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August 2008



66 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 106 In-your-fascia stretching techniques to transform your physique.

88 30 BIG LIES OF BODYBUILDING From the archive, Terry Banawich dispells the myths and mysteries of bodybuilding, including building pro-style muscle.



To celebrate the Oak’s 61st birthday, we present full-page images from legendary photographer Jimmy Caruso.

142 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 37 Ron Harris explains why knowledge not applied is worthless.

150 ANABOLIC pH Our European research correspondent Michael Gündill discusses why bodybuilders are so acidic and how to go basic to accelerate growth.

164 SPILLING THE BEANS, PART 2 Jerry Brainum hits Starbucks one more time and analyzes the research on coffee’s fat-burning, muscle-churning properties.

188 TRANSFORMATION SENSATION David Young interviews Anthony Presciano on how he took his physique from football fierce to bodybuilding big—complete workout and diet included.

206 HEAVY DUTY John Little shares Mike Mentzer’s ironclad beliefs on one-set-per-exercise training and the importance of a workout journal.

220 NEW ERA TRAINING, PART 2 Ken O’Neill discusses maverick trainer Scott Abel’s innovative size and strengthbuilding strategies. Would you believe walking curls?



242 WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN Larry Eklund reports on the ’07 WSM finals.

250 X-FILES: MR. O’S WILD WORKOUTS A look at Jay Cutler’s training from an X-Rep perspective.

268 HARDBODY IFBB figure pro Kristal Richardson shows her buff stuff.

282 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Coach Bill Starr’s conclusion on ageless strength training and muscle gaining for the over-40 set.

Arnold Schwarzenegger appears on this month’s cover. Photo by Caruso.



ARNOLD Page After Page of Rare, NeverBefore-Seen Photos



OF BODYBUILDING The Truth Will Shock You! AUGUST 2008 $5.99



Vol. 67, No. 8

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MR. OLYMPIA’S WILD WORKOUTS Jay Cutler’s Partial-Rep Mass Attack

BODYBUILDING 101 3 Power-Packed Beginner’s Programs

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26 TRAIN TO GAIN Pause or no-pause deadlifts, personal trainers and Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine.

48 SMART TRAINING Coach Charles Poliquin discusses the best set-and-rep scheme for gains.

54 EAT TO GROW Creatine myths exploded, building older muscles and new L-glutamine research.

76 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen’s natural-bodybuilding tips and tricks.

82 SHREDDED MUSCLE Dave Goodin’s bodybuilding 101: complete programs for beginners.

86 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman’s X-Rep rap, top to bottom—the best spot for extending a set.

214 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum looks at plant extracts as testosterone boosters.


PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Picture-perfect panache

230 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper’s world-of-bodybuilding coverage—plus his Rising Stars.

254 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman’s look at the women’s side of the sport. Great pics here, gang.

260 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser’s cool Web site finds. Plus, his Power/Rep Range/Shock routine for home-gym workouts.

292 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Bomber Blast, Sergio Oliva DVD review, BodySpace Physique of the Month and drinking vs. drugging.




Military muscle, 82-year-old iron pumper and excited X-Repper.


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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.

download some of our most popular features. Build your muscle-building collection.

First up, we’ve got Lonnie Teper’s interview with American Gladiator and drugfree bodybuilder and powerlifter Michael O’Hearn. This dude’s got it going on from physique to drop-dead good looks. Muscle building, Hollywood gossip, evil stares—it’s all here. We also have David Young’s interview with legendary bodybuilder Rich Gaspari. It’s all about the how he packed on 100 pounds of muscle. Then we check out Derik Farnsworth’s chest-chiseling program to get yours growing. Look for the September issue on newsstands the first week of August.

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Publisher’s Letter by John Balik

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience This past weekend my son Justin graduated from high school. I heard many parents, faculty and graduates describe the event as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” That phrase stuck in my head like the cliché that it is. We graduate from high school only once in our lives, but I started to think that every day every experience is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Most situations aren’t absolutes the way graduations and births are, but the reality is that every experience happens only once in exactly the same way. Anyone who has more than one child realizes that while they were all born, each birth was a different experience for us. I’ve always been an early riser—I enjoy experiencing the sunrise every time. I find that the rising sun feeds my enthusiasm for the day and a sense of wonder at the magic of life. After witnessing thousands of sunrises and sunsets, I understand that the emotional content and experience are always different. “We see the world not as it is but as we are”—I don’t know who originally said that, but it works for me. My dad was one who always relished the early-morning hours. He’d say, “Even if you don’t have anything to do, get an early start.” He always had something to do. It’s all really a corollary to Arnold’s saying, “Everywhere I go I have a good time.” You have a good time by living in the moment, enjoying the uniqueness of the situation. Have you noticed that every workout is different? In the gym I’ve heard people say that it was a “great workout,” “bad workout” and so on. How do you measure it? Who’s responsible for the good and the bad? I never heard Arnold say negative things about his workout because he understood that he made it what it was and that every workout is different. Starting a workout is “good”; missing a workout is “bad.” Your workout has the potential to transform your day, and if you appreciate it for what it is, you’ll be rewarded with not only strength and muscle but also a sense of what an amazing machine the human body is. IRON MAN’s founder, Peary Rader, was fond of saying that those of us who work out with weights are different. The difference was far more than just greater strength and muscle—it included the way we experience life. No study of anatomy or kinesiology can convey the feeling of your muscles at work. Only a workout can. That’s part of the magic. Every workout is a oncein-a-lifetime event; enjoy it. 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: Fernando Carmona 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:

24 AUGUST 2008 \

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Most of you probably imagine that the top pros don’t face any greater challenges in their training than perhaps deciding whether to wear the sleeveless shirt or tank top on arm day. Not so with Germany’s Dennis Wolf, a top-five Mr. Olympia finalist who many feel is destined to take the title sooner or later. One day back in 2001, when he was still years away from winning the IFBB World Championships and turning pro, something popped inside his knee while he was doing heavy squats. The injury turned out to be so severe that he was unable to do even light lower-body training for six months. “For a time I was depressed because I truly thought my dreams of being a pro were over,” he recalls. Eventually, though, he rehabilitated the knee on his own and returned to training legs—but quite cautiously. “I have to admit I was very scared every time I trained legs, especially squats,” he says. “I was so worried that I would get hurt again and ruin everything.” That fear led Wolf to adopt ultrastrict form and devote far more time to warming up than he ever had in the past. If he couldn’t handle a weight in perfect form, he wouldn’t do it, period. Some would say that an overly wary approach limits gains, as it prevents you from truly attacking the weights and going heavy enough to stimulate growth. Dennis hasn’t found that to be true. “My legs are better than ever, and they keep improving every year,” he notes. “Yes, I will always have that voice in the back of my head telling me to be extra careful, but it’s not a bad thing in my eyes. When you’re hurt, you can’t train, and

A workout lesson from Dennis Wolf

then you miss out on valuable things like important competitions—look at what happened to Victor Martinez with his knee earlier this year.” It’s okay to be cautious when it comes to your training. As much as others like to beat their chests and chant, ‘No fear,’ injury prevention is an integral component of muscle gain. —Ron Harris

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Deadlift: Pause or No Pause As a rule of thumb, pause at the bottom of each deadlift rep. You need to develop starting strength for a big pull, and you’ll never do that unless you pull a dead weight. To do a touch-and-go rep, you must lower the barbell in perfect form to set yourself up for the next clean rep and to protect your back. Doing a negative in the deadlift takes experience. Otherwise it’s just plain dangerous; the bar tends to pull you forward on your toes and round your back. Even if you’ve succeeded in not letting the bar run forward and bend you over, don’t think your troubles are over. You’ve probably assumed an exaggeratedly upright stance. Your knees have slipped forward and gotten banged up while your hamstrings have lost tension. You’re in a hideous position for the next rep. That’s why I recommend quickly pushing your hips back, dropping down with the barbell after each repetition, and resetting for each rep as if it’s the first one. Nevertheless, experienced lifters have legit reasons for periodically doing touch-and-go deadlifts with controlled negatives. First, it’s well known that eccentric contractions are important for stimulating muscle growth. Second, touch-and-go reps are good for cleaning up your technique. Stay tight and keep your breathing shallow. Letting out too much air at any time is putting your lower back in danger. Inhale on the way down, and keeping your stomach tight—it will not be easy—grunt slightly halfway up. Don’t bounce the bar on the platform; just gently touch it and go up without losing tension or air. —Pavel Beyond Bodybuilding Editor’s note: Beyond Bodybuilding is available at

A recent study examined how having a personal trainer influences the training of women. None of the 46 women in the study was a competitive bodybuilder—they were recruited at local health clubs. The women self-selected what they considered to be the optimal weight that would let them complete 10 reps on a few basic exercises, including the chest press, leg press and seated row. They were then tested on their one-rep maximum for each exercise. One group of women trained on their own, and the other trained under the supervision of personal trainers. The women who trained on their own selected weights that were lower than optimal for promoting muscular gains. The women who trained with trainers selected weights that were about optimal for muscle gain purposes—60 percent of one-rep max. Questioning revealed that the women who trained themselves were afraid of getting big muscles, which explained why they opted to lift weights that would produce no gains. Their major goal wasn’t gaining muscle but toning. Those training under the guidance of personal trainers were more aware of the truth, which is that lifting weights alone isn’t likely to produce pro-female-bodybuilder muscularity. The usefulness of any personal trainer, however, depends on his or her level of experience and knowledge. I’ve observed people who train under a personal trainer’s guidance and show no apparent changes at all, year after year, yet never seem to question the trainer’s competence. In such cases, the personal trainer serves as a paid friend instead of an actual trainer. When you think about it, that’s not much different from hiring a prostitute, although I’d venture that the prostitute is a lot more fun and probably provides more effective exercise. —Jerry Brainum

28 AUGUST 2008 \

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Etched-In-Stone Back Mass as you can. Just keep contracting your back muscles at the top of the last rep, never letting the bar go forward more than two inches, and then squeeze again. 3) Seated machine rows. Set the seat low enough to ensure that when you pull your arms back, they’re up away from your torso. That engages the higher portion of the trap muscles on either side of the spine, enabling you to squeeze the lower area as well. Do at least 15 full reps and as many short, squeezing-type reps as you can. Do three sets of 15 to failure with squeezes at the end of each set. 4) Cable squeezes. Take a set of Lifeline cables (thick multiple rubber cables with handles) and loop the cables around a pole or other upright so there’s a handle on either side. Sit on the floor and grab the handles. Pull them in so that your hands (and handles) are back as far as you can go, at least far enough that your shoulders are back and your scapulae are together. Allow the cable handles to move forward just two to four inches, and then squeeze your scapulae together as you bring the handles back again. Do that for at least for 40 to 60 seconds every other day until you see that your shoulders are being brought back to where they should sit. For most people that may take four to six months, depending on the severity of the kyphosis. Once your shoulders seem to be sitting even with the center of your neck in profile view, do cable squeezes at the end of your back routine once a week. You may also want to find a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, who can teach you how to reprogram your nervous system and your neuromuscular signals. You’ll find within a couple of months that your shoulders sit back naturally. Also ask your Feldenkrais practitioner for a four-foot log of Styrofoam, which you can roll on at home in your spare time. Over time, if you roll back and forth on your back on that simple device, it can help the curve become a bit less severe. —Paul Burke Merv \ Model: Tony Freeman

Q: I’m a 52-yearold man and have been training for more than 30 years. I’ve competed in bodybuilding contests, and although I’ve always placed high, I don’t win. Everyone says it’s because my back doesn’t have enough detail. I do everything—pullups, pulldowns, T-bar rows, lowpulley rows and one-arm dumbbell rows—even heavy deadlifts. I’ve done every routine from every book and magazine that’s been published, yet nothing has worked. My back gets wide, but it lacks depth and detail. Could you recommend something? A: If you look at a complete picture of the back musculature in an anatomy book, you’ll notice that it has many muscles that cross over one another, often with diagonally opposing insertions. The back is an extremely intricate muscle group by design. I’ve seen guys do exactly what you’re doing and create a wide, deeply cut and detailed back. On the other hand, some men, such as yourself, try everything and cannot get depth and detail, only width. That particular problem is usually rooted in the shape of the spine. My guess is that your spine is either slightly or greatly kyphotic, meaning that the middle of the spine comes outward too far and loses its profile and shape. A spinal deformity that’s often overlooked during a child’s growing years, kyphosis can also be the result of poor posture. When you say that there’s a lot width to the outer edges of your back—the latissimus and teres major muscles—I’m even more convinced that your problem is congenital. Fear not, though, for where there’s a will, there’s a way. The muscles that create the most detail are worked properly only when your shoulders are back far enough to engage them. It’s important for you to get your shoulders back and squeeze the lower traps, the scapulae and the inner muscles that run down either side of the spine. Here’s how to do that: 1) Behind-the-neck lat pulldowns. Be sure not to let the bar go all the way up, and focus on squeezing the scapulae inward as you pull the weight down to the back of your neck. (Everything that you do from here on should be done with the idea of squeezing your scapulae together as much as possible). Forget about the stretch part of your back exercises—you’re stretched too much already. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps. 2) Seated low-pulley rows. Use a weight that’s heavy enough to put a strain on your muscles yet moderate enough for you to get your shoulders back and your scapulae together. Again, it’s not important to stretch all the way—but you need to squeeze those scapulae on every rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps. At the end of each set do as many squeezes

Editor’s note: Paul 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 over40 fitness training. To contact him, write to You can purchase his book, Burke’s Law—a New Fitness Paradigm for the Mature Male, from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 4470008, or visit His “Burke’s Law” training DVD is also now available.

32 AUGUST 2008 \

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Train to Gain / HARDGAINER

Stelios and Yiannis were experiencing the best bodybuilding progress of their lives from the simplest training they had ever done. The lesson was clear: Simple, short, hard and progressive training is the way to go. It stimulates growth and permits recuperation time between workouts. It was a far cry from how they used to train. Their new routines were detailed in earlier installments of this column. In summary, Stelios’ new lower-body routine is side bends, barbell squats, leg curls, standing calf raises, partial stiff-legged deadlifts from knee height and machine back extensions. For his upper body he does machine crunches, low-incline bench presses, seated back-supported dumbbell presses, seated shrugs, pulldowns, incline dumbbell curls and hand grippers. Yiannis’ routines are the same except that instead of barbell squats and low-incline bench presses, he substitutes parallel-grip deadlifts, using a hexagonal shrug bar, and parallel-bar dips. Instead of partial stiff-legged deadlifts, he does regular bent-legged deadlifts from the floor. Those changes reflect Yiannis’ body structure—he has longer limbs and a shorter torso than his brother does. When I started supervising the Grimm brothers’ training, I had to correct their faulty exercise technique. Chances are that you’re making at least some of the same errors and putting yourself at risk of injury. Perhaps you’re already trying to train around injuries caused by one or more of the faults. Please identify the faults and fix them. Training without injury is essential if you’re to have a chance of realizing your bodybuilding potential. The days when Stelios and Yiannis did jerky, explosive reps are behind them, as they should be for you too. They used to almost throw the weights up, and then almost drop them, for a rep speed of under one second up and one second down. Their rep speed is now smooth, typically two seconds for the lifting portion of each rep and another two for the lowering portion, with a second or two between reps. At the end of each work set, where effort level is at its highest, their speed slows a little, as they eke out the reps. Many bodybuilders use too much weight in their exercises, which leads to technique corruption—even when they know what correct technique is. Use a weight that lets you barely eke out your target reps with correct technique.

Side Bends Faults: Twisting your torso somewhat on the descent and then untwisting it on the ascent, thus combining a partial back extension with the side bend; excessive range of motion on the descent but insufficient range on the ascent; incorrect stance; performing the side bends if you have a back problem.

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

The Brothers Grimm

A bodybuilding odyssey, part 8

Fixes: Keep your torso and legs on the same plane; make all the torso movement lateral—nothing to the front or the rear; for a full, safe range of motion, descend as far as is comfortable, and then, once you return to the vertical position, continue immediately to the other side, as far as you can, then return to the vertical—all of that is a single rep; use a hip-width stance—neither so close that you risk losing your stability nor too wide. (Note: Provided you have a healthy spine, the side bend, correctly performed, will strengthen your body’s core muscles and increase their resistance to injury. If, however, your spinal musculature has problems, the side bend will probably be harmful and should be avoided.)

Barbell Squats Faults: Squatting in soft shoes that lose form during the exercise; excessive padding on the bar where it contacts the upper back; positioning the bar too high on the traps; elevating your heels on a plate or board; having your feet too close; having your feet parallel to each other; holding the barbell with your hands too wide; leaning forward too much during the squat; ascending with your hips moving up faster than your shoulders; letting your knees move inward on the ascent; rounding your back at any time during the set; rushing between reps; not using a safety apparatus for squatting. Fixes: Squat in shoes that provide a firm base; use little or, preferably, no padding on the bar—wear a thicker shirt if you lack trap development; keep your shoulder blades squeezed together to create a layer of tensed muscle on your upper back, and position the bar on the muscle just above the center of the top ridge of your shoulder blades. (Note: That’s lower than the bar position that most bodybuilders use, but it’s essential to avoid metal-to-spine contact and to provide a greater bar control.) One other tip concerning squats: Most bodybuilders don’t have sufficient flexibility. Because the squat involves so much of the body’s musculature, inflexibility dramatically compromises exercise technique. You must be supple if you’re going to master squatting technique. Next month I’ll continue with the fixes for the squat and move on to other exercises. Until then, train smart, and never forget that if you don’t sleep well or eat a first-class diet, your good work in the gym will be undermined. —Stuart McRobert Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008, or

34 AUGUST 2008 \

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The Young Spine

Neveux \ Model: justin Balik

There’s much debate about weight training for young people, and opinions are divided into two camps: One believes young people shouldn’t weight train at all; the other believes they should. The camp that doesn’t want 12-to-16-year-olds to weight train often relies on myth and misinformation, such as: “It will stunt your growth”; “It will damage the growth plates”; “It will damage the joints.” There isn’t a shred of truth to any of those ideas. That doesn’t mean a person who trains with weights

can’t be injured. Injuries in young people from weight training are caused by lack of supervision, poor program design, poor exercise selection and overtraining. Those who feel that young people can lift weights have much evidence to support their position. Dr. Michael Reed, medical director of the United States Olympic Committee, says, “Several years ago I studied the incidence of injuries in school-age (six to 16) weightlifters during competition over a five-year period. Almost 1,200 athletes were observed. There were a total of eight injuries. None of the injuries involved the spine. All eight injuries were minor, and the athletes were able to return to training and competition right away.” Reed cites research on injury patterns in junior weightlifting—ages 16 to 20—showing a very low injury rate and, once again, no spine injuries. He adds that weightlifting is safe for children as long as they’re properly coached by someone who’s been trained to teach Olympic lifts. At the Soft Tissue Center we do see injuries to the lumbar spine, a.k.a, the lower back, in young athletes. Overwhelmingly, we see them from soccer, track and field,

Lifting for kids—is it safe?

dance, gymnastics and volleyball; many of the athletes have never weight trained. Their injuries are typically caused by overtraining and overuse, especially if hyperextension of the back occurs repeatedly. The part of the spinal column that’s injured is the pars or pedicle. It’s not mature and can’t withstand the load that overtraining places on it. It begins to have a stress response, and if the load isn’t reduced, the pars fractures. Back pain in an athletic young person of five to 16 years of age requires medical attention. If the athlete’s history and examination are consistent with a pars fracture, an MRI or bone scan can be used to detect the fracture. Once a pars fracture occurs, the young athlete must rest. If he or she cooperates and rests, the bone may heal. Torso braces are used in some cases to make sure the young spine doesn’t move too much during the healing process. If the athlete is uncooperative and remains active, the bone will most likely not heal, and the fracture will persist. In adulthood that fracture is known as spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. In some cases surgery may be required. As Dr. Robert Bray, the founder of Diagnostic and Interventional Spinal/Sports Care in Marina del Rey, California, explains, “If an athlete not older than 14 years of age has a pars fracture, a simple surgical procedure can be performed in which a screw is placed through the pars until it heals. The screw is then removed, and the athlete will not have the long-term problems that may occur if the fracture remains. This procedure is very effective. If the athlete waits until 16 years of age, the healing rate of the fracture is greatly diminished.” While disk herniations are uncommon in young athletes, we are seeing more adult-type injuries of the adolescent spine because of severe overtraining. I recall a 14-year-old athlete who competed in school and club softball, school and club volleyball, school and club basketball and then took up track and field. She collapsed one day in sudden back pain. The history, age, location and description of pain was consistent with a pars fracture. The MRI revealed a small herniated disk, and it had already turned dark on the MRI, indicating a loss of water. She’d also lost height. Those are changes I wouldn’t expect to see until someone was 40. Young athletes can’t physiologically or psychologically withstand an adult training program. Adult athletes can and do overtrain as well—but that’s a topic for another day. —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) 447-0008, or at www

(Train to Gain continues on page 45) 36 AUGUST 2008 \

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“Wow, dude, you look freakin’ perfect!” Are those the words every bodybuilder longs to hear about his physique? On the surface, gushing accolades may seem to be the kindest compliment, but the reality is that they’re more often the death knell for further improvement. Think about it. If you’re already perfect, why bother trying to get any better? If you go to bodybuilding contests and see someone looking exactly the same as he did the last time you saw him, and the time before that, you can be damned sure he’s surrounded by nothing but yes men. They can be gym buddies, friends, family members or even a well-meaning significant other. Either they don’t have any eye for physiques and he really does look awesome to them, or they’re delicately trying not to hurt the guy’s feelings. I get a lot of requests from bodybuilders to evaluate their physiques, typically online via photos. I always stress that I’ll do so only if they’re willing to hear blunt honesty. They won’t be told what they want to hear but instead what they need to hear—or more accurately, what they need to work on if they genuinely want to improve. It can be anything from a specific area, such as needing more side delts or back thickness, to a more general issue like needing more overall mass or to keep bodyfat lower (a lot of guys take the off-season thing way too far, edging near obesity). I also always make sincere compliments. I might say, “Your quads have great size and sweep to them, but the hams and calves really need to come up.” Or, “You have crazy shoulders, which makes your arms look smaller than they really are; that’s why you need to take it easy on shoulders and really blast your arms.” Most take my critique to heart and appreciate my honesty. There are always a few who get defensive and tell me to shove it where the sun don’t shine,

The power of brutal honesty

Neveux \ Models: Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman

Physique Critique

even though they are the ones that came to me for an evaluation. I know that those who listen and get to work on their weak points will have better physiques to show for it eventually. I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to get excellent critiques from experts like John Parrillo, Dante Trudel, Hany Rambod—even Dr. Ellington Darden back in the very beginning. Each pointed out something I needed to focus on that I was either unaware of or in denial about, and denial is far more common than you might imagine. It’s almost impossible for any of us to look in the mirror and objectively assess what we see. There’s simply too much emotion—and too many issues of self-esteem and pride—involved. That’s why I implore all of you to seek opinions from those who know how to look at a physique. Those who have competed successfully for many years are good candidates, as are bodybuilding judges. The things they notice could very well be the key to bringing your body closer to its ultimate potential. —Ron Harris \ AUGUST 2008 45

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by Charles Poliquin

Q: My question is about the proper number of sets. Some authors claim that it’s not necessary to train to failure. Others recommend going beyond failure, and still others say that only the last set should approach concentric failure. Am I misunderstanding something? When doing work sets, should I use the heaviest weight first and then adjust my weight downward for each successive set or use the same weight for all sets, making my last set the only hard one? Or should I work up to that final heavy set? Or should I use a pyramid system? I know that they all probably work, but I’d like to know the most accepted way of doing it. A: You just answered your own question: They do all work, but not for the same reason. For example, a descend-

ing-resistance-rep/constant-set scheme will trigger an increase in energy substrate synthesis, while a constant-rep/high-set approach like the German Volume workout, which you can easily find on the Internet, has been shown to bring a record level of progress. The old standard, a wide pyramid of training—15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1—is still advocated in most college books for gaining mass and is probably the least effective because it doesn’t provide enough repeated work at a given intensity. With a rep spread like that you start at 66 percent of max, 15 reps, and finish at 100 percent of max, one rep. It’s my opinion that rep-and-set schemes should not spread over more than 15 percent of max—for example, 70 to 85 percent, 75 to 90 percent, 85 to 100 percent. So a 5-4-3-2-1 pyramid would work (85 to 100 percent), but not a 12-10-8-6-4-2-1 (70 to 100 percent). Incidentally the 5-4-3-2-1 is a favorite of Mauro Di Pasquale, who used it to reach his powerlifting successes on the international scene. Narrow pyramids—3-2-1—done two to three times are better known as wavelike loading and are quite effective at developing relative strength. The key point is that your body will adapt to any routine in six workouts. No single best system works all the time. It works only for the time it takes you to adapt to it. The point that some of my colleagues are making is that, Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

The Best Sets/Reps System

A 5-4-3-2-1 pyramid scheme works well for building strength.

Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi


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4) He devotes chapters to overcoming sticking points on lifts—i.e., bench, squats, deadlifts—or bodyparts. If you’re interested in gaining, particularly in the legs, back and traps, Ditillo has some good advice for you. I recommend the book strongly for the power bodybuilder—the bodybuilder who wants bigger muscles that can express high levels of strength. This book is not for: a) Pump artists. You’ll find no routines that involve bombing and blitzing. b) Visuals. Don’t expect the slick photography of Michael Neveux or Chris Lund. This book is definitely not a source of visual inspiration, but the wealth of valuable training information sure makes up for the lack.

Neveux \ Model: Bob Donnelly

c) Mike Mentzer fans. Ditillo believes in the physiological effects of the well-proven laws of repeated efforts and adaptation.

contrary to the ideas of people like Mike Mentzer, there’s no absolute need to train to concentric muscle failure on every set. Recommending a given load repeated for many sets means favoring adaptation through the law of repeated efforts. That’s the basis of the aforementioned German Volume training, which I authored almost 20 years ago.

d) Machine aficionados. Basic barbell and dumbbell work—no chrome, sprockets or nylon pulleys required.

Q: A few years ago I read an article of yours in a bodybuilding magazine concerning the critical drop-off point as it applies to relative strength training. You stated that when a muscle reaches a 5 to 7 percent decrease in performance (either in weight or reps), that particular exercise should be terminated. My problem is that I usually reach that point after only one or two sets. For example, I was performing incline dumbbell presses with 110-

Q: What’s your favorite strength-training book? A: A classic book that has very productive routines is Developing Physical Strength by Anthony Ditillo, which was available from IRON MAN years ago. Nowadays you need to purchase it as a used book. I’m often asked which book I’d rescue from my burning house. That’s the one. Even though it’s more than 25 years old and the rationale for the effectiveness of the routine isn’t particularly scientific, the routines outlined are still some of the best out there (the human genome has changed only 0.02 percent in the last 40,000 years!). Ditillo is a big advocate of power-rack training and voluminous work. Here are the reasons I like his training philosophy: 2) He incorporates a lot of neural training—near maximal loads for repeated efforts. With his system, the gains in strength will be locked in your body for a long time. His methods help you achieve maximal neural drive. 3) No fancy equipment is necessary. For most routines all you need is a power rack, a bench, dumbbells and a chinning bar.

Neveux \ Model: Noel Thompson


Smart Training

Heavy, basic moves done with barbells and dumbbells are all you need to make great gains.

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If one arm is weaker than the other, use one-arm movements, like concentration curls. Start with your nondominant arm, and then match the number of reps with your dominant arm.

nutrition—you may not be eating enough carbs to have sufficient glycogen storage. Hope that helps. Write to me and let me know. Q: I don’t know what to do about my left arm. I see that it’s weaker than my right one, and whenever I exercise biceps or triceps, the right arm is doing most of the work. Also, recently my left triceps has been kind of weird. When I flex it, it doesn’t get hard and isn’t as big as the right one. A: Before we get into the training side of it, in my opinion, you require the attention of a qualified health practitioner—either a chiropractor or an osteopath who does manipulation. I may not have all the information I need, but your recent inability to contract the muscles in your left arm leads me to believe that the neural drive from your brain isn’t getting to your muscle. Thus you most likely have some cervical trauma at the C-5/C-6 level. To find a qualified practitioner, phone (719) 473-7000 for a referral for a good chiropractor. I’ve found that once the vertebral problem has been fixed, a few acupuncture treatments accelerate the recovery of the weakened limb. Unfortunately, the level of competency of acupuncturists isn’t well regulated. So you may end up with some Pacific Rim refugee who claims to be one and will recommend that you absolutely need to purchase panda semen extract from his cousin at $235 a gram. Once the neural problem has been fixed, I recommend that you work arms with dumbbells only. Perform an equal number of reps and sets with each arm. If you like singlearm movements like concentration curls, always start with your nondominant arm, and match the number of reps with your dominant arm. Within less than a month the problem should be fixed. Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi


Smart Training

pounders for four reps at a 5/0/5/0 tempo. After four minutes’ rest, I could barely perform two reps at the same tempo. I dropped down to 100 pounds for the third set and got three reps and 90 pounds for the fourth and got three reps. Each set had four minutes’ rest. The same thing happens no matter what rep tempo I use. My question is, Should I continue to perform multiple sets and just allow the weights to drop, or should I terminate the exercise after only one or two sets? A: Please note that the 7 percent rule applies for the training of maximal strength—loads of 85 percent of maximum or more. In classical bodybuilding training, I recommend no more than a 20 percent drop-off. After such long rest intervals, for the given reps and tempo, I’m amazed that you have such limited ability to repeat loads. Normally it’s 2 percent per set, between sets; for you it’s near 10 percent! That is, in fact, very poor work capacity. It could be due mainly to two things: 1) Genetically poor work capacity. For your bodybuilding goals you may need to do more exercises for fewer sets. In other words, instead of doing two exercises for four to five sets each, you may want to try three to four exercises for two sets each.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most successful strength coaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’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 Also, see his ad on page 259. IM

2) Inadequate diet. In your case I’d pay attention to your

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\ JULY 2006 181

Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission SUPPLEMENT SCIENCE

synthesized in the liver, kidney and pancreas from three amino acid precursors: methionine, glycine and arginine. The body produces about one gram of creatine a day, and if you eat meat, you get another gram or two as well. Labeltend to have more creatine stored in ing creatine a drug of any kind is an their muscles. That’s why they don’t example of shoddy research. respond as dramatically to the supplePopular media, though, aren’t the ment as vegetarians or those who sole purveyors of creatine misinformaeschew eating meat. tion. Science journals regularly publish Along with its commercial sucalarming reports suggesting a dark cess, however, creatine has also been future for creatine users. A closer pesubject to much unfounded criticism. rusal of them usually shows how irrelThe misinformation is fueled by poorly evant they are for those in good health. researched popular media reports It’s like those reports that eating lots about its effects. Indeed, some newsof protein is risky for those with kidney paper and television news features failure. There’s zero evidence that have identified creatine as a steroid. either creatine or a high-protein In fact, it’s an amino acid by-product intake is hazardous for people who have Countless studies show the benefits normal kidney of creatine for athletes, but the function. misinformation out there is also extensive. Among the side effects attributed to creatine are excess kidney stress, muscular cramps and dehydration. Two recently published studies, however, definitively prove that the claims are false. The theory is that creatine use promotes a shift of water from extracellular and into intracellular compartments. Critics say that that makes it hard to maintain cooler body temperature and alters electrolyte, or mineral, balance, leading

Creatine Myths Exploded There’s an old saying that when you’re at the top, someone’s always trying to bring you down. The adage certainly applies to creatine. Since its commercial introduction in 1993, creatine has become one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements, and for good reason. Countless studies prove its effectiveness, the scientific consensus being that it works for 80 percent of its users. The other 20 percent usually eat red meat habitually. Red meat contains high levels of natural creatine, and those who eat it regularly

Neveux \ Model: Jimmy Mentis


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to muscle cramps. Studies that have found muscle cramps and overheating with creatine use have by and large involved athletes training in hot weather, when they may not have been drinking enough water to balance sweating and other fluid loss from the heat and exertion. Other studies show the opposite: Creatine appears to offer significant protection against heat illness, dehydration and muscle cramps. That makes sense because creatine increases total body water, which would protect against dehydration while lowering core body temperature. Then there’s the fear that creatine affects kidney function. The primary waste product of creatine metabolism, creatinine, is excreted through the kidneys, and with compromised kidney function, excess creatinine could produce kidney stress. In fact, a primary test of kidney function is called the creatinine-clearance test; in it excess creatinine points to problems with the filtering mechanism in the kidneys. Just because a clinical test uses a particular substance as a marker of bad kidney function, however, doesn’t prove the substance caused the problem. One study, which reviewed the literature about the effects of creatine in relation to muscle cramps and dehydration, cited a 1998 case study published in the Lancet describing a 25-year-old man who experienced a decline in kidney function after taking 20 grams of creatine a day. Complicating the report was the fact that the man had kidney disease. When he stopped using the creatine, his symptoms abated, leading the authors to suggest that creatine was toxic to kidney function. A French newspaper reported that three days after the review was published, but it totally overlooked the fact that the man

already had serious kidney disease. In any case, taking 20 grams of creatine after you’ve done a typical creatine-loading phase of five days is just plain foolish, as nearly all of the creatine is rapidly excreted once the muscles are loaded. Besides questionable human studies pointing to creatine-induced renal stress, a number of animal studies have been used to bolster that criticism, but those, too, are red herrings, since creatine isn’t a normal nutrient for many animal species and may not even be absorbed. There’s zero evidence that creatine is hazardous for people who have For example, creatine intake normal kidney function. causes chronic hepatitis in mice but not in rats. In contrast, humans easily and rapidly absorb it, even though many had no adverse effects on kidads attempt to deny that so they can ney function. The subjects also sell “superior” creatine supplements. participated in aerobic exercise for 40 Complicating the picture is the fact minutes three times a week. Tests on that the creatinine test, the primary those in the placebo group showed test for kidney function, isn’t accurate that the exercise alone improved kidney for those who use creatine, particularly function. That was attributed to the during a loading phase. A recent study health-promoting effects of exercise, compared men, ages 18 to 35, who such as more efficient glucose control, got either 10 grams of creatine or a lower blood pressure and a reduction placebo daily for three months. The in oxidative stress and bodyfat levels. researchers used a newer test of kidney Significantly, those are the same facfunction that measured a serum protein tors that offer lifelong kidney protection, called cystatin C. Cystatin C is regularly suggesting that regular exercise is one filtered in the kidneys and easily reabof the best things you can do to presorbed, since it has a low molecular serve kidney function. weight. A loss of cystatin C is a good —Jerry Brainum indicator of a defect in the glomerular filtration system of the kidneys and isn’t affected by creatine metabolism. References The study found that, based on monitoring cystatin C exDalbo, V.J., et al. (2008). Putting the cretion, taking in 10 grams of myth of creatine supplementation leadcreatine daily for three months ing to muscle cramps and dehydration to rest. Brit J Sports Med. In press. Gualano, B., et al. (2008). Effects of creatine supplementation on renal function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur J Appl Physiol. In press.

A French newspaper reporting on the case totally overlooked the fact that the man already had serious kidney disease. \ AUGUST 2008 55

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Food Facts That can affect your workouts, weight and wellness Lemon in your tea can increase the amount of available antioxidants by five times. That’s because of the acidic nature of lemon juice, which promotes absorption of those nutrients.


