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100 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 50 Ron Harris explains how to make the most of what you’ve been given. It’s grow time!

108 BIG-TIME CHEST CHISELING Cory Crow talks with up-and-coming bodybuilding star Curtis Fisher about pumping pecs.

126 SHOCKING MUSCLE GROWTH Jerry Brainum analyzes the new research on a critical bodybuilding element, heat shock proteins.

142 FROM ICED TO SLICED David Young interviews the new Austrian Oak of muscle, former hockey player Tony Breznik.

156 HARDBODY Jen Hendershott, reigning Fitness Olympia and Fitness International champ, does some high flying.



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Tony Breznik and Jen Hendershott appear on this month’s cover. Hair and makeup by Yvonne Ouellette. Photo by Michael Neveux.

Cover Man Workout: He Packed On 40 Rock-Hard Pounds! ™

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176 CONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING BODYBUILDER, PART 3 Drug-free champion Skip La Cour continues his tale of obsession, selfabsorption and antisocial behavior.

206 PROFILES IN MUSCLE: ED NUNN The IFBB pro and Muscle Asylum athlete submits to our questioning.

214 FEMME PHYSIQUE Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB Women’s Historian, looks at the world’s most underrated women’s bodybuilding contest. Great pics here, gang!

218 HEAVY DUTY John Little reveals Mike Mentzer’s findings on training solo high-intensity style and the ravaging results of too much stress.



234 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE No brain, no gain. Coach Bill Starr turns his focus to intuitive training. Listen up! Your body may be telling you what it needs to get bigger and stronger.





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Pressing issues, partial-rep 10x10 and X-Force muscle machinery.



Coach Charles Poliquin answers the low-repfor-mass question.


Muscle-building nutrient combo, Natural Anabolics and the Paleo diet for athletes.

84 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen disperses advice for advanced growth. Bring on the mass!

92 SHREDDED MUSCLE Dave Goodin’s inside look at the ’09 Texas Shredder Classic.

94 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman suggests ways to merge heavy training with the 10x10 mass method.

186 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser checks out an interactive sports Web site and big Sean Allen’s new DVD; then he lays out complete P/RR/S bodypart programs.

192 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper’s always-entertaining look at the world of bodybuilding—plus his Rising Stars.

208 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman has her lens open wide on the women’s side of the physique sports.

228 BODYBUILDING PHARMACOLOGY Jerry Brainum updates the latest info on myostatin, the notorious muscle-growth muffler.

242 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Bomber Blast and the two Ms for more muscle.


In the next IRON MAN: Our October issue has a distinct over-40 flavor. Cover man Clark Bartram talks about the challenges of staying muscular through middle age and describes how he plans to train and eat to add even more muscle. Then former competitive flexer Doug Brignole, IM’s November ’82 cover model, is back—and as ripped as ever at nearly 50 years old. We’ll present his complete routine, diet and conversation cut-ups with Lonnie Teper. Plus, we have 10x10 arm training, new vitamin D research and Power Surge, your heavy-lifting guide. Find the October issue on newsstands the first week of September.

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Founders 1936-1986: Peary & Mabel Rader

by John Balik

Founding Fathers of Fitness


Muscle Beach—formerly in Santa Monica, California, and now located just down the beach in Venice: We have all felt its magic and experienced its magnetic pull. That siren song has changed lives—mine included—as it has changed America and the world. As a young teenager living far from the warm, enticing West Coast beaches, I became aware of Muscle Beach through the photos in bodybuilding magazines. Those images of young men and women working out in the sun captured a lifestyle that was unknown anywhere else in the ’50s. In reality they were a very small group of people, but they were very special because they were living on the edge of the bell-shaped curve, creating a new subculture that would be the springboard for what we now take for granted—gyms everywhere, millions of people going to gyms every day, the sports supplement industry, the awareness of the relationship between diet and health and the realizations that we can control the way we look and feel and that the simple barbell is the tool of transformation. As we now say, 50 is the new 30, and 70 is the new 50—none of that would be possible without that small group of pioneers in Southern California— the denizens of Muscle Beach. Unfortunately, most of the world does not connect bodybuilding and Muscle Beach to today’s fitness lifestyle, but a short list of some of the most famous names from the past will easily make the point. From the real pioneers—Jack LaLanne, Joe Gold, Zabo Koszewski, Vince Gironda, Armand and Vic Tanny—through the glamour of Steve Reeves and Arnold and Franco to the Muscle Beach of 2009, it’s a history that has changed the world for the better. And where would Muscle Beach and the worldwide fitness tsunami be without the pubSteve Reeves. lishing pioneers of bodybuilding—Peary and Mabel Rader and the Weider brothers—and the wonderful photos by Russ Warner and Artie Zeller that fueled the fantasy and spread the word. An amazing group of characters united by the bodybuilding lifestyle. This Fourth of July marks the 75th anniversary of Muscle Beach, and I will be a proud participant in the celebration hosted by Joe Wheatley. I have become a part of a team that is producing a documentary on the history of Muscle Beach. The team includes Wheatley, and Arthur Seidelman, and our goal is to place that land of enchantment in its true context. All of this is very close to the surface for me because I have long felt that people have lost the connection between our history and the results it has produced. For me it is a labor of love—in a way an extension of my own dreams—and an ironic twist: I now have a part in preserving that which drew me here. I love it. IM 26 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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 Staff Designer: Fernando Carmona IRON MAN Staff: Sonia Melendez, Mervin Petralba, Brad Seng 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, 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

Marketing Director: Helen Yu, (805) 385-3500, ext. 313 Accounting: Dolores Waterman, (805) 385-3500, ext. 324 Advertising Director: Warren Wanderer (805) 385-3500, ext. 368 (518) 743-1696; FAX: (518) 743-1697 Advertising Coordinator: Jonathan Lawson, (805) 385-3500, ext. 320 Newsstand Consultant: Angelo Gandino, (516) 796-9848 Subscriptions: 1-800-570-4766 or (714) 226-9782 E-mail: 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, Marketing: Warren Wanderer, Advertising: Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator:

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Don’t overarch your lower back on overhead presses.

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Recently, I had a conversation with Branden Ray, the ’08 NPC Junior National champ, about shoulder training. I was surprised to find that he never uses the traditional seated bench that most gyms have for overhead dumbbell presses. The seat back is short and set perpendicular to the seat. It’s most often used for shoulder presses, but you also find trainees doing seated curls and overhead dumbbell extensions on it as well. Certainly, I’ve been doing my shoulder presses on those benches for the better part of 20 years. What’s B-Ray’s beef with the bench? “Because the seat back is so low, most guys have a tendency to lean back too much and put an extreme arch in their lower back, just to use heavier weights,” he said. “Not only do they wind up working more upper chest than deltoids, but their lower backs are in a very dangerous position.” Branden could have been speaking specifically about me. I’ve gone as heavy as 140s for shoulder presses on various occasions—but with the aforementioned sins of form. You can even catch me on YouTube showing off my prodigious shoulder power and crappy form! Without confessing my transgressions, I asked Ray what type of bench he does use. “I take an adjustable incline bench and set it to almost but not quite vertical—maybe a five-to-10-degree lean back. That lets me keep my shoulder blades pressed into the pad and makes it almost impossible to arch my back.” He also noted that you can’t handle as much weight pressing on an incline bench, “but the weights you do use are being moved by your delts.” Wouldn’t you know it: I was set to work shoulders and bi’s the very next day and vowed to forgo the short-backed bench. Talk about humbling—my heaviest set wasn’t with 100-pound dumbbells as usual. All I could manage were 80s, and cleaning them up to start the set without my typical exaggerated lean back was a bitch. As

tempting as it was to go right back to the short bench, I had to recognize that part of my recurring lower-back pain probably stems from excessive arching there while doing heavy overhead dumbbell presses. Compared to the short-backed bench, the incline is a lot less user-friendly—or should I say, less ego-friendly. Since you can probably trace most of the injuries, aches and pains we bodybuilders suffer back to ego lifting, though, I have sworn off the bench that allows for severe arching of the lower back. Thanks to Branden, I now know it’s not my friend—it’s an arch nemesis! —Ron Harris Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodybuilding: Muscle Truth from 25 Years in the Trenches, available at

Branden Ray prefers to do his presses on an incline bench set to near vertical. It gives him less back arch and better delt development. Merv

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Partial-Rep 10X Sets Q: I just read X-Rep Update #1, and I’m stoked. I notice in the chapter on Jay Cutler’s training that he does a lot of his sets in X-only style [no full-range reps, only partials]. My question is, What do you think of using10x10 with all X-only sets? I tried it on bench presses, and it felt unreal. A: Jay Cutler, one of the biggest pro bodybuilders around, does most of his exercises in X-only style—that is, short partial reps that include the semistretch point. Rarely does he do full-range repetitions; however, he also does more than 10 reps per set. That’s because 10 partial-range reps add up to a tension time of 20 seconds or less. Cutler usually does at least 12 and often up to 15 X-only reps per set. A higher rep count bumps his

tension time up to 25 seconds or more, which is better for flipping on the anabolic switch. Try bench presses for 8x12 or 6x15 instead of 10x10 if you do X-only partial reps on all sets. Remember to use a weight that you could get double the number of reps with. If you’re doing 8x12, use a poundage you could crank out about 24 reps with. Then use it on all eight sets with 30 seconds of rest after each. The first sets will be easy, but the last ones will be brutal—and wait till you see the full-blown pump! Partials are a tremendous mass builder, but you must keep the muscle working long enough to trigger optimal growth. —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

34 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Okabe \ Model: Jay Cutler

lescent athletes can improve their strength by as much as 50 percent after eight to 12 weeks on a proper lifting program. They also tend to improve bone mineral density and composition, balance and lipid profiles, according to co-authors Katherine Stabenow Dahab, M.D., and Teri Metcalf McCambridge, M.D., from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Their recommendations? “The goal is to perform two to three exercises per muscle group. Start with one to two sets per exercise, with six to 15 repetitions in each set. The participants should rest one to three minutes between sets. Appropriate weight should allow proper form, some fatigue, but not complete exhaustion.” They also say that adult supervision is central to the strength-training program’s success or failure. Children, especially boys, can be misguided by ego and attempt dangerous lifts with improper form. Nevertheless, Dahab concludes, “the health benefits of strength training far outweigh the potential risks. Strength training, when done correctly, can improve the strength and overall health of children and adolescents of all athletic abilities. That’s especially important in today’s society, where childhood obesity rates continue to rise.” Amen, and a breath of fresh air. Time for kids to hit the gym instead of the videogame controller. —Becky Holman Neveux \ Models: John and Justin Balik

For decades doctors and other so-called experts have discouraged kids from lifting weights—something about stunted growth and premature bone-plate closure. Considering all the climbing, running and jumping that kids do—usually off of roofs and out of trees—that never made a lot of sense. Now studies are showing that the danger of strength training for youngsters was overstated. According to SportsHealthJournal .org, the latest studies show that “participating in even a short-duration strength-training program during childhood and especially during adolescence may not only improve one’s body composition, but also increase self-esteem and improve blood lipid profiles.” Research shows that preado-

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75$,172*$,10$785(086&/( The Truth About Male Testosterone Replacement in your bloodstream in case of a hormone emergency. That measurement is most indicative of whether you actually have low testosterone. Your total testosterone should be between 300 and 1,200. Having low testosterone, especially free testosterone, poses risks in the following ways: possible prostate problems, including cancer—PSA rising; low red and white blood cells, which can result in lethargy and poor serum hematocrit; frequent urination; intolerance to moderately low or high air temperatures; glucose problems...and the list goes on. Of course, if you take in too much testosterone—via anabolic steroids or prescription testosterone—the problems are as likely and as dangerous as with low testosterone. The goal of testosterone-replacement therapy is to bring back your total and free testosterone to their normal ranges. Here’s an oddity: Almost every bodybuilder I know has a low total-testosterone count. Some of them used steroids and never again made the proper amount once they stopped. Other bodybuilders, however, are clean—never used a thing—and they have low total testosterone as well. On the other hand, they’re in the low but acceptable range of free testosterone and probably don’t need testosteronereplacement therapy. How can it be that even natural bodybuilders have low testosterone? It seems to me that bodybuilding is a double-edged sword. You look good, feel good, have more strength than most men and more sexual vigor; however, for every cell that you tear down, or split, something called a telomere, which is linked to the production of mitochondrial DNA, is shortened in the replication process. In other words, each time you break down and make new muscle tissue, the body goes through a process that actually causes a form of aging. As bodybuilders we split and tear cells every time we work out, so we use more hormones than the average man would. Having proper hormone counts can counteract some of that, as can eating a healthful diet and not overtraining. Testosterone plays a role in your life span. Ask your doctor for a total- and free-testosterone blood test. You never know what you may find. —Paul Burke

see an endocrinologist. I’m natural, and I have a lot of muscle. How could I have low testosterone?

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

Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

Q: I’m 54 years old, and I’ve been training with weights for more than 20 years. Oddly enough, at my last physical my doctor told me that my testosterone was “dangerously low” and that I needed to

A: First off, you may have what’s called a low total-testosterone count while still having enough free testosterone in your blood. The fact is, the “free testosterone” count is of greater importance. You make testosterone through a series of hormone communications between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and testes. Once the testes have released testosterone into the bloodstream, cells begin to open up to get what they require. Once the cells are “full,” a small amount is left in the blood. It’s “free” because it’s not binding to cells and circulates freely 38 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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How to Strip Off Bodyfat, Part 2 Now that you know your current average daily calorie intake—from the info in Part 1—you can figure out the changes you need to make. Here’s my next group of strategies for getting lean. 15) Reduce your current daily calorie intake by 250 to 350 calories every few days, until you get down to the number that results in a loss of about one pound a week. Say you’re currently eating 4,000 calories per day. Drop to 3,700 for the first few days, then to 3,400 for the next few days and so on. Eventually, you’ll be at your target daily calorie quota, which may, for instance, be 2,500, depending on your size, gender and activity level. Don’t dive to 2,500 calories from 4,000, or you’ll risk reducing your basal metabolic rate, which would make fat loss much more difficult. 16) Cut out junk food—including soft drinks, sweets, unhealthful desserts and fast food—and replace it with healthful food. 17) Eliminate fried food and other foods that are full of unhealthful fats. That may be enough to produce your first reduction of 250 to 350 calories. 18) Cut about 300 calories by reducing whole-milk dairy products, butter, calorie-laden sauces and condiments, fatladen meats and nighttime snacks—even healthful snacks. You may need to eliminate all of those eventually. 19) If, once you’ve made the changes in items 16, 17 and 18 and are eating only healthful food but still aren’t losing about one pound a week, you’ll have to reduce your intake of healthful food. Although it’s much easier to overeat on junk food, it’s possible to overeat even on an exclusively healthful diet. 20) When you do low- or moderate-intensity exercise before you eat breakfast, your body may derive more of its fuel from bodyfat. If you do it shortly after eating a meal, you’ll still burn fat but less of it because you’ll also use some of the carbohydrate you just ate. 21) Don’t do intensive exercise—weightlifting or hard cardio—on an empty stomach first thing in the morning; you need ample energy in order to perform it well. 22) Start your day an hour earlier to fit in some low- to moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking, but go to bed an hour earlier to compensate. Many people are already deficient in sleep—don’t add to the problem. 23) Find ways to increase your activity. Take the stairs rather than elevators. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the last leg. Park your car 10 minutes away and walk to and from your destination. Walk to the local shops rather than using a car. You’ll burn an extra few hundred calories a day on top of the calories from the structured walking you’re doing. 24) Many gimmicky plans promote fast weight loss that’s not realistic. Losing three, four, five or more pounds of fat in a week, for example, won’t happen. Most people can’t lose more than two pounds of fat per week in a healthy way, even

under the most aggressive of plans. If you rush your weight loss, you’ll end up losing muscle. Losing even a “mere” one pound per week would be 52 pounds of fat over the course of a year, if you need to lose that much. 25) Vary your intake but maintain the average. For example, instead of having 2,500 calories every day, make it 2,700, 2,300, 2,500, 2,800, 2,200, 2,600, 2,400 over a week. That will prevent your body from adapting to a fixed daily intake, give you variety and provide one or two higher-calorie days each week so you can have a small treat or two, if you wish. 26) Most people who want to shed bodyfat are preoccupied with calories and the quantities of the macronutrients—protein, fat and carbohydrate—they take in. Healthful nutrition, however, is also about micronutrients—primarily vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Getting the right calorie intake is essential, but so is getting sufficient micronutrients. Every day you need fruit and vegetables, healthful fats (for essential fatty acids) and a multivitamin-and-mineral tablet. 27) When you’re on a reduced-calorie diet and are losing bodyfat, it’s even more imperative that every calorie come from nutrient-rich, healthful food. Healthful food can taste great. Rubbish food will eventually make you feel lethargic, bloated and even unwell. 28) If you can’t go cold turkey, wean yourself off the rubbish over a few weeks. Have a little junk food on one designated treat day each week. Over time you’ll acquire a taste for nutritious foods and gradually lose your desire for rubbish. In a future installment I’ll give you another bundle of facts and tips. —Stuart McRobert Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 4470008, or

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Incline-Pressing Problems

building world you generally want a greater stretch of the muscle during the exercise. You can achieve that with the dumbbell incline press by turning your wrists so the palms face each other. That lets you lower the dumbbells farther than you can with palms forward, in a barbell-like position. The added stretch, however, can overstretch the ligaments in the front of the shoulder and stress the cartilage ring around the shoulder socket. Once the ball—the head of the humerus—begins to move too much in the socket because the ligaments are too stretched, the cartilage ring can tear. Also, if you train to failure or you’re more tired than you anticipated, you can become stuck with the heavy dumbbells, and it’s difficult for spotters to help. Returning the dumbbells to the tops of the thighs is the only way out that tough situation. Trainees often seek greater range of motion on the incline barbell press by bringing the bar toward the neck instead of touching the bar to the middle or lower chest. Bar placement on the neck can overstretch the ligaments and stress the cartilage ring. If you have long arms, that neck placement is a severe overstretch. Also, performing the exercise without a spotter is inherently risky. The clinical verdict on the incline press is that it’s a good exercise, but it requires a little technique modification to make it safer. As I’ve always noted, you’ll make gains if you can keep training. Every time you have to miss a month or more of training to recover from an injury, you don’t make gains during that time, and then you need time to adapt to training again so you don’t reinjure the muscle, tendon and/ or joint. Train smart first, then train hard. —Joseph M. Horrigan

Neveux \ Model: Birian Yersky

The incline press is a very popular exercise in any gym. Some trainees use it to build the upper pectoralis major. Some use it as an alternative to the bench press, which may have become painful. Many trainees fall into one of two categories: 1) They can perform flat-bench presses pain free, but incline presses cause pain. 2) They can perform incline presses pain free, but flatbench presses cause pain. The dumbbell incline press has certain advantages over using a barbell. For one thing, you can perform it without a spotter. For another, you can position your shoulders, elbows and wrists to perform the movement in a more comfortable, unrestricted manner. What’s more, you usually perform it on a bench that you can adjust to as low as 30 degrees or as high as 80 degrees. Olympic weightlifters used 80 degree incline presses when the press was still one of the competitive lifts. Working various angles on this exercise can improve development of the pecs. The incline barbell bench is typically fixed at a 45 to 60 degree angle. The barbell enables you to handle more weight in a safer manner, and you also get to start the lift from the racks or have a liftoff from a spotter. Both versions, however, have disadvantages. Quickly lowering very heavy dumbbells back to the ground can tear the biceps tendon. It’s also easy to lose control of a dumbbell during the motion if you try to move them too quickly or become fatigued. If that loss of control is significant, you’re at serious risk of a rotator cuff tear or even dislocation of the shoulder. The last disadvantage is a common problem. In the body-

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Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books, Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008, or at www

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tive rep is about 40 percent heavier than the positive. X-Force is efficiency of effort at its best, making for a greater workload lifted in less time. According to the manufacturer, “Negative training means that it takes less time to reach muscular failure and therefore to enhance muscular size and strength. It also involves a heavier-than-normal overload, which means more force output and more muscle fibers recruited. The scientific support for that is extensive. This type of training ensures a higher level of stress per motor unit, which supplies greater stimulation of the involved muscle fibers and works the entire joint structure. That results in more strength, stability, range motion and healing process.” Because negative-accenuated training puts more load on the muscles and creates more trauma, you need more recovery time between workouts, something Jones stressed as well. X-Force developer Mats Thulin met Arthur Jones in 1980 and was so impressed with Nautilus that he brought the machines to Sweden. Over the years he and his two business partners started and managed 127 fitness centers throughout Scandinavia. Thulin also spent a lot of time trying to figure out a better approach to machine training. That’s how the idea of tilting the weight stack came to him. That’s the X-Force innovation: A tilting weight stack that unloads the positive phase and then overloads the negative. It’s now patented, in full production and set to revolutionize the weight-training industry. For more information visit www. —Steve Holman

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Low Reps for More Mass? Q: Is it true that more experienced lifters need fewer reps to stimulate growth? A: Yes, indeed. It makes an enormous difference. Most increases in muscle cross section occur at between 70 and 85 percent of max—a gross overgeneralization but a good rule of thumb. An untrained individual can do between seven and 12 reps with that percentage, but an advanced lifter gets only four to six. If you’re experienced and neurologically efficient, the number of reps you can do at a given percentage of max actually goes down. Some evidence in the literature disagrees, but the majority consensus is that the number of reps you can get at a given percentage of max diminishes with training experience, particularly if you’ve been training properly. How many years of training experience are we talking about? About three. Let’s say a novice can bench-press 100 pounds for a one-rep max. At 70 percent of maximum, he can squeeze

out 12 reps, while an advanced lifter with a maximum of 400 pounds will do only four to six at 280 pounds, which is 70 percent of his maximum. Very gifted lifters can hypertrophy at two to three reps, but they must do more sets—like 10. So an inexperienced guy may put on muscle at three sets of 10, then three years down the road put on muscle at 10 sets of three. A lot of advanced athletes also do very well performing 10 sets of singles, then three sets of three to five reps once the nervous system gets excited. Some people call them near maximal singles. Q: What’s the best food to take on the road for breakfast? Restaurants are horrendous. My job takes me to Italy and the UK a lot. In Italy all they have are pastries, and the British offer only greasy eggs, blood pudding and fat-laden sausages. I know you go to those countries a lot. What do you suggest?

Advanced lifters can hypertrophy muscle at two to three reps, but they must do more sets.

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Neveux \ Model: Mike O’Hearn

A: I’ve been overseas often enough to have found hotels that serve me meat for breakfast, along with nuts and berries, so I can have a great workout before class without suffering from crashing blood sugar or having to turboblast my gallbladder to digest all sorts of saturated fats. If I’m going to a new place, I bring cans of sardines and/or jars of caviar. Those foods are convenient and are great for boosting the right levels of neurotransmitters. I also pack pine nuts, macadamia nuts or cashews to round out the meal.

Q: A trainer at my gym says the Smith machine is okay for bodybuilding purposes if you keep your heels under the bar, as you would with a freeweight squat. He says the only time

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60BSUUSBJOJOH Smith-machine squats are less dangerous if you keep your heels under the bar; however, freebar squats are more ergonomically safe, and the strength development is more functional—that is, transferable to other activities.

are available with a barbell. Bodybuilders don’t give a rat’s ass about function, so they can do whatever they want. But most people want strength to transfer to whatever they do, whether it’s sprinting or skiing. For that reason, I don’t like any kind of training in a Smith machine.

Q: Are any exercises so stupid or dangerous you’d throw them out of your toolbox?

Neveux \ Model: Jamo Nessar

A: The dumbbell power clean—rest assured, it never reached my toolbox—is the most useless exercise on the planet. In fact, anyone recommending it should be charged with a felony. Basically, it’s one of the best ways to get someone injured. Our clinic has treated strength coaches who were foolish enough to prescribe it and athletes who were unlucky to have it prescribed. The dumbbell power clean is a bad exercise for multiple reasons: • The diameter of the dumbbell plate puts the ’bell ahead of the center of gravity, which increases the loading on the disks far more than a barbell would. • The bigger an athlete’s chest, the more dangerous the catch part of the power clean becomes for the shoulder joint because the dumbbell diameter puts it farther ahead of the axis of rotation. The muscles of the shoulder most likely to be strained by dumbbell power cleans are the teres minor and the infraspinatus. The strains come from the body trying to stabilize the dumbbells once they fall toward the shoulders at the last part of the catch.

the Smith machine is dangerous is when you stick your feet forward. Is that true? A: He’s right that it’s less harmful if you keep your heels under the bar, but when it comes to injury, it’s a matter of repeated exposure. One three-week cycle per year of Smithmachine squats with the heels under the bar would be okay, but I wouldn’t make that exercise a staple. At least two IFBB pros have torn both quadriceps doing Smith-machine squats, but they made the move a regular part of their routines. In fact, in my 30 years as a strength coach, while working out myself, I’ve witnessed only two knee injuries in a weight room, and they both involved trainees squatting in a Smith machine. Not a pretty sight. I’d stay away from it altogether. So many great alternatives 50 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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60BSUUSBJOJOH Want a round rear end like Federica Belli’s? Try a few tri-sets of squats, lunges and dumbbell deadlifts. of trauma when other exercises are more effective and far safer? I know people in the industry who promote the one-arm power snatch and in the same sentence tell me they’re getting their shoulder operated on for the fifth time. Dude, maybe that’s not very smart. A coach I know recommends performing leg extensions before squatting—and he’s had 26 knee surgeries. Doesn’t he learn anything? Q: I’m a 19-year-old female who’s thinking of entering my first figure competition. The problem is I have a flat butt, and it seems to get worse when I diet down. Any exercise suggestions for building a rounder, fuller set of glutes? A: Follow Jessica Simpson’s diet—just kidding. As far as exercise prescriptions go, try this tri-set:

Neveux \ Model: Federica Belli

Full back squats x 6 reps, 4/0/1/0 tempo Rest 10 seconds Drop lunges x 12 per leg, 2/0/X/0 tempo Rest 10 seconds Dumbbell deadlifts x 25, 2/0/1/0 tempo

• The catch part of the lift leads to rapid overstretching of the forearm muscles and to forms of golfer’s and tennis elbow. • Because of the inherent genetic variations in the angle of fusion of the wrists, a multitude of wrist strains occur with this movement. Dumbbell power cleans are one of the forgotten exercises—and for good reason. If you’re into self-hate, do them; you may want to do them with kettlebells if you really hate yourself. The dumbbell power snatch is in the same league. Why expose the shoulder to something that could cause a lot

Do the drop, or step-back, lunges off a four-tosix-inch platform. You step down and then back up onto the platform. That’s a great glute builder. Rest 10 seconds—use the time to retrieve your spleen from under the seated calf machine—and then do the dumbbell deadlifts. After one round take a two-minute break, and then hit it again. Do three tri-sets. It’ll be a week before you can sit on the toilet again without pain. Nothing builds glutes better than that routine, as it taps into every motor unit in them. I often give the routine to interns to show them the meaning of crossing the pain barrier. Deadly. I used to prescribe it to alpine skiers in their general-preparation phase because the glutes are very important when you’re taking compressions and turns. I also find that one of the best things for glutes is sled work.

