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70th Anniversary Collector’s Issue: Legendary Pics!



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Classic IRON MAN Covers Inside


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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 \

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60 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 85 The TEG men map out plans for a trial run with the Power/ Rep Range/Shock system, with X Reps, of course.

78 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 16 Ron Harris explains why you should compare yourself to no one but you. (“Move, you’re blocking the mirror!”)

92 MONSTER BENCH Ryan “BenchMonster” Kennelly and Sean Katterle present a workout-by-workout plan that should have you repping with 315 in no time flat.

108 STARDUST MUSCLE MEMORIES Scientists convene and converse at the ISSN conference at the Stardust Hotel in Vegas. Jerry Brainum is there to translate the Poindexter-ese. 70th Anniversary Collector’s Issue: Legendary Pics!

Hardbody, page 246


MORE Ron Harris interviews Power/Rep MUSCLE! Range/Shock creator Eric Broser. It’s •Killer Quad Routine a mind-blowing, muscle-growing Q&A! •Monster Bench Press Program •New Super Size-andStrength Supplement

158 IRON MAN’S 70th ANNIVERSARY We celebrate with page after full page of some of this magazine’s most classic and memorable covers.

NOVEMBER 2006 $5.98


1939 - Eug

en Sandow

1940 - Joh

PLUS: •Gorgeous Hardbody Christine Pomponio-Pate •10 Steps to Reaching Your Bodybuilding Goals •ISSN Conference: Muscle-Building Research

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IRON MAN ’s 70th Anniversary, page 158

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182 10 POWERFUL STEPS BodyFX2, page 126

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70992 37390

Classic IRON MAN Covers Inside

Five-time Team Universe champ Skip La Cour rifles through his top 10—with plenty of big, full-page training pics to get your motivation revved.

n Grime


212 HEAVY DUTY John Little continues dissecting Mike Mentzer’s highintensity muscle-building techniques.

220 JOSE RAYMOND’S LEGS Cory Crow analyzes this freaky drug-free bodybuilder’s quad-blasting methods. im_R2_70



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Figure champ Christine Pomponio-Pate gets flexy for Michael Neveux’s camera.

264 MORE GROW POWER, PART 1 Monster Bench, page 92

Jerry Brainum’s look at beta-alanine begins with an exploration of buffering agents in muscle.

282 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Pressing power! Bill Starr explains the military press and why it’s making a comeback in gyms everywhere.

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Christine Pomponio-Pate appears on this month’s cover. Hair and makeup Alexandra Almand. Photo by Michael Neveux


30 TRAIN TO GAIN Stretch for strength? Also, Joe Horrigan’s popular Sportsmedicine: more pressing issues.

44 SMART TRAINING Coach Charles Poliquin discusses German Volume training—and outlines a wicked routine for building triceps mass.

50 EAT TO GROW Jose Raymond’s Quads, page 220

Creatine and beta-alanine: firepower kerosene. Also, BCAAs for brawn and brains.

74 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman looks at X-plosive growth, hammering hamstrings, set variation and physique frustration.

Stardust Muscle Memories, page 108

152 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen answers an intermediate bodybuilder’s questions on building muscle and splitting workouts.

238 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser hits the Web and hunts down the Anabolic Beast. There’s a test-boosting babe here too.

240 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper takes you inside the world of bodybuilding.

258 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman’s got the goods for fans of the developed female form.

274 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum checks out the latest chemical research.

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News & Views, page 240

Pump & Circumstance, page 258

292 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Randall Strossen, Ph.D., tells you how to plunge in for progress. Dave Draper’s Bomber Blast and David Chapman’s Gallery of Ironmen grace these pages too.

304 READERS WRITE Vivacious scenery, applauding Arnold, Texas titan and X-Files frequency.


In the next IRON MAN Next month we present Part 2 of our bench press special, training tips from Ryan “Bench Monster” Kennelly, the three-time Arnold Classic World Bench Press champ, on taking your poundage into quarter-ton territory. We also have an interview with Doug McGuff, M.D., a doctor and bodybuilder who’s unraveling the high-intensity-training dose response for building muscle. His comments and ideas are intriguing, to say the least (Mike Mentzer is nodding in agreement from his post at the Nautilus machines in God’s gym). And speaking of intensity, we’ll have an X-Rep overview that will get your physique bigger and better with less gym time than ever. Watch for the delectable December IRON MAN on newsstands the first week of November.

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John Balik’s

Founders 1936-1986: Peary & Mabel Rader

Publisher’s Letter

Publicity and Stupidity I received e-mail last week from someone who lauded us for our story on Dave Goodin [“Texas Shredder,” September ’06]. Dave is a lifetime natural competitor with a terrific physique and an old friend of IM Editor in Chief Steve Holman’s. The reader wanted to know why we don’t feature more natural competitors. The reality is, we do more than any other major bodybuilding publication to give recognition to drug-free bodybuilders. IRON MAN magazine—in conjunction with our contest site,—has more coverage of the NPC Team Universe Championships (a drug-tested event) than all of the other magazines combined. Philosophically, IRON MAN has supported drug-free bodybuilding in its pages for its entire 70-year life. Getting back to that e-mail, here’s how I answered the writer: “As unbelievable as it sounds, Dave Goodin risked a suspension from the WNBF to appear in IRON MAN, and any other member of the WNBF is held hostage the same way.” When Dave told me that, I was both amazed and dismayed. Isn’t competitive drug-free bodybuilding small enough? Do these people have to further diminish it by not allowing natural athletes to get as much publicity as possible? By giving Goodin publicity, we also gave publicity to the WNBF (we even included the organization’s Web site in the article for other interested athletes). Don’t they get it? I guess not. Dave e-mailed me today telling me he’d gotten a registered letter from the WNBF informing him that he’d received a three-year suspension. It should have been a thank-you note for shining a little light on them. (Note: The National Gym Association doesn’t penalize its drug-free athletes in that fashion; visit www. for more information.) Before buying IRON MAN in 1986, I’d been a competitor, an official and a promoter in the AAU in the ’60s and early ’70s. As the AAU eventually morphed into the NPC, which then became affiliated with the IFBB, I became a promoter of those events. My heart is with the athletes—I’m one of them, and I’m for open bodybuilding. Why restrict the athletes’ opportunities? How does that benefit them or competitive bodybuilding in general? During my 20-year stewardship of IRON MAN, you, the athlete, have always been the magazine’s focus. We Know Training™ is what we’re about. Bodybuilding is a singular effort to change yourself physically—to become stronger, bigger, faster—and IRON MAN is your partner in that quest. Peary and Mabel Rader founded IRON MAN in 1936 to help people realize their dreams of building a fine physique. They believed, as I do, that bodybuilding is a great activity for every body. I hope that belief eventually takes hold in all bodybuilding organizations. Please send comments via e-mail to me at IM

Publisher/Editorial Director: John Balik Associate Publisher: Warren Wanderer Design Director: Michael Neveux Editor in Chief: Stephen Holman Art Director: T. S. Bratcher Senior Editor: Ruth Silverman Editor at Large: Lonnie Teper Articles Editors: L.A. Perry, Caryne Brown Assistant Art Director: Aldrich Bonifacio Designer: Emerson Miranda IRON MAN Staff: Vuthy Keo, Mervin Petralba, R. Anthony Toscano 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, Dave Liberman, J.M. Manion, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru Okabe, Rob Sims, Leo Stern

Director of Marketing: Helen Yu, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1 Accounting: Dolores Waterman 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: Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator: Sonia Melendez, Subscriptions:

26 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Toney Freeman has searched high and low for the right quadbuilding formula.

30 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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How many times have you heard or read that you need to do higher reps for legs than you do for upper body? I know I’m responsible for putting that thought out there on many occasions in print, and I stand by it. For most bodybuilders, performing sets of 12 to 20 reps for the quads will result in a superior growth response than doing lower reps, such as eight to 12. The key phrase there is “most bodybuilders,” as there are exceptions to every rule. One exception is rising IFBB star Toney Freeman, overall winner of the ’02 NPC Nationals. Tall men usually don’t have the greatest leg development, which is somewhat forgivable. That’s a lot of leg to fill out, but Freeman doesn’t suffer from that common tall man’s affliction. Toney is 6’2”, competes at about 280 pounds and has thighs that tape out pumped at nearly 34 inches. He got those supersize wheels by doing what worked best for him, even though it flew in the face of conventional training dogma. In the early ’90s, Toney trained with a group of four gym warriors that included Lee Haney’s ex-training partner Tyrone “Ropeman” Felder and the enormous pro wrestler Lex Lugar. Their leg workouts were particularly intense, even bordering on hellish. Freeman regularly found himself on his back for up to an hour when they were over and would be similarly incapacitated later that night when the cramps hit his lower body. Amazingly, those workouts consisted of just two sets. Of course, to say they were average sets would be like saying King Kong was just your typical ape. “Rope had us doing two giants sets of five exercises, for 50 reps each, going right from one exercise to the next,” he recalls. “The first giant set was leg extensions, squats, hack squats, leg presses and walking dumbbell lunges with ’60s in each hand. The second giant set consisted of single-leg leg curls, lying leg curls, horizontal squat machine squats, good old hack squats again and stiff-legged deadlifts.” The only time in Toney’s life when he quit a workout was one of those torture sessions, agony and exhaustion reducing the big man to tears. Had the high-rep blitzes given him good results, perhaps it all would have been worth it. But when Toney took a tape measure to his thighs to gauge his progress, he was appalled to see that he had actually lost two inches from them. From that day on, he went back to what had always worked for him in the past—very heavy sets of 10 to 12 reps on basics like squats and leg presses—and his legs

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grew and grew. “I’m an ectomorph, and I need the heavy weights for my legs to grow,” he says. “I don’t think ectomorphs are going to get anything out of very high reps, supersets and giant sets except overtraining. Don’t just do what other people are doing because they say that’s the right way; do what’s right for you.” Were truer words ever spoken about training? —Ron Harris

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Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

Aerobics: Before or After Weight Training?


I’m amazed at how many people I see in the gym “sleepwalking” through their workouts. I’m equally astounded by how many spend half their time jabbering on the phone, reading the paper or gossiping with fellow members. Why even go to the gym if that’s how you spend your time? You just as easily could go to your local coffee shop and talk on your phone and hit on the cute waitress. Funny thing is, they’re often the same people who complain that they aren’t gaining muscle or losing fat even though they’re using the latest and greatest wonder supplements on the market. Do they realize that of the two hours they spend in the gym, they’re probably only doing about 10 minutes of productive work? Answer: No, they don’t. You know how I know? Those same guys are the ones who ask me why they cannot grow. When I ask them if they’re training hard and eating right, they unequivocally assure me they’re busting their butts in the gym and eating “tons” of good food. I truly enjoy watching their reaction when I tell them that I see them every day wasting time in the gym and barely breaking a sweat. And when it comes to diet, upon further inspection I usually find out that what they consider “tons” of good food is actually not enough to feed my big toe and that the food they do eat is mostly garbage. Hey, guys, having a protein drink once a day doesn’t mean you have your nutritional bases covered. Does it sound like I’m ranting? Do I seem a bit angry? Well, I am! If you’re expecting to get 100 percent out of going to the gym when you put only 10 percent in, please don’t bother—and especially, don’t bother me or other serious trainees about it. Take a good look at yourself and what you truly want out of your efforts. If you really want a better body, give yourself an attitude adjustment and put in the effort it takes, both in the gym and at the table, to make it happen. The good things in life don’t come easily. If achieving a great physique were easy, everybody’d have one. If you want a special body, realize it’s going to take a special effort. Now stop whining and start kicking some ass in the gym. Plan your six high-protein meals per day, and eat them consistently. Take your basic supplements, and stop looking for that magic pill. Finally, get some good sleep each night. Do those things, and watch your body change for the better on a daily basis. Or go to the gym, talk on your cell phone and pretend you’re accomplishing something. Just do me a favor and stay out of my way. I have some real work to do. —Eric Broser

Neveux \ Model: Joe DeAngelis

Don’t Just Go Through the Motions

Should you do aerobics before or after your weight workout? Many prefer to do their aerobics before lifting to get it out of the way and as a general warmup. A recent study, however, suggests that the best time to do aerobics is after a weight workout and that how long you rest between the two can make a difference in both hormone release and fat oxidation. Presented at the 2006 ACSM meeting, the study featured 10 healthy men who did three types of exercise regimens on different days: 1) Endurance exercise only (EE) 2) Endurance exercise after weight training and a 20-minute rest (RE20) 3) Endurance exercise after weight training and a 120-minute rest (RE120) The weight workout consisted of six exercises, each done for three to four sets of 10 reps. The endurance exercise consisted of stationary cycling for an hour at low intensity (50 percent of maximum heart rate). Doing the weight workout before aerobics led to marked increases in lactate, norepinephrine and growth hormone levels. Before the endurance exercise those in the RE120 group showed the highest levels of free fatty acids in the blood, while those in the RE20 group showed higher levels of norepinephrine and growth hormone. During the endurance and weight exercise, blood levels of free fatty acids and glycerol were higher in both weight groups than in the endurance-only group, meaning that those in both weight groups were burning more fat during the exercise. The study clearly shows that doing a weight workout before aerobics leads to hormonal changes that favor increased fat oxidation during the subsequent aerobic workout. —Jerry Brainum Goto, K., et al. (2006). The effects of prior resistance exercise on lipolysis and fat oxidation during subsequent endurance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S545.

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Stretch for Strength? The core components of physical fitness are muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. You can’t be truly physically fit unless you perform exercises that work all those components. The question is, Does each component require separate training? The specificity-of-exercise principle is that you must do exercises specifically targeted at that particular aspect of fitness. In simple terms, developing strength and muscular size mandates the use of heavier weights and exercises that work various muscle groups. Endurance has two basic subdivisions: muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance. You develop muscular endurance by increasing training volume coupled with performing higher repetitions. Cardiovascular fitness is best achieved through specific aerobic activity, such as treadmill and stationary cycling. Flexibility is developed through stretching exercises. Some have suggested that you can get more bang for your exercise buck by doing exercises or routines that combine the various elements. An example is circuit weight training, in which you do a circuit of weight exercises, taking little rest between them. The idea is that you develop strength and muscle size through lifting weights while simultaneously developing cardiovascular endurance through rapid training that elevates the heart rate. Studies have shown, however, that the specificity-of-exercise rule dominates in typical circuit-training routines. In other words, you sacrifice maximum strength and muscle gains because your rest time between exercises is limited. Your muscles can’t recover, which limits the amount of weight you can lift. In addition, although the heart rate is elevated during circuit training, the oxygen intake is still not comparable to conventional aerobic training, so you don’t get the full cardiovascular benefits, either. What about combining flexibility training with bodybuilding or strength training? That would appear to make sense for several reasons. It’s well known that starting any exercise in a prestretch position lines up contracting muscle fibers in a way that promotes a tighter, more complete muscular contraction during every rep. Using a full range of motion not only works

Or does stretching make you weaker?

more of any particular muscle but also promotes proper form, which limits the extent of possible muscle injuries. In fact, some exercises require a certain level of flexibility to be done properly. Flexibility seems to be an integral part of normal weight training. On the other hand, larger muscles tend to decrease range of motion. For that reason, many boxing and martial arts trainers discourage the development of large muscles, believing that they would impede full muscle involvement. Contrary to popular belief, though, larger muscles don’t adversely affect speed of movement. Another relevant question is, If you combined flexibility and strength training in a routine, would the former impede development? Recent studies have shown that excessive stretching prior to heavy lifting does reduce strength to a minor degree. Would lifting heavy weights inhibit progress in flexibility—even if a separate stretching program were used in addition to the strength training? Another recent study examined those issues. The subjects were 43 healthy adults, 28 men and 15 women, average age 21, who were placed in four groups: 1) weight training only, 2) flexibility training only, 3) weight training and flexibility training, 4) control, no exercise. All exercise groups trained twice a week for 12 weeks. As expected, the control group showed no changes. Those in the weights-alone group showed an average increase in muscle strength of 14 percent. Those in the weights-and-flexibility group showed an average strength gain of 16 percent. Flexibility increased both in the exclusive flexibility group and in those who combined weight training with flexibility. These results appear to underscore the specificity-of-exercise rule; that is, you must do specific exercise for each aspect of fitness to fully develop that component. While the weight-training group showed no increased flexibility, the combination of using weights and flexibility exercises had no adverse effects on flexibility development, either. That shows that you can maintain flexibility while lifting if you include some stretching exercises, preferably following the weight session. One interesting aspect of the study was that those in the flexibility-alone group showed a small increase in peak leg press strength at the end of the study. Previous studies have linked the development of increased flexibility with increased muscle strength, but the precise mechanism for it isn’t known. The authors posit a static muscular contraction effect induced by stretching alone, or “enhanced body consciousness,” whatever that means. —Jerry Brainum

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Nobrega, A., et al. (2005). Interaction between resistance training and flexibility training in healthy young adults. J Strength Cond Res. 19:842846.

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Incline Pressing Issues While the bench press is one of the most popular exercises in the gym, shoulder pain and injuries are common problems. It’s no wonder that trainees turn to the incline-bench press as an alternative, and it’s also no wonder that there are so many variations of that exercise. Adjustable-incline benches offer a number of variations and are especially popular for use with dumbbells. Some trainees find that, while they feel shoulder pain when they perform the standard 45 degree incline barbell press, they’re pain free when they do incline dumbbell presses at the same angle. “I can position my hands differently, and it doesn’t hurt that way,” is a typical comment. Others may still have shoulder pain at 45 degrees, but they can adjust the bench to 30 degrees and not experience pain. Others eliminate the pain when they increase the angle to around 80 degrees, and still others use a Smith machine on inclines to reduce shoulder pain. Trainees are usually taught to get a full stretch or full range of motion—which frequently leads to their using exaggerated movements and excessive range of motion. The ball-andsocket shoulder joint has a layer of ligaments that blend to form the joint capsule, kind of like an organic Saran Wrap encasing the joint. If the ligaments become too stretched and loose, the ball, which is the head of the humerus, moves too much in the socket. Every time you perform a bench press motion, particularly the bottom half of the press, the force naturally pushes the ball forward in the socket. If the ligaments are tight, as they should be, they, along with the rotator cuff, prevent the ball from moving forward in the socket. If they’re loose or stretched, the ball moves forward and can cause pain and even numbness or tingling in the arm. If the posterior capsule is too tight, the ball is driven up and back, and that causes two effects: increased external rotation and damage to the cartilage ring around the socket. Many feel that injury here can damage the undersurface of the rotator cuff. If numbness occurs, it’s because the bundle of nerves that supply the arm, which pass behind the collarbone and

Rotator cuff stuff and other potential problems

in front of the shoulder, are compressed, or impinged, when the head of the humerus moves too far forward in the loose shoulder. Performing an exaggerated incline- or flat-bench press causes the forward displacement, which causes the nerve compression. If you experience numbness in your arm when you do presses or afterward, see your physician and tell him or her about your symptoms. Try to find an orthopedic surgeon or chiropractor who specializes in sportsmedicine and handles weight-training patients or overhead-throwing athletes. If you simply have shoulder instability, you may find that you feel pain in the back of your shoulders at the bottom position of a press. That may be a symptom of rotator cuff problems. You may also have a great deal of clicking or clunking in your shoulder as you move it. That’s usually not painful, but it does indicate a potential problem—it could be a sign of cartilage tears, arthritis or loose bodies in the joint (usually cartilage but sometimes bone fragments). Loose bodies usually cause pain with the clicking, however. The placement of the bar may be a key component in avoiding shoulder pain. If you place the bar high on your chest or bring it to your neck, as some trainers advise, it maximizes the stretch on the capsule. Try placing the bar lower on your chest to avoid the excessive stretch. Also, if you have long arms, you’re already getting more stretch than most trainees, so don’t push for extra stretch. Try not to swing your elbows out away from your body. A flared-elbow position is shoulder abduction, which further stretches the capsule and also places the shoulder in an awkward position for the rotator cuff to function strongly. Again, try to avoid excessive and unnecessary movement while training. It’s easy to get a full range of motion on this exercise. Once you begin to try for that extra stretch, you’re setting yourself up for a problem that may catch up with you in a few months or a few years. If you stretch the shoulder capsule enough, your training will change forever—and not for the better. Once the shoulder capsule is stretched, it doesn’t return to its original length naturally. You’ll have to modify your training. You’ll have to strengthen the rotator cuff to add dynamic stability to the shoulder, and, if all conservative efforts fail, you may end up requiring surgery. —Joseph M. Horrigan

Striving for stretch on incline presses can cause NOVEMBER 2006problems. \

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Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin



Editor’s note: Visit www for reprints of Horrigan’s past 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) 447-0008 or at

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Progressive Resistance Progressive-resistance training is a system whereby the weight used in a given exercise is incrementally increased as the muscles gain strength and conditioning. It’s at the heart of bodybuilding: a simple, quantifiable and incremental approach that’s easy to track. It’s not the added weight that causes strength gain (and possibly tissue growth), however. The ability to handle additional weight comes about only after the body has adapted to stimulation from previous workouts. The caveat is that you must use correct technique and rep speed for all reps, of all sets, in all workouts. If you rush your reps or loosen your exercise technique to handle extra weight—such as with a slight thrust, heave or jerk—that wouldn’t be a weight increase you’ve earned through adaptation. It would be false progress, the sort that leads to growth stagnation and maybe injury. That’s dirty training. Some of the cheats are slight, and most bodybuilders rarely notice them. Now that you’re aware, however, be alert. An exaggerated focus on progressive weights is detrimental because it leads to degradation of exercise technique and rep speed control. Never compromise them. Correct technique and rep speed control—even at the end of a set when the reps are hardest—are the watchwords for training. Hardly anyone has an expert trainer overseeing a workout to ensure that he or she uses correct form. You must discipline yourself. Start with correct technique and rep speed, and then continue with them. That’s the bedrock of safe and effective training. If you find yourself guilty of dirty training, take corrective action immediately. Reduce the weight, and go back to using correct technique. Pause in the early reps of a set—hold for a second at some point on the positive phase of each rep and again at the midpoint of the negative phase. That will quickly cleanse your training. Complete the rest of the set without the pauses but with correct technique and control. Then over the

Help or hindrance?

next two or three months gradually build the weight back while maintaining clean technique. Compromising on exercise technique or rep speed control isn’t the only way to create an illusion of progress. You can also reduce the range of motion on an exercise and increase the rest intervals between reps and sets to make an exercise easier in order to foster a weight increase. Don’t reduce the range of motion, and be consistent with rest intervals. Train with a partner who can scrutinize your technique and rep speed. His or her verbal cues can help you keep your technique and rep speed correct and consistent from workout to workout. A good training partner is invaluable. Of course, in order to keep you on the straight and narrow, your training partner needs to know what correct technique and rep speed are. Make progressive weights a vital part of your training, but be a model for correct technique and consistency with rep speed, range of motion and inter-rep and inter-set rest intervals. Add weight only in line with your body’s adaptation to your prior training. Then the progressive weights can have the best effect on your muscular development—but you’ll diminish the risk of injury. —Stuart McRobert Neveux



Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 4470008 or www.Home-Gym .com.

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Older, Wiser, Fatter?Is getting fat with age inevitable? Many former top-level athletes get fat as they age. That includes bodybuilders. A lot of formerly ripped competitive bodybuilders resemble beerswilling couch potatoes when they reach middle age. No doubt that’s the origin of the misconception that “muscles turn into fat.” In truth, muscle can no more turn into fat than coal can turn into diamonds. Muscle and fat are two distinct types of body tissue. What usually happens is that as athletes age, they gradually decrease their activity level— without lowering their calories. That leads to muscle atrophy, especially type 2 muscle fibers. The intake of calories no longer balanced by activity results in the addition of bodyfat. To a casual observer the muscles indeed appear to have somehow been transformed into fat. Is it an inevitable part of the aging process? What if you kept up the same rate of exercise as you aged—would that prevent the onset of middle-age spread? Studies done with runners, most of whom were competitive, show that even if the exercise levels remain constant, they still gain weight, most often bodyfat. Running, an aerobic form of exercise, is more directly related to fat oxidation than anaerobic exercise, such as weight training, which draws on circulating glucose in the blood and glycogen stored in muscles as primarily energy sources. On the other hand, the resting metabolic rate, which determines how many calories are burned at rest, is directly related to the level of lean mass, mostly active muscle tissue. Endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners, often show a preponderance of type 1, or slow-twitch, muscle fibers. Those fibers are great for endurance and fat oxidation but contribute little or nothing to the resting metabolic rate. The resting metabolic rate is most responsible for overall body composition. So, when you think about it, it’s not that surprising that runners tend to gain weight with age, since they lack the type of muscle that burns the most calories at rest. Studies show that people get fatter as they age because they lose lean muscle mass, which results in a lower resting metabolism. When that occurs, the calorie intake that formerly maintained weight now results in a weight gain. The solution to the problem is twofold. The first is to maintain lean muscle mass as you age. That requires using some form of resistance training that is heavy enough to stress the type 2 muscle fibers and prevent atrophy. Most experienced bodybuilders know that the muscles aren’t the usual limiting factor in maintaining strength and body composition with age. The actual limiting factor is connective tissue, including joints and ligaments. You can keep your muscles strong with continued heavy lifting, but if you don’t have a firm connective-tissue base, injuries frequently result. That leads to setbacks and

often a decrease in training intensity, which, in turn, results in smaller muscles and probable fat gain. Other factors enter into the picture. For example, most adults over age 40 show a downgrading of beta-adrenergic receptors in fat cells. When you lose receptors, fat cells become less responsive to the effects of various fat-mobilizing hormones, such as norepinephrine. It becomes harder to burn the same amount of fat with exercise. The good news is that it can be largely neutralized by the use of certain food supplements that feature sympathomimetic compounds, which are common in many commercial fat-burning supplements and can help overcome the age-induced blunting of fat oxidation during exercise. One of the main reasons certain drugs, such as anabolic steroids and growth hormone, lead to fat loss is that they maintain or reestablish rusty beta-adrenergic responsiveness. You don’t have to resort to drugs to achieve those effects, however. Merely increasing the level of exercise, such as increasing the frequency of aerobic exercise, may produce similar effects. Diet also plays a major role. Preventing fat gain with age may require a change in diet. Many former bodybuilding champions who ate whatever they wished with impunity during their competition days have to tighten their diets. In many instances it involves eating cleaner, cutting out the junk. In other cases just limiting carbohydrates is enough to prevent fat gain. Some bodybuilders who avoided any type of aerobic training during their competitive days find that doing aerobics not only helps maintain lower bodyfat levels but also confers cardiovascular benefits. Medical studies clearly show that you’re only as old as your cardiovascular system. Keep your heart in shape, and any type of exercise will become more efficient. While the solution to preventing middle-age fat gain in runners is an increase in exercise volume, that’s not practical for those engaged mainly in weight training.1 The best solution here is a periodization-type of training scheme, alternately training heavy and lighter. That can involve either cycles of several months or just switching from workout to workout, where you train heavy at one session, using weights that permit six to eight reps maximum, then use lighter weights for the same muscle group at the next workout. That type of training works both the fat-burning type 1 fibers and the muscle-building type 2s, enabling you to more efficiently maintain lean mass without overloading the connective tissue. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Model: Jeff Hammond



1 Williams, P.T., et al. (2006). The effects of changing exercise levels on weight and age-related weight gain. Int J Obesity. 30:543-551.

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Q: I have a question about German Volume training. Would it be wise to include a day in the 10 sets of 10 method where you just focused on biceps and triceps for the whole thing—say, curls and extensions? If not, why? I do notice that on shoulder and arm day, incline hammer curls are in the program, but there are no specific triceps movements on any day. Wouldn’t that leave the triceps underworked? A: Yes, you’d definitely include triceps-specific work in one of the workouts. I’m not sure what article you are referring to, but I have always included triceps work in any German Volume program I have prescribed. With German Volume training you want to use exercises that provide the most bang for the buck—big compound movements such as squats and military presses—not small, single-joint exercises like triceps kickbacks or leg extensions. I like to use pressing movements as the triceps exercise; either close-grip presses or dips are your best bet. Both also work your anterior deltoids and pectoralis major. I like to use a five-day rotation with German Volume training:

Neveux \ Model: Dan Decker

German Volume Training

A: Powerlifters get their trap development from years of deadlifting, while Olympic lifters get theirs from the Olympic lifts and their derivatives. Power cleans and power snatches are probably the most effective exercises for developing the traps, after shrugs. Doing five sets of six reps on one of those lifts will pack meat on your traps. If you’re going to do shrugs, I suggest you use dumbbells and work only one side at a time. That way, you’ll have way more range than with a bar. If you use machines, the Atlantis and the Hammer brands probably offer the best choice on the market, for they allow you to work the traps unilaterally. The Hammer brand has two points on the lever where you can overload the strength curve, permitting you to better match the resistance curve with your strength curve. Retracting the scapulae at the top of the motion on shrugs is certainly not a good trick. In fact, it’s somewhat dorkish. Think about it: How does gravity exert its pull when you try to move perpendicular to it, instead of against it?

Dumbbell shrugs are great for traps—and you can even train one side at a time.

Day 1: Chest, back Day 2: Legs, calves, abs Day 3: Off Day 4: Arms, shoulders Day 5: Off

Q: What’s the best way to build traps? I notice that powerlifters and Olympic lifters seem to have the best traps. By comparison, bodybuilders’ traps are nothing. Shrugs and upright rows don’t seem to do a whole lot for me, and I seriously doubt that powerlifters do any shrugs. What’s their secret? Is it deadlifts? And if so, are there any little tricks for putting more load on the traps, like retracting the scapulae? 44 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

You can repeat the five-day cycle six times. That will definitely add some muchneeded muscle—guys at the gym will stop calling you Paris Hilton.

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Charles Poliquin’s

Smart Training Shoulder pain that strikes during bench presses may have a number of causes, including lack of flexibility.

