps) 2-3 x 8-10 Sissy squats 1 x 10-12 Leg presses 2 x 8-10 Hack squats 1 x 8-10 Leg curls (X Reps) 2-3 x 8-10 Stiff-legged deadlifts (partials) 2 x 8-10 Hyperextensions (X Reps) 1 x max Leg press calf raises (X Reps) 3 x 15-20 Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 12-15 Standing calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Machine donkey calf raises (bottom X) 1 x 12 Seated calf raises 2 x 15-20 Low-back machine 1 x 8-12

Workout 3A: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps or staged) 2-3 x 8-10 High cable flyes (X Reps) 2 x 8-12 Dumbbell bench presses (X Reps or staged) 2 x 810 Low cable flyes 1 x 8-12 Middle cable flyes 1 x 8-12 Parallel-grip pulldowns (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Chins (X Reps) 1-2 x 8-12 Machine pullovers (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Decline extensions (X Reps or staged) 2-3 x 8-10 Pushdowns 2 x 8-10

Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Twisting crunches

2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12

Workout 1B: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) Cable laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Dumbbell shrugs (X Reps) Rack pulls (X Reps) Nautilus rows (X Reps) One-arm dumbbell rows (X Reps) Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps or staged) Uncrossovers (X Reps) Preacher curls (X Reps or staged) Incline curls Incline hammer curls Dumbbell reverse wrist curls Dumbbell wrist curls Rockers

3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15

Workout 3B: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps or staged) Incline flyes Wide-grip dips (X Reps or staged) Decline flyes Flat-bench flyes Parallel-grip pulldowns (X Reps) Chins (X Reps) Dumbbell pullovers Decline extensions (X Reps or staged) Cable pushouts Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Ab Bench crunches

2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1-2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12

Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises 2 x 9-12 Standing calf raises 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps are designated, only one set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique.

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Models: Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

When you’re making big gains, keeping track of your progress is a blast. but train five days in a row, Monday through Friday, picking up the missed sixth workout the following Monday and continuing with the sequence. That five-day plan has worked well for us, but new research caused us to rethink it. Here’s the report from researcher Jerry Brainum that clicked on the light bulbs in our heads. It appeared in the October ’05 issue of IRON MAN. “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 weighttraining workout. Fifteen men and 15 women were tested for strength recovery at 48, 72 and 96 hours after a weight workout. The workout consisted of three sets of eight repetitions on the bench press and leg press, using weights equal to 65 percent of one-rep max. “The results showed that 66.7 percent of the male subjects needed 96 hours for full recovery from the leg press. In contrast, 93.3 percent of the men showed full recovery on the bench press after 72 hours. As for the women, 66.7 percent showed full recovery on the bench press after 72 hours, while only 46.7 percent showed full recovery on the leg press at the 96-hour mark.” We do a few more than three sets for our quads at any one leg workout, so that study had us asking ourselves whether we need even more than 96 hours (four complete days) for our legs to recover. Possibly, although our recovery ability may be better because we’ve been

training for decades. Then again, we can generate much more intensity on any given set than the average person—and we’re doing X Reps on many of our sets. That may mean our legs need more time away from intense training to grow. Add to that the fact that we’ll continue to do cardio through the winter, mostly only on weekends, and you see the basis for our conclusion: We should get better gains hitting a leg workout only once a week. We used that strategy for the last month or so of our ripping phase over the summer, and it worked extremely well, even when we were doing cardio on a daily basis. If we put on quad size then, we should get even better gains over the winter, considering our cardio cutback. So what’s the ingenious split we’re so excited about? Here it is, no weekend training, no bodypart overlap:

Week 1 Monday: Workout 1 (delts, etc.) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs) Wednesday: Workout 3 (chest, etc.) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 1 (delts, etc.) Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Week 2 Monday: Workout 3 (chest, etc.) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs) Wednesday: Workout 1 (delts, etc.) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 3 (chest, etc.) Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Repeat Week 1 Repeat Week 2 \ NOVEMBER 2005 67

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Train, Eat, Grow / Program 73 Notice that we hit legs once a week, on Tuesday, which breaks up the two upper-body sessions. Then Thursday is a complete rest day, and Friday is a repeat of Monday’s workout. We never work upper body two days in a row, which should make for some awesome progress. How does all of that pan out on the recovery scale? Check it out: •Monday bodyparts: 96 hours, or four days, to Friday

•Tuesday bodyparts (legs): 168 hours, or seven days—although weekend cardio affects leg recovery. (We’re also adding a mini-calf blast to our Friday workouts because calves recover much faster than the upper-leg muscles.) •Wednesday bodyparts: 120 hours, or five days, to the following Monday Notice that every other Monday

we switch the upper-body muscles trained on that day. For example, in week 1 you start the week with delts, traps, biceps and forearms. Then they get four days of recovery—and you hit them again on Friday. Chest, lats, triceps and abs get hit only one day that week, Wednesday, so they get five days of recovery—the next hit occurs on the following Monday. So upper-body muscles get staggered recovery due to the rotation. (We told you it was ingenious.)

ITRC Program 73, Abbreviated Home-Gym Routine: Monday Through Friday Workout 1A: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows or seated laterals or rack pulls (X Reps) Seated forward-lean laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Barbell shrugs (X Reps) Bent-over barbell rows Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) Bent-over laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell curls Concentration curls Hammer curls Barbell reverse wrist curls Barbell wrist curls Rockers

2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15

Workout 2: Quads, Hams, Gastrocs, Low Back Squats (last set staged) 3 x 8-10 Leg extensions or hack squats (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Sissy squats 1 x 10-12 Hack squats (nonlock) 1 x 8-10 Leg curls (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Stiff-legged deadlifts (bottom-range partials) 2 x 8-10 Hyperextensions (X Reps) 1 x max Donkey calf raises, standing calf raises or one-leg calf raises (X Reps) 4 x 15-20 Seated calf raises 2 x 15-20

Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Rack pulls (X Reps or staged) Bent-over barbell rows One-arm dumbbell rows (X Reps) Bent-over laterals (X Reps) Preacher curls (X Reps or staged) Incline curls Incline hammer curls Dumbbell reverse wrist curls Dumbbell wrist curls Rockers

2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15

Workout 3B: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Incline presses (X Reps or staged) Incline flyes (staged) Wide-grip dips (X Reps or staged) Decline flyes (staged) Flat-bench flyes (staged) Parallel-grip chins (X Reps) Chins (X Reps) Dumbbell pullovers Decline extensions (X Reps or staged) Overhead extensions Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Ab Bench crunches

2 x 8-10 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12

Workout 3A: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Incline presses (X Reps or staged) Incline flyes Dumbbell bench presses (X Reps) Decline flyes Flat-bench flyes Parallel-grip chins (X Reps) Chins (X Reps) Undergrip rows Decline extensions (X Reps or staged) Kickbacks Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Twisting crunches

2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12

Workout 1B: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) or seated laterals or rack pulls (X Reps)

2 x 8-10

Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises 2 x 9-12 Standing calf raises 1 x 20-25 •When X Reps are designated, only one set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique.


Train Monday through Friday, following the sequence of workouts as listed. Also, itÕs best to have a selectorized dumbbell set, such as the PowerBlock, if you donÕt have a rack of fixed dumbbells of various weights. If you donÕt 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 donÕt have a leg curl machine.

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Train, Eat, Grow / Program 73 If you thought that was complicated, prepare to wrap your mind around this brain twister: We’re going to try to make every upperbody workout for the same bodyparts different from the last. How? With the split-positions approach, as dictated by Positions-of-Flexion training. For example, in week 1 on Monday we train our medial-delt heads with a midrange exercise, dumbbell upright rows, and a contracted-position movement, forward-lean laterals. Then at Friday’s delt workout we do upright dumbbell rows again as the leadoff exercise, but we follow with a stretch-position movement, onearm cable laterals—instead of forward-lean laterals. We use the split-positions approach for every upper-body exercise. That way the target muscles get some unique stress at every session, à la Ronnie Coleman. In the routines that appear on pages 66 and

68, the A workouts are midrange/contracted, and the B workouts are midrange/stretch. The B workouts always fall on Wednesday. Here’s why: Stretch-position exercises are more traumatic. Therefore, we structured the routine so B workouts fall on Wednesday, when those stretched bodyparts will get more rest—all the way to the following Monday. Whew! Did you get all of that? Oh, and on the midrange movements, which stay constant, we’ll be using X-Rep hybrid techniques, such as X Fade, X/Pause and X-centric training, to name a few. That will give the target muscles even more unique stress. We’ll have more on our winter megamass strategy next month, but we’re already rolling with it at the ITRC—the training part, anyway; we haven’t jacked up our calories yet, which will be a gradual process through the winter months. For

more details about our current workouts, check out our training blog at our Web site, www Click on X-Blog and prepare to train, eat and grow right along with us! Editor’s note: The new e-book Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building is now available at It includes all the X-Rep hybrid techniques and how Holman and Lawson applied them during their ’05 ITRC peaking phase. At the Web site you’ll also find the latest X-Rep info, including X Q&As, X Files (past e-newsletters about X Reps) and new ’05 photos and the daily X-Blog training journal. For more information on Positions-of-Flexion training videos and Size Surge programs, see page 179. To order the new Positions-of-Flexion training manual Train, Eat, Grow, call (800) 447-0008, visit, or see the ad below. IM

70 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training

Mind Gains Q: I have a problem concentrating during my workouts. Are there any supplement protocols that can help me focus? A: Certain nutrients in the right combination can dramatically improve concentration. Here are the ones I’ve found to be particularly useful: Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC). The ester form of carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine, readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Nutrition researchers believe that ALC improves cognition by enhancing the activity of acetylcholine and/or increasing neuronal metabolism. There’s a good chance that ALC might increase dopamine activity in the part of the brain where dopamine is produced, and it’s been documented that ALC enhances blood flow, which potentiates the other preworkout nutraceuticals that I’m recommending. From an empirical standpoint I’ve noticed increased strength in athletes who take a high dose of ALC prior to workouts. Athletes report being more awake and focused. I

recommend that you take three grams of acetyl L-carnitine on an empty stomach right after you get up in the morning. Anything less than that isn’t worth it. It seems that the more the better. I’ve used as much as seven grams with remarkable results; however, ALC is a rather expensive product. The powdered form is the way to go. An added benefit of acetyl L-carnitine is that, like branched-chain amino acids, it prevents the decrease of plasma testosterone associated with high training loads and will likely have a positive effect on your body’s testosterone production. Phosphatidylcholine is good to add to your preworkout stack, as it’s been shown to increase levels of another vital neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is known to protect every cell, particularly the ones in the nervous system, and it’s been implicated in controlling motor unit recruitment, reflex and reaction times and memory. The dosage should be 500 to 1,000 milligrams. Dimethylaminoethanol (usually DMAE) enhances the vigilance mechanism and is normally present in small amounts in your brain. You can also find it in seafood, such as anchovies and sardines. DMAE has been found to elevate mood, improve memory and learning, extend the life span of laboratory animals and boost energy. In addition to enhancing the effect of Ginkgo biloba, DMAE has produced the following effects in controlled studies: •Improved mood. •Improved memory and learning ability. •Increased production of acetylcholine.

Neveux \ Model: Jeff Hammond

DMAE works by accelerating the brain synthesis and turnover of acetylcholine. You need acetylcholine for good mental performance and optimal muscle fiber recruitment. It’s possible that DMAE inhibits choline metabolism, which means that free choline accumulates in the blood, enters the brain and stimulates cholinergic receptors. The dosage should 100 milligrams, no more, as this compound has an inverted-U response curve—meaning the response goes up to a point and then decreases. Vinpocetine was introduced into clinical practice two decades ago in Hungary for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders and symptoms related to brain aging. It’s a pharmaceutical extraction of Vinca minor, or the common periwinkle. In many countries it’s achieved the

A number of preworkout supplements can spur your concentration in the gym—and improved mind conditioning and focus can translate to strength and muscle gains.

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training Aside from its neurotransmitter benefits, acetyl L-carnitine has also been shown to prevent the decrease of plasma testosterone associated with high training loads.

Neveux \ Model: Jeff Hammond

which is responsible for thinking, logic and integration. It has been shown that LC neurons decline in number with increasing age, degeneration advancing at a slightly faster rate in men than in women. That plays a significant role in lowering alertness, concentration and informationprocessing speed and ability. The supplement is normally taken in dosages of five to 10 milligrams two to three times daily. Glycerophosphocholine (GPC) is the other one I really like, particularly for older athletes. Research done with animals using radio-labeled GPC suggests that it becomes incorporated into many other regulatory and structural molecules with various functions: •It acts as a methyl group donor for gene-level and other metabolic controls.

status of a so-called smart drug. A recent federal court ruling now makes vinpocetine available as a low-cost supplement. In the scientific literature, this supplement has been shown to: 1) Enhance circulation and oxygen utilization in the brain. 2) Increase the brain’s tolerance of diminished blood flow. 3) Offer significant and direct protection against neurological damage caused by aging (the molecular evidence indicates that the neuroprotective action of vinpocetine is related to its ability to maintain brain cell electrical conductivity and protect against damage caused by excessive intracellular calcium release). 4) Increase the firing rate of neurons. 5) Increase neuronal ATP bioenergy production, even under hypoxic (low-oxygen) conditions. Vinpocetine activates the effect on the locus coeruleus, or LC, which is what the noradrenaline nerve cluster in the reticular activating system is called. That small group of neurons propagates its noradrenaline-secreting nerve fibers throughout the brain, mainly in its left hemisphere,

•It’s a precursor of acetylcholine, which is used in the brain as a neurotransmitter and in the rest of the body as a messenger/regulator (muscle contraction, organ function, skin tone, blood vessel volume, platelet aggregation). •It helps incorporate choline phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, into every cell membrane and myelin sheath.

It raises acetylcholine in the body, which is the key transmitter for the central nervous system during resistance training, so it regulates nerve-muscle junctions throughout the body. GPC taken by mouth is well absorbed and increases plasma levels of choline for up to 10 hours. I like the gel form developed by nutritionists Robert Crayhon and Parris Kidd. It’s quickly absorbed and translates immediately into increased training focus. Another advantage of GPC is that it helps older athletes up their GH levels to levels that compare with their younger years—it’s a very effective antiaging supplement, and it actually outperformed many nootropics such as aniracetam and piracetam. At the Poliquin Performance Centers, our doctors have prescribed its intramuscular form to restore memory in older patients. In that form it works rather rapidly and well. All users have reported increased strength, probably because in human skeletal muscle fast-twitch fibers have the highest concentration of GPC. It also has been shown to boost nerve growth factor receptors, which helps athletes recover from injuries. Since ALC boosts nerve growth factor receptor binding, these two nutraceuticals work very well synergistically. GPC supports such other neurotransmitters as dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA. It also improves electroencephalo-

74 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training If you need more quad development above the knee, emphasize the low position of your squats.

Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

range squats (which results from strength coaches being obsessed with claiming big numbers for their squads) and many high-partial movements, such as hang power cleans. Here are two techniques used by the Olympic athletes I coach that you may want to try: Cyclist squats. Olympic-level cyclists use these to attain world-record performances. In this variation of the back squat you rest your heels on a board in a narrow stance (4 to 6 inches between your heels). The best type of board for this is wedged, so that the pressure on the arches of your feet is minimal. The higher the wedge, the more recruitment of the vastus medialis you’ll get. You’ll also find that you remain more upright when using the wedged board, so you use your glutes less. Make sure to ease into this by using more warmup sets than normal. One-and-a-quarter squats. This one is used in training Olympic skiers to offset their enormous development of the vastus lateralis muscles and prepare their knees for the risky situations they get into. Squat down for a fivesecond count until you hit the bottom position, come up a quarter of the way at a slow and deliberate pace, go back all the way down under control until your hamstrings cover your calves and come up until your knees are short of lockout. That’s one rep. Give a fair try to each of these variations for six different leg workouts. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results. As far as reps and sets are concerned, five sets of six to eight should do the trick, because the vastus medialis tends to have more fast-twitch fibers than the other heads of the quadriceps.

Q: I just competed in a bodybuilding contest, and the judges told me that I did not have enough mass in my lower quads, so I’m interested in developing the tear-drop muscle above the knee—I think it’s called the vastus medialis. I really like squats. Are there any variations that may help accentuate the development of that muscle? A: If squats are the mainstay of your leg-training routine, as they should be, and you want to increase the recruitment of the vastus medialis, you have the choice of using a specific foot position, overloading the bottom position or both. Elevating your heels will maximize the recruitment of the vastus medialis. That places the load on the ball of the foot. Leg-muscle recruitment patterns are affected by mechano-receptors of the bottom surface of the feet, so use a narrow stance and elevate your heels, which moves your center of gravity forward. Since the vastus medialis is responsible, along with the hamstrings, for getting you out of the bottom position, you can increase its recruitment by doing more work near the low point. Knee injuries are fairly common in American athletes, and I suspect that one of the major causes is the improper ratio of strength between all heads of the quadriceps and the hamstrings. That comes from all the poor-

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 has spent years researching European journals (he is fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www Also, see his ad on page Charles Poliquin 115. IM w w w. C h a r l e s P o l i q u i n . n e t Bradford

graphic (EEG) patterns and diminishes the delta, or “slow,” waves, which increase with age or accelerated cognitive deterioration. Make sure to take all of the brain nutrients in the morning only, as they’re stimulants.

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78 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Leg Training A Unilateral Approach to Packing Size on Your Thighs by Eric Broser Illustrations by Larry Eklund


llow me to ask you a few simple questions: Have you found yourself feeling a bit bored in the gym lately? Do you feel as if you’re working pretty hard but not getting much of a pump? Are you getting stronger, or are you using the same poundages week after week, month after month? Finally, and most important, are you seeing any new muscle gains? The answers to those questions are very important because if you’re bored, not getting a pump and not getting bigger and stronger, why do you keep doing the same old thing? Do you actually think that one day your routine will magically start working for you again? Doubtful. While at one time you may have thrived

on the routine you’re doing now, you’ve probably reached a point where you need to change things to get back on the path to progression. The human body loves homeostasis (read: staying the same), and if you continually provide the same types of stimulation—i.e., exercises, sets and reps—your physique will undoubtedly stagnate. So you cannot become complacent in the gym. You will not gain muscle with a whisper—only with a scream. You must constantly seek out ways to provide a novel stress to your muscles to force overcompensation, which to a bodybuilder means increased strength and muscle growth. Luckily, there are a plethora of highly effective ways to go about revitalizing a tired routine. One of the best methods

of waking up muscles that are sleeping on the job is, well, being a little one-sided. Unilateral training, or training one limb or side of the body at a time, is an underused strategy that can greatly step up the intensity of your workouts and help you to push past plateaus. There are several unique advantages to unilateral exercises that can help catapult your physique to new levels: 1) Increased concentration, as your mind and central nervous system are focused on one side of the body. 2) Enhanced fiber recruitment with each repetition. 3) A greater number of motor unit pools fatigued in the target muscle. 4) The evening out of strength imbalances that may exist between your right and left sides. \ NOVEMBER 2005 79

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One-Sided Leg Training While each of those factors is extremely important, the fourth is, in my opinion, the most important. Strength imbalances can lead to injury as well as uneven development, negatively affecting your overall proportions and symmetry. For example, if your right biceps is stronger than your left, whenever you do barbell curls, your right arm will dominate the movement from start to finish, greatly reducing the stimulation that the left biceps receives. If you keep training your arms that way, it will enhance the strength imbalance as well as cheat the left arm out of the stress necessary to facilitate optimum growth. With unilateral exercises, however, the weaker side will be forced to fend for itself rather than to simply go along for the ride while the more

Unilateral Stiff-Legged Deadlifts



You will not gain muscle with a whisper—only with a scream. You must constantly seek out ways to provide novel stress to your muscles. powerful side does most of the work. Once you begin to even out the strength levels of the two sides of your body, you should start noticing that your symmetry is improving and that many nagging injuries are fading. What’s more, all of your standard two-limbed lifts should skyrocket as well. While unilateral training lends itself to just about every bodypart, there’s no greater challenge than training legs one at at time. A normal leg workout is brutal enough if you push yourself, but training legs unilaterally will truly separate the men from the boys. It will show who has the strongest stomach, the greatest threshold for pain, the best lung capacity and, most of all, the fiercest desire to become as good as he can possibly be. Unilateral leg training will call into play muscles you never knew existed and force you to call upon levels of focus you’ve never needed before. It will test you to your limits, but if you can pass such a test, you’ll be rewarded with the best kind of prize: more muscle. Following is a list of unilateral exercises that work the quads and

Unilateral Leg Presses

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One-Sided Leg Training Unilateral Leg Extensions

hamstrings, with brief descriptions of how to perform them properly:

1) Unilateral leg extensions


Perform leg extensions as you normally would, but use one leg at a time. Complete all repetitions for one leg before moving on to the other.

2) Unilateral leg presses Position yourself in a leg press machine as you normally would by putting both legs up on the platform in a comfortable position. Then move one leg where it will not be in the way of the descending platform. Perform slow, deep repetitions.

3) Unilateral lying, seated or standing leg curls Perform any of these leg curl variations as you normally would— using only one leg at a time. Complete all repetitions for one leg before moving on to the other.


Unilateral training can give you more focus and enhanced muscle-fiber recruitment.

4) Smith-machine lunges Position yourself in a Smith machine with the bar resting on a comfortable area of your traps. Put one leg out in front of the other far enough to give you a nice, deep lunge. More-advanced lifters and athletes who have better balance can substitute dumbbells or a barbell for the Smith machine.

5) Bench stepups Position a flat bench in front of you, and place one foot on top, making sure that the entire foot is solidly on the bench. Using the strength of the thigh and glute 82 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Smith-Machine Lunges

One-Sided Leg Training muscles of the elevated leg, lift your body up onto the bench. Lower yourself slowly and carefully back to the floor using the same leg that lifted you. Do not remove your foot from the bench between repetitions. For added resistance hold a pair of dumbbells. More-advanced lifters and athletes who have better balance can hold a barbell across their backs.

6) Unilateral stiff-legged deadlifts Holding a pair of dumbbells, perform a stiff-legged deadlift on one leg. The nonworking leg should be off the floor and back behind

you as you descend. Keep a slight bend in the working leg, and your back flat. Do not overstretch. This is a highly advanced movement that takes an enormous amount of

lization required for unilateral movements make them far more challenging than standard exercises. For example, if you can normally leg-press 600 pounds for 10 repeti-

The added balance and stability required for unilateral movements make them far more challenging than standard exercises. balance to perform properly and safely. Do it very slowly and carefully, using very light weights. Note: Do not expect to be able to simply cut your normal weights in half because you’re only using one leg. The added balance and stabi-

tions, don’t expect to be able to use 300 pounds for one leg. You’re better off using about one-quarter of your normal leg press weight, or in this case 150 pounds. Of course, if you do unilateral movements often, your strength on them will increase quickly. Here are a couple of sample routines using these exercises:


Bench Stepups

Unilateral leg presses Unilateral leg extensions Unilateral seated or lying leg curls

3 x 10-12 3 x 10-12 4 x 8-10

Intermediate Smith-machine lunges 3 x 10-12 Unilateral leg presses 3 x 10-12 Unilateral leg extensions 2 x 10-12 Unilateral lying leg curls 3 x 8-10 Unilateral seated leg curls 2 x 8-10

Advanced Bench stepups Barbell lunges Unilateral leg presses Unilateral stiff-legged deadlifts Unilateral standing leg curls



3 x 10-12 3 x 10-12 3 x 10-12 3 x 8-10 3 x 8-10

My suggestion is that you shouldn’t entirely abandon standard training; just use a routine like the above examples once every six to eight weeks. I do suggest that you perform at least one unilateral movement at every workout for the unique muscle- and strength-building benefits it can provide.

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One-Sided Leg Training

Unilateral Lying Leg Curls


Unilateral exercises are especially useful for athletes who require more strength and endurance in the balancing and stabilizer muscles, which will translate to vastly improved on-field play. And as mentioned above, bodybuilders will enjoy a more symmetrical and proportionate physique. So, if you’re man enough and think you can handle the intensity of a unilateral leg workout, get some extra sleep—and then get ready to rumble! It’s time to get a little one-sided about your leg training. Editor’s note: For individualized programs, online personal training, nutritional guidance or contest-prep coaching, contact Eric Broser at IM


Perform at least one unilateral movement at each and every workout for the unique muscle- and strength-building benefits it can provide.

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge


Arms Q: I’m on a powerlifting program, but I’m not sure whether I should train my arms. I don’t want to overtrain my biceps and triceps because that will lead to no arm-size gains. Here’s my program: Monday I do bench presses, high pulls and reverse-grip pulldowns; Wednesday it’s squats; and Friday I do military presses. Do you think I should train arms on Friday?

Q: I just turned 18 and have been training for two years now. I live in Australia and am four months away from my first competition. I wonder, What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned You have to learn which key exercises over the years? build the most mass for you. Also, do you have any tips on posing? It’s my area of struggle. I’ve built myself from 140 pounds to my current 186 with 9 percent bodyfat—all natural, the only way to be.

A: Yes, I think you’ll do fine if you train your arms at your Friday workout. I don’t think that you’ll be in danger of overtraining at all, especially on such a limited workout routine. I’m not a powerlifter, but I think you could also add a few more auxiliary exercises to your routine to become bigger and stronger. You need to include deadlifts as one of your core movements. You could perform that mass-building exercise on Friday or include it with your squat workout on Wednesday—although that will probably be too much to do in one session, as the squat and deadlift are very intense exercises.