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 159. IM

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builders. A new study featured 52 men and 17 women, average age 22, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups and received one of the following. They received: 1) six grams a day of conjugated linoleic acid, nine grams a day of creatine monohydrate and 36 grams a day of whey protein. 2) the same amount of creatine and protein as group 1, with the substitution of a placebo oil for CLA. 3) the same amount of whey protein and the placebo oil instead of CLA. The study had a double-blind design, meaning that neither the study participants nor the researchers knew who was taking what. Six days a week the subjects engaged in highvolume strength training for five weeks, averaging four to five sets per exercise, six to 12 reps per set. The authors conducted a range of tests before and after training, including body composition, ultrasound—for muscle thickness— one-rep-maximum lifts in the bench press and leg press, and urinary markers of bone resorption, muscle protein breakdown, oxidative stress and kidney func-

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X tion. The supplements chosen for the study have an impressive record of effectiveness for bodybuilding purposes. Much research points to an anabolic effect when creatine is combined with resistance training. Conjugated linoleic acid is a beneficial form of the notorious transfat, consisting of a group of 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid isomers derived from linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. Unlike linoleic acid, however, CLA is not considered essential in human nutrition. Many studies show that when animals are given CLA, they often gain lean mass and lose a significant amount of bodyfat. The fat loss is often attributed to upgraded fat oxidation through stimulation of thermogenic uncoupling proteins in the cellular mitochondria. The data on human use of CLA have been largely equivocal. On the other hand, some human research has found benefits from combining strength training with CLA. A 2006 study, for example, found that human subjects who took CLA supplements for seven weeks experienced significantly more muscle gain and fat loss than a group that didn’t take it but trained using similar routines. Note that the animal studies always involve much higher doses of CLA than the human studies do. Like creatine, whey protein appears to foster gains in muscle size and strength when combined with weight training. Whey is rapidly digested, which brings on muscle protein synthesis after training. It’s also rich in the amino acids that are the most potent in muscle protein synthesis, branchedchain amino acids, leucine in particular. Given the demonstrated effectiveness of CLA, whey and creatine, the authors postulated that combining all three would be more effective than taking any of the supplements alone. They were also watching for potential health risks of using the supplements, such as increased oxidative stress, negative effects on bone mass and

undesirable changes in kidney function. Both increased protein intake and creatine use have been implicated in adverse changes in kidney function, although that’s more speculation than fact, as measured by studies on the subject. Some studies suggest that CLA may cause oxidative stress. Indeed, some human studies have found paradoxical side effects from CLA use, such as increased insulin resistance in men who have a lot of abdominal fat—itself a primary cause of insulin resistance. On the other hand, those studies usually involve sedentary, nonexercising subjects. This study found that those taking all three supplements experienced more gains in bench press and leg press strength, along with lean tissue mass gains, than the other groups combined. The groups taking creatine gained more lean mass than those who took only whey protein. Previous research showed that CLA produced greater gains in bench press strength in men but no effect on leg press strength and also no effect in women. While the precise mechanism of how CLA can influence muscle gains isn’t clearly established, one plausible hypothesis is that it reduces the inflammatory cytokines that produce muscle catabolism, such as tissue necrosis factor-A, a signaling agent in loss of muscle. It’s a primary suspect in the loss of muscle with age, as its levels increase in the elderly. CLA didn’t produce any changes in fat mass in this study, although previous studies

show that it’s more effective for that in those who have more initial bodyfat. It doesn’t do much for people who are already lean. Both CLA and creatine have been found to provide anticatabolic effects in muscle, and the combination of the two used in this study confirmed that. No increased oxidative stress or apparent negative effects on kidney function occurred in this study. The authors suggest that the combination of creatine, CLA and whey protein spurs gains in lean mass and strength for those engaged in resistance exercise and bodybuilding. —Jerry Brainum Cornish, S.M., et al. (2009). Conjugated linoleic acid combined with creatine monohydrate and whey protein supplementation during strength training. Int J Sports Nutr Exerc Metabol. \ SEPTEMBER 2009 57

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Food Facts

Neveux \ Model: Binais Begovic

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Natural Anabolics

Nutrients, Compounds and Supplements That Can Accelerate Muscle Growth Without Drugs

Regular IRON MAN readers know the name Jerry Brainum well. He’s IM’s go-to nutrition-science guru who has his thumb on—no, make that both hands wrapped around—the latest research. The best thing about Jerry is his down-to-earth ability to translate ivory tower science speak to understandable English so that just about anyone can grasp the findings and apply them. Oh, and this is a biggie: Brainum has no agenda—that is, he’s not beholding to any supplement company—so he tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth based on the latest scientific studies. That type of integrity is hard to find these days and a true breath of fresh air. It’s taken Jerry a few years to finally publish his first body of work, but the wait was worth it. His new e-book, Natural Anabolics, is Jerry’s straight-shooting look at exactly what in the vast supplement arena builds muscle and burns fat. So much out there is touted as the latest, greatest fat-to-muscle miracle mixture, but Jerry cuts through all the B.S. and analyzes the most popular nutrients and compounds with plenty of research backup. And there are a number of surprises, like an herb that proved in one study to burn fat and boost testosterone! Bodybuilders will want to try this one immediately. Brainum analyzes the latest research on each supplement and provides an applications-and-recommendations section for every one—he summarizes his findings and gives his suggestions on how best to use it for optimal results. Also, at the end of the e-book he lays out his natural-anabolics supplement schedule, a one-day template with times and amounts for each item he’s discussed. It’s your printable supplement map to fast results. Every chapter highlights the key points in bold type so that those who want to speed-read through can easily grasp the relevant info. Natural Anabolics is a complete, understandable reference and how-to guide to the stuff that really works, and you’ll go back to it again and again. It’s an incredible initial offering from a knowledgeable expert you can trust to give you the whole truth. —Steve Holman Editor’s note: Natural Anabolics is available at

• Red wine may supercharge the health benefits of good omega-3 fats. Subjects who drank one glass of red wine had higher omega-3 levels regardless of how much fish they ate, suggesting that the polyphenols in wine improve the metabolism of omega-3s. • Mushrooms keep you healthy. One medium portobello gives you 21 percent of the RDA of selenium and as much potassium as a banana. Incidentally, selenium has been shown to increase natural killer cells that target cancer cells. • Krill oil—from the tiny shrimplike sea creatures— has more potent omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. It appears that krill oil reduces LDL better than fish oil and is also more effective at lowering blood sugar. • Vitamin B12 can help cure canker sores on the mouth. In one study, 1,000 micrograms is all it took to eliminate the sores in 75 percent of the participants. • Salt, or sodium chloride, deficiency appears to trigger depression in animals. That could also apply to humans. Of course, too much salt can cause you to hold water and blur muscle definition, which is also depressing. —Becky Holman

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The Paleo Diet for Athletes Paleo is short for Paleolithic, meaning of or relating to the Stone Age. Various studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest that the way the cavemen ate is not only healthful but improves athletic performance as well. In The Paleo Diet for Athletes authors Loren Cordain, Ph.D., and Joe Friel, M.S., fully explain the whys and hows of the primal eating regimen. The Paleo diet in a nutshell: “You can eat as much lean meat, poultry, seafood, fresh fruit and veggies as you like. Foods that are not part of the modern-day Paleolithic fare include cereal grains, dairy products, high-glycemic fruits and vegetables, legumes, alcohol, salty foods, fatty meats, refined sugars and nearly all processed foods.” There are exceptions to those rules, and the authors explain them throughout the book. The good news for bodybuilders is that the Paleo eating plan is high in protein and medium to low in carbohydrates. The bad news is that dairy products are shunned, which means no whey protein supplements. The authors talk mostly about how the diet works for endurance athletes, so perhaps whey protein supplements for bodybuilders would be an exception. It’s interesting to see the Paleo diet compared to a


Chew Through Stress Most bodybuilders know that cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause the body to cannibalize muscle tissue. The higher your stress level, the harder it is to build your body. New research from the United Kingdom suggests that you can relieve moderate stress simply by chewing gum. In a recent study those who chewed had 12 percent less salivary cortisol than those who didn’t. —Becky Holman

Primal nutrition

standard USDA food pyramid diet. The Paleo eating plan blows it away in terms of nutrient density, protein totals—almost double—and good fats. The first few chapters discuss eating before and after exercise; however, once again it’s from an enduranceathlete perspective. Nevertheless, bodybuilders can learn a lot from the advice, such as proper hydration and how pre- and postworkout meals affect performance and recovery. Other bodybuilding-relevant topics include a new look at lactic acid and how it does not cause fatigue but acts as muscle fuel, the cause and prevention of muscle cramps, maintaining muscle glycogen stores, rebuilding muscle tissue, supplements and overtraining. The latter chapters include “The Training Table,” which lays out the steps to help you integrate a Paleo diet into your lifestyle. You’ll also find an entire section of recipes that adhere to the Paleo guidelines. While the book isn’t written for bodybuilders, those seeking muscle will find a lot of pertinent info for improving anabolism and health. After all, shouldn’t the bodybuilding lifestyle be about health first? —Becky Holman

2%(6,7< Fat Stat

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research declared that obesity has officially become a public health crisis in the United States—an epidemic! Obesity already costs U.S. taxpayers more than $17 billion in obesity-related health care annually, and the number-one killers of Americans are linked with obesity, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. More than 70 percent of the population is overweight, and 23 million American adults are 100 pounds over their ideal weight. Even sadder, one out of every six children in the U.S. is obese. —Becky Holman

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Not to be confused with the 1970s rock classic “Peg” by Steely Dan, PEG stands for polyethylene glycosylate. Many forms of creatine have been available since it hit the supplement market—creatine monohydrate, creatine citrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine pyruvate—but the combination of creatine and polyethylene glycosylate is truly novel. Some scientists believe it may help increase the absorption and uptake efficiency of creatine into skeletal muscle fibers. Specifically, PEG is believed to enhance the gastrointestinal absorption of creatine by increasing permeability coefficients in the GI tract and across the sarcolemma. In practical terms that means you can use a smaller dose to get the same ergogenic effect. A study just published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at the effects of a moderate dose of creatine monohydrate and two smaller doses of PEG creatine on muscular strength, endurance and power output. Fiftyeight healthy men volunteered and were randomly assigned to one of four groups: a) placebo, b) creatine monohydrate (5 grams of creatine), c) small-dose PEG creatine (1.25 grams) or d) moderate-dose PEG creatine (2.50 grams). They took the supplements over a 30-day period and underwent a battery of tests that included body mass, countermovement vertical jump height, power output during the Wingate test (peak power and mean power), one-repetition-maximum bench press and leg press strength, and repetitions to failure at 80 percent of one-rep maximum for the bench press and leg press. Here’s where the data get intriguing. Body mass and mean power increased in the creatine monohydrate group only. The bench press and leg press, however, improved for the cre-

Neveux \ Model: Chris Cook

PEG Your Power Output

atine monohydrate as well as the low- and higher-dose PEG groups. So smaller doses of PEG creatine improved muscle strength to the same extent as five grams per day of creatine monohydrate but did not alter body mass, power output or endurance. Here’s my take: If you want to get stronger and prefer a lower dose of a supplement, PEG is the way to go. Still, for most individuals, a five-gram serving of good old creatine monohydrate works wonders for muscle mass, strength and power. —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Editor’s note: Jose Antonio, Ph.D., is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition ( and is a sports science consultant to VPX/Redline. 1 Herda, T.J., Beck, T.W., Ryan, E.D., et al. (2009). Effects of creatine monohydrate and polyethylene glycosylated creatine supplementation on muscular strength, endurance, and power output. J Strength Cond Res. 23:818-26.


Just the Flax

Flaxseed oil vs. fish oil

It’s been reported that fish oil is superior to flaxseed oil for essential fatty acid absorption and uptake into the body. To get the full potency and benefits of EFAs from plant sources, like flaxseed, the body must convert alpha-linoleic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Those are hard enough to pronounce, but how difficult are they to generate? Apparently not that difficult. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists compared

the effects of flaxseed oil, fish oil and a placebo in more than 62 subjects. After 12 weeks blood tests showed that daily doses of about three grams of flaxseed oil produced the same amount of therapeutic omega-3 fatty acids as 1.2 grams of fish oil. It takes a little more to get the job done, but the plant source can do —Becky Holman it.

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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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Is Protein Timing Overplayed? and found that taking one before and after training enhanced recovery for 24 and 48 hours after the workout. While the researchers didn’t find any notable changes in hormone status, they did note that a measure of exercise-induced muscle damage decreased in those on the supplement but not in those getting the placebo. That, they suggest, may have resulted from an anticatabolic effect of the supplement related to upgraded muscle protein synthesis. Another study tested whether taking a combination of essential amino acids and carbohydrate prior to a weight-training workout would boost muscle protein synthesis afterward. Twenty-two young, healthy subjects were observed before, during and two hours after a leg-training workout. One group fasted before the workout, while the other group got essential amino acids and carbs one hour prior to training. Those in the amino-and-carb group showed an immediate rise in muscle protein synthesis, which dropped to resting level during the workout and remained unchanged an hour after it. Those in the fasting group showed a drop in muscle protein synthesis during the workout, followed by a rise an hour later. By the two-hour posttraining mark, both groups showed a 50 percent increase in muscle protein synthesis. During training, muscle protein synthesis is repressed through the increased expression of a protein called AMPK, an energy sensor in muscle that encourages the use of fuels such as fat. Taking the amino acid-and-carb combo before training prevented the usual drop in muscle protein synthesis that occurs during exercise, but it didn’t stimulate it either during or after exercise. AMPK counts were similar in both groups. On the other hand, the posttraining rise in muscle protein synthesis was delayed by an hour in the amino group. That may owe something to the rise in muscle protein synthesis right after the supplement was taken and may have resulted in a small refractory effect after the workout. Based on those findings, the authors suggest that it is more effective to take a supplement containing amino acids and carbs following a workout than before it. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Model: \ Rehan Jalali

Several studies have pointed to the importance of protein timing—taking in protein or amino acids close to a workout—which is thought to diminish excessive muscle protein breakdown during training. The increased blood flow that results from training may boost amino acid entry into muscle. One study of older men who got a supplement of 10 grams of protein, seven grams of carbohydrate and three grams of fat found that when it was taken immediately after training, that combination resulted in significant muscle gains. Those who took the same supplement two hours after the workout got no apparent benefits. In another study younger men, aged 21 to 24, got 40 grams of whey protein isolate and 43 grams of glucose either just before and after training or in the morning and evening. Those who took the supplement close to the workouts experienced far more gains in muscle size and strength than the others. These studies featured either untrained or recreational subjects. A new study featured college football players and powerlifters. Although the authors suggest that this makes their findings more relevant to experienced weight trainers, football players and powerlifters don’t train the same way bodybuilders do. In any case, the researchers set out to determine whether there is any advantage to taking a protein supplement before and after workouts compared to other times in relation to size and strength gains. The study lasted for 10 weeks and involved 33 men divided into two groups, with one group taking a protein supplement in the morning and evening, and the other group taking it just before and immediately after training. Another seven men, acting as a control group, didn’t use any protein supplements. The subjects were tested for changes in strength, power and body composition. All three groups showed improvements in one-rep-maximum bench press and squat strength after 10 weeks, but there were no significant differences between the groups. None showed any changes in body mass or percentage of bodyfat. Based on those findings, the authors suggest that taking in more protein than the required 1.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight doesn’t yield additional muscle gains, regardless of when you get the protein. They did note, however, that the subjects met the requirements for protein intake suggested for strength athletes and also underscored the idea that strength athletes benefit from getting more protein. The supplement they used was low in carbohydrate. Combining protein with carbohydrate leads to an increased insulin release, which in turn leads to greater amino acid uptake into muscle and provides an anticatabolic effect. The subjects also took in fewer than the optimal number of daily calories, which would limit muscle size gains to an extent. In a study published in a different journal, the same authors tested the effects of a protein supplement on exercise recovery

References Hoffman, J.R., et al. (2009). Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power and body composition changes in resistancetrained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 19:172-85. Hoffman, J.R., et al. (2009). Effect of a proprietary protein supplement on recovery indices following resistance exercise in strength/power athletes. Amino Acids. In press. Fujita, S., et al. (2009). Essential amino acid and carbohydrate ingestion prior to resistance exercise does not enhance postexercise muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol. In press.

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

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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-Training Program 119

From the IRON MAN Training & Research Center

by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Photography by Michael Neveux

Balik \ Model: Arnold Schwarzenegger


t’s one of the most important truisms of bodybuilding: When gains slow down, you have to mix things up. In other words, your workouts must change if you want to spur new gains. Our 10x10 experiment is the perfect example. You may recall that we managed to put on about eight pounds of muscle—that’s what the scale registered six weeks into our 10x10–based program, with abs just as sharp as when we began. Seeing that bigger number on the scale without losing belt notches was a nice surprise. One reason for the anabolic convergence was our shift in hypertrophic emphasis; that is, the shift to 10x10, with less heavy stress than the all-heavy max-force training we’d been doing previously, which was basically straight-set Positions-of-Flexion workouts. That gave our bodies the chance to supercompensate and grow. The newness wore off, though, and our 10x10 gains soon stagnated. We even noticed some mass regression—but no need to panic. That’s the danger of becoming enamored

of one training method—your gains eventually slow down, but you’re in denial because you’re convinced that what you’re doing is the holy grail of muscle building. News flash: There’s no such thing. You have to keep moving to new styles of training to keep your muscles growing. It’s just a physiological fact, at least for drug-free trainees. Once we noticed results grinding to a halt—and it took us a while to come to grips with that because 10x10 was still producing an outrageous pump and burn—we figured out a way to morph it into something with new hypertrophic edges.

The Combo-to-Grow Method We call it the combination-integration technique, and it works best on the big, compound, or midrange, exercises, like bench presses, squats and rows. Here’s the drill: 1) You do two or three progressively heavier warmup sets. 2) You do two heavy sets to ex-

haustion, eight to 10 reps each, taking 2 1/2 minutes between sets. We usually pyramid the weight on the two work sets, adding poundage on the second; our reps go something like nine to 10 on the first set, then seven or eight on the second. That ensures maximum-force generation. 3) After those two heavy all-out sets you go to a lighter poundage, one you could do for about 15 reps, and do four sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds of rest after each. So it’s 10x10 style but done over four sets instead of 10. With the combo-to-grow method you get max-force production on the first heavy sets and tension/ occlusion emphasis on the 4x10 sequence. It’s similar to the way Arnold used to train his big exercises, pyramiding up over a few sets, the last two being heavy all-out efforts. Then he’d reduce the weight for two lighter “burnout” sets. We prefer to end with the 4x10 sequence instead, as it produces more workout density (more on that key mass-building concept coming up). \ SEPTEMBER 2009 73

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Muscle-Training Program 119 Why the Heavy-Plus-4x Sequence Works The combo-to-grow method is a double-barreled mass-building attack aimed point-blank at the compound exercise. You’ll feel it working—in a way different from what you get with 10x10. Is it better? Not necessarily. It’s just different. There’s more max-force emphasis, which is a good change—you continue to make gains. Of course, pure 10x10 workouts still have their place for four-to-six-week phases. So here’s the lesson from all of this: Shifting muscle-building emphasis can ignite a significant size surge, as we found when we first moved to 10x10. In fact, a great

mass-building strategy is to use a pure 10x10 routine, like the first program in The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout, for about four weeks. You train four days per week, hitting each bodypart once every four to six days, performing the ultimate exercise for each bodypart in 10x10 style and nothing else. That means your workouts take only 30 to 40 minutes. After that four-week phase go back to standard heavy training with classic three-way Positions of Flexion infused with X Reps. You can find many POF program variations in Steve’s books or in our e-books at—for example, Phase 2 of Jonathan’s 20-Pounds-of-Musclein-10-Weeks program, which is outlined in 3D Muscle Building, our

POF e-manual. What about the combo-to-grow method? You can use it on the big, midrange exercise for some or all bodyparts in any POF program. Here’s an example for triceps: Midrange Close-grip bench presses 2 x 8-10 Midrange Close-grip bench presses (10x10 style) 4 x 10 Stretch Overhead extensions 2 x 8-10 Contracted Pushdowns 1 x 10-15 Moving back to POF after a pure 10x10 workout phase, you get new max-force emphasis, but you also

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 119 Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs Smith-machine low-incline presses (X Reps) 2 x 10, 8 Bench presses 4 x 10 Tri-set Wide-grip dips (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 High cable flyes (drop) 1 x 10(6) Superset Wide-grip dips (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Low cable flyes (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Leg press calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 12-15 Standing calf raises 4 x 15 Machine donkey raises (double drop) 1 x 12(8)(5) Hanging kneeups 1 x 15 Incline kneeups 4 x 10 Tri-set Ab Bench crunches (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Full-range twisting crunches 1 x 9-12 End-of-bench kneeups (X Reps) 1 x 9-12

Workout 2: Back, Forearms Parallel-grip chins (X Reps) Parallel-grip pulldowns Tri-set Undergrip pulldowns Dumbbell pullovers Rope rows Bent-over dumbbell rows (X Reps) Tri-set Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop) Shrugs (X Reps) Barbell upright rows Dumbbell reverse curls Superset Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls Dumbbell reverse wrist curls Superset

2 x 10, 8 4 x 10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 3 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 2 x 12, 9 4 x 10 2 x 12, 9 1 x 12 1 x 8-10 4 x 15

Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps) Forearm Bar wrist curls Barbell or dumbbell wrist curls Dumbbell rockers

1 x 12 1 x 8-10 4 x 15 1 x 15-20

Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back Leg extensions (warmup) Machine hack squats Old-style hack squats Tri-set Leg extensions (drop) Sissy squats (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Hyperextensions Leg curls (double drop)

1 x 18-20 2 x 12, 9 4 x 10 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 4 x 10 1 x 10(7)(4)

Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps Dumbbell presses (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Seated lateral raises 2 x 8-10 Tri-set Incline one-arm lateral raises 1 x 10-12 Leaning one-arm lateral raises 1 x 8-10 One-arm cable lateral raises 1 x 7-9 Forward-lean lateral raises 4 x 10 Bent-over lateral raises (drop) 1 x 10(8) Dumbbell close-grip bench presses (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Decline extensions 4 x 10 Tri-set Rope pushouts 1 x 8-10 Bench dips 1 x 8-10 Kickbacks 1 x 8-10 Rope pushdowns 1 x 12-15 Preacher curls 2 x 8-10 Dumbbell curls 4 x 10 Incline curls (drop set) 1 x 9(6) Concentration curls 1 x 8-10 Rope hammer curls 1 x 12-15 Seated calf raises 1 x 12, 3 x 12

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Try 10x10 for four weeks, and then shift to heavy-plus-4x10 POF. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s variation for new mass stimulation thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guaranteed to get you growing. get unique mass-building stimulation from stretch overload with exercises like overhead extensions for triceps in the above routine, dumbbell flyes for pecs, pullovers for lats, etc. When discussing stretch-position exercises, we always like to bring up the animal study that produced a 300 percent mass increase from using only stretch overload for one monthâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it was the only stimulusâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; so you can see itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very powerful get-bigger trigger. Shifting mass-building emphasis regularly is one of the best ways to ignite significant muscle size surges. Try 10x10 for four weeks, and then shift to heavy-plus-4x10 POF. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s variation for new mass stimulation thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guaranteed to get you growing.

Workout Density Researching the 10x10 method, we discovered that Vince Gironda, famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru, used it and variations of it, like 8x8, with his clients to get exceptionally fast results. He said it worked so quickly because it condensed more work into a specifiic time frame. Vince liked to have trainees start by taking about 60 seconds between sets, gradually reducing the rest to 30 or even 20 seconds. He coined the size-building concept â&#x20AC;&#x153;workout density.â&#x20AC;? Using 10x10, with 30 secondsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rest between sets, you can thrash a muscle in about 10 minutes. We found ourselves nodding in agreement with Vince because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve noted that we always gain more muscle and lose loads of ugly

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Muscle-Training Program 119 Drop sets, another great workoutdensity technique, are made for contractedposition exercises.

fat every spring when we begin incorporating drop sets and doubledrops. A drop set is basically taking a weight to exhaustion, reducing the load and immediately doing another set to exhaustion. A double drop is simply tacking on another set immediately after the second—three progressively lighter sets in a row instead of just two. It’s an unbeatable way to up your workout density, not to mention your growth hor-

mone output. Another way we ramp up workout density is with supersets and trisets. Doing two or three exercises back to back really torches the muscle from different angles, which is a bit different from performing drop sets all on the same exercise. So are supersets and tri-sets better than drops and double drops? No, just different. We use both when we’re in a serious ripping phase, looking to build muscle as we burn fat. The programs we’ve included in this installment of TEG reflect our ripping-phase routine for 2009. They are a convergence of the combo-to-grow method on the big, midrange exercise, followed by stretch- and contracted-position moves with drop sets, double-drop sets, supersets, tri-sets or a combination. Here’s our chest routine, which reflects what we’re talking

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Home-Gym Program 119 Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs Low-incline presses (X Reps) Bench presses Incline flyes (drop) Flat-bench flyes (drop) Donkey calf raises (X Reps) One-leg calf raises Hanging kneeups (X Reps) Incline kneeups Superset Full-range crunches (drop) End-of-bench kneeups

Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back 2 x 10, 8 4 x 10 1 x 9(6) 1 x 9(6) 3 x 13-15 4 x 15 1 x15 4 x10 1 x 10(8) 1 x 8-10

Workout 2: Back, Forearms Parallel-grip chins Chins Tri-set Dumbbell pullovers Undergrip rows (drop) Bent-over barbell or dumbbell rows (X Reps) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (double drop) Shrugs (X Reps) Barbell upright rows Reverse curls Reverse wrist curls Wrist curls Dumbbell rockers (drop)

2 x 10, 8 4x8 1 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 3 x 8-10 2 x 10(7)(4) 2 x 12, 9 4 x 10 2 x 8-10 4 x 15 4 x 15 1 x 17(10)

Leg extensions (warmup) Squats Old-style hack squats Tri-set Leg extensions (drop) Sissy squats (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Hyperextensions Leg curls (double drop)

1 x 20 2 x 10, 8 4 x 10 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 4 x 10 1 x 10(7)(4)

Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Seated lateral raises (X Reps) Incline one-arm laterals (drop) Forward-lean laterals Bent-over laterals (drop) Close-grip bench presses Decline extensions Superset Overhead extensions Bench dips Kickbacks Drag or preacher curls Dumbbell curls Incline curls (drop) Concentration curls Hammer curls Seated calf raises

2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 10(7) 4 x 10 1 x 10(6) 2 x 10, 8 4 x 10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 12-15 2 x 10, 8 4 x 10 1 x 10(7) 1 x 12-15 1 x 10-12 1 x 10-12, 3 x 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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Muscle-Training Program 119

Remember to shake up your program when gains slow down. Shifting musclebuilding emphasis and varying workout density are two excellent ways to get the mass-building job done.

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about: Midrange Low-incline bench presses Midrange Bench presses (10x10 style) Stretch/Contracted Tri-set Wide-grip dips High cable flyes (drop) Stretch/Contracted Superset Wide-grip dips Low cable flyes

2 x 8-10

4 x 10

1 x 8-10 1 x 10(6)

1 x 8-10 1 x 9-12

If we trained in a crowded commercial gym, tri-sets and supersets would be impossible. In that case, we’d change the tri-set to a drop or double-drop on wide-grip dips; then we’d end with a drop or double drop on high cable flyes.

Something else to notice about the program: On the combo-togrow midrange sequence we used two different exercises—one for the power pyramid and one for the 4x10; however, on the triceps example we used close-grip bench presses for both the two heavy sets and the 4x10 workout-density sequence. Using two different but somewhat similar exercises may provide more overall fiber stimulation, but it’s not mandatory. Go with the method you’re most comfortable with—and can work within your particular gym environment. Another example is quads. After a warmup we begin with two heavy sets on machine hack squats; then we move to old-style hacks, feet elevated on a two-by-four and holding the bar behind our glutes as we squat, for the 4x10 sequence. That burns like the fires of hell! You’ll see more examples in our program on

page 74. Those are our big changes up to this point. Remember to shake up your program when gains slow down. Shifting muscle-building emphasis, as we’ve done with the combo-togrow strategy, and varying workout density are two excellent ways to get the mass-building job done. To see how our workouts are evolving, visit our training blog at X-Rep .com. If you want to explore more about workout density, see the new e-programs Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout and The Ultimate PowerDensity Mass Workout, available as instant downloads at Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog training and supplement journals, visit One of the bestselling e-workout programs is shown below. IM

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by John Hansen Mr. Natural Olympia

Advice for Advanced Muscle Growth

A: Congratulations on making the transition to the fitness lifestyle. As you’ve discovered, it’s never too late to get in shape and turn your life around. Exercising regularly and eating correctly are the best way to have a high-quality life and to look and feel good.

