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CONTENTS >>ON THE COVER Cover image by Cindy Ellis

22How to overcome sticking points 26 In pursuit of unreal arm development

NO MORE FAILED LIFTS IN THE GYM JAKE PRODGERS’ MANIFESTO FOR FREAKY ARMS

46 Cobus van der Merwe, Earl Abrahams and Andrew Hudson discuss their battle plans WHAT ARE THE PROS PLANNING?

52SA champ Mdu Green shows you how 76 What they are and what they can do for you

AN AWESOME BACK CAN BE YOURS! KETONES: THE FOURTH MACRONUTRIENT

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Also in this issue 38 Sacrifice without regret

How Super Heavyweight Jannie Coetzee won his world title 42 Bodybuilding and kidney failure

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The Roy Butterton story

50 All fired-up for the stage

Freddie Klopper in beast mode again 62 No off-season for Johnny Lucas

Return of the man they call ‘The Bullet’ 66 Whatever happened to...

Tap into the knowledge of bodybuilding great Kevin McNamara 70 Meet Muscle Evolution Babe Gitte Kietzmann

This sexy go-getter from Pretoria lives life to the full 74 New year, new gains

The magic behind how beta-alanine works

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COLUMNS THIS ISSUE

80 The caffeine-creatine conundrum

Can you up your game by taking both? 87 IFBB Summer Superbodies

Catch all the action in our show report 6

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SIBUSISO KOTELO

90

JACO VENTER

92

EARL ABRAHAMS

94

JOHN LESLIE

95

AWONKE NGOMA

96

LENDO GREYLING


M.E EDITOR’S LETTER

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Andrew Carruthers EDITOR Werner Beukes MANAGING EDITOR Pedro van Gaalen

in the gym. You have to work on your capacity to lift, day in and day out. Plain and simple. Do the work without anyone watching. A lot of people obsess about their workouts and their diets. They obsess about who is watching them. They measure their self-worth through the looks they get from others. Let’s be honest here – everyone wants to look good in the mirror, but they lack the discipline to do what it takes. Only you have the Doing whatever it takes for the stage. Go to page 62 and power to change your life. No read about the comeback to the competitive arena that Johnny one can ever be 100 percent 'The Bullet' Lucas is making. Also check out how he trains his shoulders and triceps at www.muscleevolution.co.za behind you like you can. If you don’t have confidence in yourself and if you don’t DISCIPLINE BEFORE MOTIVATION believe in what you need to do, don’t expect anyone else to believe in you. otivation is not the same as Training must always have a purpose. People discipline. We live in a day and age are generally weak and don’t want to push where it is difficult to get up and their own limits. We live and watch ourselves to get going when there is no one waiting on YouTube, we take selfies when we break a for you at the gym. It is easier to hit snooze new record in the gym or when our muscles than getting an early start. We constantly start popping, but what do we do when we need someone to kick our butt to complete fall behind, miss a lift or feel depressed and a workout. This is all nice and dandy, but at demotivated? No one watches or pushes the the end of the day everything is solely on record button when we lose the plot. you to make a difference in your own life. Adapt, improvise and overcome should be A training partner is invaluable if you are the mantra of more lifters because there are fortunate enough to find one who is reliable, always obstacles in the way of your goals. but it must be someone who will not baby This is not about another New Year’s you and bail you out when the going gets resolution where you make a promise to tough. You cannot blame your trainer or yourself to bomb the hell out of everything in coach or an app if you fail to reach your goals. the gym in 2017. This is about finding a solid Discipline means you have to make sacrifices reason to train and to make progress. To read, to train. You need to do whatever it takes. think and talk to others with experience and to While it is great to have someone pushing you do things on a continuous basis that will elicit to overcome barriers, you cannot wait around a training response. Everything should not just for that someone to help guide you to your start and stop in what you see in the mirror. goal. Time is limited and before you know it, Getting motivated is easy, but turning it yours on this earth will be over too. into discipline takes hard work and time. You There is rampant conjecture in the learn something about yourself when you strength and fitness industry. Everyone is an grind through an extra rep at the end of your expert and there are endless exercise and last set of squats or deadlifts. And I believe programming possibilities out there. Having that everyone has the capacity to execute that so much information and unlimited options extra rep. is useless if you can’t translate and apply it No one talks about or shoots a video of you appropriately. Think training levels, training walking into the gym tired, overworked and goals, recovery protocols and commitment stressed, yet still succeeding in spite of life. It to those protocols and the ability to regulate is a true lesson in mind strength when that your training without abandoning the main happens. principles. It is discipline before motivation. You need to persevere and find your own way through all of this to break down mental and physical barriers. You don’t all of a sudden Werner become a hero if you drop a bucket of sweat Editor

M

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ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Tanja Schmitz Christian Nel ADMINISTRATION Leoni Needham ONLINE EDITOR Gareth Bouwmeester ADVERTISING info@muscleevolution.co.za 011 791 3646 PHOTOGRAPHERS Gary Phillips, Soulby Jackson, Ben Myburgh, Richard Cook, Slade @ Pure Studio, Cindy Ellis, Isaac Hinds, Naco Rautenbach CONTRIBUTORS & ADVISORY Anthony Roberts, John Leslie, Hennie Kotze, HJ Lombard, Sean Johnson, Joe Pietaro, Cobus van der Merwe, Dylan Ridley, Mdu Green, Lendo Greyling, Sibusiso Kotelo, Jaco Venter, Henk Smith, Earl Abrahams THE PUBLISHER

Postnet suite 99, Private Bag X8 North Riding, 2162 Head Office: +27 11 791 3646 Fax: 086 660 4761 E-mail: info@muscleevolution.co.za Unit 7, Ground Floor, Boskruin View 181 Girdwood Road, Randpark Ridge, 2169 DISTRIBUTION RNA DISTRIBUTION, Republican News

Agency, Tel +27 11 473 8700 SUBSCRIPTIONS Tel 0860 100 456; Fax 086 670 4101 International +27 21530 3385; Email: subs@ramsaymedia.co.za

No liability is assumed by The Maverick Publishing Corporation, Muscle Evolution Magazine nor any of the authors of the information provided in this publication. The Maverick Publishing Corporation cannot be held liable for any advice provided in this publication. The information published in this magazine should not be considered as medical advice, please consult a registered doctor. The Maverick Publishing Corporation shall not be liable for any unsolicited material, nor photographs or manuscripts submitted to our publication office. The Maverick Publishing Corporation reserve the right to reject any advertising without notification, and will not publish any editorial material nor advertising that we feel does not comply with our readership audience.

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M.E PUBLISHER’S LETTER

sometimes frustrating world of figuring out how to make stuff work. This process always reminds me of my first six months in publishing. I wasn’t too bad at writing, but when I sent off articles for scrutiny by a close friend who had a much stronger command of the english language than I did, he would often just reply back, “What the hell are you trying to say?” In this situation I had two options: I could take the criticism badly and sit in a corner, beating myself up over my inability to write something that was intelligible, or I could take the second option and learn from the mess that I had sent him. IF YOU WANT THINGS TO BE The message here is that DIFFERENT, THINK DIFFERENTLY no matter how passionate you are about doing something and no ne of the biggest personal matter how bad you might want it, you’re challenges I’ve had to overcome going to find yourself in situations that over the past few years is to always will test your skill and resolve – kind of be conscious of my thoughts, my actions, like sticking points in a training regimen. my work and my efforts, and then to If you sit back and keep taking the same consciously change anything about myself approach to these sticking points at work that I don’t feel is constructive, positive, or in the gym, or even your interpersonal giving, kind or for the greater good. relationships, you’re never going to get any Greatness, more than anything, requires further than the point you’re stuck at. a change in mindset and a complete Doing things the same will only get you overhaul in how the average person thinks. so far. Eventually, a time will come when you If you want to be that person who achieves need to change your approach to surpass things at a higher level than others, be it in the limits and break through to reach your business, finance, physique development, goals. Doing the same thing sport, or anything else in life, “THE MESSAGE over and over again, day then you have to eliminate HERE IS THAT in and day out, isn’t going the distractions, the bullshit, NO MATTER HOW to yield a different result. the negativity and the people PASSIONATE YOU It’ll simply deliver the same who aren’t going to allow you ARE ABOUT DOING outcome, each and every to grow. SOMETHING AND NO time. Expecting otherwise, 2016 shovel fed me a MATTER HOW BAD as the famous quote states, lot of hard lessons, but I’m YOU MIGHT WANT is the definition of insanity. grateful for them and, most IT, YOU’RE GOING TO Gary Vaynerchuck has an importantly, I’ve learnt from FIND YOURSELF IN expression that resonates them. As an entrepreneur, SITUATIONS THAT with me in this regard. He I’ve once again dug deep into WILL TEST YOUR says: “If you’re romantic my creative side to create SKILL AND RESOLVE about the way things new brands and bring ideas – KIND OF LIKE have always been done, and concepts to life that STICKING POINTS then you’re going to lose.” I’ve always wanted to be IN A TRAINING Everything in life changes, a part of. That means that REGIMEN.” often on a daily basis I’m back in the deep and

O

in these modern times. Technology, for instance, is constantly advancing, becoming better and faster than before. This means that businesses that aren’t using social media are being left behind, as an example, all because of a phobia the business owner may have about how to interact via all the new platforms available to his business. The same applies to training. Going to the gym every day and pushing the same weight with the same intensity isn’t going to give you a better body or improve the level of strength you have now. You can’t go home and be pissed off because you’re not bigger, fitter, leaner or stronger. The fact of the matter is that you’re comfortable in your training routine and that, unfortunately, isn’t conducive to progress. This year I’m making it my mantra to block out all distractions. I’ve thrown myself back into the deep end with a few new projects and I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I’ll find solutions to all of the new challenges that await me. I’ve never been scared of change because I know that I always make the best decisions when my gut and my heart are aligned. My final word to you is therefore this: When you get stuck in a rut in life, whether it relates to training, work or personal growth, change your mindset. Harness your frustration by choosing to use it as a fuel to drive progress, rather than a slow poison that eventually leads to paralysis. A frustrating sticking point is your opportunity to change your life and turn things around. If you have the ability to see clearly during times of frustration and think constructively, you have the ability to change the world, not only your life. Bring on 2017! Andrew Editor-In-Chief

MY FAVOURITE THIS ISSUE:

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OVER 61 000 MAGAZINES PRINTED (COMBINED) 10

Muscle Evolution

CONSTRUCTION


M.E NEWS

MUSCLE NEWS ELITE ATHLETE EXTRAVAGANZA 2017

NEW IFBB PLATINUM LEAGUE IN FULL SWING The IFBB Platinum League is already in full swing with two bodybuilding shows held at the end of 2016. These were the OR Tambo Classic and Summer Superbodies. This newly launched league is all about creating

A new show on the local physique competition calendar is aimed at preparing, conditioning and developing new and upcoming South African athletes and gym enthusiasts, by providing a non-affiliated platform to encourage and enable athletes to achieve their dreams at a competitive level. The show will take place on 18 March 2017 at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. With 11 men's and nine ladies' divisions, there is a category that suits every physique, style and intent to compete. The show will also pioneer a unique Coach’s Division that aims to recognise the often unsung but vital component of every successful athlete's efforts. This award will go to the most successful coach across all divisions. There will also be an invitation-only Legends showcase and Olimp will be searching for a new brand ambassadors at the show. With over R200,000 in prizes to be won by athletes, it shouldn't be missed! Athletes can register online at www.eliteathleteextravaganza.com and follow updates on Facebook at eliteathleteextravaganza.

CICCONE PHARMA WHEY ISOLATE

The new Ciccone Pharma Whey Isolate is now available in South Africa and is proudly manufactured under license by TNT. Each batch undergoes two independent lab tests to guarantee buyers are getting one of the world's best whey isolates available. The product is free of unnecessary fillers and delivers 28g of protein per serving. For trade enquiries contact cicconepharma@icloud.com. 12

Muscle Evolution

opportunities for local athletes to earn well-deserved prizes and cash. All Platinum League shows are also qualifying events for the Arnold Classic Africa. The dates and venues for the Platinum League shows for 2017 are:

■ CHAMPIONS ARISE 11 March 2017 Potchefstroom – Heike van Wyke 082 557 6670 ■ KING SHAKA CLASSIC 25 March 2017 Durban – Ali Sultan 082 586 4854 ■ MILLENNIUM GOLD PLATE 8 April 2017 Johannesburg – Helena Calitz 082 903 3799 ■ SHAMEEN CLASSIC 22 April 2017 Cape Town – Shameen Adams 083 635 9200 ■ MISS SA XTREME 17 June 2017 Pretoria – Nina Richter 082 440 0410 ■ MUSCLE MULISHA GP 8 July 2017 Johannesburg – Garron Whitehead 083 259 1251 ■ BOKSBURG CLASSIC 22 July 2017 Johannesburg – Helena Calitz 082 903 3799 ■ H&H CLASSIC 5 August 2017 Pretoria – Hennie Kotze 079 878 8199 ■ GENTLE GIANT CLASSIC 16 September 2017 Johannesburg Wayne Price 083 967 8978 Athletes need the points they earn through competing in the Platinum League Series in order to qualify to compete at the big money show, The Gentle Giant Classic, with a whopping R500,000 in prize money. The show will take place on 16 September 2017 in

Johannesburg. The top six athletes in each line-up of the IFBB’s new bodybuilding series will also earn a cash prize. Check out the IFBB’s webpage at www.ifbbsa. co.za for more details and updates on the Platinum League, which brings national events together under one umbrella.

NUTRITECH® MAX PRE

Nutritech® Max Pre introduces Nitrosigine® to the market with the maximum dose of this pumpintensifying, FDA-approved and patented arginine and silicate-bonded complex. Nitrosigine® is scientifically engineered to significantly boost nitric oxide levels, delivering benefits to those engaged in fitness and weight training programmes. Nutritech® Max Pre is formulated with 750mg of Nitrosigine® to increase nitric oxide and mean plasma arginine levels. It combines Nitrosigine® with a unique blend of D‐Aspartic Acid, Creatine HCL, Beta‐Alanine and a powerful 450mg shot of caffeine per double serving, making it an exceptional choice for any athlete looking for a mad, stimulant-based, pump pre-workout to assist with breaking through training plateaus. Available in Chernobyl Cherry, Badland Berry, Patriot Punch, Gamma Grape and Lethal Lime flavours.

PLANET FITNESS JUSTGYM OPENING AT NEW SPRINGS MALL

The new Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park, which opens on 16 March 2017, will house a Planet Fitness JustGym. The 1,800 sqm gym facility will be the only major branded gym in the area and will offer world-class equipment and experienced, friendly staff who are able to provide budgetconscious training. It will feature rows of cardio, weights and strength training equipment, and group exercise classes. In addition, Platinum Fitness will open directly next to the gym, offering a wide range of fitness accessories, clothes, supplements and a smoothie bar.


ACTION-PACKED ARNOLD CLASSIC FLEXES ITS MUSCLE GLOBALLY

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USN's most extreme pre-workout just got an explosive new taste with the launch of the new Pineapple Punch flavour. This extremely concentrated pre-workout offers over 12000mg of a proprietary blend that includes L-Arginine HCL, L-Citrulline, Agmapure® and Creatine HCL to deliver insane muscle pumps workout after workout. B4-Bomb also includes Beta Alanine, Caffeine, Advantra Z®, Teacrine®, and additional Niacin for added energy.

The annual multi-sports extravaganza bearing bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger's name will be held on six continents in 2017, including São Paulo, Brasil for the first time after being staged annually in Rio de Janeiro since 2013. Originally hosted in Ohio in the US, the Arnold Classic brand has become the largest series of multi-sport festivals in the world, travelling to Melbourne in Australia, Johannesburg in Africa, Hong Kong in Asia, Barcelona in Europe, and São Paulo in South America. The festivals follow a similar format featuring professional bodybuilding and related IFBB Pro League competitions, amateur bodybuilding, strength and combat sports, as well

as mega health and fitness exhibitions and youth events that will vary from continent to continent. Apart from sports as diverse as bodybuilding, wrestling and martial arts, the event is also known for featuring more cerebral pastimes such as chess and Rubik's cube. Schwarzenegger and business partner Jim Lorimer created the event in Ohio in 1989 and today the mega-sports festival and expo is hosted in six continents and draws over 500,000 attendees a year. The idea behind the concept is to

encourage families and people of all ages to get off their couch and exercise and to make living healthy a lifelong habit. “Fitness teaches you things you could never learn in a classroom or boardroom,” said Schwarzenegger at a recent press conference promoting the Arnold Classic Worldwide brand. Arnold Classic Africa and Arnold Classic Asia will each be staged for the second time in 2017, after successful debut events in 2016. The Arnold Classic Worldwide schedule for 2017 includes:

■ ARNOLD SPORTS FESTIVAL USA, Columbus, Ohio, March 2-5, 2017 ■ ARNOLD CLASSIC AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE, March 17-19, 2017 ■ ARNOLD CLASSIC SOUTH AMERICA, SÃO PAULO, BRASIL, April 21-23, 2017 ■ ARNOLD CLASSIC AFRICA, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, May 5-7, 2017 ■ ARNOLD CLASSIC ASIA, HONG KONG, August 18-20, 2017 ■ ARNOLD CLASSIC EUROPE, BARCELONA, SPAIN, September 22-24, 2017 Visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com for additional information.


M.E NEWS

MUSCLE NEWS NABBA/WFF ATHLETES ROCK IRELAND Extreme Bodybuilding division; Wiehann Mentz, who achieved 6th in the Men’s Bodybuilding Pro line-up; and Kobie Pieters, who walked away with gold in the Men’s Superbody category and winning his Pro Card in the process. He also took 3rd in the Men’s Bodybuilding Pro line-up. In the Men’s Junior under 23 line-up, Johnathan Rannachan took 3rd place, while Louise du Preez came 3rd in the Women’s Sports Model under 1.63m division. Engela van Tonder secured 3rd in the Women’s Athletic Bodybuilding category, and Elizabeth Moore took 5th in the Women’s Bodybuilding Pro line-up. Chantelle Labuschagne achieved 3rd spot

in the Women’s Performance Bodybuilding division, with Minka Swart placing 3rd in the Women’s Junior Bodybuilding category. Lynn Hughes took gold in the Women’s 45 Plus Bodybuilding section, making her Miss World for the second time. Lieze van der Walt walked away with top honours in the Women’s Sports Model over 1.63m category, also achieving Pro status. She also placed 4th in the Women’s Sports Model Pro line-up. Ruan du Preez won his Pro Card after walking away with the honours in the Men’s Sports Model over 1.72m class. Ruan also achieved 4th spot in the Male Sports Model Pro line-up. Leandre van Zyl earned his Pro

Card with his victory in the Male Sports Model under 23 section and came 6th in the Pro line-up. Le-Jean Ehlers fought it out for the top spot in the Women’s Sports Model under 23 division and was rewarded with gold and a Pro Card for her efforts. She also won the Women’s Sports Model Pro line-up. Michelle van Straaten finished 2nd in the WFF Pro division and also secured 4th position in the Women’s Pro Bodybuilding section. Shona van der Merwe won silver in the Bikini Model under 1.63m category, while Nadine Yates placed 2nd in the Women’s Superbody class. WFF Pro Anita Visser qualified as an international judge at the show.

Themelani ‘Terra’ Dlodlo

Wiehann Mentz

Kobie Pieters

Johnathan Rannachan

Lynn Hughes

Lieze van der Walt

Ruan du Preez

Leandre van Zyl

Le-Jean Ehlers

Michelle van Straaten

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Muscle Evolution

PHOTOS BY SHAWN VAN STRAATEN

The recent WFF International World Championships, held for the first time on Irish soil, saw over 320 competitors from 27 countries vying for world titles across 23 Bodybuilding and Bikini classes. A total of 39 South African athletes from NABBA/WFF were also in attendance, competing in Dublin against the best of the best. All the months of rigorous training, clean eating and tremendous self-discipline were put to the test when judges at the global event rated the athletes’ efforts. South Africans who represented their country with pride included Themelani ‘Terra’ Dlodlo, who secured 2nd place in the Men’s


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REST IN PEACE TIEKIE JOUBERT

The local bodybuilding community lost another icon when legendary bodybuilder Tiekie Joubert, who achieved Springbok colours in bodybuilding and represented South Africa on numerous occasions, passed away on 23 November 2016. He will be greatly missed. Like his incredible physique when he was competing, Tiekie was big and strong of heart, soul and mind. Among his achievements were: ■ 1981 Mr. International - IFBB Heavyweight - 12th ■ 1986 World Championships WABBA - Tall - 3rd ■ 1987 Mr. Universe - NABBA - Tall - 4th ■ 1989 Mr. Universe - NABBA - Tall - 6th ■ 1989 World Championships NABBA - Tall - 6th He was not only regarded as a top competitor but also served as a major inspiration for many who competed in the sport of bodybuilding. Described as a true gentleman and a great representative of bodybuilding, Tiekie's passion for the sport will forever remain as an inspiration to others. While he has passed, his legacy will remain. Condolences to his family and friends.

NEW SHOW IN MEMORY OF MARCO ROSSI

A brand new bodybuilding show, The Conrad Nagel Xtreme Classic, in memory of one of South Africa's greatest athletes and show promotors, Marco Rossi, will be held on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at the Durbanville Auditorium in Cape Town. The registration process for athletes will take place on Friday, 24 March from 17:00 to 20:00. Described as the ultimate showdown for a novice athlete, the show will boast a total of 19 Novice divisions and 22 Open divisions, along with a Masters division in the Novice and Open classes. The show will also be the only qualifier for local athletes to be selected to compete in one of the biggest fitness expos in Europe, BodyPower, scheduled to take place in the United Kingdom from 12-14 May 2017. Contact Kevin Schwartz from Body Building and Fitness South Africa (BBFSA) on 072 4477 520 for additional information.

NEW HOME FOR POPULAR IFBB SHOWS

Platinum League and Arnold Classic Africa qualifiers, the IFBB Millennium Gold Plate (8 April 2017) and IFBB Boksburg Classic (22 July 2017) will be hosted at a brand new venue this year – the Kaleideo Auditorium in Kempton Park. The new venue can seat 1,200 spectators. Visit www.ifbbsa.co.za for more info.

Gone but never forgotten. Bodybuilder Tiekie Joubert in his heyday.

CACTIC FITNESS LAUNCHES MULTI-SPORT S

Cactic Fitness recently announced the launch of the Multi-Sport S complete training solution for holistic fitness development. This gym within a shipping container provides a transportable solution that can be moved without disassembling. Various options can accommodate between 12 to 30 people training at once. Once ordered, the solution can be delivered and operational within six weeks. Available upgrades include a Bluetooth sound system (inside and outside)

with wireless microphone, a 220V electric connection or hybrid electric connection, additional ventilation for improved cooling, UV-resistant skylights for improved internal lighting, and access control and security surveillance. The solution is already in use with the Sharks rugby team, various high schools, Body20, Wanderers Sport & Medical Centre, and Jannie Brooks Gym. For more info, email info@cactic.co.za or visit www.cacticfitness.co.za www.muscleevolution.co.za

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separates visuals into different areas of the panel. Added to this is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) that improves the amount of detail in darker scenes. Ultra Smooth Motion Rate (Ultra SMR) technology creates and inserts frames into the picture for smoother transitions, delivering a better viewing experience when it comes to high paced content. The range, which boasts eight million individual pixels to ensure vivid and detailed content, starts from 55-inch screen sizes and tops out at 70-inches. Prices from R14,999 to R34,999.

2017 APRILIA SHIVER 900 The 2017 Aprilia Shiver 900 naked bike will be powered by a larger 896cc liquidcooled, 90-degree V-twin engine with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder.

