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How Clark Bartram Forges Family and Physique

Unstoppable Arm Growth! One-Hit-Wonder 10x10 Workout

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Clark Bartram, 45, and His Daughter Taylor, 17


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72 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 120 New rules and tools bring workout density plus size.

102 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 51 Ron Harris explains why it’s always darkest before the dawn when it comes to contest prep.

108 D-LIGHTFUL Jerry Brainum sheds light on the sunshine vitamin and what it can do for your health and muscles.

126 RETRO ROLE MODEL Steve Holman talks with 45-year-old iron dad Clark Bartram about how to get better with age.

146 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK Jack LaLanne turns 95, and IM publisher John Balik salutes him and his accomplishments.

150 UNSTOPPABLE ARM SIZE From the archives, it’s the 10x10 one-hit-wonder arm blast. Prepare for a pump!

156 BACK IN THE GAME Lonnie Teper interviews Doug Brignole on his return to bodybuilding at age 49.



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Clark Bartram and his daughter, Taylor, appear on this month’s cover. Photograph by Michael Neveux.



How Clark Bartram Forges Family and Physique

Unstoppable Arm Growth! One-Hit-Wonder 10x10 Workout

Superhero Shoulder Width Complete Program

Clark Bartram, 45, and His Daughter Taylor, 17

Bulletproof Your Lower Back OCTOBER 2009 $5.99

Vol. 68, No. 10

Please display until 10/1/09

PLUS: PLUS: • Vitamin D—New Research You Need to Know • 2009 Mr. Olympia Preview—Is the Hex on Dex? • Safe, Scientific Exercise—Preexhaustion Rules

186 HEAVY DUTY John Little channels Mike Mentzer on self-esteem and muscle decompensation.

200 SAFE, EFFECTIVE BODYBUILDING Roger Schwab, gym owner and former IFBB judge, says machines are king—as in the best way to engage in meaningful, scientific exercise.

230 FEMME PHYSIQUE Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB Women’s Historian, looks at female muscle on the Continent.

236 MR. OLYMPIA PREVIEW Lonnie Teper discusses who will go to the big show, including key comebacks and possible upsets.

250 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Coach Bill Starr reveals how to bulletproof your lower back by building lumbars of steel. Can you say, good morning?



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32 TRAIN TO GAIN Arm size and big lies. Plus, squat myths exposed and Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine.




Coach Charles Poliquin on thick-bar training, grip strength and power building.

58 EAT TO GROW Low carbs and training intensity, HMB and bodybuilding’s secret weapon.

84 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen discusses chest stress and how much rest is best.

94 SHREDDED MUSCLE Dave Goodin talks bikini and bodybuilding. More gorgeous gals onstage can’t be bad.

98 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman outlines strategies for achieving superhero shoulder width.

176 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser checks out a new naturalbodybuilding site and reviews Branch Warren’s new DVD.

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

208 NEWS & VIEWS Spotlight on Lonnie Teper’s star-studded ’09 Junior Cal—plus his Rising Stars.

224 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman checks in on the ’09 NPC Masters Nationals. Hot mamas!

In the next IRON MAN:

258 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Bomber Blast: A Day at the Beach. Plus, Transformation (a book review) and mental floss.


In our November issue we introduce you to up-and-coming bodybuilder and cover model Whitney Reid, a guy with a physique you’ll find inspirational and attainable. He’s got a great plan for how you can chisel a balanced body of your own. It’s a matter of grow and flow. Plus, we have Lee Apperson’s chest-building wisdom, with his complete program; Jerry Brainum’s conclusions on vitamin D and another edition of Power Surge, your heavy-lifting guide, featuring the bench press and deadlift. (You, too, can turn yourself into a human forklift!) Find the November IRON MAN on newsstands the first week of October.

Arnold extravaganza and mutant muscle.

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Choice and Response Ability If you think getting in good shape is only about looking good, think again. Maintaining a fit and healthy body is good for your appearance, true, but it’s also good for society. How’s that? Think about it this way: If more people took responsibility for their own health and well-being, insurance and health care costs would plummet. Unfortunately, irresponsibility is off the charts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical expenses for the overweight and obese may be as high as $147 billion annually. The costs of inactivity bump that up considerably higher—but what if more people got off their butts on a regular basis and stopped stuffing their faces with fast food? Eventually, we’d all be paying a lot less for health insurance, the rates of which have skyrocketed because so many people are continually eating too much crap too often, not exercising and ending up requiring medical attention. We must be responsible—the “response” being to eat better and exercise so we are “able” to cruise through life happier and healthier without sucking huge chunks of money out of our overtaxed system to treat diseases that are preventable. And I’m not just talking about heart disease. Being overweight and/or not eating right increases the risk of diabetes, arthritis and multiple cancers—not to mention depression. Matters become even more important as we age and our immune systems become less efficient. The older we get, the more we need to hit the weights and do aerobics on a regular basis to remain mobile and stay in the game. A perfect example of someone who’s made the responsible choices is fitness icon Jack LaLanne, who’s celebrating his 95th birthday. Jack is the embodiment of aging gracefully thanks to exercise and nutrition know-how—and he’s still a crackling ball of energy. See John Balik’s birthday salute to Jack on page 146. In this issue we also profile two gentlemen who are following in Jack’s footsteps, although they’ve been around only about half as long— Clark Bartram is 45, and Doug Brignole is 49. As they plow through middle age with gusto, both men have grasped the importance of staying muscular and fit, and both plan to continue the bodybuilding lifestyle. Clark and his wife Anita are passing on their love of and dedication to fitness to their kids. Seventeen-year-old Taylor appears on the cover with her iron dad—IRON MAN ’s first-ever father-daughter cover. She’s a star on her high school track team, while her brother Mitch, 13, has his eye on a football career. In fact, he’s set to embark on a workout regimen with Dad to increase his athletic prowess—and no doubt build an impressive set of guns. An IM cover could be right around the corner for him too. For more on Clark, his family and his workout and eating tips, turn to page 126. As for Doug, he adamantly states that the fitness lifestyle helped save his life at a time when everything was crashing down on him. He even contemplated suicide, but eventually returned to the fitness game and restarted his personal-training business. Now he’s back to his old bodybuilding-competition weight and looking absolutely ripped beyond belief. Inspiring, to say the least! His story, including his workout and diet, begins on page 156. LaLanne, Bartram and Brignole have all made a choice—to be responsible for their own health and well-being. Those of us who “get it” should encourage more people to choose that response as well, so they will be more able throughout their lives. IM 26 OCTOBER 2009 \

Founders 1936-1986: Peary & Mabel Rader

by Steve Holman

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 Webmaster: Brad Seng IRON MAN Staff: Sonia Melendez, Mervin Petralba Contributing Authors: Jerry Brainum, Eric Broser, David Chapman, Teagan Clive, Lorenzo Cornacchia, Daniel Curtis, Dave Draper, Michael Gündill, Rosemary Hallum, Ph.D., John Hansen, Ron Harris, Ori Hofmekler, Rod Labbe, Skip La Cour, Jack LaLanne, Butch Lebowitz, John Little, Stuart McRobert, Gene Mozée, Charles Poliquin, Larry Scott, Jim Shiebler, Roger Schwab, 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 Contributing Photographers: Ron Avidan, Roland Balik, Reg Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Dobbins, Jerry Fredrick, Isaac Hinds, Dave Liberman, J.M. Manion, Merv, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru Okabe, 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: Brad Seng, Webmaster:

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HE WANTED TO FIGHTUntil I Crushed His Hand! He was big. He was pissed. And he wanted to kick my butt. There was no way out, so I extended my arm for the opening hand shake— and then I crushed his hand like a Dorito. Fight over thanks to the Super Gripper. If you’re after huge forearms with the crushing power of an industrial vise, get the Super Gripper. It’s the ultimate forearmand grip-building tool on the market because it provides your muscles with the two essential requirements they demand for awesome size and strength: specificity (mimics gripping action) and progressive resistance. You’ll develop a bone-crushing grip fast by adding one or a number of power coils for that critical progressive-resistance effect. Remember, when you wear short sleeves, it’s the lower arms that are exposed for all to see. You’ll want your forearms to be huge and vascular to match your thick, beefy upper arms—and now they will.

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:(,*+76$1'0($685(6 Let’s go to the measuring tape

good-size melon. I’m painfully aware of how it feels to “not measure up” Once I saw that, I realized that a whole lot of bodybuildcompared to other men. I’m speaking, of course, about my ers had been lying to me about their arm measurements. I arms (what the heck did you think I was talking about?). doubt even half the pros have legit 20-inch arms. They cerThe biggest my arms have ever been, pumped—when I tainly don’t have arms the same size as Ronnie’s and Jay’s, was 240 pounds off-season in 2003, on the juice and with as they claim. I don’t blame them for fibbing, though. No a generous amount of bodyfat and water retention padding matter how much we talk about how important the back, the measurement—was exactly 19 inches. If I were to be the legs or the shoulders are in building an exceptional phytotally honest, the tape probably wasn’t pulled too taut— sique, bodybuilders will forever be obsessed with arms and and it may have been at a slight slant. You get the picture. how to make them bigger. Nobody wants to admit his guns Pretty sad, when everyone else seems to have guns that don’t stack up to “the average,” even when that average is are at least over the magic 20-inch mark. based on universal exaggeration. I talk to a lot of pros and top amateurs for the purpose So don’t be ashamed if your arms aren’t as large as of writing arm-training articles—as bodybuilding magazines those a certain pro claims he has. Chances are, his aren’t have a never-ending, voracious appetite for them. Since either. If your arms have grown and improved and you’re I know readers will be curious, I always ask how big the still working hard on them, be proud of what you’ve acperson’s arms are, being sure to let them know they can complished and continue striving for bigger-caliber guns. give me the larger off-season measurement, of course. If anyone asks you the fateful question about how big your If anyone actually does measure his bi’s and tri’s in arms are, just respond: “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell contest condition, he certainly wouldn’t share that informayou no lies.” tion—not in a sport where bigger is almost always con—Ron Harris sidered better. I have yet to hear any bodybuilder give a number under 20, and more often I hear 22 or 23. The odd Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodything is that these are guys of various heights and dimenbuilding, available at sions whose bodyweights range from 200 to 300 pounds. I often wonder how it’s possible that they all have arms around the same size. Recently, I read a flyon-the-wall training article in which a writer and a photographer documented eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman training biceps with two-time champ Jay Cutler. At the very end a tape measure was produced. With both men hovering around 300 pounds, Ronnie won the Battle of the Biceps Bulge with 23 inches, with Jay trailing behind by a scant half-inch at 22 1/2. Have you ever stood next to those men and seen their arms up close? I have on many occasions, and I can assure you that Ronnie and Jay have simply enormous arms, guns that dwarf those of the average pro bodybuilder. Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler hit arm measurements in the Their arms appear to be 22-to-23-inch range when they are weighing 300 pounds. So as big as their heads—and how can smaller bodybuilders claim the same arm size? Jay in particular has a

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Arm Size and Big Lies

YOU CAN BENCH BIG Add 20 Pounds to Your Bench Press Almost Overnight! How would you like a surge in upper-body power and a bigger bench press—say, 20 extra pounds on the bar—after only a couple of workouts? Sure, adding 20 pounds to your bench in two or three training sessions may sound crazy, especially if your bench press poundage has been stuck in neutral for a while. But nine times out of 10 this stall is due to an easily correctible muscle weakness—not in the pecs, delts or triceps but in a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint. During the bench press and almost all other upperbody movements these muscles protect the shoulder joint and prevent ball-and-socket slippage. If these muscles are underdeveloped, they become the weak link in the action and your pressing strength suffers, or worse, you injure your shoulder. One of the best ways to strengthen this area and create an upper-body power surge is with direct rotator cuff exercise. Once you start using the ShoulderHorn for two or three sets twice a week, your pressing poundages will skyrocket. This device allows you to train your rotator cuff muscles in complete comfort and with precise strengthening action. After a few weeks you’ll be amazed at your new benching power. There have been reports of 20-to-30-pound increases in a matter of days. A big, impressive bench press can be yours. Get the ShoulderHorn, start working your rotator cuff muscles, and feel the power as you start piling on plates and driving up heavy iron.

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Squat Myths Exposed

10x10 Builds Mass

Perhaps no exercise is more subject to myths and untruths than the squat. One myth: Doing squats will wreck your knees. In reality, properly executed squats are not only safe for the knees but are used in kneerehabilitation programs because of a lack of shear stress and ligament strain associated with squats done in good form. Another myth: Using various foot stances will affect different thigh muscles. The issue of squatting stance was recently examined by researchers. The study measured the activation of eight thigh muscles from squats using three stance widths and three different bar loads. Six experienced lifters performed three sets of 10 reps of squats using no weight, 30 percent of one-rep maximum or 70 percent of one-rep maximum, taking six minutes of rest between sets. The men exercised with electrodes attached

Neveux \ Model: Kris Gethin

to eight thigh muscles, including the hamstrings. The stances were narrow, medium and wide. The electrodes transmitted electrical activity to a machine called an electromyograph, which displayed the work done by the muscles on a graph. According to bodybuilding dogma, a narrow stance focuses stress on the outer thighs, producing a more pronounced outer sweep, while doing squats with a wide stance switches the focus to the inner thighs, such as the adductor group and the showy sartorius, a bandlike muscle that runs down the midthigh and can impart a dramatic appearance of muscularity. The results, however, did not bear out the common wisdom. As expected, the electrical activity of all muscles was highest when the greatest amount of weight was lifted. The only difference found in activation of muscles, though, was that a wide stance increased the activity Does foot placement of the glutes. Squataffect different parts of ting with a narrow the quad group? stance did not elicit any extra activity in the outer thighs, nor did the wider stance increase the activity of the inner thighs. The authors pointed out that the weights involved submaximal loads—or weights that allowed about 10 reps per set—chosen because that’s the way most people do squats. Squatting with much heavier weight and fewer reps may call other muscles into more focused involvement—or it may not. —Jerry Brainum

Q: I’m working more hours to make ends meet, so I don’t have a lot of time to train. I can get to the gym three days a week. I’m looking at The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout [which uses only the ultimate exercise for each muscle group], but I’m not convinced the 10x10 method will work. How can using lighter weights build muscle? A: For the uninitiated, 10x10 involves taking a weight you can get 20 reps with but doing only 10, then resting for 30 seconds and doing 10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps. The first sets are easy—almost too easy. The last few are severe, and the pump is unreal. Why does it work? The reason is the dominant muscle-fiber type in the biggest bodybuilders, which was discovered in recent research. Comprehensive analysis showed that the experienced bodybuilders in the study had almost zero type 2B purepower fibers; their large muscles consisted of only type 1, or slow twitch, and an abundance of 2As, the fast-twitch fibers with dual capacity—both power and endurance components. [Eur J Appl Physiol. 103(5):579-83. 2008.] The problem is that most bodybuilders train for power all the time. They’ve been brainwashed into believing that heavy is the only way to grow, so they miss half of the 2As’ growth potential. No wonder size gains are so sluggish. A 10x10 program shifts the emphasis to the endurance side of the coin. That’s why most trainees get a sudden growth spurt when they switch to a 10x10 program. Three to four weeks with that type of program should produce significant mass gains as your muscles supercompensate from your previous heavy training and you build up endurance constituents. Then shift back to heavy training for four to six weeks. Your heavy training could be the same ultimate-exercise program but with a power pyramid on each exercise instead of 10x10. That means adding weight over, say, five sets. Your reps would go something like 12, 10, 8, 6, 4-5, with the first two sets acting as warmups. Even with 2 1/2 minutes between sets, your workouts should take less than one hour each. —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

34 OCTOBER 2009 \

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A: The back is the most complex area of the body when it comes to building muscles. If you look at an anatomical chart, you will see the back muscles crisscrossing and overlapping in so many areas that one hardly knows where to begin. Today, judges want to see a “Christmas tree” at the lower spine, thick and separated detail from rear deltoid to the supraspinatus and infraspinatus. Every detail must be clear, thick and very pronounced. Former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, former Arnold Classic and IRON MAN Pro champion Flex Wheeler and one of the top Olympia contenders, Victor Martinez, all have absolutely fantastic backs. They also all have a certain spinal shape, a certain amount of muscle mass that was very perfectly (and genetically) aligned for the right training. You could work until the cows come home on Victor’s or Ronnie’s back routine, but you wouldn’t get the same results. Odds are you aren’t going into professional bodybuilding anyway, so where to start and what to do? First, you really have to know the musculoskeletal makeup of your back. The shape of your spine, the width of your acromion and clavicles—which make up the width of your skeleton at shoulder level—the attachments of the lattisimus dorsi, the position of your scapulae and the shape and thickness of your traps, teres and rhomboids are all very important for detail and depth. The shape of your C-spine, T-spine and L-spine also have a lot to do with how the muscles are attached and how they grow. Then you have to look at how various exercises work on which areas. For instance, you’re having width problems. On one back day do a lot of lat pulldowns, bodyweight pullups and Hammer Strength pulldowns. Alternate your hands—supinated one set, pronated on another and neutral on another. Take notes on which hand position hits which area most effectively. It was once thought that the farther apart you hold your hands on the pullup or lat bar, the farther out on the back it would hit to build a wider back. That rule doesn’t account for the tens of thousands of back types. You may find that you get more width when doing supinated, close-grip pullups—the opposite of that old rule. Dorian Yates put heavy undergrip bent-over rows on the map. His style was indeed heavy, albeit certainly not the way that Arnold, Lou or Franco did them. Instead of bending over to be parallel to the floor with a slight arch in the L-spine, Yates bent only about 30 to 45 degrees from the waist. He used between 315 and 465 pounds, and he pulled the bar to his waist—with an underhand grip. That showed that socalled strict form was not an absolute necessity for increasing back width and thickness.

Neveux \ Model: Flex Wheeler

Q: I’m a 48-year-old natural bodybuilder preparing for my second contest. In my first contest I placed fifth in the over-45 class; however, one of the judges told me after the show that had my back been better—wider, with more detail and more thickness—I could have won my class. How do I take that constructive criticism and make a routine to hit those areas?

Other methods include not pulling the bar all the way down to your chest on lat pulldowns or getting your chin over the bar on pullups. Basically, the muscles that make up the width of the back can be best activated if biceps and forearm use is minimal. That means pulling down to about the top of the head on lat pulldowns; and on pullups going down all the way to arm’s length but pulling up with the lats to just before your arms would kick in for the last half of the repetition. (When you’re doing either or both of these exercises, the pace is fairly fast, as you’re working just the key section of the stroke.) I watched Flex Wheeler in his prime etch in detail with all kinds of partial movements. For instance, years ago many people did deadlifts for the lower back. Charles Glass taught Flex that he didn’t need to bring the bar up from the floor; an Olympic bar on a power rack’s long pins set at just below the knees made it possible to do sets of 10 or 12 half deadlifts to efficiently work the erector spinae and other major muscles without the risk of injury caused by pulling from the floor. So for the back, sometimes you need only inches of movement rather than a foot or more. And many trainees use every possible angle provided by pulleys, machines, barbells and dumbbells to attack big and small muscles of the back. I often use dumbbells or cables to create exercises that are helpful for my weak areas. Ultimately, that’s what you should also do—and take full advantage of the many types of machines, cable-pulley systems and genuinely unique training devices you may have access to. —Paul Burke Editor’s note: Contact Paul Burke via e-mail at 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 www His “Burke’s Law” training DVD is also available.

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Marvelous Marvin Marvin is a marvel because, at 64 years old, he’s in fantastic condition. He’s not a genetic freak or stoked up on drugs. He’s been training naturally since he was 17, but he’s never competed in bodybuilding—he never had the requisite genetics or the drug support. Now, after 47 years of solid training, his physique is something to behold for a solid natural bodybuilder in his 40s, let alone someone in his 60s. Marvin doesn’t do anything that the rest of us can’t do. He doesn’t have special equipment or facilities, a personal trainer or full-time dedication to bodybuilding. He leads a full, busy life and is a professional man with a demanding work schedule. Even so, he makes time for his training and makes time for proper eating and sleeping. Marvin is marvelous because he follows the rules of successful bodybuilding and has done so for several decades. If you follow the same rules for long enough, you too can be a marvel when you’re 64—or whatever age you choose. Every gym I’ve trained at has had members who’ve worked out for many years. A few of them have done well, most never seem to change much, and some look steadily worse because they allow their bodyfat to increase. Having trained for a long time doesn’t necessarily give someone training savvy. Many people make the same mistakes year after year. Whereas most bodybuilders use sloppy exercise technique, Marvin uses impeccable technique, with a controlled rep speed. That’s why he never gets injured. He keeps his workouts short so he can maintain a high level of effort and avoid overtraining. He does just two workouts per week: upper body on Monday and lower body on Friday. He does just five or six exercises per workout, mostly big exercises. Although he no longer uses progressive poundages because he’s at his full strength potential for his age and ability, he has to train hard to maintain his poundages. He trains harder and heavier than the youngsters at the gym. Immediately after each weight session he does brief but hard cardio to give his heart a thorough workout. He does a five-minute warmup, five minutes at about 85 percent of his perceived maximum heart rate—which, because he’s in such good condition, is much more than the general 85 percent, calculated at 220 minus his age, is—and finishes with a fiveminute cooldown. Marvin is a treat to watch, and he’s the gym’s greatest role model. Outside the gym he’s a model of consistency with his recuperation. He always eats well and gets seven or eight hours of quality sleep every night. He’s never smoked, and he has one or at most two beers a day, no more. He keeps himself flexible with a 30-minute session of stretches twice a week. Whenever he feels any muscle or joint glitch, he visits a soft-tissue therapist to get the problem fixed pronto. He’s still able to squat, deadlift and bench-press with

free weights. He’s taken such good care of himself that he has no physical restrictions. Marvin gets irritated when people say things like, “It must be nice being born with perfect genetics. I wish I were that lucky.” Here’s his standard reply, one he’s given so many times: “Overweight and out-of-shape people look at me and say, ‘You’ve got the right genetics; that’s why you’re not fat or out of shape.’ I don’t believe that. My sisters and brother have always had weight problems, but their lifestyles and eating habits are different from mine. And if other people compare their lifestyles and food choices to mine, they’ll see huge differences that they could easily change for the better. I’ve trained well and eaten well for more than 40 years. That’s why I am as I am.” Here’s why Marvin can take in 2,600 calories a day at age 64 and stay lean: He isn’t trying to lose weight—he’s lean enough already. He does his weight training and hard cardio in the morning after breakfast; that may produce the afterburn effect, yielding calorie expenditure for the rest of the day. He has more muscle mass than he would have if he didn’t train with weights, which boosts his calorie needs. He’s very active out of the gym and walks several miles a day, which further boosts his calorie needs. He never eats processed food—no junk food, fast food, fried food, or anything with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup in it He never snacks in front of the TV. He eats a wide variety of food that’s rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. He takes supplements for nutritional insurance. He eats a fiber-rich diet. He eats a good breakfast every day. He eats often but never exceeds his weekly calorie allocation. He eats primarily for nourishment, not entertainment. He drinks a lot of water and keeps himself fully hydrated. In short, there’s nothing that Marvin does that you can’t easily do yourself, if you have the desire. Apply for a few years what Marvin has applied for several decades, and make yourself into a marvel. —Stuart McRobert Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 4470008 or

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Risks of the Russian Twist

There is an unusual exercise that’s known as the Russian twist. As the name suggests, it’s a combination of exercises. You perform it by positioning yourself sideways on a hyperextension bench with your feet sideways under the footpads. Your upper body is off the bench, hips supported on one side by the torso pad, and you bend your torso toward the floor. It looks similar to a side bend. When your upper body is at the bottom of the stroke, parallel to the floor on most hyperextension benches, you twist and turn your chest toward the floor. Once you reach a full side bend and twist, you reverse direction and return to the sideways start position at the top of the stroke. The first person I ever saw do the Russian twist was the late Mike Mentzer at Gold’s Gym. Mentzer positioned himself sideways on the hyperextension bench, and his training partner handed him a 45-pound plate. Mentzer’s side was parallel to the floor, and he was holding the plate at his chest; then he started to bend toward the floor and twist until his chest faced the floor. He performed 15 reps for several sets. The Russian twist eventually made its way into the popular gym chains. Many trainees saw it as a fun new exercise to try. Regrettably, the problems it can cause became more widespread too. It can lead to back pain, some of which can be managed and some that will require professional health care. The problem is that the Russian twist places a great deal of shearing stress on the spine’s disks, the shock absorbers between the bony vertebrae. The lower back is not designed to rotate. It’s primarily designed to bend forward and back—flex and extend—a motion that’s determined by the facet joints that guide the motion of the spine. When you’re positioned sideways on the hyper bench, your legs

are locked in under the footpads. That restricts the pelvis’ movement because the legs are braced, putting more motion emphasis on the lumbar spine. The side bend places tension and stress on one side of the disk. When you start to rotate, the tension and stress on the disk increases much more. That’s the way disk injuries or flare-ups of existing disk injuries can occur. You may notice a dull low-back ache that doesn’t improve or may worsen. Once that pain occurs, you may have difficulty with seated cable rows, squats, deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts and even military presses. This type of pain can be from a disk injury or from inflammation and compression of the facet joints. You may experience a sudden, sharp pain in the lower back and possibly one or both legs. Those cases may require a visit to a health-care professional for an evaluation. No matter which exercise trainees perform and how often they are injured by an exercise, there will always be exceptions. I have no doubt that you know someone who has performed Russian twists without pain or problems—yet. This is an exercise that carries a significant risk of injury. As always, train smart first and then train hard. —Joseph M. Horrigan Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008 or at

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Get maximum muscle fiber recruitment from minimal gym time—only four to six sets per bodypart. Discover how to build power and size with 3-D Positions of Flexion: big midrange movements, stretch overload to activate the myotatic reflex and continuous-tension peak contraction to finish off the muscle. This DVD explains Positions of Flexion, a breakthrough massbuilding method that has bodybuilders all over the world growing faster than ever and achieving skin-splitting pumps at every workout. See this exciting size-boosting approach in action, apply it to your own workouts and watch mass surge to dramatic new levels in record time. Turn your guns into cannons and your shoulders into boulders. Chisel your chest and pack your thighs with new size. Bonus: 10 Minutes to Granite Abs is also included on this action-packed DVD.


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Luca Pennazzato Age: 33 Weight: 230 Height: 6’2” Training: Five days a week with weights Bodybuilding titles: ’08 Mr. Muscle Beach, novice division Split: Monday: back; Tuesday: chest; Thursday: legs; Friday: delts; Saturday: arms Sample routine (chest): Incline presses, 4 x 8-10; dumbbell bench presses, 4 x 8-10; weighted dips, 4 x 8-12; cable crossovers, 3 x 12-15

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Thick-Bar Training for Strength Q: I’m in a rut in my strength development. I need to get my power clean scores up. I will be tested by my college, and I need to up my numbers. Any new tricks? A: One of my strength-coaching colleagues told me that in the early ’70s, during a press conference prior to a Russia-vs.-U.S. wrestling competition, someone mentioned that the American wrestler in the 165-pound-bodyweight class could bench-press 365 pounds—quite a remarkable accomplishment at the time, especially for a nonpowerlifter. Athletes weren’t using the elaborate equipment they have today, which can add hundreds of pounds to a raw performance. The Russian counterpart responded by pro-

Photo by Randy Strossen / Model: Ingrid Marcum

Training a lift with a thicker bar can increase motor unit activation to build new strength.

ducing two pairs of pliers and proceeded to squeeze them so hard that they snapped. After the match the defeated U.S. wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise and that he immediately began to lose sensation in his arms and hands. Again, the U.S. wrestler was certainly much stronger than the Russian from a weightlifting standpoint, but the Russian had achieved a remarkable degree of functional strength for his sport. In every facility that I’m asked to help design, I insist that the owners purchase calibrated, thick-handled barbells and dumbbells. It’s important not to sacrifice quality for price. I say that because I know that several companies now offer thick barbells, but to keep the price down, those bars usually don’t rotate. Essentially, all you’re getting is a large metal pipe. Without the rotation, you can put considerable stress on your elbows and wrists. That discourages many athletes from using the bars. For the best thick bars that rotate and even hold Olympic plates, I recommend checking out Grace Fitness (www. One problem many strength coaches have is with inferring practical information from sciences such as motor learning. Not surprisingly, the themes of many seminars in strength training deal with “bridging the gap” between science and biophysical application. Post-tetanic potentiation, or PTP, is a motor-learning concept that Roger M. Enoka defines in his remarkable textbook Neuromechanical Basis of Kinesiology. He writes: “The magnitude of the twitch force is extremely variable and depends on the activation history of the muscle. A twitch elicited in a resting muscle does not represent the maximal twitch. Rather, twitch force is maximal following a brief tetanus [a condition of prolonged or repeatedly induced muscle contraction]; this effect is known as post-tetanic potentiation of twitch force.”

