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LOW-CARB DIETS: The Latest Scientific Findings

Cover Man Dan Decker’s
Hot Hardbody
Photos of
Gargantuan-Guns Jamie Eason

The New Frontier
of Muscle Growth

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What Science Says APRIL 2008

•Speed Freak—Run Faster With Weight Training
•Pro Muscle—Victor Martinez’s Olympia Quest www.IronManMagazine.com
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www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2006 261

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150 DECEMBER 2009 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com


April 2008 HARDBODY
Jamie Eason

The keys to making the 3D HIT program a bigger-body builder. (Up your mass!)

Jerry Brainum cites the good, bad and ugly about the fat-burning eating plan.


Layne Norton analyzes the research on blocking blood flow and its amazing
hypertrophic effects. Plus, a discussion of Charles Atlas’ Dynamic Tension.


Top researcher Jerry Brainum looks at the most popular lift in gyms everywhere.
(You want to wreck your pecs, not your shoulders!)


Ron Harris says weakness during a diet is in the mind. Go mental on the metal!


Greg Zulak tells you how to mass up your midback, Jack.


Cory Crow talks to Dan Decker about his techniques for sky-high peaks.


The cover model extraordinaire lets you in on his secrets of success.


From the Bodybuilding.com archives: Glen Danbury shows you how to max out
the growth of every muscle fiber. It hurts, but it works.


John Little channels the wisdom of Mike Mentzer. This month: negatives.


Ilir Gatollari reveals how the Olympia runner-up’s controversial placing is fueling TRAINING
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Strength coach Bill Starr on how the weights can make you faster on the field. Dan Decker LOW-CARB DIETS: The Latest Scientific Findings

appears on this
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Wreck your pecs, not
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Inset Jamie Eason.
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Neveux. The New Frontier

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Wreck Your
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What Science Says APRIL 2008

•Speed Freak—Run Faster With Weight Training

Vol. 67, No. 4 •Pro Muscle—Victor Martinez’s Olympia Quest

•Monster Traps—Etch Upper-Back Mass Fast
Please display until 4/8/08

C1_April2008_F.indd 1 2/5/08 12:37:54 PM

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The power of the pump and why we lift. Plus, Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine.

Coach Charles Poliquin solves another deflated-delt dilemma.

New findings on creatine, saturated misinformation and Holy cramp!

John Hansen explains proper bench press form for the perfect pec-growing storm.

Dave Goodin’s muscle-building decision: To use, or not to use?

Steve Holman on muscle contraction and the size reaction. 274
Jerry Brainum talks testosterone boosting with estrogen blockers. Picture-perfect panache


Eric Broser’s Web-browsing finds—Dexter Jackson is in the house—reviews (Jay
Cutler’s latest DVD) and training advice.


Lonnie Teper covers the wild world of bodybuilding. Plus, the Reg Park memorial. Power of the
Ruth Silverman’s physique-comp commentary with plenty of picture-perfect punch.


Bomber Blast with Dave Draper, IRON MAN’s Rising Stars and a review of the new
Jon Pall Sigmarsson DVD, “Larger Than Life.”


Cory encore and mistakes galore. Plus, old-guy gusto and NO to grow.


See more Photos @
See more Video @ In the next IRON MAN:
Eric Broser presents the nine secrets of
Here are the places that IronManMagazine.com viewers recently manifesting mass mentally. It’s all in
clicked on the most: the mind, says Boser, as he shows you
how to go mental. Then Jerry Brainum
continues his low-carb lowdown with
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Publisher’s Letter Founders 1936-1986:

Peary & Mabel Rader
Publisher/Editorial Director: John Balik
by John Balik Associate Publisher: Warren Wanderer
Design Director: Michael Neveux
Editor in Chief: Stephen Holman
Art Director: T. S. Bratcher

The Five-Minute Senior Editor: Ruth Silverman

Editor at Large: Lonnie Teper
Articles Editors: L.A. Perry, Caryne Brown

Assistant Art Director: Brett R. Miller
Designer: Chester Chin
Mary Gasca, Vuthy Keo, Mervin Petralba
Contributing Authors:
My friend Bob Gajda, a Mr. America and Mr. Universe in the mid-’60s, Jerry Brainum, Eric Broser, David Chapman,
started out as a three-letter athlete in high school. He spent four years Teagan Clive, Lorenzo Cornacchia, Daniel Curtis,
Dave Draper, Michael Gündill, Rosemary Hallum,
in the Air Force as a fitness instructor, but his athletic accomplishments, Ph.D., John Hansen, Ron Harris, Ori Hofmekler,
while extraordinary, come in a distant second to his vision and creativ- Rod Labbe, Skip La Cour, Jack LaLanne, Butch
ity. Lebowitz, John Little, Stuart McRobert, Gene
Mozée, Charles Poliquin, Larry Scott, Jim
I first met him at the Division Street YMCA in Chicago in 1962. The
Shiebler, Roger Schwab, Pete Siegel, C.S. Sloan,
YMCA had given him a couple of rooms in the basement to set up a Bill Starr, Bradley Steiner, Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D.,
weight-training gym. Bob took the empty rooms and put together a gym Randall Strossen, Ph.D., Richard Winett, Ph.D.,
that was equipped with many of his own designs, which he had talked and David Young
various people into welding together for him. The members of the Y Contributing Artists:
Steve Cepello, Larry Eklund, Ron Dunn,
were a diverse ethnic mix who had the common bond of working out.
Jake Jones
Bob was the undisputed cheerleader, but they also included the newly
Contributing Photographers:
arrived from Cuba Sergio Oliva. In addition to Sergio, many local body- Jim Amentler, Ron Avidan, Roland Balik, Reg
builders trained there. Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Dobbins, Jerry
The Duncan Y learned of Bob’s skills and hired him away from the Fredrick, Irvin Gelb, Isaac Hinds, Dave Liberman,
J.M. Manion, Merv, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru
Division Y. Now his fertile mind was fueled by not only his enthusiasm Okabe, Rob Sims, Ian Sitren, Leo Stern
but also a budget, which had to bring his ideas to life. Bob created one
Director of Marketing:
of the best gyms in the country at that time and attracted a group of Helen Yu, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1
bodybuilders and weightlifters equal to the gym. Besides spending Accounting: Dolores Waterman
many hours keeping it all going, he was working on a master’s degree Subscriptions Manager:
in kinesiology. Many years before anyone else talked about range of Sonia Melendez, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 2
motion, he was already applying his theories on ROM to championship E-mail: soniazm@aol.com
weightlifters and other athletes. He talked about and created devices Advertising Director: Warren Wanderer
1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1
to enhance balance and coordination, again when no one else in our
(518) 743-1696; FAX: (518) 743-1697
world discussed it. I sort of tolerated the conversation, since I was only Advertising Coordinator:
interested in strength and development. Ah, but now the world has Jonathan Lawson, (805) 385-3500, ext. 320
caught up with Bob’s vision. There isn’t a world-class athlete today who Newsstand Consultant:
doesn’t work on range of motion and balance as a part of strength and Angelo Gandino, (516) 796-9848
skill training. We reserve the right to reject any advertising at our
discretion without explanation. All manuscripts, art
All of these memories have surfaced because of two things: 1) nu-
or other submissions must be accompanied by a self-
merous articles that have appeared in the popular press about athletes, addressed, stamped envelope. Send submissions to
stretching for ROM and balance over the past few months and 2) the de- IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033. We
are not responsible for unsolicited material. Writers and
cline of those attributes with age. These days my workouts contain not photographers should send for our Guidelines outlining
only strength and cardio but also stretching and balance work. I wish specifications for submissions. IRON MAN is an open
forum. We also reserve the right to edit any letter or
I had starting doing them back then. As per Bob’s advice from 40-plus manuscript as we see fit, and photos submitted have an
years ago, I don’t overdo stretching, and I only do it when fully warmed implied waiver of copyright. Please consult a physician
before beginning any diet or exercise program. Use the
up—after I have worked the bodypart. Bob was the first to state that information published in IRON MAN at your own risk.
everyone has a unique range of motion. If you exceed it, you can dam-
IRON MAN Internet Addresses:
age the joint and cause instability in the joint. Web Site: www.ironmanmagazine.com
I have recently added a new five-minute routine to my regular pro- John Balik, Publisher: ironleader@aol.com
gram that includes stretches for my lower back, shoulders, hamstrings Steve Holman, Editor in Chief: ironchief@aol.com
and quads and some balance work. Those short routines have given my Ruth Silverman, Senior Editor: ironwman@aol.com
T.S. Bratcher, Art Director: ironartz@aol.com
training a new dimension and have reenergized me. Helen Yu, Director of Marketing: irongrrrl@aol.com
To comment, please send e-mail to ironleader@aol.com. IM Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator: ironjdl@aol.com
Sonia Melendez, Subscriptions: soniazm@aol.com

26 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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28 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com


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Power of the Pump The importance

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I remember being Pro

disappointed and Creator”
disgusted by the way Ram-
some of the top pro Paul Dillett. bod, I
bodybuilders in the came to
’90s trained when realize
I watched them at that al-
Gold’s Gym in Venice. though
I distinctly recall seeing the
Paul Dillett go through stretch-
an entire shoulder es were
workout without once some-
using what I consid- what
ered heavy weight, effective
especially for a man of in ex-
such freakish propor- pand-
tions. Instead, he used ing the
higher reps, supersets fascia,
and short rest periods an even
to blow up his delts more
to the point where effective
they weren’t much way to
smaller than basket- accom-
balls. “Pump trainer,” plish
I said dismissively that
about him and others was to
like him while holding get the
deeper respect for best
men who pushed and pump
pulled earth-shattering pos-
weights, like the reigning Mr. O, Dorian Yates. sible. Suddenly it made sense how so many pumpers
That’s how I styled my own workouts, and I took pride could grow so large despite not always training heavy. By
in the big numbers I could claim on various exercises. Not filling up the muscles with more blood than they’d ever
coincidentally, I soon accumulated many injuries, just like held before, they pushed outward against the fascia and
Yates. I wrote off the pump trainers’ undeniable results as forced it to expand.
a combination of very gifted genetics and a medicine cabi- If you have a problem bodypart, ask yourself how well it
net full of goodies. Yet it was always obvious that those pumps compared to your better bodyparts. If you answer,
guys looked like superhuman comic-book heroes, while I not very well at all, try doing higher reps, multiple sets with
looked, well, all too human. very brief rest periods, drop sets and supersets. Be sure
As the years went by, I began incorporating fascial to eat carbs and drink plenty of water before training and
stretching into my workouts between sets on the advice of perhaps even throw in a nitric oxide precursor supple-
Cincinnati-based training and nutrition expert John Parrillo. ment. The solution to bringing up a stubborn bodypart, or
More recently I’ve been training D.C. style, and aggressive even making overall gains, could be as simple as making
fascial stretching is also part of that system. The theory is it a priority to not only get stronger on basic exercises but
that fascia, the very tough connective tissue that sheaths also make sure you always get a hellacious pump.
all the skeletal muscle (stronger on a square-inch basis Lifting heavy weights is nice, but believe me when I say
than stainless steel), effectively restricts muscle growth. In that it’s not the only important factor in building bigger
Neveux \ Model: Lee Priest

other words, you could be training and eating to stimulate muscles. —Ron Harris
growth, but the fascia would prevent it from happening www.RonHarrisMuscle.com
because it had your muscles in a choke hold, like a tight
Finally, after a conversation with nutritionist Hany “the

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Whatever You Need—Wherever You Train ™

Train to Gain / EFFORT
Higher Reps for
Bigger Delts
Quick show of hands: How many
of you have shoulder problems? If
not now, then at one time or an-
other? Wow, that’s a lot of you. Now,
how many of you have done barbell
or dumbbell presses with so much
weight that you got only four or five
reps? What do you know, same peo-
Neveux \ Models: Markus Reinhardt and Hubert Morandell

ple put their hands up!