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The range of portable Bluetooth JBL speakers include the JBL GO (R619), JBL Clip 2 (R1,099), JBL Flip 3 (R2,099), JBL Charge 2 Plus (R2,899), JBL Pulse 2 with customisable light show (R4,299) and the bass-booming JBL Xtreme (R5,299). They all stream music via Bluetooth and are compatible with iOS and Android devices. Rechargeable batteries offer between 5-15 hours of continuous play, depending on the model, and the splash-proof cover feature makes these ideal for use by the water’s edge. Available from hi, The Foschini Group’s mobile and lifestyle electronics store and online at hi-online.co.za.

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switchable ABS and full-colour TFT instrumentation are also standard. Aprilia’s multimedia platform, which connects to a smartphone and displays things like incoming calls, is an optional upgrade. A new, lighter Kayaba upside-down fork is adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping and connects to the frame via forged aluminum steering yoke plates. Wheel base is 144cm, seat height is 81cm and fuel tank capacity is 15L.


M.E READERS’ QUESTIONS

ask M.E LOOKING FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR TRAINING, MEAL PLANNING OR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION? ASK OUR PROS. Questions answered by Muscle Evolution’s team of experts.

Q A

FOOD FRUSTRATION

Please help. I’m totally confused about the process of food intake and its impact on performance in the gym. James from Pretoria

Muscle contraction, no matter where you train, is ultimately made possible by the sun. This is because muscle contraction requires energy and biological energy on this planet originates from the sun. The energy in sunlight is captured by plants on land and in water and converted via photosynthesis into fuel: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Animals eat plants capturing energy contained in plant nutrients for conversion into carbohydrates, protein and fat needed for animal growth and daily movement. Humans then consume plants and animals and the energy contained in carbohydrates, protein and fat is subsequently used for metabolic processes such as muscle contraction. The human body creates a usable form of energy called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Each day we produce the equivalent of roughly half our body weight in ATP, even though the total amount of ATP in the human body is only about 100g at any given time. From this you can clearly see that even when we don’t lift weights we need a lot of ATP. Your muscles also have to produce more ATP to sustain intense muscle contractions. In fact, the reason you actually get tired when you lift weights is because the body fatigues when your muscles no longer produce ATP fast enough to fuel muscle contractions. Each muscle cell contains about one billion ATP molecules, all of which is used and replaced every two minutes. Carbohydrates are broken down to produce ATP energy, stored as glycogen inside cells to meet energy needs or used as part of the structure of other molecules such as glycoproteins, for example. Protein is used throughout the body but under some circumstances it can also be broken down to produce 20

Muscle Evolution

Carbohydrates are important to fuel muscle cells.

Sweet Potato Hash

Eating protein after you have exercised can boost muscle protein synthesis.

Chicken and beef kebabs

Fatty acids are used as part of the cell’s membrane, as building blocks for other molecules, or to break down to form ATP.

Avocado and smoked salmon on health bread

ATP energy or converted into glucose. The body is, however, programmed to minimise the use of protein as energy or for conversion to glucose because protein is a precious commodity. Unlike fat and glucose, excess protein is not stored in the body, so it tries to protect the protein it has. Fat is broken down inside cells to produce ATP energy or is then stored as triglycerides inside fat cells as well as other cells, or used in various structural ways, often

as a primary component of cell membranes. Muscle cells are well designed to break down carbohydrates and fat to produce ATP, sparing protein that is so important for other functions inside the cell. The level of intensity of the exercise you perform is the main determining factor in which energy system produces the most ATP at any given time. CARBOHYDRATES are important to fuel muscle cells and are essentially all molecules

with similar characteristics, from simple sugar such as glucose (including blood sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) to sucrose (table sugar) and more complex carbohydrates such as starch and fibre. The speed at which a carbohydrate enters the bloodstream and is made available to muscles and other tissues depends upon how rapidly a meal exits the stomach into the small intestine where digestion and absorption occur. The quicker a carbohydrate is absorbed the quicker it can be converted to glucose that muscle cells can extract from the bloodstream and use for ATP. Eating PROTEIN after you have exercised can boost muscle protein synthesis, giving you a jump start on muscle growth and recovery. If you consume small snacks high in protein throughout the day it will also provide a further boost for muscle protein synthesis. Dairy protein is high in essential amino acids, especially leucine, which will boost muscle protein synthesis. This is the reason many bodybuilding experts recommend drinking a large glass of chocolate milk after training because cow’s milk contains 1g of protein per fluid ounce, and the sugar in the chocolate helps to boost insulin and replenish glycogen, a process that helps ‘pull’ amino acids into muscle cells more efficiently after exercise. FAT can be consumed either as individual fatty acids or as triglycerides (three fatty acids connected to one glycerol molecule). They are absorbed and distributed in the bloodstream to cells throughout the human body. Cells can take up fatty acids for use as part of the cell’s membrane, as building blocks for other molecules, or to break down to form ATP. The three fuel substrates provided by your diet is each converted to its usable form. It is either circulated in the blood to be used for metabolism or stored in the body. As such, a balanced diet that provides all three macronutrients is beneficial, with a predominant focus on the intake of carbs and protein around your workouts.


“INCREASING THE POUNDAGE YOU LIFT EVERY TIME YOU ARE IN THE GYM IS JUST ONE OF THE VARIABLES YOU CAN USE TO DEVELOP MUSCLE.”

Q A

SEEKING SERIOUS SIZE

Can you give me the ideal training programme? I want to pack on some serious size. Pieter from Bloemfontein

First and foremost, there is no ideal or single best training programme. In the bodybuilding world you will find an endless number of body part splits, varying from full-body training to breaking up the body and doing one body part a day (an arm day or chest day and so on), twice-a-day-bodypart training or an upper and lower body split, to name a few. With all this information floating around no wonder a person gets confused about which is the best programme to use to build muscle. The most important aspect of a programme, however, is to use it at the right time for the right reason. This will obviously depend on your individual goals, recovery ability, stress levels and genetics. How a powerlifter trains for a comp will differ greatly from how a competitive bodybuilder will train for a contest. The powerlifter needs to reach a specific number in poundage to be successful, while a bodybuilder will focus more on appearance rather than

performance. A split which is based on full-body training is great for a beginner as an introduction to exercises and learning how to perform them correctly. Such a split will also work when your goal is to lose fat or to attain a certain level of general fitness, but not as a preferred system to increase muscle mass. Training is a long evolutionary process. A beginner should not emulate his favourite Pro bodybuilder's routine in his first month of lifting because the capacity to perform multiple reps and sets in different exercises needs to be built up over a period of time, much like a long distance runner needs to build up mileage for a marathon. If you want to train for muscle size you will require volume to achieve muscular development. If you want to improve your strength you need to hit the basic exercises heavy and hard in low rep ranges but with proper progression. With such a split you will gain strength

but not necessarily size. Increasing the poundage you lift every time you are in the gym is just one of the variables you can use to develop muscle. If your goal is to develop your entire body you have to add exercises to work every part of your musculature. You can increase the volume and intensity, but only up to a point before you hit a level of diminishing returns. A split routine also allows for a higher volume of work which will include a wider variety of exercises for each body part. If your priority is to increase strength and fitness you have to train for performance and if your priority is to develop a visually-impressive physique for the stage, aesthetics will become increasingly important to you. However, before you embark on a journey to “pack on some serious size”, first determine the reason you want to increase muscle mass before setting priorities and experimenting with different training variables.


M.E FEATURE

By Pedro van Gaalen, Managing Editor

E M O C R E V O LLY SUCCESSIFNUT OF GREATEST THE PO ANCE DURING RESIST ND EXERCISES COMPOU

A

S THE OLD SAYING GOES, A CHAIN IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS WEAKEST LINK. AND IN THE CONTEXT OF MOVEMENT CHAINS, THE WEAKEST LINK IS OFTEN THE CAUSE OF COMMON STICKING POINTS DURING THE BIG COMPOUND LIFTS THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF STRENGTH AND SIZE. There are many reasons as to why we experience sticking points during these lifts and they may not always be the same for everyone. At the most basic level, it is important to understand that human movement relies on the coordinated activation of specific muscles in sequence which then act together with our skeletal system and joints to create levers that exert varying degrees of force. Accordingly, all the muscles across the joint need to be synchronised and symmetrical in terms of strength and must fire in the correct sequence to execute their role in specific lifts.

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A common understanding of this phenomenon asserts that when we lack strength in one or more muscles in a movement chain, or when there is a lack of mobility around a joint, this tends to create a point of weakness. Technically then, it is at this point that you'll likely find that your body is unable to overcome the forces exerted on it by the weight. It is at this point where the anatomy chain – the combination of muscles involved in the movement – is unable to exert the required force to produce sufficient velocity and where mechanical leverage is at its least effective. What generally happens at this stage is that the rate of contraction will start to decelerate. This is what is commonly referred to as a sticking point. Without the correct intervention, the weight will eventually decelerate to zero and this is where the lift fails. However, it is not just velocity that can explain the occurrence of sticking points as human movement in general and lifting weights in particular are multi-faceted processes. It could, for instance, also happen at specific biomechanical positions – a joint angle where the weight is greatest and the ability to produce adequate force is lowest. This is not always at the transition point of the lift – at the 'bottom' of a lift where the direction of force needs to be reversed or where inertia has to be overcome – as poor technique can also compromise the transfer of forces. So the sticking point is a combination of the movement path, the position of the body, and the contribution of each muscle and their timed activation pattern. This means that the more complex a movement, which is a factor of the total number of muscles and joint structures required to execute it, the more likely we are to encounter a sticking point, or even multiple sticking points.

“THE MORE COMPLEX A MOVEMENT, WHICH IS A FACTOR OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF MUSCLES AND JOINT STRUCTURES REQUIRED TO EXECUTE IT, THE MORE LIKELY WE ARE TO ENCOUNTER A STICKING POINT, OR EVEN MULTIPLE STICKING POINTS.”

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION To try to better understand the sticking point phenomenon, researchers Jovan Kompf, from the Kinesiology Department, Park Center, State University of New York at Cortland, and Ognjen Arandjelović, from the School of Computer Science, St Andrews University, in Scotland, conducted a meta-analysis of existing research on the topic of “Understanding and Overcoming the Sticking Point in Resistance Exercise”, which was published in the journal Sports Medicine in June 2016. Their aim was to use available research to understand the multitude of factors that play a role in the development of sticking points, as well as different strategies that a trainee can employ to remedy the associated weaknesses to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. To highlight the complex interrelationship of factors, the study authors highlighted the various elements that have been cited as factors affecting sticking points. These include the anatomical cross-sectional area of a muscle, the force-length and forcevelocity relationships, fatigue, motor unit recruitment, fibre type, and biomechanical factors that affect torque development. Motivated by the observations they made, Kompf and Arandjelović sought to cut through the key limitations or

inconsistencies in the way the concept was defined previously, and subsequently defined the sticking point “as the point at which failure occurs when exercise is taken to the point of momentary muscular failure.” Following their review of available literature, Kompf and Arandjelović concluded that “the apparent desire to formulate an overly reductive yet universal model” that pertains to sticking points during lifts “may not be a realistic goal”. Accordingly, the researchers expanded on the concept, stating that “different exercises in which sticking points are of interest are characterised by vastly different biomechanics, and different lifters exhibit different abilities. These differences can greatly change the relative contributions of different elementary factors that contribute to the development of the sticking point.” Furthermore, they suggest that the phenomenon of a sticking point is “multifactorial and underlain by complex interactions between different contributing factors that are both athletespecific and exercise-specific.” In addition, the interplay of the aforementioned factors and fatigue “demands more extensive study before its role in the context of sticking points is understood with some clarity and practical insight.”

THEY DO, HOWEVER, IDENTIFY FIVE KEY STRATEGIES THAT SOMEONE WHO TRAINS WITH WEIGHTS, IN WHATEVER CONTEXT, SHOULD UNDERSTAND AND CONSIDER: ■ Target muscle strengthening using isolation work, ■ ROM-specific training using partial repetitions, ■ Development of momentum preceding the sticking point, ■ Exercise technique alteration, and ■ Accommodating or variable resistance use.

JOHN LESLIE

DEFINING THE STICKING POINT

www.muscleevolution.co.za

23


M.E FEATURE The key for bodybuilders is to move the weight smoothly rather than rapidly, but still quickly enough to get through any sticking points.

OVERCOMING STICKING POINTS At its most basic level, overcoming sticking points is about speed. More specifically, it is about the rate of acceleration and velocity of a bar or weight. The main reason for this is the faster you lift a weight, the less chance you have of decelerating to the sticking point. Basically, you power through it. That's great if you're a powerlifter or an Olympic weightlifter, but what about bodybuilders? When training for aesthetics, instead of strength or power, the rule of the game is time under tension. You therefore want to lift longer with a good tempo. This approach tends to amplify sticking points.

STEP 1: EVALUATE

In these instances, you need to evaluate your movement and determine the weakest point in your chain. As Kompf and Arandjelović outline in their study, “by considering the biomechanical context in which different muscles contribute to the lift in the vicinity of the sticking point as well as the corpus of collected electromyography (EMG) data, in many cases it is possible to identify the muscle (or more broadly a functional muscle group) that can be considered the ‘weakest link’.” Take the bench press as an example. In most instances it is an auxiliary muscle group – synergists and/or stabilisers – that cause sticking points, usually during the concentric (push) phase. Having lowered the bar to your chest, you generally first engage your major chest muscles to initiate the movement, followed by the anterior deltoids and lats to drive the weight up through the first phase of the lift, with the triceps taking over for the last half of the movement. A common sticking point among gymgoers is often the transition point where the triceps take over or in the final third of the lift. The key to overcoming this type of sticking point is to strengthen the specific muscles that are letting the team down, which in this example are the triceps.

COMMON DEADLIFT STICKING POINTS: ■ Pulling phase off the floor: Weak quadriceps and/ or tight psoas ■ Mid-point: Weak lower back muscles and/or rhomboids ■ Final pull phase from midthigh to lockout: Weak glutes and/or hamstrings

NKULULEKO CELE

COMMON SQUAT STICKING POINTS: ■ Transition phase: Weak glutes and/or hamstrings ■ Mid-point: Weak quads and/or glutes ■ Final phase: Weak quads 24

Muscle Evolution

STEP 2: STRENGTHEN

Specific muscles can be strengthened through targeted isolation work, plyometric exercise to help improve contractile force and power, and movement drills, commonly referred to by powerlifters as assistance work, to help strengthen specific phases of a movement. In the case of improving tricep muscle recruitment and overall strength in the bench press, partial reps in the last half of the movement is a classic example, as is close grip plyometric push-ups. Isometric exercises performed at the specific sticking point are also an effective way to increase muscle strength at these problem spots in the movement pattern. Using the bench press example, an isometric hold in the push-up position where your arms are in the 90-degree position would help to build strength during the deltoid to tricep transition phase. In the context of bodybuilding, Kompf and Arandjelović point out that these types of exercises have no direct value for hypertrophy, but the increase in strength and potential to lift heavier loads and with greater volume would provide the eventual benefit to muscle size. Isometrics can also be extremely effective when combined with partial reps. The idea would be to hold the isometric contraction for 5-10 seconds, then rep out a few partial reps through the weakest point or phase of the movement. One final training technique worth considering in the context of strength development is the use of paused reps. By including a distinct pause at the start of each concentric phase of the lift, trainees can help to develop the requisite strength needed to overcome inertia during heavier lifts. By removing the momentum from the negative (eccentric) phase and then trying to accelerate the bar from a dead stop, you work to develop greater power and contractile force.

IMPROVE TECHNIQUE You may also find that a simple shift in the movement arc, a different hand or foot position, or a minor correction in technique could resolve the sticking point, even during slower reps. The reason for this is that the further an object is away from its centre line of force or from the centre line of the body, the greater the force required to overcome it will be. Kompf and Arandjelović also explain in their paper that exercise technique alterations, when employed in a targeted manner, can benefit a wide range of trainees. “Bodybuilders for example may use them to place a greater emphasis on a certain muscle group (thereby possibly increasing the resistance experienced by the target muscles while reducing the total load lifted).” The key for bodybuilders is also to move the weight smoothly rather than rapidly, but still quickly enough to get through any sticking points and at a rate that still delivers the required time under tension.

CHEAT YOUR REPS An additional suggestion made by Kompf and Arandjelović is the use of the normally frowned-upon practise of cheat reps, which they say can be incorporated into your weight training as a form of external momentum aimed at overcoming a sticking point. In this instance, lifters develop external momentum by incorporating muscles otherwise not involved in a lift. According to the researchers, recent models suggest that “when used in moderation, external momentum can be safely used to apply greater force on target muscles as well as increase their time under tension. Considering safety and practical constraints, external momentum is of most use to athletes seeking increases in muscle size such as bodybuilders.” One final consideration is the use of a spotter, who can ‘cheat’ you past the point of failure. However, this should not be overly relied on as it can serve to increase a lifter’s reliance on assistance to get through sticking points without adequately addressing the root causes. M.E


INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS, COMBINE WITH A BALANCED, ENERGYCONTROLLED LEAN MUSCLE GAIN EATING PLAN AND TRAINING PROGRAMME*.

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By Werner Beukes, Editor Photography by Cindy Ellis Shot on location at Viva Gym Rosebank, Ground Floor, The Zone @ Rosebank, 117 Oxford Street, Rosebank www.vivagymsa.co.za/rosebank-johannesburg/

M.E TRAINING

S

TEPPING AWAY FOR A MINUTE FROM THE USUAL CROP OF BODYBUILDERS WE FEATURE IN THE PAGES OF MUSCLE EVOLUTION, WE TRACKED DOWN A SUPER FREAK WHO LIVES IN OUR MIDST. Although relatively unknown, Jake Prodgers is not new to the bodybuilding arena, having clashed with giants in the heavyweight divisions a few years ago and coming out triumphantly. Today, still large and in charge, the 30-year-old is itching to step back into the winners’ circle.

THE JAKE PRODGERS STORY

FREAK UNDER

CONSTRUCTION ❱❱ SWOLE IS THE GOAL F

or the average man, the gym is a place where you go for a workout. For Jake it is church. Bodybuilding is his game and the gym a place where he gets the work done. Jake is exponentially larger than a year ago, but before he returns to the stage his goal is to make sure he brings a complete package. “I like to stay in shape year-round. I love training. I have only done two shows, though. Both were back in 2011, where I managed to place first in the heavyweight divisions at the IFBB Gauteng Central and the IFBB Novice SA Champs. I have not earmarked a specific show for 2017 yet, but I am keeping my options open to see what the future will bring.” While still at school, Jake began training under the guidance of his father Harold, a 26

Muscle Evolution

passionate bodybuilder, with the goal of building strength and power for the game of rugby. The lanky Jake played at lock, flank and eighth man, where muscle and brawn is traditionally needed to dominate the opposition. However, the iron bug never truly bit him until the age of 22. “I decided to step things up a level and devote more time to training. With my dad competing when I was younger, it was only logical for me to also start training seriously.” For Jake, swole is the goal and size the prize. “My training philosophy is basically going all out, because anything less is a missed opportunity to improve. I have always been a big admirer of hard work and dedication. I view great genetics as worthless if you don’t have the drive and willpower to first do the hard work.”


Fact File:

HEIGHT: 1.89m OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 120kg CONTEST WEIGHT: 110-113kg OCCUPATION: Freight Business Development Manager, Aramex SA RESIDENCE: Morningside, Johannesburg SPONSOR: TNT Mercury FAVOURITE BODYBUILDERS: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Heath, Jay Cutler BODYBUILDING INFLUENCES: Jaco Davidson, Marc Krom and the guys at TNT Mercury

FAVOURITE BODY PARTS: Shoulders and traps LEAST FAVOURITE BODY PART: Back WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU: Driven, passionate, hard-headed BODYBUILDING HISTORY: 2011 ■ IFBB Gauteng Central Heavyweight - 1st ■ IFBB Novice SA Championships Heavyweight - 1st

MOTTO IN LIFE:

“WHEN THE PATH OF LIFE GETS STEEP, KEEP A LEVEL MIND.”

❱❱ DIETING IS THE HARDEST A ny well-thought-out training protocol needs a sound nutrition plan to lend support to facilitate the muscle-building process. For Jake, the most difficult aspect of bodybuilding is the diet. “The dieting is always the hardest. It is a mental game. I can deal with the training, but the diet drags on for weeks. As I’m not competing at the moment, I structure my eating around the following meals to keep in shape:

MEAL 1:

1 cup of oats with whey protein

MEAL 2:

200 grams of chicken, 200 grams of carbohydrates of my choice

MEAL 3:

200 grams of chicken, 200 grams of carbohydrates of my choice

MEAL 4:

200 grams of fish, 200 grams of carbohydrates of my choice

MEAL 5:

200 grams of ostrich, 200 grams of carbohydrates of my choice

MEAL 6:

1 cup of oats with casein protein

SUPPLEMENT STACK FROM TNT MERCURY:

100% Prime Whey, Hydro Blast, Kevlar Rapid Fire, BCAAs, Circadian

www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

❱❱ GO WITH WHAT WORKS J

ake used to follow a high frequency split, but under the guidance of Marc Krom he now focuses on fewer exercises, opting for quality over quantity. “I kept the variety in my training, but cut the volume down to once-weekly sessions for each muscle group. I still blast out 4 to 5 sets, but the new frequency allows for greater recovery which also helps me train more intensely. I prefer refinement over mere mass, whereas in the past I only wanted to get bigger.” According to Jake, nothing is written in stone and each individual should experiment and go with what works for them. “For me, it works out to be 5 to 6 days for each muscle group. We all are different, though.” Jake recommends emphasising lifting weights over cardio workouts if your goal is to pack on mass. “If you train to your full ability, weights will burn more calories than any specific cardiovascular workout. Conversely, cardio sessions, if performed to the limit, burn muscle mass. So, if you want to pack on some mass your focus should not be on the stepper or bike but on the weights. Even if I do cardio, I am careful not to burn muscle.” JAKE’S SPLIT DAY 1

Legs & calves

DAY 2

Chest & triceps

DAY 3

Back

DAY 4

Shoulders & biceps

DAY 5

Abdominals & forearms

DAY 6&7 Off Jake has changed his training split, from training 6 days a week to 5, to allow for more intensity and recovery.

❱❱ DRIVEN BY CONSISTENCY I f a bodybuilder wants to achieve anything, be it to compete or to reach personal goals in the gym, consistency must become a philosophy. “I live the bodybuilding lifestyle. I eat consistently. I train consistently. Don’t use excuses if you are passionate about the lifestyle. I believe guts and consistency drive you toward your goals. It is something that I see in every aspect of the bodybuilding lifestyle. It is more than a term or a rule – it is a way of life. Over the past few years I have been

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Muscle Evolution

focusing on my career as it pays the bills at the end of the day. I think it is incredibly hard to be a Pro bodybuilder. I have tons of respect for guys like Earl Abrahams, Andrew Hudson and Cobus van der Merwe and who does not like a freak like John Leslie! It takes a lot of work and personal sacrifice to reach Pro status. Bodybuilding is an important part of who I am as a person and will always be. I recommend that aspiring bodybuilders take things at their own pace and don’t get caught up in the notion of becoming the biggest in the shortest

space of time. Allow your body to develop over time and make sure to focus on your health first by doing the relevant research. Always put a lot of thought into what you do and why you do it. Bodybuilding requires more education, experience and analysis of your body than any other athletic pursuit.” When Jake is not working or training, he spends time with his girlfriend Christy Lee Edmunds or socialising with friends and family. “I also enjoy going to the occasional music festival here and there.”


M.E TRAINING

TRI HARDER! “I ALWAYS MAKE SURE MY TRICEPS ARE DOING THE ACTUAL WORK ON THESE INSTEAD OF MY SHOULDERS AND CHEST. TO ME, IT IS THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUST MAINTAINING WHAT YOU HAVE AND ACTUALLY CAUSING A LITTLE GROWTH.”