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Grip strength is a weak link in many lifts. Increase your gripping power, and many of your key lifts will go up, including curls, power cleans and even bench presses. (Super Gripper available at

What that means is that a more powerful muscular contraction can be achieved if the contraction is preceded by a strong muscular contraction. Now let me show you how to apply PTP to Olympic lifting. For a female lifter it’s not necessary to use the thickhandled barbells to get the effect. Two types of barbells are used in weightlifting competition. The one for men is slightly larger in diameter than the women’s—28 vs. 25 millimeters. A woman’s hands are generally smaller than a man’s, and a larger-diameter barbell would be more difficult for women to grip, reducing the amount of weight they could lift due to poor mechanical leverage. When gripping the barbell, lifters often use a hook grip, which consists of wrapping the fingers over the thumb. With a larger barbell there’s less surface area on the thumb to supply leverage for the fingers. On the other hand, lifting the thicker bar activates more motor units. It should also be noted that weightlifters can often lift more weight using straps—usually material that wraps around the wrists and the barbell—suggesting that the strength of the grip can be a limiting factor in performance of the sport. Since the grip is so important, it would be a good strategy to finish off a workout with a few sets of thick-handled upright rows or by using protocols I’ve described in other articles on the subject. I’d like to introduce another method, however, that adheres more closely to the principle of specificity of training. Richard A. Magill’s textbook on motor learning, Motor Learning and Control: Concepts and Applications, discusses

the concept of transfer of learning, which he defines as “the influence of previous experiences on performing a skill in a new context or on learning a new skill.” It follows that 1) a positive transfer is defined as a previous activity that improves performance, 2) a negative transfer decreases performance, and 3) a neutral transfer has no effect on performance. Magill also states that the more similar the skills are, the greater the transfer of performance. He describes that effect as the “identical elements theory.” Now let’s combine all those principles with PTP to make an extremely effective workout for female weightlifters that you can use. To increase immediate gripping strength and overall athletic performance with one of my elite female weightlifters, I’m having her perform warmup sets with a men’s barbell and then switch to a women’s barbell. When she uses the men’s bar, she is activating more motor units than with the women’s barbell and thereby creating a PTP effect. When she switches to the women’s bar, those fibers are still activated. That effect, plus the increased mechanical advantage of using the smaller-diameter bar, increases her immediate gripping strength and has a positive effect on performance. Also, the two barbells are so similar that the skills used in performing the snatch are not adversely affected, fulfilling the requirements of the identical elements theory. You can apply this type of training with a set-and-rep sequence known as wave loading. You work up to a relatively heavy weight and then reduce the weight and pyramid back up to an even heavier weight. One legendary strongman who used a type of wave loading is Doug Ivan Hepburn, a

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These methods don’t require performing additional sets, as would be the case if you were doing thick-bar training at the end of a session. Accomplishing the same amount of quality work in a shorter period is always one of my goals, which is one reason my programs have proven so effective for elite athletes. When it comes to strength, we can all use an edge. Q: What is your take on fructose? It all seems so confusing to me.

world weightlifting champion in 1953. He performed heavy singles in a specific exercise to activate a large number of muscle fibers and then immediately followed those sets with lighter weights and more reps. The result was that he could handle more weight with the higher-rep sets than he could otherwise. Using a men’s bar, a female lifter would work up to a maximum single and then reduce the weight—usually about 20 percent—and pyramid back up to an even heavier weight. An athlete who snatches 150 pounds might perform two waves in that fashion to achieve a personal record of 155 pounds: Wave 1 (men’s bar): 45 x 5, 85 x 3, 105 x 3, 115 x 2, 125 x 2, 135 x 1, 140 x 1, 145 x 1 Wave 2 (women’s bar): 120 x 2, 130 x 1, 140 x 1, 145 x 1, 150 x 1, 155 x 1 Another method, possibly more suited to submaximal training, is to alternate between sets done using a men’s barbell and those done with a women’s barbell. Once again using the example of a female athlete with a 1RM snatch of 150 pounds, a snatch workout might be designed as follows: Men’s bar: 45 x 5, 85 x 3, 105 x 3, 115 x 3, 120 x 3 Women’s bar: 130 x 2 x 2 sets Men’s bar: 125 x 2 Women’s bar: 135 x 2 x 2 Men’s bar: 130 x 2 Women’s bar: 140 x 2 x 2

A: Limit fructose intake. Even though fruits are great foods and loaded with nutrients, they also contain fructose, which, if you take in too much, can slow down function and increase glycation. Glycation, in laymen’s terms, is browning—like the browning that makes crust in bread. Glycation is the cross linking of proteins and DNA molecules caused by sugar aldehydes reacting with the amino acids on the protein molecule and creating advance glycosylation end-products. If you want to see protein cross linking in action, cut an apple in half and watch it turn yellow. Very few people realize that glucose can go through oxidation. Why is fructose the worst glycation agent? Because it does not raise insulin. In other words, the insulin does not get it into muscle cells, and so it lingers around in the body and wreaks metabolic havoc. As nutrition expert Robert Crayhon would say, “Fructose is like the guest who won’t go home once the party is over.” Crayhon recommends that the average American eat no more than five to 10 grams of fructose a day. For very active individuals, 20 grams of fructose should be the maximum. To check for glycation levels, ask your doctor to measure the concentration of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. In England a study revealed that it is one of the best measures of predicting mortality, far better than cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. 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 231. IM

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Low Carbs, Low Training Intensity? not eating enough carbs would impede high-intensity training. Several studies have found that athletes who severely restrict carb intake suffer a loss of training intensity. On the other hand, the body is capable of using other forms of fuel to power high-intensity workouts, among them ketones, which are acidic by-products of fat metabolism. Ketones are produced in greater amounts when the body doesn’t have enough carb on hand or when a person suffers from uncontrolled diabetes. Ketones can fuel muscle training, although the adaptation to switching from a glucose base to ketones for energy purposes can take two to four weeks. In the interim, a

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A frequent criticism of the popular low-carbohydrate style of dieting is that not taking in enough carbs severely inhibits your exercise capacity. Even the most vocal proponent of low-carb dieting, Robert Atkins, M.D., warned in his first book, Diet Revolution, that athletes may have problems training hard under extreme low-carb conditions because the body can’t convert fat into the glucose, a sugar, rapidly enough to support the requirements of intense training. Anaerobic training, such as typical bodybuilding workouts, is fueled primarily by glycogen stored in muscles and liver, as well as glucose circulating in the blood. Since carbohydrates are the prime fuel for anaerobic training,

sense of fatigue is apparent during hard training. Another possible fatigue factor: The brain and central nervous system prefer to run on glucose. The brain alone is thought to use more than 100 grams of carbohydrates daily in its normal functions. Not feeding it enough carbs is akin to putting cheap gas in your car. With any fuel other than carb, the brain can “ping” a bit, which is evident as a loss of concentration and focus—as well as a sense of fatigue. Recent studies using more sophisticated tools to monitor brain activity, however, show that the brain is capable of fully adapting to other fuel sources, including ketones and lactate. Some go so far as to suggest that the brain may actually prefer ketones to glucose, although that point is a matter of debate. Low-carb diets almost always feature high protein. Numerous studies show that getting more protein when you’re on a low-carb regimen confers a number of benefits. One example is the satiety factor you get when you eat a lot of protein. A higher-protein diet helps release appetite-suppressing substances and hormones that make it easier to stick with the diet. A major problem of other diets, especially those that restrict protein, is the ravenous appetite that often results, which not only spells doom for the diet but also guarantees a rapid return of any lost weight. For those engaged in bodybuilding, a high-protein intake is a necessity. Certain amino acids, particularly the branched-chain amino acid leucine, have the ability to preserve muscle during low energy intake. Contrary to the belief of many bodybuilders and athletes, the body has a finite capacity for using protein. The extraneous protein is oxidized in the liver. With a low-carb diet, however, the excess protein offers an advantage, since 57 percent of the protein you eat is converted in the liver to glucose in a process

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X called gluconeogenesis. The liver can also convert lactate and 10 percent of dietary fat into glucose—glucose that can also be used as a fuel by the brain and central nervous system. Because carbs are the most efficient fuel for high-intensity training, the issue still remains: Will a drastic reduction in carb intake interfere with training intensity? One recommendation is to eat more carbohydrates every few days. The rationale is that the carbs will replenish depleted glycogen stores and may even have an anabolic effect because of an upgraded insulin release. For insulin to have an anabolic effect in muscle, however, you must also have a lot of amino acids in your blood, which means you must also take in a highprotein source, such as whey. Other studies have found that it takes a certain amount of time for the body to switch from a primary sugarburning machine into a fat-burning machine, which is the goal of low-carb diets. They suggest that the metabolic conversion occurs in two to four weeks, during which there will be some increased training fatigue. That would show itself as less muscle endurance and possibly less strength after the first set of an exercise. Once the ability to use ketones and fat fully kicks in, though, subjective fatigue abates. A recent study compared the effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet with a high-carb, lowfat diet.1 Sixty men and women, average age 49, all of whom were obese and sedentary, were randomly assigned to either a low-carb,

high-fat diet or a high-carb, lowfat diet. Both diets contained the same number of calories and differed only in carb and fat contents. Both diets were designed to provide a 30 percent calorie deficit. The low-carb diet contained 35 percent protein, 61 percent fat and 4 percent carb. The high-carb diet contained 24 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 46 percent carb. The study lasted eight weeks, and at the start and completion the subjects were tested for aerobic capacity and muscle strength. As was shown in several previous studies, those in the low-carb group lost more weight after eight weeks, and body composition tests revealed that the weight loss was mostly bodyfat. The low-carb subjects also experienced greater fat oxidation during aerobic exercise than the high-carb group, who had none. Tests of hand-grip strength showed decreases in both groups, but anaerobic leg strength didn’t change. The conclusion of the study was that during low-carb dieting, fuel use shifted toward fat but didn’t have any detrimental effects on exercise. The male subjects were more efficient at fat burning than the female subjects. This study involved fat, out-of-shape, middle-aged adults, and some may point out that the results may not apply to younger bodybuilders. Indeed, in one study subjects engaged in intermittent,

Several studies have found that athletes who severely restrict carb intake suffer a loss of training intensity. On the other hand, the body is capable of using other forms of fuel.

high-intensity exercise did experience deficits in training intensity during lowcarb conditions. The increase in fat oxidation, however, appears to compensate for the lack of carbs during submaximal exercise. In this study none of the subjects in the low-carb group showed an increase in perceived effort or greater training fatigue, even when doing the anaerobic part of the exercise tests. The final factor to consider is the volume and frequency of training. If you train with a higher exercise volume, your chances of losing training intensity when you’re on a low-carb diet are greater. The same holds true for training more frequently, such as twice daily or every day. On the other hand, taking in more protein should enable most bodybuilders to still train efficiently. Perhaps the best way to deal with that is to target carb intake: Eat and drink your carbs prior to and just after training. The rest of the time, limit carbs. That gives you all the metabolic advantages of carbohydrates—while experiencing minimal inhibition of the fat-mobilizing effects of low-carb diets. —Jerry Brainum Editor’s note: Have you been ripped off by using supplements? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Natural Anabolics, available at Brinkworth, G.D., et al. (2009). Effects of a low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet on exercise capacity and tolerance in obese subjects. Obesity. In press. \ OCTOBER 2009 59

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

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HMB: Does It Work or Not? Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, or HMB, is a downstream metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine. Many studies have shown that leucine is by far the most potent single amino acid in inducing muscle protein synthesis. Several years ago scientists at the University of Iowa studied the metabolic pathways of leucine and deduced that the role attributed to it was in fact due to its metabolite, HMB. Several studies involving animals showed that HMB seemed to have potent effects on protein production. Early human studies, using mainly untrained subjects, seemed to show that HMB also worked well for humans engaged in resistance exercise. HMB hit the commercial market in the late ’90s, but the results were less than stellar. Since then, most of the bodybuilding community has pegged HMB as an expensive but useless fad supplement. Oddly enough, however, many nutrition scientists continue to extol its virtues. The suggested mechanisms for HMB point to its being an effective anabolic supplement. One thought is that it blocks the cellular activity that’s involved in protein breakdown. Another theory says that HMB is converted into cholesterol, which is noted chiefly for its involvement in cardiovascular disease but which is required for the stability of cell membranes. Recent studies also suggest that cholesterol may have anabolic effects in muscle, which isn’t surprising when you consider that it’s the precursor of all steroid hormones, including testosterone. An early theory suggested that HMB stabilized muscle cell membranes to the extent that it blocked excessive muscle protein breakdown. Still another theory is that it may even aid bodyfat loss by increasing muscle cell fat oxidation, although precisely how that’s possible isn’t known. In the latest HMB study, a randomized, double-blind, controlled experiment, 22 men, average age 24, got either three grams a day of HMB or a placebo for nine weeks. The men had an average of more than three years of training experience and trained no fewer than three times a week. Strength tests involved one-rep-maximum lifts in the leg extension, bench press and preacher curl. Other tests included body composition. After nine weeks those using HMB had an average overall strength increase of 1.6 percent. When the results were isolated to lower- and upper-body gains, though, maximum leg strength increased by a substantial 9.1 percent. The gain in upper-body strength was deemed inconclusive. The HMB group also had bodyfat loss that the authors termed trivial. They suggest that HMB may be more useful for beginners, who are more susceptible to muscle damage than more experienced trainees. —Jerry Brainum Rowlands, D.S., et al. (2009). Effects of nine weeks of B-hydroxy-B-Methylbutyrate supplementation on strength and body composition in resistance-trained men. J Str Cond Res. 23:827-835.

• Oranges have white stuff on them after you peel them, but don’t pick it off. It’s called albedo and contains vitamin C, flavones and soluble fiber. • Green tea is included in many weight-loss supplements, and for good reason. A study showed that overweight exercisers burned 7 percent more belly fat when they drank green tea instead of another beverage with the same calories. • Caffeine in tea may increase stress and cortisol. Eight ounces of black tea has almost 50 milligrams per cup, green tea can have anywhere from 30 to 50 milligrams, and white tea has the least, with about 15 milligrams in eight ounces. • Flaxseed oil is good for your skin. Subjects saw a 45 percent reduction in redness and irritation and smoother, softer skin thanks to flaxseed oil’s omega3 content. • Alpha lipoic acid is a power-packed antioxidant that bolsters the mitochondria, the energyproducing part of cells. The mitochondria are also where fat is burned, so ALA may be an effective fat burner as well as energizer. —Becky Holman

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The Eat-Clean Diet for Men The Eat-Clean Diet for Men is different from other books in its category. For one thing, it’s written by husband and wife Bob Kennedy and Tosca Reno. It’s also printed on heavy glossy paper, every page in glorious color—and one of the authors is tied to hardcore bodybuilding. Bob is the publisher of MuscleMag International, Oxygen, Reps and other magazines and the author of numerous books—and if you’ve seen him at bodybuilding contests, you know he’s also the proud owner of a lot of flashy sport coats. The book is set up like a magazine, each page with two columns of type and photos placed within those columns—with lots of sidebars, charts and full-page photos. The real difference, however, is in the information it presents. The eating guidelines are pure bodybuilding fare—high protein, low-glycemic carbs and good fats, meaning essential fatty acids; five to six smaller meals a day and so on—but it’s packaged for the average Joe. So this isn’t a bodybuilding diet book, per se. It’s more like bodybuilder eating principles for the overweight looking to get lean and continue healthful eating for life. That’s something just about everyone could benefit from. As the authors say, “Never have North Americans been so consumed with health and nutrition yet at the same time so ill.” It’s a sad, not to mention dangerous, dichotomy, and this book can help any man—or woman—turn his or her life around. Proof that these eating principles work is Tosca’s story. You’ll see her before and after photos in the first part of the book. After adopting clean-eating strategies, she looks much better today at 49 than she did at 39, when she was over-

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Bodybuilding-lifestyle nutrition for every man

weight. She was motivated to change how she ate in order to enter a physique contest, and today she looks like a top fitness model. Also included throughout the book are other Eat-Clean success stories to inspire you. The last third of the 350-page tome is filled with delicious recipes, like orangemango cashew chicken, five-bean stew and the big-fello portebello open-faced sandwich. You’ll see how to make each one, with ingredients, cooking requirements and the time it takes to prepare. The authors have also listed the nutritional values for each dish. At the end of the book you’ll find a twoweek meal plan, complete with shopping lists; however, keep in mind that these are templates you can alter. The balance of the book teaches you the Eat-Clean rules to follow to make nutrition part of your lifestyle. There’s no “diet” to follow, despite the title. The Eat-Clean Diet for Men is written in a motivational, coach-to-pupil style without a lot of science jargon. It’s very easy to read. If you’re an experienced bodybuilder, you know most of what’s in this book, although it’s always good to review and pick up a few recipes. My guess is that you probably get asked a lot by Joe Average how to eat to get in shape. Now your answer can be one line: Read The Eat-Clean Diet for Men; it will tell you everything you need to know. —Becky Holman Editor’s note: The Eat-Clean Diet for Men is available at or call (800) 447-0008.

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Certainly, if there’s a supplement that has lots of scientific data to back the claims of its effectiveness, it’s creatine. Creatine supplementation in combination with resistance training can increase muscle fiber size, lean body mass and strength—but how long does that effect last? Based on some of the animal research data, it appears that creatine supplementation alone leads to muscle hypertrophy in young animals but does not seem to affect it in aging muscle.1 In older mice that get creatine, the effects are quite interesting. For example, in the calf muscles, muscle carnosine, taurine and total creatine concentrations decreased quite a bit from ages 10 to 60 weeks. At 25 weeks but not at 60, oral creatine supplementation significantly increased carnosine (by 88 percent) and anserine (by 40 percent) compared to age-matched, control-fed animals. Taurine and total creatine content were unaffected by creatine supplementation at any age, which suggests that intramuscular creatine is already saturated in mice muscle. Creatinetreated mice showed less fatigue and better force recovery than the control group at 25 weeks but not at 60 weeks. So it appears that oral creatine supplementation can temporarily but potently increase muscle carnosine and anserine, which coincides with improved resistance to contractile fatigue.2 But with old age, nada. Now, hold on a minute. Let’s check out what happens in humans. In studies of older adults taking both creatine monohydrate and conjugated linoleic acid, it seems that the combination may make a nice duo.3 Men and women over the age of 65 completed six months of resistance training while getting five grams of creatine and six grams of conjugated linoleic acid or a placebo. Training improved all measures of functional capacity and strength, with greater improvement for the supplement group in most measurements of muscular endurance, isokinetic knee extension strength, fat-free mass and lower fat mass. Plasma creatinine, but not creatinine clearance, increased in the supplement group, but there were no changes in serum creatine kinase activity or liver function. So it’s entirely possible that the creatine alone may not be as effective for the elderly; however, when you combine it with conjugated linoleic acid, the results are impressive. It’s safe and it’s effective for boosting gains in muscle, strength and aiding bodyfat loss.4 Bottom line: Adding six grams of CLA to creatine is an effective way to improve body composition. Moreover, the timing of supplementation is absolutely critical to achieving the best results. According to research out of Canada, “protein or creatine ingestion proximate to resistance-training sessions may be more beneficial for increasing muscle mass and strength than ingestion of protein or creatine at other times

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of the day, possibly because of increased blood flow and therefore increased transport of amino acids and creatine to skeletal muscle.”5 —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Editor’s note: Jose Antonio, Ph.D., is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (www and is a sports science consultant to VPX/Redline.

References 1 Brooks,

N.E., et al. (2009). Aging attenuates muscle responsiveness to creatine supplementation, but not overload, in rat plantaris muscles. J Appl Physiol. In press. 2 Derave, W., et al. (2008). Creatine supplementation augments skeletal muscle carnosine content in senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP8). Rejuvenation Res. 11(3):641-647. 3 Tarnopolsky, M.A., et al. (2008). The potential benefits of creatine and conjugated linoleic acid as adjuncts to resistance training in older adults. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 33(1):213-227. 4 Tarnopolsky, M., et al. (2007). Creatine monohydrate and conjugated linoleic acid improve strength and body composition following resistance exercise in older adults. PLoS One. 2(10):e991. 5 Candow, D.G., and Chilibeck, P.D. (2008). Timing of creatine or protein supplementation and resistance training in the elderly. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 33(1):184-190.

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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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Bodybuilding’s Secret Weapon While 22 amino acids work in unison to build hundreds of proteins, one amino acid has become a rising star. Mounting evidence suggests that tyrosine is a big key to muscle growth, and its nonbodybuilding and health benefits are almost miraculous. Known chemically as 4-hydroxphenylalanine, tyrosine, like many amino acids, is used by cells to make proteins. It is classified as a nonessential amino acid, meaning that the body can manufacture it. In fact, tyrosine is synthesized in the body from the amino acid phenylalanine, an essential amino acid—meaning that it must be supplied by your diet. Tyrosine is a precursor of the power-packed adrenal hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which regulate the body’s metabolism. Better known as adrenaline, the two hormones ignite natural rushes of energy and power—a.k.a. the fight-or-flight response, which the body uses to prepare itself for a stressful situation or a physical altercation. In addition, tyrosine is intimately involved with the production of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which keep your metabolism revved up to function optimally. Thyroid hormones are closely involved with almost all of the body’s physiological processes, up to and including how well it burns fat. Tyrosine is also responsible for the production of the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, low levels of which are linked to increased depression and a general lack of get-upand-go. Simply put, tyrosine acts as a mood elevator that keeps you focused. It is involved with regulating brain energetics and helping you remain focused and ready for your next workout, not to mention kicking your sex drive into high gear. Because of its role in producing catecholamines—epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine—tyrosine has a direct effect on the sympathetic and central nervous systems and controls how signals are transmitted between nerves and muscles on growth hormone stimulation, on pain relief and on


Craving Crusher Research out of the University of Copenhagen shows that dark chocolate may help many people control food cravings. The scientists believe the bitter taste may signal the body to regulate appetite. About two bites after a meal may do it—that’s about 50 extra calories. The researchers also suggested that the steric acid content in dark chocolate slows digestion, so those few bites may help you stay feeling full longer. —Becky Holman

how effectively your thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands function, as well as your brain. Scientific evidence shows that tyrosine steps up the production of catecholamines when muscle fatigue begins to set in. As a direct result of tyrosine’s ability to increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels, you will generate more energy, have more intense workouts, use more oxygen to burn fat and store less fat. It also appears to control cortisol. As you know, when the hormone cortisol remains elevated, it causes fat storage and muscle wasting. Studies indicate that doses of 100 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight of tyrosine taken before strenuous exercise can help minimize the production of cortisol. Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a professor of nutritional biochemistry at the University of Utah, states that in many double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, subjects receiving six to seven grams of tyrosine achieved significant reduction in cortisol by regulating stress responses in extreme situations, like four to five hours of cold and low oxygen. As you know, growth hormone release that occurs when you exercise and at bedtime has very powerful anabolic capabilities. Growth hormone has been linked to increased sex drive, development of lean muscle tissue, improved immune function, increased muscle tone and strength, loss of bodyfat, improved memory and focus and new levels of energy. Growth hormone is your fountain of youth. In fact, so powerful is growth hormone at reenergizing brain and body systems that many antiaging researchers, such as Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, refer to it as having the Lazarus effect—it suddenly restores organ systems to youthful activity levels. Robert Erdmann, Ph.D., the author of The Amino Revolution, states that “tyrosine can assist the body in naturally producing growth hormone in amounts over and above those needed to simply keep the body healthy.” To keep your growth hormone active and elevated, Dr. Erdmann suggests taking tyrosine before and after each workout, along with vitamins B3, B6 and C to help increase its absorption. An added benefit of tyrosine’s growth-hormonestimulating properties is its ability to increase protein synthesis, which means that it helps your muscles use more of the protein you eat, thus enhancing your growth potential. Researchers suggest two to four milligrams daily, taken at least one hour prior to working out. That will ensure that your blood pool of tyrosine will be increased in time to delay muscle fatigue. —George L. Redmon, Ph.D., N.D.

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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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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 120

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

We’ve got some exciting new findings—or realizations or heads-out-of-our-butts, eyes-wide-open d’ohs—this time around. What the heck are we talking about? It has to do with our previous discussions and applications of workout density. To review, we’ve been making some excellent gains with our new Power-Density, a.k.a. combo-to-grow, method. As the name suggests, it’s a two-step technique. Step one is Power: Basically, you use a max-force technique, like pyramiding—adding weight to each successive set—and take longer rests between sets, about 2 1/2 to three minutes. For step two, Density, you follow with the \ OCTOBER 2009 73

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Muscle-Training Program 120 same exercise or a similar one using a density method, such as drop sets or 4x10 done in 10x10 style. Using 10x10 style means you do 10 reps with a lighter weight, rest 30 seconds, do 10 reps, rest 30 seconds, etc., until you complete the required number of sets, in this case four. The first sets are easy, the last sets brutally hard. Drop sets, 10x10, 4x10 and supersets let you do more work in less time. In fact, a properly performed

10x10 sequence takes only about 10 minutes; a 4x10 sequence takes about four minutes. Very efficient and very effective, if you can stand the pain. [Note: Find a 10x10 armtraining workout on page 150.]

Condensed Workload for Growth-Fiber Freakiness Vince Gironda, famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru, used 10x10 and variations on

his clients to get exceptionally fast results. He said it worked so quickly because it condensed more work into a given time. It also builds the capillary beds and mitochondria. Yes, those are endurance components, but they’re very important to maxing out muscle size—maybe even more critical than most people realize. Why? The reason is the dominant muscle-fiber type in the biggest bodybuilders, which was discovered in

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 120 Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps) 3 x 10,8, 6 Bench presses (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Wide-grip dips (drop on second set) 2 x 9, 8(5) High cable flyes (double drop) 1 x 10(6)(4) Middle-low cable flyes (drop) 1 x 10(6) Superset Cable crossovers 1 x 8-10 Pushups (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Leg press calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 12-15 Standing calf raises (10x10 style) 5 x 15 Machine donkey raises (double drop) 1 x 12(8)(5) Hanging kneeups 1 x 15 Ab Bench crunches (10x10 style) 4 x 12 Tri-set Incline kneeups (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) 3 x 10, 8, 6 Parallel-grip pulldowns (10x10 style) 4 x 10 Tri-set Machine pullovers 1 x 8-10 Undergrip pulldowns 1 x 8-10 Rope rows 1 x 8-10 Superset Stiff-arm pulldowns 1 x 8-10 Dumbbell pullovers 1 x 8-10 Machine rows (X Reps) 3 x 8-10 Tri-set Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop) 1 x 10(6) Shrugs (X Reps) 2 x 12, 9 Superset Cable upright rows 1 x 8-10 Cable high rows 1 x 8-10 Dumbbell reverse curls 2 x 12, 9 Superset Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 12 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls 1 x 8-10 Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (10x10 style) 4 x 15 Superset Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 12 Forearm Bar wrist curls 1 x 8-10 Barbell or dumbbell wrist curls (10x10 style) 4 x 15 Dumbbell rockers (drop) 1 x 17(10)

Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back Leg extensions (warmup) Machine hack squats Old-style hack squats (10x10 style) Superset Leg extensions (drop) Sissy squats (X Reps) Leg extensions (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Hyperextensions (10x10 style) Leg curls (double drop) Leg curls (X Reps)

1 x 18-20 3 x 10, 8, 7 3 x 10 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 1 x 9-12 3 x 10-12 3 x 10 1 x 10(7)(4) 1 x 9-12

Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) 3 x 8-10 Superset Lateral raises 2 x 8-10 Smith-machine behind-the-neck presses 2 x 8-10 Forward-lean lateral raises (10x10 style) 3 x 12 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 Cable lateral raises (drop) 1 x 9(6) Bent-over lateral raises (drop) 1 x 10(8) Dumbbell close-grip bench presses (X Reps) 3 x 8-10 Decline extensions (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Tri-set Rope pushouts 1 x 8-10 Kickbacks 1 x 8-10 Bench dips 1 x 8-10 Superset Rope pushouts 1 x 8-10 Elbows-flared pushdowns 1 x 8-10 Preacher curls 3 x 8-10 Dumbbell curls (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Superset Incline curls 1 x 8-10 Undergrip pulldowns 1 x 8-10 Concentration curls (drop) 1 x 9(6) Superset Alternate dumbbell hammer curls 1 x 8-10 Cable hammer curls 1 x 8-10 Seated calf raises (X Reps) 3 x 15, 12, 9

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Model: Will Harris

After a power pyramid on chins, we’ll move to pulldowns, three sets of 10 in 10x10 style, 30 seconds of rest between sets for a density effect.




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recent research and which shocked many scientists. Comprehensive analysis showed that the experienced bodybuilders in the study had almost zero type 2B pure power fibers; their large muscles consisted only of type 1, or slow twitch, and an abundance of 2As, the fast-twitch fibers with dual capacity—both a power and endurance component. [Eur J Appl Physiol. 103(5):579-83. 2008.] The problem is that most bodybuilders train for power almost all the time. They’ve been brainwashed into believing that heavy is the only way to grow, so they miss half of the 2As’ growth potential. No wonder size gains are so sluggish.

A 10x10 program shifts the emphasis to the endurance side of the coin. That’s why most trainees get a sudden growth spurt when they switch to one. The body begins to fully supercompensate from the previous heavy training as it gets new endurance-oriented stress from the 10x10 method. Boom!—instant size surge. We both got an eight-pound muscle gain when we switched to 10x10 for that very reason.

Power-Density Checks and Balance Unfortunately, we stuck with 10x10 too long after that initial size burst. Our gains tailed off, then began to

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Muscle-Training Program 120

regress. That’s when we decided to shift to a balanced attack, PowerDensity, for complete 2A stimulation at every workout. You’ll see that in the program on page 74. For example, here’s the up-front drill for lats: We’ll do, say, chins, pyramiding the weight over three work sets so the reps drop—10, eight, six; then we’ll move to pulldowns and do a rapid-fire 3x10 sequence—in 10x10 style. It’s a customized mass attack that targets both 2A components. Notice that we’ve altered the protocol from last month, adding a set to the power pyramid and reducing the density sequence by one. We’ve done that on most bodyparts, but not all—for example, calves. Since they’re high-endurance muscles, we do only two power-pyramid

sets, then 5x15 on the density sequence—it hurts, but it works! Back to lats: After power chins and density pulldowns, we go to a stretch-position exercise like dumbbell pullovers for stretch overload and more max-force generation; then we end with drop sets or supersets on the contracted-position move, like stiff-arm pulldowns. We sometimes deviate from those last two positions, but in general the stretch work is more for power and force, while the contracted-position exercise blasts the endurance side of the 2As—another double-barreled mass attack on the key size fibers, similar to what we do up front on the midrange exercise. We started racking up gains again, which got us thinking about all of the various workout-density techniques we

could incorporate. That’s when we let out the big “D’oh!”

New Preex Views That’s right, preexhaustion was our head-out-of-our-butts realization. Actually, it was more of a rediscovery—that preex is a mass-kicking workout-density technique, maybe one of the all-time best. In the past, being enamored of max force as the key component of building muscle, we spouted off about the inferiority of preex—and we were right from a force standpoint. As we’ve explained, though, there’s more to building maximum muscle size than powering out reps with heavy weights on compound exercises. What caused our preex hex was a study showing that you don’t do jus-

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Home-Gym Program 120 Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs Low-incline presses (X Reps) Bench presses (10x10 style) Incline flyes (drop) Superset Flat-bench flyes Pushups Flat-bench flyes (drop) Donkey calf raises (X Reps) One-leg calf raises (10x10 style) Hanging kneeups (X Reps) Incline kneeups (10x10 style) Superset Full-range crunches (drop) End-of-bench kneeups

Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 10 1 x 9(6) 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 9(6) 2 x 15, 12 5 x 15 1 x15 4 x10 1 x10(8) 1 x 8-10

Workout 2: Back, Forearms Parallel-grip chins 3 x 10, 8, 6 Chins (10x10 style) 3x8 Tri-set Dumbbell pullovers 1 x 8-10 Undergrip rows (drop) 1 x 10(6) Bent-over barbell or dumbbell rows (X Reps)3 x 8-10 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (double drop) 2 x 10(7)(4) Shrugs (X Reps) 2 x 12, 9 Barbell upright rows (10x10 style) 4 x 10 Reverse curls 2 x 8-10 Reverse wrist curls (10x10 style) 4 x 15 Wrist curls (10x10 style) 4 x 15 Dumbbell rockers (drop) 1 x 17(10) Note: If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do old-style hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl

Leg extensions (warmup) Squats Old-style hack squats (10x10 style) Sissy squats Superset Leg extensions (drop) Dumbbell squats (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Hyperextensions (10x10 style) Leg curls (double drop)

1 x 20 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 10 2 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 3 x 10-12 3 x 10 1 x 10(7)(4)

Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps Dumbbell upright rows (X Reps) 3 x 10, 8, 6 Forward-lean laterals (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Incline one-arm laterals 2 x 8-10 Superset Lateral raises 2 x 8-10 Dumbbell presses 2 x 8-10 Bent-over laterals (double drop) 1 x 10(6)(4) Close-grip bench presses 3 x 10, 8, 6 Decline extensions (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Overhead extensions 2 x 8-10 Superset Kickbacks 1 x 8-10 Bench dips 1 x 8-10 Drag or preacher curls 3 x 10, 8, 6 Dumbbell curls (10x10 style) 3 x 10 Superset Incline curls 2 x 8-10 Undergrip chins 2 x 8-10 Concentration curls (drop) 1 x 10(6) Hammer curls (drop) 1 x 10(6) Seated calf raises 1 x 10-12, 3 x 12

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Model: Jonathan Lawson

Muscle-Training Program 120

Preexhaustion, going from an isolation exercise like cable crossovers to a compound move like pushups, is an almost perfect density finisher. tice to the big, midrange move when you do it second in a preex superset, after a contracted-position exercise—for example, leg extensions immediately followed by squats. You have to use less weight on squats,

and that results in less muscularforce generation on that more important of the two exercises. So much for looking at preexhaution through the max-force end of the telescope. From the density, or

endurance, end it’s very close to the top of the list. It builds muscle more through the endurance-specific pathways, as it jams a lot of work into a short period of time, specifically, with a big, compound exer-

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cise, albeit done when you’re in a fatigued state. Nevertheless, you get considerable fiber activation, along with a growth hormone surge, capillary bed expansion—which can lead to more vascularity, by the way— and mitochondria development. On the other hand, if you want to generate the most force and optimally train the power side of the 2As with a compound exercise, like squats, you should do it first, after a precise warmup, of course. If you preexhaust the target muscle first at every workout, you’ll miss out on a lot of max-force stimulation, and you won’t get nearly as much force-induced muscle growth as you should. We believe that was the biggest flaw with Nautilus-machine training routines—the programs had trainees doing preex at every workout. Abbreviated workouts performed on those tremendous innovative machines would’ve worked better and built more muscle if trainees had al-

ternated the emphasis, doing preex at one workout and then at the next doing the compound exercise first. In a way it’s like heavy/light training—a max-force-power emphasis at one workout and an endurancedensity emphasis at the next. Makes sense, but how about combining the two? That’s what we’re now doing.

Combo-to-Grow Workout We’re experimenting with combining max force and density at every workout. And we’ve recently incorporated preex into some bodypart routines. For example, instead of doing a drop set on crossovers to end our chest workout with density, we superset crossovers and pushups. The crossovers prefatigue the pecs, and the pushups drive the target muscle further into the growth zone with the help of fairly fresh triceps power—mega density with a force side effect. Nice! Or for triceps we end with a su-

perset: strict rope pushdowns and elbows-flared pushdowns. The elbows-flared version mimics closegrip bench presses, a compound move that brings the chest and shoulders into the action. We just started ending some muscle groups with preex, so we can’t report gains at this point—but from the way it feels and the pumps we’re getting, we give it two big, muscular thumbs-up. To see how our workouts are evolving, visit our training blog at For more about workout density, see the new e-program, Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout, or check out The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout, available as instant downloads at X-traordinary Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog training and supplement journals, visit One of the best-selling e-workout programs is shown below. IM

Unleash the New Bigger, Leaner You Quick Fat-Hacking, Muscle-Packing Weight Workouts, Minimal Cardio Required Fact: It takes you six hours of fast-paced cardio to burn one measly pound of fat. There’s a better way, courtesy of the bodybuilders of yesteryear— you’ll be frying fat 24/7. You can use weight training to speed fat transport and muscle up the fat-burning “machine” in your cells; plus, you’ll enhance the primary fat-burning hormone by more than 200 percent as you build muscle (you’ll get granite abs sooner, not later).