You seem to have started out the right way. You got your cardiovascular system in shape by walking several times a week. You also trained your muscular system with resistance exercises performed on machines. From there you progressed to training with free weights and running. As I’m sure you’ve discovered, training with free weights is much more challenging than using machines, just as running is much more difficult than walking. If you’ve been doing a full-body routine using free weights for 10 to 12 weeks, it’s all right to progress to a split routine. As you know, that involves adding more exercises for each muscle group and training your body over two or more days instead of working every muscle group in one workout. Although that may mean you work out four days a week as opposed to three days, you actually work each muscle group less often. On the splits I have in mind, you train each muscle group only twice a week. That’s necessary because of the increased workload. You can split up the bodyparts in several ways. Use the routine you like best so you look forward to each workout. One method is the push-pull system. You train all the pushing muscles (chest, deltoids, triceps) in one workout and the pulling muscles (back, biceps) plus legs in the next one. The push-pull routine is a good one because there’s no danger of training the same muscle groups two days in a row. Another method of splitting your workouts is to train chest, back and shoulders at one session and legs and arms at the other session. Many bodybuilders like that approach. One advantage is that the chest, back and shoulders are all close to each other, so training them together gives you a great pump. Another benefit (continued on is that you train page 102) your legs with your arms. It’s difficult to train legs with a major

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Q: I started working out and eating healthfully in January, as I’d finally had enough of being out of shape. I started slowly, walking and doing a cycle of machines to work my entire body three days a week. I began reading articles online and in magazines. I’m now lifting more free weights and am using a split routine, and I’m running. I absolutely love this lifestyle, love the way I feel while working out and afterward. I wish I’d tried it when I was younger. I started visiting Web sites such as yours to motivate me. Understanding the amount of time and effort you put into looking that good really drives me to work harder—so thank you. Is there any advice you can give me to take my workouts to the next level? Like certain supplements or exercises or a particular bodypart split?

Push-pull routines are a popular way of splitting up the body for advanced gains.

muscle group like back or chest. Training them with smaller muscle groups, like the arms, is much more efficient. Here’s an example of two routines using both methods: Routine 1: The Push-Pull Method Monday and Thursday Bench presses 4 sets Incline presses 3 sets Flyes 2-3 sets Military presses 3 sets Lateral raises 3 sets Barbell shrugs 3 sets Pushdowns 3 sets Parallel-bar dips 2-3 sets Seated calf raises 3 sets Tuesday and Friday Hanging knee raises Crunches Squats Leg presses Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Wide-grip chins Barbell rows Incline curls Barbell curls

2-3 sets 2-3 sets 4 sets 3 sets 3 sets 2-3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 2 sets 2 sets

Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi

1$785$//<+8*( Routine 2: Alternate Method Monday and Thursday Bench presses Incline presses Flyes Wide-grip chins Barbell rows Seated cable rows Military presses Lateral raises Barbell shrugs Standing calf raises

4 sets 3 sets 2-3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 3 sets 3 sets

Tuesday and Friday Hanging knee raises Crunches Squats Leg presses Leg curls Stiff-legged deadlifts Pushdowns Lying triceps extensions Seated dumbbell curls Barbell curls

2-3 sets 2-3 sets 4 sets 3 sets 3 sets 2-3 sets 3 sets 2-3 sets 2 sets 2 sets

As for supplements, I’m sure by now that you’ve discovered the benefits of supplementing your diet with protein drinks. There are so many high-quality protein powders on the market these days that it’s easy to meet your protein requirement of 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. I prefer a combination of milk, egg and whey proteins. That ensures that the protein will be digested and absorbed more slowly, providing muscles with a steady stream of protein for several hours. I use the Pro Complex brand from Optimum Nutrition. You also should have a recovery drink immediately after you’re finished training. The postworkout drink combines whey protein with fast-digesting carbohydrates to restore the amino acids and glycogen in muscle cells. By taking in the drink within 30 minutes after finishing training, you increase your recovery and growth. Two excellent postworkout drink mixes are RecoverX by Muscle Link and 2:1:1 Recovery by Optimum Nutrition. Q: I see your picture in IRON MAN every month and read your articles. You look fabulous for not being a juicer. That’s why I’d like your opinion on something. I’m 66 years old and have been training for 50 years. There’s not much training information for people over 60. I was Mr. Detroit in 1966 and Senior Ultra masters Mr. Arizona in 2008. I train hard, have a clean diet and take all of my supplements, but I can’t get the big, hard look with the separation I once had. Is it because of my age? Is there anything I can do? Any advice or tips you could share with me would be greatly appreciated. I’m 5’11”, 205 pounds and 23 percent bodyfat. A: I can understand your frustration. It definitely gets more difficult to get ripped and into contest condition as we get older. Our metabolisms slow down because of the changes in our hormone levels. After your mid-20s, both testosterone and growth hormone begin to decline. Testosterone is the primary

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1$785$//<+8*( hormone for mass and strength. Growth hormone is the primary hormone for regulating fat deposition on the body. The decline of those two important hormones makes a difference in your appearance. The good news is that you’ve been training for most of your life, so you have a good amount of mass. It’s always easier to maintain muscle than it is to start building it in your senior years. Although you may be somewhat smaller in size than you were 20 to 30 years ago, you’ll still be able to maintain much of your size by continuing to train with heavy resistance three to four times a week. Heavy weight training using the basic exercises also helps the body release testosterone. You mentioned that you’re 5’11” and 205 pounds at 23 percent bodyfat. I’m not sure what method of bodyfat testing you’re using, but that seems very high for someone who’s been actively bodybuilding most of his life. The key to getting the hard-and-ripped look is diet. I’m not sure what diet you’re following now, but you have to reduce your bodyfat by speeding up your metabolism, feeding the muscles and starving the fat cells. That’s all accomplished through the right nutrition program. At 66 years old you’ll most likely have to eat fewer calories than you did when you were younger. If your bodyfat is really 23 percent, your lean bodyweight is approximately 158 pounds. For your protein intake you want to eat 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of lean muscle tissue. That would equal 237 grams of protein each day: 158 x 1.5 = 237. You should focus on eating lean protein such as egg whites, chicken breasts, lean ground turkey, lean red meat and fish. Those foods, along with a high-quality protein supplement, will maintain and build your lean muscle tissue as you lose bodyfat. You’ll have to carefully watch your carbohydrate intake if you want to get lean and ripped at your age. Focus on complex carbs that are high in fiber and digested very slowly. Oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole-grain bread are great for restoring and supplying the muscles with glycogen without causing excess fat storage. I’ve found that, as I get older, I have to cut back more and more on my carbohydrates. You’ll have to experiment to see how many carbs you can take in while consistently losing fat. I like to cycle my carb intake so that I’m getting more on my weight-training days and less on my rest days. By alternating, I keep the muscles full while simultaneously starving the fat cells. You may need to lower your carbs to only 150 grams on your training days and as low as 100 grams on your nontraining days. As I said above, you’ll have to experiment to discover the exact number, but I think that would be a good place to begin at your age and weight. Don’t forget to get adequate amounts of the essential fatty acids. I always supplement my diet with flaxseed oil—two tablespoons per day, added to my protein drinks—and foods that are high in the essential fatty acids, such as salmon. Putting it all together, if you ate 237 grams of protein, 100 to 150 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fats per day, your calorie intake would vary from 1,986 on your training days (with 150 grams of carbs) to 1,786 on your nontraining days. The macronutrient breakdown would look like this:

Training Days 1,986 calories 237 grams of protein 150 grams of carbohydrate 50 grams of fat 47 percent protein, 30 percent carb, 23 percent fat Rest Days 1,786 calories 237 grams of protein 100 grams of carbohydrate 50 grams of fat 52 percent protein, 22 percent carb, 25 percent fat Getting ripped in your 60s is more difficult, but it’s attainable. My friend Murrell Hall from Decatur, Illinois, is a great example. Murrell is 68 years old, and he is ripped and rock hard all the time. He has been competing for 30 years, and he never lets himself get out of shape. In fact, I think he has to lose only about five pounds to get ready for a contest. Murrell eats the same diet day in and day out. He hasn’t had a slice of pizza in more than 30 years, and he goes off his diet only on the night of his competition, when he lets himself have a hamburger with french fries. I think that’s the key to Murrell’s success in bodybuilding—consistently staying lean and ripped and never allowing himself to gain any fat. It’s much easier to get in shape when you never get out of shape. Start recording your diet every day. Keep track of the calories, protein, carb and fat you take in on a daily basis. Follow my guidelines, and take it from there. When you start writing everything down, it will be much easier for you to figure out what you need to do to get that ripped, winning physique. 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@NaturalOlympia .com. Look for John’s DVD, “Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions,” along with his book, Natural Bodybuilding, and his training DVD, “Real Muscle,” at his Web site or at Home Gym Warehouse, Listen to John’s new radio show, “Natural Bodybuilding Radio,” at www.NaturalBodybuildingRadio .com. You can send written correspondence to John Hansen, P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561. IM

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by Dave Goodin

Texas Shredder Classic XII The bikini division sported a field of 15 beautiful ladies. One of my training partners, Rebekah Gregory—who I had to arm-twist to enter—was absolutely stunning in winning the bikini A class. Rebekah took the nod from the judges for the overall title over statuesque Tianna Flores, sister of figure C champ Stephanie Flores. The ’09 NPC Nutrishop Texas Shredder Classic once again proved that a drug-free physique contest can be a smashing success. All athletes were polygraph-tested for a five-year drug-free minimum. Open champions were tested by urinalysis. Special thanks to all of our sponsors, particularly Charlie Hartwig, of our title sponsor, Nutrishop Austin. As always, thank you to my staff—the show couldn’t have happened without you. Huge thanks to my daughter Blythe, my girlfriend, Diana Hurley, and my good buddy David Nall. We pulled off another great one.

’09 NPC Texas Shredder Classic Novice Lightweight 1) Ernesto Portunato 2) August Dobelman 3) Robert Walker 4) Arnold Williams 5) Scott Demoss Novice Middleweight 1) Nicholas Mossmeyer 2) Jim Nettles 3) Michael Daniels 4) Anthony Stone 5) Matthew Broome

Photography by by Lisa Brewer

The word was that there was a “buzz” around the country about the ’09 NPC Nutrishop Texas Shredder Classic. That may be true, but when the time came on April 25, there was a roar in Austin, Texas. The 12th Annual Texas Shredder Classic was absolutely the best ever. The only glitch was that my daughters, Blythe and Molly, couldn’t sell tickets fast enough at the door and we had to hold up the start of the night show because there were so many people waiting to get in. With more than 150 entries and a sold-out Texas School for the Deaf Auditorium, Texas bodybuilding fans were in for a real treat. My good friend and IFBB fitness pro Nicole Hobbs opened the show with her dazzling routine. Later on twotime Team Universe champ and NPC National champ Kelly Pettiford displayed his world-class physique. The most exciting thing about this show—at least for me—was the rematch between ’08 novice middleweight champ Craig Ritchie and ’08 novice heavyweight champ Amechi “Kene” Chinweze. At last year’s show Ritchie narrowly took the novice overall with an incredibly muscular and shredded physique. This year the duo went head to head in the open heavyweight division. Both men came in better than last year, but it was the much improved 6’4”, 238-pound Chinweze who took the heavyweight and overall titles. The women’s bodybuilding title proved to be a battle of the middleweights. Returning champion Mary Moran Parker had her hands full with muscular Jorah Messbarger. But Mary was able to outmuscle Jorah for the middleweight victory and repeated as women’s overall champion. The figure division was a judge’s nightmare, with 46 outstanding ladies entered. Gorgeous figure B champion Holly Kalani Barber held off class winners Christina Carroll, Stephanie Flores and Dawn Hinz for a hard-earned overall title.

Amechi “Kene” Chinweze, men’s overall champ.

Mary Moran Parker, women’s overall champ.

Jake Oszczakiewicz, novice men’s overall winner.

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Novice Heavyweight 1) Jake Oszczakiewicz* 2) Brandon Walker 3) Corby Holcomb 4) Patrick Joiner

Figure B 1) Holly Kalani Barber* 2) Dana McKee 3) Kristen McFalls 4) Tammy Kemnitz 5) Angela Hill

Men’s Lightweight 1) Wayland Rios 2) Rostant Taylor 3) Michael McCure 4) Joshua Taylor Men’s Middleweight 1) Robert Ramsey 2) Francisco Montealegne 3) Gerald Peil 4) Eric Hayes 5) Michael Tindall

Figure C 1) Stephanie Flores 2) Jamie Stewart 3) Erin Rocamontes 4) Julie Fly 5) Pat Lechuga

Alejandra Palacios.

Men’s Heavyweight 1) Amechi Chinweze* 2) Craig Ritchie 3) Richard Conner 4) Dave McCulley 5) Joseph Lawler

Masters Figure 35+ 1) Tammy Kemnitz 2) Tarsha Jackson 3) Alejandra Palacios 4) Traci Baird 5) Charlotta Blalock

Masters Men 40-49 1) Gerald Peil 2) Eric Hayes 3) Michael Tindall 4) Peter Torres 5) Arnold Williams

Gerald Peil. Masters Figure 50+ 1) Celia Cadena 2) Aura Gallardo

Masters Men 50-59 1) Gary Benkendorf 2) Tony Noviello 3) Theo Thurston 4) Sam Felts 5) Patrick Joiner

Bikini A 1) Rebekah Gregory* 2) Hilary Coffie 3) Arlene Myer 4) Traci Baird 5) Juanita Wrinkle

Teen 1) August Dobelman 2) Luis Alvarez

Holly Kalani Barber.

Masters Women 1) Mary Moran Parker 2) Jorah Messbarger 3) Janett Martell 4) Beverly Williams-Hawkins 5) Lacey Ann Brown

Women’s Lightweight 1) Janett Martell Women’s Middleweight 1) Mary Moran Parker* 2) Jorah Messbarger 3) Lacey Ann Brown

Bikini B 1) Tianna Flores 2) Elena Navarro 3) Shannon Beer 4) Yvette Moyer 5) Jennifer Yanko Masters Bikini 1) Alejandra Palacios 2) Shaley Griffin 3) Tamara Giadone 4) Pat Lechuga 5) Juanita Wrinkle

Masters Women 50+ 1) Beverly Williams-Hawkins

Figure A 1) Christina Carroll 2) Amber Passini 3) Krissy Richard 4) Michele Wile 5) Dinora Galvan

Figure D 1) Dawn Hinz 2) Angela Kammerdiener 3) Morgan Bacia 4) Elena Navarro 5) Natasha Reyes

Beverly WilliamsHawkins.

Novice Women’s Lightweight 1) Beverly WilliamsHawkins* 2) Julie Brandon *Overall winners.

Editor’s Note: See Dave Goodin’s blog at www Click on the blog selection in the top menu bar. To contact Dave directly, send e-mail to

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by Steve Holman

Heavy Sets Plus 10X

A: That would send most people into overtraining shock. It’s too much work on one exercise for the majority of trainees. A better strategy would be to end with 5x10 instead of 10x10. If you stick with 30-second rests between sets, you can complete that “burn” sequence in about six minutes. Remember to use a lighter weight for your 5x10 sequence, one you can get 10 with easily on the first set. Rest 30 seconds, and then hit it again. The sets will get progressively harder, and by set five you should barely get 10—or only eight or nine. Your pec pump will be through the roof. I must warn you that even though you use lighter poundages on 10x10 sequences, it’s a very powerful and

taxing method. Don’t abuse it. If you do other exercises in normal fashion for a bodypart plus 10x10, you may want to reduce it to 8x10, 8x8 or even 5x10, as in the above example, which assumes you’ll be doing more chest work after bench presses. According to researcher Jerry Brainum, a rare affliction called exertional rhabdomyolysis occurs when muscle cells are damaged by unusual exercise protocols. Getting ER from 10x10 is highly unlikely for any but a beginning trainee; however, using that technique with a lot of other exercises and intensity tactics could do damage that you may not recover from by your next workout for the target bodypart. Most bodybuilders have a more-is-better attitude, which is why overtraining and slow-to-no gaining is so prevalent. Err on the side of caution with 10x10. If you use it on a big, midrange exercise, a few sets on a couple of other movements will be the limit. Using biceps as an example: Barbell curls (midrange) Incline curls (stretch) Concentration curls (contracted)

10 x 10 2x9 1 x 10-12

The two extra exercises let you complete the Positions-

I must warn you that even though you use lighter poundages on 10x10 sequences, it’s still a very powerful and taxing method. 94 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Neveux \ Model: Jamo Nezzar

Q: I have all of your e-books—blockbuster mass info. I’ve learned a lot and added about 25 pounds of muscle since your first X-Rep e-book [The Ultimate Mass Workout]. Your latest, Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout, is killer too. Even though 10x10 is working great on calves and arms, I just can’t get myself to use lighter poundages on some exercises, like bench presses. What do you think about doing my normal warmup sets, two heavy work sets and then ending with 10x10 with a lighter poundage on bench?

When you’re using 10x10, switching to a lower-intensity week every month or so is recommended for full recovery. Simply pull back to 6x10.

Neveux \ Model: Mike O’Hearn

Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

of-Flexion full-range chain for more complete development and provide you with different anabolic stimuli—stretch overload and tension/occlusion. That will provide quite a bit of biceps trauma, so you may need seven days of recovery before you can train biceps intensely again. Of course, some trainees may not be able to cope with 10x10 on barbell curls. It might be best to reduce it to 8x10 or even 8x8. Look at it this way: Pro bodybuilders on steroids who do 15 to 20 sets per bodypart train each muscle group only once a week—and that’s with powerful pharmaceutical recovery help. Also consider that your biceps get hammered during back work, so the above will inflict a lot of extra damage. The 10x10 sequence produces a lot of microtrauma, and training the muscle intensely again, when it’s still sore, is like scratching the scab off of a wound—it will never heal properly; however, there is a way to ensure complete recovery and ignite even bigger gains. I often discuss and recommend phase training for optimal mass gains. It’s a big reason Jonathan Lawson, my training partner, gained 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks with the Size Surge program—he moved to subfailure, lowintensity workouts during weeks 5 and 10. Subfailure, medium-intensity workouts enabled For muscle groups like biceps, which get lots of residual work his body to fully recover from the previous four during back training, it may be best to use 8x10 or even 8x8 instead weeks of all-out training—and his muscles got of the standard 10x10 set sequence. bigger and fuller during the downshift weeks. I suggest a downshift week after a month or so of hard, steady workouts. I know it’s tough to take your intensity down a few don’t want that! notches when your motivation is high and you’re gaining One last thing: For a downshift from 10x10, simply pull big. Trust me, though: You’ll make larger leaps in size when back to 6x10 with the same weight for one week. That will you pull back. Complete recovery is the key. A downshift keep your last set relatively easy but still pump up the week prevents systemic exhaustion, an overtraining rut target bodypart, flooding it with blood and nutrients to acthat can stall progress or even cause muscles to shrink. You celerate full recovery and muscle supercompensation. Q: I want to thank you. I’m from Italy, 178 centimeters tall, and my weight now is 150 pounds. At the beginning of December my weight was only 136. My increase in muscular mass, almost 15 pounds, is due to you. Before your training methods, I tried so many others, but with no results. The program that worked is the 10week Size Surge [that Jonathan used to gain 20 pounds of muscle, listed in the e-book 3D Muscle Building]. I’d like to improve my muscle mass to 165 pounds, with a particular emphasis on delts, back and forearms. I believe forearms are very important. Can you suggest anything to increase my mass? I have all of your e-books, so I can look up any method you suggest. A: Thank you for the complimentary e-mail. I’m glad you’re making such striking progress with one of my most popular and effective workouts, the 10-week Size Surge program that Jonathan used for his transformation. His progress photos during that \ SEPTEMBER 2009 95

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Neveux \ Model: Nathan Detracy

Poliquin has suggested, one of the best, most efficient forearm and upper-arm size builders is reverse curls. He says it’s one of the keys to a burst of new arm mass, and we’re finding that to be true in our own workouts. Reverse curls directly train the extensors, on top of the forearms, as you curl; the flexors underneath as you grip the bar, and the brachialis muscles that snake under your biceps, which will make your upper arm appear much larger and improve the peak of your biceps. Perform reverse curls with an EZ-curl bar instead of a straight bar for less wrist strain. Or try it with dumbbells; we were surprised at how different those felt from the barbell or EZ-curlbar versions. Follow up with rockers—holding dumbbells at the sides of your thighs at arm’s length; alternate curling your hands up and in for flexors and up and out for extensors. Those two exercises give you a quick, complete lower-arm blast with According to Charles Poliquin, reverse major upper-arm size effects. curls are one of the best exercises for Okay, now to phase 2, which forearm and upper-arm size. The dumbbell includes full POF for all body– version is especially effective. parts. Do two things to make it more effective. 1) Use X Reps on the last set of each midrange exercise. mass-building experiment are very motivational. Just seeWhen you reach exhaustion on a set, move the resistance to ing his 10-week results can program your mind to help you the point at which the target muscle is semistretched, such pack on more mass. I’ve run them so often that I’d rather as near the bottom of an incline press, and fire up to just not put them in this column again, so new readers can see below the halfway point for as many controlled, explosive them at 10-inch partials as possible. If it’s impossible to do X Reps, For those not familiar with the program, phase 1, the simply hold at the semistretch point for as long as you can. first five weeks, is a basic three-days-per-week routine 2) On the finishing contracted-position exercise, use a designed to prime anabolic drive. While the workouts are drop set instead of straight sets. That’s two sets done back fairly short, they’re tough, and you still train every bodyto back with a weight reduction. Eventually move to three part two to three times a week with direct or indirect work. sets done back to back with a weight reduction on the last That’s because most of the exercises are compound, or two. That will increase mass via the growth of the endurmultijoint, moves with a lot of muscle overlap—they train a ance components—the mitochondria and capillaries—and number of muscles at once. the release of growth hormone. Phase 2, the second five weeks, transitions to full threeGood luck, and keep me posted on your progress. way Positions of Flexion for each bodypart, using an everyother-day two-way split. That lets you build even more muscle via max force, stretch overload and tension/occluEditor’s note: Steve Holman is sion with the midrange-, stretch- and contracted-position the author of many bodybuilding exercises for every muscle group. best-sellers and the creator of To up the mass effects of Phase 1, I suggest you simply Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. expand to full POF workouts for bodyparts you want to For information on the POF videos specialize on. In other words, stick with the basic threeand Size Surge programs, see the ad days-per-week program, but insert full-range POF for delts, sections beginning on pages 90 and back and forearms. There isn’t any direct forearm work in 232, respectively. Also visit www phase 1, but you can add it to the arm workout on for information on X-Rep day. and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM As Olympic coach and bodybuilding expert Charles 96 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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100 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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A Bodybuilder Is Born—Episode 50

MOST You’re Given

Making the

of What

by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux


ack-to-school shopping sure has changed since I was a lad. My 12-year-old daughter is about to start the seventh grade. On an average of twice a week since classes ended last spring, my wife has accompanied her to the mall to comb through the racks at Abercrombie Kids, Pac Sunwear and Limited Too, as well as numerous shoe stores and accessories shops, in an endless search for not just the perfect outfit but roughly 50 perfect outfits. You would think, from the amount of money being spent and the time invested, that she was entering Beverly Hills middle school and that I was some sort of corporate tycoon or rock star. Unfortunately, my darling little girl’s developing mind has been warped by shows like MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” in which spoiled-brat princesses alternately whine, brag and shriek as they prepare for sweet-16 parties on the scale of royal weddings, complete with formal wear, bands that play current top-40 hits, male models jumping out of cakes and dancing around in thongs and luxury automobiles that the little snot will probably total in a drunk-driving accident later that evening. Half of them don’t even have driver’s licenses yet. All of this is financed by wealthy dads who are almost certainly tough S.O.B.s in the business world but at home are simpering wussies whose daughters have

them wrapped tightly around their fingers. I exaggerate a bit about my daughter’s wardrobe budget, but this much is true. If she attended a nice private school with a name like The Wadsworth-Uppity Academy for Splendid Young Ladies and wore a school uniform rather than the latest fashions, we’d be spending about the same amount of money. In contrast, I remember my back-toschool shopping at her age, because it all happened the night before seventh grade began. My mom gave me 20 bucks and bus fare to the mall, where I was able to get a pair of gray corduroy pants at the Gap and an Ozzy Osbourne shirt featuring the cover of his “Diary of a Madman” album.

and childless and was not spending money on anyone’s wardrobe other than his own. That left him free to wallow in his own imagined misery. He was six weeks out from his contest and at the point where many competitors have their big moment of doubt. Generally feeling sorry for themselves, they cry out to the heavens with pained questions such as: “Is it even possible for me to get in shape for this contest in time?” “Why did I get myself into this, and what if I back out now?” And, of course, my favorite: “Will my wife leave me if my gas gets any worse, and could it be the broccoli? And could stuffing charcoal up my wazoo help keep some of the foul stench from escaping

Model: Whitney Reed

You work on your weak points and bring them up to the best of your ability. You train and diet and do your cardio and never miss quality meals or supplements so you show up looking the best you can—and in great condition. This was back when Ozzy was an antiestablishment figure known for biting the heads off live bats, not for being a shuffling, mumbling father of two spoiled-brat kids who flout his authority and generally make him look like a brain-addled fool on national television. Coincidentally, that show is on MTV too. See a pattern here? Luckily for my young musclehead protégé Randy, he was still single

into the atmosphere around me?” Randy wasn’t worried about getting in shape. He had done it before and was right on schedule now to do it again. Cutting down his starchy carbs and replacing them with healthful fats from raw nuts and salmon was helping him keep up his energy. Pudding made from protein powder and sugar-free hard candy were enabling him to satiate his sweet tooth, so this particular diet \ SEPTEMBER 2009 101

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A Bodybuilder Is Born—Episode 50 Cutting down his starchy carbs and replacing them with healthful fats from raw nuts and salmon was helping him keep up his energy.

involved a minimal amount of suffering. Human nature dictates, however, that we always find something to complain about. I ought to know, as I earned the gold medal for the 100-meter bitching-and-moaning event back at the Seoul Olympics. (I don’t like to brag, but the top Belarus guy wasn’t easy to beat.) And no, I did not use steroids to win that. “My genetics just suck!” Randy bleated as he stood “relaxed,” going through his posing for about 15 minutes, as he did at the conclusion of each workout. I had heard this one before—not only from Randy but from countless other bodybuilders, including myself. I knew what to counter it with too. “Compared to whom? Let me guess, Ronnie Coleman! That’s about as realistic as comparing any other bike racer to Lance

Armstrong, a man who probably came out of the womb on a 10-speed and took off for the nearest hill.” “Yeah, but look at this,” he flexed a quad. It was good, but it still had a long way to go before people were going to start asking him for legtraining tips. “Why don’t I have legs like yours?

Your legs were a lot bigger than mine when you were my age; I’ve seen the pictures.” “I don’t know—why hasn’t my waist been as small as yours since I was about 13 years old and weighed 90 pounds? We’re all different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Look at me and my wife, for instance. “My shoulders have always been good—big and round. Never had trouble building them. My arms, on the other hand, have always been a struggle and continue to be. Then you have Janet. Her arms have grown steadily no matter what she did for them. She has peaks like little Mount Everests on her damn biceps, but her shoulders are tough to build, as stubborn as arms are for me. When they say opposites attract, this must be what they mean. Either that, or she’s superhot and the


We’re all different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses.