❱❱ CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS

Jake hits his triceps heavy and hard with closegrip bench presses. He likes to start with a real basic exercise, something he is really strong on and that allows him to pack on the most weight. “The close-grip bench press is great for triceps. On other days, I may go with skull crushers.” Every three to four weeks he adds a shock principle such as drop sets or supersets to add intensity to his arm training.

SETS

REPS

5

15-20

❱❱ OVERHEAD DUMBBELL EXTENSIONS Jake loves using this exercise, sometimes opting for a barbell to switch things up. He would also alternate between using single extensions and knocking out reps with both arms simultaneously. Jake keeps this movement in his rotation of exercises.

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Muscle Evolution

SETS

REPS

4

15-20

“I BELIEVE THAT TO BRING UP A WEAK BODY PART YOU REALLY HAVE TO GET INTO THE STRETCH AND THE CONTRACTION OF IT FROM THE BOTTOM THROUGH TO THE TOP OF THE MOVEMENT. IF MORE GUYS FOCUS ON THE STRETCH AT THE BOTTOM AND CONTRACTION AT THE TOP INSTEAD OF TURNING EACH AND EVERY MOVE INTO A POWER ONE, I BELIEVE THEY WOULD DERIVE A LOT MORE BENEFIT.”


M.E TRAINING

“WHEN YOU PULL THE ROPES APART YOU HIT THE OUTER HEADS OF YOUR TRICEPS AND WHEN YOU KEEP THEM TOGETHER YOU HIT THE LONG HEAD. I TRY TO LOCK OUT WHEN I AM USING CABLES AND FLEX MY MUSCLES AS HARD AS I CAN.”

❱❱ CABLE PUSHDOWNS Jake keeps his elbows near his sides and alternates between a rope and a bar attachment when he heads over to the cable station after his compound opener. “When I am locking out at the bottom, I make sure I turn my wrists slightly outward to focus more on the lockout and putting more pressure on contracting the tricep muscles.” When Jake is using the rope for pushdowns, he sometimes brings it apart at the contraction point and at other times he keeps them together.

32

SETS

REPS

4

15-20

Muscle Evolution


❱❱ JACK UP YOUR ARMS WITH JAKE! W

hether your arms are your worst or strongest body part (like Jake), these handy tips will improve your development. At 1.89m and 120kg in the offseason, Jake can honestly say that he did not acquire his size solely from cable and machine exercises. However, he doesn't shun these training tools. “I like to start out with compound moves, but I also integrate isolation exercises. My workouts include barbells, dumbbells and cable isolation exercises to stretch the muscle and increase blood flow.” Jake believes it is the cumulative effect of this potent combination that stimulates his arms and helps to prevent injury. He usually combines arm training with other body parts such as chest and shoulders, but would occasionally train them on the same day. Because triceps are a larger muscle group, Jake kicks off his arm routine with them. His goal is to achieve a pump in his arms, a natural strong point. “The pump is something I go for when training arms. The pump is always foremost in my mind when I count sets and reps. I sometimes go over 15 reps because I know that another rep will continue to bring more blood volume and that it will contribute to more size.”

❱❱ DUMBBELL KICKBACKS Although his tricep development has always been a strength, Jake wants to take a great body part and make it even better. “You really have to concentrate to make a lift isolate a specific muscle, especially with arms. A lot of up-and-coming bodybuilders turn their arm workouts into some sort of power exercise, training many muscles but never fully taxing their arms.” SETS

REPS

4

15-20

“JAKE SEES DUMBBELL KICKBACKS AS THE PERFECT FINISHER FOR HIS TRICEPS: ‘IT IS A TRUE ISOLATION MOVEMENT THAT YOU HAVE TO GO A LOT LIGHTER ON FOR IT TO WORK RIGHT.’” www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

,

BLAST YOUR BI S! “THE MAIN THING IS TO GO SLOW AND REMAIN IN CONTROL. TO BOUNCE OUT OF THE BOTTOM WITH TOO MUCH WEIGHT IS STUPID AND DANGEROUS.”

SETS

REPS

4

15-20

❱❱ STANDING BARBELL CURLS This is the grand daddy of all bicep exercises and with good reason. This classic exercise works the biceps in the same way you construct a concrete building – from the bottom up and inside out. “This is my anchor exercise for bigger biceps. I always make my biceps control the movement and I never allow the weight to control me.

❱❱ VISUALISATION AND PEAK CONTRACTION J

ake locks in on his arms without any distractions. He typically follows a warm-up regimen with light weights to make sure the muscles and tendons are ready before starting his workout. “There is definitely a mental link, as shown by research, between your brain and the muscle you are working on in the gym. If you think about what you do, you are able to recruit more muscle fibres, which is the catalyst to greater overall muscle growth.” Jake gets the most out of each rep by using a slow and controlled speed and holding the top position of each rep while contracting the muscle as hard as possible. “I love getting into a brutal workout, where nothing is on my mind except smashing through a previous record in the gym. When I come in, it is all business. This is work. I get in and I get the job done.”

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Muscle Evolution

❱❱ STANDING CABLE CURLS With these Jake can isolate more power directly into his bicep peak or either head of the biceps when he chooses to do the move with both arms simultaneously. His goal is to get a more controlled peak contraction at the top of each rep.

SETS

REPS

4

15-20


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M.E TRAINING

❱❱ PREACHER DUMBBELL CURLS This move reaches muscle fibres left unfatigued by the preceding exercises. Jake pumps out strict reps without leaning forward or using momentum. “I would sometimes, when I feel energetic, turn a curl into a hammer move to blast the brachialis. When developed, these muscles add overall size and thickness to the upper arms.”

“THE OBJECTIVE IS TO KEEP YOUR BODY AS STATIONARY AS POSSIBLE AND TO LIMIT YOUR SHOULDERS FROM TAKING OVER.”

SETS

REPS

4

15-20

❱❱ ADDITIONAL TIPS

❱❱ Follow the principle of instinctive training. If the cable station you want to use is occupied, don't stand around waiting. Find something else to do in its place. Don't lose your focus. ❱❱ Never swing backwards when you are curling a barbell – you will only hyperextend your lower back, shortchange yourself and limit the benefit of the exercise. ❱❱ Good can be the enemy of great. Always take aim at bigger and better biceps and triceps. ❱❱ When your arms are weak, train them separately from other body parts to give them your full, undivided attention. ❱❱ Use dips to develop your triceps. If you point your elbows outward the movement is the equivalent of a decline bench press and you will work your chest. To target triceps, make sure that your elbows are tucked in against your body. 36

Muscle Evolution

“THE ULTIMATE GOAL, IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT BUILDING A BETTER BODY, IS TO MAKE SURE THE MUSCLES YOU TRAIN FAIL FROM THE INTENSITY OF THE CONTRACTION INSTEAD OF OVERLOAD.” SETS

REPS

4

15-20

❱❱ CONCENTRATION CURLS Concentration curls are an Arnold-inspired exercise and Jake focuses on feeling his biceps contract rather than completing the largest number of reps with the heaviest dumbbells. “Sometimes you concentrate so much on

making sure you complete the rep range that you lose focus on the stretch and flex. If that happens, drop down to a more manageable weight and start to focus on contracting and stretching your biceps. This is what raises intensity and what gives you results.” M.E


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M.E PROFILE

By Werner Beukes, Editor Photography by Soulby Jackson | www.skjphotography.co.za

EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAS A BALANCE POINT, EXCEPT BODYBUILDING, WHICH IS OFTEN TAKEN TO THE EXTREME AND BEYOND. Jannie Coetzee, fresh from the 2016 Amber Prix Olympia World Pro Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he took first place in the Men’s Pro Bodybuilding over 100kg line-up and the Men’s Overall title at the WFF-WBBF World Pro Cup, can be described as an extremist.

FACT FILE

PLACE OF BIRTH: Hopetown, a small town in the Northern Cape CURRENT RESIDENCE: Silver Lakes, PTA CURRENT OCCUPATION: Co-owner of GetFit Gym and Personal Trainer SPONSORS: Muscle Dynamix –Ultimate Nutrition and AquaMac Water OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 120-125kg CONTEST WEIGHT: 110kg HEIGHT: 1.85m BODYBUILDING INSPIRATION: Phil Heath, Ronnie Coleman, Juan Bothma and Nico van Wyk BODYBUILDING PHILOSOPHY:

“I always want to better myself and inspire those around me. I respect others and believe in staying humble and giving back.”

WHAT BODYBUILDING TAUGHT WFF-WBBF PRO JANNIE COETZEE

SACRIFICE WITHOUT

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SUCCESS IS A CHOICE

I

t takes an extremist to do whatever it takes to push harder than ever before – even if that means waking up at strange hours of the morning to open the gym and do cardio to shred for the stage. Jannie could have stayed in bed, but he was hell-bent on putting in 100 percent to achieve the high standards he had set for himself. Success for the hard-working 44-year-old personal trainer and WFF-WBBF Pro super heavyweight bodybuilder is a choice: one which we must make willingly and with total commitment to bring the best to the stage.

OLD SCHOOL & HARDCORE

P

lanning and executing his nutrition while prepping for a contest, continuously improving weak points in his physique, understanding and using exercises to shock and contribute to new growth and inspiring other lifters to also achieve remarkable things are equally important and all valid reasons Jannie frequently pushes himself to the edge. He has been competing in the sport of bodybuilding since 2006. The first time he travelled overseas for a show was in 2011. “It was the WBBF World Championships held in Vienna in Austria where I placed third. My second overseas competition was also in 2011, my first time on the Olympia stage at the Amber Prix Olympia World Pro Championships in Slovakia, where I received my Pro Card.” For his most recent victory, Jannie was hitting the iron old school and hardcore. “I followed a no-nonsense approach right through to the day of the competition. I combined basic compound movements with loads of cardio and posing, posing and posing. I would blast abdominals and calves three times a week.” He adds that he also loves training his legs. “If you do a proper leg workout, and I mean proper, it will kick you back, slam you down, make you walk around like a newborn giraffe and shock your body into seven different directions, so much so, that you will not know what is happening!” His prep meals consisted of various carbohydrates and fats to keep his weight consistent. “I don't believe in high-protein diets. In the Pro line-up for my category I cannot come in small and thin. I need to be full, lean and hard. The carbs and fats were therefore predominantly used to fill out my muscles.” The toughest part of the prep for him was timing. “I had to balance my working hours and clients with my own workout and eating schedules. When I started my cardio buildup for the show, I used to open the gym an hour earlier and close an hour later just to fit everything into the day. Some days I was in the gym at 2 or 3am doing cardio. As a superheavyweight bodybuilder I needed to do 45 minutes of cardio, followed by a 15 minute posing session. I would do my weight training

later in the day, followed by another 25 minutes of cardio in the evening. My tools of torture consisted of the stepper, treadmill, rower and the stationary bike. As the great Ronnie Coleman said: 'You can’t do this if you are not dedicated and determined, and have a strong faith. Because it’s extremely hard.' I would add to Ronnie's words: Especially trying to work a day job!”

AN INNER DRIVE

J

annie has his own ‘black book’ in which he records every meal and every workout; it is all logged. Everything is always meticulously planned for the next day. Jannie does not work according to what he sees in the mirror. Motivation is a much talked about subject in the bodybuilding world, but for Jannie it is frequently misunderstood by many. “Motivation is that inner drive which helps a bodybuilder to do things he won't normally do to reach his peak. It is this motivation that kept me going when I felt tired, and you do sometimes feel extremely tired when you prep for a show. Motivation is the spark within that ignites everything you need to keep saying stuff like, 'I can do better', 'I want to improve'. 'I got this'.” Although Jannie attributes his recent victory to his coaches Juan Bothma and Nico van Wyk, he believes it is not up to a coach to try and convince you to train harder, eat better or motivate you. “That's your job. A coach is there to help you realise your true potential. It must be someone who will understand what look it is you are trying to achieve for the stage. Someone who can provide you with a proper plan and guide you along the way to reach your goals. Good coaches inspire and encourage. They have the skills, know-how and the passion to help you achieve your goals and to provide you with the opportunity to be what you want to be. I cannot put into words the massive amounts of food I had to eat to get to the Worlds stage. My coaches were constantly changing my diet, every week, sometimes every day. When Nico stepped onto the scene with Juan, the game changed completely. It was insane! These two are absolutely incredible at what they do!”

REGRET

“I FOLLOWED A NO-NONSENSE APPROACH RIGHT THROUGH TO THE DAY OF THE COMPETITION. I COMBINED BASIC COMPOUND MOVEMENTS WITH LOADS OF CARDIO AND POSING, POSING AND POSING. I WOULD BLAST ABDOMINALS AND CALVES THREE TIMES A WEEK.” www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E PROFILE

NO CHEAT SHEET

J

“I COME FROM AN ERA WHERE RESOURCES WERE LIMITED. TODAY’S BODYBUILDERS ARE SPOILT. THEY HAVE THE INTERNET, VIDS AND COACHES. THERE IS ALSO A LOT OF MISINFORMATION OUT THERE. DON’T JUST TAKE ANYBODY’S WORD THAT SOMETHING IS TRUE.” EGO AND SELF-CONFIDENCE

F

or Jannie, an athlete must have self-confidence minus arrogance. “Self-confidence is simply knowing with certainty that your training and prep have been the best that they can be. Bodybuilding is often confused with the ego, but self-confidence takes you through tough times, set backs, difficulties and obstacles so that you can emerge victorious on the other side, even if that means a poor placing at a show.” Stripped down to its core, Jannie simply loves lifting weights. He knows the difficult side of things such as the struggle of having to trade in his social life for the sport; juggling work and personal commitments with prepping; having to eat at specific times of the day; rarely having time for anything else; and having to maintain

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annie agrees there is no universal cookie-cutter programme that works for everybody. “When you are a beginner, you listen to a lot of advice, read a lot of stuff and you try everything. What works for my body is if I hit one muscle group per day. I will typically train for five days and on the sixth day I will focus on weak points with only light, compound sets, before taking a day off. Some bodybuilders become bored very easily or they get frustrated because the programme does not include a lot of variety. As with anything in life, look around for whatever coach or split fits your particular style.” Jannie has found his way around the gym and nutrition through years of trial and error. His bodybuilding philosophy is not based on a cheat sheet but on what works for him. Just like running or any other sport, workouts for a bodybuilder don't have to be the same every day. A bodybuilder can spend most of his time doing the basics right yet will never reach his true potential. “I come from an era where resources were limited. Today's bodybuilders are spoilt. They have the internet, vids and coaches. There is also a lot of misinformation out there. Don't just take anybody's word that something is true. I think that if you really want to know how to improve at a faster rate than you ever thought possible, you should listen more. It is as simple as that. If you want to improve your physique – if you want to achieve something noteworthy in this sport – you have to listen to people from whom you can learn important things. People who don't mind sharing their wisdom.” As a personal trainer, Jannie believe in being absolutely honest with his clients. “I speak my mind and tell them when they are not in shape and are not on the right track, but I then guide them onto the right path. It is my responsibility, as a trainer. As a bodybuilder, I believe it is important to always respect others, their physiques and their perspective in the fitness industry. A lot of useless information is floating around out there. Always remember that your training should have a specific purpose to it.”

the discipline to show up for training every day and do so with enthusiasm. Despite this, his commitment to bodybuilding only got stronger with age. “I think people in this sport have a general tenacity about them. They don't mind the time, sacrifices and commitment and what it ultimately takes to step onto the stage. Bodybuilding teaches us something about hard work. It builds character overcoming pain and obstacles, along with confidence, gratitude and humility. The sport is worth every drop of sacrifice and I would bet that all the athletes who have ever competed on stage, whether they made the Pro ranks or not, would agree wholeheartedly.” Jannie will be competing again in May in Belgium and in October in Istanbul in the Pro League. M.E


M.E SCIENCE

By Roy Butterton

I

T IS THE YEAR 2004 AND I’M READY TO FLEX AGAINST A FORMIDABLE COMPETITOR AT THE WPF SA CHAMPIONSHIPS: MARCO ROSSI. I’M ON A HIGH, HAVING JUST WON THE EASTERN CAPE WPF PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS THE WEEK BEFORE, AT A WEIGHT OF 100KG.

For the SA Champs, however, I decided to come in at an absolutely shredded 94,9kg by dropping water for the weigh-in. The plan was to then push my weight back up by about 2kg before show time. However, the plan took its toll on me. I’m now struggling backstage and my teammates are holding me up because I’m too weak to stand! Bodybuilding is an extreme sport and this is what we do to win. We don’t care about the consequences. At this level, winning is everything. The end result of this fateful night was that Marco Rossi emerged victorious while I had to settle for second spot.

BODYBUILDING & KIDNEY FAILURE

‘DIE YOUNG, DIE BIG’ IS COMPLETELY WRONG KIDNEYS & WHAT THEY DO Your kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs found at the bottom of your rib cage. Each kidney has millions of small blood-filtering units called nephrons. Their job is to constantly filter blood through a very tiny cluster of blood vessels, removing waste products, excess water and other impurities. These toxins are then stored in the bladder before they are removed during urination.

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BODYBUILDERS COULD DEVELOP KIDNEY PROBLEMS DUE TO: YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST Fast forward 12 years and Marco Rossi tragically passed away after battling with renal impairment for a number of years, which in the end compromised his system beyond recovery. I too have struggled with kidney failure and had a kidney transplant in March 2012. How did we get here? What happened and why? I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2008 and the reason I’m writing this article is to explain to bodybuilders how to prevent it. I hear so many young guys saying: “Die young, die big!” but this is completely wrong in my opinion. The older you get the more you realise that health comes first, especially in bodybuilding. Through the years I have always tried to keep this in mind when helping bodybuilders to get stage-ready. I have made some mistakes in my life, but my biggest mistake would be to neglect teaching young bodybuilders about what I have learned along the way. Kidney failure is a very broad subject and one could write volumes about it. However, I would like to highlight the most relevant information about bodybuilding and the things that could go wrong with your kidneys. I believe if you take good care of yourself and watch out for the pitfalls, you won’t have issues.

“THE OLDER YOU GET THE MORE YOU REALISE THAT HEALTH COMES FIRST, ESPECIALLY IN BODYBUILDING.”

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF KIDNEY FAILURE ■ ACUTE KIDNEY FAILURE This can happen when you are, for instance, involved in a car accident and your kidneys receive a severe shock and stop functioning. Under these circumstances, your kidneys will usually start to function again on their own or with the assistance of dialysis (artificial filtering). Although it is reversible, there is a chance that it can develop into chronic kidney failure. ■ CHRONIC KIDNEY FAILURE This happens when you have a gradual loss in kidney function leading to dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and waste products in your body. Your kidneys filter waste and excess fluids from your blood which are then excreted in your urine. Chronic Kidney Failure is not reversible.

■ ANABOLIC STEROIDS; ■ DROPPING WATER FOR A CONTEST; ■ HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE. ■ ANABOLIC STEROIDS Good or bad, anabolic steroids do exist in today’s society. Instead of ignoring everything about the topic, safer strategies should be used to decrease the damage caused by drug abuse among bodybuilders and strength athletes. The only direct consequence to the kidneys of taking steroids is a condition called focal segmental glomerusclerosis which is basically scarring inside the kidneys. Tests done on bodybuilders who were using steroids and who developed the condition showed that with discontinuation their kidney abnormalities improved. If you are currently on a steroid cycle, I would recommend that you follow a shorter cycle of approximately eight weeks before going on a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) cycle where the plan is to restore natural testosterone production, while maintaining an optimal level of muscle stimulation and remaining dedicated to proper nutrition. Some athletes who have difficulties with total drug abstinence initiate bridging routines between cycles in the form of periodic low-dose administration of an injectable steroid every 2-3 weeks. When on a cycle, some also follow the practice of tapering dosages with an even reduction of usage for a 3-4 week period until the point of drug discontinuance. The biggest problem is high blood pressure leading to extra pressure inside the kidneys, which in turn puts extra pressure on all the nephrons. The latter slowly break over time and they are irreparable. With nephrons in the kidneys broken, all the waste products build up in a person’s system with disastrous results. Steroids can also have an indirect impact on your blood pressure and

can raise it considerably. I would suggest that all bodybuilders invest in a reliable blood pressure machine to monitor their blood pressure often, especially when they are on a cycle. A normal blood pressure reading should have a systolic of 120 over a diastolic of 80 (120/80). On a cycle, I would recommend your blood pressure reading should not go over 150/90. ■ DROPPING WATER FOR A CONTEST Dropping water for that dry, peeled look for the competitive stage is a common practice among bodybuilders. I, however, view this as the most dangerous practice of all. Each and every time a bodybuilder drops water and dehydrates himself, there is a chance that he will develop Acute Kidney Failure. His kidneys will most likely recover within in a day or two, but if he competes four times a year and for a consecutive period, the risk of developing Chronic Kidney Failure is raised considerably, and there is no coming back from that! How, then, can you drop water for a show? Unfortunately that is a subject beyond the scope of this article, but the short answer is to never drop water for longer than eight hours before a show. After pre-judging, hydrate yourself before dropping water again for the main show. ■ HIGH PROTEIN USAGE This is an extremely contentious issue in the bodybuilding world, but after numerous discussions with doctors, dieticians and nephrologists (doctors who specialise in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys) I have reached the conclusion that protein consumed in huge quantities will harm kidney function over the long term.

When you use anabolics, use short 8-week cycles with 4-week breaks in between. Monitor your blood pressure on a weekly basis.

Only drop water for a maximum of 8 hours and hydrate afterwards. Eat moderate protein with sufficient carbohydrates in your diet. Drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day.

I’m a bodybuilder at heart and believe there is a safe way to eat enough protein to build adequate muscle if you also include enough complex carbohydrates. The carbs are used for energy and protein for building muscle. The reason doctors warn against high protein intake is because the more protein you eat, the harder your kidneys need to work to break it down. From the protein that is broken down, your liver creates waste products known as ammonia, urea, uric acid and creatinine that must be removed by the kidneys. Urea is a major waste product, making up some 80% of all waste. From all the tests conducted, doctors are convinced that eating too much protein in the long term will cause harm because your kidneys eventually lose their ability to filter out all these toxins. To combat this effect I recommend bodybuilders drink a minimum of two to three liters of water per day to flush their kidneys properly and maintain a moderate protein and high carbohydrate diet. www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E SCIENCE

A SLOW AND SLIPPERY SLOPE

I developed kidney failure because I was born with high blood pressure and I was stupid not to have it treated earlier. If you are young you always say that you will take care of it later. Well, later I developed kidney failure and it was too late! Most people wrongly believe that your body will give you a warning that your kidneys are failing. In reality, you feel nothing. There is no pain. The only thing that happens is that over time you get tired very quickly and you feel like your legs are getting heavier and heavier. I found out that I had kidney failure when I only had 30% of my kidney function left. People don't know it when they only have 50% of their kidney function left because they feel fine, but it is a slow and slippery slope and once it reaches that point, you have travelled past the point of no return. There are no cures – once you have kidney failure it will change your life forever – and a kidney transplant is only a temporary fix because the lifespan of a transplanted kidney is roughly between 10 and 20 years, if you are lucky. Every kidney failure patient can expect at least two kidney transplants in their lifetime, but only if they're lucky enough to get them. If not, they need to do dialysis, three times a week for four hours at a time. Life expectancy is also limited when you are on dialysis. Kidney failure is a scary journey, believe me. I haven't even mentioned the other unpleasantries such as multiple operations and losing all the muscle mass you worked so hard for over the years. That is just the physical side. The mental side is worse, trust me! If you are in need of a kidney transplant, you will quickly find out how

“THERE ARE NO CURES FOR KIDNEY FAILURE AND A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT IS ONLY A TEMPORARY FIX BECAUSE THE LIFESPAN OF A TRANSPLANTED KIDNEY IS ROUGHLY BETWEEN 10 AND 20 YEARS, IF YOU ARE LUCKY.” close your friends really are, even though donating a kidney can be compared to taking out an appendix. It is possible to live a normal life with just one kidney, though, but in most cases you'll be abandoned by your so-called friends and be left to struggle on your own.