Give your physique that “wow” factor with fieldtested, science-based methods that will get you bigger and leaner faster; you’ll be proud to peel off your shirt at the beach, lake or pool to reveal the new bigger, leaner you. Choose the three-days-perweek Fat-to-Muscle Workout or the four-days-per-week version in this e-book; print it out, hit the gym, and get it done in about an hour.

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by John Hansen, Mr. Natural Olympia

Chest Stress: How Much Rest is Best? Q: I hope you can help me. I train three days a week: Monday: chest, arms; Wednesday: legs; Friday: back, shoulders. I love that routine, but a lot of times my chest feels undertrained. What can I do? A: The problem may be the chest routine you’re following, or you may be taking too much rest between chest workouts. I don’t know what stage you’re in with your training. If you’ve just started working out, you may be taking too much rest between bodypart hits. Only advanced trainers need six to seven days. I suggest that you don’t take as many rest days. For example, using your current routine, you could organize it like this: Monday: Chest, arms Tuesday: Legs Wednesday: Off Thursday: Back, shoulders Friday: Off Saturday: Begin cycle again You will train your chest (and your other bodyparts) every five days instead of every seven days. You’ll be training the muscles more frequently, so they won’t feel undertrained. I don’t know what exercises you’re using for your chest

program, but I recommend that you concentrate on the basic exercises using both barbells and dumbbells. I like to include two pressing exercises and one flye movement. Here are two good chest programs: Barbell bench presses Incline dumbbell presses Flat-bench flyes

4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 10, 8, 8

Dumbbell bench presses Incline barbell presses Incline dumbbell flyes

4 x 10, 8, 6, 6 3 x 10, 8, 6 3 x 10, 8, 8

Q: I’ve been training for two years now, mostly at my home gym, but I joined a real gym about three months ago. Ever since I got your “Real Muscle” DVD, I’ve wanted to get as big as you. I know it will take a long time, but I’m not sure if my gains are big or steady enough. I always try to stay very lean, and I’m afraid to get fat. I think that might be one of my biggest problems. Last year at about this time I ordered your book, and when it arrived, I started to follow a bodybuilding diet for the first time in my life. I started eating six meals a day, very clean, but I restricted my carbs and took in no extra fat—probably 2,500 calories a day. About a month ago I started to eat a little more. Here’s what I eat now. I started adding the avocado and olive oil for extra fat only yesterday. The peanut butter I added a month ago: Meal 1: 1 egg plus 7 whites, 120 grams oats with 12 grams raisins, 1 tablespoon olive oil Meal 2: Whey protein plus 2 egg whites plus 400 milliliters fat-free milk, 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1 fruit

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Neveux \ Model: James W. Ellis III

Only advanced trainees need six to seven days of rest between bodypart hits.

Meal 3: 180 grams chicken plus 90 grams brown rice, 45 grams avocado Meal 4 (postworkout): 1 scoop whey (continued300 on page 102) protein, milliliters fruit juice, 300 milliliters fat-free yogurt Meal 5: 1 can tuna, 40 grams fat-free cot-

Young trainees with fast metabolisms need loads of excess calories to make significant muscle gains. tage cheese, 85 grams whole-wheat pasta, mixed vegetables, 45 grams avocado Meal 6: 1 scoop whey protein, 2 egg whites, 400 milliliters fat-free milk, 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 10 grams peanut butter I also take a multivitamin each day plus 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 1 flaxseed tablet. I don’t take creatine or glutamine at this stage. That adds up to about 3,669 calories, 295 grams of protein, 422 grams of carb and 71 grams of fat. My weight is not really going up on this diet. I’m 17 years old, 5’10”, and I’ve weighed 160 for more than six months. I followed a program similar to the two-day split mentioned in your book. It looked like this: Day 1 Chest: bench presses, incline flyes, flat-bench flyes—10 sets; delts: standing dumbbell presses, upright rows—7 sets; traps: shrugs—4 sets; triceps: dips, seated extensions—8 sets Day 2, Workout 1 Quads: squats, front squats, leg presses—9 sets; hamstings: stiff-legged deadlifts, leg curls—7 sets; calves: donkey calf raises—5 sets Day 2, Workout 2 Back: wide-grip chins, seated cable rows, barbell rows, deadlifts—14 sets; biceps: lying dumbbell curls, barbell curls—6 sets; forearms: wrist curls, reverse wrist curls—6 sets; abs: 6 sets, different exercises I trained four days a week, with two days being

Neveux \ Model: Kyle Harris

1$785$//<+8*( a double split because I couldn’t train back and biceps intense enough after the leg routine. I still wasn’t seeing gains with that program, and when the winter came, I got sick three times and lost muscle. I think my immunity went down because of my double-split training and undereating. So now I’ve started to follow an advanced program—a five-day split. I’ve been on it for a week: Workout 1: chest,triceps; workout 2: quads; workout 3: lower back—deadlifts—traps, delts; workout 4: lats, biceps, forearms; workout 5: calves, hams, abs. I’m currently a noncompetitive bodybuilder, but I’m wondering what the prize money is like for natural bodybuilding contests. What is your view of my diet, and how necessary do you think a bulking phase is for me? I really want to get bigger—160 is not doing it for me anymore because of stuff like when we’re visiting my grandmother and she offers me cake and other foods I can’t eat. It creates awkward moments, especially when I’m only 160 pounds and don’t feel like a bodybuilder. What should I add to my diet when bulking? Also, do you think I could add as much size as you if I’m staying lean all the time and gaining maybe four pounds a year? I’m also unsure of my training program. Can I follow a five-day split when bulking? I like exercising each muscle to the max so that it gets sore for the next four days or so. I was thinking, though, of combining a three-day split with the five-day split. I use all of the basic exercises for six to 12 reps. A: You seem to be trying really hard to get bigger and gain weight. You’re putting a lot into both your training and your diet, and that’s great. You aren’t really doing anything wrong, but your metabolism is still very fast because you’re only 17 years old. Most guys your age are in the same situation. I have a few suggestions that you can use to start gaining weight to get bigger. First of all, I suggest that you don’t go to the gym more than four days a week. Training five days a week isn’t necessary, and cutting back to four will give you another day of rest, which is very important when you’re trying to add size. The day you train abs, calves and hamstrings can be combined with other bodyparts so you can have that day totally off. Try the following in place of the split you’re currently using: Day 1: Chest, triceps, calves Day 2: Abs, quads, hamstrings Day 3: Rest Day 4: Delts, traps, calves Day 5: Back, biceps, forearms Day 6: Rest Day 7: Rest or begin cycle again One of the keys to getting bigger with your training program is to keep getting stronger. A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle, so the stronger you can get on the basic exercises, the more mass you’ll add to your physique. Many bodybuilders use the same weight week in and week out, but if you want your physique to change, you have to force it to change by using heavier weights. That way it has to get

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1$785$//<+8*( bigger to adapt to the new workload. Another important point is to keep the sets moderate. The number of sets per bodypart you were doing in the first workout you detailed was good. You want to train all areas of the muscle for complete development, but you don’t want to do an excessive number of sets because that could lead to overtraining. Now let’s talk diet. As you probably know, diet is the main component for gaining size. No matter how hard you train and what exercises you do, if you don’t eat enough calories along with the proper proportions of macronutrients, you won’t get bigger. It’s as simple as that. I think part of the problem is that you’re afraid to really eat a lot of food because you don’t want to get fat. You said you want to stay lean all the time and only gain four pounds a year. If you choose to go in that direction, you should understand that it’s going to be a long time before you get big. At that rate of progress, it will take you five years to get up to 180 pounds. When I was your age, I wanted to be big too, but I didn’t care about staying lean. I just wanted to get as big as possible. Like you, I had a hard time getting bigger and gaining weight. I didn’t really care about getting fat because it was so hard to add weight. I was thankful for any pound I was able to add to my frame. I was training four days a week, using the basic exercises, and I was keeping the sets moderate. I was training heavy every week, using weights that would allow me to do only six to eight reps each set. Well, I couldn’t gain a pound of bodyweight despite the effort I was putting into my workouts. I remember during one eight-month period, my weight didn’t go up one pound. It wasn’t until I drastically increased the amount of food I was taking in that I started to gain weight. I was already eating a lot in order to get bigger, but it wasn’t working. I practically had to double the amount of food I was taking in to gain weight. My bodyweight was stuck at 205 pounds, and I wanted to be at 230 before I started to cut up again. I started to add foods to my diet that had more fat in them because I knew that one gram of fat contains nine calories compared to one gram of protein or carbohydrate, each of which has only four calories. I wasn’t eating foods like avocados and olive oil but rather protein foods that had more fat. I ate less chicken, fish and egg whites and substituted whole eggs, red meat and whole milk in their place. I also added some very-high-calorie protein drinks: two cups of whole milk, one egg, two scoops of protein powder, one banana and two scoops of ice cream. Processed together, it would fill up all eight cups of the blender. For breakfast I ate seven whole eggs (not just the egg whites) and made an omelet with muenster cheese. I also included three slices of whole-wheat toast with butter and honey on top. Lunch was always a half pound of lean hamburger with four slices of whole-wheat bread and more

muenster cheese—two cheeseburgers. I was purposely eating foods that were not only high in protein but also high in fats. That made my calorie intake much higher. I also included lots of complex carbohydrates each day in the form of whole-wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice. After eating like that for more than a month, I saw my bodyweight start to go up. After several months I’d bulked up to 220 from the 205 I’d been stuck at. By the end of the summer I’d gained another 10 pounds to get my weight up to 230. Honestly, at that weight I looked more like a football player than a bodybuilder. I probably went a little too far and could have stopped at 220, but I wanted to push it to the limit and see how much I could gain. By the time I finished bulking, all of my bodyparts had grown considerably in size. My arms, chest, delts, back and thighs were all bigger than ever. Even my calves got bigger from carrying around all the extra weight. When I competed again, my physique had totally changed. I’d gained mass all over, and the stringy look I’d displayed as a teenager was a thing of the past. Of course, one of the reasons that bulking program worked so well for me was that my metabolism was superfast. If I’d tried eating that many calories later in life, when my metabolism was slower, I would have added much more fat than muscle. So my advice to you would be to keep training hard and find a way to increase your calories. Don’t worry so much about adding a little fat because, with your fast metabolism, it’s going to be almost impossible to get big without adding some fat to your physique. You can always lose it later, after you gain the size you need. The next time you’re at your grandmother’s house, say yes when she offers you cake and cookies. You’ll make her happy and gain the size you’re looking for all at the same time.

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

88 OCTOBER 2009 \

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by Dave Goodin

Bikini and Bodybuilding bikini division is a good thing for physique competition. I think it will get a lot more women involved in the sport who competitive bodybuilding on many levels for many would otherwise never have stepped onstage. years. What do you think of the new bikini division When I first started competing in the early ’80s, a lot that the NPC instituted this year? Is it an insult to of women were competing in bodybuilding on the local serious bodybuilders? and state levels. Rachel McLish and Kike Elomaa were the world’s best female bodybuilders at that time. Women A: I’ve been involved with bodybuilding for 27 years training in gyms and fitness centers could see their phynow. I fell in love with the sport immediately and didn’t siques as impressive and beautiful yet attainable. That’s limit myself to just competing. After scarcely two years why so many women joined the ranks of competitive of competing, I started judging and working at contests bodybuilding on a quest to emulate those bodybuilding in various capacities. I started helping people prepare for superstars. As competitive women’s bodybuilding quickly shows with training and nutrition programs, as well as evolved and bodybuilding drugs found their way into the posing instruction. Twelve years ago I took the next big step sport, the average woman found the female bodybuilding and started promoting my own show, the NPC Texas Shredphysique either too muscular or unattainable. Participation der Classic, and let me tell you, that’s a huge undertaking. in women’s bodybuilding diminished rather quickly. Still, I’m a fan of the sport, and I attend shows just to watch. Sometime in the early 1990s fitness competition was So, yes, I’ve been intimately involved in bodybuilding for added in an effort to get more women to compete in phymany years, and I’ve seen it from many different perspecsique contests. The desired physique was toned and lean tives. but not overly muscular. The competitors wore heels in To answer your first question, I think the addition of the the physique rounds to add to the femininity of the look, and the fitness routines were elegant, graceful and very entertaining. That attracted many women who enjoyed lifting and staying lean but were not interested in having a supermuscular body. Unfortunately, the routines evolved quickly, and after several years the fitness division was so competitive that if a woman didn’t have a strong dance or gymnastics background, it was extremely difficult to place in the finals. In 2001 the NPC held the first national-level figure competition, which afforded women who didn’t have the dance or gymnastics skills but did have the physique the opportunity to compete. Figure competition has become wildly popular. At most of the contests that I’ve attended over the past few years as many (or more) figure competitors have entered as bodybuilders. With the addition of the bikini division women who didn’t see themselves as muscular enough to compete in figure are now entering shows. I’ve had more than my share of female clients who wanted to build a “figure” body but just weren’t genetically predisposed to adding the amount of muscle required to be competitive, no matter how hard they worked. It was very rewarding for From left: Aura Gallardo; Marivel Fortenberry, Dave’s current training partner; me to see some of those very same JoAnn Richie, Dave’s client and Aura’s daughter; and Rebekah Gregory, Dave’s women place in the bikini division other training partner and the ’09 Texas Shredder Classic bikini champion. this year. Now that they have an avenue in which they can be competitive, they’re much more motivated. Their training and dieting efforts have stepped up 94 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Lisa Brewer Photography

Q: I know you’ve been involved in the sport of

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to a whole new level. contest? Of course, but from what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve In my opinion the addition of seen so far, they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a chance the figure division is one of the best of winning. things that has happened to physique The only thing that irritates me competitions, and I see bikini as an about the addition of the bikini diviextension of that thread, if you will. sion is that it pushes the open menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s As a promoter I can tell you that our division even later at the night show. audiences are much bigger since I With the addition of the bikini diviadded figure to the Texas Shredder sion, I might have to wait a bit longer Classic. The more people you get to to do my routine, but I get to attend a contest, the more people look at them while Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sitare exposed to the possibilities of ting backstage, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bodybuilding lifestyle. not so bad. Is the bikini division an insult So I think the bikini to serious bodybuilders? I say no. division is great. I hope Why should we be insulted beit inspires another group cause someone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less musof women to live the cular is given the opportunity bodybuilding lifestyle. to go out onstage and be As a man I like it applauded for the effort? that more gorgeous Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard grumblings women in bikinis from some bodybuilders and high heels and figure competitors will be at the that the bikini comshows and more petitors donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to fit women in the train and diet hard world in general. the way we doâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I As a promoter I can heard the same thing expose more people when figure was instito the benefits of tuted. My response is training and nutrithat some bodybuilders tion. Quite frankly, it are so genetically gifted also gives me a chance and/or pharmaceutically to make more money enhanced that they can as a promoter. Given be competitive without the time and energy training or dieting hard. I put into my show, I (As an aside, a gentleman deserve it. from England beat me twice Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hate them in international competibecause theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re tions. What was astonishing beautiful. was that his teammates told Side note: me that he has to diet only One of my fortwo to four weeks for a mer training show.) partners, Rita Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always training to Ross, who was a be the best I can be. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very successful no point worrying about figure competitor, what anyone else has to do would routinely to prepare for a show. That leg-press 720 has no effect on me whatsopounds for sets of ever. Some figure and bikini 20 to 30 repsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d competitors train as hard as use 810 to 900 I do, diet harder and do more pounds just to cardio in preparation for stay ahead. Then their shows. I know because sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d use the same a number of my training partamount of weight Rita Ross. ners have done extremely well that I used for the in figure and bikini competitions. same number of sets and As training partners those women do reps on leg extensions, leg curls and my bodybuilding workouts. Although Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: See in most cases they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use as much Dave Goodinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blog at weight as I do, they execute the same www.IronMan hardcore exercises, sets and reps and Click work out every bit as hard as I do. Not on the blog selection only that, but they survive on about in the top menu bar. half the calories and do more cardio To contact Dave than I have to do. Those women have directly, send e-mail to TXShredder my respect. Are there women who can walk off the street and enter a bikini

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by Steve Holman

Superhero Shoulder Width Q: How can I get my shoulders as wide as possible? I want more of a bodybuilder/superhero look. A: Broad shoulders will definitely give you a more commanding appearance, but so will wearing a cape. Seriously, your shoulder width is limited by your clavicle, or collarbone, width. The good news is that you can look a lot wider even if your collarbone’s short, as long as you’ve got full, round delts. Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, had narrow clavicles, but he packed a lot of meat on his delts, and that created the illusion of width. It helped him become the best bodybuilder in the world in the early ’60s. To get that full development, you need to train the deltoid complex through its full range of motion as well as from a number of different angles. The fibers wrap around from back to front in bundles. To attack all of those bundles from their strongest leverage points, you have to do laterals at a few different torso positions as well as multijoint, or compound, work to generate maximum force. That makes a solid delt routine a bit more complex than, say, biceps or triceps. Here’s a good full-range Positions-of-Flexion delt

workout: Midrange (front-delt emphasis) Overhead presses

2 x 8-10

Midrange (side-delt emphasis) Dumbbell upright rows

2 x 8-10

Stretch (side-delt emphasis) Incline one-arm laterals

2 x 8-10

Contracted (side-delt emphasis) Seated forward-lean laterals

2 x 12-15

Contracted (rear-delt emphasis) Bent-over laterals

1 x 7-9, 1 x 12-15

Notice that your torso is at various angles, depending on the exercise, which is key to getting max-force output from all of the delt-fiber bundles that wrap around the joint. Angle of pull, or leverage, should change slightly on each exercise to get at as many delt fibers as possible, putting them in their optimal position to fire.

To attack all of those delt-fiber bundles from their strongest leverage points, you have to do laterals at a few different torso positions as well as compound work to generate maximum force. 98 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

You also may want to try de-emphasizing the presses by moving them later in the workout. For example, in the 3D Power Pyramid Program outlined in the e-guide X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, dumbbell upright rows are first, using a progressively heavier weight on each of the three work sets—that’s the power pyramid. Then you do one or two sets of the other exercises, with presses last. But aren’t presses the most important? Well, most trainees get plenty of front-delt emphasis from chest work, especially in the Power Pyramid Program; however, it’s good to include some Incline one-arm laterals provide medial- and posterior-delt-head stretch as well as a unique angle for generating force and attacking a significant number of shoulder fibers. type of overhead press to cover that position of flexion for the shoulders. Training it last will give priority to the imporant medial discover and try POF training. I want you to know that POF heads for width, as you’ll train upright rows and laterals works and that I believe in its mass-building power. I want first. you to be as motivated as possible to try it. That can make POF is very flexible, so you can see why I continually all the difference in the level of your success. Here’s a staterecommend it as a core mass-building concept—and it ment from a user that I recently received: works. In the early ’90s it was the key stimulus that helped “I’ve been using the 3D POF routine for over four my training partner, Jonathan Lawson, gain 20 pounds of months and have gotten the best results I’ve ever had. I’m muscle in 10 weeks. I’ve run his before and after photos nu18, and have seriously added to my measurements while merous times in this column, so if you haven’t seen them, losing bodyfat at the same time. My arms are now at 17 you can go to [Note: 3D Muscle inches, while my waist has gone down to 29 inches! X Reps Building is the new Positions-of-Flexion e-workout guide.] have changed my life forever also, and they will always be My apologies if I’m starting to sound like a Sham-Wow in my workouts. I plan on staying drug-free and competcommercial, but I get excited when I can help someone ing soon, as I feel like I’ve stumbled upon the Holy Grail of muscle building. Thank you!”—Sage Natvig, via Internet

Forward-lean laterals were a favorite of the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott’s, and a key tool in helping him overcome his narrow appearance.

Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

Q: I’ve heard that I should eat a slow-digesting protein before going to bed. However, if I’m trying to burn through some fat, shouldn’t I just stop eating a few hours before bed? A: As a hardgainer, I know it’s important to get protein before hitting the sack to fend off catabolism during sleep. That’s why during the fall and winter I have one or two scoops of a whey-casein protein powder, usually Muscle-Link’s Pro-Fusion, in water. Whey is fast digesting, while casein is slow, providing a trickle feed of aminos throughout the night. When spring rolls around, however, and I begin my ripping phase, I can’t afford the extra calories. My solution is to take about five branched-chain amino acid caps before bed instead. The BCAAs are the key to muscle growth, doing an excellent job of curbing overnight catabolism while enhancing fat burning. \ OCTOBER 2009 99

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&SJUJDBM0BTT 2) Don’t get carried away; sprint-based HIIT is very traumatic to joints and tendons as well as your lower-body muscles. Four to six all-out sprints should be your limit, and you should do only one or two interval sessions a week. For your other cardio workouts, use low-intensity, steady-state walking, usually after your weight workout. No glycogen in your bloodstream means you tap into bodyfat almost immediately.

High-intensity interval training is effective for burning fat, but it can be overly traumatic if you do it on a running track. Doing HIIT on an exercise bike is more joint friendly with almost the same fat-burning effects.

Q: I need to lose fat quickly, and I’ve been reading about interval cardio training. I want to try it, so how would you suggest I work it into my program? I’m using the Heavy/Light 10x10 Workout [from The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout]. A: As I’ve said on a number of occasions, high-intensity interval cardio is like doing another leg workout, so you must be cautious. For those who don’t know what HIIT is, a good example is sprinting the straightaways and walking the curves on a running track. You’re alternating anaerobic work, all-out sprints, with active rest, walking. Studies show that it’s an exceptional way to burn bodyfat for a number of reasons. The anaerobic sprints burn glycogen from your bloodstream and lower-body muscles while triggering muscle damage for postworkout fat burning. The active rest— walking the curves—helps your muscles recover between sprints and can burn some bodyfat as well. Here are a few tips to follow when incorporating HIIT: 1) Do interval cardio as far away from your leg workout as possible. For example, if you do legs on Wednesday, do your interval cardio on the weekends—or if you want to do two HIIT sessions, do one on Friday and one on Sunday.

Neveux \ Model: James W. Ellis III

3) After you’ve done all of your sprints alternated with walks, continue to walk for another 10 to 15 minutes to burn even more fat. Because the sprints have eliminated all the glycogen from your bloodstream, just as with a weight workout, you’ll tap into fat stores more quickly with low-intensity postworkout walking. 4) If you can’t handle sprinting, you can perform a less traumatic form of HIIT on an exercise bike. Pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then slowly for one minute. Alternate six to 10 times (remember, it’s less traumatic, so you should be able to handle a few more bouts than you can with running, which pounds your joints).

Keep in mind that any type of all-out training raises cortisol and adds to catabolism, or muscle cannibalism. Doing cardio on a completely empty stomach can compound that negative effect, so have a small protein drink or at least swallow some branched-chain amino acid caps before your HIIT sessions. It’s all worth the effort because the leaner you get, the bigger you look. Jonathan leans out at about 205, but he looks like he weighs 225 with all that crazy muscle detail and vascularity. Eye-popping muscle detail grabs attention like nothing else. Note: For more on interval cardio as well as fast fat-loss training, diets and eating strategies, see the e-book X-treme Lean, available at It also includes Becky Holman’s transformation story, diet and workouts. Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections beginning on pages 198 and 248, respectively. Also visit www for information on X-Rep and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM

100 OCTOBER 2009 \

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102 OCTOBER 2009 \

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A Bodybuilder Is Born—Episode 51

It’s Always

Darkest by Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Ken Yasuda


n many monumental struggles, victory has come only after defeat seemed certain and death tolls and misery reached a sickening pinnacle. Take World War II: Until things finally turned around for the Allies, the Germans and Japanese laid waste to Europe and Asia like a biblical plague, murdering and enslaving millions. In the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s, the final years before laws and amendments were passed witnessed widespread lynching, arson and other kinds of lawlessness. Even on “Star Trek: the Next Generation,” in every episode either the USS Enterprise or the entire galaxy was bound for certain annihilation until the last five minutes of the show. The solution was usually to reverse the polarity of the warp—something to that effect. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations. You’re probably not a total geek. Point is, when you’re preparing for a bodybuilding contest, you can pretty much bet that your condition will get worse before it gets better. Weeks will go by with your strict diet and cardio regimen working like a charm. The bodyfat is melting away right on schedule, and every day you can discern a new striation, a new vein or a separation between muscle groups that’s deeper and clearer than it was the day before. It’s a euphoric feeling, and it’s the reason so many of us love to compete. Watching your body change and respond is more thrilling than anything Playstation 2 or XBox ever offered. It’s probably the one training experience that fits virtually all bodybuilders into the narcissistic stereotype society has of us, mes-

Before the


merized as we are by any surface that reflects our own creation of muscular perfection. Mirrors are best, but a true narcissist can make do with car or store windows, a pool of water or perhaps the highly polished head of a bald man. I’ve even heard of bodybuilders nearly crashing their cars because they were flexing their left arm for the side mirror as they drove. I’d be particularly vulnerable to that danger, as my left arm is a half inch bigger than my right. Yes, you love the way you look more and more each day. Then it happens. At a point around three to six weeks from the date of the contest, your progress grinds to a halt. For some inexplicable reason your fat loss comes to a standstill. Worse, you may retain water from eating something with a bit more sodium than usual, and it can seem that you’re actually getting fatter. If you’re going really low on carbs, your muscles are flat and appear to have shrunk. As the contest approaches, your physique gets smaller and fatter—it’s enough to drive even the most mentally tough bodybuilders insane. With his contest three weeks out, Randy found himself living exactly that nightmare. I was working with him on his mandatory poses, forcing him to hold each one for a full 60 seconds and doing my best to calm him down as he grew more and more alarmed. “Look at that!” he shouted, causing a couple of gym members on

cardio machines to look our way. Randy noticed and couldn’t contain his irritation. “What?” he yelled at them. “Randy,” I said. “Lower your voice, for God’s sake. They’re going to kick us out of here if you keep it up.” “Where did my intercostals go?” he demanded. “They were crystalclear a couple days ago; now they’re blurry. What the f**k?!” “You’re probably just holding water,” I assured him. “Unless you’ve been eating pizza and ice cream recently.” I had my eye on the clock’s second hand. “Relax. Front lat spread.” He got into the next pose and continued his diatribe. “Pizza and ice cream? I wish! Try chicken breasts, broccoli, salmon, lettuce and other bland, boring crap.” “Wait, the frozen chicken breasts from Costco?” He grunted an affirmative. “Dude, those are loaded with sodium. No wonder you’re holding more water than Hoover Dam.” “Water or no water,” Randy said, “I’m looking worse, a lot worse. It doesn’t make any sense. I haven’t cheated on my diet, and I’ve been doing all my cardio. I should be getting leaner.” “You’d think so,” I said, “but it’s not always so simple. It’s very common to hit a sticking point in the diet where you don’t make any progress for a while, but then it all starts moving right along again. Relax. Either side, side chest.” Randy hit the shot. “So what am I \ OCTOBER 2009 103

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Roland BALKI


supposed to do? Just wait it out?” “Your metabolism has probably slowed down a bit from all the low carbs. I’d have a high-carb day tomorrow. Double your usual amount. Have those sweet-potato fries you make in your toaster-oven; you have my blessing. That should help get things going again. You’ll

A lot of guys freak out when this happens and back out of the contest, when they simply needed to stick it out. Randy wasn’t backing out. I wasn’t going to stand for it. fill out and look pumped too.” “Whole-wheat pancakes?” he perked up. “Whatever you like. Just don’t go too crazy.” The look of doubt returned to his face. “I don’t know. What about looking for another contest that’s a few weeks later; wouldn’t that be safer?” I shook my head vigorously. “No, no, no. You’re doing this one, and that’s that. I already got the day off work.” “But you’re self-employed!” “Don’t argue with me. You’ll be ready. Just have faith in the diet.” “I don’t get it. I got into shape faster last time.” “Yeah, but last time you started the diet with less

At a point around three to six weeks from the date of the contest, your progress grinds to a halt. 104 OCTOBER 2009 \

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It’s very common to hit a sticking point in the diet where you don’t make any progress for a while, but then it all starts moving right along again.

bodyfat, and you were lighter. Generally speaking, the bigger you get, the longer you’ll probably have to diet. Relax. Either side, side triceps.” Talking while holding his poses was making it much more difficult, but that was good. It was the bodybuilding equivalent of running with a weighted backpack. We finished the posing, and Randy headed off to the locker room to change. I’d been through the same trying circumstance more than once, so I knew I wasn’t just blowing smoke up his butt. He’d get over the hump. A lot of guys freak out when this happens and back out of the contest, when they simply need to stick it out. Randy wasn’t backing out. I wasn’t going to stand for it. I also wasn’t going to let him get us kicked out of the gym where we both trained and where he made his living as a personal trainer. The gym is close to my house, and I’m far too lazy to drive more than 10 minutes to train. I approached the sweet old lady who was on the elliptical trainer nearest the door, moving at roughly the same pace she probably did when perusing the fine wares of Walmart—most common garden snails could outrun her. Still, she was at the gym and moving her limbs, which is more than most seniors of her advanced age can say. I thought she’d looked shocked and horrified earlier when Randy was having his hissy fit. “Hi, ma’am, I just wanted to say I’m sorry about the hollering,” I said. “My friend was having a rough day.” “Oh no,” the old lady laughed. “I was looking because he was in his underwear, and I’ve never seen such a perfectly sculpted body before.” “In that case, hold on. I want to go get him so you can tell him that yourself.” She blushed and giggled as if she was 16 instead of 70. It was going to make both their days, and I hoped it would get Randy’s mind off how his body seemed to be changing for the worse, as that was about to turn around very soon. My protégé was going to look his best ever, whether he believed it now or not. 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

106 OCTOBER 2009 \

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The Latest on the Sunshine Vitamin and Its Amazing Effects on Your Immune System and Life Span by Jerry Brainum

Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry Sunshine on the water looks so lovely Sunshine almost always makes me high —John Denver, 1971 Picture it: a pro-hormone that not only maintains muscular strength but also reduces musculoskeletal pain. Add to that an ability to prevent cardiovascular disease and at least 17 types of cancer and boost immune response, as well as interact with more than 1,000 genes in the human body. Here’s the kicker: It’s a legal, over-the-counter steroid that will never be banned or outlawed and isn’t expensive or hard to find. It may even help maximize life span. Sound too good to be true? Au contraire, my friends, this amazing substance is none other than vitamin D. Since 1822 it’s been known that exposure to sunlight can cure rickets, a disease characterized by

bone deformities and an inability to make hardened bone. Cod liver oil seemed to help the then common childhood disease. No one at the time knew why, but exposure to sun seemed to provide a cure. By the 1930s the curative factor—known as vitamin D—was available in isolated form, vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, which is made by irradiating plant sterols with ultraviolet light. Vitamin D became a sensation, heralded as the miracle vitamin. Various products were fortified with vitamin D2, including peanut butter, soda pop, hot dogs and bread. The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, introduced a beer that contained 100 units of D2 per eightounce can. It was marketed as “the beer with sunshine vitamin D.” As other vitamins and nutrients were discovered, the notion of vitamin D providing “miraculous” effects gradually receded. After World War II an excess of vitamin D was added to milk products, causing an outbreak of vitamin D intoxication among infants and young children,

leading to a banning of vitamin D fortification of dairy products in Europe that continues to this day. Until recently, vitamin D was mostly linked to calcium metabolism. Indeed, D is key to the intestinal absorption of calcium. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, the intestine absorbs 10 to 15 percent of the calcium you eat or drink compared to the 30 percent typically absorbed in what the lab coats call a vitamin D–replete state. When you need calcium, such as during growth or pregnancy and lactation, you can absorb 60 to 80 percent of calcium intake—if you also have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D’s popularity has surged lately, as mounting evidence has suggested myriad benefits associated with it. In 2007 Time listed its benefits as one of the top-10 medical breakthroughs of the year. Interestingly, vitamin D itself does nothing. It is inert until converted to its more active compounds. That was initially demonstrated in 1967. Two years later 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the active form circulating in the \ OCTOBER 2009 109

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D-Lightful If you have a vitamin D deficiency, the intestine absorbs 10 to 15 percent of the calcium you eat or drink compared to the 30 percent typically absorbed in what the lab coats call a vitamin D–replete state. blood, was isolated and synthesized. The amount in the blood, which is called calcidol, determines vitamin D status. To describe calcidol as “active” is actually a misnomer, as it requires one more change to become fully active. In the kidneys and other tissues, calcidol is hydroxylated, or enzymatically converted to 1-a-dihydroxyvitamin D3, also known as calcitriol, the active-hormone form in the body. Indeed, it’s a steroid hormone because it’s derived from cholesterol. Calcitriol interacts with vitamin D receptors throughout the body and modifies the activity of more

White people in bathing suits who expose themselves to the summer sun for 30 minutes can initiate the release of 50,000 units of vitamin D into the blood within 24 hours of exposure.