Pump Up the Carbs for Growth Recently I was picking the brain of top nutritionist Hany “the Pro Creator” Rambod, whose current clients include ’08 IRON MAN Pro winner Phil Heath. The topic of conversation was cheat meals. Most people associate them with jump-starting a sluggish metabolism while dieting as well as taking some of the suffering out of the process. Hany, however, uses cheat meals for another purpose—bringing up weak bodyparts. That idea makes more sense if you’re aware of his FST-7 training system, which centers on using maximum muscle pumps to break up and loosen muscle fascia, allowing growth to take place (standard heavy training is also part of the system). So how exactly can a cheat meal help? “A meal that’s high in both carbohydrates and sodium will go a long way toward promoting a killer pump,” says Hany. “You should also be fully hydrated so that the nutrients can be transported properly.” He notes that the process takes time, so you’re better off eating that meal the day or night before your workout to take full advantage of the phenomenon. And though you can opt for pizza or burgers and fries if you like, a better choice for a bodybuilder who wants to stay lean or get leaner would be to add high-sodium condiments like ketchup or teriyaki sauce to carbs like baked potatoes or rice. Don’t confuse cheat meals with cheat days. While a single cheat meal can have positive effects, a day-long binge of the wrong foods, especially if indulged in two or more times a week, is a surefire ticket to Fat City! —Ron Harris

Figs can prevent muscle cramps. Why? Six of them contain about 890 milligrams of potassium, roughly double the count in a large banana. Peppermint vapors were shown to give basketball players more energy and confidence in a recent study. Try peppermint gum during your workout (sucking on a candy cane just wouldn’t look right). Aspirin may help fight cancer. You’ve heard that it can reduce the risk of heart attack, but the same anti-inflammatory effects that produce that benefit appear to reduce the inflammation that can lead to cancer. Broccoli seems to help reduce estrogen in men, boosting testosterone power. The effect is due to a phytonutrient called indole-3-carbinol. Marijuana isn’t a food, but studies suggest that it can eat up your lungs. Researchers say that smoking one joint a day causes as much lung damage as smoking 20 cigarettes.

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—Becky Holman

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4 Weeks to Maximum Immunity As a bodybuilder you may be asking yourself, Why should I read a book on immunity? If you want to build muscle, you have to train hard and recover, right? If your immune system is out of whack, you can easily get run down or ill, which means you can’t train hard—or at all. And even if your immunity is only somewhat compromised, you may not be able to properly regenerate after a workout—slowing gains to a snail’s pace. 4 Weeks to Maximum Immunity, by the editors of Prevention with Kim Galeaz, R.D., can help you stay strong to train intensely and recover optimally for faster muscle growth. While some of the book is just a skim-fest for those of us in decent health, like the sections on fighting against illness—they’re at the end of the book with suggestions on what to do if you have allergies, asthma, cancer, diabetes and even food poisoning—those interested in building their bodies and health will find lots of good stuff. Chapters like “An Apple a Day Can Keep the Doctor Away,” “Sleep: Quality Matters As Much As Quantity,” “Stress: Don’t Let It Get the Best of You” and “Mood: Happiness Is Good Medicine” set the tone. Practical recommendations—like eating fruits and vegetables at the same meal because of their synergistic health effects and having sexual

intercourse because it appears to have immune-enhancing effects—will keep your highlighter streaking through entire paragraphs. The 350-plus-page book is full of practical advice and discussions of research on various immunity-oriented subjects. There’s an entire chapter on vitamin D, sunlight and what’s necessary if you want to avoid a deficiency, which is common in more than 50 percent of the population. That may explain many of the more prevalent health problems today—maybe even your inability to build muscle. After all, vitamin D and calcium are essential for muscle contraction. There are even miniquizzes on how well you’re eating and resting, your outlook on life and clean living (no, that one has nothing to do with steroids). You won’t find information on how to build 20-inch arms here, at least not directly, but a healthy immune system is another cog in your mass-building machinery. 4 Weeks can keep it tuned up like a high-performance race car. It’s quite an impressive tome, filled with some obvious and not-soobvious information that may surprise you—and help you in ways you never imagined. —Becky Holman



Is Organic Best?

Dairy and the Dentist

A research study from Great Britain says yes. Produce grown on organic farms was compared to that grown conventionally, and the organic fruits and vegetables contained up to 40 percent more antioxidants. Scientists also found that cows raised in an organic environment gave milk that had up to 80 percent more healthful nutrients than factory-farmed cows (Prevention, May ’08). —Becky Holman

You may have heard that a lack of plaque on your teeth is better for your cardiovascular health. The recommendation is to brush and floss regularly. New research out of Japan says that eating dairy products like yogurt and cheese can help too. A specific acid in those foods controls the growth of the bad bacteria that contribute to plaque accumulation, which can lead to gum disease. —Becky Holman

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A simple nutrition mission to drop fat and add muscle

Neveux \ Model: Rehan Jalali

You know the phrase Keep It Simple, Stupid. I’m a big fan of it. Maybe it’s because I’m lazy. Or maybe it’s because I don’t think nutrition should be about advanced mathematics. My wife says I’m lazy, but I call it efficient. When it comes to improving body composition, I’m a firm believer in adopting simple strategies first. Besides exercising more, which is simple but painful, there are other easy things to do. A study recently reported in the Nutrition & Metabolism Journal exemplified that tenet.1 In it a bunch of lab geeks examined the physiological response to 10 weeks of combined aerobic and resistance exercise vs. exercise plus minimal nutrition intervention designed to alter the macronutrient profile. The nutrition intervention did not involve energy restriction. The subjects could eat like pigs or pigeons if they so desired. Researchers used a commercially available high-protein, low-carbohydrate and lowfat nutrient-dense food supplement. One serving equaled 300 kilocalories, with five grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein and roughly 50 percent of the RDA for vitamins and minerals. Thirty-eight sedentary, overweight subjects were randomly assigned to a control, exercise or exercise-withsupplement group. The two exercise groups participated in supervised resistance and endurance training two times and three times per week, respectively. Those using the supplement drank one shake per day during weeks 1 and 2 and two shakes per day during weeks 3 through 10. So what happened? As expected, those exercising significantly decreased fat mass—by 4.6 percent and 9.3 percent, the supplement group losing the most. Muscle mass increased only in the supplement group. Time to exhaustion during treadmill testing increased in the exercise group by 9.8 percent, but that was significantly less than the 21.2 percent increase in the supplement group. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein decreased only in those taking the supplement, by 12.0 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. What can we make of that information? First of all, the very Don’t fall for the fat-to-muscle hustle. simple Keep it simple to achieve results.

addition of a meal-replacement powder that’s high in protein and lower in carbohydrate can improve exercise performance and reduce bodyfat. There was no crazy diet involved, no carb counting, no fat counting and no counting sheep, thank heaven. So for all practical purposes, if your initial goal is to lose bodyfat and perhaps improve exercise capacity, just drop your carbs and eat more protein. Better yet, make it easy on yourself and just whip up a protein shake. Also, the study goes to the heart of why so many dietary interventions fail in the long run—because they’re too damn complicated. South Beach, North Beach, Atkins, Fatkins. Who has time to figure out those diets? Just cut back on the carbs. It’ll go a long way toward shrinking your waistline and increasing your muscle mass. Hey, isn’t that what bodybuilders have said for the past 50 years? —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Neveux \ Model: Rehan Jalali


Editor’s note: You can listen to Dr. Jose Antonio and Carla Sanchez on their radio show Performance Nutrition, Web and podcast at www.performancenutritionshow .com. Dr. Antonio is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition— His other Web sites include,,, and www.Jose 1 Lockwood, C.M., et al. (2008). Minimal nutrition intervention with high-protein/low-carbohydrate and low-fat, nutrient-dense food supplement improves body composition and exercise benefits in overweight adults: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrition & Metabolism. In press.

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Building Older Muscles



advised to eat high-fiber grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and dairy foods. The suggested percentage of nutrients closely matched that recommended in the United States (the study took place in Finland). In addition, the subjects were told how to plan meals that would provide at least one gram of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of bodyweight daily. That’s slightly more than the 0.8 grams advised for most people. They lifted weights twice a week for 21 weeks, using a program that focused on progressive resistance, with a special emphasis on leg training. A high-fiber, lowfat diet fosters a decline in men’s testosterone. Lower testosterone isn’t conducive to building muscle, which is one reason you rarely see vegan bodybuilding champions; vegetarians who do eat milk products and eggs fare much better. The study found that the combination of more protein and a fat intake of at least 30 percent led to increased testosterone and improved gains in the subjects’ muscular size and strength. A high-fiber diet didn’t seem to have any adverse effects on building muscle or the hormone picture. The key was the 30 percent fat intake. Eating less fat than that while following a high-fiber diet would likely adversely affect testosterone count. The men also had higher levels of free, or active, testosterone. Most testosterone is bound to proteins in the blood and becomes active only when unbound. One way to encourage that is to get more protein, as the Finnish study of older men demonstrated. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Models: Lee Apperson and Jennifer Micheli

A common concern among bodybuilders over 40 is how to retain muscle with the passing years. It’s important not only for aesthetic reasons but for health as well. Recent research shows that muscle weakness is the most common cause of loss of mobility among the elderly. One simple way to preserve muscle is to just keep training. Certainly modifications may be in order. Weights that were easy in your 20s may prove too formidable when you’re past 40. Diet also plays a part. Various studies show that diet can favorably affect muscular progress in older trainees. That’s clear from a recent study featuring men aged 49 to 73, who underwent 21 weeks of supervised weight training. Half of the subjects were

The protein, fat and hormone connection

Do you need it to grow?

Do you train intensely? (You’re reading IRON MAN, so chances are you train very hard.) To get the best results from your workouts, it’s a good idea to take supplemental glutamine. You probably already know that it boosts the immune system, but get this: It’s also been shown to increase the amount of L-leucine in muscle tissue. Current research shows L-leucine emerging as the key essential amino acid in anabolic reactions. Try taking three grams before and after your workouts. —Becky Holman

Sallinen, J., et al. (2007). Dietary intake, serum hormones, muscle mass and strength during strength training in 49-73-year-old men. Int J Sports Med. 28(12):10701076.

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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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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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Train, Eat,


Muscle-Training Program 106 From the IRON MAN Training & Research Center

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Jonathan Lawson


e discussed fascia stretching in our last installment and described our experiments with it. The fascia is a sheath that encases muscle tissue, and its rigidity is believed to constrict muscle growth. Some trainers put clients through rigorous, often painful stretching programs in an attempt to loosen the fascia to make room for more muscle size. Other trainers use superpump programs, attempting to stretch the fascia from the inside via tissue engorgement. Then there are the masochistic massage therapists who specialize in Rolfing, deep-tissue kneading, poking and punching that break up scar tissue and loosen the fascia. Whether any of that works is still debatable—many researchers believe that the fascia is not constricting, that it accommodates muscle growth as it happens (usually very slowly); however, the fascia’s thickness and pliability may be a genetic thing. Some of us may need to take measures to make our thicker fascia more pliable for faster growth to happen. Heck, it’s worth a shot. We’ll try anything, within reason, to get some extra size—but we’ll pass on the Rolfing. We’ve developed our own fascia-

expansion technique, but before we review it and describe how we’re now using it for all bodyparts, let’s look at our current split, which hasn’t changed: Week 1 Monday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back Wednesday: Delts, midback, biceps, forearms

On that split we work legs only once a week; however, we substitute regular deadlifts for the back routine on Friday. That gives us residual leg work at the end of the week as well as a heavy back blast. We follow deads with one or two sets of a direct back exercise—pulldowns if it’s lat day, machine rows if it’s midback day. Okay, time to unleash some new muscle size.

Supersets for Superpumps

Thursday: Off Friday: Chest, deadlifts, triceps, abs Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Week 2 Monday: Delts, midback, biceps, forearms Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back Wednesday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs Thursday: Off Friday: Delts, deadlifts, biceps, forearms Weekend: Off (with cardio)

Week 3 Repeat Week 1

Standard Positions-of-Flexion exercise order is midrange, stretch and contracted. That makes sense because midrange moves, like bench presses, are primarily for max-force generation; stretch-position exercises also generate a lot of force, although stretch overload is the key anabolic stimulus there— think dumbbell flyes. Nevertheless, the force characteristic makes it a good transition move after the midrange exercise. Last you do the contracted-position exercise, like cable crossovers, to finish the target with a big pump—more blood to the muscle enhances nutrient delivery and kick-starts the anabolic process. In the past we’ve recommended going back to the stretch-position exercise at the end of a POF bodypart routine and using a fairly heavy weight to pulse in the stretch position for 30 to 60 seconds. The \ AUGUST 2008 67

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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 muscle is fully pumped, so the endof-routine stretching action should help loosen the fascia. That takes extra time, though, which we don’t have a lot of; we train on our lunch break. So we devised a way to get fascia stretching within the POF bodypart routine—supersetting the contracted-position exercise with the stretch move. You use the contracted-position exercise, like cable crossovers for chest, to create continuous ten-

sion and occlusion. That pumps up the target muscle immediately after because it blocks blood flow during the exercise. Then, with a full-blown pump, you immediately do the stretch-position exercise, like dumbbell flyes for chest. By fully elongating the pumped muscle, you force the fascia to stretch even more. You’ll see a number of fasciaexpansion supersets in our latest program, which appears below. For

some bodyparts, however, it’s either not feasible or somewhat dangerous to superset, so we take another route.

Switch It Up While supersetting is the most efficient way to get the fascia-expansion effect, you can do a decent job by simply reversing the standard order of the last two POF exercises. Instead of doing midrange, stretch

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 106 Workout 1: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps; rest/pause) High-low cable flyes (drop; X Reps) Superset Wide-grip dips (X Reps) Barbell or dumbbell bench presses Tri-set Low cable flyes (X Reps) Dumbbell flyes Pushups Wide-grip pulldowns (X Reps; rest/pause) Undergrip pulldowns Superset Stiff-arm pulldowns (drop) Machine or dumbbell pullovers Lying extensions (rest/pause) Superset Decline extensions Decline close-grip bench presses Superset Pushdowns Cable pushouts or overhead dumbbell extensions (rest/pause) Superset Kickbacks Stiff-arm kickbacks Superset Incline kneeups Flat-bench leg raises Tri-set Ab Bench crunches Twisting crunches End-of-bench kneeups

2 x 9-12 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x max 2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 2 x 10(6) 2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 1 x 9-12 1 x 8-10 1 x 12-15 1 x 8-10 1 x 10-12 1 x 10-15 1 x 9-12

Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Lower Back Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 12-15 Squats (second set DXO with close stance) 2 x 9-12 Superset Leg extensions (drop; X Reps) 2 x 10(6) Sissy squats 2 x 9-12 Feet-forward Smith-machine squats 1 x 9-12 Leg curls (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Leg curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Stiff-legged deadlifts (DXO) 1 x 7-9 Knee-extension leg press calf raises (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 12-15

One-leg calf raises (drop; X Reps) 1 x 12(7) Superset Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 10-15 Machine donkey calf raises (rest/pause) 1 x 9-12 Seated calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 15-20 Hyperextensions or Nautilus lower-back machine (X Reps) 1 x 10-15

Workout 3: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Forward-lean lateral raises (drop; X Reps) 2 x 10(6) Superset One-arm cable laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Leaning laterals 1 x 8-10 Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Smith-machine behind-the-neck presses (second set stage style) 2 x 9-12 Bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Superset Dumbbell shrugs (DXO or stage style) 1 x 9-12 Cable upright rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Machine rows (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 V-handle cable rows (X Reps only) 1 x 9-12 Superset Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Preacher curls (rest/pause) 1 x 9-12 Cable curls (DXO; rest/pause) 1 x 7-9 Concentration curls (drop) 1 x 9(6) Superset Dumbbell spider curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Incline curls (rest/pause) 1 x 8-10 Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 12-20 Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 12-20 Rockers (rest/pause) 1 x 12-20 Superset Cable reverse curls (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Incline hammer curls 1 x 8-10

Friday Workout Deadlifts (substitute for back exercises)

1 x 9-12

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 Move from cable crossovers to flyes, a stretch movement, to get the fasciaexpansion effect.

Model: Binais Begovic

Model: Moe El Moussawi

equipment for a superset is usually impossible in that environment. A good example from our new program is our hamstring routine:

and contracted, you do midrange, contracted and stretch. Reversing the order is also more convenient for those who work out in a crowded commercial gym. Occupying two pieces of

Feet-forward Smithmachine squats 1 x 9-12 Leg curls (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Leg curls (drop; X Reps)1 x 10(6) Stiff-legged deadlifts (DXO) 1 x 7-9

The big, midrange move is feet-forward Smith-machine squats, which is a good transition exercise from our quad routine. Then we do a straight set of leg curls, with X Reps, rest, and hit a drop set to force a bigger pump. After a brief rest we blast out a set of stiff-legged deadlifts, the stretchposition exercise for hamstrings. Talk about feeling the hams getting hammered! To make it even more

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Home-Gym Program 106 Workout 1: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Incline presses (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Incline flyes (drop) 1 x 10(6) Superset Bench presses or wide-grip dips (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Flyes or decline flyes (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 8-10 Chins (X Reps; rest/pause) 1 x 9-12 Undergrip chins (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Superset Undergrip rows 2 x 9-12 Dumbbell pullovers 2 x 8-10 Lying extensions (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Superset Overhead extension (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Kickbacks 1 x 8-10 Giant set Incline kneeups 1 x 15-20 Flat-bench leg raises 1 x 10-12 Ab Bench or full-range crunches 1 x 10-12 End-of-bench kneeups 1 x 9-12

Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Lower Back Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 12-15 Squats (second set DXO with narrow stance) 2 x 9-12 Superset Leg extensions (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Sissy squats 1 x 9-12 Walking lunges 1 x 10-15 Leg curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Stiff-legged deadlifts (DXO) 1 x 7-9 Knee-extension donkey calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 12-15

One-leg calf raises (drop; X Reps) Donkey calf raises (X Reps; rest/pause) Seated calf raises (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps)

1 x 12(8) 2 x 10-15 1 x 12-20 1 x 10-15

Workout 3: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Forward-lean laterals (drop; X Reps) 2 x 10(6) Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Barbell or dumbbell presses (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Superset Dumbbell shrugs (DXO) 1 x 9-12 Upright rows 1 x 8-10 Bent-over rows (X Reps; rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10(6) One-arm dumbbell rows 1 x 9-12 Dumbbell curls (rest/pause) 2 x 9-12 Concentration curls (drop) 1 x 9(6) Incline curls (rest/pause) 1 x 9-12 Dumbbell reverse wrist curls 1 x 12-20 Dumbbell wrist curls 1 x 12-20 Rockers (rest/pause) 1 x 12-20 Incline hammer curls (drop) 1 x 9(6)

Friday Workout Deadlifts (substitute for back exercises)

1 x 9-12

Note: If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do oldstyle hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.

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Train, Eat, GROW stretch-worthy, we use the Double-X Overload technique, which involves doing an X-Rep partial in the bottom, stretch position after every full-range rep.

Fascia Imperfections The biggest problem with the fascia-expansion supersets is that you do have to superset—do two different exercises back to back. We explained above how to get around that—drop sets on the contractedposition exercise, with rest after, followed by the stretch-position exercise to end the bodypart routine. Another problem is that force generation is reduced on the stretch-position exercise because you do it second in a superset or as the last exercise in the nonsuperset version. Muscle fatigue from the contracted-position exercise in both cases diminishes your power output on the stretch-position exercise. In our e-zine—you can sign up for it free at IronManMagazine .com—we discussed a solution to that small problem. You can use

a heavy/light program for each bodypart and use the fascia-expansion supersets on light day. Here’s the example we outlined in the e-zine, using the chest routine from the Heavy/Light Program in our ebook X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts: Chest: Heavy Midrange: Bench presses 3 x 5, 8, 9 Stretch Dumbbell flyes (drop) 1 x 8(5) Chest: Light Midrange Bench presses (subfailure) 2 x 10-15 Contracted Cable crossovers (drop)1 x 8(5) Incorporating fascia expansion, the heavy day would stay the same as above, but the light day would change, as follows: Chest: Light Midrange Bench presses (subfailure)

2 x 10-15

Fascia-expansion superset Contracted Cable crossovers 1-2 x 8-10 Stretch Flyes 1-2 x 8-10 So heavy day focuses on maxforce generation, with heavy midrange- and stretch-position work, while light day gives you a great pump with higher reps along with fascia expansion. Obviously, there’s some theory involved in fascia expansion, but if nothing else, reversing the order and doing the supersets will be a great change that will result in great gains. Note: For more information on the e-book X-traordinary MuscleBuilding Workouts, which includes the Heavy/Light Program, visit Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog training and supplement journals, visit A few of the mass-training e-books 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.

by John Hansen, Mr. Natural Olympia

Natural Bodybuilding Contest Tips Q: I’m a senior at Ohio Northern University. My major is sport management, and I’m 22 years old. Last summer I interned as a personal trainer at a health club in Columbus, Ohio—my best work experience so far. I’ve been an athlete my entire life and was recruited to play baseball in college, and I’ve really become serious about lifting and dieting. At 18, I weighed 165 pounds at 6’. Today I’m at 220 and 6’2”, and I’m proud to say that the weight gain has all come just with hard work, planned training and clean nutrition. This year I’ve really connected with natural bodybuilding. I’ve been all over your Web

site and routinely read your column. Your information has been very helpful and inspiring, and I feel that I have the work ethic and natural genetic build to compete. How would I go about getting started in natural bodybuilding? I need some tips for dieting right and keeping lean. Plus, what’s your ideal program for gaining lean muscle over time? A: Congratulations on the improvements you’ve made to your physique over the past four years. Adding 55 pounds of mostly lean muscle is a great achievement. You’ve asked for the ideal program for gaining lean muscle over time. I’d say you probably have a pretty good idea of how to do that. The key to getting big is to overload the muscles progressively by using the basic exercises for a limited number of repetitions—six to 10—and a moderate number of sets. At the same time you need to feed the muscles by eating enough calories with the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat. The basic exercises involve several muscle groups and are the best for building mass and strength because you (continued oncan page get at more muscle 102) fibers. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, incline The basic multijoint exercises involve more fibers because of the presses, barbell rows, power output created by many muscles working together. Neveux \ Model: Skip La Cour


Naturally Huge

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Neveux \ Model: John Cowgill


Naturally Huge

As the muscles adapt by getting bigger and stronger, the training intensity must increase in order for the muscles to continue growing. stiff-legged deadlifts, power cleans and military presses all use the biggest muscle groups, which is critical for building muscle mass. I recommend a high-protein diet. Limit your carbohydrates to high-fiber, low-glycemic-index foods like oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread and vegetables. You’ll have to experiment to figure out the right amount for adding muscle without getting too fat. It’s difficult to stay very lean while building muscle because you need to eat extra calories. That’s particularly true if you have a fast metabolism and you’re naturally thin. I suggest eating the majority of your carbohydrates earlier in the day. You could include more with breakfast and lunch and cut back on them toward the end of the day. You should also eat carbs both before and after your workouts. About an hour before you train, you should eat a low-glycemic-index carbohydrate like oatmeal so you have plenty of energy to sustain you for the full session. A simple carb like fruit or fruit juice will be in and out of your system too quickly to give you the energy you need to train hard.

Immediately after your workout take advantage of the window of opportunity to restore the carbohydrate in your muscle cells by having a fast-acting recovery drink like 2:1:1 Recovery by Optimum Nutrition or RecoverX by Muscle-Link. They’re specifically designed to maximize muscle recuperation by providing quick-digesting whey protein with the right amount of carbohydrate for rapid absorption into your muscle cells. You asked how to get started in natural bodybuilding. I assume you mean getting started in competition. Begin by entering a local natural contest in your area. Pick a show that’s at least three to four months away so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare. Diet is the most critical area of contest preparation. Your nutrition plan should enable you to eliminate bodyfat while maintaining muscle mass. That will give you the ripped look that wins competitions. If you’re not lean and conditioned, you have little or no chance of winning. You also need to hit the poses correctly to properly showcase your physique. The judges will judge only what they see. If you don’t show your physique off to its best advantage, you’re only hurting yourself. My book Natural Bodybuilding has a whole section devoted to contest preparation, including how to develop a posing routine and the proper way to execute the poses. Also, my new DVD, “Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions,” features a full section on competing, with prejudging, evening show and posedown footage from contests I’ve entered. You’ll gain valuable insight from either of those sources.

Q: How do you feel about spreading a muscle group’s total workload over two to three weekly sessions instead of doing it on one day? For example, instead of six sets for a bodypart once a week, how about three sets twice week? Or instead of 12 sets for a bodypart once a week, how about four sets done three times per week? A: I understand what you’re saying, but muscle growth doesn’t really work like that. In order to get a muscle to respond and grow, you have to progressively increase the intensity so it keeps adapting to the new stress. If you train a muscle with only half the intensity or volume you previously used, it won’t grow. You can work a muscle more often if you don’t train it as intensely. When people first start working out, their muscles respond to almost any type of resistance exercise. Even two to three sets with a moderate resistance will make muscles grow. Because the intensity and volume are so low, the muscles recuperate quickly—in two to three days—and the same workout can be repeated several days per week. As the muscles adapt by getting bigger and stronger,

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If you’re specializing on a weak muscle group, train it twice a week, one heavy workout and the other light to give you more of a pump.

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat


Naturally Huge

the training intensity must increase in order for them to continue growing. You can use more resistance (heavier weights), more volume (more sets and exercises) or both. Most advanced trainees work each muscle group once or twice a week. Many older trainees limit their workouts to working each bodypart once a week so their joints and tendons fully recuperate. Younger trainees who recuperate much more quickly and don’t have joint problems can train each muscle group more often—twice a week or once every four or five days. Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids and other drugs can train more often because the drugs aid the recuperation process and prevent the catabolism of the muscles and joints. Many train six days a week, sometimes twice a day. Their programs hit each muscle group two to three times a week. A natural, drug-free bodybuilder would quickly overtrain on that kind of program. I’ve been training every muscle group once a week for the past several years. That gives me three rest days a week. My joints and muscles are fully recovered before I train each muscle group again. Using that rotation, I can progressively increase the resistance and the intensity at each workout each week for a seven-to-eight-week cycle. At the end of each cycle I cut back on intensity by training lighter, or I take a full week off. On occasion I’ve used two workouts a week for a muscle group that I wanted to specialize on. I train it heavy with my normal workout one day and then add a second, “pump” workout three to four days later. Here’s an example of how I did two workouts for my legs:

Heavy Leg extensions Squats Hack squats Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Pump Leg extensions Superset Leg presses Sissy squats Dumbbell lunges

3 x 15, 12, 10 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6 4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6

3 x 20, 15, 15 3 x 15 3 x 10-12 2-3 x 12

The pump workout doesn’t tear down as much muscle tissue or stress the joints as much as the heavy one, but it pumps up the muscles and works different areas to provide a fuller, more developed look to the entire muscle group. Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Mr. Natural Olympia and is a two-time Natural Mr. Universe winner. Check out his Web site at or send questions or comments to him via e-mail at John@ Look for his new DVD, “Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions,” along with his book, Natural Bodybuilding, and training DVD, “Real Muscle,” at his Web site or at Home Gym Warehouse, Send written correspondence to John Hansen, P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561. IM

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by David Goodin

Bodybuilding 101 Q: I’ve been reading your columns in IRON MAN since it started, and I love your honesty and straightforward approach. I’m on a quest for a better body and have lost 170 pounds in three years. I’m new to the iron game, and there’s so much information out there for us newbies that it can become quite confusing. I normally don’t like to bother people; I’m usually a figure-it-out-myself guy. In this

case, however, I’m turning to you. What training split would you recommend for a newer lifter? I have no medical issues other than being 270 pounds at 28 percent bodyfat, but I have my nutrition in order, I believe. A: First of all, congratulations on your weight loss—170 pounds—that’s amazing. Hearing stuff like that inspires me. And thanks for reading IRON MAN. Getting started on a solid weight-training program will speed up your metabolism and firm up your body. You’re right: Trying to figure out what to do can be quite baffling. My philosophy of weight training is simple: Keep it simple. I like to stick with the basic bodybuilding exercises. In my opinion, nothing beats the basics. I’m going to outline three programs. If you’ve done no weight training at all, start with the full-body program. I usually have beginners do only one or two sets of each exercise during their first workout. Then I increase the number of sets over the course of the first three to five workouts so that by the fifth workout they’re performing the full routine. If you’ve been doing a full-body workout for two to three months, you can go into the two-day split. You can either work out two days in a row, followed by a day of rest and then repeat, or perform the routines every other day and just keep alternating between A and B. If you’ve already been working out on a split routine, you may be able to move into the three-day split. That’s my offseason training program—pretty intense, so you’ll probably want to cut down on the number of sets initially and build up to the full routine over the course of a few weeks. I highly recommend purchasing a couple of sessions with a qualified personal trainer to make sure your exercise technique is correct. Look for someone who trains clients with weights—without making them balance on anything. Also, before hiring someone, watch the trainer work out. You want someone who performs exercises smoothly, not jerking or slinging weights around. Show the trainer the program you want to follow and tell him you want to learn to do the exercises properly. If he tries to talk you into switching to rubber bands or performing the Neveux \ Model: Justin Balik


Shredded Muscle

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Two-Day Split Workout B: Legs, Biceps, Triceps Squats Leg presses Leg curls Leg extensions Standing calf raises Donkey calf raises Seated dumbbell curls Hammer curls Skull crushers Pressdowns

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

Three-Day Split Monday: Legs, Abs Squats Leg presses Leg curls

4 x 8-10 4 x 20 4 x 10-12

Three-Day Split Friday: Back, Rear Delts, Triceps Partial deadlifts (in the power rack working from the knees up) 4 x 10-12 Lat pulldowns 4 x 8-10 One-arm dumbbell rows 4 x 8-10 Machine rear-delt flyes 4 x 10-12 Seated extensions 4 x 10-12 Bench dips 3 x failure Pressdowns 3 x 8-10 Remember, technique is very important. Always perform the movement smoothly and with control in both directions. When starting a new routine, don’t kill yourself the first time. If you’re having trouble completing all of the sets and reps, cut back and then gradually work your way up to doing the full workout. When you can handle it, work on pushing yourself harder without sacrificing technique. Focus on the working muscles; feel the burn and make friends with it. Enjoy the pump today and the muscle soreness tomorrow. Yes, it’s an acquired taste, but we’re able to acquire a taste for a lot of things that we didn’t enjoy at first. When you learn to enjoy the pump and the burn—and the soreness— you’ll keep coming back for more. When you get to that point, maintaining the all-important consistency will no longer be a problem. Train hard, train smart, eat clean, and keep doing it day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. That’s my secret to success. Editor’s note: See Dave Goodin’s new blog at www.IronManMagazine .com. Click on the blog selection in the top menu bar. To contact Dave directly, send e-mail to TXShredder@ IM

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Bench presses 4 x 8-10 Incline presses 4 x 8-10 Bent-over barbell rows 4 x 8-10 Lat pulldowns 4 x 8-10 Overhead barbell presses 3 x 8-10 Lateral raises 3 x 8-10 Machine rear-delt flyes 3 x 8-10 Hanging knee raises 3 x failure Crunches 3 x failure Back extensions 3 x failure

Bench presses 4 x 8-10 Incline presses 4 x 8-10 Machine flyes 3 x 12-15 Seated dumbbell presses 4 x 8-10 Lateral raises 4 x 10-12 Seated dumbbell curls 4 x 8-10 Straight-bar cable curls 4 x 12-15 Hammer curls 3 x 10-12


Two-Day Split Workout A: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Abs

Three-Day Split Wednesday: Chest, Front and Middle Delts, Biceps

SINCE 1985

Can’t find it? Get it here.