Neveux \ Model: Marvin Montoya

Arm training can be valuable for powerlifters, and core training with abdominal exercises is critical for moving big poundages on the key lifts.

A: I’ve been training for approximately 28 years now, and I’m still learning new things about training and diet all the time. Bodybuilding is a unique experience for everyone because every body is different. That means we need to find what works for us as individuals. Also, because our bodies change as we get older, we have to learn new ways of training and eating to get our physiques to respond again. Probably the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the years is what exercises are most effective at building muscle mass and how to apply them in a training routine without overtraining the individual muscle or the body in general. After I had the correct exercises and routine in place, it was only a matter of applying enough intensity to the workout itself to develop the muscle mass I was after. As for learning how to pose, you can do many things to improve in that area. The first is to watch accomplished posers actually performing their posing routine. In my opinion, the best posers were bodybuilders of the ’70s and ’80s. In general, bodybuilders from those eras seemed to put more effort and creativity into developing a posing routine. Many modern-day bodybuilders (with the exception of Darrem Charles, Melvin Anthony and Lee Priest) seem to wing it and rely on audience applause for their posing routines instead of creating unique presentations. Buy videotapes of some of the top competitions from that era (go to or (continued on page 92)

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Neveux \ Model: Steve Kummer

You should also do some abdominal exercises to develop your core strength, which will keep you stronger on the heavy squats and deadlifts. Half situps on a steep incline bench along with hanging knee raises will work your upper and lower abs, respectively. Work your abs at least once per week at the conclusion of your workout. As for the arms, I think adding a couple of sets of barbell curls for your biceps and lying triceps extensions or dips for the triceps will do the trick. Perform your arm exercises at the conclusion of your workout—that is, after you’ve completed all your heavy work.

Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Among today’s pros, Darrem Charles always has a breathtaking presentation.

(continued from page 88) visit the Home Gym Warehouse at

pick a pose just because it looks good on your favorite bodybuilder. It has to look good on your physique. When you have a dozen or so poses picked out, you can begin the process of putting them together into a routine. Once you put the poses into some type of order, you’ll need to work out the transitions between them. Try to make them as smooth as possible by using your arms to create wide arcs and dramatic moves. It helps to have someone who’s experienced in posing watch you to give you an honest assessment of your routine. Posing is a difficult art to master, but watching the best in the sport will help you create a routine that will emphasize your physique. I have a whole section on how to develop a posing routine, as well as the correct way to perform the mandatory poses, in my new book, Natural Bodybuilding, which is available at It could become a great reference for you as you master the art of posing., and watch bodybuilders such as Ed Corney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Mohammed Makkawy, Chris Dickerson, Lee Haney, Rich Gaspari, Lee Labrada, Phil Hill, Shawn Ray, Bob Paris and Vince Taylor go through their posing routines. Watch how they move from pose to pose—the transitions—how they choose poses that accentuate the strong points of their physique while hiding their weak points and how they create a dramatic posing routine by coordinating the poses with the music they use. The first step to putting together a posing routine is to choose the poses that look best for your physique. Don’t

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 Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or IM Neveux

Bob Paris’ posing was exceptional in his heyday.



Naturally Huge

John Hansen

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r e d l i u b y Bod Is


Episode 4: When Less Is More by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

face reddening. I was standing above him at the incline press, a concerned expression on my face. An Olympic bar loaded with 245 pounds was slowly crushing him into the bench, digging a trench into his upper chest. I knew I should probably take it off him now, but I wanted to make sure heÕd remember the moment. He tried to say something else but could get out only a little choking sound. Sighing, I took it off him and put it safely back on the rack.

Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez

ÒSpot!Ó Randy managed to sputter, his

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

Models: Lee and Alexander Apperson

Episode 4: When Less Is More

Models: Bolo and David Yeung

I applied enough force to let him barely squeeze out two more reps.

“What the hell?” Randy usually didn’t get angry with me, but his emotions were running a little hot right now. He probably thought I’d just showed my first signs of actually trying to kill him. The Steve Michalik/John DeFendis drowning reenactment couldn’t be too far off. “Why did you let me stay stuck like that?”

I knew I had to phrase my response right to calm him down. I spoke in a soothing tone. “How many reps was that, Randy?” He looked at me as if I were speaking a foreign language. “I didn’t get any reps because you didn’t spot me!” Several gym members were watching, no doubt hoping to see a fight.

“I didn’t spot you because you put more weight on the bar than you could even get for a single rep.” His expression now turned defensive. “I usually get five or six reps with that weight, sometimes more.” “I used to watch you train, don’t you remember? You always had spotters, and they weren’t just spotting, they were lifting part of the weight for you from the beginning.” He tried to think of a comeback, but nothing was popping into his head. “Are you trying to impress me by using so much weight?” I asked. “I guess you don’t know that people who rely on spotters to lift more weight don’t impress me. They make me laugh. They think they’re a lot stronger than they actually are, and they’re the ones being fooled.” I took the 10 and 45 off and slid a quarter next to the remaining 45 on each side while Randy looked on. In less than 30 seconds his outrage had melted into embarrassment. “Try this.” Randy got back under the bar and did his little preset ritual; we all have one. In his case it involves muttering something to himself under his breath with eyes closed. I never asked him exactly what he was saying, but I bet his parents would faint if I managed to record it for them. I say, do whatever it takes to put yourself in the right frame of mind. I handed the bar off to him at arm’s length. A grim expression painted his face. I knew he was determined to show me something special this time. He lowered the bar slowly until it just grazed his upper pecs, then drove it up forcefully for a strong contraction. His pecs bunched up together, and he repeated that seven more times. When I saw he had no more reps on his own left, I got my hands under the bar. I then applied enough force to let him just barely squeeze out two more reps. I helped him rack the bar with a clang of metal. He sat up and flexed his chest in a crab most-muscular, as I had taught him, then reached down for two 20-pound dumbbells at his feet and sat back up on the bench. Lowering into the bottom position of an incline flye, Randy held the stretch a good five seconds before dropping the ’bells to the rubber-matted floor with a cry: “Ouch!”

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A Bodybuilder Is Born “You realized that guy’s biceps will never be any bigger than they are now, right?” I asked. Randy shrugged. “I’m sure in his heart of hearts he is convinced those cheat curls using his whole body are putting him on the way to having arms like Lee Priest’s, but they’re just ensuring that his arms will be more like Jerry Seinfeld’s.” Randy chuckled. I fixed him with a serious stare because this was not a subject I wanted him to think I took lightly. “That’s you if you’re not careful, Junior,” I said. “Not even!” “I’m afraid so. If you keep trying to use more weight than you can handle in good form all the time, you’ll never have the physique you say you want so badly. And I won’t help you do that. I lift enough damn weight in my own sets, and I don’t need to be lifting your weights too. You have to get this stupid idea out of your head that piling on more weights is the secret to getting big. Good form and feeling the muscle work are far more important. Sometimes less is more.”

If you keep trying to use more weight than you can handle in good form all the time, you’ll never have the physique you want so badly.

Models: Marcus Reinhardt and Hubert Morandell

Episode 4: When Less Is More

“Now, that was a set,” I said, clapping him on the shoulder. “Your pecs are pumped up like balloons.” Randy had an aw-shucks smile at that. I pointed to a guy doing barbell curls at the squat rack. He had a 45 on each side, and his form was beyond horrible. It hurt me just to watch him. “Are that guy’s arms anything special?” I asked. It was a rhetorical question. The curler was about six feet tall and maybe 180, with a little potbelly. His arms were probably no more than 15 inches. “His arms suck,” Randy replied. “How much weight do I use on that exercise?” “I think a quarter on each side, maybe a 35.” I wasn’t about to ask him about my arms, because if I were fishing for compliments, some other bodypart would have been the topic. Randy was well aware that I’d struggled with weak arms for many years and had brought them up to a pumped 19 inches through a lot of hard, smart training. Not until I’d learned to suppress my ego and lighten up had most of the progress actually occurred.

Randy didn’t say a word. He got back under the 185 on the incline press and ground out another eight reps. “This isn’t going to be easy for you because most of the guys your age are still wrapped up in the howmuch-ya-bench mentality. That crap isn’t bodybuilding. It’s macho posturing. You’ll see your buddies using more weight than you, and you might be tempted to do the same. But listen to me.” My tone became more sober; some of his friends were loudmouths, and what I said next would come to pass. “Your buddies will never be anything special physically, just as that guy doing the curls probably never will either. None of them will ever have the type of muscular development that gets your picture in the magazines or wins a contest. In fact, I doubt any of them will ever even look like they lift seriously.” “Wow,” was Randy’s reaction to that grim reality. “Would you rather walk down the street and have people think you can lift a ton or have to stop a passerby and explain how much weight you lift, even though you don’t look it?” “That’s easy,” Randy said. “It should be an easy choice to make, but most trainees never understand that there is a choice and that they aren’t choosing wisely.” We did more for chest and triceps, emphasizing the contractions and forcing the muscles to work at full capacity. By the time we left, a group of four guys, one in his 20s and the other three over 40, had started warming up on the bench press. They came in twice a week, each of them working up to a max of more than 400 pounds. It was clear to me that none of them could actually lift that much weight, but it made them feel good to think that they could. Only the young guy had a good build because he stayed after they were done and did lighter work every time. The older guys all had fat bellies and skinny arms and legs. Randy nodded in their direction. “Those guys are me in 20 years if I keep trying to go too heavy, huh?” “Probably. But I know you’re too smart for that.” As we walked past the group, the wise-ass in me shot to the surface. One of the guys had

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Model: Ron Harris

Would you rather walk down the street and have people think you can lift a ton or have to stop a passerby and explain how much weight you lift, even though you don’t look it?

just bounced 405 off his chest. It had come crashing down, as it always did, and was stuck until a spotter on each side of the bar got it off him. His face was purple from lack of oxygen, and the spotter congratulated him on a good effort. My own chest was pumped, looking high and thick enough to set a pitcher of water on. I smiled as I walked by and asked, “Yo, you how much I bench? Nowhere near as much as you.” He stared back blankly at me, unsure of whether I was mocking him. Randy and I managed to get into the locker room

before bursting out laughing. “The sad thing is, Randy, that I bet he thinks benching all that weight makes him the stud of the gym. And if I ever catch you doing some stupid crap like that, I’ll have no choice but to slap you upside the head.” “If you ever see me doing that,” Randy responded, “feel free to knock me out cold.” I’ll remember, kid. Editor’s note: To contact Ron Harris, write to him at his Web site, IM \ NOVEMBER 2005 99

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The Nautilus

North Study Determining Optimal Training Frequency: Is It Possible to Add 100 Pounds of Muscle in One Year? by John Little Photography by Michael Neveux f you only had time to train once every seven days, would you be happy with a gain of 11 pounds of muscle in a month? If you only had time to train train once every two weeks for 15 minutes a workout, would you settle for a 19.5pound gain of solid muscle in a year? If so, read on, for that’s exactly what subjects who took part in a two-week body-composition study are on track to gain this year at Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. In June 2005, 11 individuals who had training histories that ranged from six months to 20 years took part in the study. The goals were many, including:

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Cary Howe



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The Nautilus North Study •To determine exactly when the body produces a muscular increase after a workout and thereby determine optimal training frequency. •To determine when a mass increase, so produced, begins to leave the body. •To determine if it’s possible to gain one pound of solid muscle in a week or two pounds in two weeks and whether it’s possible to sustain that rate of gain—adding up to 52 pounds of muscle over the course of a year.


Optimal Training Frequency

“How much muscle can I gain in a week?” “How much muscle can I gain in two weeks?” Trainers and bodybuilding authorities get questions like those on a daily basis. Answers, typically, have been vague, owing primarily to the fact that no one has ever conducted studies to furnish conclusive evidence. We have long known that muscle size and strength are related and that strength increases typically indicate that your workouts are producing positive results that will at some point produce mass increases. We’ve also known that after a work-

Is it possible to gain one to two pounds of muscle a week? That would add up to 50 to 100 pounds in one year!

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out the body must first put back the energy and resources that were used up during the workout before it can begin the process of putting back more than was used up, the process of overcompensation. What’s more, science has revealed that in order to stimulate muscle growth beyond normal levels, you must find ways to make your muscular contractions more intense, resulting in greater tension being generated within a muscle, and that the body then responds by making the muscle bigger and stronger. When flipping through the pages of a muscle magazine, most trainees lose sight of the fact that professional bodybuilders are genetically blessed; i.e., they have long muscle bellies and, even more important, many more fibers packed into a given muscle than the rest of us. Consequently, when Joe Champion doubles the strength (and hence the effective cross section) of his muscles, they get much, much bigger than what happens with the average person, whose genetics are not as strong. A bodybuilder who has four times the muscle fiber density in his biceps as the average person will, assuming both are

training with sufficient intensity to double their mass, always have a muscle that is four times bigger than the average trainee’s. With that in mind, genetically average bodybuilders must develop a more realistic perspective on how much muscle mass increase they can expect to gain through productive training. Many years ago Arthur Jones— the retired chairman of the board of both Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries and the MedX Corporation—made the statement, “If you want to learn how to train a racehorse, you don’t ask the racehorse.” There’s considerable merit in that idea, as it has direct application to bodybuilders and the fact that genetics is the prime determinant of muscle size, shape and definition. That’s not to suggest that training and diet can’t modify or enhance those features, but even then the results will fall into a small range that is likewise genetically determined. As soon as you reach the muscular size and strength that your genetic predisposition has deemed to be adequate for your physiology, progress slows dramatically or ceases altogether. At that


Genetics is the prime determinant of muscle size, shape and definition, but those factors can be enhanced. \ NOVEMBER 2005 103

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The Nautilus North Study point simply doing more exercise, switching routines or adjusting your diet will do nothing to alter that biological fact. The only way to make additional progress is by giving your body a damned good reason to grow larger muscles. Muscle growth is a defensive reaction to the stress of exercise. If you can perform 12 repetitions with a given resistance, and you decide to end your set at eight, your body has no reason to grow any bigger or stronger. As far as it’s concerned, it still has four reps in the bank— which you never came close to utilizing. That’s why intense training, where one more repetition simply isn’t possible, is an absolute requirement for stimulating muscle growth. If you only do eight reps when you’re capable of 12, what reason does your body have to get stronger? Even if you do two, three or 10 more submaximal-effort sets, you’re only going to be restimulating the same fibers—and slowtwitch fibers at that, those with the lowest capacity for increasing in size—not involving more fibers. It stands to reason (and physiologists have proven this) that the sole stimulus for increased size and strength is increased intensity of effort. The greater the intensity, the greater the growth stimulation. Even so, as intensity and volume—

You have to give your body a damned good reason to grow larger muscles.

Cary Howe

Optimal Training Frequency

The participants trained hard. The greater the intensity, the greater the growth stimulation.

or duration—exist in an inverse ratio to each other, it’s a physiological fact that the harder or more intensely you do anything, the less time you can spend doing it. In other words, you can train hard with high intensity and for a short duration or train easy with low intensity for long periods—but you can’t train hard for long periods. How hard? How brief? And how long does it take for the gains that are stimulated to be produced? We know that subjects can grow stronger on a per-workout basis, but how do those strength gains translate into actual increases in muscle mass? And when? Knowing how soon a mass increase shows up tells you exactly how often you should train. If, for instance, a gain in mass took two weeks to be produced, what would be the point of training more than once every two

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The Nautilus North Study weeks? All that would do is postpone or preempt the growth process. If, however, the gains showed up in 24 hours, then waiting two weeks could possibly delay the gains. In addition, if such answers could be determined, people could determine their optimal training frequency as soon as they started training, and then they could do everything possible to maximize each trip to the gym. And it only stands to reason that, as they grew stronger and moved heavier weights, the energy required to move those heavier weights would also be greater, and it would take longer to replenish it. (After all, lifting 100 pounds for 10 repetitions does not require as much energy as lifting 400 pounds for 10 repetitions.) So the gray area of how often to train could suddenly be described in terms of black and white for each individual. The thought of breaking new ground is what motivated me to conduct this study.

The object of the study was to determine how long it takes for a mass increase to show up after a brief, intense workout.

The Nautilus North Study

Cary Howe

Optimal Training Frequency

Nautilus machines were an integral part of the workouts in the study.

As there are so many methods of training in use, even within highintensity circles, it’s almost impossible to have a control group. It’s not as if you can just give the control subjects sugar pills. The control group would be anyone who doesn’t lift weights and doesn’t get stronger—on the assumption that if people don’t strength train they won’t, after puberty at least, grow stronger and bigger muscles—and there’s no way that the subjects won’t know that they’re not lifting weights. For that reason we decided not to have a control group in the study. Then came the decision on what protocol the subjects should use. What routine and training style? As our subjects were not beginners, for whom any type of training would produce results, we opted for advanced high-intensity protocols. The training stimulus had to be intense enough to work. Our main focus would be on the questions of “when” growth is produced and “how much” of it is pro-

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The Nautilus North Study

Optimal Training Frequency

Each workout should produce a positive adaptation, or muscle growth.

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The Nautilus North Study

The Results of the Two-Week Nautilus North Study Name Start Lean C. Greenfield 165.9 D. Craig 120.9 D. Beaudry 138.2 C. Bell 140.6 J. Biggs 171.9 I. Heshka 173.1 C. Howe 137.9 J. Riley 144.5 J. Ostertag 120.9 T. Peake 138.4 J. Williams 142.4

Finish Lean 166.6 121.6 138.7 142.3 171.5 172.2 138.9 146 120.1 143.2 144.1

Day of Peak Lean Day 10 (169.8) Day 5 (123.7) Day 1 (143.1) Day 6 (143) Day 1 (173.8) Day 7 (175.2) Day 10 (139.4) Day 11 (146.7) Day 5 (122.6) Day 6 (147.7) Day 9 (145.7)

Day of Lowest Lean Day 5 (160.7) Day 10 (118.6) Day 9 (137.8) No low read Day 4 (169) Day 8 (170) Day 7 (135.6) Day 1 (142.8) Day 1 (120.1) Day 9 (137.7) Day 3 (140.9)

Lean Gains in Two Weeks (in Pounds) Over Starting Level of Lean Name Start Lean C. Greenfield 165.9 D. Craig 120.9 D. Beaudry 138.2 C. Bell 140.6 J. Biggs 171.9 I. Heshka 173.1 C. Howe 137.9 J. Riley 144.5 J. Ostertag 120.9 T. Peake 138.4 J. Williams 142.4

Day of Peak Lean Day 10 (3.9) Day 5 (2.1) Day 1 (4.9) Day 6 (2.4) Day 1 (1.9) Day 7 (2.1) Day 10 (1.5) Day 11 (2.2) Day 5 (1.7) Day 6 (9.3) Day 9 (3.3)

in subjects with normal—that is, not drug-enhanced—physiology. We have clients with many different goals at Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre, which is owned and operated by my wife, Terri, and me, along with our brother-in-law Cary Howe. We’ve trained more than 500 clients on a one-on-one basis, and we’ve found that unless people are grossly underweight, it’s very difficult to put more muscle on them. Not impossible, only more difficult because it requires an ultraintense effort—and average trainees, by and large, aren’t willing to invest their workouts with that much intensity. For that reason we decided to limit the study to clients who were very motivated—not to become professional bodybuilders, necessarily, but simply to become stronger and leaner for their work, sports (baseball, football, golf and hockey) and day-to-day activities. The people who took part in the study weren’t grossly underweight or overweight, nor were they underconditioned. They were young-to-

Day of Lowest Lean Day 5 (-5.2) Day 10 (-2.3) Day 9 (-.4) No low read Day 4 (-2.9) Day 8 (-3.1) Day 7 (-2.3) Day 1 (-1.7) Day 1 (same as start) Day 9 (-.8) Day 3 (-2.5)

middle-aged men, several of whom were fresh out of college, where they’d been coached in track and field. They were fit, muscular and already very strong. I wanted to see when the muscular gain that they stimulated at their workouts would be produced over a two-week period. As the subjects would not be regaining previously held muscle (as Casey Viator did in the Colorado Experiment) and were already fairly well developed in terms of their genetic potentials for mass and strength, any gains—if they were genuine lean tissue, a.k.a. real muscle—would be noteworthy. First, however, we needed a reliable means of assessing and tracking body composition.

The Body Comp Weight Analysis Centre It is very difficult for anybody to test body composition accurately. While it’s true that there are no

Optimal Training Frequency

duced. As each workout should produce a positive adaptation, our job was to determine when that adaptation manifested. As training ought to be teleological—that is, purposefully directed—we went to what science had to tell us about how to strengthen a muscle and what type of contraction was necessary to do it. We also had our subjects submit to sophisticated body composition testing on a daily basis in order to determine when the gains (however great or minuscule) showed up. We figured that would tell us how soon the subjects could train again without disrupting the process of recovery and growth. With respect to how many sets are required to produce optimal size and strength increases, the Journal of Exercise Physiology Online (December 2004) published a most enlightening article in which, after an extensive review of all of the peer-reviewed scientific literature on training protocols, the researchers concluded that one set to failure was all that was required for building muscle size and strength

Finish Lean 166.6 (.7) 121.6 (.7) 138.7 (.5) 142.3 (1.7) 171.5 (-.4) 172.2 (-.9) 138.9 (1) 146 (1.5) 120.1 (-.8) 143.2 (4.8) 144.1 (1.7) \ NOVEMBER 2005 109

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The Nautilus North Study

Putting two inches on your arm means nothing if it’s two inches of fat. composition of individual limbs down to the gram; however, it uses radiation. Who wants to be exposed to that for repeated sessions? That’s what’s required to measure body composition accurately: repeated testing over a short span of time. And we were going to test daily.

John Little supervises one of the study participants on a Nautilus hip-and-back machine.

Cary Howe

Optimal Training Frequency

shortage of body composition testing methods available, it’s also true that not all of them are accurate— some can be off by 30 percent or more. Without an accurate and reliable means of assessing body composition, you are a rudderless ship. How do you know if your training and diet are producing muscle gains? A bodybuilder can easily gain 10 pounds over the course of a month—but 10 pounds of what? Water? Fat? Muscle? Fat and muscle? A bodyweight scale can’t tell the difference. The same applies to using a tape measure: Putting two inches on your arm means nothing if they’re two inches of fat. To make any sort of measurement relevant, you have to be able to assess the composition of the weight and volume accurately. Basically, you need to know that the weight you gained from training this month was the result of an increase in your body’s lean mass rather than fat. And if you’re trying to lose fat, you need to know if the weight you lost was fat, water, lean tissue or a combination of all three. We considered various methods of testing body composition for our study. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machine is sophisticated enough to measure the

Underwater weighing is excellent and very accurate. Indeed, Mike and Ray Mentzer both used the hydrostatic method in 1980, when Mike was preparing for the Mr. Olympia contest. It revealed that Mike had gained 12 pounds of muscle over a period of only 12 days. Hydrostatic weighing was the gold standard of body composition 20 years ago, but there have been advances since that time, most notably in the areas of practicality and convenience. After all, who wants to be dunked up to 10 times for 30 seconds in an underwater tank? Plus, it just wasn’t practical to send our subjects to university physiology labs in Toronto to have the test performed. Bioelectric impedance analysis seemed promising, but the technology experienced problems with regard to accuracy and repeatability; one client, a medical doctor in town, has a niece who is morbidly obese. He, by contrast, is a fitness freak—not only performing strength training but also competing in cross-country ski events. He is so defined that you can see virtually every muscle on his body; however, when he and his niece tested themselves on a bioelectrical impedance (continued on page 114)

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The Nautilus North Study


(continued from page 110) machine, they both tested at 36 percent fat! Evidently, many such machines can measure only the composition of the limb or limbs that actually make contact with the apparatus, as the current is too weak to measure all aspects of the body. On the other hand, who would want a supercharged electrical current running through his or her body, which is what it would take to increase the accuracy rate? Calipers were another option, but as bodyfat is stored all over the body and not just in the three to four areas you test, there’s no way you can determine overall bodyfat with such limited measurements. (Similarly, when you lose bodyfat, it comes off randomly from all over the body and not just from the sites where the tests are conducted.) In addition, calipers only measure subcutaneous fat deposits, so their results tell us nothing about visceral, or internal, fat, which is the fat that typically builds up to cause serious health problems. Moreover, of all the methods discussed above, calipers have the highest percentage of error, typically the result of people’s storing fat in different areas from those being measured. The only valid scientific method I’ve found that was ideal for the type of frequent testing we needed was the whole-body testing offered by Body Comp Weight Analysis Centre (705-645-9754). The method used there is based on the same principle of displacement that hydrostatic weighing employs, but the machine—a Bod Pod capsule— measures air displacement. The testing procedure is quick (under five minutes) and accurate to plus or minus 2 percent, which puts it on a par in terms of accuracy with hydrostatic weighing and, shy of an autopsy, is as accurate a measurement as science presently permits. Moreover, although this technology is used in universities, hospitals and other professional institutions, it’s the only one we were aware of in Canada that was open to the general public. Using the Body Comp Weight Analysis Centre’s revolutionary technology, we were able to test the subjects and know—to .1 of a pound—whether the weight they were gaining or losing was lean or

fat and whether a particular training and recovery protocol produced lean tissue—and, even more impressively, we were able to determine exactly—to the day—when the gain or loss showed up.