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celebrity I resemble most is Shrek.” That got a chuckle out of Randy. “It just doesn’t seem fair that there are some guys in bodybuilding with awesome genetics, guys who look like they should be in the magazines even when they are just doing local shows.” “I know, but that’s like saying it’s not fair that some guys in the NBA are so tall, or some tennis stars have such great hand-eye coordination. At least in bodybuilding, at the local and regional level, before you start running into an army of genetic mutants, you can do pretty well with less-than-perfect genetics. You do it by working harder and smarter and doing the best with what you have. You work on your weak points and bring them up to the best of your ability. You train and diet and do your cardio and never miss quality meals or supplements so you show up looking the best you can—and in great condition. That way you can beat the guys that were too lazy to work some bodypart they didn’t feel like, or who cheated on their diets and blew off early-morning cardio sessions. I have managed to beat a lot of them.” “But, Ron, haven’t you still taken second place to a lot of freaks?” “Bastard! I knew you were going to bring that shit up. It’s true. I have been runner-up more times than any other bodybuilder in history. But I tell you what, I have beaten some guys I had no business beating, guys who had more genetic gifts in their little finger than I had in my whole body. And it’s because I worked harder—and smarter—than they did. I did a lot more with what I was given than they did, and beating them despite my many genetic shortcomings was as sweet a victory as winning the whole show.” Randy checked himself out again and didn’t seem quite as upset. He hit a crab shot, a most-muscular pose in which his wide shoulders and big traps gave him the illusion of being much bigger than he really was. “Not so horrible, I guess. Not Ronnie Coleman, but not so bad.” “Not at all, Randy. I don’t need to tell you what your strong and weak points are. You already know. You can’t change your genetics, but

Balik \ Model: Dennis Wolf

A Bodybuilder Is Born—Episode 50

You can’t change your genetics, but you can do the absolute most with what you have. That will make you a success story, regardless of what contests you do or don’t win. you can do the absolute most with what you have. That will make you a success story, regardless of what contests you do or don’t win. I have a certain amount of respect in the sport because a lot of people know how far I have come over the years. Meanwhile, others with far superior genetics have quit, fizzled out or just faded away because they weren’t willing to work hard enough to compete against those with great genetics who were willing. They’re long gone and forgotten, while I’m still here hitting it hard and still making small-but-gradual improvements every year.” Randy clearly felt better now. He’d have more bumpy moments over the next six weeks—that’s the nature of preparing for a bodybuilding contest. You have your good days, when you feel on top of the world, and your bad days, when you feel like chucking it all in and bingeing out on pizza and beer. I didn’t envy Randy, but at least

his money was his own and not being sucked into a black hole of preteen fashion, where clothing styles go out almost as fast as they come in. “How’s your personal-training business going lately?” I asked him. “Pretty good, I guess,” Randy replied. “About six regular clients and a few who are more occasional.” I clapped him on the back. “I’ll have to start referring more people to you.” “Gee thanks, Ron, that’s awful nice of you.” “Not exactly. I need you to make big money because I might need a loan, a big loan, in less than four years. You see, my daughter will be turning 16.…” Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodybuilding: Muscle Truth From 25 Years in the Trenches, available at www.RonHarrisMuscle .com. IM

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108 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Chest Chiseling by Cory Crow

Photography by Michael Neveux

How Curtis Fisher Pumps Pecs for More Size and Detail What draws me to bodybuilding is the variety. Granted, there’s always the quest to get bigger, and the physics behind lifting weights is pretty much the same no matter how you do it. What’s more, there are different theories and methods, but they all pretty much amount to moving extremely heavy loads of iron from point A to point B with the intent of making the target muscle grow. When you get past the basics, however, bodybuilding is a wonderful world of differing lifestyles, methods, theories and results. Take the Mr. Olympia winners, for example. The standard to which all bodybuilders aspire has been represented by a wide array of physiques— including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and, currently, Dexter Jackson. Outside of being bodybuilders and possessing tremendous physical gifts,

those champions have little in common from a physique standpoint with one another. In terms of chest training, each has been on his own journey, experimenting and tweaking his formula for years in hopes of finding the magic bullet that will spur more growth. With that in mind, allow me to introduce former WNBA pro and current NPC competitor Curtis Fisher. A rising star on the West Coast— Curtis placed eighth in a competitive middleweight class at the ’08 NPC Excalibur last December—he has been winning natural contests on the amateur level since 1998. His biggest win came in the lightweight class at the ’00 Musclemania, a contest that aired on ESPN. In 2001 Curtis came in too heavy and dropped to 15th in the welterweight division at the same show. \ SEPTEMBER 2009 109

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Chest Chiseling

Fisher’s Workout Splits Off-season: He trains three days per week with one day off between workouts. He usually trains one bodypart per day. For example: Week 1 Monday: Chest Wednesday: Quads Friday: Arms Week 2 Monday: Chest Wednesday: Hamstrings Friday: Back Precontest: He trains five days per week, three-on/two-off, with two workouts per day—morning and evening—on the days adjacent to the rest days. He hits each bodypart at least twice per week—once heavy and once light. Muscle groups targeted for improvement often get three hits per week. For example: Monday: Chest, triceps Tuesday: Back, biceps Wednesday: a.m., quads, abs; p.m., hamstrings, calves Thursday: Off Friday: Off Saturday: a.m., chest, triceps; p.m., back, biceps Sunday: Quads, abs



Note: At the time of our discussion, Curtis was off-season and hadn’t yet planned his next precontest program. —C.C.

After taking 2002 off to reassess and make improvements, Curtis dipped his toe in the NPC waters at the ’03 Pacific Naturals, where he finished a respectable fourth. Subsequently, he stopped competing again, choosing to focus on filmmaking and his full-time career as an EMT. (Clips of his movie “An American Zombie Classic” can be viewed on his MySpace page, productions.) In 2008 the bodybuilding bug bit again and, despite having received funding for his biggest film production ever, Curtis decided to return to the posing platform. In addition to the aforementioned Excalibur, he did the ’08 WNBF Pro Natural

International, where he finished fourth as a heavyweight. Curtis plans to step onstage again next spring, at the ’10 NPC Orange County Classic, hoping to win his weight class this time and qualify for national-level competition. It won’t be easy, he said. “As a natural competitor it takes me a lot of time to make improvements, so it’s primarily that, as well as financial and time constraints, that limit me to one to two shows per year. “Besides,” he admitted, “when I step onstage next, I want to blow them away.” Part of Curtis’ plan for moving up the amateur ranks is to improve the balance between his upper- and lower-chest areas. He also wants to add some overall mass to his chest


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Chest Chiseling and improve his conditioning the next time he competes. All of this brings me back to my point about variety in bodybuilding. Curtis’ chest plan is unique among those of all the competitors I’ve interviewed. His theories and workout splits are thought-provoking, containing nuggets of wisdom that all lifters can apply to their routines. “I train closer to a powerlifter than a bodybuilder in the off-season,” Curtis revealed. “I want to move heavy weights to build mass, with long rests between work days.” “Long rests” can mean taking two days off between workouts, training only three days per week and focusing only on the bodyparts that he’s targeting for growth. So his split can involve training chest, arms and quads in week one and then chest, hamstrings and back in week two. His growth goals determine his schedule, as he eschews more traditional workout splits. Yes, it’s different, but the amount of rest he gives them has really enabled his muscles to grow. “Since I’ve decided to make a push competitively, I’ve really been pleased with this off-season plan.” He pointed out that his ability to fully exhaust the muscle at every workout, every time, has greatly increased the number of sets he can perform at each gym session. The one constant in Curtis’ chest routine is that, except for during the off-season, he starts off with a long warmup of flat-bench presses done with an Olympic bar—sets designed to prep the muscles and joints for the heavy weight to come. Depending on the way he feels, he does as many as four warmup sets, then moves into his work sets, ultimately pyramiding the weight up to where he’s topping off with very heavy weights for three to five reps. Curtis’ guess is that, on a normal day, he does three to four warmup sets and


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Chest Chiseling

Curtis Fisherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chest Chisler Barbell bench presses Warmup x 3-4 Work sets x 3-5 Pyramid up in weight while decreasing reps. Incline barbell presses Work sets x 3-5 Pyramid up in weight while decreasing reps. Incline dumbbell presses Work sets x 4-8 Pyramid up and down in weight. Peck deck flyes Work sets 4 x 10-12 Pyramid up in weight, getting 1012 reps, depending on feel. Off-season variation He sometime deletes flat-bench barbell presses and adds: Cable crossovers 3-4 x 15-20 114 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Chest Chiseling


three to five work sets on the bench press. “I don’t want to get injured,” he admitted, “not only because of my competition but because I have a day job as an EMT as well.” In other words, working out is great, but not being able to do your job because you’ve injured a shoulder? Not so much. The next stop is another chest staple, the incline-bench press, again performed with an Olympic bar. Curtis calls this “meat-andpotatoes lifting”—big, compound movements that work not only the target muscles but also the surrounding stabilizers. He does his sets in true pyramid style, going up in weight and down in reps. He believes strongly that working with compound movements, under control, is another way to help prevent injuries and keep him moving forward toward his goal. The third trick up Curtis’ injuryprevention sleeve is that he stretches after almost every set. He takes time to feel the muscles working

between sets and also keep them loose and ready for the next movement. After completing his work on the incline press, Curtis immediately picks up a pair of dumbbells—probably 60s in the off-season, lighter precontest—and begins a full pyramid progression of incline dumbbell presses—but with a different goal. His aim with the bar is to move the weight, piston style, while his aim with the dumbbells is to squeeze the muscles in the fully extended position to engorge them with blood. While it may seem odd to do backto-back incline presses, Curtis’ explanation makes sense: “My upper chest is lagging behind my lower chest, so I substituted a second round of inclines for declines.” Once he emerges from incline hell, he finishes the workout with a turn on the pec deck. Despite his chest being thrashed, he throws in a warmup set here to help his muscles acclimate to the difference in the movement; then he pyramids up in weight, doing fairly high reps—any-

where from 10 to 20, depending on feel—for four sets and finishes off the workout with stretching. “I like to keep the rep speed on this fairly average. I’m not trying to beat up the muscle with these last two as much as I’m trying to fill my chest muscles with blood.” Curtis prefers to use flyes as a finishing move because they give his chest muscles a great stretch as well as a good end to the workout, he said. When you sum them up, his theories are fairly straightforward: 1) Work the target muscle once per week in the off-season. 2) Work the target muscle hard. 3) Wear out the muscle first. 4) Fill it with blood to finish. Now that he’s done, it’s time to rest his chest for a full week—unless he’s in precontest mode. In that case he works each muscle group twice a week, training five days per week with a three-on/two-off schedule [see his split on page 110].

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Chest Chiseling FLYES




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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Precontest the goal is totally different,â&#x20AC;? he explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the offseason Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to bulk up, while precontest Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to shed fat and retain muscle, two totally different priorities.â&#x20AC;? Because his goals are different, his philosophy changes dramatically. Gone are the flat-bench presses, replaced at the end of the workout with cable crossovers, done until his chest burns. Weight decreases, rep speed increases, rests between sets decrease, and his workout time decreases dramatically. â&#x20AC;&#x153;During the off-season Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in the gym three times per week for two hours; during my precontest period Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in and out in an hour,â&#x20AC;? he said. Overall, however, his time in the gym increases, due to the

added workout sessions as well as increased time spent doing cardio. The question is, has the strategy been working? â&#x20AC;&#x153;During the 5 1/2 years I took off from competing, I went down in weight to 170 pounds,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I got back into competing, I put on about 40 pounds and then dieted down to 172 pounds in contest shape. Next year at the O.C. I hope to be right at the top of the middleweight limitâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;176 1/4 poundsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but rock hard. When I compete, I always want to bring big improvements to the stage.â&#x20AC;? Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: To contact Curtis Fisher for guest posings, sponsorships and film directing, write to IM

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Shocking MUSCLE

Growth New Research Uncovers a Critical Bodybuilding Element:

eat Shock Proteins by Jerry Brainum • Photography by Michael Neveux

Photo Illustration by Brett Miller


eat shock protein sounds like something conjured up by an ad copy writer. Yet heat shock proteins, often referred to as HSPs, are real and critically important to both health and bodybuilding. If I told you that one function of HSPs was to maintain proper protein folding, you’d probably yawn and say, “So what?” If I added that they’re important to establishing proper protein shape, your curiosity might begin to sense that they have something to do with bodybuilding progress. You might perk up some more when I told you that HSPs transport proteins across cellular membranes, sensing that they have something to do with increased protein synthesis. Because you know that increased muscle protein synthesis is the very core of gains in muscle size and strength, well, by now I would have gotten your full attention. To understand precisely what HSPs are, consider their alternate name: stress proteins. As that implies, they are released under highstress conditions and protect cells.

They’re found in all living things, from microbes to humans. Heat shock proteins were discovered in 1962, when fruit flies subjected to a cellular poison that increased body heat produced them. The substance used to increase cellular heat in the flies was dinitrophenol. DNP uncouples oxidative metabolism, a fancy way of saying that it throws a metabolic monkey wrench into the process in which cells produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the elemental cellular energy. When that happens, a large amount of heat is released. DNP is often touted as a fat-loss aid because it forces the body to tap into fat stores as a source of energy. The problem is that all that heat it produces can cause you to cook internally to the point of death. The stress that DNP imposes in cells helps release HSPs to counter the stress. Heat shock proteins come in various sizes, depending on their molecular weight, and are tagged based on that weight—HSP25, HSP60, HSP70 and so on. One of

the main proteins that degrade muscle proteins, ubiquitin, acts like a small heat shock protein. As indicated above, HSPs help maintain the shape and function of cellular proteins, which can be degraded by various forms of stress, including infections, inflammation, toxins such as alcohol, trace metals such as lead and cadmium—even ultraviolet light, such as sunlight. Other forms of stress that bring on heat shock activity include starvation, lack of sufficient oxygen and dehydration. Exercise, as a form of stress, also induces HSP release, and the proteins facilitate postexercise recovery. Heat shock proteins are involved in body processes in the absence of stress. For example, they help signal immune cells that protect against disease.1 They monitor cell proteins, and when the proteins are worn out, an HSP carries them to places in the cell where they degrade. That maximizes cell reproduction by clearing the way for the production of newly synthesized proteins. HSP90 helps maintain cellular steroid receptors and transcrip- \ SEPTEMBER 2009 127

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Heat Shock Proteins

Working with nitric oxide, HSPs aid vascular relaxation and widening, which increases blood flow. Heat Shock Proteins and Exercise Involved as they are in maintaining and protecting muscle cells, HSPs are obviously affected by exercise. The increased body temperature that accompanies exercise is enough to encourage HSP release (although release in the heart muscle requires higher than normal temperatures). Research has demonstrated, however, that elevated temperature is not a requirement for the release of HSPs during exercise. One factor that does spur it is oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species—a.k.a. free radicals—are byproducts of oxygen metabolism and potent agents of HSP release. HSPs released during exercise protect cells from oxidative stress by boosting glutathione, one of the body’s major cellular antioxidants. Glutathione protects muscle cells from the destructive effects of excess free radicals that exercise tion factors that are vital for protein synthesis, including muscle protein synthesis. Without properly functioning cellular steroid receptors, testosterone would not work properly, because it must interact with the receptors in order to enter the cell and boost protein synthesis. One aspect of HSPs that has aroused the interest of scientists is their role in protecting the cardiovascular system. Working with nitric oxide, they aid vascular relaxation and widening, which increases blood flow. HSP20 prevents the aggregation of platelets—that is, clotting, the immediate cause of heart attacks and strokes.

HSPs also help maintain the function of heart muscle cells and prevent the death of cells after the heart is deprived of blood and oxygen, as occurs during a heart attack.2 Scientists believe they support skeletal muscle cell function, preventing the stress that would otherwise lead to destruction of muscle cells. HSPs are involved in insulin metabolism, which has anticatabolic properties in muscle.

Exercise, as a form of stress, also induces HSP release, and the proteins facilitate postexercise recovery.

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Heat Shock Proteins brings on. HSPs also blunt the release and activity of tissue necrosis factor-A,3 a major agent of muscle catabolism. The loss of muscle with age is related to TNF-A’s rise in older people. HPS70 inhibits another inflammatory mediator called nuclear factor kappa-B, thus inhibiting muscle atrophy.4 The interaction between HSPs and nitric oxide, besides promoting greater blood flow within muscle, helps dilate bronchial tubes. That not only enhances oxygen delivery to muscles via the lungs but also diminishes exercise-induced asthma. Asthmatics tend to produce more

play an important role in muscular adaptation to exercise.”8 Various types of exercise elicit different HSP responses. Smallmolecule HSPs are released only during intense exercise that results in muscle damage, such as eccentric, or negative, muscle contractions. In that instance they help protect cells from further damage. Another HSP, HSP60, is released during concentric muscle contractions that don’t cause much muscle damage. It’s concentrated in and helps protect the mitochondria of the cells. HSP70 is released during high-intensity muscle contrac-

At least one study showed that anabolic steroid drugs help increase exercise recovery by boosting HSP72, which would permit increased high-intensity training without overtraining. inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-A, because asthma is an inflammatory disease. In fact, chronic asthmatics are known to produce more TNF-A, which stimulates greater release of HSP70.5 When the body is low on ATP, it construes that as stress and reacts by releasing HSP. ATP declines during exercise. Several scientists have suggested that since carbohydrates and glycogen are major sources of ATP during exercise, a lack of sufficient carbs or glycogen is a major reason for HSP release during training. On the other hand, an experiment that examined carbohydrate availability and HSP release during high-intensity exercise found no association between the two.6 Researchers have found that HSPs are involved in muscle growth. One study, however, found that only high-intensity resistance exercise significantly increased HSP production, leading the authors to suggest that HSPs must be involved in promoting muscle growth.7 Another study measured HSP after strength training, specifically a biceps workout, and found that the exercise boosted HSP70. That led to this conclusion: “The increase of HSP70 may be related to traininginduced muscular stress or damage and to fiber type transition and may

tions and plays a role in muscle protein synthesis reactions and also in refolding—techspeak for “making functional again”—damaged muscle proteins. The release of HSP during exercise preconditions the body to more readily produce it in subsequent training sessions. That can be construed as a process the body employs to reduce stress during training. Some studies suggest that those with more training experience produce more HSPs, others that HSP production levels off with continued training as the body adapts to the regular stress of exercise.9 As noted above, HSPs help maintain cellular steroid receptors, but HSP60 helps modulate insulinlike growth factor, helping maintain IGF-1 cell receptors. That could aid antiaging and retard age-related loss of muscle size and strength. Studies show that those lucky enough to live to 100 or more have lesser amounts of HSP. While that may seem paradoxical considering the cell-protecting effect of HSPs, it’s

also important to understand that they’re released only under highstress conditions. The fact that those people reach the age of 100 indicates they have handled the inevitable stresses of life well through the years. As you might expect, the converse is true with chronically sick people, whose bodies have an abundance of HSPs. Indeed, in the cell HSPs exert anti-inflammatory effects, but outside they exacerbate inflammation by interacting with immune factors, such as inflammatory cytokines. So too much HSP can damage, not protect, health. One interesting effect of HSPs is that their production differs in the sexes. Estrogen, which is higher in

A study found that caffeine-induced release of catecholamines did indeed boost HSP72 release during exercise.

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Heat Shock Proteins women, blunts the release of HSPs during exercise. Some researchers suggest that because estrogen has antioxidant properties and helps release nitric oxide, it makes the release of HSPs superfluous in women. Estrogen also helps prevent muscle membrane damage and inflammation. Women tend to have lower body temperatures during exercise, which also blunts HSP release. Indeed, one study done with exercising rats found that male rodents produced higher levels of HSP70 after exercise, which gave them greater cardiovascular protection. The authors suggest that the sexspecific effect of aerobic exercise makes aerobics more important for males because of the HSP-induced cardiovascular protection.10 Bodybuilders who use estrogen blockers like Nolvadex, a.k.a. tamoxifen citrate, should be aware that they block the HSP response during exercise, which could interfere with complete postexercise recovery. On the other hand, at least one study showed that anabolic steroid drugs help increase exercise recovery by boosting of HSP72, which would permit more high-intensity training without overtraining. Most interesting was the finding that an injectable anabolic steroid drug, Deca-Durabolin, boosted HSP72 but that the oral steroid Winstrol had no effect on HSPs.11 Testosterone

in most forms is known to encourage HSP release. Additional agents of HSP release during training are the catecholamines, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. One way to encourage their release is by taking in caffeine. A study found that caffeine-induced release of catecholamines did indeed boost HSP72 production during exercise.12 That’s consistent with the fact that catecholamines are characterized as stress hormones, and HSPs respond to stressors. While HSPs help release the

body’s built-in antioxidants, taking dietary antioxidants blunts the exercise-induced release of HSPs— because of free-radical behavior, for example. If you inhibit free radicals by taking antioxidants, there’s no signal to produce HSPs. When researchers gave two forms of vitamin E—alpha and gamma tocopherol— along with vitamin C, to 21 young exercising men, the combo blunted HSP release after training.13 Gamma tocopherol was most potent and is the major quencher of the free radical peroxynitrate, which is produced from the oxidation of nitric oxide and which is particularly damaging to cells. Alpha tocopherol, the most common supplemental form of E, has little or no effect on peroxynitrate. It also turns out, however, that peroxynitrate is a potent stimulus to HSP release. Gamma E is more potent than alpha E in preventing cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, gamma E blocks HSP72, which when low in muscle, is linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Another study found that when the rats are placed on a diet in which 60 percent of the calories come from fat but are also given lipoic acid, the lipoic acid activates HSPs in muscle cells and prevents insulin re-

What the proteins do is help maintain the shape and function of cellular proteins, which can be degraded by various forms of stress, including infections, inflammation and even ultraviolet light. 132 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Heat Shock Proteins

Researchers have found that HSPs are involved in muscle hypertrophy. In one study, however, only high-intensity resistance exercise significantly increased HSP production.

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sistance.14 Other studies show that a combination of carnosine and zinc can activate some heat shock proteins.15 Studies with aging mice show that the inability of aging muscles to release HSP after exercise blunts recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. In rodents that have been manipulated to continue producing HSPs after exercise, however, many age-related muscle deficits are not observed. HSPs are thought to help prevent aging effects through unregulated antioxidant defenses. Indeed, one study of old and young rats showed that when the rats are engaged in resistance training, both young and old continue to produce HSPs, al-

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though excessive oxidation blunts this release in the older rodents.16 The older rats released 40 percent less HSP than the younger ones. Scientists suggest that maintaining HSP production during aging can benefit the recovery and strength of aging muscles. One thing that also boosts HSP you might want to temper a bit. The radiation produced by extensive cellphone use has been suspected of causing brain tumors. A study published a few years ago noted that overexpression of certain HSPs can initiate cancer in normal cells.17 One way is by deactivating p53, a tumor-suppressing protein. Other studies show that heightened HSPs lead to spread of cancer and increase resistance of tumors to chemotherapy. Most of those studies, however, ei-

Heat Shock Proteins

HSPs monitor cell proteins, and when the proteins are worn out, an HSP carries them to places in the cell where they degrade. That maximizes cell reproduction. ther had isolated-cell protocols or involved animals subjected to higher than normal levels of radiation. While the cell-phone issue remains speculative in humans, it would probably be prudent not to gab all day on your wireless network. Besides, if you bring a cell phone to the gym and talk while working out, you can’t be serious about your training. Editor’s note: Want uncensored information on nutrition science and supplements? Get a copy of Jerry Brainum’s e-book, Natural Anabolics, available at www.Jerry

References 1 Nishakawa, M., et al. (2008). Heat shock protein derivatives for delivery of antigens to antigen presenting cells. Int J Pharm. 354:23-27. 2 Fan, G.C., et al. (2005). Novel cardioprotective role of a small heat shock protein, HSP20, against ischemia/reperfusion injury. Circul. 111:1792-1799. 3 Koh, T. (2002). Do small heat shock proteins protect skeletal muscle from injury? Exer Sports Sci Review. 30:117-21. 4 Senf, S.M., et al. (2008). HSP70 overexpression inhibits NF-KB and

foxo3a transcriptional activities and prevents skeletal muscle atrophy. FASEB J. 22:3836-3845. 5 Harkins, M.S. (2009). Exercise regulates heat shock proteins and nitric oxide. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 37:73-77. 6 Morton, J.P., et al. (2009). Reduced carbohydrate availability does not modulate training-induced heat shock protein adaptations but does upregulate oxidative enzyme activity in human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol. 106:1513-1521. 7 Thompson, H.S., et al. (2003). Exercise-induced HSP27, HSP70, and MAPK responses in human skeletal muscle. Acta Physiol Scand. 178:61-72. 8 Steinacker, J.M., et al. (2003). Human muscle heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression in response to strength training. Med Sci Sports Exer. 35:S124. 9 Gjovaag, T.F., et al. (2006). Effect of concentric or eccentric weight training on the expression of heat shock proteins in the biceps brachii of very well-trained males. Eur J Appl Physiol. 96(4):355-62. 10 Paroo, Z., et al. (2002). Exercise improves postischemic cardiac function in males but not in females.Circ Res. 90:911-17. 11 Gonzalez, B., et al. (2000). Ana-

bolic steroid and gender-dependent modulation of cytosolic HSP70s in fast- and slow-twitch skeletal muscle. J Ster Biochem Mol Biol. 74:63-71. 12 Whitham, M., et al. (2006). Effect of caffeine supplementation on the extracellular heat shock protein 72 response to exercise. J Appl Physiol. 101:1222-1227. 13 Fischer, C.P., et al. (2006). Vitamin E isoform-specific inhibition of the exercise-induced heat shock protein 72 expression in humans. J Appl Physiol. 100:1679-1687. 14 Gupte, A.A., et al. (2009). Lipoic acid increases heat shock protein expression and inhibits stress kinase activation to improve insulin signaling in skeletal muscle from high-fat-fed rats. J Appl Physiol. 106:1425-1434. 15 Odashima, M., et al. (2006). ZincL-carnosine protects colonic mucosal injury through induction of heat shock protein 72 and suppßression of NF-kB activation. Life Sci. 79:22452250. 16 Murlasits, Z., et al. (2006). Resistance training increases heat shock protein in skeletal muscle of young and old rats. Exper Gerontol. 41:398406. 17 French, P.W., et al. (2000). Mobile phones, heat shock proteins and cancer. Differentiation. 67:93-97. IM

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Iced Sliced From


Former Austrian Hockey Player Tony Breznik Shoots for a Flexin’ Future by David Young Photography by Michael Neveux


s the current IFBB Mr. Austria, Tony Breznik may just have what it takes to make big waves in the world of pro bodybuilding. The former high school ice hockey player was plagued by athletic injuries, which caused his switch to bodybuilding, a decision that turned out to have been a good one for this gifted athlete. Between ages 21 and 23 Tony packed on 40 pounds of pure muscle, which won him his title. So take a seat and buckle up. We’re taking a jet trip into Tony’s world. DY: Basics first. What’s your height and what was your competition weight? TB: My height is 176 centimeters—about 5’9”—and my present weight is 114 kilograms—250 pounds or so. My competition weight is 235 pounds. DY: What was your most prominent win? TB: The IFBB Austrian Championships in 2008. DY: What was your most recent competition?

TB: The IFBB European Championships in 2008. DY: Congratulations on making it to that level! How did that feel? TB: Well, it felt good, and I saw what I could achieve with hard work and hard training and a well-designed eating plan. DY: Was that the best condition you’ve achieved to date? TB: Until today, yes. But I’m still young, and my condition keeps getting better from year to year. The great support I’m getting from Ultimate Nutrition will help me be even better for the next show. It’s important to have good sponsorship so I can focus on my training. DY: Would you say that the real competition was with yourself more than onstage with the other competitors? TB: Yes. Sometimes it’s hard to have the discipline, but it’s like a job, and I love this job. Onstage it’s different because there I get the wage for my hard training and discipline. Overall, it’s a great feeling to be the best competitor in my own country. Now I have the self-confidence to achieve higher goals. Soon

you’ll see me on the Olympia stage, I hope! DY: Let’s get a little history. What sports did you play when you were growing up? TB: I was born on September 22, 1984, as the second child of my parents. From an early age my father took me to watch the games of our local ice hockey team. DY: Did you love it? TB: Yes, right from the beginning I realized that I love this crackdown but especially fast and tactical game, so I started my athletic career as an ice hockey player at the tender age of five years. I got nominated for the boys’ championships in Innsbruck, Austria. There I was awarded as youngest player. DY: How did that influence you? TB: Sports have always been a major part of my life, and so I integrated it in my future plans. After graduating from compulsory school, the question was raised, What now? I had to find a way that offers both physical and mental training. So the answer was the SSLK [a model school that emphasizes sports training as well as general education, lo- \ SEPTEMBER 2009 143

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cated in the province of Carinthia]. DY: Did you go there to train? TB: Yes, absolutely, at the age of 14 years I left my parents’ house and moved to Villach. After some initial problems in combining the school and the sport, I learned to organize my time better. After only one year in Villach, I got nominated for the Austrian U16 [under 16 years] ice hockey national team. Together with the national team I joined a 10-day tournament in Edmonton, Canada, where we finished in fourth place. Of my award as player of the day, I am proud to this day. My first hockey season in Villach ended with second place and my first championship medals.

Between ages 21 and 23 Tony

packed on 40 pounds of pure muscle.

