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Reg Par



MUSCLE SIZE SIMPLIFIED The Science of Hyperspeed Hypertrophy

STEROIDS THE TRUTH •Who’s Using and Why, page 240 •Life After ’Roids page 298


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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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March 2008




HARDBODY Marzia Prince

62 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 101 Back to POF basics with the Arthur Jones–inspired 3D HIT routine.

92 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 32 Ron Harris says bigger isn’t better when it comes to physiques.

102 GROWTH-REP TURBOCHARGER Mike Lackner explains the wonders of beta-alanine and why it’s taking the bodybuilding world by storm.

118 SHOCKING SHOULDERS From the archives, Layne Norton lays out his prescription for electrifying delts.

130 THE SCIENCE OF MUSCLE SIZE Steve Holman explores the research that has produced record-breaking muscle growth and how to apply the science in the gym.

154 THE LONG, LONG ROAD TO VICTORY Ron Harris outlines the contest prep that put him in the winner’s circle.

168 REG PARK Gene Mozée remembers the legendary bodybuilder with one of his last interviews—and plenty of classic photos.

204 TONIC IN A TEAPOT, PART 2 Jerry Brainum’s conclusion on the health-fixer elixir that burns fat.

224 HEAVY DUTY John Little channels the wisdom of Mike Mentzer. This month: soreness.

246 FITTEST COUPLE The winners of our ’07 event—looking good!

260 IRON MAN PRO RETROSPECTIVE Big full-page photos of our champions—19 years’ worth of awesome muscle.



REG PARK Remembering a legend

Marzia Prince reveals her eye-popping, jaw-dropping physique.

298 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Bill Starr’s take on life after steroids.


IRON MAN PRO RETROSPECTIVE 19 years of winners

Marzia Prince and Gegg Plitt appear on this month’s cover. Hair and makeup Alex Almond. Photo by Michael Neveux. Inset photo of Reg Park by Russ Warner.

Reg Park


MUSCLE SIZE SIMPLIFIED The Science of Hyperspeed Hypertrophy

STEROIDS THE TRUTH •Who’s Using and Why, page 240 •Life After ’Roids page 298

3D H.I.T. Complete Workout to Up Your Mass FAST!

MARCH 2008 $5.99


Vol. 67, No. 3

•See More of Her Inside (She’s Our Hardbody) •IRON MAN Pro Retro—Full-Page Pics of Every Winner (Cutler, Priest, Wheeler, Wow!) C1_Mar2008_F.indd 1

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28 TRAIN TO GAIN Get wider wings. Plus, Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine column covers fatigue.

42 SMART TRAINING Coach Charles Poliquin on size vs. strength rep ranges.

48 EAT TO GROW The zinc enigma and X-treme lean tips and tricks.

74 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen tells you how to train, eat, sleep and grow.

84 SHREDDED MUSCLE Dave Goodin discusses getting the ultradry look.


88 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman presents a reverse-pyramid primer.

NEWS & VIEWS The world of bodybuilding

234 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser’s Web-site suggestions, reviews and training advice.

240 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum discusses who uses bodybuilding drugs and why.

252 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper covers the wild world of bodybuilding.

274 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman’s picturesque look at all the happenings around the sport.

308 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Bomber Blast with Dave Draper, Gallery of Ironmen (but it’s a woman) and IRON MAN’s Rising Stars too.

320 READERS WRITE Cover controversy, Shredder siting and the Governator meets the Abdominator.

234 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Surfing the Web


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ONLINE VIEWERS CHOICE Here are the places that viewers recently clicked on the most:


COVERAGE Get the latest, greatest results, photos, video and blogs from the biggest events.

CLIPS LIBRARY >PDF >BEHIND>HOT THE-SCENES Feel your heart Read and/or VIDEOS See and hear interviews with the stars of the muscle world.

race when you view these studio sessions with fit, gorgeous gals.

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We delve more deeply into occlusion, or blood-flow blockage, the new frontieer of muscle growth. New studies say it works big time—in other words, clues you can use to get huge. Then we get your traps rising with an analysis of the best upper-back exercises—it takes more than just shrugs. Plus, Jerry Brainum checks out low-carb dieting—is it really dead (not on your life), and we show you how to optimize your size with the 3D HIT program. Look for the April issue on newsstands the first week of March.

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Publisher’s Letter by John Balik

The Legacy of a Legend The legacy of Reg Park is worldwide, and it’s a living legacy, manifest in the bodies and lives he changed by his example. In 1956 I was in the eighth grade, and I distinctly remember seeing a photo of Reg in Muscle Power. He was doing a front lat spread. I stared at it in amazement, and I began to dream of being stronger and more muscular. At the time I weighed 100 pounds and was about to borrow my uncle’s weights so that I could begin to realize my dream. In a very real sense, my lifelong connection with bodybuilding started with that photo. Fast-forward 25 years, and I’m on the outside deck of World Gym in Venice, California, taking exercise photos of Reg and his son, Jon Jon. I’d met them through Arnold. Reg had an unmistakable presence, a voice and a demeanor that got your attention—regal yet not aloof. Here was a man who’d won everything there was to win in his day but never mentioned it. He was just a guy who loved to help people, and he loved to train. That wasn’t false modesty—it was simply the way he was. The last time I saw Reg was at the Arnold Classic in 2007. He greeted me warmly, as if we’d talked the day before, when in fact it had been a year since I’d last seen him and his wife, Mareon. When the emcee acknowledged the Parks, the crowd rose as one with a sustained standing ovation—a “goose bumps” moment. When I was a teenager, Reg unknowingly touched me through his photos, and last December I had the privilege of attending a tribute to him and celebration of his life hosted by Arnold. Speaking about his friend and mentor, Arnold said that as a teenager he’d had Reg’s picture taped to his bedroom ceiling. He also said that he wouldn’t be where he is today without Reg, citing the inspiring photos as well as being invited to South Africa after the NABBA Mr. Universe contest in 1965. The three weeks Arnold spent with Reg in South Africa were a turning point in his life. As Arnold said, “Reg’s influence taught me about ‘I’ and ‘we’.” In observing the love between Reg and Mareon and Reg’s devotion to his children, Arnold saw what family life—something he didn’t have growing up—was all about, and he wanted his life to be that way. He saw, too, that Reg was not only a bodybuilding champion but also a successful entrepreneur and actor. Reg’s example revised Arnold’s vision of what he could do, and the rest is history. The thousands of e-mail condolences Jon Jon Park received from people around the world bear witness to his father’s legacy. On a personal level, I always say that our only touch with immortality is through our children. In this case, Reg Park is immortal because of the way he led his life and the way he touched the people he encountered. IM

Founders 1936-1986: Peary & Mabel Rader 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: Brett R. Miller Designer: Chester Chin IRON MAN Staff: Mary Gasca, Vuthy Keo, Mervin Petralba 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, John Little, Stuart McRobert, Gene Mozée, Charles Poliquin, Larry Scott, Jim Shiebler, Roger Schwab, Pete Siegel, 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, Ron Avidan, Roland Balik, Reg Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Dobbins, Jerry Fredrick, Irvin Gelb, Isaac Hinds, Dave Liberman, J.M. Manion, Merv, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru Okabe, Rob Sims, Ian Sitren, 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:

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Neveux \ Model: Chris Cook

Squats: Don’t Skip ’Em why he even bothers to squat at all. “There’s something about the squatting motion itself that simply can’t be duplicated with anything else,” he observes. “I believe you don’t even have to necessarily go heavy at all to reap the benefits of the squat.” That statement should set off some bells in your head if you can’t or won’t squat heavy anymore. I can punish my legs just as brutally with three sets of 20 with 225 as I could with 405 for eight to 10 reps. There are also other methods of making lighter weight feel heavier, such as constant-tension “piston” squats, pause squats— where you hold the very bottom position for a beat before driving back up—and slow-motion reps. As a bodybuilder with a very tender lower back that’s been injured dozens of times over the past 20 years, I’ve used all of those techniques successfully to keep squats in my leg workouts. The kicker is that in many cases the other types of sets stimulated even more growth than heavy straight sets. So those of you who refuse to get under a dangerously heavy barbell and squat, try using more moderate weight to work your wheels. Giving up on squats completely is probably the worst thing you can do in regard to lower-body training. Find a way to keep this miraculously productive movement that simply can’t be replaced or duplicated in your workouts, and I promise that you’ll be glad you did. —Ron Harris

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The argument has Peter Putnam. raged for decades now: Do you absolutely have to squat with a barbell to maximize your thigh development, or can you get the job done with Smith-machine squats, leg presses and hack squats? I’ve flip-flopped on the question many times over the years. The number-one reason most people don’t squat: a current or previous injury. Either they’re suffering pain in the lower back or knees to the point that they can no longer go heavy with a bar on their back, or they avoid heavy squats out of fear of reinjury. My own experience has been that no matter how heavy and intense my work is on any combination of other leg exercises, I never feel as if I’ve truly worked my legs unless I’ve squatted. I always believed that if I couldn’t go heavy on squats—for whatever reason—I didn’t see the point of doing them. Why not just do heavy leg presses or something else instead? Recently, I spoke with ’07 USA light-heavyweight winner Peter Putnam, an up-and-coming bodybuilder who has some serious wheels. Putnam squats last in his leg workouts for two reasons. First, he wants to make sure his calves and hamstrings are worked as hard as they need to be. He finds that ham and calf work don’t detract from his squats anywhere near as much as squatting first saps his energy and performance for hams and calves. Second, he squats last so that he won’t be able to handle as much weight. “It’s just a lot safer for me to squat with 400 pounds than 600,” he says. Looking at his incredible quads, you may ask

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Train to Gain / MASS MOVES X-FILES

X-traordinary Arms

Neveux \ Model: Sebastian Segal

Q: The leadoff exercise for the triceps sweep workout [in the e-book X-traordinary Arms] is lying extensions, or skull crushers. You describe the best grip width and how to use an EZ-curl bar for more long-head involvement, but I don’t like dragging a bar over to a flat bench. Can I use dumbbells for lying extensions instead of a bar?

Get Thee Behind, Satan Behind-the-neck pulldowns have acquired such a notorious reputation as a wrecker of rotator cuffs that you’re as likely to find bodybuilders doing them as you are catching them doing the backstroke in piranha-infested waters or trimming their nails with a chain saw. Behind-the-necks can indeed damage the rotator cuff muscles to the point where chronic pain severely limits virtually anything you do for the upper body. But do they have to be dangerous? Do they really have to be consigned to bad-exercise hell? Not necessarily. After speaking with both supertrainer Charles Glass and Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle on the subject, I’m convinced that the behind-the-neck pulldown can be a safe and effective exercise for the middle and lower regions of the traps as well as the smaller, “detail” muscles of the upper back, such as the rhomboids, teres major and minor, and infraspinatus. Having a bit of extra development can definitely give you an edge in the rear “relaxed” pose and the rear doublebiceps pose. Even if you don’t compete, your back will have a more polished and complete look. Iris explains how to eliminate the risk, which is really nothing more than minimizing the external rotation of the shoulder joint. “Don’t pull all the way to the neck,” she advises, “only to the middle of your head. And don’t go very heavy—I do them toward the end of my back workout and really focus on the squeeze.” One more tip. Tilt your head slightly forward when you do pulldowns behind the neck. That will let you pull in more or less a straight line downward, so your shoulders aren’t ever put in the precarious position they’d be in if your hands and elbows were to travel a few inches to the rear to get around your noggin. Try doing them at every other back workout near the end for three sets of 12 to 15 reps with an emphasis on the peak contraction (hold it for a count of two), and see if you notice a difference in the musculature of your upper back within a couple of months. —Ron Harris

A: Magnetic resonance imaging shows that lying extensions done on a flat bench with a bar mostly stress the triceps’ long head, so we classify it as a sweep exercise. You’d think using dumbbells would be the same—but that’s not the case. With dumbbells your palms face each other, which forces your upper arms inward. That throws more emphasis onto the lateral, or outer, head, so it’s more of a width exercise (see the in-forout/out-for-in rule). The outer triceps head is most noticeable from the front when your arms are at your sides, creating a wide-arm look. You could try rotating your hands to a palms-up position once the dumbbells get past the sides of your head near the bottom of the stroke, but that can be awkward. If you’re after the most triceps sweep, use a bar or EZcurl bar on a flat bench, elbows flaring out slightly. By the way, the long head is the most massive segment of the triceps muscle. —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the IRON MAN e-zine. You can subscribe and have it delivered to your e-mail box free every week. Go to and provide your e-mail address in the upper-left corner of the home page.

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Wider Wings for a V-Taper

A: You’re training your back too often. I say that assuming that you’re not using any muscle-growth-enhancing drugs. Working any large bodypart once in an eight-day cycle is optimal for most men who are over 40 and natural. When I create workouts for clients, I ensure that they get plenty of rest after doing the most leverage-advantageous exercises to failure for each bodypart. Those exercises are based on an enormous amount of information that each person gives me in a questionnaire that took me 20 years to develop. It asks clients the measurements of their entire musculoskeletal system—everything from wrist, knee and ankle circumferences to specific information that tells me the shape of their spine and rib cage and the width and shape of their clavicles, as well as arm and leg lengths from various joint-to-joint points. I apply the information to a database that I’ve compiled over 25 years, which includes more than a thousand male measurements and the optimal exercises for developing each bodypart. That speaks to their potential muscular hypertrophy. Let’s say your arm is 35 inches long and you’re 6’3”. You may have relatively wide shoulders and a relatively robust rib cage, but your spine’s shape leans toward being almost inverted from L-1 to S-1. That would tell me that your trapezius, rhomboids and muscles around the scapula are taking a lot of the load in a workout. Your genetic tendency would be to have a thick inner back; however, the latissimus and teres would suffer because of how your musculature is shaped around your spine. The solution is to do your pullups and pulldowns with a narrow V-bar grip. That will activate your lats more effectively.

There once was a notion that the wider you held your hands doing pullups and pulldowns, the wider the back muscles would get. That’s true only if your spine has a perfect shape, your muscles are in perfect alignment and you have a perfect musculoskeletal frame. No one has that. We all have to look at our spine, rib cage, arm length and so on to understand what exercises are best for maximum muscle stimulation. By changing the long bar for the V-bar, you’ll be biomechanically reaching the lats because the stretch and contraction will be enhanced. You’ll attack your outer muscles instead of struggling with a wide grip and wide bar—which both work the inner part of your back as opposed to the outer back. The form of your genetic musculoskeletal frame indicates what exercises are most biomechanically advantageous. The key in formulating your lat training lies in understanding how certain exercises affect specific muscle groups on you and you only. —Paul Burke Neveux \ Model: Gus Malliarodakis

Q: I’m 49 years old and have never been able to get that V-taper. I do have a small waist, but I can’t get my lats to grow outward. I do three sets of 10 By changing the long bar for the reps on pullups, V-bar, you’ll be pulldowns and biomechanically low-pulley rows reaching the lats twice a week and because the stretch have never gotten and contraction will my lats to grow. be enhanced. What am I doing wrong?

Editor’s note: To contact Paul Burke, write to pbptb@ Burke has a master’s degree in integrated studies from Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s been a champion bodybuilder and arm wrestler, and he’s considered a leader in the field of over-40 fitness training. You can purchase his book, Burke’s Law—a New Fitness Paradigm for the Mature Male, from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit His “Burke’s Law” training DVD is also now available.

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The Brothers Grimm It’s been two months since Yiannis and Stelios took the two workouts I described in Part 1 [January ’08]. Previously, the brothers were subconsciously resigned to bodybuilding failure. They’d experienced years of little or no progress, although they kept plugging away in the gym. Now, though, they have training purpose, confidence and know-how—and bodies that are ready for effective training. Even good bodybuilding progress is slow, but slow and steady progress for a few years produces terrific physiques. Here’s the seven-point plan Yiannis and Stelios must follow: 1) Passion and desire for physique improvement and training—training regularity is essential. 2) Appropriate training routines and employing exercises that suit each of them. 3) Correct exercise technique and smooth, controlled rep speed. 4) Hard, serious training. 5) Full satisfaction, every day, of the components of recuperation from training—nutrition, rest and sleep—and the adoption of a healthful lifestyle. Without their health, the brothers can’t train hard and consistently. 6) Consistent progression—adding weight to their exercises without any perceived increase in effort to achieve the target reps and sets and without any compromise on technique and rep speed. For example, if Yiannis adds some weight to an exercise every week or two but each time he perceives an increase in the effort required, he’ll soon grind to a halt because he won’t be able to add weight. But if he’s able to add a tad of weight on a consistent basis to each exercise without a perceived increase in effort and while maintaining correct technique and rep control, he’ll make consistent progress. 7) Apply points 2 through 6 with persistence and patience. The brothers need to get today right, then tomorrow, then the following day, then the next and so on. Regardless of whether it’s a training day, each day will contribute to their progress. A big part of the brothers’ problems was that they weren’t capable of hard but safe squatting and deadlifting. Done safely, the squat and the deadlift are great exercises, but if they aren’t done safely, they’re dangerous. They should be done correctly, or not at all. Because I wanted Yiannis and Stelios to train as effectively as possible and because I would supervise them, they’d be squatting and deadlifting. When I first saw them train, neither could use correct squat or deadlift technique because they didn’t have the required flexibility. As a result, their forward tilt was excessive, they couldn’t

A bodybuilding odyssey, part 3

keep their heels flat on the floor, they couldn’t keep their lower backs slightly hollow at the bottom position of the squat and deadlift, and they couldn’t keep their knees in the correct position on the ascent of the squat. It wasn’t just overall flexibility they were lacking; they lacked symmetrical flexibility, for two main reasons: First, they never did any flexibility work. Second, due to some jammed-up muscles as a result of past neglect and injury, each had greater inflexibility on one side of his body than on the other. That led to asymmetrical squatting and deadlifting technique, which kept irritating their backs or knees and preventing the intensity required to build bigger muscles. From the first week under my direction the brothers stretched every other day for about an hour, using a combination of common athletic stretches and a few yoga asanas, or postures. They concentrated on their calves, hamstrings, thigh adductors and hip musculature but covered the rest of their bodies too. I had both of them get a few treatments from a chiropractor to correct some structural problems, and I had them get some soft-tissue therapy from a physical therapist. The combination of those treatments and six weeks of gradually progressive but safe stretching made a big difference. They could squat without any elevation under their heels other than the thin heel of their shoes, with their lower backs slightly hollow even at the bottom position of the squat and deadlift, with their feet in a wider position in the squat than they were used to and with their knees lined up with their flared feet. Even with that type of preparation, some bodybuilders have a body structure unsuited to the squat or the deadlift. Tall, lanky people aren’t well-suited to the squat, and people with short legs and arms but long torsos aren’t well-suited to the deadlift. If you’re truly not suited to the squat even though you’re flexible enough, try the leg press or parallel-grip deadlift instead. And if you’re truly not suited to the deadlift, even though you’re flexible enough, use the partial deadlift (from knee height) and the back extension instead. Now the brothers are ready to squat and deadlift, provided they use correct technique—that’s another big stumbling point for most bodybuilders. Even if they’re truly fit for the movements, they can’t progress well on them because they don’t use correct technique. As a result they repeatedly injure themselves. In the future I’ll take you through the brothers’ new workouts, and you’ll see the difference in their old and new regimens. —Stuart McRobert 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) 447-0008 or

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Where Is Training Fatigue?

Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

All of us who train hard have experienced the burn during our toughest sets—the last few reps at the end of the workout. It seems quite obvious that we can’t do any more reps because the muscle can’t contract anymore. It doesn’t just feel fatigued; it feels wiped out. So it may seem silly to raise the question, Where is training fatigue? The question isn’t so silly. There’s more than one type of fatigue, and there’s much research into muscle or performance fatigue each year. You should know about two main types of fatigue: peripheral and central. Peripheral fatigue includes the energy systems in the muscle itself. When the muscle consumes all the available

energy substances, it won’t be able to contract. When the by-products of muscle work, such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide, increase to very high levels, the burn increases, and it becomes very difficult for the muscle to work. When the muscle is working so hard, oxygen is consumed as well. The contraction of the muscle exerts force on the small arteries and veins leading into and out of the muscle, and they’re compressed as well. That further interferes with the muscles’ ability to continue to work because their work exceeds the body’s ability to supply them with what they need. When the nerves to the muscle are stimulated too many times in a short amount of time, the peripheral nerve can fatigue too, so it’s difficult for the nerve to keep conducting an impulse without proper rest. Rest enables the neurotransmitters to recover and helps reestablish the balance between sodium

and potassium. That may sound complicated, but much, much more is taking place when you’re performing, say, preacher curls to failure. Central fatigue occurs in the brain and spinal cord. Have you ever had a day in the gym where the workout, sets, reps or weight just didn’t seem to be happening the way you thought they would? Have you ever had days where you had enough sleep and didn’t think you were tired, but the bar just didn’t want to move and the weight felt heavy with a poundage that you moved for sets the week before? That may be a sign of central fatigue. We need to keep in mind that strength is a neurological phenomenon. If a muscle fiber is a little thicker, it is a little stronger; however, if we can learn to recruit more muscle fibers, we can be much stronger. Strength is determined by an impulse starting in the brain, traveling down the spinal cord, spinal nerve root and peripheral nerve to a point on a muscle known as a motor endplate. From there the impulse spreads throughout the muscle, and that determines how many muscle fibers should be recruited and how fast. The average untrained person recruits about 53 percent of the muscle fibers. Training increases that threshold. We literally learn to recruit more fibers. The part of the brain controlling that, the motor cortex, can fatigue as well. That’s been monitored on studies known as function MRIs. Once the motor cortex fatigues, there’s less output to the body or bodypart to continue the same motion. Some studies have shown that the fatigue can spread to other areas of the brain such as the visual cortex (Benwell, Mastaglia and Thickbroom. Reduced functional activation after fatiguing exercise is not confined to primary motor areas. Exp Brain Research; 2006). Whenever we discuss fatigue, we must bring in the topic of recovery. The balance between fatigue and recovery is what keeps us in the gym. Too much central fatigue leads to overtraining and a lack of results—or even a loss of strength and size. I’ve addressed overtraining many times over the past 18 years, and I will again. For now, if your workouts aren’t working—if your gains stopped and you tried changing your routine, and you’re getting enough sleep and eating well and are fully hydrated—try taking a break from training for a week or two and see if you become rejuvenated in the gym. —Joseph M. Horrigan Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books, Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008 or at

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Train to Gain / ROLE MODELS

Who Do You Want to Look Like? Following the recent—and highly controversial—Mr. Olympia competition, several Internet sites conducted polls to determine which of the top five men the readers would rather look like. The results were supposed to correlate to how the placings should have been determined. After all, Mr. Olympia does, theoretically, have the ideal physique that we all aspire to. Predictably enough, more people stated that they would prefer owning a more shapely and aesthetic physique along the lines of Victor Martinez, Dexter Jackson or Dennis Wolf than the sheer bulk of mass monsters like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman. I don’t want to argue over the hows and whys of those opinions. We all have our own tastes. What I find slightly disturbing is the whole concept of aspiring to look “just like” any top pro— and not for the reasons you might think. I have said ad infinitum that the top pros are all genetic freaks and, for the most part, are all chemically assisted as well. Unless you share their rare genetics and have access to the same chemicals, the idea of


Time to Train Many trainees wonder what time of day is best for a workout. Is it morning, noon or night? Research suggests that peak performance occurs in the afternoon or early evening because your muscles are warmer from moving all day, your body temperature is normal, and your heart and lungs are functioning efficiently. Of course, if early morning is the only time you can hit the weights, do it. That’s a lot better than trying to make it to the gym after work, when it’s crowded and you’re dragging. Do it when you can get to it. —Becky Holman

resembling them is pure fantasy. More important, everyone has a unique genetic blueprint. We can only do the best we can with the genetics we’ve been born with, and who’s to say that the physique we eventually build can’t be great in its own way? Just because it wouldn’t belong on the Mr. Olympia stage doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be something to be proud of and that people everywhere wouldn’t respect and admire. Those of you who have put years into hard training and good eating probably already know what I mean. People you meet are often as impressed by your physique as they would be by any pro’s. In fact, they may be even more impressed because you have a more attainable look than that of a cartoon-proportioned freak. It’s perfectly fine to draw inspiration from the physiques of the pros and to respect the hard work they put in to look the way they do. All I want to get across to you is that in aspiring to look exactly like them, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Why not aspire to be the most incredibly and perfectly developed you that you can be? That’s a goal you can actually reach. When you do, you’ll be pleased to find that it feels just as good as looking like a pro. Knowing you reached your ultimate potential feels damn good—maybe even as good as becoming Mr. Olympia! —Ron Harris

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by Charles Poliquin

Q: There’s a recent trend in bodybuilding to do fewer reps than the traditional recommendation. I’m talking about eight to 10 sets of three reps. Typically, according to what you used to say, at least, that’s more or less for strength and not for hypertrophy. What are your thoughts? A: True, it’s best to do higher reps when you’re looking for hypertrophy in the shortest time. You can definitely grow on sets of three; it just takes longer for the muscle mass to come along. You’ll get stronger on that low-rep system way before you get bigger. The thing is that most intermediate bodybuilders don’t grow because they’re just too weak. If you do eight sets of three or cluster training or some other heavy-load set-and-rep scheme, you use maximal weights, and your body learns to recruit high-threshold motor units. Let’s say a guy can do 250 for eight reps on the bench

press, and his pecs are at their limit. He can then go on a strength cycle. If he does 250 for eight, his max should be about 320. If he goes on a strength cycle and gets his bench up to 360, when he goes back to doing sets of eight, he’ll be able to handle 280. For that reason his pecs are going to grow—because he has used enough weight long enough to stimulate growth. But look at Olympic lifters. They never do more than six

Neveux \ Model: Ted Arcidi

Size vs. Strength Rep Ranges

Powerlifters and weightlifters use low-rep sets, while bodybuilders tend to use higher reps. Low reps will hypertrophy muscle tissue; it just takes longer than using the bodybuilding standard of eight to 12.

Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin


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Smart Training reps, but they have huge thighs and traps—because they’ve done it over a long period. What people don’t know is that muscle grows because it’s easier for muscle to hypertrophy than it is to recruit more motor units. It’s basically the body’s laziness. If you tap into new motor units and then go back and do sets of eight with your new max, you’ll grow. The opposite is also true. Some guys, for example, go into the weight room and lift every day, and their lifts haven’t improved since Hillary Clinton smiled. I ask them, “What’s your best for eight reps?” and they say, “I don’t know, 250.” And I say, “Try training with only eight-rep sets, and get that max up to 270. Then go back to heavy training.” So if you haven’t gained strength in a long while, you have to hypertrophy the fibers. Hypertrophy training is actually quite simple—I didn’t say easy. It’s much harder to make an athlete gain strength on a relative basis—that is, strength on a pound for pound basis—than to gain mass. The key to hypertrophy training is variety in applying the loading limits. Q: In your writings you come across as a low-carb type of guy. Can you summarize why? A: How about a list? I’d like to make the following points regarding low-carb diets. Of course, I could go on and on, but these are important points to consider: 1) Carbohydrate intake should be individualized. Some people (a minority) simply cannot train for extensive periods on low carbs. They’re usually gifted for aerobic sports, so I don’t see them anyway. 2) Low carb for life is the best solution for at least 75 percent of the population. If we banned grains, 90 percent of the health-care costs would go down. No more triglycerides, LDL, C-reactive proteins, low androgens, etc. 3) A lot of people are kidding themselves about how

many carbs they need. There’s a difference between a mouth and a vacuum. Skip a high-carb meal, and you can save a small African country. 4) You need more a low-carb lifestyle than a low-carb diet. Forty to 50 grams per day of good carbs is plenty for most of the population. That’s why there are so many fat dietitians and personal trainers. I recently saw a fitness author who’s a legend in his own mind for his dietary counseling prowess and a record of never healing weight training injuries. He’s never met a carbohydrate he didn’t like. No wonder his waist size exceeds his shoulder girth. 5) You need to distinguish between carbs and “neo” carbs. Neo carbs were not accessible to cavemen. Did a caveman have access to doughnuts? No. Doughnuts are neo carbs. Did a caveman have access to pasta? No. Pasta equals neo carbs. Did a caveman have access to grapes? Yes. Grapes are allowable carbs (in some instances). 6) Nutrient timing makes a difference. A 200-pound man can stay lean eating 250 grams of carbs a day if he takes 200 of them postworkout and spreads the other 50 throughout the day as low-glycemic carbs. I said, “stay lean,” not get lean. If you want carbs, get lean first. You have to deserve them. 7) No one eats enough vegetables. Have you ever heard of anybody bingeing on brussels sprouts? If you don’t eat enough veggies, a daily intake of mixed fibers may be indicated for a short period. If you were to get all nutritionists to agree only on one thing, it would be that everybody needs to eat more vegetables. 8) The leaner you are, the more carbs you can eat. That’s one of the reasons I insist that my athletes get as lean as possible as early as possible when they start working with me. 9) You can dramatically improve insulin sensitivity. When I teach the Biosignature, I give 16 hours of info on

It should be a low-carb lifestyle rather than a low-carb diet. Forty to 50 grams per day of good carbs is plenty for most of the population.