PROACTIVE APPROACH

To avoid reaching the point of no return, I suggest that all bodybuilders do a U/E+ creatinine blood test at least once a year. Creatinine is a substance that your kidneys usually eliminate from the body. High levels of creatinine may indicate that your kidney function is not optimal. The most important values to look out for are: ■ S-UREA – this must be between 2.8 to 7.2 mmol/L: If this value is too high, it would give you an indication that your kidneys are not removing toxins out of your body efficiently enough or you might be severely dehydrated. ■ S-CREATININE – this must be between 59 to 104 mmol/L: An elevated

creatinine level signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease. As the kidneys become impaired the creatinine level in blood will rise due to poor clearance of creatinine by the kidneys. An abnormally high level of creatinine is a warning of the possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys. The amount of creatinine in the blood

depends partly on the amount of muscle tissue you have. Men generally have higher creatinine levels than women. ■ eGFR: This value is a calculation of certain blood values you have and gives you an estimated percentage of how much kidney function you have left, for example 95% or 30%.

Atomic Nutrition is currently busy with the development of a new type of protein powder which will put less stress on the kidneys and also be instantly available for muscle repair. The new product is called GenPro, short for Genetic Protein. Look out for it in 2017.

“ALWAYS REMEMBER, HEALTH COMES FIRST AND PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE! STAY SAFE.” 44

Muscle Evolution

Left Kidney Right Kidney Ureter

Urinary Bladder

Urethra

RHABDOMYOLYSIS

Excessive weight training can also place strain on the renal system, albeit indirectly. A condition called rhabdomyolysis is caused when severely damaged muscle cells release myoglobin and a number of nephrotoxic compounds into the blood. In high levels this can damage kidney tissue and even cause renal failure. There have been cases of severe rhabdomyolysis in bodybuilders, both with and without mention of steroid abuse. Steroid use may also cause hypertension which can lead to kidney damage. While anabolic/androgenic steroids are generally not regarded as drugs that are directly toxic to kidneys, they may be used to support a lifestyle and long-term metabolic state characterised by extreme training, heightened daily muscle protein turnover and elevated blood pressure. Over time this may compromise kidney health. Regular monitoring of kidney function is therefore recommended. M.E


M.E FEATURE

By Werner Beukes, Editor Images by Soulby Jackson | www.skjphotography.co.za

WHAT THE ARE

PROS PLANNING

FOR 2017 THREE TOP-NOTCH BODYBUILDERS ON HOME TURF WHO HAVE REFUSED TO ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS THAN AN IFBB PRO CARD ARE COBUS VAN DER MERWE, EARL ABRAHAMS AND ANDREW HUDSON. THEY KEPT AT IT UNTIL THEY HAD PROFESSIONAL STATUS IN THEIR POSSESSION, BUT THEIR PASSION FOR BODYBUILDING DID NOT STOP THERE. FIND OUT WHAT THIS FORMIDABLE TRIO ARE PLANNING FOR THE YEAR AHEAD.

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Muscle Evolution

COBUS VAN DER MERWE

How long have you been a Pro bodybuilder? I received my Pro Card at the end of 2014 – so two years now. Who is your sponsor? I am currently sponsored by TNT Mercury. Matthew and the team at TNT are just amazing and give me incredible support.

COBUS’ CURRENT WORKOUT SPLIT

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7

Chest & abs Back & traps Shoulders & calves Quads & hamstrings Off Arms Off

Do you also do cardio in the off-season? Yes, I typically do cardio three times a week for 30 minutes.


Please describe your training philosophy. I try not to overcomplicate my training and eating. I stick to the basics and what works for me. Consistency is the most important aspect of bodybuilding. What does it feel like to be one of South Africa’s best bodybuilders? There are definitely some pros and cons. There is constant pressure on you to be in pristine condition all year round. People in the industry look up to you and what you do. It is and will always be an enormous privilege for me to represent my country in a sport I love so much.

EARL’S CURRENT WORKOUT SPLIT

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7

What weight will you compete at at your next show? I am considering dropping to the 212 Pro division. Who would you like to thank for all the support over the past year? I have had an incredibly challenging year with some sponsorship deals that did not come through for me and I would like to thank my wife for supporting me through this difficult time. I would also like to thank Matthew and the team from TNT Mercury for their ongoing support and friendship, and Lucas van der Merwe from Ziphi Nkomo1 Group of companies for his loyal support. Last but not least, Frans and Lize from Leo Muscle Gym for giving me the perfect platform to grow my business. What upcoming local amateur bodybuilder do you predict will become Pro in the near future? I think Sibusiso Kotelo definitely has the potential to become a Pro. Vusumzi Njisane, also known as ‘The Bulldozer’, can do it if he makes a comeback, as can Roelof Coertze if he continues making progress. Cobus, when are you planning to compete? I would like to compete at the Arnold Classic Africa again and then a Pro show later in the year like the Ferrigno Classic. Please share your social media links where fans can interact with you. People are welcome to inbox me on Cobus van der Merwe.

“I STICK TO THE BASICS AND WHAT WORKS FOR ME. CONSISTENCY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF BODYBUILDING.”

Legs Chest & triceps Back & biceps Legs Shoulders Off Arms

I train calves almost every day because they are weak. I do abs if I remember to.

What does it feel like to be one of South Africa’s best bodybuilders? This is what it has been all about since the beginning for me – to reach the top of the sport. This year I am setting a goal I would like to accomplish and I am following a plan to achieve it.

EARL ABRAHAMS

How long have you been a Pro bodybuilder? I won my Pro Card at the Arnold Classic Africa in 2016, but I feel I will only start my journey as a Pro after my first Pro show. I currently view myself as a guy who is aiming at making a successful debut. Who is sponsoring you, Earl? ProSupps is my main sponsor. Motion Fitness Gyms is another big sponsor of mine and also a fantastic gym that I am training at. Smashton Industries is my clothing sponsor. Another one is Youthful Living nut-butters. I am extremely fortunate to have all these sponsors in my corner. Do you also do cardio in the off-season? Nope... not a chance. How would you describe your training philosophy? I’ve got two one-liners for you: Train smarter and It doesn’t hurt till the bone shows!

What weight will you compete at at your next show? I am aiming at a stage weight of 105kg, peeled. Who would you like to thank for all their support over the past year? My mom, Carla Beukes, Nico van Wyk, Christo van Dyk and, of course, all the fans for all the support they have given me. What upcoming local amateur bodybuilder do you predict will become Pro in the near future? It could be anyone. We have some serious talent in SA! When are you planning to compete? If all goes according to plan, I will be making my debut at the Arnold Classic Africa (ACA) and maybe one or two shows abroad. Everything depends on what I can achieve from now until the ACA. Please share your social media links where fans can interact with you. Earl Abrahams Earl Abrahams IFBB athlete (I will update this page soon.)

Earl.beast_prosupps Beautyandbeastfitnut@gmail.com. www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E FEATURE

ANDREW HUDSON

How long have you been a Pro bodybuilder? Nearly three years now.

Who is your sponsor? There’s a bit of a story here and I am telling it to hopefully show others what is possible in this industry. If you really work hard and make decisions that align with what you believe and are loyal to those who take care of you, then you can achieve anything! I had the amazing opportunity to represent a number of brands over the last 12 years as a sponsored athlete. I learnt a lot from all of that and have decided to rather work on partnering up with like-minded people to build brands that I trust and believe in. I am now a partner/owner of the following brands: Liquid Sun Rayz SA, My Body Guru, Bikini Evolution, Oat So Healthy, Go Nutz, My Protein Pantry, My Best Body and Flavour Guru. So I receive some of the benefits of being a sponsored athlete but I also get to be involved in growing the brands in ways that align with what I personally believe in. ANDREW’S CURRENT WORKOUT SPLIT

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7

Quads, hamstrings, calves & abs Chest, triceps, calves & abs Shoulders, calves & abs Quads, hamstrings, calves & abs Back, biceps & abs Quads & calves Off or another back workout

Do you do cardio in the off-season? If my body fat levels get too high, then yes. Currently I am not doing any. How would you describe your training philosophy? I follow the plan set out by my coach John Meadows. What does it feel like to be one of South Africa's best bodybuilders? I really don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but I believed I was one of the best a long time ago, so to have it be official now is really a validation of my self-belief. I said I was going to do this and I have gone out and done it. This is a dream come true!

“IF YOU REALLY WORK HARD AND MAKE DECISIONS THAT ALIGN WITH WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE LOYAL TO THOSE WHO TAKE CARE OF YOU, THEN YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING!” 48

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What weight will you compete at at your next show, Andrew? I will be around 123kg. Who would you like to thank for all their support over the past year? My wife for her unwavering support and love. My family for helping us through the past year. And my training and business partner, mentor and friend Mario van Biljon for everything he does for the team and for me. What upcoming local amateur bodybuilder do you predict will become Pro in the near future? I am a huge fan of Julian Ramdhari. He has a Pro-level physique if you ask me. There are Pros winning 212 line-ups that weigh about the same as he does and Julian has better shape! I would really like to see him get a Pro Card and do battle on the world’s biggest stages. I really believe in him. I also like Sibusiso Kotelo, but I think he needs some more time before a Pro Card comes his way. What shows are you planning to compete in this year? I am actually not sure. I will only make the call once the calendar gets released for 2017. I am thinking about either the earlier shows in April or May or the shows at the end of the year. I am leaning towards the shows at the end of the year because that will allow me more time to improve as well as more time to focus on my clients and business ventures. Andrew, where can fans interact with you? AndrewHudsonPage @andrew_hudson83. M.E


M.E PROFILE

By Werner Beukes, Editor Photography by Soulby Jackson | www.skjphotography.co.za

FREDDIE KLOPPER

THE HULK FACTOR THE FICTIONAL SUPERHERO THE HULK IS A TRUE ENCAPSULATION OF THE REACTION OF FANS TO THE SIZE DISPLAYED BY FREDDIE KLOPPER ON THE BODYBUILDING STAGE. BUT EVEN “THE HULK” CAN GET SIDETRACKED. ON THE GAIN TRAIN BEFORE DISASTER STRUCK

F

reddie was training hard to compete in Africa's biggest bodybuilding show ever when he was struck down by injury. “I competed in the Over 95kg division at the Rossi Classic in 2015 and took first place. After that I went into bulking season to start gaining some weight. The plan was to compete at my biggest, widest and thickest at the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa in 2016. For a top spot I wanted to be spot on. I wanted both size and quality; cuts and detail. I hit the 124kg mark and started to change my diet and training to enter the cutting phase of my prep.” Freddie was in beast mode knocking out reps on the flat bench press in the gym on that fateful day when his world came crashing down. “I started with 60kg and worked my way up to 80kg, 100kg, 120kg and then 140kg before dropping back down to 120kg. On my eighth rep I heard a strange sound like paper tearing. What happened was that I had torn my right pectoralis major. By the time I got home it was turning blue and the pain was unbearable. I had a tear of 8cm in length and it was 2cm deep, but fortunately I did not tear off the tendon. I knew that my prep for the Arnold and qualifying for the show was over. I was out for 12 to 16 weeks.”

DOWN BUT NOT OUT

B

eing a bodybuilder and having competed from a young age helped Freddie through this tough patch in his life. “The frustration of not being able to compete was the biggest mental challenge I had to face. The thought of being at my biggest ever and then losing a lot of body weight – essentially all the muscle mass I had gained – was devastating for me.” Freddie used the discipline and mental drive he learned in the gym to handle the obstacles he faced during his rehab. The way he managed to come to terms with his injury was in goal setting. “In our sport you set small attainable goals. You don't start out with the goal of being a professional bodybuilder. You have to win local shows and take it from there. Another example is when you go into the gym on your first day. You don't set a goal of benching 140kg but rather aim for an attainable goal and work from there.” Freddie used that attainable goalsetting in his rehab. “I could not lift a weight for 12 weeks and only after that could I start with rehab for my chest. I had to wear a sling for six weeks. We all get knocked down in life but the difference is that some people stay down while others get up, brush themselves off and keep pushing forward. I decided to train my legs four to five times a week as part of the little goals I set for myself until I reach the ultimate goal, which for me was to get back on the stage and do what I do.” Freddie hammered his quads on a Monday, hamstrings on a Wednesday, calves on a Thursday and blasted through a full leg routine again on a Saturday. “That was what I did until I eventually started with rehab exercises for my chest. My motivation was that although I could not compete and train my upper body, I could still improve my legs and calves to get them bigger and stronger than ever!”

FREDDIE’S CONTEST HISTORY: 2007 ■ IFBB Gauteng Provincials, Junior 0/21, 2nd ■ IFBB SA’s, Junior 0/21, 3rd ■ WPF Gauteng Provincials, Junior 0/23, 2nd ■ Worlds, Junior 0/23, 2nd 2008 ■ WPF Diamond Classic, Junior 0/23, 1st ■ WPF Rainbow Classic, Overall Winner ■ WPF Gauteng Provincials, Junior 0/23, 1st ■ WPF SA’s, Junior 0/23 1st ■ WPF Mr. Universe Worlds, Junior 0/23 1st 2010 ■ WFF-WBBF North Gauteng, Over 90kg, 2nd 2011 ■ WFF-WBBF SA ALT X Sports Grand Prix, 1st 2013 ■ IFBB Millennium RUDX Gold Plate, Overall Winner ■ NABBA Pretoria Classic, Overall Winner ■ WBFF South Africa, Over 90kg, 1st ■ Rossi Classic, Overall Winner ■ Mauritius Universal Grand Prix, 2nd 2014 ■ IFBB H&H Classic Over 90kg, 2nd ■ NABBA Pretoria Classic class 2, 2nd ■ Rossi Classic Over 90kg, 1st 2015 ■ NABBA Jozi Classic Over 95kg, 2nd ■ Rossi Classic Over 95kg, 1st

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FREDDIE’S TRAINING SPLIT

FACT FILE

DAY

NAME: Hendrik Frederich NICKNAME: The Hulk DATE OF BIRTH: 3 April 1986 PLACE OF BIRTH: Middelburg LIVES: Montana, Pretoria HEIGHT: 1.74m OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 120kg COMPETITIVE WEIGHT: 106kg

DAY 1

Legs & calves

BODYBUILDING CHANGES EVERYTHING

A

s a youngster, Freddie used to walk to the gym where his dad was training. “It was close to home and I would walk and find my dad lifting weights. I used to hang on the chinning bar while he was busy doing bicep curls or he would put me on his lap while he was doing bench dips for his triceps.” When Freddie got to high school he weighed around 50kg. His dad showed him the ropes and lifting weights became an obsession. Freddie was soon spending all his free time at the gym. “When I matriculated I weighed 102kg. The late Marco Rossi was the man who persuaded me to compete in the sport. I started working at Rossi Fitness as a personal trainer. Marco helped me to compete in the junior divisions and within two years I won the Under 23 WPF Mr. Universe in France. Marco was an awesome mentor and will always be a true inspiration for me.” Freddie believes that bodybuilding improves your sense of discipline and work ethic. “It is a complete lifestyle. People make the mistake of thinking it is a sport that only involves an hour a day. It is much more than that. It brings something positive into your life and changes everything about you. The lessons I learned in the gym allowed me to accomplish my dreams in other areas of my life.”

GUNNING FOR TOP SPOT

T

he most difficult aspect of bodybuilding for Freddie is to keep up with the competition every year. “The competition is always getting stronger and stronger. Guys have thickness, they have leg size and back width, and they are always in top condition. Everybody is gunning for the top spot. Success will never be yours if you don’t have the motivation to keep moving forward. If that means that you have to hit the weights harder, diet more strictly and be more focused, so be it.” Freddie’s goal for 2017 is to compete at the IFBB Millennium Gold Plate show and then to move on to the Provincials and SA Championships. “I want to be the best at what I do, otherwise why do it?” The Hulk wants more than just muscle for the stage. He also wants to

DAY 2

Chest & triceps

DAY 3

“SUCCESS IS NOT ALWAYS ABOUT GREATNESS, IT IS ABOUT CONSISTENCY.”

be cut to ribbons. As someone who trains with high volume, Freddie always pushes himself to the borderline of overtraining. “That is where I want to be. I want to give my best in everything I do. With the injury behind me I am all fired-up for the stage again. I changed my split and moved away from just hammering my body with heavy weights. I now warm up thoroughly and also try to focus on separation and detail and to stay on top of my training. The best advice I can give up-andcomers is to find out how your body works and how it responds to training and dieting. Just because a particular person is using a certain technique or is following a specific split does not mean it will work for you. Try different things. Once you have found what works for you, stick with it for a while and work your way up from there.” M.E

DAY 4 Back & biceps

DAY 5 Legs & calves

DAY 6 Shoulders, traps & abs

DAY 7

EXERCISE

SETS REPS

Lying leg curls

6

20,20,15,12,10,8

Smith Machine sumo squats

5

15,12,12,12,10,8

Unilateral leg press

4

12,12,10,8

Stiff leg deadlifts

5

15,12,10,8,6

Hack squat

4

12,12,10,10

Unilateral lying curls

4

15,15,15,15

Standing calf raises

5

20,20,15,12,10

Calf raises on hack squat

6

20,15,15,12,10,8

Seated calf raises

5

15,15,12,10,8

Walking lunges in parking lot

600m (no weights)

Barbell bench press

5

15,12,10,8,6

Incline dumbbell flyes

4

15,12,12,10

One arm dumbbell press

4

12,12,10,8

Push-ups

4

15,15,15,15

Incline barbell press

4

15,12,10,8

Tricep pushdowns (straight bar)

7

12-15 (20sec rest)

Close-grip bench press 4

15,12,12,10

Overhead dumbbell extension

4

12,12,10,8

Dips with weight

4

12,12,12,12

Pushdowns (EZ-bar) drop set

5

15,12,10,15,20

Lat pulldowns

6

20,15,12,10,8,8

Incline barbell row

6

15,12,10,8,8,8

Dumbbell rows

4

10,10,8,6

Bent over dumbbell rows

3

15,15,15

Olympic bar curls

5

10,10,8,8,6

Dumbbell preacher curls E-Z bar curl (back against wall)

4

12,12,10,10

4

15,12,10,8

REST

Incline dumbbell curls 4

12,12,12,12

Dumbbell hammer curls 5

15,12,12,10,15

Leg extensions

7

12-15 (20 sec rest)

Squats

5

12,12,10,8,6

Leg press

7

12,10,8,6,10,12,20

One leg extensions

4

15,12,12,10

Hack squats

4

12,10,8,6

Standing calf raises

7

15-20 (20 sec rest)

Seated calf raises

5

20,15,12,10,8

Smith Machine shoulder press

5

15,12,10,8,6

Dumbbell side raises

4

12,12,10,10

Alternate dumbbell press

4

15,12,10,8

Dumbbell front raises

4

15,15,12,10

Dumbbell shrugs

4

12,12,10,8

Barbell shrugs (behind back)

4

12,12,12,12

Hanging knee raises

5

20,20,20,20,20

Crunch machine

4

20,20,20,20

Ab wheel

3

12,12,12

Crunches

4

15,15,15,15

Planks

5

45sec - 1min

REST www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

By Werner Beukes, Editor | Photography by Slade, Pure Studio Location: Campbell Gym, Durban | www.campbellgym.co.za

BACNO OUTKING BAC OF K DA Y! MDU’S VITAL STATS HEIGHT: 1.72m OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 106kg CONTEST WEIGHT: 89kg PLACE OF BIRTH: Springs, Johannesburg CURRENT RESIDENCE: Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal BODYBUILDING IDOLS: Kai Greene, Jay Cutler and Chris ‘Quadzilla’ Fitzpatrick FAVOURITE BODY PART: Quads SPONSORS: Pro Nutrition and Liquid Rayz BEST ADVICE FOR BACK TRAINING: Row it, don’t throw it!

THE GREEN MAMBA UNLEASHED VENOMOUS ON STAGE

Competitions are won from the back for a reason. Mduduzi Green, winner of the Men’s Light Heavyweight U/90kg division at the 2016 Weider Nutrition IFBB SA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, knows this bodybuilding truth better than most competitors because his back was once a weak body part. But gradually, over the years, through trial and error, the KZN-based bodybuilder has put together a potent combo of exercises to build a thicker and wider back. Now, like a mamba, Mdu is venomous on stage. If your goal for 2017 is to pile on slab after slab of rock hard muscle onto your back, you are in the right place at the right time. Follow the “Green Mamba’s” advice in the following pages. Better still, tear it out and underline it with a red marker!

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“MAKE SURE YOU ARE PULLING THE WEIGHT STRAIGHT DOWN UNDER STRICT CONTROL WHILE YOUR UPPER BODY IS VERTICAL. BEING VERTICAL TAKES THE MID-BACK MUSCLES OUT OF THE MOVEMENT.”

FRONT PULLDOWNS

MDU’S SPLIT DAY 1: DAY 2: DAY 3: DAY 4: DAY 5: DAY 6: DAY 7:

Back & calves 60 minutes on the treadmill & abdominals Quads, hamstrings, abdominals Chest and shoulders Arms & calves 90 minutes of cycling & abdominals Off

The Green Mamba believes pulldowns to the front is better than the back because pulling in front better hits and isolates the lats. “Lat width is important because it is visible from both the front and the back of the body when you are on stage. When you pull in front you engage the lats. When you pull the bar down to a position behind your head the focus is squarely on the rhomboid muscles (the upper middle area of the back). Some guys don't do the behind-the-neck version out of fear of tearing their rotator cuff. There is merit to it because it puts your shoulders into a dangerous position which increases the risk of injury. I guess if you are flexible enough and you are able to pull behind your head with no problems, there is nothing wrong with the behind-the-neck version.” Alternate lat pulldowns with what Mdu calls the upper body squat – the chin-up, as these two exercises utilise the same basic movement pattern. “In my book, either one is highly effective. The one you pull the bar down to your body and in the other you pull your body up to the bar.” www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

“FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT, RAISE THE HIP ON THE SIDE YOU ARE ROWING TO STRETCH AND EXTEND THE RANGE OF MOTION EVEN FURTHER. AVOID LEADING THE MOVEMENT BY SOLELY USING YOUR BICEP. ROW THE BAR UP AND BACKWARDS.”

ONE-ARM ROWS WITH A BARBELL

This is an often underperformed version of conventional T-bar rows. Grasp a loaded barbell and start rowing. Emphasise the stretch at the bottom. You can use smaller plates to extend the range of motion, allowing for an even greater stretch. The Green Mamba loves the big plates, though. This exercise targets the middle back and, to a lesser degree, the traps, biceps, lats and lower back. Mdu views it as one of his staple moves and one anybody with a stubborn back should try. 54

Muscle Evolution


“SLOW DOWN AND SQUEEZE HARD AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH REP. ALWAYS ALLOW FOR A GOOD STRETCH.”

CLOSE-GRIP PULLDOWNS

While one often assumes that using a wide grip would make your lats wider, the lats originate under the armpits and insert near the waist. Mdu uses a narrower grip with his hands either facing each other or fully supinated (underhand) on a short bar for a better stretch, range of motion and contraction. He usually includes both wide and close-grip pulldowns in his back workouts to avoid shortchanging his chances at muscle growth. “A wide grip does not equal wide lats. This is nonsense. A closer grip allows for a longer range of motion and increased time under tension for the lats, which is great when you want to build muscle.”