DY: That must have been very gratifying. What caused you to leave ice hockey behind? TB: The last years of my ice hockey career were accompanied by violations. At the age of 15, I was plagued by growth disorders, especially Scheuermann’s disease. I came to grips with this [spinal] problem with the help of therapies and medical care over months. I realized that my ice hockey career might come to an abrupt end. Supported by chi gong and weightlifting, I continued to play ice hockey until I got called for military service. In 2004 I stopped playing ice hockey because of ongoing meniscus problems. DY: Where did bodybuilding come in? TB: After a short regeneration period I forced all my energies into weightlifting, where I had already found self-affirmation during my ice hockey career. At the age of 19, I first attended— and won—the Styrian bench press championship. With a bodyweight

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of 195 pounds I set a new record at 407 pounds. During this contest I was discovered by Mr. Stueckler Walter, the vice president of the Austrian weightlifting and bodybuilding association. He reinforced my ambition for the sport of bodybuilding. After one year of preparation I entered my first bodybuilding contest, sponsored by Ultimate Nutrition. I entered with a weight of 201 pounds and won the junior class. There I first met the eight-time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman. DY: So that was the beginning of your bodybuilding career? TB: Yes, only one week later, on April 23, 2005, I won the Austrian junior championship in Vienna. Some days later I got contacted by IFBB Austria. In November 2005 in Wels, Austria, I once again finished in first place in a bodybuilding contest. After that I stopped competing until 2008 to increase my weight and muscle mass. In 2007 part of my preparation was a three-month residence in Los Angeles. In September 2008 I returned to the stage at the Austrian Championships. I handled that challenge and won my weight class and also got first in the overall. At that contest I qualified for the European Championships. DY: How did you meet the challenges that you faced in getting ready for your 2008 competitions? TB: Fortunately, I have a lot of

support from my family and friends. But the most important support I get is from Ultimate Nutrition. They provide me with the necessary nutritional supplements to achieve my goals. DY: How did you design your nutrition program? TB: I interact with other Team Ultimate Nutrition members like IFBB pros Markus Ruhl and Ed Van Amsterdam to discuss nutrition programs. They’ve both given me some guidance that’s really helped. I learned that it’s not just about calories in and calories out or how many grams of protein you take in. If I’m going to be competitive, supplement timing, bioavailability and specialized products must all come into play. Certain chemical nutrients can help turn off the body’s “fat-building microchip,” and yet others can turn on the body’s “muscle-building microchip.” Ed and Marcus have helped me understand that process. DY: Can you give us a sample day meal-by-meal? TB: Sure. Breakfast 200 grams oatmeal 2 scoops Iso Mass Xtreme Gainer 300 milliliters egg whites 150 grams chicken breast Midmorning 250 grams fish 90 grams brown rice Lunch 200 grams steak

2 large baked potatoes Midafternoon shake 2 scoops carbo booster 1 scoop Iso Sensation 93 Workout AdreNOline during training Postworkout shake 1 scoop Iso-Mass 10 grams glutamine 10 grams creatine Dinner 250 grams chicken breast 80 grams brown rice Vegetables Evening 200 grams fish Vegetables Before-bed shake 2 scoops Iso Sensation 93 1 banana DY: Which nutritional products do you find useful? TB: There are a lot of important nutritional products, but I love the products of Ultimate Nutrition because of their high quality. For example: Muscle Juice Revolution 2600, Iso Mass Xtreme Gainer, AdreNOline and Red Zone. They gave me some prototypes of their new Iso Mass Xtreme Bar, and it’s awesome too. DY: Do you have a training partner, and is he an important part of the preparation process? TB: My training partner is Andi Geisi, and, yes, he is a very impor-

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tant part of the preparation process. He helps me go to the limit in our workouts. He’s a good motivator. DY: How would you describe your training style? Has it changed much over the past few years? TB: It’s important to try different and new exercises from time to time. That’s why I often go to the U.S.—because there I can try other gym equipment and I have the chance to exchange experiences with other bodybuilders. DY: Which bodyparts respond easily for you, and which have been more challenging? TB: My legs respond easily. My back has been more challenging.

DY: What are your favorite exercises? Are there any that you’re unusually strong on? TB: My favorite exercises are squats and situps. I also like to bench-press. I am unusually strong on squats and leg presses. DY: Please break down a typical week of your training program, bodypart by bodypart. TB: No problem.

Monday: Chest and Biceps Incline flyes Bench presses Incline dumbbell presses Cable crossovers

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4 x 12 4 x 12-15 4 x 12-15 4 x 30-40

Incline curls Standing barbell curls One-arm high cable curls

4 x 12-15 4 x 12-15 4 x 30-40

Thursday: Back and Triceps Straight-arm pulldowns Bent-over barbell rows Wide-grip pulldowns Dumbbell kickbacks Overhead rope extensions Close-grip bench presses

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

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Legs Superset Leg extensions Leg curls Leg presses Squats Seated calf raises Leg press calf raises

4 x 20 4 x 20 5 x 20 5 x 12-15 8 x 20-30 10 x 20-30

Friday: Shoulders Superset Front raises 5 x 20 Lateral raises 5 x 20 Seated dumbbell presses 4 x 20 Dumbbell shrugs 5 x 15-20

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is fundamental to have a positive attitude and to be patient to overcome challenges.â&#x20AC;? 150 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Smith-machine shrugs 5 x 15-20

Saturday: Biceps and Triceps Superset pump training x 30 minutes

Sunday: Off DY: What improvements did you make during your break from competition? TB: I was able to improve my calves, upper chest and biceps. DY: Who has inspired you in your fitness career? TB: Markus Ruhl. DY: What kind of mistakes did you make early on with your training and nutrition, and how did you make changes to end up with the program you use today? TB: Fortunately, I did not make big mistakes with my training and

nutrition. My friend Daniel analyzed my body and my condition at regular intervals and adapted my training and nutrition from time to time. DY: At what point in your life did you realize that fitness was what you wanted to do? TB: A bad knee injury stopped my hockey career. In the rehabilitation program I found out that I have good genetic endowments. I loved the hard training. I came to the decision to end my hockey career and concentrate on bodybuilding. DY: Who, past and present, exemplifies the type of physique you consider ideal? TB: As I mentioned, my idol is Markus Ruhl. In the last decades there was a lot of change in the bodybuilding sector. From my point of view itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important to harmonize body and soul and to be charismatic. There are a lot of good bodybuilders at present. DY: What have been your biggest challenges in life and in

your bodybuilding career? How did you overcome them? TB: I reached a crossroad in my life when I stopped my hockey career and decided to concentrate on bodybuilding. At the beginning I was not sure that this was the right decision. But after my first success in the junior championships, I knew I was on the right track. It is fundamental to have a positive attitude and to be patient to overcome challenges. DY: Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next for you in terms of competition? TB: I want to participate in international competitions, and I hope that my name will become known throughout the international bodybuilding scene in future. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: To contact Tony for guest appearances or to get help designing your own nutritional plan, go to www.UltimateNutrition .com. IM






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IRON MAN Hardbody

Jen Hendershott

Champ Tramp on a

Text by Ruth Silverman • Photography by Michael Neveux Hair and makeup by Yvonne Ouellette

When IRON MAN lensmaster general Michael Neveux took Jen Hendershott and a trampoline to Playa del Rey, California, for the purpose of making soaring images together, the “beach of the king” became the realm of the high-flying queen. Neveux recalled from their first Hardbody collaboration, which appeared in the August ’02 issue, the two-time Fitness Olympia—and International—winner’s propensity for propelling herself vertically. The champ and the tramp seemed like a marriage made in, well, heaven.

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“The shoot was one of the most memorable experiences in my entire career,” said the former Ohio State cheerleader, who was still in the clouds weeks later. “It was amazing jumping on a trampoline for nine hours in the hot sun, overlooking the ocean, with airplanes from LAX going over every 30 to 45 seconds!”

Amazing also describes the results, which continue on the following pages. When Michael said he wanted to take her higher, he wasn’t kidding. For information on all things Jen Hendershott, go to

Find Ruth Silverman’s complete interview with Jen at www.IronManMagazine. com/blogs/ruth. IM

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“I love to jump, and I definitely think my cheerleading experience helped with the shoot.”

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“I jumped and jumped and hit pose after pose till we got the right shot.… In the nine hours of shooting I believe we did 11 costume changes. ”

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just take each experience and make the most of it.â&#x20AC;?

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DROP 10 Ways to Use the Best HighIntensity Technique of All Time

by Tom Venuto

Photography by Michael Neveux


’ve been bodybuilding for nearly 20 years, and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with dozens, if not hundreds, of high-intensity-training methods, including supersets, giant sets, preexhaustion, negatives, partials, static holds, continuous tension, peak contraction, five sets of five, eight sets of eight and 21s, just to name a few. If I had to pick just one high-intensity technique to use for building muscle, it would be drop sets. That’s right. In my opinion, they’re the best high-intensity-bodybuilding technique of all time. Read on to find out why and to learn 10 ways to use drop sets for some of the most amazing muscle growth you’ve ever experienced.

method was “discovered” in 1947 by Henry Atkins, editor of Body Culture magazine. Atkins called it the “multipoundage system.” This muscle-blasting technique has gone by many different names, including breakdowns, descending sets, tripledrops, down the rack, strip sets and the stripping technique.

Why Do Bodybuilders Love Drop Sets? Bodybuilders are unique among athletes because they’re concerned purely with cosmetic improvements and not athletic performance. Drop sets are decidedly geared toward increasing muscle size. You don’t see a lot of football players, sprinters or other athletes using them, because drop sets are not conducive to strength, power or speed gains. In fact, most athletes want strength and power without bulk, so drop sets are usually nixed. If pure mass is what you’re after, however, drop sets are ideal.

What Are Drop Sets, and Who Invented Them? A drop set is the simple technique in which you perform a set of any exercise to failure or just short of failure, then drop some weight and continue for more repetitions with the reduced poundage. According to Arnold’s original Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, the drop set

How Drop Sets Work: Breaking Down Muscle Fibers—Deep Down! Let’s suppose you’re doing curls with 125 pounds for a set of eight to 12 reps. The 10th rep is difficult. The 11th is extremely hard, even with a little cheating. The 12th takes an all-out supreme effort, and as

for the 13th, even with a gun to your head, you still couldn’t do it. You’ve hit honest failure. But if you strip some weight off the bar—15 to 20 percent or so—you can keep going. Even though you may reach momentary muscular failure after eight to 12 reps in a conventional straight set, you haven’t reached absolute failure; you’ve only reached failure with that poundage. In a single straight set performed to failure, you don’t activate every fiber in a muscle group. You only recruit the number of fibers necessary to lift a particular weight for the desired number of repetitions. By stripping off weight and continuing the set, you cumulatively recruit more and more reserve fibers. Drop sets hit the stubborn, deepdown fibers, causing growth that couldn’t be achieved if you stopped after a single set of six to 12.

Creative Drop Set Methods Drop sets were a favorite of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. Thanks to Arnold’s popularizing them, it’s common in any gym today to see even recreational lifters doing barbell curl “stripping sets,” as he liked to call them. That method only scratches the surface of the many ways in which drop sets can be used. I’ve discovered dozens of creative variations. Here are some of my favorites.

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1) Drop sets with barbells, a.k.a. strip sets. with four 10-pound plates on each side, that’s 125 to start. Then you pull a 10 off each side (about 15 percent), leaving 105 pounds. After eight more reps you pull another 10 off each side and continue with 85 pounds.

This was Arnold’s favorite way of training biceps, but it can easily be used on any barbell exercise. All you have to do is put small plates on each side of the bar and strip them off when you reach failure. For example, if you set up an Olympic barbell

2) Drop sets with selectorized machines, a.k.a. up the stack. weight. On a leg extension machine, for example, you don’t even have to leave your seat to change the weight. That lets you make a quick weight change, which intensifies the set.

Stripping plates off barbells and plate-loaded machines can be messy, cumbersome and time consuming (unless you have a partner or two). Drop sets are easier to perform with machines. You just pull the pin out of the weight stack and move it up to a lighter

3) Drop sets with dumbbells, a.k.a. down the rack or running the rack. Going down the rack is a fantastic technique for dumbbell exercises, especially curls, lateral raises and shoulder presses. For example, if you’re doing dumbbell lateral raises, you could start with 40s, do eight reps, then put down the 40s and grab the 30s for some reps,

then put down the 30s and grab the 20s and rep out some more. Try this technique on your next deltoid or biceps day, and your arms and shoulders will pump up like balloons.

4) Tight drop sets.

Model: Ahmad Ahmad

A tight drop set is one in which the weight drops are small. Tight drops are more difficult, and “tightening” up your drop sets can even be used as a method of overload. The average weight reduction for a drop set is approximately 15 percent. You would, for instance, load 225 pounds on an Olympic bar for bench presses, then drop to 190, then drop to 160. If you did your next drop set workout at a 12 percent reduction—225, 200 and 170 pounds—that would be an overload above and beyond the previous workout. A tight drop set would be any weight reduction between 5 and 10 percent. Tight drop sets are more often performed on small muscle groups and isolation exercises. For example, if you’re going down the rack on dumbbell curls, you might start with 50 pounders and drop to the 45s, then the 40s— 10 percent per drop.

Model: Whitney Reed

5) Wide drop sets. A wide drop set refers to a larger weight decrease between reps. Wide drops sets are easier than tight drop sets, and they enable you to do higher repetitions. Because of cardiovascular fatigue, wide drops are often used on large-muscle-group exercises like squats, bent-over rows and leg presses. For example, on squats

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you might begin with 315 pounds on the bar, then strip an entire 45pound plate from each side and go to 225 pounds, a nearly 30 percent drop in poundage. Then you might strip another 45-pound plate off each side and go with 135—a 40 percent drop. Believe me, 135 pounds never felt so heavy!

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The halving method is a wide drop set on which you use two totally opposite rep ranges, each of which attacks a different aspect of the muscle cell. That stimulates muscle growth plus an incredible pump. After warming up, begin by choosing the heaviest weight you can handle for six reps with strict form. Perform six reps, and then, without resting, reduce the weight by exactly 50 percent and continue for 20 repetitions with the lighter weight. Let’s use one-arm dumbbell rows as an example. If your sixrep max is 110 pounds, start with six reps with a 110-pounder, then immediately grab a 55 and bang out 20 good reps. You’ll be winded, and you’ll feel something in your lats you’ve never felt before!

7) Power drop sets. These were a favorite of Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia. Scott used them to develop monstrous deltoids and arms on a less than genetically optimal frame. Larry believed that heavy weight and low reps— say, six—were the best formula for developing size and strength concurrently. That enables you to use heavier

weights, which can help maintain your strength levels and thicken up the muscle fibers without much of a pumping effect. Begin with a six-rep max; then decrease the weight by about 10 to 15 percent on each drop. Repeat with the lighter weight for six more reps and continue for the desired number of drops.

8) Ascending-rep drop sets—6-12-20. On these you decrease the weight substantially enough that you can increase the number of reps. For example, if you’re doing pushdowns and 100 pounds is your six-rep max, you would start with 100 pounds, then pull the pin and go to 75 pounds. That’s a 25 per-

cent reduction, which is wide enough that you can hit 10 to 12 reps on the next round. Then you finish by pulling the pin and going to 50, a 33 percent reduction, which is very light, enabling you to rep out and perform 15 to 20 reps on the final drop.

9) Descending-rep drop sets—12-8-4-2. On these you perform a very tight drop set, so your reps actually decrease with each weight reduction. For example, if you’re doing bench presses with 225 pounds for 12 reps, you strip off a small amount of weight—say,

5 to 10 percent—and continue for six to eight more reps. Then you pull off a little more weight and shoot for four to six reps, and you finish by dropping another small amount of weight and doing two final reps.

10) Drop sets with grip or stance change. This is one of my favorite methods because it can hit a multifaceted muscle from every conceivable angle. For example, you can use a leg press to place emphasis on the medialis (lower quad), lateralis (outer quad), adductors (inner thigh) or hamstrings and glutes—depending on where you place your feet on the platform. For a leg workout you’ll never forget, load up the sled with 45-pound plates—ladies might use 25s—and perform six to 12 reps with your feet in the middle of the platform, shoulder width apart. Then strip a 45 off

each side for six to 12 more reps with your feet high on the platform. Strip another 45 from each side, and do six to 12 more reps with your feet together and low on the platform. Strip off another 45 and finish with your feet very wide and toes pointed out at 45 degree angles for the last six to 12. Three weight drops, four poundages, four foot positions and a workout that will make your thighs grow from top to bottom, inside to outside!

Although there are dozens of high-intensity techniques you can and should use in your routines, if you only used drop sets, they’d be enough to cause some serious muscle growth in a very short period of time. Don’t just use the old Arnold standby of stripping plates off on

barbell curls; try some of the variations outlined above, and I guarantee the results will amaze and delight you! Editor’s note: Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, personal trainer, gym owner, freelance writer and the author of The Body Fat Solution. IM

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Model: Binais Begovic

6) 50 percent drop sets, a.k.a. the halving, or 6-20 method.

Confessions RECOVERING Bodybuilder of a

Part 3

How a Six-Time National Champion Broke Free From His Addiction to Bodybuilding and Became the Person He Wanted to Beâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at 41 by Skip La Cour Photography by Michael Neveux

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La Cour concludes his exploration of how he came to have a onedimensional focus on bodybuilding and suggests the ways in which the kinds of trauma that haunted him could be hampering readers.

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Confessions How Trauma and Trust Issues Made Me an Outstanding Competitive Bodybuilder I had the privilege of talking with Dr. Drew Pinsky, the star and executive producer of the television shows “Celebrity Rehab” and “Sober House” and the long-running syndicated radio show “Loveline.” After learning just a little about my life, Dr. Drew identified exactly where my challenges had come from and exactly what I needed to do to resolve them. Now, if a frustrated and confused bodybuilder came to me because he couldn’t build muscle and needed nutritional advice, I wouldn’t need to hear a long, drawn-out explanation in order to help him get the results he wanted. All I’d need would be a few key factors. I’ve been doing what I do for a long time and have helped thousands of people succeed. For me, finding an eating plan that can help someone build muscle is not that complicated—and it certainly isn’t nearly as complicated as the person with the challenge thinks it is. That’s the kind of experience and decisiveness Dr. Drew used to help me. “Oh, my God,” he said after just a couple of minutes talking with me. “Your experiences in the past have undoubtedly caused some serious trust issues. It’s only natural for you to think the way you do. You need to go into some one-on-one counseling every single week—whether you think you have something to talk about or not.” One of the reasons I have become outstanding at most of the things that I have focused on is that I seek and follow information given to me by experts in their field that I respect. My respect for Dr. Drew was immense. I did exactly what he advised and took part in the type of counseling he instructed me to do for 1 1/2 years. That investment of time, introspection and hard work proved to be a critical step in my successful MANformation. So, you may be asking, what was it about my life that caused Dr. Drew to respond with such certainty and sense of urgency. My very first memory is of being four years old. I was home all alone

with my brother and halfbrother. No adults were present (I guess it was okay to do that back then). A terrible fire was raging up the street from my house, and the sirens from several fire trucks screamed loudly. I was absolutely petrified and all alone—and I still remember that feeling vividly more than 40 years later. My mother was living some 500 miles away at the time. How long was I apart from her? I have no idea. It could have been days. It could have been weeks. It could have been months. It’s something that has never been talked about. I remember looking at the heavy smoke outside the window and hearing all of the commotion. I ran to my bed—all alone—and cried for my mother. I have no idea why I didn’t find comfort huddling with my brothers. I handled it all by myself. I’m not sure that frightened and confused four-year-old made the right decision. My first memory of life and how I dealt with it may have been the start of an ineffective way of coping with challenges. What else? My biological father divorced my mother when I was very young. He came around very seldom and finally stopped showing up for good when I was about 10. I remember fantasizing how much better my life would be if my real father was around. No cards from

My first memory of life and how I dealt with it may have been the start of an ineffective way of coping with challenges. him. No letters. No phone calls. All I had were my fantasies. I frequently wondered if he ever thought about me. I eventually did meet him again. A few years ago I tracked him down. He’d gotten married again 35 years ago and had what seemed to be a great life with a couple of great children. In fact, my newly

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Confessions discovered sister’s husband was a personal trainer who had followed my bodybuilding career for years—not knowing of our connection. The meeting with my biological father after all that time was very anticlimactic. It was nothing like what that little boy who learned to count on himself during the tough times fantasized about. He made no apologies for not being a part of my and my brother’s lives. I wonder what life lessons I learned from that experience. When I was five years old, my brother and sisters and I were alone and experienced a house fire. Our family home was burglarized on at least two occasions when I was a small child. I was forced to quit sports teams for reasons that were no more serious than that I was just being a kid; and I had more tearful good-byes to family pets than a child should have to endure. At 18, I moved out of the house and into the cold, hard world, and I was robbed at gunpoint twice within a month—and at two separate jobs. Within a year after that I was hit by a speeding drunk driver who ran a red light. I was thrown more than 60 feet out of my car and onto the street. Miraculously, I suffered injuries no more serious than a really sore back and broken glass deeply implanted in my head and palms. The 10 or so doctors and staff members at the emergency room

“Your experiences in the past have undoubtedly caused some serious trust issues,” Dr. Drew said. were utterly amazed when they wheeled me out of the ambulance that I wasn’t badly hurt—and even more amazed when I could walk on my own. Unfortunately, I never received any medical care that night. After about four hours of waiting, I called my buddy to pick me up and I recovered at home all by myself. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I learned that I could count on myself to get through the most difficult challenges in life. I may have unintentionally learned that you can’t always count on other people. Trauma experienced early in life can have a major impact on you many years later. Traumas have

three common characteristics: They are events that 1) you perceive as negative, 2) are totally unexpected, and 3) are not in your control. In other words, they are not the direct result of your actions and are often done to you. It’s easy to see how I perceived the events in my life as traumatic. Trauma experienced early in life can have a major impact on your ability to trust—how much you trust that events will happen when they should and not when they shouldn’t; how much you trust that people will act the way you believe they should—and not the way they shouldn’t. Trauma can affect the way you see the world. Is it a good,

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We make millions of emotional connections—good and bad— without knowing it. safe place, or do you need to be on guard all the time? Are people kind and considerate, or will they let you down if you don’t watch them like a hawk? The interesting thing about traumas and trust issues is that most people have them to some degree. What separates those who function well in life and those who don’t is their trust issues and the decisions they make—or don’t make—because of them. Most people don’t realize how the experiences of the past shape their lives today. Their decisions simply make sense to them. They can’t see the world from any other perspective. In my case, my decision to quit my regular, stable job to pursue my passion for the extremely taxing and secluded lifestyle of bodybuilding— which I did for a long time—made perfect sense to me. I just didn’t realize why.

What About You? As I said, trauma can affect you in ways that you may never realize. For example, let’s say that when you were a kid, the other kids at school picked on you mercilessly one day. It affected you so negatively, you get a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach just thinking about it many years later. Let’s also say that rain was pouring down on that horrible, emotionally challenging day. Our young brains scramble to find primitive ways to prevent the pain from occurring again, and often two totally unrelated situations become emotionally linked—a link that your mind will continue to make for the rest of your life. You may find yourself avoiding important meetings or critical sales presentations when it’s raining. At the very least you may not be in your best mood on a rainy day when it’s time to make an important presentation—and you have no idea why. In your subconscious you may have linked unfair rejection and humiliation to rainy weather. It would make perfect sense to you on some

level that it wouldn’t be a good day to put your reputation on the line and be judged by other people. When you start believing that it makes perfect sense to cancel important business meetings or not schedule romantic dates when it’s raining, you may need some help from a professional to determine what’s going on in your head. Most people are dealing with similar situations—whether they realize it or not—so don’t feel there’s something wrong. During our formative years we make millions of these emotional connections—both good and bad— without knowing it. Another interesting point is that our perception of what occurred isn’t necessarily accurate—although we may think it is—and we hold onto the naive, uneducated conclusion that we made as a child. That is, of course, if we don’t identify those specific events later on and have a qualified person help us reframe them, or think about them differently. The events in my life that I described above were only the perceptions of a little boy. I don’t know if they were 100 percent accurate— but my perception made them my reality. Maybe the decision to choose a career like competitive bodybuilding—where I only had to depend on myself—was the result of a painful lesson learned by a terrified fouryear-old who had no one to comfort him during a fire. Who knows? Editor’s note: For questions or comments, send e-mail to Skip@ Visit Skip La Cour’s bodybuilding and training Web site at Visit Skip’s MANformation Alpha Leadership Web site at www.MANformation .com. Sign up for the free weekly e-mail newsletters. Become friends with Skip La Cour on Facebook. You can also follow him on Twitter at and IM

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

> is an interactive and comprehensive sport-specific Web site targeting amateur athletes, parents, coaches, teams and leagues in the middle school and high school age brackets. takes its members “beyond the game” with an engaging and entertaining format using many superior applications and features. The user-friendly platform lets you learn and share information about a given sport while instilling the importance of honor, integrity and character into young athletes. Articles, Q&As, blogs and so on have detailed discussions about each sport, including but not limited to history, rules, playing field and court dimensions, equipment, coaching methods, tips, drills, product reviews and invaluable advice supplied by top professional athletes, trainers and coaches. In addition, has partnered with All American EFX to provide sane

and relevant information about the proper use of sports supplements for improving health, performance, strength, power, speed and endurance while steering youth clear of harmful and illegal drugs. IFBB pro legend Flex Wheeler and other top natural athletes and bodybuilders from Team AAEFX—including yours truly—will also be contributing to the site. Fred Berger is incredibly passionate about pointing teen athletics and athletes in the right direction and believes that the site will be valuable for that purpose. When asked why he created, Berger said, “Honor, ethics, teamwork and sportsmanship learned through competitive sports build an individual’s integrity and character, which make up the moral fibers of our existence.” So if you’re a young athlete, parent, coach or trainer involved in youth sports, I urge you to take a good look at

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>DVD Review: “Big Sean Allen: Superhuman” In the opening minutes of “Superhuman” big Sean claims that “on this tape you will not hear much talking, just basically witness hard training.” Then, for the next 20 minutes, during which Sean hits a couple of sets of back mixed in with chest and a bit of hamstrings, he literally does not shut up. Between sets he reminds the viewer just how big he is, how in shape he is, how strong he is and how there is no other bodybuilder quite like him. I believe he mentions how handsome he is as well. Funny thing is, Sean’s not even a pro. He also lets us know his motto: “Train hard. Win easy.” I must say, though, that if the DVD is any indication of how he really trains, he’s quite deluded about what hard training actually is, at least compared to the many hungry bodybuilders I see in the gym. Another very odd thing I noticed is the structure—or lack thereof—of his workout days. He takes us through four days of workouts, but I honestly couldn’t tell you his bodypart split. He seems to use certain exercises at random with the exception of a biceps workout. Strangely enough, his legs are by far his weakest area, and we see him do several sets of standing single-leg curls, a couple of sets of leg extensions and one set of hack squats—all on separate days. Huh? I’m confused. To be fair, perhaps Sean didn’t set out to make a DVD meant to teach us anything about technique or training methodology but rather to give viewers a glimpse of his pumped-up 6’4”, 295-pound off-season physique. Even so, it’s pretty clear that Sean is more than happy with the way he looks in the mirror. Doubtless if there is a Sean Allen fan club, the job of


Net Results Q&A

The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your questions on training and nutrition.

president has already been filled by Sean himself. The dude is confident, to say the least. All that aside, Sean truly is one huge dude and powerful as well. He easily managed 405 pounds for eight strict, full-range reps on the incline bench—and that’s no easy task for someone with arms as long as his. I’d also venture to say that if he pushed it, 500 pounds would not be out of the question. Sean can make his way into the professional ranks if he works very hard at bringing his legs up to the level of his massive upper body. Can I actually recommend “Superhuman” to IRON MAN readers? Well, while I definitely can’t say that I learned anything new or interesting from Sean Allen, I can say that he’s entertaining—quite a character, with a ton of confidence bordering on arrogance, which makes him kind of fun to watch and listen to. The only problem I foresee is that if he ever does turn pro, his largest bodypart may become his head, which could throw off his proportions altogether. Editor’s note: “Superhuman” is available at or call 1-800-447-0008.

many bodybuilding discussion boards on the Internet, all with that same query. That makes yours a perfect question. When I first shared my P/RR/S training system on

Q: I’m interested in starting on the P/RR/S training program, and I’ve found several general templates on the Internet; however, none of them include work for abs, traps, forearms or calves. I just see workout designs for the major bodyparts. Am I missing something, or does P/RR/S training not call for hitting the smaller muscle groups? A: About two dozen P/RR/S Q&A threads are spread among the \ SEPTEMBER 2009 187

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086&/(,16,7(6 CALVES Power Leg press calf raises Seated calf raises

3 x 4-6 2 x 4-6

Rep Range Standing calf raises Leg press calf raises Seated calf raises

2 x 7-9 1 x 10-12 1 x 13-15, 1 x 16-20

Shock Superset Leg press calf raises Seated calf raises Standing calf raises (drop)

Neveux \ Model: Daniele Seccarecci

TRAPS Power Barbell shrugs Close-grip barbell upright rows

the Web, I made the incorrect assumption that if I just listed a protocol for each of the “main” muscle groups, people would easily be able to formulate routines for the smaller ones. If I’ve learned anything about bodybuilders or trainees who take their workouts seriously, it’s that when presented with something they sense could help them reach their goals faster, they want every last detail. That’s why I made sure that both my P/RR/S DVD and e-book had routines for every single bodypart. So, to answer your question: Yes, P/RR/S does call for hitting the smaller muscle groups. Here are some sample routines for those bodyparts: ABS Power Cable crunches Weighted seated knee raises

3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10

Rep Range Cable crunches Supported straight-leg raises Lying side crunches (per side)

2 x 10-12 2 x 13-15 1 x 16-20

Shock Superset Hanging straight-leg raises Seated knee raises Weighted incline situps (drop)

2 x 13-15 2 x 13-15 2 x 13-15 (6-8)

Rep Range Smith-machine shrugs Dumbbell shrugs Close-grip cable upright rows

2 x 7-9 2 x 13-15 2 x 10-12 (6-8)

3 x 4-6 2 x 4-6

2 x 7-9 2 x 10-12 1 x 13-15

Shock Superset Behind-the-back barbell shrugs 2 x 8-10 Close-grip EZ-curl-bar upright rows 2 x 8-10 Dumbbell shrugs (drop) 2 x 8-10 (4-6)

FOREARMS Power Barbell wrist curls Barbell reverse curls Rep Range Behind-the-back barbell wrist curls Barbell reverse wrist curls Shock Superset Barbell reverse wrist curls Barbell wrist curls Low-cable rope hammer curls (drop)

2 x 6-8 2 x 6-8

1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12 1 x 16-20, 1 x 13-15

1 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 (6-8)

Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock MaxMass Training System” is available at His e-book, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout, which includes complete printable workout templates and a big Q&A section, is available at www IM

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Hot Topics

Requalification Nation

ADD MR. O: WILL MELVIN MARVELOUS BE IN LAS VEGAS?—Melvin Anthony appeared on “Pro Bodybuilding Weekly” in early June and, in response to what he considers a lack of respect regarding his chances of making the top six at the ’09 Olympia, stated that he feels he can whup anybody in the game. Since Marvelous finished sixth at the Mr. O the past two years and was fifth in ’06, why would the dude imagine people would say anything else? Shawn Ray gave his reasons after the broadcast. “I can see Melvin and Silvio [who placed one slot behind Anthony at the Big Dance in ’07 and ’08] battling to finish in the top 10,” Ray said. “It’s not so much that Melvin is around 40 [he turns 40 in November]—look how well Dexter and Toney have done—it has more the do with the depth of this year’s lineup, the deepest it’s been in years. “I think there are five or six guys who have a shot at the Sandow and, with Victor Martinez, Kai Greene and Branch Warren back

Carolyn Bryant.