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that topic alone. Plenty of nutraceuticals (i.e., R-form stabilized alpha-lipoic acid, not the useless racemic form that everybody sells) and botanicals will improve insulin sensitivity, and functional tests can determine which ones would work best for you. Insulin sensitivity and the ability to hypertrophy while leaning out are very strongly correlated—much more than androgen output. 10) Every fifth day you should go back to eating more good carbs, as oxidation of branched-chain amino acids is compromised on low-carb diets. The number of good carbs should be inversely proportional to your percentage of bodyfat. 11) Following a low-carb diet without getting a high intake of smart fats is suicidal. Make sure to eat good sources of omega-3s and/or supplement them in your diet. Q: My arms haven’t grown in a while. Anything you can suggest to get me out of the rut? A: Try fixation/insertion supersets. In kinesiology, the origin of the muscle is what’s fixated, and the insertion is what moves. If you can somehow superset movements that combine those two opposite functions,

you tear fibers at both ends, and you get supercompensation. Here’s a nasty superset for biceps: Do four to six reps of close-grip chinups (or close-grip pulldowns, if you’re not strong enough to do chinups), rest eight to 10 seconds, and then do eight to 10 reps of incline dumbbell curls. Do five supersets, resting approximately two minutes after each round, and I guarantee you there will be no way you can bend your elbows without feeling extreme soreness for at least five days. Here’s what’s happening: When you do the chinups, the origin is at the elbow and the insertion is at the shoulder. Then, when you do the incline dumbbell curls, it’s the opposite: The origin is at the shoulder and the insertion is at the elbow. Mechanically, you’re doing two extremes, and you’re inducing fiber damage beyond belief. For triceps you can superset weighted dips with overhead extensions. Do five reps of weighted dips, rest eight to 10 seconds, and then do 10 to 12 reps of overhead extensions with a rope attachment. Rest two minutes and repeat. Do a total of five supersets, and you won’t be able to brush your hair for a few days. Again, because of varying arm positions in the two movements, you have your elbows below your shoulders in one movement and your elbows above your shoulders in the next. 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. Also, see his ad on page 271. IM

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Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

Fixation/insertion supersets involve attacking a muscle at both ends, origin and insertion.

Neveux \ Model: Cesar Martinez


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Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission NUTRITION SCIENCE

The Zinc Enigma Do hard-training athletes need more, and does it raise testosterone? A supplement popular with many bodybuilders is known as ZMA. That’s an acronym for its primary ingredients—30 milligrams of zinc, 450 milligrams of magnesium aspartate and 10.5 milligrams of vitamin B6, or pyridoxine. The B6 is added because it participates as a coenzyme in reactions involving the uptake and absorption of the mineral content. The suggested dose for ZMA is three capsules taken just before sleep—the magnesium is a sleep aid. According to the developer of ZMA, many hard-training bodybuilders and

other athletes are deficient in zinc and magnesium. When you consider that vital minerals activate more than 300 important enzyme systems in the body—including the ones involved with protein and carb uptake, hormone release and fat oxidation—it’s not hard to understand why being deficient in either or both hampers muscular gains and athletic progress. The human body contains two to three grams of zinc, of which 0.1 percent is replenished daily by food. Red meat is the most reliable food source. Poultry and fish, common staples of bodybuilding diets, are inferior sources. One study showed that adult men whose primary protein sources are fish and chicken had insufficient zinc intake. Women often shun red meat, which places them at higher risk for both zinc and iron deficiencies. While zinc exists in plant foods, some natural substances in those foods interfere with zinc absorption—phytates in whole grains and lignins in flax, for example. Overcooking protein results in what chemists call a Maillard reaction, which interferes with Neveux \ Model: Peter Putnam


to Grow both zinc and protein absorption. Other nutrients can also block zinc uptake, such as calcium, iron and large doses of the B-complex vitamin folic acid. Most researchers suggest that at least 25 percent of the world’s population is at risk for zinc deficiency, although most of those people live in poor Third World countries. Zinc is required for growth and development, as well as for immune function, cellular DNA repair, reproduction, vision, taste and brain function. Most forms of cancer involve damage to cellular DNA, and zinc is required for enzymes that repair DNA damage. Another way zinc helps protect against cancer is through interaction with superoxide dismutase, a major antioxidant that blocks the noxious effects of free radicals known to damage cells and initiate cancer.1 Various diseases impair zinc uptake, including those associated with alcoholism, such as liver cirrhosis. Stress can lead to enhanced zinc excretion. A potentially deadly genetic disease called acrodermatitis enteropathica is marked by an impairment of intestinal absorption of zinc. Signs of zinc deficiency include lack of growth, impaired immunity, dermatitis, poor healing of wounds and hair loss, with black hair often turning reddish brown. Zinc may also help prevent dementia, although higher amounts of zinc are also found in some demented older people. Just as zinc deficiency is a problem, so is zinc overload—usually the result of supplement overkill, though the effects are generally subtle. The recommended daily intake of zinc for adult men is 11 milligrams, eight for women. Vegetarians require an additional three to four milligrams daily because natural elements in vegetables and grains interfere with zinc uptake. Pregnant and nursing women also require about the same amount of additional zinc. Like most minerals, zinc follows a bell curve: Too much is as bad as too

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little. Too much zinc leads to an imbalance between zinc and copper, resulting in an excess excretion of copper. The effects of a copper deficiency include a type of anemia and a decline in protective high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and a serious copper deficiency could lead to a breakdown of the aorta, the large artery leading out of the heart, because copper is required for the synthesis of collagen, which strengthens blood vessels. While having sufficient zinc is vital for the function of immune cells known as T cells—which, among other things, protect against viruses and tumor formation—getting too much zinc works in reverse, impeding immune reactions in the body. Taking as little as 80 milligrams of zinc daily will have an immune-suppressing effect in most people. It concentrates in the prostate gland, and one study found that consistently taking 100 milligrams of zinc or more daily led to a 290-percent increase in the risk of metastatic prostate cancer. Even taking only 53 milligrams of zinc daily can impair copper status in the body. Plus, while not having enough zinc impairs blood-platelet aggregation, which leads to increased bleeding time, having too much increases the risk of internal blood clotting, which is linked to heart attack and stroke.2 From an athlete’s point of view, zinc status can either help or hinder. Low zinc intake is associated with impaired muscle function, reduced strength and a greater propensity to fatigue prematurely during exercise. Among the enzymes activated by zinc is carbonic anhydrase, needed for the metabolism of carbon dioxide. So if you’re too low on zinc, the enzyme’s activity is impaired, which messes with your breathing and would result in premature exercise fatigue.3 Zinc also works with various anabolic hormones, including testosterone, insulin, IGF-1 and growth

hormone. Without it, nitric oxide declines, which adversely affects hormone function and blood flow to exercising muscles. So can ZMA aid your bodybuilding efforts? If you know the effects of zinc deficiency, the benefits of a supplement like ZMA seem clear. Suppose, however, you get enough zinc in your diet—would ZMA still prove beneficial? A recent study compared the effects of taking the suggested three-capsule dose of ZMA to those of taking a placebo.4 The subjects were 14 healthy, exercising young men whose baseline daily zinc intake averaged between 11.9 and 23.2 milligrams. A study published in 2000 showed that semiprofessional athletes who took the suggested dose had a 30 percent increase in plasma testosterone and a corresponding increase in muscular strength compared to athletes not taking the supplement. In the new study, however, those taking ZMA had no rise in testosterone or its urinary metabolites. The pills were analyzed and found to contain no trace of pro-hormones, although they did meet label specifications. Other effects of ZMA in the subjects included a rise in urinary pH, or alkalinity, and a doubling of urinary flow over the eight-week study. The increased urine flow was likely related to the rapid excretion of zinc in the subjects taking ZMA. While the authors noted that the training level of the subjects was inferior to that of the subjects in the 2000 study, both groups had similar zinc and testosterone measures before and after

the studies. The authors suggest that for those not deficient in zinc, taking ZMA won’t affect testosterone levels. They further suggest that the ZMA effect on pH, as well as the increased urinary flow, may prove a problem for some people, citing the 30-milligram dose, which is close to the suggested tolerable safe daily dose of 40 milligrams. Since zinc is an ingredient in many other supplements bodybuilders use, such as meal replacements and vitamin-and-mineral capsules, that calls for caution on the part of supplement users. On the other hand, since studies show that fish and chicken aren’t reliable sources of zinc, bodybuilders who eschew red meat may benefit from some type of zinc supplement. Two other factors to consider are that only about 20 percent of a zinc supplement is absorbed under the best conditions (25 percent is absorbed from food). Other minerals, such as calcium and iron, speed zinc excretion. The other mineral in ZMA, magnesium, is also far more likely to be lacking in a typical bodybuilding diet. So a supplement such as ZMA may prove useful for many people. Just don’t depend on it to raise your testosterone too. —Jerry Brainum

References 1 Ho,

E. (2004). Zinc deficiency, DNA damage and cancer risk. J Nutr Biochem. 15:572-78. 2 Hughes, S., et al. (2006). The effect of zinc supplementation in humans on plasma lipids, antioxidant status and thrombogenesis.J Amer Coll Nutr. 25:4:285-91. 3 Lukaski, H. (2005). Low dietary zinc decreases erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase activities and impairs cardiorespiratory function in men during exercise. Am J Clin Nutr. 81:1045-51. 4 Koehler, K, et al. (2007). Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1-6: In press. \ MARCH 2008 49

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Food Facts That can affect your workouts, weight and wellness

Neveux \ Model: Gus Mallarodakis

Chocolate for your teeth? Researchers at Tulane University discovered that theobromine, a compound in cocoa beans, is better than fluoride for hardening tooth enamel and fighting decay.


Watered-Down Fat Now water can get you leaner

Neveux \ Model: Tom Voss

Your muscles are about 70 percent water—reason enough to get plenty of it during the day. Here’s another: Water also ramps up your metabolism. Researchers conducted a study to test its thermogenic effects, meaning its conversion of fat calories into heat. Seven men and seven women, average age 27, drank 500 milliliters, or about half a quart, of cold water. That caused a metabolic increase of 30 percent over resting status. The increase occurred within 10 minutes, reaching a maximum at 30 to 40 minutes after the subjects drank the water, and it lasted for more than an hour. It led the authors to suggest that drinking just a little more than a quart of water a day would augment energy expenditure by 200 kilojoules a day. That’s like taking 50 milligrams of ephedrine three times a day, which would give you an increased energy expenditure of 320 kilojoules. Granted, that adds up to only about 100 extra calories burned daily, but it does add to weight loss (J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 88:6015-6019; 2003). —Becky Holman

Onions have lots of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that reduces inflammation in the same manner as aspirin. That means onions can do good things for healing joint pain as well as cardiovascular health. Seaweed may make junk food healthier. How? By increasing its fiber content. In a study done at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom, scientists added seaweed to white bread for the health-boosting effect. Let’s just hope it doesn’t make toast smell like a fish market. Oil taken in with meals, whether as fish oil capsules or salad dressing, has been shown to boost absorption of some antioxidants and phytochemicals in vegetables by as much as 10 percent. Take a few fish oil capsules with every meal. Magnesium can help you sleep better. The mineral helps the body produce melatonin, a chemical in the brain that helps you relax. Try taking 200 milligrams with dinner. —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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Creatine Timing and Loading The research on creatine continues to point to its amazing effectiveness and versatility. One recent study examined the absorption effects of creatine when it was an ingredient in a drink and in two types of food bars.1 The bars contained either protein or beta-glucan, a soluble fiber found naturally in oatmeal and barley. The dose of creatine was two grams in all cases. The subjects got it three times daily for one week in one form, then took it in another form for a week—that is, one week liquid, then protein bar, then beta-glucan bar. The absorption of creatine was slowed eightfold by the beta-glucan bar and fourfold by the protein-and-creatine bar. Interestingly, all forms of creatine were completely absorbed, contrary to some advertising claims that most dietary creatine is largely degraded in the gut. The greatest effect was observed when creatine was combined with the beta-glucan,


For the best muscle saturation

resulting in the least urinary excretion and greatest retention. That implies that if you slow creatine absorption, you’ll retain more of it. Another study compared the usual creatine-loading regimen—five grams of creatine four times daily—with a more frequent intake, one gram 20 times a day.2 Nine subjects got the usual five-gram load at three-hour intervals, while those getting the one-gram dose got it every 30 minutes. Both regimens lasted five days. The results: The smaller creatine dose resulted in less urinary excretion than the larger one, which led to higher creatine retention. The authors concluded that taking smaller doses of creatine more often, or possibly using a timed-release form of the supplement, would bring better results. —Jerry Brainum

References 1 Deldicque,

L., et al. (2007). Kinetics of creatine ingested as a food ingredient. Eur J Appl Physiol. In press. 2 Sale, C., et al. (2007). Urinary creatine excretion following supplementation with 4x5 g day or 20x1 g day of creatine monohydrate for 5 days. J Sports Sci. 25:249.


Berry Good Memory

Low Carb or Low Fat?

We’ve all had short-term memory lapses (“Where did I put those keys?”). Blackberries may help. Anthocyanin, a phyotochemical they contain, has been shown to improve memory. The compound appears to help protect and rebuild brain cells, and in older folks it’s been shown to actually reverse age-related memory decline. —Becky Holman

Maybe neither is best for long-term weight loss. University of Pennsylvania scientists found that extreme changes in diet, like lowfat or low-carb regimens, trigger the release of stress hormones in the brain. That, in turn, causes anxiety, which can lead to binge eating. Carb reduction is a good strategy for losing weight, but don’t get carried away. Balance is best if you want to maintain your ripped physique. —Becky Holman

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Recent Relevant Research

Food news and supplement science

A carb-and-protein blend better than carbs. A study looked at whether resistance exercise performance and postexercise muscle damage were altered for those drinking a carbohydrate-and-protein beverage. Thirty-four male subjects completed three sets of eight repetitions at their eight-repetition maximum to fatigue. They did, in order, high pulls, leg curls, standing overhead presses, leg extensions, lat pulldowns, leg presses and bench presses. In a double-blind manner they drank 355 milliliters of either a carb-and-protein beverage or a placebo (electrolyte and artificial sweetener) 30 minutes prior to exercise: 177 milliliters immediately prior to exercise, 177 milliliters halfway through the exercise bout and 355 milliliters immediately following exercise. Those on the carb-and-protein drink experienced reduced muscle damage and soreness.1

Neveux \ Model: Daniele Seccarecci

Not to blindside you with too much science, but here’s the lowdown on some recent work from the ivory tower. First off, anyone who thinks that merely drinking sugarcontaining sports drinks is enough, think again. Drinking a sports drink before, during or after exercise is about as effective as entering the UFC’s Octagon after taking ballet lessons. Yep, it just ain’t enough.

A creatine-aminos-and-protein combo is better than carbs. Researchers compared a drink containing creatine, amino acids and protein to a carbohydrate placebo on body composition, strength, muscular endurance and anaerobic performance before and after 10 weeks of resistance training. Fifty-one men were randomly assigned to either the test drink or the placebo and performed two 30-second Wingate anaerobic tests (which is one painful bike exercise) to determine peak power and mean power. They found that the test drink was more ef-

fective than carbohydrates alone for improving anaerobic power production.2 Protease supplement works. What about the use of enzymes? Scientists studied the effect of a protease supplement on delayed-onset muscle soreness. They discovered that a protease supplement may be useful for reducing strength loss immediately after eccentric exercise and for aiding in short-term strength recovery.3 —Jose Antonio, Ph.D.


Fruit Salad Synergy When we eat fruit, most of us grab a single apple or banana for a blast of healthful antioxidants, but eating a few fruits together may be better. Mixing fruits, as in fruit salads, appears to boost antioxidant reactions more than eating individual fruits alone. Sure, it’s easier to peel a banana than to get out the knife and cutting board, but if you take the time to dice up lots—more than one serving—and put your salad in the fridge, you’ll have it for convenient snacking. —Becky Holman

Editor’s note: You can listen to Dr. Jose Antonio and Carla Sanchez on their radio show Performance Nutrition, Web and podcast at Dr. Antonio is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition— His other Web sites include,, www and www.JoseAntonioPhD. com.

References 1 Baty, J.J., et al. (2007). The effect of a carbohydrate and protein supplement on resistance exercise performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage. J Strength Cond Res. 21:321-9. 2 Beck, T.W., et al. (2007). Effects of a drink containing creatine, amino acids, and protein combined with ten weeks of resistance training on body composition, strength, and anaerobic performance. J Strength Cond Res. 21:100-4. 3 Beck, T.W., et al. (2007). Effects of a protease supplement on eccentric exercise-induced markers of delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle damage. J Strength Cond Res. 21:661-7.

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X-treme Lean Tips and Tricks 1) No-carb or extremely lowcarb diets are a bad idea. They can cause everything from low energy to flat muscles to impaired workout performance to depression to ill health. 2) Carb stack, if possible. Eating the majority of your daily carbs in the morning can increase fat burning later in the day. CARBS

Carbo Countdown What’s your optimal intake? A no- or very-lowcarb diet isn’t right for most people. The question is, How many carbs per day do you need? Carbs are energy, so it depends on your daily expenditure. The human body stores 300 to 400 grams of carbs as glycogen in muscle tissue and the liver. A weight workout may deplete 100 grams of that, cardio another 50 to 100 grams. Your brain runs on glucose as well, so 150 to 200 grams of carbs on training days should be about right to force your body to dip into its fat stores for energy. Just to make sure, get your carbs in the morning and/ or around your workout. —Becky Holman

3) Think of carbs as energy. Getting fewer carbs at a meal than the energy you need before your next meal can force your body to burn stored bodyfat for fuel. Neveux \ Model: Marvin Montoya

The following fat-burning tips are from the e-book X-treme Lean by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson. For more information visit

4) Always include plenty of carbs— and protein—in your postworkout meal, and have it immediately following a workout. If you don’t, your muscle repair and growth may be impaired. Shoot for 60 grams of fast carbs and 40 grams of fast protein, like whey. 5) Never eat carb-only meals. Eating combination meals of carbs, protein and fat slows down the speed at which glucose enters your bloodstream. In other words, combining carbs with other foods can prevent insulin surges that can increase bodyfat storage—as long as you don’t eat too much at one sitting. Each meal should be no more than 350 calories, except postworkout. 6) Try to choose natural carbs— like fruits and vegetables—over processed carbs like candy and cake. Processed carbs are calorieand carb-dense. They can stop fat burning and cause fat storage because of the excess energy they supply. Getting your carb allotment from processed carbs as opposed to fruits and vegetables can also cause health problems due to lack of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. 7) Get 20 to 40 grams of protein at each of your five to six meals a day. That will ensure that the musclebuilding blocks are readily available and signal your body that it’s A-okay to add more muscle.

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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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Muscle-Training Program 101

From the IRON MAN Training & Research Center by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Photography by Michael Neveux


ometimes a death in the family can have some positive ramifications. We’re not talking about a big inheritance, although that’s not a bad thing. We’re referring more to reflection and the insights that can result. For example, we were saddened by the loss of Arthur Jones, creator of Nautilus machines and the father of high-intensity training; however, his passing caused us to reflect on the birth of 3D Positions of Flexion—because our favorite mass-building protocol sprang from many of Jones’ muscle-building concepts. You may have seen Steve’s ode to Arthur in the December ’07 edition of this series. He remembered Jones’ impact on him and his early training: “POF incorporates specific exercises so that the target muscle is trained at three distinct points along its range of motion—midrange, stretch and contracted. That has a direct correlation to Jones’ Nautilus training principles. For example, he designed the pullover machine so that it trained the full-stretch and complete-contracted positions of the lats, while the Nautilus pulldown trained the muscle’s midrange position. I dissected and then adapted that full-range conArthur Jones. cept to standard equipment, including barbells and dumbbells, for every bodypart—and my muscle gains took a giant leap.” Recalling how well Steve’s muscles responded to the early POF programs has sparked us to morph the heavy/light program we’ve been using for the past eight weeks into 3D HIT. It’s a triple-hit high-intensity-training routine for each bodypart, with only one work set in each of the three position (that’s three work sets total for each muscle). It’s simple, basic POF with X Reps and a few other X-hybrid techniques to ensure optimal fiber activation in a single set. That’s reduced our time in the gym considerably—for example, our leg workout on Tuesday takes about 45 minutes. The quad routine is squats (midrange), sissy squats (stretch) and leg extensions (contracted)—simple, basic POF—one work set for each.

62 MARCH 2008 \

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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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Models: Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson \ MARCH 2008 63

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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 Here’s a review of our current split before we continue: Week 1 Monday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings, lower back Wednesday: Delts, midback, biceps, forearms Thursday: Off Friday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Week 2 Monday: Delts, midback, biceps, forearms Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings, lower back

Thursday: Off Friday: Delts, midback, biceps, forearms Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Week 3 Repeat Week 1

We work legs only once a week, And, as in our last program, we still substitute regular deadlifts for whichever back routine is called for on Friday. That gives us residual leg work at the end of the week as well as a heavy back blast. We follow the anabolic acceleration we get from deadlifts with one or two sets of a direct back exercise—pulldowns if it’s lat day; machine rows if it’s midback day. So we’re off the heavy/light program and on to 3D HIT—every exercise is heavy to at least positive muscular exhaustion; however, there’s much more recovery time and not as much systemic stress because we’re doing fewer work sets than in our previous program. We do get so-called light work on the contracted-position exercise to end each bodypart with a flushing

pump—doing the work set for 12 to 15 reps, which extends the proper warmup, tension time. which usually inOur new program is a boon to cludes doing two recovery. Training four days a week to three progreswith one work set in each position sively heavier sets of flexion for each bodypart is a nice for each midrange change, but is it enough to spur movement. Back new growth? The hardto squats: We est part is getting the muscle-building job done in one set. For example, the key exercise in the quad routine is squats, which we do first. We try to hammer it into our heads that we get one shot at making it count, so no quitting the set early. One of One of the keys to getting the muscle-building job done the keys in one work set is getting a proper warmup. Occlusion, via to making continuous-tension isolation exercises, can help. it count is getting a

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Model: Jamo Nezzar

Wednesday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs

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Workout 1: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 12-15 1 x 10-15 1 x 10-12 1 x 10-15 1 x 9-12

Workout 1

Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps) High cable flyes Bench presses (X Reps) Flyes (X Reps) Wide-grip dips (X Reps) Low cable flyes Chins Parallel-grip pulldowns Machine or dumbbell pullovers Rope rows Lying extensions (X Reps) Overhead dumbbell extensions or cable pushouts Pushdowns or kickbacks (X Reps) Incline kneeups Flat-bench leg raises Tri-set Ab Bench crunches Twisting crunches End-of-bench kneeups

Workout 2

Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Lower Back Leg extensions (warmup) Squats Sissy squats Leg extensions (X Reps) Walking lunges Stiff-legged deadlifts Leg curls Knee-extension leg press calf raises (X Reps) Leg press calf raises (X Reps) Machine standing calf raises or one-leg calf raises (X Reps) Seated calf raises (X Reps) Hyperextensions or Nautilus lower-back machine (X Reps)

1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 10-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 12-15 1 x 12-15 1 x 15-20 1 x 10-15 1 x 10-15

Seated laterals/upright rows (X Reps) One-arm cable laterals or incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) Forward-lean laterals Smith-machine presses (X Reps) Bent-over laterals Machine rows (X Reps) V-handle cable rows Bent-arm bent-over laterals Dumbbell shrugs Dumbbell curls Incline curls Concentration curls or one-arm spider curls Incline hammer curls Tri-set Behind-the-back wrist curls Rockers Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls

1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 9-12 1 x 12-15 1 x 15-20 1 x 8-10

Friday Workout Deadlifts (substitute for back workout)

1 x 9-12

Workout 3

Workout 3: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms

do a warmup set for 10 reps, add weight and do a second for eight reps, add weight again and do six reps. Then we attack our work set. We’re not sure if Jones would’ve approved, but we’ve talked to bodybuilders who used to train with the Mentzer brothers, and Mike and Ray, who were fervent HIT advocates, did extensive warmup sets before their Heavy Duty work sets during their competitive years. The same for Skip La Cour, who used minimal work sets to exhaustion preceded by many subfailure warmup sets—and that wasn’t just to make the heavy set safe. Getting the muscle as warm as possible simply makes sense—not only from an anti-injury standpoint but from a muscle-stimulation standpoint as well. In our e-books we’ve discussed the blood-pressure-cuff study that produced a 20 percent increase in strength after blood flow was blocked. The cuff was put on the upper arm for two minutes, and when it was removed, the trainees were stronger on wrist curls than when they were tested without the blockage—20 percent stronger. That shows you that an influx of blood is necessary to get a muscle to contract with max force, which in turn triggers maximum hypertrophic stimulation. A comprehensive warmup mimics the occlusion effect by pushing blood into the muscle after each lighter set. In fact, it’s one reason postactivation is so effective. That means alternating a big, compound exercise with a continuous-tension isolation movement for the same target muscle, then resting after each set, not in preexhaustion fashion—sorry, Arthur—for example, bench presses and cable crossovers. Many trainees actually get stronger on each succeeding set of the compound exercise when they alternate it with a continuous-tension isolation move, resting after each exercise. You can apply the postactivation method to your warmup. If you have trouble getting sufficiently warmed up with lighter sets of a compound exercise—bench presses in this case—we suggest substituting a higher-rep set of a continuous-tension isolation movement for one of the warmup sets. You could do two progressively heavier warmup sets on bench presses—50 percent and 80 percent of

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 e-book Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building. See the X-Blog at for more workout details.

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Train, Eat, GROW

Mike Mentzer, intensity-training pioneer. 3D HIT merges many of his ideas with an efficient multiangular attack, Positions of Flexion.

your work weight—then a 12-rep set of fairly light cable crossovers, using only the bottom two-thirds of the stroke for max occlusion. Rest a minute as the blood surges into your pecs, and then attack your work set of bench presses. It will give you much better pec-fiber activation. You’ll feel it, believe us. Small details like that can make a huge difference in mass gains, especially when you’re doing only one work set for each exercise. We’ll have more on 3D HIT next month.

Balik \ Model: Mike Mentzer

Note: Our latest e-book, Xtraordinary Arms, is available at It includes biceps and triceps specialization routines for width, peak and sweep plugged into our 3D HIT program. Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog training and supplement journals, visit The training ebooks are shown below. IM

X-traordinary Workouts — X-ceptional Results!

The Ultimate Mass Workout. This is the original X-Rep manual. Includes the ultimate exercise for each muscle and workouts.

Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building. More on X Reps and X-hybrid techniques, including X Fade and Double-X Overload.

3D Muscle Building. Positions-of-Flexion mass training. Includes the 20pounds-of-muscle-in-10weeks size surge program. Free download from

X-traordinary MuscleBuilding Workouts. The big 10 mass-program arsenal. Includes Heavy/Light, 20Rep Squat, Power Pyramid.


Naturally Huge by John Hansen, Mr. Natural Olympia

Train, Eat, Sleep, Grow Q: I’m 40 years old, 5’9” and 187 pounds (not very lean) and have been trying to build muscle for four years. I managed to gain 22 pounds in the first few years of training by mainly increasing my protein and calories, but in the past 18 months there have been no gains. I’ve tried bulking up with calories and got pretty big—mainly fat—but after dieting that off over three months,I was back down to the size I’d been before bulking. Does my age prevent me from gaining more muscle, or does my lack of sleep prevent it? I average about five hours a night on weeknights because of my job. I’ve been trying Mike Mentzer’s high-intensity training for the past few months. What’s your opinion of that type of training? I’m trying it to improve recovery. A: Building muscle in your 40s is definitely more challenging than it was in your 20s or 30s. Your testosterone and growth hormone are down, so it’s not as easy to add

Building muscle in your 40s is definitely more challenging than when you were younger, but it can be done if you pay attention to the details.

size. If you stimulate the muscle with the proper intensity and feed it the correct nutrition, however, you can get bigger after the age of 40. Building muscle begins with your workouts. If you’re overloading the muscle with enough stress, it will have no choice but to respond by growing. The trick is doing the best exercises using a training method in which the intensity is progressively increased without overtraining. The best and most effective exercises are the basic ones done with barbells and dumbbells. It’s hard to beat squats, barbell rows, deadlifts, bench and incline presses, overhead presses, dips, barbell curls and the like. They force the muscles to work extremely hard, which creates growth. That’s the first step toward getting the muscles bigger—overload them with a heavy resistance using the best exercises. Exercises like squats and deadlifts are also great for releasing testosterone in the body. Because of the energy output required, the body releases greater amounts of testosterone in response to the stress. That’s why it’s important to include them in your program. It’s also important to use heavy weights that will really challenge you to do the exercise in good form for six to eight reps. You said that you’re using Mike Mentzer’s training program to increase your recovery and recuperate fully from each workout. That’s very important and a big factor in getting the muscles to grow. It’s also important to make sure that each workout is progressively harder than the last. Progressive resistance forces the muscles to grow in response to the continued stress placed upon them. You can increase the intensity by using more resistance (going heavier) or doing more reps with the same weight (keeping them in the growth-producing six-to-10 range). Another way is to use some type of high-intensity technique such as drop sets, forced reps or supersets. I like to pick one progressive-training method (increasing resistance, increasing reps or using a high-intensity technique) and make each workout progressively harder for a cycle of eight to 10 weeks. For a week or two after the conclusion of that cycle I either(continued perform lighter workouts on page 102) or take off a complete week in order to let my body recover before starting another cycle. Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training method is basically the same philosophy: increase intensity progressively at each workout and allow the muscles enough time to rest

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Naturally Huge adding fat. You’ll figure out what works for you and how to eat in order to have more energy, more strength and more size. That will also help you if you want to diet to get more cut. By knowing what you’re eating and drinking every day, you’ll have a better idea of what to cut back on in order to get more ripped without losing size. One final word of advice. You’re right to think that you need more than five hours of sleep per night. If you can’t get enough sleep on the days you work and work out, make sure you take a one-to-two-hour nap on the days you don’t train and catch up on your sleep on the weekends. Train three to four days a week if you’re trying to gain mass. By cycling your carbohydrate intake and getting enough sleep on your rest days, you should be able to overcome the long hours you spend at work and get enough sleep to help you recuperate and grow.