Calcitriol is the active-hormone form of vitamin D in the body. Indeed, it’s a steroid hormone because it’s derived from cholesterol. 110 OCTOBER 2009 \

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D-Lightful Sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or more reduce D production by 99 percent.

than 500 genes, which explains the widespread health properties of “activated” vitamin D. You’d think that vitamin D would be the easiest of all nutrients to obtain, since it can be synthesized in the skin from sun exposure between 10 a.m and 3 p.m. White people in bathing suits who expose themselves to the summer sun for 30 minutes can initiate the release of 50,000 units of vitamin D into the blood within 24 hours. For those with tans, that goes down to 20,000 to 30,000 units; and 8,000 to 10,000 units in dark-skinned people. Using an SPF8 sunblock lotion reduces the production of vitamin D by 95 percent; sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or more reduce it by 99 percent.

Vitamin D is produced when ultraviolet light reacts with 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. It’s self-regulating, which means you can’t experience vitamin D toxicity from sunlight. After it’s produced in the skin, vitamin D is pulled into the blood by special vitamin D–binding proteins located in the skin capillaries. The liver then converts it into 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Several factors influence how efficiently your body produces vitamin D after sun exposure. Aging affects how much of the skin precursor of vitamin D—7-dehydrocholesterol— exists. A 70-year-old has less than 25 percent of the capacity to produce vitamin D as a healthy young adult.1 Since sunscreens block UV rays, those who apply copious amounts of sunscreens can be at risk of having less vitamin D. So can black people, who require five to 10 times more sunlight than whites to produce it. Those who have lots of bodyfat also have a problem. Vitamin D becomes sequestered in fat cells and is used for metabolic needs. The obese can increase their blood levels of vitamin D by only 50 percent compared to those who have normal or lower amounts of bodyfat.2

Living at higher latitudes, which have longer winters, also means you have increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. The turning point occurs at 37 degrees latitude, or about the location of Atlanta, Georgia. Various studies show a link between living at latitudes above that and the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. For 90 to 95 percent of people, their main source of vitamin D is sun exposure. What about vitamin D from food sources? It’s scarce. You can find some in oily fish, including mackerel, salmon and herring, which also supply omega-3 fats. Cod liver oil has 1,360 units per tablespoon. Sun-dried mushrooms give you 400 to 500 units of D per serving. Shiitake mushrooms dried in the sun give you 21,400 units per 100 grams. Eggs contain 20 units—only in the yolk, by the way, which bodybuilders often discard. Eight ounces of fortified milk or orange juice gives you 98 units of D.

Animal studies show that excess alcohol intake increases the activity of enzymes in the kidneys that prematurely degrade the circulating form of D. 112 OCTOBER 2009 \

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114 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Neveux \ Model: Moe El Moussawi

One thing to avoid is too much alcohol. Animal studies show that excess alcohol intake increases the activity of enzymes in the kidneys that prematurely degrade the circulating form of vitamin D. So regular intake of alcohol can predispose you to a vitamin D deficiency.3 You could take vitamin D supplements, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s controversial too. Many science papers assert that vitamin D2â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the form synthesized by exposing plant ergot or sterols to UV lightâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is far less effective than the D3 form found in food and synthesized from sun exposure. It seems that D2 raises calcidol levels less effectively, binds less to vitamin Dâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;binding proteins in the blood and has a shorter shelf life than D3.4 A more recent analysis, however, showed that vitamin D2 is as effective as D3 in maintaining calcidol.5 Vitamin D3 supplements, by the way, are made by irradiating 7-hydrocholesterol obtained from lanolin, thereby duplicating the process of how humans synthesize vitamin D from sunlight exposure.

Despite the apparent ease of obtaining the vitamin, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become increasingly recognized that many people are deficient in it. D-deficient groups include, for example: â&#x20AC;˘ 32 percent of doctors and medical students â&#x20AC;˘ 40 percent of the U.S. population â&#x20AC;˘ 42 percent of young black women of child-bearing age â&#x20AC;˘ 48 percent of girls nine to 11 years old â&#x20AC;˘ 76 percent of pregnant mothers, as well as 81 percent of the children born to them â&#x20AC;˘ 80 percent of nursing home patients Recent studies show that being deficient in vitamin D can adversely affect life span. The best blood count for calcidol is 30 to 60 nanograms per milliliter, and not maintaining that is linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death.

Yet 41 percent of men and 53 percent of American women have less than 28 nanograms per milliliter of blood. In one recent study, 13,331 subjectsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; blood vitamin Dâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;collected between 1988 and 1994â&#x20AC;&#x201D;was analyzed, then tracked through 2000.6 The group with the lowest D levels had a 26 percent greater rate of death from any cause than those with the greatest blood vitamin D. Another study found that low levels of D are linked to increased death rates from any causeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and that those low in D had more internal inflammation and oxidative cellular damage.7 Those studies follow the publication of a study that found a relationship between low vitamin D and premature mortality.8 A study of 2,100 female twins, aged 17 to 79, found that higher vitamin D levels were linked to improved genetic measures of lifelong aging and chronic stress. Researchers measured the length of telomeres, which are the ends of chromosomes, in white blood cells. As cells divide, telomeres shorten,






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D-Lightful Another recent study found that low amounts of both activated vitamin D and hormonal D led to increased death from heart failure and sudden cardiac death. More than 40 percent of the U.S. population are D-deficient. and when the telomeres disappear, the cell stops dividing and dies. Longer telomeres are associated with both longer life span and decreased inflammation. The twins who had more blood vitamin D also had longer telomeres.9

Vitamin D and the Heart Researchers exposed patients with high blood pressure to ultraviolet radiation three times a week for three months. Blood counts of 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased by 180 percent, along with a return to normal blood pressure. Another recent study found that low amounts of both activated vitamin D and hormonal D led to increased rates of death from heart failure and sudden cardiac death.10 That isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hard to understand when you consider that heart muscle cells contain vitamin D receptors. Animal studies have demonstrated that vitamin D protects against heart enlargement and dysfunction. While the heart enlarges just like other muscles with exercise, that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t considered dangerous, but when it enlarges due to high blood pressure, the eventual result is often heart failure. Vitamin D helps prevent that through suppressing substances produced in the kidneys that cause high blood pressure, as well as through reducing the activity of genes that are linked to heart enlargement. While blood pressure tends to rise with age, which is linked to heart failure and strokes, one study showed that vitamin D reduces that age-associated risk of hypertension.11 Vitamin D helps modulate risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. For example, it helps control smooth muscle proliferation in arteries that predisposes you to atherosclerosis. Vitamin D also

Vitamin D is scarce in the food supply. You can find some in oily fish, including mackerel, salmon and herring, which also supply omega-3 fats. Cod liver oil has 1,360 units per tablespoon. Sun-dried mushrooms give you 400 to 500 units per serving. lowers inflammation, another root cause of cardiovascular disease, and prevents thrombosis, the formation of the internal blood clots that are the immediate cause of most heart attacks and strokes. Animals that are specially

bred to produce an excess of an enzyme that breaks down active vitamin D develop big-time atherosclerosis.12

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D-Lightful A study of 1,739 offspring of participants (average age 59) in the widely cited, long-term Framingham (Massachusetts) heart study found that those with blood vitamin D below 15 nanograms per milliliter had twice the risk for a cardiovascular â&#x20AC;&#x153;eventâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;heart attack, heart failure or strokeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;compared to those who had more blood vitamin D. Even when the researchers adjusted for such traditional cardiovascular risk factors as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, the risk was still 62 percent higher in those low on vitamin D. Only 10 percent of the participants showed blood vitamin D in the optimal range.13 Another study found that doubling the blood vitamin D cut heart attack risk by half.14 The subjects were 454 men, aged 40 to 75, who had a history of nonfatal heart attack or heart disease. Data from the men were compared to 900 healthy men who had no history of heart disease. Those who had vitamin D counts of 15 nanograms or less were 142 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than men with normalâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;30-nanograms-per-milliliterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;levels. That held true even after other factors, such as omega-3 fat intake, family history of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, bodyfat, alcohol intake, exercise and cholesterol were adjusted for. Next month Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discuss vitamin Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anticancer connection and its effect on bodyfat and bodybuilding.

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Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: Jerry Brainum has been an exercise and nutrition researcher and journalist for more than 25 years. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worked with pro bodybuilders as well as many Olympic and professional athletes. To get his new e-book, Natural Anabolicsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Nutrients, Compounds and Supplements That Can Accelerate Muscle Growth Without Drugs, visit

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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1 Holick, M.F., et al. (1989). Age, vitamin D, and solar ultraviolet. Lancet. 11:1104-1105. 2 Wortsman, J., et al. (2000). Decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 72:690-

693. 3 Shanker, K., et al. (2008). Chronic ethanol consumption leads to disruption of vitamin D3 homeostasis associated with induction of renal 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1). Endocrin. 149(4):1748-56. 4 Houghton, L.A., et al. (2006). The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. Amer J Clin Nutr. 84:694-7. 5 Holick, M., et al. (2008). Vitamin D2 is as effective as D3 in maintaining circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. J Clin Endocrin Metab. 93(3):677-81. 6 Melamed, M.L., et al. (2008). 25hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of mortality in the general population. Arch Intern Med. 168:1629-1637. 7 Dobnig, H., et al. (2008). Independent association of low serum 250 hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dehydroxyvitamin D levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arch Intern Med. 168:1340-1349. 8 Autier, P., et al. (2007). Vitamin D supplementation and total mortality. Arch Intern Med. 167:1730-1737. 9 Richards, J.B., et al. (2007). Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 86:1420-1425. 10 Pilz, S., et al. (2008). Association of vitamin D deficiency with heart failure and sudden cardiac death in a large cross-sectional study of patients referred for coronary angiography. J Clin Endocrin Metab. 93(10):3927-35. 11 Judd, S.E., et al. (2008). Optimal vitamin D status attenuates the ageassociated increase in systolic blood pressure in white Americans: Results from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Clin Nutr. 87:136-41. 12 Kasuga, H., et al. (2002). Characterization of transgenic rats constitutively expressing vitamin D-24-hydroxylase gene. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 297:1332-1338. 13 Wang, T.J., et al. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 117:503-511. 14 Giovannucci, E., et al. (2008). 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the risk of myocardial infarction in menâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 168:1174-1180. IM

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RET RO Role Model How Iron Dad Clark Bartram Forges Family and Physique—at 45

by Steve Holman

Photography by Michael Neveux


ou’ve no doubt seen Clark Bartram’s face and physique on countless fitness-magazine covers. He’s got that all-American appeal and attainable muscle size that attract men and women alike. He’s a former military man, the United States Marine Corps, and a family man who’s a master at keeping it all in perspective—with a smile on his face. Clark’s wife, Anita, and two children, Taylor, 17, and Mitch, 13, keep Dad in line and training hard. He has to stay in shape to keep up with them! In his younger competitivebodybuilding days it was all about getting big. These days his training is customized to keep him at an appealing muscular peak and maintain a focus on antiaging and longevity—and that’s what we’re here to talk about. Q: What motivates you to train hard these days? A: Several things actually. I’ll list them in no particular order because they are all equally important. 1) You see the main reason in the accompanying family photo. I want to be able to run with my daughter, play football with my son and keep up with my wife for a very long time, so being fit and healthy obviously

helps a ton. 2) I think Jack LaLanne said it best: “I can’t die; it would be bad for my reputation!” I feel the same way. If I let myself go, it would be horrible for my reputation. I’ve built an entire carer on this statement: “I’m Clark Bartram, and I’m always in shape.” 3) Because of the example I am to so many people, I feel so blessed to have opportunities like these, and I take my place in the fitness community very seriously. We all know how people respond to you when you have a good physique, and I use that as a platform to motivate and encourage others. 4) Vanity. I would be a liar if I didn’t admit that I enjoy being in shape and the attention it brings. 5) If I’m not in shape, I don’t eat. Many of my deals, businesses, contracts and relationships in business revolve around my being fit. I’m obviously not going to be able to live off my physique forever, but I’ll ride it out as long as I can. 6) I think we all owe it to ourselves to take care of the body we have been given. Too many people, in my opinion, take a healthy body for granted, and I don’t want to be one of them. 7) Energy. If I don’t work out consistently, I feel horrible.

I imagine if I sat here long enough, I could come up with several more reasons why training hard is important to me, but I think what I’ve said so far sums it up pretty good. Q: How is your training different now from what it was in your 20s and 30s? Do you still lift heavy? A: Heavy. That’s a relative term now, isn’t it? In relation to how I trained 10 to 15 years ago, no, I don’t train heavy. In relation to how I feel sometimes, yes, I train heavy. Seriously, I use moderate weight, close to perfect form and a nice tempo so I feel every fiber as I move through the exercise. I’ve become very keen about knowing my body over the past 25 years or so—I know exactly what I need in relation to weight, angles, tempo, exercises, duration, time under tension and anything else that relates to really benefitting from every rep. Back in the day it was all about how much I could bench, how long I lifted and if I puked when I was done—or, better yet, made someone else puke. Now I’m all about quality time in the gym, maximizing every repetition and not necessarily losing my breakfast. But it’s still fun to make other people blow chunks!

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The Bartrams: Mitch, Clark, Anita and Taylor. \ OCTOBER 2009 127

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Clark Bartram Q: What’s your bodypart split? A: Typically, I train one bodypart each day of the week and do an ancillary part like calves or abs. I do one bodypart per day: Monday, chest; Tuesday, back; Wednesday, legs; Thursday, shoulders; Friday, arms; weekends, off. I’ve been doing that type of routine for many years now. I think that getting rest between bodyparts is especially important as we age. I could do those long, hard routines if I wanted to, but wisdom overcomes vanity and stupid passion for lifting. Q: Do you have set bodypart routines, or do you just wing it when you hit the gym? A: Wing it, baby! I fly by the seat of my pants. As I mentioned earlier, I’m very instinctive, and I don’t want to get caught up in some “routine.” The word even sounds boring to me—routine. I love variation and the ability to select as I feel the necessity. Sometimes I’ll stay on one exercise for my entire session. Let’s use bench press for example. If it’s feeling good, and I’m into it, I might stay there for 10 sets or so, then hit the door.

I think that many people get caught up in a program and don’t allow themselves the freedom to enjoy the ability to pick and choose. I even blow off the gym for weeks at a time and either do nothing at all or something totally different yet very demanding. The gym, the weights or a program is not the only way to develop a great physique. I was doing jujitsu for a while. I do plyometrics at my house, flip tires occasionally, do kettlebell training with my friend Dmitri Sataev. I’m actually considering becoming GS–certified through It’s a great diversion from typical weightlifting, and it has its place in a routine for sure. When I train with Dmitri, I’m

A: No, not really. Occasionally my partner will have to give me a bit of a spot, but not intentionally. I just wore out before I intended to. I can remember when I used to get all fired up before a set and push till there wasn’t anything left. Then I’d make my partner pull it off me 10 times more. I’m not really sure how effective that was, to be totally honest. I have to believe it was because I was trying to prove myself to every other knucklehead in

pushed outside my limitations because he makes me do things I would never do on my own. He pushes me by challenging me, and that really gets me fired up, so I have to prove myself, and I have great workouts as a result—and there isn’t a bench press in the whole gym! I would highly recommend that anyone train with this guy if you are in or around the San Diego area or you’re planning a visit. It’s Russian hell! Q: Do you train to failure? And how about intensity techniques like supersets, forced reps and drop sets? Do you ever use them?

“Typically, I train one bodypart each day of the week and do an ancillary part like calves or abs. I’ve been doing that type of routine for many years now.” 128 OCTOBER 2009

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the gym. Bodybuilding and weight training in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s were a lot different from what they are today. We had some amazingly fun times in the gym with some seriously interesting characters. I remember Saturday squat sessions where about five to seven of us would open Family Fitness Center early, pull up a bench, grab the knee wraps and chalk, have a trash can close by for when the first guy would puke, and squat and laugh for hours. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see that anymore, and I sometimes miss that camaraderie that was developed around challenging each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manhood in a fun, loving way. If you couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t squat 405 for 20 reps, you were the official weight racker! Q: Ah, laughing and puking. Those were the good old days. How about cardio? How often and what do you do? A: I do cardio after every weightlifting session. I typically do 20 minutes or more on the StepMill. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll often join in on a Spin class, and in the evenings, if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m getting ready for something, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll add sprinting. I actually blew my calf out pretty good doing the shoot for this article. Most guys probably wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t admit that, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pretty open and honest. I was sprinting with my daughter, and Michael Neveux, photographer extraordinaire, asked me to do â&#x20AC;&#x153;one more.â&#x20AC;? As I was speeding down the track at a world-record pace, I heard and felt a nasty pop. Man, did that hurt. I tell you all of that to say this: I honestly thought I was done, but, amazingly, I recovered rather quickly. Cardio is key if you want to get to that next level. I think most people just cruise on the treadmill and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to their target heart rate and never really burn fat. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always subscribed to the belief that cardio should be done after weight training, when the glycogen stores are depleted, so you can jump right into the fat-burning state. There are those who would argue with that, but it works for me.


Q: Do you warm up for each workout, or do you just do lighter warmup sets for each exercise?

A: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never really been a warmup guy in the sense of stretching. I think that stretching prior to lifting makes you weaker, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always just used a lighter weight on whatever exercise Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing. Again, back in the old days, one set on the bench with 135, and I was ready to go straight to 315 or so. Now I have to take my time and get the tendons, muscles, neck, low back and just about everything else ready to go. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partially due to the fact that I train at 5:30 in the morning, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just rolled out of bed. Q: Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the hardest thing about training in your mid-40s? A: Creativity. Honestly, lifting weights is pretty boring. Frank Zane once said to me, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lifted for the last 40 years, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pretty much bored with it.â&#x20AC;? At the time I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even acknowledge what he was saying. How could a guy who made his living from lifting weights get bored with it? Well, now I know. I know Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never stop, but figuring out how to do a biceps curl differently than I did 20 years ago is pretty difficult, so boredom is a real issue for me. Also, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve accomplished certain things in your career and a certain level of fitness, you tend to need to find different motivating factors. It used to be shows and covers for me; now I use my birthdays. I want to look better each year on that day. Shooting this cover helped spark my excitement level. I typically stay in really good shape yearround as well, so when I say â&#x20AC;&#x153;lose my motivation,â&#x20AC;? itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in relation to really taking everything to the next level to fine-tune my look. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I started doing some training outside my comfort zone. Q: Do you have any favorite supplements now that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re middle-aged? A: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been a big proponent of glutamine and glucosamine. The glutamine I use to maintain lean muscle and not go catabolic, and the glucosamine is for aching elbows. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never really been into any â&#x20AC;&#x153;designer supplements,â&#x20AC;? pro-hormones and the like. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just always depended on hard work and good food.

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Clark Bartram

“Cardio should be done after weight training, when the glycogen stores are depleted, so you can jump right into the fat-burning state.” I have tried different things over the years, but I’m not consistent enough with them. I always use a great multivitamin and occasionally I’ll dabble in products that are marketed well. Of course, I use a quality protein powder and occasionally a meal-replacement powder, but that’s about it. I’m always looking for that competitive edge, however. If I try something and it works, I’m an advocate for life. With that said, I’ve recently teamed up with Sci-Fit Nutrition. I’m not a paid endorser; I’m actually a fan of the products because I know the integrity behind how they are manufactured. I’ve been working with the company on and off for about 10 years now and have come to realize that they’re really doing

the supplement thing the right way. They have a wide variety of choices, actually the widest in the industry, so that means there is something for everyone. So I’m putting some of the products to the test. For example, being that I’m over 40, I’ll admit I need a testosterone boost, so I’m currently taking Sci-Fit’s T-Max Kit. The idea behind the product is to increase testosterone levels and increase sleep. It’s an a.m./p.m. formula, and by the looks of the ingredients, I think it’s something that will work. Trust me, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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Taylor and Mom. Exercise obviously keeps you young.

Clark Bartram Recovery is important to over-40 training as well, so I’m trying the company’s Shockwave product, as it has a great combination of glutamine, BCAAs, glucosamine and a few other ingredients that support recovery, cell volumizing, repair and things that any over-40 trainee should be concerned with.

be on a cover with their dad? We are all very active together. I play football and basketball constantly with my son. Anita and Taylor will go to the gym together or work out in our garage gym. Taylor is showing an interest in doing something related to fitness. Currently, she wants to study nutrition or physical therapy in college,

regularly, but we sometimes do. She teaches a women’s group-training class at our house. She has appeared on two IRON MAN covers with me as well as a Natural Bodybuilding cover, but she doesn’t really care about that stuff; she just does it cause I ask her to. She is as pretty as any fitness model out there, for sure.

Anita teaches a women’s group-training class.

Q: Does your family support your gym habit? A: My family is very active as well, as shown in the accompanying photos. My daughter is a great sprinter at her high school, and my son is an excellent football player. They do support me and secretly love the fact that I’m successful in my career. You know that teenage kids cannot openly admit that their parents are cool, but how many daughters get to

and Mitch wants to go to the NFL. That’s all they’ve known their whole lives, so it’s sort of odd to them if someone doesn’t have a lifestyle like mine. I’m guessing that in a few short years, when they get out on their own, they’ll appreciate what I do even more. Q: Does your wife train with you? A: Anita and I don’t train together

Q: Absolutely. I’ve been pestering Mike [Neveux] to shoot her for our Hardbody feature. What about the kids? Do you encourage them to train, or do they not have any interest? A: Now that Mitch is getting ready for high school football, he’s showing a desire to get bigger, stronger and faster, and we all know that a carefully crafted program can do that, so we will be embarking on

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Clark Bartram

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to be able to run with my daughter, play football with my son and keep up with my wife for a very long time, so being fit and healthy obviously helps a ton.â&#x20AC;?

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Clark Bartram that together soon. Taylor loves being in shape and understands how it benefits her athletic performance as well, so both of them are pretty self-motivated. I try not to be the doting father, but sometimes it’s hard not to be overly anxious trying to help them understand the long-term benefits of

carbs. I think people overreact to carbs. The body needs carbs, and they do exactly what I just described—fill out the muscle. I eat consistent, well-proportioned meals and eat clean 95 percent of the time. My philosophy is to get lean and stay lean; it’s much easier for me that way. That’s why

body needs—and get lean in the process—it’s vital that you use the help of a professional. I’ve hired nutritionists for years. It does many things—you become accountable to someone other than yourself; you’re investing money, so that should be motivation to follow through; your body is getting exactly what it needs

“When you’ve accomplished certain things in your career and a certain level of fitness, you tend to need to find different motivating factors. It used to be shows and covers for me; now I use my birthdays. I want to look better each year on that day.” lifting and eating right. It’s awesome to see your kids make informed choices on their own. It makes you feel as if you did something right in the parenting process. Q: What are your diet philosophies? Are you a low-carb guy? A: Not a low-carb guy at all—actually, the more carbs the better. I seem to get tighter and fuller with carbs and stringy and flat on low

my bodybuilding career ended. I started modeling a lot and could no longer afford to get big, get lean, get big, get lean. I went from a light heavy to a middleweight, so I figured I was going the wrong way and it was time to get out before I was a bantamweight. The mistake people make, in my opinion, is copying someone else’s nutritional regimen. In order to really understand what your

in order to get the desired result. Honestly, if you’ve never done it, do yourself a favor and get with someone for 12 weeks or so, and learn everything you can along the way. Q: So you stay lean yearround—never a bulking phase during the winter? A: I pretty much stay lean yearround. I’m think about putting on (continued on page 142) a little size,

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Clark Bartram

(continued from page 138) however.

I’ve been looking at some old photos and kinda like a fuller look in my face.

“Back in the day it was all about how much I could bench, how long I lifted and if I puked when I was done—or, better yet, made someone else puke. Now I’m all about quality time in the gym, maximizing every repetition and not necessarily losing my breakfast.”

Q: How would you change what you’re doing now to get bigger? A: It’s difficult because I always like to stay so lean, but here’s what I will and have started to do: 1) Decide to let go and gain a few pounds, which means I’ll lose a bit of definition. 2) Start using good supplementation. As I stated earlier, I’ve never been too much of a supplement guy, but now I’m putting Sci-Fit to the test, and it seems to be taking effect already. 3) Train heavier. I’m pushing myself a little harder than normal and it actually feels good once I get nice and warmed up. 4) Change my lifts. I will focus more on powerlifting moves—heavy

bench, squats and deadlifts. That basic approach works well for me because my arms and shoulders will grow as a result of pushing myself harder on basic stuff. 5) Eat more. I’m starting to eat a bit more of everything with not a whole lot of concern as to whether it’s lean or will add to or subtract from my definition. 6) Rest. Being older means I need more rest between heavy workouts. One thing I’ve noticed about aging and being lean is that if you’re too lean, you look older. The

sucked-in-face look doesn’t bode well when you’re older. That’s one reason I want a fuller look now. I just think it looks better. Also, I do miss having a bit of size. If I get to 200, with abs, at 5’9”, I’ll be good. I usually walk around at about 190 and pretty lean. At 200 and fairly lean I’ll be big but not gross, so I can still model, but my face will look healthy and not overdieted. It will be difficult; packing on muscle isn’t as easy as it was 10 years ago. Q: Can you list your typical

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Clark Bartram diet for one day? A: Sure. Meal 1: 4 ounces oatmeal with protein, flaxseed and crushed pineapple; coffee Meal 2: Canned chicken, safflower mayo and seven-grain bread; apple Meal 3: Mediterranean salad at Pita’s restaurant—tons of fresh veggies, chicken, hummus and pita. (They used to call it the Clark plate, but someone tried to eliminate my name; mentioning them should get me back on the menu!) Meal 4: Turkey tacos—fresh turkey (I usually bake a big turkey and keep it around), fresh corn tortillas and salsa Meal 5: Same as meal 2 Meal 6: Protein shake with blueberries and flaxseed oil I stay pretty basic. I don’t need much variation, so that’s a good representation of what I do all of the time unless I’m getting ready for a shoot or something that I need to be tighter for. Q: Any cheat days or cheat meals? When and what’s your favorite junk food? A: Yes, I cheat occasionally. I love a good pizza, cheesecake and Wheat Thins. I keep the cheating to a minimum unless I go on a week-long binge cycle—then look out, everyone and everything. I’ll go off the charts and eat everything in sight. Anita and the kids laugh and hide food, and Anita gets mad that I stay so lean when she’s watching me eat ice cream, pizza and anything else you could imagine. Q: What businesses, Web sites and/or supplement companies are you involved with at the moment? A: How many pages do we have? I’m always coming up with something new, starting a new project or brainstorming a new idea. You can ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I always have at least 10 irons in the fire. You have to in this industry, especially when you are an aging fitness model who can

only live off his physical prowess for so long. Here are a few: 1) I’m working with two friends launching a network marketing company called TLC, Total Life Changes. We are marketing a liquid multivitamin and a weight-loss and detox tea. You can learn more at or www.IasoTea. com. I use the products and believe in their efficacy 100 percent. The multivitamin is great tasting and very complete. It’s called Nutra Burst. The tea, Iaso Tea, is really great. Anyone will benefit from the use of this product, especially people who don’t have consistent bowel movements. Many women have a problem in that area and really need to try this product. You have nothing to lose but a few pounds of undigested gunk in your colon. A person could also generate a great income referring others to the products. I think anyone would enjoy a few extra dollars these days, especially for suggesting something that works. 2) I’m manufacturing gym equipment in China and coming out with a line of accessories—bars, agility ladders, balls and all of that PT type of stuff. Look for it soon at www 3) I’m growing my Web site with the help of a super marketing company called Incendia Media. They’re also responsible for our sister site owned by IFBB pro Jamo Nezzar, called Both sites are social networking sites dedicated to fitness and motivation and are excellent resources for aspiring fitness professionals to get their message out. We will be blowing them up this year. If anyone wants to get involved, just drop me an e-mail at Clark@ClarkBartram .com. 4) I’m working with www.Ab I personally feel this is the best abdominal product for a professional gym or for home. 5) I’ve had an endorsement contract with for years, and they are honestly the best on the market. Real guys with a real desire to sell great products, and I back them 100 percent. John, thanks so much for all you have done for me. 6) I am the director of media

relations for ISSA. I do all interviews, videos and a host of other things. If you’re looking to get certified, the ISSA is the way to go. 7) I do video production, write, speak, mentor, fitness modeling events, consult and still model. 8) Last but not least, I just finished my first co-starring role in a feature film. It’s a sci-fi thriller called “Hunter Prey.” It should be out in 2009 either in selected theaters or on the Sify Channel. It was really fun going outside of what I’ve always been known for, my body. I was covered up the whole time, and my body had nothing to do with the character I played. I’m anxious to see how it turned out, and I’ll just have to get ready for the feedback both positive and negative. The science-fiction community knows what they like and what they don’t, so they can be pretty brutal if they come across something they don’t enjoy. From being on the set and seeing the amount of production that went into the film, I’m pretty confident, however, that most people will enjoy it, and I’m positive that I’ll be proud to have been involved in making it. Please go out and see it, rent it, watch it on TV or whatever. Q: Whew! No wonder you stay so lean. You burn off every calorie you take in. One last question: Do you have any tips for middleaged bodybuilders that I—er, um, they—can use to keep gaining muscle as they age? A: I think most middle-aged bodybuilders probably have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on, but if I was addressing middle-aged beginners or casual lifters, I would say to get a good understanding of why you want to be fit. I personally feel that the motivation needs to be deeper than “looking good.” I always have people ask themselves “why” on deeper levels. Don’t be satisfied with “I want to look good”; ask yourself why you want to look good. “I want to have more energy.” Well, why do you want more energy? “I want to be able to keep up with my kids.” Why do you want to keep up with your kids? When you start getting to a deeper, heartfelt motivation, you’ll increase the odds of sticking with it. Often times those superficial goals aren’t strong enough to bolster your desire to get fit. IM

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Happy BIRTHDAY, Jack The Legendary Jack LaLanne Turns 95 Story and photography by John Balik


n June of this year I had the pleasure of spending several hours with Elaine and Jack LaLanne at their home in central California. Besides the purely social nature of the visit— Elaine and Jack are always fun to be around and very gracious hosts—I was there on a mission. Over the past several months I’ve become involved in creating a documentary on Muscle Beach. Because Jack is one of the seminal Muscle Beach characters, I wanted to hear his recollections of that time. I also wanted to interview Jack on those early days both for the documentary and for this celebration of his 95th birthday. Much has been written about Jack’s physical accomplishments, and rightly so, but I wanted more. While I’ve spoken with Jack many times over the years, I’d never actually interviewed him with a specific focus before. From the beginning—1936, when he opened his first gym in Oakland,

California—Jack has had one goal: to help people. As I heard about his own transformation from a sickly kid to gym owner, it was like watching the years peel away—he was no longer an almost-95-year-old man but an evangelist on a mission to tell the world about the magic of exercise and good nutrition. The reality is that Jack has lived his life according to his original plan—to help and inspire. His mantra: “If I can do it, anyone can.” Anyone who’s had the privilege and pleasure of hearing Jack talk about health, strength and nutrition knows what it feels like to be swept up in a tidal wave of enthusiasm for his beliefs and the people he believes he was born to help. When IRON MAN awarded Jack the Peary and Mabel Rader Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002, his 10-minute-plus extemporaneous speech earned a standing ovation from the crowd. For me Jack’s physical accomplishments are

amazing, but what he’s done with his life—dedicated to helping others by staying on message and living the message—is his legacy. He has changed the lives of untold thousands. Our conversation ranged from the serious (“What I do is help people to feel better, look better and live longer”) to the tongue in cheek (“If man makes it, I don’t eat it”). And in the same vein: “I can’t afford to die; it would ruin my reputation.” He would intersperse that with asides to Elaine and snippets of lyrics from his favorite songs. Jack sees himself as an entertainer and coach with a message whose core is truth. “Truth is truth,” he said many times that morning. “I have spent my life debunking the detractors and charlatans of nutrition and exercise. “From my first commercial gym in Oakland in 1936 my mind has always been on how I help people.” In that gym, Jack changed not only

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IRON MAN Archives

“If you believe in it, you can’t fail,” he says, adding a corollary: “You make it happen. You are responsible.”