Shawn Ray with Gunter Schlierkamp.

Experts Yogi Avidan (right), L.T. and Hardbody Hinds.

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That’s what Houston, Texas-based bodybuilder Carolyn Bryant did after reading the July News & Views regarding my feelings about requiring everyone to requalify for the Mr. Olympia each year. If you saw it, you are aware that I fully presented both sides of the argument. Actually, I should clarify that Carolyn mostly agreed with what I said (Did you read the segment carefully, dear?). I didn’t suggest that the winners of the Arnold and the Olympia should get a pass, as she does. “I think you have a great idea,” Bryant said via e-mail. “I think only the winners of the Arnold Classic and the Mr. O should be automatically qualified for the following year. This will create more excitement and anticipation for the fans to attend the other contests. The Olympia is the Super Bowl of bodybuilding and, as you pointed out, they have to requalify in other sports. The same for the women—we have to look at the same six girls every year. It would make the smaller shows better and the big shows more entertaining. “I loved what you said about the guys wanting a year off to get bigger. They are plenty big enough already. Does Markus Ruhl think that? As professional athletes they should be able to get in shape for more than one contest a year. Look at Toney Freeman and Silvio Samuel. I understand Jay [Cutler]’s point of view about the money. Still, you don’t make the cut, you don’t compete. Just concentrate on guest posing if the money is that good.” I didn’t include the women in my piece because they don’t make very much cash as it is, and they have way fewer contests. Anyway, thanks for responding, even though you went off-road a bit. By the way, I still think you can win the Team Universe. Are you in or out for ’09?

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Bryant

Agree With L.T.

FALLIN’ FOR FALLON Meet the ’09 National Wheelchair champ. Page 194

CRAZY DAZE The trip from hell ended in sunshine. Pages 195 and 196

in the action after missing the contest last year due to injuries, that could move Melvin into 10th. It’s not that far-fetched to see him fall out of the top 10. I can see definitely Melvin battling Branch for ninth, with Silvio, Dennis James and Hidetada Yamagishi fighting for 10th.” Bet Anthony doesn’t view that vision as marvelous—and we don’t need to ask Samuel his thoughts. On second thought, Silvio, what are your thoughts on Shawn’s predictions?

Melvin Anthony.

Silvio Samuel.

Photography by Lonnie Teper, Roland Balik and Merv

MARRIED PRIEST? Guess who she said I do to. Page 196

Dennis James.

Evan Centopani.

ADD “PRO BODYBUILDING WEEKLY”—Thumbs-up to Dan Solomon for coming up with the proof—as if any proof was needed. On the PBW broadcast that followed the New York Pro in May, Dan, using an infallible point system, officially named yours truly as the keeper of the Swami crown. If you recall, the Experts (me, Yogi Avidan and Isaac “Hardbody” Hinds) put our predictions on paper—and our reps on the line—days before the Steve Weinberger–produced posefest. No surprise—I came out on top, besting Avidan by five points with another stunning top 10 list. Hinds? Let’s just say the only title he won was the Bonehead Pick of the Weekend. Now, Yogi and I weren’t so sharp either when it came to picking the winner—we both went with Samuel, who landed in fourth—but at least our guy finished in the top five. Apparently, the road-weary Hinds hasn’t taken that long-needed vacation in Mexico yet. Of course, Yogi has been crying ever since Dan announced the results, claiming (backed by Bobby Chick) that it’s only the top-five predictions that count, but it’s a sad attempt at ignoring the evidence. Yogi—as Solomon will testify—was the one who originally listed his predictions for top 10, so the top 10 it was. Of course, it was my vast knowledge of the game, which resulted in more accurate picks for the sixth through 10th places, that provided the margin of victory. Now, of course, is the time to give our deepest apologies to the man who actually won the crown—the Rookie of the Year, Evan Centopani. Evan sat quietly in the background after taking the overall at the ’07 Nationals, not listening to the hordes of people who told him he should try to qualify for the Olympia in 2008. He trained hard and stayed focused for 18 months, and the guy I’ve compared to former pro star Mike Matarazzo ended up winning the show, besting veteran standout Dennis James and other name physique artists in the process—a victory that most connoisseurs of the game deemed improbable. For that he gets major props. Avidan immediately pegged Centopani for a top-eight finish at this season’s Olympia. Hinds and I said negative, and I actually told Evan after his big victory that he should pass on the Las Vegas affair and come out smokin’ in 2010, à la Phil Heath, who also endured much criticism when he didn’t compete in the first two Olympias he qualified for. Nobody’s smackin’ their lips now about Phillip’s decision, eh? Centopani is but 27 and will only get better. I’d love to see him in the IRON MAN Pro lineup next year, followed by his first appearance on the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage in \ SEPTEMBER 2009 193

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OFXT&W  JFXT lumbus, Ohio, at the Arnold Classic. Evan, are you listening?

Fallon Turner.

Inspiration Award

Photo courtesy of Fallon Turner

I met Fallon Turner when I emceed the Lone Star Classic in 2008. She was the only wheelchair competitor, and she impressed me with a smile as wide as Lee Haney’s back. Recently, I found out the 21-year-old from Texarkana, Texas, duplicated her victory at the Heart of Texas last September and took the lightweight and overall titles at the ’09 Wheelchair Nationals. Fallon, who was born with hydrocephalus—water on the brain—and cerebral palsy, began training three years ago at the now-defunct Icon Gym & Training. “Several of the guys who worked out there were involved in bodybuilding,” she said. “I originally wanted to be a powerlifter, but they began encouraging me, telling me I had the genetics to be a bodybuilder. So I began following that path. Another wheelchair competitor, Chad McCrary, also worked out there and began training me. He was a great mentor.” When Turner, who works as a barista at a local Starbucks, attended her first contest, she was hooked. She trains three days a week, and her cardio consists of riding the bike before and after her workout as well as another two or three times, depending on her schedule. This incredible young lady is also taking a correspondence course through the Library of Congress to become a Braille transcriptionist; Fallon enjoys playing goat ball, a “very challenging sport for blind and visually impaired athletes. I travel to Dallas when I can to play with teams from that area because we don’t have a local team.” Somehow, I knew you’d find a way, kid. Thumbsup.

Abbas Is Back Dept. After a sparkling fourth-place finish in the heavyweight class at the ’07 Nationals, Abbas Khatami was out of sight last season. Now he’s back and will be bringing the total package to the IFBB North American Championships in Cleveland at the end of August. “The North Americans will be my best showing ever,” promised Khatami, who won the overall at the Cal a decade back. “I came in shredded for the Nationals two years ago, at a weight of 222. I took some time off to take care of some things in my life Abbas Khatami. and let my bodyweight go up a bit, so when I do come back, it won’t be the same ‘ripped Abbas.’ “As of now [12 weeks out] I’m 260 pounds and a bit over 6 percent bodyfat. I estimate I’ll be my biggest this time. My goal is to be 240 and shredded. At 5’8”, I know nobody can beat me. I have brought up my upper-body thickness so it will be a whole different body this year at the North Americans.” I wish you well, guy. IRON MAN correspondents Dave Liberman and Mike Lackner will be at the NAC to give me an account of how good you are. You’ve had a long haul—time to move to the next level, eh?

ADD LACKNER—As of early June, Mike was in the midst of his first round of chemotherapy after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer in May. I talked with him a couple of times, and he said he was doing well, although he was extremely tired, and that the doctors had also repaired an undiagnosed hernia. Lackner, a former Collegiate National champion from Ohio now living with his wife, Monica, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, said the doctors at Al194 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Mike Lackner.


The photo identified as Mark Alvisi in last month’s N&V was in fact Mike Liberatore, the guy who beat Alvisi for the heavyweight title at the ’08 Nationals. The real Alvisi, pictured here, is L.T.’s pick to win the overall at the ’09 USA.

Trip From Hell

Merv (right) sympathizes with J.M.’s tale.


toona Regional Hospital are confident of a full and speedy recovery. Just how well was Mike doing when we talked? You tell me. “Any hot nurses who like to give sponge baths can contact me through you at the magazine,” he quipped. Like I’m going to give them your number if they do, guy. I need some wet scrubbing too. Mike was also sure, despite having two more rounds of chemo to go, that he’d be ready to man his usual post behind the podium at the Teen, Collegiate and Masters Nationals, which will be held on his 40th birthday, July 18. Knowing how tough this cat is, you’ll never hear a doubting word from me. Check my blog at for updates on Mike.

Normally, no one with more than a single-digit I.Q. would list a trip from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Los Angeles, California, as anything but divine intervention, but there’s always an exception. Ask J.M. Manion. Manion boarded the plane on May 22 for his annual trip to the NPC California Championships and IFBB Cal Pro Figure Championship. First, there was a delay because the plane that arrived was smaller than what was originally booked, so 36 people had to be bumped from the flight. I’ll let J.M. take it from here: “Once we got onboard and were starting to take off, a guy ran toward the front of the plane, opened up the bathroom door and puked his guts all over the bathroom, the bathroom door, the cockpit door and the floor in front of the cockpit,” he said. “We had to turn around and come back to the terminal. Paramedics came onboard, but the guy refused treatment, saying he ate a bad sandwich earlier in the morning and just wanted to get on to Las Vegas [where J.M. was connecting to an L.A. flight] so he could have some fun and gamble. Once the paramedics left, a US Airways rep came onboard and told the guy he had to get off the flight because the captain and crew didn’t want him onboard. It was their prerogative since he refused medical attention. “He started to argue with the rep, saying he wasn’t going to get off. The rep told him that he either gets off the plane or he was going to be removed by two Allegheny County sheriffs waiting on the jetway. He finally left, but they had to bring on a cleaning crew, which took 30 minutes to clean up the mess he made. “At this point it was 9 a.m. [the flight was to have left at seven], and once we finally got to Vegas, I missed my connection and was forced to go standby to Los Angeles. Finally, I was on my way and thought the nightmare was over. I was wrong. “When I picked up my rental car and started to head down Sepulveda Boulevard, the street was blocked off by police! I was rerouted to the 405 freeway and got to sit in lovely Friday-afternoon traffic. “When I finally got to the hotel, they could not find my reservation. Thank goodness Jon Lindsay had just walked in, and he took care of the problem. Oh, yeah, the only room they had left was one for the handicapped. At that point I didn’t care what they gave me; at least I was at the hotel and had a room—over five hours after I was supposed to land!” Hey, guy, I’ve been given handicapped rooms more than once, but I’m not sure it wasn’t by design. No remarks from the peanut gallery. Now I forgive you for passing out on the chair before Saturday’s prejudging. And we all thank you for

Hot babes in Cali. \ SEPTEMBER 2009 195

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OFXT&W  JFXT your annual Sunday-a.m. photo shoot with some of the hottest babes in the sport, in this case Sonia Gonzales, Krissy Chin, Amy O’Neill, Catherine Holland, Mariza DeGuzman, Kristin Nunn, Ana Tigre and Elissa Schlichter. I hear your rental-car battery died on the way the Redondo Beach shoot and you had to be escorted to it by Terry Goodland. Seriously, would you expect the weekend to end any other way?

Photo courtesy of Rhaine Priest

ADD CAL—Despite Manion’s daunting journey west, the contest itself was sublime. Congrats to men’s overall champ Rick Figoni, best known prior to this show as a high school baseball teammate of Tom Brady’s; womNPC Cal overall champs (from left): Lisa Hahn, Susan Salazar, en’s titlist Patricia Corbett; figure overall champ Susan Rick Figoni, Michelle Gullett, Cesar Martinez and Chris Kimber. Salazar and her masters figure counterpart, Lisa Hahn; and bikini champ Michelle Gullett, who followed up her victory at the San Diego Championships with a tough Lee gets overall win here over tall-class headliner and professional Rhaine and Lee Priest’s big the tab. day. crooner Amanda Latona. Cesar Martinez captured the closed men’s division, with Chris Kimber taking the novice-men’s overall. I had my first chat with Richard Jones since his disastrous ninth-place finish at the Pittsburgh Pro 202and-Under show a couple of weeks earlier. I admitted to Jones that I’d predicted he would never compete again. He wasn’t upset but said I was wrong. “My dream has always been to get on both the IRON MAN and Arnold Classic stage,” said the 5’7” 35-yearold from Oceanside, California. “I can’t compete at 200 pounds and be anywhere near my best. I was way too flat in Pittsburgh. I looked way better at around 208. At this point I plan on coming back next year and competing at the weight I look my best at.” Which brings up another point: I’ve always thought that if we’re going to have weight classes, the original 210-and-under category at the ’07 Europa was the way to go. Silvio Samuel won both the 210-and-under and leaving Southern California for Texas, Arizona and now the open at a sliced 206 pounds—a relatively smaller man Australia. besting the bigger dudes too. Lee was in town on vacation and met up with me for Jones is the perfect example of why I feel that way. He breakfast en route to visiting friends in Scottsdale, Arizona. could be terrific at the upper limits of a 210-and-under He gave me some updates—he moved to Melbourne last division but flattens out like a pancake if he drops below year, married Rhaine, who originates from South Africa, 202. Several other potential standouts will be faced with and had surgery on his right biceps—which he tore while this dilemma. Peter Putnam has talked about it, as it will moving his big-screen television—three months ago. affect most light heavyweights who earn pro status. It gives He just got back into the gym in early May, he said. He them only a four-pound window of opportunity, as the lightwas weighing around 235 and said that he could be back heavyweight limit is 198 1/2 in the NPC. on an IFBB stage again next year—after departing for the Thanks to another record-breaking event for Lindsay now-defunct PDI two years back—possibly at the IRON and Steve O’Brien (160 NPC athletes and 29 pro-figure MAN and the Arnold. It’s hard to believe the kid I first introcompetitors), I was at the podium for five hours. The world’s duced at the IM Pro when he was only 21 will turn 37 right longest back was aching, the club feet were throbbing, but around the time you read this. we made it through. It was fun reuniting at my main refectory. We used to I shared your pain, J.M. Well, not really, but misery does meet there at least once a month when Priest was local. love company. But the best part was seeing Priest grab the bill out of my hand and insist on picking up the tab. As I’ve chowed down with Shawn Ray a few times in recent months and the only thing Shawn ever insisted on grabbing was the dessert tray, I was taken back by Lee’s offer. PRIEST SIGHTING—After a five-year hiatus Lee Priest actually drove back to Los Angeles that weekend Priest made his return to Twohey’s Restaurant in Alhamin time to present some awards at the Cal. First time we’ve bra, California, in May. It was always one of his favorite seen him onstage in some time. We can hope that the next eateries, and the Priest has dearly missed the place since time he’ll be flexing it out with his opponents.


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5 6


8 Avidan


1) Jon Lindsay and Sonia Gonzales. 2) Jennifer Celeste. 3) Jerome “Hollywood” Ferguson and Nola Trimble. 4) Derik Farnsworth chows down. 5) L.T. at the podium. 6) Kent Keuhn. 7) Tamir El-Guindy and Hany Rambod. 8) Ali Cody and Nicole Jimenez. 9) Meriza DeGuzman’s hairpiece (not Phil Spector’s). 10) Al Beckles. 11) Richard Jones.


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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 IM \ SEPTEMBER 2009 197

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LONNIE T EP ER’ S Ri si n g S tars

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Croon Age: 24 Weight: 220 contest; 250 off-season Height: 5’11” Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada Contest highlights: ’08 NPC National Championships, heavyweight, seventh; ’08 NPC USA championships, superheavyweight, 13th Factoids: His father was a bodybuilder and owned a gym in the San Francisco area. He started lifting weights at 13. He likes fast cars and relaxing at a bookstore Contact: www.ZinCroon. com 198 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

Photography by Roland Balik and Merv

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Fairchild Age: 29 Weight: 235 contest; 270 off-season Height: 5’11” Residence: Dallas, Texas Occupation: Gaspari Nutrition Midwest account manager Contest highlights: ’09 NPC California Championships, superheavyweight, 1st; ’07 NPC Lone Star Classic, heavyweight, 1st, and overall Factoid: His better half is IFBB pro figure competitor Katina Maistrellis. Contact: mfairchild@ \ SEPTEMBER 2009 199

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Jessica Ann

200 AUGUST 2009 \

Isaac Hinds \

Isaac Hinds \ www.LiftS


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Age: 27 Weight: 135 Height: 5’10” Residence: Daytona Beach, Florida Occupation: Fitness manager Contest highlights: ’09 NPC Junior National Championships, bikini Fclass, 3rd; ’09 NPC Eastern Seaboard Championships, bikini overall; ’09 NPC Junior USA Championships, bikini F-class, 1st Factoid: She used to box out of a club owned by Bob Rosetti and Shannon Dey. Contact: jessicaannlawrence@gmail. com



Ed Nunn IFBB Pro and Muscle Asylum Project Athlete Compiled by Ron Harris Full name: Edward S. Nunn Nickname: Bigg Show Date of birth: June 6, 1971 Height: 6’1” Off-season weight: 285 Contest weight: 250 Current residence: Anderson, Indiana Years training: 25 years total, bodybuilding for 12 years Occupation: Pro bodybuilder and personal trainer Marital status: Single Children: Antonio, 19; Matoka, 13; Skyla, nine Hobbies: Working on old cars, motorcycles and electronics How did you get into bodybuilding? My first inspiration came from seeing my dad’s compact, powerful physique. He’s about 5’7”, and he was maybe 185 pounds when I was a kid, but the man was jacked. And he didn’t even lift weights. He would do stuff like lift full trash barrels for reps, and I would be alongside him curling glass Coke bottles! [Note: Later, when he was finishing his college football career in Iowa, a pair of bodybuilder twins noted Nunn’s gifted genetics and urged him to compete in bodybuilding.] Who inspired you when you were starting out? Arnold, of course, Lee Haney, Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler and Ronnie Coleman. In more recent years I have been very inspired by the success of Toney Freeman, since we are of a similar stature—he is 6’2”. Top titles: ’08 NPC USA Championships, superheavyweight, 1st; ’08 NPC National Championships, superheavyweight, 1st, and overall

Favorite bodyparts to train: Back, biceps, quads Favorite exercises: Leg extensions and leg presses Least favorite exercise: Cardio! Best bodyparts: Arms and legs Most challenging bodyparts: Shoulders and upper chest Obstacles overcome: I broke my arm in a car accident, and that took a while before it felt strong again. I also pinched a nerve in my lower back using a rickety old leg press at a YMCA about four years ago. It actually caused my right leg to shrink for a while because it wasn’t getting the proper nerve signals from my brain. Do you have a quote or a phi-

losophy you try to live by? Never give up; never stop fighting for what you want. How do you stay motivated? I have always been a very competitive person, and I relish the challenge of continuing to improve my physique. How would you describe your training style? I use higher reps than a lot of bodybuilders. For upper-body movements I keep it around 12, and for legs I’m usually at 15 to 20. I finish most bodyparts with “sevens,” as I train in the FST7 style developed by my coach,

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Hany Rambod. The only bodypart I don’t use it on is my biceps, as they tend to grow too fast and overpower everything else. Training split: Monday: quads, calves, abs; Tuesday: chest, triceps; Wednesday: off; Thursday: back, biceps; Friday: glutes, hams, biceps; Saturday: delts, traps, abs; Sunday: back width, if needed, or off Favorite clean meal: Steak, sweet potatoes and a big salad Favorite cheat meal: Banana pancakes (When I’m dieting, I like to watch the Food Network while doing my cardio. It’s like my porn at that point!)

What is your favorite supplement, and why? I love Creadex and Altered State, the creatine and nitric oxide products from Muscle Asylum Project. For someone like me who really believes in the value of getting the best possible pump to stimulate muscle growth, those two are my ace in the hole. Goals in the sport: I am getting ready for my first two pro shows right now, and I really want to make an impact and show everybody I have what it takes to stand up there and go toe to toe with the best of them. Eventually, I do want to become Mr. Olympia. What pro out there doesn’t? Web site: \ SEPTEMBER 2009 207

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• Celebrating Muscle Babery • New Pros and Old • Pump-pourri


CHOICE FOR WOMEN Since the addition of bikini, the opportunities for ladies of all sizes and shapes to display their curves in physique competition have been growing daily. Heather Armbrust, fourth at the ’09 Ms. International, represents the top of the muscularity chain—excellent aesthetics and astounding size.

SWAYS WITH A WIGGLE WHEN SHE WALKS Now that the bikini season is in full swing, provocative poses are cropping up on stages across the land, and women are learning to do the “stride and snap.” Jennifer Celeste, who earned a pro card at the Junior Nationals on June 20, demonstrates the move at right. 208 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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OH, YEAH? Nicole Duncan brings a petite, gymnastics-style body to the stage. Pro-fitness athletes will have one fewer opportunity to flip out this year since the Houston show was canceled.

Isaac Hinds \



Photography by Ruth Silverman, Roland Balik and Merv

PROS NEW AND OLD Isaac Hinds \



NO LOOKING BACK Mariza Prince, who starred in one of IM’s most popular Hardbody layouts ever, took things to the next level by taking the bikini overall at the Junior Nat’s. Now, everyone knows the pushdowns have nothing to do with the glute development, right?

THE OVERALL, SWEET! New figure pros come in two varieties: Those who get there with a hop, skip and jump and those who linger for a season or so, racking up a stream of secondthrough fifth-place trophies until they finally get over the amateur fence. Glad to hear I won’t be picking Terri Turner as a favorite to win the USA.


SPEAKING OF IM HARDBODIES Make-up whiz Yvonne Ouellette (right) tries a new air-brushing technique on Jen Hendershott at the “Champ on a Tramp” set. Find the pics on page 156—and find my full interview with the current queen of fitness at

BABY FACE Victoria Larvie won her class at the Junior Nat’s to become the youngest fitness pro ever. The 17-year-old level-10 gymnast and recent high school grad looks forward to making her debut without her mom’s having to be backstage. Aw...


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Find complete coverage at www.IronMan

WOULD YOU BELIEVE SHE LOVES TO TRAIN LEGS? Middleweight Suzanne Germano, 45, took the overall at the Junior Nat’s. Hey, Suzanne, our over40 issue is next month.

A SPORT YOU CAN JUST PICTURE Sandy Grant is part of a tiny rush of physique athletes moving to the gridiron. The fitness pro is training with the Seattle Mist of the Lingerie Football League in hopes of making the final cut when the season begins in September.


Isaac Hinds \

Ironically, they were also the open winners. Figure champ Sunny Day (left) and bikini victor Elena Andrade topped fabulous lineups at the NPC Junior Cal on June 20.

DEMURE RIGHT HOOK A recent YouTube video of Britt Miller’s successful foray into boxing had folks atwitter that the comely North Carolinian was leaving bodybuilding. Not to worry— she’s a favorite to earn her pro card at the USA on July 25.

MARIAH CAREY WITH A BETTER BODY Canadian comer Keashia Wester gets a lot of comments like that. The 5’7” stunner caused quite a stir at the ’08 British Columbia Figure Championships—and not just for her resemblance to superstar Carey. Of course, when Keashia talks about R & B, she means reps and barbells.

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Dobbins \


PLANS ARE CRYSTAL-IZING Though her attempt to beat the world-pullup record of 345 failed by six reps, Crystal West— yet an other former IM Hardbody—has “outrageous plans for 2009.” More record attempts are on her to-do list, and she’s already made her first attempt at figure—in the masters division at the Junior Cal.

Isaac Hinds \


OH…MY…GOD, MARY, LOOK AT HER BUTT! Seriously, this exquisite image of Lenda Murray by Bill Dobbins, circa 1994 or so, recently distinguished itself in the online 3rd Annual Photography Masters Cup, where Dobbins’ works in the categories of Nude and Sport attracted a nice chunk of votes from a mainstream panel. “It was the first nude published in Flex and has been exhibited in galleries and museums,” said Bill (below right), who believes it is an important photo. “You know, that old idea of bodybuilders as art sculptures that we’ve tended to get away from.”

MYSTERY SOLVED One big dif between figure and bikini: figure competitors don’t stride or snap. They “twist and glow,” as shown here by new figure pro Christina Vargas.

TEE HEE HEE It only looks as if Bill is serenading the ladies. I caught him practicing his other art at a club in Hollywood around the time the mentioned-above photo contest took place.

Find Ruth’s coverage and commentary from the NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters Nationals and USA Championships at www.Iron \ SEPTEMBER 2009 211

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SAY IT ISN’T SO! In Steve Wennerstrom’s Femme Physique installment in the July ’09 IM, we misidentified Kim King, bronze medalist at the ’89 World Games, as a lightweight. Apologies to Steve (it was my typo) and to my homegirl Kim, a longtime

&,5&8067$1&( CROSS-POSING EXPERIMENT Joanne Murphy shows what happens when a figure gal does the stride and snap. All together, ladies, let’s stride…and snap. Stride… and snap!


strength and conditioning coach at the University of Pittsburgh, who won the ’91 Nationals and never competed in the pros.

WE’RE DOING WHAT AGAIN? Ron Goldstein and Cynthia James gear up for the fourth annual Atlantic City Pro, which Ron and Stokley Palmer will produce on September 11 and 12. Men’s and women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure plus men’s 202 and under, masters figure and an NPC show—I had a blast last year. This is one great event for sponsors and competitors.




HER GUNS ARE COCKED Nola Trimble, who joined the tired-ofhaving-toomuch-musclefor-figure club this year, will take her ammunition to the USA, where she hopes to blow a hole in the middleweight lineup.

GAL FROM THE CAL A.k.a. the gal from Trinidad. Karen Williams, a refuge from fitness, made her first quarterturn-only appearance at the Cal Pro Figure.