Don’t worry, I’m not picking on you.
My hand was up too. I talk to an awful
lot of top amateur and pro bodybuild-
ers, and shoulder problems are as
common as tribal tattoos and fake
designer sunglasses. But I noticed that
I never hear female bodybuilders com-
plain about shoulder pain or injuries.
Not long ago I had the chance to ask
four-time Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle about
the phenomenon, and she answered
in a flash. “It’s the male ego. A lot of
men are very concerned with being
the strongest guy at their gym, and
It’s All You! Are your spotter—and your ego—
costing you muscle gains?
they use the heaviest weight possible
to make sure of that.”
Iris has some fantastic shoulders
There are three words I never want to hear from my training partner during a set:
“It’s all you.” Talk about ironic. Whenever you hear someone shouting that phrase, you of her own and works them in the rep
can be 99.9 percent sure that it’s all him doing the lift—the guy spotting, not the guy range of 12 to 15. That’s two or three
lifting. It’s most commonly used to encourage a guy attempting to bench-press about times as many reps as you see most
50 percent more than he is actually capable of, as his unfortunate spotter is forced to men performing for their delts, espe-
pick up the slack with a heavy upright row to prevent the first guy from being crushed cially if we’re talking about dumbbell or
to death by the heavy barbell. barbell presses.
If you really want to make sure a lift is all you, give strict instructions to your spotter “Doing low reps on overhead
not to touch the bar until the lift is complete. A spot- presses makes no sense,” Iris said.
ter can legitimately assist you in unracking or rack- “The shoulder joint is such a vulner-
ing a weight, but in between those two moments, able area, so why would you want to
the policy should be hands off. have it support so much weight that
Kai Greene, a rising pro star with wheels that you have to battle just to keep it bal-
are truly outrageous, talks about always doing his anced? One false move, one slip out
squats 100 percent on his own strength, even when of the groove, and your shoulders are
the bar is bending under a 600-pound load. “My wrecked. For another thing, you barely
training partner is behind me in case of emergency, stimulate the muscle until you get up
but I don’t allow any of that hugging-under-the-arm- to at least 10 reps.”
pits nonsense,” he says. “I need to know that every If you don’t mind taking advice from
Isaac Hinds \ www.LiftStudios.com

rep I do is really mine. Once someone is helping, a girl (who happens to be the best fe-
there is no way to know exactly how much he did male bodybuilder today), you would be
for you.” wise to listen to what Iris has to say.
Training partners are great, and having a spotter Fewer injuries and more gains in your
on standby for heavy lifts is a smart idea too, but shoulders—doesn’t that sound pretty
Roland Balik

be careful that you don’t rely on anybody but your- cool to you? —Ron Harris
self to lift your weights. For many years I foolishly www.RonHarrisMuscle.com
believed I was using X amount of weight on this or
that exercise when in fact I was only lifting a portion of it on my own. At one time I used
to load up the squat bar with more than 700 pounds and do half-reps with a spotter
behind and under me like a shadow. Now I do the reps with no help, and my physique
is infinitely better than it was in the old days.
In short, “it’s all you” shouldn’t be a lie told to you by a training partner or spotter
helping you—it should be the truth told from a slight distance. —Ron Harris

30 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Knee Pain and Quad Gain

Q: I’m 49 years old and have salmon, skinless turkey and/or chicken
trained since my early 20s. Now breasts—no red meat at all and no protein
when I squat, my knees hurt; but shakes.
everyone tells me that if I don’t • Your carbohydrates should come
squat, my legs won’t grow. Is that from green vegetables and low-glycemic
true? fruits—that’s all. No bread, rice, pasta,
A: While squats are a very good mul- oatmeal, nothing that has been made by a
tijoint exercise for overall leg size, they’re human being.
not the only way to build your thighs. In • Your oils should be limited to small
fact, ideally, you should find your specific amounts of almonds, macadamia nuts and
biomechanical and musculoskeletal-op- olives—do not cook with any oils.
timized exercises, based on your bone Here are a few key points to remember:
lengths, joints and muscle fiber varia-

Neveux \ Model: Derik Farnsworth

tions. 1) The knee joint is intricate. Always have
For instance, a tall man—say, your knees over your feet when doing
6’5”—with narrow hips and small knees any type of squat or leg press. Don’t
and ankles is going to get very little out point your feet inward or outward when
of squats. His chances of ever getting squatting or doing a leg press. That
enough weight on his back to perform will change the way that the knee joint
10 perfect reps, without his upper body moves.
tilting forward, are slim to none. For you
I recommend one warmup set and two 2) Don’t bounce at the bottom of your
sets of heavy leg presses to failure, followed by leg exten- squats. That can cause permanent damage to the patella
sions—as many as you can with as much weight as you can. tendon.
Finish with leg curls for three sets of 12 reps. Or you could try
doing hack squats, leg curls and leg extensions in a tri-set, tak- 3) Use wraps only when you squat heavy. Don’t use them
ing each exercise to muscular failure. for light sets or for leg extensions or any other leg move-
Another element of your question is interesting—you say ment.
that your knees hurt. Are you dropping down too fast and/or
bouncing out of the bottom? I suggest that you have a very 4) If you’ve struggled with squats and you’ve tried all of the
good physiatrist (a doctor who knows kinesiology, anatomy methods that I’ve suggested but still don’t feel right when
and the musculoskeletal system better than any other M.D.). squatting, do leg presses or hack squats instead.
Physiatrists look at the area of concern and do a variety of
tests. They can find muscle imbalances. Often people work 5) If your knees continue to hurt, find out if you have an
their quadriceps far too much and neglect their equally impor- injury; if you don’t, try the diet.
tant hamstrings. That can cause anything from tightness in the
backs of the thighs to knee injuries. 6) Wear above-ankle boots for better balance and stability
To avoid knee problems, I train with the same fluidity and when you squat.
strict rigidity that I use for my upper-body work. For example,
when I work my hamstrings with leg curls, I imagine that I’m 7) If you’re tall, try squatting while wearing two belts to help
doing concentrated barbell curls for the biceps of my upper keep your body erect.
arms—except I’m doing them with my legs. That helps the feel
of the exercise. 8) Never lock out when squatting or leg pressing; always
When squatting, I use knee wraps and two belts, and I keep as much tension on your thighs and glutes as you can.
wear boots that support my ankles. Using two weight belts
may sound strange, but it helps me. I use them only when I 9) Don’t squat every time you train legs. Once in two cycles
squat for six to 10 reps with very heavy weight—which I rarely is plenty. Rotate in other movements for your thighs.
do anymore. Because I’m tall, my upper body starts to bow
forward; however, having a powerlifting belt around my waist —Paul Burke
and a regular belt above it, turned so that the buckle faces the
back, supports my long upper body. The extra support helps Editor’s note: To contact Paul Burke, write to pbptb@aol
me stay upright throughout the entire set. .com. Burke has a master’s degree in integrated studies from
If you cannot see a physiatrist, ask yourself whether your Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s been
knees hurt if you squat slowly without weight to just below a champion bodybuilder and arm wrestler,
parallel and then back up to just before lockout. If the answer is and he’s considered a leader in the field of
yes, then the problem could be metabolic. Some people form over-40 fitness training. You can purchase
crystallized uric acid–based substances and/or calcification in his book, Burke’s Law—a New Fitness
the joint. Paradigm for the Mature Male, from Home
If that’s the case for you, try the following diet for six to eight Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or
weeks and see if your knees feel better: visit www.Home-Gym.com. His “Burke’s
• Your protein should come only from egg whites, wild Law” training DVD is also now available.

32 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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The Brothers Grimm A bodybuilding

odyssey, part 4

It’s been three months since days a week, not four. They train
Yiannis and Stelios performed the Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
two pseudo workouts I described alternating upper-body and lower-
in the first column of this series. body workouts. That gives them
The brothers are making con- four full rest days each week and
sistent progress and are thrilled has them train each bodypart three
about what bodybuilding is doing times every two weeks. On their
for them. old program they were getting only
Their training routines now three full rest days a week and
reflect their different body struc- training each bodypart four times
tures. Previously they’d always every two weeks.
followed the same routines. They The gym the brothers trained
continue to train together, spot at didn’t have the small exercise
each other and encourage each plates they required in order to
other. make gradual progression once
Although Yiannis, at 6’, is just they were close to their best cur-
two inches taller than Stelios, rent poundages. I had them get
he has a much lankier body their own set of small exercise
structure. Yiannis’ limbs are sub- plates—two pairs of one-pound
stantially longer than Stelios’, but plates, one pair of half-pound
his torso is shorter. As a result, plates and one pair of quarter-
Stelios is much better suited to pound plates. They take them to
the barbell squat and the bench the gym, keep them in a pouch
press than Yiannis, and Yiannis is when not in use, and guard them
much more suited to the deadlift well. They even have “Brothers
than Stelios. Grimm” engraved on the plates.
So while Stelios uses barbell Before each exercise, Stelios
squats and bench presses, Yian- and Yiannis check their train-
nis does parallel-grip deadlifts ing logs for the weights to use
(using a hexagonal shrug bar) and for warmup sets and for work
parallel-bar dips. Both use the sets—and immediately after each
regular straight-bar deadlift, but exercise they write down the work-
only Yiannis performs it full range from the floor. Stelios’ longer set weight and the rep numbers they achieved. If one of them
torso and shorter limbs make the full-range deadlift an ineffi- made his target, he marks an asterisk alongside his note of
cient, high-risk exercise for him. Instead, I have Stelios perform weight and reps to remind him to increase the poundage for
it in a power rack, lifting from knee height. The reduced range that particular exercise. Prior to my involvement, they never
of motion has made the exercise safe and more effective for kept any type of written record.
him. Right from the start I stressed the importance of good nutri-
Now that the brothers have had some physical restrictions tion. They’d both been cutting corners there. They immediately
ironed out by a chiropractor and some soft-tissue therapy from got themselves on a good dietary program—for their health
a physical therapist, they have symmetrical flexibility developed and their bodybuilding. They eliminated all junk food, started to
through the stretching I’ve had them doing. As a consequence eat every three hours and satisfied their calorie requirements
they are now in much better physical condition and able to use every day, neither overeating nor undereating. I urge you to do
correct exercise technique. the same.
Because they had to unlearn bad exercise technique, I had They also stopped shortchanging themselves on sleep.
them start out with very comfortable poundages. Now they Because they have to be up at 6:30 every morning for work,
are training hard on all their exercises except squats, deadlifts they now go to bed at 10:30 every evening. Eight hours’ sleep
and parallel-grip deadlifts. They’re still consolidating correct each night is now their minimum. I urge you to do the same if
exercise technique in those exercises, using very comfortable you want to maximize your recuperation ability.
poundages. Next time I’ll take you through the brothers’ new lower-body
Prior to my intervention, the brothers had been following a routines.
four-day-split routine, dividing their program into upper-body —Stuart McRobert
and lower-body work, hitting each bodypart twice a week. www.Hardgainer.com
Not only were they training too frequently, they were doing too
much at each workout. They were unable to train hard enough Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s
to stimulate growth on such a program, and even if they’d first byline in IRON MAN appeared in
been able to train hard enough, they weren’t allowing enough 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-
recovery time in which to grow. I abbreviated their routines and page opus on bodybuilding Build Mus-
reduced their overall training frequency to three times a week. cle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from
Their new program alternates a different pair of routines for Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008
each of them—still using an upper/lower split—but over three or www.Home-Gym.com.

34 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Unexpected Benefits
IRON MAN readers have quite an age range. Some have just resistance in certain patterns. Research now overwhelmingly
begun weight training, usually in the high school weight room for indicates that strength training in elderly, deconditioned patients
football. Others have read IRON MAN for 40 years. Younger read- results in improved ability to walk, increased walking distance,
ers don’t know the stereotypes and myths that surrounded weight increased endurance and improved balance and agility.
training, many propagated by the medical community. Almost all The benefits of weight training don’t stop there. Studies have
the myths were based on bias and prejudice. shown that serum lipid levels have been lowered with weight train-
For example, people were told that training would make them ing. Serum glucose—a.k.a. blood sugar—is lowered with weight
slow, enlarge their heart, stunt their growth, training. Exercising muscle doesn’t require insulin to transport glu-
cose across the muscle membrane. A marker of inflammation in
the body—and one that is often associated with obesity-related
inflammation—is C-reactive protein. Diet and aerobic exercise
can help lower that marker; however, weight training, aerobic
exercise and diet lower C-reactive protein much further. If we
can reduce fats in the blood, blood sugar and inflammatory
markers by weight training, we’re truly generating good health.
Women can increase their bone density with weight training.
If we combine improved lower-extremity strength, bone density,
balance and agility, we can help women reduce the risk of hip
fractures. One of the biggest fears of the elderly is falling. That
fear can be reduced. Again, weight training promotes health
and well-being.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects millions of
people. Weight training has been found to improve various fac-
tors of COPD.
Weight training is now recommended for patients after
heart attacks. Thirty years ago it was believed to be harmful to
the recovering heart attack patient. Research revealed few ir-
regularities in the heart with weight training, and weight training
gives the patient more confidence.
Body-image issues in college-age females have been found
Neveux \ Model: Ed Myska

to improve with even short-term weight training. So it has

mental as well as physical benefits.
My hope is that the ancillary benefits further motivate you. If
you’re a young reader, perhaps you can share the information
with mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles or friends
hurt their knees and so on. Dedicated trainees knew those ideas who suffer from any of the maladies mentioned. Show them
weren’t true. They kept working out, and eventually, the rest of the how to train. Start them very, very slowly and carefully. Make sure
world came to realize the myths were unfounded. their primary doctor knows they’re embarking on a gently pro-
If you look at the men in the 100-meter finals in the Olympics, gressive exercise program and get the doctor’s approval. When
you’ll see heavily weight-trained athletes who aren’t slow. Any NFL in a few months I post this information on my Web site, SoftTis-
or NCAA football game is filled with very fast, very agile and very sueCenter.com, I’ll include many references for your interest and
strong football players. More knees have been ruined by heavy leg follow-up. —Joseph M. Horrigan
extensions than heavy squats. Now we’re beginning to realize that
there are benefits from weight training that we never considered. Editor’s note: Visit www.SoftTissueCenter.com for reprints
That should be of interest to older readers, as well as the parents, of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared
aunts, uncles and grandparents of younger readers. in IRON MAN. You can order the books Strength, Conditioning
When I first started working in physical therapy in the late and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and
1970s, we were taught that structured weight training was worth- E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by
less in the rehab setting for stroke patients and deconditioned Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800)
patients. Our focus was to be on specific motions with manual 447-0008 or at www.Home-Gym.com.