Full-Body Program Crunches 4 x failure Flex your abs hard on each rep Back extensions 4 x failure Perform smoothly, no swinging Bench presses 4 x 10-12 Seated cable rows 4 x 10-12 Overhead dumbbell presses (seated or standing) 3 x 10-12 EZ-curl-bar curls 3 x 10-12 Pushdowns 3 x 10-12 Leg presses 4 x 10-12 Squats 4 x 10-12 (squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor) Leg curls 3 x 10-12 Standing calf raises 3 x 10-12


4 x 10-12 4 x 12-15 4 x 12-15 4 x failure 4 x failure

©2008 American Body Building LLC

exercises while balancing on anything other than the floor, look for a different trainer. If he tries to get you to do anything that feels like doing yoga with weights in your hands—run! You should be looking for a trainer who teaches the basic weight-training exercises with both feet planted solidly on the floor. Now to the programs…

Leg extensions Standing calf raises Donkey calf raises Hanging leg raises Crunches


Critical Mass by Steve Holman

X-Rep Rap—Top to Bottom Q: I know you say that the best place for X Reps is down near the turnaround, close to the bottom of an incline press, for instance, but on contracted-position exercises, like concentration curls and leg extensions, I feel X Reps more if I do them in the flexed position [at the top]. Is it okay to do X Reps in the flexed position, or am I wasting my time? A: It depends on which mass-building characteristic you’re attacking. The turnaround, where you move from the negative to the positive, is the semistretch spot—the max-force point—so it makes sense to do X Reps there on big, midrange exercises like incline presses. Remember that compound, midrange moves—the “big” exercises—are done specifically for max-force fast-twitch activation, so when you move to the target muscle’s semistretch point at full-range exhaustion, it amplifies the force overload. You use contracted-position exercises, like concentration curls or pushdowns, primarily to finish off a muscle with continuous tension and occlusion, or blood-flow blockage. That’s the goal for those exercises, as they’re best for building the endurance components, like capillary beds and mitochondria. The flexed, or contracted, position is where the target muscle is weakest because the fibers are bunched up, unable to fire as effectively as when they’re elongated and properly aligned, as they are at the semistretch point. That bunching, or crowding, however, as occurs at the top of a concentration curl, is excellent for creating additional occlusion. In other words, your intuition is right on the money from the standpoint of tension and occlusion. End-of-set X-Rep partials done in the contracted position appear to be best for triggering more occlusive growth. In the e-book The Ultimate Mass Workout, Jonathan Lawson and I tied the X Spot of each exercise to its Posi-

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Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi

Neveux \ Model: Gus Malliarodakis

tions-of-Flexion designation. For example, we performed X Reps for curls, the midrange move, near the middle of the stroke; X Reps for incline curls, the stretch exercise, at the arm’s-extended, full-stretch position; and X Reps for concentration curls at the top, flexed position. Most of those X points felt right and eventually led us to X-Rep variations that improved our physiques considerably. The year after our initial X-Rep experiment we developed a number of X-hybrid techniques. One of the best for contracted-position exercises, such as concentration curls, was the X Fade. It takes some pain tolerance, but you get the best of both worlds— occlusive growth stimulation and a bit more maxforce fast-twitch activation. The only drawback, other than the hurt, is that you need a partner to help you get into the contracted position for a lot of exercises, like the top of leg extensions, when you reach exhaustion. One exercise that doesn’t require a partner is concentration curls because you have a free arm. Going Here’s how to use the X Fade: When you can’t for the get another full rep, use your free arm to move the burn can dumbbell up into the contracted position and flex increase your biceps for three to four short X-Rep partial muscle size pulses—squeeze hard, even if you have to use your and overall free arm to help. Then lower the dumbbell to the X bodyfat Spot—just before full extension—and do as many reduction. more X Reps as you can. (If your nervous system has short-circuited from the standard reps, you may need to help yourself with your free arm during bot2) Lighter weight/higher reps. Use a standard catom X Reps as well.) dence—1.5 seconds up/1.5 seconds down—but do 12 to 15 The top-end X Reps further occlude the biceps, while reps so you get close to 50 seconds of tension time. Once the bottom X Reps allow you to blast out the last bit of force again, this works best on your contracted-position exerfrom the fast-twitch fibers. That’s efficiency of effort and cises. a reason Jonathan and I added almost 10 more pounds of 3) Drop sets. Use a standard rep cadence, do a set with new muscle during the year after we introduced X Reps—a a weight that causes muscular exhaustion at around nine fairly amazing feat for seasoned drug-free trainees. reps, reduce the weight by 20 to 30 percent, then immediately crank out as many reps as you can get—usually Q: I’ve watched a number of pro-bodybuilder around six. That gives you the benefit of a long tension training videos, and none of those huge guys uses time, but by moving to exhaustion twice, you can hit more slow reps, not even on isolation exercises. I have fast-twitch fibers. Drop sets work well on contracted-posiall of your e-books, and you often suggest using a tion exercises, but the technique can work for midrange, or slower rep speed for contracted-position exercises compound, moves as well. to better feel the muscle. If that works, why don’t the 4) Supersets or tri-sets. Do two or three exercises pros ever use slower reps? back to back. For example, do a set of stiff-arm pulldowns A: An interesting research study was just released that (contracted-position lat exercise) followed immediately by showed using lighter weights with a three-seconds-up/ three-seconds-down cadence produced much more growth a set of dumbbell pullovers (stretch-position lat exercise). For a tri-set you’d add a third lat exercise—you could start hormone and testosterone than standard one-second-up/ with pulldowns, for example, which gives you work in one-second-down sets. The longer tension time was the all three positions of flexion—midrange, contracted and kicker. stretch. That has a lot of the same benefits as a drop set, Bodybuilders know that they get much faster muscle but because you use different exercises, you get a different increases when those key anabolic hormones are elevated. fiber-recruitment pattern on each. So how do pros grow without doing slower reps? They Any of those four techniques will ignite muscle burn, get supplemental GH and testosterone from their drug which increases growth hormone release. Not only does regimens. They don’t need to focus on getting a hormonal GH amplify other anabolic hormones like testosterone, but uptick from their workouts. it’s a potent fat burner as well. If you’re drug-free, however, it’s one more growth trigger you need to attack in your workouts. In other words, you should tailor some of your sets to stimulate anabolic-horEditor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many mone effects. Here are a few ways... bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions1) Lighter weight/slower reps. As in the study, use of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF a weight that will enable you to do at least eight reps with videos and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections a three-up/three-down cadence—around 50 seconds of beginning on page 192 and 280, respectively. Also visit tension time. It works best on your contracted-position for information on X-Rep and 3D exercises (isolation moves, like leg extensions and concenPOF methods and e-books. IM tration curls). \ AUGUST 2008 87

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30 Big Lies of of

Bodybuilding Don’t Fall for These Fibs of Physique Development by Terry Banawich Photography by Michael Neveux

You can get as big as a pro bodybuilder without taking steroids; it just takes longer. Despite what so many magazines say, all professional bodybuilders use either steroids or steroids in combination with other growthenhancing drugs. Without manipulating hormones, it just isn’t possible to get that degree of muscularity, the paper-thin skin and the continuing ability to pack on mass, despite sometimes having poor workout habits and relative ignorance of the principles of mass building. Certain supplement distributors, in order to sell

their products, would have you believe otherwise. Still, that’s no reason to give up the gym. By using state-of-the-art training principles, eating a nutrient-rich diet and getting enough rest, almost everyone can bring about incredible physique changes. While the competition circuit may not be in your future, building a physique that gains you respect is certainly achievable, as are self-respect and robust health.

instead of depositing them as fat. Unfortunately, studies show that, in most people, about 65 percent of new tissue gains brought about by high-calorie diets consist of fat. Of the remaining 35 percent, approximately 15 percent consists of increased intracellular fluid, leav-

Lie 2:

In order to get really big, you have to eat a superhigh-calorie diet. True, you’ll get really big if you eat a superhigh-calorie diet, but you’ll look like the Michelin Man’s fraternal twin. If you want to get big with lean tissue, however, superhigh-calorie diets are probably not for you unless you’re one of the happy few who have metabolic rates so fast, you can burn off those calories

Model: Joey Gloor

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ing a very modest percentage attributable to increased lean muscle. According to Scott Connelly, M.D., creator of Met-Rx, only 20 to 25 percent of increased muscle growth stems from increased protein synthesis. The rest of it is directly attributable to proliferation of the satellite cells in the membrane of muscle tissue, and dietary energy— a.k.a. calories—is not a key factor in the differentiation of those cells into new muscle cells, a.k.a. myofibers. Of all factors determining muscle growth, prevention of protein breakdown seems to be the most relevant, but adding fat through constant overfeeding can actually increase muscle breakdown. Furthermore, additional fat can radically alter the hormone balances that control protein breakdown in muscle. For example, insulin balance, which partially controls protein breakdown, is impaired by consistent overfeeding. So much for the eatbig-to-get-big philosophy. Stay away from superhigh-calorie diets unless you’re a genetic freak or you’re woefully lean and don’t mind putting on fat—or you’re using pharmaceutical “supplements.” And even then...more about that later.

Lie 3:

If you eat a lowfat diet, it doesn’t matter how many calories you take in—you won’t gain any fat.

The bottom line is, if you exceed your energy requirements, you’ll gradually get fatter and fatter. It’s true that eating a diet rich in fat packs on the pounds for a variety of reasons, the most significant being that a gram of fat has nine calories as opposed to the four calories per gram that carbohydrate and protein carry. Fat is also metabolized differently in the body. It takes fewer calories to assimilate the energy in the fat you eat than it does to assimilate an equal amount of carb. Consequently, more fat calories get stored than carbohydrate calories. Gross intake of carbohydrates, as aided by many of the weight-gain powders, will make you fat very quickly, however.

if you truly work your quads to absolute fiber-tearing failure, doing a power workout the next day using heavy bench presses or deadlifts will in all probability inhibit gains. After a serious leg workout your whole system mobilizes to heal and recover from the blow you’ve dealt it. How, then, can you expect your body to heal from an equally brutal workout the next day? You can’t, at least not without using some drugs to help deal with the catabolic processes going on in your body—and even they aren’t usually enough. Learn to accept rest as a valuable part of your workout. You should probably spend as many days out of the gym as you do in it.

Lie 4:

The more you work out, the more you’ll grow.

No, no no! That’s one of the most damaging myths that ever reared their ugly heads. Ninety-five percent of the pros will tell you that the biggest bodybuilding mistake they ever made was to overtrain—and that it happened even when they were taking steroids. Imagine how easy it is for a natural athlete to overtrain. When you work your muscles too often for them to heal, the result is zero growth and perhaps even loss. Working out every day, if you’re truly using the proper amount of intensity, will lead to gross overtraining. A bodypart worked properly—i.e., worked to complete muscular failure, with as many muscle fibers as physiologically possible recruited—can take five to 10 days to heal. Even working a different bodypart in the next few days might constitute overtraining. For example,

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Fact: When you work your muscles too often for them to heal, the result is zero growth or perhaps even loss.

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Lie 5:

The longer you work out, the better. It just isn’t necessary to do 20 to 30 sets for a bodypart, or even 10, as many so-called experts would have you believe. In fact, research has shown that it’s possible to completely fatigue a muscle in one set, provided that the set taxes the

periods by locking out the weightbearing joint in question without putting the weight down. In other words, you completely surpass your normal pain and energy thresholds. If you can truly work your muscle to that point, another set isn’t going to give you much, if any, benefit. The exception would be the bodyparts that are so big, they have distinct areas, like the upper, middle and lower back. The chest, which has distinct upper and middle parts with different insertion points for each, would fall into that category.

Lie 6: You don’t have to be strong to be big.

muscle completely. You need to engage as many muscle fibers as possible and take them to the point of ischemic rigor. That is, rather than contract and relax, the muscle fibers freeze up—a microscopic version of rigor mortis. Any further contraction causes microscopic tearing. Muscle growth is just one adaptation to that kind of stress and naturally the kind most bodybuilders are interested in. That kind of intensity can usually be achieved if you do drop or breakdown sets—you rep out, lower the weight, rep out, lower the weight and continue the pattern until either you can’t do another rep or you’ve run out of weights. Or you could do your maximum number of reps on a particular exercise and then—through will, tenacity and short rest periods—complete 10 more reps. You get the short rest

Even people who have the same amount of muscle mass vary enormously in strength. It may have something to do with the ratio of fast- to slow-twitch muscle fibers or with the efficiency of nerve pathways— even limb length and muscle torque. Nevertheless, anybody who wants to get bigger muscles has to lift heavier weight, and you, not the guy next door who’s got the same muscle mass as you, have to become stronger than you were. Increasing muscle strength in the natural athlete, except in a very few, rare instances, requires that the tension applied to muscle fibers be high. If the tension is light, maximal growth just won’t occur.

Lie 7:

The training programs that work best for pro bodybuilders are best for everyone. You see it happen every day in gyms across the country. A bodybuilding tyro walks up to a guy who looks like he escaped from Jurassic Park and asks him how he trains. Truth is, the biggest guy in the gym probably got that way either from taking a tremendous stack of drugs or by being genetically predisposed t o getting big. Follow a horse home, and you’ll find horse parents. The best bodybuilder in your gym

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is the guy who’s made the most progress and done the most to his physique using natural techniques. He may still be a pencil neck, but he may have put on 40 pounds of lean body mass to get where he is, and that took some know-how. He probably doesn’t overtrain, keeps his sets to a minimum and uses great form and concentration on the eccentric, or negative, portion of each rep. Many pros spend hours and hours doing innumerable sets—so many it would far surpass the average person’s recuperative capacity. If average people followed the routines of average pro bodybuilders, they’d start to whittle down what muscle mass they do have or, at best, make only a tiny bit of progress after a couple of years.

requiring more or better feed. Growth hormone, certain estrogens, cortisol, ephedrine and IGF-1 are examples of repartitioning agents. All increase oxygen consumption at the expense of fat storage, independent of energy intake. Drugs aren’t the only way to do that. A significant component of the mechanism is genetic, but specific nutrients in specific amounts, combined

with an effective training program, can markedly improve the lean-tofat ratio of adult humans.

Lie 9:

You can’t grow if you work each bodypart only once a week. If you work out—and do it intensely—it can take five to 10 days for the muscles to heal. A study published in the May 1993 issue of the Journal of Physiology revealed that muscles can take weeks to recuperate from an intense

Model: Mike Morris

Lie 8: You can’t build muscle on a submaintenancecalorie diet.

It may be a little harder, and it may require a little bit more know-how and conscientious effort, but it can be done. Changes in the lean-to-fat ratio are regulated by components of the nervous system that work in synergy with endocrine hormones. It’s called nutrient partitioning. Certain beta-agonist drugs, like clenbuterol, for example, increase the weight of cattle by more than 30 percent while simultaneously diminishing bodyfat and without

Fact: If you train a muscle intensely, it can take five to 10 days for it to heal completely.

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workout. The subjects included men and women who worked their forearms to the max. All said they were sore two days after exercising; the soreness was gone by the seventh day, and the swelling was gone by the ninth day. After six weeks they’d gained back only half the strength they had before the original exercise! You should take those results with a grain of salt when determining your own exercise frequency; by no means am I advocating that you wait two months between workouts. I’m just making the point that it takes muscles longer to heal than you might think. Especially for natural bodybuilders, waiting a week between bodypart workouts might be just what the doctor ordered for size and strength gains.

Lie 10: You can’t make gains if you train with weights only three days a week.

Although you probably can’t find a single steroid-assisted athlete who trains only three days a week, there’s absolutely no reason why a threedays-a-week routine couldn’t work for many natural athletes. As long as your routine attacks the whole body and you work to failure on each set, you might easily expe-

rience great gains on that sort of program. Ignore those who say three-daysa-week bodybuilders are only recreational lifters. Think quality, not quantity. You need to pay even more attention to your diet, however, if you do train only three days a week, particularly if your job involves little or no physical activity and you spend your idle time eating.

When training heavy, take two to three minutes between your sets. Notice I said, “when training heavy.” Truth is, you can’t train heavy all the time. Periodization calls for cycling heavy workouts with less intense ones so your body won’t become overtrained.

Lie 11:

You have to use fancy weightlifting equipment in order to make the best gains.

You should rest only 45 seconds between sets.

That’s true if you’re trying to improve cardiovascular health or lose bodyfat. To build muscle, though, you need to allow enough time for the muscle to recuperate fully; that is, let the lactic-acid buildup in your muscles dissipate and your ATP levels regenerate. To make muscles grow, you have to lift the heaviest weight possible, thereby ensuring the maximum number of muscle fibers are recruited. If the amount of weight you lift is limited by the amount of lactic acid left over from the previous set, you’re only testing your ability to battle the effects of lactic acid. It’s like trying to swim across a pool while wearing concrete overshoes.

Lie 12: Futuristic-looking, complex machinery designed to give your muscles the “ultimate workout” is typically less effective than good old barbells and dumbbells. Using simple free weights on basic multijoint exercises—like squats, bench presses, shoulder presses and deadlifts—is still the most effective

Fact: If you want to build muscle, use cardio equipment for fat burning; use weights for anaerobic stimulation.

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means of resistance exercise ever invented. Scientific research has shown that many exercise machines lack the eccentric component of an exercise that’s necessary to stimulate muscle growth.

at rest—burn more fat just sitting there—leading to a higher net 24hour expenditure.

Lie 13:

You can completely reshape a muscle by doing isolation exercises.

Weight training makes you big; aerobic exercise cuts you up.

Manipulations in your diet are the main factor in getting cut up, and how you do it doesn’t matter. If your daily calorie expenditure exceeds your daily calorie intake on a consistent basis, you’ll lose fat and get more cut. Aerobic exercise is generally meant to improve cardiovascular efficiency, and if you do it long enough, you’ll burn up calories and drop fat. Well, weightlifting can do the same thing, only better. Studies have shown that the body burns fat more efficiently if exercise is performed at a moderate pace for periods longer than 20 minutes. It generally takes that long for the glucose in the bloodstream to be “burned,” and once the glycogen reserves are used up, the body must metabolize fatty acids for energy. That equates to lost bodyfat. In the long run, bodybuilding is more efficient than aerobics for burning calories. Let’s look at a set of hypothetical twins. One twin performs daily aerobics, and the other practices a bodybuilding program that results in increased lean body mass. The bodybuilding twin would ultimately be a more efficient fat burner than his aerobic brother. Why? Adding lean body mass increases your metabolic requirements; muscle uses energy even while it’s not contracting. The aerobic twin might use more calories during the exercise itself, but the weightlifting twin would use more

Lie 14:

You can’t limit growth to just one area of a muscle. Larry Scott, for whom the so-called biceps-peaking Scott curl was named, had tremendous biceps, but they didn’t have much in the way of peaks. The shape of your biceps—or for that matter, any muscle—is determined by your genetic makeup. When you work a muscle, any muscle, it works on the all-or-nothing principle, meaning that each muscle fiber recruited to do a lift—along the entire length of that muscle—is contracted fully. Why would a certain number of them, like the ones in the middle of the biceps, suddenly start to grow differently or at a faster rate than their partners? If anything, the fibers that are closest to the insertion points are the most

prone to mechanical stress, and you don’t see them getting any bigger than the rest of the muscle. If they did, everyone would have proportions like Popeye’s. Take a look at a picture of any young professional bodybuilder before he was developed enough to become a pro. He’ll have virtually the same structural lines as he does today. All that’s changed is that his muscles are now bigger. That’s true of any muscle. Not so fast—you’re probably wondering about quads. Certainly when I do hack squats with my feet together, it tends to give my legs more sweep. So what gives? The quadriceps are made up of four different main muscles, and doing hacks with your feet together forces the vastus lateralis muscles on the outsides of the legs to work harder. That’s why they grow proportionately along their entire length and give the outer quads more sweep.

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Lie 15: Lie 16: Lie 17: If you get a pump, you’re working the muscles adequately to ensure muscular hypertrophy, or if your muscles are burning, that means you’re promoting muscle growth.

Training like a powerlifter—deadlifts, heavy squats, bench presses—will make your physique look blocky.

There’s no such thing as spotreduction. Doing thousands and thousands of situps will give you tight abdominal muscles, but they’ll do nothing to rid your midsection of fat. Thigh adductor and abductor movements give women’s thighs more firmness, but they won’t rid the area of cellulite. Nothing will rid the body of fat except a carefully orchestrated reduction in your daily energy stock, whether you burn more calories than you eat or deploy a nutrient-partitioning agent.

Blockiness, like baldness or a flat chest, is a genetic trait. If you were born blocky, then powerlifting will simply make you a bigger blocky person. The only way to offset a blocky appearance is to give special emphasis to the lats and the outer muscles of the thighs and follow a fat-reducing diet that keeps the midsection as narrow as possible.

Model: Omar Deckard

A pump, whatever Arnold Schwarzenegger said about its resonance with great sex, is nothing more than the muscle’s becoming engorged with blood from capillary action. You can achieve it easily by curling a soup can 50 times. By no means does that equate to the muscular intensity needed for growth. The same is true of the coveted “burn” that Hollywood muscleheads advise the public to “go for.” A burn is simply an accumulation of lactic acid, a by-product of chemical respiration. You can get a burn by pedaling a bicycle or simply extending your arm straight out and moving it in tiny circles. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re promoting muscle growth. For hypertrophy to occur, you have to subject your muscles to high levels of tension, and high-tension levels are best induced by heavy weights.

If you do hundreds of situps a day, you’ll eventually achieve a narrow, washboard-type midsection.

Fact: Heavy deadlifts won’t make your physique blocky unless you’re blocky to begin with.

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Lie 18:

With those modifications, you’ll give your body the illusion of a more “aerodynamic” appearance. Besides, powerlifting exercises are excellent for bodybuilding.

High repetitions make your muscles harder and more cut up.

Model: Eric Domer

Fact: Recording your workouts will help you get bigger faster.

Although there’s some evidence that high repetitions induce some extra capillary intrusion into a muscle, they will do nothing to make the muscle harder or more cut up. A completely sedentary person who begins weightlifting, using either low reps or high reps, would experience a rapid increase in tonus, which is the degree of muscular contraction that the muscle maintains even when that muscle is relaxed. It would happen, however, regardless of rep range. High repetitions would make a muscle more cut up only if, by doing a higher number of reps, you had your body as a whole in negative energy balance and were burning more calories than you were taking in. Heavy weights, lifted for five to eight reps per set, can build rockhard muscles. You just have to get the fat off them to see how “hard” they are.

Lie 19:

is a wonderful catchphrase, and it might even work for drug-assisted athletes. In them the very act of popping open a Bud would probably induce muscular growth. In a natural bodybuilder, however, the approach to long-term, consistent gains in muscle mass has to be a bit more scientific. Research conducted by exercise physiologists recommends a systematic approach such as periodization, in which over a period of several weeks you lift ever-increasing preset percentages of a one-rep lift. That heavy period is cycled with a lighter training phase or phases. Ultimately, the percentages increase, the one-rep-maximum lifts increase, and lean body mass increases. There’s nothing instinctive about it.

Lie 20: Women need to train differently from men.

On a microscopic level there’s virtually no difference between male and female muscle tissue. Men and women have different levels of the

Instinctive training is the best way to promote gains.

If bodybuilders followed their instincts, they’d go home and pop open a beer. Instinctive training

Fact: Women do not need to train differently from men (and they certainly shouldn’t wear pumps when they work out).

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same hormones, and that’s what’s responsible for the difference in the amount of muscle they can typically gain. There’s absolutely no reason men and women who have the same goals should train differently from each other. For example, a woman might desire to develop her glutes a little more so she looks better in a pair of jeans. Conversely, a man might want to build his lats a little more so that he fits the cultural stereotype of virility.

Lie 21:

can be extremely effective, however, especially if your diet is lacking in some critical component or you’re genetically predisposed to accepting that nutrient or supplement. Biochemically, individuals vary enormously, and the interaction of genetics, coupled with our widely varying diets, makes it virtually impossible to gauge just what will work for one individual and what won’t. That’s why some supplements work better than others for some people, just as some people are genetically predisposed to accept steroids more readily than others. Food supplements do have bene-

Food supplements are just as effective as steroids, yet safer.

The only things as effective as steroids are other steroids. Despite the proclamations of some supplement distributors—usually in giant, 35-point type—no currently available supplement works like steroids. Nutrients and supplements

fits that can’t be overlooked—they’re generally safe, and they won’t get you arrested. None of them builds muscle as fast or as well as steroids, though.

Lie 22: Professional bodybuilders represent the epitome of health and fitness.

The ultimate irony has to do with trying to get bodybuilding into the Olympics: While all athletes in other sport are presumably the healthiest they’ve ever been so that they can compete athletically and break records, bodybuilders are so weak on competition day that they’d have trouble fending off the attack of an enraged mouse. The weeks of constant dieting, workouts that continually tax the body almost beyond recovery and a constant influx of

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Model: Brian Yersky



heart to work that much harder, and it will probably stop beating years before it was designed to. On the other hand, weight training and consuming a nutrient-rich diet constitute a healthful program, as long as you don’t carry them to extremes.

Big Lies

Lie 23:

Fact: Full-range weight training can increase flexibility.

potentially harmful drugs and diuretics have brought most of them to total exhaustion. Now think about the huge amounts of food some steroid-using bodybuilders eat. In places where there are reports of people routinely living to be 100, the only common denominator is that they all either undereat or eat just enough to meet their daily calorie requirements. Because they eat less food, they take in fewer harmful chemicals and fewer free radicals are formed in their bodies. The average professional bodybuilder probably eats at least four or five times what they eat. As a result, bodybuilders often suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Plus, with all that extra mass, they force their

Model: Brian Yersky

Training with weights causes your muscles to get tight and hinders flexibility and, consequently, athletic performance.

This one goes all the way back to the 1930s. Companies that were selling isometric exercise programs by mail were trying to persuade people not to exercise with barbells and dumbbells, simply because it wasn’t practical to send weights through the mail. So they made up the muscle-bound lie. If anything, when done properly—slowly and using a complete range of motion—weight training increases flexibility. Many athletes now engagwe in weight training to improve their performance in their chosen sport. Witness boxer Evander Holyfield or any number of track athletes, basketball players or gymnasts. The lie might have been fueled by the feeling of tightness that accompanies an intense workout. If the workout is intense and a sufficient number of muscle fibers are recruited and microscopically damaged, then even the normal tonus is more than enough to cause a feeling of pain and tightness. The tightness is compounded by the tugging of the tendons on the muscles. Stretching would do much to alleviate that, however, and it’s a recommended part of any athletic pursuit.

Lie 24: Loading up on carbohydrate is an excellent way to enhance your athletic performance.

The traditional manner in which

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athletes carb up for an athletic competition involves first depleting the body’s stores of carbohydrate through exercise and diet, followed by rest and a high-carb intake. Studies have shown, however, that such preparation is unnecessary. Athletes who eat a balanced, high-carbohydrate diet and are in reasonably good shape have plenty of carbohydrates to meet the demands of exercise that doesn’t exceed roughly one hour. Anyone who does exercise that lasts longer, like long-distance running or cycling, may benefit from carbing up. The ability of muscles to use fat as a source of energy rather than carbohydrates in endurance events may be even more important to performance at that level, however.

Lie 25: Eating foods high in sugar before training provides your body with extra energy to sustain workouts.

Simple sugars like sucrose don’t need to be broken down by the body’s enzymes to be used as energy the way complex carbohydrates do. That’s why they elicit a rapid release of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Trouble is, the sudden, rapid influx of sugar into the system causes the body to release insulin in what must be considered a haphazard method, and the amount released is usually more than what’s needed to metabolize the sugar. Consequently, your blood sugar often temporarily drops to a point that is lower than it was before you

had the sugar, which might cause you to become more exhausted sooner than you normally would. Your body is then forced to dip into its glycogen reserves in order to correct the imbalance. To ensure that you have enough energy to complete a workout, eat nutrient-rich foods with low-glycemic indices, which don’t spike but elicit a smooth, steady stream of sugar into the bloodstream—foods like barley, lentils or beans.

roids, and that’s all the more reason that athletes who choose to use them need to be knowledgeable about them. Of course, the physical changes that steroids bring about

Lie 26: All anabolic steroids are extremely toxic and dangerous.

Here’s a good trivia question borrowed from Dan Duchaine’s Underground Steroid Handbook: If

you lined up a bottle of Dianabol (a popular steroid), a bottle of Lasix (a diuretic used by heart patients and bodybuilders who want to cut up for a competition), a bottle of Valium, a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of Slow-K (a potassium supplement), which one, upon your eating 100 tablets, wouldn’t kill you? Well, most likely the Dianabol. That isn’t an endorsement of steroids; it’s just an effective illustration of the steroid stigma: They’ll give you brain tumors as they did Lyle Alzado, they’ll cause your heart to enlarge and eventually give out, they’ll cause spontaneous decapitation and so on. Maybe some do, but all steroids are different. Some are more dangerous than others. Birth control pills are steroids. Testosterone patches have been used with great success to enhance the quality of life for elderly men. Some of the steroids that bodybuilders use are very mild, and the risk associated with them is virtually negligible. Still, there are dangerous ste-

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might cause adverse psychological effects in the user, and that shouldn’t be ignored.

Lie 27:

If you stop working out, your muscle will turn into fat. That’s almost too preposterous to address. Muscle can no sooner turn to fat than gold can turn into lead. Muscle is made up of individ-

ual cells—living cells that undergo all kinds of complex metabolic processes. Fat cells are simply storage packets of lipids. The possibility of one changing into the other is akin to the football in your storage closet turning into your Uncle Sam. If you stop working out, if you stop applying resistance to your muscles on a consistent basis, they’ll simply adapt to the new condition. In other words, they’ll shrink. If the degree of inactivity or immobilization is

severe, the muscles will shrink faster than the surrounding skin, and you could experience a temporary loosening of skin, but that, too, would remedy itself with time.

Lie 28:

MCTs first gained prominence for treating persons suffering from fat malabsorption, pancreatic deficiency and stomach or esophageal diseases. Researchers found that MCTs, be-

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Model: Dror Okavi

Taking MCTs—mediumchain-triglyceride oils—will give you tons of energy but won’t make you fat.


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cause of their better solubility and motility, underwent a rapid hydrolysis by salivary, gastric and pancreatic enzymes. Consequently, they were able to reach the liver and provide energy much more quickly than long-chain triglycerides. There was also some evidence that MCTs reduced lipid deposition in fat stores compared with that resulting from LCTs under identical

intake conditions. That’s no reason to believe that putting them into your body in excess won’t result in increased bodyfat stores, however. MCTs, like all dietary oils, have nine calories per gram. Even though they’re metabolized differently, using too much of them will add inches to your waistline.

Lie 29:

If everyone took the same amount of steroids, everyone would look like a professional bodybuilder. One of the ironies of steroids is that some people are genetically gifted users. That means that they

Two bodybuilders could take the same steroid stack and train and eat the same, and one could turn out to be in the Olympia while the other might never win even a local contest.

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Big Lies have a large number of receptor sites in the muscles with which a particular steroid can combine and exert its mass-building effects. The man or woman who won the last contest might very well be the most dedicated, knowledgeable bodybuilder—or have the most active steroid receptors in the room. On the other hand, some people might possess very few receptors for a particular steroid and so may experience very little growth on it. Another factor that influences receptor affinity is age. The highest receptor affinity seems to occur in late adolescence. As they have greater uptake, younger users are often able to take lower dosages for longer periods of time and make better gains than older users. Indeed, two bodybuilders could take the same steroid stack and train and eat the same, and one could end up in the Olympia while the other might never win even a local contest. The difference in how people react to the drugs is decisive.

Lie 30:

Model: Mike Icolari

Someone with a well-built body must be knowledgeable about fitness and physique development. Despite popular belief, just because a guy has 20-inch arms or 32-inch thighs does not automatically make him a bodybuilding expert. Unfortunately, in a society where looks count for so much, well-built lifters are often regarded as bodybuilding scientists. Yet many wellbuilt athletes, even pro bodybuilders, have no idea how they got where they are. Many of them are very genetically gifted and embellish their genetic potential even further by using tons of bodybuilding drugs, so they actually succeed in spite of themselves. With few exceptions, elite bodybuilders are the last people in the world you want to turn to for bodybuilding advice if you’re genetically average like 98 percent of us. You’re more likely to find expert advice from someone who’s just like you. Editor’s note: For more articles by Terry Banawich, visit www IM

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Arnold A Photo Celebration Honoring the Oak’s 61st Birthday

© 2008 Jimmy Caruso. All Rights Reserved

Photography by Jimmy Caruso

Every summer we do a special presentation in IRON MAN to celebrate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s birthday, which is July 30. This year’s feature, in honor of his 61st, is very special indeed because master photographer Jimmy Caruso has handpicked a few of his best photos of the Oak for our exclusive look at the legend in his prime. The following pages contain classic Arnold images suitable for tearing out (carefully) and framing or tacking up on your wall for motivation. As you leaf through them, you’ll see that they’re inspiring, dramatic and stunning. Our thanks to Caruso for his permission to publish some of the all-time-best Schwarzenegger physique photos ever taken. Happy birthday, Governor. —The Editors \ AUGUST 2008 121

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born Episode 37

Knowledge Not Applied Is Worthless by Ron Harris


hadn’t seen much of Randy since we’d competed back in May, but there certainly was more of him to see every time our paths crossed. He’d stayed lean for the week after the show to do a photo shoot for a clothing catalog, during which time he attempted to flirt with his modeling partner, a local figure champion who, he soon learned, was engaged to the owner of the clothing company, who also owned two local gyms. I thought Randy was a pretty sharp young guy, but apparently the three-carat rock weighing down her dainty left hand hadn’t tipped him off, nor had the fact that she drives a new Mercedes and is a 23-year-old graduate student. When I was in college, I could barely scrape enough money together to keep me in ramen from week to week. Randy actually hooked up with the girl who did his makeup for the shoot. If I forgot to mention that his previous girlfriend, who was several years older, left him for a commercial airline pilot twice her age, my apologies. It’s just so damn hard to stay current with Randy’s love life when I write about him only once a month. Apparently, the girl who did his makeup—just a little foundation to cut down on his oily-looking skin, and he swears he won’t be turning into a drag queen anytime soon—had his heart from the first time she leaned over in front of him and displayed her ample cleavage. We men are such simple creatures when you really get down to it. Randy had taken my advice about going on a massgaining quest once he’d rested for a week following the contest. The first time I saw him was less than

two weeks into his bulking program, and his weight was 212. That was up from a dehydrated 184 at the contest, though he’d weighed 188 the night before. That 212 was close to his usual off-season weight, but this time he looked bigger and leaner. It was almost another three weeks before I saw him again, and by then he was up to 220. If he’d been appreciably fatter, I would have given him the third degree, but he wasn’t at all. The kid had taken advantage of the unique metabolic opportunity that follows a precontest diet (also known as the rebound effect) by training his butt off and putting the food and supplements away like a champ. The last I’d heard from him he was holding steady around 221, because it was summer and he didn’t want to be too smooth to strut around the beach. Here in Boston, if you don’t take advantage of summer, you’ll regret it, since it comes only once every four years. At least, that’s how it feels when we are suffering through endless days of wind-chill factors bringing the temperatures below zero and blizzards that dump enough snow to totally bury Vern Troyer, the diminutive actor best known for portraying MiniMe in the Austin Powers films. Because Randy wasn’t training with me except very occasionally and my wife Janet’s work schedule often conflicted with my morning workouts, I’d been training solo quite a bit. One thing about having a partner that I’d forgotten was that it helps to keep the nuts away, since they see you already have someone to talk to. Now, it was open season on Ron.

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Neveux \ Model: Ron Harris

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A Bodybuilder Is Born One of my most dreaded pests was Roy. I’ve known Roy off and on since I joined my current gym more than four years ago, and wouldn’t you know, he looks exactly the same now as the day I met him. At a 20th high school reunion telling someone “you haven’t changed a bit” is the supreme compliment. In bodybuilding it means you suck because

This guy was like so many others in gyms everywhere—a part-timer. I would see him for a month or two on a regular basis; then he’d fall off the face of the earth for a couple of months. Every time he returned, Roy made a point of seeking me out and letting me know that he was “getting back into training” and was “going to start eating good again.” I

ly how to train and eat to make the changes he wants with his body. He just doesn’t actually follow through and do it. Because of that, I’ve always found Roy to be particularly annoying. I can forgive the ignorant for not training correctly or eating the way they should, as they simply don’t know any better. But for someone to have all the knowledge and

Model: Binais Begovic

Don’t just talk about doing the right things in the gym and out— really do them!

you haven’t improved. Roy was 42, about 5’8” and 190 pounds. But, as I tell anyone who will listen (which isn’t too many people), height and weight never tell the whole story. Roy had a belly on him that looked as if he was going to give birth within a couple of months. His arms and legs had a little bit of size to them, just enough to let you know that he either worked out or had at one time, but they were doughy and smooth. If Roy were to get lean enough to see a six-pack, he would probably have to drop down to around 160.

haven’t yet revealed the most ironic facet of all this yet. Roy was and is totally into bodybuilding. He subscribes to all the major magazines, actually reads them rather than just looking at the pictures, as I suspect many do, and is also a fan of the sport. He even went to the Arnold Classic once, and he can always tell you who’s won the most recent pro shows. Roy also buys plenty of supplements, although only sporadically. That’s because he uses them when he’s training, then stops using them when he slacks off. He knows exact-

squander it by not applying it just burns me up. As the years have gone by, I have found it increasingly difficult to conceal my disgust. I had just finished a heavy set of squats in a power rack and was stretching my quads out when Roy sauntered up. It was late July, and unless I was mistaken, there had still been snow on the ground the last time I had seen this knucklehead. “Hey, Ron, how’s it going?” he said, smiling. Roy was wearing a string tank top. Roy should not wear string tank tops, except maybe

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A Bodybuilder Is Born perhaps in the confines of his own home—with the window shades down. His string tank top was fairly dry because Roy didn’t train hard enough to break a sweat. I had seen him meandering around the machines and doing a little dumbbell work, and that was it. “Hey, Roy, long time no see. Where’ve ya been?” This had better involve his being kidnapped and sold into slavery in Southeast Asia to work in a sneaker factory, or else. “Ah, work’s been stressing me out.” “Oh? I can’t think of a better stress reliever than hard training,” I said. Then I reconsidered. “Okay, I can think of one better way, but it involves Jessica Simpson, Shakira and a giant hot tub filled with maple syrup. So what, Roy, you haven’t had time to get to the gym?” He was starting to look uncomfortable. “Well, like I said, I’ve been busy with work.” “Right.” I nodded. I knew he was single and had no kids. I pointed to a hard-bodied woman in her late 30s running on the treadmill. Sweat was literally flying off of her brow and drenched her sports bra and tight workout pants. Not that I was complaining, mind you. “Susan over there is a single mother with two teenage daughters. She works fulltime and chauffeurs her kids all over creation. She’s here training at least five days a week. I wonder where she finds the time.” “Huh, that’s great,” Roy commented, shuffling and starting to look around. I think he was finally starting to figure out that I was no longer going to shower him with encouragement as I had done in the past. “Well, I’m all done for today. I’m gonna start getting serious again.” “Done? What about cardio?” I stared at his belly. “I seem to recall your telling me you wanted to get that gut down. In fact, you were telling me that a couple of years ago, and it looks about the same to me now.” “Yeah, I know. I just have to ease back into it—you know, baby steps.” “Baby steps are for babies,” I said. “You’re over 40 years old. You don’t have a lot of time to be easing into anything anymore. You should be

doing cardio to burn that fat off. But fine. You’re done for today, you say. Where’s your shake?” “What shake?” he asked. “The last time we talked, I told you to get some whey protein, Vitargo or waxy If you want maize, creatine results, you and L-glutamine have to train for your postworkhard, but you out shakes, which also have to eat right the were to be drunk majority of immediately after the time. training. You’re done training, so where’s the shake?” “Oh. Oh, yeah, well, I’m not going to start using supplements again until I get my groove back with training.” “Get your groove back? Is your name Stella?” I shook my head and decided to go for the kill. Don’t ask why, but I was just in a pissy mood that day. Maybe it had something to do with waiting over two years for the sequel to Rob Zombie’s schlockhorror classic “House of 1,000 Corpses” to come out, only to have it completely suck ass. “How’s your eating?” “I’m going to start eating good again,” he assured me. “When? Why not today? Are you waiting for a burning bush to tell you to stop eating junk and eat the way you know you’re supposed to?” To say Roy looked uncomfortable would be an understatement. I knew he regretted approaching me this time. Lest I scare him away from the gym yet again with my hostility, I decided to at least attempt to be more encouraging. I knew he wasn’t a bad guy, just a lazy S.O.B.