The Stimulus The subjects trained once, and then we tracked their body composition every day for 14 days. We engineered the workouts to target the major muscle masses of the body in the order that was most likely to stimulate more growth. The subjects did five to 11 sets maximum in the workout (the higher set numbers were for two trainees who were using the original Max Contraction training protocol of whole-body workouts consisting of isolation exercises). They took each set to either positive muscular failure, negative-only failure, static failure or Infitonic failure. (Infitonic is a term coined by the late Mike Mentzer to describe a technique whereby you’d perform a maximum single lift concentrically, followed immediately by a maximum negative, or eccentric, lift. That was one repetition. You then took a 10-second rest/pause, which allows your vasculature to empty, delaying or preventing the buildup of metabolites such as lactic acid that can compromise a maximum-intensity contraction, and repeated the sequence for a maximum of five repetitions.) All the subjects were tested before the stimulus—that is, the workout—was applied. After the workout we instructed the subjects not to do any additional resistance exercise. They simply went about their day-to-day affairs for the 14 days of the study. As we were checking solely for lean tissue increases, we didn’t have the subjects reduce or increase their calories. We wanted the training stimulus to be the sole variable. We knew that if the subjects ate their usual diet, they wouldn’t sacrifice muscle. The numbers in the chart on page 109 indicate not bodyweight but lean weight. The subjects’ actual weight—as measured by a scale—was considerably higher than indicated in the chart shown here, but as (continued on page 120)

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The Nautilus North Study Ending lean mass: 145.93 Gain in lean mass: .955 Peak lean mass: 148.23 Gain in lean at peak: 3.27 Day of peak gain: 6.5 Lowest lean before peak: 143.77 Prepeak loss of lean: 1.20 Day of prepeak loss: 1.9 Overall lowest lean: 143.07 Overall loss of lean: 1.90 Day of overall lowest lean: 5.18 (Averages of middle nine values, dropping high and low in each category.) Beginning lean mass: 144.52 Ending lean mass: 145.88 Gain in lean mass: .733 Peak lean mass: 148.10 Gain in lean at peak: 2.80 Day of peak gain: 6.6 Lowest lean before peak: 143.17 Prepeak loss of lean: 0.8 Day of prepeak loss: 1.5 Overall lowest lean: 142.80 Overall loss of lean: 1.74 Day of overall lowest lean: 5.22

A New Observation: Muscular Suppression

Optimal Training Frequency

Cary Howe

Little and Chris Evans made sure the subjects attacked each set.

(continued from page 114) we were only interested in lean, or muscular, bodyweight, that’s the only reading presented. The most striking gain was recorded by T. Peake, who peaked at 9.3 pounds after 6 1/2 days of recovery and was up 4.8 pounds after two full weeks of body composition testing—all from only one workout. If that rate of increase persisted (which seems very unlikely), it would see him gain 9.6 pounds of muscle per month, or 115.2 pounds of muscle per year. As that would be an unprecedented increase, it’s more likely that his growth would stop at some point, although we can’t know in advance precisely when or what that would be. Besides, since muscle continues to increase in size and strength if it gets both the stimulus for change

and the time required to produce such change, one must grant that even an unprecedented gain is statistically possible. More likely, we should look to the average gain the subjects experienced as being more realistic and, therefore, attainable. In determining the averages, we have presented the actual gains and averages from all of the subjects in the study, followed by the actual gains and averages with the highs and lows factored out in order to determine a more likely average for trainees with average genetics and recovery ability:

Averages Including All Study Participants Beginning lean mass: 144.97

The data show a pattern of muscle growth: The lean composition of human muscle actually dipped, or was suppressed, after the workout was applied, reaching a low at day 5 (on average) and not coming up for several days afterward. Evidently, muscle tissue is like a sponge; immediately after an intense workout it is, for want of a better term, compressed. Some of its constituents, like glycogen, are used up and not immediately replaced, with the result that the body’s lean composition can actually be reduced by several pounds and stay that way for several days after a workout. But then over time the lean tissue fills back up again, and, if the workout was sufficiently intense to stimulate a compensatory buildup of new tissue, it will grow back bigger than it was before. In other words, the growth process is not an entirely linear progression; the muscle content of the body gets smaller after training and then increases in volume, with periodic ebbs and flows until it finally recovers—that is, returns to its preworkout size—

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Optimal Training Frequency

The Nautilus North Study

and then gets a little bit bigger, which is the overcompensation. Whereas some experts hold that decompensation—or loss of muscle tissue from disuse—occurs after 48 or 96 hours, our study revealed no evidence of that. In fact, it often took in excess of seven days, or 178 hours, for the gains to be produced. Knowing that, and the fact that the muscles must first recover before they can grow, we can infer that training before peak growth has taken place will postpone the maximum production of new muscle. The average peak gain from the workout arrived almost a full seven days later, and the subjects held a large portion of the peak gain right up until testing ended on day 14. With this data we can now make some predictions of rate of muscle gain based on a continued growth pattern and the trainee’s hitting his targeted peak training day and also predictions of the rate of growth by those who train but once every two weeks:

Predictions Based on 14-Day Study Average Base value: 0.733 pounds 1 week: 0.367 pounds 2 weeks: 0.733 pounds 4 weeks (1 month): 1.466 2 months (8 weeks): 2.932

6 months (26 weeks): 9.529 12 months (1 year): 19.058

Peak Training Time Based on Best (Ideal) Result Calculations: 6.6-day period Base value: 2.800 1 week: 2.970 2 weeks: 5.939 4 weeks (1 month): 11.879 2 months (8 weeks): 23.758 6 months (26 weeks): 77.212 12 months (1 year): 154.424

Into the Future Here are a few things the data indicate: •The average peak day was 6.5. If we drop the highs and the lows to get a better average, it extends to 6.6 days. •The average muscular suppression, or dip, day occurred at day 1.9 and continued for several days thereafter. •The average gain worked out to be .733, or just under threequarters of a pound of muscle per two-week period, and 5.93 pounds in two weeks (based on the peak growth point).

Such gains are considerable (some, such as the projection of 154 pounds in a year, undoubtedly beyond considerable). They would have the average trainee gaining at least 19 1/2 pounds of solid muscle per year, with those of above average genetics gaining more and those of below average genetics gaining less. Moreover, the gain is achieved not by training every day, not by taking expensive supplements or drugs, not by drinking gallons of milk, but by eating normally and training only once every two weeks. If you didn’t gain 19 1/2 pounds of muscle this past year, then the figures for the compression, or dip, of lean tissue prior to the growth being produced should be particularly interesting to you, as it is a phenomenon that was observed in all our subjects and is, we suspect, applicable to the vast majority of trainees. Leaving it out of the frequency equation could be the reason that many bodybuilders fail to make the progress that they’re capable of.

Editor’s note: The scientific training approach employed by Nautilus North Strength and Fitness Centre produces exceptional results. Nautilus North is one of the leading fitness research centers in North America, and the conclusions of the Nautilus North Study are truly revolutionary. A complete report of this landmark study, along with a full breakdown of the exact workout that produced the study’s most dramatic gains in lean mass, is now available in e-book form at John Little’s Web site: www Those wishing to perform a supervised workout at Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre should call (705) 645-6525 to book an appointment. IM

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Ronnie ColemanÕs Shocking Olympia Mass Training Drops Jaws and Triggers Awes by Steve Holman All training photos are from “Cost Of Redemption” DVD ©2004 Mitsuru Okabe Co. All World Rights Reserved. Used with permission.


e were standing, frozen, in front of the computer screen in my office, our jaws on the floor. No, we hadn’t logged on to the “Girls Gone Wild” Web site; Jonathan Lawson and I were watching the Ronnie Coleman DVD “The Cost of Redemption,” which is an ungodly display of muscle mass and raw strength captured by Mitsuru Okabe. Once I’d locked my jaw back in place, I noticed that Mr. Olympia’s mass-training style is a prime example of max-force-point overload on almost every exercise. What the heck am I talking about?

Let’s start from the beginning of Mr. O’s DVD. On second thought, let me explain max-force-point overload first, which will help you better understand why most of Coleman’s training is so on target for building incredible mass quickly. Then we’ll get to his training. The max-force point is the place along an exercise’s stroke at which the target muscle has the most power-output potential. It’s essentially the most important point of any movement because it’s where the most fiber activation can occur—more force equals maximum muscle involvement. Where is

that point? Well, it’s different for every exercise, but you can usually find it near the semistretched position. When a muscle is semistretched—not fully stretched, but almost—the muscle fibers are perfectly aligned for ultimate power generation. In simple terms, if you want to trigger extreme mass, you need to overload that point somehow. Coleman does that instinctively with heavy partial-range reps on almost every exercise. For example, he does only the bottom half of a bench press stroke. In fact, he almost never does full-range reps.

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That means he slams that mass-morphing sweet spot with severe overload on every single rep. Okay, you’ve got the basic concept of why and how this mindboggling mass machine got into the Jurassic category of the muscle elite. Let’s talk specifics—extracted right from his DVD. Opening. It’s 9:35 a.m., and Coleman is fixing himself breakfast in his kitchen. He’s wearing a sleeveless, collarless shirt, and the man is huge! With every move, as when he’s whipping up his gritsand-egg-white concoction, the vascularity on his arms and delts gets more vivid. By the time he sits down to eat, the veinous network looks like the root system of a giant sequoia shooting down his arms. After he chows down on his breakfast mix—from a Jethro Bodine-size bowl—he jumps into one of his cars, SUVs or Hummers for his drive to Metroflex Gym, a hardcore Texas pain-and-gain muscle dungeon.

Workout 1

note that on all calf exercises, even the seated variety, he double bounces when he gets to the highest point, which for him is just above the middle of the stroke. From a scientific standpoint he might get better results doubleclutching at the semistretched point, down near the bottom where the most fiber activation can occur. That’s exactly how he trains his shrugs, double-dipping at the bottom stretch and then only moving the bar up a few inches before he lowers and double bangs again— and his traps are absolutely enormous! Maybe his calves would get even better with extra semistretched-point overload (but who am I to tell Mr. O how to train?). Delts. He kicks off shoulder

Coleman’s presses are partial-range,

Calves. He begins with semistretched-position-overload seated calf raises, and the first reps with controlled explosion. thing that’s noteworthy is that he never gets close to full contraction—not even on his first, lighter sets. He works from just work with seated dumbbell presses, above the middle of the stroke to using a seat with back support. He just short of full stretch—the drives the dumbbells from ear level, semistretched point. He does the the semistretched point, to about same thing on one-leg leg press calf eight inches above his head, far raises; however, it’s interesting to short of lockout. (It’s during this

exercise that you get to hear his first surprising and humorous battle cry, “Yeah, buddy!” He loves that stuff, no matter how painful the set.) He does four sets of dumbbell presses, increasing the weight on each till he’s using the 160s on his last set for seven reps. (Yes, 160pound dumbbells!) His first three sets are all in the 10-to-12-rep range. It was rather shocking to see that Coleman prefers higher reps on almost all of his sets, but it’s probably to hammer the target muscle with more tension time. Speaking of higher reps, here’s a big surprise: After dumbbell presses he goes to the Nautilus doubleshoulder machine and does lateral raises, only the bottom half of the movement (semistretched point again), for about 20 reps. Then he follows immediately with presses on the machine, turning his palms out (ouch) and moving the bar from ear level to just above his head, no lockout, for about 20 reps. He does three of the high-rep combo sets—and his delts get pumped to the extreme. For front delts he does a few progressively heavier sets of alternate dumbbell front raises, stopping each rep at about eye level. His reps start at 15 on the first set and creep down from there. Uncrossovers are next. What the heck is an uncrossover? You stand in the middle of a cable crossover, the cable handle from the opposite side in each hand, your arms crossed at midforearm in front of \ NOVEMBER 2005 129

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He uses a double-hitch tactic at the bottom of every rep to emphasize the key stretch point.

your face with a slight bend at each elbow. You uncross your arms and drive your hands out to your sides at shoulder level, keeping the slight bend at the elbows. After a few reps you should get a wicked burn in your rear-delt heads and midback. Coleman does four sets, increasing the weight on each and decreasing his reps, going from 15 down to eight. Next it’s bent-over cable laterals in the same crossover machine but using the low handles—and zero full-range reps. He does only half reps from the stretch point to about halfway up. In other words, his arms never get close to parallel to the floor for complete contraction. He does four sets of these stretchemphasis back burners. Are you seeing a pattern? The stretched and semistretched points appear to be critically important for building mass. Coleman’s training indicates that in a big way—even more strongly on the next exercise. Traps. To finish, he blasts out heavy behind-the-back barbell shrugs. He does them while holding the Olympic bar behind his legs rather than in front, and he uses a tremendous poundage that rattles the power rack to its core at the end

of his sets; however, his catchers—other than his training shoulders barely move. partner and the Metroflex Gym He only does bottomowner, neither of whom look too range partials—and his thrilled about having to pull 800 traps look like Grand pounds off of Ronnie if he misses. Canyon-size boulders Oh, and did I mention that all of sitting on his shoulders. his reps are down below parallel He starts with 445 and only partial range? Yep, it’s pounds and does 15 reps. semistretched-position overload, Then he bumps it up to never pushing close to top-end 645 for 12 and, finally, lockout. If you look closely, you’ll 735 for 11. And as mennotice that Ronnie’s 300-pound tioned above, he doublephysique is quite a contrast to the clutches at the bottom, poster of a skinny Bruce Lee hangstretched position on ing on the wall behind him flapping every rep, providing in the breeze. serious double overColeman does take quite a bit of load at the max-force time between heavy sets, as he point. wraps his knees and squeezes into a My primary power suit. Still, 800 for two deep thought at the end of reps nonlock style is amazing. his workout, other Another eye-popping display than shock and awe, occurs on leg presses. He does four was this: Considering progressively heavier sets with his the impressiveness of feet close and in nonlock style. On his traps, which may be his freakiest bodypart, I wonder why he doesn’t try the doubleclutch semistretched-overload tactic on more of his He starts from exercises. I’ve used lockout, but semistretched-point partials, after that first or X Reps, at the end of sets rep it’s all and they’ve taken my mass bottom-range to new levels. Coleman’s partials. double-clutch method from the very first rep may be a good, or better, hybrid version. Could it make him even larger? Scary thought.

Workout 2 Quads. Coleman starts with four progressively heavier sets of leg extensions to warm up his knees. He does 30 quick reps on each set. As before, it’s, “Yeah, buddy!” as he primes his knees and his mind for squats. Prepare to be impressed. He does five progressively heavier sets on squats: 225x12, 405x10, 595x8, 745x4 and 800x2. Wow! But even more impressive is that he doesn’t use a power rack. He shoulders the bar from heavy-duty power stands and then squats without any safety

his last set he appears to have every 45 in the gym piled on, and a calculator is brought out to determine that he was using 2,250 pounds— for eight reps! Yep, more than a ton. Hamstrings. Those leg presses, with feet high on the platform, provide a good transition to hamstring work. He begins with one-leg

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of the movement only; bench kneeups, bottom range only; standing cable crunches and twisting crunches. It appears as though there’s no specific order; he just does whichever exercise he feels like doing— but he still emphasizes the

leg curls, once again doing only the bottom twothirds of the movement (semistretched point) and no pauses. His reps are rapid fire, and he alternates legs for three sets of about 15 reps apiece. Stiff-legged deadlifts are last on his day-two agenda, and the theme slapped me in the face again: He only moves the bar from ankles to knees—stretched-position partials. And his weight is relatively light. It looked to be only about 275 pounds for all three sets. He appears to be using the exercise as more of a stretch-emphasizing movement, and as I’ve noted at and in our e-books, stretch-position work has been linked to hyperplasia, or fiber splitting, in the lab. Perhaps that’s one reason Ronnie is so damn huge—maybe stretch and semistretch focus has produced considerable replication of muscle fibers. Interesting concept! Stretching. Even more evidence of Coleman’s attention to muscle elongation: He ends this workout with hamstring and adductor stretches.

Workout 3

Would you believe more than 2,200 pounds on leg presses? semistretched point on almost all of them, never holding a contraction and almost always just doing partial-range, rapid-fire reps. Chest. He begins with bench presses, five progressively heavier sets—and his range is almost shorter here than on most other exercises. It looks as though he’s moving through only the bottom half of the stroke, exploding on every rep at the low, semistretched point. How much does Mr. O bench? At this workout his last three sets were 315x12, 405x10 and 495x5. Not

too shabby. For incline presses it’s a repeat performance as far as range goes— partial, max-force-point emphasis. He does only the bottom half to two-thirds of the stroke, often reversing the movement of the bar and exploding on it before it touches his chest. He does three sets: 225x15, 315x12 and 405x8 plus one forced rep. Forced reps are a rare occurrence, at least on this DVD. Next up: decline presses. Bottom half of the stroke only, and he does three sets: 225x15, 315x15 and 405x10. He lowers the bar to his low-pec line on every rep. Triceps. He begins with quickhit one-arm overhead extensions in a seated position. He lowers the dumbbell to just off his shoulder, hand at about ear level, then drives it up till his hand is just above his head, not even close to lockout. He just keeps pulsing in that middle range, kicking out of the semistretched position, for three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Machine dips are next. Here he sits and grips wheelbarrow-type handles. The fulcrum is at the middle of the two handlebars, and the weight is at the opposite end. He drives the handles from the semistretched point, hands up next to his pecs down to well short of lockout. He does those pistonlike reps for three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Narrow-grip pushdowns finish off his triceps. Not to belabor the point, but (you guessed it) his range of motion is from about the middle of his chest (triceps’ semistretched point) to just short of lockout. He fires out 10 to 15 reps with zero pauses for three sets.

More partialrange explosions on decline presses.

Abs. Coleman’s ab routine is an almost endless giant set. He does bench crunches, bottom two-thirds

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Workout 4 Calves. He starts the day with some highrep calf work in his home gym, once again doing short, pulsing reps through the bottom range only and double-clutching each rep at about the

midpoint (Ronnie, try doubleclutching closer to the bottom, where the X spot is; I swear you’ll like it!). After pumping up his calves, he’s off to the gym. Back. Wide-grip lat pulldowns are first. That may be the exercise

he uses the fullest range on. He pulls from just shy of lockout, semistretched point, down to his middle chest. The explosive heave just before lockout at the top of every rep really overloads that max-force point for some serious mass stimulation in his upper lats. You can see it happening. Unreal! He does four sets of 12 reps, the last with the stack plus a 45 pinned to it. Behind-the-neck pulldowns are next, although they’re really behind-the-head pulldowns. He never pulls the bar past ear level, and he releases to just short of lockout. He does three sets of 12 reps here.

Cable rows follow—rapid-fire reps from the forward-lean, semistretched position and pulling the parallel handle to near his upper abs as he straightens his torso. He does three sets of 12 again, and on his last set he rows the stack plus two 45s that are pinned to it. To finish off back, he goes for some serious stretch (and maybe some critical fiber splitting, or hyperplasia). Cross-bench dumbbell pullovers, with one ’bell, give his lats some wicked elongation, especially when he gets to his last set, pulling a 160-pound dumbbell from back over his head to just over his eyes. He does three sets of 12 again, partial-range with a considerable stretch emphasis (how could you not emphasize stretch with that amount of weight?). Biceps. He begins attacking his mountainous biceps with machine curls. It looks like an old Nautilus machine with an EZ-curl handle, but he doesn’t do full-range Arthur Jones-style reps. He curls from the semistretched point, arms just bent out of the straight-arm position, to just above the middle of the stroke—no contraction emphasis at all. His reps are partial, pistonlike max-force-point-overload reps for all three sets. Next up are alternate dumbbell curls. Nothing special here, just rocking the weight up in a see-saw motion. Each of the three sets seems extremely long because of the alternating arms—one arm rests while the other curls—plus the fact that he does 10 full reps on every set. Last is a unique cable curl. Instead of facing the weight stack, he turns his back to it so the cable runs down between his legs. He bends over slightly at the waist and curls from the semistretched point, never straightening his arms, to just above the midpoint of the stroke— like slightly exaggerated X Reps. He performs three sets of 15, 15 and 11 reps. Then he hits a few poses that had the protein shake I was sipping spewing out my nose. An incredible impromptu display of raw muscle size and separation, despite his being months away from the Mr. Olympia.

Mass-Building Lessons So what can we learn from all of this? First and foremost, it appears that semistretched- and stretchedposition overload are much, much more important than squeezy contractions—at least in the massive Coleman camp. I’ve been explaining why in the pages of IRON MAN for many moons as well as in the e-books Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building and The Ultimate Mass Workout. Coleman’s training verifies a lot of what we’ve discovered the past few years at the IRON MAN Training & Research Center. Next, continuous tension appears to be a very big player in building muscle. When Coleman does partial reps, such as nonlock squats or presses, the target muscle never gets a breather. The technique creates an occlusion, or blocked blood flow, and that produces a skin-stretching pump as well as spectacular anabolic responses in muscle tissue. One thing you don’t learn on the DVD is that Coleman usually trains with two different workouts for each bodypart, an A-and-B approach. He rotates them to hit the muscle with different stress at every session. In other words, I only described half of his workouts. The others hit the same bodyparts but usually with different exercises. The last thing I picked up on is that Coleman is one heck of a personable guy and loves training. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. My only complaint is that now, after I screened the DVD a second time at home to write this feature, my daughters are answering any question I throw out to them with, “Yeah, buddy!”

Editor’s note: Ronnie Coleman’s three-hour-and-15-minute “The Cost of Redemption” DVD is available for $29.95 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse (you save $10.00 of the retail price). Call (800) 447-0008, or visit For more on X-Rep training, occlusion and semistretched overload, visit IM

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Middle East

Muscle Sagi Kalev, a 33-Year-Old Israeli Transplant, Has a Different Take on Bodybuilding Success by Joe Raymond Photography by Michael Neveux


e hasn’t competed in a bodybuilding show since 1999, but he’s one of the most soughtafter cover models in the business today. Unlike most competitive bodybuilders, he manages to keep his weight within a 10-pound range yearround. He also chooses to live in Dallas, Texas, rather than in the one or more traditional bodybuilding and modeling meccas—New York, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Sagi Kalev, a 33-year-old native of Israel, has charted his own course with determination and creativity since he began modeling and competing as a teenager. His consuming passion to become a top-level physique model, however, didn’t kick in until the spring of 2003. Within six months he landed a significiant contract with a nutrition company and a cover on one of bodybuilding’s major publications.

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Middle East Muscle

“Self-centered means being successful in a lot of different ways. It means doing a lot of sacrificing. From experience I learned that if I don’t make myself happy, my surroundings aren’t happy, and I won’t be as successful as I can be.”

Bodybuilding Success

Although Sagi continues to spend most of his time on his personal-training business, his newfound popularity has brought him international recognition, five more magazine covers, guest-posing appearances, video and theater opportunities and sponsorships and partnerships with several fitness-related companies. He attributes his success to a variety of factors: genetics, discipline, a marketable look and the ability to bridge the gap between bodybuilder and fitness model. As far as he’s concerned, the best is yet to come. JR: Describe yourself in up to 10 phrases. SK: Independent, grown-up, mature, self-centered, good-looking, muscular, generous, openminded, kind, educated. JR: A couple of those terms—

self-centered and generous— seem to be somewhat contradictory. Are they necessary attributes of a successful physique model?

SK: Yes and no. Self-centered means being successful in a lot of different ways. It means doing a lot of sacrificing. One of my sacrifices is making sure I come first. From experience I’ve learned that if I don’t make myself happy, my surroundings aren’t happy, and I won’t be as successful as I can be. That’s what I mean by being self-centered. I’m not saying I’m egocentric, because I do care what other people do or think. But in this sport, which is 24/7, it’s very important to know exactly what you need to do each day. You have to build your day around your food and your training and your sleep. JR: I’ve heard that people who see you for the first time often try to guess your ethnic background. What is it? SK: Most people that I meet have no idea where I’m from. Until I speak, they think I’m from the United States. I’m from the Middle East. I was born in Israel in 1971. My background is Eastern European— Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and some Bulgarian.

JR: Give us a short synopsis of your experiences in that part of the world. SK: Growing up in Israel is very similar to growing up in the U.S. The main difference is that we know growing up that we go into the military at age 17 or 18 to protect our country and our families. Our education is important. Our health and physical education are important. Otherwise we’re very much the same in terms of clothes, music and the foods we eat. JR: Were you active in sports as a child or teenager? SK: I was active in any sport you can think about, from swimming to rock climbing to Ping-Pong, volleyball, tennis, sprinting, weightlifting, soccer and basketball. We didn’t play baseball and football. Those are the only sports I wasn’t familiar with. JR: When and why did you decide to turn your attention to bodybuilding? SK: When I was 15, my dad took me to a gym for the first time. I was

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Middle East Muscle always athletic, and I was good in chins and pullups. I used one of the machines, and one of the trainers approached me and said, “Wow! You’re pretty strong for a little guy.” And I said, “Little guy?” That’s something that really caught my attention. I said, “No more little guy!” And that’s when movies like “Conan” and “Rocky” and “Rambo” came out. It was what the trainer said and movies like that that helped push me over to the bodybuilding world.

JR: What role did genetics play in your decision to be a bodybuilder? SK: Genetics is about 80 to 90 percent of it. When it comes to genetics, I’m not just talking about the body. I’m also talking about the mind and spirit. To be successful in anything, you’ve got to have drive and be persistent. That’s part of your genetics. I have the genetics, I believe, that enable me to achieve the goals I want in the bodybuilding and modeling worlds.