MORE THAN PULLDOWNS AND ROWS The Green Mamba’s barnyard-sized back used to be inferior but he managed to make it one of the most formidable weapons of his physique. “Man, I really struggled to build a better back because it is not one of the socalled mirror muscles. For me it was a classic case of out of sight out of mind.” To counter this inability to blast back properly, Mdu recommends picking up a barbell or a dumbbell and standing up straight with your shoulders back. “Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold this position. Take a mental note of how it feels and where you feel the most tension because this is the feeling you want when you train your back. The mind-muscle link is crucial.” Using your biceps to pull weight towards

your body is another common mistake. The Green Mamba’s advice is to use the muscles you use to squeeze your shoulder blades together to develop your back. “A lot of guys complain about not feeling the muscle. They bitch about getting an awesome arm pump while their lats go unused. The solution is to increase your focus on pushing the elbows down as opposed to pulling with your arms. Keep the elbows slightly bent at all times to avoid forearm and bicep muscles from taking over and negating the stretch you need to develop an awesome back. I read somewhere, most probably in a previous issue of Muscle Evolution magazine, that you have to use your arms as hooks on back day. Your biceps are much smaller and weaker and will give out first before you

manage to do anything productive for your back,” says Mdu. It always amazes him to see lifters chatting on their cell phones between sets and finishing their workouts without a drop of sweat on them, thinking they are somehow building muscle. For Mdu, chasing hypertrophy is all about oxygen debt. “I don’t wait too long between sets. If my breathing returns to normal I know I’m ready for the next set. If I struggle to do the same weight for the same reps I know I did not rest long enough.” He also uses multiple angles to hit back. “You cannot exclusively rely on pulldowns and dumbbell rows to work your back and call it a day. You have to attack the muscle from different angles.” www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

SEATED CLOSE-GRIP CABLE ROWS

“IF YOU UNLOCK YOUR ARMS AT THE ELBOWS YOU WILL PULL WITH YOUR ARMS AND NOT THE BACK.”

On this exercise, Mdu’s focus is on his mid-back and lat muscles. He makes sure his elbows are slightly behind his body, his shoulders are pulled back and his chest is lifted. He leans forward before starting his first rep of the movement. The Green Mamba uses a number of different handles and attachments including a lat pulldown bar, rope or a close-grip bar. Mdu would sometimes opt for the machine version making use of a handle which points down (this keeps the elbow down for greater focus on the lats) or a handle which is horizontal (this keeps the elbow high for midback emphasis). “Don’t lean back too far. Make sure you pull together your shoulder blades at the end of each and every rep. If you use an underhand grip on a straight bar you can turn seated rows into a movement where you effectively hammer the biceps, lats and midback all in one go.”

RIGHT EXERCISES, RIGHT ORDER Mdu had to figure out which exercises served his physique the best. According to him, responsiveness is the most important component of a solid training programme. “I had to find exercises that worked well for me. While the basics work and will always work well, you need a combination if you want to take your back to a new level of freakiness. That said, there is absolutely no reason to consider a specific movement a priority in the gym if you don’t get anything out of it. I mean, what is the point? You will only waste time as a stronger body part, usually the one right next to the unresponsive one, takes over most of the work. This happens like clockwork on most days you hit back if you are not careful and 56

Muscle Evolution

don’t put some thought into what you are trying to do.” For this reason, exercise order for The Green Mamba is important and the reason he pre-exhausts his back first with a plethora of pulling and rowing movements before taking on harder exercises like T-bar rows and deadlifts. Mdu distinguishes between back exercises by separating them into two groups: Those that increase width and those that add thickness. “Exercises such as pulldowns and pull-ups emphasise the latissimus dorsi and teres major and are ideal for creating width. Although all rowing exercises hit the lats, they also target to a greater degree the middle back muscles

(rhomboids and middle and lower trapezius) to give the back that extra thickness.” Taking a wide grip on pulldowns and pull-ups, according to Mdu, emphasises the fibres of the upper lats as well as the teres major. A narrow or neutral grip will target the lower lats to a greater extent. “Rowing exercises with a wide grip and pulling the bar or handle to a higher point on your chest targets the upper lats, rhomboids and middle trapezius. A narrow grip on rows pulled to your lower abdominals emphasise the lower lats.” Targeting the lower back for The Green Mamba is a matter of performing movements that will isolate the erector spinae muscles, like deadlifts.


M.E TRAINING

DUMBBELL ROWS ON THE INCLINE BENCH Commonly known as one of the most productive rowing movements when you train back, Mdu uses an incline bench arguing that the point of support is then no longer horizontal to the floor but at an angle. This allows him to also work the trapezius and the rest of the upper back harder. The Green Mamba alternates between one-arm dumbbell rows and using a barbell from workout to workout. “If your intention is to isolate, make sure that no other muscles take over the movement as it would only negate the benefit you get from the exercise. As a pure unilateral movement, it is a brilliant exercise if your one side is weaker than the other.”

“ON DUMBBELL ROWS YOU DON’T WANT TO USE TOO MUCH MOMENTUM WHICH IS OFTEN A CULPRIT FOR THE LACK OF BACK DEVELOPMENT AMONG BODYBUILDERS.”

BODYBUILDING NOT POWERLIFTING The Green Mamba believes to get huge you need to move heavy iron and to move heavy iron you need to get strong. “It pays off when you occasionally work on power and strength in the gym. You also cannot neglect proportion and symmetry. Try to add weight at each successive set and let the reps fall accordingly.” Mdu is cautious of draining too much of his recovery ability and that is why he gets in, works hard and gets out. He usually does one to two warm-up sets with about 50 percent of his working weight to warm up the muscle efficiently. If he feels a lack of enthusiasm he will cut back on his training. “Variety is excellent and it gives you a break from repeating boring workouts.” 58

Muscle Evolution


“DON’T SWING YOUR BODY TOO FAR FORWARD WHEN ROWING.”

QUICK Q&A WITH THE GREEN MAMBA How did it feel winning the Men’s Light Q heavyweight u/90kg division

at the Weider Nutrition IFBB South African Championships on your home turf? “I was totally over the moon and extremely humbled at the same time. It felt great because my family and friends were there to support me and they witnessed everything.”

A

Why should bodybuilders focus on training the Q posterior chain? “This area, which runs from your back down to your A hamstrings, is always neglected and it shows on stage. It takes a long time to build a connection with muscles you cannot see but once you have established that connection you can really improve significantly. At competitions today you must also have more depth from the side, which is a rare quality among bodybuilders.”

Do you stick to the same routine for back in the off Q and on-season? “Mostly. I would do 5 sets of 15 reps for all of A these exercise we covered,

focusing more on form and technique when I am closer to a competition. You can vary the sequence of your exercises, change your reps and sets and also alter your rest periods between sets to change the stimulus. I believe subtle changes are always better than major overhauls.”

T-BAR ROWS

The Green Mamba would use different grips on this movement, pulling the bar into the waist. “This is a basic yet demanding exercise that works the back in an excellent way involving the lower lats, rhomboids and middle trapezius. A wider grip shifts some of the work to the upper back. Don’t swing your body too far forward when rowing.” Mdu believes many bodybuilders lack thickness in the middle back and that you build thickness by using rowing movements such as T-bar rows, barbell rows and cable rows. “I like the T-bar, but if you have lower back issues you could aggravate it by doing them. Don’t stress – a great back can still be yours. Use dumbbells and stop each rep at peak contraction before lowering it slowly and under control for a good stretch at the bottom. If you are not able to do this, drop the poundage. Pull the weight in toward you and contract your back muscles while bending your elbows. You must keep your chest out. At the top of the rep, squeeze your shoulder blades together before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position.” He alternates his grips using wide, narrow and neutral variants to train his back from different angles. Sometimes Mdu would do drop sets as it is convenient to quickly remove plates on T-bar rows.

Can you recall the specific moment when you knew Q that you wanted to become a bodybuilder? “I remember it very well. The year was 2001, a year before I started lifting weights. A friend of mine asked me to accompany him to a gym in Pinetown and as we walked in I was amazed by the pictures hanging on the wall of Ronnie Coleman and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I never thought a human body could reach such a level of muscular development. From that day onwards I wanted to become just like them!”

A

www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E TRAINING

DEADLIFTS Mdu saves the best and hardest for last. “I try to include this mass builder in all my back workouts and, to be extra safe, I like to do them last because they can put tremendous stress on the spine. My concern is building muscle and not hitting a personal best on traditional powerlifting moves. I do deadlifts last because at the end of a workout I need less weight to get the job done. Are we trying to build our muscles or our ego, after all?” The Green Mamba views the deadlift as a technical lift that requires excellent form but rewards a lifter with a ton of muscle. “It trains a lot of the muscles in the body at once and it creates serious growth. Although it is seen as a key mass-building exercise, I focus on feeling it work rather than to go all out like a powerlifter.” Mdu prefers doing deadlifts from the mid-shin because he is careful not to include the legs and glutes. “The plan is to hit and isolate the back. Keep in mind there are three phases to a lift: the positive (lifting), static (contraction at the top of the rep where the muscle is fully contracted) and negative (lowering or returning the weight to its original position). You are at your strongest in the negative phase which means if you can lift 100kg, you can probably lift and hold way more while in the peak contraction and even more weight when you lower it in the negative phase. Always focus on the lowering portion of an exercise.

MOST BODYBUILDERS FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE PORTION OF A REP WHILE MISSING OUT ON THE BENEFITS OF THE OTHER TWO PHASES. THE NEGATIVE PORTION OF A REP CAUSES MORE MUSCLE DAMAGE AND STIMULATES GREATER GAINS IN STRENGTH THAN THE POSITIVE PHASE.” MDU’S CONTEST HISTORY 2002 ■ Muscle Science - 3rd place Junior Middleweight 2004 ■ Muscle Science - 2nd place Junior Middleweight 2006 ■ IFBB KZN Open - 3rd place Welterweight 2008 ■ IFBB KZN Open - 2nd place Middleweight 2010 ■ IFBB KZN Championships - 1st place Middleweight ■ IFBB SA Championships - 4th place Men’s Middleweight 2012 ■ NABBA - 1st place Men’s Middleweight & Men’s Overall Winner ■ NABBA World Championships - 4th place. 2013 ■ IFBB KZN Championships - 1st place Light Heavyweight ■ IFBB SA Championships - 3rd place ■ IFBB Amateur World Championships, Morocco - 6th place 2014 ■ IFBB KZN Open Championships - 1st place Light Heavyweight ■ IFBB SA Championships - 3rd place 2016 ■ H&H Classic - 1st place Light Heavyweight and Overall Winner ■ IFBB KZN Open Championships - 1st place Heavyweight and Overall Winner ■ IFBB SA Championships - 1st place Light Heavyweight M.E

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M.E PROFILE

By Werner Beukes, Editor Photography by Soulby Jackson | www.skjphotography.co.za

“MANY BODYBUILDERS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF EATING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT DURING THE OFF-SEASON. I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO EAT CLEAN FOOD 24/7 FOR QUALITY MUSCLE.”

FACT FILE

CURRENT OCCUPATION: Personal trainer CURRENT RESIDENCE: Midrand, Gauteng SPONSORS: Biogen, Liquid Sun Rayz, Youthful Living Nut Butter and Trifocus Fitness Academy OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 96kg COMPETITION WEIGHT: 85kg

I NEVER LOSE. EITHER I WIN OR I LEARN.

THE RETURN OF

JOHNNY LUCAS

WHEN NEWCOMER JOHNNY LUCAS HIT THE BODYBUILDING STAGE IN 2015, HE SEEMED LIKE AN UNBEATABLE FORCE.

H

e had the eye of the tiger. The 35-year-old, a late-bloomer in bodybuilding, was a sight to behold when he won the Men’s Middleweight under 85kg division at the IFBB South African National Championships at the end of 2015. Thick 62

Muscle Evolution

and wide with round muscle bellies, Johnny exuded an aura of confidence typical of all true champions in the sport. Industry experts, fans and insiders all agreed that they had witnessed the making of an icon. But just as it seemed like the bodybuilding stars were aligning for Johnny, life threw

him a curve ball in the form of a back injury. Although Johnny qualified for the IFBB World Championships in Spain, he was forced to pull out at the last minute. Muscle Evolution caught up with him to find out what he has been up to since then and if and when he is returning to the competitive stage.


Johnny, what have you been up to? My last competition was at the IFBB SA Champs in 2015. I was selected to represent the federation at Worlds, but due to an injury, I had to withdraw a few days prior to departure. It was not only frustrating but utterly disappointing to see my fellow SA Team members depart and compete in Spain. I had put in a tremendous amount of hard work and it really took me a long time to find my motivation again. I decided to take some time out, assess the situation and to come back bigger and better than ever. So watch out, 'The Freak' is making a comeback! When will you compete again, Johnny? I have worked hard to bring a whole new look next time I step on stage. I'm really excited to see the outcome when I start dieting for my next show, which most probably will be the Millennium Gold Plate or the King Shaka, where I hope to qualify for the Arnold Classic. I have learned from my mistakes and have started to incorporate stretching on a daily basis. I have felt the difference during my workouts. Where I felt pain and tightness in my lower back on most days, I now have workouts where I am basically pain free. If you guys have not tried stretching before, I would definitely highly recommend it! What, in your opinion, is crucial to packing on extra size in the off-season? Many bodybuilders make the mistake of eating everything in sight during the off-season. I believe you have to eat clean food 24/7 for quality muscle. If you want to be the best, there is no off-season. Consistency with training and nutrition is the most important aspect of bodybuilding. What you put in your mouth can either make or break you, whether you are shredding for a show or trying to add muscle. Without a proper diet, all the hard work you put into your workouts will amount to nothing. Bodybuilding is tough, but also immensely rewarding. However, you have to be somewhat of a radical person to live this lifestyle day in and day out. People make the mistake of associating bodybuilding with only the physical, but the big challenge always comes from within. How you respond to the challenges, both physically and mentally during the time you are prepping for a show will finally be visible on stage for all to see. It is the end result of what you have managed to build and sculpt over time. That is what makes the sport we love, unique. What are your favourite exercises and the reasons you believe in them? Barbell squats because they add tons of mass to the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Bent over barbell rows for adding quality thickness to the back. And, last but not least, lateral dumbbell raises for wide-as-a-barn-door shoulders.

JOHNNY’S TRAINING SPLIT: DAY 2:

Back, biceps, calves & abs Chest, triceps & calves

DAY 3:

Legs

DAY 4:

Shoulders, calves & abs

DAY 5: DAY 6: DAY 7:

Back, calves & abs

DAY 1:

Legs (am), Chest (pm) Off

Who are your fellow bodybuilding contemporaries who have stood out in 2016? Definitely Michael Adonis and Lendo Greyling. Iron Mike carries quality muscle and always displays fantastic symmetry. He has the uncanny ability to appear bigger on stage than what he really is. He is a true master of illusion when he is on stage. Lendo, although still young, has proven that he has what it takes to become one of the best bodybuilders in the country. Before training for the stage entered the equation, did you have any athletic or sporting background? My competitive nature is what has driven me throughout my life. I grew up competing and playing in different sports such as tennis, cricket, rugby and athletics, and have always enjoyed going to the gym. People would approach me and ask whether I competed as a bodybuilder. I used to laugh at them and tell them “no, I don’t, I just gym”. I eventually decided to give it a try and started training more seriously in 2014, before competing in 2015. What is your best cardio protocol to get stage-ready? I don’t do cardio year-round. I only start eight weeks prior to a competition. I then focus on HIIT cardio five times a week. My favourite is cycling. Which pre-workout supplement are you most impressed with and why? I'm not a huge fan of preworkout supplements. I would usually have an espresso before training, though. Who do you admire the most in bodybuilding circles, locally and internationally, Johnny? I love the hardcore work ethic of IFBB Pro Flex Lewis and how he treats his fans. He has a great physique and inspires me to one day also stand on the 212 stage. Two local bodybuilders I admire the most are Hennie Kotze and Andrew Hudson. Both achieved their Pro Cards and have been successful both on and off the stage. What do you do when you are not lifting? I love spending time with my beautiful wife Brenda, my family and doing some charity work. Being a personal trainer is also rewarding because I love to help and inspire other people to reach their goals.

“IF YOU WANT TO BE THE BEST, THERE IS NO OFF-SEASON!”

JOHNNY’S CONTEST HISTORY: 2015 ■ IFBB Gauteng North Novice Show, U/85kg 1st and Overall title ■ IFBB H&H Classic, U/90kg 2nd ■ IFBB Gauteng North Provincials, U/85kg 1st ■ IFBB SA Championships, U/85kg - 1st M.E www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E PROFILE

By Werner Beukes, Editor Images supplied

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO... KEVIN MCNAMARA Muscle Evolution brings you another local bodybuilding great who not just sported a worldclass physique but also trained with legends such as Reg Park, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane and Serge Nubret. This forms part

of our series ‘Whatever happened to’ about bodybuilders who left an unforgettable impression on others in the past and still continue to do so today.

QUICK FACTS CURRENT RESIDENCE: Queenswood, Pretoria for the past 34 years. ORIGINALLY FROM: Komga, EC. Kevin became the first Komga resident to receive his Springbok Colours (bodybuilding). “My dad cried as he was hoping I could get it for rugby, not realising it was possible to get your Colours for bodybuilding.” OCCUPATION: Kevin runs a small personal training gym at his house after closing down his main gym in Pretoria. HEIGHT: 1.66m CONTEST WEIGHT: 98kg MOST PRODUCTIVE SPLIT: DAY 1

Chest & back

DAY 2

Legs & calves

DAY 3

Shoulders & arms

CONTACT: kevinsmusclefactory@gmail.com

Kevin, tell us about your bodybuilding career? I started lifting weights to become stronger for the game of rugby and eventually ran out for Border as tight head prop in 1968 and 1969. I became fascinated by bodybuilding and decided to pursue it. I trained hard and won the Mr. Junior South Africa in 1968 and then Mr. South Africa in 1972 and 1975 right through to 1979, before taking a break from the stage. I won again in 1982, 1984 and 1988. I also managed to walk away with the honours at the Mr. Southern Africa competition in 1982 and 1985 before winning South Africa’s Best Developed Man (the best of the IFBB and NABBA competitors) in 1990. That was my last victory. Internationally, I entered the Mr. Universe competition held in Italy in 1974 but did not place among the Top 6. I became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger when he visited South Africa. I knew the late Reg Park, who had a profound influence on me as a bodybuilder and a person. Arnold would frequently visit South Africa to meet up with Reg whom he first saw on a cover of a muscle magazine as a child in Austria in the 1960s. If I can remember correctly, Arnold was also in South Africa to compete at the 1975 Mr. Olympia in Pretoria. It was the same contest that featured in the classic film ‘Pumping Iron’. Arnold came up against Serge Nubret from France and the big American Lou Ferrigno. It was his sixth Mr. Olympia victory. I finished fifth in the Mr. International in 1977 and placed seventh

“THE BIGGEST THING IN LIFE IS LOVE. JUST THINK OF IT. WITH LOVE THERE WOULD BE NO WARS, GREED OR DISHONESTY.” 66

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Kevin strikes a most muscular pose during his victory at the Mr. South Africa in 1979.


the following year after spending some time training at the famous World Gym as personal guest of Arnold. It was also here that I met Tom Platz, who became famous in bodybuilding circles for his exceptional leg development. Tom gave me a lift in his car and took me on a tour of Hollywood. In 1980 Arnold flew me over to Columbus in Ohio to enter the Professional Mr. Universe (the forerunner of the Arnold Classic) where I placed eighth. What was your strongest body part when you still competed and which exercises do you consider as your favourites? I would say my back. Some of my peers even called me Mac’s Back or Big Mac! The back is an extremely intricate muscle group by design, but if you train it correctly, I believe anyone can develop a wide, deeply cut and detailed back.

No one can afford to have favourites in the gym because every exercise should be approached with equal enthusiasm. I do, however, view the most important exercises as squats, deadlifts, chins, dips and presses behind the neck. I have high regard for the squat. If performed correctly with impeccable form, the squat can do wonders for leg size and overall growth. What was the hardest part of the sport for you? The posing. I always struggled to showcase my hard-earned muscles to the best possible advantage. Posing in bodybuilding is one of the things that can catch the eye of a judge and the imagination of the fans. I did not struggle with the diet and the training. Many bodybuilders have to force themselves to train hard but I

“NO ONE CAN AFFORD TO HAVE FAVOURITES IN THE GYM BECAUSE EVERY EXERCISE SHOULD BE APPROACHED WITH EQUAL ENTHUSIASM. I DO, HOWEVER, VIEW THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISES AS SQUATS, DEADLIFTS, CHINS, DIPS AND PRESSES BEHIND THE NECK.”

Kevin (centre) winning the Mr. Northern Transvaal in 1982 with Francis Adams (left) and Tiekie Joubert (right).

enjoyed it and still do. It is always a challenge for me to push a little harder. When did you finally call it quits, Kevin? My last international contest was at the Mr. Universe in 1990. I did not place and decided I had had enough and retired the following year. At 69 I still love the sport and train twice a week, squatting and deadlifting whenever possible. I follow Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty system. Mentzer dug deep into the science and what the human body was capable of achieving, which continues to intrigue me. It was also Mentzer who wrote more about recovery than any other author. He understood that training was only half of the equation. The other half – and equally important – was recovering from the training itself. I think, after 54 years of lifting weights, if I had known then what I know now, I would have been far better. I don’t believe in cardio but rather in a balanced diet, gradually lowering calories before a contest. When I was still competing, I always kept an eye on my body weight and stayed lean, even in the off-season. In addition to your bodybuilding accomplishments you also owned a gym and competed in powerlifting. Tell us about that. I probably could write a book on who trained with me and visited my gym in Pretoria over the years. Guys like Arnold, Frank Zane, Franco Columbo, Chris Dickerson and Samir Bannout are some of the Mr. Olympias I consider friends. I was also incredibly honoured to have met Serge Nubret, Lou Ferrigno and Albert Beckles. My wife Kathy also competed in bodybuilding and came third at the Ladies Universe in 1986. My son Niall McNamara won a national title in powerlifting, a sport I also competed in once I retired from competitive bodybuilding. I represented South Africa on a few occasions and placed fourth in

Kevin at his gym in Queenswood. At 69 he still loves the sport and trains twice a week.

“MY SON NIALL MCNAMARA WON A NATIONAL TITLE IN POWERLIFTING, A SPORT I ALSO COMPETED IN ONCE I RETIRED FROM COMPETITIVE BODYBUILDING.”

www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E PROFILE

my class at the Masters World Powerlifting Championships in 2005. I believe I produced more South African winners in bodybuilding than any other gym. Champions like Tiekie Joubert and his wife Joey, Johan and Lea du Toit, Ryk and Margaret Jordaan, Francis Adams, Nick van Beeck, Bruce McKhuen, Carol Williams and the current president of the IFBB, Wayne Price, to name a few. Kevin, who would you consider as the ultimate bodybuilders of all time? Definitely Sergio ‘The Myth’ Oliva. Those delts! Those lats! Those legs! He was the most genetically-gifted bodybuilder ever. He had 22-inch arms, 30-inch thighs and a phenomenal chest that edged toward the 60-inch mark. This was all balanced by an extremely tiny waist! Sergio truly had mythical proportions. Arnold did more for bodybuilding than anyone on the planet. He was a fierce competitor becoming Mr. Universe in London at the tender age of 20, the youngest ever person to win a Universe title. He then battled it out for the crown against The Myth. It was at the 1970 Olympia that Arnold dethroned Sergio. Who can ever forget Arnold tricking Sergio into leaving the stage during their classic pose down and then gesturing for him to come back and finish? Another bodybuilder who really stood out for me was the legendary Reg Park. He was not only a great bodybuilder but also a great human being. To me, he will always be the ultimate bodybuilding hero and the ultimate success story. Everyone painted a negative picture of Frank Zane, saying how miserable he could be. In 1978 I was guest posing with Frank in South Africa and found that he was quite the opposite – warm and approachable. I admired his patient approach of using carefully planned workouts and nutrition to shape his lean physique into championship form. Bodybuilders today are getting better and better. Look at Lee Haney, he was better than Arnold, Dorian Yates was better than Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman was better than Dorian, Phil Heath looks better than Jay Cutler! I sometimes wonder where it all will end? Who do you follow locally? I still go to contests now and then, but it is hard to sit through all the categories. I cannot believe the size and depth of the competitors on stage. I like bodybuilders such as Johan Boshoff and Cobus van der Merwe because they are always improving. If you cannot improve on your last showing you should stop competing. A bodybuilder cannot train to beat another competitor at a contest. The person to beat is yourself. What, in your opinion, is the best way to train in the gym? I applaud the push for intensity in the gym, although I fail to understand the volume most of the top competitors are using today. Who has the time to spend two to three hours in the gym, six days a week? Unless that is your job, it is impossible for the majority of bodybuilders

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Kevin posing at South Africa’s Best Developed Man in 1991 where he finished 3rd. This was a year after retiring from international competition.