36 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Insulin is a good thing and high- “The X Stack combined with X-Rep almost instantly. Plus, you’ll
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refill spent fuel stores so you’re
because that’s when your muscles —Jonathan Lawson fully loaded for your next workout
are extremely receptive—like (bigger, more powerful muscles;
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Train to Gain / PLAN TO GROW

Pack on Muscle With the 4 P’s

More than 20 years ago my Marine Corps JROTC
instructor taught me a little catchphrase that stuck in my
head. It was one that had served him well during his two
tours in Vietnam. He called it “the Four P’s”—Preparation
Prevents Poor Performance.
It’s a simple but an important concept in wartime.
Preparation means things like making sure all weapons,
vehicles and communication equipment are functioning
properly and thinking ahead so you have the ammunition,
fuel and other supplies you may need. As wacky as it may
sound, the four P’s can be equally applied to ensuring
success in your bodybuilding goals.
A large part of success in bodybuilding comes from
doing several things correctly and consistently. The most

Neveux \ Model: Eric Domer

obvious is your training. A lot of bodybuilders and serious
weight trainers treat their workouts in a fairly random man-
ner. They may know what bodyparts they will work on a
given day, but when it comes to the actual exercises, the
weights, sets and reps they will use, they have no plan.
They do whatever the hell they feel like, essentially.
That brings me to another little catchphrase involv- how you feel the training session went.
ing P’s: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Write out your You should be even more diligent and organized in
workouts ahead of time in a training journal, including the planning your nutrition and supplementation. Know what
weights you’ll use and how many reps you need to get. you’re going to eat for every meal, every day, as well as
That’s a far more concrete way of evaluating the success which supplements you need to take and when. Stock
of a workout than generalizing about getting a pump or your foods and supplements so that you don’t ever run
out. Cook large quantities
MOTIVATION of food so you have multiple
meals ready to heat up and

Why We Lift eat.

Finally, plan exactly what
you’re trying to accomplish
at any given time. Without a
In his book Primal Branding, Patrick clear and definite goal to aim
Hanlon describes why people get attached for, you tend to get lost and
to, or even fanatical about, their chosen
vacillate between whether you
hobby. He used mountain biking in his
description, but let’s put lifting in its place want to get leaner, gain mus-
and you’ll feel a sense of pride and identity cle, get stronger or improve
as you read it: specific bodyparts. Pick one
“You [lift] for self-fulfillment, for the or two goals to work toward in
adrenaline rush, because the fat guy living a short and finite time period
Neveux \ Model: Micheal Ergas

next door to you can’t or won’t or is afraid

before moving on to another.
to; you [lift] for affirmation, to defy death;
you [lift] to scare your mother; you [lift] for To some, taking the time to
a sense of love or abandonment or com- plan the details of their training
panionship; you lift because you need the and nutrition may seem anal
endorphins; you [lift] because you are a and nerdy, but they’ll be the
screaming kamikaze who needs to feel the first to come up with a list of
rattle of the [iron] in your bones in order to feel like your life has meaning and sub- lame excuses for why they fail
stance and emotions that can’t be expressed sitting behind a desk or basking in the
to see results themselves. The
communal fire of prime-time television. And sometimes you just [lift] to get exercise.”
That about says it all. real reason they fail is that they
—Steve Holman don’t plan!
www.X-Rep.com —Ron Harris

38 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Smart Training
by Charles Poliquin

Q: My delts are about as flat as pancakes. Any
rapid solution to the problem?

A: Wide, round shoulders have been built with both high

loads and high volumes. Powerlifters and Olympic lifters
have built impressive shoulders using low reps for multiple
sets on compound exercises, such as presses and upright
rows. On the other hand, there are plenty of bodybuild-
ers out there with the fantastic deltoid development that
comes from high reps, short rest intervals and isolation-
type movements. I’m of the opinion that people achieve er—back to back—before taking a rest. Here’s a good tri-set
better deltoid development if they cycle in and out of both for the mid delts:
A-1 Standing lateral raises 3 x 8-12, tempo 4/0/X/0
I find that descending, or drop, sets and preexhaustion
A-2 Low-pulley upright rows 3 x 8-12, tempo 4/0/X/0
are particularly effective at promoting shoulder growth.
A-3 Seated dumbbell presses 3 x 8-12, tempo 4/0/X/0
When someone has problems adding mass to the middle-
delt area, tri-sets or Omni-rep breakdown sets can solve the Perform A-1, A-2 and A-3 in a series, take a two-minute
problem. break, and repeat two more times, for a total of three tri-
Tri-sets are three exercises performed one after anoth- sets.

Neveux \ Model: Daniele_Seccarecci

Lateral raises
done as part
of a tri-set can
help round out
flat delts.

44 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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masters class on what it’s like
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Mitsuru Okabe spent 4 days
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to his sixth win in a row of the
Mr. Olympia. This DVD is shot
in an absolute “you are there”
style. There are no set ups,
no retakes, nothing but the
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is absolutely focused on his
goal and he lives his life to
make it happen. You will see
him do 800-pound squats,
75-pound dumbbell curls and
an astounding 2250-pound leg
press—almost every 45-pound
plate in the gym! It’s the stuff
of legends. But more than just
the sets, reps and the nutrition,
you get an insider’s view of
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Whatever You Need—Wherever You Train™

A lifting belt can impede the deep
breathing necessary for proper higher-
rep squatting.

threshold individuals. Wimps should stay

away from them. Try each program for six
workouts each. I’m sure your deltoids will
become more massive and with noticeable
Q: What’s your opinion of powerlifting
training for bodybuilders? I see some
guys at the gym using the full parapher-
nalia that powerlifters use when squat-
ting—supersuit, wraps, powerlifting
A: Unless you’re in the final three weeks
before a powerlifting meet, you should avoid
knee wraps and the use of a weightlifting belt,
which supports the lower back. If your lower
back and knees are prone to injury, you must
first restore proper body alignment by using
corrective exercises, such as stepups and true
abdominal-training techniques.
At the Athens Olympics, most of the world-
record setters and medal winners weren’t
using any belts for their snatches and clean
Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat
and jerks, and those lifts are way more stress-
ful to the lower back than deadlifts and
squats. The trend became popular about 15
years ago as doctors and trainers realized that
the belts had enabled the athletes to forgo
abdominal work, which made them more
susceptible to injuring their lower backs. The
coaching staff emphasized extensive abdomi-
Notice that on the standing lateral raises you should nal work with junior lifters so that they wouldn’t rely on the
do the concentric, or positive, stroke explosively, as the psychological crutch of a belt. As the years went by, fewer
leverage is disadvantageous in the exercise. For low-pulley lifters were getting injured because their trunk muscles
upright rows I recommend using a rope attachment, like could now handle the heavy loads.
the one normally used for pushdowns. That will remove For bodybuilding purposes, if you squat and always need
some wrist stress. to wear a belt, you should try to have a qualified strength
On an Omni-rep breakdown set you select one basic ex- coach show you how to squat properly—and the belt will
ercise and its variation and essentially destroy all the fibers soon become unnecessary.
that can be used in the movement: I discourage the use of the belt for athletes, as they won’t
be wearing one when they compete in their respective
1) Do 6-8RM of standing one-arm lateral raises with a sports. The belt also tends to impede the deep “abdominal”
2/0/X/0 tempo. That targets the highest-threshold fibers breathing they need to get through high-rep squatting ses-
in your delts. sions.
To wean yourself off the belt, start not wearing it for sets
2) Do 10-12RM of lean-away one-arm lateral raises
of more than 12. A few workouts later remove it when doing
using a 2/0/X/0 tempo. By changing the mechanics, you
reps of 10, then reps of eight and so on. Eventually you’ll be
take the supraspinatus muscle out of it and change the
able to do a single without one.
strength curve for the medial deltoid. You also tap into
the intermediate-fast glycolitic fibers. Q: I read that arachidonic acid and saturated
3) Do 20-25RM on one-arm low-pulley lateral raises with fat in red meat can raise serum triglycerides and
a 1/0/1/0 tempo. By using a low pulley, you get even cholesterol. I also read that arachidonic acid is
tension throughout the movement. The higher reps will a precursor of bad eicasonoids, which have been
finish off whatever low-threshold fibers that can still fire associated with a variety of ills, including heart
after steps 1 and 2. disease, chronic fatigue and so on. Is there a way to
enjoy steak without feeling like I’m destroying my
Do not rest between steps 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. After
performing all three exercises, take a 90-second break, A: Yes, there is way for meat lovers to enjoy meat with a
and then repeat with your other arm. Do three Omni-rep reduced fat and arachidonic content. The steps to that pro-
rounds per arm. cess are from the book Protein Power by Michael and Mary
By the way, these routines are reserved for high-pain- Dan Eades, M.D. (Bantam; 1999).

46 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Marinating steak in red wine and olive oil for
24 hours can help tip the balance to a more
healthful protein-packed food.
down. When I try to gain weight, I tend to put on too
much bodyfat. So I’m at the point that I’d rather just
be as strong as possible and increase muscle mass
through strength training. My problem is that I tend
to make gains for a few weeks and then begin to lose
strength or feel burned out. I eat very well—high
protein, moderate carbs and fat—and use a few
supplements. I’ve also noticed that when I follow
your routines, I tend to overtrain. I think it’s due to
the higher volume that you prescribe. So my ques-
tion (finally!) is, What are your recommendations
for me to gain maximal strength?

Q: The answer to your question is in your question: You

1) Trim all visible fat from the piece of beef. are slow-twitch, and you have conflicting goals. You’re
interested in maximal strength, yet you also want to make
2) Place it in a large resealable plastic bag along with one
bodybuilding-type gains. You have to decide what you re-
cup of red wine and one cup of olive oil.
ally want.
3) Allow the meat to marinate for 24 hours, flipping the First, relative strength protocols won’t do much for you if
bag and its contents over a couple of times. you’re a slow-twitch individual. None of the gold medalists
4) An hour before cooking, take the meat out of the bag in weightlifting have a poor vertical jump or like to do aero-
and drain until it’s ready to cook. bic work. The lifters at the USOC drive their cars 500 meters
5) Season to taste and grill. to avoid the walk to the cafeteria—no kidding!
Second, you can gain hypertrophy as a slow-twitch
The wine leaches out a fair amount of saturated fat, individual but not with relative strength-loading param-
which is replaced by the monosaturated fat found in olive eters. Only individuals like Roger Estep would gain on such
oil. Besides, the wine enhances the flavor of the steak and protocols. So I suggest that you do no fewer than six reps
makes the meat juicier without the high arachidonic acid per set and that you seek out time under tension of 40 to 70
content. You can use the same process for roasts, but it seconds per set for three weeks. Make sure to completely
won’t be as effective as grilling the meat. vary your loading parameters every six workouts, keep-
ing them shorter than normal: 42 minutes after warmup
should be the maximum workout length for you. I also sug-
Q: I’m interested in increasing strength. I know
gest you do strength training only every nine weeks or so,
the basics about the loading parameters—one
for a short period of three weeks. That will be a much better
to five reps, two to four ex-
ratio for your body type.
ercises, 85 to 100 percent
You have to deal with the cards
of 1RM, complete set in 20
that were handed to you at birth.
seconds or less, rest three to
You cannot turn a Shetland pony
five minutes. I also under-
into a Clydesdale. Frank Zane
stand that you like to train
didn’t have the gifts of a Gunter
each bodypart once every
Schlierkamp, yet he won a few
five days and change reps,
Mr. Olympias by maximizing his
sets and tempo once every
two to four weeks. I’m quite
familiar with your ideas and
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin
techniques, but I’m hoping to
is recognized as one of the world’s
find a way to train for maxi-
most successful strength coaches,
mal strength for my entire
having coached Olympic med-
body using your principles
alists in 12 different sports,
throughout the year. I’m 25,
including the U.S. women’s track-
5’4”, 140 pounds, 13 percent
and-field team for the 2000 Olym-
bodyfat (I’m working on get-
pics. He’s spent years researching
ting it down). I’ve been weight
European journals (he’s fluent in
training for about six years,
English, French and German) and
much of it trial and error
speaking with other coaches and
until I found your articles a
Photo Courtesy of Frank Zane

scientists in his quest to optimize

couple of years ago. I think
training methods. For more on
I have a higher slow-twitch
his books, seminars and meth-
makeup, and I have small
ods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.
bones. My metabolism used to
net. Also, see his ad on page 273.
be much higher, but over the Frank Zane made the IM
past few years it has slowed best of his genetic gifts
and limitations.
48 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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Whatever You Need—Wherever Youwww.ironmanmagazine.com

Train ™ \ JULY 2006 181

Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission

to Grow
chemicals called cytokines, the me-
diators of the inflammatory process.