Mike Mentzer’s training system preserves recovery but is too limited to stimulate most muscle groups to their full potential. in between workouts to fully recover. The difference is that Mentzer believed in working the muscles with very low volume; that is, very few sets. I also believe in performing only a moderate number of sets when training for size and strength, but I think you have to do a certain number of exercises in order to fully develop each muscle. The back, for example, needs at least three or four exercises to develop all areas. You could never fully train the back or other large muscle groups with only one or two exercises. As for your diet, you were on the right track in the beginning when you increased the amount of protein and carbs to add more muscle mass. Now you need to get more specific about what you’re eating. I recommend that you count every calorie and every gram of food you take in every day so you can determine exactly how many calories and how much protein, carb and fat you need to gain muscle without adding too much bodyfat. I like cycling my carbohydrate intake to achieve that goal. By eating more carbohydrates on training days and then cutting back on the days when you don’t train, you’ll be less likely to put on bodyfat. Most bodybuilders who are trying to gain weight and get bigger eat a lot of calories and extra carbohydrates every day, but if you’re trying to add muscle only without gaining fat, you should watch your carbs on your rest days. By writing everything down each day, you’ll be more aware of what your body needs to gain muscle without

Q: I know that you’ve written about cycle training in the past, and I know that bodybuilders like Frank Zane and Arnold cycled their training to avoid burnout. With that in mind, I’ve done some research, and the best ideas I’ve found come from Shawn Ray. He used to cycle his workouts to gain mass and shape. He divided his training into three cycles. Each cycle lasted three months or so. During phase 1 he divided his body into three parts: Day 1: Back, biceps and abs Day 2: Chest, triceps and calves Day 3: Rest Day 4: Thighs and shoulders Day 5: Rest He used four exercises each for back and thighs, three for chest and shoulders and two for biceps, triceps and calves. He used basic exercises only, like barbell rows, bench and incline presses, deadlifts, squats and military presses. He did four sets per exercise for six to 10 reps. During phase 2 he added a shaping exercise to the mix; for example, concentration curls for biceps, lunges for legs and cable crossovers for chest. Because of the added volume he divided his body into four parts: Day 1: Shoulders, biceps and abs Day 2: Legs and calves Day 3: Rest Day 4: Chest, triceps and abs Day 5: Back and calves Day 6: Rest He did five exercises each for back and thighs, four for chest and shoulders and three for biceps and triceps. He still did four sets per movement and eight to 12 reps per set. What I’d like you to do is create routines that I can follow that are consistent with Ray’s parameters. I know it’s a big job, but I also know that you’re the best source for natural bodybuilding information. I think that cycle training might take my physique to the next level and enable me to win. A: I like the idea of cycle training, and I think the way Shawn Ray designed his program is very good. He was doing the same thing that Frank Zane and Arnold did when they prepared for the Mr. Olympia each year, gradually building up the intensity in order to reach peak condition at the end of the year. Those champions were smart enough to know that you

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Naturally Huge can’t train all out every week of the year without eventually burning out. They would hold back on their training at the beginning of the year, gradually increasing the intensity and volume of their workouts until they reached peak condition at the end of their yearlong training cycle. My recommendation to you as a natural bodybuilder would be to keep the sets slightly lower and the training cycles shorter. That will enable you to use heavier weights and increase your muscle mass without burning out. Twelve weeks of training heavy and hard are pretty tough

Shawn Ray.

Squats Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Total sets:

4 x 6-10 3 x 6-10 3 x 6-8 13

By keeping the sets low and the focus on increasing your strength by using more resistance each week, you’ll be increasing your muscle mass without overtraining. You’ll also be able to train heavier each week and put everything into each workout because of the low volume and emphasis on just the basic exercises. If you did three eight-week cycles focusing on the basic exercises done for low reps and low sets, you could build substantial size and strength after 27 weeks of training—three eight-week cycles with one week of rest after the conclusion of each cycle. When your contest is 12 to 16 weeks away, you can do what Shawn did: Start training your body over four days instead of three and add another exercise to each training session to create more shape and separation in your bodyparts. You could add leg extensions or lunges for your legs, seated cable rows and one-arm dumbbell rows for your back, flyes for your chest, upright rows for your delts and so on. That would add a little more volume to each workout and would increase the intensity. At this point in the year you should be much stronger and bigger than you were at the beginning of the first cycle. Shawn gave each muscle group five days’ rest during phase 1 of his training, but he increased that rest time to six days for phase 2. I agree with that strategy, and I recommend the same training split. During your size cycles, you could train two days on/one day off/one day on/one day off to give each muscle group five days of rest. When the contest or the end of your peaking season gets closer—12 to 16 weeks out—you could train your body over four days using the two-days-on/one-dayoff/two-days-on/one-day-off cycle. Here’s an example of how you could split it up: Mass Cycle Day 1: Chest, arms, calves Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Rest Day 4: Delts, back, calves Day 5: Rest Repeat cycle

on the body, and you might begin to regress if you try to go heavier each week for that many weeks. I think you can keep the total sets for each bodypart between eight and 12 by focusing on the basic exercises. Even the bigger muscle groups can be trained with the basic movements for a moderate number of sets to increase the muscle mass and strength. Here’s an example of an off-season workout for back and legs: Back Wide-grip chins Barbell rows Deadlifts Total sets:

3 x 6-10 3 x 6-8 3 x 6-8 9

Thighs Leg presses

3 x 8-12

Peaking Cycle Day 1: Chest, triceps, calves Day 2: Abs, legs Day 3: Rest Day 4: Delts, traps, calves Day 5: Back, biceps, abs Day 6: Rest Repeat cycle 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 You can write to him at P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561, or call tollfree (800) 900-UNIV (8648). His new book, Natural Bodybuilding, and new training DVD, “Real Muscle,” are now available from Home Gym Warehouse, www.Home-Gym. com or (800) 447-0008. IM

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by David Goodin

Getting the Ultradry Look

altogether for the final three weeks, even rubbing Preparation H on my thighs. Nothing seems to work. Please tell me what to do.

A: The first thing that we have to get straight is the difference between bodyfat and water retention. It sounds to me as if you’re not getting your bodyfat low enough. Some people (like me) are lucky enough to have bodyfat distribQ: I was looking at your photos from the ’07 Team uted very evenly over our entire bodies. Others might store Universe. You were ripped to shreds from head to more bodyfat around the midsection (typical for men) or toe. In fact, in all of the contest photos of you that on the thighs and hips (typical for women). Bear in mind I’ve seen over the years, you’re always fully ripped. that when you retain fluid, you retain it all over your body, I seem to hold water in my lower body, particunot just in one bodypart. I bet I’ve heard a million times, larly in the thighs and glutes. How do you get your “Oh, he’s holding water in his lower abs,” or “She’s just legs to have that chiseled, ultradry look? I’ve tried holding some water in her glutes and hams.” That’s B.S. everything: dehydration, dropping squats from When everything else is ripped and certain areas are still my precontest leg workout, dropping leg training soft, that means there’s still a thin layer (or sometimes a not-so-thin layer) of bodyfat in the soft area. It’s because that’s where your body has more fat cells, and it’s the last place that all the fat is going to come off. Acknowledging the difference between a thin layer of bodyfat and water retention will make a humongous difference in your bodybuilding success. If you’re ripped to shreds most of the time and end up softer for a day or so but the next day are ripped again, that’s water retention. If you’re not quite there—just a little soft (or a lot soft) every day, even if it’s just one part of your body, that, my friend, is a layer of bodyfat still hanging on. You must stay strict on your diet and diligent with your cardio until you’re ripped everywhere. Then you’re ready. Whoever came up with the idea that dropping squats will make your legs more defined should have the sh#* slapped out of them. If your goal is to lose muscle size in your lower body, by all means drop the squats. Ditto for dropping leg training the last three weeks. If you don’t use that muscle, you’re gonna lose it. DefiniThe idea that if you stop squatting and/or tion is all about how thin you can get your skin—or, in other words, how stop training legs low you can get your subcutaneous weeks before a show, your legs will be more bodyfat. True, you don’t want to do an all-out leg workout the last couple of defined is absolutely days before you compete (you don’t ludicrous! want your legs to be tired and sore when you go onstage), but if you don’t continue to work your lower body hard, you’re going to lose muscle. That will make your skin looser and make you appear softer at a given bodyfat percentage because your skin is no longer stretched tightly over the muscle. The idea that if you stop squatting and/or training legs weeks before a show, your legs will be more defined is absolutely ludicrous. It won’t make your skin any thinner; it will just make your lower body less muscular and your skin less tight. Take a look at my photos from the ’07 Team Universe. I trained legs hard on the Sunday before the show. Normally, I’d have trained them on Monday, but the prejudgRoland Balik


Shredded Muscle

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If you dehydrate yourself, most of the water will come from muscle cells and blood volume, leaving you at and unable to get a pump. ing was on Friday evening. I also did whole-body workouts, retention. If you’re willing to work and diet hard enough including legs, on the morning of the prejudging and the and smart enough to get your bodyfat to minimal levels all morning of the finals. If squatting or training legs really over, your skin is going to be paper thin, and you’ll look as made one’s legs softer, I would have been dead in the water. if you were chiseled in stone. If you allow a layer of bodyfat Okay, that really got me fired up. Now for the dehydrato remain, no harebrained last-minute scheme is going to tion issue. If you’re taking anabolic steroids or exogenous make you shredded. My best advice is to be ready early. If testosterone, you probably need to go ahead and order you do that, you’ll be ripped to shreds at showtime. some prescription diuretics from your local drug steroid Train hard; stay natural. dealer and dehydrate yourself to get that superhard, thinEditor’s note: See Dave Goodin’s new blog at skin look. If you (like me) aren’t using any bodybuilding Click on the blog selection drugs, then dehydrating will leave you flatter and softer in the top menu bar. To contact Dave directly, send e-mail with less vascularity. Muscle tissue is almost 75 percent water, blood is about 83 percent water, adipose tissue is to IM only about 25 percent water, and bone is approximately 22 percent water. If you dehydrate yourself, most of “Schiek products are a CUT above the rest. Train with the best quality gear!â€? the water will come from muscle cells and blood volume. Dehydration will Jay Cutler, Mr. Olympia our leave you flatter due to less muscle volk out at Chec website om ume, and your skin won’t be stretched new .schiek.c www as tightly, which will make you appear smaller—because you’re softer. With the loss of blood volume, you’ll have a hard time getting a pump, and your vascularity will be less pronounced. Along with looking less muscular and less vascular, you’ll greatly increase your chance of cramping up onstage. I’ve been battling the dehydration myth with natural bodybuilders for years. To have the thinnest skin possible, you have to diet away all the bodyfat. At the last minute you can take measures to avoid retaining water on contest day. That means avoiding highsodium foods and foods that you have slight allergies to and taking a mild antihistamine just in case you’re exposed CONTOURED Dowel style to allergens. Last year I could see that shown above WRIST LIFTING BELT PLATINUM SERIES a number of drug-free bodybuilders s Comfortable hip-and-rib LIFTING STRAPS SUPPORTS LIFTING GLOVES contour (patented) were finally taking heed of the adverse s Easy-removal fins (patented) sâ€? thick and 2-1/2â€? s Straps and wrist support s Patented conical shape wide neoprene for all in one s Washable/Non-Bleeding effects of dehydration. At the athletes’ s Patented closure system extreme comfort s Lasts 3 times longer than s Gel padding (palm and thumb) s Durable two-year warranty sâ€? wide outside strap other straps meeting for the WNBF Pro Natural s One year warranty s 6â€? just $54.95, for added support s Available with 11â€? strap or s Ultimate grip just $34.95, U.S. Championships most of the best 4-3/4â€? only $49.95 s/NLY 6â€? lock-on dowel strap with wraps, $39.95 s 4â€? women’s belt, $44.95 s Proudly made in the USA competitors had gallon jugs of water on s Women’s model - $34.95 s Proudly made in the USA s A deal at $24.95 hand and were actually drinking it on Most scientific research the evening before the show. suggests that weight belts can Now for the last ridiculous notion— help prevent back injuries! rubbing Preparation H on your body to tighten up your skin. My response: “It just makes you smell like ass.â€? PreparaPOWER SERIES GYM BAG tion H is for reducing the inflammation s-ADEOFDURABLE LIFTING GLOVES in ultrathin hemorrhoidal tissue, not polyester s Easy-removal fins s-ULTIPLECOMPARTMENTS ELBOW SLEEVE (patented) POWER LEATHER normal skin. If you want to dehydrate on sides and front s Made with breathable s Washable/Non Bleeding LIFTING BELT your skin, just apply multiple coats s4WOSIZESAVAILABLE neoprene to expel moisture Same great patented design as s Now with gel padding 20" X 10" X 12" $39.95 and reduce skin irritation. throughout palm and thumb of Protan or other skin dye—without our nylon belt! 24" X 12" X 14" - $44.95 s Washable s Only $29.95, s 4 3/4" Belt only $54.95 using any moisturizers. The only thing s Proudly made in the USA with wraps $34.95 s 6" Belt only $64.95 s 3IZES - M, L, XL - $19.95 that will dehydrate your skin better than that is prolonged exposure to the desert sun. 920 s 426 s 2676 800 s 772 s 4435 fax: 920 s 426 s 2691 Whatever you do, recognize the s Call for a dealer near you difference between bodyfat and water


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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass by Steve Holman

Reverse-Pyramid Primer

Q: In your heavy/light program you call for reverse pyramids on heavy day. They sound like drop sets. Is there a rest between sets, and if so, how long? You reduce the weight on each successive set, so is a rest necessary? A: Yes, a rest is necessary because of the specific mass-building characteristic you’re attacking with the method. Reverse pyramids are a way to achieve max force, so you rest 2 1/2 to three minutes between sets. You reduce the weight enough to get the listed number of reps. After two warmup sets the first work set is only five reps, which primes the nervous system for the lighter sets to follow. With the heavy weight you actually trick the nervous system into firing more fibers on the lighter set. After the rest you take a reduced poundage and get seven to eight reps. Rest, reduce the weight again one last time, and then crank out a third work set of nine reps with X Reps. Technically, the seven-rep set may not be necessary; you could go from a five-rep set to a nine-rep set. Because most trainees don’t warm up enough or don’t focus enough on their warmup sets, however, the seven-rep set is a good way to ensure max force on the final set of nine. If you’re recovery challenged, you may want to try the heavy/light program with only two work sets on your midrange exercise. [Note: The heavy/light program is discussed and outlined in the ebook X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, available at] Q: First I’d like to say, I love your training articles and ebooks. One problem I have is that most of your training is designed for hardgainers, which I am not. I weigh 380 pounds and stand 6’10”. I’m at about 37 percent bodyfat, so I carry about 137 pounds of fat. The good news is that my lean body mass is around 250 pounds. My question is, Should

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A: Thanks for the compliments regarding my articles and e-books. I’ve worked with people in your situation, and the first thing I tell them is that they shouldn’t neglect building muscle—continue to work out to add solid lean mass—but don’t concentrate on only low-rep sets. I’m guessing you’re very strong, so your inclination is probably to do more power-oriented workouts. That’s okay on a few sets, but higher reps and/or drop sets and supersets are important because you need to go for muscle burn at every workout. The burn triggers growth hormone release, and GH is a very potent fat burner. So is testosterone, which lower-rep sets will help with. Whatever workout program you choose, make sure you get rep-range variance and muscle burn at every session. For example, you could do your big, midrange exercise, like bench presses, for low to medium reps like seven to nine and your more isolated work (contracted-position exercises like pec deck flyes or crossovers) with higher reps, like 12 to 15, or drop sets. A drop set is two sets done back to back with descending weights. For example, do a set at which you reach exhaustion at about 10 reps, reduce the weight and immediately do another set to exhaustion, reaching it at around six to eight reps. Yes, it does burn—but as I said, you want that. As for cardio, your blood is clear of glucose after you train with weights, so that’s the best time to tap into fat stores with low-intensity work on a treadmill. Do a medium-pace walk for 30 minutes after each of your weight workouts. Also try to do some walking or other cardio-oriented activity on your off days. The more calories you burn outside the gym, the better.

Neveux \ Model: Robert Hatch

Q: I just read in [one of those general men’s magazines] that most weight machines are dangerous. In fact, it listed the top 10 machine exercises to avoid, including leg extensions, pec decks and Smith-machine squats. Many of your programs include those movements, so I’m wondering what your response is. Did you see the article? A: Yes, I saw it, and believe it or not, I agree with it—if what you’re after is some functional strength with minimal risk of injury and no interest in impressive muscle size. The workout in that article featured a lot of bodyweight exercises for conditioning. That’s great if you’re an older guy trying to maintain your 14-inch arms. Unfortunately, if you want maximum muscle size, workouts like that won’t do it. You have to attack every muscle with the three facets of growth—max force, stretch overload and continuous tension—and some machine exercises can help you accomplish that efficiently. For example, to get the most effective continuous-tension effect in your quads, leg extensions are best. Yes, you could use nonlock squats, but that can be awkward, and it’s very easy to lose tension on your quads. Not so with leg extensions. Once you start repping, the tension builds with no way to derail it—unless you rest at the bottom, which you shouldn’t. And don’t let your knees bend past 90 degrees. That can overstress the joint. Blocking blood flow, or occlusion, has been shown to boost size and strength significantly, and leg extensions do it best for quads. Is the machine dangerous? It can be, but that’s why I suggest you do it last in your quad routine and use lighter

weights and higher reps. Remember, the goal is longer tension time and max occlusion so blood rushes into your quads at the end of the set. That finishes off the muscles with a nutrient-packed blood bath, kick-starting anabolism. Of course, Fat folks should build muscle for a squats are the best metabolic kick, but they should also mass builder because go for the burn to churn out extra GH. you can generate max force. But for the unique muscle-building characteristics of tension and occlusion, leg extensions get the job done better. All of the above goes for the pec deck as well. Just don’t overstretch. Stretch is important, but machines restrict freedom of movement, so stay in a comfortable range on every rep. Cable crossovers or cable flyes can provide the stretch-overload benefits for the pecs, but the freedom of movement they allow can limit that effect—it’s easy for you to lose tension in the target muscle. The Smith machine is probably the most dangerous of the three because of the way trainees use it. If you do Smith-machine squats as your first exercise on a power-oriented routine, you’ll tend to bounce out of the bottom. Bad idea. On the other hand, if you do Smith-machine squats with your feet forward as a transition exercise between quads and hamstrings, your quads will be fatigued, and your poundage will be lighter. You’ll also have to control your reps to feel your hamstrings working. The bottom line is that, yes, it’s safer to train for functional strength with little regard for muscle size. If your goal is impressive hypertrophy, however, you’ll have to go out on a limb and use some exercises that can be dangerous. Just make them as safe as you can. Keep in mind that any weight-bearing The Smith machine: joint jacker or exercise is danmuscle maker? gerous—even a so-called ergonomically correct bodyweight exercise like pushups. You just have to use your head and minimize the risks. Controlling every rep is a good place to start. Neveux \ Model: Mark Perry

I concentrate on losing fat and then build back the muscle later? I’m a true ironhead and can’t imagine not lifting—I love it too much. What would be the best course of action?

Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positionsof-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections beginning on page 116 and 296 respectively. Also visit for information on X-Rep and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM \ MARCH 2008 89

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born Episode 32 Bigger Isn’t Better; Better Is Better by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux


ur schedules had not been meshing well lately. Randy’s being a car salesman and my being a parent meant that we had very little free time. When I was a kid, keeping myself amused was my responsibility. Anything requiring money or my being driven anywhere was out of the question. As far as my mom and dad were concerned, I had food in my belly and a roof over my head; their job was done. I recall wanting desperately to enroll in a local karate school, but my parents were too cheap to pay the $10 a month. Oh, how times have changed! We think nothing today of paying for all manner of classes, lessons and sports activities after school and on weekends. Kids today are so busy, they actually need Palm Pilots and little daily planners to keep all their commitments straight. You can see them earnestly coordinating meetings on their cell phones while they try to trade Yu-gi-Oh cards. “Tuesday? No good, I have CCD,

then art class. Thursday? Ooh, boy, I’m totally booked: play practice, tae kwon do—don’t even mention Friday because that’s gymnastics from four to seven. We’re looking at middle of next week at the earliest. I’ll have to get back to you on that.” I even had to make an appointment with my 10-year-old daughter’s assistant to tuck her into bed one night. Yes, we have to keep our kids very busy because we can’t possibly let them play outside. When I was a kid, we would be gone for hours, riding our bikes over into the next ZIP code, but now we fear that if we lose sight of Junior for two minutes, he’ll wind up on the side of a milk carton. When I was a kid, milk cartons were just for drinking milk out of. We hadn’t yet been brainwashed by scary TV news into thinking there was a serial killer lurking behind every telephone pole. Randy and I barely met to train together anymore, as he worked out at six in the morning, an hour before I rolled out of bed to serve a sugar-packed breakfast to the kids. Trouble was, the New England was

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Model: Gregg Plitt \ MARCH 2008 93

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born

Bodybuilding is body sculpting. Train to get your weak bodyparts in line with your stronger ones. Model: Greg Smyers


Darrem Charles, ’07 Olympia


Dexter Jackson, ’07 Olympia

coming up in 10 weeks, and he still needed a lot of work on his posing. Hitting shots between sets was one thing. Nailing your quarter turns and finding exactly the right way to position yourself in the mandatory poses to highlight your strengths and steer attention away from your flaws was quite another. So at least once a week, usually around nine o’clock, we met for posing practice. As so often happens with first-time competitors, Randy was seriously considering bailing out of the show. Wouldn’t you know it, it was once again a matter of feeling too small. Women ask whether they look fat. Bodybuilders have the opposite concern. We’re forever worried that we’re shrinking. Eventually, I imagine, we’d be battling ants over crumbs and using matchsticks to build a little log cabin to live in. “I’m already down to 199. What the hell?” he wailed when we finally got together. He was looking for sympathy. He should have known better. If he wanted nurturing, he should have gotten Oprah to coach

him. “Yeah, and look—you’re already showing a good six-pack, some serratus and very respectable separation overall for 10 weeks to go,” I pointed out. “Right on schedule to be in killer shape.” “What am I going to be onstage, 185?” he cried desperately. “Maybe. So what?” Randy stopped posing to grab a quick drink and wipe his sweaty brow with a black gym towel that probably hadn’t been washed in quite some time. The dried white salt stains from his sweat reminded me a little of the Shroud of Turin. I squinted but couldn’t make out the face of Jesus. “So that’s too small. I knew I should have waited until I was bigger to do a show.” “How big do you have to be, then, huh? 220? 260? 300 pounds ripped? Bigger is always better. Is that what you think?” Randy shrugged. “Look at Ronnie Coleman. He’s almost 300 pounds ripped, and he’s the best in the world.”

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born

“Best in the world according to a few guys in blue blazers that judge the Mr. Olympia every year, sure. But if you asked a lot of fans which body they preferred, 300-pound Ronnie or smaller, more sculpted guys like Dexter Jackson, Darrem Charles or Ahmad Haidar, you’d be surprised how many people don’t find the mass monster ‘freakazoid’ look attractive. “Shawn Ray put it best in a recent conversation I had with him, the first time we’d talked since the early ’90s, as a matter of fact. He took a lot of flak for not putting on much size in the 13 years he competed as a pro, only about 10 pounds. I ought to know. I was one of his critics. But in those 13 years he was top five in the Mr. Olympia contest 12 times in a row and was runnerup on three different occasions to

men who outweighed him by 40 to 50 pounds—Lee Haney and Dorian Yates—in very controversial close calls each time. Even though he was often pressured to put on more size, he always remained true to the ideals he had for physical perfection. Shawn’s belief was that bigger wasn’t better. Better was better.” We ended every session with one-minute holds of each of the quarter turns and the seven mandatory poses. It was grueling, and Randy was usually shaking like a leaf and gritting his teeth with effort to maintain the poses. Nevertheless, it was an effective technique my friend Rob Fleischman had put me through for a recent show. Once you had gone through it a few times, you could stand onstage and make it all look effortless. While everyone around you was grunting, grimac-

ing and in general looking painfully constipated, you smiled with smooth confidence. We were at that point in the practice session. “Quarter turn to the right,” I called out, and Randy obeyed. “Legs,” I reminded him, as he had the very common novice habit of tensing his upper body but letting his legs relax. “So what, Ron, are you telling me not to train for size?” I was impressed that he could even talk at this time, since he had to be exhausted. “Of course not. You definitely need to train for size, but not just for the sake of sheer size. You want to have an aesthetic physique: a small waist, a nice taper, good overall shape and proportion. I know right now you want to be a pro bodybuilder, but you might very well change your mind soon. Things

Shawn Ray, ’90 IRON MAN

Bob Paris, ’89, Neveux Studio

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born Men like Steve Reeves, Arnold, Serge Nubret, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada and Bob Paris had physiques that even the average person could appreciate and admire. The guys now are just too big.

Model: Gregg Plitt

“Hey! Stay in the front double-biceps. We’re going to hold the poses for two minutes from now on so you can really make it look effortless.” “You’re such an a-hole,” he sputtered, shaking and probably about to cramp up. “Three minutes each pose!” I shouted. I know Luke Skywalker wasn’t such a wise-ass with Yoda. “And if you mouth off like that again”—I reached into my bag, then “You’re still not getting it. I’ve told started snapping pics with my digital you many times that your shape camera—“I will post these on the and overall proportion are very Web as a thread called ‘My boy Randy good. I’d give my left nut for a waist is gonna kick all your sorry asses at and hips as small as yours. My hips the New England.’ Okay, front lat look more suited to childbirth than spread.” bodybuilding. You might stand next The cramp hit just as he was going to some guy who’s technically biginto the pose. It was his calf, oddly ger and thicker because he weighs enough. “You wouldn’t dare,” he the same as you do and is shorter, whimpered. but he might have a big old belly, a I smiled my impish smile. “You wide waist, clunky joints and so on. know I would. I’d find it quite hilariIf it was only about size, we could ous, actually.” diet down a lot of powerlifters and “What kind of coach are you?” he World’s Strongest Man competidemanded accusingly. tors and have them winning all the “You’ll thank me someday,” I asbodybuilding shows. But bigger sured him. “Here’s hoping with a nice does not mean better.” new car or something. Either that Randy stared at me. “Hello?” or you’ll come looking for me with “What?” I responded casually. a shotgun. I’ll probably be retired in “Next pose?” and he started going Miami Beach by then anyway under into a front lat spread. an assumed name, so good luck.” IM

have really changed. Men like Steve Reeves, Arnold, Serge Nubret, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada and Bob Paris had physiques that even the average person could appreciate and admire. The guys now are just too big. They don’t even look real anymore, and the size-for-the-sake-of-size mentality has resulted in big guts, giant butts and bodies that sometimes look more like big mutated lumps of meat than a thing of beauty. People wonder why bodybuilding is a small cult sport compared to football and baseball. They don’t realize it’s turned into a freak show. Front double-biceps.” “The thing is, he said, going into the pose, “I know I’m going to look small compared to the other light heavies at the show. It’s embarrassing, that’s all.” 98 MARCH 2008 \

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Growth-Rep Why Beta-Alanine Is Taking the Bodybuilding World by Storm by Mike Lackner

Neveux \ Model: Derek Farnsworth


ou’re sweating profusely. Rep number six was tough, and now number seven is fighting you every inch of the way. The fire in your heart can hardly overcome the burn in your muscle. The biggest competition of your career is approaching, and succumbing to fatigue and pain is not an option. Repetition number eight defeats you—the barbell stops at the halfway point, and the intense burn and exhaustion force you to quit. Against your will you had to get help from your spotter. If only you could have pushed it a little bit further. You give the motionless barbell a defiant stare and think about your perfect nutrition program and the fact that your energy levels are the best they’ve ever been. So why is the muscle fatiguing when you know you could have

done more? The intense burning sensation is what you strive for during your sets. It lets you know that you’re working as hard as you should; however, the acids that create that feeling cause the muscles to tire and energy levels to rapidly decline, forcing you to end a set before you intend. The key to prolonging the set is to increase the training threshold. If the buildup of acids within the muscle could be buffered, energy levels could be maximized, and you could compel the muscles to complete those extra couple of growth reps on each set and push your gains to the next level. More muscle in less time. You need something to buffer lactic acid. That something is beta-alanine.

To “L” and Back As many of you already know, amino acids help repair muscles

that have been broken down during intense training. They also perform many other functions. In the case of L-carnosine, one of those functions is to help you keep going when the burn is about to set in. L-carnosine is a dipeptide, meaning that it’s made up of two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. The beta-alanine plays the major role in forming L-carnosine, and the amount of L-carnosine your body can produce is limited by the amount of available betaalanine. Just in case you’re planning to make an appearance on the game show “Jeopardy,” you may be curious as to why many amino acids have an L in their name. The L amino acids are in the family of alpha amino acids, which have all of their amino and carboxyl groups attached to the same carbon atom, forming their molecules in an L shape. In a beta amino acid the defining \ MARCH 2008 103

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atom group is attached to the carbon atom next to the one to which the carboxyl group is attached. Although beta-alanine is found in many proteins, the body doesn’t use it to form structural proteins. The only naturally occurring beta amino acid, beta-alanine is broken down into acetic acid (vinegar) during the metabolic process and acts as a buffer in the muscle to combat fatigue. The body’s capacity to construct beta-alanine is limited to some degree, so if you don’t eat enough of the right foods to get your required quantity, you’ll need to supplement with it. The fact that IRON MAN readers are hardcore lifters means that they train with optimal intensity and need much more beta-alanine than the average individual. Supplementation is a necessity.

Neveux \ Models: Justin Schlak and Christian Boeving (top)

Fibers and Fatigue L-carnosine (beta-alanyly-L-histidine) isn’t exactly a recent discovery. It’s been known to the scientific community since 1900, but not until 1995 did the public become aware of L-carnosine’s ability to affect exercise performance. L-carnosine actually breaks down into beta-alanine and histidine and gets absorbed by the muscle. Then the two substances combine and reform into L-carnosine—nothing like taking the long route. Even though it may appear to be inefficient, L-carnosine enables you to achieve new strength and power by keeping you from succumbing to fatigue. The muscles consist of different types of fibers that serve diverse purposes. Slow-twitch, or type 1, fibers can contract for an extended number of cycles while creating modest force, and fast-twitch, or type 2, fibers can contract rapidly and powerfully but fatigue very quickly. L-carnosine is most abundant in type 2b fibers, which contain double the amount found in type 1 fibers, The 2bs contract with the greatest speed of all the type 2 fibers and make for the most explosive muscle movements. As a matter of fact, a muscle can’t contract optimally unless it enlists type 2 fibers. The problem is, while speed and power are fine and dandy, type 2 fibers tire too soon.