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Elaine and Jack hit a biceps pose in their home gym. Jack invented many pieces of weight-training equipment that are still found in gyms today, like the Smith machine, leg extension and many pulley machines. And let’s not forget jumping Jacks.

Elaine is every bit the dynamo that Jack is.

lives but also perceptions. He had athletes, women, seniors and teenagers—fat and skinny, all getting a dose of truth and transforming themselves. That leads me to another of the deep currents of Jack’s character—belief. “If you believe in it, you can’t fail,” he says, adding a corollary: “You make it happen. You are responsible.” Jack not only told the truth but, as an evangelist of health, motivated people to take charge of their physical lives. The comments here cannot convey the passion and electricity of Jack’s words. He’s been preaching his truth since 1936, and 73 years later his eyes light up, and the passion flows out of him. How did it all start? Personal transformation was the key. Jack became a seeker of the truth because his life was changed, and he wanted others to share the experience in the only way possible—by transforming themselves. “I never did any of this for money,” he explains. “I love being a cheerleader—I simply enjoy helping people.” Another facet of the LaLanne philosophy: “Every day is sunny. I get up, and I say thank you.” Part of the fun of being around the LaLannes is their repartee. “I am nothing without Elaine,” is how Jack describes his marriage of more than 50 years. Elaine is every bit the dynamo that Jack is. The eyes of their staffers rolled in wonderment when I mentioned Elaine’s energy. What a wonderful team. Today Jack still works out with weights on a daily basis, along with swimming for 30 minutes “against the current” in his Endless Pool™. Even though Jack has a beautiful pool in the yard, he prefers the Endless Pool™ because of its variable current—and the fact that he can keep the water warm with very low electrical expenditure. Jack believes that swimming is the perfect complement to weight training: “Everyone should swim as part of their workout.” One last LaLanne gem: “Life is an athletic event. You are in charge of the score.” Happy 95th and many more. IM

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Arm Size One-Hit-Wonder 10x10 Workout by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Photography by Michael Neveux

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hat if we told you that eye-popping new arm size can be yours with only 10 minutes’ training each for your biceps and triceps? Interested? Of course you are! Guns that stretch shirtsleeves to the bursting point grab attention as nothing else can. And if you can add size with less time in the gym, even better, as there’s more recovery time for solid growth. It all comes down to a proven training method that works through supersaturation and fiber activation. In fact, legendary bodybuilding trainer Vince Gironda used a similar method to muscle up Hollywood actors in record time as well as transform a few Mr. Olympia contenders. With his 8x8 method Vince found that “muscle fibers plump out, giving you solid mass and density as a result.” And it doesn’t take much time at all—it’s efficient but intense. When it comes to arm size, we’ve found that Charles Poliquin’s 10x10

variation works better, especially when you’re doing only one exercise each for biceps and triceps. What was that? One exercise? How can you possibly get at all of the muscle fibers with only one exercise? Don’t bodybuilders need multiangular training to build as much mass as possible? Not necessarily—and not when you use a split routine similar to this: Monday: Chest, calves, abs Tuesday: Back, forearms Wednesday: Off Thursday: Quads, hamstrings Friday: Delts, triceps, biceps Weekend: Off As you can see, your biceps and triceps get heavy compound work early in the week, when you train chest and back. All those bench presses, rows, pullups and pulldowns do a great size-building number on your arms. Even pullovers hit the long heads of the triceps very hard. (If you’re not doing

pullovers for your back, you’re missing a great lat-widening stretch as well as more sweep on your triceps.) With the heavy work out of the way at the beginning of the week, you can concentrate on doing 10x10 on one key movement each for biceps and triceps on Friday. For biceps it’s barbell curls. MRI studies show that they fully light up both heads of the target muscle. Use a grip on the bar that’s slightly narrower than your shoulders, and you’ll even hit the brachialis, the muscle that snakes under your biceps and pushes it up to create peak. For triceps the 10x10 exercise is decline extensions, a.k.a. decline skull crushers. MRI studies show that the decline version fully lights up all three heads of the triceps to get you closer to total fiber activation. If you do these on a flat bench, only the long heads get full attention, with the medial and lateral heads getting only minor stimulation. Go for the decline version for


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Arm Size best efficiency of effort.

Your first few sets will be light, but your eighth, ninth and 10th will be brutal—and the pump will be extreme.

No warmup is necessary. Simply take a weight that you could get about 20 reps with, but only do 10. Control every rep—about two seconds up and two seconds down. Now rest for 30 seconds, and then do it again. Continue that process, using the same weight, until you complete all 10 sets. Remember, keep the weight under control—with no pause at the top or bottom—and just keep repping. If you chose the right weight, your first two sets will be a breeze. They’ll feel almost too light, but don’t be deceived. Your last three or four sets will be brutal. The pain and pump will be severe, and you’ll have to bite your tongue to keep the profanities from flying. If you get 10 reps on your 10th set, the weight is too light—time to add more at your next workout. You should only get eight or nine on the last two sets, and those reps should be a struggle. Don’t think for a minute that because the weight is light, your arms are not going to grow. Wait until you see them pumped to new skin-stretching proportions after your first workout. You won’t believe your eyes. Because you’re hitting biceps and triceps hard and heavy at the beginning of the week with bench presses, chins, etc., this so-called light workout is just what you need to supersaturate your arms. Try 10x10 at your next arm workout, and you’ll be a believer. About 10 minutes is all it takes—that’s not counting all the time you’ll spend staring in amazement at your engorged arms in the gym mirror. Try to tear yourself away, though. You need a recovery shake to feed those pythons. Editor’s note: For more on 10x10 training for all bodyparts, see the e-program The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout, available at www IM

Model: Ahmad Ahmad

The 10x10 Method

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After Many Life Lessons, Doug Brignole Returns to the Bodybuilding World at 49

Back Game in the

by Lonnie Teper

Photography by Michael Neveux


oug Brignole and I arrived at the third-level parking structure for our 11:30 a.m. appointment at the Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena, California, at the same time. We gazed down to the street level, where the restaurant Brix 42 occupies the space at 42 S. De Lacey Ave. I wouldn’t have blamed the former AAU Mr. Universe if he winced a bit at the view. Twenty-five years earlier, at the age of 24, he went from waiter to gym owner when he opened the doors of Brignole Fitness in October 1984 in that very space. It was a first-of-its-kind facility in Southern California, a converted turn-of-the-century red-brick livery stable with exposed beams, gray leather, beveled-glass windows and brass ceiling fans. Old meets new; retro with a modern twist. It quickly became one of the most notable gyms in the region. With business booming, Brignole was ready for his next challenge: In 1986 the 5’10”, 196-pounder, who four years earlier had captured the Mr. California overall crown, won his height class at both the Mr. America and Mr. Universe competitions. The Pasadena-native bodybuilderentrepreneur became the toast of the town. 156 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Then and now. Brignole appeared on the cover of the November 1982 Iron Man.

In the early ’90s, however, the very thing that made the gym such a grand attraction—its location— proved to be its undoing. The revitalization of Old Town in Pasadena as a commercial center brought higher rents, overcrowding, a lack of parking and other consequences of prolific growth. As Brignole says, the city outgrew the gym. The original location closed, and Doug eventually reopened a mile south. About a year later, with Doug saddled by huge debt, Brignole Fitness became a memory. A deeply depressed Brignole also lost his condo to foreclosure and moved to West Los Angeles. He says he is still haunted by the gym’s collapse. Fast-forward to the present. Brignole, after a two-year stint in Nicaragua exporting lumber, is back in California and is putting all of his energy into the fitness industry. He’s turning 50 in December but is still at his fighting weight of about 190 pounds, and his bodyfat hovers around the 6-to-7-percent mark. Yes, he’s been down—but he’s definitely not out. Welcome back, Douglas. LT: You were the typical 98pound weakling as a kid. So you joined the famous Bill Pearl’s Gym at 15 to try to change that. DB: Actually, I tried to join Pearl’s at 14—at a weight of 111—but Bill said I wasn’t old enough. So I went back a year later, at 15, but I couldn’t afford the membership of $185. Bill was kind enough to let me earn my membership by coming in on Saturdays and doing cleanup work—I scrubbed the showers, vacuumed the gym, swept the parking lot, whatever he needed me to do. Ironically, when I won the Mr. Universe title 11 years later, Bill was one of the judges. I think Bill and I were both surprised to discover that the

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“Fitness is psychotherapy for me. It’s the one thing that has never disappointed me. In fact, it seems like the only truly fair thing in life. It gives back exactly what you put in.”

day of the contest. LT: Is it true that you entered your first contest only one year after joining the gym? DB: Yes, it was the Teenage Mr. Compton—at the age of 16. A couple of my buddies at the gym saw the poster promoting the show on the gym wall and pushed me to compete. I was about 5’8” and 135 pounds then. I asked Bill whether I should enter the contest, and he said, “Why not?” So I entered it and placed second—beating out several guys who were bigger than me. I had a little bit of muscle, but mostly I was very lean. There was a reporter at that contest from a magazine called New West [which later became California]. He was there to do a story on this new phenomenon called “teenage bodybuilding.” For whatever reason, he picked me. He came over to my house, interviewed my mom and my brother, and wrote this really long, seven-page article about me—at 16! That motivated me even more. LT: How did you put together your posing routine? DB: Well, in part from looking at magazines; the poses of Ed Corney and Frank Zane inspired me, in that they were dramatic and graceful. Plus, when I was 15, I went to the 1975 Mr. America contest, which was held in Santa Monica that year, and I saw Dale Adrian, Robby Robinson and a bunch of the other greats do their routines. So I learned from watching and also by just experimenting in front of the mirror. Posing was really fun for me. LT: You went on to win the tall class at both the Teen California and Teen America in 1979. Then, in 1982, you took the mediumheight division and the overall at the AAU Mr. California. DB: Yes, the Mr. Cal was held that year at the Long Beach High School auditorium, and Kal Skalak was the emcee. In winning the overall, I beat a much larger guy, Ray York, who had won the tall division. Frankly, he scared the crap out of me when I first saw him backstage because he was so big—he outweighed me by almost 30 pounds. I only weighed 184, but I was ripped. Before the contest, when I was backstage in

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my sweat suit, some guy said to me, “Hey, the swim team is down the hall.” [LT and DB bust up] But because of my smaller bone structure, symmetry and definition, I actually looked bigger than York onstage. LT: In 1983 you made your first appearance at the AAU Mr. America in Tampa, Florida, the show Jeff King won. DB: King just blew our socks off. I took fifth in the medium-tall division—behind Rick Poston and Billy Arlen. I was devastated. I really thought I was going to win and had been thinking that the success of my upcoming gym was going to be based on me having won the Mr. America title. LT: That ended up not being the case, although you did get that title—and more—three years later. DB: Yeah, I opened the gym in

1984—a year after that Mr. America contest. Then, in 1986, I entered the AAU Mr. America contest again. It was held in Dallas, Texas, that year. I won first place in my height division but lost the overall title to Glenn Knerr. Then, two weeks later I competed for the Mr. Universe title. The show was held in Phoenix, Arizona, under an AAU/WABBA sanction. Again, I won first place in my division. The overall was won by Marlon Darton, who was the heavyweight winner. LT: Anything specific that got you intrigued by the gym business? DB: I had always admired Bill Pearl, as you know, and thought it would be really great to own my own gym. But not having studied business administration in school, I didn’t have a clue about how to do it. However, I was dating a girl

named Cheryl Berney, whose father was the president of a steel company. He asked me if I ever thought about opening up my own gym, and I told him yes but that I didn’t know how to do it. So he schooled me. He gave me a series of assignments. Basically, he walked me through the making of a business plan and a prospectus. Eventually, we decided the best way to raise the necessary funds to open the gym was by selling stock to investors, in the form of a limited partnership; I was the sole general partner, and the investors were limited partners with limited risk. I raised $115,000, and we were off and running. LT: Although I had heard a lot about you, we never met until New Year’s Eve, 1983, at Emily’s Restaurant in Pasadena. Before anybody gets the wrong idea, I

Doug Brignole’s Workout Day 1: Chest, Back, Biceps, Triceps Superset* Incline cable flyes Alternate cable rows Superset * Incline dumbbell presses One-arm dumbbell rows Superset * Butterfly machine Alternate cable pulldowns Superset * One-arm cable crossovers T-bar rows Superset Pushdowns Alternate dumbbell curls Superset Lying dumbbell extensions Seated alternate cable spider curls *Increase weight on each successive set. Day 2: Shoulders Seated one-arm lateral raises Standing one-arm cable lateral raises Horizontal one-arm lateral raises Machine one-arm lateral raises Superset Lying two-arm rear raises Standing two-arm cable front raises Superset Reverse butterfly machine Prone two-arm dumbbell front raises Superset Dumbbell shrugs Incline dumbbell shrugs

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Day 3: Legs, Abs, Forearms Tri-set Leg extensions Leg curls Standing calf raises Superset Cable squats Seated calf raises Superset Multi-hip gluteus extensions Hip-flexor raises Superset Inner-thigh machine Outer-thigh machine Superset Kneeling cable crunches Barbell wrist curls Superset Cable side bends Reverse wrist curls Tri-set Decline crunches Hyperextensions Cable trunk rotations

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Brignole says: • Each workout takes approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

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• I weight-train five days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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• No weights on Wednesdays and Sundays—although I do cardio on Sundays, usually for 30 to 45 minutes, in the form of interval training. For example, one minute of running followed by one minute of walking. Or I might do one minute of running followed by one minute of stationary bike, followed by one minute of jumping rope, followed by one minute of punching the heavy bag, then repeat.

4 x 10-8 4 x 10-8

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was there with a hot, 22-yearold, blue-eyed blond bombshell, Dandy Sandy, and you were the waiter. You were looking for investors for your gym and gave me a pamphlet, but the only thing I was interested in at the time was the menu— and getting back to my place to, ah, properly celebrate the arrival of the New Year before I fell asleep. DB: [Laughs] Well, I imagine it did sound pretty audacious, this 23-year-old kid coming up to you with this crazy idea. At least you didn’t laugh at me. But I must have seemed pretty sincere in my pursuit; I was able to convince 15 investors, including the real estate agent who negotiated my lease, the owner of the building that I leased and even my employer at the restaurant—all of them invested. LT: I remember meeting you a few weeks later at the building that would eventually become the gym and asking why in the world you would want to put a gym in the middle of such a terribly rundown area of Pasadena. You told me about the major renovation that was coming, to be called Old Town. Ironically, what started out as one of the major attractions for a gym turned into its demise. DB: Right. The area kept on growing and growing. New restaurants and stores were opening up all the time, and I ended up right in the middle of a busy metropolis. Members were soon complaining about the congestion in Old Town, saying that they couldn’t find a parking space, and they didn’t like having to pay for it when they found it. In some cases members were paying as much for parking as they were for their memberships. That was the beginning of the end. The rent for my space increased every year and was getting out of control, and several new gyms—Family Fitness [now 24 Hour Fitness], LA Fitness, Bally’s and World Gym—had all come to town and offered lower membership rates, free parking, larger facilities with more equipment, multiple locations, etc. My only hope of surviving was to move into a bigger building with ample parking and away from the

Doug Brignole’s Diet Meal 1: 7 a.m. Protein drink: 3/4 cup pomegranate and/or blueberry juice, 3/4 cup water, 3 scoops 100% whey protein, 1 large tablespoon almond butter Meal 2: noon 4 whole eggs, scrambled, 3 thin slices turkey breast, 1 cup steamed vegetables (usually mushrooms, red bell pepper, hearts of palm), 2 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese, sugar-free iced tea or coffee Meal 3: 5 p.m. Salad: 6 ounces grilled chicken or pork, 3 large scoops mixed steamed vegetables (usually broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini), 1/2 avocado, ranch dressing; sugar-free iced tea or coffee Meal 4: 10 p.m. 8 ounces pan-cooked ground beef, grilled filet mignon or grilled swordfish; lentils, red beans or black beans (sometimes as soup); salad: lettuce, tomato, 1/2 avocado, ranch dressing; sugar-free iced tea Brignole says: • This is a sample daily menu. It’s very close to what I eat every day, although I do vary it occasionally due to availability. • It could be defined as a zero-starch/zero-sugar diet that is relatively high in protein and moderate in fat. It also provides a fair amount of fiber, coming from the vegetables and legumes. • It is not a low-carb diet, however, because it includes a fair amount of carbs in the vegetables and legumes. So the absence of starches and sugars does not make it a “zero-carb” diet, but the carbs come from low-glycemic sources—which means they don’t get absorbed as quickly as starches and sugars and, therefore, don’t produce as much insulin. • It is similar to a Zone diet. It’s also similar to the Atkins diet, although more moderate. • In addition to the above menu, I snack on mixed nuts throughout the day—a mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts and macadamia nuts that I combine myself. No raisins or other fruits or candies found in so-called trail mixes. Just nuts, which provide healthful fats, fiber and protein. They help stabilize blood sugar, curb appetite and provide useful nutrients. • Overall, I take in about 2,000 to 2, 300 calories per day.

congestion of Old Town Pasadena. I found a nice 25,000-square-foot space about a mile away—twice the size of my previous gym. The new club was fantastic. We had three times more equipment, a larger aerobic room, steam rooms and much more of everything. But, despite the improvements, members wanted to pay less for their membership than they did for the smaller gym. The reason: All the other new gyms in town were offering low membership prices. To this day it kills me to think that people wanted to pay less for their membership than they paid for cable TV. They wanted low prices and no crowds, and that formula

just doesn’t work. I would still be there, running my gym in Pasadena, if enough people had been willing to pay a reasonable membership rate. LT: At 35 you had seen your dream turn into a nightmare. The gym was gone, and you had to give up your condo. You were literally out on the street and admitted you were suicidal. DB: Yes, I had a “fire sale” of my furniture, and I gave the condo back to the bank. I had no savings left because I had spent it trying to keep the club together long enough to find a buyer—which I ultimately failed to do. I also lost my sense of identity because that gym was such a big part of my life. I got a job as a

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“I really love working out— I really do. It’s always been the best therapy for me.” trainer at the Sports Club/LA [in West Los Angeles], but I was only making about $1,000 a month—not enough to meet my minimal monthly expenses of rent, utilities, car payment, insurance, gas and food. I had to get a cash advance on my credit card every month just to meet my expenses—but I couldn’t do that forever. I couldn’t even buy a CD. I was so depressed, I just wanted to die. It was all I could do to get up in the morning and survive one more day. I felt as though all my previous successes had just been a fluke. I truly believed that it had all been dumb luck, which had now run out. I even had to borrow money from friends just so I could move. LT: Well, you certainly look alive and well to me now. What got you over the hump? DB: I spoke with a doctor friend, and he suggested that I start antidepressants. So I did, and it helped quite a bit. Little by little I became more optimistic and more productive. Eventually, I didn’t need the medication anymore. But, frankly, the memory of that period still

haunts me. There are a lot of things that I would like to fix, if I’m ever able to do it. In the meantime I’m grateful to be healthy and working hard on building a better tomorrow. LT: You bounced back enough to actually get back onstage at 40. How did that happen? DB: Well, I really love working out—I really do. It’s always been the best therapy for me. And I had been training hard and getting in pretty good shape. One day, Big Will [Harris], who was working at the gym where I was a member, told me that he thought I should compete again. He said that I was in better shape than most of the younger guys who were competing—and I wasn’t even dieting yet. He kept after me, month after month, until he finally convinced me to compete in the 2000 NPC Los Angeles Championships, which were held in Culver City. I still vividly remember that day. I won first place in the light-heavyweight division, despite being the oldest guy onstage. I was thrilled. LT: Your life changed directions again a few years ago

when you packed your bags and headed for Nicaragua. DB: Yes, well—I was doing personal training, and one day one of my clients, a banker, knowing that I was fluent in Spanish, asked if I’d help him export lumber out of Nicaragua. He said that I would have to live there, but that it could be hugely lucrative. So I thought I’d give it a shot. I spent two years there, from 2005 to 2007, and it was a hell of an experience. It’s not a pleasant place to live—that’s for sure. It’s very hot and humid, and the poverty level is very high. But I learned quite a lot about the lumber business, and it was very interesting working in Spanish, dealing with a foreign government, learning about international trade, etc. I even spent a week in the jungle, sleeping in a hammock, drinking purified water from the stream, eating wild boar and watching how the lumber guys do their work. Eventually, it became more and more difficult to acquire lumber. Nicaragua had placed a number of restric(continued on page 170)

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the export of lumber, requiring that all lumber be processed into a wood product first, before being exported. That pretty much killed it. So we decided to close down the operation. But, personally, it was a great experience for me—one that I would not have been able to have any other way. It was nice returning to L.A., but I had to build my personal-training business all over again. Eventually, I got it going, and I have a whole new appreciation for the standard of living that we have here in the U.S. LT: You’re turning 50 on December 15, yet you remain in tremendous condition. Good to see your physique has held up through all the ups and downs life has brought you. DB: The truth is that without fitness, I might have ended up in the mental ward of the county hospital. Fitness is psychotherapy for me. It’s the one thing that has never disappointed me. In fact, it seems like the only truly fair thing in life. It gives back exactly what you put in. You do the work—the exercise and diet— and the results come. Plus, it’s very calming for me. It allows me to sort things out and to escape the anxiety of life for a while. So, while it may seem surprising that I’m in great shape despite almost being 50, the truth is that I am more committed to the fitness lifestyle than ever. LT: What type of training regimen do you follow these days compared to your younger

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years? DB: I’ve gotten very smart about training, as you might expect, given my 34 years’ experience. For one thing, my understanding of biomechanics has allowed me to streamline my exercises, eliminating the ones that don’t give maximum results and that cause injury and focusing only on the ones that work best. Also, I’ve learned how to be very specific about what kind of training gives the best result. So I’ve been able to target precisely the result I want without wasting time or effort. I’ve also gotten very good at manipulating my diet so that I’m never hungry but always lean. LT: What kind of diet do you use? I’ve heard you follow the no-starch theory. DB: Basically, the idea is that starches and sugars—carbohydrates that are regarded as high glycemic—tend to make the body produce more insulin, which causes additional fat storage and inhibits fat loss. So it’s best to avoid those types of carbs and eat only low-glycemic carbs. You can eat all the protein foods you want—beef, chicken, pork, fish—plus all the vegetables you want, some fruit, cheese, nuts, salad dressings, mayonnaise, olive oil and avocadoes and still stay super lean. As long as you’re avoiding breads, cereals, pastas, crackers, cookies, cakes, potatoes, rice and other foods like that, you’ll stay lean. That may sound like a difficult diet to follow, but, believe me, I don’t feel a bit deprived. You get used to it and actually learn to like it. And the reward is great. I’ve never been this lean without feeling hungry or deprived. I stay this lean yearround now. By the way, I eat pizza and ice cream and things like that one day per week—usually Saturday. LT: I used to enjoy the seminars you gave on Sundays when you had the gym. You didn’t go to college, but you sounded like a professor of biomechanics at those sessions. DB: Funny you should say that. In some of my seminars I actually had Ph.D.s in biomechanics come up to me and tell me that my seminar was excellent. They were curious because they said I had used the same terminology and the same illustrations used in the universi172 OCTOBER 2009 \

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“While it may seem surprising that I’m in great shape despite almost being 50, the truth is that I am more committed to the fitness lifestyle than ever.”

ties, but my introduction did not mention a university. I read the text books; I just didn’t go through the formal process of education or get the degree. But the understanding I have of biomechanics is pretty extensive. Even when I was 15 years old, I was making observations about biomechanics that were fairly profound. I guess some people are wired to understand some subjects—like language or music. LT: You’re working on a new book. What’s the theme? DB: It’s called Stop the Overhead Presses, and it’s primarily about biomechanics, but it includes some physiology. Basically, it’s about identifying what works and what does not work, in terms of making visible changes to your body. Some exercises contribute less benefit, and some more, to improving the way you look—and all of the exercises also pose some risk of injury. The bottom

line is that we should all be using the exercises that have high benefit and low risk—but many of the exercises that people do in the gym have a low benefit and a high risk—like overhead presses and parallel-bar dips. In short, people are wasting a lot of time and effort in the gym, doing exercises that will hurt them more than they’ll help them. LT: You rank exercises on a scale of 1 to 10, based on their effectiveness and injury potential. Give us a couple of examples. DB: I would rank an overhead press—whether it’s done with dumbbells or a barbell—a 2 or 3 on the benefit scale and 7 or 8 on the risk scale. Same with parallel-bar dips. An exercise like the hanging leg raise—which is supposedly for the abs—might rate a 1 or 2 on the benefit scale and a 4 or 5 on the risk scale. You see, even though the risk

of injury is not superhigh on the hanging leg raise, you should also consider the amount of effort it requires. Hanging leg raises are hard to do because you have to support your entire bodyweight with your arms, and they provide very little benefit to your abs. I call this a bad rate of return: too much effort, not enough reward. I’m also against many of the so-called core, or balance, exercises. I think they’re very misguided, despite their popularity. People are missing the point, and that’s what I’ll be explaining in the book. LT: Did you ever think you’d be in front of Mike Neveux’s magical lenses again? DB: I shot with Mike in 1991 and again in 2000. I was 31 and 40, respectively, and I thought that was it. I never thought I’d do physique shots again. But I had been training pretty hard and getting results that were surprising to me, given that I’m 49 years old, and I thought, what if I could do another cover for IRON MAN—27 years after the last time I appeared on the cover. So I sent John Balik some recent photos, and the next thing I knew, I got a call from Mike Neveux. LT: Where do you train people? DB: Mostly in Beverly Hills. I have a really great clientele—kind of a who’s who, which is nice. They have great stories to tell. LT: Anything else in the works right now? DB: Lots, actually. I can’t reveal too many details yet, but along with the book, I’m working on some film and television projects that might hopefully be successful. Let’s just say that I’m happy to discover that being superfit is much more marketable at 50 than it was at 30. Plus, I’m far more knowledgeable and credible now, given my extensive experience, and I’m hoping to make the most of that. LT: Nice chatting with you again. Next time, don’t stay away so long. DB: I’m not planning on going away ever again. After my two-year stint in Nicaragua, I realized that my heart is truly in the bodybuilding and fitness game, and I plan on being a part of that game for the rest of my life. 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


As a pro natural bodybuilder myself, I have a tremendous desire to see the drug-free side of the sport elevated. I want to see natural competitors treated with the respect they deserve, receiving more publicity, higher prize money (for the pros), better venues to compete in, better hotels to stay in and bigger, better shows to step onstage in. Two guys who share that vision are Dr. John Dabbs, an NGA pro bodybuilder, and his brother-in-law Marty Lotito, CEO and president of Oxbody Promotions, an organization dedicated to the betterment of drug-free bodybuilding. As natural champion bodybuilders themselves, Marty and John have been promoting two of the most hotly contested drug-free competitions in the country over the past few years: The NGA North Carolina Night of Champions and the NGA Music City Night of Champions—both held in June. I’ve been

privileged to guest-pose and/or judge at their shows, and I can say without a doubt that nobody puts on better events than those two. Everything is first class all the way, from the beautiful theaters they use as venues to the top-notch hotels for competitors to stay in to the trophies and prizes, the pump-up areas, judges, expeditors and even the free after parties. John and Marty spare no expense when they put on an event, and they understand and respect exactly what it takes to showcase the hard work each competitor puts into preparing. Plans for next year include adding another competition in Myrtle Beach and perhaps even one in South Florida, with yours truly as copromoter. Marty and John are looking to one day put together an event similar to the Arnold Classic or Olympia, complete with an expo and representatives from dozens of other sports. They also envision sponsorship from mainstream companies, such as Nike, Pepsi and IBM, which perhaps wouldn’t be afraid to get behind a bodybuilding organization whose members have truly desirable physiques, built only from hard work, food and natural supplements. Way to go, guys.

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>DVD Review: Branch Warren’s “Unchained: Raw Reality” Shot by the one and only Mitsuru Okabe, “Unchained: Raw Reality” was filmed four weeks prior to the ’06 Mr. Olympia. Recorded almost entirely in black and white, the DVD takes us through five ferociously brutal bodypart workouts performed by Branch Warren at what’s become known as one of the the most hardcore gyms in the world—Metroflex, in Arlington, Texas, which is where another pretty large dude, Ronnie Coleman, trains as well. Branch and Metroflex were made for each other, as both the man and the gym are 100 percent no nonsense, all business, deadly serious and bursting with pure, raw intensity. Once a training session begins, Branch and his two training partners launch themselves into a furious battle of man against weight that’s not complete until their muscles can do nothing more than simply twitch. The mantra from beginning to end is, “What ya gonna do?” There’s absolutely no chatter between sets—only the chance to take a quick sip of water and wipe the sweat that pours off their brows as they train in 100 degree heat in a gym cooled by nothing more than a few big fans. Amazingly, even in such extreme temperatures Branch still wears a “skull” cap while lifting and does not carry around a huge jug of water the way most other pros do. I can’t even wear a baseball cap on my head when it’s hotter than 80 degrees, and I drink an entire lake when working out during the summer. My guess is that Branch is not human—he must be a “Terminator” cyborg, with skin-tight flesh simply covering it up. Is that legal in the IFBB? When Branch appears to be running out of steam during a set, he seems to get angry about it and starts moving the weight with even more ferocity, as if he’s trying to prove to it that he is the one in charge. And I’m not talking about baby weights here: 365-pound military presses for 15 reps; 495pound squats for 15 reps; 100-pound-dumbbell hammer curls for 10 reps; 180-pound dumbbell bench presses for 12 reps; 275-pound skull crushers for 10 reps; and leg presses with what must have been about 1,500 pounds for 30 reps. Like eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, Branch not only lifts ungodly amounts of weight but also does it for 10, 15 and sometimes up to 30 or more reps in a single set. That certainly shows in his physique, which is cut from the

same cloth as former Mr. O Dorian Yates. Branch not only lifts iron but truly appears to be made of it, with more muscle packed on his 5’7” frame than anyone in history at the same height. Even with all of his ridiculous mass, Branch sports a tight, flat waist—so rare these days—and enough detail, cross-striations and vascularity to satisfy the most hardcore bodybuilding fan. The two-disc set also contains bonus footage, with Branch and his gorgeous wife, Trish, giving us a tour of their beautiful home, granting a tiny peek into their personal life. In addition, you see Branch go through his mandatory poses under the watchful eye of longtime friend and consultant Ed Pariso, husband of IFBB pro Betty Pariso and copromoter of the Europa Super Show, which Branch has won. Seeing Branch pose, it seems almost unfathomable that he placed only 12th in the ’06 Olympia, as his combination of mass and condition were mind blowing at four weeks out. All in all, a great, pure bodybuilding DVD that is highly inspirational and will most certainly have you saying to yourself, “What ya gonna do?” before every set. Available at, or call (800) 447-0008.

>Broser’s Net Results Q&A The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your questions on training and nutrition. Q: This is a question probably very rarely asked by a guy, but here goes: How can I better develop my glutes? I squat and leg-press deep, but I still don’t have enough development back there to look really impressive in my side and back shots during competition. It’s not a question of leanness, as my rear gets superhard. It just needs more outer and lower development, especially where it ties into the hamstrings.

No butts about it.… Glutes matter!

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Lunges build quads and glutes. enough that your hamstrings actually touch your calves at the bottom of each rep. On leg presses place your feet high on the platform—to more strongly recruit the hams and glutes—and make sure to “bury” your quads in your chest. That’s how you’ll most efficiently engage the power of your rear. Other exercises you should include in your butt-building program are lunges in all forms, bench stepups and the abduction machine—yes, the one the gals use. One variation on the leg press that I use for carving the crevices in the side of my glutes a little deeper is the onelegged version, with my working foot turned inward at a 45 degree angle and placed toward the middle of the platform. That forces your knee to actually touch the opposite pectoral on the descent, which strongly recruits the power of the vastus lateralis, hip and side glutes to support and move the weight. Done with a full ROM and total concentration and control, that exercise will blow up the side of your thigh from the knee all the way to the hip and will give your glutes—and side thigh—a totally new, deeply developed and perhaps even striated look onstage, especially in your side poses. I performed this movement every leg-training day for the 12 weeks before my last competition, and for

the first time my rear was separated from my hamstrings crisply and completely. Now, go train your butt off. Or would that be on? Q: What do you think is a good bodyfat percentage for a natural competitor to maintain in the off-season? A: That depends on a lot of factors, such as age, metabolism and how long you like dieting for competitions. When I was in my early 20s, I could go from 14 percent bodyfat to 5 percent bodyfat in just six to eight weeks. Now that I’m 40, I would need 16 weeks to drop that much fat. I used to bulk up quite a bit in the off-season, probably going to about 15 to 16 percent bodyfat, which made me look more like a football player than a bodybuilder. These days I don’t go past 8 percent bodyfat year-around, as I prefer to see my six-pack all the time, plus I need to be in shape for work commitments. In general, I don’t really believe in bulking up anymore, even for younger guys. It just stretches out your skin—and as you get older, it doesn’t bounce back as easily—and makes getting into shape for competition much harder. I also feel that too much fluctuation in weight over and over can Eric Broser. be unhealthy. Yes, you need to add some fat in the off-season in order to gain muscle, but I see no reason to go higher than 10 to 12 percent bodyfat, which is a number that should enable you to remain looking fairly defined, while still feeling strong and highly energetic during your workouts. Just remember the old saying: “You can’t flex fat.”