Q: I’m experiencing shoulder pain while bench-pressing. What should I do about it? A: Shoulder pain that strikes during bench presses has three main causes: 1) Improper muscle balance. If the strength ratio between two muscle groups is off-kilter, you can actually experience faulty alignment. For example, if the strength of your pecs is far greater than that of the external rotators of the humerus, you’ll likely feel a sharp pain in the superior anterior portion of the upper arm (a problem often misdiagnosed as bicipital tendinitis). There are lots of other examples of offset muscle and strength ratios, but explaining them all is beyond the scope of this column. Those imbalances can be evaluated by any Level 1 Practical certified PICP coach. Please consult the site for the certified coach nearest you, or get certified to learn the methodology. Contact Judith@ to attend a seminar near you. 2) Adhesion buildup. One of the regrettable side effects of years and years of weight training is the buildup of adhesions in soft tissues and surrounding structures. Adhesions are a result of the load used and the total volume of repetitions. In other words, the more sets and reps you perform and the stronger you become, the more adhesions you develop. These connective-tissue buildups can take place within the muscle, between muscle groups or between the nerve and the muscle. Adhesions can occur in any muscle, but the one most often responsible for bench-press-induced shoulder pain is the subscapularis. 46 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Neveux \ Model: Luke Wood

The good news is that they can be found and “cured” quickly through a soft-tissue-management technique called Active Release Techniques. 3) Lack of flexibility. Failure to stretch the muscles on a regular basis can precipitate injuries. You don’t need to become a master of yoga, though. Regular PNF stretching of the shoulder girdle before your upper-body workouts will do wonders for keeping your shoulders healthy and functional. A few years ago my good friend and IFBB professional bodybuilder Milos Sarcev called me out of the blue. He mentioned that he was scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery the following week on both of his shoulders. He was understandably upset. For one thing, the surgery would cost him about $18,000. Additionally, he’d have to undergo an extensive rehab program, and that would keep him from competing and earning an income for a long time. I told him to get his ass to my office right away and see my partner and ART specialist Dr. Mike Leahy before letting a surgeon anywhere near his shoulders. (Incidentally, the orthopedic surgeon who made the initial diagnosis told Milos that he had an impingement syndrome and surgery was the only option. The surgeon actually wanted to cut away some of the bone above the shoulder to make room for the muscle.) When Milos came to the office, he hadn’t trained in more than four months because of the excruciating pain. Even lowering an unloaded Olympic bar (45 pounds) caused him to recoil in pain. After working on him for just 45 minutes, Dr. Leahy told Milos to go to the gym and give his shoulders a trial run. Somewhat reluctantly, Milos allowed me to take him to the local World Gym. In total disbelief, he bench-pressed 315 pounds for two reps. Five

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days later he did six reps with 315 pounds, without feeling any pain. A month later he saw Dr. Leahy again for a follow-up. Milos was already back in near-contest shape, and he was training full force for some upcoming IFBB shows. Dr. Leahy made a few minor, additional probes, but all in all, Milos was cured. What’s important is that you don’t have to suffer or quit training because you have shoulder problems. Depending on your particular problem, either get a PICP certified strength coach to help you design a proper routine or locate a credentialed Active Release Techniques provider. To find a credentialed Active Release Techniques provider, go to www.activerelease .com. (Remember, use only credentialed ART providers; far too many doctors are more than

willing to experiment with your body). Q: My triceps development has stalled, big time. Got any new routines I can try? A: Here’s one that you could call the pre- and postexhaustion training routine from hell. I was first exposed to the concept of doublés by former Canadian National weightlifting coach Pierre Roy, who produced a host of weightlifting champions, including Olympic silver medalist Jacques Demers. Doublé is a French word that means to do it twice. Pierre originated the concept by having his athletes do the same lift twice in a workout if he wanted rapid improvement in that particular lift. For example, if one of his Olympic lifters needed more leg strength, he’d have him squat at the beginning of the workout and the end of it. I received added incentive to incorporate the principle in my training when I came across a book by French strength physiologist Commetti, in which he extolled the virtues of doublés. My curiosity was piqued, so I began to prescribe doublés to many of my athletes, most of whom reported unbelievable muscle soreness and subsequent growth. Although you can apply that type of training to any bodypart, try the following routine for your triceps: 1) Lying EZ-curl bar triceps extensions to the forehead, 6-8 RM (using the greatest amount of weight possible to allow you to do six to eight reps) in a 3/1/1 tempo. Without resting, move to: 2) Close-grip bench presses, 4-6 RM in a 3/1/1 tempo. Without resting, move to: 3) Lying EZ-curl bar triceps extensions to the forehead, 4-6 RM in a 3/1/1 tempo. Rest for two minutes, then repeat the tri-set (you’ll probably have to drop the weight five to 10 pounds on every new doublé tri-set). You can follow this up with a couple of other triceps movements, but let the doublés be the cornerstone of your workout for a brief period—until your body adapts to it. 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 trackand-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s 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.Charles Also see his ad on page Charles Poliquin 143. IM w w w. C h a r l e s P o l i q u i n . n e t Bradford

One version of doublés has you repeat an exercise at the beginning and end of a tri-set. Another version has you do the exercise at the start of your workout and again at the end.

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\ JULY 2006 181


Creatine and Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine, a.k.a. Red Dragon, synergizes with creatine for unique muscle- and strengthbuilding effects.

of the higher muscle acidity levels produced during anaerobic metabolism. Researchers examined the combined effects of creatine and beta-alanine on strength, power, body composition and hormone changes in strength and power athletes during a 10-week weight-training program. Hormones tested included testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1 and sex-hormonebinding globulin, which is bound to testosterone and estrogen in the blood. Thirtythree male athletes were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) Placebo (P) 2) Creatine only (C) 3) Creatine and beta-alanine (CBA) The CBA group showed more gains in lean mass, coupled with a loss of bodyfat, than the Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elsahat

Several new studies pertaining to creatine were presented at the 2006 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, including the following: •A study investigated the effects of combining creatine with beta-alanine, a new supplement that increases levels of L-carnosine, a dipeptide amino acid, in muscle.1 Carnosine is a major intramuscular buffer that neutralizes the effects

For synergistic size and strength gains

P and C groups. The CBA group also showed greater strength gains than the other two groups, as measured by maximum squat and bench press lifts. The creatine-only group showed the only hormonal change—an increase in resting testosterone levels. This preliminary study shows that creatine and beta-alanine appear to work together in promoting gains in muscle strength and a loss of bodyfat. •Creatine is often linked to a lower rate of muscle injuries and a higher rate of recovery following workouts. A new study tested those effects in 23 weighttrained males, aged 19 to 27, who took either creatine or a placebo for 10 days.2 They used a loading regimen for the first five days that consisted of 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of bodyweight, amounting to 27 grams of creatine per day for a 200-pound man. On the second five days of the study the creatine was reduced to a maintenance dosage of 0.03 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Both groups had similar levels of muscle damage and soreness following the workouts. That led to the conclusion that creatine supplementation “does not reduce skeletal muscle damage or enhance recovery following resistance exercise.” •Training in a hot environment leads to rapid fatigue related to overheating and possibly dehydration. Those problems can be counteracted with hydrating agents that lower body temperature. The agents work best when used in conjunction with copious fluid intake. Two popular hyperhydrating agents are glycerol and creatine. A

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GROW Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission study examined the effects of combining glycerol and creatine during prolonged exercise in the heat.3 Experimenters randomly assigned 23 well-trained cyclists to either a creatine or a placebo group. The creatine group drank 10 grams of creatine twice daily along with 75 grams of glucose polymer mixed in a liter of warm water. Both groups participated in two seven-day exercise regimens. During the first trial they were given one gram of glycerol per kilogram of bodyweight or a placebo. Combining creatine with glycerol did increase total-body water levels more than just creatine alone did. Adding glycerol to the creatine regimen, however, didn’t lead to any further changes in rectal temperature, heart rate or perceived exertion. So if adding glycerol to creatine does lead to greater internal water retention, it doesn’t appear to reduce the effects of heat stress more than taking creatine alone. —Jerry Brainum

References 1 Hoffman, J., et al. (2006). Effect of creatine and B-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 38:S126. 2 Rawson, E.S., et al. (2006). Creatine supplementation does not reduce muscle damage or enhance recovery from resistence exercise. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S126. 3 Easton, C., et al. (2006). Effects of combined creatine and glycerol supplementation on physiological responses during exercise in the heat. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S125.


is best for muscle Whey or Aminos? Which protein synthesis? Recent studies show that for purposes of increasing muscle protein synthesis, dosing up on essential amino acids is of primary importance. The EAAs are defined as those that cannot be synthesized by the body and so must come from food. (Other amino acids can be synthesized—hence the misleading “nonessential” label. In a study presented at the 2006 ACSM meeting, scientists tested whether adding whey protein to essential amino acid intake would increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis. All of the subjects were elderly, 68 to 76 years old (older people have lower rates of muscle protein synthesis than younger people do). One group got 15 grams of whey protein; another group got EAAs. There was a higher rate of muscle protein synthesis in the whey group than in the EAA group. The authors attributed that to whey’s stimulation of insulin. Insulin provides an increased rate of muscle protein synthesis in the presence of higher blood levels of amino acids. The whey may have been responsible for that effect because of either a richer amino acid content or perhaps because of some intrinsic property of the whey itself, such as rapid amino acid absorption and uptake into the body. —Jerry Brainum Katsanos, C.S., et al. (2006). Muscle protein synthesis in the elderly following ingestion of whey protein or its corresponding essential amino acid content. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 38:S112. \ NOVEMBER 2006 51

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Food Facts

Neveux \ Model: John Hansen

That can affect your workouts, weight and wellness


Your Hunter Instinct Thousands of years ago hunting and eating fresh kill were necessary for survival. The development of raising animals on farms, which dominates the way we eat meat today, crushed the hunter instinct. Today, the vast majority of farm-raised animals are given hormones so that they will gain weight rapidly. For the meat industry time is money, and, yes, we are the victims. Most of the meat available in supermarkets is drugged and loaded with chemicals and, therefore, contaminated. I believe that the mainstream food industry has been largely responsible for turning people into scavengers by supplying and heavily promoting overly processed foods that have aggressive tastes but that lack freshness and nutritional value. You can mimic your hunter instinct by refusing to buy meat that comes from animals pumped with hormones or other drugs or fed rendered feed. Instead, seek out and buy organic meat that comes from animals that were treated in a humane way, fed freely on grass and grain and not injected with estrogen, growth hormones or antibiotics. It might be more expensive, but your body will be healthier and your life more expansive. Note: For a selection of grass-fed beef and other organic meats, visit —Ori Hofmekler Editor’s note: Ori Hofmekler is the author of the books The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle & Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publications ( For more information or for a consultation, contact him at, or by phone at (866) WAR-DIET.

Walnuts rank highest in important omega-3 fatty acids. Go for raw, unsalted nuts no matter which variety you choose to snack on. Also, keeping them refrigerated can maintain freshness longer. Coffee can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also been shown to have anticancer properties, most likely due to its flavonoids and antioxidants. Make sure you get enough calcium, however, as caffeine can leach that mineral from bones. High-fructose corn syrup is believed to be the big culprit in the obesity epidemic. Studies show that it feeds fat cells more easily than glucose does. If high-fructose corn syrup is one of the first ingredients on a food label, eat or drink something else. Peanut butter is good for your heart. A study showed that overweight subjects who ate peanut butter during a lowfat diet cut heart disease risk by 14 percent. Reason: It contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which improve high-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. the good cholesterol. —Becky Holman

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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER The Best of Bodybuilding in the 20th Century Here in one definitive, information-packed volume, you have the best that IRON MAN has to offer. The articles and photos reprinted in IRON MAN’s Ultimate Bodybuilding Encyclopedia are of enormous and enduring value to beginners and experts alike. A tour de force of bodybuilding information with stunning photos of unrivaled quality, this massive volume covers every aspect of bodybuilding with authority and depth. Included is complete information on: •Getting started •Bodybuilding physiology •Shoulder training •Chest training •Back training •Arm training •Abdominal training •Leg training •Training for mass •Training for power •Mental aspects of training •Bodybuilding nutrition With IRON MAN’s Ultimate Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, you will learn Arnold Schwarzenegger’s insights on developing shoulder and back muscles, along with many other champions’ routines. This massive volume contains 440 pages and over 350 photographs.

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Glucosamine: Sole Food? Glucosamine is a popular supplement for treating and preventing chronic joint pain. It’s usually derived from shellfish. It works because it supplies proteoglycans, which are precursors of the synthesis of connective tissue. While some medical studies have sought to discredit the effectiveness of glucosamine, other studies, coupled with anecdotal evidence, show that it works. Since tendons are largely composed of connective tissue and since glucosamine supplies the raw material for connective tissue synthesis, glucosamine supplements are popular among bodybuilders who experience common tendon inflammation, including the kind of tendinitis that occurs in the elbows, shoulders and knees. Some studies


Go Fish The experts recommend that we eat more fatty fish—at least two fish meals a week—for optimum health. Why? Omega-3 fatty acids. They’re good fats, and there are two main types: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There is another, which is found in walnuts and flaxseed, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies suggest that omega-3s can reduce the inflammation that can lead to heart disease and cancer. They may fight depression, they can relieve psoriasis and other skin disorders, they may ease arthritis pain, and they can even help you build anabolic hormones and burn more bodyfat. That should tell you one thing: It’s time to go fish! —Becky Holman

have shown that the analgesic, or pain-relieving, effect of glucosamine is comparable to the standard drug treatment for tendon pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Unlike the drugs, which only mask pain, glucosamine may aid the actual healing process. One type of tendinitis that is particularly vexing commonly occurs in the soles of the feet. Although the precise cause of plantar fasciitis is unclear, most scientists suggest it results from overuse, especially excessive bodyweight. That leads to small tears in the connective tissue that lines the bottom of the feet. The pain transmitted from the tiny tears is out of proportion to their size. Pain is evident when you first arise in the morning, making walking awkward and painful. Plantar fasciitis is generally treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, rest, stretching exercises and orthotic shoe inserts. A new study, presented at the 2006 American College of Sports Medicine meeting in San Francisco, tested the effectiveness of glucosamine in treating it. The researchers used a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol, meaning that neither the subjects nor the researchers initially knew who was getting glucosamine or a placebo. Those in the glucosamine group (GG) took 500 milligrams of glucosamine three times a day for eight weeks or until they were pain free. The subjects—15 men and 14 women, average age 29—had been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis within 60 days of the start of the study. Symptoms included heel pain, acute pain with initial morning steps and with activity. Anyone who’d previously used glucosamine, had suffered a traumatic injury or who was pregnant or lactating was excluded from the study. All subjects underwent the usual treatments for plantar fasciitis, which included 800 milligrams of ibuprofen three times a day, rest and stretching exercises. Six of 15 subjects taking the glucosamine were pain free within 31 days compared to only one of 14 subjects taking the placebo. Further analysis showed a more rapid healing trend in the glucosamine group than in the placebo group. —Jerry Brainum Johnson, J.J., et al. (2006). Glucosamine in treatment of plantar fasciitis: A pilot study. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S87.

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BCAAs for Brawn and Brains

The grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side mentality seems to pervade the sports nutrition consumer. With an array of safe and effective supplements at your disposal, it would behoove you to include the branched-chain amino acids—leucine, valine and isoleucine. Forget things that supposedly block myostatin. Instead, make sure you include supplements that have been proven by science to actually help. Among those are the BCAAs—as well as creatine and postworkout proteinand-carb supplements. Why are the BCAAs so important? Scientists in Taiwan studied the influence of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on a group of male university students (19 to 22 years old) who were majoring in physical education. The participants were divided into two groups: 1) those getting a placebo of 12 grams of glucose per day and 2) those getting 12 grams of BCAAs per day—leucine 54 percent, isoleucine 19 percent, valine 27 percent. Both groups maintained a regular dietary intake (except on day 15) and exercise activity at a moderate or low intensity during the 15-day study. On day 15 the subjects performed a prescribed exercise program: 25 minutes of breast stroke exercise and a 600-meter crawl

stroke competition. Twenty hours after the competition a significant increase in the concentrations of urinary urea nitrogen, HP and 3MH (methyl-histidine) was found in the placebo group but not in the BCAA group. That means that BCAA supplementation prevents the muscle protein breakdown, or proteolysis, that swimming causes.1 Practically speaking, if you have less muscle protein breakdown, you have less muscle damage. So recovery is quicker, and you can maintain or increase workout intensity. But preventing muscle protein breakdown isn’t all that the BCAAs do. Have you heard of the central fatigue hypothesis? That occurs when your brain takes up tryptophan, making you feel tired. Since BCAAs compete with tryptophan for transport into the brain, oral intake of BCAAs may reduce the uptake and thus delay fatigue.2 Bottom line: If you do any type of long-duration exercise, taking BCAAs may offset brain fatigue as well as alleviate muscle protein breakdown. Taking a dose of approximately 10 to 15 grams of BCAAs prior to exercise may do that. If you don’t have pure BCAAs, whey or casein protein are excellent sources of the BCAAs and the other essential amino acids. —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Editor’s note: You can listen to Dr. Jose Antonio and Carla Sanchez on their radio show Performance Nutrition, Web- and podcast at

References 1 Tang, F.C. (2006). Influence of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on urinary protein metabolite concentrations after swimming. J Am Coll Nutr. 25(3):188-194. 2 Newsholme, E.A., and Blomstrand, E. (2006). Branchedchain amino acids and central fatigue. J Nutr. 136(1 Suppl):274S-276S.

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Eat to Grow AGING

Age-related Changes

In muscle protein synthesis

Neveux \ Model: Katsumi Ishimura

Several studies have shown that older people experience a decreased rate of muscle protein synthesis. A study presented at the ’06 ACSM meeting compared the changes in plasma amino acid concentrations and muscle protein synthesis rates in healthy young and older subjects following a meal that included four ounces of lean beef.1 The younger subjects’ average age was 28; the older subjects, 69. The authors calculated the rate of muscle protein synthesis immediately following and for five hours after the beef meal. Eating beef increased MPS rates in both the young (27.9 percent) and older (29.1 percent) subjects. The plasma amino acid levels peaked about 100 minutes after the meal in both groups. The magnitude of increase in blood amino acid levels was higher in the older group because of smaller blood volume and lower lean mass. The study shows the fate of ingested food protein in both young and older people, which proved to be simiALCOHOL

Wine: Red vs. White You’ve read that red wines are more healthful for you than white wines, but do you know why? Both types contain polyphenols, but reds have a higher concentration. Reds also contain three to 10 times more saponins than whites. Saponins inhibit cholesterol absorption and inflammation that may lead to heart disease. Reds are more potent because to make red wines, you throw whole grapes into the vat—skins, seeds and so on. All of those extras give red wines a much higher concentration of protective compounds, like polyphenols. —Becky Holman

lar. Another useful observation involved the peak amino acid level, which occurred about 1 1/2 hours after subjects in both groups ate the meal. Another study presented at the meeting involved providing carbohydrate with or without protein and free leucine (a branched-chain amino acid) to young and older groups, again to compare rates of protein balance and muscle protein synthesis.2 As expected, insulin levels rose higher in both groups when they got a carb-protein-and-leucine supplement. Carbs alone provided no increases in MPS. The researchers’ conclusion was that combining carbs, protein and leucine brought about similar rates of upgraded MPS in both the young and old. —Jerry Brainum

References 1 Paddon-Jones,

D., et al. (2006). Age specific changes in protein synthesis and plasma amino acid profiles following intact protein ingestion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 38:S113. 2 Koopman, R.,et al. (2006). Co-ingestion of protein and leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly men. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:S113.

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

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Train, Eat,

GROW Muscle-Training Program 85

From the IRONMAN Training & Research Center ur train-each-bodypartonce-a-week experiment is shifting into high gear, and we see big gains on the horizon. After our ripping phase ended—peak day was July 20—we felt somewhat overtrained and decided to give the seven-day recovery cycle another try. What with our getting older and so many drug-free bodybuilders swearing by it, the train-each-bodypart-once-a-week program seems like a good solution. As we write this, we’re on the program we outlined last month, gradually ramping up the intensity each week. Once we’re up to 100 percent efforts on all of our work sets, we’ve got something very interesting up our sleeves. We’ve decided to combine a number of size-building protocols into one gigantic megamass super routine (notice the unbridled optimism). While we’ve said throughout the years that training each body-


part once a week has never worked for us, we’re willing to give it another shot because, for one thing, we’re more advanced, with considerably better neuromuscular efficiency, thanks to X Reps. For another, we believe that if we continue to hammer a muscle with more end-of-set X-Rep partials as well as X-hybrid techniques, seven recovery days for each bodypart will increase our potential for growth—but we’re taking it one step beyond that. We’re also incorporating a version of Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock system (see his interview on page 126). P/RR/S dictates attacking a different type of muscle fiber every week. Broser has said the same thing we’ve been saying—that getting big isn’t just about building one type of fast-twitch fiber with medium reps. You must jack up the size of as many different fibers as possible as well as build the endurance components of the fast-twitch fibers—the mi-

tochondria and capillary beds—to get extreme development. In other words, you need to develop all possible facets of muscle growth, not just one or two. How? Let’s hear from Broser: “So how do you go about successfully working all of your muscle fibers while stimulating all of the other pathways associated with maximum muscle hypertrophy? Variation! After you’ve laid a foundation in your first couple of years of lifting, you need to vary your training. Too many misguided trainees use the same exercises, in the same order, with the same rep tempo, rest between sets, training techniques and rep ranges day after day, week after week and month after month. The human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and will quickly cease to respond to stimuli that it’s exposed to time and again. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is just plain craziness.”

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Models: Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

GRIND OUT THE GROWTH REPS™ Beta-Alanine Gives Your Muscles More Grow Power™ The biggest bodybuilders know that the last few grueling reps of a set are the key growth reps. It’s why they fight through the pain of muscle burn on every work set-—so they trigger the mass-building machinery. But sometimes it’s not enough; the burn is too fierce. Fortunately, there’s now a potent new weapon in this massive firefight to help you get bigger and stronger faster. Red Dragon is a new beta-alanine supplement that packs your muscles with carnosine—up to 60 percent more. Muscle biopsies show that the largest bodybuilders have significantly more carnosine in their fast-twitch muscle fibers than sedentary individuals for good reason: Carnosine buffers the burn to give muscles more “grow power” on every set. The bigger and stronger a muscle gets, the more carnosine it needs to perform at higher intensity levels. You must keep your muscles loaded with carnosine to grow larger and stronger. It all boils down to intensity and the ability to buffer waste products—hydrogen ions and lactic acid—so the muscle doesn’t shut down before growth activation. Straight carnosine supplements degrade too rapidly to reach the muscles; however, more than 20 new studies document that beta-alanine is converted to carnosine very efficiently. All it takes is 1 1/2 grams twice a day, and you’ll see new size in your muscles and feel the difference in the gym—you can double or triple your growth-rep numbers! Imagine how fast your size and strength will increase when you ride the Dragon! Note: Red Dragon™ is the first pure carnosine synthesizer—so powerful it’s patented. It contains beta-alanine, the amino acid that supercharges muscle cells with carnosine.

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(You can check out those past editions free at in the X Files section.) It’s exciting stuff! You’ve gotta subscribe Learn how to make curls three times more effecitve at building eye-popping bi’s. See issue 03/04/05. today so you can start building the muscle size you deserve for your sweat and effort in the gym. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty of raw muscle to gain! Here’s what to do...

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w w w. I ro n M a n M a g a z i n e . c o m

© 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 85 stress on the muscles—but with more than just rep-range changes. Let’s look over his P/RR/S attack week by week.

Week 1 - Power If you like training heavy, you’re going to love this training week. Broser suggests using mostly compound, or midrange, exercises. You also do straight sets—no supersets, tri-sets or drop sets—and your reps should be in the four-to-six zone. With those low-down sets you’ll be emphasizing the power fibers—and training your neuromuscular efficiency to activate more of them to move heavy iron. Broser suggests a five-minute rest after each set. He also says to move slowly on the negative stroke, lowering in about four seconds and exploding on the positive.

Week 2 - Rep Range

We’ve all fallen into the keepplugging-away-on-the-same-workout trap, expecting a sudden size surge that rarely occurs. That’s one of the definitions of insanity—doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. One way to prevent that in bodybuilding is by frequently rotating different rep ranges and/or integrating a number of blasting techniques. Many pros, among them Darrem Charles, do


Darrem Charles frequently rotates rep ranges in his workout.

that. In a recent interview he described how he continually changes rep ranges in his arm workouts. Legendary bodybuilder Steve Reeves also used that varied rep-range tactic during his heyday. He’d use lower reps one week, medium reps the next and then higher reps the third week—and he did that for every exercise in his program. Broser’s concept is based on a similar threeweek rotating cycle that varies the

During this week you use three exercises for each bodypart, a different rep range on each. For the first exercise you pick a weight that enables you to get seven to nine reps. For the second exercise you do 10 to 12 reps. On the third exercise you move the range up to the high end of fast-twitch recruitment—13 to 15 reps. That’s ideal for Positionsof-Flexion bodypart routines. For example, for triceps you start with decline close-grip bench presses for midrange work, seven to nine reps; then you do overhead extensions for stretch-position overload, 10 to 12 reps. Finally, you finish off the tri’s with continuous-tension contracted-position work—pushdowns or kickbacks, 13 to 15 reps. Talk about a giant pump! Broser suggests resting two to three minutes after each set, and a two-seconds-up/two-seconds-down cadence.

Week 3 - Shock By this third week you’re probably craving some intensity techniques. You’re encouraged to put your muscles through the meat grinder during this week with anything you can think of—supersets, negatives, X Reps, drop sets, DC and so on. Get medieval on those muscles! Broser says, “The goal [of Shock week] is the utter annihilation of every fiber, from slow-twitch right to the fast-

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Train, Eat, Grow / Program 85 overcome that, so we’ll integrate the X on at least one work set per bodypart. On exercises on which X Reps are difficult or impossible, we’ll do a static X at exhaustion instead—holding the resistance at the X spot for as long as possible. •Studies show that three minutes is long enough after a set to re-establish max-force generation. More than that—up to five minutes—doesn’t make a difference. We’ll stick to about three minutes of rest after every set so our workouts stay at about an hour.

Steve Reeves would use lower reps one week, medium reps the next and higher reps the third week. twitch type 2As. You’ll force your body to release growth hormone like water from a collapsed dam.” He suggests that you do most of your exercises in an eight-to-10-rep range with a one-up/one-down cadence. Now let’s look at some of our observations and caveats concerning P/RR/S training.

Power •Broser suggests using almost all compound exercises during this week, but we don’t like the idea of neglecting stretch- and contracted-position work. Yes, the big midrange moves are great mass builders, but the other two positions have significant mass-building power as well—everything from anabolic-hormone stimulation to dormant-fiber activation to possible fiber splitting and morphing. Therefore, we’ll focus on one or two big midrange exercises first in any bodypart routine

and then follow with a set or two of low-rep work in the other two positions. •Heavy, low-rep sets are more dangerous on some exercises, such as behind-the-neck pulldowns, stiff-legged deadlifts and dumbbell flyes. For any exercise we deem dangerous, we’ll keep the reps at six—no lower. •Endurance-oriented muscles— calves, abs and forearms—have a low-rep threshold that’s higher than that of other muscles. So we’ll adopt a power range of eight to 10, rather than four to six, for those bodyparts. •Low reps can cause a premature nervous system crash, especially for bodybuilders who haven’t done them in a while (like us). That will no doubt reduce the effectiveness of power week because of an early neuromuscular short circuit. In our e-books we’ve explained how X Reps help

Tony Lanza

Rep Range •The three rep ranges in this phase work well in concert with the 3D POF exercises, so we’ll continue with the same bodypart programs we used during Power week. We’ll start with the midrange exercise, for seven to nine reps; then we’ll attack the stretch-position move with 10 to 12 reps. To finish the muscle with continuous tension to create occlusion, we’ll do the contracted-position exercise for 13 to 15 reps. •Once again, endurance-oriented muscles require a rep-range uptick. We’ll skew the range up a notch for abs, calves and forearms—10 to 12 (midrange), 13 to 15 (stretch) and 16 to 20 (contracted). •We believe we need X Reps and X-hybrids to force the need for seven days of recovery. Therefore, we’ll incorporate those for at least one set of each exercise. •Max-force generation is still most important on the midrange exercises, so we’ll rest three minutes after each set on the first compound exercise for a bodypart. We’ll move down to two minutes for the other two exercises—stretch-position and contracted-position moves.

Shock •Even during shock week it’s important to complete the fullrange chain for each muscle, so we’ll stick with the same 3D

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(continued on page 68)

Train, Eat, Grow / Program 85

Even during shock week it’s important to complete the full-range chain for each muscle.

Neveux \ Model: Daryl Gee

(continued from page 64)

POF routine for each bodypart; however, shock week dictates combining exercises into supersets. Broser starts many of those bodypart workouts with a preexhaustion superset—such as leg extensions (contracted position) followed immediately by squats (midrange). Studies show that force production is decreased significantly on the second exercise, the compound move, of a preex superset. Not a good thing, as that’s the more important of the two. Because of that we’ll reverse the order and use postactivation supersets—for example, squats followed immediately by leg extensions. A big plus of postactivation is that the heightened occlusion you get on the first superset from the second exercise, the isolation move, can help activate more fibers during the second superset. Hence the word postactivation.

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 85 Monday (Power): Chest, Calves, Abs Incline presses (X Reps) Incline flyes (X Reps) High cable flyes (X Reps) Bench presses (X Reps) Wide-grip dips (X Reps) Flat-bench flyes (X Reps) Low/middle cable flyes (X Reps) Leg press calf raises (X Reps) Machine donkey calf raises (X Reps) Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises (X Reps) Seated calf raises (X Reps) Incline kneeups (X Reps) Ab Bench crunches (X Reps) Twisting crunches (X Reps)

Thursday (Power): Quads, Hamstrings 3 x 4-6 1x6 2x6 2 x 4-6 1x6 1x6 1x6 3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 6-8 3 x 6-10 2 x 6-10 2 x 6-10

Tuesday (Power): Back, Forearms Wide-grip pulldowns (X Reps) Parallel-grip chins (X Reps) Undergrip pulldowns (X Reps) Machine pullovers (X Reps) Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) Nautilus rows or cable rows (X Reps) One-arm dumbbell rows (X Reps) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) Barbell shrugs (X Reps) Reverse wrist curls (X Reps) Wrist curls (X Reps) Behind-the-back wrist curls Rockers

3 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 6-8 3 x 4-6 1 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10

Machine hack squats (nonlock; X Reps) Leg presses (nonlock) Smith-machine sissy squats (X Reps) Leg extensions (X Reps) Lunges Stiff-legged deadlifts (low partials; X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Leg curls (X Reps) Low-back machine (X Reps)

2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 3 x 6-8 1 x 4-6 3 x 6-8 1 x 6-8 3 x 4-6 1 x 6-8

Friday (Power): Delts, Triceps, Biceps Rack pulls (X Reps) Dumbbell upright rows or laterals (X Reps) Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) Forward-lean laterals (X Reps) Behind-the-neck presses (X Reps) Bent-over laterals (drop set; X Reps) Dips (X Reps) Decline extensions Overhead dumbbell extensions (X Reps) Pushdowns or kickbacks (X Reps) Preacher curls (X Reps) Cable curls (X Reps) Incline curls (X Reps) Concentration curls (X Reps) Cable hammer curls (X Reps)

2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6

Note: Where X-Reps are designated, usually only one set or phase of a drop set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique from the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book. See the X-Blog at for more workout details.

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Train, Eat, Grow / Program 85 •Supersets add to workout length because of the setup time necessary. Therefore, we’ll use drop sets on the POF exercise that isn’t included in the superset—usually the stretch-position move. We also plan to use multirep rest/pause on some exercises, a combination of Dante’s DC training technique and Rob Thoburn’s Rest-Only-Briefly tactic. Our version is three sets with the same weight, 10 seconds of rest after each set.

Neveux \ Model: Mike Dragna

By incorporating X Reps in every phase, we get some extended continuous tension to create occlusion and semistretch-point overload every week.