In order to force your body to add muscle, you must move large amounts of weight and perform explosive movements. Ballistic training and recruitment of type 2 fibers are therefore mandatory. If you can’t maintain the intense workout for very long, you won’t be able add mind-blowing amounts of muscle mass in the shortest amount of time possible. The key is to be able to keep those type 2 muscle fibers firing as many times as possible without stopping. Type 2 muscle fibers are anaerobic, so they must generate energy in a hurry without the luxury of using oxygen. When energy is used for ATP synthesis in that manner, positively charged hydrogen ions (H+) are created as part of the energy release from glycolysis. The muscles’ pH balance is disturbed as acid byproducts saturate it. As the muscle is continually forced to increase its intensity and work, more and more H+ ions are formed, the pH balance

in the muscle continues to drop, and the muscle becomes more and more fatigued. You can’t avoid that process when training intensely, but you can minimize it. Luckily for us muscleheads, the lab coats have found a way to deter excessive buildup of acid in the muscles during extreme workouts. Research shows that L-carnosine takes up the H+ ions that cause pH to decrease and lead to fatigue. Supplementing with beta-alanine or L-carnosine and increasing their presence in blood causes more H+ ions to be absorbed, and thus pH balances will remain higher as well as muscle energy levels. L-carnosine studies have shown that it only benefits power-type activities. Raising blood levels of L-carnosine by supplementation with beta-alanine will help you get a couple more reps during an explosive movement, but it won’t help you when you’re doing aerobic exercise.

In order to force your body to add muscle, you must move large amounts of weight and perform explosive movements.

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Growth-Rep Saturation Studies

How Much?

Optimal times to take two of the doses would be directly before and after a workout, since you’ll also take higherglycemic carbohydrates at the same time.

Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

The majority of studies on Lcarnosine have been done with animals. One of the studies that did use human subjects included sprinters, 800-meter runners, rowers and marathon runners. Muscle biopsies revealed that the sprinters and rowers had much more L-carnosine in their bodies, which illustrates that powerbased exercises have an effect on the amount of L-carnosine used by muscle. The 800-meter and marathon runners did not display any statistically significant elevation in L-carnosine compared to subjects who did not train at all. The study demonstrates that the different stresses of powertype muscle actions influence the amount of L-carnosine in the muscle. Further, it shows that muscle does use L-carnosine to buffer fatigue-causing activities. Another study showed that muscle L-carnosine was highly correlated to peak power output during sprint cycling. Researchers who fed subjects a combination of beta-alanine (10 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) and histidine (12.5 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) for 30 days observed an increase of 13 percent in participants’ muscle L-carnosine. Some studies, however, have shown that supplementing with larger amounts of beta-alanine and histidine increases muscle Lcarnosine by as much as 60 percent. In one experiment researchers gave rats a diet that contained just under 2 percent L-carnosine and saw an increase of up to 500 percent in the rats’ muscle L-carnosine. That tells us that L-carnosine can be increased by supplementation. In most studies that used beta-alanine only, subjects took three or four doses of 400 or 800 milligrams in an eight-hour period for 10 weeks, after which the average increase in intramuscular L-carnosine was 80 percent.

Having been around gyms for a long time, I can already see the lightbulbs flash- (continued on page 110)

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(continued from page 106) ing.

Neveux \ Model: Todd Smith

Don’t fall into the more-is-better trap. It’s always important to be responsible when supplementing. There hasn’t been a great deal of research done on L-carnosine, especially in human subjects who were given large doses for long periods. In one study, parathesis, which is a tingling feeling of pins and needles, was reported by those using a dose of 50 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight of L-carnosine—much as an oral dose of niacin affects many people. Another study found no significant difference in muscle L-carnosine levels when subjects got doses of 3.2 grams per day compared to doses of 6.4 grams per day. Definitely consult your physician before supplementing with L-carnosine or beta-alanine. We’ve seen that when Lcarnosine is taken in, it breaks down into beta-alanine and histidine and that the amount of L-carnosine your body can manufacture is dependent on beta-alanine. L-carnosine as a complete compound is more expensive than its elements beta-alanine and histidine in their pure (continued on page 114)

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form. In the event that your budget is very limited and you must choose between the two, it would be better to supplement with beta-alanine alone than histidine alone. That’s because histidine is used in many protein synthesis reactions, and supplementing with it would only cause more amino acid competition. Beta-alanine, on the other hand, isn’t used in protein synthesis, and all of it would go to developing L-carnosine. When supplementing with beta-alanine, there’s no spiking effect. Beta-alanine’s influence on muscle carnosine appears to be time dependent. It should be taken in three to four small doses each day. Optimal times to take two of the doses would be directly before and after a workout, since you’ll also take in higher-glycemic carbohydrates at the same time. The simpler carbohydrate will cause insulin levels to spike slightly, and insulin drives amino acids into the muscle. With more beta-alanine driven into muscle, your body can use it to produce greater amounts of L-carnosine. Why should you supplement with beta-alanine? Well, maybe you shouldn’t—unless you want the benefit of being able to perform more reps, recover more quickly between reps and recover better from training. Don’t allow yourself to be defeated by the soreness and fatigue that come from acid buildup in the muscle. Supplement with betaalanine to extinguish the burning inside the muscle. Those extra couple of repetitions on each set will add up to a lot more muscle over time. IM

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Neveux \ Model: Christian Boeving

(continued from page 110)


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Shoulders Keys to Building Electrifying Delts by Layne Norton Photography by Michael Neveux


any bodybuilders have great physiques. A lot of them are huge, however—so huge, people often say, “They don’t need to get any bigger.” Even so, the deltoids are one muscle group that everyone could use a little more of. A wide shoulder structure is the first thing that identifies you as a bodybuilder. Having big shoulders makes your waist look smaller, makes your lats look bigger and makes your upper body as a whole look better. Unfortunately, the deltoids can be quite stubborn. A few genetically blessed people have wide shoulders with naturally round deltoids, but the majority of us have to bust our asses to get bigger shoulders. When I first got serious about bodybuilding, I already had a good base. I had a big chest and big arms; however, my body looked much like a ruler. I had no delts; that is, they didn’t stand out at all from my arms. I knew that if I wanted to have any hope of making it in the sport, I would have to drastically widen my shoulders. I tried many different routines and half-assed my way around the gym doing it. In the end it took me doing quite a bit of research and experimentation to find a program that worked. \ MARCH 2008 119

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Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty science behind the shoulders. The deltoid complex is unique, as it can move in almost any direction. As a result, many different exercises can be used to stimulate the muscle fibers in many ways. The deltoid is composed of three heads: the anterior, or front, delt; the posterior, or

Neveux \ Model: John Cowgill

Dissecting the Delts

The deltoid complex is unique, as it can move in almost any direction. As a result, many different exercises can be used to stimulate the muscle fibers in many ways, and to maximize growth you must work each of the three heads: anterior, or front; medial, or middle; and posterior, or rear. firm believer in isolating each delt head with a specific exercise in order to maximize growth; however, it’s also key to include a good compound movement for building overrear, delt; and the medial, or middle, delt. To stimulate muscle fiber and maximize growth, you must do exercises for each head. I am a

all size and strength. In terms of compound movements for the shoulders, I believe that dumbbells are far superior to

barbells. When you use a barbell, your hands are locked into one position, which hinders your range of motion. Not only does it place more stress on your joints, but, in my opinion, it also takes away fiber stimulation because of the limited range. Don’t take my word for it, though. Try doing a shoulder workout with barbell presses and one with dumbbell presses. I guarantee that you’ll feel a difference in fiber stimulation. Here are the two shoulder routines I use. Note that I do warmup sets for all exercises and that I do all the work sets listed to failure.

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Workout 1 Seated dumbbell presses 2 x 6-12 Arnold presses 2 x 6-12 Dumbbell bent-over lateral raises 2 x 6-12 Braced one-arm lateral raises 2 x 6-12

Workout 2 (Preexhaustion) Cable lateral raises 2 x 6-12 Seated dumbbell presses 2 x 6-12 Upright rows 2 x 6-12 Cable bent-over lateral raises 2 x 6-12 I alternate these workouts every four weeks and work all exercises through a full range of motion. I

Developing the reardelt head will create more fullness in the muscle and create a wider-shoulder look.

believe that the number of muscle fibers you can stimulate is directly proportional to how far you can stretch and how well you can contract a muscle. (Why do you think calves and forearms are problem bodyparts for so many people? They have limited ranges of motion.) For example, on seated dumbbell presses you should lower the dumbbells until they touch the tops of your shoulders and then press them overhead, moving up and together until they touch at the top, and on lateral raises you should raise the dumbbells as high as the top of your head and slowly lower them back down to the sides of your thighs.

Repetition Cadence Each repetition should be done in controlled fashion. The most I ever use on lateral raises is 30-pound dumbbells, but I see people who weigh 50 pounds less than I do using 45-pounders on the same exercise. How do they do it? They swing the weight. If I used momentum and swung the weight, I could do lateral raises with 55 to 65 pounds in each hand. So why don’t I do it? I want to get big, and I’m not going to let my ego get in the way of that. If you’re using momentum and swinging the weight, you aren’t stimulating jack. And if you don’t stimulate many muscle fibers, you won’t grow. When I do lateral raises, I slowly lower the weights—usually I resist as hard as I can— and it can take six full seconds to lower the weights. To raise the weights, I use my shoulders, not momentum. I quickly lift the weights through the positive part of the rep, but I do it with control. All exercises should be done in that slow, controlled fashion. On most of my exercises the positive portion of the repetition takes about two seconds while the negative portion takes six to eight seconds. True, I use less weight than many people in the gym, but I’m also bigger than most of those guys. So take heart and use lighter weights.

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No Cheating! It’s very easy to cheat on shoulder exercises and use other parts of the body to assist in lifting the weights. If you’re serious about muscle growth, you’ll avoid that. As I said, many people cheat on lateral raises by moving their entire upper body to get the weight up (it’s actually quite comical to watch). Braced laterals will help keep you from

using momentum, as they virtually eliminate all cheating. Here’s how to do them. Take a dumbbell in one hand, and, using the other arm to stabilize yourself on a bar or a seat, lean away from whatever you’re holding onto. Now simply lift the dumbbell in a lateral raise. Note that you won’t be able to use the rest of your body to help you lift the weight.


Braced one-arm laterals enable you to attack the important medial-delt head without cheating.

In workout 2 you’ll also note that I do cable raises before dumbbell presses. If you’re wondering why in the hell I would put an isolation exercise before a compound exercise, the answer is, to better stimulate muscle fibers—with preexhaustion. Have you ever done shoulder presses and felt as if you could do more reps but you failed to get them because your triceps gave out and you couldn’t lock out the weight? That happens quite frequently; it is normal. The triceps

are a smaller and weaker bodypart than the shoulders, so they frequently fatigue before the shoulders on presses. Undoubtedly, if you feel your shoulders can still do more, you’re missing out on some fiber stimulation. To remedy that, you preexhaust them. Do a couple of sets of an isolation exercise to failure, and your shoulders will be “prefatigued” and stimulated before you bring in the triceps, ensuring that the muscle fibers will get more stimulation.

Shoulder Do’s and Don’ts Do:. • Use heavy weights that you can control. • Work through a full range of motion. • Use isolation exercises in conjunction with compound movements. • Work in a slow and controlled cadence. Don’t:. • Cheat when lifting the weight. • Lift the weight quickly and in an uncontrolled manner. • Use more weight than you can handle in a controlled manner. • Use more weight just to be a show-off. • Use any other part of your body to lift the weight. Editor’s note: Layne Norton has a B.S.

Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

Layne Norton.

in biochemistry and is a Ph.D. candidate in nutritional science. He’s a professional drug-free competitive bodybuilder in the IFPA and NGA. His Web site is For more of his articles visit IM

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Model: Toney Freeman \ Photo Illustration by Brett Miller

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The Science of

Muscle Size Simplified

Applying Hypertrophic Research to Make Record-Breaking Gains by Steve Holman

Photography by Michael Neveux


uscle growth—and we’re talking giant leaps in size—should be a lot easier for most bodybuilders to achieve. After all, hyperspeed hypertrophy happens in the lab with specific scientific applications. For example, there’s the animal study that triggered a 300 percent increase in muscle mass in only a month with a specific type of overload (more on that coming up). Did you get that? A triple-size muscle rise in 30 days! (Imagine your biceps and triceps doubling or tripling in size in one month. Holy crap!) Then there are the Japanese scientists who got an 800 percent increase in size over standard-training results using a specific method (more on that coming up too). Are you getting excited? You should be if you’re into packing on more muscle as quickly as possible because these types of phenomenal muscle gains provide clues you can use to get huge! \ MARCH 2008 131

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Muscle Size

3D Muscle Morphing No, you don’t need special glasses. It’s “3D” because there are

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Model: Toney Freeman

The mysteries of muscle growth seem to perplex every generation of bodybuilders—so much so, in fact, that most quit out of frustration, overtrain into oblivion—as in zero gains—or resort to dangerous drugs just to maintain a halfway decent amount of size. It doesn’t have to be that way, at least for most trainees who have average, or even slightly below-average, genetics. It’s not that difficult to pack on some major mass—if you know precisely what to do in the gym to mimic what scientists have done in the lab to create an extreme anabolic environment. It all comes down to three things: exercise selection, intensity and recovery. Let’s focus on exercise choice first so that you can go to the gym and pull the get-bigger trigger at every workout. That’s where anabolic acceleration starts.

three points of attack for each muscle, and each of those points, or positions, produces specific—and often dramatic—anabolic and hypertrophic stimuli, as dictated by scientific research. (Regular IRON MAN readers will recognize this as Positions of Flexion, or POF, but as you’ll see, new research has evolved that system into a more effective mass-building method.) With POF you use up to three exercises for each bodypart, chosen for their unique mass-building effects: midrange moves for maximum force, stretch moves for stretch overload and contracted moves for continuous tension and occlusion. (See the “Hypertrophy Hierarchy” on page 134

Model: Toney Freeman

Mysteries of Muscle Growth Solved


Muscle Size


Hypertrophy Hierarchy Midrange Exercise = Max Force Stretch Exercise = Stretch Overload Contracted Exercise = Continuous Tension and Occlusion Stretch



resistance to a point on the stroke where the target muscle is semistretched, such as near the bottom of an incline press, and power out eight-inch partials to enhance force generation and activate more fasttwitch growth fibers. This technique circumvents nervous system failure so you continue to fire high-threshold motor units. Stretch. In the introduction I mentioned the animal study that got a 300 percent increase in muscle mass in only one month. The only form of muscular stress that was used in that experiment was progressive-stretch overload. The scientists gradually increased the resistance on a bird’s wing in a stretch position over the course of a month of “workouts.” The scientists believe that extreme muscle growth oc-

for a more visual representation.) Midrange. These exercises are, in most cases, the compound moves that engage a number of muscle groups at once—the big, multijoint exercises. The muscle teamwork that occurs on compound movements means that you can overload the target muscle with heavy poundages (think squats or deadlifts). They not only overload the target but also help jack up anabolic hormones like testosterone when you go heavy and push to exhaustion. So the keys to the anabolic ability of these mass boosters are muscle teamwork and max overload, which enable you to optimize force production because of the heavy poundages you can use. Generating max force elicits the anabolic cascade that builds the fast-twitch muscle fibers—the fibers with the most potential for growth. If you don’t generate enough force and don’t strive to increase it, you don’t trigger a size increase in those fibers. It’s that simple; however, extreme size is much more—a lot more—than just developing fasttwitch fibers, as you’ll see. Examples of midrange exercises include close-grip bench presses (triceps), chins (lats) and squats (quads). Supercharger: X Reps. When you reach exhaustion on a set, at about rep eight or nine, lower the 134 MARCH 2008 \

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Model: Steve Kummer

Model: Omar Deckard

Stretch-position exercises, like sissy squats for quads and pullovers for lats, have unique muscle-building characteristics, including anabolic hormone release in the target muscles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Platz (far right) used stretch-overload techniques to get extraordinary anabolic adaptation. For example, Arnold’s bottom-range dumbbell flyes for pecs. cured due to hyperplasia, or fiber splitting: “Using this approach produced the greatest gains in muscle mass ever recorded in an animal or human model of tension-induced overload, up to 334 percent increase in muscle mass with up to a 90 percent increase in fiber number!” (Antonio and Gonyea. Med Sci Sprts Exerc. 25:1333-45; 1993). In other words, the researchers are saying that a lot of the triplesize muscle gain was due to fibers multiplying rather than expanding. But do you really care how it happened? You just want it to happen to your muscles—now!—and that means using progressive-stretch overload at almost every workout. Mild freehand stretches or yogaparty routines won’t do it; you have to have an overload component, which means weights (think heavy dumbbell flyes). Like midrange exercises, stretch-position moves generate considerable force. Bonus: Stretch-position exercises have also

been linked to anabolic hormone release inside muscle tissue. Obviously, they are very special hypertrophic stimulators. Arnold knew that instinctively. Remember how he used to do his dumbbell flyes, emphasizing the bottom stretch and never coming up more than about halfway? He used heavy dumbbells and targeted the area of muscle elongation, driving through the pain of stretch overload. Could that be one reason his pecs grew to enormous proportions? Oh, he brought his calves up with stretch overload too.

He did a lot of donkey calf raises, a stretch-position move, emphasizing the bottom range of the stroke at the end of sets, and his calves became monstrous. Was part of that due to hyperplasia? Hmm. Tom Platz, a legendary bodybuilder who was known for his freaky quad development, used to do a combination of hack and sissy squats; at exhaustion he would move to the sissy squat bottom, \ MARCH 2008 135

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Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler emphasize the stretch position of many exercises. Has it triggered fiber replication and enhanced their ability to get abnormally huge? Scientific studies say yes.

stretch position and pulse for as many partials as he could stand. Could the extreme stretch overload be a reason his quads moved into the freak-physique category? It’s possible; and remember that this happened during a time when steroid use was minimal. Interesting!—if you’re into building extreme muscle size, that is. Today you see Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler emphasizing muscle-stretch overload in their programs. Watch any of their DVDs and notice the attention to muscle elongation with heavy weights. Coleman often does only the bottom, stretch portion of an exercise, adding a distinct explosion at muscle elongation, while Cutler double or triple hitches at the point of stretch on a lot of his exercises. Examples of stretch-position exercises include overhead extensions (triceps), pullovers



Muscle Size

(lats) and sissy squats (quads). Supercharger: Double-X Overload. This is similar to what Jay Cutler does on many of his exercises—a single, double or quadruple hitch at the semistretch point of every rep. For example, on overhead triceps extensions you lower the ’bells to full stretch behind your head, drive up about eight inches, lower to full stretch again, then drive overhead for a full rep. You can use one or more of those partials between reps to more thoroughly tax the key stretch position. Contracted. Blocking blood flow to a muscle, called occlusion, has been shown to do tremendous things for muscle strength and size. It may be an adaptation effect created by choking off fuel and nutrient delivery. One study, which was reported on in the Journal of Strength (continued on page 140)

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You can see why the biggest bodybuilders include continuoustension sets in their routines— they force blood out of the muscle and create massand-strengthincreasing occlusion effects. Model: King Kamali

menting with kaatsu, or occlusion, techniques. They got a predictable, paltry 7 percent increase in quadriceps cross-sectional area in four months with standard training, but when they used occlusion, they got an 8 percent increase in cross-sectional area—in only two weeks! That’s right, better results in about oneeighth the time—two weeks as opposed to 16 weeks. That’s about an 800 percent increase in gains when blood flow was impeded. Wow! You can see why the biggest bodybuilders include continuous-tension sets in their routines—they force blood out of the muscle and create those mass-and-strengthincreasing occlusion effects. Giving the target muscle no rest during a set produces the blood-flow-blocking effects. Why does blocking blood flow produce such spectacular increases in muscle size and strength? Part of it may be due to the incredible rush of blood to the bodypart once blood flow resumes and the development of endurance components like capillary beds and cell mitochondria. Scientists have suggested that the bodypart bloodbath that occurs after occlusion can produce everything from upgraded release of heat shock proteins to alterations in muscle calcium metabolism (calcium contributes to contraction) to greater recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Interesting—and exciting—especially when you do the math: Let’s see, a conservative 8 percent increase in quad size times 12 months—holy cow! That’ll double-size your thighs in a year!

(continued from page 136) Conditioning Research (15:362-366; 1997), applied it to subjects’ forearms by placing a blood pressure cuff on their upper arms for two minutes. The cuff was then removed, and the subjects did wrist curls. Results: Those who had their blood flow impaired prior to exercise showed

a 20 percent strength increase over the subjects who didn’t use the blood pressure cuff. Yes, 20 percent! (If we were talking bench press, and your max was 250, a 20 percent increase would have you benching 300 pounds—instantly!) What about muscle size? Japanese scientists have been experi-

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Muscle Size

other anabolic hormones, like testosterone (triggered by midrange exercises), to make them much more potent. (Bonus: GH also helps you incinerate bodyfat at a far greater rate.) Whew! Are you starting to see all of the anabolic benefits of contracted-position exercises and their unique characteristics? Examples of contractedposition exercises include pushdowns (triceps), stiff-arm pulldowns (lats) and leg extensions (quads). Supercharger: Higher reps or drop sets. You want to extend the tension time, so doing continuous-tension exercises in the 12-to-15-rep range will make them more effective. You can also do two medium-

Model: Tomm Voss

As I said, the keys to creating occlusion in the gym are continuous tension—no target-muscle rest during a set—and resistance in the contracted position, where blood is “wrung” out of the muscle. That usually means single-joint isolation exercises (like leg extensions) done for higher reps. Those exercises are also notorious for igniting muscle burn, which in and of itself is anabolic—it’s directly linked to growth hormone release, as verified by a study published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology (22:244-255; 1997). That connection may have something to do with higher blood lactic acid levels, which are partially responsible for muscle burn. Or it may be the occlusion effect—or both. GH is important because it synergizes with


Model: Will Harris

Examples of contractedposition exercises include pushdowns (triceps), stiff-arm pulldowns (lats) and leg extensions (quads).

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Muscle Size

3D Results

compound exercises with almost no stretch-position moves. Then for the second five weeks he shocked his muscles using full 3D POF routines for every bodypart, hitting each muscle with midrange-, stretch- and contractedposition work—but only one or two work sets of each. His results were astonishing, especially in that second five weeks, when he introduced stretch-overload exercises. No, he didn’t get a 300 percent increase in mass like the subject in the bird study, but he did gain 20 pounds of muscle over the course of that 10-week experiment—and that’s with no steroids (he is a lifetime drug-free athlete). Jonathan’s before and after photos from that experiment appeared in last month’s IRON MAN (February ’08, Train, Eat, Grow). If

That’s a lot of information, but what should filter through to you is the three-pronged approach to scientific muscle building—midrange, stretch and contracted movements. There’s a specific 3D biceps example coming up, but first let’s talk about results. The most dramatic example of 3D POF’s power that we’ve witnessed occurred in the early ’90s when it was first tested on Jonathan Lawson in the 10-Week The occlusion effect of contractedSize Surge protocol. He position exercises develops the used a basic routine for capillary beds and mitochondria in the first five weeks, mostly muscle tissue. It also encourages the release of growth hormone.

you missed them, you can see them at A good example of how and why this program worked so well is his two-phase biceps workout. During

Model: Jonathan Lawson

rep sets back to back. For example, on leg extensions use a weight that causes you to reach exhaustion at about rep nine; then reduce the weight and immediately do another set, reaching exhaustion at around rep six. With either method you will elicit a full pump. On drop sets you also get more of those hard end-ofset reps that hit the high-threshold motor units, but you get a brief rest between the sets as well. Which is better? Neither. They are different. Use them both.


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Muscle Size



The first exercise was switched to cable curls because it’s impossible to do X Reps on regular barbell curls—it’s a leverage-shift problem. Also note that you do fewer sets due to the higher intensity on the Jonathan’s second routine. Does it work? 19-plusJonathan still uses variations inch arm. of those 3D POF routines today, and he’s pushed his arm measurement to more the first five-week phase he only than 19 inches—despite wrists that did barbell curls (midrange) and measure only seven inches. Most concentration curls (contracted), for experts say that a seven-inch wrist one to two works sets each, hitting indicates a fairly small bone strucarms once a week, on Wednesday. ture that won’t support a lot of mass. (He trained his back, chest and delts Jonathan’s arm measurement says twice a week, on Monday and Friotherwise. day, which provided residual arm 3D POF is a simple concept based work, so he was getting some arm on real science that attacks all the work three days a week.) Remember Positions-of-Flexion training that the first five weeks constituted is based on real science that the anabolic-primer stage, with few, attacks all the facets of muscle if any, stretch-position exercises. growth—from max force to For his second five-week phase he stretch overload to tension and moved to full 3D POF programs for occlusion. every bodypart. So for biceps he did barbell curls, incline curls and concentration curls every four or five days. Note the addition of incline curls, a key stretch-overload movement. He did only one to two work sets of each exercise—usually four or five total sets for biceps. Jonathan put a full 1 1/4 inches on his arm measurement in that 10-week span, and he didn’t add fat; in fact, he lost one inch off his waist. Here is the full 3D POF biceps program he used (by the way, it was one of Arnold’s favorite biceps routines, although Arnold used more volume because of genetics and, um, well, other advantages):

facets of muscle growth with precision and efficiency. It’s anabolic acceleration. We’ve had reports of even better gains than Jonathan’s from 3D POF users. Heck, I’m 48 years old and making some of the best gains of my life with the above tactics and fast workouts. Try the new-and-improved 3D biceps routine, taking each nonwarmup set to exhaustion and beyond, and you’ll feel it working. Could you add 1 1/4 inches to your arms in a few weeks, as Jonathan did? Give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose—and loads of muscle to gain! Editor’s note: For more info on Positions of Flexion and Jonathan’s complete 10-week size-building program, visit IM

Midrange: Barbell or dumbbell curls 2 x 7-9 Stretch: Incline dumbbell curls 1-2 x 7-9 Contracted: Concentration curls 1-2 x 7-9

Midrange: Cable curls (X Reps) 1 x 7-9 Stretch: Incline dumbbell curls (DXO) 1 x 7-9 Contracted: Concentration curls (drop set) 1 x 9(6)

Model: Omar Deckard

Applying the intensity superchargers discussed above, that new program would look like this:

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The Long,

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Long Road to

VICTORY How I Finally Won a Bodybuilding Contest by Ron Harris Photos courtesy of Ron Harris

If you’ve been reading IRON MAN for a while, you’re probably familiar with my name. It was in this magazine back in 1992 that I was first published, and I have continued writing for IM ever since. I also do a lot of writing for other magazines, and in fact it has been my full-time job for more than seven years now. Over the past 15 years I’ve written so many articles about how someone became a champion bodybuilder that I lost count a long time ago. That happens when you turn out 200 manuscripts a year. Being a competitor myself since 1989, I always wished for my own victory to write about. It took nearly two decades and more than 20 contests, but in August 2007 I finally did it: I won the light-heavyweight and overall titles at the NPC Natural Colonial Cup. \ MARCH 2008 155

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Long Road to


The Little Bodybuilder That Could I was really never meant to be good enough as a bodybuilder to win contests. Most guys like me give up on that goal sooner or later and decide either to compete just for the love of it and accept that they will never win or to train to look and feel good and forget about getting onstage. Not me. I am just too stubborn. Way back in 1988 I sent some photos of myself to Ellington Darden, Ph.D., whose training books had been motivating me since I’d discovered them the previous fall. A week or so later I dialed up Nautilus headquarters and somehow got him on the phone. Seizing my stroke of luck, I implored Darden to rate my potential, expressing my desire to be a pro bodybuilder like my heroes Rich

Finding the Best Diet for You

Gaspari and Lee Labrada. “Forget it; you don’t have the genetics,” he bluntly informed me, pointing out various structural flaws and the fact that my muscle bellies weren’t long enough to carry an extreme amount of mass. I thanked him for his time and his honesty,

One thing you will notice about my contest diet is that I don’t eliminate carbs. The zerocarb diet has become very popular recently, but I don’t feel it’s for everyone. Personally, I believe that carbs are very important both before and after training. Your workouts are better, you get a good pump, and you replace the lost glycogen and start recovering for the next workout. Even on days when I didn’t weight train, I would still have a small amount of carbs in the form of an apple or a cup of strawberries after my cardio session. When I stop eating carbs, I lose muscle, and I suspect that happens to a lot of other bodybuilders. Drugassisted bodybuilders seem to do better on zero carbs because the drugs act to maintain their muscle mass. Natural bodybuilders don’t have that ace in the hole. Experiment with different types of diets and find one that is both effective for you and doesn’t make you feel like death warmed over. It’s true that there’s always going to be a certain amount of suffering and sacrifice involved in getting ripped, but it shouldn’t be so bad that you feel like staying in bed all day. —R.H.

but inside I was seething. I’ll show him, I said to myself. He wasn’t the first or the last person to tell me I was wasting my time, and each one only fueled my determination. Only after moving to the Los Angeles area in 1991 and being immersed in the bodybuilding industry thanks to my job with ESPN’s “American Muscle” (now defunct) did I finally begin to understand that extraordinarily gifted genetics as well as large amounts of steroids played major roles in the physiques of the men I wanted to look like. Since I obviously wasn’t a genetic freak and had no intention at that time of ever using steroids, I lowered my expectations. Though standing on the Mr. Olympia stage wasn’t in the cards, 156 MARCH 2008 \

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My Contest Diet* 7:15 a.m.: 1 whole egg, 6 egg whites, 1 cup rolled oats, a few strawberries or 1/2 sliced apple, 1 scoop Parrillo Hi-Protein powder (15 grams protein) 9 a.m.: Weight train 10 a.m.: BCAA powder, 5 grams glutamine 10-10:45 a.m.: Cardio 10:45 a.m.: 60 grams whey protein, 50 grams Gatorade, 50 grams waxy maize, 5 grams creatine, 10 grams glutamine 12 p.m.: 2 turkey breast burgers, 1 small sweet potato, 1 large raw carrot 2:30 p.m.: 60-gram protein shake (Muscle Milk Lite and Parrillo mix), 1/2 cup unsalted nuts 4 p.m.: 12 ounces salmon, 1 medium sliced cucumber 7 p.m.: 60-gram protein shake and nuts (see 2:30 feeding) 9 p.m.: 5 whole eggs, large green salad, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter 1 a.m.: 35-gram protein shake 4 a.m.: 35-gram protein shake Supplements: Parrillo Performance Hi-Protein, Optimized Whey, Liver Aminos, Essential Vitamin, Essential Mineral-Electrolyte, Advanced Lipotropic, Creatine Monhydrate, Evening Primrose Oil, Bio C, Natural E-Plus, Higher Power L-Glutamine; Gaspari Halodrol Liquigels and Novedex XT; Cytosport Muscle Milk Light; NOW Super Enzymes; ginger root; Nature’s Best Zero-carb Isopure (whey protein); Sci Fit Kre-Alkalyn and BCAA powder; Nutrex Lipo 6; Biotest Hot Rox Extreme; Species Nutrition Lipolyze; Labrada Nutrition Lean Body RTD (occasionally) On days when I don’t weight train, my first meal is whole eggs, and I have a whey shake and an apple after cardio. Then every meal is either protein and veggies or a protein shake and some nuts. *This was the diet from 16 weeks out until four weeks out, at which point the only change I made was to cut my carb intake in half. —R.H.