JR: You competed in Israel as a teenage bodybuilder. How was that? SK: That was the first time I’d ever been onstage by myself. That was a unique and very special moment for me, and when I first realized that it wasn’t about just the bodybuilding. It was about the attention being centered on me. I liked the attention. As far as competing goes, I had no clue what I was doing, but because of my genetics, I looked pretty good considering what I was eating. Because as we all know, bodybuilding is mainly about what you eat. JR: What role did the military play in your life then, and does what you experienced play a role in your life now? SK: The military was a huge, huge influence in my life—from the beginning of every day to the end of the day the discipline, the timing, the drive and knowing what you were supposed to do. And knowing always what your life is all about and how important it is to protect your friends and your family. Number one was being disciplined, which is the bodybuilding lifestyle. The second thing is always knowing timing, being on time, and doing the right thing at the right time. There’s also playing the role of a team player and being a leader when necessary. I’m trying to do the same thing in my career. JR: How, when and why did you decide to move to the U.S.? SK: I finished the military in 1992. After four years you’re very confused—coming from a very strict lifestyle, from morning to night knowing exactly what you’re going to do. There’s always someone who gives you orders. You know that there will be disciplinary action against you if you don’t do what you’re told. So I thought the next step in life would be school because in Israel life is a lot different than it is here. You can’t get anywhere there without an education, so I started college there. It just so happened that a friend of mine had a father who worked for TWA, and he could get us some cheap tickets. I came to Dallas. I flew to New (continued on page 150)

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Middle East Muscle “I’ve been weighing from 195 to 205 the past two years. The lowest is 195, when I come in the most ripped.”

The moment you walk into a restaurant, the moment you want to get a job, it’s about the way you look. It could be good, or it could be bad. It’s not that way in Israel. There it’s who you are, where you’re from, what your education is and what you’ve done in the military. Here it’s basically how you look. After that, maybe they want to get to know you.

Bodybuilding Success

JR: What influenced your higher-education choices? SK: I decided to choose something that was going to help me as a bodybuilder. I never really liked to study for school. A lot of the subjects were boring to me. So I chose to study nutrition—something that was going to affect my life and my future and something I could use to help people.

(continued from page 146) York, L.A., Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida. I had so much fun. I decided when I got back to Israel that the U.S. was the place I wanted to live because I saw that my future as a bodybuilder, with the passion I had for the sport, would be here in the U.S. I saw supplement stores and big gyms— things that would make me improve and learn more about the lifestyle. What happened is I went back to Israel, finished the semester in college, sold my car, gathered up all the money I had saved and took it with me to the U.S., first just as a tourist for a few months. Then I got my

student visa and went to college at the University of Central Florida in 1994. Then the show started. JR: What was the toughest thing about leaving Israel? SK: Leaving my family and knowing that it was going to be a while before I would see them again. I came here without a place to live, without a job. It was going to be a new journey. I knew that I had only myself to count on. JR: What surprised you most about the U.S. when you arrived? SK: How looks affect everything.

JR: How did you end up in Dallas? SK: I performed in Chippendale’s male review in Vegas and Hawaii in 1995. I moved to L.A. after thinking that I was going to become a movie star. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted, but for the tools I had, I think I did pretty well. I appeared in several magazines, including one cover, and I was in a few TV shows. But the fact is that it’s very hard in L.A. not knowing anyone, not having connections, starting everything from the beginning and not having a base of financial help. What happened was that I had a couple of friends who were opening a gym here in Dallas, a company called Body Opus. They needed someone to help them nutritionwise and with advertising the company. They said that I could make a lot more money and a lot more friends in Dallas than I could in L.A., which was very true. So I moved to Dallas in late 1996. Right away I had an apartment and an income, which was a relief at the time. JR: Were there any bodybuilders or physique models that you viewed as role models or whose physiques you particularly liked? SK: As a kid I had a poster of Berry de Mey. I really liked his

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physique. Bob Paris, Lee Labrada— those are the guys I always thought I could look like. I thought the way they looked wasn’t too overboard or intimidating. I had the thought in the back of my mind, “I can do that.” JR: For a while you competed in shows in Texas. Tell us about that. SK: The first show I did was the Southwest USA in 1998. I had a friend who’d just moved here from Israel, and he’d just won the Mr. Israel at that time. He kind of brought the fire back to my heart. I heard that there was a show here in town, and I had six weeks to get ready. We started training hard, and I won. Getting back onstage was something I had a passion to do. Being the center of attention brought back memories. Competing was part of it. Winning first place makes you feel special. So I did a couple of more shows the following year.

bered me from the show I did in ’98. It was pretty shocking that he would remember me from so many years back. He asked me to do a photo shoot with him. I twisted my ankle right before the shoot, but I thought, “Sure. Why not.” I think the reason he approached me was that I was in good shape at the show for no particular reason. I’d just decided that that was the way I wanted to look. So that was the beginning of my new beginning, and things started flowing from there.

From Joe’s influence and from meeting other people, like photographer Irv Gelb, I met other people in the business and got a contract with Impact Nutrition, which still sponsors me. From that point things kept on rolling. JR: You’ve been on a lot of covers and in a lot of ads over the past two years. What accounts for your success? SK: Most magazines, when they ask you to do a cover, they ask you to

JR: Your last competition was in 1999. Why did you stop competing? SK: I couldn’t think about another day of dieting. I was starving myself. I had nightmares in the middle of the night. I would wake up and go to the kitchen to eat, and it took me almost two years to slowly get back to eating right. JR: Was there a contract involved in your decision? SK: I had a contract back in 1999 with Spencer Gifts, a major retailer now owned by Universal Studios. I had a contract with them for five years. My pictures, posters and gift cards were in their stores, and some are still around. That pretty much got me started getting back in shape and back to looking as I always have—very lean and proportioned. JR: When and why did you decide to restart your modeling career? SK: About two years ago I started working with some figure competitors and bodybuilders to get ready for some shows. One of the shows I took a competitor to was the ’03 Ronnie Coleman Classic. At that show I met Joe Lobell, who approached me and said he \ NOVEMBER 2005 151

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Middle East Muscle

Sagi Kalev’s Training I have two basic workout plans: a five-days-per-week routine and a four-day routine. I usually alternate between the two on a monthly basis. On the five-day plan I train major muscle groups—or sometimes a bodypart I feel might need some special work—on Mondays and Fridays. On Mondays I use heavy weights with fewer sets and maybe eight to 10 reps. On Fridays I hit that same bodypart again with lighter weights, higher reps and less rest between sets. I do cardio four days a week, one hour per day, at a moderate intensity level. I train the remaining bodyparts on Tuesdays through Thursdays and take the weekends off. My abs get a lot of work during my regular workouts, so I train them only during the week or two before a photo shoot. Here’s an example of a five-day plan focusing on back: Monday: Back (heavy); 60 minutes cardio Tuesday: Legs Wednesday: Chest and triceps; 60 minutes cardio Thursday: Biceps and shoulders; 60 minutes cardio Friday: Back (lighter weight, higher reps, less rest between sets); 60 minutes cardio Saturday and Sunday: Off

Bodybuilding Success

The four-day plan includes a similar split but facilitates more cardio, usually in two 30-minute sessions per day, six days per week, at higher intensity. Monday: Back and biceps; cardio, two sessions, 30 minutes each Tuesday: Legs Wednesday: Cardio, two sessions, 30 minutes each Thursday: Chest and hamstrings; cardio, two sessions, 30 minutes each Friday: Shoulders and triceps; cardio, two sessions, 30 minutes each Saturday and Sunday: Cardio, two sessions, 30 minutes each —S.K.

send photos a few weeks before the shoot so they’ll know what shape you’re in. I think I gave myself the reputation that you can count on me when you call me for a photo shoot. You know that I’ll be in the best shape possible. You ask me to come in my best shape, and I will do that. JR: Lots of people with great physiques never really succeed in modeling. What makes the difference? SK: What makes the difference is that I can appeal to a lot more people. I can come to a shoot as a bodybuilder, or I can come as a fitness model. I can also look like any one of a number of ethnic groups, or as an all-American model. I think I have the gift of being in front of the camera. Some people look good in pictures and not as good in person. Others look good in person but not in front of the camera. JR: Modeling is about selling your look. Pornography is taking that sale to a different level. Where do you draw the line between sexy modeling and porn? SK: I draw the line where I think my mom would think it is too much. That’s very simple. Money would not make any difference to me. I’ve been offered plenty of money to do that, and I didn’t take it. What I care about most is what my family would think, and I won’t jeopardize that for any amount of money. JR: Can a male physique model be successful without resorting to what many people consider to be porn? SK: Yes. And I don’t think that crossing that line will make a person more successful. I think it would hurt a career. I’ve been approached by different people and corporations to represent them. The first question they ask is, “Have you done porn?” And the second is, “Do you have any felonies?” So that’s the answer. JR: Tell us about your diet. SK: I eat what most bodybuilders eat. To be more specific: oatmeal,

egg whites, chicken, fish, vegetables, potatoes, protein powder, supplements and all kinds of nuts. I change my calories on a daily basis, and my cardio changes on a daily basis. If I’m close to a photo shoot, my calories will be lower, and my cardio will increase. JR: Do you cheat on your eating plan? If so, how often, and what are your cheat meals? SK: I don’t like the word cheat. If you go to a party and want to have fun, you just choose food that will be close to what you normally eat. I enjoy eating sushi, but I make sure I don’t overload myself. I stay away from fried foods because I don’t like the feeling after—the cramping and the pain. My body is not used to a lot of fat and sugar. But once in a while I eat pizza or foods other people eat. I just make adjustments. My feel-good foods are things like sugar-free pudding from Sylvester Stallone and sugarfree Popsicles. JR: How much does your weight vary throughout the year? SK: I’ve been weighing from 195 to 205 the past two years. The lowest is 195, when I come in the most ripped, and 205 is when I try to look the biggest—a different style of bodybuilder. So my weight only fluctuates by 10 pounds. JR: What supplements do you regularly use? SK: I use a lot of supplements from Impact Nutrition, the company that sponsors me. I use DermaLEAN, Maxteron, Equi-Bolan and protein powder, especially lowcarb varieties. I use powders from other companies with different flavors that I like. I use branchedchain amino acids and glutamine for recovery. And I like the way nitric oxide makes me feel—the pump and the strength. JR: I also understand that you have a three-year contract with Lifewave. Tell us about that. SK: Lifewave is a new company that will have a major impact, not just on the sport of bodybuilding,

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Middle East Muscle “I change my calories on a daily basis.”

Sagi Kalev’s Diet I rotate through a 2-1, 3-1, 4-1 cycle, where the numbers represent the number of days in each phase; for example, 2-1 means three days in the phase. I increase carbs throughout the cycle. On the “1” day in each phase I triple my carb intake. Protein remains relatively constant at 350 to 400 grams a day. On the lowest carb days I increase fats, using fish and nuts to keep my calories in the 2,000-to-3,000-per-day range. These components change during the two weeks before a shoot, but since I stay close to my ideal weight, the changes aren’t drastic. The secret to making this plan work is to know when to eat carbs according to when your insulin spikes. Controlling insulin is very important. I use glutamine and branched-chain amino acids throughout, and I don’t drink alcohol. Here’s an example of how this cycle works over a 12-day period:

2-1 phase Carbs (g) Day 1 100 Day 2 100 Day 3 300

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3-1 phase Carbs (g) Day 4 150 Day 5 150 Day 6 150 Day 7 450 4-1 phase Carbs (g) Day 8 200 Day 9 200 Day 10 200 Day 11 200 Day 12 600 Calories are computed on the basis of four per gram of protein, four per gram of carbohydrates and nine per gram of fat. —S.K.

but on the public in general. It’s a new technology. If you want to learn more about it, go to my Web site and follow the Lifewave link. Other bodybuilders Lifewave chose to represent their product are Ronnie Coleman and Monica Brant. I consider myself to be in pretty good company. JR: I assume you’ve used the patches. What do you think? SK: The patches do work. It’s not like taking ephedra or caffeine. It’s more about what you don’t feel than what you do feel. The main effect I got from it had to do with working out—what happens during the workout and afterward. I don’t have to rest as much between sets, and I recover more quickly. My days flow more evenly; I don’t have as many ups and downs during the day when I use the patches. My joints don’t click or creak as much. I sleep a lot better. I’m more awake during the day. Those are the major things I’ve noticed. JR: Tell us about your Web site, SK: It started about two years ago because I had so many photos and got so many remarks from different people about showing them. A fan created a Yahoo fan group that has almost 3,000 members, and another created one on MSN. Joe, my

business partner, surprised me one morning with a phone call and said, “Your Web site is up.” Links from and from mentions in the magazine articles helped the site grow tremendously. We have more than a thousand pictures and hundreds of video clips on my membership site that the special fans get to see. We update the site weekly. That makes it easy for people and companies to learn about me. It’s a good way to learn who I am and what I’m doing and what’s going to happen with me in the future. JR: Do you do consultations over the Web? SK: We have general answers about nutrition and training on the site. If someone has a complex question or needs more detailed answers, we charge for it, and I work with them either through email or over the phone. Some clients have driven or flown to Dallas to either train with me oneon-one or sit down face-to-face for information and advice. JR: At last count I believe you have eight DVDs for sale on the site. What’s on them? SK: The first one, “Photoshoot: Behind the Scenes,” is about my first major magazine cover shoot. It shows what I did before the shoot—

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how I got ready for it. There were long shoots and long days. That shows how hard it is to stay in top shape for all the shoots and how you manage what you eat and drink to make it work. In “Photoshoot 2” we did much the same thing a year and a half later. I also have four DVDs that focus on my workouts and a couple with Chad Martin, a friend who’s a very popular bodybuilder. Our second DVD, “Showtime in Texas,” showed what we did at guest-posing appearances a week apart. “Photoshoot 2” also shows my preparation for a cover shoot with IRON MAN last year. I’ve always wanted to be on the cover of IRON MAN because of the legends that have been featured on the cover— Lee Haney, Dorian Yates and Lee Labrada. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to shoot with Mike Neveux and to do this interview. It’s really exciting for me. JR: What can someone learn from the workout DVDs? SK: The main thing people can learn is having the right form and using different techniques in their workouts. The DVDs were shot at different times, three to six months apart, so people can see the progress and the changes in my physique. They can also see how work, dedication, consistency and changing the workouts lead to the results. JR: You have other major DVD projects? SK: I’m shooting one for WalMart. It will be a DVD that will appeal to the general public. The second one will be for the Hilton hotel chain. It will be for the businessperson who has only a short time for a short workout, to give him or her some ideas about what to do. The Wal-Mart video will be more for beginners, to let them know what you can accomplish outside a gym. The third video will be for Lifewave. It will be about how to use the patches and how they work on a daily basis, from the time you get up until you go to bed. I will also talk about the right nutrition and the right exercises to get the most from the patches and how their use can help you just doing what you normally do every day.

JR: Speaking of workouts, what’s your basic philosophy on weight training? SK: It’s about safety and having fun. It’s about doing it for yourself and not for show. Also switch what you do from time to time, and don’t try to be the center of attention by screaming and trying to lift the most weight. JR: Give us an idea of your workout plan during a typical week. SK: My workout changes every week, but I try to keep it to the basics. There are months I train five days a week and months I train four days a week. It depends on what I’m getting ready for. Most of the time I’m going to choose what I think my weakest bodypart is and train it twice a week. Sometime I do a split morning and night if I have time, and sometimes I split cardio if I have the time. If I’m close to a shoot, I make time. JR: How do you vary your workouts? SK: One thing I do is try to change training partners. Sometimes I go to different gyms. Sometimes I open a magazine, look at a workout and just try it. JR: Are there any lifts or other training techniques you do that are unusual or unique? SK: Check out my videos. My basic suggestion is to always be safe. Do what you know how to do, and if you don’t know, ask. If you can afford it, also get a personal trainer. If you can’t afford a trainer, check out the magazines. JR: How do your knowledge and experience as a physique model help with training your clients? SK: It’s like everything else. You build a reputation. If you do a lot of movies, you become a movie star. If you do a lot of covers, you become a cover model. So it helps your business from recognition because if you’ve accomplished enough to be on the cover of IRON MAN, a very recognized magazine, you’re building a reputation, and the clients like that. NOVEMBER 2005 155

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“My workouts change every week, but I try to keep it to the basics.”

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JR: At the pro level in bodybuilding today there seem to be two different types of physiques that are winning— take Ronnie Coleman and Darrem Charles as examples. Is there room in the sport for both? SK: There’s room for everybody, from Darrem Charles to Dexter Jackson. Dexter is my favorite. I’ve never seen anybody like that. He’s just amazing. He also represents the sport very well, especially the way he speaks. I also like the way Darrem Charles performs. He’s a great entertainer. He can dance, he can move, and they give him credit for that. He always comes in in top shape. He’s consistent, and that’s a big plus. That’s what the judges like. JR: Do you plan to compete again, and what will influence that decision? SK: If I compete again, first of all, it will be for me, for no one else. It will be for me to see if I can do it— and I’m sure I can. But at this time I’m so busy doing other things. The only way right now I would compete is if a company came to me with a huge contract that said I have to win to get this or that. That would get me onstage. In a way I feel that I’m onstage doing what I do. I represent the sport in a different way. For example, next year I’ll be onstage in London playing Hercules in a play to benefit charity. Again, that’s bodybuilding onstage, but I don’t have to compete with other people. There’s sometimes politics in bodybuilding, too, which I don’t like. JR: Do you have any contracts with any companies besides Impact Nutrition and Lifewave? SK: I’ve opened my own company, Hot Abs USA, which focuses on being lean and muscular at the same time but not playing the size game. That’s why we call it Hot Abs. It’s about having an attractive, sexy physique. You can go to www for information. One of my good friends, Steve Fuentes, is a police officer and president of the company. One day he asked me, “Hey, I’m doing this project. Would you like to join me?” That’s how it all started. It’s a big, big

deal for me because it’s about concentrating on proportion and being lean. The last contract that I’ll be signing will be with the company Smart Snack. It distributes protein cookies all over the country. So for me it’s not one specific contract with one specific company or product but a variety. That will give me the chance to go to a lot of places, do a lot of seminars, do different kinds of appearances, and speak about the things I like the most. JR: If you could write a script outlining what you’d like to see happen to you in the next three years, what would that include? SK: Things will change because I’ll get older. The script will be Sagi Kalev getting better at what he does, getting more educated in what he does, helping more people achieve their goals, representing the sport as best he can, and getting into bigger things—maybe even politics. The joke is that with my accent I’ll be the next governor of Texas. Maybe it’s a joke; maybe not. It happened in California, and it could happen here. JR: Any final words for your fans? SK: You guys are what make me better. Because just seeing your remarks and your e-mail means a lot to me. Thank you so very much. And I have some fans who have become special friends. There’s Mark from Alabama, and Pat, who’s my oldest fan at age 100. To all the other fans I haven’t mentioned, I want to say thank you for your support. You guys keep me going on the days when I feel down. For all those fans who have had something in their lives that have made them disabled, depressed or otherwise, I hope I can motivate you and make you smile. That means everything to me. I want to express my appreciation from the bottom of my heart. I want to add a special thanks to Mark Foster, my manager and attorney, for his belief in me and for all the time he’s spent working on my behalf. Editor’s note: Contact Sagi Kalev through his Web site, IM NOVEMBER 2005 157

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158 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Hydrate to Heighten Muscle Growth, Strength and Health by Jerry Brainum


liso Viejo is a small city, population 40,000, south of Los Angeles. Among its distinguishing characteristics is that it was the first planned community in the rapidly growing Orange County. Truth be told, Aliso Viejo isn’t the most exciting place to visit, although it’s not far from Disneyland. Under the heading “places of interest,” the city’s official Web site lists Sora University, a Buddhist college, and nature walks. So it’s a matter of some interest that sleepy Aliso Viejo managed to make the world news in March 2004. What attracted the media were reports that the good people on the city council were going to ban an extremely dangerous environmental contaminant. Somehow, dihydrogen monoxide had reached startling levels in Aliso Viejo. In its crude form, this critical ingredient in many common chemical compounds often spilled onto the city’s otherwise pristine streets. Investiga-

tion revealed that it showed up even in Styrofoam cups. The serious effects of dihydrogen monoxide were presented by a paralegal who’d obtained the information from an official-looking, seemingly authoritative Web site. The report noted that dihydrogen monoxide was lethal if inhaled, that it could cause severe burns in its gaseous state and that it was the major component of acid rain. In short, the report concluded, dihydrogen monoxide posed a “threat to human health and safety.” The Web site also noted that dihydrogen monoxide was particularly insidious, being odorless, tasteless and colorless. The symptoms of excessive dihydrogen monoxide intake included sweating and urination, a possible bloated feeling and an electrolyte or mineral imbalance. In large print, the site proclaimed, “This horror must be stopped!” \ NOVEMBER 2005 159

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Water World

Muscle Growth, Strength and Health

Neveux \ Model: Gus Malliaradakis

Hydration of a muscle cell sets off an anabolic cascade.

Is it any wonder the city fathers of Aliso Viejo were concerned? With most of the population in the 25-to35-year-old age group, they had to consider the impact of dihydrogen monoxide on children and future generations. Something had to be done, and quickly. Aliso Viejo’s alarm is replicated daily because other Internet sites proclaim the toxicity of everything from protein to artificial sweeteners. The well-meaning but seriously uninformed paralegal who prepared the report for the city council had fallen for a put-on: Dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water. (Nobody caught the joke in time for Aliso Viejo’s plan not to hit humor-hungry wire services.) Eliminating water would prove disastrous to life on Earth. A human being can live without oxygen for four to six minutes. You can survive without eating anything for up to 60 days, but you may have noticed that even those whose hunger strikes make the news never stop drinking water. No water almost certainly

means death within five days. The immediate cause of death for Terry Schiavo, a medically brain-dead Florida woman whose feeding tube was disconnected after more than a decade, was dehydration. Fluids had been withdrawn less than a week earlier. Grotesque as it may sound, she died right on schedule from lack of water. Water intake is no less important for bodybuilders. While many look at it merely as the source of a refreshing interlude between sets or something they shower in after a workout, water has much more critical uses. From an aesthetic viewpoint, the amount of water the body retains can determine the winner in a close bodybuilding contest. Being bloated, or having accumulated too much water, is among most competitors’ greatest fears, for it can obscure muscular definition honed by weeks or even months of hard training and dieting. Some bodybuilders, especially on the professional level, circumvent the water retention that inevitably

results from using drugs such as anabolic steroids and growth hormone by using other drugs, such as diuretics. That can create another whole new set of problems, however, such as an electrolyte imbalance that results in embarrassing muscle cramps onstage. Since muscle itself is 72 percent water, injudicious use of diuretics can lead to a flat appearance, especially after a low-carb diet has eliminated the glycogen that holds water in muscles. The problem with diuretics and other drugs that induce rapid water loss is that they have an overkill effect. Water is key both inside and outside the body’s cells. Intracellular water accounts for two-thirds of the body’s water, and the other third is extracellular. When a bodybuilder uses diuretics, he intends to eliminate extracellular water, but the drugs are so potent that they also reduce intracellular water. That leads to an electrolyte imbalance. Research has illuminated some fascinating effects of water that are directly rele- (continued on page 166)

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(continued from page 160) vant to

Muscle Growth, Strength and Health

anybody who wants added muscle and vibrant health. An example is the cellular hydration theory, which deals with the status of water contained in a cell.1 Hydration of a muscle cell sets off an anabolic cascade that results in upgraded muscle protein synthesis. The reverse is true. When a cell is dehydrated, it becomes catabolic, prone to breakdown. Dehydrated cells characterize many diseases, such as cancer, and they include a catabolic component.

Hydration-related cellular swelling is anabolic because hydration inhibits protein breakdown.

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Water: The Facts The human body is 60 percent water; babies are about 70 percent water. Men have more water in their bodies than women because men usually have more muscle, which is 72 percent water. By contrast, fat contains about 10 percent water, which makes it an ideal storage fuel. The structures of protein contain water, as does glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrate in the human body. Each gram of glycogen is stored with three grams of water. That explains the high initial weight loss that occurs with many diets, especially low-carb plans. Without carbs, glycogen rapidly degrades, eliminating the water stored with it. Muscle contains more water because such elements as protein, glycogen, creatine and amino acids pull water into the tissue. Because fat doesn’t contain those elements, there’s no osmosis, which makes fat a drier tissue than muscle. Water is the primary solvent, dissolving various nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, amino acids and glucose. Water is also involved in the digestion and absorption of those nutrients, as well as their transport, via blood, into tissues and cells; blood is also largely water. Water is an excellent solvent because it’s a polar molecule. It has no electrical charge of its own, but its molecular structure fosters partial negative and positive charges on its oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Thus water interacts with other water molecules and partially charged substances, such as electrolytes, glucose and amino acids. Dehydration is usually defined as a 1 to 2 percent loss of bodyweight resulting from fluid losses.2 Ratbased studies found that 28 hours after rodents were deprived of water, the solid elements of their blood increased and that the liquid portion, or volume, declined. Thickening of blood, associated with blood clotting and slowed blood flow, is also associated with strokes and heart attacks. A study of Seventh-Day Adventists—8,280 men and 12,017 women—examined the relationship between heart disease and water intake.3 Those who drank five or

Men have more water in their bodies than women because men usually have more muscle, which is 72 percent water. more glasses of water daily were less likely to die of a heart attack than those who drank two or fewer. Of the subjects who drank five or more glasses daily, the women were 41 percent and the men 54 percent less likely to die from a heart attack. Drinking other fluids, however, such as coffee, tea, juice, milk and alcohol, reversed the benefits of water and led to a greater mortality rate. Blood thinning was water’s key protective property; decreased blood thickness, or viscosity, meant less chance of fatal blood clots. Fluids like coffee have the opposite effect because to be digested they

need to be diluted, which draws water from the blood, making it temporarily thicker. Coffee is a mild diuretic, causing some water loss, which can also lead to blood thickening. On the other hand, in those who regularly drink coffee, the diuretic action is lost, which makes a cup of coffee equivalent to twothirds of a cup of water.