“Roy, I have known you for a few years now, and from day one I was impressed with your knowledge of training and nutrition.” That brought a little smile. “Thanks,” he said. “But you haven’t put any of it to use. You should look a lot better than you do, and you know it. If you applied all that knowledge packed in your brain, you’d have a lot more muscle on you and a lot less fat. You would look like a bodybuilder. I hate to say it, but to me you don’t even look like someone who works out, and that’s a shame.” He hung his head and nodded. “I know, I know,” he said quietly.

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A Bodybuilder Is Born “Exactly my point. Let me tell you something, and forgive me for being blunt. It’s just how I am. I’m sick of you telling me you’re going to do this or that and finally get in great shape. I don’t want to hear it anymore. Stop talking about it and just do it. Forget all the lame-ass excuses that you make to yourself, because they are all bull. You know what you need to do, so get to work right now.” He didn’t say a word, but he refilled his water bottle and headed for the treadmills. There were plenty of open ones, but he went right next to Susan. I could see Roy trying to make conversation with her, but she was wearing headphones and turned the volume up on her MP3 player, ignoring him. All of a sudden I realized I wasn’t doing what I needed to do, either! I had to make sure I was able to finish my workout with no more interruptions. I went back to the locker room and retrieved my own headphones, which I normally didn’t wear except for cardio. I slipped them on and cranked up the tunes. My missionary work for the day was done, and all the other nuts would have to wait until another time to piss me off. IM

Model: Mike Morris

Forget all the lameass excuses that you make to yourself, because they are all bull. You know what you need to do, so get to work right now.

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Photo Illustrations by BMiller

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How Acid in Your Body Affects Muscle Growth

by Michael Gündill

Part 1


o grow as fast as possible, bodybuilders should optimize their physiological environment. Obviously you have to maximize the release of anabolic hormones while minimizing the secretion of catabolic ones. You should also fuel your muscles with as many amino acids and as much energy as possible. Unfortunately, one physiological component often neglected in bodybuilding is your acid-base homeostasis. Your acid-base balance is of the utmost importance for muscle growth, strength, fat loss and health. In all too many bodybuilders it’s far from optimized. Yet you can get impressive new size and strength gains by reducing the amount of acid in your blood.

Understanding Blood pH Like any liquid, your blood possesses a potential of hydrogen, a.k.a. pH, which measures the concentration of hydrogen ions—acid—in your blood: • If you have an excess of acid (pH below 7), your blood is said to be in an acidic state. • When pH is 7, you’re in a neutral state. • When pH is above 7, you’re in an alkaline state. In healthy human beings blood pH is around 7.41, which means the blood is naturally slightly alkaline. On the other hand, medical research has demonstrated that the pH of modern Homo sapiens is more acidic than it used to be.

Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi

Blood pH in Bodybuilders Although the average blood pH value is around 7.41, that’s rarely the case for bodybuilders. Basically, everything you do generates acid: • When you train, your body manufactures lactic acid—the “acid” part being hydrogen ions. The higher their concentration, the lower your blood pH will be. • When you eat protein, you decrease blood pH; proteins are made of amino acids, and the extra “acid” lowers blood pH. • When you go on a low-calorie diet, your fat tissue releases free fatty acids—resulting in lower blood pH. Ketone bodies also acidify your blood. \ AUGUST 2008 151

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The bigger your muscles are, the more acid you’re likely to produce.

Impact of Protein on Acid Production

increased protein intake. In bodybuilders, pH is even lower—5.83. Acid excretion is 50 percent higher in bodybuilders than in sedentary persons, which should be no surprise, as both exercise and higher

The impact of dietary protein on acid release has been extensively investigated in Germany.1 One study compared acid release in When you eat proteins, two groups: you decrease blood pH; 1) sedentary subjects eating 88 proteins are made of grams of protein a day. 2) bodybuilders eating 128 grams of protein a day.

protein intake generate more acid. On top of that, 128 grams is a modest intake for a bodybuilder, which means you’d expect a much greater generation of acid in “seri-

When you go on a low-calorie diet, your adipose tissue releases free fatty acids.

amino acids.

In order to avoid frequent blood tests, researchers measured urinary pH. Average urinary pH is around 7—lower than blood pH, as one of the main functions of the kidneys is to get rid of the blood’s acid. Changes in urine, however, closely reflect changes in blood chemistry. In the German study, urinary pH averaged 6.12 in sedentary subjects, the greater-than-average acidity being attributed to 152 AUGUST 2008 \

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pH ous” bodybuilders. Furthermore, the bigger your muscles are, the more acid you’re likely to produce.

Protein and Kidney Stones Protein is accused of increasing the incidence of kidney stones and generally hampering kidney health. True enough, as you grow older, the ability of your kidneys to get rid of the blood’s acid diminishes, and as a consequence the blood remains more acidic. A study of the impact of a daily intake of 170 grams of proteins in bodybuilders, however, demonstrated that although increased protein intake strains the kidneys, healthy kidneys are perfectly able to handle it.

Just to be clear: An abundance of protein doesn’t damage healthy kidneys, but insufficient intake of al-

Neveux \ Model: Alex Azarian

If your blood is already full of acid before a workout, you’re not going to be as strong as you need to be. As lactic acid concentration builds up in your contracting muscles, it’s harder to extrude it; the blood is already saturated with hydrogen ions.

The main problem for your kidneys isn’t that you eat acidic foods. If we have kidney problems, it’s because we don’t eat enough alkaline foods to counterbalance acid-rich foods, such as citrus. One dietary difference between prehistoric and modern hominids is that our ancestors ate many more alkaline foods.

The main problem for your kidneys isn’t that you eat acidic foods. If we have kidney problems, it’s because we don’t eat enough alkaline foods to counterbalance acid-rich nutrients.

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pH kaline foods does. Bottom line: You need to more closely match alkaline with acidic food intake. For bodybuilders, though, there’s a catch-22. Acid-base equilibrium is a bit hard to achieve because, for example, of all the sugar in citrus fruits. There is, however, a more effective solution: alkaline supplements. Because even healthy kidneys become less efficient with age, the buffering supplements become more important as you get older.

acidotic, skeletal muscle protein synthesis dropped 28 percent after only one day.

pH and Muscle Protein Breakdown Impaired anabolism does not explain why muscle wasting is so rapid in an acidic state. In another study, protein catabolism was compared in an acidic state (pH = 6.95)

pH and Fat Loss If acid helps waste muscle, could it do the same for fat tissue? No such luck. An acidic environment can’t seem to do enough to preserve fat mass. In the hormone study, subjects rendered acidotic experienced a 13 percent decrease in T3, the main active thyroid hormone, and a 10 percent reduction in T4. Acidosis also tends to minimize leptin release, resulting in an enhanced appetite. In women, blood pH was artificially decreased from 7.36 to 7.28. Free fatty acids in blood rapidly fell by 35 percent, which reflected impaired fat burning. Blood ketones were 21 percent lower. When the subjects’ blood was rendered alkaline, free fatty acids increased 28 percent from baseline, reflecting enhanced fat burning, and the ketone count doubled. Reduced blood pH is a nasty side effect of low-calorie diets3 because: Neveux \ Model: Steve McLeod

Test tube studies have demonstrated that anabolism is impaired in an acid environment.

sure to acid, and because acid acts on the endocrine system, it indirectly regulates muscular fiber size. For example, in healthy humans artificially rendered acidotic for seven days, blood insulinlike growth factor 1 dropped by 25 percent—a lowering of growth hormone release and a downregulation of GH receptor density. Acidosis also causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity and encourages free cortisol release. So an acidic state causes muscle wasting both directly and indirectly.

pH and Muscle Protein Synthesis Why is it so bad for a bodybuilder to remain in an acidic state? Test tube studies have demonstrated that anabolism is impaired in an acid environment. Isolated muscle cells were incubated in either an acid (pH = 7.1) or an alkaline (pH = 7.5) environment. With the acid background, muscle protein synthesis rate was 14 percent slower than in the alkaline state. After only one day of exposure, fiber cells were 7 percent smaller with the acidic than the alkaline pH. In rats rendered

and in an alkaline state (pH = 7.4, which is approximately what your pH is supposed to be). Muscle degradation was 30 percent higher in the acid environment than with a normal pH. Acid triggers the main catabolic pathways. For example, acid exposure increases the activity of the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of BCAAs by 53 percent.

• Protein intake remains high. • Alkaline carb intake goes down.

pH and Anabolic Hormones

• Increases in free fatty acids and ketones further acidify the blood.

Anabolic hormone release is negatively affected by prolonged expo-

The result is enhanced muscle wasting, impaired fat loss, a slowed

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pH metabolism and an increased appetite. So correcting your acid-base balance during a diet is of the utmost importance.

pH and Performance

for as long as they could. Before the change in diet, they could sustain their efforts for five minutes. With the acidic diet they could ride for only 3 1/2 minutes. Of course, part of that reduction was due to

Neveux \ Model: Ed Myska

If your blood is already full of acid before a workout, you’re not going to be as strong as you need to be. As lactic acid builds up in your contracting muscles, it’s harder to extrude it; the blood is already saturated with hydrogen ions. Acidic blood causes not only local muscular fatigue but also central fatigue. As blood pH decreases, bound tryptophan is released, penetrating the brain and stimulating the release of serotonin, a brain chemical that makes you feel tired. In one study, athletes were rendered acidotic by almost doubling their dietary intake of proteins—from 14 to 25 percent of their calorie intake—for three days.4 Their carb intake dropped from 46 to 10 percent to reduce their absorption of alkaline foods. Fat intake was adjusted so that the calorie totals on both diets was similar. In 24 hours the subjects’ blood became more acid, with pH going from 7.40 to 7.37. The athletes then rode bikes fast

the fact that they were eating less carbohydrate, but the excess acid explained most of it. The result of a low blood pH is more fatigue despite a decrease in performance. That explains As you grow older, why alkaline supplements the ability of your have increased kidneys to get rid both strength of the blood’s acid and endurance in many studdiminishes, and as ies. a consequence the Even though blood remains more a low pH is detrimental to acidic. Because the muscle growth, efficiency of even fat loss, perhealthy kidneys formance and health, retards with age, bodybuilders the buffering tend not to supplements worry about their excessive become more production important as you of acids, and get older. they rarely use alkaline supplements. In Part 2 of this discussion I’ll get into the way the main acid-lowering supplements work for health and muscle and strength gains. Editor’s note: Michael Gündill, IRON MAN’s European research correspondent, is based in France.

References 1 Manz, F. (1995). Effects of a high protein intake on renal acid excretion in bodybuilders. Z Ernahrungswiss. 34(1):10-5. 2 Höhler, M. (1994). Funktionsbelastung des Stoffwechsels und der Niere bei Kraftsportlern mit eiweissreicher Kost. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin. 45(3):92. 3 Too, D. (1998). Effect of a precompetition bodybuilding diet and training regimen on body composition and blood chemistry. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 38(3):245-52. 4 Maughan, R.J. (1997). Diet composition and the performance of high-intensity exercise. J Sports Sci. 15(3):265-75. IM

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Spilling Beans the


Coffee Part 2

by Jerry Brainum


tudies show that coffee is the primary source of antioxidants for most Americans. A recent study found that drinking coffee increases the resistance of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation, likely because of the incorporation of natural coffee antioxidants into LDL.1 That’s significant because oxidized LDL is linked to cardiovascular disease. Coffee also contains soluble fiber, about 1.8 grams per cup, which is linked to lower blood lipid levels.2 High-strung, or type A, people are often considered at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. They’re said to secrete greater amounts of stress hormones, which stimulate cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure. As coffee stimulates some of those same stress hormones, it would appear that people subject to extraordinary stress should avoid coffee. A recent study, however, disputes that idea. For eight weeks one group of 21 subjects avoided all caffeine-containing substances. Another group of 43 subjects drank six cups of coffee a day. Researchers measured stress indices, such as heart rate and blood pressure, during mental and physical stress tests both before and after the eight-week test period. Avoiding caffeine made little or no difference in the subjects’ reaction to stress. Caffeine increases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone that exerts catabolic effects in muscle. A study of caffeine intake examined what happens when men and women got 250 milligrams of caffeine three times a day and were subjected to either mental stress or exercise. The caffeine did increase cortisol release in the subjects exposed to mental stress. While exercise alone didn’t raise cortisol, taking caffeine prior to exercise did in both sexes.3

Ulcers are another disease associated with stress. Since the 1940s researchers have known that coffee stimulates acid flow in the stomach, and excess acid is associated with ulcers. Yet no clear-cut evidence proves that drinking coffee causes ulcers. Decaf also promotes increased acid flow, and most physicians advise patients who already have ulcers to avoid both coffee and decaf. It’s now known that ulcers are actually caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. In 1988, after reviewing the studies that associated coffee drinking with heart disease, the U.S. surgeon general concluded that evidence of a relationship between coffee and heart disease was too weak to recommend that Americans curb their coffee habit. The finding was echoed by the Institute of Food Technologists, a 23,000member scientific society based in Chicago: “While common sense dictates that excessive consumption of stimulants such as caffeine is not particularly wise, there continues to be no evidence to suggest that moderate caffeine intake is a causative factor in cardiovascular disease.” Whether caffeine increases the risk of cardiovascular disease may depend on your genes, according to a controversial recent study.4 It found that variations in a certain gene had either a slow- or rapid-metabolizing effect on caffeine. Those with the slow gene showed a 36 percent increased risk of heart attack when drinking two to three cups of coffee a day and a 64 percent increased risk with four or more cups daily. In contrast, those with the fast-metabolizing gene had a 22 percent decreased risk of heart disease with two to three cups and a 1 percent risk with four or more cups. Younger people showed a greater risk in that regard.

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Neveux \ Model: Brian Yerdesky

Is It Really Good for You? \ AUGUST 2008 165

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Coffee 2 The Cancer Connection Some coffee drinkers were terrified by a 1981 report that linked coffee with pancreatic cancer, an often fatal form of the disease.5 That study was severely flawed, however, and the authors reversed their findings five years later. Subsequent research found a definite connection between pancreatic cancer and tobacco and alcohol use but none with coffee.6 An evaluation of more than 16,000 men and women observed between 1967 and 1979 found no correlation between drinking coffee and any type of cancer.7 In 1984 the American Cancer Society issued a statement saying that coffee doesn’t increase the risk of cancer. Coffee may even protect against cancer. A 1986 study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that women who drank one to five cups of coffee a day showed increased cell differentiation, a process that slows tumor growth.8 Coffee also seems to inhibit cell replication in several other types of cancers.9,10 Caffeine itself is an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals, substances implicated in cancer activity, according to research emanating from West Virginia University.11 Another study reported that coffee may help prevent colon cancer by reducing the excretion of bile acids and cholesterol, both of which are linked to colon cancer. The authors of the study found that “recent coffee consumption is not related to an increased risk of large bowel cancer, and heavy coffee consumption may reduce the risk of colon cancer.”12 A meta-analysis, or compilation of previous studies, in this case 17, found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily had a 24 percent decreased risk of colorectal cancer over those who don’t drink it.13 Interestingly, the same compounds in coffee oils thought to promote heart disease may protect against cancer by stimulating phase-2 detoxifying enzymes in the liver and helping increase glutathione, one of the body’s natural antioxidant and detoxifying agents.14 The most recent study to examine the effects of coffee intake on cancer analyzed 13 prospective studies, in-

Later research found a definite connection between pancreatic cancer and tobacco and alcohol use but none with coffee.

volving 530,469 women and 244,483 men.15 The study compared the effects of drinking various fluids, such as coffee, tea, milk, soda and juice, on the incidence of renal, or kidney, cancer, which has increased steadily in recent years. The study found that drinking three or more cups of coffee, as opposed to drinking one cup a day, was consistent with a lower risk of getting renal cancer. Tea also showed protective effects, while none of the other fluids analyzed in the study had any effect, bad or good, on that type of cancer. Another new study looked at the relationship between drinking coffee and nonmelanoma skin cancer, the most common type of skin cancer.16 When compared with women who abstained from daily coffee drinking, coffee-drinking women had a 10.8 percent lower incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Drinking six or more cups daily produced a 36 percent reduction in that type of skin cancer. Decaffeinated coffee offered no such protection.

Women and Coffee In 1979 reports linked coffee to

fibrocystic breast disease, painful but benign lumps in women’s breasts. Further studies found no association.17 The United States Food and Drug Administration in 1980 advised women to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. The advisory was based on animal studies showing skeletal defects in the offspring of rats that were force-fed caffeine. Turned out those rats were given amounts equivalent to what you’d get from drinking 87 cups of coffee a day. Even FDA officials admitted they didn’t know if the study had any validity for humans because rats metabolize caffeine differently from people. A 1982 Harvard study of 12,205 women found no link between coffee intake and birth defects or fertility, although it did find an increased incidence of infertility in women who drank decaffeinated coffee. Still, caffeine does cross the placenta, and fetuses can’t metabolize it—it may linger in fetal tissues for three to four days. In addition, pregnant women metabolize caffeine 40 percent more slowly than normal. So it’s a good idea for pregnant

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Coffee 2 When compared with women who abstained from daily coffee drinking, coffee-drinking women had a 10.8 percent lower incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Drinking six or more cups of coffee daily produced a 36 percent reduction.

women to either limit or eliminate coffee—particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy, when organ formation occurs and birth defects are most likely to arise. A recent study found that women over age 65 who drank more than three cups of coffee daily were 30 percent less likely to have a memory decline than women who drank one cup or less. The study, which involved more than 7,000 people, found that the figures rose to 70 percent over the age of 80. Drinking coffee, however, didn’t have any preventive effects against dementia and didn’t appear to preserve memory in male subjects.18 On the other hand, another recent study of 45,869 men over 40, which included 12 years of followup, found that drinking four cups a day or more of coffee decreases the risk of gout, characterized by the abnormal deposition of uric acid into joints.19 The more coffee drunk, the lower the risk. The researchers suspect that the preventive factor in coffee wasn’t caffeine but perhaps its antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid.

Coffee and Exercise Numerous studies over the years have shown that coffee appears to enhance fat burning and endurance. By enabling you to dip into fat stores faster than usual, it spares muscle glycogen, a stored form of complex carbohydrate and the primary energy source of muscular activity.20 Caffeine exerts its ergogenic effects through three mechanisms: 1) It increases the availability of calcium in muscle, which could produce stronger muscular contractions;21 2) it increases the amount of cyclic AMP, an intracellular messenger substance that raises blood sugar and stimulates free fatty acid release; 3) it blocks the effects of adenosine, a sedative chemical.22 The literature concerning the ergogenic effects of coffee and caffeine are contradictory. Design flaws complicate the results. For example, habitual coffee drinkers show few ergogenic effects when compared to what researchers call “coffee naive” subjects. To properly access the effects of coffee requires abstaining for at least four days.23

Another problem is that a highcarbohydrate diet or meal negates the fat-releasing effects of coffee. It releases insulin, which prevents free fatty acids from getting into the blood.24 Other studies suggest that pure caffeine is a more effective ergogenic agent than coffee.25 Still another problem is that subjects in most studies drink coffee one hour before being tested. Caffeine peaks in the blood after one hour. Peak fatty acid release, however, occurs three hours after intake.26 Since the increased release of fatty acids accounts for much of coffee’s positive effect on endurance, it’s easy to see why many studies found that caffeine and coffee had little or no effect.27 Using sedentary subjects to evaluate the merits of coffee as an athletic aid is likewise futile. They haven’t developed the physiological adaptations to exercise common in athletes and don’t react to coffee the way athletes do. The ergogenic effects of coffee and caffeine remain controversial. Until fairly recently, the International Olympic Committee limited

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Neveux \ Model: Tom Voss Erika Thompson

Caffeine had no effect on onerep-maximum lifts, but there were 11 percent (bench press) and 12 percent (leg press) increases in the number of reps performed by the caffeine group when the weight was lowered to 60 percent of maximum and the exercises done to failure.

the use of high doses of caffeine in athletic competition. The illegal dosage of caffeine was 12 micrograms per milliliter of urine. That amount would result from drinking five to six cups of strong coffee over a oneto-two-hour period. Most world athletic governing organizations, such as WADA, have removed caffeine from their banned substances list. Concerning the evidence of caffeine’s effects on endurance, the consensus is that caffeine and coffee enhance performance only in events lasting longer than 30 minutes. Some studies suggest

that caffeine may have a harmful effect during sports conducted in hot weather because caffeine increases body temperature and has a minor diuretic action that could lead to de-

hydration.28 But other studies show that athletes become accustomed to those effects and have no problems when taking in caffeine before competition in hot weather.30 One found

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By enabling you to dip into fat stores faster than usual, coffee spares muscle glycogen, a stored form of complex carbohydrate and the primary energy source of muscular activity.

Coffee 2 Coffee: A Functional Food? Although coffee has often been characterized as being bad for health, various studies dispute that notion. In fact, coffee is now considered a functional food because it provides many health benefits. It contains numerous nutritional elements that are believed to encourage good health, including flavonoids, caffeic acid, nicotinic acid (niacin) and trigonelline. During the roasting process, trigonelline is converted into the B-complex vitamin niacin, producing two to 80 milligrams per cup of coffee. Coffee also provides the minerals chromium and magnesium. Here are a few more points to consider: • Coffee may prevent viral infections, as well as exert antibacterial effects. • Coffee is rich in antioxidants, such as caffeic and chlorogenic acids and polyphenols. The inner skin of the coffee bean produces a substance known as silverskin, which provides soluble fiber and antioxidant activity. • Coffee may relieve asthma symptoms. Among the methylxanthines found in coffee is theophylline, a bronchodilator of the lungs that in drug form is used to treat asthma. • Studies show that drinking coffee inhibits type 2 diabetes.49 A study done in the Netherlands found that those who drink seven or more cups a day were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who drank two cups or less daily. What’s curious is that caffeine decreases glucose tolerance and increases insulin resistance, both of which usually are harbingers of diabetes. The mechanism is an elevation of catecholamines by caffeine, which leads to increased fatty acids in the blood that interfere with glucose uptake into cells. On the other hand, substances in coffee, such as chlorogenic acid, are capable of lowering elevated blood glucose. • Coffee offers liver protection. A recent study found that those who drank coffee had a 41 percent decreased risk of acquiring liver cancer.50 Coffee also lowers elevated liver enzymes.51 It inhibits both alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis. A study of 46,008 men, ages 40 to 75, found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day lowered the risk of gallstones.52 • Recent studies show that drinking coffee offers protective effects against Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative brain disease.53 Other studies show protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease.54 • Recent studies show that the topical application of caffeine protects skin cells from damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.55 Another study found that caffeine may protect against skin cancer, an effect that was greatly amplified by combining caffeine intake with exercise.56 The mechanism in both studies involved an upgrade in apoptosis, or the self-destruction of damaged cells that would otherwise turn into cancer. A test tube study found that caffeine stimulates human hair growth and counteracts the baldness-producing effects induced by testosterone exposure.57 • While caffeine may induce acute anxiety in some people, exercise rapidly blocks that effect.58 Another study found that consuming a caffeine drink following intense exercise will improve brain function and reduce brain drain incurred by hard training.59 • One study shows a beneficial effect of coffee on male testosterone —J.B. counts.60

that caffeine intake resulted in a mild loss of water over a four-hour period, but exercise during that time blocked the water loss.29 Test tube studies show that caffeine theoretically increases muscular strength by releasing intramuscular calcium. The diffusion of additional calcium into muscle cells would increase muscular contraction strength. Most real-world studies, however, fail to support that.30 One study found increased thumb-muscle strength, but only under low-intensity conditions.31 A more recent study found that taking a supplement containing caffeine one hour prior to training did increase strength but only in the upper body.32 The supplement contained three natural sources of caffeine (yerba mate, guarana and black tea), for a total of 201 milligrams, the amount in two average cups of coffee. It didn’t affect lowerbody strength or muscular endurance. Many of the studies showing no effect of caffeine and coffee on strength and power were confounded by the use of sedentary subjects or insufficient doses. One study, however, examined whether caffeine increased strength and power in 20 football players who regularly lifted weights.33 The subjects took seven milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight, and those who regularly drank more than a cup of coffee a day were excluded from the study, as were those with less than two years of weight-training experience. Compared to a placebo group, all the caffeine-using subjects showed increased strength and power. Noting the dearth of studies that have examined the relationship between caffeine intake and strength, a new double-blind study looked at the effects of taking six milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight of caffeine (more than five cups of coffee) in 22 resistance-trained men.34 The subjects were tested for one-repmaximum lifts on bench press and squat exercises. Some took caffeine, while others took a placebo. Caffeine intake had no effect on onerep-maximum lifts, but there were 11 percent (bench press) and 12 percent (leg press) increases in the

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fat. Scientists explain that they divert excess calories into “futile energy cycles,” where calories convert into heat instead of being stored as fat. That process, called thermogenesis, is defective in obese people and may be one of the primary causes of obesity—besides overeating and underexercising.36 Caffeine can Another problem is that a high-carbohydrate increase the diet or meal negates the fat-releasing effects metabolism of obese people of caffeine and coffee. It releases insulin, by stimulating which prevents free fatty acids from getting a thermogenic response. A into the blood. Swiss study number of reps performed by the showed that giving 100 to 450 milcaffeine group when the weight was ligrams of caffeine to obese subjects lowered to 60 percent of maximum caused fat burning to increase by 4 and the exercise done to failure. to 16 percent. Another study gave While acknowledging the apparent varying doses of caffeine and found increase in muscular endurance that it increased thermogenesis in a induced by caffeine, the study audose-dependant fashion; that is, the thors called it “insignificant,” noting higher the dose, the faster the methat “the practical importance of tabolism. The response escalated as the increased muscular endurance lactate and triglycerides increased remains to be explored.” in the blood.37 The metabolic effect of caffeine Still another study found that is enhanced when it’s combined drinking the equivalent of two cups with ephedrine.38 Ephedrine is of coffee prior to exercise reduced found naturally in an herb called ma blood flow to the heart during exerhuang and was formerly used as an cise.35 While drinking coffee at rest didn’t affect coronary blood flow, asthma medication because of its doing it before exercise blunted bronchodilating effects. Like cafthe normal rise in heart blood flow feine, ephedrine is a mild stimulant. during training. The effect was more When combined with caffeine, it appronounced when the exercise was pears to have a potent thermogenic done at high altitudes. The authors impact.39 One problem, however, is that ephedrine can raise blood pressuggest that this may adversely afsure, just as caffeine does in people fect exercise performance despite who don’t regularly drink coffee. the well-known stimulant properCould that be dangerous? ties of caffeine. In one study, six subjects took 20 milligrams of ephedrine and 200 Coffee for Fat Burning? milligrams of caffeine. They experiWe’ve all seen people who seem enced a definite thermogenic effect able to eat anything without getting without an excessive increase in

either heart rate or blood pressure.40 Adding aspirin to the mixture may be even better.41 The mechanism works like this: Ephedrine enhances the release of norepinephrine, which stimulates brown adipose tissue, a specialized form of fat that has fat-burning properties. Recall that caffeine increases the cellular hormone messenger, cyclic AMP, which is involved in fat burning. Aspirin inhibits prostaglandins, body chemicals that shut down the norepinephrine effect. Ephedrine itself triggers the peripheral conversion of inactive to active thyroid hormone, which further stimulates metabolism.42 (By the way, the drug clenbuterol has a similar thermogenic effect.) Most experts still consider the combination of ephedrine and caffeine to be the best fat-burning supplement, though ephedrine was removed from the market by the FDA in 2005 for questionable reasons. While the fat-metabolizing effect of caffeine appears promising, further studies are needed to find long-term effectiveness or possible side effects. A recent study looked at the fat-reducing effects of green coffee bean extract, which is sold in supplement form.43 It’s rich in both caffeine (10 percent) and chlorogenic acid (27 percent). The study, which used mice as subjects, found that giving the rodents the extract for two weeks led to a decrease in visceral fat and fat in the liver, both of which are associated with metabolic syndrome. Caffeine suppressed fat absorption, while the chlorogenic acid reduced the amount of fat in the liver. Chlorogenic acid inhibits an enzyme in the liver that promotes sugar release, which is a major problem in insulin resistance. Chlorogenic acid reduced liver fat by stimulating the enzyme that works with carnitine in fat oxidation. Using caffeine with creatine may block the ergogenic effects of creatine, although creatine doesn’t affect caffeine. Not all experts, however, agree with that finding. A recently published case study linked caffeine with muscle cramps.44 Another study found that drinking about two cups of coffee daily reduces delayed-onset muscle

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Coffee 2 A Swiss study showed that giving 100 to 450 milligrams of caffeine to obese subjects caused fat burning to increase by 4 to 16 percent.

pain and loss of strength following intense training.45 That isn’t surprising considering the analgesic, or pain-relieving, effects of caffeine.46 Low doses are commonly added to various pain-relieving medications because it augments their painkilling impact and, by extension, may also permit more intense training.47

Is Caffeine Addictive?

A study of more than 7,000 people found that women over age 65 who drank more than three cups of coffee daily were 30 percent less likely to have a memory decline than those who drank one cup or less. That rose to 70 percent over the age of 80.

ens blood vessels in the head and causes headache. The answer is to reduce caffeine gradually. That means not only coffee but tea and chocolate as well. In addition, more than 1,000 drugs contain caffeine because it amplifies the effects of pain relievers. Another method is to switch to instant coffee, which has two-thirds the caffeine of coffee. Avoid espresso, which has more-concentrated caffeine than regular coffee. You also might try drinking your coffee in a

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported the effects of a caffeine withdrawal syndrome. The subjective responses of the people in the study who went “cold turkey” in their In 1988, after coffee drinking included reviewing the studies severe headaches, lethargy, depression and anxiety. The that associated interesting aspect of the study coffee drinking with was that the symptoms occurred in subjects who had heart disease, the drunk as little one to two cups United States surgeon of coffee a day.48 Most of the effects are atgeneral concluded tributable to caffeine’s ability that evidence of a to block adenosine receptors—recall that adenosine relationship between has a tranquilizing effect on coffee and heart the brain. The body senses, however, that receptor sites disease was too weak for the chemical are blocked to recommend that and opens new ones. Sudden withdrawal of coffee causes Americans curb their new receptors to be flooded with adenosine, which tightcoffee habit.

smaller cup. According to Dr. Sanford Miller, an FDA official, the safe amount of caffeine is 10 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of bodyweight, or up to seven cups of coffee a day for a 150-pound person. By comparison, the lethal dose is about 10 grams, or 100 cups, meaning 100 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight. Adverse reactions to

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Coffee 2 drinking too much coffee can include rapid heartbeat, insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, tremor, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and excess urination. French author and philosopher Voltaire lived to 84, despite his habit of drinking 50 cups of coffee a day. “It is a poison, certainly,” he remarked, “but a slow poison, for I have been drinking it these 84 years.”

References 1 Natella, F., et al. (2007). Coffee drinking induces incorporation of phenolic acids into LDL and increases the resistance of LDL to ex vivo oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 86:604-609. 2 Saura-Calixto, F., et al. (2007). Dietary fiber in brewed coffee. J Agric Food Chem. 55:19992003. 3 Lovallo, W.R., et al. (2006). Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine intake in men and women. Pharm Biochem Behav. 83:441-447. 4 Cornelis, M.C., et al. (2006). Coffee, CYP1A2 genotype, and risk of myocardial infarction. JAMA. 295:1135-1141. 5 MacMahon, B., et al. (1981). Coffee and cancer of the pancreas. N Engl J Med. 304:630-33. 6 Olsen, G., et al. (1989). A casecontrol study of pancreatic cancer and cigarettes, alcohol, coffee and diet. Am J Public Health. 79:10161019. 7 Nomura, A., et al. (1986). Prospective Study of Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Cancer. JNCI. 76:587-90. 8 Pozner, J., et al. (1986). Association of tumor differentiation with caffeine and coffee intake in women with breast cancer. Surgery. 100:48288.

9 Phelps, H.M., et al. (1988). Caffeine ingestion and breast cancer: A negative correlation. Cancer. 10511054. 10 Pozniak, P.C., et al. (1985). The carcinogenicity of caffeine and coffee: A review. J Am Diet Assoc. 85:1127-1133. 11 Jain, A.C., et al. (1991). Antioxidant behavior of caffeine: efficient scavenging of hydroxyl radicals. Food and Chem Toxicology. 29:1-6. 12 Rosenberg, L., et al. (1989). The risks of cancers of the colon and rectum in relation to coffee consumption. Amer J Epidm. 130: 895-903. 13 Giovannucci, E. (1998). Metaanalysis of coffee consumption

and risk of colorectal cancer. Am J Epidemiol. 147:1043-52. 14 Huber, W.W., et al. (2002). Enhancement of the chemoprotective enzymes glucuronosyl transferase and glutathione transferase in specific organs of the rat by the coffee components kahweol and cafestol. Arch Toxicol. 76:209-217. 15 Lee, J.E., et al. (2007). Intakes of coffee, tea, milk, soda and juice and renal cell cancer in a pooled analysis of 13 prospective studies. Int J Cancer. 121:22462253. 16 Abel, E., et al. (2007). Daily coffee consumption and nonmelanoma skin cancer in Caucasian women. Eur J Cancer Prev. 16:446-450. 17 Levinson, W., et al. (1986). Nonassociation of caffeine and fibrocystic breast disease. Arch Int Med. 146:1773-1775. 18 Ritchie, K., et al. (2007). The neuroprotective effects of caffeine: A prospective population study (the Three City Study). Neurology. 69:536-45. 19 Choi, H.K., et al. (2007). Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Arthr Rheum. 56:2049-2055. 20 Costill, D.L., et al. (1978). Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism

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Coffee 2 and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exer. 10:155-58. 21 Weber, A. (1968). The mechanism of the action of caffeine on sarcoplasmic reticulum. J Gen Physiol. 52:760-772. 22 Snyder, S.H., et al. (1984). Behavioral and molecular actions of caffeine: focus on adenosine. J Psychol Research. 18:91-106. 23 Fisher, S.M., et al. (1986). Influence of caffeine on exercise performance in habitual caffeine users. Int J Sports Med. 7:276-80. 24 Weir, J., et al. (1987). A high-carbohydrate diet negates the metabolic effects of caffeine during exercise. Med Sci Sports Exer. 19:100-105. 25 Graham, T.E., et al. (1998). The metabolic and exercise endurance effects of caffeine and coffee ingestion. J Appl Physiol. 85:883-889. 26 Bellet, S., et al. (1968). Response of free fatty acids to coffee and caffeine. Metabolism. 17:702-77. 27 Tarnopolsky, M.A., et al. (1989). Physiological responses to caffeine during endurance running in habitual caffeine users. Med Sci Sports Exer. 21:418-424. 28 Falk, B., et al. (1990). Effects of caffeine ingestion on body fluid balance and thermoregulation during exercise. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 68:889-892. 29 Wemple, R.D., et al. (1997). Caffeine vs. caffeine-free sports drinks: Effects on urine production at rest and during prolonged exercise. Int J Sports Med. 18:40-46. 30 Williams, J.F., et al. (1988). Caffeine, maximal power output and fatigue. Brit J Sports Med. 22:132-34. 31 Lopes, J.M., et al. (1983). Effect of caffeine on skeletal muscle function before and after fatigue. J Applied Physiol. 54:1303-1305. 32 Beck, T.W., et al. (2006). The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capabilities. J Str Cond Res. 20:506510. 33 Jacobson, B.H., et al. (1992). Effect of caffeine on maximal strength and power in elite male athletes. Br J Sport Med. 26:276-279. 34 Astorino, T.A., et al. (2008). Effect of caffeine ingestion on one-repetition maximum muscular strength. Eur J Appl Physiol. 102(2):127-132.