I knew I could still at least win a contest if I continued to train hard. Being fortunate enough to have access to many of the top minds in the industry, such as Steve Holman, John Parrillo and dozens more throughout the ’90s, I became far more educated about proper training and nutrition. Slowly but surely, my physique grew and improved. My gains were never dramatic, but as I tell others who get discouraged, every little bit adds up over time to eventually make a substantial difference. When I started training at age 14, I weighed only about 95 pounds. By age 23 I was up to 230, albeit carrying more bodyfat than I should have been.

Time to Hang It Up? I competed fairly regularly over

the years, and eventually a pattern emerged. Whether there were two guys or 10 guys in my class, I inevitably took second place. It was beginning to look as if I was butting my head against a wall. No matter how good I looked, there was bound to be someone else who looked better. Obviously, that was negative thinking, and I tried my best to stay positive. I had to believe that as long as I refused to give up and continued to do everything possible to improve my physique, my day would come. There were many times when I struggled with the idea that fate was conspiring against me. Guys whom I had beaten would go on to win other shows, or they might have already won other shows. I began competing in the ANBC, but by the mid-’90s I had switched to the NPC. My first three NPC shows were IRON

MAN Naturally events held in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and again in Los Angeles. In 2000 I moved back to Boston with my wife and two children, who had come along in 1994 and ’99, and in 2002 I began competing in nontested NPC events for the first time. I did the New England three times and the Massachusetts Championships twice, taking second in the heavyweights on three of those occasions, and I even flew back out to Southern California to place— you guessed it, second—as a light heavy at the tough Orange County Muscle Classic. After the ’05 New England I was really starting to think it was time to bow out gracefully and move on. Preparing for competitions is so time consuming and forces one to be so self-absorbed that I just didn’t think it was the best thing for me as a husband and father. I hadn’t quite made up my mind to quit, but I was on the verge.

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Coming Clean—for Good

Some guys can take small amounts of drugs and get absolutely huge. Others can take plenty of steroids and make only moderate gains.

I’m writing about this for the first time here in IRON MAN because this is where I began my writing career. Much of my early writing focused on natural bodybuilding and railed against steroids, and all of my competitions from 1989 until 1995 were drug-tested. I had every intention of remaining drug-free, but eventually my curiosity (and cynicism) got the best of me. In late 1996, a couple months after I turned 27, I did my first cycle of steroids. Though I stopped for almost two years toward the end of the decade, I used them in regular intervals off and on until February 2005, when I was 36 years old. I never used growth hormone, but I did use plenty of regular steroids like test, Deca, Equipoise, trenbolone, Winstrol and Dianabol. My results were okay but nothing spectacular. What many people don’t realize is that just as some

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My Training Program L, B, C Rotation: L = legs; B = biceps and back; C= chest, shoulders and triceps Train on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, following the sequence—L1, B1, C1, L2, B2, C2 and so on. L1 Hack squat calf raises Standing leg curls (RP) Adductor machine (RP) Squats (1 SS) Leg presses (WM)

L2 Leg press calf raises Lying leg curls (RP) Adductor machine (RP) Hack squats (1 SS) Leg presses (WM)

L3 Seated calf raises One-leg leg curls (RP) Adductor machine (RP) Smith machine squats (1 SS) Leg presses (WM)

B1 Dumbbell spider curls (RP) One-arm cable reverse curls (1 SS) Standing cable curls (WM) Undergrip pulldowns (RP) Cable pullovers (WM) Hammer Strength seated rows (RP)

B2 EZ-curl bar curls (RP) Pinwheel curls (1 SS) Cable curls (WM) Rack chins (RP) Cable pullovers (WM) Barbell rows (RP)

B3 Hammer Strength curls (RP) Dumbbell hammer curls (1 SS) Standing cable curls (WM) Hammer Str. Iso pulldowns (RP) Cable pullovers (WM) One-arm dumbbell rows (RP)

C1 Incline dumbbell presses (2 SS) Cable crossover (2 SS) Hammer Strength presses (RP) One-arm laterals (WM) Decline skull crushers (RP)

C2 Arnold presses (2 SS) One-arm dumbbell laterals (WM) Hammer Str. incline presses (RP) Cable crossovers (2 SS) Hammer Strength dips (RP)

C3 Hammer Str. flat presses (RP) Cable crossovers (2 SS) Smith-machine front presses (RP) One-arm laterals (WM) Cable pushdowns (RP)

RP= rest/pause, SS = straight set, WM= widowmaker

I got rid of all the stuff I had and started over again, doing it all naturally after several years on the dark side.

people respond to training by growing more than others, so, too, is there a sliding scale when it comes to how effective steroids are. Some guys can take small amounts of drugs and get absolutely huge. Others can take plenty of steroids and make only moderate gains. That was me. Whether I was on or off, the difference was usually about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle and water. Eventually, I began to give serious thought to getting off the drugs for good. There were many reasons. First and foremost, I worried about long-term effects on my health and longevity. More and more bodybuilders were dying or coming down with serious illnesses. I had lost my own dad to cancer when I was 16. Did I really not want to see my own kids grow up, get married and have children of their own? And for what? So my muscles could be a little bigger, and I could lift a little more weight in the gym? I also couldn’t ignore the legal issues. People I knew were getting into big trouble. I had never been arrested in my life, and the last thing I needed as a respectable citizen was to go to jail. Plus, I was spending a few thousand dollars a year on

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drugs, money that should have been invested in my home and family. Finally, I was sick of having to dodge the issue and tell people it was none of their business when they asked me if I used. What kind of role model was I to my kids and my readers? I got rid of all the stuff I had and started over again, doing it all naturally after several years on the dark side. I decided I would compete again in a tested show, though I didn’t know where or when. In the meantime I had to be off drugs at least a year to qualify for any tested shows and also had to readjust mentally and physically after depending on the extra boost that steroids had imparted. One last note I need to add is that to all of you who feel let down by a man who once championed natural bodybuilding having turned to steroids, I am truly sorry. My use is nothing I am proud of, but it does feel good to tell the truth at last. I felt I owed that to you all.


For the first time in more than 20 years of training, my workouts were structured to the last detail and always had a clear goal.

D.C. Training A few months after I got off the juice, I finally took the plunge and started D.C. training, which I had been on the fence about for a couple of years. I was fortunate enough to have the guidance of its creator, Dante Trudel, in the beginning. He helped design my programs and offered suggestions and changes while monitoring my progress. For the first time in my more than 20 years of training, my workouts were structured to the last detail and always had a clear goal. I always knew exactly which exercises I would do on a given day, and the mission was simple—to beat my numbers. That meant I had to either do more reps than last time I had performed a particular exercise or, if I had exceeded the rep ranges indicated, use a little more weight. I trained on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays using a three-way split, so whatever I worked on Monday got hit again on

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VASOFLOW IS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO RADICALLY ELEVATE BLOOD LEVELS OF POLYAMINES, GROWTH HORMONES AND INSULIN* *These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Long Road to

VICTORY As I forced myself to gain strength in many exercises, I saw new size gains, even in bodyparts like arms that had seemingly hit their genetic limit. I was making real improvements to my physique for the first time in years and doing it drug-free.

Friday. D.C. isn’t for everybody, but it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time in my training career. I had been at a plateau of size and strength for a very long time. Even in the years I used steroids, I would get to a certain point and no further. What I needed was a systematic approach aimed at increasing strength. Dante believes that a stronger muscle becomes a bigger muscle, and I found it to be true in my case. As I forced myself to gain strength in many exercises, I saw new size gains, even in bodyparts like arms that had seemingly hit their genetic limit. I was making real improvements to my physique for

the first time in years and doing it drug-free. By the end of 2006 I had been training D.C. style for half a year, and the results were so satisfactory that I set a goal of competing—and winning—for 2007. I just needed to find a show.

Sweet, Sweet Victory| at Last In January ’07 NPC District Chairman Dave Follansbee released the schedule of events in New England. I had spoken with him several times about promoting natural shows in the area, as I felt they could provide viable options for myself and many other NPC athletes who choose to

train drug-free. I was pleasantly surprised to see not one but three tested events on the schedule for 2007. The first was in April and thus too soon for me to prepare properly. The last was in late October, which was longer than I wanted to wait. The middle one was in August, though, which was perfect. The kids would be out of school, I could tan out on my pool deck, and I would be in shape for the whole summer. The clincher was the name—the Natural Colonial Cup. My first contest, in 1989, was called the Colonial Classic. I took that as an omen that this was the show I had to do. I started cleaning up my diet in mid-January, weighing 233 pounds.

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Without the drugs my waist came down to 32 inches, the smallest it had been in 10 years.

I knew from past experience that a longer, more gradual diet would help me maintain as much muscle mass as possible. It also meant I wouldn’t have to go crazy on the cardio. I started out at 30 minutes four times a week and never did more than 45 minutes a day, six or seven days a week. My machines of choice were the Treadmaster by Nautilus (a hybrid of a treadmill and a stepper), the Precor elliptical runner and the Stepmill. Another muscle robber in the past for me had been overtraining. In my enthusiasm to win, I would add exercises and sets to my workouts and thrust myself right into catabolism. Now that I was dieting without the muscle-maintaining benefit of steroids, it was more critical than ever to avoid that pitfall. Since I was training D.C. style, that was not an issue. I followed the same brief, intense workouts that I had in the off-season and gave my body plenty of time to recover. By June I was looking my best ever and gaining confidence by the day. When I was on steroids, my midsection would bloat to the point where even when I was dieted down, my waist still measured 36 inches. Without the drugs it came down to 32 inches, the smallest it had been in 10 years—and I was still

holding a little over 200 pounds. The final weeks were all about fine-tuning and dialing in. I weighed in at the show at 194 pounds. Though it was the lightest I had been in more than a decade, my improved proportions and V-taper, as well as the muscle maturity resulting from all the additional years of heavy training, gave me the illusion of looking bigger. I won my class and then swept the overall with a perfect score in each case. The most intense feeling I experienced was actually relief. After all those years of trying my best and coming up short, when I finally won, I felt as if a tremendous weight was being lifted off of me.

We Are All Winners Of course, I was a winner all along because I was improving every year. That’s what bodybuilding is all about. Your most important opponent is you. That said, it still felt wonderful to be the last man standing onstage that day, as it validated all my years of hard work and persistence. At so many contests over the years I had envied “that guy.” There was almost always that one guy who was so good that everyone knew he was going to win. At last I got to be that guy. What’s next for me? I’m all done with competing, at least for a couple of years. I will be 40 in the fall of 2009, so maybe I will come back to compete in both the masters and open divisions at another tested event. In the meantime, working in the sport I love and enjoying my family and my health will be all I need. Editor’s note: For more on Ron Harris, visit www.RonHarrisMuscle .com. IM

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Tonic in a Teapot, Part 2 The Health-Fixer Elixir Helps Burn Fat and Build Muscle Too by Jerry Brainum Part 1 described tea’s effects on metabolism and its cancer-prevention characteristics. This time we’ll look at its cardiovascular and brainbuilding effects, plus ways it can help burn bodyfat.

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The Cardiovascular Effects of Tea An initial event in cardiovascular disease involves the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, the socalled bad cholesterol, which is the primary carrier of cholesterol in the blood. In vitro, or test-tube, studies show that green tea inhibits LDL oxidation. EGCG, the primary antioxidant in green tea, is more potent at inhibiting LDL oxidation than tocopherol, a.k.a. vitamin E, is. Black tea—in much larger doses—also inhibits LDL oxidation. Green tea prevents the proliferation of smooth muscle in the walls of arteries that causes arterial narrowing.1 Animal studies, such as those done with rats, show that green tea

lowers serum and liver cholesterol. It stimulates cholesterol excretion in the bile, helping regulate the only way the body eliminates excess cholesterol. In a recent experiment, rabbits were fed diets containing excess cholesterol for two weeks, then supplied with green tea for another four weeks. The green tea lowered blood cholesterol by 60 percent and LDL by a whopping 80 percent. LDL liver-receptor activity increased by 80 percent. The green tea also lowered cholesterol synthesis in the animals.2 Hamsters have been used in some clinical studies. When hamsters are fed a high-fat diet that mimics highfat human diets, their cholesterol soars. When the hamsters get green tea in their diet, however, it doesn’t soar, evidently because of increased bile excretion and decreased absorption of dietary fat.3 A high-fat meal leads to increased oxidant production in the blood, causing blood vessels to stiffen and constrict, hampering blood flow. A recent trial tested the impact of green tea on that dynamic. Ten healthy volunteers ate meals \ MARCH 2008 205

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Tonic in a Teapot

Studies show that the EGCG in tea acts as a natural inhibitor of angiotensinconverting enzyme, or ACE, which is associated with high blood pressure. taining 79 percent fat, and some of the group also drank black tea. Drinking the tea mitigated much of the adverse blood vessel reaction to the high-fat meal. Another study of 302 men and 210 women in Japan found an inverse relationship between drinking green tea and atherosclerosis in the men, though not in the women.4 Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. In vitro studies show that tea has vasodilation activity, which would be expected to lower blood pressure. The favorable

Researchers attribute tea’s stroke-protective properties to its stimulation of nitric oxide metabolism. impact of tea on the lining, or endothelium, of blood vessels also helps guard against hypertension. Clinical trials of tea intake in human subjects, however, have failed to replicate those results. One reason for the discrepancy may be that most of the human studies involved subjects who did not (go figure) have high blood pressure.5 On the other hand, an eight-year longitudinal study of 1,500 middleaged people in Taiwan found that those who drank more than 20 ounces a day of green or oolong tea for more than a year showed a 65 percent reduced risk of hypertension. Those who drank no tea showed no risk reduction, and the beneficial effects of drinking tea didn’t show up for a year.6 Studies show that the EGCG in tea acts as a natural inhibitor of angiotensinconverting enzyme, or ACE, which is associated with high blood pressure. Drugs that act specifically on ACE are used to treat high blood pressure. Studies using rats as subjects demonstrate that green tea inhibits the intestinal absorption of sodium, which would also lower blood pressure.7

Inflammation is a cornerstone of cardiovascular disease. Most heart attacks and strokes are initiated by a clot that blocks blood flow in an already occluded artery. A recent study of healthy nonsmoking men, aged 18 to 55, randomly assigned them to either a group drinking black tea or a placebo group.8 After six weeks those in the tea group had significantly reduced tendency toward internal blood clotting, along with lower levels of the inflammation-related C-reactive protein. Stroke, too, is linked to high blood pressure. A clinical investigation of 5,910 women aged 40 and over found that the incidence of stroke was 5.5 times higher for women who didn’t drink green tea than for those who drank five or more cups daily.9 An investigation of 7,730 men found a 33 percent risk reduction for stroke among tea drinkers but not among those who didn’t drink tea. Researchers attribute tea’s antistroke properties to its stimulation of nitric oxide metabolism, which prevents formation of internal clots and helps regulate blood pressure.10

Can Tea Save Your Brain? Several studies point to tea’s protective effects on brain function. They show that drinking tea leads to a rapid increase in alertness and in-

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Researchers observed an upgrade in gene activity linked to memory and learning as well as a decrease in genes linked to inflammation, a hallmark of the brain degeneration identified in such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. formation processing. When drunk throughout the day, tea may prevent a decline in mental performance. While tea contains caffeine, a recognized brain stimulant, its impact on brain function isn’t caffeine-related. An experiment with rats found that those that had tea in their diets exhibited improved learning ability—at least as far as traversing a complicated maze was concerned.11 The rats on tea also experienced less oxidation in the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory in the brain. A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience found that a combination of epicatechins and exercise led to beneficial changes in the section of the brain involved in learning and the formation of memory. Researchers observed an upgrade in gene activity linked to memory and learning as well as a decrease in genes linked to inflammation, a hallmark of the brain degeneration identified in such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Exercise was also found

to enhance the benefits of epicatechins on brain function. Elsewhere in lab-coat land, adding green tea to the diet of mice significantly delayed memory regression, which told researchers that green tea protects brain neurons.12 Another study found that black and green teas inhibited the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which the brain requires for memory and learning and which is deficient in Alzheimer’s patients. Doctors currently treat Alzheimer’s with drugs such as Exelon and Aricept, which inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase, the substance that degrades acetylcholine. Green tea also blocked the production of beta amyloid, a protein superabundant in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.13 Scientists from McGill University found that green tea prevented neurons exposed to beta amyloid from being destroyed. Mice prone to a rodent version of Alzheimer’s had 54 percent less beta amyloid than untreated mice. The green tea used

in the study, however, was directly injected into the mouse brains; a comparable oral dose of EGCG in humans would be 1,500 to 1,600 milligrams. Stress fosters brain degeneration, and tea can alleviate it—particularly black tea, which contains the amino acid theanine and its precursor, theaflavin, in greater quantity than are found in green tea. A study reported in the journal Psychopharmacology found that men who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks had 47 percent less cortisol, a stress hormone, than men who drank a tea substitute. The tea drinkers also reported a greater feeling of relaxation after performing tasks designed to increase stress. Theanine is known to help relax the brain. It reduces anxiety and stress without the side effects associated with drugs used for the same purpose. Studies show that theanine increases alpha waves, brain waves that indicate increased relaxation but without losing alertness. Studies (continued on page 212) done with \ MARCH 2008 207

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Tonic in a Teapot (continued from page 207) athletes

show that they perform best when alpha waves dominate the left side of their brains. Creative people tend to produce more alpha waves when faced with a problem to solve. Theanine can be absorbed into the brain, where it modifies the activity of such brain neurotransmitters as serotonin and dopamine, leading to improved memory, learning ability and relaxation. Theanine can even negate some of the overstimulation produced by caffeine. Three to four cups of green tea provide 60 to 160 milligrams of theanine, and it maximizes in blood between 30 minutes and two hours after drinking. A 2003 study found that theanine activates gamma delta T cells, immunity cells that are the first line of defense against infection.

Test-tube studies show that tea interferes with the formation of new fat cells, which emerge when your body is loaded up with a critical mass of fat.

Tea and Bodyfat One of the most effective natural fat-reducing supplements was the combination of ephedrine and caffeine. The United States Food and Drug Administration removed ephedrine from sale three years ago, based on dubious reports of adverse health effects. Since then, purveyors of various “fat-burning” supplements have scrambled to come up with suitable replacements. Little or no research confirms the effectiveness of most ephedrine stand-ins. Green tea, however, is special. Most people think green tea helps reduce excess bodyfat thermogenically, as indeed it does. Test-tube studies show that it interferes with the formation of new fat cells, which emerge when your body is loaded up with a critical mass of fat. The fat cells already present undergo hyperplasia, splitting to form new fat cells. That’s why fat is so hard to lose. Green tea has multiple thermogenic properties. It increases the release of CCK, a gut hormone linked to decreased appetite. It also increases the power of the thermogenic hormone norepinephrine, chiefly by attacking COMT, the main enzyme that halts norepinephrine’s

role in releasing fat from fat cells, and by working synergistically with caffeine to stimulate bodyfat loss. Thermogenic activity, however, is only part of the story. Look at how green tea affects fat digestion. It inhibits both gastric and pancreatic lipase, the primary fat-digesting enzymes, leading to a 37 percent reduction in the breakdown of long-chain triglycerides, a.k.a. dietary fat. The fat you eat needs to be emulsified, or degraded into smaller particles, before lipase can act on it. Green tea interferes with that activity, which further lowers fat absorption and uptake. It also attacks a primary fat-synthesis enzyme, appropriately called fatty acid synthase. Green tea may even help regenerate and protect the beta cells of the pancreas, where insulin is synthesized, thus indirectly guarding against both diabetes and pancreatic degeneration.14 Rat-based studies show that green tea inhibits enzymes in the intestine that break down sugar

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Green tea can improve insulin efficiency, so less insulin is secreted. What’s released does more work, however, and that can lead to less bodyfat accrual.

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tose.16 About now you’re thinking there’s a screw loose somewhere. How can stimulating insulin release be a good thing if insulin release is linked to bodyfat synthesis? It comes down to green tea’s role as an efficiency expert. The fact that green tea potentiates insulin sounds bad until you realize that upregulation equals improved insulin efficiency, which is different from merely increasing the volume of insulin that’s pushed into the blood. In other words, less insulin is secreted, but it does more work because of the presence of green tea, which means there’s less bodyfat in the offing. You get a picture of how it all works from a study in which scientists fed rat subjects either a


and starch, thus limiting glucose uptake and insulin release. A clinical trial of 49 men and 11 women found that taking the tea-extract equivalent of four cups of green tea daily lowered glycosylated hemoglobin, a measure of long-term blood glucose control.15 Some of the properties of green tea are subtle. As you would expect, a high intake of the sugar fructose is linked to insulin resistance, and we’ve seen that green tea attacks insulin resistance and glucose uptake. Here comes the subtle part, because, conversely, green tea upregulates several genes that stimulate glucose uptake and insulin signaling in cells, thereby blocking—yes, really—the negative effects of fruc-

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Tonic in a Teapot

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high-fructose diet or the same diet supplemented with green tea. The rats that got the green tea had decreased insulin resistance, which was linked to the increased—that is, more efficient—behavior of GLUT4, a cellular glucose transporter.17 Other studies have also demonstrated that drinking green tea lowers elevated blood glucose, a hallmark of prediabetes.18 To take advantage of green tea’s effect on insulin, avoid using it with milk or cream. Research proves that 50 grams of milk lower green tea’s insulin potentiation by 90 percent.19 One study examined the effects of green tea and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation.20

The subjects were 10 healthy young men, average age 25, who ranged from lean to moderately overweight. For six weeks they took two capsules of 1) green tea extract plus 50 milligrams of caffeine, 2) 50 milligrams of caffeine or 3) a placebo. The men getting the green tea had a far higher energy expenditure than those getting either the caffeine or placebo and tended to use more fat calories than those who took the placebo—all of which demonstrated that the thermogenic effects of green tea extend beyond its caffeine content. Another study examined the effects of drinking oolong tea.21 Twelve men drank one of the fol-

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Tea increases the power of the thermogenic hormone norepinephrine, chiefly by attacking COMT, the main enzyme that halts norepinephrine’s role in releasing fat from fat cells.

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Tonic in a Teapot lowing: 1) Water 2) Full-strength tea 3) Half-strength tea 4) Water containing 270 milligrams of caffeine Fat oxidation was 12 percent higher when subjects drank the full-strength tea instead of water. Another study found that when subjects drank enough tea to supply 600 milligrams of tea catechins, they decreased their visceral, or deep-lying, fat in the gut.22 That’s big health news, as visceral fat is the most active and dangerous fat in the body, linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The antiangiogenic effects of green tea appear to lower and prevent excess fat deposition.23 A recent study of Japanese men and women who had large visceral fat deposits found that 12 weeks of drinking tea containing 583 milligrams of tea catechins resulted in a significant drop in blood pressure, bodyfat and LDL.24

A study of mice showed that green tea increased exercise endurance from 8 to 24 percent.

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Green Tea and Your Body Just as it affects bodyfat, so also does green tea appear to affect body composition. Scientists investigated the tea-drinking habits of 1,103 subjects, 473 of whom had drunk tea once or more per week for at least six months. 25 Habitual tea drinkers for more than 10 years underwent a 19.6 percent reduction in bodyfat percentage, and a 2.1 percent reduction in waist-to-hip ratio compared to what those who didn’t drink the tea experienced. Conclusion: Longterm tea intake may promote beneficial changes in body composition. Some scientists suggest that tapping into fat stores more efficiently would increase exercise endurance by sparing limited glycogen stores in muscles. A study of mice showed that green tea increased exercise endurance. The mice were put to swimming exercise, and the ones that were fed green tea extracts had not only greater endurance but also

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green tea offered protection against oxidative-induced stress in exercising animals, especially in the liver and kidneys.27

But Wait! There’s More!

One study even suggests that drinking green tea can nudge the growth of human hair.

Green tea’s antiinflammatory properties may minimize sunburn as well as offering protection against skin cancer.

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increased fat burning. The higher the tea intake, the greater the endurance, from 8 to 24 percent. The authors suggest that a human athlete weighing 165 pounds would need to drink about four cups of green tea to replicate the effects shown in the mice. A single dose of green tea didn’t have much effect; long-term consumption did the trick.26 Another study involving rats showed that

The primary green tea antioxidant, EGCG, inhibits histamine release by up to 90 percent in ratcell cultures. That implies green tea is anti-allergenic, since histamine is released during allergic reactions and accounts for many allergy symptoms. Mice studies show that green tea also produces anti-inflammatory effects against arthritis, and human studies show that it may blunt joint degeneration. Tea extracts offer protection against many types of bacteria, including the infamous H. pylori, which causes ulcers. Tea is active against salmonella, shigella, candida (yeast) and other bugs. In the intestine, green tea acts as a probiotic, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria. Tea also kills the bacteria in the mouth that cause both cavities and gum disease, the major cause of tooth loss. Tea inhibits the influenza virus, as well as an enzyme that is complicit in spreading HIV in the body. Other

studies show beneficial effects of tea against alcohol intoxication, insect stings, kidney stones and cataracts. Drinking tea may offer protection against skin cancer.28 Tea suppresses the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme that converts the amino acid tyrosine into melanin, the primary skin pigment.29 That means it may be useful in preventing overproduction of melanin, which occurs in pregnant women. It also means that drinking it before going in the sun may minimize the tanning reaction. On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea may minimize sunburn. \ MARCH 2008 217

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Tonic in a Teapot


Since tea inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, it blunts conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone; DHT is the root cause of such maladies as acne and malepattern baldness.30 One study even suggests that drinking green tea can nudge the growth of human hair.31 Rat-based studies show that large amounts of green tea, amounting to 5 percent of the animals’ diets, decreased thyroid hormone activity; however, rats are more sensitive to substances that affect the thyroid than humans are. The amount of tea lab rats get isn’t likely to be drunk by humans. Green tea inhibits aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.32 Its EGCG has been found to lower levels of such

hormones as testosterone, estrogen, leptin, insulin and IGF-1, though the fact that it was injected directly into the rats is significant. You’d have to drink 12 cups of tea in one hour to approach lab-rat-equivalent intake.33

Green Tea Side Effects The principal problems related to overconsumption of black or green tea involve caffeine, aluminum and iron. Black tea has the highest caffeine content, followed in order by oolong tea, green tea and fresh tea leaf. The average cup of green tea contains 32 milligrams of caffeine, compared to the 100 to 200 found in coffee. Aluminum is a problem because of its association with Alzheimer’s disease and other maladies. Black tea contains six times more aluminum than green tea. On the other hand, aluminum is not very bioavailable and is poorly absorbed from foods, including tea. Tea may bind to free iron, which is a potent oxidant of blood LDL, but that can be overcome simply by adding lemon to tea or drinking it when you’re not eating iron-rich foods or supplements. Several reports have suggested that tea catechins can be toxic because they convert into pro-oxidants. Conversion is common with most other antioxidants, and they tend to

reconvert each other back into antioxidants. Besides, the amount of tea you’d have to drink to worry about toxicity is so great that you shouldn’t worry. Isolated cases of liver failure in human patients have been published, but nearly all other studies show that green tea is remarkably safe and beneficial.

References 1 Locher, R., et al. (2002). Green tea polyphenols inhibit human vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation stimulated by native low-density lipoprotein. Eur J Pharmacol. 434:1-7. 2 Bursill, C., et al. (2007). A green tea extract lowers plasma cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and upregulating the LDL receptor in the cholesterol-fed rabbit. Athersclor. 193:86-93. 3 Chan, P.T., et al. (1999). Jasmine green tea epicatechins are hypolipidemic in hamsters fed a high-fat diet. J Nutr. 129:1094-1101. 4 Sasazuki, S., et al. (2000). Relation between green tea consumption and the severity of coronary atherosclerosis among Japanese men and women. Ann Epidemiol. 10:401-408. 5 Hodgson, J.M. (2006). Effects of tea and tea flavonoids on endothelial function and blood pressure: A brief review. Clin Exper Pharmacol Physiol. 33:838-41. 6 Yang, Y.C., et al. (2004). The protective effect of habitual tea consumption on hypertension. Arch Intern Med. 164:1534-40. 7 Kreydiyyeh, S.I., et al. (1994). Tea extract inhibits intestinal absorption of glucose and sodium in rats. Comp Biochem Phram Tox Endocrin. 108:359-65. 8 Steptoe, A., et al. (2007). The effects of chronic tea intake on platelet activation and inflammation: A doubleblind placebo-controlled study. Atherosclerosis. 193:277-82. 9 Sato, Y., et al. (1989). Possible contribution of green tea drinking habits to prevention of stroke. Tohoku J Exp Med. 157:337-43. 10 Fraser, M.L., et al. (2007). Green tea and stroke prevention: Emerging evidence. Comp Ther Medic. 15:4653.