•X Reps are especially important for shock effects, so we’ll use them on more sets during this week, even in conjuction with drop sets and modified DC/ROB multirep rest/pause, to totally annihilate the muscles. As Broser said, that’s what shock week is all about. We believe our spin on P/RR/S has enormous potential for getting us, well, enormous—or at least much bigger than we are now. On paper it appears to be just what we

ITRC Program 85, Abbreviated Home-Gym Routine Monday (Power): Chest, Calves, Abs Incline presses (X Reps) Incline flyes (low partials; X Reps) Incline flyes (top squeezes; drop set; X Reps) Bench presses or decline presses (X Reps) Decline flyes (low partials; X Reps) Decline flyes (top squeeze; X Reps) Donkey calf raises (X Reps) One-leg calf raises (X Reps) Seated calf raises (X Reps) Incline kneeups Weighted full-range crunches (X Reps)

3 x 4-6 1x6 1x6 2 x 4-6 1x6 1x6 3 x 8-10 3 x 8-10 2 x 6-8 2 x 6-10 2 x 6-10

Tuesday (Power): Back, Forearms Chins (X Reps) Dumbbell pullovers (drop set; X Reps) Undergrip rows (drop set; X Reps) Bent-over barbell rows One-arm dumbbell rows (X Reps) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) Shrugs (X Reps) Reverse wrist curls (X Reps) Wrist curls (X Reps) Rockers

3 x 4-6 2x6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10

Thursday (Power): Quads, Hams Squats Sissy squats

3 x 4-6 2 x 4-6

Leg extensions or old-style hack squats (X Reps) Front squats Stiff-legged deadlifts (low partials) Leg curls (X Reps)

2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6 3 x 6-8 3 x 4-6

Friday (Power): Delts, Triceps, Biceps Dumbbell upright rows or rack pulls (X Reps) Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) Seated forward-lean laterals (X Reps) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Bent-over laterals (X Reps) Decline extensions Overhead extensions (X Reps) Kickbacks (X Reps) Preacher curls (X Reps) Incline curls (X Reps) Concentration curls (X Reps) Incline hammer curls (X Reps)

3 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 2 x 4-6 1 x 4-6

Note: Where X-Reps are designated, usually only one set or phase of a drop set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique from the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book. See the X-Blog at www for more workout details. Note: If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do oldstyle hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.

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Train, Eat, Grow / Program 85 need to take our physiques to the next level. Our only reservation is that we’re not sure that a single week in each phase is long enough to trigger muscular adaption. Would two weeks in each phase be better? At first glance it would seem so; however, consider that there is overlap, which may make one week enough. For example, the reps are still fairly low on the midrange exercises every week—four to six, seven to nine and eight to 10, depending on the week—so we’re still getting plenty of max-force production, the big key to anaerobic muscle growth, right up front in each bodypart program every week. And by incorporating X Reps in every phase, we get some extended continuous tension to create occlusion and semistretch-point overload every week as well.

We’re also using the same 3D POF routine for each bodypart every week, so every muscle is getting full-range hits—no position is neglected. That means max-fiber activation is a sure thing at every workout, no matter which phase we’re in. It looks as if all the musclebuilding bases are being covered in every phase, albeit in different capacities—and that’s the perfect scenario for extraordinary growth. We’re excited and ready to get the experiment rolling! We’ve provided our Power-week program on page 68 and a homegym version on page 70. We’ll outline the Rep Range program next month. Stay tuned, and keep growing. Note: For our complete P/RR/S program that you can print out and take to the gym so you can

experiment along with us, see Chapter 15 of the new e-book 3D Muscle Building. The term 3D is a reference to the three Positions of Flexion for each muscle, and the e-book contains updated POF info. It also has an in-depth analysis and revised version of the 10-Week Size Surge program that Jonathan used to pack on 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks a few years ago—it’s the perfect winter mass-building program. For more information visit Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, including X Q&As, X Files (past e-zines), before and after photos and the X-Blog training journal, visit To order the Positions-of-Flexion training manual Train, Eat, Grow, call (800) 447-0008, visit www.Home-Gym .com, or see the ad below. IM

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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass Q: Does the speed of end-of-set X Reps make any difference? When I do them with slow movement, I get very few X Reps. But if I do them explosively, I can get about six. The burn seems equally unbearable with both styles. Which is best?

A: That’s an interesting question. Fast, more explosive X Reps should help engage more fibers (as indicated in the previous answer); the slower type is probably better for occlusion, or blocking blood flow to the target muscle. So if you’re after more A: I only occasionally reduce the weight on the second force production and set. What usually happens is that I get about 10 reps on the stress, such as on the first set, rest for 2 1/2 to three minutes, then hit it again big ultimate exercises and get eight or nine plus X Reps. Nevertheless, everyone’s listed in The Ultimate power output and neuromuscular efficiency are different. Mass Workout e-book, Reducing the weight on the second set is a good idea if your use faster X Reps—if reps are too low when you use the same weight. You want you can—but stay in to get between 25 and 35 seconds of tension time on that control; if you’re going Slow-mo X Reps or end-ofsecond set. Around 30 seconds has been found to be the for extended tension set static X may be best for best for hypertrophic stimulation. and occlusion, such as continuous-tension exercises I’m not sure which e-book suggested explosive-style on more isolated conlike concentration curls reps. Yes, they can activate more fibers via the myotatic retracted-position exerflex, so what you’re doing has solid science behind it, but it cises, like leg extensions and leg extensions, where occlusion is so important. can be dangerous. If you want to keep experimenting with or concentration curls, you may want to use the slower version or even Static X, Lighter, explosive holding at the X spot for as long as possible. sets can activate

Q: I just got The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book, and I have a question: In the programs that call for two sets on the ultimate exercises, should I reduce the weight on my second set or use the same weight? I read in one of your other e-books I got from www that on the second set of a midrange exercise you should reduce the weight 30 percent and do explosive reps and really go slow on the negatives. I tried it at my last chest workout, and my chest got so sore, I could have cried.

more fibers and help develop neuromuscular efficiency, but it’s an advanced technique. If you try it, stay in total control—don’t throw the weight.

Neveux \ Model: Steve McLeod

Q: I recently purchased X-treme Lean and The Ultimate Mass Workout e-books. My husband and I have been using one of the programs, and we are feeling it and seeing results. X Reps are absolutely amazing! I do have one question about the programs: Instead of doing Smithmachine front squats for hamstrings, is it okay to do leg curls on a machine instead? Front squats are awkward for me, and I hurt my back a few years ago doing deadlifts, so now I refuse to do them. What’s a good alternative? A: Feet-forward Smith-machine front squats are best for hamstring midrange work—it’s a compound exercise, so there’s muscle synergy for more force generation. Leg curls are isolation, more for extended continuous tension. You can use the leg curls as a replacement; however, you may want to try other compound moves first, like feet-forward hack squats, if you have access to a hack machine, or leg presses with your feet high on the foot plate. In order to feel them more in your hamstrings than your quads, try doing a warmup set of leg curls first—to get the hamstrings primed for action. As for deadlifts, yes, they can be dangerous.

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Neveux \ Model: Gus Malliarodakis

X-plosive Growth

explosive-style sets, don’t get carried away—stay in control; don’t throw the weight.

Steve Holman’s

A less-hazardous exercise for hamstring stretch is hyperextensions—keep your back flat throughout the stroke so you feel a hamstring stretch at the bottom, when your torso is bent 90 degrees to your legs. Also, raise your torso to the point at which it’s on the same plane as your legs—no higher or you could pinch a vertebra. Q: I’m getting killer results with the Basic Ultimate Mass Workout from your e-book. I’m using the variation you described in your e-zine, doing the first set with X Reps and the second as a drop set with X Reps. Is there anything else I should do? I need about 10 pounds of extra mass. A: I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on that two-set quick-hit protocol—fast-mass routines that consist of only the ultimate exercise for each bodypart for two sets. So many trainees are very concerned with efficient workouts that get results—which makes total sense considering most of us work for a living and have families and other responsibilities. It’s a very efficient way to train because you hit a number of muscle fiber types while stressing both the anaerobic and endurance components of the key fast-twitch fibers, the 2As. You should also use set variation, though. For example, say you’re using decline presses as your chest exercise. Do your first set with a grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder width for optimal leverage and force production. Use the same grip on set two, but on the drop phase make your grip slightly wider. That small variation will subtly vary the line of force and activate a few different fibers (you’ll feel the difference). Obviously, on an exercise like wide-grip dips you can’t vary your grip—but you can alter your body position slightly. That works especially well on pulldowns because the lats are very large muscles that are fan-shaped, and slightly different angles of pull can develop different segments of the muscle. For instance, keeping your body more upright will build more of the upper area, along with some fibers that run the length of the muscle (down to the waist). When you angle your torso back at about 45 degrees, however, you effectively target the middle fibers more—the belly of the muscle about halfway down. Those fibers help pull your arms back as opposed to down to your sides. A little variation from set to set can go a long way toward getting you bigger, especially if you use minimalist workouts. Q: Bodybuilding often gets me frustrated. Don’t get me wrong: I feel, unlike other gurus with other routines that are out t here, that you’re the most committed to researching and exploring ways to


Hyperextensions can work as a stretch-position exercise for hamstrings if you keep your back flat.

improve muscle building and you make a greater effort to incorporate real science. You also show a dedication to refining and altering programs when new data supports such changes. But please help me and other lifters who are in the same boat (training alone with time constraints; confused over rest time, rep speeds, etc.). I’d have a hard time going back to a standard POF program, seeing the potential of the X-Rep programs. I appreciate your help and admire your work and dedication to bodybuilding and bodybuilding education. A: I don’t know if it helps, but we all get frustrated. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, and to make things worse, something that triggers new gains only works for a while; then you have to try something else. It’s just the nature of adaptation. You have to look at bodybuilding as a journey and a continual process of experimenting and learning. After 30 years of training steadily, I’m still learning and refining my workouts—as you see every month in the Train, Eat, Grow series. Keep training hard and trying new things—and be sure to keep a workout journal so you can come back to things that have worked for you in the past. You can cycle them back for new adaptations. That can minimize the frustration, and you won’t keep making the same mistakes over and over.

Keep a workout journal so you can cycle back to things that have worked for you in the past—and so you won’t keep making the same mistakes. The sharp black POF T-shirt with the original classic logo emblazoned in gold can give you that muscular look you’re after (sorry, large size only). See page 235 for details. Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers, including Train, Eat, Grow: The Positions-of-Flexion Muscle-Training Manual (see page 72). For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, see the ads on pages 146 and 278. Also visit IM

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Neveux \ Model: Lee Apperson

Critical Mass

Steve Holman

A Bodybuilder Is Born

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born Compare Yourself to No One but You by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Ken Yasuda


had just returned from the Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas. Despite the sleep deprivation brought on by my having insisted on partying like it’s 1999, I was totally fired up to train hard. Being around so many awesome physiques had motivated the hell out of me. Randy had not been able to go, since he’d been working at his new job for only a few weeks. Besides, unlike my situation, the young man didn’t have a magazine paying his way—or the couple of grand in folding green it takes to have a good time in Vegas for three days. And that’s assuming you stay away from the “escorts” section of the phone book and the fancy steak houses. Even though I don’t gamble, I still manage to leave Sin City every time scratching my head and wondering, How did I manage to spend all that money in so little time? Through the magic of pay-per-view television, Randy had watched the Mr. Olympia contest and was equally jazzed about getting bigger. Much bigger. For a minute I wasn’t even sure he was being serious, and I sniffed the air around him to make sure he hadn’t been smoking dope. “Man, I want to look exactly like Ronnie Coleman!” he exclaimed as he picked up a pair of 85s and set them down near the incline bench. “Me and him are the same height, so I need to weigh 320 in the off-season and diet down to 287 just like he does if I want to be the best pro bodybuilder ever. How long do you think

Episode 16

that would take, if I train really hard, eat a ton of good food every day and eventually add in the—you know—‘special supplements?’” I looked my naive charge dead in the eye and said what had to be said. I don’t like to be cruel, but it is my obligation to save him from living in a fluffy dream world with marshmallow clouds and licorice-stick trees. “Probably never, Randy.” The look he shot at me was part anger, part hurt. I think he knew even before I had said anything that he was being delusional. Randy has about as much chance of looking like Ronnie Coleman as he does of waking up tomorrow morning with an extra ass growing out of his chest. And nobody wants that—do they? “How can you say that, when you’re always telling me not to put limits on myself?” he spat out. “Now you’re saying I can’t be that big. That’s just not cool.” “Easy there. Let me explain. How hard was it for Ronnie to win this Olympia, based on what you saw?” Randy shrugged. “Not too hard, I guess.” “You didn’t get to see the prejudging, like I did, so let me fill you in. The second the guys walked out onstage a little after noon, it was obvious that Ronnie was in another league. I almost want to say he was in a different species. In fact, the guy next to me said he was going to check out back for a parked UFO, because Coleman simply had to be an alien. No human being could possibly be so huge and ripped.” \ NOVEMBER 2006 79

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Comstock \ Model: Ronnie Coleman

A Bodybuilder Is Born

The guy next to me said he was going to check out back for a parked UFO, because Coleman simply had to be an alien. No human could possibly be so huge and ripped.

“But Ronnie is a human,” Randy challenged. “He is, but he is very, very different from nearly every other man alive today. Certainly he trains his butt off with some monster weights.

I know in his leg training alone this year he was squatting 800 pounds for reps and leg-pressing 2,500 pounds. Ronnie also eats like clockwork every two hours. But you have to also realize that the man is a true

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

The guys in the Olympia top 10 are simply a different breed. They are mutants. genetic freak. His body responds to the training and eating in a way that almost nobody else’s does. Ronnie is an inspiration to a lot of us, but as far as making it your goal to be a clone of Ronnie—it’s not even remotely realistic.” I could tell Randy was still unconvinced. I knew he needed a little positive feedback. “You have a lot of growing left to do, and I have no doubt you can be a very good bodybuilder,” I offered, “but these top pros, the guys in the Olympia top 10, they are simply a different breed. They are mutants, except instead of having titanium claws like Wolverine, they have the ability to grow far more muscle mass than a normal human.” “Yeah, but the drugs…” Randy tried to interject. I shook my head emphatically. “No! The drugs really aren’t that important. Without those very rare genetics, all the drugs in Mexico and

Thailand combined wouldn’t result in a body like those guys have.” Randy was silent as he picked up his dumbbells for his fourth and final set of inclines. I gave him one forced rep and he set the dumbbells down before hitting a hard side chest in the mirror, followed by a crab most-muscular. Now that he was back to his usual lean condition, striations were evident in his pecs. I could see I had alienated him by dashing his dream. But this dream was not a healthy one. “You know, there is only one Ronnie Coleman in bodybuilding, just like there was only one Michael Jordan in basketball, one Barry Bonds in baseball, one Muhammad Ali in boxing, and one Peter North in adult film. These men were at the very top of their game for a time, but that

The drugs really aren’t that important. Without those genetics, all the drugs in Mexico and Thailand combined wouldn’t result in a body like those guys have.

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

John Balik / Model: Frank Zane

Bodybuilders from years ago like Frank Zane looked incredible and never weighed more than 200 pounds onstage. “One day you will realize that great physiques come in all shapes and sizes,” I assured him. “Guys like Frank Zane looked incredible and never weighed more than 200 pounds onstage or had arms any bigger than 17 or 18 inches. That’s why you should indeed try to increase your measurements and muscular bodyweight, but don’t worry that it doesn’t stack up to some 300-pound mutant with 23inch arms.” He looked in the mirror and hit a front double-biceps. “Only 110 pounds and seven inches to go, baby!” he said. I didn’t bother commenting. He might indeed get to such a size someday, but in the meantime I am trying to keep him focused on short-term goals. Once he gets close to my size and strength, he can start thinking about going after the mutants. By that time, the reigning Mr. Olympia might be 350 pounds ripped with 30-inch arms. Well, you can’t stop progress, can you? IM

The point is, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else. That always leads to disappointment. 84 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Model: Jose Raymond

doesn’t mean there weren’t others around them who were also exceptional. The point is, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else. That always leads to disappointment. A long time ago I got over the whole issue of constantly comparing the way I looked to the pros in the magazines, or even to local amateurs. All I worry about is how I look compared to the Ron Harris of yesterday. You are a lot more impressive than the Randy I met more than a year ago, and that’s something to be proud of. In another year you should be even better, and so on. That’s what it’s all about. Does that make sense?” Randy nodded. “Yeah, it just gets depressing sometimes seeing how far I have to go before I can stand next to the guys in the magazines without looking like a little girl,” he said, laughing.

Monster Bench

“It was August of 2002 in Portland, Oregon. I had one final attempt at the bench press, and the crowd knew what I was going for. The loaders piled on iron plate after iron plate, the stage was set, and the roar of the crowd built like a tidal wave. I walked out onstage, almost in a trance, my eyes dilated and my pulse pounding in my ears. I set up on the bench and looked at the bar on the rack above me. The spotters handed the weight off to me, my hands squeezed the knurling, and I began the descent, feeling the insane load dropping to my chest. The bar paused, and I fully came to realize just how heavy this burden was. “I could no longer hear the crowd, and the world around me seemed to simply drift. ‘Press!’ the judge commanded, and every fiber in my body pushed against that weight. The bar came off my chest like a rocket, my muscles coursing with burning flames. My triceps and shoulders fired on all cylinders, forcing my arms to lockout, and the lift was mine! I had just benchpressed 800.5 pounds! What was formerly thought of as impossible had just been done.” —Ryan “BenchMonster” Kennelly Monster Muscle, 2003

Leon Josaitis \

by Ryan “BenchMonster” Kennelly and Sean Katterle

92 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Unlocking the Riddle of Bench Steel

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Part 1: From a 225 Max to Reppin’ 315 in One Year! \ NOVEMBER 2006 93

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Board presses can help develop pushing and reversing power.

Magazines these days are filled with advanced training routines that the pros use. A lot of the articles are inspiring and informative, but they aren’t of a lot of use to the novice lifter who isn’t yet physically prepared for those weight, set and rep schemes. Though every gym member claims a 300-plus-pound bench when he’s outside the weight room, the reality is that presses with two wheels and change are far more common than ones with three 45s and above. The bench program presented here is for lifters who have a max bench press of 225 pounds and want to break the 315 barrier. (Note: A max bench press is what you can bring down to a dead stop on your chest, hold while pausing for a split second and then press up completely by yourself for one rep while keeping your butt planted firmly on the bench. It’s not what you can push on a Smith machine, a guestimate taken from your 10-rep set or what you can lock out with the help of your spotter’s hands on the bar.) Bench once per week and start with 45 percent of 225 (or whatever your max is) for eight sets of three reps. Add 5 percent to the bar each week. Once you get to 75 percent of your original max (six weeks), the routine drops to four sets of three reps. Keep adding 5 percent each week. Then, when you reach 85 percent, the formula changes again to just

two sets of three reps. When you reach 225, or your original max, you’ll be able to do one set of three reps for sure—and you will have a new one-rep max of around 250. (Multiply whatever you can triple by 10 percent, and that’s going to be within 10 pounds of your 1RM.) In the outline below we’ve adjusted the numbers to take you from a max bench of 225 pounds to being able to triple 315 in less than one year. With that basic training program, your assistance work will be rack lockouts, skull crushers and close-grip incline presses. Close-grip incline benches and skull crushers, a.k.a. lying triceps extensions, are common bodybuilding lifts, so you probably already know how to perform them properly from reading past issues of IRON MAN. Rack lockouts, however, are not as common, so see if you can get an experienced powerlifter or bencher to demonstrate them for you in the gym or at least follow these instructions carefully before going at it: For rack lockouts, place a flat bench in the power rack. Set up the power rack safety rods—the long pins—so that, when the bar is resting on them, it’s about halfway between your chest and lockout. Then perform your reps by pressing the bar from the safety rods to lockout. When you bring the bar back down, let it pause on the rack before you press it back up to lockout.

Rack lockouts are similar to board presses in that you work the top half of the bench press movement, which will build strong front delts and triceps. Make sure you stay tight under the weight, and expect the weight to sometimes stall out on the pins. If you keep your lats and legs flexed and continue driving against gravity (don’t go too crazy and blow a fuse), often the bar will suddenly rise again after a grueling few seconds of effort. On all of your assistance work perform five sets of five reps, increasing the weight on each successive set up to a heavy set on which you can barely get the fifth rep, and quit. Then finish your bench press workout with a few high-rep sets of triceps pushdowns (try different variations of pushdowns if you like) and some optional shoulder work—such as plate or dumbbell front raises for the front delts and dumbbell lateral raises for your side delts. Use high reps on the shoulder exercises as well. A sample assistance workout is outlined below the bench routine. At each session, after your press work perform the rack lockouts, close-grip incline presses and skull crushers as discussed above, and add weight if you’re able to while maintaining good form and safety— except when you’re directed not to do the assistance work.

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(continued on page 100)

Leon Josaitis \

Monster Bench

Monster Bench

Neveux \ Model: Berry Kabov

Week 7 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 170 x 3 x 4 (The weight is getting more serious for you, so cut the number of sets to four and make sure that you keep your intensity high.)

Weak-range work in a power rack can help you blast through sticking points. (This is ultralight, so focus on benching as explosively as possible without becoming spastic.)

Obviously, Ryan Kennelly isn’t opposed to nicelooking spotters.

Week 2 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 115 x 3 x 8

Leon Josaitis \

Week 3 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 125 x 3 x 8

(continued from page 94)

Phase 1 of the BenchMonster Program Week 1 Bench presses Bar x 20 reps x 1 set 85 pounds x 12 x 1 set 100 pounds x 3 x 8 sets

Week 4 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 3 x 8 (This is still light, so it’s a great time to focus on your bench form while pressing forcefully.) Week 5 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 115 x 6 x 1 145 x 3 x 8

Week 6 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 160 x 3 x 8

Week 8 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 155 x 3 x 1 180 x 3 x 4 Week 9 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 155 x 3 x 1 190 x 3 x 2 (For both of the sets with 190 get yourself really psyched up and convince yourself that the weight is no match for you. Start programming your mind and body to triple the weight no matter what.) Week 10 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 185 x 3 x 1 200 x 3 x 2 Week 11 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 185 x 3 x 1 200 x 3 x 1 215 x 3 x 1 (This is your test run for the peaking of your training cycle, so give it everything you’ve got and solidify your confidence.) Week 12 Bench presses Bar x 20 x 1 85 x 12 x 1 135 x 6 x 1 185 x 3 x 1 205 x 3 x 1 225 x 3 x 1

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Monster Bench

A max bench press is what you can bring down to a dead stop on your chest, hold for a split second and then press up completely by yourself for one rep while keeping your butt planted firmly on the bench.

these) for five sets of five each, working up to what you can rep five times while maintaining good form and safety. Then finish off with a couple of sets of high-rep pushdowns, frontdelt raises and/or side-delt raises, as your endurance allows. Here’s a good sample workout:

Leon Josaitis \

Ryan Kennelly.

(You just tripled your previous one-rep max! Do not perform any assistance work on this day.) For the rest of this training program you should follow the above 12-week pattern of sets and reps, changing the weights as directed below (page 104). Pick your warmup-set weights logically so that it takes you five to eight sets to get up to your heaviest working weight. Don’t fatigue yourself, and don’t make poundage jumps that are too big. Also remember that except for weeks 12, 24, 36 and 48, after you bench, you move on to rack lockouts, close-grip incline presses and skull crushers (get a close spot for

Neveux \ Model: Sagi Kalev

sets of five reps each. Take the first three sets to fully warm up, as this exercise tends to put more strain on the elbow joint. You can wear a neoprene elbow sleeve if your elbows tend to get inflamed. Start out using a light weight, and don’t be in a hurry to increase it over the weeks. Take your time so you don’t develop joint discomfort. You’ll eventually strengthen the joints and the surrounding muscles, making this exercise one of your best triceps-strength builders—but have patience.

Medium-grip inclines presses. Do these by going all the way down to the chest if your shoulder flexibility allows you to; otherwise, bring the bar down at least level with your chin. Perform five sets of five reps each. The first and second sets should be lighter, so you adjust to the feel of the lift, and then the third, fourth and fifth sets should be heavy enough that you barely get the fifth rep with relatively good form. Power rack lockouts. Set the pins in the power rack so that the bar is either three, five or seven inches above your chest when it’s resting on them. Do five sets of five reps each. Again, the first and second sets should be lighter, so you adjust to the feel of the lift, and then the third, fourth and fifth sets should be heavy enough that you barely get the fifth rep with relatively good form. Make sure you pause for a split second on the pins at the bottom of each rep. Skull crushers. On these make sure that your elbows are pointing to the ceiling and that you’re using your triceps to move the weight. Do five

Dumbbell or barbell front raises. Try to stand fully upright on these, and avoid swinging the weight during the first half of each set of reps. You can slightly swing the bar or dumbbells up on the reps of the second half of each working set. Take the first set to fully warm up and then perform an additional two sets with 12 to 20 reps each. Dumbbell lateral raises. Try to keep your body still—except for your arms—during the first half of each set; after that you can use your legs to get the dumbbells moving during the second half of each set, if needed. Take the first set to fully warm up, and then perform an additional two sets of 12 to 20 reps each. You can do either a straight-arm version with lighter weight or a bent-arm version with heavier weight. I suggest alternating from workout to workout or every few workouts. Pushdowns. Try to keep your body fully upright for the first half of each set so that your triceps are doing almost all of the work. For the second half, as fatigue sets in, you can allow yourself to lean forward slightly so your chest muscles can assist your triceps. Take the first set to fully warm up and then perform two more working sets of 12 to 20 reps. You really want to burn out on these, so pick a weight that’s difficult to get more than 12 reps with, then safely work hard to get the additional one to eight reps, or perform a drop set—immediately move to a lighter weight for the second half of each 20-rep set, maintaining good form.


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Monster Bench Here’s how the weights for weeks 13 through 48 look, with only the last work set listed: Week 13: 110 x 3 x 8 Week 14: 125 x 3 x 8 Week 15: 135 x 3 x 8 Week 16: 150 x 3 x 8 Week 17: 165 x 3 x 8 Week 18: 175 x 3 x 8 Week 19: 190 x 3 x 4 Week 20: 200 x 3 x 4

Week 22: 225 x 3 x 2

You need strong front delts and triceps as well as pec power for a monster bench press.

Week 23: 240 x 3 x 1 Week 24: 250 x 3 x 1 Week 25: 125 x 3 x 8 Week 26: 140 x 3 x 8 Week 27: 150 x 3 x 8 Week 28: 165 x 3 x 8 Week 29: 180 x 3 x 8 Week 30: 195 x 3 x 8 Week 31: 210 x 3 x 4 Week 32: 220 x 3 x 4 Week 33: 235 x 3 x 2 Week 34: 250 x 3 x 2 Week 35: 260 x 3 x 1

back and biceps once per week. If you need, psychologically, to get into the gym more than three times every seven days, you can split up your back and biceps work into two training days. If you need a fifth day, do abs and moderate cardio. You’re welcome to mix up your leg, back, biceps and ab training as much as you want to, but we strongly suggest choosing to work variations of rows for your back, medium-heavy hammer curls for your biceps and oldschool squats for your legs.

If your progress stalls out at anytime during this four-cycle program, perform the following checklist. •Are you getting at least eight hours of sleep per night? •Are you taking in a quality source of protein at least four times per day? •Are you drinking water throughout the day?

Week 36: 275 x 3 x 1 Week 37: 140 x 3 x 8 Week 38: 160 x 3 x 8 Week 39: 175 x 3 x 8 Week 40: 190 x 3 x 8 Week 41: 205 x 3 x 8 Week 42: 220 x 3 x 8 Week 43: 235 x 3 x 4 Week 44: 250 x 3 x 4 Week 45: 265 x 3 x 2 Week 46: 280 x 3 x 2 Week 47: 300 x 3 x 1 Week 48: 315 x 3 x 1 While following this 48-week power-bench program, you’ll also want to train your legs and your

Need some motivation to make your bench poundage soar. Check out “The Road to the Arnold” DVD, available at

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Neveux \ Model: Mike Morris

Week 21: 215 x 3 x 2

•Are you avoiding recreational drugs completely and limiting your alcohol intake to a few drinks per week? •Are you sticking with the program, or are you overtraining by adding sets, reps, pounds and/or exercises to your bench day?

awesome about that accomplishment! Editor’s note: Ryan “BenchMonster” Kennelly is a three-time Arnold Classic World Bench Press champion, the ’05 FitExpo pro bench champ and the ’05 Bench America silver medalist. He has bench-

pressed 700-plus pounds more than 40 times in competition and 800plus pounds more than 10 times in competition, and his personal contest best is 902.5 pounds. His DVD, “The Road to the Arnold,” is a 90minute documentary that follows his quest to repeat gold at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s World Bench Press Championships. The actionpacked DVD shows 600-plus-pound gym lifts (no bench shirt), 900-pluspound board presses and contest lifts and a drop set of 405x20 and 315x20. It also includes the FitExpo pro bench contest in Los Angeles, the World Bench Press Championships at the ’05 Arnold Classic and more. It’s available at Home Gym Warehouse, or call (800) 447-0008. Sean Katterle has been a TV commentator for bench press competitions shown on Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Net. He’s also the owner of, and he’s had strength-sport articles and interviews published in BodyTalk, Monster Muscle, Powerlifting USA and Speed Strength Sport. IM

If you’re avoiding all of those mistakes but still aren’t able to hit the numbers as they’re mapped out, then add more whole food to your diet—increasing your daily calorie intake—and try taking a one-hour nap on days when your schedule allows you to. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, try cutting back your intensity on the days when you don’t bench to allow your body more time to recuperate. There’s no reason a healthy lifter weighing 200 pounds or more can’t rep 315 for a triple, and we’ve also seen plenty of guys weighing less than 200 do it. For example, we’ve seen both Ragin’ Ray Hickman and Joe “the Benching Machine” Luther hit 405 (with no bench shirt) or more in the gym at 165 pounds bodyweight every time they near the peak in their training cycles. Now, both of those guys are national bench press champions, so it’s not realistic to think that everyone will bench 405 without a bench shirt at a bodyweight of 165, but you can shoot for repping with 315, and this program will get you there. You’ll also be more muscular than you’ve ever been before, and you’ll feel 106 NOVEMBER OV BER ER 2006 \ w ww ronmanmagazin az

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Skull crushers are one of the best assistance exercise for a bigger bench press, but be sure to warm up your elbows.

Neveux \ Model: Idrise Ward-El

There’s no reason a healthy lifter weighing 200 pounds or more can’t rep 315 for a triple.

Neveux \ Model: Jay Cutler

Monster Bench

STARDUST Muscle Memories S Scientists Convene and Converse at the ISSN N Conference at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas by Jerry Brainum •

Photography by Michael Neveux

he science of sports nutrition is an evolving discipline, with new information frequently superseding previously accepted scientific fact. While nutrition topics are discussed at medical conferences around the world, until a few years ago sports nutrition wasn’t

a major agenda item. To correct that notable gap, a group of scientists and teachers, all of whom shared an intense interest in the exchange and presentation of the most up-to-date research concerning sports nutrition, formed the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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Muscle Memories

The ISSN has held three national meetings, the most recent at the soon-to-be-razed Stardust hotel in Las Vegas, June 15–17. I attended the conference with IRON MAN publisher John Balik and his son Justin. Our goal was to obtain information relevant to IM readers. The conference consisted of a series of brief lectures that lasted an average of 30 to 45 minutes. Unfortunately, that was too little time to cover the information presented by a few of the lecturers. While there were PowerPoint slide presentations aplenty, time constraints meant that slides appeared on the large viewing screen for only a few seconds, challenging even the most expert of shorthand writers. Some lectures were scheduled in direct opposition to others of equal interest, forcing hard choices on attendees. I also felt that the showmanship of some of the presentations might have been improved, as we were all on technical data overload. One researcher, Paul Cribb, livened things up with a slide of his scenic oceanview backyard in Australia. His injection of humor in the proceedings was a muchappreciated wake-up call for conferees whose attention may have wandered because of the sheer volume of information Cribb was cramming into his limited time slot. Those criticisms aside, however, much of the data presented at the conference proved useful and practical. What follows is a summary of the info that I obtained, though my notes are admittedly limited.

and sports-nutrition researcher. Some highlights of his rapid-fire presentation: •Explosive exercise decreases growth hormone release, while heavy, slower exercise increases it. •Heavy exercise raises testosterone levels, while light exercise lowers them. •Exercise increases the density of androgen cell receptors that interact with testosterone, thereby providing an anabolic effect in muscle. Consuming a postworkout protein-andcarbohydrate drink also increases the percentage of androgen receptors. •Kraemer confirmed that to acquire larger muscles, you need to control the release of

corticosteroids, such as cortisol, during and after training.