Creatine: New Findings You experience the muscle inflam-

mation as a delayed-onset soreness
that peaks 24 to 48 hours following
More muscle, better recovery, less bodyfat—it does it all
an intense workout. While some initial
inflammation is desirable because it
The research base on creatine creatine prior to this study. Nor did sets the stage for muscle growth, un-
continues to grow. While many they use anti-inflammatory drugs, the controlled inflammation could result in
bodybuilders think its primary benefit significance of which will be explained muscle catabolism, or breakdown.
involves increased training energy, shortly. In the five days preceding the In the study of triathletes, those
there’s far more to it than that. One competition, the athletes were ran- given the creatine showed a marked
recent study featured 11 triathletes, domly assigned to either a creatine or decrease in inflammatory cytokines
who got either 20 grams a day of a placebo group. The creatine group compared to the group that got the
creatine or a placebo five days prior got 10 grams twice a day in a liquid placebo. Those results imply that
to a half-Ironman competition—not to that included maltodextrin, a carbo- taking creatine helps block inflam-
be confused with the IRON MAN Pro hydrate. The other athletes received a matory activity in muscle, meaning
bodybuilding contest—that consisted drink containing only the carb. less muscle soreness and improved
of three consecutive events: a 1.9- Damaging a muscle through exer- recovery after workouts.
kilometer swim, a 90-kilometer bicy- cise results in localized inflammation. Since the study focused on tri-
cling round and a 21-kilometer run. The damaged tissue sends a signal athletes, are the results applicable
The athletes ranged in age from that leads to an infiltration of immune to those engaged in bodybuilding?
34 to 56, and none had used any cells, mainly macrophages. Those im- The muscle damage in a triathlete
performance-enhancing drugs or mune cells, in turn, release signaling is caused by eccentric muscle con-

Taking a
CLA combo may
increase your
muscle gains.

50 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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GH Stak’s effervescent action enhances delivery and...

FASTER”• Contains the potent bioactive pyroglutamate form of L-arginine
• Has anterior pituitary peptides, which normalize somatostatin,
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• Has produced a 12 to 36.6 percent increase in IGF-1 levels
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• Used by doctors at anti-aging clinics in place of
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Results using GH Stak vary from individual to individual. Testimonial endorser’s results using it may be considered atypical. Testimonial endorsers have been remunerated by
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This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
tractions. In bodybuilding, eccentric ments are real.
muscle contractions occur when the Still another The supplements were
weight is slowly lowered. That type new study exam- taken during a five-week pe-
of contraction is responsible for most ined what hap- riod of weight training. Those
of the soreness that follows after pens when older in group 3 had an average
intense weight training. Therefore, adults engaged in 14.3 percent gain in leg press
creatine would be equally a weight-training and bench press strength
beneficial for bodybuilders in program receive compared to 8.5 percent for
reducing muscle inflammation a combination the other groups. Group 3
after intense training. of creatine and also had a greater gain in lean
Another new study examined the conjugated linoleic acid. CLA is a fat- tissue than the other groups. The
molecular effects of creatine supple- based supplement often touted for its two groups that got a combination of
mentation. An ongoing controversy anticatabolic and fat-reducing effects. creatine and protein had more lean
about creatine is how it affects mus- Some studies suggest that taking mass gains and bench press strength
cular growth. Some scientists say CLA with creatine would augment than the protein-only group. Those
that creatine doesn’t directly promote creatine’s natural anabolic effects. findings led to the conclusion that “a
muscle growth but boosts it by in- The subjects were 19 men and combination of protein, creatine and
creasing muscle energy, thus permit- 20 women, all over age 65, who CLA is best for increasing leg and
ting more intense training. Others say trained twice a week for six months. bench press strength, and combining
that any perceived gains in muscle One group got five grams a day of creatine and protein is effective for in-
size associated with creatine use is creatine, along with six grams of creasing lean tissue mass and bench
more related to water retention (they CLA. Others received a placebo. press strength.”
used to say the same thing about Although both groups trained —Jerry Brainum
anabolic steroids). on identical programs, those
In a new study of how creatine who took the creatine-and-CLA References
works inside cells, 12 healthy young combo showed greater gains in Bassit, R.A., et al. (2007). Creatine
men took either 20 grams of creatine muscular endurance, knee-ex- supplementation reduces plasma
for three days, followed by five grams tension strength, fat-free mass levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines
for another seven days, or a placebo and decreased bodyfat after and PGE2 after a half-Ironman com-
for 10 days. Creatine use increased six months than those in the petition. Amino Acids. In press.
fat-free mass, body water and body- placebo group. The creatine-and- Safdar, A., et al. (2007). Global
weight. The results on a molecular CLA group experienced no adverse and targeted gene expression and
level, however, were far more inter- effects from using the supplements. protein content in skeletal muscle of
esting. Creatine increased the A Canadian study confirmed that young men following short-term cre-
activity of genes and protein the combination of creatine and CLA, atine monohydrate supplementation.
enzymes involved in sensing along with a protein supplement, Physiol Genomics. In press.
cellular water content and synergistically stimuates muscular Tarnopolsky, M., et al. (2007).
also upgraded messenger RNA gains. Fifty-two men and 17 women, Creatine monohydrate and conju-
content, which is involved in average age 22 1/2, were randomly gated linoleic acid improve strength
protein synthesis. As a result, assigned to one of three groups: and body composition following resis-
several cell-signaling events were 1) Protein, consisting of 45 grams tance exercise in older adults. PloS.
increased that regulate protein and a day of whey protein supplement 2(10):991.
glycogen synthesis, satellite-cell prolif- Cornish, S.M., et al. Effect of sup-
eration and differentiation (the primary 2) Protein and creatine—36 grams plementing with conjugated linoleic
impetus to muscular growth), DNA of whey protein and nine grams of acid, creatine monohydrate and whey
replication and repair and cellular sur- creatine daily protein during high-intensity resis-
vival. So in practical terms that 3) Protein, creatine, CLA—36 tance training in young adults. Paper
means the gains experienced grams of protein, nine grams of resented at the 2007 meeting of the
while using creatine supple- creatine and six grams of CLA daily Canadian Physiological Association.

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 51

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to Grow

Food Facts
That can affect your
workouts, weight and wellness

Folate, found in
leafy green vegetables,
helps make new skin
cells. Australian re-
searchers found that
folate is the reason leafy
greens reduce the risk
of skin cancer.
Eggs have
more eye-building
carotenoids than
carrots. Moreover,
research shows
that eggs, eaten
in moderation,
do not increase
Kissing increases
saliva, which cleans
your teeth. So if you
can’t brush after every
meal, try smooch-
ing—or sugar-free

Saturated Misinformation? gum works too.

An apple a day
gives you the same
Does saturated fat really cause heart disease, or is it something else? anti-
oxidant boost as 1 1/2
What if overdosing on sugar, not fat, caused heart disease? That’s not
grams of vitamin C, plus
to say that eating a lot of saturated fat is good for you; however, many fiber.
people who go on low-carb diets improve their blood levels of high-density Selenium is known
lipoproteins, the good cholesterol, despite eating saturated fat. The reason as a cancer fighter, but
may be lower insulin levels. it’s recently gained status
as a brain builder as well.
Researchers suggest when you eat a lot
Subjects who had a low
of carbs, enough to initiate an insulin surge, selenium count had lower
the carbs must be converted to fat. That cognitive test scores
happens in your liver, where excess carbs are than those who had an
converted to triglycerides. adequate count. About
55 micrograms a day is
On low-carb diets insulin remains steady,
recommended. Nuts are
with no surges—if you eat small, frequent a good source.
meals. That diminishes the need to store Magne-
excess carbs as fat because there are no sium makes
excess carbs. What about saturated fat? It you stronger,
according to
could have adverse cardiovascular effects,
handgrip tests
but not as severe as when you overindulge and leg ex-
in simple carbs. ercises done
The lesson is that your carb intake with more than
should match your energy expenditure, and 1,000 men and
women. It can also
you should minimize simple carbs in your
help you sleep and recover better, so
diet. Eat small, frequent meals that won’t try one of the popular calcium-magne-
raise your insulin levels, and you’ll reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. sium combo supplements available.
—Becky Holman —Becky Holman
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52 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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•Mental aspects of training
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Holy Cramp!
We’ve all had those involuntary muscle
spasms, some of which can be excruciat-
ing—like your calf seizing up in the middle
of the night after a brutal lower-leg workout.
What causes that annoying, often painful
phenomenon? It could be anything from
dehydration to the depletion of certain min-
erals—specifically potassium, magnesium or
To prevent charley horses, as they’re often
called, drink plenty of water, replenish your
electrolytes with sports drinks and eat foods
that contain the aforementioned minerals,
including bananas. You may want to supple-
ment with a multimineral capsule as well;
take it with food for best absorption.
If you still get a cramp, gently stretch the
affected muscle and massage the area. Bet-

Neveux \ Model: Greg Smyers

ter yet, have someone else massage it for
you so you can really relax.
—Becky Holman


Gummy Fears Preworkout Chocolate?

If you chew Recent studies dis-
cussed in the December
gum during
’07 Bottom Line Health
your work- newsletter show that
out, you’ve people who ate dark
probably chocolate or other
swallowed cocoa-rich products daily
a piece or two for two weeks lowered
their blood pressure.
by accident. The first thing that goes Researchers suggest
through your mind is, “It’s going to be in my diges- it’s because cocoa is
tive system for seven years!” Don’t fret. That’s an high in procyanidins, an antioxidant that boosts nitric
age-old fib told to children to keep them from chok- oxide—yes, the NO you want to increase for a better
ing on chewing gum. While it’s true that gum has pump during your workouts. The boost in NO may also
explain why chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac in
resin in it that doesn’t get broken down by digestion,
women—perhaps it increases blood flow to our sexier
the stuff still passes through you in a few days—not parts. Why not men? Anything is an aphrodisiac to
seven years. them—even a strong breeze.
—Becky Holman —Becky Holman
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54 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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to Grow

Phosphatidylserine and 18 Holes

Imagine eating a fat and then being able to
perform a high-skill activity with more grace and
panache. That isn’t science fiction—it’s real-
world fact. One word: phosphatidylserine.
When most people think of healthful fats, they investigated the effect
think of the omega-3s from fish or the monoun- of oral phosphatidylserine
saturated fats found in nuts and olive oil. Those supplementation on golf per-
types of fat—technically, lipids—have effects formance in healthy young golfers
that make them special. with handicaps of 15 to 40. Perceived
Phospholipids form part of the structure stress, heart rate and the quality of the
of the cell membrane. Two of the important ball flight were evaluated before and
phospholipids are phosphatidylcholine and after the subjects got 42 days of
phosphatidylserine. In some individuals 200 milligrams per day of phos-
doing very long and intense exercise re- phatidylserine or a placebo in the
duces circulatory choline concentrations. form of a nutrition bar. The sub-
Because choline is a precursor of the neu- jects teed off 20 times, aiming at a
rotransmitter acetylcholine, some evidence green 135 meters from the tee area.
shows that short-term oral supplementation What happened?
with phosphatidylcholine at about 13 grams Phosphatidylserine supplementation significantly
for a 150-pound person gets better results increased the number of good ball flights, whereas
when exercise has depleted circulating placebo intake had no
choline concentrations. Short-term
oral supplementation with soy-derived
phosphatidylserine reportedly attenu-
ates circulating cortisol concentrations,
improves perceived well-being and re-
duces perceived muscle soreness after
exercise. A dose of 750 milligrams per