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11 Haque, A., et al. (2006). Longterm administration of green tea catechins improves spatial cognition learning ability in rats. J Nutr. 136:1043-47. 12 Unno, K., et al. (2007). Daily consumption of green tea catechin delays memory regression in aged mice. Biogerontology. 8:89-95. 13 Okello, E.J., et al. (2004). In vitro anti-beta-secretase and dual anti-cholinesterase activities of Camellia sinensis L. (tea) relevant to treatment of dementia. Phyto Res. 18:624-27. 14 Chakravarthy, B.K., et al. (1982). Functional beta cell regeneration in the islets of the pancreas in alloxaninduced diabetic rats by EGCG. Life Sci. 31:2693-2697. 15 Fukino, Y., et al. (2007). Randomized controlled trial of an

The principal problems related to overconsumption of black or green tea are related to caffeine, aluminum and iron.

effect of green tea extract powder supplementation on glucose abnormalities. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1-6. In press. 16 Cao, H., et al. (2007). Green tea polyphenol extract regulates the expression of genes involved in glucose uptake and insulin signaling in rats fed a high fructose diet. L Agric Food Chem. 55(15):6372-8. 17 Wu, L.Y., et al. (2004). Green tea supplementation ameliorates insulin resistance and increases glucose transporter-4 content in a fructose-fed rat model. Eur J Nutr. 43. 18 Gomez, A., et al. (1994). Antihyperglycemic effect of black tea (Camellia sinensis) in rat. J Ethnopharmacol. 45:223-226. 19 Moon, H.S., et al. (2007). Proposed mechanisms of epigallocatechin-3-gallate for antiobesity. Chem-Biol Interactions. 167:85-98. 20 Dullo, A.G., et al. (1999). Efficacy of green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols

and caffeine in increasing 24hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 70:1040-50. 21 Rumpler, W., et al. (2001). Oolong tea increases metabolic rate and fat oxidation in men. J Nutr. 131:2848-2852. 22 Nagao, T., et al. (2001). Tea catechins suppress accumulation of body fat in humans. J Oleo Sci. 50:717-28. 23 Diepvens, K., et al. (2007). Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol Regul Integ Comp Physiol. 292:R77-R85. 24 Nagao, T., et al. (2007). A green tea extract high in catechins reduces bodyfat and cardiovascular risk in humans. Obesity. 15:1473-83. 25 Wu, C.H., et al. (2003). Relationship between habitual tea consumption, percent bodyfat and bodyfat distribution. Obes Res. 11:1088-95. 26 Murase T, et al. (2004). Green tea extract improves endurance capacity and increases lipid oxidation in mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integ Comp Physiol. 27 Alessio, H.M., et al. (2002). Consumption of green tea protects rats from exercise-induced oxidative stress in kidney and liver. Nutr Res. 22:1177-1188. 28 Katiyar, S., et al. (2000). Green tea and skin. Arch Dermat. 136:98994. 29 No, J.K., et al. (1999). Inhibition of tyrosinase by green tea components. Life Sci. 65:241-46. 30 Alexis, A.F., et al. (1999). Potential therapeutic applications of tea in dermatology. Int J Dermatol. 38:735-43. 31 Kwon, O.S., et al. (2007). Human hair growth enhancement in vitro by green tea epigallocatechin-3gallate (EGCG). Phytomed. 14(78):551-5. 32 Satoh, K., et al. (2002). Inhibition of aromatase activity by green tea extract catechins and their endocrinological effects of oral administration in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 40(7):925-33. 33 Kao, Y.H., et al. (2000). Modulation of endocrine systems and food intake by green tea EGCG. Endocrinol. 141:980-87. IM \ MARCH 2008 219

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Heavy Duty The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer

by John Little

Balik \ Model: Mike Mentzer

The Value of Muscle Soreness Q: I don’t seem to get sore the day after I train to positive failure. I’m wondering if I should change my exercises or the way I perform them, as I think I should feel some soreness, just to know that my muscles did some work. A: Soreness, as Mike Mentzer pointed out, indicates a feeling only—not necessarily growth stimulation—and it’s certainly not the sine qua non of having a productive workout. According to Mike: “Achieving soreness is no indication that you had a successful workout. The only time I ever got sore was upon resumption of training after an extended layoff. If getting sore was necessary, somehow, to build big muscles, I never would have been Mr. Universe. Feelings— especially soreness, which is still a mystery—tell you little or nothing about the success of a workout. No one knows what causes soreness or what significance it may have; it just hurts. And if you thought that

getting sore was necessary and you didn’t get sore, what would you do— try to get sore? The only proper way to gauge the success of any workout is by the standard of strength increases. If you’re stronger at the next workout, a positive change obviously occurred in the muscle. As you continue to grow stronger and eat adequately, you’ll grow larger.”

How Much Muscle Can I Gain? Q: How much muscle can I gain over the course of a year? I know Mike had many clients who gained 20 to 30 pounds over a span of several months, and I’d sure like to do the same. A: While Mike did have many clients who gained 20 to 30 pounds of muscle over the course of several months, the size that your muscles will ultimately reach is a matter dictated almost entirely by genetics. At my strength-training center (Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada) we have a client who is 64 years old and has 18 1/2-inch calves. He’s had them since he was 16 years old. That speaks to the muscle fiber density, or the amount of muscle

fibers per square inch, he has in his calf muscles—not to his training approach. He doesn’t train his calves at all because he doesn’t want them to become bigger, but if you were looking at his calves simplistically, you’d have to conclude that his “not training” has resulted in his producing calves that would be the envy of Steve Reeves. If you’re underweight, proper Heavy Duty training will very quickly get you to the muscular bodyweight that your genetics will permit. Ultimately, however, your genetics will determine how much muscle you can gain. I recall speaking with renowned personal trainer Drew Baye ( about the amount of muscle he gained while training on Mike’s Heavy Duty program during his college years. Here’s what he had to say: “When I was in college, I started reading Mike Mentzer’s articles in his Heavy Duty column in IRON MAN, and I just dropped all the high-volume stuff and everything else I’d been doing. I went to one of his programs that had me training only twice a week, following a routine that he’d outlined in one of his columns.” I asked Drew about the results \ MARCH 2008 225

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Heavy Duty he’d gotten while on other training programs. He said he’d made “little or no meaningful progress and [was] just grossly overtraining.” On Mike’s program, however, he “was able to go from the low 150s and not much definition to a fairly lean 180 to 182 pounds over a period of maybe a half year or so.” I like Drew’s response because there’s been a lot of nonsense going around, particularly in Internet chat rooms, that building strength, as Mike advocated, has nothing to do with building muscular size—which is false on its face. Drew’s ability to build 30 pounds of muscle over six months as a result of what was essentially a “strength-building” program belies it. If you have the genetics to gain 30 pounds of

muscle in six months, as Drew did, then Heavy Duty training will bring out your genetic potential. If, however, your bodyweight is more stabilized—that is, you’re not grossly underweight—or if you don’t have the genetics to grow 30 pounds of muscle, then you’ll still grow bigger and stronger muscles but to some measure less than those whose genetics are better suited to it. Mike pointed out during a seminar I attended in 1981 that for the average bodybuilder a five-to-10pound gain of muscle per year is actually an excellent rate of progress. According to Mike: “Anybody with any training experience has recognized that adding muscle tissue beyond normal levels is a seemingly impossible process.

But as a matter of fact, the growth process is probably even slower than you realize. Many bodybuilders’ dietary indiscretions, as well as the training errors they make, are the direct result of a failure to realize just how slow the growth process is. If a bodybuilder expects to gain a pound of muscle a week or a pound a month and he’s not seeing those gains, then he’s going to become hysterical and begin training more often, increasing his protein intake and so forth. If, however, you can develop a firm grasp of how slow the process of muscle growth is, then it’s my firm belief that you’ll be less inclined to commit a lot of the ridiculous dietary and training errors that bodybuilders fall prey to. “Just how slow is slow? We can all

Balik \ Model: Mike Mentzer

“If you can develop a grasp of how slow the process of muscle growth is, then it’s my firm belief that you’ll be less inclined to commit a lot of ridiculous dietary and training errors that bodybuilders fall prey to.”

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Overdoing nutrient replenishment can stress the body and is a direct result of impatience. Remember, muscle growth is a very slow process.



Neveux \ Model: Cesar Martinez


agree that gaining even 10 pounds of muscle a year is a tremendous achievement. Not 10 pounds of bodyweight, mind you—that’s easy—10 pounds of pure muscle. It isn’t a whole hell of a lot, but look at it over the long term, five years, which is how you have to look at your bodybuilding career. Nobody ever became Mr. America in one

year. At 10 pounds a year, in five years you’d gain 50 pounds of muscle, enough to transform an average 165-pound adult male into a 215pound Mr. Olympia. In fact, the vast majority of Mr. Olympia competitors weigh under 215. “Suppose we can gain 10 pounds of muscle in one year. We still don’t think in terms (continued on page 230)

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Heavy Duty

(continued from page 227) of a year,

blocks of a year, or blocks of five years. We think about daily progress, daily workouts and so forth. So if you think 10 pounds of muscle growth in one year is slow, it’s unbelievable how slow that growth is on a daily level. “On a daily level, 10 pounds of muscle over 365 days works out to .027 pounds of muscle gained per day, which is the same as 12 grams,

Neveux \ Model: Cesar Martinez

As Mike repeatedly pointed out, you must train intensely to stimulate your muscles to grow bigger and stronger and then give your body adequate time to recover and overcompensate. That can be anywhere from four days for a beginner to 10 days or longer for a more advanced trainee.

or less than half an ounce—not enough to register on a scale. Yet how many of you weigh yourself every day looking for gain? If you are seeing weight gains every day, then you’re not gaining muscle. “What are you gaining? Fat. If you could gain 10 pounds of muscle a year—something most of us are incapable of—you’re not going to see even a one-pound gain per month. So it’s almost ridiculous to ever

weigh yourself. You should gauge your progress by your appearance. “Think of how minuscule 12 grams of muscle gained per day is—assuming you’re gaining those 10 pounds of muscle per year. Yet when we don’t seem to be gaining fast enough, we increase our training time, increase our intake of protein and so forth. Those things don’t hasten the growth process; they slow it down.”

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Heavy Duty

“With a valid theoretical approach to training, progress should be immediate, continuous and worthwhile all the way to the full actualization of one’s potential. The actualization of potential, too, is a genetically determined trait.”

Balik \ Model: Mike Mentzer

As Mike repeatedly pointed out, you must train intensely to stimulate your muscles to grow bigger and stronger and then give your body adequate time to recover and overcompensate. That can be anywhere from four days for a beginner to 10 days or longer for a more advanced trainee. The rest is up to your genetics. Let’s have Mike weigh in again on the matter: “I’m not suggesting that everyone who buys my books and/or tries a Heavy Duty, highintensity-training program will actualize his potential in one year or less. I’ve learned through conversations with those who have read my books that they don’t always fully understand the theory’s proper, practical application. With a valid theoretical approach to training, progress should be immediate, continuous and worthwhile all the way to the full actualization of one’s potential. The actualization of potential, too, is a genetically determined trait. So some will reach their upper limits in a matter of a few months, some within a year and others over a slightly longer period.” 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 © 2008, John Little. All rights reserved. Mike Mentzer quotations provided courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and are used with permission. IM

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Muscle “In” Sites If you find something on the Web that IM readers should know about, send the URL to Eric at

> If you recognize the name Nancy Georges, it’s because she’s been on the fitness scene for many years. In fact, Nancy competed in the inaugural Fitness America Pageant in 1989 after spotting a poster of Cameo Kneuer (sister of none other than former Ms. Olympia Cory Everson), who was the reigning Ms. National Fitness at the time. “I thought she was gorgeous, and naturally I wanted to compete right away. What a great way to mesh my athletic background with my passion for modeling,” says Nancy. In 1991 she was victorious at both the Ms. Fitness USA and Ms. National Fitness, making her an industry celebrity. In great demand, she traveled all over the globe to give seminars about fitness and inspiring others to pursue a more healthful lifestyle. After a long sabbatical from the stage Nancy returned to fitness competition—as ever consistently presenting one of the best physiques in the sport—only to find that the routine round had outgrown her abilities. After several frustrating contest outings she turned to figure competition, which was far more suited to her strengths. In ’07 Nancy earned her IFBB pro card at the North American Figure Championships, making yet another dream become a reality. Says Nancy, “There is nothing quite like this hobby. Where else can you get all made up in gorgeous makeup, wear beautifully styled swimsuits, be tan and have bodyfat in the single digits and make new friends who have similar interests, all the while inspiring and educating the newbies on what is possible when you put your mind and your heart to work for a goal.” Nancy, who feels more fit and energetic now than she did when she was 20, plans to compete for years to come while helping as many people as possible along the way. Her site offers motivational and educational CDs, personal training, hypnotherapy, figure coaching, posing assistance and her special “Stage Might” workshops. She has a beautiful photo gallery and a constantly updated journal to let her fans know what’s going on in her life. If you’re a figure or fitness competitor in need of an awesome Internet presence, Nancy also offers her services as a Web-site designer—that’s one multitasking figure beauty! At 5’9” and 145 pounds of sleek, perfectly proportioned muscle, she’s also one who will be bringing home many more trophies in the years to come. Merv


Eric Broser’s

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> If you’re a true fan of bodybuilding, fitness and/or figure competition and every aspect of the industry that encompasses those sports, certain Web sites should be at the top of your favorites list. is definitely one of them. You can spend hours a day on the site and never see the same thing twice. There are videos, articles, contest results, gossip columns, interviews and more. Best of all, is always up to date with the latest happenings, unlike similar sites, which are often months behind. In addition, the Getbig discussion board is one of the largest and most heavily trafficked of any on the Web, with almost 19,000 members and close to 1.5 million posts on thousands of topics. Many of the IFBB’s elite frequent the Getbig boards, enabling you to interact with great champions and industry insiders. Seriously, I could write a book about Getbig; however, it would not only take up too much space but also cause me to miss my next meal (and that just can’t happen). So do yourself a favor: Stop by and see why it’s known as the Web’s number-one source of American bodybuilding and fitness info.

>Book Review: IRONMAN’s Ultimate Guide to Arm Training On a recent trip home to New York I made sure to book a flight on Jet Blue because of the little TV sets they have on the back of every seat. I can usually find a decent movie or a few good sitcoms to help pass the time, as I find flying extremely boring. On that particular flight, however, I never even put my earphones on. Instead I spent my time reading IRONMAN’s Ultimate Guide to Arm Training—half on the flight going and the other half returning. Normally, I don’t like reading on airplanes, but this book was filled with material that kept my interest from beginning to end. I even skipped the little bag of peanuts they offer, which is usually my only pleasure while flying (unless, of course, there is a pretty gal seated next to me). For those who are into building sizable guns, I highly recommend this book. It’s filled with unique arm-blasting programs like Compound

Aftershock, One Rep Per Set, Heavy Duty and more. You’ll also find the routines used by such greats as Sergio Oliva, Bill Pearl, Larry Scott and even Arnold himself. My favorite sections of the book are about EMG studies designed to test the effectiveness of various biceps and triceps exercises, the results of which can tell us what movements are the most effective arm builders. The tome is stuffed with inspiring photographs of some of the world’s best bodybuilders flexing and posing, as well as demonstrating every arm exercise that is discussed. It’s an excellent read for trainees of all levels, and especially for guys and gals looking to get “an arm up” on the competition. You can get a copy from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or www Or if you really want to save some bucks, get it free by subscribing to IRON MAN. See page 145. \ MARCH 2008 235

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Eric Broser’s >Net

Results Q&A

The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your questions on training and nutrition. Q. I’m extremely ectomorphic. My goal is to gain as much bulk as possible, but I don’t want to get too fat. I weigh about 155 and wish to get to 185 in the next year. Should I be doing cardio along with my weight training?

A. The “FD” in FD/FS stands for “fiber damage.” The training methods that this program employs (eccentric emphasis and stretch under tension) are meant to cause microtrauma—i.e., damage—in the muscle fibers, which in turn will cause you to feel quite sore— sometimes for days on end. It’s the muscle damage itself, however, that turns on your body’s anabolic machinery through the activation of satellite cells, which will eventually divide, multiply and fuse with existing muscle fibers, making them bigger and stronger. If you were to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Advil to decrease muscle soreness, you’d also decrease your body’s response to training by interfering with the very repair and healing process that causes muscles to hypertrophy. In other words, take the pain if you want to gain. Drop that bottle of Advil and slowly back away. FD/FS training is definitely not

Neveux \ Model: Dave Perry

Neveux \ Model: Greg Smyers

A. I was in a very similar situation when I first started, although I was even skinnier, if you can believe that. I weighed a paltry 125 pounds when I first wrapped my hands around a barbell. In other words, I feel your pain. I’d have to say no, you shouldn’t do any cardio at this time. As you’re an ectomorph struggling to add muscle and bodyweight, the last thing you want to do is burn more calories and increase your already racing metabolism through cardio. You want every calorie you eat to be pointed toward muscle repair and growth, even if you store a little bodyfat along the way. The best way to avoid adding too much adipose tissue while gaining size is to make sure that you eat a relatively clean high-calorie diet. Try to get the bulk of your calories from steak, eggs, milk, chicken, fatty fish, protein powders, rice, pasta, potatoes, whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables. While the occasional pizza, ice cream and pancakes won’t hurt you, make foods like that the exception and not the rule. Another point about cardio and the ectomorph is that, in my experience, those with your body type tend to have more limited recovery ability than most—not so much in regard to individual muscles as systemic recovery. That means overtraining is more of a concern than with other body types. Thus cardio on top of weight training is not a good idea for us naturally skinny types (at least in the early bulking stages), as too much exercise will make too great an inroad into our recovery ability, which will all but bring muscle gains to a screeching halt. My advice is to train hard and heavy no more than four days per week, eat at least six clean, high-calorie meals per day and sleep seven to nine hours every night. That’s your simple yet reliable equation for muscle growth.

Q. I just finished my first week of FD/FS training, and I’ve never experienced such muscle soreness before. I’m about to start my second week and want to know if I can use something like Advil to offset the pain a bit.

for the faint of heart or for those who shy away from discomfort. It’s a method for those who enjoy pain while training and look forward to even more in the days after. It’s important to follow the nutritional guidelines of the program closely and to get as much rest and sleep as possible after each workout. While the fiber damage serves as the trigger for muscle growth, you must give your body everything it needs to complete the healing process from A to Z if you expect maximum results. IM

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by Jerry Brainum

Who Uses Bodybuilding Drugs and Why If you were to believe reports in the popular media, you’d think athletes and teenagers were the primary users of anabolic drugs. The recent publicity about elite athletes’ use of illicit anabolic drugs—by track star Marion Jones and baseball’s Barry Bonds, for example—underscores the notion that steroid use is rampant in high-end sports. Alarming reports pointing to widespread use of anabolic drugs by teenagers suggest that steroid use may be endemic in that population too. Athletic cheating through the use of drugs is repugnant to the majority of sports fans. Many initially viewed Barry

Bonds’ Major League home-run record of 73 season hits with awe, but that view was subsequently tainted by rumors of Bonds’ extensive anabolic drug use. The fact that such drugs are commonplace in baseball and many other sports is overlooked by the public and even sportswriters, who should know better. Some jump to the inane conclusion that without drugs, Bonds would have been just another mediocre ballplayer. Still, using drugs to attain athletic success is antithetical to the tenets of fair play in sport. One obvious solution to the dilemma would be to legalize anabolic drug use in sport, but that’s not likely. In the case of teenagers, drug use is alarming because teens are not yet mature either physically or mentally, and some believe that steroids can have unusually dangerous effects on the young. Reports of teens committing suicide after using anabolic steroids have led adults to equate youthful steroid abuse with the use of hard dugs, such as cocaine and heroin. Indeed, steroids are often characterized as gateway drugs—that is, they tend to encourage the use of life-threatening controlled substances. Lost in all the adverse publicity is the fact that the largest population using anabolic drugs is neither professional athletes nor teenagers but—according to a survey published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition—white male professionals, average age 29.1 The researchers recruited 1,955 male subjects through the Internet as well as bodybuilding magazines and mass

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by Jerry Brainum

Who Uses Bodybuilding Drugs and Why If you were to believe reports in the popular media, you’d think athletes and teenagers were the primary users of anabolic drugs. The recent publicity about elite athletes’ use of illicit anabolic drugs—by track star Marion Jones and baseball’s Barry Bonds, for example—underscores the notion that steroid use is rampant in high-end sports. Alarming reports pointing to widespread use of anabolic drugs by teenagers suggest that steroid use may be endemic in that population too. Athletic cheating through the use of drugs is repugnant to the majority of sports fans. Many initially viewed Barry

Bonds’ Major League home-run record of 73 season hits with awe, but that view was subsequently tainted by rumors of Bonds’ extensive anabolic drug use. The fact that such drugs are commonplace in baseball and many other sports is overlooked by the public and even sportswriters, who should know better. Some jump to the inane conclusion that without drugs, Bonds would have been just another mediocre ballplayer. Still, using drugs to attain athletic success is antithetical to the tenets of fair play in sport. One obvious solution to the dilemma would be to legalize anabolic drug use in sport, but that’s not likely. In the case of teenagers, drug use is alarming because teens are not yet mature either physically or mentally, and some believe that steroids can have unusually dangerous effects on the young. Reports of teens committing suicide after using anabolic steroids have led adults to equate youthful steroid abuse with the use of hard dugs, such as cocaine and heroin. Indeed, steroids are often characterized as gateway drugs—that is, they tend to encourage the use of life-threatening controlled substances. Lost in all the adverse publicity is the fact that the largest population using anabolic drugs is neither professional athletes nor teenagers but—according to a survey published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition—white male professionals, average age 29.1 The researchers recruited 1,955 male subjects through the Internet as well as bodybuilding magazines and mass

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mailings. The survey featured 291 questions about patterns to take steroids to get high, which strikes me as an odd of drug use, where the drugs were obtained, which drugs question to have asked. Clearly, anyone who’s read enough were the most popular and beneficial, side effects, user about steroids to know which drugs to use also knows they profiles. Most of those who responded to the survey—as can’t alter consciousness—unless you include depression you might not expect—were professional men earning when steroid use ceases. above-average incomes. They Notably absent were competitive and highly was a desire to motivated people. One poscompete in any type sible weakness of this type of of contest, includstudy is that more educated ing bodybuilding. people, especially those with Only a minority Internet experience, are more expressed interest in likely to respond. Despite bodybuilding comthat possible flaw, the study petition. In fact, the answers matched previous majority were not inresponses from other surveys volved in any sports and seemed truthful. activity whatever. The researchers rated the A rather surprising effectiveness of 15 anabolic finding was that steroid drugs. The most comnearly 85 percent monly used were testosterhad never competed one injections, Dianabol and in bodybuilding. Deca-Durabolin. The responWhile most of the dents rated single and multiyounger responester (such as Sustanon) dents were highly testosterones and trenbolone interested in gaining as the most effective. Dosages more muscle mass, ranged from 200 milligrams older respondents to 5,000 milligrams per week, mentioned a strong with an average of 500 to desire for significant 1,000 milligrams weekly. Also The reasons for using anabolic drugs range from more fat loss, something popular were thermogenic, that many past 40 muscle mass and strength to enhanced appearance. or “fat-burning,” drugs, such Lower bodyfat and more confidence also made the list. can relate to. as clenbuterol and thyroid Nearly all respondrugs. Many also added dents began using growth hormone, IGF-1 and steroids as adults. insulin. Other drugs were used to offset possible side efMost had used them for an average of 5 1/2 years, rangfects, such as Clomid, Nolvadex and Arimidex, all of which ing from one to 43 years of cycling steroids. They reported work to minimize estrogen-related side effects from the training an average of 11 years, working out four to five steroid use. days a week. They also reported eating high-protein diets, More than half the drugs used by those who participated half saying that they ate more than six to 10 daily servin the survey used were obtained from Internet sites. Other ings of high-protein foods. They claimed they avoided sources included friends or training partners, physicians’ fried foods and limited saturated fat intake, as well as prescriptions and foreign countries—a pattern typical of sugar. Slightly more than a quarter said they took in large drug use by professional bodybuilders and athletes. amounts of milk. Most admitted that they didn’t get the As for the reasons for using anabolic drugs, most reminimum of three to five servings of fruits and vegetables ported wanting increased muscle mass and strength and daily. enhanced appearance. Others listed increased confidence The majority of respondents reportedly used steroids and bodyfat loss as goals. Nearly all users denied wanting for six months out of the year, with the longest continuous

The researchers rated the effectiveness of 15 anabolic steroid drugs. The most commonly used were testosterone injections, Dianabol and Deca-Durabolin. Dosages ranged from 200 milligrams to 5,000 milligrams per week, with an average of 500 to 1,000 milligrams weekly. Also popular were thermogenic, or “fat-burning,” drugs, such as clenbuterol and thyroid drugs. \ MARCH 2008 241

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Jerry Brainum’s Bodybuilding Pharmacology

The current focus on pro athletes and teens may be just plain irrelevant because it ignores the largest group of drug users—young white male professionals. cycle being 12 weeks. Significantly, they obtained nearly all the drugs needed for their cycles in advance, and each cycle was thoroughly planned. While most expressed willingness to seek medical supervision and others obtained blood lab work, the consensus was that medical professionals were not good sources of information about anabolic drugs. Respondents felt that public opinion of steroid dangers was overblown and inaccurate and that opinion was promulgated by medical professionals who could not be trusted. The authors, who included a lawyer experienced in steroid-related cases, noted that many of those arrested as dealers may have been users caught engaging in the common practice of acquiring a stock of drugs in advance of a cycle. It may have looked like dealing even when that was not what was going on. Meanwhile, the authors also imply that the current focus on pro athletes and teens may be just plain irrelevant because it ignores the largest group of drug users—young white male professionals. I’m not buying into some assertions that the survey makes. One is that most respondents are well-read on drug use and are careful to avoid health problems and side

For more drug insight, see Bill Starr’s “Life After ’Roids,” beginning on page 298.

effects. A respondent who declares having cycled anabolic drugs for 43 years could hardly fit in the “healthful” category, nor could the respondent who uses 5,000 milligrams a week—more than many pro athletes use. Reports of insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables (less than three to five servings daily) are particularly troubling, since those nutrients offer both health benefits and potential protections impacts against anabolic drug-related side effects. In fact, mention of side effects was notably lacking in the otherwise ostensibly complete survey. You might start thinking that nearly any anabolic drug use is totally safe, as long as you use other drugs to counteract side effects and cycle off now and then. Maybe so, for some, but it’s axiomatic that others will suffer idiosyncratic medical reactions. Potential side effects are based on time and usage: The longer you use the drug in a quantity required to produce desired effects, the greater the risk of incurring adverse health effects. Another point that should go without saying: Only the dose determines the poison, meaning that any drug that is effective can also produce negative and unexpected effects. No medical professional or scientist can reliably predict the long-term effects of consistent use of anabolics. Short cycles of such drugs have largely proved innocuous for most users, but no one can predict what’s up the line for those who use them for long periods. Current research says that nearly all side effects disappear when the drugs are stopped, but there are always exceptions. I’ve studied anabolic drug use for decades, and I’m mystified by those who use drug regimens comparable to those of professional athletes when they have no motivation to compete in an organized sport. At least you can make sense of athletic use—maybe not morally but in terms of the athletic benefits that anabolics confer. Ironically, I’ve interviewed countless professional bodybuilders and other athletes who bemoan their use of anabolic steroids and other drugs but feel that they’re a necessity for staying competitive. Many have confided that they would love to get off the drugs and intend to do so pronto when their competition days are over. Contrary to public belief, they’re not cavalier about anabolics. They express concerns about their future health and are fully aware of the attendant risks attendant of extensive long-term anabolic drug regimes. Using drugs when you have no intention of competing does nothing except gratify ego. That’s particularly true when you consider how much progress you can make even if you use no drugs. The notion that you can use large amounts of anabolic drugs risk-free is a gamble. 1 Cohen, J., et al. (2007). A league of their own: Demographics, motivations and patterns of use of 1,955 male adult non-medical steroid users in the United States. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:12-17. IM

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Perfect Pair Mike Davila and Jennifer Jo Clifton, ’07’s Fittest Couple by David Young Photography by Steven Elliott Hendrix


Contest Photography by Jerry Fredrick

ike Davila and JJ (Jennifer Jo) Clifton created quite a fire when they stepped onstage in Pasadena for the ’07 Fittest Couple competition. The stage was filled with worthy pairs, but the future firefighter and the hot hairstylist grabbed attention immediately. They’d met several months earlier

at the ’06 Europa, where Mike won the Hot Male Bod Model Search and JJ won the Hot Female Bod Model Search. “After the show,” Jennifer said, “the two of us were being photographed separately by everyone, but people wanted photos with the two of us together. Out of nowhere some girl says, ‘Wow! You two look great together; ya’ll should date!’ “I believe the two of us thought that sounded pretty good. I then invited him to go out with my fam- \ MARCH 2008 247

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ily and friends for beer and pizza (my favorite cheat meal after a show). Ever since that evening we’ve been inseparable.” They decided to train together for the IRON MAN FitExpo ’07 Fittest Couple contest—and it was stressful. As Mike put it: “We put ourselves through a very strenuous program, and that can be very tough on a relationship. But we did it, and it brought us closer.” Let’s find out more about this perfect pair. DY: What are your respective ages, heights and weights? JJ: I’m 26 years old and 5’3”. In the off-season my weight is 125 to 130 pounds; for competitions I lean out to 115 pounds. MD: I’m 22 years old; I weigh 185 off-season, 167 for a show. I’m 5’11”. DY: How long have you been training? MD: I’ve been training since high school because of football. I got into bodybuilding two years ago. JJ: I’ve been training seriously for three years. DY: How did you get started in bodybuilding and fitness? JJ: I began working with my trainer, Wade Causey, three years ago, just for fitness and conditioning. Then one day he said, “JJ, you’d be a great fitness competitor; you ought to give it a try.” I didn’t take him too seriously at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I kept thinking, Why not give it a shot? So I began training like a bodybuilder for a year and entered the Europa Super Show in Arlington, Texas. That’s where I won the Hot Bod Model Search. MD: Two years ago I met a man named Doug Fagan. I saw him in my gym all the time. I started talking to him about weight training. He said he saw a lot of potential in me, and he took me

“You need to figure out what your body requires and how to accommodate your workout and eating schedule to your everyday life.”

under his wing. He helped me with my training, food intake and supplements. I was 19 at the time. He’s a big part of why I am where I am today. DY: Bodybuilding involves a lot of discipline, and discipline is fueled by motivation. What keeps you motivated for your training and diet? JJ: I like to keep a vision of the lifestyle as well as the benefits that I get from training hard—at least that’s how I stay motivated. The lifestyle itself is very rewarding. We both agree that we feel our best mentally and physically when we’re on top of our game. Also, I look at all the other fitness and figure models and that inspires me—people like Monica Brant and Jamie Eason. MD: JJ definitely keeps me motivated. She’s one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever met. I see how dedicated she is, and I get inspired. I also get motivated by some of the top people and how intensely they train—guys like Branch Warren, who lives and trains not too far from where we live. DY: What type of diet do you follow? MD: My diet on-season goes through several \ MARCH 2008 249

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stages. The first half is the massbuilding stage, where I’m eating more carbs and lean red meat. Then midway through I begin to reduce the carbs. As I move into the last several weeks, I eat mainly protein. Oatmeal and green vegetables are the only carbs I take in. Throughout the entire process, I eat every two to three hours. After a competition, I take a couple of weeks off and don’t worry about it as much. The rest of the offseason I continue with my normal diet—healthful high protein, whole grains, good carbs and good fats, with one cheat day a week. DY: What are your favorite supplements?