Paul Cribb, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in exercise biochemistry from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Cribb, who looks like a taller and leaner version of pro bodybuilder Lee Priest—and sounds a bit like him too—lectured on the effects of protein and carbohydrate on anabolic responses to resistance training. Cribb described three study trials that involved nutritional interventions designed to increase the anabolic effects of structured training over a period of 10 to 11 weeks. The subjects were men aged 18 to 36, divided into groups that got whey-protein supplements, creatine monohydrate and carbohydrate supplements either alone or in combination. The first trial showed that although two groups were on a high-protein diet, supplementing it

William J. Kraemer, Ph.D.,

Kraemer confirmed that to acquire larger muscles, you need to control the release of corticosteroids, such as cortisol. 110 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Model: Marvin Montoya

gave two lectures, the first called “Muscle Growth and Recovery,” which I felt sure would be of value. A professor at the University of Connecticut, Kraemer is an esteemed exercise-physiology

got double the muscle mass gains when they took it just before and just after training.

Green tea’s fat-loss effects extend beyond its caffeine content. It inhibits COMT, an enzyme in the body that degrades catecholamine hormones, such as epinephrine, which is involved in fat oxidation. Green tea also appears to blunt fat-cell differentiation, which leads to the formation of additional fat cells, as well as lipase enzymes needed to digest fat, and studies done with rats show that green tea prevents bodyfat gains even in rats on high-fat diets. Green tea use also blunts weight regain after a diet.

Robert Wildman, Ph.D., whose books have been reviewed in IRON MAN, gave an interesting but time-limited lecture: “Thermogenic Supplements in Fat Metabolism.” Wildman noted that fat-loss supplements can be broadly divided into three general categories: 1) Thermogenic—represented by caffeine, green tea, bitter orange and capsaicin supplements 2) Lipolytic—conjugated linoleic acid, caffeine, calcium, guarana

Jeff Stout, Ph.D., in a lecture titled “Protein Intake and Muscle Hypertrophy,” confirmed the importance of getting protein and carbs into the body after training. He noted that adding whey to a carb drink provides 55 percent greater gains in lean mass than carbs alone. The potency of concentrated protein supplements is reflected in the finding that they increase lean mass even in untrained persons. Stout also suggested taking a protein-and-carb drink 30 to 40 minutes prior to training and sipping a carb drink during a workout. That leads to lower cortisol levels during training, which would favor heightened anabolic responses from the workout. Dr. Kraemer returned to lecture on L-carnitine and exercise. He explained that taking L-carnitine prior to training leads to such benefits as increased fatty acid oxidation, decreased muscle glycogen depletion and less accumulation in muscle of the lactate associated with fatigue. Carnitine increases the density of androgen cell receptors, which leads to greater testosterone uptake into (continued on page 116) muscle.

3) Oxidative—L-carnitine Wildman explained that people who tend to be lean show more diet-induced thermogenesis. They burn more calories after a meal than people in whom calories tend to get shunted into fat stores, especially if they take in more calories than they burn as energy.

Model: Berry Kabov

Muscle Memories

with whey protein and/or creatine led to greater improvement in strength than supplementing with an equivalent amount of only carbohydrate. The second study found that a supplement containing creatine, whey and carbs provided a degree of fat loss, increases in lean mass, and strength and muscle gains that were superior to what happened with the same supplement minus the creatine. The third study examined the issue of supplement timing, involving the intake of a whey-andcreatine compound immediately before and after exercise. That was compared to taking the same supplement at times other than the pre- and postworkout periods. The study confirmed that taking the supplement just before and after a workout led to improved body composition, as well as strength and muscle gains. The supplement contained 40 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbs, 0.5 grams of fat and seven grams of creatine. With that level of nutrition the participants

A whey-and-creatine compound taken immediately before and after exercise increases muscle gains.

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The conference also featured a number of interesting poster presentations that briefly summarized new research: •A hydrolysate, or fraction, of whey protein called MGNF-1 lowered the levels of inflammatory chemicals in muscle while promoting cell growth. •A study comparing the eating habits of vegetarians and nonvegetarians found that vegetarians not only didn’t lack any required nutrients but also had better-balanced diets than nonvegetarians—likely due to a greater variety of food. •A study of L-carnitine intake in runners from India found that taking 2.5 grams of carnitine for 21 days led to substantial increase in VO2max, or the ability to take in and use oxygen. That would translate into increased exercise endurance. •A study compared the effects of

two types of creatine supplements— creatine combined with pinitol and plain creatine monohydrate—on exercise performance. While some previous research has found a synergistic effect when pinitol combines with creatine, this study revealed no differences in exercise performance from either form of creatine supplementation. •The impact of beta-alanine supplements on isometric endurance of the knee extensors, or front-thigh muscles, was measured on subjects who got 6.4 grams of beta-alanine, along with simple sugars, for 28 and 14 days. Previous studies have reported 60 and 80 percent increases in muscle carnosine in those who took betaalanine for four- and 10-week periods. This time around, 28 days of using beta-alanine led to an 11.1 percent increase in isometric muscle endurance, while using it for 14 days led to a 14.4 percent rise.

Carnitine increases the density of androgen cell receptors, which leads to greater testosterone uptake into muscles. The effect was ascribed to a higher level of muscle buffering, evidenced by a reduction in the acid levels that lead to muscle fatigue. •In another beta-alanine study the effect of giving trainees 800 milligrams of beta-alanine four times a day for four weeks was compared to training without beta-alanine. Training alone didn’t increase carnosine levels in muscle after four weeks, but taking a betaalanine supplement while training did. A 10- and 12-week study of beta-alanine use also showed higher carnosine muscle levels. •The conference featured the first studies to examine the effects of a controversial arachidonic acid supplement when used with training. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that is the cornerstone of a number of prostaglandins, which are hormonelike chemicals produced in the body. At least one prostaglandin is known to promote muscle size and strength gains. The controversy arises because arachidonic acid is not only found abundantly in many protein foods,

Model: John Hansen

Muscle Memories

(continued from page 112)

Taking beta-alanine for only 14 days resulted in a 14.4 percent rise in muscle endurance due to better muscle buffering.

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In a 50-day safety study of arachidonic acid the supplement proved to be well tolerated, without altering whole blood, liver or kidney safety markers. •A study compared arginine alpha ketoglutarate, a popular ingredient found in nitric oxide–boosting supplements, with two substances: creatine ethyl ester, a newer form of creatine touted as being far more effective than creatine monohydrate, and a proprietary commercial supplement containing creatine gluconate and glycerol. Four weeks of arginine alpha ketoglutarate use had no effect on adaptations to weight training, such as bodyfat loss, lean mass or muscular performance gains. Creatine ester exerted modest effects on bodyweight and lean mass. The creatine gluconate supplement proved the superior of the three supplements tested in terms of increases in bodyweight, lean mass and repetitions done to failure during training. •Eurycoma longifolia, also known as longjack or tongat ali, is an herbal preparation that’s supposed to increase testosterone in the body. Researchers examined the effects of EL on testosterone and cortisone levels during intense endurance exercise. The human subjects (most prior EL studies used rats and mice) took either 100 milligrams of EL or a placebo 30 minutes prior to engaging in intensive running. Cortisol levels were 32.3 percent lower in the EL group than in the placebo group, and testosterone levels were 16.4 percent higher. Those findings led the authors to conclude that

taking EL before intense exercise may increase testosterone levels while lowering cortisol levels, a definite anabolic response. •The effects of using a branchedchain amino acid supplement on cortisol levels during endurance exercise were at the center of a look at a commercial blend of BCAAs consisting of three parts leucine, one part isoleucine and one part valine. The supplement provided a total of 750 to 1,500 milligrams of BCAAs, depending on the dose, and as little as 750 milligrams, or a total dose of three grams over 24 hours, significantly reduced the cortisol levels produced during intense endurance exercise. The study underscores the importance of taking BCAAs, especially when on a limited-calorie diet that features aerobic exercise. Getting supplemental BCAAs under such conditions may spare vital muscle losses. There you have it—a portion of the information presented at the ISSN conference. Even given its abbreviated nature, the data should prove useful and practical. IM

Model: Lee Apperson

Muscle Memories

such as meat, but is also responsible for generating inflammatory prostaglandins that produce pain and illness. Some drugs that treat pain interfere with the conH version of N arachidonic H H acid into those inR C H flammatory chemicals. C The O O purveyor of a commercial arachidonic acid supplement claims that regular intense exercise leads to a depletion of arachidonic acid in the muscle, resulting in a lowered synthesis of anabolic prostaglandins. Supplementing with arachidonic acid restores the body’s allegedly depleted stores. In the study presented at the ISSN meeting, subjects used a commercial arachidonic acid supplement for 50 days while engaged in a weight-training program. Thirty-one subjects took a gram a day of either a corn oil placebo or an arachidonic acid supplement and ate a high-protein diet, averaging two grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight daily. There was an increase in peak muscle power in those using the genuine arachidonic acid supplement, but neither group experienced a change in body mass. Another study looked at the hormonal and intramuscular effects of using the arachidonic acid supplement for 50 days. The study protocols were similar to those of the other arachidonic acid study. Those on the supplement experienced an increase in prostaglandin F2A, the chemical linked to muscle gains, along with a decrease in the inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6, which has catabolic effects in muscle. Arachidonic acid is most often linked to inflammatory reactions in the body because it is a precursor of various inflammatory prostaglandins, including F2A. In any case, the researchers deemed the increase in F2A found in the arachidonic acid group to be “nonsignificant.”

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Branched-chain amino acids reduced cortisol levels during intense endurance exercise.

Body FX2 Eric Broser and Power/Rep Range/Shock: Changing the Way We Build Muscle by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

Over the past couple of years a select few men have carved out reputations on the Internet as being remarkably effective at helping bodybuilders reach new levels in size, strength and condition. Those gurus of the World Wide Web build loyal followings on message boards, and aspiring physique competitors the world over seek out their expertise. One such man is Eric Broser, whose name you know from his many training articles in IRON MAN, which have been highly rated by the readers. Still more people know him by his e-mail handle “BodyFX2” and consider him to be one of the industry’s top training authorities. His mission is to help bodybuilders, particularly those who have decided to go the drug-free route, reach and even exceed their genetic limits. Let’s go behind the myth and meet the man. 126 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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“Bertil Fox was the first true ‘freak,’ in my opinion.”

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RH: Take me back to the early days. When did you first develop an interest in weight training? Was it originally for the purpose of bodybuilding or simply to help you in another sport?

RH: Sounds a lot like my early days, just add in some Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith and swap the basement for an attic. Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

EB: Actually, I developed an interest in the human form very early in life. As a young kid I was always incredibly impressed with the physiques of many of the comic book characters I would see. Superman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, etc., looked so strong and powerful to me—and I wanted to look just like them (although I had no clue how that would ever happen). I was truly fascinated by the shape, lines and aesthetics of highly developed musculature. My father eventually learned of my interest in building muscles and brought home a weight set when I was 11 or so. I played around with it a little bit but didn’t really take up bodybuilding until I was 16 years old. I was heavily involved in tae kwan do at the time, and one of my instructors was a serious bodybuilder. He probably weighed only about 200 pounds, but to me he looked huge. My closest friend, Mitchell, and I would ask him questions all the time about training and nutrition, attempting to gather as much info as we could before we got started. Finally, in January of 1986, we decided that it was time to begin our “journey.” We even wrote up a “contract,” stating that we would train hard, eat right and do whatever it took to reach our goals (I actually had it framed and have kept it to this day). We made excellent partners, as he was a bit overweight and I was painfully thin, weighing 125 pounds at a height of 5’11”. We set up a home gym in my basement that we called the lion’s den, and we’d train down there for hours almost every day after school. With Van Halen, Genesis, Kansas, Boston, Yes, Queen, Foreigner and others blasting from my little stereo, we did some pretty intense, albeit crazy, workouts down there. Those were the days.

EB: I was born in Brooklyn but moved to Long Island shortly before my fifth birthday. That’s where I remained until 1996, when I moved to San Diego for a year and a half. I then returned to Long Island to open a small gym but again left for a warmer climate in 2003, when I moved to South Florida, where I currently reside.

RH: Who were some of the bodybuilders you looked up to as a newbie? Were you a fan of the sport? EB: In the very beginning it was all about Arnold and Lou. I saw the movie “Pumping Iron” long before I started training, and out of everyone in the film, they were the ones who truly grabbed my attention—mostly because of their raw size. However, once I discovered the magazines, I became a huge fan of the sport, and almost every bodybuilder who graced their pages: Rich Gaspari, Mike Christian, Berry DeMey, Albert Beckles, Bob Paris, Matt Mendenhall, Rory Leidelmeyer, Lee Labrada, Lee Haney, Tom Platz, Casey Viator, Samir Bannout. However, nobody influenced me more in the early days than Bertil Fox. To me he was the ultimate. Nobody had more pure size, density and thickness than Bertil. He definitely should have won the 1983 Mr. Olympia. The man was the first true “freak,” in my opinion. I used to watch his video, “Brutal Fox in Training,” before every workout. Too bad he made some stupid decisions later in life and became “brutal” in another way. Sad.

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“As for natural bodybuilders, preparing them for shows today is much different from what it was like just five to 10 years ago. There are so many more effective supplements now.� 130 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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RH: Where did you get your training and nutrition information when you started out? What kind of results did you see with your physique over the first couple of years? EB: When it came to bodybuilding, my brain was like a sponge, and I read everything I could get my hands on that pertained to training or nutrition—Arnold’s Education of a Bodybuilder multiple times. I scoured texts on anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. I also read all the bodybuilding books. In the beginning I didn’t belong to a gym, so I wasn’t able to ask questions of more experienced bodybuilders. I truly became self-taught. I was very analytical about everything. I kept detailed journals of how different training programs and dietary regimens affected my physique, mood, energy levels, etc. I treated bodybuilding like a science very early on. As far as results go, as I mentioned, I weighed a paltry 125 pounds when I started at age 16, and I could barely bench-press a standard Olympic bar with no weight. After my first full year of training I had increased my bodyweight to about 168 pounds and could bench-press about the same. Three years later, after taking in an incredible number of calories, I managed to break the 200-pound bodyweight barrier, which was a magical number to me. A lot of it was bodyfat, however, so I decided to see what was truly underneath and began dieting for my first show. That year I won the Natural Mr. Eastern USA title in the middleweight division. At 5’11 1/2” and 170 pounds I wasn’t very big, but my conditioning and symmetry carried me. Winning that show was one of the most satisfying and memorable moments of my life.

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RH: I understand you’re a lifetime natural bodybuilder. Were you ever offered steroids, and how did you resist the temptation?

Model: Todd Smith

“Our recovery abilities aren’t infinite. Many people still feel that more training is better, and that’s just not the case.”

EB: Yes, I was offered steroids on more than one occasion. Many of my friends and gym mates used them, and in fact, one of my longtime training partners was heavy into steroids. It was very difficult at times to watch others around me make such swift and significant progress while I grew slowly but steadily. Training with a partner on steroids was extremely difficult as well. When he was “on cycle,” he would turn into a literal training machine, and trying to keep up with him would almost kill me. He’d always say, “You have such potential. Just go for it.” At one point I almost gave in. I had him get some “stuff” for me, and when I brought it home, I stared at it for hours upon hours, asking myself if I really wanted to go down that road. I knew that from the very first pill (or injection) I could never call myself natural again. I truly struggled with the decision for weeks before just throwing the stuff away. From day one I decided I wanted to see just how far I could take my body through training, nutrition and natural supplements only, and by taking steroids I’d be completely violating that decision. My feeling has always been that if I took steroids, I’d never be forced to truly learn the most efficient strategies for inducing extreme muscle growth and fat loss, because steroids (and other drugs) make the process so much easier. By never relying on steroids, I’ve become a far more effective teacher, trainer and coach to others. Let me point out that I have nothing against competitive athletes or bodybuilders who use steroids. That’s their decision to make, and I totally respect it.

RH: I feel the same way. You did well as a competitive bodybuilder. Why did you stop competing, and do you ever plan to get back onstage? EB: I did pretty well, yes. I won the natural Mr. Eastern USA title a couple of times and even earned my pro card in a drug-tested organization called the ANPPC, which unfortunately shut down years ago. 6-OXO, the king of natural I’ve competed sporadically since testosterone elevation, has now then, but have been “retired” since shown to be safe and effective after 2000. For theseofpast yearsuse—with I’ve been 8 weeks continuous no negative rebound after othfocusing my energy on helping (SEE CHART.) ers achieve3 week theirwashout! goals, as well as on my writing and business ventures. I’m starting to feel the “fever” to get back onstage again, however, and there’s a good chance I’ll compete again. If I’m able to get the rest of my life organized enough to put 100 percent concentration into contest training and dieting, then I will look to target a show perhaps in the late summer or early fall. I miss being up there in front of an audience, and I’m a competitor at heart.

RH: How did you evolve from simply being a bodybuilder to coaching and training other bodybuilders? EB: After I won my first show, a lot of guys at my gym started coming to me for advice about nutrition, training and especially posing. The latter is something that came very naturally to me. My posing style and stage presence were very similar to that of Bob Paris, Lee Labrada and Shawn Ray—highly artistic. Nobody taught me how to pose. I just picked it up from watching videos and seeing pictures of the pros. At first I would just help the guys out for a few minutes in the locker room—you know, fixing their stances and/or helping with their transitions. However, soon after, I became very much in demand for creating others’Visit posing routines and for more info on 6-OXO andturns other fine products. perfecting their quarter and mandatories. Very quickly that became a small side business for me.

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As time went by, I made personal training my occupation. I had greatly expanded my knowledge base in the areas of nutrition and supplementation and how to implement them for drastic changes in body composition. I entered a contest in 1992 and was absolutely ripped to the bone. I think that was the hardest condition I’ve ever achieved. Well, many other local bodybuilders attended that show and later told me they were in awe of how shredded I was, especially for a drug-free athlete. That’s when I first started getting requests for contest prep coaching. Several of my clients started winning shows, and through word of mouth I kind of became a local contest prep guru. It didn’t take me long to realize that I loved the satisfaction of helping others reach their goals.

RH: I’m sure you’ve coached both natural and drug-using athletes. What are the unique challenges each kind presents?

EB: It’s far easier preparing a drug-using athlete for a show than a natural one. Steroids, GH, clenbuterol, thyroid and so on are very powerful physique-altering compounds, and when a client is using them, positive changes come about so much more easily and efficiently. One of the biggest challenges of preparing a natural athlete for a show is having him or her hold on to muscle tissue while losing bodyfat. That’s rarely the case with an athlete who’s “using.” In fact, many drug-taking bodybuilders I work with actually gain muscle while preparing for a show. Of course, there’s also a flip side when it comes to drugs. First, in today’s climate there are a lot of fake and/or mislabeled steroids out there. A competitor thinking he’s taking one compound could in fact be taking another. It can be a big problem if we’re expecting the results that Anavar tabs bring about, and instead we get Dianabol-like water-weight gain. I need to figure out what’s going on. That takes a lot

of troubleshooting. Also, many steroids contain no active compound at all. That can certainly throw a wrench into things. Another problem with drugs is that they sometimes can make a person lazy. I obviously can’t be with clients 24 hours a day (although I tell them all I can see them wherever they are, ha ha), and some guys (rarely a problem with girls) feel that drugs can make up for a cheat meal here, a lazy set there, or a few missed hours of sleep. Interestingly, in a way, they can. If you want to be the best of the best, however, you can’t have that attitude. If you want 110 percent from me, you must promise to give it back. As for natural bodybuilders, preparing them for shows today is much different from what it was like just five to 10 years ago. There are so many more effective supplements on the market now. Testosterone boosters, estrogen antagonists, specialized fat burners, creatine, cell volumizers,

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Model: Berry Kabov

“In order to reach your full genetic potential, you must present a unique stimulus to your body rather frequently.”

NO2 inducers. Those things most certainly make it a bit easier. Still, it’s truly the training and diet that make or break tested athletes. As a coach, you must be very careful to balance everything so that you avoid overtraining and underrecovering. Between intense training, low calories, cardio and posing, it’s very easy to shut down the metabolism and/or begin to eat up lean tissue. That’s why I’m extremely precise about everything that I do with natural bodybuilders. I make changes very gradually and observe results carefully. I’m meticulous about every aspect of contest preparation, right down to every morsel

of food, moment of rest and time spent in the gym. Basically, I prepare all of my athletes, drug using or natural, just as carefully and meticulously. The difference is that pharmaceuticals make the process quicker and more efficient, without a doubt. But my goal is to attempt to prepare natural athletes so well that they look like they must be “on something.”

RH: That’s a lofty standard, I must say. You have also done some strength coaching. Which types of athletes have

you worked with, and how is that approach different from the training that bodybuilders do? EB: I’ve worked with football, tennis, baseball, golf, soccer and basketball players, as well as wrestlers. The approach I take with athletes is definitely different from what it is with bodybuilders. With athletes you’re not just worried about muscle mass and specific bodyfat levels but about speed, stamina, balance, flexibility, muscular endurance and agility. You must study the dynamics of each sport—and in some cases the specific position an athlete may

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Comstock \ Model: Melvin Anthony


“While it’s cool to watch a client get big and strong, it’s no comparison to creating and viewing a living piece of art, which is what I consider a contest-ready physique to be.”

play—and gear the program toward exactly what improvements need to be made. You also have to look at which muscles are used the most and in what respect. Some athletes need explosive leg power, like a defensive lineman. Other athletes need side-toside agility and tremendous balance, like a soccer player, for example. Baseball players need to improve bat speed and throwing strength.

RH: Where did you get the handle BodyFX2, and what does it mean? EB: Actually, Body FX is the name I gave my first personal-training busi-

ness and then later was the name of the gym that I owned on Long Island. I used to have a saying on my business cards and in advertisements: “Exercise has wonderful FX on your body.” I always thought that had a nice ring to it. The Body FX Personal Training sign that hung above my gym was truly the coolest-looking sign of any business in my area. I designed it myself and had it custom-made to almost look like graffiti of sorts. When I sold the business, my parents wanted the sign for themselves as a memento, and so they have this huge Body FX sign sitting in their backyard. While you know me as bodyfx2

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BodyFX2 on the discussion board, I have several other handles that I go by on the Net—“The One,” “Gopro” and “Sixthsense.” Each of them has a meaning to me, and besides, I get bored just having one name.

“I began to realize that getting bigger wasn’t simply a function of adding weight to the bar or gettting another rep with the same weight.”

Model: Derik Farnsworth

RH: What are some of the most common mistakes you see bodybuilders making in their quest to improve their physiques? EB: How much space do we have? I must admit that I spend most of my time between sets of my own workouts watching others train. Unfortunately, what I observe for the most part is very poor form. I see a lot of heaving, throwing, bouncing and cheating, all obviously in an effort to simply move more weight. That’s such a costly mistake to make, as it truly robs your muscles of the stimulation that they should be receiving from a given exercise. In addition, poor form is bound to cause an injury at some point. It may not occur immediately, but over time the damage will rear its ugly head. Another mistake that I know so many are making is overtraining. Yes, it’s a very real condition, and it’s probably robbing people of more precious muscle than anything else. Our recovery abilities aren’t infinite. Many people still feel that more is better, and that’s just not the case. We’re in the gym to stimulate our body’s anabolic machinery, setting in motion the processes necessary to induce our body to add more muscle tissue. That takes proper high-intensity training, not large volume and duration. I’m not suggesting a Mentzer-esque one-set-to-failure-per-bodypart routine, but if you can’t tackle a large muscle group in eight to 10 sets and a smaller muscle in six or seven, you’re doing something wrong. My favorite way to explain it is this: Every time we work out, it’s like digging a large hole. That hole represents a loss in muscle. When we’re not in the gym, we need to recover through rest and precise

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nutrition and supplementation. Recovery enables us to fill the hole with dirt. If filling the hole is all we do, we remain in homeostasis, which means taking one step back and one step forward—no new muscle. As bodybuilders, however, our goal is overcompensation, which is like filling the hole and piling more dirt, or muscle, on top. If you overtrain and outrun your recovery ability, you will at best remain the same, or in some cases, regress. If you work just hard enough to stimulate the growth process so that you can recover successfully, with some extra physiological energy left over, your body will then have the ability to construct new muscle tissue. Finally, another huge mistake that many trainees make is to do the same things in the gym for months, even years, on end—the same exercises, sets, reps, tempos, bodypart splits, training techniques and so on. That’s an almost certain route to failure, as the body is way too smart for that. As a beginner, all you really need to do to simulate growth is progressively overload your muscles. After a period of time, however, that no longer works for two reasons: 1) You can’t continue to get stronger forever, and 2) the muscles and central nervous system will go stale and no longer respond the way they once did to the same basic training program. In order to reach your full genetic potential, you must present a unique stimulus to your body rather frequently by using different training techniques and methodologies. That lets you approach the muscle-building equation from every physiological angle, which in turn will give you the best opportunity to make positive changes to your physique.

RH: Very well put. When you work with people, do you handle all aspects of their bodybuilding— training, diet, supplements and rest? EB: That varies from person to person. Yes, most of my clients

work with me on all aspects of their bodybuilding. Some, though, only wish to have me assist them with training and rest or diet and supplementation. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to tell me that they truly feel they’ve found a training or diet regimen that works extremely well for them, and that they just need me to help with a specific aspect of their overall program. If that’s the case, I have no problem with it. My goal is to simply help all clients be their best and reach their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get them there.

RH: What gives you more satisfaction, helping an off-season bodybuilder achieve new gains in size and strength or helping a precontest bodybuilder get in the best shape of his or her life? EB: That’s a tough call, but if I had to pick, I would have to say helping a precontest bodybuilder get in the best shape of his or her life is more satisfying. I feel this way for two reasons: 1) As a coach, I like a challenge, and there are few things more challenging than peaking a bodybuilder, fitness or figure competitor for a show. Those who don’t compete have no clue just how much goes into reaching that final “product” that people see onstage. It’s a complex and very meticulous process when done right. 2) While it’s cool to watch a client get big and strong, it’s no comparison to creating and viewing a living piece of art, which is what I consider a contest-ready physique to be. What a great feeling it is for me on contest day as I watch my client onstage, showing off all of the hard work he or she put in under my guidance.

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Models: Don Frye and Ken Yasuda


RH: I dare-say you’re best known for developing your own training system, Power/Rep Range/Shock. First, what made you come up with it, or should I say, how does it address a fundamental problem that keeps bodybuilders from making the gains they are capable of? EB: I came up with the basic premise behind P/RR/S training because I’d reached a plateau in development, even though I hadn’t reached one in strength. I found myself pushing harder and harder in the gym, but I was getting a diminishing return on my efforts. At the time I was only about 30 years old, and although I’d already been training for 14 years, I didn’t believe that I’d reached my genetic potential. I took a long, hard look at everything I was doing—my nutritional regimen, supplementation program, rest and sleep patterns and, of course, my training journals. I was confident that my diet was sound, my supplements were solid and I was ensur-

ing recovery by getting ample rest and sleep. I felt that it had to be my training that was holding me back from further gains in size. One of the things that I noticed in looking over my journals was that my training had remained rather static over the years. Sure, I’d change some exercises now and again, switch up my bodypart splits, or increase or decrease volume, but overall my program hadn’t changed dramatically since I’d started working out. That led me to begin experimenting with new and unique training methods and protocols in an organized manner, in order to see what effects they would have on my physique. I did the same with many of my intermediate and advanced clients, which made my gym somewhat of a laboratory. It didn’t take me long to notice a pattern developing. My clients and I began to show dramatic and rapid gains in size by making very frequent changes in our training programs. I began to realize that getting bigger wasn’t simply a function of adding weight to the bar or getting another rep with the same weight. While progressive overload is something that works very well in

the beginning stages of training, the body needs to be presented with more than just increased poundage as one continues on with training. The human body is an adaptive machine. So if you don’t force your muscles and CNS to deal with unique stressors rather frequently, then you’re bound to stagnate. P/RR/S was designed not to let that happen.

RH: Obviously it takes a full article to explain P/RR/S, but could you summarize the basic principles very briefly? EB: Sure. It’s a cyclical approach to working out that has you using a different training methodology each week, with the various protocols collectively tapping into all of the body’s mechanisms for growth. As I’ve mentioned, onedimensional training programs eventually lead to diminishing returns and finally stagnation. With P/RR/S the idea is to keep the body from ever completely adapting to your training so that it is instead forced to keep up

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with the constantly progressive and novel demands that you continue to place upon it—and by keep up, I mean that the body will greatly and consistently increase the size of its muscles in order to survive. You must remember that the muscles become larger through pathways other than simple hypertrophy of type 2 muscle fibers. The principle behind P/RR/S training is to induce hypertrophy in all muscle fibers along the continuum, from the fastest of the fast to the slowest of the slow. That helps ensure complete development. In addition, by using training techniques such as superheavy training, medium- and high-rep training, stretch overload, supersets, drop sets, lifting tempo

changes, rest-period changes, stage reps, 1 1/2 reps, X Reps and so on, all in controlled cycles, you successfully induce myriad physiological adaptations, all of which contribute to your getting bigger. I’m speaking of things like increases in mitochondrial enzymes, increases in stored ATP, creatine, glycogen and triglycerides, as well as the laying down of additional capillary beds—perhaps even hyperplasia. Each of the different training weeks in the P/RR/S program will also affect the release of all of the body’s various anabolic hormones, like testosterone, GH and IGF-1, giving you the ability to take advantage of the unique properties of each.

RH: Have you successfully used Power/Rep Range/Shock yourself? What types of gains have you made, and what are some notable examples of gains your clients have made using it? EB: I’ve used it successfully for the past six years. When I first started putting the P/RR/S program together, I’d reached a plateau in size. I weighed about 235 pounds at the time, but I’d been stuck at that weight for quite a while. I could see I was just not gaining any more muscle. The first year that

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Model: Peter Putnam

“The idea is to keep the body from ever completely adapting to your training.”