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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

Femme Physique The World’s Most

UContest nderrated Story and photography by Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB Women’s Historian

with the opportunity of becoming an IFBB professional. The inaugural event in 1983 was staged at the Wembley Conference Centre in London with 38 contestants from 22 countries participating. With only two weight classes contested—under and over 114 pounds—Holland’s Erika Mes captured the first-ever World Amateur gold medal in the lightweight category, while Sweden’s Inger Zetterqvist took top honors in the middleweight class. For the next 19 years the World Amateur Championships was staged at different locales around the globe, until the city of Santa Susanna, Spain, became the site of choice from 2003 through 2008. The contest has grown steadily in many ways. In 1986 a heavy-

Erika Mes, the first World Amateur champion, won the lightweightclass gold medal in 1983.

Also earning gold in ’83 was Sweden’s Inger Zetterqvist, the first middleweight titlist.

German Kornelia Kindbeiter’s muscularity created a judging controversy when she won the lightweight championship in ’84.

weight class was added, with American Cathey Palyo earning the first World Heavyweight title. In 1996 fitness joined the lineup, and American Susie Curry claimed the first World Fitness crown from a field of 15 contestants. A year later fitness became a two-class competition—short and tall—to better handle the number of competitors. In the bodybuilding division the judges selected an overall winner from the three weight-class winners for the first time in 1997, when Ukraine’s striking Valentina Chipega emerged victorious in the posedown over the lightweight gold medalist, American Peggy Schoolcraft, and the heavyweight winner, Beate Drabing of Austria. By 2000 a total of 105 contestants from 32 countries were making the journey to the World Championships—and those numbers were about to make another dramatic jump. With an ever-growing number of women training seriously worldwide, 2002 saw the inclusion of what the IFBB calls bodyfitness, or figure, as it’s known in the United States. Two height classes were set at under and over 5’4”. In addition, another fitness height class was added. Within two years bodyfitness was also offering three height classes. The ’08 World Amateur Championships generated the largest field ever as 176 athletes from 42 countries met in Santa Susanna, casting an even brighter light on this contest’s burgeoning growth. John Nafpliotis

Legendary IFBB administrator Oscar State may not have realized it at the time, but the contest he organized in his British homeland on June 20, 1983, would eventually become the largest and most prestigious amateur-bodybuilding contest for women in the world. The event has grown tremendously over the past 26 years but has never really gotten its due in the media as a premier showcase for the best amateur female bodybuilders, fitness athletes and bodyfitness competitors in the world. Appropriately named the IFBB Women’s World Amateur Championships, the contest was designed to bring together a truly international field of competitors for the opportunity to win the title of IFBB World Amateur champion—along

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Dominique Darde’s highly stylized posing routine helped her take the ’84 heavyweight title.

Quality Physiques From Around the World

John Nafpliotis

In addition to the increasing contestant numbers, the World Amateur Championships has established a strong standard of quality physiques, which has made it a highly anticipated event each year. Since its earliest days the Worlds has produced numerous champions who have moved on to the pro ranks, including three women (England’s Andrulla Blanchette, Ukrainian Chipega and Holland’s Juliette Bergmann) who became Ms. Olympia winners. In addition, American Yolanda Hughes, who earned a silver medal in 1991 and gold in 1992,

American Gold Medalists 1984: Clare Furr, middleweight 1986: Cathey Palyo, heavyweight 1987: Charla Sedacca, lightweight; Renee Casella, middleweight; Janice Graser, heavyweight 1988: Janet Tech, lightweight 1991: Sally Gomez, lightweight 1992: Skye Ryland, middleweight; Yolanda Hughes, heavyweight 1996: Susie Curry, fitness 1997: Peggy Schoolcraft, lightweight 2004: Colette Nelson, heavyweight and overall Note: Overall awards were first given in 1997.

went on to become a two-time Ms. International champ. Laura Creavalle won the heavyweight gold medal in 1988 representing Guyana before launching a memorable pro career that included three Ms. International titles and a record 13 trips to the Ms. Olympia. Colette Nelson is the NPC President Jim Manion’s “Golden Girls” captured the top spot in each of the three weight classes at the ’87 event (from left): Renee Casella, Janice Graser and Charla Sedacca. It was the only time a country has swept all three weight classes at the Worlds.

Peggy Schoolcraft was the top lightweight at the ’97 Worlds.

The ’97 American team (from left): Gina Hall, Peggy Schoolcraft, Cheryl Vazquez and Cynthia Darmer (front).

Colette Nelson was the heavyweight and overall World Amateur champ in 2004. \ SEPTEMBER 2009 215

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Femme Physique most recent gold medalist from the United States, having taken heavyweight and overall crowns in 2004. To date, the U.S. has seen 40 competitors land in the top five in bodybuilding, fitness and bodyfitness since the contest’s inception. Throughout the ’80s and early ’90s Holland and particularly the United States enjoyed notable success at the World Amateur Championships, garnering more than a dozen gold medals between the two countries when bodybuilding was the only sport contested. In the past decade, however, Eastern and Central Europe have taken dominant roles, putting a stranglehold on the medal plac-

ings in fitness and bodyfitness, as well as bodybuilding. Six-time World Bodybuilding champion Jana Purdjakova of Slovakia has led the way in this new surge of top Eastern Europeans and so far has competed in 10 World Amateur Championships, becoming the most successful athlete in the history of this prestigious event, steadfastly electing to retain her amateur status. Annually, teams from Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic field outstanding competitors who win a large portion of the available medals. Most recently, ’07 overall winner Elena Shportun from Russia (the overall champ at

the ’09 Arnold Amateur) and ’08 overall winner Alina Popa, representing Switzerland (but born in Romania), are glowing examples of the outstanding quality of bodybuilders from Eastern Europe. This trend is sure to continue in each of the three disciplines. The ’09 IFBB World Amateur Championships will be hosted in Como, Italy, with a tentative date in mid-October. Americans become eligible to compete at the World Championships by winning their respective classes at the annual NPC Team Universe Bodybuilding and Figure Championships and Fitness National Championships, where the USA team selections take place. IM

World Amateur Champions 1983: Erika Mes, Holland (LW); Inger Zetterqvist, Sweden (MW) 1984: Ellen Van Maris, Holland (LW); Clare Furr, USA (MW) 1985: Juliette Bergmann, Holland (LW); Dominique Darde, France (MW) 1986: Renate Holland, West Germany (LW); Gundi Froder, West Germany (MW); Cathey Palyo, USA (HW) 1987: Charla Sedacca, USA (LW); Renee Casella, USA (MW); Janice Graser, USA (HW) 1988: Janet Tech, USA (LW); Veronica Dahlin, Sweden (MW); Laura Creavalle, Guyana (HW) 1989: Ina Lopulissa, Holland (LW); Lynne Lemieux, Canada (MW); Leny Tops, Holland (HW) 1990: Zuzana Korinkova, Czechoslovakia (LW); Jutta Tippelt, Germany (MW); Yvonne Rosell, Sweden (HW) 1991: Sally Gomez, USA (LW); Diana Gimmler, Germany (MW); Gabriella Szikszay, Hungary (HW)

1997: Peggy Schoolcraft, USA (LW); Valentina Chipega, Ukraine (MW & overall); Beate Drabing, Austria (HW) 1998: Irina Muntean, Romania (LW); Tulay Ozbek, Turkey (MW); Susana Alonso, Spain (HW & overall) 1999: Brigitte Schori, Switzerland (LW); Susanne Neiderhauser, Austria (MW); Ewa Krynska, Poland (HW & overall) 2000: Natalia Proskouriakova, Russia (LW); Jana Purdjakova, Slovakia (MW); Conny Junker, Germany (HW & overall) 2001: Olena Alloyarova, Russia (LW); Barbora Mrazkova, Czech Republic (MW & overall); Olga Kolot, Ukraine (HW) 2002: Natalia Proskouriakova, Russia (LW); Irina Muntean, Romania (MW); Zdenka Razymova, Czech Republic (HW & overall) 2003: Lori Hayden, Guam (LW); Jana Purdjakova, Slovakia (MW); Monica Muresan, Romania (HW & overall) 2004: Svetlana Lomachevskaya, Russia (LW); Jana Purdjakova, Slovakia (MW); Colette Nelson, USA (HW & overall)

1992: Eva Sukupova, Czech Republic (LW); Skye Ryland, USA (MW); Yolanda Hughes, USA (HW)

2005: Svetlana Lomachevskaya, Russia (LW & overall); Jana PurdjaUkraine’s Valentina Chipega was the kova, Slovakia (MW); Agnieszka 1993: Veronique Gady, France (LW); heavyweight and overall champ in ’97, which Ryk, Poland (HW) Frederique Auchart, France (MW); qualified her to compete in the Ms. Olympia. 2006: Claudia Partenza, Italy Sabine Froshauer, Germany (HW) (LW & overall); Alina Cepurniene, Lithuania (MW); Elena Shportun, Russia HW 1994: Christine Noel, France (LW); Karin Petz, Germany (MW); Natalia Murnikoviene, Lithuania (HW) 2007: Jana Purdjakova, Slovakia (under 121 pounds); Elena Shportun, Russia (over 121 pounds & overall) 1995: Tulay Ozbek, Turkey (LW); Beatrix Gluck, Germany (MW); Marjo Krishi, Finland (HW) 2008: Jana Purdjakova, Slovakia (under 121 pounds); Alina Popa, Switzerland (over 121 pounds & overall) 1996: Irina Petrenko, Ukraine (LW); Inna Uit, Estonia (MW); Zdenka Tvrda, Czech Republic (HW)

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by John Little TRAINING ALONE Q: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been reading your articles about high-intensity training for some time and really like Mike Mentzerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m reluctant to try it, however, as I train alone in a home gym. How can I use Heavy Duty without a workout partner to help me with negatives and forced reps? A: I remember Mike being asked that very question at a seminar he gave in Rexdale, Ontario, in 1981. The question seemed to irk him somewhat. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I keep getting this in my seminars, and I just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People seem to think that they need to have a training partner in order to train hard.â&#x20AC;? Mike then explained that a training partner is not a prerequisite for Heavy Duty training. He once said this about his training approach: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heavy Duty training is hard training wherein each and every set is done to failure. It has been empirically validated that such training stimulates maximum growth. Its philosophical basis lies in the belief that you will reach any goal faster when you try to get there as hard as

you can and that if you really believe in what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to accomplish, anything less than all-out effort is a sin against yourself.â&#x20AC;? According to Mike, if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a training partner and you believe you are ready for advanced Heavy Duty techniques such as forced repsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and nobody needs these who has not been training to positive failure for at least six months and more likely one yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; there is a way. After going to positive failure in strict style, use a slight cheat, or hitch, to get the weight moving. If, for example, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing barbell curls, and you get to a point where you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t raise the weight anymore, you can continue by swinging the bar just enough to get it moving and then complete the movement with muscular force alone. When performing one-arm dumbbell concentration curls, after reaching failure you can use your free hand to provide the curling arm with assistance for forced repetitions. When it comes to performing negative, or eccentric, repetitions, Mike had this to say: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can perform negatives for many exercises without a training partner. When doing dips or chins, for example, you can lower yourself slowly in negative fashion from the topâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or contractedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;position. With certain (continued on page 222)

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(continued from page 219) exercise machines, like leg extensions, leg presses, leg curls and overhead presses, it’s almost impossible to perform forced or negative reps without assistance. Even if you have a training partner, it would be impractical to have him or her assist you in performing forced and negative reps on exercises like the leg extension and leg press, where the weights can become substantial. I know of several people who can do leg presses with 1,000 pounds. How do you get that much weight into position rep after rep for someone to lower it? The answer is, you don’t!” The good news, according to Mike, is that there’s a way around the dilemma—negative-accentuated repetitions. Let’s hear from Mike again on this important Heavy Duty technique: “You can derive all of the benefits of negative reps without doing them in the conventional sense. When doing negative-accentuated training, select a weight that’s about 70 percent of the weight you’d normally use for a set of 10 reps. If you would normally use 500 pounds on the leg press for 10 reps, use 350 pounds for negativeaccentuated training. Employing the strength of both legs, press the weight to the top and lower slowly with the left leg. Press the weight back to the top and lower slowly again, but with the right leg this time. Continue with this procedure until you can no longer raise the weight.” These are just a few of the ways that you can train Heavy Duty style without a training partner. Mike would tell you to be innovative and you may well discover many others. In any case, you should always train as hard as you can with what you have available. As Mike once said, “There is no excuse for giving it anything less than all you’ve got!” 222 SEPTEMBER 2009

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Neveux \ Model: Alex Azarian

Heavy Duty high-intensity training is very brief (less than 30 minutes a workout) and performed infrequently (only once or twice a week). Complete muscle recovery leads to growth.

Negative-accentuated sets are performed on machines like the leg extension. You raise the weight with both legs, then lower with one, raise with both, then lower with the other. Alternate legs on each negative stroke.

TOO MUCH STRESS Q: I have read in a couple of different muscle magazines that high-intensity training places too much demand on the adrenal glands. Apparently, it causes the glands to secrete great amounts of hormones, and that, over time, leads to adrenal failure. One article suggested that high-intensity training should be avoided altogether, while the other suggested that it is all right—if cycled with periods of less-demanding training. What did Mike think about this? A: I personally have never seen a study that looked at high-intensity training and suggested that it causes a disproportionate drain on one’s adrenal glands. Nevertheless, Mike would have agreed that high-intensity training places a considerable demand not only on the adrenal glands but on all the body’s systems—which is, in part, why it’s so productive. In fact, as Mike pointed out long ago:

“All stressors—not just intense exercise, but heat, pain, sex, physical labor, etc.—stimulate the adrenal glands to secrete adrenocorticotrophic hormone, or ACTH, and other substances. The effects of stress are cumulative. Therefore, you can’t necessarily blame overburdened adrenal glands on one type of stress such as high-intensity exercise. If a person were experiencing a particularly stressful period due to career pressures, loss of a loved one or financial problems, then, yes, the added stress of a very demanding training routine such as Heavy Duty or even the traditional volumetraining approach could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” It must be underscored that any type of weight-training program—be it Heavy Duty or a 20-sets-per-bodypart, six-days-perweek regimen—places considerable demands on all of the body’s physiological systems, not just the adrenal glands. Heavy Duty highintensity training, however, is very brief (less than 30 minutes a workout) and performed infrequently (only once or twice a week) precisely

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Training two to four hours a day prevents you from training with optimal intensity.

to allow for sufficient recovery of the adrenals and the recuperative subsystems of the body. High-intensity effort is the factor responsible for stimulating growth, and its brevity and infrequency enable you to have full recovery and the resulting muscle growth. According to Mike: “Training two to four hours a day prevents an individual from training with the degree of intensity required to stimulate an optimal increase in

muscle mass. As well, because such training is carried on for inordinate lengths of time and is repeated so frequently, it never allows for full recovery and, thus, results in overtraining [overburdened adrenals] quite easily. “While brief and infrequently performed Heavy Duty training is the only type that prevents overtraining, one can’t always predict the onset of extremely stressful life situations.

When life stresses become great, you would be prudent to not only lower the intensity of your training but cease training entirely until your life stabilizes. During periods of stability and normal stress, it is not at all necessary to cycle your training intensity. With a properly conducted Heavy Duty training program, progress is continuous because the volume and frequency are regulated to allow for full recovery and growth. Why would any rightthinking individual want to stop such a good thing?” Perhaps the best way to answer the allegation that high-intensity training results in overburdened adrenal function and overtraining is to point out the success of bodybuilders who have used it in the past: Ray Mentzer (when he won the Mr. America title), Mike Mentzer (when he won the Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Heavyweight Mr. Olympia titles), Casey Viator (when he won the Mr. America contest), Sergio Oliva (when he was preparing for the ’70 Mr. Universe contest), Aaron Baker and multiple Mr. Olympia winner Dorian Yates have all trained with high-intensity principles throughout their careers. In considering those luminaries of the sport in light of your question, I’m reminded of a statement that Mike once made: “How could individuals with burned-out adrenal glands have achieved such superior development?” 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 Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, which are available from Mentzer’s official Web site, John Little is available for phone consultation on Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system. For rates and information, contact Joanne Sharkey at (310) 316-4519 or at, or see the ad on the opposite page. Article copyright © 2009, 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

Myostatin Update The word myostatin literally means “stoppage of muscle growth,” and that’s precisely the protein’s function. It was first isolated by scientists from Johns Hopkins University in 1997. Early studies of animals born without the genes that code for myostatin production clearly demonstrated that myostatin regulates muscle growth. The animals showed extensive muscle hypertrophy and seemed devoid of bodyfat. The researchers followed up by selectively breeding rats that lacked myostatin. The rats had huge muscles, just like animals that naturally lacked myostatin. Subsequent research revealed that myostatin works mainly by inhibiting the activity of satellite cells, which are stem cells vital for muscle repair and hypertrophy. More recent studies have focused on interactions between myostatin and anabolic hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone. One recent experiment examined muscle growth factors and myostatin in rats that either had intact pituitary glands or had their pituitary glands removed—the pituitary gland, located in the brain, produces growth hormone.1 The rats were given GH alone, testosterone and sesame oil or a combination of testosterone and GH. Athletes and bodybuilders frequently combine GH and testosterone, hoping for synergistic anabolic benefits. The results: Rats with pituitary glands gained muscle mass when given GH alone or with testosterone. The GH alone stimulated a significant rise in anabolic factors, without affecting myostatin. That effect, however, was eliminated when testosterone was added. The study suggests that myostatin counteracts the anabolic effects of GH and IGF-1. That may also explain the

frequent observation that using GH alone produces poor anabolic results. The large increase of GH boosts myostatin and effectively curtails muscle growth. Because testosterone blunts myostatin release in muscle, it would seem that combining testosterone with GH would offset the increased myostatin release. This study, however, showed that testosterone also blunts IGF-1, which is the primary anabolic effector of GH in muscle. The authors suggest that anabolic effects produced by a combination of GH and testosterone or anabolic steroids would be entirely due to the steroid use. A new study that had humans as subjects revealed the development of a more direct assay of free or active myostatin in the body.2 Previous studies had measured the activity of myostatin bound to proteins. Using this new assay, the study noted that younger men had more myostatin than older men. The researchers found no relationship between body mass and myostatin in either younger or older men. When men are given testosterone, however, myostatin increases 56 days later and returns to baseline after 20 weeks of testosterone treatment. Why would myostatin rise with continuing testosterone treatment? One suggestion is that the anabolic effects of testosterone spur the release of myostatin as a brake on excessive muscle growth. That’s more apparent in younger men, who are more prone to muscle growth than older men. The body reduces myostatin in older men to counter excessive loss of muscle. Myostatin also counters the anabolic activity of IGF-1. Bodybuilders who use large doses of GH, which stimulates IGF-1, often experience enlarged internal organs because of that. Normally, myostatin would counter the effect, but the combination


In a recent study that compared various ethnic groups, the black subjects showed gene activity consistent with less myostatin than is typical of other ethnic groups in the study.

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of large doses of GH and testosterone blunts myostatin, which leads to organ growth and a bloated abdomen. Having a large percentage of bodyfat makes it harder to build muscle. Bodyfat level is often associated with insulin resistance. When combined with a great amount of amino acids in the blood, insulin brings on muscle protein synthesis. Alone, insulin inhibits excessive muscle protein breakdown and counters the catabolic effects of cortisol. Insulin resistance adversely affects those processes. A new study suggests an even more sinister mechanism.3 The researchers examined the myostatin levels in extremely obese women and found that their muscle cells produced a nearly threefold increase in myostatin. Isolated-cell studies show that myostatin itself may inhibit the uptake of glucose into cells, which adds to the insulin resistance associated with excess bodyfat. Conversely, extreme calorie restriction and starvation also boost myostatin activity in muscle. The authors suggest that insulin resistance boosts myostatin because of the inhibited insulin activity, which leads to cellular starvation. Underscoring that suggestion is the fact that a loss of muscle mass is common with type 2 diabetes. While researchers are exploring several drugs as potential inhibitors of myostatin, bodybuilders have already been exposed to a few myostatin-inhibiting supplements. One, released a few years ago, was based on a seaweed that locked on to myostatin in a test tube. Sadly, it completely failed to work in people, but that didn’t prevent purveyors of myostatin blockers from claiming to have

the question: Where is Caucasia?). In a recent study that compared ethnic groups, the black subjects showed gene activity consistent with lower myostatin than the other groups.6 That resulted in greater upperarm gains in the black subjects after 12 weeks of training.

The combination of large doses of GH and testosterone blunts myostatin, which leads to organ growth and a bloated abdomen.

References 1 Rigamonti,

A.E., et al. (2009). Muscle expressions of MGF, IGF-IEa, and myostatin in intact and hypophysectomized rats: Effects of rhGH and testosterone alone or combined. Horm Metab Res. 41:23-29. 2 Lakshman, K.M., et al. (2009). Measurement of myostatin concentrations in human serum: Circulating concentrations in young and older men and effects of testosterone administration. Mole Cell Endocrin. 302:26-32.

Why would myostatin rise with continuing testosterone treatment? One suggestion is that the anabolic effects of testosterone spur the release of myostatin as a brake on excessive muscle growth. produced more effective versions. One company sells what it calls follistatin, an established myostatin blocker, but studies that have used follistatin have involved gene therapy or directly injecting follistatin into animal bodies. The newer follistatin supplements are derived from eggs, and there is zero proof that they’re any more effective than the seaweed-based versions. What does inhibit myostatin synthesis and release is weight training. Studies show that consistent training blunts myostatin activity in the body. One study found that eccentric muscle contractions—lowering the weight, which results in greater damage to muscle fibers—lead to a greater release of myostatin, but only in men. Women are protected from that because their bodies have more estrogen.4 Stretching also increases myostatin release, but that’s countered by the release of several muscle growth factors.5 Finally, racial characteristics may influence myostatin behavior and muscle gains in humans. Several studies have found that many black people have naturally higher muscle density, strength, muscle mass and percentage of type 2 muscle fibers than Caucasians (which raises

3 Hittel, D.S., et al. (2009). Increased secretion and expression of myostatin in skeletal muscle from extremely obese women. Diabetes. 58:30-38. 4 Willoughby, D.S., et al. (2006). Estradiol in females may negate skeletal muscle myostatin mRNA expression and serum myostatin propeptide levels after eccentric muscle contractions. J Sports Sci. 5:672-81. 5 Peviani, S.M., et al. (2007). Short bouts of stretching increase myo-d, myostatin and atrogin-1 in rat soleus muscle. Mus Nerve. 35:363-70. 6 Kostek, M.A., et al. (2009). Myostatin and follistatin polymorphisms interact with muscle phenotypes and ethnicity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 41:1063-71.

Editor’s note: Jerry Brainum has been an exercise and nutrition researcher and journalist for more than 25 years. He’s worked with pro bodybuilders as well as many Olympic and professional athletes. To get his new e-book, Natural Anabolics—Nutrients, Compounds and Supplements That Can Accelerate Muscle Growth Without Drugs, visit IM \ SEPTEMBER 2009 229

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Only the Strong Shall Survive

NOBrain, No


Intuitive Training Revisited by Bill Starr Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Chris Jalali


was standing in line at the post office behind an elderly man and a younger woman, who, I learned from listening to their conversation, was his daughter. “Dad,” she was saying, “you need to go see Dr. Burns about your back.” “No, I don’t,” he grunted. “The last two times I went to him about my back, all he did was give me some muscle relaxants and tell me to rest it. It didn’t help at all. Just hid the problem under the pills.” “He’s right. You should rest. You shouldn’t be out digging around in the garden.” “I like working in the garden. It gets me up and moving. And I don’t need to rest my back. I need to work it more, not less. It’s bothering me now because it’s weak from doing nothing all winter. Once it gets stronger, it’ll be fine. I’ve gone through this before.” I wanted to pat him on his shoulder and say, “That’s great!” If more people would take that approach, there would be a lot less pain medication prescribed and a lot less

national misery these days. The older gentleman knew intuitively what to do to remedy his physical problem because he understood his body much better than anyone else, including a trained medical specialist. Intuitive, or instinctive, training was what every Olympic weightlifter, strength athlete and bodybuilder used when I first got interested in weight training and physical culture. It was pursued out of necessity, as only a handful of coaches in the United States knew what they were doing. So the odds of living close enough to one of them to be able to take advantage of that expertise were slim to none. Today newsstands are weighted down with fitness publications, but in the 1950s and ’60s only two were available: Strength & Health and Iron Man. Peary Rader also published Lifting News, but that mainly carried photos and results of contests and not much in the way of instructional articles. Weider came along at that time, but his focus was on bodybuilding, which left competitive lifters and strength

athletes out in the cold. As a result, they learned by trial and error and by listening to their bodies. That’s basically what intuitive training is all about—listening to the signals your body sends you. It was often slow going because most of us made lots of mistakes when trying to solve some problem with our training programs. It was a new skill—learning to pay attention to the small signals going to our brains from muscles and joints. No one had taught us how to do that, and those who had figured it out didn’t completely understand the process. They just did what worked. When I first began lifting, I’d never seen a muscle mag or talked with anyone who trained with weights. The first gym where I trained consistently was at my first duty station, the West Palm Beach Air Force base, in Florida. The gym closed at four, which meant I had to train during my lunch hour, and I always trained alone. Missing a great meal bothered me because I was trying to put on bodyweight, but I was convinced that if I lifted diligently I’d get bigger and stron- \ SEPTEMBER 2009 235

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Only the Strong Shall Survive

Having a guide is an asset, but at the same time you don’t have to learn how to develop a program or make adjustments when your progress comes to a halt. ger. No one told me that, and I’d never read it. I simply felt deeply that it was true. That was my first strength-training intuition. At that point I wasn’t thinking of becoming a weightlifter or bodybuilder. I was attempting to get stronger in order to play softball better—I was on the medical squadron team. I didn’t know, for certain, what exercises I should do and I had no idea about sets and reps. My only guide was recalling what I’d read in the little mail-order booklet I’d bought from George Jowett. Most of the exercises he described needed a barbell or dumbbell, which I couldn’t afford. I tried to rig up a barbell and dumbbell by using broken parts from my father’s bulldozers. Without the benefit of collars, that proved to be a disaster.