Neveux \ Model: Greg Blout

day for 10 days has been demonstrated to improve exercise
capacity during high-intensity cycling and tended to increase effect. Phosphatidylserine
performance during intermittent running.1 supplementation tended to
If you like to hit the links—come on, you can’t be in the reduce perceived stress during
gym 24 hours a day!—phosphatidylserine may improve per- tee-off, whereas stress levels
formance in that very high-skill sport. A study published in remained unchanged in the
the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition placebo group. Supplementa-
tion did not, however, influence
average heart rate in either group.2
BODY FIX Those findings suggest that phosphatidylserine
is a neural agent that could help high-skill activi-
ties like golf swing, baseball swing and swimming. If you do
Breathe Easier pycnogenol high-skill weight-room activities like the snatch and clean and
jerk, it should definitely be added to your supplement arsenal!
—Jose Antonio, Ph.D.
You may have heard of the
supplement pycnogenol, which Editor’s note: You can listen to Dr. Jose Antonio and
is extracted from the bark of Carla Sanchez on their radio show Performance Nutrition,
a French pine tree. It contains Web and podcast at www.PerformanceNutritionShow.com.
a number of antioxidants that Dr. Antonio is the CEO of the International Society of
reduce inflammation, and new Sports Nutrition—www.TheISSN.org. His other Web sites
research shows that it im- include www.SupplementCoach.com, www.Javafit.com,
proves breathing in asthmatics. www.PerformanceNutritionShow.com and www.Jose
In a recent study involving 60
children, 60 percent were able
to discontinue their asthma References
drugs after a few months of 1 Jager, R., et al. (2007). Phospholipids and sports perfor-
100 milligrams a day of pycno- mance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:5.
2 Jager, R., et al. (2007). The effect of phosphatidylserine on
genol. Adults may need about
double that amount. golf performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4(1):23.
—Becky Holman

56 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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to Grow

Milk vs. Soy—Updated Info

In a previous issue I reported on One reason milk protein may be more effective than soy as
a study that compared milk to soy a muscle builder is that milk contains more branched-chain
postworkout. It found that milk led to amino acids, though the subjects made equal gains regard-
greater amino acid uptake in muscle less of the protein source. That may be because they were all
and a higher level of muscle protein weight-training novices. Beginners make rapid initial muscle
synthesis than soy. Milk protein is gains because of improved neuromuscular efficiency. This
more targeted at muscle, whereas soy confounds the study’s findings.
is metabolized mainly in the gut. The Soy is known to diminish estrogen because its isoflavones
authors of that study recently pub- inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into
lished an update that added carbohy- estrogen. Yet those in the whey group also experienced lower
drate to the mix. estrogen. The authors explain that the whey protein used in
Fifty-six young men with little or the study contained isoflavones, an ingredient never before
no prior training experience trained found in whey. Or it may be due to an unknown effect of whey
five days a week for 12 weeks on a itself on estrogen metabolism. The main point of the
resistance- study, however, was that contrary
exercise pro- to popular belief, soy protein sup-
gram. The plements don’t lower testosterone
men were levels in men.
randomly On the other hand, another recent
assigned study found that soy protein isolate spurs
to down one of three drinks im- the excretion of estrogen in men. Soy
mediately after and one hour after protein isolate triggers the con-
exercise: version of the active form of es-
trogen linked to breast cancer and
1) Fat-free milk prostate cancer in men into an
2) Fat-free soy protein inert form that is easily excreted.
3) Maltodextrin, a carbohydrate In fact, soy protein isolate proved superior
to milk protein isolate in that regard.
After five weeks those in The prostate-protecting property of
the milk group had greater soy has been demonstrated in another
gains in type 2 muscle fiber study. Men followed both high- and low-
size. Type 1 muscle fibers in- soy diets for three months. While they
creased only in the milk and soy were on the high-soy diet, their
groups, with greater gains occurring serum testosterone wasn’t af-
in the milk group. The milk group fected, but levels of prostate-spe-
Neveux \ Model: Carl Suliani

also lost more bodyfat. The cific antigen, or PSA, a marker

authors attribute that to the higher of prostate cancer, dropped by
calcium content of the milk or to the 14 percent. That points to a pro-
fact that milk protein aids in fat loss. tective effect of soy on prostate
Another study examined the gland health.
effects of various proteins on sex —Jerry Brainum
hormones in the body—significant
because a frequent criticism of soy
protein is that its isoflavones, which are structurally similar to References
estrogen, lower testosterone.
The 12-week study featured 20 subjects who supplement- Hartman, J.W., et al. (2007). Consumption of fat-free milk
ed 50 grams of protein daily from the following sources: after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accre-
tion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young,
1) Soy concentrate novice male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr. 86:373-81.
2) Soy isolate Kalman, D., et al. (2007). Effect of protein source and
3) Soy isolate and whey blend resistance training on body composition and sex hormones. J
4) Whey blend only Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:4.
Hamilton-Reeves, J.M., et al. (2007). Soy protein iso-
The subjects also engaged in a weight-training program late increases urinary estrogens and the ratio of 2:16 hy-
throughout the study. Significant gains in lean mass droxyestrone in men at high risk of prostate cancer. J Nutr.
occurred regardless of the protein source. None of 137:2258-2263.
the groups showed differences in testosterone, although the Maskarinec, G., et al. (2006). Serum prostate-specific anti-
testosterone-to-estrogen ratio increased in all groups, while gen but not testosterone levels decrease in a randomized soy
estrogen decreased. The whey-blend group showed the most intervention among men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 60:1423-1429.
significant drop in estrogen.

58 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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To Kick-Start Immediate Muscle Growth After You Train

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exercise metabolism now
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62 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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Beta-Alanine Gives Your Muscles More Grow Power™

The biggest bodybuilders know that

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The bigger and stronger a muscle gets,
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Whatever You Need—Wherever You Train ™

Train, Eat,
From the IRON MAN Training &
Research Center
Muscle-Training Program 102
by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson • Photography by Michael Neveux

n the last installment we dis-
cussed our streamlined 3D Week 2
HIT program—essentially one Monday: Delts, midback,
set in each of the three posi- biceps, forearms
tions of flexion for every bodypart.
Yep, only three work sets for each Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings,
muscle, but they’re all-out sets calves, lower back
and usually include X Reps or an Wednesday: Chest, lats,
X-hybrid technique to supercharge triceps, abs
them. Plus, before the first work set
of the big, midrange move, we do Thursday: Off
two or three progressively heavier Friday: Delts, midback, bi-
warmup sets. ceps, forearms
Is that enough to build more The Trap Bar is designed so you can stand
muscle? So far it’s working nicely, Weekend: Off (with cardio) inside it, which enables you to squat in a more
but we’ve had to really focus on and upright position. That’s easier on the lower
hone the details. Before we get into back and more ergonomically correct. Trap
those, let’s review our split: Week 3 Bar deadlifts hit the legs and back hard.
Repeat Week 1
Week 1 By the way, for deadlifts we’ve
Remember, we work legs only been using a Trap Bar, which is
Monday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs once a week; however, we substitute designed so you can stand “inside”
Tuesday: Quads, hamstrings, regular deadlifts for the back routine it. The middle of the bar is a square,
calves, lower back on Friday. That gives us residual leg and you stand inside that configu-
work at the end of the week as well ration and grip handles that are
Wednesday: Delts, midback, as a heavy back blast. We follow the outside your legs near the barbell
biceps, forearms deadlift, an anabolic-acceleration plates. That enables you to deadlift
exercise, with one or two sets of a with a more upright posture—with-
Model: Dave Perry

Thursday: Off
direct back exercise—pulldowns if out having to drag a straight bar
Friday: Chest, lats, triceps, abs it’s lat day, machine rows if it’s mid- up your shins. The Trap Bar makes
Weekend: Off (with cardio) back day. the deadlift safer, and you hit your

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 63

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w w w. I ro n M a n M a g a z i n e . c o m
Train, Eat, Grow
quads and back much harder
without rounding your lower
On our new 3D HIT pro-
gram each workout lasts about
50 minutes. As we said, how-
ever, there are critical details
we must continually be aware
of and put into practice if
we’re going to flip the anabolic
switch with such brief blasts:

1) A thorough
warmup for each muscle
is mandatory. A properly
prepped muscle can contract
up to 20 percent better than
a cold one. We’re following
the comprehensive warmup
Model: Marvin Montoya

sequence from our e-book A thorough warmup is critical

3D Muscle Building, which to getting the most fiber
is two to three progressively activation on your work sets.

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 102

Workout 1: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Seated calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 10-15
Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Hyperextensions or
High cable flyes 1 x 12-15 Nautilus lower-back machine (X Reps) 1 x 10-15
Bench presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Flyes (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Workout 3: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms
Wide-grip dips (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Seated laterals/upright rows (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Low cable flyes 1 x 12-15 One-arm cable laterals
Chins 1 x 9-12 or incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Parallel-grip pulldowns 1 x 9-12 Forward-lean laterals 1 x 12-15
Machine or dumbbell pullovers 1 x 9-12 Smith-machine presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Rope rows 1 x 12-15 Bent-over laterals 1 x 12-15
Lying extensions (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Machine rows (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Overhead dumbbell extensions V-handle cable rows 1 x 9-12
or cable pushouts 1 x 9-12 Bent-arm bent-over laterals 1 x 12-15
Pushdowns or kickbacks (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Dumbbell shrugs 1 x 12-15
Incline kneeups 1 x 12-15 Dumbbell curls 1 x 9-12
Flat-bench leg raises 1 x 10-15 Incline curls 1 x 9-12
Tri-set Concentration curls or
Ab Bench crunches 1 x 10-12 one-arm spider curls 1 x 12-15
Twisting crunches 1 x 10-15 Incline hammer curls 1 x 9-12
End-of-bench kneeups 1 x 9-12 Tri-set
Behind-the-back wrist curls 1 x 12-15
Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Lower Back Rockers 1 x 15-20
Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 12-15 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls 1 x 8-10
Squats 1 x 9-12
Sissy squats 1 x 9-12 Friday Workout
Leg extensions (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Deadlifts (substitute for back workout) 1 x 9-12
Walking lunges 1 x 10-15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 1 x 9-12
Leg curls 1 x 12-15
Knee-extension leg press calf raises Note: Where X-Reps are designated, usually only one
(X Reps) 1 x 12-15 set or phase of a drop set is performed with X Reps or
an X-Rep hybrid technique from the e-book Beyond X-
Leg press calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Rep Muscle Building. See the X-Blog at www.X-Rep.com
Machine standing calf raises for more workout details.
or one-leg calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 15-20
64 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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Train, Eat, Grow
heavier sets with some partial-range
reps—X Reps—for occlusion and
then heightened blood flow. The
bottom line: Warm up thoroughly if
you want to get the muscle-building
job done with only one work set.

2) Your neuromuscular
efficiency must improve. Lag-
ging bodyparts usually have weaker
nerve-to-muscle connections,
which means they’re harder to feel
as they contract. So you can’t acti-
vate as many growth fibers on any
one set. Superior neuromuscular
efficiency is one of the big reasons
Casey Viator was able to build—or,
actually, rebuild—60 pounds of
muscle in only four weeks during
the Colorado Experiment back in
the ’70s. He was a pure fast-twitch
Model: Idrise Ward-El

animal who could contract an Deadlifts can provide

enormous number of muscle fibers residual leg work on a
on any one set. In fact, he accom- back-training day.
plished that phenomenal muscle-

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Home-Gym Program 102

Workout 1: Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Seated calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 10-15
Incline presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Hyperextensions (X Reps) 1 x 10-15
Incline flyes 1 x 12-15
Bench presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Workout 3: Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms
Flyes (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Seated laterals/upright rows (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Wide-grip dips or decline presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Decline flyes 1 x 12-15 Forward-lean laterals 1 x 12-15
Chins 1 x 9-12 Barbell or dumbbell presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Parallel-grip chins 1 x 9-12 Bent-over laterals 1 x 12-15
Dumbbell pullovers 1 x 9-12 Bent-over rows (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Undergrip rows 1 x 12-15 One-arm dumbbell rows 1 x 9-12
Lying extensions (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Bent-arm bent-over laterals 1 x 12-15
Overhead dumbbell extensions 1 x 9-12 Dumbbell shrugs 1 x 12-15
Kickbacks (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Dumbbell curls 1 x 9-12
Incline kneeups 1 x 12-15 Incline curls 1 x 9-12
Flat-bench leg raises 1 x 10-15 Concentration curls or
Superset one-arm spider curls 1 x 12-15
Ab Bench or full-range crunches 1 x 10-12 Incline hammer curls 1 x 9-12
End-of-bench kneeups 1 x 9-12 Tri-set
Behind-the-back wrist curls 1 x 12-15
Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Lower Back Rockers 1 x 15-20
Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 12-15 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls 1 x 8-10
Squats 1 x 9-12
Sissy squats 1 x 9-12 Friday Workout
Leg extensions (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Deadlifts (substitute for back workout) 1 x 9-12
Walking lunges 1 x 10-15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 1 x 9-12
Leg curls 1 x 12-15
Knee-extension donkey calf raises Note: If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do old-
(X Reps) 1 x 12-15 style hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel
Donkey calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.
One-leg calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 15-20

66 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Train, Eat, Grow
building feat using only one or two you’re beginning to tap into the key sion: Was Charles Atlas Right?” on
exercises per bodypart, one set growth fibers. You can do that with page 125 for details.)
each. His workouts took about 30 end-of-set X-Rep partials: When you Of course, even with all of the
minutes, and he trained three days a can no longer do full-range reps, above, one set in each position
week. For us mere mortals, training move the resistance to a point that’s still won’t be enough for stubborn
each muscle in its three positions of near the turnaround, where the bodyparts with extremely low neu-
flexion will help build better neuro- target muscle is semistretched, and romuscular efficiency. The slacker
muscular efficiency, as will doing X fire out as many eight-inch partials muscles require you to specialize for
Reps. as you can. For example, do X Reps more size—and the efficient, abbre-

3) Use X Reps on most

exercises, especially the big,
near the bottom of an incline press.