I began using P/RR/S, I shot up to 251 pounds and was a bit harder. A 16-pound increase in a year’s time might not sound like much to some, but when you’ve been training for 14 years, and especially being natural, that’s a major, major gain. I eventually reached a bodyweight of 273 while using P/RR/S, although now I stay at 240 to 245 pounds, as I prefer to remain leaner. Over the past few years I’ve been more focused on business than training, but I still used the P/RR/S methodology throughout that time. The amazing thing is that I’ve continued to gain quality muscle even though my commitment to bodybuilding has been less than 100 percent. As I am planning on ending my competitive retirement, I’m excited to see what P/RR/S will do for me at full intensity. I’m betting that I’ll be holding about 25 more solid pounds of muscle onstage this

year than I ever have before—and with better shape, hardness, density and detail. As for my clients, they’ve all made remarkable progress with P/RR/S. Many have broken size and strength plateaus they’d been sitting at for years. One of my clients recently told me that after just two months of using P/RR/S, he had gained more muscle than in the previous two years. I regularly have clients gain five to 10 pounds of muscle in three three-week cycles using the method while making no other changes to their program. Some of the best progress I’ve ever seen was with a training partner whom I helped prepare for a natural show several years ago. He’d just competed at the very bottom of the middleweight class, at just 160 pounds, in reasonable condition. He had a nice structure but was severely lacking in chest and biceps

thickness, as well as overall density. He asked if he could train with me in hopes that he could compete in the same show the following year, much bigger and better. I told him that I’d be happy to train with him but that he had to follow my unique training program, no questions asked. He agreed. The next year, at the same show, he weighed in at the top of the middleweight class, which was 174 for this organization, and had brought up his chest and bi’s to match the rest of his physique. He was also far harder and grainier, and by the night show was carbed up to about 179 pounds. The promoter of the show accused him of taking steroids, but he passed his polygraph and had to take a urine test because he won the whole damn show. Oh, and he passed that too. I would venture to guess that he added about 20 pounds of pure, natural muscle that year. (continued on page 148)

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RH: That’s seriously impressive. I also understand that you’ve recently written a book with Author L. Rea. How did that come about? Can you tell me a little about the book? EB: The name of the book is Building the Perfect Beast Naturally, and I’m very excited about the project. Author came to me in the beginning of 2006 and asked me if I’d be interested in contributing to a book he was writing that was about halfway done. He warned me that the deadline was only about 60 days away and that he needed about 100 pages of material from me. Although I knew the only way I could do that was to basically give up sleep for two months, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to work on such

a project with Author. I have a world of respect for ALR and all he’s contributed to our industry, so to be asked by him to help write this book was just a mind-blowing honor for me. It’s going to be one of the most complete manuals on training, diet and supplementation ever produced. It’s filled to the brim with cutting-edge information on how to truly maximize your genetic potential for size, strength and pure muscularity. The text is definitely serious reading for serious bodybuilders. And I feel it’s just as valuable to “enhanced” athletes as it is to natural ones. If you really want to be a beast, buy this book. [Laughs]

RH: With all of this going on, are you still available for personal consultations?

EB: Yes, I am. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping others reach their goals, so I keep a limited number of online and one-on-one clients at all times. I actually wish I had time to take on even more personal clients, but I don’t allow myself to go beyond a certain number because I like to give each person the time and attention that they need and deserve. Everything I do with my clientele is very personalized—there is nothing “cookie cutter” about my programs. Each person is different, with unique needs and circumstances, and I take a lot of time considering that when I develop a physicaltransformation strategy. It’s funny: I believe that I’m actually more concerned about the progress of my clients than with my own progress. Anyone who wants to learn more about my services can check out my Web site.

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Model: Mike Morris

“Muscles become larger through pathways other than simple hypertrophy of type 2 muscle fibers.”


RH: Finally, with steroids and pro-hormones all being demonized and much harder to obtain than in previous years, do you see bodybuilders starting to look more to their training and nutrition to make gains rather than depending so much on chemical assistance? EB: I certainly hope so. This is always where the focus should be, but unfortunately, it’s most often not the case. I get so frustrated when I see the supplement forums on discussion boards busier than the training forums. Let’s put it this way: Incredible physiques can be built with a solid training program and a good diet, without any supplements at all; however, you can take all of the

Model: Lee Priest

“There’s no magic pill. Building a strong, muscular body is a process that takes time.” most powerful steroids, GH, insulin and IGF-1, but if you don’t train, you’ll get absolutely nowhere. I recently visited a Web site that had pictures of the earliest of bodybuilders. The true pioneers. I’m talking about guys from the 1930s and ’40s. Some of them had physiques that would blow away half of the steroid-taking bodybuilders you see in most gyms today. And these guys not only didn’t have steroids and pro-hormones, but they were building great physiques before things like protein powder, glutamine, creatine, fat burners and even liver tabs. The point I’m trying to get across here is that people mustn’t forget that the true cornerstone of building a massive physique lies in dedication to a properly designed training program and an intelligent approach to diet. Food is the most anabolic substance on earth. Training is what sets in motion all

of the physiological mechanisms that allow us to build new muscle tissue. Training + Food + Rest = Growth. Supplements can hasten the process but should be the last consideration. There’s no magic pill. Building a strong, muscular body is a process that takes time. If you focus your energy on training and eating correctly from the start rather than worrying about the next must-have supplement, you can continue to improve your body throughout your lifetime. That is what it is all about. Note: For an analysis of P/RR/ S training, see page 60. Editor’s note: Learn more about Power/Rep Range/Shock training at www. PRRSTraining. Eric Broser. com. IM

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge

Intermediate Q&A Q: I have a few questions. I’m in the military, so steroids aren’t really an issue for me. I’ve been training for about 1 1/2 years. I absolutely love being in the gym. How long should my workouts be, and how many sets per bodypart should I be doing, since I don’t have the advantage of steroids for recovery? I currently follow a two-on/one-off schedule that rotates the days from week to week. That’s something fairly new that I’ve tried in the past month or so and seems to be working. The problem is, I feel that if I don’t push myself hard in every workout, I’m not doing anything. I know it’s probably really naive, but I just love the feeling of moving iron. My second question has two parts. First, should I bulk up and then get cut, or is it possible to do both? Also, I hate to say it, but I have a gut that I’ve never been able to get rid of. I’m currently 6’1”, 226, but my waist is probably around 39 inches right now. The good thing is that I’ve put on size in the past year without really adding too much fat. Should I try and cut the bodyfat down and then try to bulk? I’m currently not doing any cardio but plan on starting tomorrow morning. My goal is to be a hard 230, not a soft one. A: I think the two-days-on/one-day-off routine is ideal for you with a year and a half of training experience. You certainly don’t need any steroids to help you with recuperation if you structure your training routine to allow for

enough rest between workouts. I’m not sure how you’re splitting up your workouts, but at your stage you can divide your body over three or four days. Here are some examples of a three-day split: Day 1: Chest, back Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Delts, arms Day 1 (push): Chest, delts, triceps Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3 (pull): Back, biceps Day 1: Chest, arms Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Delts, back On a four-day split you don’t train as many muscle groups in one workout, so you can focus on the bodyparts a little more. Here are some examples of how you could divide your workouts: Day 1: Chest, triceps Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Rest Day 4: Delts, calves Day 5: Back, biceps Day 1: Chest, delts Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Rest Day 4: Back, calves Day 5: Arms Day 1: Chest, back Day 2: Arms Day 3: Rest Day 4: Legs, abs Day 5: Delts, calves


If you’re using the best exercises for building mass, you won’t need to do that many sets to get the job done.

Since you’re at the intermediate stage of training, I recommend that you use a three-day split. You can still train two days on/one off, and stick to the schedule by taking a day off every third day. As for the number of sets for each muscle group, it all depends on the size of the bodypart. Muscles such as the legs, back and chest are larger and need more sets than smaller muscles such as the calves, abs and biceps. You should choose mostly basic exercises. They’ll add the most size because they’ll enable you to blast the muscle fibers with maximum resistance while using multiple muscle groups to complete each exercise. If you’re using the best exercises for building mass, you won’t need to do that many sets to get the job done. Let’s take the back as an example. The back is a large muscle group, and it requires several exercises to train all areas. You need an exercise to build the width of the upper back, another exercise for the thickness of the middle back, another movement to build up (continued the lower lats and a102) final on page exercise to develop the muscles of the lower back. If you did three sets of wide-grip chins for width, four sets of barbell rows for thickness, three sets of close-grip pulldowns for the lower lats and three sets of deadlifts for the lower back, you’d be performing 13 sets for back.

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge

Q: Can you please give me an effective superset workout for biceps and triceps? A: Supersetting the arms is a great way to get an awesome pump while still using heavy resistance. It was a favorite training technique of many champion bodybuild-

Supersetting biceps and triceps exercises is a great way to get an awesome pump while still using heavy resistance.

Neveux \ Model: Jose Raymond

ers who were known for their outstanding arm development, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kal Szkalak, Robby Robinson and Lee Priest. When I superset my arms, I like to begin with exercises that gradually warm up the joints and tendons. That usually involves a cable exercise for the triceps and a dumbbell exercise for the biceps. After that I move on to the mass-building exercises—barbell movements performed with heavy resistance. The final superset consists of shaping exercises that take advantage of the superior pump I’m now feeling. I still use heavy resistance for the final superset, but my emphasis is on the pump instead of the poundage. Here’s one of my favorite superset routine for the arms:

Superset 1 Pushdowns Incline curls

3 x 12, 10, 8 3 x 12, 10, 8

Superset 2 Lying triceps extensions Barbell curls Superset 3 Dips Hammer curls

3 x 8, 6, 6 3 x 8, 6, 6

2-3 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10

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, and new training DVD, “Real Muscle,” are now available from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or www .Home-Gymcom. IM Neveux

That’s a moderate number of sets, and by choosing the correct exercises for each area, you avoid doing too much work and becoming overtrained. You mentioned that sometimes you feel you don’t push yourself hard enough. The key to training with enough intensity is to constantly monitor each workout and use progressive resistance. If you used 170 pounds for two heavy sets of six reps on barbell rows during your last back workout, attempt to do at least eight reps for two sets with the same weight on your next workout. By increasing either the resistance or the reps at each workout, you’ll make progress in both size and strength over time. As for bulking up, I wouldn’t recommend it in this case. Since you are concerned about your waist size, eating more food and putting on more weight (fat) would be the wrong move. Instead, eat good-quality food that will add more muscle size without adding more bodyfat. Strive to eat six meals a day that will feed your muscles the nutrients they need to grow while also stimulating your metabolism. That will help you get leaner. Make sure that each of your meals contains some type of lean protein, such as egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish or red meat. You can also substitute a protein drink for whole food if you can’t afford the time to sit down and eat a meal. At almost 230 pounds, you should try to eat 300 to 320 grams of protein a day. That comes out to a little more than 1.25 grams of protein for each pound of bodyweight. In addition to the protein, you should eat complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and vegetables. If you eat a complex carb like oatmeal, sweet potatoes or rice with three of your six meals, you should be able to keep your carbohydrate intake at around 250 grams per day. Moderate carb intake will help gradually decrease your bodyfat while still enabling you to add more muscle size—providing your workouts are intense enough. As far as cardio is concerned, you could gradually introduce it into your workouts, but I think you should make the changes to your diet before you go crazy with it. Keep your carbohydrate intake moderate and your protein intake moderately high while eating at least six times a day. Use progressive resistance at each workout, and continue to train two days on/one off to allow for proper recuperation. Following all of those rules will develop your physique into the 230-pound lean machine that you’re hoping for.

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John Hansen

Happy Anniversary Celebrates Its 70th Year It’s hard to believe, but IRON MAN magazine has been around for seven decades. That’s 70 years, 30 short of a century. It was born in 1936, when Peary Rader began mimeographing his newsletter of bodybuilding and lifting information in Alliance, Nebraska, and distributing it to a few interested folks. It had very few pages and no color, but Rader’s newsletter evolved into a respected pocket-size magazine that was published every other month from the early ’40s on and was eventually wrapped in a full-color cover. The inside of the magazine, however, didn’t get colorized until John Balik and Michael Neveux purchased it from Peary and his 1936 - Volume 1, Number 1 wife, Mabel, in 1986, exactly 50 years after the first issue. Balik and Neveux upscaled the look and size and turned it into a full-color, monthly publication. Today IRON MAN is international, with editions produced in Germany, Russia, Italy, Australia, Korea and Japan. We’re proud that this legendary magazine is still going strong and carrying on Peary and Mabel’s legacy. As you’ll see in the following cover retrospective, which includes many classics from the Raders’ era, that legacy is rich in bodybuilding history and phenomenal physiques. Happy 70th anniversary, IRON MAN!

—the Editors 158 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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1942 - John Grimek \ NOVEMBER 2006 159

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70th Anniversary

1939 - Eugene Sandow

1940 - John Grimek

1950 - Reg Park

1949 - Steve Reeves 160 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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1968 - Bill Pearl \ NOVEMBER 2006 161

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70th Anniversary

1975 - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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70th Anniversary

1978 - Frank Zane

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1980 - Chris Dickerson \ NOVEMBER 2006 167

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70th Anniversary

1981 - Mike Mentzer

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70th Anniversary

1987- Lee Haney

1988 - Arnold

Monster Might Program • Jose Raymond’s Arm Assault


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10 Powerful Steps

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Powerful Steps to Reaching Your

Bodybuilding by Skip La Cour, Five-Time Team Universe Champion Photography by Michael Neveux


Model: Skip La Cour


hether you’re embarking on a new training program, getting back on track after time away from the gym or taking your already-established efforts to the next level, it’s important to follow a plan that sets you up for success. Here are 10 tips that will help you achieve the results you’re after, enjoy the experience along the way and incorporate your training program into a healthful lifestyle for many (continued on page 186) years to come. \ NOVEMBER 2006 183

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1) Know exactly what you want to gain from your training efforts. Make sure that you create a longterm vision for what you want to achieve and set the time frame in which you expect to achieve it. With a clearly defined objective and deadline in mind, you’ll be less likely to stumble with your program.

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2) Focus on executing your daily tasks. After establishing your longterm vision, you need to execute specific daily tasks on a consistent basis. Start by determining what you already know you need to do to succeed. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too much too soon. Take one day at a time and focus on making each day productive.

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3) Give your training routine the time it needs to produce results. Stick with a workout plan long enough to see results. Often, results don’t come as quickly as we’d like, which is why it’s so important to be patient. You must give the program a chance to take hold and begin working. Don’t make the same mistake many people do and bounce from one program to another without giving any one of them a concerted effort first. Generally, a three-month period is long enough to properly evaluate a program’s effectiveness. If you come across a different but interesting routine before you’ve completed three months on your current program, do yourself a favor and refrain from using it until later.

Model: Mike Semanoff

10 Powerful Steps

Generally, a three-month period is long enough to properly evaluate a program’s effectiveness. 190 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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4) Give your nutritional program enough time for you to properly determine its effectiveness. The way you eat will have a tremendous effect on your results. Just as you should stick with your training program, you must also follow your nutritional plan for a long enough period of time to see the results it will yield. A couple of months of dedicated adherence should be long enough to assess the eating plan’s effectiveness.

5) Break your strict, healthful eating habits into blocks of time. Consider giving yourself one day each week to enjoy whatever you’d like. If you’re determined to reach your goals sooner rather than later, you can limit your splurging to only one enjoyable, not-so-healthful meal on a specific day. The point is that you shouldn’t try to go on an endless marathon when dieting. Breaking your strict eating days into blocks of time will create a series of “sprints” that you may find more effective. You’ll discover that it’s much easier to maintain your desire and ability to stay on your structured eating program.

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Model: Skip La Cour

6) Schedule enough time out of the gym. More time spent in the gym is not necessarily better when it comes to training. You shouldn’t be afraid to spend at least two days a week out of the gym. You’ll also need to take a week off from training every seven to 10 weeks. The layoff will enable your body to rest and recuperate adequately. When you return to the gym after those breaks, you’ll be fortified with renewed physical intensity and mental energy.

Take a week off from training every seven to 10 weeks.

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7) Be careful of the company you keep when you’re striving to reach your training and eating goals. Surround yourself with people who have similar ambitious goals. Others can easily influence your everyday decisions and your overall attitude. It’s important that those you are around most frequently appreciate your dedication to achieving your goals. Don’t permit yourself to lose focus just because others don’t live your healthful lifestyle. Find a group of people who do, and spend the majority of your time with them rather than those who may discourage you. 204 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Models: Clark Bartram and Michael O’Hearn

It’s important that those you are around most frequently appreciate your dedication to achieving your goals.

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Model: Joey Gloor

8) Realize that you’ll get measurable results even if your program isn’t perfect. When it comes to training and eating, don’t be too concerned with finding the perfect strategy right away. Yes, you should strive for effectiveness and efficiency, but don’t get too frustrated if you aren’t 100 percent perfect. Build confidence with what you’re doing now, and then make intelligent adjustments based on practical experience rather than on assumptions.

Model: Lee Apperson and Lee Apperson Jr.

10 Powerful Steps

9) Seek guidance from those who are more knowledgeable or more motivated than you are. Consider investing in a personal trainer and/or a nutritional adviser. An accomplished gym partner can be a great mentor, and those people will probably have much more knowledge than you and help you achieve your goals more effectively than if you go at it alone. Working with a trainer can be a smart alternative to the often-frustrating process of trial and error. \ NOVEMBER 2006 207

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Does it seem you’re never quite satisfied with your health and fitness endeavors? That’s just the winner inside you asking for more.

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Model: Will Harris

10) Manage your angst. Does it seem you’re never quite satisfied with your health and fitness endeavors? Join the club! That’s just the winner inside you asking for more. It’s a great quality to possess—but only if you manage your emotions and prevent yourself from becoming frustrated or overwhelmed. Everyone, no matter how great the look or how high the accomplishment in the gym, constantly demands more from inside. Realize that that’s a normal part of the process, and don’t get overly concerned when uncomfortable feelings seem to overtake your thoughts. In the long run, the well-managed angst that you have inside will only make you better than you are today.

10 Powerful Steps

Model: Skip La Cour

You must take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success.

It’s a real tragedy when a person who’s “winning” at his or her bodybuilding efforts mistakenly feels like a loser. To prevent that from happening, find effective ways to monitor your efforts. Taking the time to assess your training and eating habits on a weekly basis can help you maintain the right perspective. More often than not, you’ll realize that you’re doing much better than you thought you were. Unfortunately, desire alone won’t always help you actualize your bodybuilding goals. You must take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. Your enthusiasm for

improving your training program and eating habits combined with an intelligent approach will construct a strong foundation for long-term success. Editor’s note: Visit Skip La Cour’s Web site at www.SkipLaCour .com. Take your physique to the next level by ordering his new DVD “Packing On Muscle! Max-OT Style.” The two-disc, four-hour training, instructional and motivational DVD includes a complete week of training (explained in great detail and jam-packed with perceptive insights), exercises not included in the training week,

instruction and video footage of cardiovascular training, inspirational training segments, tips for taking your physique to the next level, contest footage and a one-hour nutrition seminar. If you want to pack on slabs of muscle in the shortest time, this DVD is for you. It’s only $49.99 (plus $8.50 for shipping and handling; international orders add $17.50 for shipping and handling). Order online at www.SkipLaCour .com. For credit card orders call (800) 655-0986. Or send check or money order to Skip La Cour, 712 Bancroft Road, #259, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. IM

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212 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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He Heavy

Duty More Intense Q & As • by John Little •

methodically and predictably—even to the point of achieving your goal on a Q: I know I’m carrying more fat predetermined date. As Mike Mentzer than I should around my midsection. explained, the process begins by However, whenever I cut calories, I establishing your present maintenance always lose size in my arms, which level of calories. There are several scares the hell out of me! I don’t ways to do this. At my fitness center, want all of the hard work I’ve done Nautilus North, we use a Bod-Pod bodyto build up my muscles over years to composition-testing machine, which disappear just because I want to lose provides a printout of an individual’s RMR a few pounds of fat. How can I lose (resting metabolic rate) based on height, fat and not lose muscle at the same weight, age, gender, body composition time? and predicted lung volume. We then factor in voluntary activity levels to raise A: You can reduce bodyfat safely the number by various percentages. Mike (without losing muscle), simply, used an even simpler method:

Balik \ Model: Mike Mentzer

Losing Fat—Not Muscle \ NOVEMBER 2006 213

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Heavy Duty “Simply keep a five-day food diary wherein you record everything you eat, including the quantity, for that period. At the end of each day sit down with a good caloriecounting book and tally the total calories for that day. On the fifth day take the five daily totals, add them up for a grand total, divide by five, and you’ll have your daily average calorie intake. If you didn’t gain or lose weight over that five-day period, your daily average calorie intake will also represent your daily maintenance level of calories. “To lose bodyfat once you’ve established that level, reduce your food intake so that you’re 500 calories below maintenance. Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, a 500-calorie daily deficit will lead invariably to a loss of one pound of fat a week. Over a period of time, as you continue to lose weight, your maintenance level of calories will go down, and weight loss will slow down or come to a halt. When that happens, reduce your calories another 500 or so, and the fat loss will proceed.” To answer your dilemma directly, however, there’s another variable to address: the intensity of your workouts. Your body won’t expend energy on building or preserving tissue that it doesn’t think it needs. If you’re training at 90 percent of a muscle’s potential, then you might well lose 10 percent of its size, whereas if you train at 100 percent of its capacity, the body will have no reason to reduce its size. Much as a bigger room requires more energy to heat than a smaller room does, a bigger muscle requires more energy—that is, calories—to maintain than does a smaller muscle. As energy is a precious resource, your body won’t squander it recklessly to preserve a bigger muscle than it perceives to be necessary for survival. That’s one reason light weights, mild effort and easy workouts do not produce muscle growth and can in fact result in loss of muscle tissue. I recall that Mike once had a phone consultation client lose exactly 12 pounds in 12 weeks. Did he lose any muscle? Let’s hear from Mike: “Considering that his strength

skyrocketed during that period, not to mention that he gained one-half inch on his arms, it’s safe to conclude that he didn’t lose any muscle. Monitoring strength levels during periods of weight loss is almost a surefire method for determining whether or not one is losing muscle. One cannot lose muscle if he is growing stronger during a weight-loss program. I emphasize that because clients complain that they’re losing muscle while following the training and nutritional program (involving a calorie-deficit diet) I put them on. In every case, when I ask if they’re still gaining in strength, they say they are, whereupon I explain that they can’t be losing the contractile

protein element in the muscle if they’re gaining strength while losing weight. What they perceive as muscle loss is actually water loss. “You see, after several days of calorie-deficit dieting, the muscles lose all or some of their stored glycogen. It just so happens that glycogen chemically bonds with and holds water in the muscle, with three grams of water bonded to each gram of glycogen. Since the glycogen isn’t fully restored during periods of heavy training and calorie-deficit dieting, the water isn’t replaced, and the muscle dehydrates somewhat, causing it to lose fluid pressure and to feel flaccid; i.e., softer and smaller. And remember, muscle is not mostly

If you’re training at 90 percent of a muscle’s potential, then you might as well lose 10 percent of its size.

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GNC Pro Performance


protein but water—72 percent, in fact. So, although muscle is mostly water, it can lose a lot of its stored water and, thus, appear smaller. The important thing, of course, is that you don’t lose the contractile protein element of the muscle, as it can be readily rehydrated by increasing calories—primarily from carbohydrates—above maintenance level. “The first symptom indicating protein loss is a significant reduction in strength, or functional capacity. A slight reduction in functional capacity, such as being able to perform one or two fewer reps, in a given workout may not be cause for concern, as it could be from greater glycogen depletion that day. A significant reduction in functional capacity over a period of time, however, and you almost certainly are losing protein from the muscle. When that happens, there will also be a dramatic increase in the rate of weight loss, for whereas a pound of fat contains

3,500 calories, a pound of muscle contains only about 600 calories. The point here is that you must burn, or use, approximately six times as much muscle to obtain the same energy yield you’d get from burning one pound of fat. People who overtrain and overdiet—and thus lose muscle—often report as much as six to 10 pounds of weight loss a week! “With a modest deficit of 500 to 750 calories, you’ll sufficiently starve the adiposity and lose fat on a continual basis yet obtain sufficient nutrients to feed the lean mass so that you grow stronger and larger.” It doesn’t matter whether you reduce carbs or fats, so long as you reduce calories to below maintenance level. While all weight-loss diets are calorie-deficit diets, the best reduce total calories while roughly conforming to a diet composition of 60 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 15 percent fats, as the world’s top nutritional scientists agree.

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Heavy Duty

Stimulus Addicts Q: I love the feel of working out: the soreness, the pump, etc. I don’t understand why, if workouts produce such great effects such as more muscle—and I like working out so much—I shouldn’t do it every day. A: You must understand that the workout doesn’t actually produce muscular growth. The workout is merely a trigger that sets the body’s growth mechanism into motion. The body produces growth but only during a sufficient rest period. Mike explained it more clearly: “Perhaps you have heard of

the concept S-R, or stimulusresponse. It is used in a variety of contexts and has application in bodybuilding. The workout is merely a stimulus that causes a response in the body that consists of two aspects—recovery and growth production. Of crucial importance here is that the recovery response itself may take

Neveux \ Model: Todd Smith

More Intense Q & As

If you train before your body completes the growth process, it will be shortcircuited. up to several days or longer to be completed. Only once the recovery process has been completed does the growth production process begin. If you stimulate your body again with another workout before it has a chance to respond with recovery and growth, you shortcircuit the response process before it’s completed, compromising results short of 100 possible units. “That’s what the vast majority of bodybuilders do: Hyper-obsessed with chronically overstimulating the body, they never give it a sufficient rest period to fully respond to the stimulus. In short, they’re ‘stimulus freaks,’ moved by some notion that the more often they’re in the gym working out, the more they must be doing something for themselves. What they don’t understand is that they should be in the gym only long and often enough to trigger a recovery-growth response, not to satisfy a mindless addiction to training. A successful bodybuilder is aware that the rest period between workouts is just as important as the workout, for that’s when the most important thing of all has a chance

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to happen—namely, the completion of growth, which is what prompted him to work out in the first place.” If you accept the premise that the rest period between workouts is just as important as the workout itself, it follows logically that there has to be a perfect, or optimum, number of days of rest. During the studies we’ve conducted at our facility in Bracebridge, Ontario, coupled with dialogues with personal trainers who have a very large client base and what Mike discovered during his well-documented years as a trainer, we’ve found that oncea-week workouts are just about perfect for the average trainee. If that frequency seems hard to wrap your mind around, then simply go by your progress. Start out with a once-every-four-days frequency. Once progress, or strength increases, cease, you’ll find that the only way to get them to return will be by inserting additional rest and recovery days into your schedule. At that point you’ll be training just once every seven days. Mike covered that issue years ago: “One workout every four to seven days is miraculous compared to any other protocol. Four to seven days—and longer in some cases—is how long it takes the body to fully complete the recovery-growth process. “To quell any fear about the progressive reduction of training frequency, consider this: An individual making progress training once every fourth day—whose body is overcompensating, or growing stronger and larger—can’t lose anything by taking a further day or two of rest. If his body is still overcompensating on day four, how is it that he’d suddenly decompensate on day five or six? While there’s no risk of a negative, no threat of a loss, by inserting an extra day or two of rest, the extra rest day(s) give you that much greater certainty that enough time has elapsed between workouts for the body to complete both recovery and growth processes. The implication here is that if you train again before your body completes the growth process, it will be shortcircuited, and you’ll realize less than 100 units of possible progress.”

For the individual training once every seven days, Mike suggested a reduction in the volume of training as outlined in his books The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer and High Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way (McGraw-Hill). The reduction in volume ensures that you’re training with maximum intensity (a requisite for continued growth stimulation) and that your workouts aren’t so long that you recklessly squander energy that could be used during the growth stage—rather than merely prolonging the recovery period. Reduced volume will necessitate switching from the ideal routine suggested in Mike’s books to his consolidation routine: “With a consolidation routine there’s a decided shift in emphasis to predominately compound exercises; i.e., ones that involve multiple muscle groups, such as squats, dips and deadlifts. A workout program consisting of compound exercises still works all of the major muscle groups but with fewer total sets, making for a minimal inroad into recovery ability.” (Ideally, growth would be

stimulated with zero sets; then none of the body’s limited recovery ability would be used for recovery. It would all be used for growth production, and you’d grow so fast as to stagger the imagination. At this juncture, however, no one knows how to stimulate growth with zero sets.) Editor’s note: For a complete presentation of Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system, consult his books Heavy Duty II, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way and the newest book, The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, all of which are available from Mentzer’s official Web site, www.MikeMentzer .com. 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 on the opposite page. Article copyright © 2006, John Little. All rights reserved. Mike Mentzer quotations provided courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and used with permission. IM

The recovery response from a high-intensity workout may take several days or longer to be completed.

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Heavy Duty

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T L U A S S A Jose Raymond’s Quad-Training Regimen by Cory Crow • Photography by Michael Neveux


he phrase “leg day” is the bodybuilding equivalent of a four-letter word. So reviled is the squat rack that it has almost become a rite of passage in the world of hardcore training. “Train till you puke,” and other such sayings have become the mantras of the driven set, and you’d have to search long and hard to find a competitor who doesn’t have at least one story about how he couldn’t climb the stairs after a particularly grueling workout. Possessing a quality set of quads could be what separates the casual lifter from the dedicated bodybuilder. The number of vanity lifters performing curls and crunches in any given gym typically far outstrips the number of people at the squat rack. Yet it’s frequently the sweep of a quad that makes the difference between a

first-place trophy and finishing out of the winner’s circle. With that thought in mind I sought out a guy who possesses perhaps the best quads in the NPC: Jose Raymond. An East Coast bodybuilder who’s been competing for almost 13 years, Jose has notched class and overall wins at every level of competition. He’s qualified for his IFBB pro card three times, the first in 2001, when he won the lightweight class at NPC Nationals, and twice in ’05, when he took the overall at the Team Universe as well as welterweight-class honors at the Nationals. Raymond, however, has decided to decline the invitation. Fortunately for us, you don’t need an IFBB pro card to have pro-quality quads—or to be willing to share the philosophy that helped you build them.

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“Warm Up Until You Shake” “Smoke the quads!” That’s Jose’s overall goal when he trains legs. When he leaves the gym, he wants to know that he’s tapped into every possible drop of energy

that is stored in the muscle fibers. What that doesn’t mean is that Jose jumps into the squat rack and starts pounding out heavy reps until he can’t walk. There’s a method to his quad madness, one that’s built around a philosophy of reducing wear and tear on the joints and connective tissue. While deep, heavy

He does leg extensions first to preexhaust his quads while lubricating the joints for the heavy working sets to come.

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squats are a part of his regimen, the warmup is equally important. The first exercise that Jose performs is vital to the success of his workout, and every time he works quads, he begins with leg extensions. Not just plain-vanilla leg extensions, but a set that’s designed to preexhaust the quads while lubricating the joints for the heavy working sets to come. Jose’s quad routine starts with this barrage of leg extensions. Note that the first number is the poundage. 135 x 2 x 45 200 x 1 x 15 300 x 1 x 15 400 x 2 x 8-10 While the first four sets are important, he stressed that the last set is the working weight, and on it

Possessing a quality set of quads could be what separates the casual lifter from the dedicated bodybuilder.