Still, I’d read the booklet so many times that I put together a sensible program and did the exercises in decent form. One thing that made that method of assembling a program beneficial was that I was forced to pay close attention to every aspect of training since there was no one to guide me. That isn’t the case when a young athlete is led through every step of the process. It makes for slower going, especially at first, but over the course of a lifetime of training, it turned out to be an asset. I had to listen to my body if I wanted to do better. I couldn’t depend on outside experts. When I encountered problems—and there were many—I had to solve them on my own. It’s vastly different now. In addition to all the magazines, there

are DVDs, videos, books, Web sites, plus clinics and seminars galore on every kind of physical fitness activity imaginable. Not to mention the gaggle of experts in the field, personal trainers and coaches with more initials behind their names than the Surgeon General, all ready to take a novice under their wings—for a fee, of course. In addition, every high school and college that wants to be competitive has a strength coach to teach the athletes the basics of strength training. There’s certainly no lack of information on the subject in this day and age. In fact, I believe there might be too much. It’s difficult to separate the truth from the bullshit because everyone has an angle for making him or her appear unique. Which means that beginners

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don’t need to sit down and write out a program for their needs. They can simply copy one from a book or magazine or buy a video or DVD on the subject. In high schools and colleges it’s taken care of for them. Same when they join a gym. Need a program? Here’s a computerized one. It seems like a wonderful change—not having to go to all the trouble of designing a program that specifically fits what you’re hoping to achieve. It is and it isn’t. Having a guide in the beginning is undoubtedly an asset, but at the same time you don’t have to learn how to develop a program or, even more important, make adjustments when your progress comes to a halt. Frustrated athletes can go back and read all the articles and books

Model: Moe El Moussawi

Solutions are revealed when you spend time concentrating on possible alternatives.

correct course of action to remedy it. It’s a learned skill, which means that anyone can use it with practice. One other factor is critical. The generations that have come along since information on training became easy to find have developed a cookie-cutter mentality. They want everything to be laid out in a neat pattern—no fuss, no bother. They want to follow a pat routine without spending their valuable time determining how to improve in some category of fitness and strength training. They don’t mind paying for the service, but they don’t want to have to figure out the solution on their own, mostly because they doubt if they have the ability to do so. The majority of the population in this country is very much like the characters in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Not quite that extreme, of course, although similar in many respects. Everything should be done in a precise, orderly fashion, and when that happens, they’re happy without having to think about it. Take some Soma if things get hectic. If there are problems, others will provide the answers. As a result, we as a nation have become dependent on others’ expertise and take few steps to become independent. It’s become so absurd that there are now Web sites that educate you in how to start a walking program. How ridiculous. If you can’t figure out how to take part in a regular walking routine without instruction, you’re in big trouble. Most people who resort to that kind of self-help gimmick don’t think they can do it on their own. They have been conditioned through the years to believe that it’s better to follow an expert than dive in on their own. I don’t agree. What happens when that expert is no longer available? I am of the opinion that each of us possesses a wealth of knowledge that we never bother to tap into. Homo sapiens had to have a high degree of it, or the species wouldn’t have survived. I believe the abil-

they possibly can, along with viewing DVDs, but they’re still going to stay stuck. Why? Because they haven’t developed the ability to be intuitive. They have always depended on outside influences to teach them. There will come a time, however, when they must solve the problem by themselves. Those who, like me, had to learn the intuitive approach from the very beginning can turn to it later in our lifting careers and put it to good use. Those who didn’t have to go through the learning stage the hard way generally can’t figure out how to move past a sticking point or other hurdles simply because they don’t know how. Yet it can be done if you believe that you possess the power to recognize the source of the difficulty and figure out the \ SEPTEMBER 2009 237

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Only the Strong Shall Survive being intuitive. It’s an ongoing process. Your body is constantly changing, as are your needs in the weight room. Most programs start with a very regimented routine, with exercises, sets and reps all laid out in a neat order. I use the concept myself, teaching a few basic movements with emphasis on learning correct technique and establishing a firm strength base. Every athlete, at that point, does exactly the same routine. Once the strength base is solid and the form at least good, the athletes are ready to move into the intermediate phase. Changes have to be made, such as adjustments in the set-andrep formulas, newer, more demanding exercises and greater overall workloads. It happens yet again when the athletes advance to the next level. At these stages formulaic answers to problems no longer work for everyone. That’s because the formulas, often in computerized form, don’t take into account individual differences. They can’t, simply because there are way too many factors to deal with. Two people, same age, bodyweight and body type, with the identical amount of experience in lifting, won’t always respond to the same program identically. So in order to move past some hurdle or avoid doing something to damage your body, you have to change your routine. Everyone is aware of individual differences, although we seldom factor that into training. It may, however, be the most important factor of all where a high level of strength fitness is concerned. To add to the confusion, our bodies are constantly in flux. So a program that brought great results when we were in our 20s and 30s is no longer effective. Partly, that’s due to lifestyle. If during those years a person worked hard at a manual job, smoked, drank way too much and indulged in drugs or was employed in a toxic environment, the changes in his or her body would be more severe than in someone who’d lived a less indulgent lifestyle. Then there are the inevitable changes that occur no matter how hard you try to stay on the healthy straight and narrow. You start losing muscle mass even in your late 20s, and testosterone begins dropping

You have to change your routine to one that fits exactly what you’re trying to accomplish

Model: Moe El Moussawi

ity is still there, lurking under the surface, repressed for so long that time and practice are needed to get it in working order again. I happen to think it can be done if the desire is there. To me, intuitive training is similar to telepathy, the ability to communicate without using sounds. Some anthropologists contend that it was quite common in primitive man and was used to convey messages over great distances. Shirley MacLaine wrote about telepathy among the Masai tribe in Kenya, and I’ve read that the real purpose behind the smoke signals Southwestern Indians employed was not what it seemed. Initially, observers thought that messages were being sent in the smoke, à la Morse code. Not so. Instead, the smoke was no more than a signal for the recipient to get ready to receive a message—a kind of telephone ring. To be sure, many scoff at that idea, yet just think about the times you’ve been thinking intently of some person you’re close to from whom you soon get a phone call, e-mail, fax or letter. Intuition, by definition, is the ability to understand something without the need for conscious reasoning. It’s pure instinct. It would seem that the answer to your problem would pop into your head right away. Because the ability is dormant in most people, however, it has to be relearned. Rarely will solutions to your training problems reveal themselves like epiphanies. Rather, they’re revealed when you spend time concentrating on alternatives to what you’re currently doing. Meanwhile, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about the subject you’re interested in—in this case, training. Learn as much as you can from articles, books, watching and listening to others. Gather all the data you can, and you’ll be better prepared to come up with a sensible answer to whatever difficulty you’re facing in the weight room. Think of any program you decide to use, though, as an outline, not hard-and-fast rules. Then adapt the information you have gleaned over the years to your own particular situation. That’s

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Only the Strong Shall Survive in your 30s. Endurance and flexibility wane in the 40s, as do many other physical abilities you take for granted. Add the major and minor injuries accumulated over the years, and you can well understand why changes in your training routine are necessary. On the bright side, some changes are positive. Put on bodyweight, and your levers often change, making some lifts much easier than before. Over the years you soak up a lot of knowledge that will prove to be most valuable in future years. Even so, you must continually alter your routine to fit your immediate needs. Do that by listening to your body. Take inventory every single day—even better, twice a day, when you get up in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Move round, and your muscles and joints will report how they feel after the previous workout. The morning after a session will be the one that gives you the most info, but sometimes the late-night one is useful too. Let’s say your right shoulder is hurting more than usual. Why? Did you do too much of a certain exercise? Went too heavy? Too many reps? How can that be prevented? What exercise can you substitute for the one that’s bothering your shoulder? Was it just because of the cold weather? Maybe you could do that exercise on another day. That’s the first step in the process called intuitive training. Set out all the variables in your head or on paper, and start running through the possible solutions. Typically, one will stand out. Give it a try and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, think through the variables again and pick another remedy. As I mentioned, it’s a learned skill. The more you practice it, the more proficient you’ll become at figuring out how to move past sticking points, making a weaker area stronger and avoiding severe injuries. What I’m talking about is good old-fashioned common sense, which to me is just another way of saying intuitive or instinctive training. One of the things that really jumped out at me when I first started training at the York

Barbell Club in the mid-’60s was that all the Olympic lifters in attendance—Bob Bednarski, Tony Garcy, Homer Brannum, Tommy Suggs and Bill March—trained differently. I thought they’d all be following some routine laid out by Bob Hoffman or Dr. Ziegler. Not by a long shot. Hoffman knew absolutely nothing about training Olympic lifters, and Doc set up programs only for the power rack. The lifters designed their own programs without assistance, and they all used intuition in a big way. Bednarski was very attuned to his body. If a planned workout was going south, he changed it on the spot. One afternoon Homer started in on some presses, then after just two sets he stopped. “It’s not going right,” he told me. “I’ll work out tomorrow.” Tommy was another lifter who listened to the signals his body was sending him. For a time he and I followed the same routine, but after a couple of weeks he started cutting back on the workload. He knew it was too much and made the change. Over the years I’ve trained with excellent bodybuilders and found that they, like the top lifters, had unique programs that fit their special needs. Arnold, Franco, Zane, Oliva, Gajda, St. John and Vasilef all trained differently yet all reached the pinnacle of success in their sports. The most unusual program I ever saw for a bodybuilder belonged to Chet Yorton when we trained together at the old Muscle Beach Gym in Santa Monica. He did four exercises for two sets of 22 reps. How he came up with that grouping of numbers I’ll never know, but it worked perfectly for him. Not only did he have one of the most impressive physiques I have ever encountered, but he was extremely strong as well, maybe the strongest of the lot. For example, he would use 225 for his first set of benches, then jump 100 pounds and do 22 reps with 325. I know that because I handed off and spotted him. I seriously doubt whether another bodybuilder—or strength athlete for that matter—in the world could duplicate such a feat. And he weighed just over 200 pounds.

It was a routine he specifically designed to fit his needs. That’s what everyone should be striving for: a program that works for you. You can do it by paying attention to the signals your bodyparts are sending to your brain and making changes when necessary. That’s yet another reason I encourage you to keep a record of your workouts. It’s a valuable source of information further down the road. When you encounter a major sticking point or are bothered by some muscle group or joint, you can go back and see how you overcame a similar problem in the past. Your training log may not be of much use to anybody else, but it’s a prime source of information for you. As you proceed through life, learn all you can about as many facets of strength training and bodybuilding as you possibly can. The more data you have available, the easier it will be for you to solve your training puzzles. When faced with a dilemma, find some time and a place where you can concentrate fully and run the possible solutions through your mental Rolodex. Trust that the answer is in your memory bank because in most cases, it is. This morning my shoulders were telling me that they were overworked, and my upper middle back was reminding me that I hadn’t done any direct work on it for a while. I’d planned to do steep incline presses but switched to multiple sets of bentover rows with dumbbells. The next day my shoulders felt rested, and my back was fine. While that was an easy one—I’d encountered it before—the process is the same with the tougher cases. Be aware of what’s happening with your body every day, and when something needs to be fixed, keep your own counsel. No one understands how your body functions better than you do, and you can take that to the bank. Editor’s note: Bill Starr was a strength and conditioning coach at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 2000. He’s the author of The Strongest Shall Survive—Strength Training for Football, which is available for $20 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit IM

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Attitude and Altitude— Higher and Higher


ago the gym owned me. Ten years ago I morphed into the Bomber, writing tales about the gym. Boom-zoom. Today, “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” I don’t think so. I’ve heard rumors of people who did the I’ll-go-tomorrow act and haven’t been seen or heard of since. Story goes they stepped too far from the pull of gravity and drifted into the worldly wastelands. Life in the world minus the tug of iron is oft pointless and demoralizing, fattening and enfeebling. I exaggerate. It’s not as if postponing a workout means your biceps shrivel up like prunes or your obliques hang down in gushy slabs over your beltline or your butt wobbles and sags. The absence of one training session doesn’t result in the deterioration of your hard-earned musculature. It’s scientifically impossible. Calm down, lighten up. Two workouts without the iron, however, and you’re in big trouble; bloating, drooping and drooling are inevitable. Three and it’s too late—delirium and bedwetting are not uncommon. Four, you’re tabloid headlines...cute photos. And five, they forget your name; you become a tube-fed number and are assigned a cot in Ward X. Dave who...the what? Never heard of him. I don’t care if it’s all in my mind. I miss a workout, and I’m overcome with anger, guilt and irrational behavior. I’m bitter and cruel one minute and pouty and sad the next. I pull on a baggy sweatshirt only to rip it off and replace it with a size-small black tanktop with “I’m Bad” slashed in red across the back. Laree says, “Hi, sweetheart.” I say, “Don’t start with me, wise-o.” Later I say, “Do I look fat, honey bunny?” Then I’m in the bathroom crying for no reason. Laree, kettlebells in hand and pulling a weighted sled up the hill, just shakes her head and smiles when I’m bewildered and overcome with grief. She hugs me and says with inevitability, “Have a smashing workout, ya crazy lug.” She seats me in the pickup, aims it down the hill, releases the emergency brake, and I’m off to that place where the iron waits. What a trip. I do not like to skip my workouts. I cannot afford to. Time is short. I only have 60 years invested in the action-packed sport, the first six or seven wasted on tag, kickball and the alphabet. Time is of the esNeveux \ Model: Nathan Detracy

’m a very busy person, and my plate is full. Full of crumbs, that is. Perhaps if I scrape them together, there’ll be a sufficient heap of stuff to get me to the gym. Each crumb is a remnant of responsibility, need, desire, discipline and obligation, with a few flecks of inspiration along the edges. What’s this? Yuk, a morsel of guilt. Trouble is, I don’t have an appetite. However, I do have excuses: The gym is 30 minutes down the road, the truck’s dirty, and the traffic stinks; it’s cold, windy and gray outside, and my favorite T-shirt’s in the washer; there’s a newsletter to write, and Mugs is curled up on my lap, purring. I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. Crazy! There was a time 50 years ago I had nothing I’d rather do than go to the gym! Forty years ago contests were coming to the gym. Thirty years ago I ran the juice bar in the gym. Twenty years ago I owned the gym. Fifteen years

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sence. Time is muscle. Time flies. We’re told that when lifting the iron is no longer appealing, when we’d rather be changing a greasy truck transmission or undergoing a liver transplant, it’s not the workout that’s out of order, it’s the attitude toward it. Iron is iron; it’s lifeless. We, you and I who live and lift, are the problems, the troubled, the weak, the lost. Gee, thanks for the head trip. Another heavy load to carry, as if the metal wasn’t enough. So now what? Attitudes are not fashionable or transformable like colorful balloons in the white-gloved hands of a party clown—blow them up, stretch them here, twist them there and tie them all together. Squeak, squeak, squeak...a happy face. It is, in fact, working out that transforms the attitude. Move that metal. Remember, missing a training session is not an option, unless you fall from a three-story window, take a bullet in the butt or are beamed up to Pluto ll. Not likely, nice try. The only solution to attitude failure, training ennui or workout let-go-sis is to drag yourself to the gym, burdens and all, and dump them when you get there. Kerplunk! There’s no load so heavy that a hearty workout won’t fix, moderate or eradicate it. Push that iron. You can work seriously on your funky attitude before you heave the weighted bars, but why bother when, after 10 minutes under their force, the mind is revived, riveted and recharging anyway. Attitudes are unstable wavelengths. You can think positive, imagine life is neat, suggest to your unconscious you’ll have a grand workout, but the fact is in the act. Lift that steel. I get a headache when I think positive. Besides being strenuous, it’s like admitting I’m negative and need a fix. Rather, I go straight for the fix. I dash to the iron, grasp it by its neck and toss it around the gym. Thud, crash, clank. It puts up a pretty good fight, even the light stuff, but I always win. It’s certain; even if I lose, I win. We know the inside of a gym and the underside of a loaded bar. We know there was a time—early childhood, or so it seems—when planning our training was vitally important: the order of exercises, the sets and the reps. Today we know our training so well we can go by smell. The nose knows. Too much planning puts a tickle in me ole schnozzola. I can talk myself out of a good workout—the greatest invigorator of the body, mind and soul—by thinking too much about it. “I don’t want to go to the gym,” is not a casual comment I share with myself. The cunning, whiny twit with his mouth full of gummi bears is limited to the electrified fence on the far side of the crocodile-inhabited moat. I’m succinct: Go gym—Plentiful rewards in powerful hands. No gym—Tremendous burdens on trembling shoulders. Be there or be square. Or, probably, round...floppy in the wings, dumpy in the tail. This is your captain speaking. Trim your ailerons, bombers, suck in that fuselage...we’re flying high. —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.


Low Carb, Low Smarts?


ow-to-no-carb diets have been around for a while, and people jump on them with reckless abandon. Yes, they can help you reduce your waist, but they can also reduce your brain power. A study at Tufts University had subjects aged 22 to 55 follow either a low-carb diet or a low-calorie diet that included fruit, vegetables and grains. After only a week the low-carb dieters performed an average of 50 percent lower on memory tasks than those in the low-cal group. Once the lowcarbers started eating carbs, their memory scores improved. —Becky Holman


Welcome Warmup


o question that a cozy room makes you feel more receptive and open—cold just makes you, well, cold. Studies show that adding a warm beverage to the mix can help you get closer to a person as well. According to researchers at Yale University, subjects holding warm beverages were friendlier and more generous and trusting. Apparently, physical warmth can equate to emotional warmth. Could that be why we feel a special bond with Starbucks employees? —Becky Holman \ SEPTEMBER 2009 243

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BodySpace Physique of the Month


Ali Harris

Editor’s note: To obtain more BodySpace bodies and info, go to

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Photography by Ian Sitren \ SecondFocus


know two people named Ali. One was in the business of knockouts—Muhammad Ali—and the other is a knockout, Ali Harris, and I think Ali Harris is a more rounded athlete. At 26 years old this girl has been a swimmer, a track star and a college volleyball player. She also just ran four marathons in 15 months in an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon. “That’s when I started to take fitness very seriously,” she says. Can’t disagree—running a four-hour marathon every four months sounds like it’s on its way to serious. After the Los Angeles Marathon in 2007 Ali decided to move to strength training and high-intensity cardio. She discovered lifting in high school and found it fun and challenging. She reached the level of being able to benchpress her own bodyweight. Ali went on to college, which included studies at the University of St. Francis, Purdue University and Oxford. When she was at Oxford, she made her way up Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, where Sir Edmund Hillary trained to climb Mount Everest. Ali discovered through her sister, pro volleyball player Angie Akers, and then decided that she should start a BodySpace profile for herself. She wanted a place where she could meet like-minded people, talk about mutual interests in fitness and learn about and have a support group for her new interest, figure competition. She loves being in the gym and working out, but she’s found some differences in training for figure competition from what she had already done. Diet is the biggest issue; she used to be able to eat anything, although she always ate healthfully. Ali thinks that training for a marathon or volleyball was easier than figure competition. It’s been six years since she’s had a Dodger dog, she says. The L.A. Dodgers will never be the same. You can visit Ali on her BodySpace at —Ian Sitren

0,1'%2'< Perceptions He’s Just Not That Into You, Iron



don’t like to consider myself, or most of my fellow bodybuilders, elitist snobs. One stereotype of bodybuilders is that we consider nonbodybuilders lazy, unmotivated and not concerned enough about their appearance. You know what they say: Behind every stereotype is a little bit of truth. Be honest now. When you’re in the gym and you see the “normal” members who don’t train all that hard and never seem to improve, you do sometimes secretly sneer at them, don’t you? We all do. But what if they’re perfectly happy with a modest level of fitness and genuinely aren’t interested in owning a spectacular physique? They do understand the level of commitment it requires to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model, and perhaps they just don’t want that look badly enough to go to all the effort. Recently I had a little epiphany that made me understand the situation a lot more clearly. I’ve been going to martial arts classes once or twice a week for about five years. I make a point of going on Tuesday nights, which is the sparring class. Certainly I am far better than I was years ago, but I won’t be mixing it up with any UFC fighters in the octagon in this lifetime. Honestly, it would be nice to be able to fight as well as those guys do, but it would

take a great deal more time and effort on my part to approach that skill level. And I’m just not that interested in martial arts to do that. I was thinking about that when it finally clicked: The average gym members I’ve been looking down my nose at all this time feel exactly the same way about their physiques. They go to the gym regularly, but they’re not obsessed with it. They train, but they don’t want to push the boundaries of pain and effort too often, and they aren’t interested enough to read magazines and Web sites to learn more about training. They will eat fairly healthfully, but they really don’t want to go to the trouble of eating clean meals every two hours and keeping a cupboard full of supplements. They’re not in fantastic condition, but they still look better than people who don’t work out. I’ve finally come to the understanding that I’m in no position to judge them for feeling that way. Neither are you. We’re really, really into trying to build the best physique we can. Not everyone—not even everyone at your gym—shares that burning desire. It’s time we all realized that it’s okay—unless they happen to be doing curls in the gym’s only decent squat rack and it’s our leg day! —Ron Harris


Two Ms for More Muscle


hey are—drum roll, please—massage and meditation. How can they help you build more muscle? By lowering your cortisol count. In one study subjects who meditated reduced cortisol by an average of 20 percent compared to a control group. As for massage, after a few weeks of regular rubdowns, subjects’ cortisol dropped by almost a third. A big part of that reduction has to do with the power of human touch and intimacy. —Becky Holman

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MIND/BODY 0,1'%2'< New Stuff GNC AMP-ed Supplements


or avid athletes looking for a serious competitive edge, GNC, the leading global specialty retailer of nutritional products, has introduced Pro Performance AMP. It’s a revolutionary new line of clinically proven products developed specifically for the passionate athlete looking to improve performance rather than simply build muscle mass. This comprehensive line of eight advanced muscle-performance and sports-nutrition products was developed through rigorous clinical research and is designed to suit the needs of a wide range of trainees, from weekend warriors to ultracompetitive athletes. The GNC Pro Performance AMP line includes the following: • Amplified Whey Protein: This provides 40 grams of technology-enhanced protein that’s proven to deliver more amino acids into your bloodstream better and faster than ordinary whey protein. • Amplified Muscle Igniter 4X: GNC’s first and only four-phase workout enhancer, Amplified Muscle Igniter 4X boosts preworkout calorie burn by 300 percent, improves physical and mental intensity, improves cardio endurance by nearly five minutes and provides antioxidant protection. • Amplified Maxertion N.O.: This revolutionary nitric oxide product is the only one on the market that has been clinically shown to improve physical performance by delaying neuromuscular fatigue by 20 percent, providing extra energy and power to push through a workout. It’s enhanced with exclusive ingredients for amplifying its nitric oxide–stimulating factors and improving absorption.

• Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60: This is GNC’s top protein formula, clinically proven to give a 30 percent increase in strength, an increase in muscle size and a 100 percent increase in exercise efficiency. It features 60 grams of whey isolate protein, 7.7 grams of leucine and 8.5 grams of micronized aminos. • Amplified Muscle Meal: Developed by sports nutrition experts, this protein shake is packed with nutrients, including 50 grams of multiaction protein and 23 grams of micronized aminos to facilitate better absorption. • Amplified Creatine 189: This product is clinically proven to increase leg press strength by 54 pounds with only 25 percent of the dose of ordinary creatine and improves athletic performance with a 400 percent increase in dose efficiency. • Amplified N.O. Loaded: This is the most advanced, multifunctional powder formula available. Scientifically engineered, it includes powerful nitric oxide–stimulating ingredients formulated to enhance physical performance. • Amplified Mass XXX: Designed to help build lean mass, this formula is engineered with 50 grams of protein, micronized amino acids and three grams of a creatine-matrix blend as well as anabolic ingredients. For more information, visit


Get Happy

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f you’ve got a cheerful neighbor, hang out with him or her more to up your happiness quotient. Scientists have said that social networks increase life spans, but apparently, if that social network includes lots of happy people, it can make for a longer and happier life. —Becky Holman


New Stuff




ith several industry leaders investigating new and highly promising mechanisms of weight loss, one company was bound to make a dramatic breakthrough. BioQuest appears to have broken from the pack with the introduction of BetaStax, the main ingredient of which has achieved results in clinical testing that are plainly unprecedented. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were given a placebo or 250 milligrams of the main active ingredient in BioQuest’s new BetaStax, a bioactive matrix of weight-loss agents trade-named PureWhey-Slim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences; basic metabolic panel; blood glucose and lipoproteins levels were measured at baseline and then at two and four weeks. The results were astounding. The subjects who took the active ingredi-

ent in BetaStax prior to two major meals daily experienced significantly greater reduction in bodyweight and waist and hip circumferences than the placebo group as early as two weeks and continuing throughout the duration of the study. Keeping in mind that studies conducted with ephedra (before the ban) were hailed as major news events when they documented significant weight loss in eight weeks or more, BetaStax is in a prime position to change the parameters of the debate entirely and establish unprecedented standards for weight-loss effectiveness and power. In short, by virtue of its uniquely powerful main ingredient, PureWaySlim, BetaStax has instantaneously emerged as a major standout in the category. For more information, go to


Pump Up the Tunes


ld-school gym owners like Joe Gold and Vince Gironda shunned music in their facilities. They said it was distracting, taking focus away from the workout. Well, according to the May ’09 Bottom Line Health, the right kind of music may help pump you up. When subjects listened to music they found joyful, their blood vessels widened by 26 percent. Now, that’s a vasodilator. Researchers believe that the right music causes the brain to release chemicals that produce nitric oxide. —Becky Holman

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Health & Aging

Antioxidants Against Skin Damage


Lyc-O-Mato, in protecting the skin from sunburn. The subjects were 10 adult men and women, half of whom took 85 milligrams of Lyc-O-Mato 6 percent capsules twice daily, and the other half a placebo twice daily. At the end of 10 weeks the subjects were exposed to two minimal erythemal doses of UV radiation from a solar simulator. Their skin cells were biopsied and assessed 24 hours later. According to Zohar Nir, Ph.D., of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rohovot, Israel, and vice president of new product development for LycoRed, participants receiving the Lyc-O-Mato experienced a sunburn cell count six times lower than that of the placebo group. There was also evidence of reduced depletion of Langerhans cells in the Lyc-O-Mato group, which, Dr. Nir says, is important because “depletion of Langerhans cells negatively affects the important immune function of the skin.” The mechanism behind Lyc-O-Mato, which contains five milligrams of pure lycopene, along with a combination of such tomato-derived phytonutrients as phytoene, phytofluene, beta-carotene, tocopherols and phytosterols, is simple, says Dr. Nir. “The interaction of radiation with the skin creates reactive oxygen species, and lycopene is the most effective quencher of the ROS free radicals responsible for oxidative stress and, hence, damage to the skin.” The study sample may be small, but according to David McDaniel, M.D., director of the Institute of AntiAging Research in Virginia Beach, Virginia, its results are still impressive. “Our research program has seen significant protection from UV damage from other topically applied superpotent antioxidants. We’ve also seen anecdotal evidence that oral lycopene supplementation in the five-to-10-milligram-daily-dose range may reduce the risk of sunburn in very sensitive, fair-skinned individuals. The apparent protection of Langerhans cells is also potentially significant,” he notes, adding, “Oral supplements such as this mixture of lycopene and related carotenoids need further studies like this one to expand our understanding of how oral antioxidants impact our skin—for both health and beauty.” —Dr. Bob Goldman Neveux

ycoRed Ltd. conducted a small pilot study to examine the effect of its oral lycopene formulation,

Editor’s note: For the latest information and research on health and aging, subscribe to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine e-zine free at

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Femme Physique Critique

Say Yes to P/RR/S!

I’m enjoying Steve Wennerstrom’s series Femme Physique. His historical perspective on women’s bodybuilding is always interesting, and the facts and stats he’s produced about the contests and competitors are astonishing. On the negative side of the coin, it makes me sad, almost ill, to see where women’s bodybuilding has been allowed to go since the days of the first Ms. Olympia, Rachel McLish, and Cory Everson. Now it apRachel McLish, pears as ’80 Ms. O. if fitness and figure women are beginning to look more masculine and drugged up, and I don’t think it’s because of supplement innovations. We need a return to sanity in women’s bodybuilding. Women turning themselves into shemales is not acceptable. Am I sexist? Not in the least. I think the men’s side of the sport needs Kike Elomaa, a top-to-bottom house cleaning ’81 Ms. O. too. Will somebody please put a stop to the pharmaceutical destruction of proportion, symmetry and health in our once-great sport? I can hardly bear to look at it anymore. Steve Mathews Decatur, IL

I’ve been training for about 20 years, and I’ve tried just about everything. I recently bought the “Power/Rep Range/Shock MaxMass Training System” DVD and the e-book as well, and I can’t believe how much bigger and stronger I’ve become. Using different workout styles each week to focus on unique muscle-building factors is apparently just what I needed to start growing again. My thanks to Eric Broser for coming up with such a result-producing system. Champ Sciliano via Internet

Starr Shines, But... Bill Starr’s Only the Strong Shall Survive is the first thing I read when my IRON MAN arrives in my mailbox. He’s an expert among experts when it comes to strength training and has so much experience that you can’t help but learn something every time he puts pen to paper. His piece on building big arms without curling was fantastic [May ’09]. My one beef is that he never outlines a routine. I want to see some of the programs he describes in a listed format that I can clip out and take to the gym. Gerard Montoya via Internet Editor’s note: We’ll work on Bill. We know he enjoys designing programs, so there should be no problem.

Editor’s note: Broser’s P/RR/S mass-training DVD is available at His e-book Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout is available at as an instant download—you can have it minutes after ordering.

X-Man Fan The biggest reason I read IRON MAN is to get Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman’s training ideas. I’m amazed at how they come up with new techniques or new takes on old ideas and then work them into a mass program. I’ve built so much muscle over the past couple of years using Positons of Flexion and X Reps that my physique has completely transformed. Friends who haven’t seen me in a while are totally blown away by the size of my arms—and I owe it all to Holman and Lawson. I recently started using their 10x10 method after reading The Ultimate 10x10 Workout [e-book], and I’m growing faster than ever. I own all of their e-books and am a dedicated follower of their weekly e-zine. Amazing stuff, guys. Keep up the incredible work! Dirk Peterson via Internet Editor’s note: For more on POF, X Reps, 10x10 and other innovative mass-building methods, visit You can subscribe to Holman and Lawson’s e-zine there too—and it’s free. Vol. 68, No. 9: IRON MAN (ISSN #0047-1496) is published monthly by IRON MAN Publishing, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Periodical Mail is paid at Oxnard, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IRON MAN, P.O. Box 90968, Long Beach, CA 90809-0968. 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, P.O. Box 90968, Long Beach, CA 90809-0968. Or call 1-800-570-4766 or 1-714-226-9782. Copyright © 2009. 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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Use Your Mind to Build More Mass Grow With the Best HIT Method of All Time! New Heat Shock Protein Research • Confessions of a Recovering Bo...