4) Extend the tension

viated nature of the 3D HIT program
is perfect for rotating in more elabo-
rate routines for lagging areas. We’ll
midrange moves. Because most time on continuous-tension discuss that next month and provide
of us don’t have Casey’s superhu- exercises. Contracted-position some examples of specialization
man fiber-firing capability, we need exercises, like leg extensions, push- routines you can plug into our 3D
to find other ways to get at more downs and concentration curls, are HIT program.
muscle fibers. Using the three posi- done last in the 3D POF bodypart
tions of flexion—3D POF—for each routines. Do higher reps and slow Note: Our latest e-book, X-
muscle group is one way. Training a down the cadence so your work set traordinary Arms, is available at
muscle from the midrange, stretch lasts around 50 seconds—and do X-Rep.com. It includes biceps and
and contracted positions gets at not allow the target muscle to rest triceps specialization routines for
more fibers and also produces max during the set. Continuous ten- width, peak and sweep plugged into
force, stretch overload and continu- sion for a longer-than-normal set is the 3D HIT program.
ous tension and occlusion. vitally important. (We’re beginning
While POF gives you an enor- to think contracted-position exer- Editor’s note: For the latest on
mous muscle-building bang, to cises with longer tension times may X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog
make one set in each position as have almost as much hypertrophic training and supplement journals,
effective as possible, you must leap- potential as compound moves, if visit www.X-Rep.com. The training
frog nervous system failure. That’s they are performed slowly with long e-books are shown below. IM
what stops your work set right when tension times; see “Dynamic Ten-

X-traordinary Workouts — X-ceptional Results!

The Ultimate Mass Workout. Beyond X-Rep Muscle 3D Muscle Building. X-traordinary Muscle-
This is the original X-Rep Building. More on X Reps Positions-of-Flexion mass Building Workouts. The big
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68 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
Free download from imbodybuilding.com

Naturally Huge
by John Hansen, Mr. Natural Olympia

Bench Press incorrect form,

and it turns out
they feel the

Form for
movement more
in the shoulders
than the chest.
The bench

Pec Growth press is a chest

exercise, but it
also involves
the anterior, or
front, deltoids
Q: I got your DVD, and it’s very good. I’m a natural and the triceps.
bodybuilder, and it helped me very much with my Properly per-
preparation. I have a problem when positioning formed, the
my shoulders on the bench for bench presses. As a exercise should
result, I can’t isolate my chest enough. I know you be 70 percent
said, “Chest up, expand the rib cage, shoulders down chest, 15 per-
and back, big arch, hold shoulder blades tight.” cent delts and
But I feel like I’m still missing something. Can you 15 percent
explain step by step how to position my back and triceps. If you
shoulders to take them out of the movement—espe- do it wrong, however, you’ll feel it more in your shoulders
cially shoulders? I noticed that most pro bodybuild- or triceps.
ers do something before they start to bench. When The proper way to set up for the exercise is by using
they first lie on the bench, they grab the bar and moderately wide hand spacing on the bar. The rule to
make one fast movement. Do I need to do that? remember here is that when your upper arms are paral-
lel to the floor during the exercise, your forearms should
A: Your question is a common one. When I’m train- be perpendicular to your upper arms. Your hand position
ing beginners on the barbell bench press, I usually notice should be wide enough to make that happen.
If you use a closer
hand spacing, you’ll feel
the exercise more in
If you want your triceps than your
the most chest chest. I notice that a lot
involvement, roll of people tend to favor
your shoulders a close hand spacing. I
back and hold think that’s because you
your chest high feel stronger and tighter
during bench when using a narrow grip
presses. on the bar. Grabbing the
bar wider may make you
feel as though you’re at a
mechanical disadvantage
when you press; how-
ever, your primary goal
is to develop the chest
muscles, not push up
the maximum amount of
weight. With wider hand
spacing, you use your
chest muscles more.
If you do the opposite
Neveux \ Model: Cesar Martinez

and grab the bar with a

very wide hand
(continued spacing,
on page 102)
you use more deltoids
than chest. A wide grip
limits the range of motion
for the exercise and puts
an abnormal strain on the

Free download from imbodybuilding.com

bar with a moderately wide grip and pull your elbows back
during the exercise so they’re right under the bar.
I remember reading about the way Tom Platz improved
the mind/muscle connection when it came to training his
biceps. Tom said that he had a very strong mind/muscle
connection when training his legs but a very difficult time
doing the same thing when training his biceps.
To overcome the problem, he stopped training his bi-
ceps heavy and started doing curls with 10-pound dumb-
bells. He did the exercise very slowly and deliberately,
feeling every muscle fiber contracting during the move-
ment. When he’d firmly established the mind/muscle con-
nection, he moved up to 15-pound dumbbells. He followed
the same procedure until he was back up to his normal
You could do the same thing with the barbell bench
press. Go back down in weight and use correct form so that
you feel the exercise in your chest instead of your shoul-
ders. When you’ve nailed the mind/muscle connection,
you can start increasing the weight on the bar until you get
back to the weight you’re using now.

Q: I recently purchased your book and have read

it cover to cover. I’m 22, 6’4” and 350 pounds—not
exactly bodybuilding condition, but that’s what I
want to work toward. I need to know how to calcu-
late calories for bulking and cutting, as I didn’t see
Neveux \ Model: Sagi Kalev

how to do that in your book. I know I should experi-

ment, but there’s a ton of room for error when you
don’t even know where to begin. Is there a formula?
Do you calculate using lean mass or total body-
weight? I ask because I wouldn’t think you’d need
to add more calories just to feed the fat. One more
Reducing your poundage and doing ultraslow reps can question: I’m of the endomorphic bodytype, so is it
help you establish the mind/muscle connection that’s okay to get most of my carbs from brown rice? Your
necessary for maximum mass. book is very inspiring, and I can’t thank you enough
for writing it. Just the information on how to do the
front deltoids instead of the pectoral muscles. exercises correctly was worth the price.
Now that you’ve established the proper hand spacing,
let’s go over the rest of the exercise. You need to put your A: The method I use to calculate the calorie require-
body in the proper position to feel the exercise in your ments for bulking or cutting is to look at each macronutri-
chest and not your shoulders. You want to expand your rib ent separately and establish a number for each. Protein,
cage and keep your chest high with your shoulders pulled carbohydrate and fat all play different roles in the body,
back. Many people have difficulty keeping their chest high and they must be adjusted for gaining weight or losing fat.
and their shoulders back, which is why I recommend ex- When you’re trying to lose bodyfat and maintain or build
panding your rib cage when you bench. That will make you more muscle, protein is the most important macronutrient.
automatically pull your shoulders backward as your chest I eat approximately 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein for each
expands. Also, by expanding your rib cage, you hold your pound of bodyweight when I’m dieting to lose fat. If I weigh
chest higher. That positions the pectoral muscles to benefit 220 pounds when I start my diet, I eat anywhere from 275
from the exercise. to 330 grams of protein per day. One gram of protein equals
By keeping your shoulders pulled back, you take them
out of the movement and place most of the stress on your
chest muscles.
One way to add size
Many people make the mistake of pushing the bar up
too far at the conclusion of each rep. By caving in their
without putting on
chest and extending their arms and shoulders to push the
bar up that far, they bring in their shoulders, shifting the
too much fat is to
load to their deltoids instead of the pecs. As long as you
keep your rib cage expanded and shoulders back, you’ll feel
alternate the amount
the exercise in the pecs, not the delts.
If you do all of those things and you still have trouble
of carbohydrate you
feeling the exercise in your pecs, I recommend that you eat on training and
start with a very light weight so that you can focus more
on feeling the movement in your chest. Keeping your rib nontraining days.
cage expanded and your shoulders pulled back, grab the

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Since I lose fat by moderating my carbohy-
drate intake, I eat a moderate amount of fat.
I prefer the monounsaturated fats in flaxseed
oil, salmon and peanut butter. My fat intake is
usually between 55 and 70 grams. I eat more
fats on my lower-carb days than on my train-
ing days.
The calorie breakdown for a diet designed
to lose bodyfat comes out to about 45 percent
protein, 35 percent carb and 20 percent fat on
a training day. On a rest, or a nontraining, day
the calories break down to 50 percent protein,
25 percent carbohydrate and 25 percent fat.
When trying to gain weight and put on
muscle, the percentages are different. Protein
is still important, but the carbohydrate intake
should be increased. As with the fat-loss diet,
the carbs are the one macronutrient that’s
adjusted to achieve the goal.
When I’m trying to gain mass, I eat more
carbohydrate than protein. Depending on how
fast your metabolism is and your age—metab-
olism tends to slow down as we get older—you
You must manipulate your protein, carbs and
should eat anywhere from two to four grams of
fats, depending on your goals.
carbohydrate for each pound of bodyweight.
At 220 pounds I eat an average of 440 grams a
day when trying to add muscle mass. When I
four calories per gram, so that comes to 1,100 to 1,320 calo- was younger, I ate anywhere from 500 to 600
ries of protein intake alone. grams to bulk up.
When I’m trying to lose fat, I moderate my carbohydrate One way to add size without putting on too much fat is
intake in order to starve the fat cells while still getting to alternate your carbohydrate intake on training and non-
enough carbs to supply the energy I need for my intense training days. I did that when I was dieting to lose fat, eat-
weight-training sessions. If I don’t eat enough carbs, I risk ing more on my training days and fewer on my nontraining
losing muscle because the carbs are protein sparing, which days. You can do the same by eating two grams of carbs for
means they are used for energy rather than the protein, each pound of bodyweight on your training days and one
which should be used for building muscle. If I eat too many to 1.5 grams per pound on your nontraining days.
carbs, however, I won’t lose bodyfat fast enough because My protein intake is also high when I’m eating to add
of the excess glycogen, which can be stored as fat or, at the size and bodyweight but not as high when I’m eating to
very least, slow down the rate of fat moblilzation. lose fat. I get an average of 1.25 grams of protein for each
On the days I weight train, I need more carbs to fuel the pound of bodyweight. If my weight is 220, that will be 275
session. I also need them immediately after the workout grams of protein per day.
to replace the glycogen I just burned up in my training. My fat intake is about the same on my mass-building
I always have two scoops of the postworkout drink 2:1:1 and fat-loss diets. Those who have a very fast metabolism
Recovery from Optimum Nutrition, which provides me would benefit from eating more fat because fats have more
with 70 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate after my training calories per gram—nine calories vs. four calories for pro-
session. tein or carbohydrates.
On my training days I take in almost one gram of car- When I was eating to gain size, I ate whole eggs and red
bohydrate for each pound of bodyweight. Using the above meat because of their higher saturated-fat content. That
example, if I weigh 220 pounds and I get .95 grams of carbs helped boost my calorie intake, which was essential due to
for each pound of bodyweight, I eat around 209 grams of my extremely fast metabolism.
carbs on a training day. The macronutrient breakdown for a bulking diet would
On a nontraining day I drop my carb intake drastically. I be 35 percent protein, 50 percent carbohydrate and 15
don’t need as many because I’m not training, so I eliminate percent fat on a training day. On a nontraining day it would
my postworkout drink, which cuts out 70 grams of carb be 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate and 20
from my diet. By eating fewer carbs, I’m essentially “starv- percent fat.
ing” the fat cells by not feeding them with nutrients that
could possibly be stored as fat. Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Natural Mr.
On a nontraining day I limit my carbohydrate intake to Olympia and is a two-time Natural Mr. Universe winner.
only .7 grams for each pound of bodyweight. If I weigh 220 Visit his Web site at www.NaturalOlympia.com. You can
pounds, I eat only 154 grams of carbohydrate. write to him at P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561, or call
As for my fat intake, I eat a moderate amount of fat toll-free (800) 900-UNIV (8648). His new book, Natural
because my carb intake is low to moderate. If I were eating Bodybuilding, and new training DVD, “Real Muscle,” are
a higher-carbohydrate diet, I’d eat less fat. To lose fat, you available from Home Gym Warehouse, www.Home-Gym
basically need to eat a high-protein diet plus either low .com or (800) 447-0008. IM
carbs or low fat.