The Importance of Water During a Diet Fat is a storage base for various toxins, and as it degrades through \ NOVEMBER 2005 167

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Muscle Growth, Strength and Health

When your body water goes down, your heart must work harder.

diet and exercise, you need to take in enough water to flush out the toxins released from stored fat. Water is also a natural diuretic, flushing out such elements as sodium, which can lead to water retention and a bloated appearance. Bodybuilders who restrict water shortly before a contest are likely working against themselves, depending on how limited their intake is. As you restrict fluid intake, blood volume declines. When the brain detects that, the posterior pituitary gland secretes antidiuretic hormone. As the name implies, ADH works to retain water so the body can maintain the right blood volume. In other words, you wind up retaining more water when you restrict water. Conversely, drinking water inhibits ADH release. So does alcohol, which explains why you need to pee not long after you have an alcoholic drink. People who diet often complain that they can’t concentrate, but the cause may be less the lack of calories than a mild form of dehydra-

Neveux \ Model: Allen Sarkiszadeh

Water World

tion. Studies of animals have shown that dehydration impairs brain function. It damages the mitochondria of neurons, or brain cells—and mitochondria are the source of the energy that maintains cellular function. The level of glutamate, an amino acid that stimulates neuron activity, can increase too fast and possibly kill neurons; excess glutamate activity is a primary cause of stroke-related neuron death. In human studies dehydrated subjects show impaired math ability, memory and reaction time.4 That happens after only a 2 percent body-fluid loss—which is considered the point where dehydration side effects appear. Nitric oxide, also produced in the brain, is involved in learning and memory. Normally dehydration increases nitric oxide in the brain, but that effect is lost in older people, which may help explain memory defects. Studies show that drinking water with meals results in eating less food, in turn leading to weight losses. An old dieting trick is to drink a

glass of water shortly before eating a meal. The water makes you feel full and decreases your appetite and food intake. A surprising property of water is its thermogenic aspect.5 One experiment measured the effects on seven men and seven women who drank 500 milliliters, or just over a pint, of water. That amount resulted in a 30 percent increase in resting metabolic rate within 10 minutes of drinking and reached maximum effects in 30 to 40 minutes. The increased metabolic rate was fueled by fat in men and by carbs in women. This is related to a release of catecholamine hormones, such as epinephrine. The release of catecholamines usually leads to a rise in blood pressure, but not when you drink water. That’s because water also elicits increased activity of the vagal nerve, which works against blood pressure increase caused by sympathetic hormones.6

Anabolic Water? Cellular hydration is considered a potent anabolic stimulus. Conversely, when a cell is dry, catabolic effects dominate, often leading to cell death. Most studies showing the effect of cellular hydration have used cells extracted from liver. One such study showed that perfusing liver cells with the amino acid glutamine makes the size of the cell swell by 12 percent. It happens in minutes and lasts as long as the perfusion continues. Glutamine swells cells because it promotes the entry of sodium into the cell. Inside the cell the sodium exchanges with potassium, which then exits the cell to prevent excess swelling. That mechanism is known as the sodium-potassium pump. Other substances also promote cellular hydration—various amino acids, bile acids, insulin and possibly creatine. Researchers think that most of insulin’s anabolic effects come about because it promotes cellular hydration. Some substances—glucagon, cyclic AMP, serotonin and urea—promote cellular dehydration, which has catabolic consequences. Hydration-related cellular swelling is anabolic because hydra-

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Water World tion inhibits protein breakdown. Other effects include an increase in glycogen synthesis and a decrease in glutamine synthesis, as well as uptake of lactate and amino acids. The effects of cellular hydration on isolated liver cells are replicated in muscle, bone and other cells and tissues of the body. The effects of cellular hydration on an intact human body have been noted in clinical settings. For example, burn patients are notably dehydrated and also show huge nitrogen or protein losses. Various types of cancer marked by relative dehydration also show a high nitrogen loss. While there is a dearth of studies to back up clinical observations, one experiment did attempt to show the effect of cellular swelling in humans.7 Ten men were artificially dehydrated or hydrated. When they were hydrated, protein breakdown significantly decreased, and they showed decreased peripheral insulin sensitivity. The net effect appeared similar to that of fasting—protein sparing, increased fat oxidation, increased ketone release and impaired glucose metabolism.

Muscle Growth, Strength and Health

Does Water Help Prevent Cancer?

Coffee has a mild diuretic effect because in order to be digested, it must be diluted.

A 10-year study featuring 48,000 men linked a lower incidence of bladder cancer to a high intake of fluids that dilute and eliminate carcinogens. The researchers calculated that bladder cancer decreased by 7 percent for every eight ounces of water the men drank. Other studies have demonstrated water’s salutary impact against colorectal cancer and premalignant polyps, finding an inverse relationship between drinking as few as five glasses daily and cancer. Evidently drinking lots of water speeds passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract, thereby limiting cellular exposure to carcinogens.

Water and Training Whether dehydration adversely affects your workouts depends on

such factors as the temperature and the type of training you’re doing. Individual response also enters the picture; some people appear to tolerate dehydration better than others. The tipping point is usually a loss of 2 percent of bodyweight in fluid over the course of an exercise session or athletic event, though that applies mainly to endurance exercise under warm or hot conditions. In colder temperatures, dehydration is less likely to manifest. Other studies show that dehydration doesn’t seem to affect strength training until you lose 7 percent or more in fluid. Some studies show that upperbody muscles are more vulnerable than lower-body muscles to mild dehydration. In one study, however, 10 experienced powerlifters became dehydrated after sitting in a hot sauna for two hours.8 They lost 1.5 percent of body mass, primarily as water. Tests of their maximum bench press strength showed a 5.6 percent decrease. Full strength returned after two hours of rest and fluid intake. Dehydration may adversely affect exercise for several reasons. When your body’s water content goes down, your heart must work harder to pump the blood that supplies working muscles and that cools the skin. Straining your heart by not getting enough fluids in the heat may lead to fatigue and loss of intensity. You can tell that from a higher heart rate during exercise, as the heart attempts to compensate. Whatever you’re doing will seem considerably harder when you’re dehydrated. Core body temperature rises, which leads to exhaustion and the end of the session. As temperature increases, it’s detected by the central nervous system, which responds by reducing the drive to exercise; a big spike in body temperature can damage the brain. When the body overheats from lack of fluid intake, it accelerates use of muscle glycogen, the primary fuel that powers anaerobic exercise. Rapid glycogen use is linked to increased catecholamine release, a stress reaction, and higher body temperature. The reduced cardiac

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Water World response that occurs during dehydration inhibits blood flow to muscles, which results in less oxygen delivery and greater fatigue. Dehydration also promotes a stress response due to lower blood volume, and that promotes the release of cortisol, the body’s primary catabolic hormone. Too much of it can lead to muscle loss. You can prevent dehydration during athletic activity if you do the following: •Before exercise: Drink about 20 ounces of water two hours before training. •During exercise: Drink up to a quart of water. You get better water uptake by drinking a cold sports drink that contains small amounts of minerals and no more than 7 percent carbs. •After exercise: Drink 150 percent to 200 percent of total fluids lost.

Drink about 20 ounces of water about two hours before you train.


Muscle Growth, Strength and Health

Water Requirements and Myths In an article published three years ago, a physiology professor questioned the frequent advice to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.9 He noted that there was no scientific evidence to confirm the recommendation, just as there’s no scientific rationale for eating no more than 30 grams of protein at each meal. The idea that by the time you experience thirst you’re likely already dehydrated was also pronounced a myth by the professor, who noted that the human sense of thirst is remarkably accurate and usually in concert with fluid needs. The notion that dark urine means you’re dehydrated is also false. Many nutrients, as most bodybuilders know, lead to darker urine, but it has nothing to do with being dehydrated. Another myth is that you must drink a copious amount of water to maintain kidney function. True, drinking clean, pure water is one of the best things you can do to protect your kidneys, but the kidneys aren’t adversely affected unless severe dehydration, or a bodyweight fluid decline of 5 percent or more, occurs.

mone. Continued water intake when the body is already retaining water leads to hyponatremia, or low sodium, and that leads to death. Safe water intake means drinking one milliliter (an ounce contains 30 milliliters) per calorie per day. So if you’re eating 3,000 calories, drink 3,000 milliliters, or about three quarts, per day. Factors that may require increased water intake include exercise under hot conditions, a high-fiber diet and the increased fluid loss that comes with drinking a lot of alcohol. Keep in mind that your body’s metabolism generates nearly a pint of water and that the water content of foods such as fruits and vegetables can be more than 90 percent.

Researchers who study kidney function say that in a normal-sized adult in a temperate climate, one liter or four eight-ounce glasses of water are enough to meet all of the body’s water needs.

When the body overheats from lack of fluid intake, it accelerates the use of muscle glycogen. Drinking too much water can be just as hazardous as drinking too little. Too much water can dilute the electrolytes you need for brain function and can lead to convulsions— even death. Loss of sodium leads to potentially fatal edema, or swelling, of the brain. Teenage deaths at rave parties have been connected to use of the drug Ecstasy. One of its effects is the intense thirst that results from an increase in body temperature. Ecstasy also promotes the release of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hor-

1 Ritz, P., et al. (2001). Effects of changes in water compartments on physiology and metabolism. Eur J Clin Nutr, 57:S2-S5. 2 Shirrefs, S. (2005). The importance of good hydration for work and exercise performance. Nut Reviews, 63:S14-S21. 3 Chan, J., et al. (2002). Water, other fluids, and fatal coronary heart disease. Am J Epidemiol, 155:827-33. 4 Wilson, M., et al. (2001). Impaired cognitive function and mental performance in mild dehydration. Eur J Clin Res, 57:S24-S29. 5 Boshmann, M., et al. (2003). Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinl Metab, 88:6015-6019. 6 Brown, C.M., et al. (2005). Cardiovascular responses to water drinking—does osmolality play a role? Am J Physiol. In press. 7 Keller, U., et al. (2001). Effects of changes in hydration on protein, glucose, and lipid metabolism in man: impact on health. Eur J Clin Nutr, 57:S69-S74. 8 Schoffstall, J.E., et al. (2001). Effects of dehydration and rehydration on the one-repetition-maximum bench press of weight-trained males. J Strength Cond Res, 15:102108. 9 Valtin, H. (2002). “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8x8”? J Applied Physiol, 283:R993R1004. IM

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Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty Building a Classic

by John Little

ike Mentzer possessed an absolutely striking midsection. Photos and the video of his last competition, the Õ80 Mr. Olympia, show that no other competitorÕs abs were cut so deep or stood out in such bold relief. Not only was his rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the midsection from the bottom of the rib cage to the groin, awesome, but his piano-key-like serratus muscles and highly chiseled obliques were as well. He weighed 225 pounds for that contest, and his bodyfat levels had been tested hydrostatically at an ultraripped 3 percent.

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Balik \ Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez


Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty \ NOVEMBER 2005 177

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Heavy Duty As coauthor of Mentzer’s last book, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way (McGraw-Hill Publishing), I’ve been asked about his approach to abdominal training and whether the sets and repetition scheme he used to obtain such dramatic development differed from that of other bodybuilders. Mike trained his midsection the way he trained any other muscle group because he recognized that—like the biceps and the pecs—the abdominals, serratus, intercostals and

obliques were skeletal muscles and therefore responded in the same way to the same stimulus (highintensity exercise), by getting thicker and stronger. That’s why Mentzer trained his midsection intensely and infrequently, with few sets. He prescribed the same formula for his personal-training clients after he stopped competing. Seldom did he prescribe more than one set of direct abdominal work, realizing that the abdominals are stressed by

pulldowns, pushdowns, pullovers and leg exercises. Indeed, it is impossible to think of a bodybuilding exercise that doesn’t involve the abdominals in some way, if only to stabilize the trunk. As Mike wrote in his last book: “I fully realize that the prevailing ‘wisdom’ has most bodybuilders performing countless low-intensity sets and reps so as not to ‘overdevelop’ the abdominals. It seems silly to me that bodybuilders should want to develop large arms, chests, legs, backs, etc., and leave the abs puny. What could be more ridiculous and incongruous than a thickly developed bodybuilder of 200 pounds who has the abdominal development of a 160-pound man! Thick, proportionately developed rectus abdominis (frontal abs) set off a well-developed physique and will not thicken or broaden your waist. The breadth of your abdominal region is dictated primarily by your pelvic bone width, which is inherited and, therefore, not subject to alteration. I always train my abs in high-intensity fashion just like my other bodyparts because, yes, highintensity training will make your abs thicker, which should be your goal. The abdominals are skeletal muscles—just like the biceps and calves—and, therefore, their training requirement is no different from these other muscle groups. The abdominals don’t require volume training but rather high-intensity training, which, as we know, must be intense, brief and infrequent. Training your muscles in this manner will result in superb abdominal development and, when combined with a reduced-calorie diet to strip off excess bodyfat, will cause your abs to stand out in bold relief.” Mike believed the midsection to be the focal point of the physique. The eyes tend to fall on the midsection first, which means bodybuilders must pay particular attention to the abdominal region. Mike held that most bodybuilders devote more than enough time to the development of the rectus abdominis, or front midsection, while almost totally neglecting the oblique, intercostal and serratus muscles. Those muscles, however, located along the sides of the rectus muscles, set off the abs and are the

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Heavy Duty

mark of a highly refined and ripped physique—when bodyfat levels are at a minimum. That last point is rather crucial. As Mike put it: “Developing thick, impressive rectus, oblique and serratus muscles through high-intensity exercise won’t count for much if those muscles are lost under a blanket of fat. Though you can take care of that by going on a strict definition diet for up to three months before a contest, it’s best never to let enough fat accumulate that the abs become memories. Remember, accumulated fat will have to be eliminated someday through undereating and (usually) overtraining—a fatal combination that leads to loss of both muscle and fat. Eat a well-balanced diet all year with only enough calories for energy and a tiny bit extra for growth and recovery. In actuality, one needn’t work his abs at all in order to present a highly defined appearance. Definition is a state of the body contingent upon the degree of subcutaneous fat one possesses: the less fat, the more definition and vice versa.” When Mike was preparing his midsection for competition, he did low sets and moderate reps of highintensity exercise while relying on a

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Neveux \ Model: Marvin Montoya

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

followed by four to seven days off for recovery. After the fourth recovery period you’d begin the cycle again. Typically Mentzer did only one exercise for one set during each ab workout. For those wanting to develop their rectus abdominis, he prescribed one set of situps—a basic exercise, but one that would certainly be effective. Here’s how he described the proper execution of the move: “Situps can be done on any of the innumerable new machines available for abdominal training in most health clubs. At home they can be done on a situp board or on the floor with your feet held down by a spotter or by placing them under anything that will stabilize you. With regular situps, be sure to bend the knees to a 45 degree angle and keep your arms folded across your chest. Performing them in that manner will help reThe Ab Bench provides a move unnecessary stress comfortable full-range loading from your lower back. Having assumed the proper of the rectus abdominis. position, sit up, or curl at the waist, until your torso is just shy of being perpendicular to low-calorie diet to bring out the the floor, with tension still on the definition. Mike advised working abdominal muscles. When you can the abs only as frequently as any do more than 20 reps with your other muscle group. Usually that bodyweight, hold a barbell plate in meant doing a four-way-split rouyour folded arms (at the chest) so tine: 1) legs and abs, 2) chest and that you’re able to do only 10 or 12 back, 3) legs and abs and 4) shoulreps. Stay with that new weight until ders and arms. Each of the four you can do 20. Unlike the other workouts in the cycle would be

exercises, where more weight can be handled, increase the weight by only five pounds when you reach the upper limit of the prescribed rep range. Increasing the weight by 10 percent will be impossible without special equipment—or until you’re handling 50 pounds or more on this exercise.” For bodybuilders wanting to bring up the obliques, serratus and intercostals, Mike advocated angled situps. He had guidelines for performing that exercise too: “For this exercise I cross my legs and hook them under the bar on a special device [such as a hyperextension machine] at Gold’s Gym. Instead of doing regular front situps, I come up sideways and rotate my body as I come into the top position. I was very weak when I first started this one, but now I’m doing them for 12 reps with a Throughout his 25-pound plate held at my competitive chest.” days Mike Throughout his competitive days Mike would occawould perform sionally perform two or three situps of some exercises for his midsection— typically situps of some sort, sort, hanging hanging leg raises and angled leg raises and situps. His total number of sets never exceeded six. Furangled situps. ther research told him that period of time this volume of work (small as away from the gym to enable the it was compared to the dozens of muscles to recover and grow. sets and hundreds of reps most Analyze your physique critically. bodybuilders do) was unnecessary. Your abdominal deficiency might His abdominals had received ample not be your rectus abdominis at all stimulation from their involvement but rather the obliques and serrain the exercises he performed for other muscle groups. That led him to tus. If so, do the angled situp as described. As Mike once said, “Try advocate one all-out set to muscular this routine. As long as you follow a failure, coupled with an adequate

Neveux \ Model: Lee Apperson

Heavy Duty

proper diet, you can achieve that one-in-a-million, classic look.” 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 223 of this issue, from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008, or by visiting Mentzer’s official Web site, or 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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IRON MAN Hardbody

Adela Garcia, ’04 Fitness Olympia Champ, Has What It Takes to Get Standing Oh-vations by the Editors

Hardbody Stats

Photography by Michael Neveux

Height: 5’1”

Favorite foods: Oatmeal with cinna-

Age: 33

Weight: 108 (contest), 116 (off-season) mon and Splenda (healthful); ice Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

cream and cheesecake with oatmeal cookies (not so healthful)

Current residence: Fort Lauderdale,

Factoid: “I have a beautiful dog, Lela.


Occupation: GNC-sponsored athlete, professional fitness competitor, personal trainer, Spinning instructor

Workout schedule: Three weighttraining sessions per week, four routine practices per week

Sample bodypart workout (Delts): Lateral raises, 3x15; front raises, 3x15; rear-delt machine, 3x15; upper-body plyometrics

She gives me unconditional love and is always happy to see me. I also have a degree in criminal justice.”

Future plans: “Open a fitness studio, continue promoting bodybuilding and fitness, help other women get involved in fitness and figure competition.”

Contact info: or (for modeling or guest appearances)

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IRON MAN Research Team

C I K A G O and G r o f

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Is This New Supplement

Instant Strength in a Can?

all us human guinea pigs or musclebuilding lab rats. It all comes with the IRON MAN Training & Research Team territory, where we try to determine what works and what doesnÕt. The word research in the ITRC name means we get bombarded with lots of supplements to testÑsome good, some not so good. WeÕre usually excited by the hype that comes with a new product, but we never allow it to hypnotize us. We always go into our ÒtestsÓ with a healthy dose of skepticism to beat down the placebo effect. That sums up our state of mind when we received the latest power supplement from MuscleTech: GAKIC. Our doubt meters were set solidly on Òreality check.Ó The formula is a mix of L-arginine, alphaketoisocaproic acid calcium and L-glycine, and

itÕs billed as an Òadvanced muscle-fatigue-toxin reducer.Ó In other words, itÕs supposed to help you extend your setsÑan immediate 10.5 percent increase in strengthÑwhich should, in turn, stimulate more muscle growth. Most IM readers know weÕre big fans of extending a set to wring every last ounce of growth stimulation from the anaerobic effort we expend. Our favorite technique is X Reps, endof-set partials that we kick in at exhaustion, when we canÕt get any more full-range reps. TheyÕve done amazing things for us the past year, so we knew that if GAKIC worked, it would be tailor-made for our efficiency-geared trainingÑbigger, faster gains in less time. We could ignite more firepower in any one set, but, as we said, we were skeptical.

200 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Neveux \ Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez \ Models: Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson \ NOVEMBER 2005 201

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IRON MAN Research Team “stunned.” Steve checked the load on the bar. It was the exact weight we’d used at our previous leg workout, but he was still skeptical. He got under the bar, and it and his skepticism weighed heavy on his 46year-old shoulders. “Ahha,” he thought, “Jonathan is just having a good day. I’ll be lucky to get my normal nine reps.” Well, Steve barely got his nine—and then with a shock wave of power he blasted out four more reps that looked almost as easy as his first four. Was it really the GAKIC, or had the laws of gravity somehow shifted during our first sets of squats? We each got more reps on our second set as well, and, here’s the real kicker for us: We got more X Reps. That really excited us. We do our X Reps at the end of our second set of Smith-machine squats, firing out partials from below parallel to just above the thighsparallel-to-the-floor point. They are rough and usually require some partner assistance. On the GAKIC test run both of us whipped out five X Reps on our own. Of course, we needed help getting back to full lockout, at which point we racked the weight and our disbelief spewed forth with, “Holy crap!” It could have been a fluke. Maybe we were both having a good day. Maybe the planets were aligned just right or the moon was pulling the tides in such away that our squats were easier. But lo and behold, the next day our strength on Smith-machine incline presses jumped, and then at our delt workout after that, our upright rows just kept going and going and going. Jonathan got 15 reps before he racked the weight—more from disbelief than fatigue. We have to say, without any doubt, that the GAKIC worked for us (our Neveux \ Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez

We received two versions of the new product from MuscleTech, capsules and powder. We were dieting strictly at the time, so we chose the capsules because of the carb content of the powder—24 grams per serving. (Not that 24 grams is a lot, but it can make a difference in the final throes of an all-out fat-loss campaign. We’re going to use the powder over the winter.) The capsules are convenient—no mixing—but you have to swallow eight of the light-gray grenades about 30 minutes before you train. We followed the protocol for the first time on a leg day, a perfect first challenge for the not-so-little power pills. What happened? We felt nothing—at first. Our two progressively heavier warmup sets on Smithmachine squats felt the same as usual—progressively heavier with no sign of new explosive power in sight. Then we threw on a few more 45s for our work sets. Jonathan went first, looking normal through his first eight reps. Number nine, usually his last, was slower, and then—bam!—he suddenly cranked out five more reps without a lot of trouble. It was like his quads kicked into overdrive. His skepticism meter was immediately reset to

skepticism meters are now stuck on “extremely impressed!”). The background on this supplement is fairly extensive. Its development stems from research studies performed at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center, and GAKIC is patented. We read about two double-blind studies that appeared in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which showed the remarkable, immediate 10.5 percent increase in strength. That’s due to the compound’s uncanny ability to sustain muscle force and delay fatigue so you can increase overload and thus trigger more growth on every set. The drawback is that those effects tend to fade about two-thirds of the way through a workout. Because of that we’ve decided to try mixing the powder in the water bottles that we carry into the gym so we can get a sustained GAKIC push throughout our training session. That’s part of our winter massbuilding strategy (more on that next month in Train, Eat, Grow). Oh, one other thing: GAKIC works, but it’s not cheap. It retails for $79.95 for 16 servings—but as usual the ITRC has managed to get a bargain price so you can try it at a deep discount. The Research Team price is $99.95 for 32 servings of extra strength in a can (you save $60!). All you have to do is call (800) 447-0008 and ask for the IRON MAN Research Team GAKIC Special. Then set your muscle meter on “grow,” and dust off the 100-pound plates. You may need ’em very soon. IM

202 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Lonnie Teper’s

’05 Mr. Olympia Predictions

Make Room for Ronnie Swami sez the Big Nasty

Photo Illustration by Christian Martinez

Will tie Haney’s record

The Swami sez Ronnie Coleman looks good coming out of a crystal ball.

Let’s see here. Hmmm, the crystal ball is filled with so much new data to absorb…. New venue, new Wildcard Showdown, new ruling from Ben Weider that says protruded bellies and oil-filled physiques are out, that small waists, flat stomachs and V-tapers are in. Will that change things at the latest version of the Mr. O, set for October 15 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas? Nope. At least not from what this sphere shows. The Swami sez Ronnie Coleman, all 5’11” and 290 pounds of him, will be tied with Lee Haney at eight Sandows apiece when the votes are tallied. The only change will be a different stage on which to accept the honor. The Big Nasty may be 41 years young these days, but I don’t see him slowing down much, which is really bad news for the rest of the fellas. Oh, others may match Ronnie from the front view; problem is, they all have to turn around and face the curtain at some point. To date that has meant facing defeat as well. Jay Cutler will show up in his best shape in years and nab second again. The guy gets way too much criticism for someone who’s among the best in the history of the game. No one is more focused than Jay, and that’s why he ends up with a big payday every time he competes. ADD MR. O Dexter

Challenge Accepted

206 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Jackson, a.k.a. “the Blade,” is sitting this one out, sharpening his cut body even more in preparation for Readers of this column know what I thought of the challenge round that the ’06 Arnold Classic, so third place will go to was initiated at last year’s Mr. Olympia. Two thumbs-down. I just got word that it will be back again, but, I have to admit, this version looks to be a whole lot Chris Cormier. Or Gustavo Badell. Or better than the previous one. Markus Ruhl. Or Gunter Schlierkamp. For starters, this year’s challenge round will have no bearing on the scoring of the What about the Federov kid, Alexander? Olympia itself. Instead, it’ll be a contest within a contest, with cash prizes totaling $50,000. As big and gnarly as Ruhl, according to That bumps up the total prize money for the men to $550,000, compared to $400,000 in ’04; with the total prize money for the weekend’s physique events rising from $541,000 to reports. Lee Priest was awfully impressive $711,000, an increase of 31 percent. Two thumbs-up. in the early-season shows. And the What’s more, the judging panel for the challenge round will consist entirely of former Mr. Swami predicts that even though he isn’t Olympias: At press time Sergio Oliva, Franco Columbu, qualified—at least as of mid-August, when Frank Zane, Samir Bannout and Dorian Yates were on this issue went to press—Branch Warren the list, with Lee Haney likely to be added. The winner walks away with 25 grand, with will make a magnificent Olympia debut. 10K, 8K, 5K and 2K going to the secondOkay, I’m quitting while I’m behind. It’s through fifth-placers. Ronnie, Jay, then take your pick. A year’s Hey, Ronnie, what do you think of the free subscription to IRON MAN and the challenge round now? chance to have your picture featured in this column go to the reader whose crystal ball falls most in line with the final results. Send your picks for the Mr. Olympia top 10, in order, via e-mail to JAY AND RONNIE IN ’04 The deadline is October 10. See how easy this stuff is? You, too, can be a swami.



from the


Denver Nugget Former cager shoots down the field

Freaky Fakhri Takes Vegas



Folks playing the betting line prior to the USA were putting their chips on Phil Heath and Marcus Haley to nab the two pro cards. They were half right. Haley did follow up his heavyweightclass victory of a year ago with another win—as a superheavyweight—but was defeated by light-heavyMubarak plays Vegas. weight champ Fakhri Mubarak in the battle for the second pro card. Now, Mubarak didn’t come out of nowhere. In case you haven’t been following the industry in recent times, the cat finished fourth in his division at the ’03 Nationals (a class won by Kris Dim), so he ain’t exactly chopped liver. The 5’5”, 195-pounder from Ozone Park, New York, was drier than the Vegas air. His calves, back and hamstrings were particularly sublime. “I don’t have great genetics,” Mubarak says, “so I have to rely on great conditioning.” You don’t have great genetics? Now, that’s being modest. Freaky Fakhri, who trains at the Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, New York (yup, the same gym that used to operate under the Gold’s banner), says he’s jumping right into competition at the next level and will make his debut at the Charlotte Pro on October 1. “I hope to be 10 pounds heavier,” he says, “but I am wary of getting too big and not keeping my conditioning, which has been the downfall of a lot of other smaller guys moving into the pros.” Agree wholeheartedly on that one, Fakhri. Tight is right.