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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Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

to the guys, but in today’s competitive environment, they’re just as important as any other muscle group. We have former IFBB pro Rich Gaspari to thank for that; he brought the first pair of striated glutes to the stage in the mid-1980s. Since then bodybuilding judges have looked for a well-developed and extremely conditioned rear—whether they want to admit it or not. So your question is a valuable one. You’re off to a good start by performing deep squats and leg presses; just make sure you’re going deep enough. With squats you should be descending low

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by John Little

The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer Self-Esteem Q: I’m 18 years old and have recently been reading Mike Mentzer’s books (The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer and High-

Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way). I really like the

Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

way Mike looked. I’ve always been skinny and hesitate to ask girls out on dates, as they seem to prefer more muscular guys. My thinness has affected my confidence to the point that I’m often reluctant to go out in public. If I had a more muscular body, I’m sure I could feel better about myself. Can you please give me some advice from Mike on how I could begin to build up my physique? A: Being physical creatures, we must take care of our bodies, strive to be fit and feel good about how we look. Strength training, along with proper nutrition, is definitely one of the best ways to overcome the physical and psychological suffering that often results from being underweight. The extremely underweight who have severe psychological problems should seek counseling. I recommend that to get started on a physical-training program you buy a complete weight set, including a barbell, a set of dumbbells and a bench press unit, or join a gym that encourages bodybuilding. According to Mike:

“Beginners should start with a simple program made up of basic exercises such as squats, deadlifts, rows, bench presses, dips and curls—in that order—performed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with weekends off. Perform one warmup set of seven to 10 reps with a moderate weight for each exercise, followed by just one set of six to 10 reps carried to a point of momentary muscular failure. As you become stronger, increase your rest days so that you’re training with this routine only twice a week. At that point you’ll be ready for the Ideal Routine [outlined in Mike’s books].” For information on proper exercise performance and advanced routines, continue reading Mike’s books. Nutrition is also important to overcoming an underweight condition. Mike’s counsel on that front: “Strive to eat a well-balanced daily diet that contains portions from each of the four basic food groups: 1) cereals and grains, 2) fruits and vegetables, 3) meat, fish and poultry and 4) milk and dairy products. Severely underweight individuals, or those who have a particularly hard time gaining weight, should include an extra quart of milk a day and focus on caloriedense foods like steak, peanut butter, nuts, spaghetti and ice cream.” There’s no doubt that bodybuilding will help you pack on muscle,

increase your bodyweight and help you overcome confidence and selfesteem problems. Even so, it may not be the solution to all of your problems. Let’s hear again from Mike: “Don’t fall into the trap of believing that a big set of muscles will solve all of your problems. Your self-esteem should be your highest value, and your physical appearance can affect it only to a limited degree. “Self-esteem is the result and reward of a mind fully committed to reason, a full intellectual focus and the constant active expansion of one’s knowledge and understanding. The degree to which an individual is committed to using his rational faculty to discover what’s true and good about himself will determine how much self-esteem and confidence he will possess. Once acquired, such qualities aren’t retained automatically but must be carefully protected and cultivated by advancing intellectually. “Man’s capacity for physical development has limits. His mental capacity, however, is virtually limitless. A person’s ability to think, learn and discover new and better ways to deal with reality and thus expand the range of human effectiveness is part of a road that has no end.” So by all means take up weight training and discover the joys of health, strength and a physique you can be proud of. Keep it all in a ra- \ OCTOBER 2009 187

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HEAVY Duty “Beginners should start with a simple program made up of basic exercises such as squats, deadlifts, rows, bench presses, dips and curls performed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”

Neveux \ Model: Justin Balik

tional perspective, though, and balance your life by striving to grow intellectually as well.

question I have is in regard to your suggestion to train only once every four or seven days on a four-way-split routine. That means each bodypart receives direct stimulation roughly once a month. Everything else I’ve read states that decompensation—losses in strength and muscle size—occurs within 96 hours if you don’t train a muscle again. What do you have to say?

Decompensation After 96 Hours Q: I understand the theory of high-intensity training and why intense training has to be brief and infrequent. The only

Neveux \ Models: Brenda Kelly and Robert Sager

A: I say it’s not true. Almost two decades ago Mike conducted an informal survey at Gold’s Gym, asking a dozen or so bodybuilders, including then Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, “Have you ever noticed, as I have in my training career, that after a layoff of up to two weeks you come back stronger?” According to Mike, “Every one of them answered affirmatively, but each merely glossed over the issue lightly, as if it were of no importance.” Mike didn’t gloss over it lightly, as it confirmed a notion that he’d been entertaining for some time: that many bodybuilders train too frequently. As he explained:

“The degree to which an individual is committed to using his rational faculty to discover what’s true and good about himself will determine how much self-esteem and confidence he will possess.”

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HEAVY Duty “Not only does decompensation not occur after 96 hours of rest, but training more frequently can actually result in decompensation. Many of my clients now train only once every four days—96 hours—and a few even less frequently. They’re all making regular progress, some on every set of every workout. One of my clients trains only once every seven days. It wasn’t until I reduced his training frequency to less than one workout every four to seven days that he started making any meaningful progress. “A few years ago I started training champion bodybuilder Sharon Bruneau. After her first week of three workouts, she told me she wanted to stop training for a while because she’d already seen an increase in size. She was worried she’d be too big for the Ms. Olympia. After three weeks of no training, I put Sharon through another week of three workouts. Curiously enough, she was stronger on every set of every exercise in that second series of three workouts. That meant she’d succeeded in stimulating an increase during the first series of workouts and that her body had not only produced but also maintained the increase—for three weeks. If the body does in fact decompensate after 96 hours, she would have been weaker, but she was considerably stronger after three weeks of absolutely no weight training. “Twenty years ago a very intelligent man told me, ‘Don’t believe everything you read. Ninety-five percent

“Not only does decompensation [loss of strength and muscle size] not occur after 96 hours of rest, but training more frequently can actually result in decompensation.” of what you read, on all subjects, is pure hogwash.’ Having experienced, read and learned a lot since then, I realize he was being charitable. It’s more on the order of 99 percent.” So don’t be concerned that so many “experts” claim that decompensation takes place after 96 hours of no training. Mounds of evidence

“Severely underweight individuals, or those who have a particularly hard time gaining weight, should include an extra quart of milk a day and focus on calorie-dense foods like steak, peanut butter, nuts, spaghetti and ice cream.”

point to the contrary. Instead, try reducing your training frequency. As Mike used to ask, “What have you got to lose?” 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

More Steroid Problems

He mpany and The Walt Disney Co

arst Corporation

On May 7, 2009, L.A. Dodger outfielder Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games, losing $7.7 million in salary after he admitted to having used a substance called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG. A few ill-informed reporters noted that this meant the baseball star was caught using anabolic steroids, but HCG is not a steroid. It’s a protein-based hormone most associated with pregnancy and fertility. Many pregnancy tests work by detecting higher counts of HCG, since the substance rises early in pregnancy. At one point, HCG—along with an extreme diet only of 500 total daily calories—was touted as promoting bodyfat loss. The HCG diet plan is resurrected every few years, despite the absence of scientific evidence for its effectiveness. The question: Why would a professional male athlete use the stuff? The answer: HCG is very similar to luteinizing hormone, which is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. LH is involved in female fertility but also controls testosterone synthesis in the Leydig cells of the testes. Bodybuilders have injected HCG—it’s a protein, so it must be injected—to kick-start their own testosterone production after extended anabolic steroid regimens. Doctors also use it to treat men who have used steroids and have depressed testosterone levels after getting off the drugs.

The implication is that Ramirez used HCG following an anabolic steroid regimen. Somehow, admitting to the use of HCG rather than steroids seems less severe, although there is little other reason for a healthy athlete to use it. The whole matter is moot, as the Los Angeles Times reported that Ramirez was suspended because his testostosteroneto-epitestosterone ratio was 4-to-1, 1-to-1 being the normal ratio. That means that he likely did use testosterone injections. The steroids-in-sports issue is subject to heated controversy. In one corner you have a group that sees nothing wrong with using performance aids, noting that there are rarely any medical complications from their use among healthy athletes. That, of course, avoids the ethical issue: that using steroids and other so-called performance drugs is a blatant form of cheating and detracts from the nobility of being an athletic champion. On the other hand, no drug alone can produce a champion. Training, skill and genetic makeup all play prominent roles in determining who rules the athletic roost. Indeed, if we were to literally follow the rule of no unfair advantage, we’d ban athletes born with certain genetic mutations from all sports competitions: those born minus genes that code for myostatin; those born with ACTN3 mutations; those with mutations in the ACE enzyme and so on. Although athletes with those mutations are without a doubt “natural,” they possess advantages over athletes not as genetically gifted. Rare as they are, complications arising from steroid use do occur. Perhaps the primary problem in that regard is that some people may have occult medical problems that become evident following their use of steroids. Complications can range from cardiovascular disease to more benign conditions, such as hair loss and acne. The medical literature often reports on case studies showing adverse effects of anabolic steroids, but no scientist in his or her right mind would think that a case study proves a cause-and-effect relationship between steroid use and medical complications. Rather, the studies are meant to alert physicians to potenNo drug alone can tial


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produce a champion. Training, skill and genetic makeup all play prominent roles.

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v problems. So what follow are a few recently reported case studies involving anabolic steroid use. The connection between anabolic steroids and blood clotting is controversial. The majority of serious adverse effects, including a few deaths, have involved cardiovascular complications. Most heart attacks and strokes are initiated by a clot that occludes an artery in a heart with blood vessels already narrowed by atherosclerosis. A few bodybuilders have had minor heart attacks and strokes, although a direct cause and effect has never been established between those symptoms and anabolics. One study showed that high-dose testosterone injections increase hematocrit, or concentration of red blood cells.1 Thicker blood increases the risk of internal clot formation and boosts the risk of stroke. The higher the dose of testosterone, the greater the effect on hematocrit. High doses can also raise blood pressure, lower protective high-density lipoprotein and adversely affect heart muscle structure. Those effects, however, are offset by the good nutrition and exercise practices of most bodybuilders and athletes, which explains why you rarely see them dropping dead from heart attacks or strokes. But there can be exceptions. A 19-year-old bodybuilder showed up at a medical clinic with a significant swelling of his left leg.2 He was otherwise healthy and had no family history of abnormal clotting. Tests revealed that the swelling resulted from a clot, which was treated with anticoagulants. The same man returned to the clinic two years later, this time complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain and fever and spitting up blood. Those are signs of a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lung, which can rapidly prove fatal. He was again given anticoagulants but woke up in the morning with nausea and headache. That proved to be caused by a subdural hematoma, or blood clot on the brain. Further tests showed that he had a genetic deficiency of protein C, which protects against excess clotting. It turned out that the bodybuilder used high doses of Dianabol. When asked how much he took, he replied, “Usually a handful”; it came in five-milligram tablets. That reminds me of the time I witnessed a well-known bodybuilder casually gulp down an entire bottle of Anavar following dinner by just pouring the pills into his mouth like candy. The point is, this guy wasn’t aware of his clotting problem, which was likely accentuated by his use of Dianabol. Fortunately, he received treatment in time and survived with no complications. Would he have had the pulmonary embolism without using steroids? Difficult to

Doctors attributed his problems to his high blood calcium and his steroid use. Curiously, abnormal elevation of blood calcium is almost never observed in athletes who use anabolic steroids.

High-dose steroid use can raise blood pressure, lower protective high-density lipoprotein and adversely affect heart muscle structure. say, but the fact that he had no clotting problems prior to using the steroid does suggest some involvement. Another case ended more tragically. An autopsy on a 29-year-old man found dead in his house discovered that he had used large doses of the anabolic steroids nandrolone, a.k.a. Durabolin, and testosterone.3 You recall the normal ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone is 1-to1. This guy showed a 35-to-1 ratio. The cause of death proved to be rare: pulmonary peliosis, characterized by blood-filled cysts in his lungs, which resulted in massive internal hemorrhage and lung collapse. An earlier case of pulmonary peliosis in a steroid user involved a hospitalized man given Anadrol long-term to treat anemia. (Anabolic steroids are no longer used to treat that particular condition, which is a complication of kidney failure.) Most cases of peliosis in steroid users occur in long-term users, such as hospitalized patients, and happen in the liver. Steroids have, however, been implicated in a few deaths of unhospitalized people, such as the Austrian professional bodybuilder who died several years ago of massive internal bleeding. While liver enzyme abnormalities are common in those on high-dose oral regimens, peliosis hepatitis, as the liver version of the disease is called, is rare. Another case study links steroid use to multiorgan damage in a 24-year-old man who worked out regularly and didn’t drink alcohol.4 He did, however, inject himself three times a week with testosterone for two months prior to his reported symptoms. His diagnosis was acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, acute kidney failure and elevated blood calcium. Doctors attributed his problems to his very high blood calcium and his steroid use, although the precise amount of testosterone he injected wasn’t disclosed. Curiously, abnormal elevation of blood calcium is almost never observed in athletes who use anabolic steroids. A recent report involving two young men, aged 21 and 30, attributed their acute kidney injury to their use of steroids and vitamins.5 While liver and blood lipid abnormalities are common in those on high-dose steroid regimens, \ OCTOBER 2009 195

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%PEZCVJMEJOH3IBSNBDPMPHZ My talk was on the topic of how to build muscle without using drugs. After my presentation, though, the players gathered around to ask me about “the best steroid cycles.” kidney problems are rare. A 1994 case study described a 26-year-old man who developed severe cholestasis—failure of bile circulation due to liver inflammation—and acute kidney injury after using a veterinary form of stanozol, or Winstrol. The swelling was thought to have caused his kidney problem. A 1999 report documented similar problems in another young man who used Dianabol. He recovered rapidly after being treated with a drug used to promote bile flow in his liver. In the more recent cases the two men were also taking a veterinary supplement containing massive amounts of vitamins A, D and E. The extreme dose of vitamin D resulted in high blood calcium, which produces volume depletion and constriction of the blood vessels in the kidney and, often, kidney damage. Calcium deposits in the kidneys can lead to renal failure. While vitamin D is more often in short supply in most people’s diets, these guys were taking 17,500,000 units once a week. The suggested dose for vitamin D is between 2,000 and 4,000 units daily, and exposure to sun for 30 minutes can produce 10,000 units of D in the skin. No wonder they had kidney problems. Despite the obvious cause of the men’s problems, the doctors writing the case study attributed their kidney problems to the excessive vitamin intake and anabolic steroids, though the steroids weren’t named. They appear to have based that conclusion on the few reports of kidney problems related to steroid use. Trouble is, most of the prior studies also involved liver problems, and none involved massive, possibly toxic, intake of fat-soluble vitamins. Anabolic steroids here were more than likely innocent bystanders. While recent headlines about steroid use in sports have focused on baseball, football has been linked to steroid use for years. When you compare the size of today’s pro football players with those of years past, you have to wonder what’s going on. I was asked to give a talk to pro players at a meeting of the National Football League Players Association 22 years ago. My talk was on the topic of how to build muscle without using drugs. After my presentation, though, the players gathered around to ask me about “the best steroid cycles.” They all claimed not to want to use drugs, but since most were linemen, they felt the drugs were a necessary evil for the size they needed to successfully compete. A recent study surveyed 2,552 retired football players about their competitive use of anabolic steroids.6 Of the responding players, 9.1 percent reported having used steroids. As I found, most were line players, with 16.3 percent of offensive-line and 14.8 percent of defensive-line players using. The retired pros reported a variety of musculoskeletal injuries that they linked to drugs, including disk herniations, knee injuries, elbow injuries, neck injuries, spine injuries and foot, toe and ankle injuries. Interestingly, none reported any connection between steroid use and tendon injuries. Prior studies involving animals had

shown that steroids may adversely affect tendon function. Perhaps the most famous case of a pro football player and steroids was that of Lyle Alzado. Alzado was a ferocious lineman—his famous line was, “If King Kong and me went into an alley, only one of us would come out, and it wouldn’t be the f—in’ monkey.” Years ago he wasted away from the effects of a brain tumor. Alzado attributed his disease to his 26 years of using anabolic steroids without a break. Privately, however, he felt that the tumor got legs from his use of growth hormone, which he added to his regimen when he returned to football at age 40. While some studies do implicate growth hormone in brain tumors, the effect is more theoretical than actual. Children with GH deficiency are treated with GH for years and have no increased incidence of brain tumors. I suspect that most football injuries stem from the violence inherent in the sport itself rather than from any particular drug use. Few pro football players retire without some kind of chronic injury. On the other hand, a good case can be made for the notorious “’roid rage” shown by some players, such as one guy with the same initials as a popular fruit juice.

References 1 Coviello,

A.D., et al. (2008). Effects of graded doses of testosterone on erythropoiesis in healthy young and older men. J Clin Endocrin Metab. 93:914-919. 2 Alhadad, A., et al. (2008). Pulmonary embolism associated with protein C deficiency and abuse of anabolic-androgen steroids. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. In press. 3 Vougiouklakis, T., et al. (2009). First case of fatal pulmonary peliosis without any other organ involvement in a young testosterone-abusing male. Foren Sci Int. 186(1-3): e13-6. 4 Samaha, A., et al. (2008). Multi-organ damage induced by anabolic steroid supplements: A case report and literature review. J Med Care Reports. 2:340. 5 Daher, E.F., et al. (2009). Acute kidney injury due to anabolic steroid and vitamin supplement abuse: Report of two cases and a literature review. Int Urol Nephrol. 41(3):717-23. 6 Horn, S., et al. (2009). Self-reported anabolic-androgenic steroid use and musculoskeletal injuries. Am J Phys Rehabil. 88:192-200. 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

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Leg Extensions

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SAFE , Effective Bodybuilding

The Case for Meaningful, Scientific Exercise by Roger Schwab Photography by Michael Neveux

Model: Jose Raymond


his article is a response to Ron Harris’ “Machines Are Gravy,” which appeared in the August ’09 IRON MAN. My experience with and conclusions about Nautilus machines and free weights were precisely the opposite of his. Indeed, my 40 years of experience with Nautilus machines overwhelmingly supports my conclusion. I have no delusions that my training results or those from the hundreds—perhaps, more accurately, thousands—of trainees who have learned about the benefits of honest, scientifically based exercise will ever be featured in major muscle magazines. Trainees like me couldn’t care less about the drug-enhanced mesomorphs who dominate a drug-infested sport; their personal goals are antithetical to the goals of seeking maximum strength, overall health and improved quality of life. I say that as a contributor to IRON MAN and similar journals for more than 30 years. I was personally involved with the IFBB in an administrative capacity for a decade, served as head judge of the professional division and judged several Mr. and Ms. Olympia competitions.

Mr. Harris compares Nautilus machines to gravy. Yet when properly used—which, in most cases, is never—Nautilus machines yield the most stimulating, efficient and by far safest way for everyone to train. Too strong a statement? Not when the cause and effect of progressive exercise are understood. For those of us who came of age in the 1960s, the only controversy surrounding lifting weights was whether to do it. Most coaches, let alone parents, defaulted to stereotypes, relegating weight training to narcissists of the nth degree or men with mere emptiness above their foreheads. Not to be restricted by the stereotypes, I struck out on my own, and my first step along the winding road to orthopedic disaster was a hastily researched fascination with Olympic lifting—which, at the time, consisted of the press, snatch and clean and jerk. As a 160-pound enthusiast who had no formal instruction, I became (through sheer determination if nothing else) competitive with official lifts of 225, 225 and 275—somewhat pathetic for a middleweight by national standards but medalworthy at the collegiate level. I sensed trouble when per-

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Model: Dave Goodin


ing a positive response. After trial and error, I found that the basic exercises worked best for me. The exact routine was squats, overhead presses, chinups, bench presses, bent-over rows, barbell curls and parallel-bar dips—all for three sets of 10, with the exception being squats, which I did for up to 20 reps. The results were tangible and got noticed. Still, there were specific problems. Even high-rep squats, as opposed to singles, compressed my

cervical spine. Overhead presses and rows compromised my lower back. Chins worked the biceps before fully working the lats. Likewise, dips fatigued the triceps long before the shoulders and the pecs. The paradigm of three sets led to a gradual “pacing” of the workout, instead of the necessary progression, and none of the exercises worked any muscle meaningfully in the contracted position. Enter Arthur Jones. Intrigued by the initial Iron Man article titled the “Upper-Body The Nautilus Squat,” I took my pullover machine time and tried was one of to thoroughly Arnold’s favorite understand what lat isolators. the man was talking about, which went quite a bit further than “sets and reps.” Then I put Jones’ principles into practice. Unlike Ron Harris—and, unfortunately, many, many others—I never looked back. I stimulated more muscular gains in six months than I had in all of my sincere but poorly With guidance from Jones, thought-out past. meaningful, scientific exercise With guidance finally made sense to me. from Jones, mean-

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Mozée \ Models: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer

sistent, eventually chronic lumbar pain and later X-rays detected major degeneration in my spine. Improper lifting technique? Orthopedic change inherent in quick lifts? Possibly a combination of both. In any case, I thought it best to move on to other modes of strength training, which led me to powerlifting, or from the proverbial frying pan to the fire. For the second time I leapt into the fray, without research, let alone any understanding of the concept of force and structural integrity. I was to learn, again far too late, that when imposed force exceeds structural integrity, injury must occur. Another case of improper technique? Anything is possible, but this time I correctly determined that the neurological trauma I was experiencing down my right arm was a consequence of the 400-pound-plus barbell resting on my cervical spine. (Stick with me: I’m establishing my ignorance to help build my orthopedic argument.) I was thus forced by design, if not necessarily passion, to give serious thought to a commonsense training idea—that a set of 10 repetitions might be a smarter way of going forward. It was—if for no other reason than my evolving understanding of what I was spending an inordinate amount of time on—safer, but I was in most respects still on the wrong track. Yes, I did understand, finally, that some specific exercises were better than others at stimulat-

ingful, scientific exercise finally made sense to me. Jones offered the entire field the first and still the only scientific approach to progressivestrength training. Incorporating preexhaustion, machine-based training was the key breakthrough to efficient, safe, productive exercise. Think about the concept clearly: Strict isolated exercise (as nearly as is possible to isolate a bodypart, anyway), which in most exercises can be efficiently accomplished only by using a Nautilus machine, immediately followed by a compound movement, will work the targeted bodypart more intensely and safely than any other form of training that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m familiar with. Isolating a bodypart for work is even more efficient these days with MedX machines. I also want to emphasize high intensity and low force, the preferred paradigm for those who view training as a lifelong endeavor. On a machine it can be practiced with

Heavy rows and presses, two of the best conventional exercises targeting the

upper back and shoulders, are compromised by the involvement of the weaker biceps and triceps.

a confidence that physical potential can be realized and the threat of injury minimized. Sadly, that advanced protocol is rarely practiced and seems never to have been fully understood. Those who, like me, have experienced the experience, however, also never look back. That protocol works thoroughly with every muscular structure. Natural bodybuilders must grasp the fact that when muscular systems are stimulated to respond, it is the rest following the stimulus that permits the stimulus to take effect. I specify natural because drug-enhanced bodybuilding will in the short term respond to virtually any stimulus. What cannot be overstated, of course, is that the genetically gifted, with their long muscle bellies and short tendons, will have


Model: Dan Decker


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superior response regardless of the tool, protocol, exercise form, intensity, etc. Failure to mention that has long been the M.O. of commercial interests looking to seduce enthusiasts into believing that with supreme effort anyone can become a modern-day superman. Supreme effort certainly is a prerequisite to realizing oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own physical potential, the ultimate goal; however, comparing one individual to the next is futile because of the uneven genetic playing field. Arthur Jones invented exercise machines according to the functions of the muscles. He was the first to explain that the strength of a muscle varied, often significantly, throughout its full range of motionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;thus the need for variable resistance. He pointed out, correctly, that all of the available fibers could be worked only in the contracted positionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;thus the need for meaningful resistance in the fully contracted position, a resistance not provided by the great majority of barbell exercises. Jones also taught the need for direct exercise. With standard compound barbell movements, smaller muscles will fail before you can work a larger target area as thoroughly as possible. Heavy rows and presses, two of the best conventional exercises targeting the upper back and shoulders, are compromised by the weaker biceps and triceps. If, however, Nautilus pullovers precede the rows, following the function of the lats by drawing the humerus down past the torso, and are worked to failure, your lats will be totally fatigued. Now, immediately perform your rows. For a very brief timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;mere secondsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the smaller biceps muscles will be stronger than the larger, fatigued lats, and you can bring additional fibers into play with the compound movement that you can get at in no other way. After completing those two sets, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel a pump youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never before feltâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;accomplished thoroughly and safely, with high intensity and low force, the best of both worlds. To ensure even more safety, substitute seated machine rows with chest support for the bent-over rows. Your lower back will thank you. Performing strict lateral raises before overhead presses will have the same effect, isolating the delts and then

bringing in the assistance muscles of the triceps and pecs intensely and quickly. One more example? Try doing a set of 15 strict leg extensions, followed immediately by a 15-rep set of squats. You may never forget those five minutes. Your thighs will have been worked harder than you can imagine, and since youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be forced to lessen the resistance on the squats, you will have again taken intensity to unprecedented levels while lowering the force on your spine. Jones questioned the wisdom of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;super workouts,â&#x20AC;? high-volume workouts that often approached several hours a day, sometimes seven days a week. He instead recommended the least amount of exercise that stimulates the desired results. Brief, intense whole-body workouts twice a weekâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;hard workouts where every exercise is taken to failure. No split routines, no three sets of 10, no talking between sets and letting the heart rate fluctuate up and down. Instead, one set to failure, moving from one exercise to the next, physically and mentally demanding, making fewer inroads into recovery ability and taking more time to grow. Consider the wisdom. Never again the need for standard cardiovascular work. Muscles, bones, heart and lungs thoroughly worked in the same session. If Nautilus machines are used with meaningful resistance, provided you use a full range of motion, you can obtain high degrees of flexibility. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got full functional ability in one workout. The current state of the art of fitness is, in my opinion, pitiful. The junk science trends governing training under the guise of â&#x20AC;&#x153;functional trainingâ&#x20AC;? and consisting of â&#x20AC;&#x153;explosive training,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;plyometrics,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;stability trainingâ&#x20AC;? and other equally ridiculous terms will, in the long run, not build stronger, faster athletes but will instead produce injured, potentially crippled athletes, either acutely or, most likely, chronically. Joint stress accumulates silently. Arthur Jones delivered the message 40 years ago: Train hard, but train smart. High intensity, low force, exemplified in its ultimate potential with the proper use of Nautilus machines. Ignore it at your peril. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: We will have an interview with Roger Schwab in a future issue of IRON MAN. IM

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’09 Junior California Championships

New Venue, Same Results Seibert Swell, Sunny Bright, Elena Electric

Jay Cutler and Jerome Ferguson salute Carmelo Lopez, Anthony Pomponio, Danny Seibert and Devon Schwan.

For the first time in a decade my contest, the NPC Bodybuilding.Com Junior Cal, was forced to find a new home. After 10 seasons at Pasadena City College’s Sexson Auditorium, severe restrictions regarding vendors and lobby space forced me to make the move, but it looks like the situation could have been a blessing in disguise. Competitors, sponsors and fans alike had nothing but compliments regarding the new venue, the Rosemead High School Auditorium. I hope to be back, same place, same weekend next year. Just waiting for the officials at the school to give me the thumbs-up. And the best news of all—the NPC Southern California district chairman, Jaguar Jon Lindsay, has given the okay for the event to become a national qualifier! If it all works out, the Junior Cal will become the West Coast Classic in 2010. Should know if it’s a go by the time you read this. But I digress—back to this season’s affair. As always, the show attracted a slew of outstanding competitors— with many great stories behind the stories. As I write this, Danny Seibert, the light-heavyweight and overall champ, was less than a week out from the Masters Nationals, along with Jami DeBernard, the figure C-class and masters 35-and-over tall-class champ. The overall winners in figure and bikini, Sunny Daye and Elena Andrade—Sunny also won the masters overall in figure—were prepping for the USA in Las Vegas on July 24 and 25. Ditto for Jenna Boyer, the figure B-class winner (who was sixth at the ’08 Nationals) and Tracy Gaither, the 45-and-over-division titlist—as well as others, I’m sure. Congrats to all the Junior Cal champions. Check out the complete results, plus photos, video interviews and more at www.IronMan and To earn his men’s overall title, Seibert bested heavyweight winner Devon Schwan, middleweight (and novice-middleweight and collegiate) champion Anthony Pomponio and lightweight conqueror Carmelo “the Vacuum” Lopez, who was coming off an overall victory at the West Coast Police & Fire Olympics six days earlier. Best vacuum since the days of Jumpin’ Johnny DeFendis. Lee Ann Edwards toppled the field in women’s bodybuilding, and Dan “the Hammer” Kammer edged Pomponio to win the nov-

June Munroe and Katie hail the 45-and-over figure winners (from left): Cris Wilkes, Gloria Lifsshutz, Tracey Gaither, Lorna Calvin and Jackie Ambrose.

From left: Alegra Kholey LeeAnn Edwards and Janette Leo.

Taylor Hansen.

Novice posedown (from left): Bob Yamasaki, Anthony Pomponio and Dan Hammer.

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Jim Arrington.

EXPO HIJINKS Jerome practices acrobatics Page 213

NEW HOME Tales from the last Junior Cal Pages 208 to 212

Men’s open posedown.

Danny Seibert.

Photography by Ron Avidan and Dave Liberman \ Junior Cal photography by Merv

POSTCONTEST DIET Did Reggie get the best prize? Page 211

Jennifer Culver (left) and Elena Andrade.

Sunny Daye.

Michelle Bazin.

ice overall, with Kammer (40 and over), Bob Yamaski (50 and over) and Jungle Jim Arrington (60 and over) copping masters titles. Arrington, by the way, is really an amazing dude. How does he keep getting better at 76? Kammer and Yamasaki were double winners, as Bob also took the novice-lightweight division. Pomponio was the only triple winner. And let’s not forget Taylor Hansen, a 16-year-old who made the trek from Northern California to be the only teen figure competitor. And the last for my contest, by the way. I was strongly encouraged to initiate a teen division two years ago, but with only two entries last season and one this time around, it’s bye-bye, birdie. Too bad. Hansen had the crowd buzzing with her finely toned physique. Her trip was made worthwhile, though, later in the evening when she finished fifth in a strong open B-class lineup. Needless to say, keep your eyes out for this shooting star. So, let me introduce you to Danny Seibert, Sunny Daye and Elena Andrade. Seibert is a 5’7”, 195-pound father of four who Jami De- grew up on a farm in southern Illinois and has a twin brother and Bernard. three sisters—all whom still reside back home at the family farm. The 41-year-old Danny lives in Moss Beach, California, a small town 20 miles from San Francisco off Highway 1. He says his life is simple, and he likes it that way. Married to a San Francisco firefighter, with whom he’s been for 16 years, Danny owns a cranesafety consulting business and is an operating engineer, running a 350-ton crane for Sheedy Crane, based out of San Francisco. “I’ve been doing that for 13 years, and I love it,” says Seibert. “You can check out some photos of my crane on Facebook.” Never heard a bodybuilder tell people to check out his crane, rather than his guns, so this is somewhat refreshing. “I live by old-school values,” Seibert says. “I’m always striving for excellence within myself, telling the truth, loving my friends, practicing fidelity and honoring my mother and father.” I hope you are honored to have won the last ever Junior Cal Overall Bodybuilding trophy as well, Dangerous Dan. You didn’t need a crane to get your awards back home, for sure, but the meaning is heavy duty, right? It may have been a bit dark and dreary outside (temperatures were in the low 70s, more than 30 degrees cooler than last year), but it was bright and Sunny inside the auditorium. Standing only 4’11” and weighing all of 100 pounds, the Long Beach, California, gym owner— Jenna who grew up in Chicago—is also a singer and comes Boyer. from a family of entertainers. You can see from the way the 36-year-old carries herself that she loves the stage—and visa versa. Shoot, she even brought her own mirror for the makeup room! Can you donate a few more next year so I can save some cash? And, Sunny, are we going to open the inaugural West Coast Classic with your rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” next June? In a red, white and blue suit? Hmm. One more thing—are you ready for this?—Sunny’s mother’s name \ OCTOBER 2009 209

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ADD VIDEOS—Thanks to the efforts of John and Roland Balik, we were able to capture the athletes on video backstage during the judging. Roland, who lives in Shelly Delaware, trekked west for four reasons that weekend: Campbell. to attend a seminar on video editing, to go to a classic car event in Irvine at 6 a.m., to check out, for the first time, my production and, natch, to see his pop, John, for Father’s Day. Appreciate the effort, J.B. and Roland. I know you had plenty on your plate. Like the dim sum you two and Ruthless scarfed up moments before the prejudging at a nearby eatery. Knew you’d love the new venue!