Kevin flexing prior to the Mr. South Africa in 1975.

“A BODYBUILDER CANNOT TRAIN TO BEAT ANOTHER COMPETITOR AT A CONTEST. THE PERSON TO BEAT IS YOURSELF.” to recover from such a high volume of training. I believe in splitting body parts up into chest and back, legs and calves and shoulders and arms. There should be no difference training for growth or cutting. The most important thing is the consistent increase in the poundages you lift. If you fail to go up in weight you are probably not resting enough between workouts. When I was still competing the heaviest weight I used was about two weeks out from a contest. You can experience the best bodybuilding progress of your life from the simplest training. Simple, short, hard and progressive training stimulates growth and permits recuperation time between workouts. Many bodybuilders nowadays also use too much weight which, in my opinion,

only leads to bad technique. Use a weight that allows you to hit your target rep range with correct technique. Remember, if you don’t sleep well or eat a first-class diet, all your good work in the gym will be undermined. What would you change about the sport? The politics. What has bodybuilding taught you? Bodybuilding made me learn more about myself as a person. It cultivated self-respect and the belief that I could cope with any situation in life. It allowed me to build strong friendships and a successful career through hard work and dedication to my goals. M.E


By Werner Beukus, Editor Photography by Cindy Ellis Bikinis by Million Mama, www.millionmama.co.za

GITTE KIETZMANN

M.E BABE

FOR THIS ISSUE WE COULDN’T RESIST BRINGING YOU THE SUPER SEXY GITTE KIETZMANN AS OUR M.E BABE. Adventurous, funloving and mischievous at times, this born-and-bred go-getter from Pretoria is not someone who holds back and lives life to the full, 24/7. Get to know her a bit better as she sizzles on these pages! Shot on location at Viva Gym Rosebank, Ground Floor, The Zone @ Rosebank, 117 Oxford Street, Rosebank www.vivagymsa.co.za/rosebank-johannesburg/

You have an interesting name. Are you from German origin? No, I was named after Gitte (Brigitte) Nielsen, Sylvester Stallone’s first wife. My mom could not make up her mind between Gula, Jesca or Gitte. Tell us more about yourself? I view myself as a fun person who always sees the humour in everything. I love to laugh and make jokes. I’m definitely a dreamer, but I have the courage and determination to follow through and pursue my dreams. If you want to be my friend, approaching me with an ice cream is always a good idea... How did you become involved in the local fitness industry? The day I met fitness model and Pro athlete Angelique van der Linde I got bitten by the fitness bug. She has always been a true inspiration to me and the reason I entered my first fitness competition, where I took first place in the Beach Bikini line-up. I love the excitement as well as the pressure of the stage! Have you always been active? Yes, at school I did every sport under the sun! My family all excelled in sports, so it was natural for me. I’ve done everything from gymnastics to action cricket and drum majorettes. I guess I thrive on the challenge sport offers. What is your trick to keeping confident in front of the judges on stage? For me to walk on stage confident I need to know and feel I’m in the best shape of my life and that I’m giving it my everything. I always have butterflies just before I step on stage, but that’s part of the fun and adrenalin rush of competing. What training philosophy do you subscribe to? There is not a single set of rules in the fitness

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Stats

■ NICK NAME: Gietz ■ HEIGHT: 1.58m ■ CONTEST WEIGHT: 50kg ■ OFF-SEASON WEIGHT: 52kg ■ BIRTHPLACE: Pretoria ■ LIVES: Pretoria ■ COLOUR OF HAIR: Brown ■ COLOUR OF EYES: Green ■ OCCUPATION: Financial advisor ■ MOTTO IN LIFE: Be your own kind of beautiful! ■ SPONSOR: Seb’s Elite Boxing Gym ■ SOCIAL MEDIA: @gittekietz gitte.rootman industry. You must mix and match and try different training and nutritional techniques to find out what works best for your physique. Being fit is about working with your body and feeling comfortable in your own skin. There are no quick fixes and to achieve success you have to be disciplined. Eventually discipline becomes a habit. GITTE’S TRAINING SPLIT: MON

Glutes & hamstrings

TUE

Shoulders, triceps, abdominals & cardio

WED

Quads & calves

THU

Back, biceps, abdominals & cardio

FRI

(am) Leg workout with focus on glutes (pm) Yoga or Pilates

SAT

Off

SUN

Off or light circuit workout with abdominals & sauna

What do you do for cardio? I absolutely love to jump rope because it sculpts the shoulders, arms and legs. I also love to walk on an incline but the stepper is not my go-to exercise for cardio. To add spice to my fitness routine I include sprints and some boxing lessons with World Champ Sebastian Rothman at Seb’s Elite Boxing Gym at Loftus. What are your favourite exercises? My favourite exercises include jump squats, lunges, cable kickbacks and the abductor machine. I’m sure you can guess what my favourite body part is... yes, my glutes! What is the most common mistake newbies make when starting out in the gym? I’ve seen many beginners combining the wrong body parts when they train which leads to overtraining because their muscles don’t get sufficient time to recover between workouts. Mostly, not having a plan sets you www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E BABE

up for failure. I believe there is no greater motivator for success than the fear of failure. A strategic plan helps you to clarify what you need in order to achieve success. What diet do you follow to stay in such fine shape? When I first started out in the fitness industry I followed Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer programme to the letter. I didn’t know anything about healthy eating and training, just that junk food was bad! I still follow the basic principles of Jamie’s programme. I always have breakfast, usually oats and grapefruit, and I stick to lean protein, good fats and carbs, and lots of veggies. I have a soft spot for apples! Speaking of soft spots, what is your ultimate junk food and when do you have your cheat meals? I love chocolate brownie pudding, vanilla ice cream and a glass of red wine. My cheat meal is usually on a Saturday. Do you follow the local fitness scene? Who are your favourite athletes? Michelle van Rooyen is my favourite athlete (she now lives abroad). I also like Laura Danielz, Jenadine Havenga, Bianca van Rensburg, Alrieta De Wet and Lizelle Horn. What is your ultimate recipe for success in the world of fitness? Never give up, never stop improving and always stay true to yourself. True beauty comes from knowing, accepting and being yourself. Educate yourself about this lifestyle, you’ll never regret it. Always have a goal to work towards as they provide direction and motivation. And if you have a direction and enough motivation, you will find a way, not just in fitness but also in life. What are the things you have on your bucket list? Definitely being chosen as the M.E Babe! I can now tick that off my list! I want to get certified as a personal trainer and nutritionist. Other things include getting

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“If you have a direction and enough motivation, you will find a way, not just in fitness but also in life.” Muscle Evolution


my Pro Card and being on the cover of a magazine. I also want to skydive, dine in New York and tour the Australian Outback. How would you describe yourself in one sentence? Adventurous, fun-loving, with a bit of mischief. What ticks you off completely? Cruelty to animals. What about life freaks you out the most? How quickly time passes by. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? I turn on my radio. Nothing gets me in a better mood than a great song! Are there any extreme sports you would like to try, and why? I would like to try rock climbing if given half a chance! It is something extremely challenging, both physically and mentally, and being close to nature appeals to me. It would not only test a person’s strength but also things like agility, balance, endurance and mental tenacity. What is your most prized possession? The TAG Heuer watch my family bought me for my 21st birthday. What is the best way for a guy to spoil you? Dinner and a movie. I only watch horrors. Would you describe yourself as romantic? Yes, I’m old-school that way. Valentine’s Day is just as important as my birthday! Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? Thor, also known as Chris Hemsworth. There is something about strong, muscular guys. What is your idea of fun? I love going on unexpected road trips and getaways as I love surprises. GITTE’S CONTEST HISTORY: 2012 ■ IFBB Millennium Gold Plate 1st (Beach Bikini) ■ IFBB Gauteng North Novice 5th (Beach Bikini) ■ IFBB Boksburg Classic 2nd (Fitness Bikini) ■ IFBB Gauteng North Provincials 2nd (Fitness Bikini) ■ IFBB SA Championships 4th (Fitness Bikini) ■ WPF SA Championships 3rd (Open Class) ■ Rossi Classic 5th 2013 ■ Miss SA Extreme 2nd (Fitness Bikini) ■ IFBB Gauteng Provincials 3rd (Fitness Bikini) ■ Rudx Millennium Gold Plate 3rd (Fitness Bikini) ■ Miss Summer Sizzle Pretoria 2nd (this was a beauty pageant) ■ USN Face of Fitness Top 32 finalist 2014 ■ IFBB Gauteng Provincials 1st ■ IFBB SA Championships 5th (Fitness Bikini) 2015 ■ WBFF Diva Bikini 4th 2016 ■ WBFF Diva Bikini 3rd ■ USN Face of Fitness Top 12 finalist M.E www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E SUPPLEMENTS

By Pedro van Gaalen, Managing Editor

BETA-ALANINE A GROWING BODY OF RESEARCH SUPPORTS PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING BENEFITS OF THIS ERGOGENIC AID

IN THE SUPPLEMENT INDUSTRY’S ON-GOING QUEST TO HELP (LEGALLY) ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF ATHLETES, RESEARCH CONTINUES TO AFFIRM THE EFFICACY OF BETA-ALANINE. This non-essential amino acid is the only naturally-occurring beta-amino acid and it serves as a building block of carnosine, a dipeptide that helps to buffer the effect of exercise metabolites that build-up during physical exertion and can limit performance.

POPULAR ADDITION

As supplementing with beta-alanine has been clinically proven to boost muscle carnosine levels – a 2010 study published in the journal Nutrients found that taking 800mg of beta-alanine multiple times a day elevated muscle carnosine levels by as much as 66 percent – it can delay muscular fatigue and thereby improve workout or sporting performance. These properties have led to a steady rise in the use of beta-alanine in a variety of supplements, most notably pre-workout formulas and intra-workout or energy drinks for endurance events. In fact, according to Medgadget's Beta-Alanine Global Market Industry Trends, Analysis & Forecast 2020, the global beta-alanine market was valued at US$58 million in 2015 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.65% from 2016 to 2020.

RESEARCH-BACKED

One study that affirms beta-alanine's position atop the pile of ergogenic supplements includes research published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism that found that runners who supplemented with the substance considerably improved their performance over 800m, with a few study participants taking a staggering 3.6 seconds off their personal bests. But it's not just endurance athletes who can benefit. For instance, according to a study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, which tested maximum bench press and squat, power (Wingate anaerobic power test, 20-jump test), and body composition, combining creatine and beta-alanine provided an extremely synergistic effect of enhancing workout performance by supporting increased muscle contractile strength and power output, while simultaneously increasing muscular endurance. This enabled participants to do 74

Muscle Evolution

more reps and increased their workload in each subsequent session. In addition, the researchers concluded that “Creatine plus beta-alanine supplementation appeared to have the greatest effect on lean tissue accruement and body fat composition.” In another study, this one published in the European Journal of Experimental Biology, nonathletes who took beta-alanine supplements for eight weeks while adhering to a training programme that followed a pyramid structure, saw a significant increase in muscle growth. Whether this was a direct result of beta-alanine aiding in muscle growth or the indirect effect of an increase in exercise capacity wasn't clear, but the effect occurred nonetheless, adding yet further evidence in support of the use of this ergogenic compound.

encompassed 40 individual double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies employing a total of 65 different exercise protocols and totalling 70 exercise measures in 1,461 participants. The research team found that “beta-alanine had a significant overall effect” on performance and that “cosupplementation with sodium bicarbonate resulted in the largest effect size when compared with placebo.” These findings echoed similar outcomes of a 2012 study, conducted by a team which included researchers involved in the 2016 BJSM study, and was published in the journal Amino Acids. In it, researchers suggested that the increase in performance noted in exercise lasting 60-240 seconds might be explained by the improvement in exercise capacity experienced with beta-alanine supplementation. In their conclusion, the researchers noted that the “median effect of beta-alanine supplementation is a 2.85% improvement in the outcome of an exercise measure, when a median total of 179 g of betaalanine is supplemented.” When this latest meta-analysis is considered in the context of all the other studies that support the efficacy of this supplement, it certainly affirms the recommendation that beta-alanine should be a mainstay in every serious gym-goer or athlete's supplement programme.

BENEFITS REAFFIRMED

And this stance has once again been reaffirmed, with a study published last year in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM). The research team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence on the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on exercise capacity and performance which

“BETA-ALANINE TAKEN MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY ELEVATED MUSCLE CARNOSINE LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 66 PERCENT. THIS CAN DELAY MUSCULAR FATIGUE AND THEREBY IMPROVE WORKOUT OR SPORTING PERFORMANCE.”

Participants in a study published in the International Journal of Sport Medicine were able to complete 22 percent more squats than baseline, at 70 percent of their one-rep max, after taking a beta-alanine supplement for 30 days. Researchers working on the 2010 study published in Nutrients noted that participants – male sprinters – who took increasingly higher doses of betaalanine over time still experienced a boost in performance after five weeks of administration, which suggests that prolonged usage does not result in tolerance to the substance. M.E


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M.E NUTRITION

By Werner Beukes, Editor

A

chieving a super lean state could get a lot easier in coming years with the rise of ketones, which purportedly make the job of shredding for the bodybuilding stage much easier. So what are ketones and what can they do for you?

KETONES DEFINED

SALTS AND ESTERS Exogenous (outside of the body) ketones originate from a source such as a nutritional supplement. In contrast, ketones produced by the liver are referred to as endogenous because they originate internally. Harvard Medical School researcher George Cahill investigated the mechanisms that allow people to survive long periods without food during a series of starvation studies on students back in 1965. He showed when glucose supply in the body runs low, insulin drops which effectively switches on ketone production. Even

back in the 1960s, Cahill regarded betahydroxybutyrate as a super fuel. Exogenous ketones are today available as salts and esters. Ketone salts are naturallyderived compounds that combine sodium and/or potassium or calcium with betahydroxybutyrate, which functions like a ketone in the human body and can be converted to energy much like acetone and acetoacetate. Ketone esters are synthetically-made compounds used to raise ketone levels in the body. You can drink or eat them to boost ketone bodies with or without a ketogenic diet.

Ketones are considered simple carbonbased compounds that are produced by the body when someone restricts their carbohydrate intake and increases their intake of natural fats. Under these conditions the body enters a state known as ketosis, which is when the body starts relying on fat-generated ketones as its primary energy source. Used by the mitochondria in the human body to generate energy, ketones are an alternative fuel source to glucose and can be used by muscles, the heart and brain for fuel in the absence of glucose in the blood. Research has shown that when the body is in a ketogenic state it uses oxygen more efficiently in the generation of energy. There are 3 kinds of ketones produced in the mitochondria of the liver: ■ beta-hydroxybutyric ■ acetone ■ acetoacetic acid

CRANK UP FAITNG BURNI NG

24/7

The Fourth Macronutrient

KETONES

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Muscle Evolution


MIMICKING FASTING

A ketogenic diet consists of a very high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate intake, the basic parameters being the restriction of your daily carbohydrate intake to 50 grams (the equivalent of a cup of brown rice) or less. A ketogenic diet essentially has a macronutrient ratio that mimics the physiological state of fasting: high fat, moderation protein and very low carbohydrates. Following such a diet will cause ketones to be produced by the liver, effectively shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilisation, as mentioned previously. When a standard diet is followed, the body gets most of its energy by turning carbohydrates into glucose, which cells then convert into energy. Ketogenic diets are gaining popularity among bodybuilders and physique athletes due to their rapid effects on body composition. It is a fine balance though, because you cannot consumeg too much protein as this would drive up insulin levels, effectively booting you out of a state of ketosis.

CURRENT RESEARCH SUPPORTS THE USE OF KETONES FOR THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS:

■ Weight loss; ■ Blood sugar balance and enhanced insulin sensitivity; ■ Increase satiety, and decreased food cravings; ■ Improved energy levels, oxygen capacity, motor performance & athletic performance; ■ Enhanced blood flow through vasodilation; ■ Migraine treatment; ■ Neuro-protective benefits in seizure disorders; ADHD; Alzheimer ’s disease, memory and cognitive function; Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis; ■ Autism and improved behaviour and social impacts; ■ Mood stabilisation in bipolar disorder (type II); ■ Stroke prevention; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome management; improved cholesterol levels; ■ Inflammation management; ■ Endurance enhancement.

THE BIG DIFFERENCE

This is where the big difference lies between a ketogenic diet and a highprotein/carb-restricted diet. If you drastically reduce your carb intake while bumping up fats, the high quantity of protein you consume can become problematic. This happens because, when it comes to energy, the human body breaks down fats and carbs for fuel while saving protein to repair muscle. Only a certain amount of protein can be metabolised successfully at any given time. When a bodybuilder on a high-protein/carb-restricted diet eats multiple protein-rich meals during the day, the possibility exists that it could be converted to energy as part of a process called gluconeogenesis. This process breaks proteins into amino acids which are then converted to energy during periods of prolonged exercise in the gym or while training in a fasted state. The excessive amount of protein of a highprotein/carb-restricted diet could effectively blunt any fat-adaptive responses. Similar to how eating carbs can induce an insulin response, high protein can also trigger a high insulin response. A little-known fact is protein contains insulinogenic amino acids (amino acids that spur insulin production) which could lead to higher insulin release. Some argue that ketone supplementation is not the same as actually being in a natural

state of ketosis. Bodybuilders typically restrict their carbs and some even go as far as following an intermittent fasting protocol which consists of not eating for 12 to 16 hours to get into a state of ketosis, the goal being to promote greater fat metabolism to get stage-ready. The development of exogenous ketones could, in fact, make a ketogenic diet more flexible and the entire process more tolerable, where in the past ketosis could only be achieved via a starvation state or a high-fat, low-carb diet, two methods extremely difficult to sustain in the carbfuelled world of intense gym training.

KETO FLU

Most dieters experience keto flu when entering the induction phase of a ketogenic diet (50 grams or less of total carbs – about 20-30 grams of net carbs). Keto flu is a result of a body that is starved of carbohydrates. Keto flu associated with keto dieting can be alleviated by replenishing electrolytes and minerals in the body in the form of potassium, magnesium and sodium. Expect a drop in mental and physical performance for a few weeks as your body tries to tap its missing fuel source.

THE KETONE DIET:

>> 75% FAT >> 20% PROTEIN >> 5% CARBS www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E NUTRITION

USING FAT STORES AS ENERGY While insulin is a key hormone for various metabolic processes in the body, the metabolism of fat can be slowed down if there is too much insulin released at one time, like after a high-protein or high-carb meal. The body will then turn to carb-derived energy as its main source of fuel (glucose) while reducing the signal to use fat for energy. This essentially places you in fatstorage mode, a situation to be avoided at all costs when preparing for a contest. To be successful when following a ketogenic diet, the majority of calories should come from fat and not protein or carbohydrates. When the body is relying less on glucose and more on fat to fuel workouts, insulin secretion will drop and insulin sensitivity will

increase, which ultimately leads to the body using fat stores for energy. The bottom line with a ketogenic diet is to avoid consuming too much protein – only enough to maintain and, in some cases, increase lean body mass. The same applies to eating too many carbs on a high-fat diet. Keto-adaptation occurs when the body successfully switches from using carbs to fat for energy, using ketones,

A GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE

University of South Florida’s Dr. Dominic D’Agostino currently runs a research programme to develop and test ketogenic diets and ketone supplements. According to D’Agostino, viewed by many as a leader in the field of ketosis, nutritional ketosis works similarly to fasting. “You liberate free fatty acids from the adipose tissue and break down stored glycogen levels in the liver. Once the glycogen level reaches a certain level, you start accelerating the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver.” D’Agostino defines ketones as a by-product of accelerated fat oxidation in the liver that readily cross the blood-brain barrier, helping to preserve, maintain and enhance brain energy metabolism in the face of starvation. According to D’Agostino, a study monitoring athletes on a ketogenic diet was recently released showing maintenance of strength and significant body alteration. “Where the use of the ketogenic diet for performance really shines is in the context of trying to

CONCLUSION

Researchers have identified various uses for exogenous ketones like weight loss, improved health and enhanced athletic and cognitive performance, but more data is needed to provide conclusive evidence. Bodybuilders who are in a state of nutritional ketosis for a period of time would respond more favourably to the introduction of ketone esters as their bodies would make the switch more easily from moderate glucose and fat use to sourcing ketones for energy than a person who is not in a state of ketosis. Type-1 and type-2 diabetics should consult with their doctor first before using exogenous ketones as they can significantly alter blood sugar levels. In on-going 78

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the aforementioned small lipid-derived molecules produced in the liver, and fatty acids instead of glucose as its primary energy sources. Ketogenic diets have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, decreases in resting blood glucose, lower triglycerides and increases in HDL levels, all of which can be beneficial to improved health, particularly for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

make weight for a certain event or where the power to weight ratio is important such as wrestling and cycling.” D’Agostino views ketones as a fourth macronutrient: “You have fats, proteins, and carbs. Ketones are an energy-containing molecule.” Ben Greenfield, author of the New York Times Bestseller ‘Beyond Training’, echoes D’Agostino’s sentiments. Greenfield is also a proponent of controlling blood sugar levels and lowering carbohydrate intake. He points out that there is a growing body of evidence proving that a high-fat, low-carb diet results in faster and more permanent weight loss than a low-fat diet. “A high-fat, low-carb diet should include thyroid-supporting foods rich in iodine and selenium, such as sea vegetables and brazil nuts, and should also include carbohydrates timed properly, such as before, during or after workouts, when the carbohydrate is more likely to be utilised for energy and less likely to spike blood glucose levels,” he says. Closer to home, Tim Noakes, retired professor in exercise science and sports medicine at the University of Cape Town and fervent advocate of the low-carb, high-fat, or Banting diet is also singing the praises of burning fat as primary fuel source. “When we were told to eat diets extremely high in carbohydrates, human health started to fail on a global scale,” said Noakes during an interview with Foodmed.net, a leading source on medicine for health, body and mind.

research there is evidence that suggests exogenous ketones could actually be therapeutic for type-2 diabetics. Ketogenic diets warrant further investigation as an increasing number of sports nutrition researchers become interested in the physiological and performance attributes. While the emerging research has primarily focused on endurance exercise, a ketogenic diet may be applicable to strength athletes as well. Some even believe that ketosis could increase anaerobic power or muscular strength if a wellformulated diet is followed. Is this a new horizon on the energy balance sheet? Can ketones offer the physiological equivalent of solar power. Only time (and science) will tell. M.E


M.E SUPPLEMENTS

By Werner Beukes, Editor

CAFFEINE CREATINE CONUNDRUM THE

IS THIS COMBINATION THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT?