35 Namdar, M., et al. (2006). Caffeine decreases exercise-induced myocardial flow reserve. J Am Coll Cardiol. 47:405-410. 36 Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. (1984). 43:A29-A30. 37 Astrup, A., et al. (1990). Caffeine: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects on healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nut. 52:759-767. 38 Dulloo, A., et al. (1987). Prevention of genetic fa/fa obesity with an ephedrine-methylxanthine thermogenic mixture. Am J Physiol. 252: R507-R513. 39 Dulloo, A., et al. (1985). The do-do pill: Potentiation of the thermogenic effects of ephedrine by methylxanthines. P Nutr Soc. 44:16A. 40 Astrup, A., et al. (1991). Thermogenic synergism between ephedrine and caffeine in healthy volunteers: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Metabolism. 40:323-329. 41 Dulloo, A., et al. (1987). Aspirin as a promotor of ephedrine-induced thermogenesis: potential use in the treatment of obesity. Am J Clin Nut. 45:564-569. 42 Dulloo, A., et al. (1989). Ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin: Overthe-counter drugs that interact to stimulate thermogenesis in the obese. Nutrition. 5:7-9. 43 Shimoda, H., et al. (2006). Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice. BMC Comp Alt Med. 6:9. 44 Molema, M., et al. (2007). Caffeine and muscle cramps: a stimulating connection. Am J Med. 120: E1-E2. 45 Maridakis, V., et al. (2007). Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. J Pain. 8:237-243, 46 Sawynok, J., et al. (1993). Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant review of pharmacology and mechanisms of action. Pharmacol Rev. 45:43- 85. 47 Graham, T.E. (2001). Caffeine and exercise. Sports Med. 31:785807. 48 Griffiths, R.R., et al. (1992). Withdrawal syndrome after the double-blind cessation of caffeine

consumption. New Engl J Med. 327:1109-14. 49 Salazar-Martinez, E., et al. (2004). Coffee consumption and risk for type-2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med.140:1-8. 50 Bravi, F., et al. (2007). Coffee drinking and hepatocellular carcinoma risk: A meta-analysis. Hepatology. 46:430-35. 51 Homan, D.J., et al. (2006). Coffee: good, bad, or just fun? A critical review of coffee’s effects on liver enzymes. Nutr Rev. 64:43-46. 52 Leitzmann, M.F., et al. (1999). A prospective study of coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men. JAMA. 281:2106-2112. 53 Asherio, A., et al. (2001). Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. Ann Neurol. 50:56-63. 54 Dall’lgna, O.P., et al. (2003). Neuroprotection by caffeine and adenosine A(2A) receptor blockade of B-amyloid neurotoxicity. Brit J Pharmacol. 138:1207-1209. 55 Koo, S.W., et al. (2007). Protection from photodamage by topical application of caffeine after ultraviolet radiation. Brt J Dermatol. 156:957-64. 56 Ping-Lu, Y., et al. (2007). Voluntary exercise together with oral caffeine markedly stimulates UBV light-induced apoptosis and decreases tissue fat in SKH-1 mice. PNAS. 104:12936-12941. 57 Fischer, T.W., et al. (2007). Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro. Int J Dermatol. 46:27-35. 58 Youngstedt, S.D., et al. (1998). Acute exercise reduces caffeine-induced anxiogenesis. Med Sci Sports Exer. 30:740-45. 59 Hogervost, E., et al. (1999). Caffeine improves cognitive performance after strenuous physical exercise. Int J Sports Med. 20:354361. 60 Svartberg, J., et al. (2003). The associations of age, lifestyle factors, and chronic disease on testosterone levels in men: The Tromso study. Eur J Endocrinol. 149:145-52. IM

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How Anthony Presciano Reshaped His Physique After Football

by David Young


nthony Presciano is one of those unknown guys you see in all the bodybuilding and fitness publications. I say unknown because although he’s in many ads, he hasn’t been profiled in the magazines and hasn’t been on the competition circuit recently. Anthony has been featured in many advertisements for BSN products, both in magazines and at He’s got the kind of well-muscled athletic physique a lot of guys aspire to, so I decided to give IRON MAN readers a chance to find out how he trains, eats and supplements to achieve his results. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Anthony. He’s an intelligent, articulate upbeat guy who represents his company with class. Although he’s relatively young, he’s had some very notable coaches and has a wealth of useful training and nutrition knowledge. So grab a pen and paper, sit down, get comfortable and take notes. Anthony is about to lay all his cards on the table.

Photography courtesy of BSN © 2008 BSN. All Rights Reserved.

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DY: How did you get started in bodybuilding? AP: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but I grew up in Texas and New Mexico. My family owned auto dealerships and saw some opportunities in New Mexico, so we moved there. I first picked up weights for football at age 14. At 19, after one season of NCAA football at the University of New Mexico, I shifted my training efforts toward competitive bodybuilding. DY: What was your weight training for football like? AP: Our strength coach was from Notre Dame—a little 4’10” dynamo of a girl. She was a fireplug drill sergeant. [Laughs] Her coaching produced awesome strength gains for all of us. I got my best-ever raw [no bench shirt], natural bench press to 440 and my best-ever natural squat to 585 for six reps. One of my friends

and teammates was Brian Urlacher, who went on to become a linebacker for the Chicago Bears. The coach was awesome! We had 16 guys benching over 400 pounds raw in college and three benching over 500 pounds raw. We were one of the strongest divisional teams in the country. We generally weight trained for about 45 minutes four to five days a week on basic compound movements—cleans, standing presses, chins, rows, squats, stepups, barbell curls, dips. We did sets of three to five reps and trained bodyparts twice a week. DY: Dang, it must have been crazy to have such great coaching as a base for entering bodybuilding. AP: It was. I got big and strong. I had a football player’s body—lots of muscle—but I lacked the aesthetics needed for bodybuilding.

DY: How did you make the transition? AP: I came to the realization that I could be very good at football but not among the elite. Then I heard that one of my inspirations from “Pumping Iron,” Serge Nubret, was living in New Mexico and training at a local gym. I sought him out and asked if he would train me. I believe that was around 1997. DY: I’ve seen Serge train— when he lived here in Redondo Beach, California, for a while— and I’ve been interacting with him on just recently. He’s a great guy and willing to answer any questions about training and diet. What happened when you worked with him? AP: My first workout with Serge was chest, calves and abs. It lasted 2 1/2 hours! I (continued on page 194)

“We were one of the strongest divisional teams in the country. We generally weight trained for about 45 minutes four to five days a week.”

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(continued from page 190) went home

feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. I have to tell you, that workout owned me. I was scared to go back. Seriously. After all the years of football training, I wasn’t sure if I could handle Serge’s workouts. They were intense, fast-paced and long. DY: But you went back and took the challenge, right? AP: Yes, I did. With Serge you don’t handle as heavy a weight, but you do lots of sets and reps with very short rest periods. He’d have me doing 2,000 crunch situps every workout. It was brutal. I developed a blood blister on my tailbone. We also did isolation exercises, which I had never done before, and we did the basics but for many more sets than I had been used to. DY: Two thousand crunch situps a day? What were the results? AP: My waist went in three or four inches; my body totally changed. I went from a bulky, blocky football player body to a more aesthetic and shapely bodybuilder look. I competed in several WABBA events, and in 2000, I competed in Europe. I was fifth in the world, 21 and under. DY: How long did that transformation take? AP: It was six months to a year. DY: What are your stats today? AP: I’m 5’10”, 28 years old, and I weigh between 218 and 222 pounds for contests or shoots. Off-season I weigh between 232 and 242 pounds. DY: Besides bodybuilding and being a spokesperson and model for BSN, what else are you involved in? AP: I’m actually one of the directors at BSN. In particular I work to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones between the company and its ever growing customer base. As a spokesperson, my job is to communicate BSN’s message to the general public. I’m also involved in employee development. I visited a lot of campuses this year, as BSN has grown from 20 to more than 100 employees in less than a year. We help maintain and increase organizational health and employee morale within the BSN corporate doors. Obviously, I’m partial, but BSN just might be the best place in the world to work!

Anthony Presciano’s Training Program

Monday and Thursday Chest, delts, traps, abs, cardio Chest Bench presses Incline dumbbell presses Delts Military presses Dumbbell presses Traps Barbell shrugs Upright rows Abs 1/4 situps Cardio

6 x 10, 10, 6, 4, 2, 2 4 x 10, 8, 6, 4 5 x 10, 10, 8, 6, 4 4 x 10, 10, 8, 6 5 x 15, 12, 10, 10, 8 2 x 12, 8 4 x max 2-mile run

Tuesday and Friday Back, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, calves, cardio Back and hamstrings Bent-over rows Superset Cable rows Stiff-legged deadlifts Pullups Biceps and triceps Superset Dumbbell curls Seated extensions Superset Machine curls Standing rope extensions Superset Barbell curls Dips Calves Standing calf raises Cardio

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

4 x 8, 8, 6, 6 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6 3 x 8, 8, 8 3 x 15, 15, 15 4 x 10, 8, 6, 4 4 x max 5 x 20 2-mile run

Saturday Quads Squats Walking lunges Leg extensions High-intensity cardio (Stairmaster)

6 x 12 4 x 25 yards 6 x 15 x 15 minutes

Note: He does his next set as soon as he catches his breath—that usually takes one full minute.

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DY: It sounds like a rewarding and challenging career. Do you balance all that work and training by playing other sports or engaging in other hobbies? AP: I was good at football, wrestling and karate during my adolescence. Now my hobby is simply to become a sponge to my surroundings and experiences—all the while hoping to gain more knowledge. My spare time is spent with my girlfriend and my golden retriever. Soon it will be filled with more family. My parents will be moving here to Florida from Texas shortly. Nevertheless, anything that I can do to become better equipped to handle life’s challenges would be my hobby; an example would be the most recent series of educational books I have found. The author is Patrick Lencioni, and I think that everyone should read one of his books at some point. DY: Bodybuilding requires a lot of discipline. It’s as much a mental game as a physical one. What keeps you motivated for your training and diet? AP: My reputation. That’s the key. A man is only as good as his reputation. Credibility speaks, and I pride myself on the fact that I’m one of the few fitness models who walk around in the off-season at 240 pounds and throw up four plates on the bench and five to six plates on squats for several reps. I can be as flexible as need be with any “look” my job demands. For instance, prior to BSN’s signing Ronnie Coleman, you could find my ads in just about every bodybuilding magazine around. After Ronnie jumped onboard in early 2005, we easily grabbed the market’s attention and took BSN brand awareness to an entirely new level. I must now focus my efforts on creating a physique that is desired by a different crowd, hence the ads are now found in more fitness-related magazines. I prefer the latter, mainly because I like to stay lean all year. DY: Talking about getting and staying lean, what’s your diet strategy? AP: You would be surprised. I eat very little while dieting. It’s almost impossible for me to drop to the

weight necessary if I eat any carbs! I find myself indulging in foods that are readily available in the area where I live—downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s very easy to grab a high-quality piece of fish and greens. For instance, I just had some amazing steamed sea bass with a side of asparagus. Basically, you can count on me eating chicken and fish with all sorts of vegetables every day until I’m at the bodyfat and weight desired. Oh, I almost forgot: Flaxseed oil is key for me, to the tune of about four tablespoons per day. DY: Wow, that’s strict. Do you have a cheat day to break the monotony? AP: No, I can’t afford it. I eat protein bars, higher-carbohydrate shakes, rice and potatoes when I feel zoned out. Save your cheat days for the off-season. When it’s time to get shredded, there’s no room for error. Serge Nubret built that attitude into me. DY: Let’s get more specific. How about a sample schedule of your eating for a day. AP: Sure. I’m actually working with Hany Rambod, who now works with all of our athletes here at BSN. The numbers for the food options represent servings and serving sizes. [See Presciano’s diet on page 198.] DY: Can you explain a little more about why you take specific nutrients at specific times? AP: Take a look at the carbohydrate servings, for example. There’s a pattern—a simple hourly dropoff of total carbohydrate consumption. Eventually, as the shoot nears, we adjust to a carbohydrate cycle in which there are four or five verylow-carb days along with a few high-carb days each week. Protein remains consistent but changes to all fish and Lean Dessert Protein shakes once we’re within 20 days of the shoot. At that point my fat content will come mainly from omega3, -6 and -9 fatty acids. DY: What’s your favorite supplement and why? AP: Nitrix. It’s the greatest supplement in the world because it’s the most versatile. Show me someone with fitness goals, and I’ll show you someone who can benefit from supplement- (continued on page 199)

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ANTHONY’S DIET Carb options 1/2 cup brown rice = 1 4 ounces sweet potato or yam = 1 1/2 cup dry oats = 1 Protein options 1 can low-sodium white tuna = 1 4 ounces chicken breast = 1 5 ounces tilapia, cod, halibut = 1 Fat options 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil = 1 Vegetable options 1 cup any fibrous vegetable = 1 My favorite vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, peppers,

onion, squash. Here’s the schedule of meals and supplements: 6 a.m. 4 BSN Nitrix 2 servings BSN Endorush (1/2 bottle) 6:30 -7:30 a.m. Weight-training workout 7:30 a.m. 2 scoops BSN Cell Mass 2 BSN AXIS-HT 8 a.m. Carb, 2 Protein, 2 Fat, 1 Vegetable, 0 Multivitamin and mineral 2 grams vitamin C 400 I.U. vitamin E

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Cranberry extract 9:00 a.m. 8 ounces black coffee 11:00 a.m. 2 scoops BSN Lean Dessert Protein 12:30 p.m. 4 BSN Nitrix 1:30 p.m. Carb, 2 Protein, 2 Fat, 1 Vegetable, 2 2 p.m. 8 ounces black coffee 4:30 p.m. Carb, 1 Protein, 2

(continued from page 195) ing with

“Never strive for success. Strive to be the best, and success will follow.”

Fat, 1 Vegetable, 2 7:30 p.m. 1.5 scoops BSN Syntha-6 2 grams vitamin C 8 p.m. Carb, 1 Protein, 2 Fat, 1 Vegetable, 2 9:30 p.m. Carb, 0 Protein, 2 Fat, 0 Vegetable, 0 10 p.m. 4 BSN Nitrix 2 BSN Axis-HT

Nitrix. DY: How can people get advice on the best way to use it based on their own specific goals and needs? AP: Their best bet is to trust my team of AFPA Certified Sports Nutrition consultants. Although I don’t maintain a personal client base, you’ll find me working with each of my consultants on a regular basis. Currently, my staff works with athletes in 10 professional sports in the United States and more than 1,200 direct clients for sport-specific supplementation guidance and program development. DY: How do you overcome training plateaus? AP: I go 180 degrees away from what I was most recently doing. If you want to break through a plateau, go from heavy to light, from a few reps to many, from circuit to single-part training, etc. DY: What are your goals in bodybuilding and fitness? AP: To be the most appreciated and respected figure in the industry. I know that I can accomplish that because everything is reciprocal. My life is about treating people a particular way, and usually I can make legitimate friendships. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and feel that I can learn from each person I come in contact with. Having a sense of humility can go a long way. DY: What mental or visual principles do you use? AP: I visualize my last look and try to build on it. Honestly, I use very little additional mental or visual stimulation. DY: Any observations about life you’d like to share? AP: “Never strive for success. Strive to be the best, and success will follow.” I’m proud to say I wrote that down when I was 16 years old, struggling to get a starting position on our varsity football team at St. Pius High School. The words just came to me after practice one night. I felt that they really described what I was trying to do, so I wrote them down before I went to bed. From there it just seemed like an easy way to express what each day starts with for me.

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DY: What strategies do you use for success in life or business that you carry into bodybuilding, or vice versa? AP: There cannot be one without many. There are so many rivalries in this industry, from bodybuilders

and fitness competitors to supplement companies and distribution centers. The one thing they all share, though, is the commitment to win no matter what the judging criteria is. The bottom line is that if you are the only fighter in the fight, then

who are you going to beat? Who is going to challenge you? How will you know that you have exceeded your own expectations? Do you live a life where you are the only judge of your accomplishments? DY: Let’s talk about your training. What is your training philosophy? AP: Change works for me. Eating clean works for me. Commitment to achieving the goals laid out in front of me works for me. Actually, I believe that creating expectations for yourself is a great way to determine your personality traits. I like to set specific and achievable goals—usually short term. From there the pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place. If you cannot accomplish a specific and achievable goal, then you have just determined what controls your personality and perspective on life. Either way you know what you’re made of. DY: What puts you into contest mode? AP: I get butterflies because I am afraid of failure. That happens about 90 days out from a contest or, more recently, 30 days out from a shoot. Imagine getting booked for a cover and showing up fat and bloated. Yeah, it would be a most uncomfortable experience. Probably ruin a career, too, by the way! DY: How many weeks out do you start your preparation? AP: Sixteen weeks for a contest, 30 days for a shoot. DY: Do you use supersets, forced

“I go for the pump, but 75 percent of the time with as heavy a weight as possible. Usually that means six to eight solid reps.”

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reps or any other training techniques? AP: I go for the pump, but 75 percent of the time with as heavy a weight as possible. Usually that means six to eight solid reps. Typically I will run a few forced reps with my training partners Felipe and Lucas, both bodybuilders as well. DY: How do you work cardio into your program? AP: For a shoot or contest I hit eight sessions per week on my Stairmaster. That can happen at any time but usually occurs around 7 p.m. Double days are done on weekends. Each session lasts 30 to 45 minutes. DY: How do you organize your training week? AP: Right now I train twice per day—weights in the morning and cardio at night. [See page 194 for his training program.] DY: What do you think are the key elements of training, nutrition, supplementation and cardio that lead to building a great body? AP: You need to really love to do it. Deep down you have to love cardio. You need to look forward to chicken and broccoli. [Laughs.] Seriously, though, you need to love what you’re doing to become great at it. The education is the same. Everyone has enough of it to create the physique they desire. If they don’t, then they have tools to acquire the knowledge necessary. Tools like supplements, healthy foods all around, great gyms and personal trainers, etc. Once again, though, you’ve gotta love to do it! DY: Okay, let’s switch gears a little. Tell me about something you’re proud of and what it’s meant to you. AP: There are many things I’m proud of. I am proud to be in this position, seeing that I’m only 28. I am proud to be a Presciano and will do everything in my power to make the name great. I owe that to my father and mother. Good parenting can go to waste if the child doesn’t appreciate it. It’s now my job to perform at the level my family expects from me. I live a life full of pride because I know that my family is happy with the direction I’m going in. DY: I know that you have a

girlfriend. How does bodybuilding affect your relationship? AP: Bodybuilding has strengthened my relationship with my girlfriend. I’ve watched her go from a beautiful woman with a beautiful physique to a gorgeous woman with a dangerously perfect body. We enjoy testing our physiques together, and although we are not with each other set for set, we do in fact travel together to the gym each morning and swap cardio sessions at home. We’ve found another area of life we enjoy indulging in as a team. I love it. DY: Do you have any role models? AP: Yes. Jesus Christ, my mother and my father are the first to come to mind. NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is a close second. I also find myself more and more each day looking to Chris Ferguson [BSN president] and Scott James [BSN Vice President] for inspiration, mainly because we have traveled

similar paths and have now found a mutual home to which we funnel all of this effort and motivation to win. Chris and Scott set the bar with their unmatched tenacity to destroy any obstacle that stands in their way. DY: What’s the toughest thing about bodybuilding? AP: I’d have to say it’s limiting energy levels while expending more and more as each contest or shoot gets closer. DY: What’s the best thing about being a bodybuilder and fitness model? AP: That’s easy. It’s the gratification you get when you push your physique to a level not yet achieved. The first time is always the greatest too. Editor’s note: To work with a member of BSN’s team of AFPA Certified Sports Nutrition consultants, call (877) 673-3727, or visit www IM \ AUGUST 2008 201

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Heavy Duty The Wisdom of

Mike Mentzer by John Little Is One Set Enough?

Q: Mike Mentzer believed in using one set to failure. I can see how that might work for smaller muscle groups like biceps, but how can you stimulate maximum growth in bigger muscle groups like the chest with only one set? A: The size of the muscle group you’re training doesn’t change the fact that muscle fibers are recruited and stimulated sequentially—from slow twitch to fast twitch—by one set taken to a point of momentary muscular failure. The scientific literature supports the concept of one set taken to failure as at least the equal of multiset work, which indicates that doing any more sets would be a waste of time and recovery resources. That will delay the growth your workout may have stimulated. Mike looked carefully at that dynamic: “If you were to launch an investigation aimed at discovering how many sets were required to achieve optimal results, where would you start? If you started at 20 sets and that didn’t work, where would you go? Down to 19 sets or up to 21? The logical place to launch your investigation is with the least number possible, namely one set. You can’t do any fewer sets. If one doesn’t work, then you try two. I can tell you unequivocally, though, that one set per exercise is all you need to achieve optimal results.” Most bodybuilders regard working out as an endurance contest, which it is not. Mike often said that the idea is not to go into the gym to see how many sets you can do or how long you can mindlessly endure. Your purpose is to go in as an informed, intelligent, rational human being and perform only the amount of exercise required to stimulate muscular growth. Note the distinction. As it turns out, the precise amount of exercise required to stimulate growth isn’t nearly as much as people have been led to believe or would like to believe. According to Mike: “One of the central issues in my book Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body is that the mistake over all these decades has been that more is better and less is better. Those ideas are both wrong, and they both lead to training problems and a lack of satisfactory progress. “The idea is not more is better or less is better but that precise is best. Precision is the key. Exactly how many sets per workout and how often? It’s similar to what happens when you take a medication. Once you discover what medication is required, the next logical step is to discover how much—the dosage. How much of the drug should you take and how often? In fact, I make the point again in Heavy Duty II that exercise science should flow from the principles of medical science. “In bodybuilding as in medicine we’re looking to effect the desired physical result, in our case not by taking a drug but by imposing the appropriate training stimulus: high intensity. Once we know that, we can determine volume and frequency.” \ AUGUST 2008 207

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Heavy Duty

The majority of volume bodybuilders perform an arbitrary number of sets, with the exercise science establishment advocating up to 60 sets a day, six or seven days a week. That’s gross overtraining, and for the bodybuilder who’s not genetically gifted or taking steroids, it’s useless.

What Was Mike Mentzer Like? Q: You knew Mike Mentzer personally for some 20 years. That must have been amazing. I discovered Mike’s writings six months ago when I purchased

The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer

and have since purchased High

Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body and anything else I can get my hands on. He was such an intelligent man, and I love the philosophy component he brought to bodybuilding. Since you knew him personally, what was he like— was he serious all the time? A: Mike Mentzer was the most fascinating and stimulating friend I’ve ever had and probably ever will. There was always something “new” going on—a new idea, a new application, new knowledge. I vividly

recall speaking with him just prior to my leaving for Helsinki, Finland, to cover the ’92 Mr. Olympia contest and asking him a question about the value of partial repetitions for a book I was doing. He gave me one of the most fascinating insights into the issue of recovery ability as it relates to training volume and frequency. It broke new ground in bodybuilding, and I was so elated that I played the recording of the interview no less than 10 times. It was several months before the release of his revised Heavy Duty, so it was exciting. As for Mike’s being serious all the time—hardly! He was one of the

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“The idea is not more is better or less is better but that precise is best. Precision is the key.”

funniest people I’d met, something I’ve noticed about most people who are very intelligent. Will Durant once remarked that humor is aligned with knowledge, as both are born from a wide or deep view of life. Mike was someone with whom I could speak about any topic—from bodybuilding training to music to art to philosophy to politics to writing to business to fashion. A bit of trivia here—Mike was one of the few bodybuilders ever to be profiled by GQ magazine. In one of our last conversations I told him that Friedrich Nietzsche, whom Mike had read extensively in the 1970s, had written music for piano that had recently

been produced. He was so excited about that and couldn’t wait for me to send him the CDs so he could gauge Nietzsche’s “sense of life.” Once at a small coffee shop in Venice, California, we got into a discussion of how tradition-bound so many people in bodybuilding are. Mike opined that there was a strong mystical element that had been passed down in bodybuilding, where bodybuilders were supposed to go with their “feelings” or “instincts.” The then editor-in-chief of Muscle & Fitness had written an editorial about how it was best to “go with your gut” when training. “How does he know how to interpret a feeling in his gut?” I said. “For all he knows he might be experiencing gas—not a valid training insight.” Mike did a spit-take with his coffee and laughed so loud and so hard that I didn’t think he would catch his breath! Mike was, above all, a benevolent soul. He was always kind and never mean-spirited, giving freely of his time to anyone who wanted to speak with him. Unlike many people in this industry, Mike left you with something more than you had before the conversation—I could go on and on. Mike Mentzer was a confidante, an ally, an adviser, a teacher, someone who made me laugh and inspired me to want to learn more about life. I miss his company very much.

Why Keep a Progress Chart? Q: I’ve read that Mike Mentzer was a big advocate of keeping a log book or progress chart. It seems a huge inconvenience to have to carry one of those things around the gym every time I work out. I see lots of big bodybuilders at the gym I train at who don’t keep track of any of their weights, sets or reps, and they seem to be making out okay. Is a progress chart really that necessary? A: Mike made the point that becoming a massively developed bodybuilder takes a number of years in most cases. He also believed that the time would be reduced dramati-

cally if trainees kept a journal from day one of training. Here’s why: “In very few arenas of human endeavor will you find anyone who takes the most direct route from objective A to objective B at the outset. Learning and moving ahead are accomplished by trial and error. Usually we begin by making a trial, miss the mark, note the error and make the proper adjustments and then proceed to our target or goal. I’ve come to view my own training as something of a journey, whose destination is the fulfillment of my physical potential. As it is with any long journey along an uncharted path, I am bound to take the inevitable detour. It is vital that if I am ever going to reach my destination, I must avoid hitting the same blind alley, the same detours twice; otherwise I will end up like a rat caught forever in a maze, frantically seeking the one proper path that will lead me to success. Keeping a training journal is like making a map of your journey. You must make a record of every proper turn as well as every wrong one. The road to building a great physique is just too long to remember all the mistakes.” Mike began keeping a training log in 1978 just as he was beginning preparation for the USA vs. World challenge match in Los Angeles. That discipline continued through another six competitions and extended to his workouts and diets in the off-season. According to Mike: “My journal has evolved somewhat since those first recorded observations back in June ’78. At first my journal served merely as a record of my diet and my workouts while preparing for a contest. With each succeeding contest, however, I grew increasingly aware of how my journal would serve me in the future for bigger contests. As time went on, I began keeping a record of my bodyweight before each workout, my other physical activities, as well as detailed analyses after each contest. Recently I’ve begun to keep charts that compare my fluctuating bodyweight with calorie intake and activity level so that when preparing for a contest in the future, I will know exactly what I have to eat and how active I must be each day to reach a certain condition or peak in \ AUGUST 2008 209

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Heavy Duty

As far as muscle growth is concerned, rest and recuperation are as important as training and nutrition.

an allotted period of time. In addition, I’ve begun recording mental and emotional patterns that attend contest training. While I haven’t had the time to analyze this particular aspect fully, I have identified patterns that lead to motivation, emotional ups and downs, as well as progress. I now am beginning to understand much better my limits as well as my strengths. For instance, in the beginning of 1979 I turned professional and was anxious to enter every show possible, as I had looked forward to the prospect of turning pro for some time. “Recorded during the preparation of my first pro show, the Southern Pro Cup, were words and phrases that revealed an almost unbridled enthusiasm and desire ‘to prevail.’ I did prevail and won that first pro contest. As the year proceeded, however, my contest preparation was disrupted by a lot of traveling for seminars and exhibitions as well as new responsibilities, like writing a book for a major New York publisher. Each new responsibility merely added to the stress I was under, and my progress began to suffer. The continuing presence of these and other diversions caused me to place second in my second pro show, the Night of Champions, in Pittsburgh on April 19, 1978. I

found stress to be additive, and the stress of training and dieting for four continuous months along with other life stresses we invariably encounter caused me to approach my preparations for the New York pro show in May ’78 with little enthusiasm. Even more notable from reviewing my journal was that while my preparation for the show was essentially the same as for the first two, my body was not responding the way it did for the first two. I placed a dismal third in that contest.” Losing didn’t dampen Mike’s enthusiasm. In fact, he recorded his analysis of the competition in his journal: “I shouldn’t have entered this contest. I could see as long as two weeks preceding the show that my body wasn’t responding to the training and diet as it had previously. The physical and mental stress associated with preparing for three shows in as many months, along with certain emotional stresses resulting from family crisis ended up to be too much. I guess it just proves once again [stress researcher Hans] Selye’s notions about stress, especially that we have a limited capacity to resist and adapt before we reach exhaustion and must deviate, or rest.”

As you can see, in addition to simply recording training poundages and diet information, a workout chart or training journal can reveal patterns of progress, such as the effects of various training techniques on strength increases. Without it, you’re a rudderless ship, blown about by any chance wind and doomed to make the same mistake many times over. 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 are provided courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and are used with permission. IM

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by Jerry Brainum

Out of Africa

supplement manufacturers have sought substitutes. Most of the latest “testosterone boosters” lack scientific proof of effectiveness, their popularity often based on unreliable Internet testimonials and ads. None of the current crop of test boosters has any direct relationship with testosterone. Their putative anabolic effect is indirect, based on what you might call creative biochemistry. One (alleged) testosterone booster is derived from the stems of a plant called Fadogia agrestis. The notion that the plant provides anabolic activity by increasing the amount of testosterone is derived from a 2005 study published

Testosterone is the key hormone that regulates gains in muscular size and strength. All anabolic steroid drugs are molecular manipulations of testosterone’s basic structure. Higher testosterone counts most often translate into more muscle size and strength. Men are said to be more capable of building muscle mass because they have proportionately more testosterone than women. Unless a woman uses anabolic steroids, her capacity for developing extreme muscle size is limited. Even in women who do use steroids, the difference in muscle size from what men who use them develop is evident. Still, anabolic steroids are drugs, and even if you ignore the legal prohibition of their use in sports, there’s a chance of serious side effects. As with any drug, however, the precise degree of unwanted side effects varies with the dosage, the amount of time a user has been on the drugs and individual response to them. Problems with anabolic steroids have led to a search for natural alternatives. Many of those supplements haven’t strayed too far from being drugs themselves—particularly the last generation of pro-hormone supplements. They were banned from overthe-counter sale by the 2004 amendment to the Anabolic Steroid Control Act. Most of them were actual anabolic steroids developed by drug companies but never released on the commercial market. While there was little doubt that the supplements worked, they also caused many of the same side effects as controlled steroids. Although they tended to be less potent, some were far more potent than testos- Since the removal of pro-hormones from the market, bodybuilders have been searching for a drug-free testosterone booster. A plant found in Nigeria has terone itself. properties similar to tribulus, but so far no human studies have been done. Since the prohormone ban,

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by researchers in Nigeria, where it grows in the wild. The authors chose to investigate it because of its long cultural history as an aphrodisiac. It was used to stimulate libido and relieve general sexual dysfunction. Analysis of the plant shows that it contains saponins, alkaloids, anthraquinones and flavonoids. In that respect it’s similar to another plant touted to boost testosterone, tribulus. (Some research shows that the saponin content of tribulus may be capable of boosting testosterone levels, although that research is equivocal at best.) In the 2005 study an extract of fadogia stems was given to rats for one week. It appeared to raise their testosterone levels, an increase the authors attributed to the fact that it concentrated cholesterol in the rats’ testes. As cholesterol is the raw material from which testosterone is synthesized (thanks to help from enzymes), the assertion seems justified. As you might expect, it was only a matter of time before someone found the obscure study (it was published in the Asian Journal of Andrology) and extrapolated the results to possible human use. Without waiting for human studies to confirm the effectiveness of fadogia, several purveyors of the herb marketed it to potential customers yearning for a testosterone boost. Advertising claimed that fadogia boosted testosterone by 200 percent and suggested that it stimulated luteinizing hormone, a pituitary gland hormone that controls the rate of testosterone synthesis at the Leydig cells in the testes. Tribulus was touted to work in a similar manner. Where the advertisers came up with the luteinizing-hormone mechanism isn’t clear, as it’s not mentioned in the original research paper. Long story short, fadogia is now included in several “anabolic” formulas, and Internet wackos have raved about all the gains they’re making courtesy of the stuff—as usual blissfully unaware of the placebo effect. Taking capsules filled with banana peel would probably yield similar gains. Even so, there’s no evidence for fadogia’s effectiveness in humans. Meanwhile, the authors of the original study recently published a follow-up of sorts, once again using rats as subjects. The primary aim this time was to observe the effects of different doses of fadogia on testicular function. The smallest dose, 18 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight, is about the same suggested for human supplemental use. The results were alarming and once again proved the folly of taking a substance that doesn’t have even an elementary base in science: Fadogia caused changes in the testes that indicated imminent damage. While that more likely occurred at higher doses, the lowest

Results of rat studies don’t always transfer to the human population.

was potentially toxic. The researchers noted that the toxicity was probably “transient,” meaning that the side effects would resolve when the extract use stopped. Does that mean fadogia is garbage and should be avoided at all costs? Not necessarily. It may actually work as advertised in humans, but the proof is so far based entirely on anecdotal evidence—longtime use by Nigerian tribes. A more prudent approach would be to wait for at least preliminary proof of effectiveness and safety in human subjects. It would be a nice gesture for companies that are selling fadogia to sponsor a study by independent researchers. If it were to prove that fadogia is effective and safe, that would be a useful advertising feature. If not, then fadogia should be relegated to the pile of wonder supplements that didn’t pan out.