JJ: Our favorite supplement is Mega Cleanse. It’s a gentle detoxifier that is taken every day to keep you cleansed and free of buildup. We also love Isopure protein, Designer Supplements Exceed and Super Charge. DY: What are your goals regarding bodybuilding and fitness? MD: I’m training for conditioning and functional strength right now to get into the fire department. That’s my current training focus. JJ: We’re talking about getting married and starting a family soon, so no competitions right now. I’m helping other girls with their preparations.

DY: How do you organize your training week? MD: We always lift a minimum of four days a week, with six to seven days of cardio. DY: How much cardio do you do? JJ: During my building stage I do 30 minutes six days a week. At eight to 12 weeks out I’m doing 1 1/2 hours a day. My favorite cardio machine is the stair climber. I keep my heart rate at about 138 so that I don’t burn too much muscle. DY: Describe a typical training program for you, bodypart by bodypart. MD: We train together now, so we do the same workout—but obviously I use heavier weights. Chest Dumbbell bench presses 4 x 15, 10, 8, 7 Incline presses 4 x 15, 10, 8, 7 Floor presses 4 x 12 Superset Cable flyes 4 x 12 Pushups 4 x 25 Bench presses (light burnout set) Back Low-pulley rows Wide-grip pulldowns Superset

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3 x 12 3 x 12


Pulldowns Low-pulley rows

3 x 12 3 x 12

Shoulders Dumbbell presses Lateral raises Front raises High pulls

3 x 12 3 x 12 3 x 12 3 x 12

Biceps Standing curls Preacher curls (with 10-second negatives) Barbell 21 curls Superset Hammer curls Concentration curls Triceps Skull crushers Weighted dips Rope pushdowns

4 x 12 4 x 12 4 x 21 4 x 12 4 x 12 4 x 12 4 x 8-20 4 x 12

Legs Squats 1 x 15, 2 x 10, 3 x 8 Lunges 3 x 15 Hack squats 3 x 12 Leg presses 3 x 10 Leg extensions 3 x 10

Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Seated calf raises Standing calf raises

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

Abs Anything and everything DY: What do you think are the key elements that lead to success? MD: The key element is having a plan and sticking to it. Also knowing your body. Everyone is different, and one thing does not work for everyone. You need to figure out what your body requires and how to accommodate your workout and eating schedule to your everyday life. Editor’s note: Visit Mike and JJ at jj_TheDynamicDuo or to contact them for modeling or contest prep, send e-mail to IM

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New Season Dept.

Bright Future Stellar lineups at IM Pro and ASC start off great ’08

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Toney Freeman.

Silvio Samuel.

Johnnie Jackson.

Contest photography by Roland Balik, Merv and Keith Berson

By the time you have this edition of the News & Views in your hands, the 2008 contest season will be ready to rumble. For the 19th year in a row the IRON MAN Pro will lead things off, followed two weeks later by the 20th edition of the Arnold Schwarzenegeger Classic. Based on early reports, both shows will field magnificent lineups. The IM Pro and Los Angeles FitExpo, which are set for February 15 through 17, will feature a change of venue this year; after four seasons in Pasadena, promoter John Balik and company are heading to downtown L.A., to the Los Angeles Convention Center, adjacent to Staples Center and the brandnew Nokia Theater. Phil Since the contract deadline for the IM Heath. is nearly a month off as I write this, I can’t tell you exactly who’ll be in, for sure, but it’s shaping up to be the best lineup in years. Toney Freeman said a month or so ago on the MD radio Webcast that he’ll be back to defend his title. I had a feeling that would happen after his spectacular success early in 2007 was negated, somewhat, by his shocking 14th-place finish at the Mr. O. I heard that the 6’2”, 285-pounder out of Atlanta, who has since that interview signed with AMI, was ill before the O. I didn’t hear it from him, but it would make sense, as he was coming off victories at the IM and the Sac Pro and a third-place landing at the Arnold Classic. Was the X Man really under the weather at the Olympia? Was it just precontest mistakes? Or was he, at 41 years old, just too tired from the early-season contests to peak again? I think the man is still a terrific bodybuilder, and his desire to prove just that will get him back onstage in Los Angeles. Another question: Will Phil Heath be joining him? Early on “the Gift” told me he was going to open the year at the IM, which certainly would make sense. A win here, or at least a very strong showing, would carry over to Columbus, Ohio, and the Arnold two weeks later. The 28-year-old from Denver packed on some impressive size in the off-season; he looked very good at about 265 pounds when I saw him at the Nationals in November, and a competition weight of around 235, up 10 to 12 pounds from last year’s Arnold (at 5’9”), is certainly not out of the question. Heath sat out the past two Olympias to “put on size,” he said. Now that he’s accomplished that, it’s time for Phil to compete, not watch from

GRAPPLING AT THE ASF But is this the ultimate fighting championship? Pages 254-255

COLUMBUS SIX-PACK? Who’s getting back onstage at the Arnold? Pages 254255

’07 NPC IRON MAN Figure winners.

his seat. And another Freeman-Heath battle would certainly be a treat. Of course, a Freeman-Health-Samuel battle would be even better. The winner of my Pro Bodybuilder of the Year award in 2007, Silvio Samuel was a highly disputed fourth at the IRON MAN Pro last year, and after winning the 210-and-under Gary division as well as the main event at the Strydom, Europa—and finishing a strong seventh 2006. at the Olympia—Silvio has earned the right to be considered a precontest favorite with Toney and Phil. Samuel competed an amazing eight times last year and looked terrific in every single contest, proving that it’s certainly possible to peak more than once—or twice, or three times—in one season. And let’s not leave out Johnnie Jackson, who had one terrific 2007, winning the Atlantic City Pro and then earning an impressive ninth-place finish at the O. Jackson is one of several topflight stars being trained by Milos “the Mind” Sarcev. Now, if Gustavo Badell jumps into the fray, as rumored, things will definitely get, as Ron Avidan is famous for saying, “quite interesting.” The Frican’ Rican, a former IM Pro winner, was fourth at the ’07 Arnold and finished a very disappointed eighth, one slot behind Silvio, at the O.

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Dawn Kirkham, Monica Mark and Danielle Edmonds.

BLAST FROM THE PAST Can you name that contest in one guess? Page 256

Eddie Abbew. Ray Arde.


DeShaun Grimez.

ALSO LIKELY TO BE BACK ON THE IM STAGE—Eddie Abbew, Marcus Haley, David Henry and Hidetada Yamagishi, who finished third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, last year, top the list here. Abbew, the David best-built nurse in the world, has said Henry. he’ll be coming in from England again to compete. Haley’s Comet finished fifth in Marcus his first crack at the event, getting the benefit Haley. of the show’s new status in 2007 as a top-five Olympia qualifier. Henry, second to Lee Priest in 2006, fell a few slots last year, but don’t let that fool ya. The guy might have been the most conditioned athlete onstage at the O, where he took 10th. Yamagishi ranked among the most improved pros on the circuit last year and became the first Japanese bodybuilder to grace the Olympia stage. Plus, he always has a huge entourage of fans in the audience, which adds to the excitement of any show he flexes in. Ditto for Troy Alves, who’ll be returning \ MARCH 2008 253

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to the show after sitting out the 2007 edition. The 5’8”, 220-pounder from Phoenix placed third in ’05 and ’06 and at 41, despite not qualifying for the Olympia last year, still possesses one of the sport’s classiest physiques. Always include Troy’s name in the battle for a top-five finish. Two rookies—DeShaun Grimez and “Sting” Ray Arde—have told me they’ll make their pro debuts in Los Angeles. Grimez won his pro card by taking the heavyweights and finishing second to Ben White in the overall balloting at the ’07 USA; Arde won the light-heavyweight crown at the ’05 Nationals. I think both guys can hold their own on a pro stage. Gary Strydom said at the Nationals that he’ll be competing in the show this year. At 48, the 6’1”, 275-pound Strydom has defied the aging process, and if he does follow through on his promise, he would be making his first appearance at the IM since the initial event back in 1990. I’m sure I’m missing some others who’ll be there come showtime—locals Will Harris and Omar Deckard and Arizona’s Rusty Jeffers could be on that list. Harris has a tremendous physique and finished behind only Silvio Samuel at the Europa. He looked great at the O, despite his out-of-the-top-15 finish. Will can definitely be a thrill in February. Oh, and the buzz out of New York is that King Kamali could be jumping in the fray as well. As you know, Kamali adds excitement, on and off the stage, to any show he competes in. The IRON MAN NPC Figure competition returns to the festivities, with the overall winner receiving a photo shoot with Michael Neveux, as usual. A new, positive twist to the ladies’ show—no limit on the number of contestants, so the lineup could be the largest in its eight-year history. The bodybuilding community suffered a great loss in November when Reg Park succumbed to melanoma at 79. Park will be honored posthumously with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. See Gene Mozée’s tribute to him on page 168. For updates on the IRON MAN field (and the entire event), not to mention the latest “The Experts” video, wherein Isaac Hinds, Ron Avidan and I once more display our uncanny prognostication talents, log on to

Troy Alves.

Omar Deckard.

King Kamali.

Arnold Classic FIELD OF DREAMS—Just as the Arnold Sports Festival weekend keeps getting bigger, the Arnold Classic lineup keeps getting deeper! The top six from 2007—Victor Martinez, Dexter Jackson, Toney Freeman, Gustavo Badell, Phil Heath and Silvio Samuel—are scheduled to get on the Veterans Memorial stage in Columbus again on March 1. In addition, the Marvelous One, Melvin Anthony (fifth in the show in 2005 and ’06, and sixth and fifth, respectively, in the past two Olympias), and Kai Greene, the winner of my Most Improved Bodybuilder award for 2007, are prepping for the Classic. So promoter Jim Lorimer’s latest lineup will have not only two great physiques but also the two best posers in the industry, in some people’s opinions. The only big names from last season’s Olympia that will be missing in Columbus are Jay Cutler and the retired Ronnie Coleman. The addition of Anthony and Greene makes it, at least on paper, one of the greatest lineups in the 20-year history of the show. For those who may not remember, Rich Gaspari took the initial crown back in 1989, with Robby Robinson in second and Gary Strydom in third. Lorimer is rounding up as many past champions as possible to honor at the finals. And who knows what other surprises Jim and his co-promoter, the Governator, are packaging? 254 MARCH 2008 \

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Will Harris.

Wrestling and fencing at the Arnold Sports Festival.

Martinez copped his first Arnold win last year by besting two-time champ Jackson, and the two went on to finish second and third, respectively, at the Olympia. Even so, Dexter felt he should have been rewarded with his third straight ASC crown last year. He’ll get another chance to prove who really deserves the $130,000 first prize.

Dexter Jackson. Gustavo Badell.

Kai Greene.

MORE THAN A PRO-BODYBUILDING SHOW—Last year, in addition to emceeing the Arnold Classic, I got to host the extremely successful NPC Arnold, a bodybuilding, fitness and figure event that was added to the weekend. This season it will include not only NPC athletes but also IFBB amateur competitors from Europe, Asia and Canada. And it will be run over three days rather than two. “The Arnold Sports Festival is proud to announce this historic collaboration between Rafael Santonja, president of the IFBB, Jim Manion, presiMelvin dent of the NPC, and Classic Productions,” said Jim Anthony. Lorimer. Added Santonja, “The IFBB is most pleased to further our relationship with the Arnold Sports Festival; the inception of this competition will create a premier opportunity for amateur athletes all around the world.” Bob Lorimer, co-director of the event with the Fitness Factory’s Mike Davies, said, “We are thrilled to once again allow top amateur athletes an opportunity to compete on the legendary Veterans Memorial stage, where every icon of the sport has competed. This opens our competition to international exposure and broadens the scope of the entire sports festival.” The Arnold Sports Festival showcases 12 Olympic sports, attracts more than 17,000 athletes and features a 650-booth expo. New additions include the Arnold Cycling Challenge, the USA Powerlifting Championships and a USA Weightlifting world team–qualifying event. Of course, any discussion of the amazing weekend has to include the return of the UFC Championships on Saturday night. Last year the 19,000-seat Nationwide Arena sold out in an hour—at an average of $200 a ticket. The pay-per-view buys were through the roof. Needless to say, those planning on getting their fannies to Columbus this year better get their ducats immediately. See ya in Ohio.

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Add NPC Contests

UFC at the Arnold.

SOUTHERN BEAUTY—The annual Southern States Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure event, held July 13 and 14 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, featured sublime champions and exciting changes. No surprises there for anyone who’s followed the prestigious competition’s growth over the years “We added a novice class to both figure and men’s bodybuilding so that athletes starting up the NPC ladder would not be intimidated by those competing in the open division,” said promoter Peter Potter. The 250 contestants were equally divided among bodybuilding, fitness and figure and represented 18 states. Some impressive stats: 11 women in the open fitness competition and 15 in the teen men. Karate in Columbus. Manuel Romero, a “definite future pro and a look-alike to guest poser Victor Martinez,” according to Potter, was a unanimous winner in the men’s bodybuilding. A 6’ 232-pounder who’s been training for only four years, he has the goods \ MARCH 2008 255

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Robby Robinson, Rich Gaspari and Gary Strydom at the first Arnold Classic.

Victor Martinez in ’07.

People GOTTA HAVE HEART DEPT—Last summer I returned to Gold’s Gym, Pasadena, after an 8 1/2-year hiatus. I saw many familiar people at the facility (which was previously known as World Gym, Pasadena) but in many instanc256 MARCH 2008 \

Photo courtesy of Dave Liberman

OHIO REPORT—On the subject of annual successful shows, the dynamic duo of Todd Pember and Dave Liberman produced another big one in October, with 124 of the very best drug-free competitors from the Midwest (not counting crossovers, which is the only number that counts) stepping on the Lakewood (Ohio) Civic Auditorium stage for the Natural Northern Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Ohio Championships. A large crowd viewed the event, Lorimer. which drew competitors from 13 states. Tommy Robertson Jr. captured the men’s overall crown, with Maria Bradley winning it all in women’s bodybuilding and Lauren Kryser taking the figure title. I met Robertson at the Nationals, where the impressive 5’5”, 165-pounder from Cincinnati finished third in the welterweights. It was not his first time doing well at a high-level contest, however: He won his class at the ’99 North Americans and was third at the ’97 Junior Nationals. I really like Robertson’s physique, and I think the 35-year-old equipment operator has the tools to take his class at this season’s Team Universe Championships in September. Remember, you heard it here first. Bradley is a 5’5”, 140-pound personal trainer from Akron, Ohio, who has played competitive handball in Brazil and Switzerland and who also has plans to flex at the T.U. this fall. Kryser, who’s only 22, is a 5’3”, 125-pound special-education instructor from Ravenna, Ohio, who placed fourth in her class at this contest in 2005 and second at the Big Dust Classic. Pro star Bill Wilmore guest posed, and IFBB figure pro Chastity Sloane made a special appearance. Sloan was also promoting her Fitness Layne Personal Training and Day Spa in Troy, Ohio. You can check it out at Congrats to Todd and Dave on the continued success of this show, which enforces a strict (and expensive) testing protocol. It’s the same test used in the Olympic Games, and it detects the use of anabolic steroids, diuretics and clenbuterol within the previous year.


to follow in the footsteps of both Martinez and Dexter Jackson, the ’94 Southern States champ, Peter said. Only two times in the 28-year history of the contest has a fitness or figure competitor crossed over to bodybuilding and won the overall title there: Tammy Simpson in 1996 and Stephanie Kessler, the ’06 Team Universe overall winner and an ’07 Ms. Olympia competitor, in ’03. Now you can add Anastasia Maillard to that list. Entering her first bodybuilding contest, the 112-pound court officer easily took her class before scoring the overall win. “The caliber as well as the quantity was exceptional, as always,” said Ken Taylor, who flew all the way out from Los Angeles to lead a star-studded judging panel that featured eight NPC national judges from four states. The record book lists 16 former overall Southern States winners who eventually moved on to the pro ranks. This year’s class may well carry on that tradition. Congrats to all involved.

Ohio winners Robertson, Bradley and Kryser.

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Michael O’Hearn.

Ryan DeLuca.

THE RETURN OF “AMERICAN GLADIATORS”—It’s no surprise that multitime IRON MAN cover model Michael O’Hearn is one of the featured players in the latest version of “American Gladiators,” a show that ran on cable TV in the early-to-mid-1990s. A former high school football standout, premier bodybuilder and champion powerlifter, O’Hearn starred in the original series and then had a spot on “Battledome” a few seasons back. This time around the show will appear on a major network, NBC, running weekly on Monday nights. It was set to premiere on Sunday, January 6, with Michael in the role of “Titan.” Congrats also to Tanji Johnson (“Stealth”), Beth Horn (“Venom”) and Valerie Waugaman (“Siren’), who landed three of the seven positions on the ladies side of the ledger. Another lass who made the cut is strength athlete and figure competitor Robin Coleman, whom I met at Gold’s Gym, Northridge, in October. It’s great exposure for some of the industry’s A-list players. Doesn’t get any better than prime-time TV, gang. I’ll be watching.

MOVIN’ ON UP DEPT—The honors keep coming in for In December the online Internet Retailer magazine named the Boise, John Heart and L.T. Idaho–based company one of the top 100 Internet do Heavy Duty. retail sites in the world. The list was chosen based on striking and effective site designs, site search functionality, risk taking in new technologies and setting new trends in the Internet retailing industry. “We are building something—this is not just based on making money,” said Ryan DeLuca, CEO of the health and fitness products e-retailer. “Everything we add to our site is based on helping visitors stick with their programs and reach their goals. That will ultimately lead to much higher revenue, a much more valuable brand based on emotional connections and more profitability based on increased customer loyalty.” On the subject of building, Ryan may have to come up with some extra room in his garage since wife Bryna presented him with a brand-new custom chopper, built by the famous Orange County Choppers, at a surprise 30th-birthday bash thrown for Ryan at the Big Easy in Boise. Speaking of growth, their support for the bodybuilding industry remains stronger than ever— and promoter Jon Lindsay recently agreed to a multiSouthern States champs (from left): Tom Toy, Manuel Romero, Anastasia year deal, in which the company will be the title sponsor for Mallard, Gabriel Figueras, Christina Morales and Seine Silva. Lindsay’s annual USA megabash. IM Ian Ware \ IAJE Photography


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es I knew the face, not the person. That was the situation with John Heart, one of the club’s most successful personal trainers. I recognized him as “Payne” on “Battledome,” although some remember Heart as the winner of the tall class at the ’01 Natural Mr. Universe. Formerly known as John Sperandeo, the 6’1” 210-pounder was born and raised in New York and came out to Cali in the ’90s. In watching Heart work with clients, I could see he follows the Heavy Duty ideology of the late Mike Mentzer. As it turned out, John worked with Mentzer in the early 1990s. He started his personal-training business 15 years ago using Mike’s principles. They must work—the 43-year-old remains in terrific shape year-round. The personable Heart was more excited than usual on a particular day in midOctober. No, he didn’t beat me in a posedown. His wife, Zalika, had just announced the good news that the couple’s third child was on the way. To find out more about John, check out his Web site,, where you can download new high-intensity-training programs.

To contact Lonnie Teper about material possibly pertinent to News & Views, write to 1613 Chelsea Road, #266, San Marino, CA 91108; fax to (626) 289-7949; or send e-mail to \ MARCH 2008 257

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Retrospective A 19th-Birthday Photo Celebration It’s hard to believe that 2008 is the IRON MAN Pro’s 19th year. The pro-season opener has been won by many superstar bodybuilders—established big names as well as those on the verge of breaking out—with a list of champs that includes Shawn Ray, 2006 Flex Wheeler and Jay Cutler. We’ve had a smorgasbord of major muscle every year, and this time will be no different. To whet your appetite for the fabulous physique athletes who will be onstage at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 16, here’s a look back at all the past winners. 1990 —the Editors



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Toney Freeman 2007 IRON MAN PRO CHAMPION \ MARCH 2008 261

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IRON MAN PRO Retrospective


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IRON MAN PRO Retrospective

Gustavo Badell 2005 IRON MAN PRO CHAMPION

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Chris Cormier 1999, 2000, ’01, ’02 IRON MAN PRO CHAMPION \ MARCH 2008 267

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Flex Wheeler 1993, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98 IRON MAN PRO CHAMPION

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Shawn Ray (The first winner) 1990 IRON MAN PRO CHAMPION

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About March: • • • •

’07 Pro Highlights Doings Columbus Bound Pump-Pourri


Photography by John Balik, Ruth Silverman, Roland Balik and Merv

FITNESS ’OLA Adela Garcia claimed her third Olympia crown—second in a row—and announced that she’d take the early season off in ’08, skipping the Fitness International for the first time since she turned pro. In eight straight appearances at the Columbus, Ohio, megaevent the chica suprema earned eight top-five finishes, five of them in the top three, with two wins.

SISTER ACT Iris Kyle and Dayana Cadeau ended the year exactly where they started—one and two. Iris was the only athlete to win at the Arnold and the Olympia.

SEASON IN A NUTSHELL New pro Heather Policky (left) muscled into the top three at the Ms. International, but by year’s close, Dayana, Iris and Yaxeni Oriquen had retained their lock on the sport. 274 MARCH 2008 \

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TIME TO GET SERIOUS Mary Lado took her second International crown and then crashed at the O. She passed on defending her title in February in order to regroup.

FAIRY TALES (CAN COME TRUE) Jenny Lynn got the guy and won the Figure O—again. And it was the same guy, Blair Mone.

H E I R E S S E S A P PA R E N T 1) Jen Gates went from flavor of the month to fourth at the Figure O. 2) Second at the ’07 International, Amanda Savell was poised to move up at the O, and she did, to fifth—not quite as high as some thought she’d go. Her exclusion from the ’08 Figure I invite list had folks scratching their heads.



3) Sonia Adcock, the flavor of several months during the early season, strolled past both of them to finish third at the O. 4) Meanwhile, Gina Aliottl kept a careful eye on the competition and left them in her Olympia dust, taking second to Jenny Lynn.

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PRETTY POSER Is fear of strutting keeping you from getting the most out of your quarter turns? Let Nancy show you how to find your inner model. Veteran physique star and new IFBB pro Nancy Georges conducts her popular Stage Might figureposing workshops in Pasadena, California, on February 24, April 13 and July 13. Get the details (including hotel info) at www.Nancy

Ron Avidan


CONSOLATION PRIZE Jamie Reed didn’t get her pro card last season, but the 5’8” structural engineer from New York did cop a prize that was sought by many in the industry: a spot on NBC’s new “American Gladiators.” A summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Reed earned Ivy League honors in softball and the pole vault, skills that should serve her well (along with scrounging for dressing space backstage at the USA) when she unleashes her powers as “Fury.” For more on the latest incarnation of TV’s ultimate game show, see News & Views on page 252.

INNER AND OUTER BEAUTY In August, radio hosts Nancy Di Nino (left) and Dr. Z. Catherine Navarro (right) presented their first Living Beautiful Award to Julie Palmer. Jules earned the beautiful plaque—and a $1,000 check that came courtesy of the Vein Centre of the Palm Beaches—“through her multifaced roles as a professional athlete, trainer, girlfriend, business associate and registered nurse.” Find more news about LBR on page 288.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Di Nino

THEY’RE BA-A-ACK Adela Garcia, Jenny Lynn and Susie Curry save the world from futuristic monsters—in color. Available for $3.99 from DW says: “Fitness models in spandex!” I say: What’s wrong with that?

DOES SCOTTY REALLY HAVE ABS OF STEEL YEAR-ROUND? The truth may be found on Scott and Monica Brant-Peckham’s reality DVD series, but I’m not promising anything. For info or to subscribe, go to

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MISS VICKIE’S SHOW What: First Annual Vickie Gates Classic When: May 3, 2008 Where: Dallas Black Academy of Arts Divisions: Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Also: A portion of the proceeds will go to several Dallas-area nonprofit organizations.

For info: Call (817) 9995757, or send e-mail to OndreaGates@


NOT LOOKING BACK Having licked her Olympia wounds, Kim Klein will defend her Fitness International title.

New Faces at the Arnold

BIGGEST (PLEASANT) SURPRISE OF THE SEASON: AMY FRY At least for this reporter—and only because she got her pro card by taking second in her class. (Those gals have a greater challenge in the pros—admit it.) From the moment she hit the stage in Pittsburgh, however, Fry found what she’d been missing, and she ended the year in eighth at the O.

TOUCHDOWN Julie Lohre improved more than just her football skills in 2007.

M O R E I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E W B I E S Look for these outstanding athletes onstage in Columbus on February 29:


1) ’07 NPC USA Figure champ Catherine Anderson. 2) ’07 Team Universe Bodybuilding champion Tracy Beckham. 3) Sizzling South American figure pro Juliana Malacarne.

For crackling commentary on all things women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure, read my Pump & Circumstance blog at

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Milamar Sarcev shows the rookies how it’s done at the Cal Pro Figure.


Janet KearnsKoehler pumps up some beautiful figure muscle at the Pittsburgh Pro. Left: Heidi Fletcher’s rollercoaster year ended with fourth place in West Palm Beach. Below: Mary Jo Cooke scored five runner-up finishes in 2007. That’s gotta be some kind of a record

Welcome aboard. Jen Hendershott greets newcomer Amy Villa Nelson at the Fitness International.

Roland Balik

Photography by Ruth Silverman

Toughest interview of all time. Watch Steve teach me how to accentuate the positive—in the Olympia videos at

Hot rocks. Åsa Lötbom was the most blingalicous babe at the Olympia. The two-time Swedish Middleweight champ is a jewelry designer who does amazing things with Swarovski crystals. Congratulations! Fresno’s Farinaz Tavakoli, D.C., partied at the O and then won the figure overall at the NPC San Francisco a week later. Nice chatting with you, Doc.

Costumer Cynthia James takes the pins out of her mouth long enough to pose with her creations—and the ladies who wore them so well, Amy Haddad and Tracey Greenwood.

Colorful. Briana Tindall and Kristi Tauti make a pretty backstage pair. Isaac Hinds \

Pauline Nordine presents arms at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh.

SPEAKING OF LIVING BEAUTIFUL RADIO Catch me on Nancy Di Nino and Dr. Z. Catherine Navarro‘s radiofest for women on February 7 at 11 a.m. EST and downloadable forever at www.LivingBeautiful (with a broadcast from WWNN 1470 AM Radio Palm Beach Florida on February 11 at 6 p.m. EST). The topic: Handicapping the Ms., Fitness and Figure International competitions. I’m so looking forward to it.