Team Tad. New dad Tad with Kiana Bernadette Inoue.

Find videos and photos from the ’09 Junior Cal at

’09 Junior Cal Honor Roll The IM crew: John Balik, L.T.,

• MVP—Most Valuable Person: Tad Roland Balik and Ruthless. Inoue. A longtime competitor who’s more recognizable these days as “Tad the Diet Coach” (, Tad had a weekend that could qualify for a segment on the old TV show “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” The Temecula, California–based Inoue brought 11 of his clients to compete and, in addition to spray-tanning his own athletes, made time to help others get rid of that Casper look. Inoue began the color transformations on Friday at the host hotel—the Rosemead Comfort Suites—and continued at the school the following morning. Normally, his wife, Bern, accompanies him to shows, but something a bit more pressing forced her to stay home this time. Like being two weeks from delivering their first child. To suggest that Inoue’s stress levels were higher than usual would be tantamount to asking if most men (and women) think Megan is a Fox. Before it was over, though, the weekend couldn’t have been more enriching if Tad had written the script himself. First off, four of Tad’s team won five crowns between them—Dan Seibert, Jenna Boyer and Jami DeBernard—and all 11 finished in the top five. Just moments after the finals were over, however, Tad was nowhere to be found; his brother Aseo came up to me and said,

Nicole Jiminez times two: with Ali Cody (below) and ready to line up.

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Photo courtesy of Tad Inoue

is Windy! I forgot to ask her if she has siblings who go by Balmy, Cloudy or Bright. To find out more about the multitalented young lady—and to hear some of her tunes—go to www Andrade had only competed once prior to the Junior Cal (she was third in her class at this year’s Orange County), but the 31-year-old now living in Compton looked like a seasoned vet in dominating the bikini competition, besting tall-class winner Jennifer Culver for the overall in the open. More interesting than her meteroric rise in the industry, though, is what Elena does for a living. She trains racehorses at Los Alamitos Race Course, near Sunny’s hometown of Long Beach. In fact, Sunny graduated from Los Alamitos High School, but the two had never met before the day of the show. To find out more about Electric Elena, check out Ruthless Ruth Silverman’s video interview with her at While you’re at it, check out all the interviews Ruth and I did at the show. We talked with some really interesting athletes with backgrounds that may surprise—and inspire—you. Especially my one-onone with Katie “the Dog” Munroe, who pulled out of the masters figure at the 11th hour despite showing up at a carved six pounds on her one-foot frame.

Trevor Tichonchuk and Jay Cutler.

L.T. honors Paul Howe.

Mike O’Hearn and Sherlyn Roy.

Dave Liberman and Linda Reho.

From left: Elsa Escobar, Oliver, June Munroe and Katie.

almost out of breath, “Tad’s wife went into labor. We have to leave for the hospital right now!” “We booked it to the hospital in Temecula in about 45 minutes,” Tad said the next day, when I was finally able to catch up with him. “She was due around July 3. When I got there, I had to wait until the next morning to receive my beautiful baby girl. Her name is Kiana Bernadette, and she weighed six pounds, 11 ounces. What a Father’s Day blessing. It was the greatest weekend of my life.” Add Inoue—At intermission, Tad and his bro grabbed all 11 members of Team Tad for a group shot. Then I noticed something fishy about the photo. That darn Carmelo Lopez had snuck into the shot! Inoue sheepishly admitted that he let the buff cop from Chula Vista, California, get in on the action “because I couldn’t locate Shelly Campbell, and I told you I had 11 competitors.” Not a bad replacement, I have to admit—Lopez finished a solid second to Seibert in the overall balloting. Since Shelly got left out, though, I’m making sure she’s included in these pages to share in the team glory. By the way, where were you, girl? In the lobby trying to get a photo with Jay Cutler? • BEST PERFORMANCE—Trevor Tichonchuk, the 11-year-old Jay Cutler fanatic provided some of the best entertainment of the night with a spot-on imitation of Jay’s posing Reggie and mannerisms. Todd Tichonchuk, Trevor’s dad, told “Snickers” me the kid actually went from 116 pounds to 99 as he “cut Johnson. up” for the cut-up performance. Find the video of Trevor and Jay at Oh, and let’s not forget Jay’s role in all of this. Now you know why I bring the two-time Mr. Olympia back every year—Jay’s the best guest poser in the sport and never flinched when I asked him to participate in the skit a couple of months back. Despite his tremendous success, Jay has never forgotten where he came from, and that’s exactly the reason he remains in such high demand by promoters the world over. As always, Cutler’s down-to-earth persona carried over to the after party (well, sort of party) at the Cheesecake Factory. We moved the chow down from the Old Pasadena branch to the one in Arcadia, much closer to the new venue—and way less crowded. Oh, before you ask: Cutler is already booked for 2010. • DOUBLE DUTY AWARD—Nicole Jiminez, who worked all day long at the Labrada Nutrition booth (with Ali Cody), as usual, and onstage as a competitor in the open and masters-35-and-over figure contests. She did herself proud, too, with a runner-up finish to Sunny Daye in the figure-A class and a third-place landing in the strong masters division. • MOST DEDICATED—Paul Howe, who was honored for his performance in 2008, when he competed in a record 13 contests, including the Junior Cal. And a guy who takes the Greyhound all the way from San Diego and enters four divisions on many occasions—the way he did at Rosemead! At 5’11” and 143 pounds, Paul likes to refer to himself as the World’s Tallest Bantamweight, but now he has a new title—and an official one at that—to be proud of. • BEST SPORT—Reggie Johnson. I mean, the guy loves the moniker “Snickers” I bestowed upon him a couple of years back and was the happiest guy in the auditorium (well, maybe second happiest behind Howe) when I handed him his trophy—a fresh-off-the-shelf candy bar. Wish more folks were like the Los Angeles–based Johnson, who doesn’t take himself too seriously and competes for the love of the game. He would have won “Best Smile” too. • GIVING BACK AWARD—This one is a tie between Michael O’Hearn and Sherlyn Roy and Dave Liberman and Linda Reho. “Titan” (seen him in the Kohl’s commercial?) and Sherlyn, who won the figure overall at the Junior Cal in 2006, donated their time to come up and \ OCTOBER 2009 211

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Gaspari Nutrition goes rock ’n’ roll? Yup. The company has signed a deal with the band Wiser Time to license its song “Revolution” for use in a series of free nutrition and fitness seminars that Gaspari is sponsoring in select stores and cities across the United States. “The focus of the tour is to educate members of the bodybuilding and fitness communities about Gaspari’s line of superior nutrition and training supplements, as well as to promote the importance and safety of the sport,” says Joseph Volgey, vice-president of marketing for the New Jersey-based firm. “I’m a big fan of music and of Wiser Time, and their song was a perfect fit to help communicate what Gaspari is doing and how exciting it’s all become.” The campaign will also extend to the Internet through a series of Webisodes and training videos. For more info on the “Revolution” tour, log on to

Maria Pernia.

MORE JERSEY-BASED NUTRITION NEWS—Maximum Human Performance began production in late June on “Buff Enough,” a documentary that will take a look at the lives and passions of nine bodybuilders, according to MPG marketing director Steve Downs. It’s “an inside look at the true essence of bodybuilding,” Downs says. “The documentary chronicles the dedication, determination and burning will of each athlete, embracing the one common goal—to be their best in the pursuit of the perfect body.” Executive producers of the project include Gerard Dente, president of MHP, and the team of Michel Shane and Tony Romano of Hand Picked Pictures. Jane Awad and

Chris Tsugranes are producers, while twotime Emmy winner Arthur Seidelman is directing. Victor Martinez, Cathy LeFrancois, Krissy Chin and Awad are among the film’s stars, and the cast includes Doug Brignole (see my interview with Doug on page 156). Find more details at In the near future I’ll tell ya about another development regarding the history of Muscle Beach that Seidelman is heading up. In the meantime, check out my video interview with Art at

ADD DOCUMENTARIES—Former Team Universe Overall champ Jeff Willet has also gotten into the film act of late, co-producing a documentary called “I Want to Look Like That Guy.” It’s the story of a man who wants to look like the guy in the fitness ads and what it actually takes to get into bodybuilding or photo shoot shape. Willet trains the fella, who goes from 30 percent bodyfat to 6 percent and places second at an NPC bodybuilding contest in Michigan. More info on the flick is available at www.IWantToLook

Richard Solomon My sincerest condolences go to Dan Solomon and his family for the loss of his father, Richard, to pancreatic cancer in June. The host of “Pro Bodybuilding Weekly” said his father, who was 66, was the strongest man he knew—up until three weeks before the unexpected diagnosis. “My dad was of a rare breed of men who put everyone else before themselves,” said Dan. “He was in the process of retiring to enjoy a long-awaited role as a grandfather. He always took great pride in my connection to the fitness and bodybuilding community. He was a good man, taken from us far too soon. Richard was a Richard and Dan longtime resident Solomon. of South Florida and was married for nearly 50 years to Dan’s mother, Barbara. Godspeed.

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Photo courtesy of Dan Solomon

Revolution: Gaspari Gets Wiser

Rich Gaspari.

Photo courtesy of Gaspari Nutrition

meet and greet the fans in the lobby, as well as present awards. I got many comments on how friendly the world’s fittest couple were. Didn’t surprise me. And, if you get to know Michael a bit better, you’ll find out the cat’s humor is off the charts. One funne-e-e dude, trust me! Dave and Linda flew all the way in—on their own dime!—from Cleveland to not only support my efforts but help out with the event. As always, Dave was snapping away with his Canon digital, and you can see the results among the accompanying photos. Letting Dave know there was an In-N-Out Burger directly across the street sealed the deal. Shoot, he even paid for the burgers and milk shakes—all 12 of them. Okay, that was over two days. • Runner-up—Texan June Munroe, in from Dallas, who was at her usual spot—meaning everywhere—all weekend taking care of too many things to mention, in exchange for expenses only. Another major key to the success of the show, to say the least. • PERSEVERANCE AWARD—This goes to me, for finally getting Maria Pernia to enter my contest. I met the striking Pernia five or so years ago at a gym in Alhambra, saw her potential and started hounding her about the show, but it wasn’t until this year that she stepped onstage—and finished a strong second to Michelle Bazen in figure D. Good job—to both of us.

UP, DOWN AND ROUND THE ’09 NPC JUNIOR CAL Photography by Ron Avidan and Dave Liberman








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Roland Balik




1) Met-Rx’s Norma Calderon and Laura Coleman. 2) Luc Andriotti and David Hughes of Gaspari Nutrition. 3) Judge Link Swinson. 4) Justin Seitz of Gold’s, Pasadena. 5) Danny Seibert catches some z’s. 6) Ron Avidan, Mark Mason and L.T. 7) Nga and Alex Azarian. 8) Dream Tan’s Mo Mohsen. 9) Chris Tsugranes of MHP. 10) Michelle Poulin and Jerome Ferguson from title sponsor 11) The packed Rosemead High School Auditorium lobby. 12) Jami DeBernard, Cori Whiting, Kristy Stabler and the peanut butter. 13) Tinkle, tinkle, little star. 14) Ron, Tony Trado and Merv. 15) L.T. and Jay Cutler.

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 \ OCTOBER 2009 213

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LONNIE T EP ER’ S Ri si n g S tars

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Photography by Merv


Pomponio Age: 21 Weight: 172 contest; 190 off-season Height: 5’7” Residence: Palm Desert, California Occupation: Full-time college student; trainer Contest highlights: ’09 NPC Junior California Championships, middleweight and novice middleweight, 1st; collegiate lightweight, 1st, and overall Factoids: He led in rushing on the Whittier College football team in 2008, averaging more than 100 yards per game; graduated with a degree in kinesiology in June ’09. Contact: apomponi@ 214 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Age: 28 Weight: 128 contest; 136 off-season Height: 5’7” Residence: Pasadena, California Contest highlights: ’09 Junior Cal, figure D, 2nd; ’09 NPC Max Muscle Naturals, figure D, 1st Factoid: Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, she is half Chinese, half Venezuelan. She came to the United States by herself in 2001, graduated cum laude from California State University Los Angeles with a B.S. in criminal justice and plans to go to law school eventually. Contact: www.Maria \ OCTOBER 2009 215

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Age: 30 Weight: 150 contest; 167 off-season Height: 5’4” Residence: Chula Vista, California Occupation: U.S. Border Patrol agent Contest highlights: ’09 Junior Cal, lightweight, 1st; ’09 Western States Police & Fire Games, lightweight, 1st, and overall; ’09 NPC California Championships, lightweight, 1st Factoid: He teaches salsa dancing and Pilates and has been given the nickname “the Vacuum” by L.T. Contact: lopecm33@

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Seibert Age: 41 Weight: 195 contest; 210 off-season Height: 5’7” Residence: Moss Beach, California Occupation: Crane operating engineer and owner of Seibert Crane Safety. Contest highlights: ’09 Junior Cal, light heavyweight, 1st, and overall; ’08 NPC Los Angeles Championships, masters 40 and over, 1st; open light heavyweight, 2nd Factoid: Married to a San Francisco firefighter, he’s the father of four. Contact: SeibertCraneSafety \ OCTOBER 2009 217

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Figoni Age: 30 Weight: 216 Height: 5’10 Residence: San Jose, California Occupation: Project manager for a software-engineering consultant Contest highlights: ’09 California Championships, heavyweight, 1st, and overall; ’09 NPC Contra Costa Championships, novice overall and men’s overall Factoid: He was a high school baseball teammate of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Contact:

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• A Show for All Ages • Club Jen • Masters Pump-pourri

&,5&8067$1&( Photography by Ruth Silverman

’ 0 9 M A S T E R S N AT I O N A L S


BABY FACE Jaws dropped when Wendy Ida came out in the 35-and-over lineup. When she won the 55-and-overs, many cynics in the press pit had to be scraped off the floor. TWEAKY PHYSIQUE After nine topfive finishes at national level shows, Marie Ann Newman finally tweaked things right to take the masters figure overall. Coming in a tad softer was easy: “Just eat a little bit more and look relaxed onstage.”

BATTLE OF THE ’BURGH On July 17 and 18, I made my first visit to the Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals, held at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel in Pittsburgh. So cool being a tourist in my own home town. Even cooler meeting the legion of fabulous females over age 35 who came there to conquer. 224 OCTOBER 2009 \

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ER, AH.... “She’s my trainer!” exclaimed Khanh Nguyen (left) after beating Judy Weichman for the masters bikini overall.


DR. SWEETHEART Newman and figure45-and-over champ Elissa Schlichter, a family practice doctor, got pro cards. Schlichter, who also won her class in the younger division, reportedly took herself out of the running for the second overall so the card would go to another athlete.

AT ISSUE The flexers went first, however. Tracy Mason (far right) earned pro status in both age divisions—and a lot of bunk from folks who thought she should have sacrificed her chance to win the prestigious 35-plus title. The problem’s with the contest, not the athlete. Find a way to give the second card to the runner-up.


BABY MUSCLE Collegiate National Bodybuilding champ Cassie Bishop is not afraid of a little lean tissue.




3 2

of her diet to bring “my best package,” she said—and take second to Mason in the middleweights. 1) Janet Kaufman adjusted the carbs right out

2) Denise Rathwick beat

breast cancer and took up bodybuilding at 50. Six years later she took on the 45and 55-plus lineups at her first national show.

and still found the time to put on 16 pounds of muscle since the ’08 USA.

4) Michelle Ivers-Brent won the heavies in two divisions but lost both big trophies to Tracy. And the longest pro-card search in 3) Wachter has four NPC\ history goes on. 225 OCTOBER 2009 kids and five grandkids

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Mark Morini.

Evelyn Rosenblatt.

MOO WHO? Has Mike Alexander turned Carol Semple into a farm girl? “He has me driving a tractor,” the fitness legend reported, giggling. “She looks damn good on it too,” declared Alexander, who took third in the 40and-over superheavies.

TAT’S ALL, FOLKS! The old guys and gals sported some spectacular art over their skin-stretching muscles. Best Tattoo honors went to Mark “Spread “Em” Morini, with Evelyn Rosenblatt slithering into the runner-up slot.

3 5 - , 4 5 - , 5 5 - A N D - O V E R Q U A R T E R -T U R N E R S 4


3) Figure’s enduring popularity. Robin Tharaldson and Lorna Calvin, whose average age is 54.5, make backstage memories. 4) Don’t look back. Jeanne Nimmer has


thought not. 1

1) Say cheesecake. Mary Dent and Brigette Pace are pump-up-room perfection. Can you guess which of these ladies is over 45? I

2) No rationalization here. Another M.D., psychiatrist Kris Curci, nabbed a trophy in the B-class. “I thought this would be a good thing to do when I turned 35,” she said.

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achieved a certain distinction in the figure ranks. No, not her close-but-no-cigar placings. She’s the first competitor ever who, when I asked her to strike her husband’s favorite pose, replied, “How about a butt shot?



MORE JAW DROPPERS Jennifer Micheli, one of IM’s favorite models of any age, brought some sass to the 45-plus lineup. Yep, you read that right. THESE BOOTS WERE MADE.... Jenny Lynn (right) was on hand to rep “Iron Sirens” comics and unveil her ’09 physique for the judges’ critique. Good Siren Jenny, who was two weeks out from the Jacksonville Pro, had a lot to say about butt kicking—and butt slimming. Find the interview in my blog at IN PRAISE OF OLDER WOMEN First-timer Sue Davis talked of the camaraderie and motivation she found at a contest of “women of an age who do what I do.” As another gal put it: “Everyone here has her s—t together.”

MORE SASS LaVonda Ezell followed up her Aclass win at the Masters Nat’s with a top-five finish at the USA.

BIGGEST JAW DROPPER OF THEM ALL Jodi Miller is over 35! Soon you’ll be telling me there’s no Santa Claus.

Find complete coverage of the ’09 NPC USA Championships at IronMan \ OCTOBER 2009 227

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&,5&8067$1&( Tim and Brandi Gardener enjoy their last relaxed moment before the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly show on August 7. Homegirl Tracy Tucker is back in the ’Burgh and coming off a trip down the injury trail. Look for the Team U vet to get onstage again in 2010—something about unfinished business.

A colleague suggests that Chris Kramer has a Doris Day thing working, and I can see it. Eighth in the F-class? Que sera, sera. Cookie comparison. Kris Clark might as well be showing how close she came to a getting a pro card. She won the 35-and-over light heavyweights.

Brownie’s brownie. Figure-B-class winner Cheryl Brown offers me a bite of her victory dessert at the Station Square Buca Di Beppo. Can we get that to go?

Astonishing as it seems, there was only one collegiate bikini competitor. All agree, though, that Diana Fields is a keeper.

More red licorice. Kate Baird takes a serious chomp. Anyone who does bodybuilding and powerlifting concurrently can use the sugar.

Michele Thorington savors her red licorice backstage. At her first nationals after 20 years of competing— she’s earned it.


Photography by Ruth Silverman

Tiffany Procopio (right) is all frocked up. Our postcontest feast at the ‘Beppo with Tiff and Al and company caps a great contest day.

Dayana Cadeau celebrates her pal Chris Filippelli’s runner-up finish in the 50-and-over heavies. Cadeau turns promoter on October 24 with the NPC Dayana Classic in Miami. For info: www.DayanaClassicBodybuilding

More sparklers. Now that Meriza’s got the rock, she and Pete are talking about December ’10 for the DeGuzman-Ciccone nuptials.

Total opposites. Jules is keeping mum about her Fitness O routine, while Heidi’s plans are no secret: “Go back to the N.Y. Pro next year and repeat my 2008 win.”

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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

Muscle on the


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


ith the birth of women’s bodybuilding competition taking place in the United States during the late ’70s and early 1980, it was only a matter of months after the inaugural Ms. Olympia in 1980 before the Europeans came onboard. Europe has been fertile ground for some of the finest female bodybuilders in the world, and although there had been only a sprinkling of contests in various countries of Western Europe by 1980, the sport caught hold early in ’81 with the first IFBB European Championships. This event truly brought an international flair to the fast-growing sport across Europe.

ies to cautiously approving editorials. In Europe the fascination with this “new woman” who was challenging her muscular capabilities caught on quickly. The first IFBB European Championships for women was held on

May 30, 1981, at the Wembley Conference Centre in London. Organized by IFBB administrator Oscar State, it attracted 35 women representing 20 nations, who were split almost evenly between two weight categories: lightweight (less than 114 1/2 pounds) and middleweight (more than 114 1/2 pounds). The standard of the contestants at that first event surprised some, while others close to the sport saw it was an inevitable progression. Muscle & Fitness scribe Rick Wayne noted in an article covering the contest that, the European women bodybuilders “have matched the strength, grace and symmetry of their American counterparts.” Confirmation came soon enough when Finland’s Kike Elomaa earned a gold medal as the first IFBB European middleweight champion, followed quickly by another gold medal performance at the first World Games in 1981 and a victory at the ’81 Ms. Olympia, where American star

Far From a Fad Worldwide, articles on the “new woman of the ’80s” appeared—and particularly in the United States, questions about whether women’s bodybuilding might simply be a fad that would quickly fade away were common. From the best-known magazines in the bodybuilding and fitness industry to mainstream monthlies and newspapers, the muscular female garnered her fair share of ink, ranging from highly unkind commentar-

Switzerland’s Prudence Ravasi—like many of the European competitors in the ’80s and ’90s—took special care in creating posing routines that contained poetic style and grace.

Peggy Ouwerling was one of Holland’s stable of notable stars of the 1980s and ’90s and very popular with European bodybuilding audiences due to her heavily muscled physique.

and reigning Ms. Olympia Rachel McLish was bumped to the runnerup position. Europe as a major player in women’s bodybuilding had arrived, and there were more than enough emerging stars to catch the eye of those who followed the international scene.

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Femme Physique With Enthusiasm Came Dominance Almost immediately Holland and Germany asserted themselves as dominant countries that regularly produced European champions and top finishers. From 1981 to 1996 Holland put at least one—and on many occasions as many as two or three—competitors in the coveted top-six places of the various weight categories. Germany was similarly successful between 1981 and 1995— no small feat considering that countries were limited to no more than three competitors total. In 1985, when only two weight classes were contested, Holland swept both divisions with future Ms. Olympia Juliette Bergmann winning the lightweights and Tina Woodley topping the middleweights. In 1991 the Germans swept the gold medals, winning all three weight categories. It would be a decade before that feat was equaled by an impressive trio from Ukraine in 2001. No country has accomplished a sweep since. Meanwhile, Europe produced outstanding bodybuilders at an impressive rate. Since the inception of the European Championships, the Continent has collectively yielded several dozen women who have moved on to the IFBB pro ranks as well as a more selective group who have competed in the Ms. Olympia. Juliette Bergmann, Anja Langer, Andrulla Blanchette, Kike Elomaa, Valentina Chipega, Natalia Murnikoviene, Inger Zetterqvist, Zuzana Korinkova, Marjo Selin and Eva Sukupova were all outstanding bodybuilders—four of whom won the Ms. Olympia—who have been highly successful at the pro level. It is the unique diversity of the various countries and their collective cultures, however, that has helped breed such a broad landscape of memorable physique women. Meanwhile, in the past decade there has been a marked shift in the countries that have embraced the physique sports for women. In the early years Western Europe produced the vast majority of medal-winning competitors, but as Central and Eastern Europe began to test the competitive waters, the surge of women from those areas has been dramatic. For example, from 1996 to 2000 the European

Belgium’s Christine Laurant was a highly defined competitor who brought sharply detailed muscle to the forefront of major European and international events. She was the European middleweight champion in 1986. Championship lightweight class was won by a competitor from either the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Further, from 1994 to the present only Italy’s Claudia Partenza—in 2006—has wrested the gold medal away from a Central or Eastern European. Most recently, Slovakia’s Jana Purdjakova, herself a two-time European lightweight champion, has become the most successful competitor in the history of the IFBB World Amateur Championships, winning her class on an unprecedented six occasions.

European Expansion With women’s bodybuilding firmly established, the IFBB European Championships instituted the European Fitness Championships, first staged on May 4, 1997, in Lille, France. Two height classes, above and below 5’3”, were contested. Hungary’s Tunde Palannisz won the short class, while Slovakian Timea Majorova won the tall class and has been one of the world’s most recognizable fitness models ever since. In short order an additional height class was added to accommodate the popularity and increased numbers of competitors in the division. The IFBB expanded again six years later by adding what would be called the bodyfitness division, known in the USA as figure. Held in conjunction with the combined IFBB European Bodybuilding

German superstar Anja Langer shows the remarkable genetics that helped establish her physique as one of the most aesthetically pleasing in the history of women’s bodybuilding. She was the IFBB European heavyweight champion in 1986 and was the runnerup to Cory Everson at the ’88 Ms. Olympia. and Fitness Championships, the 2003 inaugural event was hosted in Izmir, Turkey, with two height classes, above and below 5’4 1/2”. A total of 35 women competed for the first-ever European Bodyfitness gold medals. Lithuania surprised everyone by sweeping both gold medals, but the quality of their winners was undeniable. The shortclass gold went to Zivile Raudoniene, the ’09 Figure International winner at the Arnold Classic and third-place finisher at the ’08 Figure Olympia, while tall-class gold medalist Inga Neverauskaite was the ’06 Dutch Grand Prix Pro Figure champion and a competitor at both the Figure International and Figure Olympia in 2007. Although Eastern European competitors have been slow to move into the pro ranks, that fact may change dramatically with the addition of pro events staged on the Continent in the future. Prior to the recent arrival of the striking Oksana Grishina at the Fitness Olympia, the only other Russian female to compete at the pro level was Jana Babanina at the ’95 Fitness Olympia. There can be little doubt that many more competitors of Grishina’s quality might be waiting in the wings. With a gene pool of more than 30 countries to draw from, how could it be otherwise? IM

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Cutler Anthony

Freeman Jackson


Defending Champion Jackson Has a Long List of Pursuers by Lonnie Teper Photography by John Balik, Roland Balik and Merv

It’s about 12 weeks out from the ’09 Mr. Olympia posefest as I write this, and nothing has changed from what the prognosticators have been saying since Dexter “the Blade” Jackson took the Sandow from Jay Cutler last September. The event looks to be the most competitive in the 11 years since Ronnie Coleman edged Flex Wheeler to earn the title vacated when Dorian Yates retired. 236 OCTOBER 2009 \

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W E I V E R P At least five fellas—perhaps even six, according to many so-called experts in the industry—have a legit shot at winning the Olympia crown and the record $200,000 purse that accompanies it, which will be handed out on the Orleans Arena stage in Las Vegas on September 26. In addition, three top-six contenders who did not compete last year due to injuries are returning to action. Will the fight match the hype? Let’s take a closer look at the leading candidates.

Dexter Jackson

The Champ: Dexter Jackson The Blade scored an upset over Cutler last season, but has the guy gotten the respect Mr. Olympia deserves? I say no. I mean, how many people believe the 5’6 1/2”, 225-pounder (I know, Dex, it’s 235) from Jacksonville, Florida, will duplicate his award-winning performance? The 40-year-old one-time bantamweight (yes, Dex tipped the scales at 143 in his first show!) has a spectacular, balanced physique, and he didn’t earn his moniker by showing up onstage in anything less than sublime condition. The man is chiseled, okay? Can Dex make it back-to-back wins? Of course. And don’t you dare call it an upset if he does. / OCTOBER 2009 237

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Jay Cutler Title Contenders Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Victor Martinez, Kai Greene. I’ve gone on record (see “The Experts” Mr. O predictions video at as saying that Cutler will be the firstever competitor to take back the Mr. Olympia crown. Several wise guys have commented—via e-mail or in person—that my prediction is obviously based on the fact that Cutler guest poses at my Junior Cal every year. Not true. Well, they may have a valid point, but the Swami ain’t going out on a limb for somebody unless he has a legit shot at winning. And Jay does. Why? Because the 36-year-old 238 OCTOBER 2009 \

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US TOUR       

Phil Heath

Victor Martinez Kai Greene

hometown Vegas favorite should have about 265 pounds on his 5’9” frame and will be nearly as wide as the stage. Everyone still has to stand next to Cutler to beat him, and if Cutler nails his conditioning, he will possess too much beef—and too much width—for the rest of the guys. In 2007 many of us thought Victor Martinez would be leaving the building with the cherished Sandow trophy in hand—until we saw Vic and Jay side by side in the final posedown; all of a sudden, Martinez looked kinda small and somewhat narrow. Especially when the guys faced the curtain. On the subject of Martinez, I thought the New York–based elite physique athlete made an impressive comeback from knee surgery with his second-place finish at this year’s Arnold Classic. Yes, his legs were a bit behind schedule, but that’s to be expected. He also wasn’t as sharp as I’ve seen him in the past, but Martinez has seven months to improve things. Will he? I’m not sure he’s as hungry as I’d like to see him. Then again, he’s surprised me before. Call him a long shot in this one. According to a lot of fans, Heath, though he finished third, was the rightful winner of last year’s Big Dance—not Jackson—and I can see why they feel that way. The 29-year-old Denver Nugget is 5’9” and has about 230 pounds of wonderfully sculpted muscle spread evenly over his physique. Heath has the best overall arm development in the game, tremendous calf development, terrific wheels—well, you get my drift. Can the Gift get the grand prize? Absolutely. Greene was bad to the bone in his dominating victory at this season’s Arnold Classic, which made him one of the co-favorites to get the Sandow. The 36-yearold New Yorker has the filthiest wheels in the industry, with gnarly detail in his hamstrings and back. Plus, he will set the auditorium on fire with his creative posing. Kai said he was 254 at the Arnold—at 5’8”. I’ll give him 240. I’ll also give him a legit shot at winning the contest.

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Dennis Wolf, Toney Freeman, Branch Warren, Melvin Anthony. Wolf has no shot at the crown? Well, I do like his 6’, 255-pound physique, and a year ago I thought he could battle for the title (he finished fourth). I didn’t feel the 30-year-old German star had improved much, if any, from the year before, however, so he’s got to step it up in ’09 for me to think he’s still divine. Can Wolf be in the mix for the top slot? Sure. Will it happen? I’m saying not likely. Freeman, at 6’2” and 275 pounds,

has one of the prettiest physiques in the game, and, even though he’s now 43, he remains a serious threat for a top-six finish. He placed one slot behind Wolf last year and can’t be counted out of making it to the posedown in any show he enters. Warren, 35, rebounded from triceps surgery to finish a disputed third at the Arnold Classic and won his third consecutive Most Muscular trophy there as well to show that the Texas Titan is all the way back. At 5’6 1/2” and 245 pounds of shredded beef, buffed Branch can certainly get his kicks by landing in

Toney Freeman

Dennis Wolf Top-Six Candidates

the top six. Even though Shawn Ray says Anthony will be fortunate to finish in the top 10—based on his sixthplace finish last year and the fact that Greene, Martinez and Warren will be onstage this season—I still feel the Marvelous one has a crack at placing where he has for the past two seasons. But Melvin will have to be better than ever to achieve that status. At 5’8” and 230 pounds, he has beautiful symmetry and perhaps the smallest waist in the lineup, but the 39-year-old from Fontana,

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Branch Warren Melvin Anthony California, will have to be at his alltime best to duplicate his feats of the past two years, no doubt about it. The question is, What does Melvin have up his sleeve that will help him regain the unofficial title of bodybuilding’s best poser that many—including the Governator himself—think Greene snatched from him at the Arnold?