Growth Hormone vs. Exercise Growth hormone holds much allure as both an anabolic drug and an effective means of slowing the aging process. Many athletes who have used growth hormone swear by its effectiveness. Others have found that GH alone isn’t

In a 2005 study an extract of fadogia stems was given to rats for one week. It appeared to raise their testosterone levels, an increase the authors attributed to the fact that it concentrated cholesterol in the rats’ testes. As cholesterol is the raw material from which testosterone is synthesized (thanks to help from enzymes), the assertion seems justified. \ AUGUST 2008 215

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Neveux \ Model: D.J. Green


Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Exercise can slow or even halt many negative factors related to aging. as anabolic as they expected but does seem to encourage greater bodyfat loss. Bodybuilders, however, uses doses of GH that far exceed those produced naturally in the human body, even at the apex of GH release during adolescence. In reality, GH is almost never used alone but is combined with various anabolic steroids and, often, insulin. Some evidence shows that the combination is more anabolic than any of the individual hormones used alone. Recent studies show that using lower doses of GH longterm doesn’t produce the side effects of higher doses. A primary effect of aging is the loss of muscle, particularly fast-twitch, or type 2, muscle fibers, the ones most ame-

Many athletes who have used growth hormone swear by its effectiveness. Others have found that GH alone isn’t as anabolic as they expected but does seem to encourage greater bodyfat loss.

nable to increases in size and strength. In those who don’t lift weights, type 2 fibers gradually atrophy, while type 1, or slow-twitch, fibers remain relatively unaffected. Because they provide little or no strength, however, having a predominance of type 1 fibers often translates into weakness. What precisely causes the loss of muscle? No one knows for sure, although there is a term for the loss: sarcopenia. One theory attributes sarcopenia to a loss of alpha motoneurons, which stimulate muscle. Others point to the gradual decline in the body of anabolic hormones, such as GH, testosterone and IGF-1. There is also an increase in the release of catabolic cytokines, substances that work with cortisol to break down muscle tissue. The good news is that exercise puts a brake on the negatives of aging. What if you could combine that with something that aids the age-related decline in GH? Several antiaging clinics have suggested that a combination of GH and a regular workout program leads to significant rejuvenating effects in older people. Muscle is harder to build with age due to a lack of response of satellite cells, which are stem cells involved in muscular repair and growth. Studies show that GH promotes satellite-cell proliferation in adults—adult rats, that is. Another rat study found that GH restores muscle protein synthesis, while still another determined that providing GH reversed the aging pattern of muscle fibers, converting a typical old pattern to a youthful version. In effect, that meant setting back the clock. GH also blocks the effects of inflammatory substances that cause muscle fibers to commit suicide, a process called apoptosis. A new study found that exercise alone improved exercise capacity and strength in old rats. Exercise didn’t have any effect on the rats’ slow-twitch muscle but did halt the loss of fast-twitch fibers. In contrast, older rats that didn’t exercise showed extensive and ongoing loss of fast-twitch fibers. GH alone had no effect on physical performance in the older rats, nor did it halt the loss of type 2 fibers. On the other hand, the GH rats showed a 208 percent increase in apoptosis of type 1 muscle fibers compared to the sedentary rats that didn’t get GH. The authors conclude that while exercise provides significant protection against functional muscle decline linked to aging, GH alone does not and may even increase the loss of type 1 fibers. One problem with the study is that none of the exercising rats were given GH, and those in the GH group didn’t exercise. Whether GH would work synergistically with exercise isn’t apparent in the study. What is apparent is that using GH without exercise may prove detrimental to muscles over the long term, an effect opposite to what would be expected.

References 1 Yakubu,

M.T., et al. (2008). Effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis stem on some testicular function indices of male rats. J Ethnobot. 115:28892. 2 Marzetti, E., et al. (2008). Effects of short-term GH supplementation and treadmill exercise training on physical performance and skeletal muscle apoptosis in old rats. Am J Physiol Interg Comp Physiol. 294:R558-R567. IM

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New Era Training Scott Abel’s Controversial Approach to Muscle and Strength Part 2

by Ken O’Neill


cott Abel’s recent book, The Abel Approach—Program Design and Coaching Strategies for the New Era, is a unique and controversial contribution to muscle building. Its 284 pages are packed with useful new information. In Part 2 of this exploration of Scott and his theories we’ll discuss his major contributions to training, including innervation training, hybrid training and metabolic-enhancement training. First a word of warning: Abel’s ideas may seem to run contrary to commonsense bodybuilding. Well, as Albert Einstein once said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.” The proof of their effectiveness can be found at Abel’s Web site. Click on “Testimonials” to see the results achieved by the men and women he coaches. His work is challenging simply because it’s outside deeply ingrained opinion, yet it’s supported by state-of-the-art science. What’s more, his ideas are similar to those on which much of contemporary sports coaching, amateur and professional, is based.

Innervation Training Abel has developed not one but three methods of training. They all work well, leaving the choice of which to use up to you. The key to all three is intensity. For Abel the basic ingredient of success is learning to tap into the degree of intensity common to world-class amateur and professional athletes. Think of it as “progressive-intensity training” rather than progressive resistance—meaning that intensity is far more important than the amount of weight you lift. In other words, strength and intensity are not necessarily the same thing. When Abel talks about strength, he suggests about a half dozen different types of strength. Regardless of which kind of strength you might be working, he said, you “win the workout” by exercising with the utmost intensity. What makes intensity progressive? The word intensity came into our training vocabulary nearly 40 years ago with Arthur Jones’ seminal articles published in Iron Man. Since then Jones’ ideas have remained pretty much unmodified: \ AUGUST 2008 221

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Scott Abel Then as now, “intensity of effort” meant training a set “to momentary failure.” Hence, intensity was typecast as a one-shot hit-or-miss deal. Jones understood intensity as connected to strength. Once strength was exhausted, you couldn’t move the barbell again, so the set was over. For Jones and his followers, intensity and muscular strength were inseparable. Abel introduced the idea that you could develop intensity progressively while not going to failure. Much of Abel’s training insights come from neuromuscular research. As a champion bodybuilder, he recognizes that intensity is not a property of muscles but of the central nervous system—the mind/muscle connection. Simply put, intensity is an adaptive process learned by the nervous system, which includes the mind and central nervous system. As such, intensity is a learned response to training in which the nervous system optimizes control of muscles in exercises. Innervation training also stresses a mental orientation in which the poundage on the barbell is not as important as the intensity you summon and maintain. In our early training we merely lift weights as hard as we can. Growth results, and we’re happy. Then come the dreaded days of hitting plateaus. Growth comes to a crashing halt, poundages don’t increase, and muscles don’t grow. Some suggest taking a layoff. Or totally revamping your routine. We all seek that elusive solution that will get us past the hurdle and bring impressive new gains. Some give up, deciding they’ve made all the gains possible. Others fall for a blackand-white view of the world—the genetically gifted vs. the hardgainers—forgetting that normal distribution places most of us somewhere between the two. In terms of human psychology, plateaus represent habits. We become habituated. Our training becomes stale; we’re in a rut—whether we’re conscious of it or not. Innervation training prompts you to kick into a new way of working out. Instead of just lifting the weight, you learn to very consciously and deliberately move the weight by flexing the target muscle. Once you can do

that, conscious control of muscle movement will guide all your training. For many trainees

The development of the early bodybuilders was enhanced by functionalstrength feats and activities like hand balancing and gymnastics.

that means poundages will go down at first, yet the soreness can be profound. New growth quickly results, and fatigue and exhaustion cease to be impediments or excuses for giving up. Instead they become biofeedback, helping you to move forward. Psychological dimensions of intensity also open the door to greater training intensity by both extending reps and adding volume. In fact, it is the duration of overload on a muscle that produces the greatest growth. Abel insists that advanced athletes

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set—expressed as a percentage— that force an adaptive response. Innervation training also stresses variety. Neuromuscular research shows that the more angles and movements a muscle is subjected to, the more neural pathways are developed. That increases the muscle’s ability to fire muscle fibers. Think of the cable connections in your home: The more cable lines you have running throughout the house, the more connections to Internet and television you have. With your muscles, the more ways you use them, the more you’ll develop them. Abel uses the analogy of a sand hill. Imagine a sand hill at the beach. If you pour a pail of water over it, a series of rivulets form. Pour another pail of water, and it follows the same rivulet patterns, but if you next pour a much larger bucket of water, new rivulets form along with the old ones, creating a larger network of rivulets. With muscles, developing multiple neural pathways brings the ability to access more of a muscle’s fibers. The more you gain the deliberate control he speaks of, the more you become the sculptor of your physique. Innervation training also relates to strength—or strengths. It includes the following cycles: • Strength cycle: high loads, low volume, with complete recovery between sets • Hypertrophy cycle: moderately high loads with high volume • Conditioning cycle: moderate loads with moderate volume

maintain the same level of intensity throughout a training session despite becoming fatigued. The goal of any athlete or bodybuilder is to achieve stress on every inch of every rep of every set, he says. That requires not only incredible concentration but also precise performance technique. It’s how you win the workout every time. The goal of Abel Body training, then, is to increase your training efficiency percentage, a.k.a. TEP. That’s the number of reps in a given

• Power cycle: moderate loads at high speed with full recovery between sets • Metabolic and speed cycle: light-to-moderate loads with incomplete recovery between sets To further ensure that you address all aspects of neuromuscular conditioning, innervation training includes a variety of exercises done with varying rep, resistance and speed ranges with complete and incomplete recovery between sets. So all bases are covered to optimize

the fullest muscular transformation. The program also rotates rep ranges through a series of exercises so you include all types of strength conditioning. Innervation training takes into account a rather wide range of training variables. Abel repeatedly admonishes us to recognize that “a program is not a collection of exercises” but a well-orchestrated approach to mind/nervous system adaptation that includes focussing on the spectrum of different types of strength development. The result is a program in which no two workouts are the same. That fulfills his advice to “keep the training alive.” His growth-producing programs more closely resemble athletic training than the stale, boorish repetitiveness of standard bodybuilding routines.

Hybrid Training Noted author and training expert Juan Carlos Santana has observed that many sessions of so-called functional training seen in gyms look more like circus acts than workouts. Functional training came out of rehabilitation therapies in the 1990s. In recent years it’s become a red-hot sales item for personal trainers in commercial gyms and a cash cow for corporate gym chains. Abel’s hybrid training puts functional training to work in a practical way, taking it out of both rehab and the circus. Natural multiplanar movements—including bending, twisting, reaching, stepping, squatting, pushing and pulling, among others—are included in functional training. Coaches, including football’s Vern Gambetta and Santana, whose repertoire includes martial arts, have brought their athletes great success by incorporating functional training into their athletic programs. Functional training came to life as a powerful tool for treating injuries. In bodybuilding circles we’re too inclined to take for granted the notion that the longer you train, the more likely you’ll have injuries. We should be asking questions aimed at finding out how our training promotes those injuries in the first place. That’s where functional work \ AUGUST 2008 223

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can create better training with fewer injuries while also stimulating the growth of many more muscles. The old-timers of the Muscle Beach era seemed to have unwittingly stumbled into an early version of hybrid training. Many of them were gymnasts and hand balancers and did one- and twoarm strongman feats. Those come mighty close to functional training. Abel combined functional training with innervation training and got hybrid training. Implementing functional-training movements to get progressive-resistance benefits results in multiplanar training of the whole body.

Standard bodybuilding training works almost exclusively only one of the three natural planes of human movement. Think of how many exercises you do in which the weights move either forward or backward. The forward/backward movement is known as the sagittal plane. You can also move in the coronal, or lateral, plane, which is to the sides, and in the transverse, or rotational, plane. Bodybuilders do very little work in either of those planes, unlike earlier generations of muscle builders, and it shows up in our injuries and relatively underdeveloped physiques. Just to give you an idea: The old-

Walking Curls — An Experiment The very idea of combining biceps curls with walking struck me as strange. After all, many experts claim the biceps are most efficiently covered with very strict movements. For example, when done correctly, Scott and preacher curls isolate the biceps in a very strict movement that eliminates any jerking that would bring in the shoulders and back. So wouldn’t walking curls encourage high-level cheating? If I’ve learned one thing from Scott Abel’s recommended methods, it’s to suspend judgment—just do it and see what happens. Gripping a pair of dumbbells, each 15 pounds lighter than what I normally used for a work set, I began to walk and perform alternate curls. Talk about confusing. I’d not expected that I would need to focus so intently in order to walk and curl at the same time. Nor had I considered how many steps a set of 10 reps for each arm might take. Because I had undercalculated the walking distance, the first set included curling, walking and making turns. More surprising and exhilarating was the deep pump that showed up. Three more sets told me all I needed to know: a fully pumped pair of biceps achieved with substantially less weight than I’d been struggling with for some weeks. The lighter weight wasn’t any easier than heavier poundages, but the work I did was far more successful. Abel says one of the biggest obstacles in training amounts to becoming habituated to how we train. That is, we too readily become creatures of habit. No wonder we get into training ruts and so easily hit plateaus. In that respect, Abel has no “secret” movements—he simply gets you moving through all possible ranges of movement, breaking habits all the way. Walking curls may well be explained by traditionalists as “muscle confusion,” but there’s more to it than simple confusion. First, you’re breaking habits—requiring the biceps to work in new planes—and second, you really have to focus. Walking curls took me back to rapid-pumping sensations I remember from when I first took up training 49 years ago. Everything was new then—and every new movement brought a pump. As Scott says, we have to “keep the training alive.” —K.O.

Photo courtesy of the David Chapman collection

Scott Abel

Muscle control: Otto Arco doing the ab rope. timers called their training “physical culture.” Well into the 1960s, the Yellow Pages listed gyms under the heading Physical Culture. Instead of posing, the old-timers did “muscle control” exhibitions. Their ability to control individual muscles of the back, especially the lat-and-rotator cuff area, was astonishing. Even more daunting was a muscle control feat called the rope. Imagine someone doing a full stomach vacuum, then flexing his abdominals in the middle of the vacuum. Now imagine him alternately relaxing and contracting each of the right and left abs. An online search for Otto Arco turns up photos that show him demonstrating his skills with that pose even when he was well into his 60s. We cannot do the feats of strength and muscle control the old-timers mastered so well simply because we train far fewer of our muscles than they did and we do that mostly in one plane of motion. Hybrid training brings more muscular development along with the pleasure of injury prevention. Functional training emphasizes training movements, not muscles. That’s particularly relevant when it comes to working the so-called core. And by that I don’t mean just the abs. The core is the whole

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waist-and-trunk complex, and it includes the hips and chest. The core includes at least two layers of muscles in the waist area; their job is to rotate the torso through various planes of movement. Simple twists and side bends done in bodybuilding don’t even begin to work the core. No wonder our waists look strange and our backs lack the amazing V-tapers of springboard divers, sprinters and gymnasts. Their sports are core intensive. Another area that we neglect terribly in bodybuilding training is the posterior kinetic chain—the long group of interconnected muscles that run from the heels up the back to the base of the skulls and move together. Want to enhance your hamstrings and calves? Work them deeper in the posterior kinetic chain. And if you want to add the “serape effect,” do some core work to bring the serratus anterior and rhomboids into play. The key to the functional side of hybrid training is working the movement, not the single muscles. Neuroscience informs us that in a complex movement, the weakest link receives the greatest benefit. For example, if you do a lateral thrust beginning with a relatively heavy dumbbell at a hanging position between your knees, exploding upward and outward in a high lateral raise and coming to a momentary rest before descending to the start again, the lateral delts get a very deep stimulation. The result: increased fiber involvement and adaptation of neural pathways, deeper intense fatigue and, ultimately, more growth. The integration of functional training and innervation training into consolidated workouts is well planned out. Nothing’s left to chance. In order to figure out how to program a hybrid workout, you have to learn to rethink the nature of training. As Abel says, “A program is not a collection of

exercises.” It’s a patterned program designed to achieve explicit goals. In hybrid training you focus on one major muscle group over a five-day cycle. In addition to the work you do for the target muscle group, you do functional-training movements—for other movement chains. For example, on innervation leg day you might do a set for quads followed by a set for chest and back performed with high-intensity JC Predator tubing cables or as pushups between two stability balls with feet elevated on a bench.

Metabolic-Enhancement Training Abel’s latest innovation is metabolic-enhancement training. To-

day’s penchant for mixing training and aerobics has led to metabolic disasters. If your goal is to gain lean, muscular bodyweight, MET takes out the bulking-up/training-down cycle that’s been in vogue since the ’60s—along with growth of associated metabolic damage. Scott’s blog contains enough information about metabolic damage to fill a small book. Abel reminds us to always be on the lookout for clues. How is it that sprinters, gymnasts, divers, skaters and other athletes don’t go through bulking-up/training-down cycles? How is it they’re always lean and muscular? One American ice skating champion shattered standard thinking by winning Olympic medals both in speed skating and endur-

The key to the functional side of hybrid training is working the movement, not the single muscle.

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Scott Abel ance skating. Aside from being lean and muscular, he possessed 28-inch thighs and could do sets of 100 reps on the much more difficult vertical leg press with 500 pounds—and on one occasion he performed an astonishing 300 squats nonstop with 225. Those clues point to the use of multiple modalities of training. Metabolic-enhancement training does just that. Simply put, MET takes both innervation and hybrid training to a higher level. Scott’s impressive 240pound physique is living testimony to its effectiveness, as are photos of those he coaches. With five- and sixday MET cycles, you follow a hybrid pattern in which you include two to four exercises done in immediate succession. Deep breathing and oxygen debt result, but instead of recovering completely, you start again. You begin to feel like a runner doing wind sprints. A 75-to-90-minute training session can induce an oxygen debt lasting from eight to 24 hours after training, thus keeping metabolism at an elevated rate. The heightened metabolism seems to melt off the fat as fast as muscle grows—due to tremendous cardio and oxygen debt demands of the type that sprinters doing interval training experience or that gymnasts experience in two-hour nonstop workouts where they develop capped delts, barn-door-wide lats and huge pecs. MET provides a healthy and efficient alternative to the standard cardio practices that inevitably lead to metabolic damage. Aerobic exercise causes metabolic damage because it conditions your system to become very efficient at burning fat. As your fat-burning efficiency increases, you begin to get more miles to each gallon of fat, literally—causing diminished results and the necessity of training longer to get the same benefits. Efficient fat burning produces equally efficient fat storage. That’s the reason so many bodybuilders and figure competitors quickly put on pounds of fat after a contest. Standard cardiovascular exercise also strips muscles of branchedchain amino acids in an attempt to convert them to glycogen, forcing the loss of hard-earned muscle during their competition prep.

Another advantage of MET: Within three minutes of finishing cardio, your metabolism returns to normal, while with MET it stays at an elevated rate of fat burning for up to 24 hours.

Some Final Notes Hybrid training and MET implement the same techniques of using complexes of two to four movements as a sort of giant set or doing singular movements such as the one-arm dumbbell snatch “from the floor, through the core, to extension.” MET aims to create oxygen debts that elevate postworkout metabolic rates from eight to 24 hours by having you perform multiple sets without recovering completely between them. A complex may include one standard bodybuilding movement followed by difficult functional movements, such as pushups done between two stability balls with feet elevated on a bench, and high-rep speed movements, like speed squats performed on a Bosu balance trainer for 25 to 50 reps or speed rows done with 100 to 300 pounds of resistance provided by JC Predator tubing cables. In a nutshell, you work every bodypart at least twice weekly on MET. For each bodypart, one workout resembles traditional bodybuilding-strength training. Those sessions incorporate innervation training’s cycling of reps—at one workout, for example, you do incline dumbbell presses in sets of six to eight, and the next time you work them in sets of eight to 10 or 10 to 12. On leg day you combine leg exercises in something like a giant set with functional movements for chest and lats done either at high speed and high reps, asymmetrically or as plyometrics—and through myriad angles and planes of motion. There are no heavy and light days, since you’re “surfing the strength curve” to optimize adaptation. My experience with MET was challenging and disconcerting from the outset—filled, as it was, with blows to my ego. They included my being both weak and clumsy with functional movements and so fatigued, it was necessary to dial down the training to minimal levels. Even

so, the resulting soreness heralded that I was on the right track! Speed squats for 25-plus reps on a Bosu balancer and one-leg stepups to a bench were grueling. Speed rows with rubber-tubing cables induced really sore lats. Despite a background in powerlifting, I could not do the feet-elevated-on-a-bench pushups between two stability balls. Eight weeks quickly passed. Then came the holiday season, calling for me to have to make do with some short workouts. I hadn’t done barbell bench presses in eight weeks and was happily astonished to find an increase of 25 pounds on work sets. Now on strength leg days I’m doing 16 sets of various quad moves with fatigue setting in while my work weights stay at an all-time high. For my money—and at nearly 64 years old—I say you can’t beat this kind of bodybuilding athleticism. You can do MET over any reasonable number of days. Abel’s DVDs provide instruction for both fiveand six-day MET programs. They focus on intermediate-to-advanced athletic and bodybuilding training, but, he says, they can easily be dialed down for other purposes. In recent months I’ve done just that for people who have recreational sport backgrounds and are now in the 50-to-70 age range. I established three-day MET programs based on their conditioning histories. Across the board they gained fitness, harder and leaner physiques and a sense of enthusiasm that keeps the workouts alive. Multiplanar training also relieves many of the aches and pains associated with aging.

A Community of Training Abel’s Web site, www.ScottAbel. com, is a superb community of polite people sharing information and experience. It has a forum and Scott’s monthly blog entries, which include information on training the body, emotions and spirit along with the aforementioned gold mine of information on metabolic damage. Aside from Internet-based education and his coaching career, Scott now spends his time writing books and filming training DVDs. IM

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Rory Leidelmeyer.

Blast From the Past Dept.

The Best Bodybuilder

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A living legend and his legion (from left): Scott Livingstone, Shawn Ray, Leidelmeyer and L.T.

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He hasn’t competed in about 15 years, but he still has legions of fans. Some say he’s the greatest bodybuilder never to win a pro card (Matt Mendenhall certainly has his supporters for that honor as well). He appeared on countless magazine covers and was the most copied physique star of all time. I certainly have never witnessed anyone else receive as much adoration as this cat got in his day. Rory Leidelmeyer’s followers dressed like him. Permed their hair like him. Trained like him—and, in the case of former Leidelmeyer clone Jon Aranita, with him. Joined the same gym to be around him. Paid him good money so they could say he personally crafted their workouts. As he walked out of the prejudging at the ’08 Orange County Muscle Classic on April 19, accompanied by longtime protégé Scott Livingstone, he appeared to be back in competition mode in his 50s. His presence was still magnetic enough to draw stares and whispers from the fans leaving the auditorium. Two of them were yours truly and Shawn Ray, who, ironically, still holds the record as the youngest person ever to win the NPC Nationals and one of the youngest athletes ever to earn pro status. Shawn was there, allegedly, to take me to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory near At the Disneyland. I must have been Goofy to ’79 L.A. think Sugar would pop for two consecutive Championships. meals. More on that later. Back to the living legend. Leidelmeyer says he’s now 53 years old (my records have him at 50), that he still lives in Whittier, California, that his daughters are 26 and 21 and that he feels great. Looks great too— especially for a guy who said he broke his neck in an automobile accident a year and a half ago and who recently won a battle with cancer that was centered in the region of his right shoulder. He also said that he’d spent a short time as a police officer years ago before deciding that career wasn’t for him. Actually, Leidelmeyer and I worked out at the same gym in 1983 through ’85 (Astro Gym in San Gabriel; now called the San Gabriel Health Club), but I was there because I lived in the area—truly. Not that I minded watching Rory and Jon go through their outrageous workouts. Two of the strongest bodybuilders of all time, for sure.

Joe Valdez

Never to turn pro

LIVING LEGENDS DEPT. Can you say aesthetic? Pages 230 and 231

GUMMY BABE A woman of many talents. Pages 234 and 235

Matt Mendenhall.



Shawn and Yogi fight over the tab.

L.T. with Stan McQuay and Christine Benavidez.

ARMED AND DANGEROUS New trend in tattoos? Pages 232 and 233

Has it really been almost 25 years since Bob Paris upset Leidelmeyer at the ’83 Nationals in San Jose, California? Most of us who followed the industry at the time—more specifically, those who saw this phenom in the gym on a daily basis—considered Rory the clear favorite. Others felt that Mendenhall, after his second-place finish to Lee Haney at the first NPC Nationals a year earlier, was a shoo-in. To refresh old memories—or open up new ones for folks not around back then—Paris won the heavyweight and overall titles, Leidelmeyer finished second, and Mike Christian took third. Aranita, by the way, also landed in the runner-up slot, in the middleweight class, to Lindsay McKinney. It was Jon’s first of three consecutive silver-medal finishes at the Nationals (to John Hnatyshack in ’84 and Lee Labrada in ’85). Rory was devastated by the decision at the time and feels to this day he wuz robbed. When I saw him at the gym the week after the ’83 contest, he was speaking quietly to a throng of crushed devotees—the atmosphere at the gym was so somber, it resembled a funeral. Leidelmeyer was never the same onstage after the battle of San Jose. He finished fifth a year later in New Orleans, where Christian left the arena as the overall champ. Several comebacks took place, but the damage had been done. Today, without question, Rory Leidelmeyer remains one of the sport’s most recognized stars. Even without that pro card.

ADD ORANGE COUNTY—Back to Shawn Ray and the promised lunch. We did go to eat after the judging, as he’d pledged. A bunch of us, including my 2007 Pro Bodybuilder of the Year, Silvio Samuel, and Stan McQuay (with his lovely friend Christine Benavidez), who earned his pro card at the ’06 Nationals with a victory over Charles Dixon in the light-heavyweight class. McQuay, by the way, is a smart fella. He’s putting all his efforts into completing a one-on-one personal-training studio in Woodland Hills, California, instead of worrying about when and where to make his pro debut. No, that’s not a criticism of his physique. He has one of the most marketable looks in the game, actually. It’s all about doing what’s best for his future. I’ll be there to check out the place at the end of the summer, Stan the Man. Thinking he was going to foot the bill, Shawn made sure I didn’t order steak. He made the same request of some of his buddies at the table, who also claimed Ray had said that lunch was on him. Ditto for Yogi Avidan and his cheeseburger, fries and Coke. (That Yogi, always cutting back on the carbs.) Midway through the grubbing affair, Shawn started working Silvio, speculating on how much money Samuel must have made during his monthlong trip to Bahrain and Essen, Germany, the latter for FIBO, a large annual expo. And that Silvio should pick up the tab under the circumstances. We all laughed; Sugar Shawn at his finest. As we were walking out of the dining hall, I found out Ray’s ploy worked; Samuel actually did end up paying for everybody’s chow—and he didn’t even know most of the people there. I felt bad, Avidan was sad, and Shawn was glad. The infamous words “I’ll get you next time” \ AUGUST 2008 231

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flow out of his mouth so naturally. As Shawn himself has said on more than one occasion, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

John DeFendis in 1988.

Whatever Happened to Dept.


DeFendis today.


JOHN DEFENDIS—On the subject of past greats—and time passing us by—this year’s United States Bodybuilding and Figure Championships marks the 20th anniversary of the night that John DeFendis came out of nowhere to take the overall crown. I remember talking with Jim Manion in late spring 1988 about the favorites to win that year’s USA. Manion brought up DeFendis and said not to count him out, since John had decided to compete again after a fiveyear layoff. I learned early on that when Manion speaks, we should listen. DeFendis dusted the field to earn his pro card and wound up in Michael Neveux’s studio for a shoot as well as on my assignment list for an in-depth interview. Unfortunately, concentrating on getting in great shape for 13 guest posings rather than putting all his efforts into his upcoming competitions proved to be his downfall. When he finally stepped on a pro stage at the ’89 Niagara Falls contest, he was holding more water than the actual Niagara Falls and sank to the end of the order, a finish he repeated at the ’89 Night of Champions. After his substandard performance at the NOC, John showed me he had something vastly more significant than a contest win. I was unsure how to approach him after such a dismal showing, but when I came into his view, DeFendis made it easy on me, mocking his conditioning that night and breaking the ice. John never competed again as a pro, had some legal problems down the road and went through a third divorce. But would someone who could handle the “Intensity or Insanity” workouts of Steve Michalik let anything keep him too far down for very long? No way, Jose. Fast forward to 2008. John has been happily married to Sherry for 10 years, and the couple relocated in 2007 from Florida Silvio to Greenville, South Carolina, where Samuel DeFendis manages two personaland L.T. training companies, a real estate holding company and a literary and motivational company. In addition to a home in Greenville, the DeFendises own residences in Greer and Taylors, South Carolina, and John’s office is in Anderson. DeFendis celebrated his 50th birthday on May 15. He trains in his abundantly equipped home gym and still packs 250 to 270 pounds of beef on his 5’7 1/2” inch frame most of the year. (May, by the way, is a big birthday month in the industry—Rich Gaspari turned 45 on May 16, Ronnie Coleman hit the 43 mark on the 13th, Dave Liberman was 43 as of May 17, and James “Broadway” Bivens became eligible to compete in the masters division on May 15.) “I have brought on Mat DuVall as a partner in one of the companies,” said DeFendis in early May, “and we have a contract with American Bodyworks to roll out hundreds of clubs. I get hundreds of e-mails a day, businesswise and fan-base-wise, and I try my best to answer all of them. Life is good!” Sure sounds like it, big guy. Congrats on hitting the half-century mark and doing it with so much happiness and success. You look good in the pictures—much better than at the NOC. Now, Johnny, did you expect me to end with anything different? Oh, yeah, if you want to contact Johnny D, write to

Liberman‘s biceps is in-treadable in this tire ad.

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Kevin English.

Craig Richardson. He’ll have to respond now.

Armed and Dangerous Dept. When I was in Cleveland in April to emcee the Natural Ohio, a photographer named Gary Yasaki rushed up to me at intermission, saying he was looking for somebody with big arms and no tattoos to shoot for a tire ad. Unfortunately, I had to tell him, I was leaving on an early-morning flight the next day and couldn’t do the shoot. Gary then broke the deflating news—it wasn’t me he wanted to photograph, but he wondered if I knew of anyone who could fill the bill. Begrudgingly, I told him that Dave Liberman the co-promoter, would have to do. In checking out the final production, I reluctantly admit that the choice of Liberman’s biceps was probably wise. And no nasty remarks about using me next time—in the spare tire department.

Kai Greene.

Mean, Greene Affair

New York Pro Bodybuilding photography by Roland Balik

Congrats to heavy favorite Kai Greene on his dominating victory at the New York Pro on May 10 (see Roland Balik’s complete photo coverage at I talked with Isaac Hinds and Shawn Ray after the prejudging, and they both said Greene coasted to the 15-grand payday, as we’d all expected the hometown fave to do. Double congrats to Kevin English, who, after not having competed for a few years (at least I don’t remember him flexing onstage at any recent shows, and if he did, he got spanked), finished second to Greene in the main event and won the 202-and-under contest. In addition to English, Ronny Rockel, David Henry and Craig Richardson qualified for the Mr. Olympia by placing second through fifth, respectively. (Kai had already earned his by placing third at the Arnold Classic two months earlier). It was great to see that one of my guest posers at the Junior Cal on June 21 (, Cathy LeFrancois, will be coming off a big victory of her own. Cathy bested runner-up Jeanne Paparone and third-place finisher Rosemary Jennings in the New York Pro Women’s Bodybuilding competition. Ya know I gotta have people with major titles performing at my annual show at Pasadena City College, especially considering how much I pay for their services. No comment, Jay Cutler! Enough of the self-promotion; back to Greene’s easy win in the Big Apple. “Greene was in a league of his own,” said Hinds. “They saved the best for last when his posing routine brought the crowd to its feet. Kai just outmuscled everyone, and his conditioning was what we’ve come to expect—he was peeled.” Lifter said English was really pushed by David Henry in the 202-and-under event but deserved the crown because “English’s conditioning was better, and he was a bit wider than Henry. David looked very good, but his wheels continue to keep him parked outside a top spot.” Hey, Hinds, leave the witticisms to me, okay? “Cathy brought ‘sexy’ back to female bodybuilding,” Hinds continued. “She was a bit fuller and not as hard as she was at the Arnold. She shows there may be some hope for keeping female bodybuilding appealing.”

Ronnie Rockel.

David Henry.

ADD N.Y. PRO: WHITEOUT—Ben White, last season’s USA overall champ, who has been called the Muhammad Ali of bodybuilding by Muscular Development owner Steve Blechman, kept true to form by promising, up to \ AUGUST 2008 233

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the night before the show, that he’d come out a winner in his pro debut, Kai Greene or not. Unfortunately, big Ben wasn’t that big when he stepped onstage—although he was very conditioned— and he ended up settling for sixth place, missing out on both prize money and an Olympia-qualifying berth. Some will ask, Is White overrated? Way too early to make that call. He’s only 31, hasn’t been competing that long, and looked good from the photos. Expect Ben to show up bigger and fuller the next time he hits the posing dais. I say he still can be a factor at the pro level.

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Roland Balik

MORE NEW YORK WEEKEND—As I’ve written previBen White ously, the 202-and-under battle in New York was developed by in New York (left) Sugar Shawn Ray, in conjunction with N.Y. Pro promoter Steve and at the Weinberger, who raised the money needed for prizes and other ’07 USA. related costs. Now, I do understand the perspective of the many who feel that the so-called smaller guys who earn pro status should have a real shot at competing on that level. It means that a person’s career doesn’t necessarily have to end when he earns an IFBB pro card, as it usually does for the lighter-weight-class winners. In addition to knowing that they don’t have to hang up their posing trunks just yet, they also get the opportunity to put some cash in their pockets, along with the potential for added media coverage. Hey, I wish you all the success in the world. That’s one side of the ledger. As a promoter, I have not been an advocate of incorporating the smaller division into pro shows. It’s just more money added to already excessive budgets and very little, if any, return with regard to increased interest, a.k.a. ticket sales. Those additional costs rest squarely on the promoter’s shoulders. Of course, if the money could be raised by somebody else and all costs guaranteed, I might be more open to the scenario. Beyond that, PTA power (from left): Mike Sable, Robbie Robinson, if you’re competing in an activity where size definitely does matter and Joe Antouri, Fred Boujackle and Mike Ergas. you think that’s unfair, plan on another profession. Plenty of undersized athletes have gone on to all-star status on the pro level in several arenas: NFL players Steve Smith, Marvin Harrison and Zach Thomas (and, although I don’t like having to mention his name, Pacman Jones) immediately come to mind. The NBA had 5’3” Mugsy Bogues and 5’6” Spud Webb and, most significantly, it has the guy who should have been the MVP this year, Chris Paul, who is listed as 6’—but that’s only with “Saturday Night Fever” platform shoes on. How tall, really, is Allen Iverson? I could list 50 more too-small-to-succeed-as-a-pro athletes Sherry Goggin from myriad sports, but you gets my drift. (left) and Additionally, as it’s turning out, because of the lack of depth in practically Edna Antouri every pro lineup, save the Olympia and the Arnold (and this year’s IRON can look fit MAN), being smaller has become an advantage at a lot of competitions. and chew Let’s take the New York show as a prime example. Greene won the $15K gum at the top prize, but, as discussed above, English, Ronny Rockel and Henry same time. went second, third and fourth, respectively, with Craig Richardson in fifth. Now, I’m not sure if Rockel would qualify for the 202-and-under show, but I do know he’s a smaller guy known for shape, not size. Thus, English and Henry were able to win prize money in both events because of their lesser weight, an opportunity not afforded Richardson, who’s a large competitor but far from a size monster. And, by the way, he was the most overlooked man in the contest, according to Ray. In fact, Kevin’s eventual take of what, $10 to $12k?, was not that much less than Kai earned for crushing the field in the main event. Also, I assume that Kevin and David got to pose in both shows as well. The results prove that a smaller man can beat a larger man with no handicaps involved. Again, check out the size of the fellas who finished in the next three slots behind Kai. So what’s the answer? Not sure. Perhaps if athletes could only compete in one of the divisions? Or if you win booty in one, you can’t do the other? I guess trying to raise the prize money in the main show by another few thousand would help the cause, but bodybuilding has only so much support, and Kristie, Asia Monet and Shawn Ray say hello to Bella Blu.