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OTHING NEW, ONLY TRIED AND TRUE IS A GOLDEN RULE IN THE GYM, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO SUPPLEMENTS THAT BOOST STRENGTH AND STAMINA. As the most popular and widely researched ergogenic substances in the world today, creatine and caffeine are definitely two golden oldies guaranteed to deliver results. But there have been questions raised whether caffeine would lessen the efficacy of creatine when stacked in an effort to get the best of both worlds. To find the answer, we first need to go back in time and then fast forward to current science.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CREATINE

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he human body produces small quantities of creatine, an amino acid derivative constructed from arginine, glycine and methionine, which is also naturally found in foods such as meat, eggs and fish. Creatine is stored in muscle cells and used for high-intensity muscle contractions such as a maximum effort bench press in weightlifting or 100m sprint. Athletes who need sudden, high-intensity bursts of strength and power are ideal candidates for taking creatine. It essentially is used to boost levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a primary energy source during high-intensity exercise, enabling an athlete to resist fatigue and recover quicker. Back in 1832, French scientist Michel Eugene Chevreul singled out this element in the flesh of animals. Chevreul called his discovery creatine in homage to the Greek word kreas, which means meat. In the early 1900s, scientists at Harvard University first noticed that ingesting creatine could dramatically boost the creatine content in muscle

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tissue. Creatine was later identified as a key player in the metabolism of skeletal muscle. Creatine monohydrate powder quickly became a staple among leading professional athletes, fitness enthusiasts and recreational lifters when sports nutrition companies started producing it commercially. The supplement has boomed ever since with over 80 percent of athletes participating in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta using creatine monohydrate. Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements in exercise science with reports of health benefits including the improvement of strength and energy, enhanced mental focus, acceleration of recovery after injuries and antioxidant and neuro-protective qualities. Research also shows that creatine can improve glycogen levels during carbohydrateloading which could have benefits during endurance exercise, although there is less support to indicate that it improves endurance performance and aerobictype training. The normal dosage taken is

around 3-5g a day dissolved in a beverage either before or after a high-intensity workout. Typical methods for ingestion are flavoured powders mixed into a drink or in capsule form. It is taken with either water, juice or a sports beverage as part of a loading or maintenance phase.

“CREATINE IS ONE OF THE MOST WELLRESEARCHED SUPPLEMENTS IN EXERCISE SCIENCE WITH REPORTS OF HEALTH BENEFITS INCLUDING THE IMPROVEMENT OF STRENGTH AND ENERGY, ENHANCED MENTAL FOCUS, ACCELERATION OF RECOVERY AFTER INJURIES AND ANTIOXIDANT AND NEUROPROTECTIVE QUALITIES.�

Long-term use can stimulate protein synthesis. Although there are various versions of creatine available such as creatine hydrochloride, creatine citrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine malate and creatine phosphate, most athletes rely on the original creatine monohydrate because it has the most documented scientific results. Creatine supplementation may be a useful therapeutic strategy for older adults to attenuate loss in muscle strength and performance of functional day-to-day tasks. Creatine absorbs extra water from the body. It is therefore essential to remain hydrated while taking creatine monohydrate. Studies conducted on the effects of creatine supplementation on water retention and body composition show that although total body fluid increases, it appears to be proportional to weight gained. Using creatine over the long term did increase fat-free mass without an increase in the percent of total body water. In addition, several studies have found that these


gains were accompanied by increased muscle fibre diameter (hypertrophy) and gains in power and strength. There are anecdotal reports of creatine supplementation causing kidney problems, dehydration, mood swings, extreme fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches but evidence is not definitive to indicate that it poses a health risk. Insulin levels can enhance the uptake of creatine. Taking creatine along with large quantities of glucose (e.g. 80100g) or carbohydrate/protein (e.g. 50-80g of carbohydrate with 30-50g of protein) can be an effective way to increase and/or maintain muscle creatine stores. While some have warned that acidic beverages can break creatine down to creatinine, the acid level (pH) of coffee (about 4.5), grape juice (about 3) and orange juice (about 2.8) is less acidic than gastrointestinal secretions (about 1) and acid in the stomach (about 1.5). The International Olympic Committee cannot ban creatine as it is readily found in meat and fish and recommended that it is taken in safe doses according to the needs of a training programme and not chronically.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CAFFEINE

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affeine is a xanthine alkaloid that acts as a central nervous system (CNS) and metabolic stimulant in humans. It is called an ergogenic aid because it increases the capacity for mental or physical work and has done so for thousands of years across different cultures. The world’s primary source of caffeine is found in the coffee bean from the seed of a coffee plant which is used to brew coffee. The caffeine content in coffee varies widely depending on the type of coffee bean and the method of preparation used. It can also be manufactured synthetically and added to nutritional supplements. Caffeine is considered a sympathomimetic drug because its effect mimics that of the sympathetic nervous system – the branch of the nervous system that produces the fight-or-flight stress response. This response causes blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension to temporarily increase as the body prepares to fight or flee in response to danger. Metabolic rate increases and appetite can be reduced making caffeine a favourite ingredient in weight-loss products. The benefits of caffeine are recognised across a large range of sports – from highintensity events of 1-60 minutes in duration to endurance and

ultra-endurance events and team, racket and combat sports with intermittent efforts. The influence of caffeine on cognitive function and exercise capacity comes from research predominantly funded by military agencies where the need to make quick decisions despite sleep deprivation and fatigue can mean the difference between life and death. Caffeinated gum used by soldiers has shown to improve reaction times, vigilance, physical endurance and cognitive performance. Caffeine delivered through chewing gum is more rapidly absorbed than caffeine delivered via pill or beverage forms and thus counters fatigue more quickly. Caffeine is totally absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 45 minutes of ingestion before it is distributed throughout all the tissues of the body. Caffeine is metabolised in the liver into metabolites which each have their own effects, namely paraxanthine (84 percent), leading to increased lipolysis, elevating glycerol and free-fatty acid levels in the blood plasma; theobromine (12 percent) leading to the dilation of blood vessels and the increase in urine volume; and theophylline (4 percent) leading to the relaxation of muscles of the bronchi. A cup of coffee might have too

DOES CAFFEINE BLUNT THE EFFECT OF CREATINE?

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here is clearly a lot of controversy and conflicting evidence surrounding the effectiveness of using the two substances in tandem. The conundrum faced is that caffeine is a diuretic and creatine requires additional water for it to be stored in the muscles. While creatine causes you to retain more water, caffeine, on the other hand, causes you to urinate more often. The caffeine/creatine combo debate was first sparked after a study found that caffeine counteracted the effects of creatine-loaded muscle (Vandenberghe et al. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading, 1996). In stark contrast, like so often seen in the world of exercise science, Lee et al. (2011) proved that creatine supplementation without caffeine for five days followed by a relatively

high dose of caffeine an hour before exercise improved muscular power output significantly during high-intensity exercise. The effects of creatine were therefore not negatively influenced by acute caffeine ingestion following a creatine-loading protocol. The reason for this is most likely linked to the time component, where creatine is transported into the muscle cell during the loading phase without interference from caffeine intake. Once the muscle

cell is loaded with creatine it converts a considerable amount of creatine into the high-energy molecule creatine phosphate for improved ATP production and re-synthesis to boost muscular performance. This, coupled with a high dosage of caffeine right before exercise might well be responsible for triggering further creatine support in the muscle cell, ensuring greater energy production and muscular performance. Supplements with both creatine

“CAFFEINE CAUSES BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART RATE AND MUSCLE TENSION TO TEMPORARILY INCREASE. METABOLIC RATE INCREASES AND APPETITE CAN BE REDUCED MAKING CAFFEINE A FAVOURITE INGREDIENT IN WEIGHTLOSS PRODUCTS.” little caffeine, too much or just the right amount depending on the coffee and the person who drinks it. Overuse can lead to nervousness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia and heart palpitations as well as ulcers and gastrointestinal reflux. Following its 2004 removal from the WADA Prohibited List, caffeine is considered safe, effective and legal when used according to established and practiced protocols. It has become a main ingredient in various alternative energy stimulants developed in the past decade such as sport gels and nasal sprays taken before and/or during a workout or race to increase motivation, improve performance in both strength and endurance and aid in fat loss through increasing caloric expenditure. Like energy drinks with caffeine they are primarily marketed to younger adults.

and caffeine are widespread nowadays and emerging research supports their efficacy for improving performance and lean body mass. However, research investigating chronic caffeine consumption during creatine loading has demonstrated a blunted effect of creatine, possibly due to effects on muscle relaxation time or gastrointestinal distress, while other studies reported positive results after creatine was dissolved into coffee or tea.

THE VERDICT

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hat does this all mean in practical terms? Until researchers manage to refute the existence of interference between creatine and caffeine doses, you can either use creatine monohydrate by itself, following a loading phase before mixing it with a high dose of caffeine, or you can combine the two on the days when you need to train harder during key sessions that are deliberately fatiguing – for example, when you are in a lower-carbohydrate state. Based on the evidence currently available, when you follow the latter try to avoid chronic, high-dose caffeine intake to boost the ergogenic effect of creatine. M.E www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E DRUG FILES

By Werner Beukes, Editor

EPO BLOOD BOOSTER

LOOKING BEYOND ITS BENEFITS TO ENDURANCE ATHLETES

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PO, OR ERYTHROPOIETIN IS A PEPTIDE HORMONE THAT STIMULATES THE PRODUCTION OF NEW RED BLOOD CELLS TO BOOST STAMINA AND PERFORMANCE. THE SYNTHETIC FORM IS A BANNED PERFORMANCEENHANCER THAT IS PARTICULARLY POPULAR AMONG COMPETITORS IN ENDURANCE SPORTS SUCH AS LONG DISTANCE RUNNING, CYCLING AND BOXING. With more EPO in your system, you boost your endurance capacity, enabling you to go harder and further for longer as it maximises the oxygencarrying capacity of blood. Although EPO is not commonly used as a bodybuilding drug, some athletes eager to push the envelope have added it to their cycles in the belief that it increases muscle fullness and vascularity for the stage.

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EPO - WHAT’S THE DEAL?

Taking EPO leads to the production of red blood cells in the body which increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood to deliver more oxygen to exercising muscles. Extra oxygen significantly increases energy production leading to improved performance and higher intensity levels. Although EPO has become synonymous with endurance athletes, some bodybuilders and physique athletes also use it to boost exercise intensity, volume and the quality of training sessions.


ANOTHER FRONTIER IN CHEATING N

aturally produced in the kidneys, erythropoietin is released into the blood where it binds with receptors found in bone marrow to stimulate the production of red blood cells, known as erythrocytes. This increases the body’s oxygen-carrying capacity. In the world of endurance sport, this increase in red blood cells translates into improved performance because the more oxygenated blood you can get to your muscles, the harder and longer you can work with less effort. Injecting synthetic EPO either intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously (sub-Q) to produce more red blood cells has been banned since the 1990s, following which athletes started to remove their own blood (generally 7501,000ml), freezing and storing it, effectively opening another frontier in cheating. This process, called blood doping, is not the only method of increasing red blood cells, though. According to drugs-in-sport expert Anthony Roberts, lifting weights and traditional endurance work can also elevate red blood cell count. “Any time you introduce a stimulus that results in your body needing more oxygen (a hypoxic state), you are telling it to prepare for the next time by producing more red blood cells.” Roberts explains further: “When you train at an oxygen deficit (i.e. the kind of training that leaves you winded), this is an indication of hypoxia.” The latter is the stimulus for your body to generate EPO to adapt, compensate, and have more oxygen available to meet future demands. In a hypoxic state you still have to train intensely and consistently to get shredded for a competition. Scientists (Kon, Michihiro et al. 2015) have recently found significant improvement in muscular endurance and a potent effect on muscular angiogenesis (the formation of new capillaries) among athletes training in a state of hypoxia. The findings also demonstrated lifting weights under hypoxic conditions led to muscle hypertrophy. It was the first time these adaptations had been observed following a resistance exercise protocol traditionally used to build muscle under hypoxic conditions. Anabolic steroids can also increase red blood cell count. Due to testing for the use of anabolic steroids in sports, blood transfusions have become the primary means of supplementing the body with exogenous EPO. By withdrawing and storing a pint of blood, an athlete can

“IN ADDITION TO AN INCREASE IN THE RED BLOOD CELLS THAT CARRY OXYGEN IN THE BLOOD TO INCREASE MUSCULAR AND CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE, IT HAS NOW BEEN SHOWN THAT EPO CAN IMPROVE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS, WHICH IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO BODYBUILDERS AND STRENGTH ATHLETES.”


M.E DRUG FILES re-administer his own blood back into his system, usually on a timed schedule, to boost his red blood cell count because the body would have produced more blood and blood cells to compensate for the loss. Options include autologous blood transfusions (using your own blood) or homologous blood transfusions (using someone else's blood). EPO was initially manufactured for patients who had anemia caused by kidney failure or cancer chemotherapy. It soon became the most successful biotech drug in history, with global sales totalling $10 billion a year, despite evidence that high doses could cause heart problems and even death. Among famous sport stars known to have used the drug, multiple Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong admitted to using EPO to vastly enhance his stamina and performance during the prestigious threeweek cycle tour.

NEW UNDETECTABLE FORMS A ccording to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) it is not within the spirit of sport to abuse substances for performance enhancement, be it blood doping or anabolic steroids. WADA encourages good sportsmanship allowing athletes to rely on their moral compass to determine their own individual course. To keep doping in sport in check WADA recently even resorted to extreme measures such as the expulsion of members of the Russian Team from the Brazilian Olympics. WADA also introduced the first gene test in sport at the Olympics in response to athletes bypassing blood doping tests with gene doping. WADA's test detects the illicit injection of DNA to boost performance. This test can identify the presence of synthetic genes that code for the synthesis

of the erythropoietin hormone, which can artificially stimulates the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the body. Gene doping involves the transfusion of the EPO gene into the body using viral 'vectors' that inject the gene directly into the cells of the muscles, kidneys and other organs where EPO production can be maximised. EPO gene doping can consistently elevate red blood cells instead of only providing short-term bursts as with injecting EPO or blood doping. Administering of exogenous EPO can be harmful. “Blood viscosity goes up, which increases the strain on your cardiovascular system, raising the risk of heart disease and blood clots in your brain and lung tissue,” says Nikolai Nordsborg of the University of Copenhagen, an expert in sports-related haematology. “If you use someone else’s blood, there is also the possibility of anaphylactic shock and infection.”

“BY RAISING RED BLOOD CELL COUNT, EPO THICKENS THE BLOOD. WHEN THIS CONDITION IS COMBINED WITH A SEVERE STATE OF DEHYDRATION, IT COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF HEART ATTACKS, BLOOD CLOTS AND STROKES.”

CAT & MOUSE GAME D

rug use in sport has never been bigger than now and a multitude of performanceenhancing scandals over the years has contributed to a culture of scepticism of sporting success among the public. When an athlete delivers a brilliant performance it is immediately questioned as being too good to be true, with the trainers and coaches that oversee the success of athletes often coming under close scrutiny as much as the athletes themselves. It is not only the elite using illegal substances, though. Fuelled by curiosity, many amateurs hop onto Google and purchase drugs such as EPO. As performance becomes more important in the sports arena, the role of watchdogs such as WADA will become increasingly critical. WADA has been on an anti-doping war

path since the introduction of its anti-doping code in 2004, which with the endorsement of the International Olympic Committee, soon became the policy benchmark. The code contains a list of banned substances including performance-enhancing drugs such as EPO, human growth hormone and anabolic steroids. The sport of bodybuilding has not escaped scrutiny, with illegal drugs being a constant subject of controversy and debate. Athletes are also often faced with the dilemma of improving their performance in the short term against the cost of poor health in the long term. Robert Goldman, author of 'Death in the Locker Room', asked athletes whether they would take drugs to guarantee success in sport and found that half of the athletes he interviewed would take drugs, even if it caused them to die after five years. The race to produce new drugs is often compared to a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Jerry comes out with a slingshot, then Tom reacts with a bat, following which Jerry goes off and comes back with a gun. Tom goes off and comes back with a bazooka, before Jerry goes off and returns with an army tank. And on and on it goes...

POTENTIAL DANGER

By raising red blood cell count – known as hematocrit – EPO thickens the blood. When this condition is combined with a severe state of dehydration, commonly found among pre-contest bodybuilders, it could increase the risk of heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. The ability of EPO to turn blood into sludge can also become problematic when used in conjunction with anabolic steroids, which also can cause an increase in red blood cells. If dehydration occurs on the day of a bodybuilding contest, blood can become so thick from EPO usage that it cannot circulate through the body which could easily lead to death. M.E 84

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By Werner Beukes, Editor Photography by Soulby Jackson | www.skjphotograpghy.co.za

M.E SHOW REPORT

IFBB

SUMMER OVERALL MEN’S BODYBUILDING

SENIOR MEN UP TO & INCL 80KG Alain Nji

SUPERBODIES

WHEN: 19 November 2016 WHERE: Maragon Private School, Johannesburg

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ith all the IFBB events completed and the 2016 competitive season at its end, the IFBB’s Summer Superbodies competition was the last show of the year where athletes could vie for top spots and the opportunity to compete at the prestigious Arnold Classic Africa. It was also part of the new Platinum League Series in which athletes can qualify to compete in the IFBB’s money show, The Gentle Giant Classic. The show kicked off with the Ladies Beach Bikini division, followed by the Junior Classic Bodybuilding and Men’s Classic Bodybuilding categories. Tanza Le-Shey Eagles and Tanya Snyman convincingly won their height categories with class

JUNIOR BODYBUILDING U/23 O/75KG Simphiwo Nyoka

SENIOR MEN O/80KG Rhamon Bernstein

and style in the Beach Bikini line-up. Adrian Brown walked away with the honours in the Junior Classic Bodybuilding under 23 years division, while his older contemporaries Tebogo Mmeko (up to 1.75m) and Reiner Diedrichsen (over 1.75m) dominated the line-ups in their respective categories. The highly-competitive Chanelle Erwee was a revelation on stage winning the Junior Fitness Bikini under 23 years line-up and the Ladies Fitness Bikini over 1.68m division, with Courtney Clarke finishing in 2nd place on both occasions. Showing that a David can also be a Goliath, Silvino Quana won his division in the Junior Bodybuilding under 23 years up to 75kg category, with Lesego Lebethe taking silver and

“THE IFBB’S SUMMER SUPERBODIES IS PART OF THE NEW PLATINUM LEAGUE SERIES IN WHICH ATHLETES CAN QUALIFY TO COMPETE IN THE IFBB’S MONEY SHOW, THE GENTLE GIANT CLASSIC.” www.muscleevolution.co.za

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M.E SHOW REPORT

LADIES FITNESS BIKINI O/35 Belinda Grooteman

MEN’S CLASSIC BODYBUILDING UP TO 1.75M Tebogo Mmeko

OVERALL LADIES FITNESS BIKINI JUNIOR FITNESS BIKINI U/23 & LADIES FITNESS BIKINI O/1.68M Chanelle Erwee

OVERALL MEN’S CLASSIC BODYBUILDING

LADIES FITNESS BIKINI UP TO 1.68M

MEN’S CLASSIC BODYBUILDING O/1.75M Reiner Diedrichsen

Claudette Renney

OVERALL LADIES BEACH BIKINI JUNIOR BODYBUILDING U/23 UP TO 75KG Silvino Quana 88

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LADIES BEACH BIKINI UP TO 1.63M Tanza Le-Shey Eagles

LADIES BEACH BIKINI O/1.63M Tanya Snyman

JUNIOR CLASSIC BODYBUILDING U/23 Adrian Brown


MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE UP TO 1.74M Boaventura Macuacua

LADIES BODY FITNESS UP TO 1.63M

MASTERS MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE O/40 Harry Nieuwoudt

JUNIOR MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE UP LADIES BODY FITNESS O/1.63M Karen de Bruyn TO 23 Tommie Hoffman

Marelize Stander

OVERALL MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE O/1.74M Roger de Kramer

the inspiring Caleb Mhtombo, who has sickle cell disease, finishing in 3rd place. Senior winners Alain Nji (up to and including 80kg) and Rhamon Bernstein (over 80kg) brought top conditioning to the fore and were duly rewarded for their commitment and dedication to the sport. Harry Nieuwoudt outmuscled Norman Brits (2nd) and Jaco Burger (3rd) in the Masters Men’s Athletic Physique over 40 years category with a more defined and harder physique, while Marelize Stander and Karen de Bruyn came out on top in the Ladies Body Fitness categories with superb physiques. Congratulations to the organisers for an excellent show and all the athletes who endured the prep and got up on stage to compete so late in the year.