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he is extremely focused, squeezing at the top of the contraction as well as using a full range of motion on the descent. Blood flow is the watchword here. “I try to take that approach [increasing blood flow] with every one of my bodyparts,” he said. “Right now I’m focusing more on the technique and focusing through every rep.” And if, at the end of the leg (continued on page 226) extensions

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On squats Jose uses moderately heavy weights and a full range of motion, performing his reps in a controlled manner. Jose doesn’t feel he’s properly preexhausted? “Occasionally I will add a drop set to the end of that—300 to 200 to 135—to failure. It just depends on how I’m feeling.” Feel is important to Jose when it comes to workout volume, but he’s also keenly focused on how each rep feels deep within the muscle fiber. There should definitely be a noticeable burn in the heart of each quad by the time the working set of this exercise is complete. If not, you’re not lifting enough weight. Now that the so-called warmup is out of the way (a process that can take 40 minutes or more), Jose is ready to move to the mass-building sets.

hips and lower back. He performs all reps with a full range of motion and an eye on increasing the blood flow. Jose has stopped doing ultraheavy squats because he doesn’t feel they’re of as much benefit to him as moderately heavy reps done with a full range of motion and in a controlled manner. If he does go heavy as part of a quad shocker, he performs the squats in more of a powerlifting manner to lessen the strain on his joints. He likes to keep his reps around

10 to 15 to maximize blood flow, again focusing on feeling a burn deep within the belly of the muscle. The burn is key to fiber recruitment and also signifies that the assisting muscles—the stabilizers and the adductors and abductors—are being recruited as well. You won’t see Jose use adductor and abductor machines or any other isolation device designed to work what he calls “the assisting leg muscles.” He believes in hitting them in tandem with the main

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“No Pat Robertson Reps” When a video goes viral on the Internet, the results can often be humorous. In the most extreme cases a phrase or image from the video is permanently seared into our pop-culture consciousness. I can’t say that the image of Pat Robertson doing one-inch, 1,000pound leg presses is a pop-culture moment yet, but it’s such a vivid moving image of how not to do leg presses that I wasn’t surprised when it came up in Jose’s conversation. Basically, he feels that a full range of motion is vital to shocking the quads into growth, and there’s no workout that relies on a full range of motion more than squats, the next exercise in his quad routine. Here are the details:

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Each set of walking lunges really contains 30 steps per leg.

working muscles—to save time and stimulate them with a more real-life movement. If squats are performed correctly, there’s no need for additional adductor or abductor

work, in his opinion. Jose stressed repeatedly that he dips below parallel, to the point where his calves and hamstrings are almost touching. If he can’t perform

that full stretch with a certain weight, then he won’t use it. While squats are the mainstay in Jose’s quad workout, he might substitute front squats, hack squats

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If the workouts are done correctly, there is no need for additional work on the assisting muscle groups. or even leg presses occasionally to keep things fresh. The key to getting successful results out of leg presses, however, is to stay away from “Pat Robertson presses” and make sure you are performing “Jose Raymond presses” instead. Occasionally, Jose will incorporate what he calls a light squat day, where he foregoes the pyramid style and performs two to three sets 30 to 35 reps each with 315 pounds.

“One Last Push” Now that his quads are burning and walking is not a given, Jose finishes his workout with something that has almost become required in modern-day quad routines: walking lunges. Walking lunges are among man’s oldest methods of training quads, but they fell out of favor until recently, when Ronnie Coleman was seen pounding out lunges in the Texas heat. The good thing about lunges is that they are such a practical movement when done correctly. “Correctly” to Jose again means that he uses a full range of motion to ensure maximum fiber recruitment. “Feel the hair on the knee [of the trailing leg] tickle the floor, but try to keep the knee off the floor,” he said. If occasionally your knee touches the floor, as he admitted his does, don’t panic, but work to get as close as you can without contact. Jose’s pyramid is as follows: 135 x 1 x 15 185 x 1 x 15 225 x 1 x 15 The first set is a warmup. The “15” listed for the rep range is somewhat misleading, as it means 15 steps taken by each foot to a point, and then 15 steps on each foot to return to the starting point. So each set really (continued on page 234) 230 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Jose’s focus has kept him training and competing drug-free for more than 13 years.

(continued from page 230) contains 30 steps per leg for a total of 60 lunges. Jose is very careful to not rush this workout and maintain his form. His focus is vital at this point, especially since he’s exhausted. The lunge is another exercise on which using a full range of motion will aid in recruiting the assisting muscles, as well as the glutes, making it a multitasking exercise that maximizes Jose’s time in the gym. Surprisingly, that’s it. After walking lunges, Jose will stretch, and then he’s done for the day. He feels that the genius of this workout lies in its simplicity. It’s a routine that beginners can add to their training and carry with them for years with little modification. If the workouts are done correctly, he said, there is no need for additional work on the assisting muscle groups that sucks up valuable time. An important note for beginners: Don’t skimp on the warmup. Start light and warm up as much as you can to reduce the possibility of injury. When you hit your work sets, be sure to focus on form and range of motion and try to feel the additional fibers being recruited. When I first called Jose for this interview, his hometown of Boston was enduring the heat wave that filled newscasts nationwide last summer, he was looking at having his front yard dug up to replace a ruptured sewer line, and his supplement contract with Instone Nutrition had just been cancelled without warning. Despite all that was going on, Jose gave his all to the interview. I shouldn’t have expected less from a man who has the mental focus necessary to win his weight class at the NPC Nationals twice. Jose’s focus has kept him training and competing drug-free for more than 13 years with little hope of financial gain. Perhaps that is the real secret to building a set of killer quads: dogged determination. Editor’s note: Jose Raymond is a lifetime natural bodybuilder who’s based in Boston. To contact him for appearances, sponsorships or training, go to IM

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Eric Broser’s

If you find something on the Web that IM readers should know about, send the URL to Eric at

> If you’re like me, you have a tremendous appreciation for the physiques that dominated the scene back in the ’80s and early ’90s. There were no bloated bellies or muscles misshapen by injected oils; rather, there were X-frames, washboard stomachs and an emphasis on symmetry and proportion. Troy Alves is one of the few current competing pros who can be called a throwback to the classical lines that were winning all the trophies 20 years ago. At his site you can learn a little more about the man behind the awesome body. Perhaps my favorite part of Troy’s bio is where he gives thanks to his wife and credits her with much of his success: “When you have a person who loves you, supports you 100 percent and stands by your side in life, you can accomplish anything. She has been there from day one, through the ups and downs of this sport. Without the bond and love we share, I would not be who I am or where I am today.” More proof that behind every successful man there usually is a good woman (um, or another good man—hey, I saw “Brokeback Mountain”). There’s also a photo gallery from his ’05 IRON MAN Pro and Arnold Classic participation. His front double-biceps and front lat spread are particularly impressive. But I must ask: Why no photos from your ’06 competitions, Troy? You gotta keep that site updated. And let me add, I was particularly impressed with the links section of the site. Why? Because one of them is Way to go, Troy. Okay, shameless plugs aside, I should also mention that you’ll find a few cool downloadable wallpapers and an online store where you can get videos and some pretty sweet-looking T-shirts. Also, Troy offers phone consultations and one-on-one personal training if you happen to be in his area. One word of advice if you decide to check out this site: Music plays automatically there. It’s repetitive, and I believe it’s meant to make you fall into a trance and purchase everything on the site. Okay, maybe not, but turn down the sound if you’re at work. 238 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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> If you’re a big fan of the sport of bodybuilding, then you probably enjoy watching training and contest DVDs and videos. I have every Mr. Olympia competition from 1985 through 2005, as well as the entire “Battle for the Olympia” series and most of the IRON MAN Pro contests. I also have myriad training videos and DVDs from such bodybuilding superstars as Flex Wheeler, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Bertil Fox, Lee Labrada, Dennis James and Skip La Cour, to name a few. Watching one of them serves as a great motivational tool before I hit the gym, or as entertainment while I’m at home on my treadmill. Perhaps the best source around for every type of bodybuilding, powerlifting and fitness video and DVD imaginable is It carries the largest selection of titles in the world—not only IFBB competitions but also EFBB, SABBA, NAB and UBBA contests. The training videos and DVDs available there span the decades, so you will find names like Pearl, Dickerson, Belknap, Viator, Platz and DeMay, along with today’s stars, such as Coleman, Warren, Jackson, Priest, Cutler and more (many more). Actually, there were lots of names that I didn’t even recognize. I also found pump-up room videos, seminars, aerobic championships and female physique competitions—the list goes on and on. You could spend days checking out interesting and obscure titles. As if the video collection weren’t enough, the site also has male and female photo galleries, articles and even up-to-date contest results. I’m glad I found it. I hope my fellow DVD junkies out there will be glad too.

> IRON MAN is first and foremost a magazine dedicated to helping people build more muscle. Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you also know that having high circulating testosterone levels is of major importance (that’s why test-boosting supplements are so hot now). Well, let me fill you in on a little secret. I’ve just discovered a way to send natural testosterone levels soaring in a matter of minutes, and you don’t have to swallow a single capsule. All you need to do is type www into your trusty computer and take a look at her free gallery. She’s smoking hot, with a capital S. I guarantee she’s powerful T-boosting material. Her résumé is impressive: certified as a trainer and strength and conditioning specialist by the ISSA, AFAA and NASM. She has a long list of successful competitive outings, which eventually led her to become one of the top IFBB figure pros. She also has dozens of acting credits, which include television, film and theatre. Jennifer’s been one busy gal. If you’d like to see her in person, click on her event schedule, and you can check out exactly when and where she will be appearing. Maybe she’ll even be wearing those white pants she has on in photo gallery 3. Whew!

>www.AnabolicBeast .com/forum/forum.php There are hundreds of bodybuilding and fitness discussion boards on the Net, and I do my best to let IRON MAN readers in on the ones that stand out. Most serious lifters are registered members of as many as a dozen boards, looking for training, diet and supplementation info, as well as an “in” to the world of pro bodybuilding. This month I’d like to tell you about a brand-new board. The forums are owned by ALRI, one of the fastest rising and innovative supplement companies on the planet. At the helm of ALRI is none other than bodybuilding guru Author L. Rea, who has penned several articles for IRON MAN, as well as the extremely popular books Chemical Muscle Enhancement and Building the Perfect Beast. Soon to be released (or perhaps just released by the time you read this) is his third book, Building the Perfect Beast Naturally, which is coauthored by none other than yours truly. It’s because Author and I wrote this book together that he asked me to lead the forums as administrator of the board. It’s our goal to make the board the number-one source of applicable physique-enhancing information on the Net as well as just a cool and fun place to hang out when you’re bored at work (which is probably most of the time). To make absolutely sure that stands out from the rest, we also recruited IFBB fitness pro Kendra Elias and her husband, WNSO natural pro bodybuilder Michael Elias, who’s one of the top chiropractic practitioners on the East Coast; Dr. Alexander Greaux; and several other brilliant and experienced individuals from various facets of the fitness industry. So please stop by and check it out. If you’re serious about gaining strength, dropping fat, building muscle or improving performance, I promise that the forums will be a valuable tool in your quest. IM \ NOVEMBER 2006 239

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Lonnie Teper’s

NEWS & ViEWS USA Championships

L.A. Confidential Deckard and Ergas Finally Earn Trips to the Pros

Omar Deckard.

Randall Chaney. Gregory Peoples.

240 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Photography by Bill Comstock

Okay, so it took longer than either would care to recall, but Omar Deckard and Michael Ergas don’t have to worry about carrying the tag “amateur” any longer. The two L.A. dudes (Deckard lives in the Westchester section of town, Ergas in Culver City) are now focusing on where to make their pro debuts rather than Michael whether to do the Nationals or the USA—again. Not since Ergas. I called out Deckard’s name as overall champ and Ergas as the recipient of the second pro card that’s given at the Jon Lindsay–produced USA Championships. (To view my video interviews with Deckard and Ergas the morning after the show, and to see Bill Comstock’s countless photos from the contest, log on to Predicting that Deckard and Ergas would go one-two in the overall posedown was a lot easier than picking them to win their classes. Omar had to battle Leo Ingram down to the wire in the superheavyweight division, and Ergas had Lionel Brown, a.k.a. the “L Train,” speeding right on his tail in the heavyweights. Deckard was at his all-time best, with 255 pounds of symmetrical, detailed muscle on his aesthetic 6’1 1/2” frame. A very pretty physique, for sure, and his legs, a sore spot in recent contests, were vastly improved. But Ingram is a beast (and I say that purely as a compliment), and at 5’9” and 249 pounds he was much thicker than Deckard. After the Friday-night prejudging, I felt it could have gone either way: Deckard deserved to win but Ingram—second at last season’s Nationals—would have been a fair choice as well. Unfortunately, these battles can’t end in a tie, and when all was said and Perry done, the 33-year-old Deckard was able McRae. to move on to the next level after several years of suffering from the so-near-yet-sofar syndrome. “It was tough just preparing for this show,” said Omar. “I worked with Hany Rambod for the contest, and his diets are pretty extreme—but they get you where you need to go. In looking back at my career, I realize I was fortunate to place where I did, knowing what I didn’t know and understanding what it really takes to win at this level.” Will Deckard make his pro debut in February at the IRON MAN, which will take place a mere half-hour drive from

DANCING FOOL— Lindsay celebrates the biggest USA ever Pages 240 and 243

BRAINUM TEASER Best look-alike ever? Page 242

BODYBUILDING LEG-ACY But did she pick up the check? Pages 244 to 245

Lionel Brown.

home near Los Angeles International Airport? “I’m not sure what show I’ll be doing at this point,” said Deckard, who was obviously thinking about a large stack of pancakes, followed by ice cream, Snickers bars, cheesecake or other goodies that had been banned from his life in recent months. Ditto for Ergas, who was overwhelmed with emotion after being selected to get the second pro card on top of edging Brown in the heavyweights. Like Deckard, Ergas knows far too well how it feels to place in the top five at a pro qualifier but leave the arena with nothing but pats on the back. “It feels so great,” he said, tears of joy flowing down his face. Last November, however, after he narrowly lost his class to Jonathan Rowe at the Nationals, he felt miserable. Miserable enough to seriously contemplate retiring. Close friends talked the 38-year-old out of hanging up his posing trunks, and in Vegas he was thrilled that he’d followed their advice. Adorthus So, Mike, were you worried how things would turn out Cherry. after the judging? “I was worried about everything,” Ergas said. “It was a great class, a great show. In the posedown I just gave it all I had, trying to be as aggressive as possible. You may not be in that situation again.” Brown, another Rambod client and, yes, another L.A.-area guy (Long Beach), was third last year and nearly made things miserable for Ergas once again. In early August it looked as if Ingram would be heading to the North Americans in September and Brown would be going to the Nationals in November. In both cases I predict that if the gents show up in prime-time shape, they’ll earn their ticket to the pros. The state of California dominated the largest USA in history—331 competitors—with this year’s USA class winners pose down for the overall title. Cal champ, Robert Hatch, finishing third in the superheavies, and the top five heavyweights all Alex coming from the state. Another pro-in-waiting, Adorthus Azarian. Cherry of Modesto, placed a single digit behind Brown in the heavyweights and had some folks thinking after the prejudging that he might get a pro card. Alex Azarian of Sunland swept the lightweight class, and Fernando Abaco of Rocklin won top honors in the bantamweight division. I’ve always been an admirer of Randall Chaney’s physique—Flex Wheeler-esque, I’d say—but the Florida ace almost missed out on winning the light-heavyweight crown when the crack expediting team couldn’t locate him as his class was lining up. Fortunately, Chaney was found lounging in the audience. He got his fanny backstage in a hurry, in time to best former Collegiate National champ Peter Putnam (fiancé of pro figure star Jessica Paxson) to firmly establish himself as one of the favorites in whatever pro-qualifying show he does next. The home folks got something to shout about when an impressive Gregory Peoples (naturally, the people’s choice) dominated the middleweight division, while North Carolina’s Perry McRae, who might just hold the record for the most Fernando top-five placings at national events, finally took home the Abaco. bacon in the welterweights. \ NOVEMBER 2006 241

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Azarian’s victory capped off a great year for the special education teacher and former lightweight winner of my California Collegiates (now the Junior Cal). Alex and wife Nga, an award winner herself (as a photographer, in my book) welcomed their first child, Alexis, just before the first of the year and recently moved into a new pad. Sixth a year ago, Alex is another flexer who considered retirement, but he decided to try “looking like a bodybuilder all year-round.” He kept his weight down in the off-season and coasted into the contest. Competitors, are you listening?

More USA

George Maiorano.

BLAST FROM THE PAST—As mentioned above, Gregory Peoples dominated the middleweight class; however, third-place finisher George Maiorano might have grabbed the most attention. I knew something was up the minute I saw John Kemper, owner of the famed Diamond Gym in Maplewood, New Jersey, smiling from ear to ear when the thick Maiorano stepped onstage at the prejudging. “He trains at my gym,” John said proudly. For those unfamiliar with Kemper’s facility, it’s produced countless top IFBB and NPC stars over the years and is known as being hardcore to the max. At 5’2” and 175 pounds, George is one of the thickest middleweights I’ve ever seen, and now that I think about it, I hadn’t seen him in more than a decade. Back in 1995 he was living in Florida; these days he’s in Belleville, New Jersey. The Italian Battalion said he was up to 230 pounds in the off-season. That had to be a sight to behold. Another hardcore jewel to add to the list at Diamond, eh, John?

GARY GLOWING—Ageless is the way we used to describe Albert Beckles during the latter part of his competitive days. Now Gary Strydom has picked up the description as the title of his newest video. At 47, Strydom looks as good as, if not better than, what we thought was his prime, Jon Lindsay with Mary 10 to 15 years ago. Jo Cooke. Team X—plus L.T. I’ve seen Gary more in the past few months than I’d seen him in the previous decade. He surprised me by attending the IRON MAN Pro last February, and I was taken aback when he was also in the seats at the USA. Strydom, in recent years one of the sport’s most private individuals, has been getting out of his Venice condo a lot more these days, which is good news for promoters and fans alike. As is the norm, Strydom was in terrific shape, even though nearly three months had passed since he returned to the stage at the Colorado Pro after a 10-year break from competition. From the pictures and video of the Denver event I’ve seen, his seventh-place finish remains bewildering. I know that talk made the rounds, as in the past, about his lack of back detail and subpar posing, but who doesn’t have vulnerable areas? His LOOK-ALIKES—IRON MAN’s Jerry chest, delts, triceps, thighs, hams, calves and abs were Brainum (right) and Florida-based proall prime. moter John Organ. 242 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Robert Hatch.

And on DVD.

Check out the Muscletime-produced video, and tell me what you think. One thing’s for sure, Strydom devotees will love all the footage of Gary in the gym at Gold’s, Venice, onstage in Denver, training and posing for the fans at Muscle Beach, working at his CrazyWear warehouse and much more. I was impressed with his cooking skills as he prepared those veggies in his room in Colorado. Gary, I never knew! By the time this issue hits the newsstands, Gary should have another clothing division—Strydom’s Pro Line—launched, as well as his Strydom Nutrition. He says he plans on being onstage at the IRON MAN Pro next February—for the first time since the event was launched back in 1990, and also wants to be flexing in front of the fans at the Arnold Classic two weeks Texas later. champ After seeing what happened in Colorado, I have Lorenzo no idea where he’ll be in the final standings in PasaJones. dena and Columbus, Ohio, but I can guarantee he’ll be in magnificent condition. And, as Strydom proudly points out, “with no protruding belly.” It sounds like fun. I’m getting energized already.

TEAM PLAY—Competitors always want to show up at their best. So do the workers behind the scenes, the folks who get little recognition but are the keys to putting on a fast, smooth-moving event. As an emcee I usually get too much credit when things go swell—just like a quarterback—and too much criticism when things go not so swell. I was a bit nervous when head expediter Steve Stone greeted me backstage before the USA finals and said, “Let’s beat last year’s record.” Now, since last year’s show had run a tad under four hours, and this season’s field was the largest ever, I thought Steven might have been hit with a More Texas winners (from touch of Las Vegas sunstroke. I should have known better. left): Danielle With Stone and his Team-X on hand once again, we were Murray, able to get the fans out of their seats and on their way to Tatiana their favorite setting for debauchery before 10 p.m. Three Koshman, hours and 25 minutes, give or take a few seconds. Alejandro Who are these wizards of behind-the-scenes magic? For Garza and starters, there’s Steve the energizer and his wife, Andrea Jacqueline Stone, the calmest of all of us, who puts together the critical Board. emcee book. Kim Klein—yes, that Kim Klein—is the best built and most talented right-hand lady a host could ever hope for. Her hubby, Rob Klein, is always right behind the curtain. There’s also Pam Betz and Rod Larson, Vinnie Papagno, Dr. Mike Feulner, Kenny Kassel and the music masters themselves, Charlie Sharp and Ron Stranc. And I can’t leave out two former members of the band Los Lobos who are now harmonizing so well in the pump up room, Ernie and Jaime Garza. Promoter Jon Lindsay, of course, gets some props as well for hiring the team. Steve was happy after the contest, but I was a bit concerned when he said, “Hopefully, we will continue to improve.” Sure, as long as you don’t shoot for three hours next year!



Gene Carangal

Isaac Hinds \ Lift Studios

Ron Avidan

Gary in Denver.

The NPC Texas crew gives great show.

Texas Championships Two weeks before the USA, I flew into Houston to host the NPC \ NOVEMBER 2006 243

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Prince and Debbie Fontenot.

LeeAnn Thompson.

ADD THOMPSON: DOWNSIZING—In January 2001 Lee Thompson, who is an environmental engineer, went to dinner with some clients at a small deli in New Jersey noted for its supersize dishes, par244 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Lee with trainer Charles Anderson.


The postcake era.

Gene Garangal


Elizabeth Beckom.

Photo courtesy of Lee Thompson

Texas Championships. Lee Thompson, named the new Texas chairman in March, teamed with outgoing chair Michael Johnston to put on the event, and when Lee said he was planning to spice up things in the Lone Star state, he wasn’t exaggerating. First off, Thompson moved the show from the University of Houston to the beautiful Stafford Center. Then he brought in Phil Heath, everyone’s rookie of the year, who’d just signed a new two-year contract with Met-Rx, and Fitness Olympia and Fitness International champion Adela Garcia to guest pose. Lee also flew in Shawn Ray and Valerie Waugaman to give seminars. Waugaman joined fellow IFBB figure pro Jennifer Becerra in presenting awards at the finals, while Ray handed out the overall trophy to Lorenzo Jones, the same fella who won the Ronnie Coleman Classic a year earlier. Congrats to the other champs as well: Tatiana Koshman (figure), B Danielle Murray (fitness) and Jacqueline Board (women’s bodybuilding). Alejandro Garza was also impressive in taking the novice men’s overall. Speaking of impressive, Lee’s adorable, and supertalented 10-year-old daughter, LeeAnn, took the 10-to-12-years-old division in fitness, and 14-year-old Whitney Franklin did likewise in the 13-to-16 category. A week later both young stars copped their classes at the Teen Nationals in Pittsburgh. Texas has become a home away from home for me in the past few years, as I’ve emceed, on several occasions, the Nationals in Dallas, the Europa Super Show in Arlington, the Lone Star in Plano and the Texas State in Houston. There are a lot of nice folks in those parts, and there’s always a handful of the industry’s bigger names at the events. Vicky Gates came to the weighin on Friday night to talk about her new contest in the making; former NPC standout Prince Fontenot, who was on the judging panel, says he’ll make his debut as a promoter in the near future. I was supposed to have the details in time for my deadline, but Prince must have been too busy working on that tiny waist or his. Just log on to www.NPCTexas .org to keep up with industry happenings in the area. I can’t forget to mention all the friendly NPC officials, a good bunch of people. Lee, don’t you dare let Elizabeth Beckom go anywhere—Liz makes this guy’s life a whole lot easier with her emcee book classics. Like Andrea Stone at Lee Thompson the USA, she makes me look like I know what eats cake. I’m doing at the podium, not an easy task. A bunch of us always go out to eat after the contest. Since I’d bought lunch for Ray, his wife, Kristi, and daughter, Asia Monet Sting Ray, Shawn promised to pop for dinner. Have you seen the kid eat? When her plate was cleared, Asia went for her toes. By the way, Shawn didn’t pick up the tab—Lee’s brother-in-law, Bobby Galvan, was kind enough to do the honors. Shawn, of course, said it didn’t matter who ended up paying; he’d evened the score. At the USA he said he forgot his wallet, so I popped for lunch again. Dinner after the finals was on him, he swore. Of course, when the show was over, the guy who makes Jack Benny look like a spendaholic was nowhere to be found, with nary a check-in phone call. After 20 years you’d think I’d learn.


Valerie Waugaman and her sweetie, Sam Eells.

ticularly from the dessert department. After the meal Thompson posed for a photo next to the pies, cakes and éclairs to show his wife, Lori, how immense they were. The pastries paled in comparison to the dimensions of the man smiling for the photo. “I was stunned when the picture was e-mailed to me the next morning,” recalls Thompson. “I was stunned—not by the size of the desserts but by my waistline. I gasped for air in shock; I began to weep. I was truly devastated—how did I get that big? I knew I was a rather large man, but I figured the size was hereditary, since my family are all large. But this was out of control.” That’s putting it lightly, pardon the pun. Thompson immediately made a life-changing phone call to his local 24 Hour Fitness in Houston. When he got home, he waddled—er, rushed—down to the club, purchased a membership and bought several training sessions with Charles Anderson, a noted local competitor. Lee weighed in at 345 pounds at an even 6’, with a 52-inch waist and 36.5 percent bodyfat. Talk about large and in charge. Anderson taught Lee that a combination of diet, exercise and supplementation was a proven and winning program for a healthful lifestyle. They hit every target objective Anderson strived for: In February 2003 Thompson’s bodyfat was all the way down to 12 percent. Five months later Lee, weighing 202 pounds with 5 percent fat, competed in the Texas Championships, the first of 13 contests he entered over three years. Today, of course, he’s the NPC state chairman and a national-level judge. “Charles Anderson and the NPC have forever changed my life,” Thompson says proudly. “No matter what I do the rest of my life, I’m a winner—I beat obesity.” Now if you can just get Shawn to pick up the tab once in a while.

Just when you thought the Arnold Fitness Weekend couldn’t get any larger, the Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships shows up. The dates are March 2 and 3, and registration is limited: the first 15 athletes per weight class who meet the qualifying requirements for the men’s and women’s bodybuilding events will be accepted, Phil Heath and along with the first 20 qualified fitness athletes and the first 90 figure daddy Shawn. competitors. The registration deadline is January 15, 2007. “The Arnold Sports Festival is founded on the competitive spirit of bodybuilding and has grown to become the top Vicky Asia destination for fitness, figure and bodybuilding athletes,” said Gates. Monet Bob Lorimer, who’s co-promoting the amateur event with Sting Ray. the Fitness Factory’s Mike Davies. “We’ve had champions of the Arnold Classic throughout the years, including Lee Haney and Tom Platz, who have said that their decision to compete professionally came from first sitting in the back row of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the mecca for professional bodybuilders—the Arnold Classic. “The Veterans Memorial stage will be equipped with the top level of professional staging in preparation for To contact Lonnie the weekend’s Friday and Saturday Teper about material evening competitions. The amateur possibly pertinent to competitors will be able to experiWhoops. Some of the News & Views, write photos in last month’s ence the conditions and sensations of competing to 1613 Chelsea News & Views coverage Road, #266, San where the sport’s icons have been named.” of the Junior California Marino, CA 91108; For more information on the contest contact Championships were fax to (626) 289-7949; Bob Lorimer at (614) 430-5962 or Mike Davies at taken by Nga Azarian, or send e-mail to whose photo credits (614) 521-3510, or log on to www.Arnold were inadvertently IM

Photo courtesy of Nga Azarian





The AFW Gets Even Bigger

omitted. \ NOVEMBER 2006 245

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IRON MAN Hardbody


Compiled by Jonathan Lawson Photography by Michael Neveux Hair & Makeup by Alexandra Almand 246 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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IRON MAN Hardbody Height: 5’1” Age: 31 Weight: 120 off-season, 102 onstage Hometown: Denver, Colorado Current residence: Denver, Colorado Occupation: Commercial actress and model, IFBB figure pro, VyoTech–sponsored athlete Marital status: Married Workout schedule: “It’s constantly changing, but in addition to my weight workouts, I do 1 1/2 to two hours of cardio a day.” Sample bodypart workout (shoulders): Dumbbell presses, 3 x 10-12; lateral raises, 3 x 12-15; front raises, 3 x 12; reverse flyes, 3 x 12-15

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IRON MAN Hardbody

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Favorite foods: “My favorite cheat foods are hamburgers, pancakes and Cold Stone ice cream or anything caramel. My favorite diet foods are oats and fish with sprouts.” Factoid: “I have two stepchildren—a 14-yearold boy and a 15-year-old girl—and two shih tzu puppies.” Future plans: “I would love to have children of my own. I’m working on some movie projects and doing a large amount of commercial filming and modeling. When I’m done competing, that will be my full-time commitment.” Contact info and Web site: www. \ NOVEMBER 2006 255

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Do you have to ask?


Wuzzup With Figure?

USA class winners—the shape of things to come (from short to tall): Kristen Gomes, Felicia Romero, Consi Shirlaw, Angela Terlewski, Natalie Benson and Simona Douglas.

Sometimes things are not mutually exclusive. For example, take the two big NPC season-finale figure-ramas that took place two weeks apart at the Figure Nationals and USA Championships last July, where the judges’ tastes seemed to lean toward the less-developed contestants. Afterward, you had comments by judges that too many of the physiques were too big and hard and complaints from athletes and others that figure was becoming like a bikini contest. On one side of the conversation were several judges I spoke with, who were not pleased about the number of competitors they thought were too muscular and complained that the women stood with their lats flared like bodybuilders. I don’t disagree with that; it just amazes me that anyone is surprised. Take a look at the top-five lineups at pro-figure qualifiers for the past year or so and note the number who were sporting more muscle than Rachel McLish’s wildest

dreams. Despite any statements to the contrary, the NPC and IFBB’s war on excessive muscularity on women has seemed to be subject to a sporadic cease-fire on the figure front. In a forum on a Web site devoted to the female physique sports, one regular wrote after her experience at the Nationals, “I was told I look like a bodybuilder and had too much separation in my quads. I thought a figure show was about having a good degree of muscularity and definition but not being overdeveloped and striated. I was wrong. Last year they told me I was thin and to put on size. Now I am too big.” When questioned on an individual call, bodybuilding judges often say, We have to go with the best of what we see onstage that day. That often comes down to, we cannot reward a competitor for having a better shape if she didn’t come in shape. Thus, in the past year we’ve seen the ascension to the pros of some ladies who were probably told to tone it down


F-class faces and forms (from left): Angela Stueber, Tamee Marie and Jamie Reed.

Classic. Nancy Georges, the top Ms. Fitness champ in 1991, still gets the judges’ attention—she took third in a class of 36.

You’ve got to admit, Nola Trimble stands out. She was fifth in the E class—at the Figure Nationals as well as the USA.