You can contact Ruth Silverman, fitness, figure and women’s bodybuilding 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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IRON MAN Hardbody

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’07 Ms. Bikini

Universe Marzia Prince Has One Out-of-This-World Physique

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IRON MAN Hardbody

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IRON MAN Hardbody

Height: 5’9” Age: 33 Weight: 135 Current residence: Dallas, Texas Occupation: Fitness specialist, model and athlete Marital status: Married Factoids: “I’m the ’07 Ms. Bikini Universe, a Gaspari Nutrition spokesmodel, and I’ve been a fitness trainer for six years. I got started in the fitness world through sports in high school. I ran track and played volleyball, but it wasn’t until I was in nursing school that I hired a fitness trainer. I was addicted from day one, so I quit nursing school after three years and became a trainer myself. I absolutely love it and have no regrets.” Future plans: “Besides running my own personal-training business and shooting for fitness magazines, I’m doing a reality series on Bodybuilding .com. I show viewers what it’s like in my world, and I’ll be doing a client transformation there as well. I get a lot of fan e-mail from women, and I hope that my fans get some of their questions answered by watching the series. I’d like to have my own show one day, so this is going to be great practice!” Web site: or For bookings contact

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LIFE AFTER The Return of Uncle Buddy by Bill Starr

Photography by Michael Neveux

I was enjoying bluegrass music out of Marion, Virginia, late one Friday night, when Uncle Buddy knocked on my door. He brought in a 30-pack of Miller and a sword from Scotland, where he’d been for the past month, entertaining one of his many lady friends. This time it was Heidi, an American Airlines flight attendant. I’d met her on a previous visit, and she was a knockout, a slightly older version of Torrie Wilson. Uncle Buddy was a merchant seaman with an unusual lifestyle. He’d sign on a ship and never take any time off for six or seven straight months. When he’d accumulated enough money, he’d hook up with one of his ladies and travel to some very desirable location, such as Italy, France, Greece or the British Isles. When his money ran out, he’d go back to work. There was always a place for a worthy seaman, he told me. On nearly every furlough he’d come to visit me. He had other relatives but never bothered with them. We had common interests in music, athletics and politics and so got along very well. We were also both consistent about our training, which was perhaps the main reason he’d drop by. I always provided him with a place to train. Uncle Buddy was extremely generous, but he hated to pay to work out. He’d go to \ MARCH 2008 299

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great lengths to avoid laying out even five bucks to lift. So I always managed to have a guest pass for him or take him to someone’s home gym. It was a fair deal for me, since he paid for everything else when he stayed with me. We stayed up till four a.m. talking and slept past noon. Then I fixed a huge ham-and-cheese omelet, and we lounged around watching beach volleyball and baseball. Saturday is my slug day, and Uncle Buddy said he was taking a day off as well, so we didn’t have to plan around any training. That evening, after crab cakes at Grumpy’s, I drove him over to Ripken Stadium, where the Aberdeen IronBirds were playing the Oneonta Tigers from upstate New York. The real reason for going to the stadium wasn’t to watch the game as much as to see whether Cal was in attendance. He’d recently been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Uncle Buddy wanted to get him to autograph a baseball for the son of a lady friend. The place was packed, and all we could get were standing-roomonly tickets. That was fine with us because we both preferred

to stand rather than squeeze into an uncomfortable seat. After Buddy bought a baseball from the shop inside the stadium, we found a spot with a nice breeze and leaned against a support beam. While keeping a lookout for any stray foul balls, we chatted and scanned the crowd in hopes of spotting Cal. We’d been there for only about 15 minutes when I saw Ken walking toward us, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Well,” he blurted, “if it ain’t the hermit and his famous uncle. Good to see you guys.” Uncle Buddy and I shook his hand. We’d trained with Ken on several occasions when Fielder’s Shed was the place for heavy lifting in the county. It’s since been replaced by a three-car garage. Ken owns and operates a highly successful surveying business and was one of the best athletes to come out of North Harford High School. He was all-conference at Gettysburg College and went on to play three years of Arena football before becoming a powerlifter. At one time he was ranked in the top 10 in his weight division, the 220-pound class. I hadn’t seen him for a long time and was stunned at his appearance. He’d gone from being a stout athlete to a slumping, overweight shell of his former self. I didn’t comment because I figured he’d been sick, but Uncle Buddy didn’t hold back. “What the hell happened to you?” he asked in his typical blunt fashion. “It’s sort of a long story,” Ken muttered.

“We’re just watching a game. We got time. You been sick?” Buddy said. “Guess you might say that. Okay, I’ve been wanting to come down and talk to Bill anyway about this whole deal. I’ve tried calling but only get your fax. Truth is, I’m at a loss for what to do right now. I know I need to do something, but I’m not sure how to go about it.” “Why’d you stop training?” I inquired. “I’ll start at the beginning of the ordeal, in 2003. I was training for the Nationals to be held out in Columbus, which is a lot closer than it usually is, so I wouldn’t have to take much time off from work. My lifts were all moving up nicely, and I was getting psyched. If I kept improving, I had a shot at placing. Then I started getting these headaches—migraines—and I seldom got headaches. I figured it was from working out in the sun for so long. We’d been really busy with all the new buildings going up. I remember Bill telling me to take lots of the water-soluble vitamins and minerals in hot weather. It helped some, but I still got those splitting headaches a couple times a week. I didn’t

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say anything to Helen, but they were wearing me down. “Then, during one heavy workout I got nosebleed when I did my heavy set of squats. I didn’t think it was a big problem, only some weak tissue, and I was putting out 100 percent on that squat and didn’t plan on telling Helen. But damn if she didn’t spot the bloody towel in my gym bag, and that’s when the shit hit the fan. She’s never liked the idea that I took steroids and insisted that I go to our family doctor to get checked out. She even tagged along just to make sure I didn’t skip the appointment.” “Bad news?” Uncle Buddy asked. “From the get-go. First thing he did was check my blood pressure, and he nearly dropped his stethoscope. It was off the charts, 190 over 130.” “Good grief,” Uncle Buddy said, and I whistled. “He didn’t tell me what it meant exactly, except to say I was lucky that I didn’t have a stroke. Either of you know?” “That’s more my nephew’s territory,” Uncle Buddy said. “The first number in the blood pressure reading,” I said, “measures systolic pressure, the force exerted against the walls of the arteries when the heart beats and pushes blood out into them. The second figure is your diastolic pressure, the force exerted when your heart rests between beats. Both are way too high, but that diastolic is the scary one. And he told you it was due to taking steroids?” “Well,” said Ken, “I hadn’t mentioned them yet. I was hoping it might be some kind of virus or flu bug. But when he asked me to tell him all the medication I was taking, I told him about the ’roids. He wasn’t happy because he knew I didn’t get them from him. But even then, I wasn’t positive they were the source of my problems. I’d always heard that injectables were safe. It’s the oral kind that cause trouble.” “Not completely true,” I answered. “The injectables are usually safer than orals, but they’re not safesafe. While the orals put more stress on your liver than the injectables because they pass through your liver twice and the injectables only

once, how they affect you depends on lots of other factors: age, diet, how many other foods you eat that place undue demands on your liver. Then there’s always the matter of individual differences.” “He took some blood for a liver function test and gave me some medicine to help lower my blood pressure and in no uncertain terms told me not to take any more ’roids. He put a rush on the liver function test and called me two days later. He wanted to put me in the hospital because my liver was in such bad shape, but I refused. I was way too busy to be lying around in a hospital bed and I felt okay. The headaches had stopped. I agreed to do whatever he told me, but no hospital.” “How much and what were you taking?” Uncle Buddy wanted to know. “Lately just Deca-Durabolin,” Ken said. “I’d start with one cc a week and slowly increase the dosage over a two-month period. When the headaches started, I was up to three ccs twice a week.” “Damn!” Uncle Buddy grunted. “You were a human pincushion.” Ken laughed. “You can say that again. My ass was always sore.” “That’s when you quit training?” I asked. “No,” he said. “I stuck with it. I knew I wasn’t going to be nearly as strong as I was and had to forget about the Nationals, but I still wanted to stay in decent shape

and maintain a respectable level of strength. “For about a month everything was okay. My lifts dropped but not too much. Then I started losing weight. I chugged down protein shakes and ate throughout the day to keep it up. All of a sudden, my appetite went south, and my energy level dropped to zero. I couldn’t make it through a complete workout without having to lie down between sets. Even when I cut my program way back, I still couldn’t do a full workout. It was really discouraging. “When I went back to the doctor for a follow-up, he ran more tests. My liver was much better because I’d also eliminated alcohol and anything else that made it work harder. My blood pressure had dropped to 160 over 110—not good but getting there. I asked him why I was losing weight and strength so fast, and he told me it was because my testosterone level was way below normal. He said the glands that produce testosterone had almost shut down because of the ’roids. I’d never heard anything about that before. You?” “Sure,” I said. “Lots of times when high dosages are used. The ’roids are basically just synthetic forms of the male hormone. When you overload your system with any kind of steroid, your body stops producing testosterone. It’s kind of a defense mechanism to prevent you from overwhelming your liver, kidneys and other organs. Your body is

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You Can Get always trying to maintain equilibrium. In your case your hypothalamus—which controls the nervous and endocrine systems—sent signals to your testicles that there was plenty of testosterone available and to stop making it. When they shut down for a long time, as often happens when someone never takes a layoff from using ’roids, the glands cease to function. The good news is they’ll recover, but it may take some time. “You said this was in 2003. I bet you’re producing testosterone at the same level as you used to before the ’roids. Have you had it tested?” “No. No reason to when I quit lifting.”

“So what prompted you to quit altogether,” I asked. “Well, I started getting injured,” Ken replied. “First came my lower back, then my right knee, then my right shoulder. I decided to give my body a rest to let everything heal. We’d just started in on surveying Bulle Rock and putting in really long hours, so it seemed like the right time for a break.” “And you never started back,” said Uncle Buddy. He nodded. “Yeah. For one thing, I was embarrassed to go to the gym and let my old buddies see how weak I was. Then I started to pack on weight, and not the good kind. It wasn’t long before I became a

Steroids are basically synthetic forms of the male hormone. When you use them, your body shuts down its own production of testosterone.

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slob and sure as hell didn’t want my old training buddies to see me like this. But I made up my mind a few days ago that I’m going to make some changes. Thing is, I’m not sure how to go about it. That’s why I wanted to talk to you guys. Bill, I know you used ’roids at York when you lifted for them, so you must have gone through the transition when you stopped taking them,” “I did, and so did everyone else. It was easier for some than others, and a few kept right on using until some health issues forced them to stop. I can’t say it was easy for me because I relished being strong, but soon after I stopped competing, I got into strength coaching and couldn’t justify telling my athletes that they had to stay clean while I was taking It’s the process, the steroids. But then I rememjourney, more than bered why I got interested the destination, in lifting in the first place that’s of value. back in my teens. I wanted to look good, be fit and healthy. Once you’re able to alter your mind-set from being super strong to being extremely healthy, the rest comes naturally.” stop using ’roids for about the same “You might think you got a bad reason you did. He took up running break when those headaches and with the goal of eventually running nosebleeds came along,” Uncle in the Boston Marathon. It took him Buddy said, “but I have to believe six years, but he did it.” you were lucky they happened. “I doubt if I’ll start running,” Ken Sounds like you were a walking said, “but I hadn’t considered Olymtime bomb, a heartbeat away from a pic lifting. I always wanted to give stroke or heart attack. You only got a that a try.” slap on the wrist, health-wise. You’re I thought about my friend Jack young, what? Thirty-two?” King and related his story. He did “Thirty-four.” end up in a hospital because of “So you got a lot of living ahead of steroids and nearly died. After he you. It’ll help if you have something got out, he found that the Olympic to shoot for.” lifts were too hard on his weakened “Like what?” body, and he became a competitive “When we trained together at bodybuilder. Over the years he won the shed one time, you were doing every physique title in the South, power snatches and seemed really including the Master’s Mr. America. smooth. How about Olympic lift“Uncle Buddy’s right,” I said. ing? All those guys are clean, so you “Having a goal helps, and the goal wouldn’t be at a disadvantage the can change regularly. Equally imway you would in powerlifting. Alportant is to give yourself time to get though I was looking at Powerlifting back into shape. Figure on a year.” USA this afternoon and saw results I saw his mouth drop open, so I for natural contests. I had a good continued: “I know, a year sounds friend from Colorado who had to like a long time when you’re in your

30s, but it isn’t. If you obtain your goal of getting completely back in shape before that, well and good. If it takes a bit longer than a year, that’s all right too. It’s the process, the journey, more than the destination, that’s of value.” Ken sighed. “I guess you’re right. No sense trying to get in a hurry if I’m planning on training the rest of my life. But I sure don’t look forward to starting from scratch, especially if any of my old buddies are around.” “I wouldn’t worry about that,” I said. “There are a lot of new gyms in the area, and you could pick one where no one there knows you. There’s even a 24-hour facility in town that would let you train when you pleased or when it’s almost empty.” Uncle Buddy spoke up. “Or you could train at home. Buy some used equipment from the classified ads and build your own gym. You save on gym memberships, and it’ll give you flexibility as to when you train.” “I know you’re right,” Ken said. “It could have been a whole lot worse. I like that idea of putting together my own gym. Then Helen could use it too, and when Luke gets old enough, I could start him on a program. Now, how should I proceed?” “Slowly,” I answered. “Start with the basics: one primary exercise for your upper body, back and legs. For the first week just do three sets; then slowly work up to five or six sets for five reps. You can stay with the same basic exercises at every workout or switch them around if you want variety.” “Such as? Give me some examples.” He was scribbling on the back of the game program. “Okay, you may decide to only do benches, squats and deadlifts for a while. Or alternate benches with inclines and overhead presses for your upper body; deadlifts, power snatches or power cleans and shrugs for your back; and lunges and front and back squats for your legs.” Ken nodded that he understood, so I went on. “After two or three weeks, or when you feel you’re recovering from the workouts, add a

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couple of auxiliary exercises for the smaller muscles: biceps, triceps, deltoids and calves.” “How often should I train?” “Three days a week at first. When you think you’re ready to handle a heavier workload, add another light day. Be sure to use the heavy, light and medium concept that you used when you were powerlifting. One of the hardest things you’re going to have to deal with is forgetting about what you did before, ‘Ole Man Usta died,’ my mother would often say, and it applies to anyone getting back into a strength program. Start with a clean slate. That’s the difficult part, but on the flip side you have advantages over a rank beginner. You have muscle memory and understand how your body works and what you can and cannot do. You’ve already beaten the numbers you’ll be working through. That’s a huge plus. The danger is that you’ll try to get back in prime shape too quickly. I’m guessing

that you stopped taking supplements once you quit training.” “That’s right. Didn’t think I needed them.” “Well, start back. They’ll help you train with more intensity and recover faster. Recovery is the key. You also need to start paying attention to your diet and make sure you get the rest you need. I doubt if you’ll like this, but also start doing some cardio on your nonlifting days.” He grimaced. “I hate the idea of running.” “I didn’t say running. Pick any aerobic activity that suits you. Walking is fine. So is swimming, biking or using a treadmill or any other machine. Remember what you’re trying to accomplish with your program this time around—longterm health and fitness, not just pure strength. The cardio will help you get rid of the unwanted pounds you’re lugging around, reduce your risk of heart disease and elevate your HDLs—the good kind of cholesterol that

Remember what you’re trying to accomplish with your program this time around—longterm health and fitness, not just pure strength.

carries harmful fats out of your system. Ease into whatever activity you choose: 20 minutes at first, then slowly increasing to 45 minutes to an hour. That’s something else Helen could do with you, and you can walk anywhere.” “Speaking of Helen,” Ken said, “I’d better get back. I only came down to buy a baseball for Cal to sign.” “Cal’s here!” Uncle Buddy barked. “Yeah, upstairs. The whole family’s here. Helen was talking to Cal’s wife, Kelly, so she won’t mind that I abandoned her. I’d take you up, but you can’t get in the elevator unless you have tickets.” “Could you get Cal to sign this ball? To Brian?” “Sure thing. Least I could do. Be right back.” “That was a stroke of luck,” I said. “Who’s Brian?” “He’s Elizabeth’s son. They live in Carmel. I plan on stopping by on my way to San Francisco next week. That’s my next port of departure.” True to his word, Ken was back with the signed ball quickly. Uncle Buddy thanked him, and Ken said, “No, thank you two. I feel like a heavy weight’s been lifted off my shoulders just knowing that I’m about to start training again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I talked to you two. Any way I can get in touch with you?” he asked me. “I’ll be here for the kids’ world series in a few weeks.” “That’ll work. See you then, and thanks again.” Ken waved and hurried off toward the elevator. “What say we head back to your air-conditioned apartment,” Uncle Buddy said, “and knock down some very cold Miller? I’ve had enough baseball for one day.” “Excellent idea.” 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—Strength Training for Football, which is available for $20 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit IM

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Another Day of Scheming And daydreaming


his month I’m compelled to dash off a sally of littleknown weight-gain proposals (low-tech facts, free-form ideas, unstructured notions and educated guesses) that work for most people. They’ve worked for me for more than 50 years. Eat better, train harder, be tougher, think surer, and rest, well, morer. Of course, there’s always the slightly expanded version: 1) Late flash! Gaining lean muscle weight is a slow process. Lots of good food, hard training, guts and persistence required. You mustn’t pursue weight gain randomly or surrender to the tediousness of the process. Backward steps are too hard to recover. Never give up.

2) Seeking lean muscle only is a frustrating mission, as few—I’ve known three or four—are blessed with the superior metabolism and genetic blueprint to succeed readily. Waiting for lean muscle to grow, meanwhile, is like watching a pot of water—it never boils. 3) Though lean mass is the desired goal, gaining muscle mass, or bulk, a solid composition of muscle and essential adipose tissue, is the more common achievement of sizeconscious muscle builders. 4) Well-distributed bulk is appealing, useful and rewarding for most lifters with long-term goals and a tolerance for temporary bodybuilding smoothness. Proper bulk provides strength and energy to overload the muscles during a workout and plenty of tissue-building resources for muscle development. 5) Guess what? The lifter must eat more and better meals—a balance of complete protein, nutrient-dense carbs and non-greasy-fat meals. Eat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day without failure for better nutrient absorption, more consistent tissue building and less system overload. Break out the Tupperware, and embrace the routine of preparing meals for the road. Missed meals are backward steps. 6) Drink lots of water. I repeat— water, water and water. No soda pop. Soda is a crime, water divine. While on the subject, no junk, no garbage, no kidding. 7) Most serious muscle builders drink milk, eat dairy and eggs and include red meat in their diet. There’s more: A quality protein powder as a dietary supplement and meal fortifier is a most effective and convenient weight-gain tool. 8) Remember: Fresh fruit and salads are invaluable for weight gain, health and system vitality.

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9) Drugs and chemical enhancers are out of the picture. They work hastily to supply greedy needs, but so do petty theft and grand larceny. Getting something for nothing is for nobody and no one. Once you open the outhouse door, it’s tough to shut. Stinky too. 10) Workout sessions, along with meal regularity, take center stage. Know yourself, know your training, and persistently bomb it without overtraining and without failing. Common sense, instinct, practice, trial and error, observation and time teach and guide. Missed workouts are backward steps. Limit your aerobics schedule to three 15-minute blasts a week and think training intensity. An acquaintance of mine doesn’t do any aerobic activity, convinced it interferes with his mass gains and muscle retention. He adds the conserved time and energy to his regimen of intense weight training, believing his thus-amped training is sufficient for cardiovascular health. 11) Rest and relaxation are as important as drive and vitality to developing lean muscle. Sleep well, rest and de-stress regularly, and meditate on building a strong body and mind and soul when musing. 12) Remember the words of one of the greatest lifters in the world, Sir Winston Churchill, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never.” The secrets are revealed, the buried treasures uncovered, the gems of truth fixed in settings of gold. Light replaces darkness. Peculiar thing about muscle-building secrets: There aren’t any. When you’re a bomber, nothing is new. The only thing remaining is hard work, love, hope and faith. Throttle forward, steady as she goes, soar... —Dave Draper Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit www.Dave 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.

Problem Solving

Sleep on It


ave you ever awakened in the morning with the answer to a question you were pondering the night before? Maybe you were trying to figure out a puzzle, and the next morning you solved it. Apparently, sleeping helps us organize our thoughts. In a Harvard study, reported on in the October ’07 Prevention, subjects were given brain teasers, and many were much more likely to solve the problem after a good night’s sleep. According to lead researcher Matthew Walker, Ph.D., “Sleep can knit ideas together: You go to bed with pieces of the puzzle and awaken with the picture complete.” So, according to the study, if you have a tough problem, sleep on it. —Becky Holman


Anger Danger study of people 50 years old and older found that those who expressed anger by yelling and becoming agitated were more likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries. In other words, screamers are more apt to have a heart attack than those who suppress anger. It’s believed that outwardly expressing anger causes a temporary high in blood pressure, which can damage blood vessels. This finding runs counter to the belief that “you need to let it out.” —Becky Holman


Farrally \ Model: Mike Icolari

Neveux \ Model: David Perry

EFAs from olive oil, flaxseed and fish add health to the body and calories to your muscle-building diet. I periodically forget to include everything and suspect you do too. Living foods and essential fats are great warriors and supportive cheerleaders. Lock and load! Go, muscles, go! \ MARCH 2008 309

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MIND/BODY BodySpace Physique of the Month


Maria Rogers

Editor’s note: For more BodySpace bodies and info, visit www .Body Building .com.

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Photography by Ian Sitren \ SecondFocus


f you want the fashion accessory of the decade, a great body is a good place to start—and Maria Rogers won’t have to go shopping to get hers. At 5’8” this girl has a body that was made for wearing clothes—a lot or a little. It’s all part of the benefit of having a master’s degree in nutrition and loving a good workout. Maria made her NPC figure competition debut in 2006 at the Orange County Muscle Classic. She also did the San Diego Bodybuilding and Figure Championships and took first in her class at the prestigious ’07 California Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness Championships. That qualified her for the ’07 USA, which was held in Las Vegas last summer, where she placed fourth in her class. Not bad, considering that she was pretty much a beginner. Maria first got interested in health and working out while playing volleyball in high school. Then the Grecian beauty, who does speak Greek, not only got a master’s degree in nutrition from Cal State Fullerton but also became certified in alternative nutrition. You’ll soon be seeing her new clothing line of active and casual wear, MaryMee, in gyms and boutiques. She’ll also be back on the competition stage in ’08, going for her IFBB pro card. For more on Maria Rogers, check out her profile at marrrria/. —Ian Sitren


Take a Bite Out of Stress


odybuilders are familiar with cortisol, the stress hormone that can eat hard-earned muscle tissue. New research says it can cause your gums to recede as well. A Brazilian study suggests that those with high cortisol are more prone to peridontal disease. Cortisol impairs the immune system, which encourages bacteria to munch on your gums. High-strung individuals should brush more often and perhaps take a phosphatidylserine supplement. PS is a soy lipid that has been shown to reduce cortisol by 30 percent (see page 164). —Becky Holman

New Stuff



ushups are a great upper-body exercise, and simple new devices are making the move even better. A set of pushup handles called HotPex makes the exercise more comfortable and ergonomically correct while increasing the range of motion. Here’s what Brad Harris, Hollywood stuntman hall-of-famer and HotPex creator, had to say about them: “After 60 years of performing pushups in every position I could dream of, including with a pair of crudely homemade wooden handles that I carried with me around the world for several years during my career as a stuntman, stunt coordinator and star of a slew of foreign films, I finally came up with HotPex. I’ve tried just about every other pushup handles on the market place, and HotPex are the best—forget the rest.” For more information, visit

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Anabolic Optimal Dose

Hybridized musclemutating postworkout composite ormulated to overwhelm your devastated muscle cells, Anabolic Optimal Dose is unlike any other postworkout formula. Molecularly altered to engulf muscle fibers with key hyper-anabolic compounds, Anabolic Optimal Dose is designed to activate satellite cells for unbridled muscle tissue growth. Each oral dose contains the following potent ingredient mix: Creatine taurinate. A novel form of creatine patented by Muscle Asylum Project researchers, this ingredient enhances the ability to produce higher muscular force and/or power, aids in postworkout recovery and increases lean muscle mass. Taurine. One of the nonessential amino acids, taurine supports cell volumization and insulin sensitivity. Beta-alanine. An unparalleled muscle-building amino acid, beta-alanine is a precursor of the dipeptide carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine), which is highly concentrated in muscle. Glycine. An amino acid that’s a precursor of the synthesis of creatine, glycine can facilitate insulin-mediated uptake of glucose into muscle tissue. It also plays a key role in the synthesis of a number of biologically important compounds, including proteins, ATP, glycogen and hemoglobin. L-lysine HCI. Required for the synthesis of proteins that make up muscle fibers, this amino acid is in crystalline form and thus has extremely high bioavailability. Alpha lipoic acid. A potent


antioxidant, ALA has been known to enhance insulin sensitivity, forcing more creatine and nutrients into the muscle cell for immediate tissue replication and expansion. MAP scientists developed Wave Pulse Technology™ to take advantage of and improve on dynamic nutrient transport. Anabolic Optimal Dose invades your muscle fibers to a degree never experienced before, injecting size and strength where utter destruction has occurred. For more on Anabolic Optimal Dose and other innovative Muscle Asylum Project products, vist www

References Graham, A.S., and Hatton, R.C. (1999). Creatine: A review of efficacy

and safety. J Am Pharm Assoc. 39(6):803-810. Gannon, M.C., Nuttall, J.A., and Nuttall, F.Q. (2002). The metabolic response to ingested glycine. Am J Clin Nutr. 79:1302-1307. Irving, C.S., et al. (1986). Lysine and protein metabolism in young women. Subdivision based on the novel use of multiple stable isotopic labels. J Clin Invest. 77(4):13211331.

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MIND/BODY Gallery of Ironmen


t was long thought that women were not supposed to lift weights, do heavy exercise or build muscles. They could do all the housework they wanted, but if they dared pick up a dumbbell, then at best they would become uppity and mannish, and at worst they would kill themselves. That attitude began to break down in the early 20th century, when it came as something of a shock to both genders that women could indeed build impressive muscles. One conclusive proof was a mighty woman who put many men to shame with her superbly muscled arms and upper body. Her name was Luise Leers, and she was renowned for both her muscularity and her femininity. She was born around 1907 in Wiesbaden, Germany. The daughter of a skilled trapeze performer, she learned from him the stunts and tricks that would become her profession. For many years father and daughter performed together throughout Europe in a high-wire act, but it was not until the girl was spotted by an agent for the American Ringling

Photos courtesy of the David Chapman collection

Luisita Leers


Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus that her stardom was secured. Louise and her father were brought to America, and from 1929 to 1936 she was a famous and much-loved bigtop performer. At some point she changed her name to a more Latin and exotic form, and thus became “Luisita.” The performer’s most famous stunt was her “giant revolutions,” or one-arm swings, in which she threw her entire body in a circle while she grasped the trapeze with one hand. It was a stunt that only long hours of practice and spectacularly powerful muscles could accomplish. At the height of her strength, Luisita could perform 190 revolutions in a row without stopping. Because of those incredible performances, the young lady’s upperbody muscularity was phenomenal. Even more amazingly, she was quite proud of her muscles and would regularly pose in a double-biceps or side-triceps shot for the photographers. That was unheard of in her day; women were not supposed to show off like that. When World War II broke out, Luisita was trapped in Germany, and her circus career came to an abrupt end. The last notice of her came in 1949, when she sent an appeal to an American circus magazine asking readers to send her food so that she could regain her strength and restart her performing career. Sadly, there is no indication that ever happened, and she was not heard from again. —David Chapman

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Isaac Hinds \

M IN D/BODY I R O N M A N R isin g S t a r s

Jenny Lewis Age: 28 Residence: Elizabeth, Colorado Contest Highlights: ’07 NPC USA Figure Championships, 9th; ’07 Figure Nationals, 4th Factoid: “I was a professional wrestler for almost three years and was accepted into the Ohio Valley Wrestling School in ’04. That same year I had my first WWE ‘dark’ match in Columbia, South Carolina—on my 26th birthday!” Contact:

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Roland Balik

M IND/BODY I R O N M A N R isi n g S t a r s

Jeff Schwartzer


Weight: Contest, 215; off-season, 240 Height: 5’5 Residence: Pembroke Pines, Florida Contest Highlights: ’03 NPC Nationals, heavyweight, 2nd; ’07 USA, heavyweight, 5th Factoid: “In high school I played in the marching band while others played football (my overprotective mother was a nurse and would have nothing of it). In college I was a deejay at two clubs and was known as ‘Deejay Quad.’” Contact: \ MARCH 2008 317

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March 2008

with everything you said—he’s a great ambassador for our sport and always ripped. Promoters interested in booking the Texas Shredder for exhibitions and/or seminars can contact him via e-mail at

Cover Controversy Seeing as how I’m partial to exotic-looking women, I thought your January ’08 cover featuring Dina Al-Sabah was incredible! The photos of her inside the issue also had me gasping for air. Nice work, Mr. Neveux. That cover is sure to sell out everywhere. Samuel Ericson via Internet





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I want to thank Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson for all their good advice. They’re doing a great job! At last someone is really explaining how the science of muscle building works. For more than 40 years I’ve studied all the bodybuilding literature I could lay my hands on. There’s such a bewildering variety of methods, all claiming to be the best. But because no one could explain how the science worked, I could never make an informed judgment as to the best system to adopt. Consequently, I’ve only trained sporadically, fearing that, with my light bone structure, I might end up with long-term problems. Thanks to [Holman and Lawson’s] research, however, even at my age I feel confident to proceed (with caution) in the knowledge that what I’m doing is scientifically sound. All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. I can`t thank them enough. Keep up the good work. Chris Gavin via Internet

I am a family man with three young daughters. I subscribe to IRON MAN, and I love the content, but I have a problem with some of your covers. For example, the January ’08 issue was very suggestive, something I don’t want my kids to see me reading. How about going back to training covers or more wholesome-looking couples without the T and A? Stephen Hobson via Internet

Editor’s note: A lot of Holman and Lawson’s findings are discussed in “The Science of Muscle Size Simplified,” which begins on page 130. There’s more information at and

Editor’s note: We argue about this a lot around the IM offices. A cover with a beautiful woman on it sells well, and we do one every so often. We thought the cover with Dina Al-Sabah had muscle without too much suggestiveness (although the dumbbell is placed somewhat suggestively, it’s covering particular areas). The debate continues. We’d like to hear from other readers on the subject.

Governator Meets the Abdominator Doug Brolus, a man renowned for his etched abs, sent us this photo. He was visiting Southern California and happened to run into the state’s governor while he was out enjoying the sights. Some people have all the luck running into famous folks. Arnold’s been lucky that way all his life.

Shredder Sighting I recently helped judge a physique contest in Juneau, Alaska, along with Dave “Texas Shredder” Goodin, who also guest posed. What a wonderful ambassador he is for the sport of bodybuilding. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. Dave also conducted a very informative Q&A seminar, and he’s a Dave wonderful spokesperson Goodin. for the Muscle-Link line of supplements. Dave is a throwback to old-school bodybuilding, and he was a breath of fresh air. And the moniker Texas Shredder is most deserved, as he was in spot-on condition. Dennis Weis via Internet Editor’s note: Great, now Dave will ask for a raise. Seriously, we agree

Photo courtesy of Doug Brolus


Awesome Advice

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Doug Brolus.

Roland Balik


Readers Write

Vol. 67, No. 3: 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 © 2008. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the USA.

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Ironman Magazine 2008-03  
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