76 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Shredded Muscle
by David Goodin

To Use, or and you’re winning nontested shows, aren’t you

tempted to use bodybuilding drugs to get to the next

Not to Use? A: Yes, it’s true. I’m a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder. I’ve
never used steroids, testosterone, HGH or any other body-
building drugs. I know a lot of people out there don’t be-
Q: Is it true that you’re a lifetime natural body- lieve that you can look the way I look without using drugs.
builder? I’ve been told that you can’t win in the NPC There are even people who know me very well who can’t
without using steroids. If you really are drug-free believe it. I dated fitness and figure star Abby Marie Wolf
for more than two years, and she—who
knew me better than anybody—would
periodically ask me to “come clean”
and tell her what I really used.
As I told her a number of times, I
gained about 30 pounds of muscle in
20-plus years. That averages to less
than a pound and a half of muscle per
year. Gaining muscle at that rate is not
extraordinary. I’ve seen guys using the
juice who put on 30 pounds of lean
bodyweight in six months.
The other thing that people say is,
there’s no way to get that lean (I mea-
sured myself at 2.4 percent the week of
the ’07 NPC Team Universe) without
using some kind of drugs. Well, first
of all, I’m a naturally lean person—in
fact, naturally skinny. If I don’t lift, I
lose weight fast. Second, I take 14 to 16
weeks to lose eight to 12 pounds. I nor-
mally lose eight to 12 ounces per week
on my contest diet. Once again, that’s
not extraordinary. My “magic pills” are
consistency, persistence and discipline.
I figured out the basics of my contest
diet more than 20 years ago. I’ve always
stepped onstage ripped. I just follow
my plan, and as long as I give myself at
least one week (preferably a little more
than one week) for every pound of
bodyfat that I need to lose, I can always
achieve the results.
When you look at what I’ve done in
bodybuilding—in terms of muscle and
leanness—and the time that it’s taken
me to do it, you can see that it’s not a
stretch. You can see that it is very pos-
sible to do it drug-free.
Getting to the temptation part of
your question, the answer is yes, it is

It’s taken Dave many years

of trial and error to do it
drug-free. You can build a
lean, muscular physique
without steroids.
78 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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I’m often asked if I use steroids,
and it feels good to be able to look
people in the eye and say, “No, I
don’t use them.” I do my best to
persuade people not to use drugs,
but at the same time it doesn’t
make you a bad person.
tempting. When I first got interested it.” I didn’t, and I haven’t looked back.
in bodybuilding, there were no drug- If I’d done things differently, could
tested contests. You could get a pre- I have been a force in the IFBB for the
scription for anabolic steroids from a past 20 years? Maybe, maybe not. Who
doctor (some built their practices on knows? All I know is that I have, in that
writing prescriptions for bodybuilding time, become somewhat of a legend in
drugs), and almost all of the competi- natural bodybuilding—at least that’s
tive bodybuilders I knew used ste- what people tell me. With my status in
roids. In 1984 I was told by a relatively natural bodybuilding I’ve affected so
high-ranking official, “If you’re not many people’s lives, both directly (see
willing to take steroids, you shouldn’t the Bodybuilding.com interview of
be a bodybuilder.” Layne Norton) and indirectly. I know
Nevertheless, some of the maga- that I feel 100 percent good about
zines were starting to report on the what I’ve accomplished in bodybuild-
side effects of steroid use. Even the ing and how I’ve done it.
more superficial side effects like ac- I’m often asked if I use steroids, and
celerated hair loss, acne and testicular it feels good to be able to look people
atrophy were enough to get my atten- in the eye and say, “No, I don’t use
tion. When I started thinking about them.” It feels even better when the
competing, I decided that I’d give next questions comes: “Have you ever
myself at least five years of drug-free used steroids?” Once again, I can look
training to see what I could accom- them in the eye and say, “No, never.”
plish on my own. Do I condemn those who use body-
I’ll be very honest here: Every in- building drugs? No, I don’t. I do my

terviewer who’s ever asked me about best to persuade people not to use DESIGNED TO BUILD RES U L T S
it has gotten the same anecdote. In them, but at the same time it doesn’t
my fifth year of competition, I lost—at make you a bad person—unless you’re
an NPC national qualifier—in a tie- entering drug-free shows and/or lying FROM THE MAKERS
breaker to a guy who was seriously to people and telling them that you’re ®

juiced. He went on to take second at natural. OF OHYEAH!

the USA Championships the follow- To use or not to use is a choice that

ing weekend. I was very upset. I knew each person has to make. Are you
that if I’d had even 10 more pounds willing to risk your health to be more
of muscle I could have easily won the
overall at that show. I talked it over
with my wife, and we decided that if
muscular now? Last year I lost a friend
to a heart attack, and he was only
40. He was supermuscular, but those
I was going to move up in bodybuild-
ing, I needed to do ’roids. I did some
who loved him would have loved him
even had he been a smaller guy. Even
research and then called Larry Mistric,
a former training partner (and world-
though I’m not competing for the Ar-
nold Classic or Mr. Olympia titles and GROW.
class powerlifter), to find out how to (I’m sure) never will, I know my loved
go about acquiring them. ones are happy with the path that I’ve
Larry told me, “Dave, look at what chosen.
you’ve done drug-free. Steroids are
about to be classified as a controlled Editor’s note: See Dave Goodin’s www.issresearch.com
substance, and there are going to be new blog at www.IronManMagazine
drug-tested contests in the very near .com. Click on the blog selection in
future. Don’t do it!” the top menu bar. To contact Dave
That was all I needed—just some- directly, send e-mail to TXShredder@
one in the industry to say, “Don’t do aol.com. IM

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 79

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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass
by Steve Holman

Contraction and Q: I need some back width—

that is, lat development. I’m
following your 3D HIT program
listed in the e-book X-traordi-

the Size Reaction nary Arms, but I’m not getting

a pump, and I have a hard time
feeling my back working. Do you
have any suggestions?

A: The 3D Positions-of-Flexion lat

routine in that program is the follow-
Chins (midrange) 1 x 9-12
Dumbbell pullovers
(stretch) 1 x 9-12
Rope rows (contracted) 1 x 12-15
One reason you may not be get-
ting a big pump is the last exercise,
rope rows, a contracted-position lat
exercise. While it does place your lats
in the contracted position at the top,
where your upper arms are slightly
behind your torso, it’s not a pure
contracted-position movement. Why?
Because it’s not isolated enough—you
use your arms, specifically your bi-
ceps, to pull the rope handle into
your waist.
So while you get your lats into
full contraction, you use a lot of arm
strength. That can diffuse the con-
tinuous-tension effect, especially for
trainees who have low neuromuscular
efficiency, or nerve force, in the lats.
They tend to use their arms a lot more
than their back muscles.
A substitute exercise I recommend
is stiff-arm pulldowns. Stand slightly
back away from the pulldown ma-
chine and take an overhand shoul-
der-width grip on the bar. With the
bar at eye level and tension on your
lats, drive the bar down in an arc,
keeping only a slight bend at your
elbows, until the bar is just in front of
your thighs; then return the bar in an
arc back to eye level. Concentrate on
keeping tension on your lats through-
out the set.
One of the keys to getting a lagging
bodypart to respond is continuous
tension and occlusion, which is a
blockage of blood flow. As I’ve noted
before, a number of Japanese and
American studies have found that
restricting blood flow during exercise,
as you do with most contracted-po-
sition movements—like stiff-arm

84 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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such reduction in the moderate-volume group.
I’ve always recommended workouts of no more than
about 30 work sets at any one session for drug-free train-
Rope rows ees, and the study confirms what I’ve discovered over the
(left) hit years.
the lats’
contracted Q: In your arm-specialization programs [listed in
position, X-traordinary Arms], is it okay to mix up the exer-
but for cises? Can I do a biceps-peak exercise for midrange,
more then the stretch move, followed by a contracted-
occlusion position biceps exercise for width? I like the idea of
try stiff-arm training for width and peak at every workout rather
pulldowns than emphasizing one over the other at alternating
instead. workouts, as you recommend.

A: Experimentation is good. I believe it’s necessary for

anyone interested in gaining the most muscle possible as
quickly as possible. Your idea has merit because no matter
what arm exercise you choose, you’ll affect all heads of the
muscle to some degree. In other words, you can’t work the
inner biceps head while the outer head takes a nap or vice
versa; however, you can stress one over the other.
Here’s a sample biceps routine you’d use at your first arm
Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

Inner biceps (width)

Wide-grip curls (midrange exercise)
Inner and outer biceps (width and peak)
Palms-forward incline curls (stretch exercise)
Outer biceps (peak)
Concentration curls (contracted exercise)
pulldowns, leg extensions and so on—increases strength, That’s the standard 3D POF routine I often recommend
muscle activation and stimulation of anabolic hormones, for overall biceps growth and development, as it’s very bal-
such as IGF-1 and growth hormone. Scientists at the Uni- anced; however, you lead off
versity of Texas found that occlusion training can activate with an inner-head, or width,
the TOR-signaling pathway, which triggers protein synthe- exercise. So at your next biceps
sis and muscle hypertrophy. workout change the first exer-
That’s the reason we finish off every bodypart with a cise to an outer-head, or peak
higher-rep continuous tension and occlusion exercise in midrange movement—like
the 3D HIT program. In your case, the stiff-arm pulldown close-grip preacher curls, fol-
should accomplish that better than rope rows for lat pump lowed by stretch, followed by
and development. If you want to take it to the next level, try an inner-biceps-head-domi-
a drop set on that last exercise to extend the tension time nant exercise for width to hit
Neveux \ Model: Jay Cutler

and increase intensity. [Note: For more on occlusion, see the contracted position, like
the feature that begins on page 102.] one-arm spider curls done on
the vertical side of the preach-
Q: Most of programs in your articles and e-books er bench.
don’t have a lot of work sets. Are there any studies You’re still alternating
that give a benchmark relating to the number of biceps workouts that stress
sets that’s best for a workout? different areas, which is what we suggest in X-traordinary
Arms. What’s different is that you’re not focusing on one
A: Too much stress, whether in relationships or in the section as much at each workout, as the arm-specialization
gym or when you’re bunjee jumping, causes cortisol to rise. routines in the e-book do.
Cortisol can force your body to eat muscle tissue for energy, Those routines hammer one section, or head, of the bi-
and it lowers testosterone. A study that looked at how train- ceps in all three positions, with the other head getting less
ing volume affects testosterone in men was done in 2004 attention. So at the next workout you focus on the other
(Alemany, J.A., et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36:S238). head. Your variation should work. Try it with the triceps
width and sweep exercises as well.
Group 1: No exercise (control)
Group 2: 25 sets
Group 3: 50 sets Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many
Neveux \ Model: Omar Deckard

bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-

The workouts consisted of big, basic exercises—squats, of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF
bench presses, etc.—that have elevated testosterone in videos and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections
other studies. Reps per set were five to 10, with 90 to 120 beginning on pages 138 and 296, respectively. Also visit
seconds of rest between sets. www.X-Rep.com for information on X-Rep and 3D
Results: The high-volume group had significantly sup- POF methods and e-books. IM
pressed testosterone over a 24-hour period. There was no

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 85

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n July 31, 2005, the low- mous for using the first progressive-
carbohydrate diet was resistance exercise regimen, which
declared dead by the consisted of lifting a calf every day,
popular media. The oc- even when the calf became a bull.
casion was the filing of a Chapter 11 Whether that bull eventually be-
bankruptcy by Atkins Nutritionals, a came a source of protein for Milo
company founded by the godfather isn’t recorded.
of the low-carb diet, Robert Atkins, The first popular low-carb diet
M.D. Atkins himself wasn’t around was offered by William Banting, a
to watch his company fade, since he retired London undertaker who
had died two years earlier after slip- claimed to have shed 45 pounds of
ping on an icy sidewalk in New York fat in 1863 by eating a low-carb diet.
and going into a coma. The diet was suggested to him by Dr.
Although Atkins’ name was most William Harvey after Banting con-
associated with the low-carb diet, sulted him about a recurrent ear-
he was hardly the first to advocate ache. The doctor felt that Banting’s
that kind of eating plan. The use symptoms stemmed from the excess
of a low-carb diet dates back to fat in his ear. Banting was so im-
antiquity—the fifth century B.C. pressed by the results of his diet that
to be exact. A two-time Olympic he published it in a brief book called
long-distance champion named Letter of Corpulence that became
Stymphalos attributed his athletic the first commercial diet book.
success to following a diet of mostly In the early 20th century, Arctic
Neveux \ Model: Markus Reinhardt

meat. The legendary Greek wrestling explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived

champion Milo of Croton, who won among the native Inuit people and
no fewer than five Olympic wres- adopted their 90 percent meat and
tling events between 536 and 520 fish diet, devoid of carbohydrates.
B.C., was reputed to eat an average While consuming this diet, Stefans-
19 pounds of beef daily to attain his son noted that he and his fellow
prodigious strength. Milo is also fa- explorers remained healthy. In fact,