258 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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more than once as they made their way up the ranks—although it’s worth noting that none of them has made a splash in the pros to date. Apparently, the cease-fire is over. Those who wonder why might first consider that the judges, although we like to characterize them as speaking in one voice, are in fact several dozen totally individual and opinionated voices—and that’s just the pool that works the big pro qualifiers like the ones under discussion. If you doubt it, check the score sheets from the USA and note how many decisions were not unanimous. From the combined results, however, it appears that the people who mean business about avoiding excessive muscularity are exerting their influence on the collective conscious. So, rather than being inconsistent, as folks have charged, the guys and gals with the score pads are simply making a renewed effort to be consistent with their stated goals. It didn’t hurt that there were more “smaller” competitors who had done their homework before getting onstage this summer, giving the panels more of a choice as to who looked best that day. What’s more, at the USA I saw more women who had a so-called marketable look—in bodybuilding as well as figure—than at any time I can remember, another interesting note. To form your own strong opinion about all of this, take a trip through the photo galleries from the Figure Nationals and USA Championships at IRON MAN’s Graphic, where you can also find my August figure report as well as They had the audio comlook. Avis Ware (F-class mentary and fifth-placer) interviews and overall from both champ Simona those comDouglas do the backstagepetitions. bonding thing.

Females Flexing In prime time

Tom Dellinger

Controversy rears its head. Did Simona Douglas beat Natalie Benson for the figure overall at the USA because the judges wanted to “send a message,” or was it the fact that Douglas was on a roll after taking third in a tough class at the Nationals while Benson was a veritable unknown in only her second figure contest ever? Maybe they just liked Simona’s symmetry better. Sometimes, you know, there is no plot.

“Ms. New Booty” prepares for her closeup (and Heather takes one for the team). A few weeks later Heather’s booty took first in bodybuilding at the Europa Supershow.

They wanted bodybuilder actresses but had to make do with the real thing. That’s how the advertising geniuses behind a Virgin Mobile ringtones commercial that ran in late August leading up to the “MTV Music Video Awards” came to hire notable East Coast flexettes Lena Sanchez, Colette Nelson, Elena Sieple, Heather Foster and Lisa Aukland to play the ringtones competing in a beauty pageant. “It was too cool,” reported Aukland, who portrayed “My Humps” by Black Eyed Peas. “I’d love to know how this concept came about.” And I’d love to know who won. Was it you, “Where’d You Go?” by Fort Minor, “Gold Digger” by Kanye West, “Grillz” by Nelly, or “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparxxx? Cute, ladies. Very cute.

Tom Dellinger

Photography by Ruth Silverman

Natalie Benson.



The ringtones surround Scott Cunningham, who plays the emcee (from left): Sanchez, Nelson, Sieple, Foster and Aukland.

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All That Said

And then there was Heather

Trophy Shot

Riddle me this: If the folks who want to limit so-called excessive muscularity in all the women’s physique sports are exerting their influence (see the item on page 258), how did the extraordinarily muscular Heather Policky become the USA Overall Women’s Bodybuilding champ and new IFBB pro? The answer is simple if you’ve been paying attention: She was the best bodybuilder onstage that day. Weighing in at 174, six more than at this show last year, when she took the heavies but lost the overall to the daintier Amanda Dunbar, the 5’7” trainer from Arvada, Colorado, was in a class by herself. To put it another way: Polisky was polished. Sure, she’s oldPolished style muscle to the max, but presence. you can’t complain about her symmetry. Though the class was loaded with potential—Michelle Neil, Sheila Bleck, Nekole Hamrick and Bev DiRenzo shared the top-five victory photo—no one with a less-muscular package had the snap, crackle and pop to take it away from her this time. Ditto for the overall posedown, where lightweight winner Clare O’Connell, middleweight titlist Tina Chandler and light-heavy victor Angie Salvago couldn’t keep it from being Heather’s night to howl. Despite suggestions that she should forego her postcontest pigout and ride her new pro card to the Europa Supershow at the end of August, Policky passed in favor of taking a break from competition and enjoying her engagement to national-level heavyweight contender Dylan Armbrust. Candy Canary Sometimes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. missed

MELISSA FROIO demonstrates what third place and a lot of hard work in the gym will get you. This is to make up for the shot of Melissa we ran last month.

Dobbins \


BACKSTAGE BODS: USA BODYBUILDING Point those toes. Heavyweight thirdplacer Sheila Blech did some nifty strength moves in her posing routine.

One new face I finally got a look at was this season’s Junior USA champ, LISA M0RT0N, who beat out 97 other wanna-babes to win the one pro card given out at the NPC’s most junior national show. The 5’6 1/4” Morton has had a busy year. She earned a master’s degree in sports management, moved to Las Vegas and made her pro debut at the Europa Supershow. Ah, youth.

getting a top-five trophy by three points, but she got winner’s circle–type buzz on the Net. Can you say diamond in the rough?

Texans Karen Choat (fourth light heavy) and Jennifer Sedia (middleweight runner-up) smile for the obligatory food shot. Won’t their trainer, Bonny Priest, be proud?

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Jodi’s ready to flex those guns.

Well, maybe just a trickle

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One unintended consequence of Tinnelle’s the popularity of bodybuilding figure at the prodebut—not qualifying level is too shabby. that crowd-weary competitors are beginning to consider other routes to physique stardom. For years I, and a few others, have been whining that more of the figure athletes who “look like lightweight bodybuilders” should switch to bodybuilding and give the judges more of a choice there in terms of athletes who are not excessively muscular. (Plus, you get to do something onstage besides quarter-turns.) Lately, the idea seems to be gaining in popularity—and not just among women who got their start in bodybuilding. Arizona’s Diana Tatiana Tinnelle, last seen in June, landing out of the top 10 in her figure class at the ’06 Junior Nationals, entered the USA as a middleweight and nailed a third-place finish in a good-looking class. Also at the USA was Jodi Leigh Miller, who, after moving all the way up to ninth from an 11th-place finish at the Figure Nationals, threw in her one-piece and made plans to put her what’s-not-to-like physique onstage at the NPC Eu-

ropa Championships four weeks later—as a lightweight. Introduced with her figure class at the USA finals, Miller boldly flexed her baseballsize biceps (on a 4’11 1/2” body) as a P.S.: She symbol of her deciwon the lightsion. weights “I’m stubborn,” at the said Jodi, a one-time Europa. Texas powerlifting champ who started in physique competition doing bodybuilding as well as figure (she won the Novice Lightweight and Overall titles and took fourth in figure at the ’01 Texas Championships). It’s time to refocus on what she originally set out to do, said the Chicago-born resident of Dallas, who noted that Amanda Dunbar, the gal with the less-is-more physique who beat Heather Policky for the women’s overall at the ’05 USA, was among those who encouraged her to do it. “I want to bring back that ’80s look of Cory Everson and Sharon Bruneau.” To competitors who are even thinking about helping put the bod back into bodybuilding, I say, You go, girls! I’m for saving all the sports (see the item on Tanji Johnson on the next page). If that many women S C E N E AT want to compete THE USA in the NPC, they should have the full range of women’s physique sports to choose from. And if more of them wanted to migrate out of figure, some people wouldn’t complain.

Speaking of pointers, here’s Steve Wennerstrom with soon-to-be lightweight champ Clare RohrbackerO’Connell. Question is, Who’s coaching whom?

More posing rehearsal. Melissa Alvarado (fourth lightweight) brought dramatic moves and a rather feminine package to the stage.

Canadian ball of fire NANCY DI NINO has been popping up all over the U.S. physique scene for a year or so, and next time I see her, I promise not to say, “Now, who are you again?” A professional salsa dancer and instructor with a figure résumé that includes second place at the ’04 Canadian National World Qualifier, the 5’4” Di Nino snagged a co-host gig on the “Road to the Pros,” a reality show that’s centered on the ’06 NPC Nationals. Having recently gotten back on her own road to the pros, she was headed to Cleveland for the IFBB North American Championships in mid-September. Here’s hoping the NAC does the trick. \ NOVEMBER 2006 261

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Tanji Saves Fitness

Tanji took first at the Europa Supershow on August 25. Find hundreds of photos and hear her complete interview at Graphic

Energizer bunny Tanji Johnson has been busy offstage as well as on this season. In promoting her first NPC competition, the Tanji Johnson Fitness/Figure Classic, in Vancouver, she got a firsthand look at why folks have been saying that fitness is dying: Not many competitors at local contests. Even at the Emerald Cup, the huge Seattle-area show whose fitness champs have consistently turned pro soon after winning there, the popularity of

figure has taken its toll. So Tanji’s on a mission—to save fitness. “The more popular figure gets, the less popular fitness gets,” she said. “But it’s not just about popularity. There’s some misconceptions about fitness training and what’s required to do well.” As in a gymnastics background is not required. “Any woman who weight trains can have the strength to do the mandatory strength moves. It just comes with technique and

proper training,” said Tanji, who taught herself to do the tricks and who scored her third win last August at the All Star Pro Fitness. The plan is to start now, encouraging women to try fitness next season, and to set up a resource Web site, www.Save, where athletes can find information on everything they need to know to compete in fitness, including a directory of trainers and advisers in every state. Also to put together a network of pros who can help. “I can’t do it alone,” she said. “I’m trying to plant seeds in every state…[and] a lot of people have approached me.” (Another Emerald Cup winner, Julie Childs, has been talking about an effort to introduce young athletes from other sports to the joys of fitness competition.) Some might claim that Johnson’s mission is hopeless. I’m not one of them, but it’ll be an uphill battle, particularly to convince local promoters to keep popping for the extra trophies and whatnot. Tanji has reason to be optimistic. “I have had an overwhelming response from women who have always wanted to do fitness but were afraid,” she related. In addition, because of the sheer numbers of figure hopefuls, “Women who are serious about getting their pro cards are realizing that it is not as competitive to get one in fitness as it is to do it in figure.” “Fitness is going to become popular again,” she predicted. “I say give me a year.” If promoters would just keep fitness on their programs, “we will bring the competitors to you.”



Kristi Tauti.


Jennifer Schumm. Sherlyn Roy.

Halcyon Duarte.

Buff bouquet. Would you believe that only one of these fit flowers found herself with a pro card in hand after the Figure Nationals in mid-July? Give yourself a gold star if you picked B-class winner Tauti.

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

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Gale Elie.

Also in the spotlight last summer. Never let it be said that Stephanie Togrul, Masters National champ, got lost in the crowd of new pros earning their cards in 2006.

Neveux \ Model: Berry Kabov

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More Grow Repping Into the Mass Zone With Beta-Alanine Part 1 by Jerry Brainum ot a day goes by without another new “revolutionary” sports supplement being offered to bodybuilders. Some supplements have value, but others are based on either poor or nonexistent science. Occasionally, however, a supplement appears on the market that works precisely as advertised. Case in point: creatine. Its effectiveness is confirmed by countless scientific studies, and most scientists agree that it works for 80 percent of those who use it. What makes creatine especially enticing for bodybuilders is that it’s almost specific for bodybuilding. Bodybuilding training is anaerobic, meaning that it relies on energy systems that differ from those of aerobic exercise. Creatine not only helps maximize muscle efficiency for anaerobic exercise but also helps delay fatigue in working muscle. Add to that creatine’s promotion of anabolic, or growth, reactions in muscle, and you can see why it is so popular among bodybuilders and other athletes who engage in short, high-intensity workouts. One way that creatine helps increase training intensity is through a buffering action in muscle. The onset of muscle fatigue during any high-intensity set is heralded by a burning sensation in the trained muscle, caused by an accumulation of lactic acid, a by-product of anaerobic energy metabolism. Recent research confirms that acid protons, not the lactate portion of the compound, are the primary cause of muscle failure. Buildup of acidity in muscle throws a metabolic

monkey wrench in the energy machinery of muscle. When enzymes involved in muscle energy production are inhibited, the muscle can’t function until the excess acidity is cleared away. The body’s buffer mechanisms neutralize excess acidity. In the blood, the primary buffer is sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, along with various proteins and hemoglobin. Several studies have demonstrated that it can function as an ergogenic aid to decrease muscular fatigue. On the other hand, the amount of sodium bicarb the body needs for that (300 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) is uncomfortably close to the dose that produces such unpleasant side effects as explosive diarrhea. Gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating and cramps are related to the sodium content, and bicarb reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach, generating a large amount of carbon dioxide that distends the stomach wall and leads to bloating. Drinking more water diminishes those side effects, and you have to take the bicarb one hour prior to activity. Sodium bicarb isn’t an efficient ergogenic aid for bodybuilding, however, because it works best for exercise or activity that lasts one to seven minutes. The average bodybuilding set lasts less than 20 seconds. Bicarb’s high sodium content promotes water retention—taboo for any bodybuilder. In susceptible people, retained sodium can precipitate high blood pressure, with all its attendant negative health effects, particularly on the cardiovascular system. Other substances that retain sodium and water in the body, such as anabolic steroids, aggravate the effect. \ NOVEMBER 2006 265

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High levels of carnosine in muscle yield increased muscular strength, endurance and recovery, which means you can train much harder before muscle fatigue sets in.

Other substances make it possible to avoid the high-sodium levels of sodium bicarb—for example, potassium bicarb. Potassium’s alkaline properties help reduce excess acidity, but potassium bicarb is far less readily available than sodium bicarb. What’s more, release of potassium from working muscle is implicated in muscle fatigue, and high blood levels of potassium could have adverse effects on normal heart rhythm. Another problem with bicarb buffers—sodium bicarb, as well as phosphate and citrate—that makes them not very useful for bodybuilding training is that they work only in the blood. They cannot diffuse into muscle, the true site of fatigue, in sufficient amounts to be effective. So while useful for decreasing blood acidity levels, they do little or nothing to dispel muscle fatigue.

A true intramuscular buffer could have enormous effects on workout efficiency and muscular gains. Muscle contains natural, built-in buffers to deal with high-acidity levels, primarily carnosine. Carnosine was so named because it was discovered in meat—which is muscle—back in 1900 by Russian scientists. Later research showed that it’s a dipeptide, meaning that it consists of two bonded amino acids, beta-alanine and L-histidine. Beta-alanine is found in small amounts in protein, such as chicken, and in humans it’s a by-product of the metabolism of nucleic acids. It also forms part of the structure of the B-complex vitamin pantothenic acid. When metabolized, beta-alanine degrades into acetic acid, better known as vinegar. L-histidine is a common amino acid. It’s the precursor of the chemi-

Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

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cal histamine, which plays a role in allergic reactions and sexual orgasms. Histamine is a potent dilator of blood vessels lying just under the skin, an uncomfortable but harmless effect you see when you take a large dose of the vitamin niacin and your skin flushes. Carnosine is synthesized in muscle from beta-alanine and histidine through the actions of carnosine synthetase. The enzyme that degrades carnosine, known as carnosinase, is present in kidneys, liver and blood plasma but not in muscle. Carnosine is valuable to those engaged in intense training because it buffers, or neutralizes, excess acid produced during anaerobic metabolism. High levels of carnosine in muscle yield increased muscular strength, endurance and recovery, which means you can train much harder before muscle fatigue sets in.

A true intramuscular buffer could have enormous effects on workout efficiency and muscular gains. 266 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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So if carnosine is such an efficient ergogenic aid, it would make sense to take carnosine supplements—or would it? Carnosine supplements are quite expensive. Even worse, because carnosinase is ubiquitous, taking carnosine orally would likely have little effect on muscle buffering. Those who consistently exercise also experience increased carnosinase activity.1 One way to overcome the enzyme barrier would be to inject carnosine directly into muscle. A prominent trainer who does that with his athletic clients reports excellent results. On the other hand, carnosine injections are not commercially available and must be specially prepared by a lab or pharmacy. Another way to overcome the carnosinase barrier is to use a form of carnosine not susceptible to degradation, such as N-acetyl-carnosine. So far, however, that is used only in carnosine-based eye drops.2 You might take the individual components of carnosine—betaalanine and histidine—and hope that they convert into carnosine in muscle. Beta-alanine and histidine alone provide no buffering effects; they become active only when enzyme action converts them into carnosine. Studies have shown that what limits carnosine synthesis in the body isn’t histidine, which is found in nearly all protein foods, but the far rarer substance, beta-alanine. Muscle apparently contains enough histidine to provide the necessary substrate for carnosine synthesis, provided that beta-alanine is also present.

A Closer Look at Carnosine Scientists first became aware of the potent buffering effects of carnosine in 1953, during experiments with isolated frog muscle, the results of which showed that when exposed muscles were infused with carnosine, they accumulated large amounts of lactic acid without any notable signs of fatigue. Later studies proved the existence of carnosine in human muscle, especially in type 2 muscle fibers, the fast-twitch fibers that are most prone to both growth and fatigue. The initial enthusiasm for carnosine was tempered by a 1992 study that showed it to contribute only 7 percent to human muscle-buffering capability. But an earlier study suggested that carnosine and its methylated version, anserine, contribute more than 40 percent of muscle-buffering capacity.3 Anserine, by the way, is found in many species of animals, such as chickens, but doesn’t occur in human muscle and would thus be useless as a supplement. Carnosine has other properties useful to both exercise and health. In addition to the buildup of acidic protons, muscle fatigue is caused by increased levels of by-products of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals, unpaired electrons that inhibit energy systems in muscle and that are involved in delaying muscle recovery after training, as well as by the buildup of acidic protons. Free radicals are processed by antioxidants that occur naturally in the body or that are found in foods, such as vitamins E and C. Carnosine, too, is a potent natural antioxidant, capable of quenching the negative effects of such free radicals as hydroxyl and superoxide. Several minerals in their “free”

Baking soda isn’t an efficient buffer because it works best for activity that lasts one to seven minutes.

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Neveux \ Model: Marvin Montoya

Carnosine aids exercise efficiency by promoting the activity of energyproducing enzymes in muscle, such as myosin ATPase, which helps muscle use ATP, the immediate energy source for muscular contraction.

state, or unbound to blood proteins, can also promote free-radical activity and have been linked to several degenerative diseases in the body—for example iron and copper. Carnosine chelates free minerals, meaning that it locks on to them and prevents the interactions with oxygen that would otherwise generate excess free radicals. Carnosine aids exercise efficiency by promoting the activity of energyproducing enzymes in muscle, such as myosin ATPase, which helps mus-

cle use ATP, the immediate energy source for muscular contraction.4 It plays a role in activating an enzyme involved in glycolysis, or the breakdown of glycogen into glucose for energy purposes,5 and in the intramuscular release of calcium ions, which is necessary for muscular contraction.6 Caffeine is involved in that process as well, which may be one reason that studies have shown that it increases muscular strength. It also points to a synergistic relationship between caffeine and carnosine in increasing the strength of muscle contractions. Before carnosine and betaalanine became popular for

athletic and exercise purposes, carnosine was suggested as an efficient anti-aging supplement. One process linked with aging, called glycosylation,7 involves having excess sugar deposits in tissues, which leads to aberrations in tissue and organ structure. It’s usually related to poor glucose control, as occurs in diabetes or any condition that involves insulin resistance. The substances that accumulate in the body are known collectively as glycosylation end products, or AGEs. Many scientists think that their accumulation leads to the stiffened tissue and manifest signs of human aging. The AGEs are also involved in degenerative brain disease, with one form, methylglyoxal, accumulating in the brains of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. While many consider low-calorie, lowfat vegetarianism a healthful way to eat, many strict vegans, who eat only fruits and vegetables, appear to age more rapidly, at least

Carnosine was so-named because it was discovered in meat—which is muscle— back in 1900 by Russian scientists. 268 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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When isolated fibroblasts, or connective-tissue cells, are exposed to carnosine, old cells become rejuvenated. In fact, exposing those cells to carnosine resulted in a 67 percent increase in cellular life span.

externally, than their omnivorous peers. Vegans have been found to have higher levels of AGEs, which may be caused by a combination of higher fructose intake—which promotes AGEs—and lower protein, which leads to lower stores of carnosine. Carnosine is a natural inhibitor of AGE formation. It appears to prevent the deposition of AGEs in many tissues, including muscle. That’s led some to suggest that it’s an “anti-aging” nutrient.8 Diabetics, who show signs of advanced aging, often have low carnosine stores. When isolated fibroblasts, or connective-tissue cells, are exposed to carnosine, old cells become rejuvenated. In fact, exposing those cells to carnosine resulted in a 67 percent increase in cellular life span. Providing carnosine protects telomeres, the “tails” of cell chromosomes that dictate cell division, from oxidative damage.9 That’s significant because when telomeres are used up, the cell dies.

Ongoing studies with carnosine show that it may inhibit the buildup of a brain protein called tau, which is elevated in Alzheimer’s disease.10 When applied as eye drops, carnosine may prevent cataracts and other degenerative eye diseases linked to aging and excess oxidation.11 Carnosine levels in the body are known to decline with age. Muscle levels of carnosine drop 63 percent from age 10 to age 70, and some suggest a connection to the loss of muscle with age. While taking carnosine for purposes of muscle buffering would not work well because of the everpresent carnosinase enzyme in blood, it could still have anti-aging effects. Even when carnosinase degrades carnosine into beta-alanine and histidine, the higher level of amino acids blocks the effects of aldehydes, chemicals involved in the AGEs process.12 Carnosine may even help prevent cardiovascular disease through its effects on low-den-

sity-lipoprotein cholesterol.13 LDL is the primary cholesterol carrier in the blood and, when oxidized, a primary cause of cardiovascular disease. Its oxidation is often linked to exposure to unbound minerals in the blood, such as iron and copper. Carnosine has been implicated in preventing LDL from binding with oxidants in the blood.14 Bottom line: Carnosine confers both health and athletic benefits. Ironically, the best supplement for increasing muscle stores of carnosine isn’t carnosine itself but instead beta-alanine. Some have already characterized beta-alanine as the “next creatine,” including scientist John Wise, Ph.D., who co-authored many of the new studies related to its athletic benefits. Next month I’ll look at those studies and their potential impact on strength and muscle building.

One way to overcome the enzyme barrier involves injecting carnosine directly into muscle—but there’s an easier way. 270 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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The best supplement for increasing muscle stores of carnosine isn’t carnosine itself but instead beta-alanine.

Some researchers have already characterized beta-alanine as the “next creatine,” including scientist John Wise, Ph.D., who co-authored many of the new studies related to its athletic benefits. 272 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Carnosine is a natural inhibitor of AGE formation. That’s led some to suggest that it’s an “anti-aging” nutrient. Editor’s note: The patented formula of beta-alanine is available in the new supplement Red Dragon, $29.95 for 120 capsules. To order, call (800) 447-0008, or visit www

References 1 Begum, G., et al. (2005). Physiological role of carnosine in contracting muscle. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 15:493-514. 2 Babizhayev, M.A., et al. (2001). N-acetylcarnosine, a natural histidine-containing dipeptide, as potent ophthalmic drug in treatment of human cataracts. Peptides. 22:979-994. 3 Johnson, P., et al. (1984). Effects of carnosine and anserine on muscle and non-muscle phosphorylases. Comp Biochem Physiol B. 78:331-33. 4 Parker, C.J.J., et al. (1970). A comparative study of the effect of carnosine on myofibrillar-ATPase activity of vertebrate and invertebrate muscles. Comp Biochem Physiol. 37:413-19. 5 Quinn, P.J., et al. (1992). Carnosine: Its properties, functions, and potential therapuetic applications.

Mol Aspects Med. 13:379-444. 6 Batrukova, M.A., et al. (1997). Histidine-containing dipeptides as endogenous regulators of the activity of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-release channels. BBA Biomembranes. 1324:142-50. 7 Hipkiss, A., et al. (2002). Reaction of carnosine with aged proteins: Another protective process? Ann N.Y. Acad Sci. 959:285-94. 8 Gariballa, S.E., et al. (2000). Carnosine: Physiological properties and therapeutic potential. Age Aging. 29:207-210. 9 Shao, L.,et al. (2004). L-carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening rate in cultured human fibroblasts. Biochem Biophys Commun. 324:931-936. 10 Guiotto, A., et al. (2005). Carnosine and carnosine-related antioxidants: A review. Curr Med Chem. 12:2293 11 Reddy, V.P., et al. (2005). Carnosine: A versatile antioxidant and antiglycating agent. Sci Aging Knowledge Environ. 18:12. 12 Hipkiss, A. (2005). Glycation, aging, and carnosine: Are carnivorous diets beneficial? Mech Aging and Develp. 126:1034-39. 13 Lee, Y.T., et al. (2005). Histidine and carnosine delay diabetic deterioration in mice and protect human lowdensity lipoprotein against oxidation and glycation. Eur J Pharmacol. 18:145-50. 14 Bogardus, S., et al. (2000). Carnosine inhibits in vitro lowdensity-lipoprotein oxidation. Nutr Research. 20:967-76. IM

Carnosine, like caffeine, helps release calcium ions, which can enhance muscular contraction.

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Bodybuilding Pharmacology

To T or Not to T:

Is That the Question? “I don’t believe in andropause.” With those words, John’s doctor summarily dismissed John’s request for testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). The word andropause refers to a drop in the primary male hormone, testosterone, as part of the aging process. Along with the drop in testosterone, which occurs at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, commencing at around age 40, comes a host of symptoms. John based his request on a recent blood test, which showed a 316 testosterone level. While some doctors consider that a “low normal” level, it wasn’t from John’s point of view. The normal level of testosterone ranges from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood, with younger

Testosterone in men drops at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, beginning at around age 40.

men having higher levels. Since John was a lifelong bodybuilder, his low testosterone levels likely had something to do with his lack of gains in muscle size and strength in recent years. John’s doctor warned him that using any form of testosterone was a “known stimulant of

prostate cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease.” The doctor was echoing the opinion of many physicians. In their collective minds, male menopause, another term for andropause, just didn’t exist. Yet many of those same doctors still provided hormonal-replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of estrogens and progestins to women, ostensibly because of the established health benefits. Many in the medical profession think that a gradual lowering of testosterone in men is simply an inevitable part of the aging process. Their concerns about the alleged dangers of TRT are usually based more on emotion than on science, such as the notion that TRT causes prostate cancer and promotes cardiovascular disease. Another reason, of course, is the steroid stigma. While anabolic steroids, which are altered versions of testosterone, do have some valid medical uses, the negative publicity about rampant steroid abuse in sports has led many to conclude that the negatives outweigh any positives. Government pressure on physicians to avoid dispensing testosterone-related drugs also plays a role here.

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Testosterone Deficiency: Real or Imagined? Despite the continuing skepticism of many in the medical profession, the TRT prescription rate continues to rise. Studies show a 500 percent increase in the sale of testosteronebased drugs between 1993 and 2001, and that rate continues to grow. Numerous studies dispute the previously held dogma that TRT is dangerous to long-term health. Along with that, men are refusing to go gently into that good night, refusing to accept feebleness and lack of quality of life simply because their bodies are no longer making optimal amounts of a hormone that has flowed in their

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blood since birth. When a man reaches middle age, an event occurs in his body that turns off testosterone. The event may initially occur in the brain, through a gradually diminished secretion of the gonadatropins that govern the release of luteinizing hormone, a pituitary gland agent that controls the synthesis of testosterone in the testes. Or it could happen in the testes themselves. In that case the testicular cells refuse to respond to LH’s prodding signal to kick up testosterone production. A less commonly discussed cause of lower testosterone levels in men, particularly middle-aged men, is a gradual increase in bodyfat. Deep-lying fat in the abdomen, known as visceral fat, is linked to both insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels. Higher levels of belly fat lead to lower levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin, the protein-binding hormone of testosterone, in the blood. That, in turn, makes free testosterone circulating in the blood more susceptible to the actions of aromatase, an enzyme found in fat and other tissues that converts testosterone into estrogen. The increase in estrogen signals the hypothalamus in the brain to curtail the release of gonadotrophic hormones that dictate testosterone synthesis. The lack of testosterone leads to even greater fat deposition in the abdomen and under the skin, producing a vicious metabolic cycle that results in lower testosterone levels, along with a heightened risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome.1 Various published studies show a close relationship between testosterone levels and the onset of various degenerative diseases. Much of that relates to the link between testosterone and bodyfat. In short, an optimal level of testosterone promotes fat loss, with the converse also being true: A lack of testosterone promotes bodyfat gain. In a recent study that examined the connection between sex hormones and type 2 diabetes, a higher testosterone level led to a 42 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men, although higher levels of the hormone appeared to increase the risk in women.2 Men who had diabetes also showed higher estrogen levels than men who didn’t have it. More than half of all men who reach 80 are clinically deficient in testosterone. Coincidentally, that’s the primary age at which prostate cancer manifests. Thus the men lowest in testosterone experience the highest incidence of prostate cancer. Just what does having deficient testosterone levels do to a man? Among the effects of low testosterone:3 •Mental depression •Lowered bone density, predisposing to fractures •Decreased energy, vitality and sense of well-being •Lowered muscle mass and strength •Impaired cognition, or brain function •Increased fatigue •Sexual problems, including lowered sex drive, impotence, difficulty achieving orgasm, decreased orgasm intensity (gasp!), decreased penile sensation Despite the plethora of symptoms, only 5 percent of

Deep-lying fat in the abdomen, known as visceral fat, is linked to insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels. affected men receive TRT. Yet replacement doses reverse all of the above symptoms. For example, TRT increases libido, as well as sexual function. Providing TRT always has beneficial effects on body composition, including added muscle mass and strength, as well as a selective loss of bodyfat, particularly in the abdomen. Some studies suggest that a lack of testosterone may be related to mental degeneration in men, including Alzheimer’s disease.4

Are the Risks Real? But what about the claims that testosterone-replacement therapy is risky because it may be related to prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease? First, consider the goal of TRT. The primary goal is to provide a replacement dose of testosterone, just enough to bring a low level to a mid-normal level. In that sense, TRT isn’t much different from taking vitamin and mineral supplements to replace the nutrients that you aren’t getting through your diet. The confusion about the alleged dangers of TRT arises because people assume that its goal is to provide superphysiological, or above normal, levels of testosterone. That’s what occurs with athletic use of anabolic steroids, with athletes often taking several such drugs concurrently, or stacking them. The resulting levels of testosterone in the blood far exceed what could occur naturally. They have nothing to do with supplemental replacement doses of testosterone. That’s not to say that no side effects are possible. For example, testosterone increases the rate of red blood cell production, stimulating a kidney hormone called EPO. For many older men that’s considered beneficial, because some older men are anemic. In fact, oral steroid drugs, such as Anadrol, were used early on to treat certain forms of hereditary anemia. That role of steroids has been supplanted by recombinant EPO drugs, which are also abused in sports. About half of the men who inject testosterone drugs have red blood cell counts that are too high, leading to increased viscosity of the blood. That, in turn, increases the chance of a blood clot or stroke occurring in predisposed men. This particular side effect doesn’t occur with other forms of TRT, such as patches. Another thing to consider is that most men who are deficient in testosterone are also anemic, according to a recent study.2 \ NOVEMBER 2006 275

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Bodybuilding Pharmacology tate gland volume during the first six months of therapy, but that doesn’t often cause problems. Some scientists suggest that all men harbor small focuses of localized cancers in their prostate gland, and using testosterone may “turn on” one of those dormant tumors, turning it into full-blown prostate cancer. Nevertheless, studies show that the risk of prostate cancer in men undergoing TRT is less than 1 percent, or about the same as men not receiving any type of TRT. Other studies show that men who have higher levels of testosterone are not more prone to getting prostate cancer, nor are men with lower testosterone less prone to getting it. Even men with a higher risk of prostate cancer show no increased incidence while undergoing TRT.6 Next month I’ll cover the cardiovascular effects of testosterone-replacement and the forms of such therapy that are available.

Depression and a decrease in energy, vitality and sense of well-being are symptoms of low testosterone levels.