Top-10 Hopefuls Silvio Samuel, Dennis James, Moe El Moussawi, Markus Rühl. Samuel, 34, was seventh in 2007 and ’08, but due to the depth of the field, he won’t have an easy time doing it again. Don’t be surprised if the 5’6 1/2”, 220pounder succeeds, however. He is in fantastic shape almost every time he competes (although he was a tad off at the New York Pro, finishing fourth), and I expect Sliced Silvio to be just that come Olympia time. The 40-year-old James, at about 5’8” and 250 pounds, is one of the thickest bodybuilders in the sport and still one of the best, as his second-place finish (to rookie Evan Centopani) at the New York Pro proved. Dennis is out to show he’s got plenty

of fuel in his tank. Rühl came out of “retirement” this year to finish third in New York, and we all know he’ll be the biggest, freakiest and perhaps most popular dude onstage. In this lineup, though, that might not be good enough for a top-10 landing. With his second-place finish to Samuel at the IRON MAN and a sixth-place medal at the Arnold, El Moussawi has had a strong year, but the 35-year-old Kiwi will have to be vastly improved over his ’08 Olympia performance to do better than the impressive ninth place he achieved. At 5’9” and 240 pounds, Moe knows bigger ain’t necessarily better now, and if he comes in peeled, a top-10 spot could be his.

Outside Looking In At press time there are three more shows to go—Tampa, the Europa Super Show and Atlantic City. Others who have qualified so far and are planning to compete include Darrem Charles, Troy Alves, Ahmad Haidar, Michael Kefalianos, Martin Kjellstrom, Ronny Rockel

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250 SEPTEMBER 2009 \

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Bulletproof Only the Strong Shall Survive

Build Lumbars of Steel by Bill Starr Photography by Michael Neveux


or trainees striving to significantly improve their strength, having a strong lower back is an absolute necessity. Those who are just interested in maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle need to give special attention to that area of the body as well. Yet more and more programs that I see for athletic teams and individuals of all ages include no exercises for that critical group of muscles. Whenever I comment on that fact, the coach or athlete typically replies, “I figure that there’s plenty of lower-back work with squats and heavy pulls.” That might be true if a person happens to train like the foreign Olympic lifters who squat or pull three times a day and hit the weights six days a week, but I don’t know anyone who trains that diligently. Most workouts consist of three sessions a week, and seldom does any athlete squat or pull more than once at each workout. That’s not enough to improve lower-back strength. You need more—in the form of one or more specific exercises. I believe that the real reason most programs don’t include specific work for the lumbars is that the most beneficial exercises for the lower back are very demanding, and demanding is out of vogue, except for the dedicated athletes

who really want to get strong, Easy is in; hard is out. Just look at all the programs and equipment being hawked on TV. They have the same slogan: Less is better, comfort over discomfort. Putting the body under stress is a no-no. It would be nice if those gimmicks worked, but they don’t because the body has to be pushed to and even beyond its normal limits in order to gain strength. The attitude of taking an easier course in the weight room often begins with substituting a tamer exercise for a strenuous one. High school and collegiate strength coaches have told me they dropped full squats and replaced them with half squats because the full-range movement was just too difficult for their players. Or they use hang cleans rather than power cleans for the same reason. Suggesting that coaches should insert an exercise like good mornings into their athletes’ routines falls on deaf ears. I think strength coaches—in many cases football coaches who have a slight grasp of how to do a few strength movements—are the only members of that profession who are swayed by their players to alter a program simply because some exercise is tough. Can you

imagine a football coach allowing someone to skip tackling drills because they hurt? I think not. More than likely, the whiner will get an extra dose of the very drill he hates. Let an athlete complain about full squats, good mornings or deadlifts, though, and, bingo, the exercises are history. I’ve also found that those who set up their own programs tend to avoid taxing exercises. Their attitude: Why squat or deadlift when I could be benching and curling? It’s been my observation that someone who avoids or replaces a tough exercise with an easier one gets weaker—such as doing squats in a Smith machine rather than out of a rack or doing rows in a machine instead of cranking them out with a bar. Once you get into that kind of mind-set, you’re going to regress. Sure, the workouts are going to be more enjoyable, but there will be no noticeable progress. Isn’t progress the point? Why not put in a bit more effort and attack those movements you hate and reap the rewards? Instead of constantly seeking exercises that let you stay in the comfortable range, select some that test your character. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to make certain exercises harder, since I know that

Part 1 \ OCTOBER 2009 251

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they’ll help me gain better results. So I occasionally do deadlifts at half speed or throw in some shrugs at the end of each rep to see what happens. I’m always trying to find some way to force the muscles and attachments to work harder. It’s important to keep in mind that our bodies are always trying to remain complacent. Bodies much prefer pleasure over pain. Our physical plants would much rather be lounging on a couch than grinding out of the deep bottom of a back squat. So our minds have to convince us that the rewards are worth the effort to get up off the couch, go to the gym and put out 100 percent. Those with determination can override the dissatisfaction coming from the joints and muscles as they handle a heavy set. Those with less fortitude can’t, and they’re the ones who will always choose the easier route. To clarify, if a certain exercise is producing acute pain—and I’m not talking about the pain of exertion—then that movement should be eliminated from the program, at least for a while. Just be sure to replace that exercise with one that’s equally difficult, or you’ll start to slip backward. The reason for my prelude about avoiding difficult exercises is that the two primary movements I advocate for the lower back are typically shunned—good mornings and almost-straight-legged deadlifts. Especially good mornings—without a doubt the most hated exercise in all of weight training. I’ve never heard anyone say he enjoyed doing them; in fact, if I were to hear such a statement I’d immediately recommend psychiatric counseling. Athletes don’t do good mornings for enjoyment. Rather, they do them because they get results, and they endure the discomfort for that very reason. Plus, there are ways to make them less painful; I’ll get to that later. When I start anyone on a strength routine—young, old, female or male—I use the big three: bench press, back squat and power clean, along with a few auxiliary movements, such as incline dumbbell presses, straight-arm pullovers, calf raises and chins. As soon as the athlete’s form on the primary lifts is

He pointed at the paper and responded, “I do back hypers at every workout.”

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Model: Moe El Moussawi

good, which usually takes about a half dozen sessions, I insert good mornings on the light day in place of power cleans. I do that for two reasons: First, if this taxing exercise is part of the routine early on, before the athlete is moving big weights in the squat, it isn’t all that demanding. I’ll go into that in depth later, but there’s a weight ratio between the squat and good morning that you must adhere to. If you do that at the beginning, maintaining the ratio is rather simple. Second, whenever you give your lower back direct attention, it responds readily, and having a stronger set of lumbars helps beginners move up the strength ladder much faster. That’s because it has a direct bearing on two key exercises: power cleans and squats. Many coaches and self-trained strength athletes fail to understand that if their lower backs are relatively weak, they’re unable to hold the proper positioning for a great many useful exercises. Every pulling movement depends on strong lumbars, and the same is true for front and back squats. When the lower back falls too far behind, your form is affected, and if you let your technique remain faulty for a long time, it will be hard to correct. Recently, a 30-year-old ex-football player who wanted to give Olympic lifting a shot showed me his workout. After glancing over it, I said, “You need something for your lower back.” He pointed at the paper and responded, “I do back hypers at every workout.” “I see that,” I said, “but you’re only doing 20 reps with bodyweight. That’s fine for a warmup, but how can you expect to snatch, clean, jerk or squat enough to move up to a national level if you’re just doing a few back hypers?” “But I hate good mornings,” he grumbled. “Then my advice is for you to forget about becoming a ranked Olympic lifter and just use the lifts to stay in shape. If you can’t handle the hard stuff—and believe me, cleaning and snatching heavy

weights is going to be a lot tougher than doing good mornings—you’re not going to succeed in the sport. Or any other, for that matter.” Harsh, but the truth. Getting stronger takes a great deal of dedication, grit and fortitude, along with a willingness to do the demanding exercises. Grinding through a set of squats, deadlifts and good mornings is never a walk in the park, yet thousands submit their bodies to that self-inflicted stress because they’ve learned that the results are worth it. Think of it this way: If getting strong—I mean really strong—were easy, everyone would be able to squat 400 and deadlift 500. We all know that’s not the case. Nothing better fits the category of doing a taxing exercise consistently and with heavy poundage than good mornings. I never allow my athletes to skip good mornings, even if they’re injured. I tell them that if they always include the exercise in their routine, they’ll continue to stay strong, even long after they’ve left the competitive arena. When they finish their sets on that grueling exercise on Wednesday, I remind them that the hardest part of the week is behind them, and they soon understand just how true that is. Getting strong is as much a mental process as a physical one, and once athletes convince themselves that good mornings are a constant, they’re well on their way to a higher strength level. When I was at Johns Hopkins, every so often coaches would come into the weight room to observe their players during their workouts. If it happened to be on Wednesday, the light day, they’d cringe at the row of athletes handling heavy weights on good mornings. “Doesn’t that hurt their backs?” they invariably asked. “No,” I’d say. “Why would I have them do any exercise to hurt their backs? It makes their backs and hamstrings stronger, and when done correctly, it’s as safe as any other exercise they do. Sometimes it makes their eyes cross, or they see the White Buffalo, but that’s a good thing. After they learn to do good mornings, you can abuse them during your practice session with as much work as you care to give them,

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coaches do not include good mornings in their charges’ routines because they think the exercise is risky. I don’t agree. In 15 years of coaching at three universities, I’ve taught good mornings to probably 3,000-plus athletes, both male and female. During that time only one athlete sustained an injury to his

Model: Idrise Ward-El

and it will be a breeze. “Besides,” I’d add, “they didn’t start off using that much weight. They started light and have built up to the level they’re at now.” That usually appeased them, but I could tell that they would never, ever ask their players to do such a thing. What’s more, lots of strength

The two primary movements I advocate for the lower back are typically shunned—good mornings and almoststraight-legged deadlifts.

lower back doing the exercise, and in that single case the good mornings weren’t at fault. It was a matter of very poor judgment on the part of the football player. His form was fine since he had done them the previous year during the off-season strength program. It was his eagerness to get a jump-start at the beginning of the next off-season program that got him into trouble. Before their first workout of the new off-season, I caution the players to move back into training slowly— only three sets of the big three the first workout, moving to four sets on Wednesday and five on Friday. The ambitious football player believed he could move faster than that. So on Wednesday, without telling me, he tried to use the same amount of weight on his good mornings that he’d used the previous year at the end of the off-season program. That might have been possible had he been training during the holiday break, but he hadn’t lifted since the beginning of summer camp in midAugust. While his desire was admirable, his good sense was not. On his fourth set with 205 he hurt his lower back, and it took him several months to recover. The exercise was not to blame. His lack of understanding how the body works was. That understanding is an important factor in the process of getting stronger. I contend that the good morning is a terrific exercise for any strength athlete, as well as those wanting to keep their lower backs strong enough to enjoy many forms of recreational activities. It also helps in rehabbing injured lumbars. But good mornings have to be done correctly, as in absolutely correctly. The best time to start doing good mornings in any routine is at the beginning: the beginning of the initial time you try a strength program,

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You Can Get when you’re starting back after a layoff or perhaps switching from a bodybuilding program to a stint where you’re trying to gain a great deal of strength. Where to start? It doesn’t matter how much weight you use in the beginning. I’ve started some with a broomstick. Your goal initially is to master the form. Once that’s accomplished, the rest falls into place nicely. Youngsters and women learn the movement more readily than men, mostly because men are less flexible, but, of course, there are exceptions. You can do good mornings in several ways: with a flat back, rounded back and while seated. I’ve been criticized for recommending the rounded-back version. Critics say that rounding the back is potentially harmful to the lumbars. Well, not if the movement is done right. I base that on the fact that the spine is constructed to bend forward. What it’s not built for is bending backward. I remind those opposed to this form of the exercise that it’s only been a short period of time, geologically speaking, that our ancestors stood erect. Prior to Homo erectus, Homo sapiens did a lot of good mornings with a rounded back. Still, I let the athletes choose which style they feel more comfortable with. Usually, about half select flat back and half rounded back. I don’t start anyone on seated good mornings but teach that later. That’s because the seated version is much easier. In a nutshell, here are the key form points for good mornings: Lock the bar into your traps, push your feet down into the floor before starting the movement, stay extremely tight throughout, go low, and work quickly. Now from the top. Many athletes are bothered more by the movement of the bar than the exercise itself. That’s because they don’t lock the bar into their traps. Take a closer grip than what’s used on back squats, squeeze the bar into your upper back, and do not let it move at all. Your stance should be rather narrow with toes pointed slightly inward to help you maintain balance. Before you begin each rep, grip the floor with your toes,

and tighten every muscle in your body, from your ankles to your traps. Keep them rigidly taut during the exercise. Now bend your knees slightly—not so much that it resembles a half squat, but just a bit. Always remember that when you’re working lumbars, your knees must never be in a locked position. That causes a great deal of stress on your hamstrings and can injure them. Once you’re extremely tight and have bent your knees, rotate at your hips and lean over as far as you can. Ideally, you want to touch your thighs with your chest, but it may take a few sessions before you can accomplish that. Contrary to what most people think, the lower you go, the easier the movement. When you go very deep, you get a recoil effect off the bottom. Plus, the deeper you go, the more muscles you bring into play. One of the great things about this exercise is that it not only works the lumbars directly but also hits hamstrings and glutes. A three-forone-deal, and all the groups are extremely valuable to any athlete. Remember, once you bend your knees, do not let them bend any further. They must remain in that starting position throughout the exercise. If you allow them to bend more, you drastically change the benefits from the movement. Each rep needs to be done deliberately, not quickly or slowly but in a smooth, controlled manner. That’s true for advanced athletes as well as beginners. There’s a rhythm to the exercise that you will feel after you’ve been doing them for a few months, and, once you get to that stage, you’re home free because they’ll be easier to do. Not easy-easy, but less stressful. While you’re learning the form, it’s best to stand up completely straight at the end of each rep, pause and reset for the next one. After you have the form down pat, however, you don’t have to come all the way back up; this is one exercise best done with short rests between sets. Once you get the blood into your lower back, keep it there. Long rest periods will work against you. Most trainees are able to knock out five sets in less than 12 minutes. Besides, working at a quicker pace enables you to get the good morn-


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ings out of the way in a hurry. When starting out on them, do only three sets of eight, adding two more sets gradually until you’re doing five sets of eight. You want eights rather than fives because you need the additional reps to improve your workload. By the same token, you don’t want to move to 12s or 15s, as that would be too great a load for the lumbars. Stay with eights until you reach your target number. Then alternate two formulas: one week do five sets of eight and the next week do four sets of 10. For example, you’ve moved your eights to 205, so use 200 for 10. That small change may not seem like much, but you’ll find that it does wonders. Each week’s formula hits the lumbars in a slightly different manner, and that’s good. Do good mornings right after you squat on your light day—not before. You don’t want tired lumbars and hamstrings when you squat, even if

you’re striving toward it. There is a ceiling on the formula. I have the majority of my athletes stop at 225x10, regardless of what they’re squatting. Why? Athletes who attempt to do a good morning with more than 225 have to alter their mechanics in order to complete the lift. Their

Small changes may not seem like much, but you’ll find they do wonders. Each week’s formula hits the lumbars in a slightly different manner, and that’s good. it is your light day. Plus, the squats help warm up your lower back, which also aids your cause. I mentioned a weight ratio between your back squats and good mornings. The guideline I use for my athletes is that good mornings need to be 50 percent of your best squat for eight to 10 reps. That’s why I try to insert good mornings into a strength program early on. Let’s say you’ve worked up to squatting 220. That means you have to use just 110x8 to satisfy the ratio. As your squat goes up, keeping the 50 percent guideline intact isn’t difficult. Now let’s say you’ve been squatting for some time and are handling 415. It would be unwise to try and do half of that right away. Move up to it gradually. Start with 95 pounds and add five or 10 pounds a week until you can handle half of what you’re squatting. If it takes a couple of months, that’s okay—just so

hips are forced to move backward to counterbalance the weight, and that changes the movement so that it’s no longer an exercise specific to the lumbar region. I also have lighter athletes lower their top-end numbers if I see that they’re changing their form on their final sets. There are, however, exceptions here as well. If I have an advanced strength athlete interested in power lifting—one of the field events in track or perhaps a strongman event—I let him load the bar and go very heavy using lower reps, fives and threes. Several of my Hopkins athletes in their senior years did more than 400 for reps. It’s not an original idea. A number of strongmen in the 1950s used ultraheavy good mornings as one of their primary strength lifts, Paul Anderson being the most notable. Next month I’ll cover more on good mornings and go over the form

points for my number-two lumbar exercise, the almost-straight-legged deadlift. I’ll also discuss other good lower-back exercises that serious strength athletes and those just seeking a higher level of overall fitness can do. Editor’s note: Bill Starr was a strength and conditioning coach at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 2000. He’s the author of The Strongest Shall Survive—Strength Training for Football, which is available for $20 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit www.Home-Gym. com. IM

256 OCTOBER 2009 \

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A Day at the Beach


On a Sunday afternoon was as empty as a bank vault after closing. The treasure was there with no one to plunder it. I felt like a thief about to stuff his bag with booty: any exercise I want, as many sets and as many reps; squats, supersets, dumbbells, benches and cables. It’s mine, all mine. I’m rich. At that point a straggly part-time guy who’s broke and has no life stepped from behind the front counter and requested my membership card and reminded me to sign in. “It’s policy,” he said. The dirty little... He introduced himself, Billy Jay Whimple, as if it was a number he was assigned when he swiped his first breath. With emphatic mockery (hee-hee) I said, “I’m Steve Reeves.” “A pleasure, Steve,” he said, assuring me it was never too late to exercise. “Have you been a member for long? I don’t recall seeing you around.” I was robbed right there in what was once my very own muscle bank by little Billy Jay with jump ropes for arms. Empty bag in hand, I dragged myself to a bench, sat and glared at the sun-filled parking lot through the airy doublewide doors. Sunday, now 1:03, and the place was packed with a crowd of three—Steve, Billy and me. At least Steve knew who I was—the Sunny Sunday Sunshine Bomber. I should have gone to the beach. I trained for 75 minutes while BJ Guns studied the TV above the front counter, Sunday soaps and reality shows. I had an oddly rewarding workout, like cold soup on a hot day. I learn something new every time I work out. Or I uncover something old—so old it seems like something new. Like, check it out...that guy grabbed the bar above his head and is pulling himself up to his nose and down and up. Original noses, old as Muscle Beach...ya feel what I’m saying? I cannot remember the last time I did wide-grip noses. That particular day I discovered standing barbell curls are indisputably the best exercise for building massive biceps, and they, combined with overhead triceps extensions, will complete the deed for colossal arm development. Who’s willing to dispute these facts; who would dare? I felt empowered, Neveux \ Model: Chris Cook

hall I engage the iron or ignore the defiant scraps scattered across the rubber mats, amassed on racks and poised on Olympic bars? I want to go. My musclehead unequivocally says, “Umm... give me a, maybe...sure, why not?” But the brain says think twice, Tinhead. Is this for your health and well-being, your muscle and power, your ego and amusement or your addiction and neuroses? What drives your train wreck: responsibility, obligation, approval, insecurity, entertainment, fulfillment, fear, pleasure, pain? Dementia? Gee, put that way, it sounds like a thing of great consequence. No trivial matter, the relationship between iron and man. When did it become so complicated? It’s just iron. You lift it or you don’t. I went to the gym Sunday early afternoon—1 p.m.—and it

258 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Suppress Illness


he research keeps piling up about the importance of getting enough sleep. The latest says that if you sleep more than seven hours a night, you’ll fend off a cold virus three times more effectively than if you sleep less. Sleep boosts your immune system, which will also heighten your recovery from training and your ability to build muscle. Getting adequate sleep has also been shown to enhance fat loss because you crave carbs less and release less cortisol and more growth hormone. —Becky Holman istockphoto

alone and drenched in silence. I applied my discovery with concentrated enthusiasm, intensity and might. Another pure truth unfolded: An ordinary exercise performed with focused enthusiasm, intensity and might becomes an extraordinary exercise, extravagant in yield. I was raking it in as shadows crossed the floor. I inhaled deeply, threw my shoulders back, spread my lats and flexed my tri’s. Ever try that one? Looks dopey but feels cool. Emboldened and undistracted, I pressed on, taking advantage of the calm and solitude. In less than a rep and as suddenly as a torn rotator, a vein of unflawed certainties lay bare before me. Had I hit the motherlode, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? To demonstrate the veracity of the find, I blasted a superset of dumbbell incline curls and pulley pushdowns. The reality of the matter: Dumbbell incline curls define the biceps and contribute unselfishly to their density and shape. There’s more: Combining them with pushdowns etches a rugged grin on your face, unless you’re a girl, whereupon it’s a sassy smirk. It doesn’t stop there: Intense pushdowns add horse to your horseshoe triceps, as they can be performed a hundred different ways according to the practitioner’s needs and desires and intentional positioning of the cable. Thus and therefore, they are multi-applicational and multi-engaging. The practitioner—with a little imagination, that could be you—is in total charge of the action of the exercise. He or she is not on the other side of the handle or bar going through the motions. If you’re going through the motions, Jack, you might as well go home or the beach or wherever. And no talking while you’re training...this place look like a social club to you? In charge means you control the effort, the groove and the pace, all of which take persistent practice, attention and time. Here’s where most wide-eyed gymsters fail: They don’t persist. They are persistless. They’re gutless, shallow, dull and apathetic. Flooded with knowledge and understanding and rediscovery, I topped my arm workout with a tri-set from heaven’s storehouse. I imagined thunder broke the silence and a streak of lightning devoured the shadows. Wrist curls, followed by thumbs-up curls, followed by machine dips—epic poetry in decided motion. The combination of movements consumed the arms from the tips of the fingers to the shoulders they hung from. No new discovery, but the reminder was exhilarating. That trio wrapped up a powerful arm workout, and it was not as if the rest of my body wasn’t vigorously stimulated. A constant revisited: There was something throughout, above and beneath it all, that would always be true—nothing like a silent, empty, shadowy gym to brighten the day, add clarity and sparkle to an ordinary, sunny, summery, Sunday afternoon. Oops. The Jayster’s standing at the back door jingling the gym keys like gongs. Closing time already? Time flies when the sun shines and the beach is mobbed. —Dave Draper


Activity Interuptus


ccording to an item in the July ’09 Prevention, if you’re doing something you love, take a short break to enjoy it more. Researchers found that people who were interrupted briefly during pleasurable activities, like getting a massage, got more pleasure from the activity than those who weren’t interrupted. Short breaks apparently disrupt the adaptive response and reintensify the pleasure. Maybe that’s why working out is so addictive—those rests between sets enhance the pleasure of the pump. —Becky Holman


Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit www.DaveDraper .com 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. \ OCTOBER 2009 259

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BodySpace Physique of the Month


Victor Newsom

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

260 OCTOBER 2009 \

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Photography by Ian Sitren \ SecondFocus


was really interested in talking with Victor Newsom because I wanted to find out how a senior executive at a good-size company who’s married—with four kids—and has a black belt in tae kwon do finds the time to get to the gym, stay in shape and become one of the top transformations on BodySpace at Body Well I found out. He owes a lot to his wife Kim, who’s also on BodySpace as “VicsAngelKim,” and on the fitness journey in life with him. The rest I can sum up as motivation, organization and consideration. Vic has always been an achiever. As a 1989 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, he spent his time in the Navy working in nuclear power and had the honor of serving at the launch of the USS Maryland, an Ohio-class submarine. He was also on the judo team at Annapolis, which led him further into the discipline of martial arts. After the Navy, Vic married Kim, started a family and worked in the family business, but he’s now found a home as the chief operations officer at ECommLink, an electronic prepaid debitprocessing company. Located in Las Vegas, Vic and his family have embraced a lifestyle of doing as opposed to talking about what other people are doing. The entire family spends time together hiking, traveling—even if it’s just day trips—and exploring. And both Vic and Kim are devoted to the gym, although on different schedules. Here’s the consideration part: Vic and Kim both understand each other’s schedules and what it takes to get to the gym. Vic sometimes goes twice a day, in the morning for cardio and then after work for some lifting. Kim, as a full-time mom, gets to the gym after the kids are off to school. There is another consideration, the one that involves Vic’s job. ECommLink trusts him to get his work done even when he must adjust his schedule to get to his workouts. In return, Vic gives his utmost attention to getting things done at his job. The organization part is something you’d almost expect from a chief operations officer. His diet is laid out on a spreadsheet, enabling him to make continuing computer entries. Organization actually got Vic into BodySpace. He was looking for a way to do tracking, journaling and goal setting, and it was all there. Vic likes the community of likeminded people on BodySpace as well as all the information, such as the many training videos, especially those by world-famous trainer Charles Glass. So click on over to BodySpace .com,’s community of fitness-loving people, and visit “SuperVic2007.” Maybe you’ll find even more tips on how to get it all done. —Ian Sitren

0,1'%2'< Energy Before-Work Workouts

N Neveux \ Model: Cesar Martinez

ew research from the University of Bristol in England found that working out before you hit the office or even during your lunch hour can boost your productivity. More than 75 percent of the subjects improved their mental performance and had better relationships with coworkers after prework or lunch-hour workouts. —Becky Holman


List and Ponder


tudies show that listing some of your happiest moments in life can uplift your state of mind. Subjects who closed their eyes and relived the events in their minds for 10 minutes twice a day significantly boosted their happiness quotient after only one week. —Becky Holman


Mental Floss


o you brush and floss every day? You should, and not just for your oral health. It can improve your mental capacity as well. British researchers looked at thousands of subjects in the 20-to-59 age range and discovered that gum disease was linked to degenerating cognitive abilities throughout adulthood. Brush up to stay sharp. —Becky Holman

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MIND/BODY 0,1'%2'< Review Transformation Unlock Your True Potential


he first striking thing about Yehyawi’s book is its cover. The author’s underexposed image says “selfpublished,” which had me bracing for the worst. Then I buckled down and started reading. Yes, the book is self-published, but Eyad H. Yehyawi is a medical doctor and former two-sport NCAA athlete who’s now a bodybuilder. He’s also had to come to grips with a congenital heart defect, which caused him to suffer a minor stroke at the age of 28 in 2005. Yehyawi reels in the reader with his story and transformation photos, and then he lays the groundwork for others to follow his lead. He covers everything from hormones, macronutrients and supplements to diet, cardio and, for the grand finale, weight training. Transformation is very well organized, and the author quickly reveals that he knows his stuff. While he covers a lot of basic information that most bodybuilders already know, Yehyawi also unearths facts on growth hormone, testosterone, conjugated linoleic acid, glutamine and branched-chain amino acids that can help anyone seeking more muscle attain better results. He provides specific tips you can use to get the most out of your supplements and diet. Many of his methods are simi-

lar to those of my husband, Steve Holman. He even mentions Steve and his training partner, Jonathan Lawson, in a few places in the book and talks about carb cycling, something they discuss in their e-book Xtreme Lean. Carb cycling is basically inserting a higher-carb day into a lower-carb eating regimen every third day or so. Yehyawi is a proponent of Steve’s Positions of Flexion and X Reps and Eric Broser’s Power/ Rep Range/Shock. The last section of the book presents a few different workouts, including the author’s favorite P/RR/S program, plus an extended-tension workout and a power/occlusion workout, both of which feature Positions of Flexion. While the book is self-published (and could have benefited from an editor—reading through that many typos is distracting), the info he presents is rock solid and will help you push your muscle-building endeavors forward. Also on offer: lots of good nutrition stuff and well-thought-out workouts—just what the muscle doctor ordered for better results . —Becky Holman Editor’s note: Transformation—Unlock Your True Potential is available at

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0,1'%2'< Motivation MIND/BODY Weight Loss or Well-Being?

Neveux \ Model: Whitney Reed


ost folks start an exercise program to lose weight. That makes sense because in our nation of abundance it’s easy to get fat—very fat. Research out of the University of Michigan now suggests a paradigm shift in attitude that can help you stick with your workouts. Instead of exercising to lose weight, think of your workouts as improving your wellbeing. Subjects in the study were 34 percent more likely to stick with it when they had that at-

titude as opposed to doing it to just lose weight. It’s about health and overall quality of life, not just looking better. —Becky Holman

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Health & Aging

The Mediterranean Diet


hile past research has shown that following the Mediterranean diet improves one’s chances for living longer, a group of researchers from Boston and Greece have, in the first study of its kind, investigated the importance of individual diet components and their impact on longevity. The researchers reviewed data collected from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which followed 23,349 healthy Greek men and women for 8.5 years, specifically looking at their eating and how closely they adhered to a traditional Mediterranean diet. At the beginning of the study, participants completed questionnaires asking about their diet and lifestyle. They were also periodically interviewed throughout the study. Their diets received a score of 0 to 10, depending on how closely they followed a traditional Mediterranean eating plan. In addition, participants were asked about their health, whether they smoked, their level of physical activity, and whether they’d ever been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

New research on longevity

Among the 12,694 participants who had Mediterranean diet scores of 0-4, there were 652 deaths; there were only 423 deaths among the 10,655 participants who had scores of at least 5. Overall, the researchers, who included Dimitrios Trichopoulos, the Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention of the Harvard School of Public Health; Antonia Trichopoulou, Professor in the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the University of Athens; and Christina Bamia, Ph.D., lecturer in the University of Athens Medical School, concluded that people who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower chance of dying from cancer or from all causes. They also found that specific aspects of the diet may be more strongly linked to longevity: high intake of vegetables and olive oil, low intake of meat and moderate use of alcohol. The study also claims, however, that in a Mediterranean diet high in fish, seafood and cereals and low in dairy products, those factors were not indicators of longevity. “The dominant components of the Mediterranean diet score as a predictor of lower mortality are moderate consumption of ethanol, low consumption of meat and meat products, and high consumption of vegetables, fruits and nuts, olive oil and legumes,” wrote the researchers in the British Medical Journal. The Mediterranean diet consists of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish, moderate alcohol, a high ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats (ample olive oil) and lean meat (chicken), with dairy and red meat used more as a side dish. —Dr. Bob Goldman

266 OCTOBER 2009 \

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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


I just had to write to tell you that your Arnold issue was spectacular [August 2009]! Caruso’s shots are pure art and are suitable for framing. I now have every one of those photos pinned up in my home gym— yes, I bought three copies, two for cutting up and one to keep intact for posterity. Thanks for a great issue and thanks to Jimmy Caruso for being there to capture Arnold in his prime. Jerry Sloan Newark, NJ

Mutant Muscle I truly admire Greg Plitt’s physique, as it has an attainable look that’s motivating. I was anxious to read his interview [in the July ’09 issue] to get the inside scoop on how how he built it. But what he said floored me. The man must be some kind of mutant—eats only one big meal a day, does 32 Greg Plitt. sets per bodypart, runs almost every night at midnight and wakes up at 5:30 every morning. When he takes a day off, he goes rappelling on cliffs in the Santa Monica Mountains. I don’t understand how this guy holds onto all that muscle. Mark Bradford via Internet

coach. He might not have achieved that without first sacrificing to become a champion bodybuilder. The first led to the second and made him who he is. There are negatives associated with becoming a champion in any sport, be it tennis, gymnastics or whatever. It’s a sacrifice you make. Then, when your time is over, you move on to your next life goal. Calvin Lucas via Internet

Bigger Arms With 10x10 Let me start by saying that I’m just getting back into bodybuilding after about six years off. I was really intrigued by the 10x10 workout, so I decided to give it a try. That is by far the best pump I have felt since I started training again in January. I’ve gained almost a half inch on my arms, and this is by far the most effective routine I’ve ever used. I will continue to use it for a couple of weeks more before I switch it up some, but I’ll be going right back to it. Jeremy Chapman via Internet


Editor’s note: We were floored by his regimen too. Although he does use Met-Rx supplements during the day, the mutant thing is looking more and more probable.


Arnold Extravaganza

Obsession: A Different Take I’ve been reading Skip La Cour’s “Confessions of a Recovering Bodybuilder” with great interest. He makes a lot of relevant points about how obsessive some bodybuilders can be and the psychological ramifications that can result, such as social ineptitude and a solitary existence. But my feeling is that that’s the price you pay for becoming a champion. Now, after achieving that, La Cour is moving to the next level in his life—motivational speaking and life

Editor’s note: For more on the 10x10 method, get a copy of The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout e-program, available at Vol. 68, No. 10: 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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One-Hit-Wonder 10x10 Workout • Vitamin D—New Research You Need to Know • 2009 Mr. Olympia Preview—Is the Hex on Dex? • Safe, Scientific Exer...