“I think I am one of the first ever personal trainers,” he said, laughing. “I started soon after I came to this country, in 1978. I would help people with their workouts, and they would take me to lunch, bring me clothes or food, stuff like that. I had no idea this was something I could charge for. Nobody did stuff like that at that time.” Antouri, who holds a degree in nutrition and dietetic therapy, established the Private Trainers Association— PTA—in 2000. The company lists Charles Glass as its executive vice president and such industry notables as Mike Sable, Lenda Murray, Sherry Goggin, Dr. Charles Antouri (Joe’s brother), Michael Ergas and Michael Walszak, among others, as directors of major posts. The company offers certifications in a wide variety of areas: personal training, nutrition, coaching Olympic weightlifting, dance and fitness and health and fitness programs for youth. The PTA is GI Bill approved and has been accepted, according to Antouri, as an official academic curriculum for both the bachelor’s and master’s programs at the American Sports University in San Bernardino, California. Not one to rest on his laurels, Antouri says the PTA is always expanding. The IFBB in Russia has named the PTA as its official certification program. “The PTA’s worldwide presence isn’t only physical, it’s also virtual,” said Antouri. “We have certification programs via the Internet, as well as one working directly with IFBB pros.” For more information, go to Illustration by Larry Eklund

that would dig an even bigger hole in the promoter’s debit column. I know I’ll be called a traitor by many, most of whom weigh less than 202 pounds. Shawn certainly won’t agree with my assessment, since he’s hoping to add even more 202-andunder competitions down the road. Sorry, but finances and practicality must come into play here. Ironically, as it stands, if anybody is getting the shaft compared to the elevator in this one, it’s the big guys.

ADD SUGAR SHAWN—The week before the New York Pro, Ray’s wife, Kristie, gave birth to the couple’s second child. Bella Blu Ray was born at 9:22 p.m. on April 30, under the watchful eye of big sister Asia Monet, who will hit the big three in August. Bella Blu tipped the scales at a conditioned six pounds, 14 ounces and measured just under 20 inches. Kristie was back home in Corona, California, in 24 hours, about half the time of the usual maternity stay in a hospital—and promising to make Shawn stick with his promised diet for more than a week this time.

In the Spotlight Who’s the Samir Bannout look-alike who heads up the Private Trainers Association booth at events around the country, including the FitExpo for the past five years? His name is Joe Antouri, and, like Bannout, he was born and raised in Lebanon. The 47-year-old Antouri first came to the United States in 1978 as a wide-eyed 105-pounder who loved bodybuilding. The first star he saw in Gold’s Gym, actually, was the Lion of Lebanon himself. Eventually, Antouri found success on a bodybuilding stage, competing in the World Amateur Championships at 5’6” and a cut 205 pounds, but he blossomed into a real superheavyweight in the personal-training arena. After working with clients in local gyms around the Southern California area for years, Joe branched out. Eventually, he began setting up private-training facilities for high-profile members of the entertainment and business worlds and today has a client list longer than my back. (One company has 350 executives in the program, with two gyms set up by Antouri.) Joe wasn’t always making big bank from his altruistic behavior.

ADD ANTOURI: CHEWING THE FAT—Want to chew your fat away? Joe Antouri says we can all do it by sticking a piece or two of FITGUM into our mouths. It’s a dietary supplement whose key ingredients, according to Joe, increase and support the process of thermogenesis, elevating the body’s temperature to burn fat. The innovative product, which was featured at the PTA booth at the FitExpo this past February, can be ordered by logging on to It’s due to hit the shelves in the fall and will be distributed by, among others, and Europa Sports. Sounds like a juicy idea to me. Spearmint will do for now, but make sure to add a cinnamon version in the future. IM

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 \ AUGUST 2008 235

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Age: 32 Weight: 220 contest; 250, offseason Residence: Newark, Delaware Contest highlights: ’07 IFBB North American Championships, heavyweight, 5th; ’07 NPC Nationals, heavyweight, 9th Factoid: In 1997 he was ranked first in the world among junior powerlifters. Smalls also holds a bachelor’s degree in finance management with a minor in dance and is still an accomplished dancer. Contact: www.FredSmalls.neet

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LO NN IE T EP E R’S Ris ing St a r s

Fred Smalls


L O N N I E T E P E R ’S R i si n g St ar s

L O N N I E T E P E R ’S R i si n g St ar s

Todd Jewell


Age: 27 Weight: 265 contest; 295 offseason Height: 6’0” Residence: Bellevue, Washington Contest highlights: ’07 Emerald Cup, superheavyweight, 1st; ’07 USA, superheavyweight, 7th Factoid: Jewell is an aerospace machinist and the new face of Twinlab products. Contact: 12819 SE 38th St., #318, Bellevue, WA 98006 \ AUGUST 2008 237

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Met-Rx ’07 World’s Strongest Man Finals

Report, Photography and Illustration by Larry Eklund

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rom the start of 2007 Mariusz Pudzianowski let it be known he wasn’t going to be beaten again. He was determined to win every contest he entered. Mariusz was going to prove he was the strongest man in the world bar none. His plan: Give it his all and win every event in each qualifying contest. The plan hit a few rough spots. He lost the Venice Beach Super Series to Dave Ostlund and was pressed for the win in Norway, but he was confident the overall title would be his. Meanwhile, reigning champion Phil Pfister was going to do his best to derail Mariusz’ plan, as were the eight other equally determined finalists.

St. Regis Monarch Beach at Dana Point, California, was the scenic location of the first day in the MetRx 30th edition of the World’s Strongest Man Championships Finals. With only two days of rest, following the grueling four days of qualifying events, the top 10 qualifiers were about to embark on a battle for supremacy. The first event, barrel loading, required each contestant to carry four water-filled 245-pound barrels of various sizes over 10 meters and place them on a platform. There was a 75-second time limit, with the fastest time winning. That event played havoc with most of the 10 finalists. Twenty-six-year-old

Dave Ostlund of the USA appeared to power through this event (44.1 seconds) but was not as fast as the newly blonded Mariusz, who blew by with a 37.22 time. The worst scenario occurred when Tarmo Mitt tore his biceps during the event and was forced to withdraw from the rest of the competition. That brought the field down to nine finalists. The overhead safe lift was next, and it was apparent that the previous days of qualifying competition had taken a toll on some of the contestants. The safe was 254 pounds of equipment that had a tendency to swing back and forth as it was lifted overhead. Mark Felix and Don Pope were able to get only half the reps in the finals that they’d achieved in the qualifiers, seven instead of 12 and 13, respectively. Pfister’s reps dropped from 16 in the qualifier to 12 in the event. Kevin Nee and Sebastian Wenta dropped down by only two from their previous attempts. Nee went from 12 to 10 reps, and Wenta won with 17. He’d previously set the standard at 19 reps in the qualifier. Mariusz came in second with a respectable 15 repetitions. The Anaheim Hilton was the site of the next day’s events. Whereas the week before the athletes had been competing in 80 to 90 degree heat, the California weather had changed drastically. The clouds had come in, and the weather had the look and smell of rain on its way. Don Pope was the first to compete on the second day of the finals in the Fingal fingers. Because there was an odd number of finalists, he went by himself; no one was competing in the lane next to him. He was first and on his own, always a daunting task in itself, but he set the pace of the competition for the day. As he finished with the last finger, he yelled out a challenge to all the other competitors to step up and, “Get it on.” The gauntlet had been thrown down, and the competition was under way. Sebastian Wenta took the challenge and stepped up—he set a world record in the fingers event, the first person to finish in less than 31 seconds (30.92). Ostlund and Wenta raced against each other in their heat. It was neck and neck for the first few fingers. Wenta kept his extreme forward angle throughout the event, which enabled him to pull ahead of Ostlund. Phil \ AUGUST 2008 243

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Met-Rx Pfister, the defending champion, went against Terry Hollands in the event—Pfister’s favorite—and finished in 31.78. Pfister powered through without pause, but it wasn’t enough to match Mariusz Pudzianowski, who breezed through the fingers with a time of 31.15 in his heat against Magnus Samuelsson. During the time it took to dismantle the Fingal fingers and set up the car deadlift, the weather had gotten worse. It started to drizzle and dampen the equipment. It hadn’t rained enough to warrant a postponement of the event, although that was being discussed more seriously. Kevin Nee was first up. The vehicle being used for the lift was a PT Cruiser with 45-pound weights added in its truck hatch. Kevin played to the crowd and got them to cheer him to seven repetitions. The event was tougher on the taller athletes. Their height worked against them because of the low leverage angle of the bar attached to the back end of the Cruiser. Many of the taller competitors chose to lift with just socks or bare feet, which made the footing precarious. The platform was slippery because of the weather. Magnus was the next contestant, and he appeared to be struggling and garnered four repetitions. Dave Ostlund also managed to get four reps. As the first few competitors completed their attempts, the weather was getting darker and damper. Many of the athletes felt it was too wet to continue the event. It was not until big Terry Hollands of England got set to start his attempt that the event was halted due to rain. Terry had gotten his grip, set his feet and pulled, only to end up on his rump. His feet slipped right out from under him as he lifted. The equipment was covered with towels and put on hold until the rain stopped. Two hours later the California weather did another about-face. The equipment was dried off and cameras reset, and Terry restarted his attempt, which netted him eight repetitions. Mark Felix shone on the event with 11 repetitions. Known for his deadlifting ability, Mark lived up to his reputation by making it look easy. An interesting side note: I

Mariusz Pudzianowski (above) struggles to get one more rep in the Cruiser deadlift. Right: Magnus Samuelsson drives it up with leg and back power. Below: Mark Felix cruises through 11 reps to win the event.

noticed Mark did not warm up as the other athletes had. While some contenders did several light, quick repetitions with a barbell, Mark simply deadlifted the relatively light barbell and held it in the upright stance, eyes closed, concentrating and meditating for several moments, then lowered it and repeated the sequence. The only other competitor to come close to Felix’s repetitions was Mariusz, who would have tied with 11 reps if he hadn’t dropped the bar on his last repetition. The standing rule is that the repetition must be fully controlled all the way up and all the way down. Pudzianowski was not happy about it but didn’t push the issue. Pulling 20 tons over 25 meters in 75 seconds or less was the next event, the fire engine pull. By this time the weather had cleared, and the sun had returned. The ground was dry, but the fire engine was too much for some of the athletes. Dave Ostlund was first up but was only able to pull it 22.74 meters. Don Pope did a little better at 22.85 meters. Kevin Nee had a hard time starting and ran out of gas at the 15.1 meter mark. Big Phil Pfister was the first to cross the finish line

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hauling the colossal engine. Phil had a slow start and pulled hard to get the truck moving. As he pulled and pumped with his legs, he built speed until he became a raging rhino down the course to finish at 53.93 seconds.

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Felix (left) puts his muscle power and endurance to the test in the fire engine pull. Below: USA’s Kevin Nee sets himself to pull 20 tons as fast as possible. Right: Samuelsson gets a good start at the beginning of the Atlas stones event, hoisting the first boulder with ease.

Wenta had two attempts at this event. The first one was disqualified due to a technical error that occurred when he first attempted the pull. Jouko Ahola was pulling the anchor rope out of the way for Sebastian as he started a deep, hard pull on the engine. The engine started rolling rather quickly from a dead stop and continued down the course at a fast clip. Jouko was having a hard time keeping the anchor rope from being run over by the front tires of the engine because Sebastian was moving so fast. It was a world record in the making. Finally, just before Sebastian reached the end of the course, the fire engine horn was blown (the signal that something was wrong), and it was discovered that the engine had slipped into first gear without the driver noticing it. Much to Sebastian’s dismay, he had to redo his attempt after all others had finished

theirs. The giant Swede, Magnus Samuelsson, went next. Magnus excels at that event, and he didn’t disappoint. Once he got the huge engine rolling, his speed kept building to the finish. He was like a freight train, strong and steady, pulling across the line at 48.01 seconds. Where Magnus was a freight train, Mariusz was a quick Metro passenger train that completed the course in 41.53 seconds. The silver bullet, though, was none other than the big Brit, Terry Hollands, who completed the course in a breathtaking 41.41 seconds. Sebastian Wenta did take his second attempt at the engine pull with Mariusz next to him all the way down the course, encouraging him on. Sebastian finished the 25-meter course at 51.93, a tie with Pfister’s time. The California sun beat down as the beach beauties in their bikinis gathered to watch the herculean efforts of the finalists on the final day of the championships, held at Huntington Beach. California was living up to its reputation for fun in the sun, with no clouds to be found. A portion of the spacious parking lot was transformed into a battle site for these titans of power. The car

walk, 880 pounds of hollow Citroën body shell fitted with custom shoulder straps, was a course of 25 meters to be completed in 75 seconds or less. Kevin Nee volunteered to go first over Don Pope, who was nursing an injury. Kevin had a rough start at getting the car to balance, but once he did, he quick footed it down the course for a time of 24.09. Pope stepped up next, but his injury, sustained during the previous day’s events, kept him from mustering more than a disappointing 34.09. Mark Felix managed a strong and steady pace at 22.18. Towering Dave Ostlund and Phil Pfister appeared to be in control as they stood up with the car draped across their shoulders, well balanced, and walked quickly down the course. Dave’s time was 28.84; Phil’s was 23.75. Big Terry Hollands stood up with the car, its front end dipping slightly forward, and ran down the 25-meter course for a time of 19.50. Sebastian Wenta followed suit with a quick shuffle step for a time of 20.01. It would be the incredible Mariusz Pudzianowski who made the car walk appear as if it were just a short jaunt in the park as he came in with an unbelievable time of 14.62 seconds. With the win Mariusz clenched the overall title and his fourth World’s Strongest Man championship. The contest now was to determine the second and third places. The final event was the crowd favorite, Atlas stones. Five rounded granite stones weighing 220 pounds, 243 pounds, 265 pounds, 309 pounds and 353 pounds had to be loaded on to their respective \ AUGUST 2008 245

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Met-Rx podiums in the quickest time. The at 19.58 earnathletes would race two at a time to ing the bronze. earn their final placings. Don Pope As the sun had to withdraw because of his inset on the jury. That left the field at eight, with sandy beach second and third place in hot conin Southern tention. The first two up were Kevin California, the Nee and Mark Felix. Mark seemed Polish contina bit tired and could muster a time gent, of which of only 24.85 to Kevin’s 22.10. The there were second pairing had the two commany, cheered Above: Valet parking, Magnus Samuelsson mentators, Bill Kazmaier and Sven as their fellow style. Karlsen, making a little side bet. Bill countrymen was rooting for the American Dave garnered the Right: Pudzianowski Ostlund, while Sven was pulling for gold (Mariusz warms up. the Viking Swede Magnus SamuelsPudzianowski) son. They were going head to head and the silver until Magnus slipped and lost his (Sebastian Wenta) in the Met-Rx ’07 grip on the last stone, giving Dave World’s Strongest Man Finals. For the opportunity to power through the first time since 1993, an Englishwith a 19.88 time. Magnus had to man, Terry Hollands, stood on the settle for 23.83. winner’s podium with the bronze. The third pairing contained Mari- A long week of herculean events usz Pudzianowski (the defending that saw massive tons of weights champion) and Phil Pfister (the ’06 moved at back-breaking speeds had come to an end. The coming season World’s Strongest Man). Although promises to be Mariusz didn’t have another year of to go full bore on this The winners (from left): event—he already had enough points to Sebastian Wenta, 2nd; Mariusz Pudzianowski, 1st and four time guarantee first place WSM; Terry Hollands, 3rd. overall—he’s not known for performing any event at half speed. Mariusz likes to win and win it all. The stones have been a problem event for him in the past. He tends to get too quick for his own good and drops or misses a stone at some point. This time was no different. Phil took pleasure in beating Mariusz with a time of 20.83 to 31.09. Mariusz overthrew the fourth stone, and it rolled off the podium, which required him to relift it and place it back on the podium. dear sweet Fran, for their cooperaupsets and records as Mariusz plans The race for second place was in for his assault on a fifth title, and the tion and patience in allowing me the fourth and final pairing of Terry behind the scenes access to the Hollands and Sebastian Wenta. They world’s contenders work to derail contest. There was a lot of hard work his plans. were head to head until the last involved in making this competition stone. Wenta placed his 353-pound a success, and their efforts paid off Author’s note: I would like to stone on the podium first with a handsomely. IM thank everyone involved at TMI time of 18.75 and clinched second overall, with Hollands a second later productions, especially Lisa and 246 AUGUST 2008 \

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’s Mr. O Wild Workouts

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A Look at Jay Cutler’s Olympia Training From His “Jay to Z” DVD by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson


e admit it: It took us a while to get to Jay Cutler’s latest DVD, “Jay to Z.” It’s a bit intimidating—no, not because of Jay’s screen-filling body size, although he’s one huge dude, but because of its length, which clocks in at more than six hours! You’ll see his house, how his day progresses (see Jay eat breakfast, carry all of his outgoing mail to the post office and then go home and play with his dogs) and a number of his appearances, including the IRON MAN FitExpo. Every four or five steps someone has to take a photo with him—and Jay’s got no problem with the nonstop intrusions. Cool stuff, but we’re most interested in his training, which doesn’t occur till a few hours into the first of the two DVDs. When the training finally does hit, it doesn’t disappoint, especially if you follow our X-Rep mass-buidling strategies. Almost every set he does could be classified as X-Rep only. We’re not kidding—short, partial-range reps, usually near the semistretch point on the stroke, is the dominant Cutler mass tactic. He also uses a lot of Double-X-Overload, but in his own unique way. Oh, and high reps with long tension times dominate the workouts as well. Interesting. Want specifics? We thought so.

Ultimate Beef Chest Workout The very first workout on “Jay to Z” is chest, and it takes place 15 weeks out from the ’07 Mr. Olympia. Don’t think that because it’s a full three months before the big show that Jay is out of shape. He’s big and vascular with separation, even at a bodyweight of around 300 pounds.

He starts his chest workout with incline presses on the Hammer Strength machine, chin on chest, and every rep of every set is from just above the low position, the semistretch point, to about halfway up. It’s rapid-fire X Reps in a row. He does a few sets here, getting no fewer than 12 reps—and at the end of most sets he does a number of Double- or Triple-XOverload reps. That is, he single or double hitches near the bottom of the stroke, before blasting up the weight to the halfway point. He uses the same technique on flatbench dumbbell presses, upping the weight on every set. He starts with the 100s for 17 reps, jumping up 20 pounds for each of the next three sets till he’s using the 170s—but he still manages at least 12 reps on every set. Next up are incline flyes, although Jay does them more like a hybrid flye/press—his elbows bend more than 90 degrees. He uses 60s, 80s, then 85s—every set through a partial range, but not X-only like his presses. His range on incline flyes is more like two-thirds of the way up—almost to the top, but not quite—so tension stays on his upper pecs. His rep count never falls below

Above: This is the highest point of Cutler’s Hammer Strength incline press stroke. Below: Here’s the top of his dumbbell bench press. These are very close to X-Rep-only sets.

His incline flyes are a press/flye hybrid move, with a fuller range than his pressing exercises. 12, and we got out a stopwatch to clock his tension time: It was 31 seconds on his last and heaviest set. That’s a long time. Try it with a timer; you’ll be surprised. On to bodyweight dips. Jay’s technique here is very interesting, he simply pulses in the middle of the stroke, never locking out or going deep. They’re like middle-range X Reps. He does a few sets, getting anywhere from 15 to 22 reps—more extended continuous-tension time on his ponderously pumped-up pecs. After that exercise he looks \ AUGUST 2008 251

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monstrous ambling around the gym (where does this guy get his clothes, Tents ’R’ Us?). Last on his list: decline presses. The bar never touches his chest—he stops a few inches above, the key fiber-activating semistretch point we’re always yammering about— and his reps are 14 and 11, all X Reps. The two finisher sets are very fast blasts, with only about a 15-second tension time on each—the shortest of the day. He’s pretty fatigued by that point, but taking up more space than ever (as we said, the guy is huge!).

the identical style as his dips for pecs. He uses only bodyweight, once again pulsing through the middle range of the stroke only, and he uses DXO on all three sets for about four pulses near the bottom—which is very far up from full stretch—prior to his last few reps. His reps: 16, 15, 12.

Ultimate Beef Triceps Workout

The highest point on decline presses. Jay trains triceps at a separate session from The bottom of Jay’s bench press chest, but we thought stroke, the semistretch point for pecs. it would be an interesting bodypart to highlight—the man’s got some wicked tri’s. First, he gradually turns up the heat—and the elbow grease—with a number of sets of rope pushdowns. They’re all top-range partials; he never locks out. His reps are all over the map because the exercise is for warmup only: 15, 24, 18, 14. He takes very Elbowslittle rest between sets—he just flared moves the pin and continues. pushdowns. His first heavy exercise is He uses no lockout, straight-bar pushdowns with elrepping bows flared. All of his repetitions through the are middle range, and on many of middle of his sets he uses the hitching DXO the stroke technique at the top of his last few only. reps. His grip on the bar is about 12 inches between thumbs, so the exercise replicates close-grip decline-bench presses. His reps: 15, 15, 12, 15. He moves to close-grip bench His flat-bench extenpresses next, with about an 18-inch sions, a.k.a. skull crushers, grip on the bar, pushing it from a are all middle-range movefew inches off his lower chest to the ments as well. He drives halfway mark on every rep—once the bar from a few inches again, all X-Rep partials. His reps are above his eyes to about 17, 13, 12, ending with DXO-style halfway up—the bar moves hitches before the last few reps on only about 10 inches. His some of those sets. pistonlike reps are 15, 13, From there he goes to the dipping 12, 12. It’s attention to tenbars for middle-range reps, almost sion once again.

To finish tri’s, Jay uses one-arm reverse-grip pushdowns, moving the handle through the top twothirds of the range only—no lockout squeeze. In fact, he never squeezes on anything, always keeping things moving, although his DXO hitches are usually very short, resembling semistretch-point pauses. If you look closely, though, he’s pulsing. He did two sets of 15 reps for each arm, and the last three to four include DXO-style pulses before the fuller-range reps. The take-home message for wanna-be-bigger bodybuilders is that partials are good on a number of different levels—continuous tension and fiber activation to be exact. Even X-Rep-only sets have their mass-building place—as long as the rep counts are fairly high on the majority so tension time is long enough for extreme growth stimulation. As we’ve noted in all of our e-books, Jay isn’t the only pro to train with a partial style; it’s working for a number of the biggest bodybuilders out there. Sure, we’ve said that because of genetic superiority and other, um, anabolic benefits the pros’ workouts aren’t precise models for most of us. Nevertheless, watching them train can provide innovative techniques, not to mention motivation, that can help you pack on more mass. Just don’t go overboard, like trying to follow Jay’s workout set for set, or you could end up as ultimate beef jerky. Editor’s note: The “Jay to Z” DVD is available at For more on X-Rep training, visit IM

The top position of lying extensions.

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About August: • • • •

Up-and-Comers New York Pro Flexers Hot Bods in the ’Burgh Pump-Pourri


Photography by Ruth Silverman

Teresa Anthony.

Heather French.

ANIMAL KINGDOM Lightweight Jennifer “the Beast” Cowan’s overall win at the Junior USA on May 17 set off scads of good buzz about the future of women’s bodybuilding. Also the hope that many more toomuch-muscle-for-figure babes might follow her migration from high heels to the posing platform. This shot of Jen, taken outside the Los Angeles Convention Center last February, only begins to reveal the charms the 5’3 1/2” 120-pounder from Illinois brings to the stage. 254 AUGUST 2008 \

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SPEAKING OF FIGURE As reported here last month, a cycle of dialing down the figure physiques has begun. The Pittsburgh Pro on May 5 set a noticeably softer tone and shot a couple of stellar bodies into the figure firmament. Teresa Anthony, in third, nabbed an Olympia invite in her pro debut, while Heather French, fourth, got hers at the Cal a couple of weeks later.


THE ANSWER IS: Condition, condition, condition. The question: What is Jeannie Paparone’s secret for getting consistently good placings? Add second in New York to the list.

Roland Balik

Roland Balik

MORE SMALL TALK Smaller is in, but still.… Cathy LeFrancois wasn’t just the best smaller bodybuilder at the N.Y. Pro. She was the best, period.




1) I love a woman who does what she says she’s going to do—when she’s darn well ready. Shannon Meteraud, fifth, plans a return to fitness at the Houston Pro on July 4. 2) Decisions, decisions. Two-talent tootsie Nicole Wilkins, third at the N.Y. Pro Fitness, did indeed score an Olympia qualification in her second sport, figure, in Pittsburgh, taking second. What will she do come September? 3) Squeaker. Wilkins was just two points behind first-placer Amy Fry, who won it in the one-piece suits. Coming off a



third-place finish at the Figure International, Fry was the obvious favorite, and she did her homework, rolling back her conditioning a bit as fashion (and the IFBB Pro League) dictated. 4) On the brink. Heather Green, sixth here, is an obvious

favorite to move into the ranks of the Olympia bound. Free download from



SPEAKING OF WOMEN WHO MAKE GOOD ON THEIR PROMISES Sandra Wickham and longtime sweetie Ross Webb tied the knot in a helicopter overlooking the Vegas strip at night, followed by more-conventional-fairytale reception. The cute Canadian couple plans a busy summer. They’re staging the CFBB Figure and Fitness Nationals in New Westminster, British Columbia, on August 9.


1) Lethal combination. Allison Williams showed up with a totally revamped physique and caught my eye, if not the judges’ (she was 10th). The tiny waist is “thanks to my momma,” she said. And the rest? “I teach two Butts and Guts class-

Photo courtesy of Sandra Wickham

es a week, and I started doing yoga.”

ROAD TRIP Fitness pro Shannon Dey came to Pittsburgh with her BFF Kristen Nagrani, who competed in the NPC Pittsburgh Championships and walked off with a couple of trophies, including third in the open figure D class. Having left their husbands at home, the Daytona Beach, Florida, workout and business partners (with their husbands in a chain of health clubs) were having a fabulous time. They left me with the vague impression that they were up to no good, but they’d earned it. Shannon and her husband, Rob Rosetti, recently bought Southern Muscle magazine. Now, that’s what I call giving back to the sport.

2) For Hazal Nelson the Pittsburgh was step one on the yellow brick road to lean land. The busy single mom loves to compete, but where does she find the time? “I make it happen,” she

For crackling commentary on all things women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure, read my Pump & Circumstance blog at 256 AUGUST 2008 \

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said. 3) Melissa Pearo landed out of the top 10 looking like this. Her plans for the summer include a competition spree—catch her onstage in Houston (July 4–5), Jacksonville, Florida (August 1–2), and at the Europa Supershow in Dallas (August 15–16).



John Stutz

BATTLE OF THE PUNIVERSE? In the new “Iron Sirens,” J.M. Manion’s fitness-babe-as-hero fantasy comic, Adela Garcia, 5’1”, faces off against the evil Sonia Adcock, 5’, and there’s a lot more than an Olympia title at stake. As Jessica Rabbit might say, they’re not tall, they’re just drawn that way. Get your copy at

ATHLETIC, EROTIC, EXOTIC Photographer John Stutz has a unique way of looking at the fit female form, as this shot of Breann Robinson shows. His new book, Fit Beauties, Volume 1, will take your breath away. The proceeds from the elegant coffee table collection will be shared with the models. For information, go to Fitness pro and NPC New Hampshire co-chair Maggie Blanchard.

Model: Catherine Anderson

ILLUSION OR DELUSION My first reaction to Adela’s comic cover (top) was that it didn’t look like her. Though this photo seems to prove me wrong, I still look at the drawing and see someone else.…

Catherine says…

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To find more bodies from the ’Burgh, turn the page.


Down Under darling. Rose Marie Romero popped across the Pacific to make her first appearance of 2008 and picked up a couple of sponsors, Pro Fight Supplements and Xtreme Nutrition. As the saying goes, Good on ye, girl. And good on those companies for investing in the lovely Rose.

Backstage undercover

Speaking of up-and-comers, Huong Arcinas is high on everyone’s short list—and not because she’s the same height as Sonia Adcock. See page 257. Photography by Ruth Silverman Philosophical moment. Tivisay Briceno realizes that she won’t be finishing at the top and plans her strategy for the next show. “Live and learn,” she says.

Whatever Teresa Anthony’s got there looks yummy— although not as yummy as what she’s going to have after the show.

Above: I’m just here paying my dues, says Canada’s Tammy Strome. Left: Nicole PitcherScott demonstrates her legendary leaning technique.

Heather and Adam Green may be the cutest, and nicest, couple I’ve met in a while. “I’m happily married to my best friend in the whole world,” with “two amazing kids,” she often says, and the doc (he’s a radiologist) says the same thing about her. Aw. Center: Speaking of mothers of two, Jenn Gates, still glowing after taking third at the Figure I, decorates the 8 Ball Nutrition booth.

“Here I come to save the day!” Victor Konovalov practices his Mighty Mouse posing routine as Carla Salotti glues on his wings.

Left: Speaking of booth babes, a couple of my favorites, Tracey Greenwood and Julie Palmer, once again make up the GNC posse.

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

> Since 2004 Adorthus, or A.D. as most people call him, has been on the national bodybuilding scene fighting to win a coveted IFBB pro card. After a series of top placings and near misses, his dream finally came true last fall with a solid victory in the heavyweight class at the ’07 NPC Nationals. Although he carries quite a bit of fine-tuned muscle, A.D. is by no means a mass monster. Like Berry DeMey, Bob Paris, Charles Clairmonte and John Terilli, Mr. Cherry slays his opponents not with size but with outstanding lines, beautiful symmetry and near-flawless proportions. While the champions I just mentioned all displayed extremely tight midsections, however, A.D. does them one better, carrying an impossible 27-inch waistline into competition. That’s crazy for a man who weighs in at just over 220 pounds. Though his first pro outing, at the ’08 Arnold Classic, was less than auspicious (he placed dead last), look for A.D. to become a legitimate threat in the years to come as he adds more quality muscle to his frame. As for his Web site, he’ll be adding to that as well. At the moment there is not a great deal to look at, not even a photo gallery. That said, one unique aspect of A.D.’s site is his video interview, in which he introduces himself, explains his background, describes his goals, and lets potential sponsors know what he can offer them. Hearing him speak right to you brings a more personal feel to the site and allows you to see what a sincere individual Adorthus truly is. Available for purchase are a DVD shot right before the ’06 USA Championships and shirts and hats from his Team Cherry Body Apparel line of clothing. I’m a big fan of physiques like his, and I’d like to see bodybuilding as a whole move toward that look. Let’s hope A.D.’s contest placings, as well as his site, continue to improve with time. Merv


Eric Broser’s

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> According to the biography on Jeff Willet’s site, he had a muscular physique before he ever touched a weight. It wasn’t until his older brother Joe encouraged him to join a gym at age 16, however, that Jeff officially began his bodybuilding journey. As soon as he got a taste of the iron, he knew that building a massive physique would become one of his life’s goals. After attending his first bodybuilding contest, Jeff was hooked on not only being big but also becoming a champion in the sport. After a successful teenage career that kicked off in 1991, Jeff slowly but surely moved up the men’s ranks, eventually becoming one of the world’s top drug-free bodybuilders. Then, in August 2003, with an incredible combination of size and razor-sharp conditioning, Jeff won the light-heavyweight and overall titles at the top drug-tested event in the United States, the NPC Team Universe. That marked him as the best natural bodybuilder in the world—and it earned him an IFBB pro card. Thus far Jeff hasn’t appeared on a pose-for-pay stage, but that hasn’t stopped him from making an excellent living from the sport he loves. In 2004 he opened a beautiful Powerhouse Gym in Adrian, Michigan, where he’s available to work with clients one on one. On his site Jeff offers several training videos targeted at natural lifters and displaying his high-intensity, MAX-OT style of bodybuilding. Thirty- and 60-minute phone consultations are also available for those wish to consult with Jeff but don’t live in the Michigan area. For many years Jeff has been an AST-sponsored athlete and advocates the use of that company’s entire line of products. I urge you to visit, where you can learn more about one of the best drug-free athletes to ever grace a bodybuilding stage.

> In the year-plus that I’ve been writing this column (boy, time flies!), I’ve let you in on bodybuilding message boards from all across cyberspace. What we have here, however, is a bit unique—it caters specifically to the ladies of the iron sports. was developed to cover all aspects of female bodybuilding, fitness and figure, from timely contest coverage to training and nutritional assistance to just good old gossip. Although the board is relatively new, it’s growing by leaps and bounds, with members ranging from first-time competitors all the way up to national-level athletes and even pros. In fact, at last count there were more than a dozen IFBB pros onboard, and each one is there daily to contribute her knowledge and experience. Many of the gals keep detailed journals on the site so you can follow every aspect of their preparation for competition and see exactly how they’re transforming their physiques. is a very pro-

fessionally run site that and really looks out for its members. Men are allowed on the site—as long as they’re there to offer serious opinions, useful information and sincere support. I’m a member of the site and find it an enjoyable and refreshing place to hang out from time to time…even though to this day I don’t understand a single thing about women. \ AUGUST 2008 261

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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 lift at home with very limited equipment. I train my whole body three days per week and cycle my exercises every eight to 10 weeks. I’ve always lifted to failure in the range of about 10 reps, but I’m ready for something different. I discovered Power/Rep Range/Shock training and want to give it a try. How can I incorporate P/RR/S into the following routine: squats, dumbbell bench presses, lat pulldowns, military presses, hammer curls and straight-bar pushdowns? A: Just so you know, many trainees have successfully used P/RR/S with limited programs such as yours. If you’re willing to put the effort, intensity and dedica-

Military presses Hammer curls Straight-bar pushdowns

4 x 4-6 3 x 4-6 3 x 4-6

Tempo: 4/0/X Rest: 3-4 minutes after each set Week 2: Rep Range Squats 1 x 16-20, 1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9 Dumbbell bench presses 1 x 16-20, 1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9 Lat pulldowns 1 x 16-20, 1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9 Military presses 1 x 16-20, 1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9 Hammer curls 1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9 Straight-bar pushdowns1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9

Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

Tempo: 2/1/2/1 Rest: 2-3 minutes Week 3: Shock Squats (drop set) Dumbbell bench presses (drop set) Lat pulldowns (drop set) Military presses (drop set) Hammer curls (drop set) Straight-bar pushdowns tion into even a simple program, you can get excellent results. Here’s how you can take the exercises you listed and transform them into a P/RR/S routine: Week 1: Power Squats Dumbbell bench presses Lat pulldowns

4 x 4-6 4 x 4-6 4 x 4-6

3 x 8-10(4-6) 3 x 8-10(4-6) 3 x 8-10(4-6) 3 x 8-10(4-6) 2 x 8-10(4-6) 2 x 8-10(4-6)

Tempo: 1/0/1/0 Rest: 1-2 minutes Note: More advanced lifters can use other Shock techniques in place of or in addition to drop sets, including X Reps, 1 1/2 reps, eccentric pauses, concentric pauses, stretch/pause, eccentric emphasis, 5/5/5 reps and more. IM

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IRON MAN Hardbody

IRON MAN Hardbody

IFBB Figure Pro Kristal Richardson Compiled by Jonathan Lawson • Photography by Michael Neveux Hair and makeup by Yvonne Ouellette

tion athlete and spokesperson for the Tight Curves product line

Height: 5’6” Age: 32 Weight: 130 precontest; 136 off-season Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois Current residence: Miami, Florida Occupation: IFBB professional figure competitor, ACE-certified personal trainer, BodyWell Nutri-

Marital status: Married Workout schedule: Monday: legs (quad concentration); Tuesday: shoulders, calves; Wednesday: arms, abs; Thursday: legs (hamstring concentration); Friday: shoulders, calves; Saturday: back, abs; Sunday: off

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IRON MAN Hardbody

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IRON MAN Hardbody Sample bodypart workout (shoulders): Dumbbell presses, 4 x 12-15; superset: one-arm cable laterals, 3 x 12-15, and barbell upright rows, 3 x 12-15; front raises, 4 x 12-15; rear-delt machine, 4 x 12-15 Favorite foods: “I love loaded salads with great dressing. I also love sushi and anything Italian. My favorite diet food is Tight Curves Oatmeal Muffins.” Factoid: “I have two four-legged children— chocolate labs: Bear and Boomer. I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications and an international MBA.” Future plans: “I plan to continue competing and hope to have the honor of standing on the Olympia stage in 2008. I also plan to continue to grow with BodyWell Nutrition as we expand our Tight Curves product line. Ultimately, I plan on starting a family.”