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For the first time ever, I picked a bodybuilder whom I’d never met or seen compete to win a major event. Hearing words of praise about the guy from Jay Cutler, and viewing Big Bill Comstock’s pics from the Junior Nationals was enough to get me to take the plunge. And Phil Heath has made me look better for it. The 25-yearold former high school basketball ace from Seattle, who played at Denver University as a 5’9”, 180pound guard, proved pictures certainly can tell the story. In only his third year of physique competition, the now 215-pound Heath swept his class and the overall at the ’05 USA Championships. And I didn’t hear too many complaints at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Artemus Ham Concert Hall on July 30 that the kid didn’t deserve the title. Sure, he’s got some areas to work on: width, general thickness and sharper conditioning, but that should come with time. His arms (especially his triceps), delts, chest and calves are filthy. I say the Denver Nugget should make his pro debut at the IRON MAN in February. What a handsome addition to the scenery at the stunning Pasadena Civic Auditorium he’d be. The contest will be just two months past his 26th birthday. Can he win it? That depends on who’ll be competing in the always-tough field. Still, it’s safe to say that Phil the Thrill could hold his own, regardless. Come on, Phillip, make me look good again. Phil Heath swept his class and the overall. Could the ’06 IRON MAN Pro be next on his agenda?



T h i s M i n i - To w e r o f Power Is No Lightweight

Sting Ray




Ran into Barbara Fletcher, the 4’9”, 96pound dynamo from Anaheim, California, who took the overall at the ’05 Orange County, in the restaurant of the USA host hotel, Embassy Suites. Asked her to show me her stuff, right then and there. She did. Then asked her to pose down Bill Comstock, right then and there. She did. Fortunately, Bill kept his shirt on. The following evening, Buff Barb became the shortest, and lightest, lightweight winner in USA history. She also supplied the most entertainment during the posedown when she aggressively chased the other Four-foot nine-inch Barbara Fletcher class winners won the fans’ hearts when she took on the other class winners in the around the posedown. At right: Fletcher had no stage. trouble winning this posedown with Fletcher Big Bill Comstock. didn’t win the overall crown (that went to the wonderfully symmetrical Amanda Dunbar), but she won the fans’ hearts with her spirited display. Talk about dynamite coming in small packages.

Arde was spoton in Vegas.

He was in his alltime-best shape, but it wasn’t quite good enough for “Sting” Ray Arde, the 5’6”, 198pounder from San Jose, California. Fakhri

Mubarak deserved the light-heavyweight crown, but I couldn’t help pulling a bit for Arde, who won my first-ever California Collegiate Championships back in 1999. Okay, I’m a bit biased, but I thought the guy could have had the third-best bod in the entire show behind Phil Heath and Mubarak, and that’s saying a mouthful. In the lobby after the contest, Arde said he might jump into the North Americans; I’d like to see him onstage at the Nationals in Atlanta in November. Hang in there, Sting Ray. You’re a pro in waiting. Let’s hope the wait’s not too long.



Traveling Man

“So many women, so little time!” says Steve. Says L.T.: Save some time to get back behind the curtain at the Nationals.

Wennerstrom wheels keep on turninÕ

How did I know that Barbara Fletcher was the smallest USA Lightweight champion ever? Or that Heather Policky was the event’s first female heavyweight winner from Colorado? Or that Britt Miller became the first North Carolinian to take the middleweight crown? Because Steve Wennerstrom, who was neatly tucked away behind the curtain while I was emceeing the finals, told me so. And what better source of info? This was the 26th consecutive year that Wennerstrom has covered the USA, going back to 1980, when some gal named Rachel McLish won the inaugural affair. Steve has worn many hats (not counting the NBC Sports cap he frequently dons) through the years. He’s been the IFBB women’s historian since 1982, an editor at Women’s Physique World since ’84 and has contributed to Flex (where he’s currently an editor at large) since ’83. “I’ve been lucky enough to have watched, photographed and written about women’s bodybuilding since it first started in 1977,” says Wennerstrom, who was a 400- and 800meter standout during his collegiate track days at Cal State Fullerton. “I’ve covered countless local, state [25 California Championships] and regional contests in the United States over the past 28 years, plus dozens of national and international championships around the world.” Wennerstrom’s record ain’t perfect—he has missed one NPC Nationals since 1980. Not that he could help it. In 1991 he was in Sydney, Australia, covering the World Amateur Championships, and “the NPC Nationals were held on the same weekend in Orlando, Florida. That was a very tough choice. So many women, so little time!”

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Collector’s Book: Pumping Iron Overseas

IRON MAN’s Army Operation Iraqi Freedom Issue

Predictions Gone Wrong

Soldiers push for military theme

Sam’s the Man


Connie SogaYes, I do Moore, wife of call ’em wrong once in a great Sgt. 1st Class while. I had a friendBret Moore, ly wager with Eryk Bui wrote recently that Jorge “Chic” to let us Betancourt would finish ahead of Sam Bakhtiar know what in the middleweight big fans of class. A year ago IRON MAN Bakhtiar was third in the her hubby class, while Chic was fourth. and his As everyone knows by fellow solnow, Sam took third in the diers, memlatest battle, finishing bers of the second to Betancourt’s fifth in the division; I had Hawaii Army BAKHTIAR (LEFT) AND BETANCOURT. to put up with Bui’s National Guard taunts throughout the weekend, which is much worse than springstationed in ing for a meal. Kuwait, are. Bakhtiar’s a fine bodybuilder—hell, he took the overall at the Los Angeles Championships a week before the USA. So Such boosters, in it wasn’t like I was going with the strong favorite this fact, that the guys, time. who train at their base I’ll be happy to buy, Chop Bui, but I think I’ll gym, wanted to show us wait till you begin your diet for the IRON MAN. Will Koo Koo Roo do? what an IRON MAN cover would look like if we ever decided to go with a military theme. Looks pretty impressive, gents, but next time take off the shirts! And keep up the good work; it’s much appreciated on this end.

Bret Moore (front) and his comrades in Kuwait, all members of the Hawaii National Guard (from left): Derek Cutting, Kanoa Kawai, Josh Dixon, Bernard Herodies, Frank Morris and Ed Fernandez. Next time shake the shirts, fellas.


ice Is Right” Man, some of those “Pr . old els are getting

ad who lift don’t like he “Back up!” People e. tur pic the in guns shots. Gotta get the


Here's how bo dybuilders sa parking spac ve es for each ot her at Gold’s Gym, Venice.

For photo galleries and reports from the ’05 NPC USA and Team Universe weekends, go to IRON MAN’s \ NOVEMBER 2005 209

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Success Stories

Ohio Energizer So many hours, so little time

Add Ohio


plished off the stage. The 5’2”, 110-pounder has a B.S. in exercise physiology from Ohio University as well as two master’s degrees from Cleveland State University: one in exercise physiology, and the second in Reho often gives motivational lectures at REHO’S FIGURE REHAB sports management. Plus, she did her internschools, talking to third and fourth ship with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and I hear graders about heart disease, exercise and she gave Labron James pointers on his jumper. the evils of smoking. Her Theme: Butts Are Gross. When not training at Titan’s 24 Hours Gym in Mentor (“in the wee hours of the morning”), Linda works as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation at Lake West Hospital in nearby Willoughby, is coordinator of the Smoking Education/Cessation Department and finds time to work in the Health Promotions division as well. She somehow also comes up with an hour daily to play shrink for local promoter Dave Liberman, using her educational background in counselling him about his obsessive/compulsive behavior deficiencies. How did she manage to prep for a physique show with that schedule? “I pray, and I do what's in my heart,” she said. “I am very dedicated and committed, and I rely on the dear Lord to help me follow my dreams, goals and passions in life.” As for when she’ll step onstage again, she said, “I’m kind of a spur-of-the-moment person. I guess I’ll compete again in 2006.” Shoot, by then you’ll have picked up another degree or two.


At Linda Reho won the ’01 NPC the ’05 Natural Northern USA BodybuildGreat Lakes ing Championships, besting, among others, future USA and Natural Figure IFBB North American class Championships. winner Christine Moore. This Linda Reho, who year she switched to figure won the ’01 Natuand took her class at the NPC ral Northern USA Natural Great Lakes Championships in Detroit on June 4. Bodybuilding Pretty impressive, huh? Championships, Well, not nearly as eye-catchnow completes ing as what the 30-year-old strictly in figure. from Mentor, Ohio, has accom-


Family Affair muscles in on business world rankings

In six short years has muscled its way into the online magazine Internet Retailer’s Top 400 Retail Web Sites, a yearly ranking of the best revenue-producing sites, at 160. How impressive is that number? Well, Liz Claiborne sits at 193, Patagonia is rated 205, and The Nautilus Group landed at 237. In a related article the magazine singled out the family-owned business—and who doesn’t know Russ, Ryan and Jeremy DeLuca by now in our industry?—for focusing on a niche market and DeLucas three (from left): Jeremy, Ryan and Russ. providing excellent customer service. Service is critical, yes. Now, if I can just get those darn supplements Russ promised me ages ago! The Idaho firm, founded by 26-year-old Ryan DeLuca, was also recognized by the Boise Chamber of Commerce as the “2005 Small Business of the Year” for its growth, management and community involvement. And it’s nice to know the company will stay involved as the title sponsor of my ’06 NPC Junior California Bodybuilding and Figure Championships, set for June 3 at Pasadena City College. The DeLucas have been strong supporters of bodybuilding events for several years now. Congratulations on the honors, guys, and best wishes for your continued success. Now, Russ, about those supplements. Ryan? Jeremy?

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U P, D O W N A N D R O U N D T H E ’ 0 5 N P C U S A C H A M P I O N S H I P S

You know you’ve ma referring to you by de it when they start first name only. Th was Elvis, Fabian, ere Cher, Fabio…and now Lonnie.




Barry Brook


2, took the USA in 199 Flex Wheeler, who new vocation his in st fine 5’s zeroes in on 200 for MD. as photojournalist



Ron Avidan

Not only did Fakhri Mubarak have to pose down his fellow trophy winners onst age, but he was als o challenged to a calf-off again st lightweight six placer Alex Az tharian backstage at th prejudging. So e rry Alex, Fakhri ge , ts the nod here too.

Why is George Fa rah always on the ph one? Rick Sosias finds the perfect place at iles sm all was Mi y ddleweight Guille Jaguar Jon Lindsa for precontest meditation. It obvirmo competitors and Escalante gets a the USA, and with 325 kick out of g ously worked; he finished fourth in Bu fillin st Prie hy Cat lletproof’s cell ph beautiful women like the tough light-heavy class. one Hall, who can indulgence. up the Artemus Ham blame him?


TEXAS BODYBUILDERS Everything’s big at Q.T.’S

Quincy Taylor, who moved from California’s San Fernando Valley to Mansfield, Texas, in 2004, was carrying around 330 pounds on his 6’4” frame in the early part of July and planning on being about 310—”no less than 305”— when he hit the stage at the fall shows. Check out the scores at www.graphic to see how he did. Quincy, who was seen in the 2005 flick, “Be Cool,” lights up when talking about his 180-pound Neapolitan mastiffs, Sophie and Legend. Taylor needs a victory at either, or both, contests if he wants to be top dog in his household. Sophie has already earned championship honors as a show dog. “This is a big year for me,” said the big man, who won the ’01 USA Overall crown. “I plan on qualifying for the Olympia and proving I can stand onstage with the best in the sport.”


Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dogs’ best friend. Taylor with Sophie and Legend.

L.T. gets some precontest emcee advice from the Performance Ready Team, a Colorado-based group of fitness and figure competitors coached by IFBB pro Carla Sanchez (from left): Judy Warren, Jessie Booth, Sanchez, L.T., Tanisha Harrison, Brooke Paulin and Brandy Newman.

More crystal balls. IRON MAN Publisher John Balik was inducted into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame on July 4 in Venice, California. The award was presented by longtime IM contributor Gene Mozée. \ NOVEMBER 2005 211

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Ruth Silverman’s



On the Road Again

Sending a message. Tight but not ripped was the order of the day in Vegas—for the ladies, that is. And get a load of the calves-a-palooza on the backs of Amanda Dunbar’s legs.

Another fabulous ride on the Vegas-to-New York shuttle

I don’t know how the photographers do it. Or the judges. Several hundred terribly toned female butts passed before these weary eyes during the back-toback USA and Team Universe weekends, and it would have been a huge burden if I had to be responsible for remembering every one. I was reminded of that as I watched NPC judges Linda Lafave, John Tuman and Linda Wood-Hoyte meeting with female competitors backstage at the USA, giving the athletes their notes on how they needed to improve. Earlier I’d seen the three taking those notes, knowing that they’d be the ones having these little chats, but still.… That’s a lot of buff bootys to keep track of, and for some on the panel—and in the press pit—it was just the first half of the tour. The USA Championships was a huge success, as usual. The ’05 version, held on July 29 and 30, attracted almost 200 women as well as 123 men to the stage of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Even though 137 of those ladies came to compete in figure, the turnout for women’s bodybuilding was highly encouraging. Also encouraging was the way the judges stuck to the NPC’s guns regarding the standards for evaluating the female flexers’ physiques. Witness their choice for moving on to the professional ranks, light-heavy champ Amanda Dunbar, a 135-pounder with stunning symmetry and a less-ismore muscular style from Fort Myers, Florida. Even the weariest of eyes could pick out Dunbar as a contender for the overall the moment they got a look at her. She showed enviable self-confidence onstage, considering that it was her very first national show. The panel awarded her the overall trophy—and the pro card—over a more muscular but also genetically gifted Heather Policky, the heavyweight winner, as well as power pixie Barbara Fletcher, lightweight champ, and the very balanced Britt A. Miller, middleweight victor. Dunbar’s background as a gymnast may account for the poise she showed on the posing platform. She’ll need it on the next level, where being a competitor who doesn’t need to lose 20 percent of her muscularity may or may not turn out to be an advantage. To view IRON MAN’s online photo gallery of all the USA competitors, go to


Elena Sieple, second light heavy at the ’04 Nationals, is gunning for a pro card. Stopped cold by Amanda Dunbar, she has to settle for the runnerup slot again.

Janet Kaufman waits to find out who gets to pose at the finals. Janet does and finishes third in the middleweights.

Angie Salvagno, third behind Elena in the light heavies, conserves her wattage for the posing platform. “Adorable” is one judge’s reaction to the 132-pounder from Chico, California, onstage.

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Flaking Off

New Pro Score Card Can’t tell the players without it

Perseverance pays off for Arkansas mom

NPC USA \ July 29–30 Overall winner Michelle Flake

Trophy shot of the month.

A class: 1) Andrea Dumon*, 2) Angela Komis, 3) Rebecca Rush B class: 1) Michelle Flake*, 2) Jeanette Freed, 3) Brooke Paulin C class: 1) Bernadette Galvan*, 2) Michelle Anderson. 3) Zhanna Rotar D class: 1) Gina Aliotti*, 2) Danielle Hollenshade, 3) Erica Davidson E class: 1) Amanda Savell*, 2) Rebecca Lynn Slatt, 3) Melissa Thalhamer

NPC Figure Nationals August 5–6 Overall winner: Danielle Hollenshade

Amanda Savell of Allen, Texas, was one of three USA class winners who jumped into the New York Pro a week after becoming pros.


A class: 1) Rebecca Rush*, 2) Karen Zaremba*, 3) Huong Arcinas B class: 1) Jeanette Freed*, 2) Jenette Guenther*, 3) Gail Elie C class: 1) Zhanna Rotar*, 2) Aida Aragon*, 3) Jesse Ferguson (4th at

D class: 1) Danielle Hollenshade*, 2) Erica Davidson* 3) Kristy Stone E class: 1) Jessica Booth* ** (5th at USA), 2) Alana Hernandez*, 3) Stephanie Collins (4th at USA)


Eve of Reduction

F class: 1) Ali Metkovich*, 2) Alexis Ellis* (6th at USA), 3) Jamie Justin *Earned pro card. **Earned pro card in fitness as well.

Nowhere was the emphasis on reduced muscularity more evident than in the physique of veteran heavyweight contender Heather Policky. Weighing about five pounds less than she had at the ’02 USA, when her fourth-place finish wasn’t popular with all the fans in the house (she was fifth in ’03), Heather looked

Photography by Ruth Silverman

F class: 1) Shelly Taucher*, 2) Simona Douglas, 3) Ali Metkovich

light as a feather in comparison. The 168 1/2-pound Policky earned firstplace votes from all nine judges but not a pro card.

Figure up-and-comer Michelle Flake was in the dumps after the ’04 Junior Nationals, where she failed to make the cut. She was ready to quit—after all, what did she need it for, all the training and dieting and sacrifice? The Little Rock, Arkansas, resident had been hooked on figure since she’d entered— and won—her first show, the ’03 Battle on the Bluff in Tunica, Mississippi, but, well, it’s not as if her Day Runner was empty. The 5’2 1/2” mother of three kids (12, six and two) and owner (with husband Chris Flake) of two daycare centers had plenty to keep her hands full, including, recently, a pair of baby raccoons, which the family rescued, bottlefed and raised before releasing back into the wild. Enter Steve Wennerstrom, champion of female physique athletes and noted expert, who talked her out of quitting. A waste of talent for Flake to flake out now, he said. Turned out he was right. Michelle took fourth in her class at the ’04 Figure Nationals, and from there it was just a hop (first in her class at the ’05 Emerald Cup), skip (fourth at the Junior USA) and a jump (overall at the USA) to the pros. Along the way she started representing GNC at events, which boosted her confidence greatly. Her victory in Vegas lifted it high enough that she jumped into the New York Pro a week later and made the top five in her parade-forpesos debut. With two shows to go before the O, don’t be shocked if this new Southern star makes it to a Vegas stage once more before the season’s out. \ NOVEMBER 2005 213

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The Streets of Laredo


Precocious co-ed goes to the head of the class

Gina Aliotti is a quick study. How else do you account for her swift ride to the figure pros? (Well, that and her stunning physique.) In fact, the 20-year-old junior at San Diego State University got her card at her first national show—in her first year of competition. That’s fast. Growing up in Monterey, California, the 5’4 1/2” foods-and-nutrition major studied gymnastics as a kid, played field hockey and softball in high school and was “always involved in dance.” In college, she said, “I didn’t have time for team sports.” Instead she tried her bod at figure with enviable results: A six-show trip to the top, including a win at the ’05 World Gym Classic Gina gives new meaning to the term “pro in March. figure babe.” Gina learned to lift weights from her father, who “was and is a bodybuilder,” during her first year of high school, she said. “Every morning we would perform a quick, 20-minute dumbbell routine.” Her mother owned a health food store, “so I grew up in a very healthy environment.” The suggestion that she should compete came from her dad as well, and in June 2004 she stepped onstage at a show run by the WBFA and won the teen figure division. A win at the ’04 Border States put her on the NPC radar, and it’s not hard to see why. Balance, lines and lots of curves— her 123-pounds-in-contest-shape body has it all. Can she keep moving at the same velocity? Watch her sprint into the next level and see.

Spotlight on Bernadette Galvan Galvanized. Bernadette is poised for battle.

USA C-class winner Bernadette Galvan leaped into the pros after an 11th-place finish at the Junior Nationals in June. The 5’4” lady from Laredo, Texas, opens corporate fitness centers for a living and has a background in modeling, which may explain why she stood out by a mile in her division. As the photo shows, Galvan is ready to fight it out in the pros. Imagine her with a couple of six-shooters holstered and a 10-gallon hat.

HOT SHOTS BY JERRY FREDRICK It's a tough job, but someone has to put up King Kong's Milk Duds.

morial lift was a big

The John Holmes me hit.

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Don't you just hate guys who don’t have any physical flaws?



Bev on Muscle


Speaking of sending a message

Couple of white chicks sitting around talkin’ ’bout muscle. Has bodybuilding legend Bev Francis changed her tune?

The tone couldn’t have been clearer when I talked with Bev Francis after the Team Universe/Figure Nationals/New York Pro Figure finals, a week after the USA: “It’s time to back off from sheer size,” said the former World Pro champ and Ms. Olympia runner-up. And then the next thing she said was,

Bringing it down for figure The camera loves Kathy Johansson, but the 5’7” former heavyweight from Tucson notes that she started getting more modeling work when she started toning it down. She finished eighth out of 36 in the USA tall class in only her fourth competition.

“You’re probably surprised to hear me say that.” Surprised? That the women’s bodybuilding icon and seven-time world powerlifting champ—blamed by some for having caused the trend toward extreme female muscularity in the first place—has changed her tune? Why would you ask that? An A-list physique judge and promoter, with husband Steve Weinberger, of the Team U weekend, four New York Pro events and a slew of local and regional shows, Francis knows the sport from all angles—and she knows how to shoot from the lip. Catch her unbridled—and uncensored—audio interview with yours truly at IM’s


MORE CHAMPS Speaking of

Overall Winners

Vibe Tribe

Plus one San Diego’s Lisa Bic former Marine, wh kels agrees. The 5’3” o was the Califo rni Lightweight and Overall Bodybuild a ing champ in 2003, admits that she may sti ll have muscle to shed. She too k the figure B cla ss at this year’s Cal and wa s ninth in her div ision in Vegas.

And bulking back up


Tribal portrait (from left); Kelly Ryan, Ashley Titus, Nicole Rollolazo and Tanji Johnson.

Dave Liberman, who knows how I love to give a boost to competitors from Pittsburgh, sent this shot of ’05 NPC Masters National Figure champ Sherie Salvadori. The 41-year-old Salvadori, who recently relocated to Miramar, Florida, won the short class and overall—and a pro card—at the July event, which, coincidentally, was held in Pittsburgh.

Of course it was no surprise that the fitness performance group known as Vibe Tribe, consisting, as it does, of Kelly Ryan, Tanji Johnson and Nicole Rollolazo, gave a wonderful guest performance at the USA. The surprise was that Ryan had slipped so comfortably into the role of stepmom to 17-year-old Ashley Marie Titus, daughter of Ryan’s hubby, Craig Titus. Ashley, who moved into Kelly and Craig’s Vegas-area digs last spring, had a grand time hanging out with the divas three and got to contribute to the act. “That’s her voiceover on the music,” Ryan announced proudly before instructing Ashley on the fine art of posing for a group shot.

“The muscle just wouldn’t leave,” says bodybuilder Kim Harris, who never did make her debut in the figure arena. With the new emphasis on aesthetics in women’s bodybuilding, she was hoping to do some damage at the fall sho ws.

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Fannie Barrios

Fannie posed with flare at the ’04 Ms. International. She loved to compete and made four appearances at the prestigious event.

The sudden death of pro bodybuilder Fannie Barrios on August 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had the physique world reeling last summer. The 41year-old Miami resident was in Fort Lauderdale to attend the NPC Southern States Championships, in which her husband, Alex Ramirez, competed. She spent the weekend helping the athletes backstage and seemed fine to those who spoke with her on Saturday, August 6. Later that night, however, she suffered a stroke in the couple’s hotel room and passed away around 2 a.m. She was probably the last person anyone expected to be making sensational headlines. Fannie Josefina Barrios was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on May 30, 1964. She won the Venezuelan Championships twice, in 1997 and ’98, and turned pro after winning a 1998 contest in San Salvador called the Absolute Center of the Americas. Her pro debut took place at the ’99 Jan Tana Classic, a contest that saw her reach the winner’s circle twice—as the middleweight champ in 2001 and the lightweight champ in 2002. She competed in three Ms. Olympia competitions and four Ms. International events, finishing third at both of them in 2002. The last entry on her busy competition résumé was a third-place finish at the ’05 New York Pro last May, and she was preparing for the Europa Supershow at the time of her death. A sweetheart who loved competitive bodybuilding is how those who knew her describe Barrios. Five feet, two inches and 126 pounds of solid, balanced muscle and aesthetic lines presented with an elegant posing style is how they describe her physique. Fannie moved to Florida in 2000 to focus on her bodybuilding career and work as a personal trainer. She and Ramirez had recently opened a gym in Miami, which makes her passing seem even sadder, if that’s possible. In addition to her husband, Barrios leaves the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Johadanys. IRON MAN’s condolences go out to the family and friends of this dedicated physique athlete.