About 2 percent of men undergoing testosterone-replacement therapy may experience other symptoms, including gynecomastia, or male breast tissue formation. This occurs when testosterone is converted to estrogen by way of the ubiquitous aromatase enzyme. Bodybuilders and other athletes deal with the problem by using various anti-aromatase drugs, such as Arimidex, that effectively curtail the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. That, however, could be a problem for men undergoing TRT because the conversion of a portion of the testosterone that’s converted to estrogen helps to maintain levels of high-density lipoprotein, the socalled good cholesterol, which offers potent cardiovascular-protective benefits. Other men occasionally experience peripheral edema, or water retention in the arms and legs. Those with sleep apnea can experience worse

sleep problems with testosterone-replacement. The same can occur with those who tend to get acne. Younger men who use TRT may note a shrinkage of the testes, as well as decreased fertility. Transdermal testosterone drugs are associated with localized skin reactions in 3 to 5 percent of users, while patches produce irritation in 40 percent of users. Those who eschew injections or skin patches or creams and opt for oral versions of testosterone risk increased liver abnormalities. An observation some 60 years ago that removing the testes seemed to control or prevent prostate cancer led to the prevailing notion that testosterone causes prostate cancer. In men with prostate cancer, administering testosterone may indeed speed the growth of a tumor, but there’s no evidence that testosterone itself is a carcinogen. Some men who undergo TRT may have an increase in pros-

1 Cohen, P.G. (2001). Aromatase, adiposity, aging, and disease. The hypogonadal-metabolic-atherogenicdisease and aging connection. Med Hypotheses. 56:702-708. 2 Ding, E.L., et al. (2006). Sex differences of endogenous sex hormones and risk of type 2 diabetes. JAMA. 295:1288-1299. 3 Rhoden, E., et al. (2004). Risks of testosterone-replacement therapy and recommendations for monitoring. N Eng J Med. 350:482-92. 4 Cherrier, M.M., et al. (2001). Testosterone supplementation improves spatial and verbal memory in healthy older men. Neurology. 57:80-88. 5 Ferrucci, L., et al. (2006). Low testosterone levels and the risk of anemia in older men and women. Arch Intern Med. 166:1380-1388. 6 Rhoden, E., et al. (2003). Testosterone-replacement therapy in hypogonadal men at high risk for prostate cancer: Results of one year of treatment in men with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. J Urol. 170:2348-51.


More than half of all men who reach 80 are clinically deficient in testosterone. Coincidentally, that’s the primary age at which prostate cancer manifests. 276 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Power A Renewed Interest in the Military Press


ast February, Dave Draper’s wife, Laree, contacted me regarding an online forum about my book The Strongest Shall Survive. She asked if I’d respond to questions posted by members of the forum. Since I’ve never been one to pass up free publicity, I readily agreed. Those who have been weight training for a wide variety of reasons for any length of time tend to change their focus as regularly as the seasons, so I wasn’t sure just what aspect of training the online participants would be interested in: rolling around on fat balls, hoisting stones or poles, bands, medicine balls, kettlebells or perhaps some magical routine that would make them huge and strong by working out five minutes a day, twice a week. So I was surprised that the majority of questions dealt with some aspect of the military, or overhead, press—how to do it correctly, why was it dropped from official competition, is it a safe lift to teach youngsters, is it “less traumatic” to the shoulders than the flat bench, and is it a better exercise for athletes than the flat bench? In addition to the large numbers of inquiries from the online forum, I also received several letters that basically asked the same things. It seems that the military press has once again stepped out of the shadows into the spotlight. Which is where it belongs. Yet for a long time I was one of the few who encouraged everyone who lifted weights—bodybuilders, athletes, powerlifters,

Olympic lifters and those who trained for overall strength fitness—to include the military press in their routines. I fully understood the value of being able to press heavy weights because I’d always pressed. As did everyone else in the gym regardless of why they were lifting. The two primary exercises that absolutely every person who was trying to get bigger and stronger did were full squats and military presses. No exceptions. The exercises selected for the back varied, but not for the upper and lower body. The military press was the standard by which strength was gauged. “How much can you press?” was always the question asked when someone wanted to know how strong you were. The rite of passage was to be able to press your bodyweight. Once you achieved that feat, you were on your way. By the way, that’s still an excellent measure of upperbody strength. I’d be willing to bet that in a gym where several are benching in the high 300s or even in the 400s, not a single one of them can militarypress their bodyweight. The shift in giving the bench press priority over the military press wasn’t gradual but quite abrupt. Strike one was when the press was eliminated from Olympic weightlifting competition in 1972. Strikes two and three quickly followed: the emergence of the sport of powerlifting, which used the bench press as the test of upper-body strength, and the explosion of weight training for athletes across the country, especially for football. The bench press prevailed

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Lower-back injury is a concern on many exercises, including military presses, but much of that concern may be exaggerated.

because 1) more weight could be used, 2) it was easier to teach, and 3) it was deemed safer. The final reason was the most important of all. Coaches and athletic directors were often wary of students lifting weights and certainly didn’t want to increase the risk of injury by including an exercise that had been banned from the Olympics. Youngsters and beginners were no longer introduced to the military

press for fear it would cause lowerback injuries, a direct result of the International Olympic Weightlifting Committee’s declaration that the press was no longer a part of the sport because so many back injuries were occurring due to the nature of the new style of the lift. So presses were suddenly harmful, not helpful. No one doubted that if such an austere, knowledgeable body as the

International Olympic Weightlifting Committee considered the press dangerous, then it must be. In truth, the committee was made up of a group of self-serving old men who used the sport for personal gain and power, Bob Hoffman being a prime example. There was no medical evidence to support the contention that the military press caused injury to the lower back. That was the smokescreen. Dropping the press

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Only the Strong Shall Survive was purely a political decision and had nothing whatever to do with the health

Games. That lifter had worked very hard to earn the right to compete

for the highest honor in his sport and had been royally screwed because of his nationality. Sad to say, he wasn’t the only one. Politics, not a concern for the lifter’s well-being, prompted the committee to remove the press from the contested lifts. Few, however, knew the truth, which meant the press was suddenly relegated The press to the role of an is the same auxiliary exercise, as any other if it was done at all. exercise. You might wonder whether some Use sloppy lifters hurt their technique, backs because and you pay of the press. Of the price. course: The press is the same as any other exercise. Use sloppy technique, and you pay the price. Even so, far more dings and injuries were incurred on snatches, clean never paused from beginning to and jerks and front and back squats end. The Cuban coaches ranted and than from pressing. raved, but to no avall. He got three Also keep in mind that lifters white lights on his third attempt. It spent one-third of their training didn’t matter. The two judges had time on the press, even more than made sure he’d be out of medal that if the lift was lagging behind. contention. In meets at that level, That meant three to four sessions one failed attempt is enough to a week where they hit the press lower a placing by five or six spots. hard and heavy. I’m not suggesting While I had no love for the Cuban, I that anyone train for the press in still thought the actions of the two such an extreme manner. When I judges were totally out of keeping insert military presses into people’s with the spirit of the Olympic programs, I have them press only

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of the athletes. The real reason that the press was no longer a part of the Olympic sport of weightlifting was simply that the judges had allowed it to get completely out of control. Who sat in the judging chairs determined whose lifts got passed, and in international contests, politics took precedence over fair rulings. Some lifters got away with excessive layback while competitors from other nations had to stay very erect or be disqualified. Some used an extreme knee kick that resembled a push press, but the lift was passed if the judges were friendly. Even when the lifter adhered to the rules strictly and didn’t lay back too far or knee-kick the start, the judges always had an ace in the hole—the bar stopping on the way up. Having a bar stop on the way up was not to the lifter’s advantage. Just the opposite—and it got a lot of presses red-lighted. At the major international meets, it got downright ugly. At the ’68 Olympics in Mexico City I was standing off to the side of the stage, observing the technique of the foreign lifters. I watched two Caribbean judges give red lights to a lifter from Cuba on his first two attempts, even though his presses were flawless. His knees stayed locked at the start, he remained erect throughout the lift, and he

twice a week, and they go heavy just once during the week. I also make sure they learn proper technique before piling on the plates and do plenty of specific lower-back exercises to ensure that their lumbars can take the stress if they do lay back. It’s extremely difficult to learn how to lay back when performing a military press. It takes a great deal of practice to lay back at the precise moment and do it smoothly. The military press is one of those exercises that’s easy to learn but tough to master. I can teach athletes how to snatch or clean and jerk faster than I can teach them the finer points of the military press. That’s why I allotted so much training time to it. Sure, there were a few who merely muscled the weights up, but having excellent technique upped the numbers appreciably. Naturally, I don’t recommend excessive layback, but in reality, that just doesn’t happen. So stress to the lower back really isn’t a problem. Speaking of injuries, I can say with certainty that one type of injury prevalent today was unheard of when the military press was the primary upper-body exercise— damage to the rotator cuff muscles. We didn’t even realize there were

such muscles. No one who pressed had any trouble with them simply because the exercise strengthened them. Rotator cuff injuries started occurring soon after the bench press replaced the military press as the main exercise for developing shoulder girdle strength. The bench press was overtrained to the extreme and usually done with sloppy form, since all that mattered were numbers. At the same time, the part of the back that houses the rotator cuffs was neglected, so the weakest-link concept emerged, as it always does. You just can’t slide around a natural law. Walk into any commercial gym in the country, and you’ll find a half dozen people with rotator cuff problems. It’s become almost epidemic and isn’t likely to change in the immediate future. Whenever people approach me asking for advice concerning their rotator cuffs, I tell them to start doing military presses. If they’re very weak pressers, I have them use dumbbells. As they gain strength in the movement, they graduate to the Olympic bar. Keeping your rotator cuffs healthy is a real plus for the military press. There are other benefits as well. It’s one of the best—perhaps the best—

exercises for developing the deltoids completely. It works all three heads thoroughly, whereas other upperbody exercises, such as the flat- and incline-bench press, neglect the lateral head. It’s a great movement for building strong, impressive triceps. All you have to do is look at photos of the great pressers of the ’60s to verify that. Phil Grippaldi, Bill March, Norb Schemanski, Ken Patera, Bob Bednarski and Ernie Pickett immediately come to mind. Their amazing triceps and shoulder development was a result of doing lots and lots of military presses, period. Military presses become a part of the routines of all my athletes, both male and female, because the shoulder and back strength gained from handling heavy weights in that lift converts directly to every athletic endeavor, such as shooting and rebounding in basketball, throwing and hitting in baseball, firing a lacrosse ball at 100-plus miles per hour and hurling a shot into the next county. That’s not the case with the bench press. Too much benching causes the shoulders to tighten and limits range of motion, an important consideration for athletes engaging in activities that require a great deal of flexibility in their shoulders.

Overhead pressing can help build the supporting structures of the shoulders, such as the rotator cuff muscles. \ NOVEMBER 2006 287

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Only the Strong Shall Survive

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Military presses should be in the routines of all athletes, both male and female, because the shoulder and back strength gained from handling heavy weights on that lift converts directly to every athletic endeavor.

When you spend ample time on learning how to press, and move yours up into the mid-200 range, you’ll discover that it has a very positive influence on all your other upper-body exercises. One of the best things about the military press is that it can be done in a very limited space and with a minimum of equipment—a bar and some plates. For those who train at home alone, it has another advantage: You don’t need spotters. Should you fail to press a weight to

lockout, all you have to do is lower it back to your shoulders and set it down to the floor or on the rack. Even in extreme situations where you lose your balance and have to dump the weights, it’s still far better than being pinned under a heavy weight on a flat bench. Speaking of dumping weights, when there were only metal plates, that was taboo. It damaged the floor and sometimes bent the bar. It wasn’t even allowed in meets. The lifter had to lower

the bar under control back to the platform. Dropping it was cause for disqualification. Bumper plates changed all that. Seldom do I see people lower the bar after finishing a press, clean, snatch or jerk. They simply dump the bar. They reason that not having to ease the weights back to the platform saves them some energy to use on the upcoming attempts. I hadn’t thought much about the practice until I read what Bill Clark wrote in his Journal. In part, he stated that the press is a tremendous builder of upper-body strength—the lower back, the entire shoulder girdle, plus the hips. Then he recommended using iron weights. “There would be no more dropping of the bar. A lifter would control the weight from overhead to the shoulders, to the waist, and to the floor. Thus working negative resistance...more for the price of one effort.” Good advice, especially for beginners. I’m only going to present basic instruction on how to do the military press, sort of a primer. I’ll save the more detailed points of form for another time. After pressing for four or five weeks, you’ll be ready to hone your technique. I’ll also attempt to explain the rather complicated style of pressing that eventually prompted the Olympic Weightlifting Committee to drop the lift from competition. It’s not easy to learn, but you might want to take a crack at it. I’ll also include ways to incorporate the press in your overall upper-body routine and how to make it stronger. Now for the basics. Grip the bar at shoulder width. If you extend your thumbs so they barely touch the smooth center of an Olympic bar, that’s usually right. Naturally, those with broad shoulders will need to grip the bar a bit wider, but don’t overdo it. You’ll know that you’ve found the ideal grip if your forearms are perfectly vertical. It provides maximum upward thrust. Place your feet at shoulder width with toes pointed straight ahead. I see people in gyms pressing with one foot behind the other, almost like a split in the jerk. Wrong on two counts. It places uneven stress on the lower back and doesn’t let you

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The military press lost out to the bench press in athletic circles because more weight could be used on the bench, it was easier to teach, and it was deemed safer. Much of that is unfounded reasoning.

grind through the sticking point. It’s a weak position from which to press, but then again, none of the people I saw doing the technique were using any weight, so maybe they weren’t interested in getting any stronger. Wear a belt. Not for safety, because if you use sloppy form over and over or haven’t bothered to strengthen your lumbars, the belt isn’t going to prevent you from getting hurt. Rather, it’s useful in that it provides feedback, particularly in regard to laying back, and it helps keep your lower back warm. When learning how to press, clean the weights rather than taking a bar off a rack. Believe it or not, that makes the lift easier. And if your primary interest is in building a solid fitness base, clean and press each rep. It’s a perfect push-pull exercise. Most trainees, however, mainly want to improve their pressing power. In that case, just clean the bar and proceed to do all your presses. Rack the bar across your front deltoids, not your collarbone. Resting the bar across your clavicles is painful, and doing it repeatedly can result in bruising the bones. Not good. Simply elevate your entire shoulder girdle to provide a ledge of muscle to place the bar on. That will also put the bar in a stronger starting position than when it’s set lower. Your elbows will be down and close to your body—not tucked in tightly but more close than away. Your wrists must be straight, not cocked; that’s most important. If you have trouble keeping them locked, tape or wrap them. After cleaning the weight, grip the floor with your feet to establish a firm foundation, and then tighten your legs, hips, back, shoulders and arms. I mean rigidly tight. If any bodypart relaxes at all during the execution of the press, the outcome will be adversely affected. Look straight ahead, and continue to do so throughout the lift. Don’t get into the habit of watching the bar travel upward, which will carry you out of the proper pressing position. While learning how to press, drive the bar off your shoulders forcefully, yet in a

controlled fashion. Explosive starts will come later. The controlled start will help you learn to press in the correct line, which is straight up, directly in front of your face. The bar should almost touch your nose. As it climbs up past the top of your head, push your head through the gap you’ve created, and at the same time turn your elbows outward and guide the bar slightly backward. Not much, though, or it will force you to lose your balance. When the bar is locked out, it will be right over the back of your head. That places it in a very strong position over your spine, hips and legs. Still staying tight, lower the bar back to your shoulders in a deliberate manner. Don’t let it crash down on you. That can damage your shoulders, and it carries the bar out of the correct starting position. Make sure you tighten up again; then do the next rep. When the set is completed, follow Bill Clark’s sage advice and lower the bar to your waist, then to the floor. When learning the lift, take a deep breath before you drive the bar off your shoulders and another after it passes the sticking point or once you lock it out. While the weights are rather light, breathing isn’t that critical. I’ll get into how to breathe with heavy weights in a future article. With practice, you’ll find that there’s a rhythm to the press, and when you hit everything just right, the bar will float upward. It’s a fine sensation to press a heavy weight overhead, unlike any other exercise. I mentioned above that I have my athletes press twice a week, but when you’re in the process of learning the lift, it’s all right to press at every workout. Do five sets of five, and go as heavy as you can. Pay attention to form, and when the next issue of IRON MAN comes along, you’ll be ready for a more advanced version of the military press—the European Olympic press. 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 \ NOVEMBER 2006 291

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Plunge In for Progress rogress is an amazing thing—a little today plus a little more tomorrow and the next day, and all of a sudden you’ve taken a big step forward. When you look at all the ways there are to make progress, you’d think it was only a matter of time before everyone reached the moon. Unfortunately, most people end up parked in a rest stop, far from their destination. Going forward must not be as easy as it seems. Consider some of the most common techniques recom-


mended for making continued progress in the gym: cycling, using tiny plates, double progression, etc. Many of those approaches apply the time-honored principles of taking baby steps and relying on the sneak attack. The idea is that you can get to the heart of things by working around the edges, which can be safer, easier and remarkably effective. Some people might argue that mental training techniques rely on similar principles. For example, rather than dealing with a deadly fear of snakes by jumping into a pit of writhing vipers, you might use a “systematic desensitization” to imagine yourself calmly dealing with progressively threatening situations with snakes. You might, for instance, first learn to stay calm while imagining that you’re looking at a harmless little garter snake in an aquarium at the other side of a pet shop. You might work your way through evermore-threatening situations, until you can calmly imagine yourself letting a large boa constrictor curl around your shoulders. The technique works along the perimeter by having you imagine the scary situations (rather than face them physically), by keeping the situations progressive (the easy ones come before the hard ones) and by letting you go back anytime you need to (an escape route is available at every turn). Similarly, various mental rehearsal techniques have you practice whatever skill or situation you’re trying to master with the idea that it will transfer to realworld performance. For example, you might use mental rehearsal along with actual practice to speed up learning how to do a squat snatch. Once again, mental rehearsal relies on an indirect attack and has proven extremely useful. If these approaches are so good, you wonder, what’s the problem? The problem is that they don’t always work for Neveux \ Model: Daryl Gee


Mind Quit thinking about it, and just jump right in. 292 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Body everyone, so you need an alternative. What better way to go sets. Try to build momentum by starting small and working than to reverse the field and just take a plunge? your way up—squaring off with your challenges at each step. As a child you might have used this basic strategy the first Don’t rest too long between sets. It’s better to walk around time you tried a high dive: You might have gone to the end of with purpose than to wilt on a bench as you’re resting. Keep the diving board, lingered, backed off, gone to the end again, your workouts short and intense—it’s no time for training sesand finally you just closed your eyes and jumped. That’s the sions built around eight sets each of 25 different movements. idea here: There comes a point when it’s time to put up or Review your successes after each workout, and give yourself shut up. Quit thinking and just plunge right in. a pat on the back. Start by thinking about where your training is breaking Lifting weights is about as physical as things can get, so down, and consider the following three types of situations. it should be no surprise that to make progress, you have to 1) You’ve been trying to use a variety of psyching techactually move some iron. Quit thinking, quit talking, quit avoidniques to boost your motivation for training, and what you’ve ing—and plunge in for progress. noticed is that while you can be very successful at getting —Randall Strossen, Ph.D. psyched for a specific situation (for example, squeezing through a tough set of squats), the technique doesn’t work as Editor’s note: Randall Strossen, Ph.D., edits the quarwell for your overall workout, so you tend to skip a lot of your terly magazine MILO. He’s also the author of IronMind: Strontraining. ger Minds, Stronger Bodies; Super Squats: How to Gain 30 2) Try as you might to knock down the fear you have about Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks and Paul Anderson: The Mightilifting a certain weight, all that happens when you confront est Minister. For more information call IronMind Enterprises it mentally is that your knees shake. In fact, your reaction is Inc. at (530) 265-6725 or Home Gym Warehouse at (800) so strong that you’re starting to dread the mental training as 447-0008, ext. 1. Visit the IronMind Web site at www much as the real thing. 3) It seems that what you really need to do is stop the little voice in your head that’s whispering things Depression like, “You can’t do that,” and, “The weight will probably kill you,” rather than getting the voice to go in the opposite direction and whisper things like, “You can do it,” and, ust a 30-minute walk can “You can lift that weight.” lift you out of the doldrums. If you’re running into any one of Researchers at the Univerthose, you’re a good candidate for sity of Texas at Austin found that plunge therapy. Quit thinking about walkers got an 85 percent boost it, and just jump right in. Because in vigor and a 40 percent improvethe approach requires no mental preparation, you’d think it would be ment in well-being. Those feelings easy to do, but it’s a skill that has to lasted about an hour. Bonus: They be acquired. You have to practice also got a feeling of accomplishshutting down your brain and learn ment from doing something good to simply execute the task at hand. for their health. So stop ignoring Here are some pointers. that treadmill. Try to train alone, and don’t —Becky Holman talk—even to yourself. Establish your precise lifting pattern on your warmup sets and keep doing exactly the same thing(s) on your heavy

Walk It Off

J \ NOVEMBER 2006 293

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Bomber Blast


More Bomber Q&As

Questions from the Bomber ranks

Q: I’m a sergeant first class stationed in Kuwait and have been a soldier for 20 years. I’m going home to see my wife of 22 years in three months and want to shape up. I’m 45 and currently weigh 205 at 5’6” and, though heavy, am in good shape. I need to lose the bodyfat and add some muscle. I’d greatly appreciate help with a routine and a simple diet plan.

The big changes will come about by your drop in bodyweight through healthy eating. I’m sure you can do it if you apply willpower and keep your eye on your premise. The basics work every time: smaller meals of high-protein foods while keeping the sugar-high, nutrient-low and greasy foods in check. Foods containing good fats—essential fatty acids—will serve you well. Support the body with a fine-quality vitamin-and -mineral supplement, and drink plenty of water regularly. Reminder: Always slip in a simple pre- and postworkout meal for energy and endurance, tissue sustenance and recuperation. Here’s a simple and efficient routine I’d follow. It’s basic and flexible and includes supersets, which I highly recommend. Begin or end each workout with 10 minutes of vigorous crunches and leg raises.

A: You’ve got just over 90 days to do your thing, and you have a number of great advantages in your favor. The first and foremost is your incentive—to return home to your family after a long tour with a renewed and invigorated body. Being in good shape—healthy and strong—will serve you well. Having a background that includes regular weight training is a big plus. Being an Army man, of course, possessing the courage and dedication that is part of the force, brings it all together. Here’s what you do: Start putting in the miles on a track or around the base. Do what you can as you recall the routine common to a soldier’s conditioning. Your goal should be a brisk one or two miles, three or four days a week. Get to the gym four or five days a week, and plan on 60 to 75 minutes of work with the iron. Keep the routine basic, the pace steady, the time uninterrupted and the effort sufficiently intense. Don’t think in terms of heavy lifting and maximum muscle size. Save that for another time when you have different goals and a different schedule. You want to drop bodyfat while developing lean and healthy muscle.

Day 1: Chest, back, shoulders Superset Bench presses Wide-grip pulldowns Superset Steep dumbbell inclines Seated cable rows Lateral raises Bent-over lateral raises Day 2: Forearms, biceps, triceps Superset Wrist curls Stiff-arm pullovers Superset Standing barbell curls Lying triceps extensions Superset Low-incline curls (30 degrees) Machine dips or pulley pushdowns

A basic routine that includes supersets can build muscle fast.

Day 3: Legs, lower back Leg presses Squats Calf raises Stiff-legged deadlifts

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

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

3 x 15 3 x 8-12 6 x 12-20 3-4 x 10-12

Neveux \ Model: Mike Dragna

There you have it. Carry on the mighty work of this wonderful nation. Let’s get the world back. You guys and gals are the greatest. And so we come to the end of another round of Q&A, bombers. Nothing we didn’t know, nothing we can’t handle. Altitude, clarity and swiftness. Go. —Dave Draper Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit www 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.

294 NOVEMBER 2006 \

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Gallery of Ironmen


Irvin Johnson/Rheo H. Blair

Photo courtesy of the David Chapman collection


oday supplements, drugs and other pharmacological aids are available to any bodybuilder who wants them, but it was not always so. In fact, until the early 1950s nutrition was pretty much uncharted territory. That all changed a half century ago, when a colorful and eccentric genius named Irvin Johnson began testing and marketing powdered protein supplements. Johnson was born on October 9, 1921, in New Jersey, but he moved to Chicago in the 1940s to pursue a career as a singer. That didn’t pan out, so Johnson turned to muscle building, and when he combined that with his knowledge of diet, he soon began to make muscular gains. By the late 1940s, Johnson had purchased a gymnasium and built up his own slender physique enough to win a contest or two in the Windy City. His work as a nutritionist, coach and mentor, however, was his calling. In 1953 he began a magazine, Tomorrow’s Man, which touted his successes and told of his bold nutritional experiments. Long before others were talking about high-protein diets, Johnson was calling for massive doses of his Instant Protein Supplement, as well as lots of meat and (more remarkably) milk and cream. It was an unlikely

combination, but it produced results that were nothing short of amazing. By the late 1950s Johnson had closed his Chicago gym, sold the magazine and moved to Los Angeles, where he planned to concentrate on the nutritional aspect of his business. When muscle guru Vince Gironda found out about the new diet, he promoted it among the athletes at his gym, and many physique stars experienced the kind of phenomenal gains that had never before been possible. Johnson was very interested in the occult, and in 1965 he decided to change his name to Rheo H. Blair because a numerologist had told him that his name needed more r’s in it. Under that name he became better known, and his face appeared in multipage ads that ran frequently in Iron Man in the mid-’60s. After shedding his old name, Blair became increasingly open about being gay, which may have caused friction within his family but didn’t seem to slow down his supplement business. Unfortunately, by the 1970s many had abandoned the powder in favor of steroids, and sales dwindled. Rheo Blair died on October 6, 1983, but he is remembered for his flamboyant style and his effects on a generation of physique stars. —David Chapman

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Shower in C We all know the importance of vitamin C—it’s a powerful antioxidant that can help protect you from heart disease, cancer and a host of other maladies. It also improves muscle recovery and reduces muscle soreness. But did you know that a deficiency in the vitamin can lead to skin problems? The skin is the largest organ of the body, and vitamin C is a key factor in keeping skin youthful looking. It’s important to the body’s ability to manufacture collagen, a protein that is the building block of the skin’s support structure. Many believe that the best way to get the skin-health benefits of vitamin C is to have it absorbed by the skin. Sure, creams can work, but what if you could shower in this important vitamin?’s new shower filter and bath tablets do two great things, aside from vitalizing your skin: 1) They help neutralize harmful chlorine in tap water, and 2) they help boost your immune system. VitaCShower also promotes heathier, more manageable hair and can prevent itchy scalp. For more information visit —Becky Holman Best Sellers Books:

3) “Ronnie Coleman’s On the Road”

1) Train, Eat, Grow—The Positions-ofFlexion Muscle-Training Manual by Steve Holman

4) “Gustavo Badell’s Common Sense”

2) 10-Week Size Surge by IRON MAN Publishing 3) The Precontest Bible by Larry Pepe 4) The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and Jerry Robinson 5) Ronnie Coleman’s Hardcore DVDs/Videos: 1) “2005 Mr. Olympia” 2) “IRON MAN’s Swimsuit Spectacular #9”

5) “Ronnie Coleman’s The Cost of Redemption” Top E-book: The Ultimate Mass Workout—Featuring the X-Rep Muscle-Building Method by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson (available at www.X-Rep .com)

The original X-Rep manual is getting rave reviews. See “Satisfied XReppers” at X-Rep .com.

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The Bodybuilding Stars of Tomorrow Here Today!

Jeff Rodriguez Weight: 175.5 Height: 5’9” DOB: January 1, 1984 Occupation: Math student Residence: Davis, California Factoids: Jeff was born in the Philippines and lived there until he was 8, when his family moved to California. Known for his skills in roller hockey and aggressive street skating as a teenager, he broke his wrist at 17, started lifting weights in physical therapy and never looked back.

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John Shamburger Weight: 196 contest; 225 off-season Height: 5’9” DOB: October 7, 1984 Occupation: Premed student Residence: Shreveport, Louisiana Factoids: “I grew up in a small town with a graduating class of 48—didn’t even have football. I never played sports but was addicted the first time I touched a barbell. Bodybuilding has given me the discipline and motivation to excel in all other areas of my life.”

Photography by Bill Comstock To see more great photos of upcoming physique stars, visit \ NOVEMBER 2006 301

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Readers Write Vivacious Scenery

Texas Titan The feature on natural bodybuilder Dave Goodin was one of the best articles in a muscle magazine I’ve ever read [“Texas Shredder,” September ’06]. It was well written, but the real reason I liked it so much was that I could actually look at Goodin’s physique and imagine eventually getting to that level of development. His isn’t one of those unattainable, drug-bloated monstrosities so prevalent in the pro ranks now. I could also identify with his training. His programs were sensible, with workouts that I can actually tackle, even with a full-time job. Thanks for the motivation. Fletcher Masterson Valencia, CA

Viviana Soldano.

Dobbins \

Editor’s note: The feature on Goodin was well written by Ken O’Neill. We’ll have more on Goodin, including bodypart-training articles and his nutrition, in future issues of IM.

The Hardbody photos in the September ’06 issue were spectacular [“Mojave Muscle”]! Putting a hot female body like Viviana Soldano’s in the blazing desert sun with scenic backdrops was breathtaking. Keep it coming, and I’ll be a subscriber for life. Charlie Elliot via Internet Editor’s note: All the credit goes to photographer extraordinaire Bill Dobbins. For more of his breathtaking work, visit By the way, if you liked Viviana’s pictorial, wait till you see the Hardbody shots Bill has for next month. He took fitness model Timea Majorova out into the desert—and it may just be his best work to date. Wow!

Applauding Arnold John Balik’s Publisher’s Letter in the August ’06 issue really struck a chord with me. I’ve read it three times, and it’s helped me realize that I need to adopt some of Arnold’s ways. Balik wrote, “One of [Arnold’s] mantras was, ‘Everywhere I go, I have a great time.’ He applied that to everything: the workout, the group breakfast—everything he ever did that I was involved with. When Arnold walked into the gym, the energy level immediately went up.” I’ve decided not to be such a Gloomy Gus so often and to follow Arnold’s lead. I feel better already—and I believe the world would be a better place if everyone followed suit. Jerry Santo Fort Lauderdale, FL

X-Files Frequency I love the X-Files [that Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson] write. There’s always good stuff that helps my workouts and makes me understand a lot of myths and realities about building muscle. Because of what they wrote, I started doing more stretch exercises, and I got new detail in my chest and triceps. Thank you! My only complaint is that every issue should have an X-Files. Why not make it a regular feature? Morgan Hunt Cleveland, OH Editor’s note: The X-Files is actually a weekly feature— it’s also known as the IRON MAN e-zine. What you see in the magazine are a few of those e-zines combined. Holman and Lawson provide a blast of information and motivation every Thursday via e-mail, and all you have to do to get it is visit Look for the “newsletter” box on the homepage, type in your e-mail address and hit the subscribe button. It’s totally free. For more information on their X-Rep training, visit IM Vol. 65, 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 rates—U.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 1-800-570-4766. Copyright © 2006. 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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