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IRON MAN Hardbody Web sites:

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Only the Strong Shall Survive

Ageless Ag Stre Strength Training Train ing Part 3

by Bill Starr Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Terry Baldwin


want to cover aspects of keeping the older body strong, fit and healthy that I didn’t elaborate on in previous installments of this series. First, a recap: Older athletes should train with lighter weights and use higher reps so as not to strain their joints the way heavy poundages and lower reps do. Older joints, for a great many reasons, can’t handle the stress of being pounded repeatedly with heavy resistance. Using lighter weights and higher reps makes a lot more sense. The movements flush nourishing blood to the joints and strengthen the cartilage, which is primarily responsible for the articulation of the joints. That’s a good thing—strengthening the joints without stressing them. In addition, the higher reps work the muscles very directly. It’s a two-for-one deal—enhancing muscle and cartilage strength while avoiding a great deal of involvement with the attachments. Tendons and ligaments, of course, play a role in any exercise, but with the higher reps, it’s a minor role. While the overall workload for a highrep workout may be close, or even equal, to that achieved with heavy weights and low reps, the intensity is going to be much, much less. That has two implications. One, it’s easier to recover, and two, you’ll need to train more frequently. Unless you can still handle heavy weights without any problem, three days a week isn’t going to be enough to help you gain, or maintain, a high level

of overall strength fitness. With the high-rep routine you need to train five or six days a week in order to work your muscles sufficiently. Many balk at that idea. It takes up too much time, they say. Okay—take time from doing what? What could possibly be more important to an older person than good health? The answer—nothing. Certainly not money. If you aren’t able to stay healthy, all your loot is going to gush down the drain in a hurry. Not family either, a typical excuse. You’re not going to be any help to your family or be able to share moments with them if you don’t take care of your health. What I’m talking about is dedicating two hours a day to the physical shell you reside in. In the overall scheme of things, that’s a drop in the bucket. An hour and a quarter training with weights, 45 minutes doing cardio and a small amount of time trying to improve flexibility and balance. Okay, I realize that adds up to more than two hours—but not by much because on some days you can complete the weight work in less that an hour and a quarter. Don’t evade my point: As you grow older, you have to allot a certain amount of time for your physical self. Some argue that they’d much prefer to train for a longer period and stick with three workouts a week, rather than expanding to five or six. Granted, there are some who can get away with that approach, but most \ AUGUST 2008 283

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Only the Strong Shall Survive older athletes can’t. I said that a high-rep routine is easier to recover from than a low-rep one, yet if the workout lasts for two hours plus, that’s no longer true. The workload for a long session is often double what you take on in a shorter one, and few can recover properly from it. Mostly that’s because older athletes are lacking in that critical recovery hormone, testosterone. More on that later. Also keep in mind that it takes longer to complete a high-rep set than one done with lower reps. A set of five reps can be knocked out in half a minute or less, while a set of 125 may take seven or eight minutes. I know because I timed how long it took me to do 125 reps on a flat bench using an Olympic bar. The two sets that day used up 20 percent of my training time—more, actually, as I had to take a break to bring my pulse rate down between sets. That means you need to restrict the number of exercises in your

daily program—no more than five total, not counting warmup movements. Three for the major groups and a couple for the smaller ones. Even when you move quickly from one exercise to another, you still won’t be able to squeeze in more. Nor do you have to try: You have five or six days to spread out the workload. Since you should give every muscle group some attention during the week, three sessions aren’t going to feed the bulldog. I like six days of training. That way you can hit all the large muscles at every workout from slightly different angles. For example, you can work your shoulder girdle six times a week by alternating flat benches, inclines and overhead presses every third day. Change the set-and-rep formula if you want some variety. The same idea goes for the back: deadlifts, bent-over rows and shrugs. You might recall that I discourage older athletes from doing any explosive exercises, such as power cleans,

power snatches, high pulls, shrugs or jerks. I think shrugging is beneficial, but athletes of a certain age need to shrug in a relatively slow, static fashion. No other exercise involves the traps to such a degree, and having strong traps is extremely important to maintaining a strong back. You can work your legs completely with just two exercises: back squats and lunges. While I really like front squats for younger athletes, they don’t fit into an older athlete’s routine. Few older athletes are flexible enough to be able to rack the bar across their front deltoids correctly. That’s fine; just work the other two movements diligently, and you’ll obtain the desired results. Also be aware that every exercise needs to be done deliberately—and not just the big-muscle movements. I’ve watched men jerk a light dumbbell up and down in a motion vaguely similar to a curl for more than 100 reps, then complain of extremely sore elbows. Well...duh.

Model: Daryl Gee

Be aware that every exercise needs to be done deliberately—and not just the bigmuscle movements.

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As usual, the biggest culprit is the bench press. Just because people are using a relatively light weight, they figure they can rebound the bar and press it in any upward direction they choose as long as they do x number of reps. Very, very wrong. Using improper form with heavy poundages usually makes for a failed rep. Not so with light weights. Instead, the sloppy technique is incessantly repeated, sometimes for the entire set. It will eventually take a toll on the offended joint or joints. Those starting in on a high-rep routine generally assume that it’s going to be much easier than one involving low reps, and in some ways it is. In other ways, however, it’s more difficult. The hardest part of doing a high-rep workout is having to concentrate on each and every rep from beginning to finish, and on really high-rep exercises that can go on for five minutes or more. It’s quite easy in the midst of one of them to let your mind wander. High-rep workouts are very similar to the kind of work you have to do in a rehab program. Every rep needs to be performed precisely—no rebounding the bar off your chest on a flat or incline bench. Rather, you should pause at the bottom of each rep. The same holds true for squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, lunges and all the auxiliary exercises. Any exercise, however harmless it may seem, can cause trouble if you repeatedly employ faulty technique. An exercise can also be a problem when overworked to the extreme. Case in point: the old stand-by, pushups. Jam up and down too fast or push the reps up too rapidly, and your shoulders, elbows or wrists are going to signal you to make some changes. It takes time for your body and mind to adjust to a different type of training. There’s really no need to rush. You’re not qualifying for the Olympic trials. Start conservatively, learn what you can and cannot do, and center all of your attention on every set. Make haste slowly is a good motto. Don’t try to go balls out from the very be-

Think more about form than the numbers. Add reps only a few at a time. Make haste slowly.

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Model: Terry Baldwin

You Can Get ginning. If you feel that you can do 50 reps on some exercise, start with 30 or 35 and slowly move up. Think more about form than numbers. Add reps deliberately and only a few at a time. A 72-year-old pen pal of mine started out doing 10 pushups every other day as part of his sixday-a-week program. He added one rep every other week, and the last time he wrote, he was up to 65 reps. Include at least one core exercise for the three major groups—back, hips and legs, shoulder girdle—at every workout, along with a couple of movements for the smaller groups—biceps, triceps, calves and deltoids. I like working in a circuit for several reasons. It creates a more balanced development. I can get more done in a shorter period of time, and it improves cardiovascular fitness while strengthening the body. In fact, I can run my pulse rate up much higher moving through a fast circuit than I can while walking. I simply can’t walk that fast, nor can anyone else I know. I don’t want to run, by the way, as the pounding isn’t going to sit well with my ankles and knees. In cold weather, however, I often do certain exercises back to back rather than as part of a circuit because the working muscles stay warmer. Example: the deadlift. I previously mentioned that I no longer use the heavy, light and medium system for high-rep training the way I did when I was using lower reps. Rather, I follow a difficult workout with one that’s just a bit less demanding, then another that’s tougher and then back to one that’s not as hard. The slight change does wonders for the weekly routine. If I stack too many demanding days on top of one another, I start dreading having to train. That I do not want. I want to look forward to my weight sessions. I don’t want to be thinking, “I have to train today,” but, “I get to train today.” To me, training is a privilege, a blessing that gives me a great deal of control over how I look and feel. Being fit gives me freedom to move about and enjoy life. Not being able to do so isn’t a pleasant thought. I also vary difficult weeks with lighter ones, not on a regular basis but whenever I feel the need to do a

bit less for whatever reason. While I don’t normally use a light day in my weekly routine, I have one ready for days when I know I’m on the brink of overtraining. It may be just a certain area that requires a break, yet I pull back on everything for that day to make sure. Those days usually come along every three or four weeks, usually on Wednesdays. At those workouts I spend 45 minutes concentrating on abs and lumbars. Instead of leg raises and situps, I do crunches and reverse crunches for 10 minutes without a break. I also do hyperextensions or good mornings and reverse hypers. Then I finish off with multiple sets on the wheel. The change from my normal routine always pays dividends. My lower back and abs get nice and sore, and when I resume my regular exercises, they’re fresher, and I can handle more workload. While you may never need such a break, it’s good to have one in your repertoire just in case. Besides the primary exercises, you should work your abs and lumbars at every session. Perhaps leg raises and hypers prior to working out with weights, then situps and reverse hypers at the end. It’s absolutely critical that you maintain a strong core, regardless of whether you’re using heavy or light weights. The exercises for those groups get them nicely warmed up at the start of the session and serve as cooldown movements at the conclusion. I suggest that anyone starting in on a higher-rep routine do three sets of 20. How you proceed from there depends on what equipment you have available and your personal disposition. Some like to stay with a set amount of weight and run the reps up. Others prefer to keep the reps fairly constant and increase the resistance. Yet others find their sessions more productive if they mix and match the two ideas. Perhaps deadlifts with heavier weights and a constant number of reps and flat-bench presses with the same poundage at every workout and the reps being continually pushed higher and higher. I recommend trying both approaches and then determining which fits your needs. It’s re-

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Only the Strong Shall Survive Testosterone

ally not that important how you set up your overall program, as long as you do it consistently and with determination. It’s critical that you stay flexible about what you do on a given day. You should have a definite idea of what you’re planning on doing that day, yet if things go south, be ready to make adjustments. Let’s say that you plan to do 75 reps for three sets on the squat. The first set goes smoothly, but when you reach 50 on the second set, you get a sharp pain radiating from your left knee. Stop. Don’t push through the pain. Rest; then try again. If it happens again, leave the squat alone, ice the knee, give it an extra day of rest. Then, when you do squat again, lower the reps to 50. No matter how careful you are about selecting poundages and adhering to perfect form, there are going to be setbacks. Learn to recognize them and go with the flow. Now I want to address three other aspects that are necessary for overall fitness: cardio, flexibility and balance. Your capacity for them wanes with age, but they should be incorporated into your program in some manner if you want to live an active lifestyle. Cardio first. I realize that the vast majority of older athletes who love to lift weights absolutely hate the

Besides the primary exercises, you should work your abs and lumbars at every session.

notion of doing any form of cardio. Yet without healthy circulatory and respiratory systems you’re not going to be strong and certainly not fit. Cardio is complicated only if you make it so. Its simplest form—aerobics—is walking, which you can do anywhere and at any time during the day. You don’t have to powerwalk unless you want to, and the results, according to experts, are equal to running. Of course, you may enjoy some other form of cardio—swimming, hiking, dancing or working out while watching a video of one of the countless quick-fix programs being marketed on television. Find something that’s pleasur-

able. Otherwise you’re not going to do it on a regular basis, and it’s crucial that you do it every day. It took me a while to get into walking after running for 20 years, but now I look forward to my daily constitutional. While I lift six days a week, I walk seven, unless the weather is nasty. (President Harry Truman said that walking was the only exercise a person needed to stay fit.) Start off doing 20 minutes and proceed from there to 45 minutes to an hour. You can walk before you train or after, or both. More is better when it comes to walking. Not only is it beneficial to all your internal systems, but it also helps with weight control, which is often a big

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Model: Bill Grant

While testosterone is extremely beneficial to every male, it has particular significance to those wanting to stay fit and healthy and maintain a pleasing physique. Testosterone does a great many things for overall health and well-being. It lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. It’s necessary for muscle growth and enhances recovery from physical effort. Up until the age of 40, on average, the hormone controls the distribution of fat through the body, spreading it around rather evenly. As the supply of testosterone gradually diminishes, however, with males moving toward the proverbial three score and 10, fat begins accumulating in the lower abdomen. That’s commonly referred to as “gray fat” and produces the dreaded potbelly. Much more than appearance is affected. A study conducted in Amsterdam found links between belly fat and capillary inflammation, which is a contributor to heart disease, and between belly fat and insulin resistance, a precursor of diabetes. Also, as most of you probably know, lower testosterone equals lower libido and less energy. So must we simply sit back and experience the inevitable? That was the case not too many years ago, but no longer. Ask your doctor to check your testosterone. If you’re eligible for a senior citizen’s discount, odds are that your count is low. Prescriptions come in gels, creams, patches, pills and injections. Raise your testosterone level, and you’ll be able to avoid many of the health problems associated with testosterone decline and be in a position to do battle with unwanted gray fat. Many who use testosterone therapy report elevated moods and a more positive outlook on life, and for good reason. Anything that helps you gain strength and muscle while making you healthier and more virile should make any male happy. —B.S.

Only the Strong Shall Survive muscles. I move like the old Chinese men who practice the ancient martial arts, but I’m not attempting to follow any definite system. I’m only looking for tight areas. When I find them, I move around until I feel them relax. It takes only about 15 minutes and really helps. Balance is another attribute that diminishes with age—again, because it isn’t used nearly as frequently as it is in youth. For those who want to remain active, though, it’s critical to maintain a certain standard of balance. Several months ago I read in the AARP magazine that men and women lose their ability to balance themselves rapidly after age 50. By the time they reach 70, they can stand on one leg for an average of only seven seconds. As I’d participated in nearly every sport imaginable and had done well in some that required a high degree of balance, I was confident that I could exceed that average by a large margin. To my consternation I managed to balance on my left leg for only eight seconds and my right only seven. I tried several more times, and the results were basically the same. Then and there I vowed to change that and started practicing the skill, usually at the same time of night when I did my flexibility movements. It took little physical effort but did entail intense concentration. What I quickly discovered was that my lower legs weren’t strong enough to support me for very long. I added one-legged partial squats to my routine. I also started moving up on curbs during my walk and balancing on one leg if I got stuck in a slow-moving line at a store checkout. I haven’t progressed to the point where I’m ready to try out for a

You need to make certain you’re flexible enough to perform ordinary tasks without hurting a joint.

Model: Mark Perry

problem for older athletes. Also, you don’t have to walk or do any other form of cardio in close proximity to your weight work. Walking early in the morning or in the evening may appeal to you. You feel stronger in midafternoon, however; that’s when you lift. It’s how much work you do throughout the day that counts. Just make sure that the cardio activity you select is low impact. Otherwise you may end up doing more harm than good. Over the years everyone, athlete or not, loses flexibility in the shoulders, backs, hips and legs. Why that happens varies: arthritis, old injuries and not doing anything to maintain a complete range of motion. Unfortunately, you’re never going to regain the same degree of flexibility in your joints as you had when you were younger, but you can improve it. The key point here is, easy does it. Older joints are extremely susceptible to injury, so you never want to force any stretching move. In addition, individuals vary greatly as to their potential ability for developing a complete range of motion. Besides, you’re not going to be competing in a Greco-Roman wrestling match or getting ready for a hot date with a contortionist. You just wanting flexibility sufficient for simple tasks—gardening, picking up objects from the floor, reaching up in a cabinet for a box of cereal. I call these moves activity-specific training: preparing your body for whatever you plan to do that coming week. You need to make certain you’re flexible enough to perform ordinary tasks without hurting a joint. You don’t have to approach it as a strict discipline. Yoga postures are good. Pick out a few, or a lot, that fit your needs, and practice them regularly. If your hobby of choice is golf or bowling, do stretches that enable you to enjoy those sports free from worry that you might ding a joint. Here’s how I work flexibility training into my daily fitness routine. About six hours after I’ve trained, I take a couple of magnesium-calcium tablets to help me relax as I prepare to go to bed. Then, while watching “Seinfeld” reruns, I slowly twist and stretch in all sorts of directions, seeking out tight joints and

high-wire act, but I’m up to half a minute on both legs and am steadily improving. I can also feel the difference as I move about during the day. It’s really a matter of recognizing weak areas and making the necessary adjustments. Although I’m quite aware, from reading Bill Clark’s newsletter PL/ USA and letters from friends, that there are many older men who are still moving impressive poundages, I believe most older athletes would benefit from following the fitness philosophy of that remarkable nonagenarian Jack LaLanne. Even if you don’t feel you’re quite ready for a high-rep program, it’s a smart idea to understand what to do when you are ready. 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 www.Home-Gym .com. IM

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You Can Look, But Don’t Jump


t’s a grand day. Sunlight beams through blue skies gracing us with temperatures in the 70s, a few light breezes and plenty of burgeoning smiles. I feel 20 years younger. I remember when I had 20-inch arms and gas was 19.9 cents a gallon. Those were the days. As I glance in the specially rigged rearview mirror on me ole virtual biplane, I see kids under 18 jumping out of the cargo area like we were goin’ down fast. No parachutes—they’d rather take their chances bailing out now than enduring a crash landing later. Here’s a question that will gain the attention of the young and wingless daredevils: Bomber, if you were 18 years old, 5’10”, medium build, 165 pounds and weight training for a year in an average sort of way and wanted to get bigger and better and smarter, what would you do—besides joining the Army? Easy answer, tough pursuit. I’m reluctant to reply because average-sort-of-way training just won’t do, and I don’t want to waste his time or mine. Magnanimous muscle man that I am, though, I’ll give it a go, Joe. What would I do? First, I’d sit back and take five to review myself and my goals a little more closely. Know thyself. A quick who, what, where, why and when now and then proves to be invaluable in muscle building. Think, act, reap. I know—all you wanted was a quickie routine, a pat on the back and to be on your way. Not so fast, Buster. Who are you, what are your ambitions outside the gym, and how will bigger and better serve you? Where and when will you train, and how much time do you have and are willing to commit? Are weight training and muscle building a mission or a diversion Neveux \ Model: Dan Decker



or healthy sport? These and related questions can be fun and enlightening and invaluable. Thinking along the way with wonder and confidence transforms the daily exercises and sets and reps into a marvelous journey. Knowing what I look like, what would I like to look like? How do I see myself as I successfully progress? Visualizing and imagining work. Our proper and positive conscious and unconscious thoughts urge us along like currents in deep waters. Direct them wisely. Too much trouble, too complex, too boring, you say? Beats texting. Your mind’s picture of yourself is worth a thousand words. Another thing that’s probably bugging you—or not. Our endeavors are all ego-bound. Fine. Me-first isn’t exactly an isolated attitude, it isn’t necessarily wrong, and it isn’t always evidence of killer conceit. Accept essential, inherent egocentricity and mold it to be universally beneficial. Being strong and fit and capable and healthy is a bold responsibility and the noblest of qualities—and among the pursuits most commonly neglected. That these fine traits are lacking in our neighborhood is evidence of that. Crimes against oneself, sins against humanity. Take pride in your weighty endeavor, your iron diversion, whether you’re an aspiring fireman, policeman, taxman, doctor, lawyer or Indian chief. What you do is good—brilliant, perhaps. Go. Aspire. Before moving on, you must face the four naked truths: discipline, perseverance, courage, forbearance. They’re both prerequisites and by-products of building muscle, might and brights. Ya gotta have them or at least be ready, willing and able to develop them. Be prepared. But, but, but where’s the beef? Nutrition is next. Bigger, better and smarter are most directly assured by right eating and proper supplementation. I’m struck by how few people are familiar with the guidelines for healthful eating or appreciate their vital importance. They don’t care. They eat when they get the urge or the chance, when they’re bored or depressed, for comfort or entertainment. And they eat junk, too much and too fast, or they don’t eat at all. Do as I do, do as I say, and do it always, regularly, consistently, certainly, without fail: daily, weekly and monthly, and on and on forever and not just occasionally. Feed yourself simply, wisely and respectfully. Ya’ll know Bomber Nutrition 101; ya’ll just forget it every now and again. Ya’ll dumb. Be simple, be wise, and be respectful. Be smart. Eat breakfast always. Small yet substantial, the starting meal will save and maintain muscle and provide energy and engage the metabolism. Eating sufficient meals regularly throughout the day, every three hours, is a nice rule of thumb. Not too much at once,

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not snacks only. Eat well-balanced meals (40 percent animal protein, 30 percent good fats, 30 percent nutrient-high carbs is my favorite calorie distribution), including fresh vegetables and fruits and excluding junk, refined sugars and grease. Eat red meat, lowfat-milk products and ground-fed-chicken eggs as your muscle-building protein foods. Wisely use a superior protein powder to augment and simplify your musclegaining endeavors. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bomber Blend. I could go on, but it’s time for a training routine suitable for the increasingly dedicated, disciplined and committed 18year-old muscle builder dripping with perseverance and filled with positive visions. You don’t want to consume your time excessively, and weight training and its goals have a way of dominating your thoughts and deeds. You want them to complement your body, mind and soul—your life and lifestyle—not control them. Furthermore, you don’t want to overtrain, an insidious physical side effect of determined muscle building. The young, relatively new lifter with goals of muscle size and power is most productive using the basic exercises found in the handy how-to-build-big-muscles manual. You want to arrange your exercises so you train every major muscle group twice a week with ample time between bodypart workouts to allow muscle repair and recuperation. Keep in mind that it’s not the end-all of training routines and is not designed to accomplish all of your development desires. Variations of the fundamentals—sets and reps, multiset combinations and levels of intensity—determine effects: muscle shape, definition, density, might, speed, endurance. Stick with the prescribed routine for six weeks to extract all of the benefits it has to offer. You’re seeking, learning and growing, and your instincts continue to be honed. They, I suspect, are not ready to override your instructed mind and lead you down the tangled path ahead. Be patient, persistent and content. Know this: A change in workout might serve many purposes (muscularize, thicken the back, strengthen the thighs), but its most essential purpose is to keep us interested and hopeful and engaged. Or, put another way, to keep us from pulling our hair out, drooping with boredom, sinking in doubt and staying home and watching TV instead of blasting it. Anything but another workout! Consistent training, even if it’s bad, is good. Better a bad workout than no workout. The worst workout is the missed workout. He who neglects his exercise is a loser. Skip your routine, fall on your face. Include the following 10 must-do-to-be-big exercises: squats, bench presses (better yet, dumbbell incline presses), deadlifts, one-arm bent-over rows, barbell curls, lying or overhead triceps extensions, seated lat rows, wide-grip pulldowns, dumbbell pullovers, lateral raises—one-arm or two-arm. You’re beginning to get the picture. The secret is, there is no secret. —Dave Draper Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit and sign up for his free newsletter. You can also check out his amazing Top Squat training tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and forum.

Fat Findings

The Obesity Beast


propensity for fatness may be contagious. Most animals infected with adenovirus-36 get fat without eating more, and the virus can infect people as well. About 30 percent of the obese subjects tested in a recent study had antibodies to Ad-36, which means they’d been exposed to the virus. They also weighed an average of 50 pounds more than the subjects who didn’t have the antibodies. According to researchers, the virus triggers fat production and programs cells to store fat faster. Scientists are working on antiviral drugs to combat Ad-36. Till then, don’t think that all fat people are just weak willed and lazy. Some apparently are stricken with a viral form of obesity. —Becky Holman

Placebo Power

Mind Over Medicine?


ccording to the May ’08 Prevention, 45 percent of primary care physicians have given a patient a placebo medication—usually sugar pills with no active ingredients. Ninety-six percent of those doctors believe that the innocuous pills have therapeutic value because of the mind/body connection. The same can be said of supplements—if you believe something will work, it just might, whether research studies show any effect. If nothing else, you’ll be more motivated to train harder when you’re taking a new supplement that’s supposed to make you bigger and/or stronger. So if something sounds plausible, give it a try. You may just get something good out of it, even if it’s not all that potent. —Becky Holman \ AUGUST 2008 293

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MIND/BODY BodySpace Physique of the Month


Josephine Dalton

Editor’s note: For more BodySpace bodies and info, visit www

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Photography by Ian Sitren \ SecondFocus


his show veteran, who says she’s more comfortable onstage than almost anywhere else, has done about 45 figure and modeling competitions in the past few years, despite health problems that include migraines, seizures and hypoglycemia. She’s appeared in many magazines, including Maxim. Or you may have seen her working a booth at one of the many bodybuilding and fitness trade shows she’s appeared at around the country. “The fitness lifestyle keeps me strong, agile, healthy and looking good,” she says. “It also helps my world run more smoothly.” Without it, she says, she’d never be able to keep up with her nightclub job in Las Vegas along with everything else she does. Josephine’s healthful lifestyle extends to the people she hangs with, including her boyfriend Geoff Gouzy. Also a fitness enthusiast, Geoff works part-time as a trainer while holding a full-time job with one of the airlines. Visit Josephine on BodySpace at BodyBuilding .com. You’ll find her member name easy to remember, “JosephineDalton.” Tell her you saw her here in IRON MAN! —Ian Sitren


Gold Standard Protein


ntense training requires comprehensive protein support. Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard is the ideal protein to have before and after your workout. Its pure whey-protein isolates absorb quickly to help build muscle tissue. You can’t do without the 24 grams of protein in every serving. Before bed and between meals, ON’s slower-digesting Gold Standard 100% Casein leaves you feeling full while your muscles rejuvenate. The high-quality proteins represent a gold standard for 24-hour muscle building and recovery. A free shaker cup is included. Also try Optimum Nutrition’s 16 Flavor Variety Pack. After all, variety is the spice of life. Now you can enjoy the rapidly absorbed muscle-building advantages of the sports nutrition industry’s best-selling protein powder while choosing from 16 different flavors (like root beer float). Each packet is one full serving and ready to mix. For more information visit www


Group Therapy

The Simpson Copywritten Simpsons copywite of Foxsby Fox


study done at the University of Chicago showed that a movie watched by a group of people got better reviews than when it was watched by one person alone. The researchers determinedv that those watching in a group mirrored the reactions of those around them, which created more energy and enthusiasm. That doesn’t happen when you watch a movie by yourself. —Becky Holman

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“Sergio Oliva—The Myth” ne of the best bodybuilders in the history of the sport is three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva. Even today, more than 20 years since he last competed and nearly 40 years since he won the Mr. Olympia title, Sergio is regarded as one of the most genetically gifted bodybuilders to ever grace a stage. His battles with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late 1960s and early ’70s are the stuff of bodybuilding legend. Sergio beat Arnold at their first meeting, and Arnold won the next three, although the debate continues to this day on who deserved to win. It’s very rare that two bodybuilders of that caliber compete against each other. Their legendary battles are like Ali vs. Frazier or McEnroe vs. Connors—two champions who inspired each other to greatness. It’s hard to appreciate how amazing Sergio was unless you saw him in person or on video. With his tiny 28inch waist and huge 22-inch arms, he was a bodybuilder whose like no one had ever seen before or, in the opinion of many, since. His eye-popping mass was combined with beautiful symmetry and grace. Because of his unreal proportions and size, Sergio was given the nickname “the Myth.” Wayne Gallasch from GMV Productions has assembled an impressive array of films featuring Sergio Oliva and put them all together in “Sergio Oliva—The Myth.” The DVD includes footage from the mid-’60s, when he was just beginning his rapid ascent to the top of the bodybuilding world, as well as many of the clashes with Schwarzenegger. The first competition featured is the ’66 AAU Mr. America. Even though Sergio had only been competing for two years, his incredible genetics are evident as soon as he steps onstage. Early on, he switched from the AAU to the IFBB. He won the IFBB Mr. World in 1966 but lost the Mr. Olympia


title that year to the reigning champ, Larry Scott. Sergio became the king of bodybuilding the very next year, when he won the IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia titles on the same night. The highlight of “Sergio Oliva—The Myth” is the gripping footage of Sergio and Arnold at the ’72 Mr. Olympia, which was held in Essen, Germany. Sergio was in the best shape of his life, but he lost to Arnold in one of the most controversial Mr. Olympia contests in the history of the sport. Sergio was never bigger or more cut than at that contest. Two days later he posed for Gallasch outdoors. You’ll be amazed at the awe-inspiring mass and proportions of the Myth as he pumps up and poses for the camera. The DVD also includes rare footage of Sergio competing and guest-posing in contests in Australia, Mexico and Paris in the late ’70s as well as his return to the Mr. Olympia in ’84 at 43 years of age. Although he took only eighth place, finishing behind bodybuilders like Lee Haney and Samir Bannout, who grew up idolizing the Myth, his appearance electrified the audience and was the highlight of the contest. His final contest appearance in the ’85 Mr. Olympia is also featured on the DVD as well as one of his last guestposing exhibitions—alongside Albert Beckles at the IFBB Mr. Germany. Even though Sergio was 13 years past his prime at that point, his awesome shape, proportions and size still blew away all who were fortunate to witness him onstage. “Sergio Oliva—The Myth” is a classic DVD that deserves to be in every bodybuilder’s collection. —John Hansen Editor’s note: “Sergio Oliva—The Myth” is available from Home Gym Warehouse,

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MIND/BODY Highs and Lows


Drinking vs. Drugging


f you’ve spent any appreciable amount of time on Internet message boards frequented by bodybuilders, you’ve seen numerous threads discussing the detriments or merits of alcohol, marijuana and other recreational drugs as they apply to those aspiring to build exceptional physiques. While some threads are stand-alone discussions on a particular intoxicant, many others debate which one is worse. Having done my share of partying in my youth and having known many other regular trainers who indulged as well, I can offer a bit of experienced commentary on the matter. Alcohol is the drug of choice for most of us, as it’s legal for anybody 21 years of age and up. It’s widely available, and it’s the most socially acceptable way of altering your mind. It also dehydrates you, offers useless calories, blunts the appetite, diminishes testosterone levels and raises estrogen—not to mention that it often results in a miserable hangover that makes any type of exercise or even eating the last thing on your mind. I drank heavily from the age of about 12 to 18, and quit halfway through my freshman year of college, once I figured out how badly it was stalling my muscle-building progress. Now I drink in moderation a few times a year. Many bodybuilders tout marijuana as a better alternative for those of us who hoist iron. They say it’s a wonderful way to relax, it’s calorie-free (unless you eat a pot brownie), and it stimulates the appetite, which is of particular value to hardgainers who have a difficult time eating enough food to grow. Weed also raises estrogen, however, and does a hell of a number on your short-term memory and ability to focus. Nutritious food like chicken breasts and rice are typically the last thing you crave when you’re stoned. Take it from a man who’s inhaled: You’re hunting around for cookies, ice cream, chips and other nutritionally void items. For a person who has

a hard time staying lean or who’s trying to get a nice clear sixpack, regular toking will almost certainly thwart those goals. Some on the Web also insist that they train better high. All I can say to that is, they must be high. I once knew a state-level bodybuilder who competed unsuccessfully at the national level a couple of times. He almost always trained stoned. “Jake” was fond of using pretty light weights and focused primarily on getting a pump. I’m convinced that’s why he was a 5’8” middleweight when I met him more than a decade ago, and he’s hardly gained an ounce of muscle since, despite being loaded up on all the best steroids and growth hormone. As for drugs like Ecstasy, cocaine and meth—they all have nasty effects on brain chemistry, and the last two are ferociously addictive. The world is full of cocaine and meth addicts who thought they could limit their use to the occasional Saturday night and wound up throwing their lives away out of a need to stay high 24/7. Where am I going with all this? I’m in no position to judge people for the choices they make, but I’ve been around long enough to state with authority that the best bodybuilding results are possible only for those who stay clean and sober or are able to actually limit their indulgence to moderate amounts on rare occasions. Even those benefiting from exceptional genetics and the advantages of steroids will fall down a slippery slope if they make drug use a regular part of their lives. You’re all familiar with the story of IFBB pro Craig Titus, but there are a thousand other guys with great potential you never heard of who could have been stars if they hadn’t let drinking and/or recreational drugs rule their lives. So do what you want, but understand that some paths will definitely lead you far afield of your physique goals. —Ron Harris

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MIND/BODY Health and Aging

Smoking, Depression and Life Expectancy


mokers are 41 percent more likely to suffer from depression than nonsmokers, according to a new study. Research conducted by scientists at the University of Navarra in collaboration with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Harvard School of Public Health found a direct correlation between tobacco use and the development of depression. The director of the project and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Prof. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, explained that over a six-year period 190 smokers around the age of 42 who didn’t present symptoms of depression at the beginning of the study were diagnosed with the illness, while 65 admitted to taking antidepressants. Among the mechanisms at work, he said, is a “genetic and/or environmental disposition, which will increase the probability that the tobacco habit is retained and that the user will

suffer depression as an independent issue.” In addition, the findings indicated that those who’d given up tobacco more than a decade previously had less risk of developing depression than nonsmokers.

Life Expectancy Decline Analysis of mortality patterns across the United States indicates a stagnant or falling life expectancy for many parts of the American population. A study conducted by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health; Harvard University; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of Washington in Seattle found that wide disparities in life expectancy continue to exist in the U.S., affecting 4 percent of the male and 19 percent of the female population. The report attributed the statistics mainly to a leveling-off, among both men and women, in the reduction of deaths due to cardiovascular disease and a rise in deaths from other diseases, such as lung cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. Lead author Majid Ezzati, associate professor of international health at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, “There is now evidence that there are large parts of the population in the United States whose health has been getting worse for about two decades.” —Dr. Bob Goldman Editor’s note: For the latest information and research on health and aging, subscribe to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine e-zine at It’s free.

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Readers Write Letters

2008 IM Pro DVD

Still Pumping at 82 I have enclosed a photo of my dad, Charles Lyons. I thought your readers would be inspired as much as I am. My dad is 82 years old and continues to be an inspiration. He’s been bodybuilding since he Charles was a teenager. Dad and Lyons. I enjoy reading articles from his Iron Man magazine collection, with issues dating back to 1947. Thanks, Dad, for still motivating me to train. Debby Lyons El Cajon, CA

I just reviewed the DVD for the ’08 IRON MAN Pro, and it was fantastic! The photographic quality exceeded anything I have ever seen. The contestants were in great shape and shown from the best possible angles. The DVD is a first-rate production. Hats off to Wayne Gallasch. Tom Caterino via Internet Editor’s note: You’re not kidding when you say the contestants were in top shape. We had a photo salute to Phil Heath last month, and he was big and shredded. To order the ’08 IM Pro DVD, visit or call (800) 447-0008.

Military Muscle I would like to let the American people know that, even though we are at war, soldiers still find a way to stay physically fit to protect our country. The accompanying photo of me shows what a soldier can look like in a time of war. I also want to thank MuscleTech Research and Development for giving me and other soldiers the opportunity to use MuscleTech supplements. SSG Bennie Crawford Jr. Iraq

Reg Park Thank you for the superb coverage of Reg Park (March ’08). John Balik’s Publisher’s Letter, Gene Mozée’s tribute and the terrific interview with Reg are a wonderful testimony to an incredible legend. Along with the great photos of Reg at various periods in his long career, the tribute is indeed worthy of the man himself. I commend you for such a great job. Peter Rowley Las Vegas, NV

Excited X-Repper I started with a program similar to Jonathan Lawson’s [10-week Size Surge program in the e-book 3D Muscle Building] with four weeks of heavy multijoint movements as a primer. Then I followed an X-Rep Positionsof-Flexion routine—using midrange, stretch and contracted work for each muscle. The results have been incredible! I’ve made gains the way I did back in high school. I’m 5’10” and have increased from 165 to 180 pounds of quality muscle. I love the X-Reps and POF e-books. They get right down to business—filled with real information that works. Patrick Hataburda via Internet Editor’s note: For more information on X Reps and Positions-of-Flexion training, visit Vol. 67, No. 8: 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 2008-08