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Indeed I did. Under the heading of, “Whatever will they think up next?” my bosses at IRON MAN have decided to unleash me—and L.T.—on an unsuspecting Internet. Audio contest reports with flash shows, interviews, commentary and whatever else we think up are just a click away, at the ever-evolving (where you’ll also find our photo galleries of all the big NPC and IFBB contests). And since we’re in a hurry to get the stuff to you—and too cheap to edit it—we’re totally uncensored. “You’re going to be a star, dahlink,” said IM Publisher John Balik as he pressed into my hand a tiny digital recorder. Really, John? You promise? But he was off, in that way publishers have. I looked at the thing in my palm. It was shiny and skinny and so cute, I couldn’t resist. Especially when all my colleagues assured me that I’d be great on audio. The jury’s still out on that one, but we are having a fine time finding new ways to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the Graphic masterminds are plotting our physique world. Check our coverage of strategy for the Olympia. Set your brows- the USA and Team Universe competier to www.graphicmuscle tions—the T.U. Fitness notes give new .com, and adjust your speakers. meaning to the phrase “flash report.”


Did I say uncensored?


Ruthless Unleashed


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 IRON MAN, 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 IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033; or via e-mail at

2005 Mr. O Preview

Eight Ball Coleman Zeroes In on Haney’s Record by Lonnie Teper Photography by Bill Comstock



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here are several changes in store for the ’05 Mr. Olympia, but will any of them affect Ronnie Coleman’s quest for an eighth straight crown on October 15? A Coleman victory, as you should know by now, would place his name side by side with the illustrious Lee Haney as co-owner of a record eight Mr. O titles. Well, moving the Las Vegas event from the Mandalay Bay to the Orleans Arena certainly won’t have any effect. Neither will the addition of one competitor from the newly installed Wildcard Showdown competition that will take place during the Figure and Fitness Olympia finals a night earlier. However, some folks think the mandate Ben Weider announced a few months back could play a role in who cruises, who loses. In the




memo Weider said, to abridge, that the “look” bodybuilders should present features a small waist, a tight, flat midsection and a Vtaper. Bodies injected with products like synthol will be graded Ben Weider down. The Big Nasty has good symmetry, a fairly small waist for a man his size and a wonderful taper, even at the 295 pounds he carried last year on his 5’11” frame. But detractors quickly point to a (sometimes) distended midsection they say belies the Weider slant. Admirers of a more sleek, aesthetically pleasing bod say Ronnie has gotten, well, too big and too nasty. So, if the Weider mandate really


Is bigger going to be better at this year’s Mr. O? The powers that be have spoken and said symmetry will trump size, if that mass is misproportioned. It should be interesting indeed. \ NOVEMBER 2005 219

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2005 Mr. O Preview


For For those those who who weren’t weren’t close close observers observers in in ’01, ’01, Schlierkamp Schlierkamp was was the the people’s people’s champ champ en en route route to to aa fifth-place fifth-place finish finish in in the the Olympia. Olympia.

is adhered to on game day, could the likes of Chris Cormier, Melvin Anthony, Darrem Charles and Lee Priest be moving into the favorite’s role? Be sure to read the News & Views on page 206 to find out how the Swami sez it will all play out. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the field. The champ. Ronnie Coleman, holder of seven consecutively earned Sandow trophies. Does the new Ben Weider directive concern him? Well, he did tell me a while back that he was aiming to come in at around 280 or so but admitted later that he keeps putting on muscle—yes, even at 41—and that it’s feasible he could be even heavier this time around. The top challengers. Jay Cutler, Chris Cormier. With Dexter Jackson sitting this one out (along with Ahmad Haidar), the two top challengers to unseat Coleman are still C & C Company, Cutler and Cormier. Cutler, the three-time Arnold Classic champ, has been playing second fiddle to Ronnie at this event for some time now. Jay’s biggest problem of late has been finding that happy medium: He’s either been too heavy, which hurts him in the back-detail department,

or too light, which flattens him out. Cutler began his contest diet even further out than usual this year; if the 32-year-old can come in dry, at about 265 pounds, he might have a legit shot at uncrowning the king. Jay, however, was around 290 in early August, so showing up that light might be a stretch. Cormier is an enigma, as usual. How many times have we said, “If Chris can come in at his best”— then he doesn’t. Now that he’s 38, there’s no more time to waste for the 5’11”, 255-pounder with the tremendous symmetry. If he’s on the money, he’ll be in the mix for the big prize. If he’s off again, Badell

like last year, when he finished seventh, he’ll fade into the second five. X factor. Gunter Schlierkamp. Why does Schlierkamp, after his sixth-place landing a year ago, not to mention the thumping he had to take in front of the whole place because of that damn challenge round, rate this high? Because he told me back in April that “Guntermania will be back.” For those who weren’t close observers in ’01, Schlierkamp was the people’s champ en route to a fifth-place finish in the Olympia, then upset Coleman at the GNC Show of Strength shortly after, becoming the only person ever to defeat a reigning Mr. O. Top-six contenders. Gustavo Badell, Lee Priest, Markus Ruhl, Alexander Federov. Badell was ’04’s biggest

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2005 Mr. O Preview


Photo by Kevin Horton. Used with permission


surprise, ending up third in the event last year. Then the Frican Rican started off ’05 with a bang, winning the IRON MAN Pro before taking third in the Arnold Classic. But despite the impressive finishes, the 5’7” Badell has had as many detractors as supporters this season, as he was 16 pounds heavier than the 234 he sported in 2004. Again, a distended midsection was the main area of disapproval. I’d like to see Gustavo display the look he had in ’04, when he was easily the most improved bodybuilder on the pro level; at 235 Badell, who will be competing in front of his hometown fans, since he moved from Puerto Rico to Vegas a while back, will fight for a top-three slot. Priest has been a standout on the pro level for more than a decade and may have presented his best look ever this season. The 5’4 1/2”, 200-pound Priest took second to Badell at the IM, was a disputed fourth at the ASC and then bested Cormier at the Australian Pro event. Always criticized for his lack of thigh separation and smooth glutes, Priest really dialed things in during the early shows and brought up those areas of weakness tremendously. The big, bad Markus, all 285 pounds of him (at about 5’11”), is a huge favorite of the fans, and if he’s in shape, he’ll always be a contender, as he was last year, when he finished fifth. Russia’s Federov, the latest “big thing” to make his Olympia debut, is about the same size as Ruhl, has gotten a lot of media exposure and will probably join Ruhl as one of the crowd favorites. If people are thinking Federov is a threat to Coleman’s title, Ronnie isn’t one of them. “His time isn’t now,” Coleman says with a sly smile. X factor. Victor Martinez. Martinez has sort of become the latest version of Cormier. When he’s spot on, the balanced Martinez can be one of the best in the game, but he hasn’t been at his best since he won the Night of Champions in ’03. The New Yorker, ninth a year ago, still has to prove he’s among bodybuilding’s elite on a consistent basis. Top-10 contenders. Darrem

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X-FACTOR When When spot spot on, on, the the balanced balanced Martinez Martinez can can be be one one of of the the best best in in the the game. game.


Charles, Melvin Anthony, Kris Dim. Charles bested Martinez at the ’05 New York Pro, so perhaps he should trade places with Victor in the rankings. The 36-year-old Charles has really come on of late and has recorded six victories on the pro level. Still, will the judges allow the always sliced Charles, at 5’9” and 220 pounds, to move ahead of some of the mass monsters and land in the top six? Anthony, like Charles, presents one of the most pleasing physiques

in the industry. But as with Darrem, is he big enough to be fairly compared to guys like Schlierkamp and Ruhl? Marvelous Melvin goes about 5’8 1/2” and 230 pounds

and is the best performer in the sport. Dim was 12th last season and easily laid claim to the title of best Asian bodybuilder in the world. Now he wants to be ranked among the best, period. Kris will be one of the smaller competitors in the lineup, at 5’5” and around 200 pounds. But, remember, Priest is about that size as well and can hang with anyone. Troy Alves, who would also fall into this category, was sidelined with a shoulder injury this summer and had to withdraw. More X factors. Johnnie Jackson, Branch Warren. At press time, Jackson was in, and Warren was hoping to qualify at the Europa Supershow and Charlotte Pro in the fall. The two Texans—and sometime training partners—both possess high-quality physiques and have the tools to crack the top 10. Jackson was 14th a year ago but looked vastly improved when he took second behind Charles at the Toronto Pro this year. Warren, the most underrated physique athlete in the game, should have qualified for the Big Dance last year. Based on how terrific he looked when he peeled off his shirt at the Texas Championships on July 23, he’s a shooin to do just that this time around—and the man known for the best wheels since the late Paul “Quadzilla” DeMayo showed off only his untanned upper body. There will also be a competitor added after the WildAnthony card Showdown

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2005 Mr. O Preview


is held on the night before the Mr. O. This new feature is basically an 11th-hour qualifying match, in which the winner not only gets 10 grand but also gets to stand next to Coleman and his posse the following day. The event is open to IFBB pros who finished in the top 10 at IFBB contests from the ’04 Mr. Olympia through the ’05 season. What’s more, despite any rumors you may have heard, the challenge round, inaugurated in 2004, will be back. This year, however, it won’t change the outcome of the contest. It will bring a nice piece of change to the top finishers. See the News & Views for the details. Additionally, American Media Inc. and the IFBB, promoters of the ’05 Olympia Weekend, have raised the prize money for all events held during the weekend; the Mr. O pot goes from $399,000 to $500,000. The amount for the winner, $120,000 last year, is being boosted to $150,000. This is a new contest venue, the lineup is deep, and the booty has been increased. Can’t wait to see if Coleman makes it eight. IM

’05 Mr. Olympia Lineup (As of September 1)



s R O T C A -F

Ronnie Coleman Jay Cutler Gustavo Badell Markus Ruhl Gunter Schlierkamp Alexander Federov Mike Sheridan Chris Cormier Mustafa Mohammad Kris Dim Lee Priest Melvin Anthony Darrem Charles Ronny Rockel Victor Martinez Craig Richardson Capriese Murray Johnnie Jackson


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Back to the

Rack Iso Magic Part 5


brief moment to review the topic of this series. An isometric contraction occurs when the resistance to the muscle is so intense that the muscle cannot move the weight or object. Then the muscle stiffens and does not shorten. At that point, all of the energy in the muscle is used in tension and none in the form of movement. That’s how it develops the maximum amount of muscle tension.

With this system of strength training, you perform only a single maximum contraction in each exercise. Compared to a typical free-weight or machine workout, isos require very little energy. One of the main selling points for doing isos was that they weren’t fatiguing and could be done more frequently than conventional workouts. You didn’t have to rest a day between sessions, which enabled you to train six days a week if you wanted to.

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Model: David Dorsey

by Bill Starr • Photography by Michael Neveux

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Isometric work can translate into bigger lifts on full-range exercises.

Model: Skip La Cour

The maximum contractions involve the tendons and ligaments much more than multiple reps on free weights, and they also force the nervous system to be more active. Stimulating the nervous system is of particular interest to any athlete engaging in a high-skill activity, such as Olympic weightlifting and the field events in track. Enhancing the ability of your nervous system to respond more rapidly is a great asset in any sport. Studies have concluded that moving a loaded barbell a short distance, isotonically, before locking it in an isometric contraction is more productive than doing isometrics without movement. That’s not to say that pure isometrics don’t work because they’ve been proven to add strength. It’s just that isotonic-isometric exercise is better, and that’s my focus here. There are a number of ways to incorporate isos into your current program. The best approach is usually to insert some isos into your regular routine so that there’s not much overall change right away. When I first used isometrics, I did them on my nonlifting days—Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday—and trained with free weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I was able to recover from the six-day regime for two reasons: The iso sessions were short and sweet—15 minutes tops— and I always paid close attention to the heavy, light and medium concept on my lifting days. The short, condensed iso sessions didn’t tire me at all but instilled a pleasant stimulation that carried over to the following day and benefited me in the weight room. Unless you have easy access to a power rack, however, that idea isn’t very feasible. At York the weight room was always available, and I did a variation of that routine: I lifted four days and did a couple of isos two other days a week. I concentrated on my weaker areas in the power rack—almost always my squats. When I felt I was getting stale on them, I’d switch over and do pulls or presses for a few weeks. On occasion I’d work all three bodyparts. Generally that was in the off-season, when I didn’t have to worry about pushing my numbers up on the three com-

petitive lifts. The change was healthy because when I cut back on the isos I had more juice for the press, snatch, and clean and jerk. Using the relatively lighter weights for a length of time also let me pay closer attention to my technique. That had long-range positive benefits. Some situations may prompt you to give isos priority for a month or six weeks. Maybe you’re feeling burnt out with your present program, want some sort of drastic change or are simply pressed for time. Switching to an iso routine can revive your enthusiasm: Isos are new stuff and demand a type of concentration different from what you need

If you’re stale on an exercise, isos can help break your plateau.

in conventional workouts. When Tommy Suggs was still a tax accountant, he’d drop his regular weight workouts and do an almost exclusive iso routine during tax season. He’d get up at 6 a.m., go into his garage, zip through a 15- or 20minute session in the power rack, shower and go to his office. That permitted him to maintain his consistency of training and prepared him for the mental stress of the day. When he went back to his freeweight routine, he always felt stronger and found that the rack work had helped him get rid of some nagging injuries. I introduce my athletes to isos by having them do one position per

Model: Berry Kabov

Iso Magic

Back to the Rack

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Driving up and against an immovab le object is a great way to build and strengthe n the calves.

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Ab work is a good warmup for isos.

Model: Jonathan Lawson

Iso Magic

workout. It’s the best way of becoming familiar with the technique. Once they learn it on a single position, they can more readily move to others. Contrary to what many believe, a great deal of technique is required to achieve the desired results. Isometrics is one of those exercise methods that are easy to learn but hard to master. You’ll soon discover that the more you practice, the greater the gains. I recommend supplementing your regular routine with isos for yet another practical reason. Locking a weighted barbell into a set of pins and applying your absolute maximum effort for eight to 12 seconds isn’t fun. It’s not nearly as rewarding

as pressing, pulling or squatting a heavy poundage. It’s pure work. So for most athletes, a little goes a long way. If you do decide to start including one or two isos in your weekly program, add them sensibly. You must always be aware of balancing your isos with your other weight work. For example, it wouldn’t be wise to do isos for your legs on your heavy squat day. Too much of a good thing, But you could do one or two positions on your light and medium days, In the event that you want to do an iso position on your medium day, drop your back-off set. Even though isos are much less demanding than full-range exercises, if you pile on too much extra work, you’ll become overtrained. It’s a delicate balance, but one that you can manage if you pay attention. Keep in mind the fundamental principle that Dr. Ziegler expounded over and over: Once you’ve attacked the attachments with maximum effort and held that contraction for a minimum of eight seconds, they cannot be made any stronger. Same rule applies if you have maxed out with low reps using free weights. So on a day you work some group extra hard, don’t add isos. Even if you’re feeling perky. Similarly, never do more than

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Isos are much less demanding than fullrange exercises.

Model: Mike Dragna

Models: Bolo and David Yeung

Use isos in conjunction with your regular routine. Locking a weighted barbell into a set of pins and applying absolute maximum effort for eight to 12 seconds isn’t nearly as rewarding as pressing, pulling or squatting a heavy poundage.

three positions for any bodypart. I think that two are plenty for squats: bottom and middle. Seldom is the finish of the squat any problem, except when the middle is very weak. Instead of doing the finish for squats, I prefer heavy overloads inside the rack. Moving half a ton a few inches and supporting it for a long count is extremely ego boosting, and I guarantee the next time you back out of a squat rack with a heavy weight, it will feel lighter than ever. Yet there’s no reason you can’t do the finish of the squat if you so choose. The original program suggested three press positions, three pulls, two squats and, one I really like, the “rise on toes,” an extremely effective way to strengthen the calves. Nine positions, done quickly with short rest periods between sets, and you’re finished. Articles on the subject list six or seven iso positions for just one bodypart. What they overlook is the principle that once you’ve exhausted the tendons and ligaments, they’re through for that session. Even though you’re hitting those attachments in a slightly different manner at the various positions, you’re still working the same tendons and ligaments. In other words, when it comes to doing isotonic-isometrics, more is not better. Less is. What I like best about isos is that you can strengthen certain positions that are extremely difficult to work with conventional movements, such as the deep bottom of a back or front squat. It’s almost impossible to overload that position with free weights, especially if it’s relatively weak. You can squeeze under a bar in a power

Back to the Rack

Iso Magic

rack, however, and perform an iso. They’re brutal yet very productive. Dan Dziadosz was a football player at Johns Hopkins who competed in Olympic lifting in the winter and spring. His pulling power had moved ahead of his leg strength, and he was having trouble recovering from his heavy cleans. That was having an adverse effect on his jerks. I had him front squat twice a week, once heavy and once less heavy. On his less heavy session I’d have him drop a work set and do a low iso to finish off, but I’d have him get lower than he actually went during a front squat or clean. He’d be scrunched up in a ball and could squeeze the bar only up to the pins. What was important was that he maintained perfect position. If he hadn’t, the iso would not have been useful. Since he was already warmed up, all he did was one set of one rep where he held the bar against the pins for a 12 count (I admit that I sometimes counted kinda slow). Within a month he improved his front squat by 50 pounds and his clean by 20. Due to his new leg strength, his jerk also became solid. That was the only change he made in his leg routine. The top of the pull is another place where isos can really help. The finish of the snatch is particularly hard to strengthen. How are you going to work it? While high pulls

All he did was one set of one rep where he held the bar against the pins for a 12 count. Within a month he improved his front squat by 50 pounds.

isometric quite rapidly and converts to the deadlift imMaximum mediately—as in the very contractions next workout. The hardest involve the part is maintaining perfect tendons and body positioning through the ligaments count. The lifter has to learn much more than multiple to keep his hips in precisely reps on free the same place for the duration, or it won’t help him. So weights. he focuses his full attention on locking his entire body in place and keeping it there through staunch determination until he hears “12.” Unless you train alone, always and shrugs are somewhat useful, have someone else do the counting the amount of weight you can use is (ideally, someone who likes you). limited if that’s a weak area. By setFace it: If you count for yourself, ting the bar slightly higher than you you’ll always hurry, and on the denormally pull and performing an iso manding positions you might sound there, you can vastly improve your like an auctioneer. Staying with the top pull. As every Olympic lifter fully hold for the required count is as understands, pulling higher is the much a matter of mental toughness key to success in the snatch. Withas bodily strength. out sufficient height, all the quickAlthough this is common sense, ness in the world isn’t going to I’ll say it anyway. Never do an iso matter. before working a muscle group with If you decide to try this high any other form of exercise. Be sure pulling position with a snatch grip, to warm up your target muscles be prepared for a humbling experithoroughly. If the isos are an extenence. As a general rule you have to sion of a session, such as a couple of use at least 100 pounds less on the pulling positions after you’ve power top-end iso than you can snatch. cleaned, then you’re fine. If you plan When I was snatching 300, the most on using isos as your primary moveI could handle at this position was ments for your back on a certain 205. And I started off using 185. My day, however, make sure you preteammates at York had the same pare for the upcoming stress. A few disparity, and that’s why many reps with a light weight on power lifters avoid the position. They just cleans or power snatches for pulls, can’t stand being seen using such light squats for the legs and dumbweenie weights. What they fail to bells for the shoulders will flush understand is that if they swallow their egos and keep working that ultrahigh position, they’ll get stronger there and the new strength Isometric/ will carry over directly to the snatch. isotonic An iso also works well for the top work also end of the clean and is much easier. stimulates Standing high on your toes and the nervous trying to keep the bar firmly against system to the pins with a wide grip for the be more required count is almost as exhaustactive. ing as the low position in the front That’s very squat. important I’ve also had great success with to athletes powerlifters who are having probwho lems with the start of the deadlift. I engage in have them do an iso at a position high-skill several inches lower than the height activities. of the bar when it sits on the floor. That position responds to isotonic-

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Iso Magic

Back to the Rack position until it gets stronger. I also like changing where you grip the bar on the pulling positions. Olympic lifters do that out of necessity since the snatch requires a much wider hand spacing than the clean. So try pulling with a very wide grip, then a bit closer and finally with a clean grip. Anything closer than that is of no value. Which brings me back to a point I emphasized last time: the need to keep accurate records of every iso session, even if you did only one position. You need to write down where you set the top pins, how much weight you used, including warmups and work sets, and the exact count that you held the isometric contraction. The sooner you do that, the better. Right after you complete the iso is best because you can double-check your pin placement. While you may be able to recall the count and how much weight you used later that night or the next day, the odds of remembering the pin placements for the isos are dead against you. In the event you do start changing pin placements or using different grips regularly, keeping an accurate account of what you did is even more essential. Because all of the isos in Ziegler’s program put stress on the back— overhead presses, pulls and squats—he advocated doing something at the conclusion of the workout to decompress the spine. He suggested frog kicks, which are easy to do from the high bar on the Super Power Rack or any chinning bar. Strap onto the bar and lift your knees up to your chest or as close to your chest as you can manage. Inversion boots or inversion machines weren’t around yet, but I’m sure he’d have put his stamp of approval on both. More next month. 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 Models: Andre and Rune Nielsen

blood to those groups. A muscle that’s warmed up well will respond to any exercise, including isos, more readily and be less apt to be injured. Let’s take a look at the method I use to ensure that an athlete’s muscles and attachments are absolutely ready for the work set. Set the bar in the power rack at the position you plan for your iso. If you’re going to do a pull at midthigh, use straps for all pulling positions. Let’s say the last time you did this position, you handled 405. Today you plan on attempting 415. For your first set you use 225 and do three reps, tapping the bar against the Isos work top pins on each rep but not well with holding it against them at all. partialYour second set is 315, and range you follow the same proceexercises. dure on your initial set: three reps, tapping the higher pins each time. Now you’re ready for the money set, 415. You pull the weight up against the doing only a single rep on their work set. A few prefer doing two prelimitop pins and once you’ve locked it nary reps before locking the bar in tightly, the count begins. Rememplace. Whatever helps them fix the ber, the bar must be eased up weight snugly against the top pins against the pins. If you jam it and pull harder is okay with me. against them, you’ll end up knockIf you’re planning to do more ing yourself out of position, and the than one position for a bodypart, bar will slide forward or backward you need to use the three-rep idea or crash back to the lower pins. only on the first position you use. Steadily exert more pressure on the For example, you want to do the bar so that when you reach six or start, middle and top for your clean eight, you’re pulling just as hard as pull. Once you do the three-rep tap, you can. So you do all that and tap, hold at the starting position, achieve your goal. When you hear you should be sufficiently warmed “12,” however, you don’t relax and up and able to do single reps at the let the bar drop to the lower pins. middle and top. If you feel more Instead, you slowly reduce the prescomfortable tapping the top pins sure on the bar and lower it in a once or twice before locking into the controlled manner. Letting the bar isometric contraction, though, by all crash to the lower pins can be traumeans do so. matic to your shoulders and elbows. I’ve found that it’s helpful to In some cases, especially during change positions each time you do the learning stage, I have my athisos for a bodypart. The change letes follow this procedure on their doesn’t have to be big; moving the work set: Pull the bar up to the top pins up or down one hole is enough. pins and tap them. Lower the bar, The new position, however, forces reset and proceed to lock the bar new muscles to get in the act, and against the pins and hold for eight that’s a good thing. Plus, the minor to 12 seconds. The first rep helps change adds some variety to the them get the feel of the weight and routine. Exception: If you know also enables them to make necesexactly where your weakest point is sary adjustments in their mechanon some lift, you’ll want to work that ics. Beginners like that better than

238 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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It’s Only Baloney T

he doctor came out of the delivery room and told the man that he could save either the mother or the child but probably not both. As good fortune would have it, both lived, but the baby’s arm was broken during the delivery, and in such a way that the nerves in his left shoulder were shattered. Despite a surgeon’s best efforts to reconnect the nerves, the boy would face life with one arm that was a caricature of the other. His left arm was four inches shorter than his right. Even though he spent his first six years with his left arm in a heavy steel and leather brace and his first 13 years in twice-

Meet the challenge; don’t make excuses.