RESULTS JUNIOR CLASSIC BODYBUILDING U/23 1 Adrian Brown MEN’S CLASSIC BODYBUILDING UP TO 1.75M 1 Tebogo Mmeko 2 Percy Mosala 3 Abelang Mosweu MEN’S CLASSIC BODYBUILDING O/1.75M 1 Reiner Diedrichsen 2 Donovan Margoczi LADIES BEACH BIKINI UP TO 1.63M 1 Tanza Le-Shey Eagles 2 Genevieve Vrettas 3 Char-Nel Loots LADIES BEACH BIKINI O/1.63M 1 Tanya Snyman

2 Robyn Clarke 3 Juanita du Plessis JUNIOR FITNESS BIKINI U/23 1 Chanelle Erwee 2 Courtney Clarke 3 Bianca Daubinet LADIES FITNESS BIKINI O/35 1 Belinda Grooteman 2 Antoinette Nel 3 Odette Fouche LADIES FITNESS BIKINI UP TO 1.68M 1 Claudette Renney 2 Tshiamiso Skosana 3 Candice Jones

JUNIOR BODYBUILDING U/23 UP TO 75KG 1 Silvino Quana 2 Lesego Lebethe 3 Caleb Mhtombo JUNIOR BODYBUILDING U/23 O/75KG 1 Simphiwo Nyoka 2 Fraser Learmonth 3 Damian Coetsee SENIOR MEN UP TO & INCLUDING 80KG 1 Alain Nji 2 Thabang Molepo 3 Thokozani Dangotye

SENIOR MEN O/80KG LADIES FITNESS BIKINI 1 Rhamon Bernstein O/1.68M 2 Kale Kabelo 1 Chanelle Erwee 3 Mandla Ntwane 2 Courtney Clarke 3 Stephany Delatour

LADIES BODY FITNESS UP TO 1.63M 1 Marelize Stander 2 Shownees Jacobs 3 Monique van Emmenis LADIES BODY FITNESS O/1.63M 1 Karen de Bruyn MASTERS MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE O/40 1 Harry Nieuwoudt 2 Norman Brits 3 Jaco Burger JUNIOR MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE UP TO 23 1 Tommie Hoffman 2 Kyle Kleinhans 3 Hendri Stolz

* All results and spelling as supplied by the event organisers. Muscle Evolution accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions

MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE UP TO 1.74M 1 Boaventura Macuacua 2 Dane Renney 3 Ryan Pillay MEN’S ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE O/1.74M 1 Roger de Kramer 2 Sphamandla Mabanga 3 Jacques Fagan OVERALL Ladies Fitness Bikini Chanelle Erwee Ladies Beach Bikini: Tanya Snyman Men’s Athletic Physique: Roger de Kramer Men’s Classic Bodybuilding Reiner Diedrichsen Men’s Bodybuilding: Alain Nji M.E

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M.E COLUMNS

SIBUSISO KOTELO

JACO VENTER

ECCENTRICFOCUSED TRAINING

MINIMISE YOUR WEAR AND TEAR

Eccentric exercise has been shown to have a greater effect on muscle size than concentric exercise. This type of training is basically when the muscle is overloaded while lengthening – in other words the lowering of the weight. During this phase, your muscle is getting longer while still contracting. For example, during the bench press, the eccentric phase occurs when you slowly lower the bar to your chest, lengthening your pectorals and triceps. Studies over the years have shown greater hypertrophy and strength gains from eccentric training. Although this is interesting, it does not suggest that eccentric training should be the only way to train. Research, however, does underscore the importance of including periodic eccentric training when the plan is to pack on mass and increase strength. The human body can actually tolerate more weight eccentrically than it can

I often remind myself to think The weakest link in a about flexibility, preventing bodybuilder’s armour is the muscle injury and speeding up recovery. insertion. An exercise such as the As bodybuilders we push our barbell bench press heightens the bodies to the extreme and in strain on muscle insertions because most cases beyond what we think it restricts movement within a is possible. I must confess that I specific range. Dumbbells and cable often catch myself feeling allergic movements, in contrast, allow us to to the word “rest”. I also have to choose our own movement arc and constantly remind myself to RICE we’re not restricting the joint to a (rest, ice, compress and elevate). fixed pivot. Dexter Jackson is the perfect The more we stretch the muscle example of someone who is still at sheath, the greater the range of his peak despite his age. Another motion and the better it’ll be able example is John Meadows, who to volumise during training. Liken recently won his IFBB Pro Card. muscles, tendons and ligaments to These older mechanical but wiser I HAVE SEEN MULTIPLE elastic bands athletes are – the greater INJURIES OVER always looking at and more THE YEARS WHERE ways to protect BODYBUILDERS TORE versatile the their joints and of these MUSCLES OUTSIDE THE range ligaments in components, GYM. SO, HOW CAN the gym. The the more ONE PREVENT THIS? weight, for them, performance is not always the we can deciding factor anticipate for progression and like a or even an well-oiled, indication of obstructionthe level of free cylinder in intensity in their an engine, the training. Different wear on the movements are structured at joint is greatly minimised! different times as part of a training Never stretch a cold muscle. session. To give an example, during Rather increase the blood flow to chest day these Pros would rather the area you are going to train and perform dumbbell flyes at the end only then proceed with stretching. of a workout to stretch the muscle This is the main reason I often with light to moderate weight as stretch in the middle of my training. part of injury prevention. When there is pain in a muscle or Injury prevention starts before joint, stop lifting and take a break. we even enter the gym. I have seen Rest. Don’t injure yourself. Rather multiple injuries over the years back off. In 2016 I took a two-week where bodybuilders tore muscles break and upon returning to the outside the gym. The reason for this gym, I had to work very hard to get is that our muscles are fairly tight back to where I was prior to the and any movement that puts extra break. However, my central nervous strain on a muscle or a joint can system got a much-needed break lead to a potential injury, especially and that was what mattered most when the muscle or joint is not to me. If we don’t take a break we familiar to a particular movement. are moving backwards and we So, how can one prevent this? By fail to fire on all cylinders. Always stretching daily and making sure we remember – plan your work and are well hydrated. work your plan.

SIBUSISO SAYS

“With eccentric training you can push your muscles past their normal point of failure. Use it periodically to build more muscle and increase your strength.” 90

Muscle Evolution

concentrically. It makes sense then to take full advantage of this style of training. Not only can you create more muscle damage, but emphasising the negative portion of a lift will lead to even greater muscle growth and, in turn, power, strength and the development of stronger connective tissue. Muscle soreness after a training session is referred to as delayedonset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is actually damaged muscle tissue. DOMS is caused predominantly by eccentric muscle activity. Edema (swelling of the damaged area) and inflammation are also hallmarks of DOMS as fluid and immune cells move from the blood into the muscle to clean up the damage and make way for new proteins. I have used eccentric training on weaker body parts such as my hamstrings. I would use bands to keep my legs in the right position under a heavier-than-usual load on the hamstring curl machine. My training partner would then apply a lot of resistance when I lower the weight. This has helped me tremendously in bringing out definition and also in improving my strength for a meat-builder such as the barbell squat. Another good example of eccentric training would be bicep curls. I would resist the barbell on the negative portion of the rep to accentuate eccentric loading. I believe those who throw the weight up, use poor form, incorrect muscle groups, momentum, and those who allow the weight to drop back down receive only a minimal benefit from exercising, if anything at all! When you train in this manner you will also have a much greater risk of injury. With eccentric training you can push your muscles past their normal point of failure. Use it periodically to build more muscle and increase your strength.

BY STRETCHING DAILY AND MAKING SURE WE ARE WELL HYDRATED.


M.E COLUMNS

COBUS VAN DER MERWE

EARL ‘THE BEAST’ ABRAHAMS

THE DANGER OF DIURETICS

HITTING MUSCLES ONCE OR TWICE?

Using diuretics for weight-loss and conditioning purposes before a bodybuilding show is something I wanted to discuss for a long time because of its prevalence among bodybuilders. Over the years, athletes have resorted to using them to meet their weight limit and reach bone-dry conditioning on show day. Diuretics are usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure, since by facilitating water loss, they lower the water content of the blood which leads to freer blood flow, effectively lowering blood pressure. Water retention can obscure muscular definition which is needed on stage. When you use diuretics, you are forcefully instructing your kidneys to release water from any available source. While some water is subcutaneous (which we like), some is from organs (dangerous) and some is simply drawn from muscles. The results of diuretic abuse can range from severe muscle cramps to fainting. You might end up looking flat and dehydrated on stage or, even worse, you can cause irreparable damage to your kidneys or lock up like a mannequin as your body goes into spasm and then complete cardiovascular collapse. Two prominent examples of diuretic misuse in recent years are Albert Beckles collapsing on stage from apparent diuretic-induced dehydration and Mohammed Benaziza dying due to cardiovascular failure at the age of 33. It was reported that Benaziza used a combination of potent diuretics prior to a bodybuilding show.

I’m often asked the question, mostly by beginners in the gym, if it is optimal to train a muscle once or twice a week. I recall when I started out many moons ago, I would train every muscle once a week. The minute I trained more frequently, I felt as if I was overtraining. I decided to scale back my training and incorporate a higher volume of work periodically when I felt rested and strong. I would always ask the question: “Have I recovered from my previous workout?” Training muscle once or twice basically comes down to your individual recovery capacity. Each lifter recuperates at a different rate. Through trial and error you must determine your ideal training frequency and what works best for you.

COBUS SAYS “ When you use diuretics, you are forcefully instructing your kidneys to release water from any available source.” 92

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Diuretics purge your body of sodium. A teaspoon of sodium holds more than two quarts of water in the body and diuretics release a huge quantity of water. This is often described as a biochemical shotgun approach as essential minerals are washed away in the process, including potassium, magnesium and chloride. In this way, bodybuilders, who are usually already in a dehydrated state for a show, can lose vital electrolytes. There are other methods to reduce excessive water retention. If you prep properly you won’t have to depend on dangerous fast-fix tactics on show day. ■ Ensure that you are always within close range of the condition you would like to be in on stage at least two weeks prior to a competition. ■ Assess your physique on a daily basis and go on a ketogenic diet for the last 7-10 days prior to a show. This coincides with your water-loading phase (up to 8 litres a day). When you are in a ketogenic state your muscles have greater storage capacity than usual when loaded with glycogen. This will give you that full and rounded look. ■ Plan your glycogen load and water drop in relation to your actual lean body mass and carefully assess your physique every 3-4 hours during the loading phase. ■ If you still feel you need something extra, use a slowrelease potassium tablet. Please consider the dangers inherent in the use of diuretics. This game we love requires discipline. We cannot depend on quick-fix alternatives to compensate for our lack of work ethic because a victory is so much sweeter when it is achieved as a result of hard work.

Beginners can train more frequently if they stick to low/ moderate loads: DAY 1

Chest & back

DAY 2

(3 exercises for shouders, biceps & triceps, 2 exercises each)

DAY 3

Legs (4 exercises)

DAY 4

Off

DAY 5

Chest & back

DAY 6

Shoulders & arms (2 exercises per muscle group)

DAY 7

Legs (4 exercises)

(3 exercises per muscle group)

Shoulders & arms

(2 exercises per muscle group)

The above split is an example of a schedule that I believe is adequate to kick-start gains when you are first starting out. Intermediate lifters, whom I classify as people with nine months plus of lifting experience under their belt, should hit each muscle group once a week. The reason is that they are stronger and more experienced and when you train with heavier weights your body will need additional time to fully recover between workouts. An example of a suitable training split could be: DAY 1

Chest & shoulders

DAY 2

Legs & calves

DAY 3

Back

DAY 4

Arms

DAY 5

Off

DAY 6

Repeat

On the days you are working more than one muscle group, you should stick to four exercises per muscle.

On the days you train large body parts such as legs and back, do five exercises per muscle group. On this type of split, you can hit the muscle heavy and hard as it allows for plenty of recovery. If you have been training for more than two years you are part of the advanced group in the gym. Now you can mix and change your training to suit your individual needs and give more attention to lagging body parts. An example of a split for an advanced bodybuilder would be: DAY 1

Legs & calves

DAY 2

Chest & triceps

DAY 3

Back & biceps

DAY 4

Legs & calves

DAY 5

Shoulders & triceps

DAY 6

Off or a chest & back pump workout

DAY 7

Arms

An advanced bodybuilder can take a day off when needed. The emphasis should be on multiple movements with plenty of reps and sets. The more muscle damage you create during exercise the more recovery time you will need before you can train that body part again. At the end of the day, only you can gauge your own recovery ability and structure your workouts according to your individual goals. Always remember that the heavier you lift the more time you will need for your muscles, joints and ligaments to recover. We all are works in progress, so train hard but smart!


MDU GREEN

BODYBUILDING CAMARADERIE Although bodybuilding is known as a sport for individuals, you still find athletes who stand together and stick with each other through the good and the bad times. I always get an adrenalin rush walking into a gym or onto a stage because I know my brothers and sisters in iron are there to look out for me. Bodybuilding is a fascinating and rewarding endeavour. The sport is not just about growing bigger muscles but also about making new friends, exchanging ideas on training, diet, posing and nutrition, challenging each other to become the best in what we do and also motivating each other when there is a lack of confidence or self-belief. I have made incredible friends in the sport over the years and I still feel that nothing beats the thrill of competition – being up there, standing on a stage against fellow competitors in front of hundreds of people and being acknowledged

MDU SAYS “As bodybuilders we continuously try to keep the competitive spirit of sportsmanship alive by never allowing the outcome of a competition to affect us in a negative manner when we walk off the stage. We try to lead by example and to inspire youngsters who are looking up to us for knowledge and guidance.”

as the best of the best. I love that feeling! Despite fierce competition, bodybuilders still look out for each other behind the scenes. It is not unusual to get compliments on your physique from fans, family and friends, but it is something special when you get it from your peers – other competitors. As a group we understand each other because we are all on the quest for physical perfection. There are many individuals whom I have the greatest respect for, from the organisers of the spectacular shows we as athletes compete in to the hardworking judges and the officials behind the scenes. As bodybuilders we also cannot do what we do without our fans. Thanks for all your support through the years! I believe that there is still passion and camaraderie in bodybuilding and that the positive aspects far outweigh the negative ones. I must admit that bodybuilding can take an enormous amount of time and energy out of you, but somehow you get past the hard training and dieting with the support of people in the bodybuilding community who understand what you are going through. As bodybuilders we continuously try to keep the competitive spirit of sportsmanship alive by never allowing the outcome of a competition to affect us in a negative manner when we walk off the stage. We try to lead by example and to inspire youngsters who are looking up to us for knowledge and guidance. Through it all, bodybuilding taught me to be patient and to continue, even after failing to perform according to the goals I set out for myself to achieve. It has taught me the true meaning of perseverance. It also taught me that we all need each other to cross a bridge sooner or later.


M.E COLUMNS

HENK ‘THE TANK’ SMITH

PLATEAU-BUSTING MEALS

JOHN ‘THE TERMINATOR’ LESLIE

How can you fight boredom when you’re struggling to get your meals down and you’re sick and tired of eating the same food, day in and day out? We all know consistency makes a great bodybuilder, but we get tired of the same old food regimen. How can one work around this issue without having to resort to multiple extra-large protein shakes throughout the day? I have a total of 7 meals a day consisting of three basic varieties, so I know what I’m talking about. Check out these handy tips to make your life as a bodybuilder a little easier.

A bodybuilder who is serious about maximising muscle repair after intense training sessions will make sure his diet consists of complete protein sources. But what is the difference between a complete and an incomplete protein source? The latter is basically a protein that lacks or is too low in one or more of the essential amino acids. Incomplete proteins are also called partial proteins.

OATS & EGGS I know many bodybuilders who eat their oats and their egg whites separately. After following this triedand-tested regimen for quite some time I got tired of prepping everything separately in the mornings before gym. It takes too much valuable time! I now scoop out the oats the night before, pour boiling water over it, and let it stand overnight. When I wake up I just mix my egg whites and pop everything into the microwave for about 7 minutes before I add some cinnamon and maybe a tablespoon of honey. I never get tired of this combination because it’s like having a dessert for breakfast!

CHICKEN & RICE This is any bodybuilder’s go-tomeal. I like boiling my chicken, believe it or not, and mixing it with some rice. Sure, it’s not the tastiest meal of the day, but when I’m pressed for time it gets the job done! If I have the time to change this meal up, I take the old-fashioned route of throwing everything in a frying pan with some coconut oil to spoil myself. I usually add some rosemary with the chicken to make it tastier. I cut my chicken in half and thin it out because I don’t want it to be dry and rubbery. For some variety I also cook my rice with spinach for that extra power I need in the gym.

MEAT & SWEET POTATO Under normal circumstances I would put my fillet steak in a pan, fry it and just add a dash of extra virgin olive oil to keep it from sticking to the pan. I would then cook my sweet potato and mash it up. If I get tired of eating this, I pop the fillet into the oven on full blast for 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness. I cut my cooked sweet potato in halves and sprinkle some cinnamon over them before putting them in the oven to grill for that crunchy texture. I like venison as another meat option and if all else fails, I light up the braai like any full-blooded South African!

ALLOW YOURSELF AT LEAST 1-2 CHEAT MEALS A WEEK IN THE OFF-SEASON, SPACING THEM OUT FAR FROM EACH OTHER, LIKE ON A WEDNESDAY AND A SUNDAY. A CHEAT MEAL IS THE IDEAL PLATEAU-BUSTER. IT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT PREPPING, IT KEEPS YOU SANE AND IT GIVES YOU SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO! 94

Muscle Evolution

TALKING PROTEIN

Some examples include: ■ Peas ■ Corn ■ Seeds ■ Grains ■ Beans ■ Nuts The above incomplete proteins can still be successfully used if you pair them in your meals with other sources of protein that deliver a complete profile when combined. A meal where you consume rice with beans and a chicken breast, for example, provides adequate percentages of essential amino acids to gain muscle mass.

“BEYOND THESE WHOLEFOOD PROTEIN OPTIONS I ALSO ENSURE I GET ENOUGH PROTEIN BY USING WHEY ISOLATE AND CASEIN PROTEIN.” Complete protein sources are the following: ■ Chicken breast – boneless and skinless ■ Lean beef – sirloin, flank steak, bison and lean ground beef ■ Pork ■ Tuna ■ Salmon ■ Cottage cheese ■ Eggs – more protein in the whites ■ Whey protein isolate

Complementary protein sources I can suggest include: ■ Natural nut butters in the form of almond and peanut butter ■ Whole raw nuts (peanuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews) ■ Legumes (lentils and beans) ■ Yoghurt (Greek yoghurt provides twice the protein of regular yoghurt) I don’t change my protein sources radically between the off-season and pre-contest. In the off-season I mostly stick with red meat (beef fillet steak, extra lean mince, ostrich meat), and chicken breasts, egg whites and some yolks. Beyond these whole-food protein options I also ensure I get enough protein by using whey isolate and casein protein. These two supplements have grown exponentially in popularity in the bodybuilding world over the past few years and with good reason. They are extremely useful when you, for some reason, are not able to eat food-derived protein. Whey protein is fast-acting, breaking down into amino acids that are rapidly absorbed in your bloodstream after consumption. Casein protein is slow-digesting and perfect to consume before bed to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and an anabolic state during sleep. The majority of my meals will consist of chicken breasts, with beef probably making up only one meal and eggs one to two meals of the day. When I start prepping for a contest I cut out casein protein and replace it with egg whites. I also eliminate all the yolks when I have my eggs. When I get closer to the contest, I also eliminate all red meat and whey protein from my diet and only consume chicken breasts and egg whites. It is just a matter of eliminating or adding protein to your diet to reach your goals.


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PEAKING PERFECTLY Defined, chiselled and ripped to percentage of water your body the bone. Bodybuilders would like holds is directly related to the to hear these words from judges percentage of sodium you and fans describing their condition consume. At first you will hold extra on show day and not words like water when you are increasing ‘flat as a pancake’ and ‘soft as a your sodium levels, but after marshmallow’. We all want to look maintaining your sodium intake for our best! The difference between a couple of days your body adapts first and third often comes down and eventually it ends up holding to which athlete gets his final peak the same percentage of water as week right and which one totally when your sodium intake was low. screws it up! During sodium loading I You basically want to look like would also increase my water a walking topographical map, full, consumption to 10 litres a day. hard and beyond vascular. There That is a lot of water, but the idea must almost be zero body fat and a is basically to flush out remaining minimal amount sodium in my THE WEEKS OF HARD of water under body, making DIETING TO ACHIEVE DEEP all the water I your skin. A full MUSCLE SEPARATION muscle pushes CAN ALL BE LOST IF YOUR drink work to against the skin SODIUM MANIPULATION rid my body of and if there is no excess fluid. IS OFF BALANCE. water between From THE GOAL OF the muscle PEAKING PERFECTLY Wednesday and the skin, to Friday I IS TO MINIMISE your muscles would typically WATER JUST will look full eliminate all BENEATH THE SKIN and separated. sodium from WHILE KEEPING But what is the my diet and YOUR MUSCLES AS secret formula slowly reduce FULL AND AS HARD water intake. I of getting totally AS POSSIBLE. shredded? would carefully Everyone, of course, has highly monitor how my body responds individualised responses. You have to frequent, small sips of water to find out what is right for your throughout the day. My very last particular body. Your body can often sip of water would be at 12:00 on react like a pendulum, swinging the Friday before a show. From from one direction to the other if then till the show I completely cut you don’t manipulate your water water intake. I don’t measure my and sodium intake correctly. You can body fat percentage leading up to go from huge and hard to soft and a show. Being shredded depends puffy in a matter of minutes! on a low level of body fat and a The weeks of hard dieting to certain extent of dryness. Body fat achieve deep muscle separation percentage is irrelevant, especially can all be lost if your sodium when you get your sodium balance manipulation is off balance. The mixed up. I judge my condition goal of peaking perfectly is to by using a mirror. Dehydrating minimise subcutaneous water (just the body is extremely dangerous. beneath the skin) while keeping The best advice regarding water your muscles as full and as hard manipulation I have ever received was not to use diuretics for a show. as possible. It takes a couple of tries to peak From personal experience, perfectly for show day, but the leading up to a show – Sunday to results on stage can be dramatic Tuesday – I would intentionally and totally worth it! add extra salt to my food. The

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M.E COLUMNS

LENDO GREYLING

HENNIE KOTZE

TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE

DECIPHERING THE GENETIC CODE

Although no two physiques are ever exactly the same, two bodybuilders can help each other achieve what they have individually set out to accomplish. That is the beauty of lifting weights. Even if you don’t have any intention of competing in a bodybuilding show and only want to become stronger, you will need someone to push you harder during your workouts to achieve your goals. There are many paths you can use to reach a destination, but having someone who pushes you in the gym is invaluable. It makes the journey easier and in most cases the journey itself is the ultimate victory. You need a buddy who is reliable and encourages you to put all your intensity and effort into each and every set and rep. I have always had a training partner. My training partner for my first few shows was Christiaan Neethling, a trainer at Body Guru in Montana. He was brilliant in pushing me beyond my limits. Other partners who are currently making a tremendous impact on my training are IFBB Pro Hennie Kotze and Jean Roodt, also a trainer at Body Guru. They are relentless and can really punish you! I never leave the gym feeling as if I did not give it all I had. I have had my fair share of days where I had no option but to lift weights by myself. On such days you need

As the study of genomics advances, scientists continually uncover ways in which genes influence our lives, from our potential for sporting performance to a diet that is better suited to an individual. Variations in our DNA code are what cause individual differences in the way we look, and also have the ability to change how the proteins our body produces are coded and the way they function. This impacts our hormonal and enzyme function, which can affect our response to food or exercise, or may predispose someone to health risks such as cancer. However, one important aspect that has been uncovered is that gene expression can be altered by many factors, at least to some degree. So athletes who choose to hide behind the excuse that they have small calves due to poor genetics, need to change their perspective. In terms of diet, there is evidence to suggest that our genes play a role in determining how we respond to different macronutrient ratios and, more specifically, metabolise energy. While this may help determine if you should eat more or less carbs or fat, I’ve found that when my clients focus on eating good quality, natural food, they tend to experience the same degree of weight loss. Even those tested for the blood group diet tended to lose weight at the same rate after changing their eating. I therefore don’t believe that your genes are the most important determinant of your dietary success, but rather your food choices. One area where a stronger link to genes seems to have been established is that of pain tolerance. I recently read a study by the American Academy of Neurology that found that certain gene variations correlated with a higher or lower pain tolerance. For example, those with a COMT gene variation had a moderate pain

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to be cognisant of the breaks you take between sets and whether you are lifting weights you can handle without getting injured. The most difficult aspect of training solo for me is going to the gym on the days you lack the energy and the willpower. You don’t have anyone waiting for you who can push you. This is where a reliable training partner makes all the difference. It starts with commitment. You must make a strong commitment to train with someone else at a specific time. It is the same commitment you make to nutrition, meal preparation and self-improvement. A training partner, for me, is like a second set of eyes to evaluate how you train and if you are training hard enough to take your physique to the next level. Someone who has your best interests at heart and pushes you to bring the leanest and hardest physique to the stage. Bodybuilding judges prefer seeing a light heavyweight bodybuilder who is ripped to the bone rather than a middleweight who is bulky but smooth. The right training partner is therefore vital to your success as a bodybuilder.

“YOU NEED A BUDDY WHO IS RELIABLE AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO PUT ALL YOUR INTENSITY AND EFFORT INTO EACH AND EVERY SET AND REP.”

threshold, while those with the DRD2 gene variation had a low pain tolerance. People with the OPRK1 gene variation fell in the middle of the pain threshold spectrum. However, that’s not to say that people cannot train to become more resilient and exceed their pain barriers during training. I’ve also witnessed a distinct difference in the pain tolerance of my female and male clients. While men can accommodate heavier loads, women endure more punishment due to a higher pain threshold. The other area of interest as far as genetics is concerned is that of training response. There is no doubt that our genes determine our muscle fibre composition, which will inform how best to train – low reps, heavy weights for fast twitch, or higher volume for slow twitch fibres. From what I’ve read, genes influence our response to training to some degree, but everyone will respond to some form of training. The trick is to find what works best for you. And if you’re a poor responder, you just need to train harder and more intelligently. Everyone can have big calves, for example. If they’re genetically inferior, double up on the training and be consistent. At the end of the day, we all have the same genetic code, it is just arranged differently. However, there are many factors that influence your outcome, of which your genes are just one.

HENNIE SAYS “If you’re a poor responder, you just need to train harder and more intelligently. Everyone can have big calves. If they’re genetically inferior, double up on the training and be consistent.”


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Muscle Evolution - Jan/Feb 2017