Don’t sell yourself short with the “I’m only...” limitation

weekly physical-therapy sessions, his left arm was virtually useless. He would never be able to raise it over his shoulder or straighten it out; he would never be able to clench or extend the fingers. In fact, learning to tie his shoes was one of the biggest challenges of his life. But this kid was no whiner. He squared off with his challenges. With every insult he had to endure, he just got tougher. When he was 14, he said, “I discovered that $42 was all I needed to erase the hated image of myself that faced me every night from the mirror.… My left arm hung crooked by my side, practically without muscle.” Forty-two dollars, you see, was the price of a barbell set he’d seen advertised in a magazine. Since his family could barely afford the dollar each of his therapy sessions cost, he knew it was out of the question to ask for $42. What did he do? He saved the 10 cents he’d been spending on bus fare from the hospital twice a week, first by walking and then running the five miles. That, he said, marked the beginning of his athletic career. He got the weights and put them to good use. It wasn’t long before he began playing high school football, earning his eligibility by wearing a baggy sweater and keeping his arms behind his back so the physician wouldn’t notice his gimpy left arm. He won a starting spot by always trying to hit harder and be tougher than any other kid on the team. The kid with the withered left arm was moving on up, and you might guess that he went on to a nice job in a local car dealership, married his high school sweetheart and lived happily ever after, with his high school football letter proudly displayed in the family room of his suburban home. That wouldn’t be a half-bad Neveux \ Model: Luke Wood



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story, but the real one is even better. The kid gave the track team a shot, and one day he threw the hammer. Pressure Even if you’ve never seen the hammer thrown, you probably know it’s a two-handed event. As with the shot put, the best hammer throwers are among the most powerful athletes on the face of the earth. If the kid had been a crybaby, if he’d said to himself, “I’m only a cripple,” he’d have never made it that far, but id you know that he wasn’t one to let his vision be limited by piles of laughing can re“I’m only…” baloney. He stuck with the hammer, lax blood vesattacking the event with his characteristic ferocity. sels? Scientists at the Fast forward a few years to Melbourne, Australia, University of Maryland in and the medal ceremonies at the 1956 Olympics. The reporters were yelling at the winner to raise his arms Baltimore screened a over his head for their victory photos. The man raised humorous movie and a his right arm, but even to that day—the day he stressful movie for 20 climbed to the highest level in his sport—he couldn’t healthy subjects and raise his left arm above his shoulder. Harold Connolly tested their circulation. may not have been born with two good arms, but that didn’t keep him from winning the gold medal in Laughter increased blood the hammer throw. It didn’t keep him from making the flow by 22 percent while next three Olympic teams, either. If he had stressful scenes decreased it succumbed to the “I’m only” baloney, he’d probably by 35 percent. have been a bitter man hiding in some dark corner. —Becky Holman Instead, there he was, standing with an Olympic gold medal around his neck and the world at his feet. The “I’m only” baloney has a long history. It’s been proffered as a reason for not taking on challenge and, conversely, rejected as so much drivel. For example, in the Old behind all those “I’m only…” lines. That’s the attitude that Testament, when Jeremiah was told that he’d been appointed paves the road to progress. as a prophet, he tried to wiggle out of his mission by saying, You might not be Harold “I’m only a boy,” which netted him the rebuke, “Do not say, ‘I Connolly or Jeremiah, but their am only a boy.’” Jeremiah got the message and went on to examples teach us a lesson: work. Don’t sell yourself short; don’t Every day we face challenges in many forms, not the least ever limit your vision of what of which is how to tackle our training. Do we aim high or low? you can do; don’t ever say, Do we sell ourselves short and excuse our crummy performances because we’re “only 14,” “only genetically average” or “I’m only…” because that’s nothing but baloney. “only another middle-aged guy”? Do we use the “I’m only...” —Randall Strossen, Ph.D. perspective to look for little from ourselves and then settle for even less? That’s the easy way out, but it’s also the formula for Editor’s note: Randall Strossen, Ph.D., edits the quarterly mediocrity. Face the fact that to do what it takes to move magazine MILO. He’s also the author of IronMind: Stronger forward requires serious effort. That’s why there are so many Minds, Stronger Bodies; Super Squats: How to Gain 30 armchair experts and so few doers. If you insist on saying, Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks; and Paul Anderson: The Might“I’m only...,” be honest and finish with something like “lazy,” iest Minister. For more information call IronMind Enterprises when it comes to training hard, or “scared,” when it comes to Inc. at (530) 265-6725 or Home Gym Warehouse at (800) lifting bigger and bigger weights, or “uncommitted,” when it 447-0008, ext. 1. Visit the IronMind Web site at comes to making it to all of your workouts. Face up to the real reasons you might not be making the kind of training progress you’d like, and then do something about it instead of hiding

Heartfelt Humor

D \ NOVEMBER 2005 241

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Bomber Blast


A Dose of Innocuous Brainwashing here is nothing new under the sun; you’ve heard it before. But we ought to repeat some things regularly despite the tedium of the process. They’re like reflecting lights that illuminate our way, and our way is one step from the shadow of darkness. Seek contentment, abhor complacency, and don’t be anxious about anything. The most we can expect of our life is a grand virtue, living it with its hardships and joys, accumulating our time without regret and doing our best and accepting the rest. Be honest and true to ourselves and give no ear to our critics, who are less pleased with us than we are with ourselves. Try too hard, and we fall on our backside. Put a squeeze on time, and it slips through our hands. Expect too much, and our best is never enough. Steady as she goes, bombers, and she’ll go a long way, high and far. Call it perseverance or stubbornness. Set your goals, ample and wise, and seek them with diligence and might. Be unique, be yourself, imitate no one and be kind to those who follow your ways. Work hard, eat right and be consistent, a simple practice that keeps us untethered—alive and free. Slip not into apathy, ward off lethargy and boldly resist gluttony, the shallow characteristics typical of the masses crowding our path. Don’t compromise standards set high by your spirit, mind and deeds. Clay feet we have, and soiling our neighbor is too easy to do and so hard to recall. Be careful. Be aware. Be grateful. Be emboldened and filled with joy. Wait until you can wait no more, and wait again. Do what’s right once, twice and three times. If what you do continues to be right, do it 10 times more. The least you’ve done is something right many times and practiced a quality of greatness that eludes us day after day. It goes by many names—a favorite is persistence. Be persistent, always, when doing good is troublesome, when getting to a worthy place is doubtful and precarious and when giving up a wicked way is painful and slippery. Courage accompanies that admirable quality. You’ve heard of Neveux \ Model: Daniel Decker


fortitude and marveled. Oh, to have fortitude each morning when the sun rises and each evening when the sun goes down. Nothing wretched before us could endure. Could be patient, or dull. Living without constraints and wandering freely are priceless lifestyles with immediate rewards. Looking and seeing, listening and hearing, we learn, imagine, discover, wonder, invent, play and pretend. It’s fun. Yet, without aspirations toward which to direct our steps, we go nowhere and accomplish little. To grow we need a place to go, a purpose to achieve, a target at which to aim. Aimlessness and wandering take us around and about, backwards and sideways, but they don’t move us forward. They don’t get us ahead. They don’t fulfill our longings. First objective: Keep our eyes on the path. Ultimate objective: Reach our destination. That one is definitely, without a doubt, goal-seeking, or singlemindedness. We want something, know what we want and want it badly. Good. This will help us achieve it. Incidentally, we must be certain what we want “badly” is “good.” We don’t want something we ought not to want, like the money in the local 7-Eleven cash register or Bobby’s girl or several pizzas and beers. We have a way of rationalizing our wants and confusing them with our needs. As in everything, be realistic and well-meaning. Let’s, for example, strive for a strong, well-built body, which is about as good as good gets. Visualize your worthy goal; see, feel, taste, smell and wear that mighty sight as if it were already your own. Put your powerful subconscious to work. I don’t mean get all goofy like a little kid, but close is not a bad idea. Determine the methods required for achieving your goals and implement them with resolve. Know that wavering in your pursuit is foolish, weak and damning to the process. There’ll be times when we give up, no longer care, get sidetracked, misplace inspiration, lose ambition, get lazy, procrastinate, encounter the blues or fall into a slump. That’s life, either an affliction or a challenge. Afflictions attack the weak and take them down; challenges are moments of truth subject to the strong. Push on, press on; tug, pull and squeeze with all your might. The day is ours, by God, to add to our wealth. Don’t waste it; make the best of it. Smooth its course with repeated treading. Dedication and devotion, they beat like drums. Absolutely committed—or, as some say, compulsive, idiotic. At birth we’re given a miracle to enjoy, cherish and care for. We call it life. Nothing compares to its splendor. We are guided in our understanding of and regard for life by those before us, our instincts and our common sense. Somehow we miss the living picture, and our lives—our bodies, our minds, our behavior, our direction—fall short of its basic requirements, and we allow it to slip away. Physical health deteriorates as we daily misfeed and mistreat it; the mind suffers as it is neglected or stressed and overworked; our emotions are rattled by wrong thinking, and we run in different directions madly looking for wealth and satisfaction and pleasure. We overindulge, seldom exercise and regularly worry. Many of our wrong-doings, should we take notice, are unintentional. They are accidents, not premeditated crimes. That’s no excuse, reason or rationale, and it doesn’t mean crimes aren’t being perpetrated on a daily basis. It’s a sad and simple fact that ordinary man has little respect for his natural life, the life he should honor, nurture and protect. Respect has become lost in the crowd and given over to a mob. That one is called irresponsible, very uncool. When will we get our act together, dear people? Gratefully, we are IRON MAN readers who are miles ahead and above the masses of whom I speak, and our ways are virtuous by comparison. We try hard to do it right, we falter and try again. We’re getting there by confidence, knowledge and encouragement...and by applying the hot points outlined above. —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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Quotable Quote

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You’re So Vein hen I was first buying IRON MAN and other bodybuilding magazines, back in my freshman year of college, there was one pro I was desperate to look like: the Dragonslayer, Rich Gaspari. Rich wasn’t the biggest guy of his era, and he didn’t have the prettiest shape, but his physique personified rugged power. In particular, the overlapping network of thick veins that threatened to leap off his muscles had me in awe. And so, along with becoming a lot bigger and stronger, one of my main goals in my early bodybuilding days was to somehow get a bunch of those veins for myself. I assumed that if I trained long enough, heavy enough, and with enough intensity, one day I’d be as vascular as Richie. While that didn’t exactly come to pass, I did show far more prominent vascularity as the years went by, most notably in my chest, shoulders, arms and legs. I also learned a few things about why some bodybuilders show more vascularity than others.


Genetics. How is it that one pro— Paul Dillett, say—can have giant, squiggly veins that look like angry garter snakes writhing beneath the skin, while you could hardly see a single vein on Flex Wheeler? Paul’s veins are larger and closer to the surface of his skin, plain and simple. And that is an inherited trait. Furthermore, some people have thinner skin


Why are some bodybuilders more vascular?

than others, and by that I don’t mean they get offended easily. Bodyfat. Very few bodybuilders show a lot of vascularity unless they have extremely low levels of bodyfat. You can’t expect to see many veins popping out unless you get very lean, as in 6 percent bodyfat or less. I recall that for years I had tons of veins in my upper body but almost none showing in the legs. It wasn’t until I finally learned how to dial into proper contest condition that my lower-body veins could be seen. Steroids. A final factor that definitely plays a role in the appearance of vascularity is steroids. Some steroids, such as Anadrol, are known to increase blood volume to a significant degree. With more blood, your veins become slightly more inflated, in a manner of speaking. That may sound great until you understand what’s also going on in that scenario—a tremendous increase in blood pressure. Then there’s the catch-22 of water retention. Steroids may make your veins stick out more, but the more androgenic products, like testosterone and Dianabol, also tend to make you hold a lot of water below the skin. That puffy sheet of water can and often does blur all your cool veins. —Ron Harris


Rich Gaspari.

244 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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rofessional bodybuilders today are huge beyond belief, especially to those of us who started out in the 1980s. Back then anyone who could hit the stage ripped at more than 220 was considered very big indeed, and the handful, like Lee Haney and Gary Strydom, who edged closer to 250 were absolute freaks. A decade and a half later, that’s changed. There are at least 30 or 40 pros now who compete at more than 250 pounds and a few, like Gunter Schlierkamp and Quincy Taylor, who tip the scales at more than 300. The average off-season weight of hundreds of pros and top amateurs now hovers around that mark as well, and we are talking in many cases about men as short as 5’8”. It boggles the mind to consider how rapid the progression toward greater mass has been. A few so-called smaller guys—Dexter Jackson and Darrem Charles, for instance—are in the top echelon, but the magazines are dominated by mass monsters like Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and Gunter. Bodybuilding is unlike other sports in that the fans and supporters are almost always participants, not mere spectators. It’s not as though we have Monday Night Bodybuilding on ABC and all the guys come over and drink Heinekens while whooping it up for their favorite pro. If we did, instead of hearing people yelling at the referees, you’d hear, “That Manion don’t know symmetry from shinola!” The kids coming up today have role models, just as I did in the late ’80s, only now those role models are twice the size. It’s a great way to derive inspiration and motivation to train hard and eat well, but by the same token I think the current generation of bodybuilding beginners is being set up for failure—or at least an inferiority complex. You need two things in abundance to reach today’s size level: extremely gifted genetics and lots of performance-enhancing drugs. I’m not putting down the enormous elite, because it also takes many years of intense, heavy training and thousands of meals to attain such dimensions. I don’t mean to downplay that. The problem is a mass misconception that the real key to joining their ranks lies in pharmaceuticals. That’s inaccurate. Without the requisite genetics that produce an aberrant degree of muscle growth, all the hard training, eating and juicing will never make you a body


Must you be 300 pounds to impress?

double for Mr. Cutler or Mr. Coleman. Many are in denial in that regard, believing that if they just go on the right cycle with the proper amounts and combinations of drugs, a 300-pound body is just eight to 12 weeks away. I’ve seen too many young men waste thousands of dollars, risk their health and alienate friends and family because they stubbornly refused to concede that perhaps they were never meant to be giants. The painful truth is that only a very small percentage of men have such genetic potential. It’s probably as rare as having the genes to grow to 6’8” or taller. But there’s no reason to despair. Listen and listen well: Great physiques can come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve seen 150-pound men with sculpted bodies and clear definition attract 10 times more attention than a 250-pound man with more bodyfat. Even in bodybuilding contests, smaller men often defeat much larger men based on shape, symmetry and conditioning. You don’t have to take up two airplane seats to have an impressive body. By all means continue to train for mass—I certainly do—but never get down on yourself because you aren’t as big as your heroes in the magazines. That’s one reason I applaud IRON MAN—it shows a good balance of body sizes and types. All of them are the result of hard training, and they all look damn good. No matter who you are, you’ll spot a model or two with your type of frame, someone you could realistically look like. Always keep in mind that the number you see when you step on the scale is nothing but a number. Don’t let it define who you are and how you feel about yourself. —Ron Harris Editor’s note: Check out Ron Harris’ Web site,

246 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Neveux \ Model: Jay Cutler

Mass Madness

Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Taking the She Out of the He Estrogen is often referred to as a “female hormone.” While women produce far more estrogen than men, men also produce it—just as women also produce smaller amounts of testosterone, the dominant sex steroid in men. Testosterone promotes libido, or sex drive, in both sexes, but what is the purpose of estrogen in men? A folk medicine adage is that nature always has a purpose. If men produce estrogen, they do so for some specific purpose. Most scientists think estrogen has something to do with the maturation of sperm cells. Others suggest that it may offer some cardiovascular benefits. Indeed, one reason that younger women, who produce the highest levels of estrogen, rarely show significant signs of cardiovascular disease, may be the protection that their higher estrogen levels provide. A recent study traced that to the promotion of COX-2 enzymes, which produce prostacyclin, a prostaglandin that inhibits internal blood clotting linked to heart attacks and strokes.1 The study implies that women who use COX-2 inhibitor drugs to treat joint pain or arthritis are especially vulnerable to cardiovascular complications, possibly even heart attacks or strokes. The same scenario may also occur in men who stay on aromatase-inhibiting drugs too long, but more on that later. Estrogen boosts levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in women. It also maintains vascular flexibility, along with higher rates of nitric oxide synthesis, which helps control blood pressure. Those protective benefits

are apparent, however, only with natural estrogen. Synthetic estrogens—specifically, those given to older women for hormone-replacement therapy—increase the incidence of cardiovascular disease in women who are already at risk of cardiovascular disease because of their declining estrogen levels. That explains why cardiovascular disease shows up mainly in postmenopausal women. In men synthetic estrogen promotes the internal blood clotting that’s the cornerstone of most heart attacks and strokes. Natural estrogen, however, as produced in a man’s body or in food such as soy, appears to offer protective effects against cardiovascular disease, likely because of the COX-2 effect, along with higher HDL levels and antioxidant effects that estrogen promotes. From a bodybuilding standpoint, estrogens are considered undesirable. Several types of anabolic steroid drugs, including testosterone, convert to estrogen through the actions of the enzyme aromatase, which converts the normal output of testosterone to estrogen at a rate of about 20 percent daily. It’s found in various parts of the body, including the brain, liver, muscles and particularly in bodyfat, especially peripheral bodyfat stores in legs and arms. Excess estrogen leads to a number of side effects, including gynecomastia, or male breast development, water retention and increased subcutaneous fat stores, meaning the fat that’s stored just under the skin. Estrogen is even more potent than testosterone in signaling the brain to inhibit gonadotropins, or hormones that control the production of testosterone in the body, mainly luteinizing hormone (LH). The lack of endogenous testosterone production can result in such conditions as lower sperm counts and shrunken testicles. Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids are aware of the estrogen problem. In years past they used a drug called tamoxifen citrate, or Nolvadex, which was designed to treat estrogen-responsive breast cancer in older women. Similar in structure to estrogen, Nolvadex could displace estrogen at cellular estrogen receptors. Since Nolvadex exerted weak or no estrogenic activity, by displacing estrogen, it blocked the effects of estrogen at the cellular level. Many bodybuilders didn’t realize that Nolvadex could either work against estrogen (antagonist) or work like it (agonist). The latter occurred if they used too high a dose or if they took the drug for too long. In addition, Nolvadex blocked two enzymes the testes required for generating testosterone—which led to a further reduction in testosterone. Not long after Nolvadex became popular, another drug that could be used to block estrogen’s effects was introduced. Called testolactone (Testlac), it worked differently from Nolvadex. Testlac went beyond just blocking the effects of estrogen; it inhibited aromatase. But Testlac was expensive and hard to obtain. Like other aromatase-inhibiting drugs, it also seemed to promote fatigue and lethargy. Since then far more effective aromatase inhibitors have been introduced, chiefly to treat breast cancer in older women. A few studies, however, show that those drugs can

Over-the-counter estrogen-blocking supplements can derail the nasty effects of the enzyme aromatase—hideous side effects like gyno, or male breast enlargement. 250 NOVEMBER 2005 \

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Some might complain that the small experimental sample—only five subjects—calls the study’s validity into question. On the other hand, it was just a look-see trial to determine whether OTC estrogen inhibitors might be effective.

also dramatically increase testosterone levels in men who are clinically low in the hormone. Block aromatase, and you get an automatic boost of testosterone. An added bonus is that the testosterone affected is usually the free, or active, form, the one not bound to blood proteins. Only the free form is biologically available to interact with cellular androgen receptors. The newest aromatase-inhibiting drugs have trade names such as Arimidex, Aromasin and Femara. They’ve largely displaced such older drugs as Nolvadex, Testlac, Clomid and Cytadren. They’re extremely effective—and very expensive. Arimidex sells for about $10 for a single one-milligram pill. Cheaper alternatives are available without a prescription. Like the prescription versions, over-the-counter estrogen-blocking supplements block the effects of aromatase. They’re the last survivors of the pro-hormone supplements that were banned last January. Estrogenblocking supplements are legal because the main ingredients occur naturally in some foods, and they don’t directly convert into testosterone or other hormones. On the other hand, if you look at the advertisements for those products, you’ll note that the main benefit touted for them is their ability to increase natural testosterone levels. The health benefits of controlling estrogen are rarely mentioned. The question is whether such supplements work as advertised. The initial answer to that pertinent question is provided by two recently published studies. The first examined the effects of two unnamed but naturally occurring aromatase inhibitors in 15 men over a 28-day period.2 The ages of the men in the study ranged from 21 to 71, for an average age of 39. None of the subjects had taken any type of testosterone-boosting supplements or medications in the three months prior to the study. The aromatase inhibitors were combined in one capsule, taken as three single caps once daily. After 10 days total and free testosterone increased by 244 percent and 358 percent from baseline levels. At the 28-day mark total levels had jumped to 314 percent above

baseline, while free levels increased to 492 percent. Estrogen, meanwhile, was undetectable in 10 out of 15 subjects by the 10th day. By the 28th day it was undetectable in 13 out of 15 subjects. No significant alterations in lipid, liver or other blood chemistry values occurred in the men while they were using the supplement. The second study was sponsored by a company that advertises and sells products in this magazine.3 Normally, that sponsorship would raise some degree of skepticism, since the company has something to gain from favorable study results. The study’s scientific The product that spiked protocols, however, testosterone 300 percent was were up to par, and Gaspari Nutrition’s Novedex there’s no reason to suspect any rigging. Xtreme. Try it at www.HomeBesides, someone has to pay for such studies, and no drug company would, since it’s a natural product; it does have a use patent. The study featured five men, average age 31, who took four capsules of the aromatase-inhibiting supplement before bed for 28 days. As in the first study, using the supplement significantly increased both total and free testosterone levels. Total test increased 145 percent, 183 percent, 232 percent and 240 percent over the first four weeks of the study. Free test likewise increased from baseline levels, 300 percent, 402 percent, 511 percent and 528 percent during that time. Even so, no significant conversion to estrogen occurred. Blood chemistry tests showed no adverse changes, nor were any other side effects observed. Some might complain that the small experimental sample—only five subjects—calls the study’s validity into question. On the other hand, it was just a look-see trial to determine whether OTC estrogen inhibitors might be effective. The dramatic results would tempt many to use the supplement year-round, but even the manufacturer advises using it for no longer than eight weeks, then stopping use altogether. Advice like that makes sense from a health-and-performance perspective because estrogen may have cardiovascular benefits for men, such as helping maintain vital HDL levels. It may also help maintain the androgen receptors without which testosterone is worthless. Plus it has a relationship with growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1); women release greater levels of growth hormone during exercise because of their higher estrogen levels. Indeed, some studies suggest that estrogen protects against excessive muscle breakdown during exercise. If that doesn’t convince you that estrogen offers men some benefits, consider recent research suggesting that it may play a role in male sexual response. Male mice and \ NOVEMBER 2005 251

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Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology Studies of men whose bodies can’t produce aromatase show that they have better sexual response when they get both testosterone and estrogen onboard. rats absolutely need a certain level of estrogen to have normal sexual relations. For humans the picture is less clear, but recent studies of men whose bodies can’t produce aromatase show that they have better sexual response when they get both testosterone and estrogen onboard.4 My recent IRON MAN feature on the top 10 food supplements [August ’05], included aromatase-inhibiting supplements on the list. My reasoning was that they appeared to work exactly as advertised. They appear to be a safe way to significantly increase testosterone and, more important, increase free test—the active, true anabolic version of the hormone. OTC aromatase inhibitors offer a good alternative for those who want to increase their testosterone levels

while reducing estrogen. That scenario would appeal to a man of any age, but especially to men 40 or over who are showing lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels. Guys who have higher levels of bodyfat would also likely benefit. That’s because of the link between lots of bodyfat and increased aromatase activity, which equals more conversion of testosterone into estrogen, which in turn signals the brain’s hypothalamus to release less gonadotropin—and even less testosterone. Although it’s still a subject of debate in medicine, the weight of evidence shows that maintaining higher levels of testosterone as they age brings men numerous health benefits, such as maintaining muscle and brain functions.

References 1 Shah, B.H. (2005). Estrogen stimulation of COX-2-derived PGI-2 confers atheroprotection. Trends in Endocrin Metab. 5:199-201. 2 Trimmer, R., et al. (2005). Effects of two naturally occurring aromatase inhibitors on male hormonal and blood chemistry profiles. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2:14. 3 Ziegenfuss, T., et al. (2005). Safety and efficacy of a commercially available, naturally occurring, aromatase inhibitor in healthy men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2:28. 4 Carani, C., et al. (2005). Sex steroids and sexual desire in a man with a novel mutation of aromatase gene and hypogonadism. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 30:413-17. IM

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Readers Write Classy Hardbody Hottie Keep up the great work, and thanks for thinking outside the box. Jerry Lackland Salt Lake City, UT

Better and Better


I’ve been reading IRON MAN since the ’80s, and it’s always been my favorite magazine, but you guys have really taken it to the next level lately. Coach Charles Poliquin is a great addition. His stuff is interesting, and I always learn something from his column. I’ve also seen a few items from Pavel and his Beyond Bodybuilding book. Off-the-wall stuff but just what I’m looking for. The X-Rep ideas you’ve been publishing are also exactly the kind of training ideas that keep me hitting the gym regularly, and the Arnold poster [in the September ’05 issue] was killer! Thank you! Bill Simons via Internet

I want to thank IRON MAN for the great feature on me in the August ’05 issue [“YuGo Girl”]. I am so happy that you featured me in your magazine, and I will be proud to promote IRON MAN as a Hardbody model. I hope we will work together in the future. Danijela Crevar via Internet Editor’s note: And thank you for another opportunity to run a photo that highlights your European beauty.

Muscles in Motion Your photo layout of female track-and-field athletes by Tony Duffy was spectacular! Most of the ladies don’t have the musculature of a female bodybuilder, but that’s exactly why I enjoyed it so much. They have functional muscle on structures that don’t resemble in the least a male physique.

Editor’s note: You can thank artist Ron Dunn for the Arnold art that appeared as a collector’s poster in our September issue. (And let’s not forget John Balik’s classic curl photo of the Big Guy that was on the reverse side.) Ron is working on more Legends posters for IM as we speak. Stay tuned—and subscribed.

More X-citing Gains I’ve been following both the X-treme Lean [diet recommendations] and The Ultimate Mass Workout programs [from those two e-books], and my progress has been great! I’m 6’5” and compete naturally. I have had a tendency to be ectomorphic, but those programs have helped me change my training to fit my body type. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be an ectomorph any longer. I’m the most muscular I’ve ever been. Thank you! Cal Schmidt via Internet Editor’s note: For more on The Ultimate Mass Workout and Xtreme Lean e-books, as well as the new Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book, visit

Tony Duffy

New e-book at Vol. 64, No. 11: 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 © 2005. 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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