Part 1:
Are Low-Carb Diets Dead?
by Jerry Brainum

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www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 89
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Low-Carb Lowdown

the only side effect occurred when

one intrepid explorer decided to eat
fish only. That led to nausea, which
was rapidly rectified when fat was
added to his diet.
When Stefansson reported on the
diet in a series of published articles,
medical professionals expressed
skepticism concerning the effects of
not eating carbohydrates. Stefans-
son elected to prove his contention
about the safety of the diet by liv-
ing in a metabolic ward at Bellevue
Hospital in New York while eating a
carb-free, meat-based diet for one
year. During that time he was close-

Stefansson elected to prove his contention about

the safety of the diet by living in a metabolic ward
at Bellevue Hospital in New York while eating a
carb-free, meat-based diet for one year. During
that time he was closely observed by medical
researchers. The results, published in the Journal
of the American Medical Association in 1928,
showed zero adverse effects from the diet, not
even a vitamin deficiency.
ly observed by medical researchers.
The results, published in the Journal
of the American Medical Association
in 1928, showed zero adverse effects
from the diet, not even a vitamin
Since then, numerous ver-
sions of the low-carb diet
have appeared. The most
popular was Atkins’ plan,
first published in 1972. The
cornerstone of Atkins’ and
all other low-carb diets is that
bodyfat is largely the result of
excess insulin release. Insulin
is required for the uptake of
glucose into cells, but it also
stimulates the synthesis of
According to low-carb-diet
proponents, those who have
excess bodyfat produce too
much insulin because their
enlarged fat cells make them
Neveux \ Model: Will Harris

insulin insensitive. Carbs

are considered the primary
culprit because sugars trigger
the greatest release of insulin.
A lesser-known fact is that
protein also triggers insulin

90 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Low-Carb Lowdown

release, explaining why modern

Supplements for Low-Carb Dieters postworkout supplements empha-
Using certain food supplements makes low-carb dieting size a combination of protein and
easier, safer and more efficient. simple carbs—taken together, the
• Potassium and magnesium. These minerals are nutrients maximize insulin release
particularly beneficial during the initial stages of a low- more than either alone.
carb diet to prevent muscle weakness and fatigue. Aim for Critics of low-carb diets point out
at least 450 milligrams of magnesium and 2,000 milligrams that it’s calories that count when it
of potassium daily. An alternative is to take a well-balanced comes to bodyfat loss. Many suggest
multimineral supplement that contains both minerals, that insulin alone doesn’t stimulate
plus calcium, another mineral often in short supply in excess bodyfat in the absence of
people who follow low-carb diets. In fact, a daily vitamin- an excessive calorie intake. Studies
and-mineral supplement provides additional nutritional with diabetics and nondiabetics in
insurance. which the subjects ate an identical
• Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil lower elevated blood number of calories—the only dif-
triglycerides and lower insulin resistance. Some studies suggest that fish ference being that one group also
oil may also stimulate fat oxidation when combined with exercise. In injected insulin—demonstrated
addition, it significantly adds to the natural triglyceride-lower- that those injecting the insulin had
ing effects of low-carb diets, as does aerobic exercise. Aim for a significantly more bodyfat. Iso-
daily intake of five grams or more. lated-fat-cell studies also show that
• Creatine. While meat, a staple of low-carb diets, is rich insulin alone doesn’t trigger bodyfat
in creatine, it wouldn’t hurt to maximize muscle energy stores synthesis. If you add sugar to the
with a creatine supplement. That’s especially true for body- mix, however, bodyfat synthesis
builders, who depend on the ATP-creatine energy system in goes up significantly.
muscle to fuel exercise. Taking creatine with a rapidly absorbed Still, the debate rages about the
protein source, such as whey, removes the necessity of taking it effectiveness and safety of low-
with a simple carb that may trigger excess insulin release. carb diets. Studies published in the
• Glutamine. Glutamine helps replenish glycogen stores New England Journal of Medicine
in the body and can act as an alternative fuel source during a diet. Low- in 2003 found that while low-carb
carb diets tend to promote the increased excretion of glutamine, about diets are effective for weight loss,
25 percent above normal levels. Get five to 20 grams daily. it was the drop in calories on the
• L-carnitine. This amino acid product helps the body diets that caused the fat loss, not
use fat as an energy source and may be particularly useful the decreased carb intake.1 What
during low-carb diets. The goal is two to three grams daily in the authors didn’t explain, however,
divided doses, with one dose taken 60 minutes prior to train- was the average 37-pound weight
ing. loss for those on low-carb regimens,
• 5-HTP. It’s a precursor of serotonin, a brain chemical compared to the four-pound weight
related to a craving for carbs. Taking 5-HTP may help prevent loss for those on a high-carb diet.
bingeing on sweets. The dose is 100 to 300 milligrams daily. Another study found that when
Don’t take it prior to training, as it can cause drowsiness. compared to a lowfat, high-carb
• Total milk protein. High protein intake is key to suc- eating plan, low-carb diets proved
cess during low-carb dieting. Milk protein is easily digested and superior for spurring bodyfat loss
low in carbs. A useful alternative is a milk protein-based meal-re- for the first six months. After a
placement product low in carbs (fewer than 25 grams of carbs per year, however, both diets showed
serving). similar results, which can
• Branched-chain amino acids. These are not be explained by the gradual
required if you opt for a milk protein supplement. They’re addition of carbohydrates to
useful for preventing muscle loss if you’re engaging in the diets of initial low-carb
aerobic exercise while dieting. Taking five grams prior to dieters. Those on the low-carb
training works well. diet showed some beneficial
• Beta-alanine. Beta-alanine improves muscle endur- changes in cardiovascular
ance and prevents premature fatigue during train- risk factors, such as increased
ing. Take three to six grams daily in divided doses. high-density lipoprotein and
• Protein-and-carb recovery drink. You can lowered blood triglycerides.2
have one either before or after workouts without A more recent survey compar-
its adversely affecting the rate of fat loss. Taking it ing various diets showed that
prior to training imparts a muscle-sparing, anabolic effect. the low-carb diet proved superior to
Taking it after promotes glycogen synthesis and amino high-carb, lowfat diets for fat loss.
acid uptake into muscle for more efficient workout recov- When Atkins released his book
ery. Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972,
—J.B. he was promptly pilloried by his
colleagues in the medical profes-

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Low-Carb Lowdown

sion. The acerbic critiques

targeted Atkins’ espousal
of a high-fat intake, even
saturated fat, the alleged
dietary demon linked to
cardiovascular disease.
Atkins, a practicing car-
diologist, felt that insulin
was a more direct cause
of cardiovascular disease
than saturated fat. He
believed that an increased
fat intake wasn’t a prob-
lem because you’d use the
fat as an energy source in
the absence of carbohy-
Research over the years
has proven that Atkins’
assertions were correct. A
low-carb diet offers car-
diovascular protection.
Its higher fat content raises HDL,
which helps the body remove excess
blood cholesterol. Lowfat, high-carb
Another recent diets are known to lower HDL while
raising levels of triglycerides, or
animal study blood fats. Low-carb diets consis-
found that a tently lower triglycerides, an effect
amplified when you add fish oil
high-fat, low- supplements to your diet.
carb diet helps Low-density lipoprotein, often
referred to as the bad cholesterol,
prevent the because of its association with car-
enlarged heart diovascular disease, is also favorably
affected by low-carb diets. It turns
associated out that the smaller, denser forms
with high blood of LDL are more dangerous than
the larger, more buoyant forms.
pressure. Research shows that a low-carb diet
favors the formation of the larger,
benign LDL molecules.3
That’s why the low-carb
Low-carb diets diet is now suggested
as an effective form
consistently of therapy to treat the
metabolic syndrome,
lower a harbinger of cardio-
vascular disease and
triglycerides, diabetes.
A recent study of
an effect guinea pigs, which
process cholesterol
amplified when much as humans do,
revealed one way that
you add fish oil low-carbohydrate diets
help control choles-
supplements to terol. A high intake
of dietary cholesterol
your plan. increases the activity
of an enzyme in the
liver that synthesizes

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Low-Carb Lowdown

fat. But when the guinea pigs are Human studies likewise confirm suggested. The other diet focused
put on low-carb diets, the enzyme is the beneficial effects of low-carb di- on fish, poultry and shellfish that
suppressed, despite a high amount eting. One example is a recent study contained a high content of poly-
of cholesterol in the animals’ diets.4 involving moderately obese human unsaturated fats, which are sug-
Another recent animal study found subjects who followed two types of gested for reducing elevated blood
that a high-fat, low-carb diet helps low-carb diets. One featured foods cholesterol. After 28 days both diets
prevent the enlarged heart associ- high in saturated fat, such as meat, proved equally effective in stimu-
ated with high blood pressure.5 similar to what Dr. Atkins originally lating weight loss, and neither diet
adversely affected blood cholesterol,
although the diet that had more
polyunsatured fat more effectively
A recent animal lowered triglycerides.6
study found that While some saturated fatty acids,
such as palmitic acid, can increase
a low-carb diet cholesterol, they don’t do so in the
lowered a protein presence of polyunsaturated fatty
acids, such as linoleic acid, found
that accumulates in in vegetable oils and food. The au-
thors observe that fears of soaring
the brains of those cholesterol from eating low-carb
with Alzheimer’s diets don’t make biological sense.
Saturated fats are most potent in
disease and is increasing HDL, while polyunsatu-
considered a major rated are the least efficient.
Another study found that eating a
cause of the disease. low-carb diet seemed to trigger se-
lective bodyfat loss. Seventy percent
of the subjects, who were all men,
lost more fat on a low-carb diet,
even though they ate more calories.
They also lost more fat in the chest
and stomach—highly significant
because fat stored in those areas
is more metabolically active and is
linked to cardiovascular disease,
high blood pressure, diabetes and
the metabolic syndrome. In fact,

According to low-
carb-diet proponents,
those who have excess
bodyfat produce too
much insulin because
their enlarged fat
cells make them
insulin insensitive.
Carbs are considered
the primary culprit
because sugars trigger
the greatest release of

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Low-Carb Lowdown

they lost three times as much fat in drate increases insulin. That makes
the trunk area as those on a lowfat the insulin-degrading enzyme focus 1 Bravata, D.M., et al. (2003). Effi-

diet.7 on insulin, enabling excess beta- cacy and safety of low-carbohydrate

While a diet high in cholesterol amyloid to accumulate in the brain, diets. NEJM. 289:1837-1850.
and saturated fat is often linked to which has led many researchers to 2 Foster, G.D., et al. (2003). A ran-

the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, refer to Alzheimer’s as “type 3 dia- domized trial of a low-carbohydrate
that correlation may not be correct. betes.” diet for obesity. NEJM. 348:2082-
A recent animal study found that Recent animal studies also show 2090.
a low-carb diet lowered a protein that low-carb diets, by lowering 3 Sharman, M.J., et al. (2004).

that accumulates in the brains of both insulin and insulinlike growth Very-low-carbohydrate and lowfat
those with Alzheimer’s disease and factor 1, may prevent prostate diets affect fasting lipids and post-
is considered a major cause of the cancer.9 In contrast, diets high in prandial lipemia differently in over-
disease.8 That makes sense because refined carbs are linked to prostate weight men. J Nutr. 134:880-885.
a protein in the brain called insu- cancer.10 4 Torres-Gonzalez, M., et al.

lin-degrading enzyme is known to So are low-carb diets dead? Ap- (2007). Carbohydrate restriction al-
break down both beta-amyloid, the parently not for those who want to ters hepatic cholesterol metabolism
toxic protein in Alzheimer’s, and live longer. In Part 2 we’ll discuss in guinea pigs fed a hypercholester-
insulin. Eating too much carbohy- why low-carb diets are effective. olemic diet. J Nutr. 137:2219-2223.
5 Okere, I.C., et al.

(2006). Low carbo-

hydrate/high fat diet
attenuates cardiac hy-
pertrophy, remodeling,
and altered gene expres-
sion in hypertension. Hy-
pertension. 48:1116-1123.
6 Cassady, B.A., et al.

(2007). Effects of low-

carbohydrate diets high
in red meats or poultry,
fish, and shellfish on
plasma lipids and weight
loss. Nutr Metab. 4:23.
7 Volek, J.S., et al.

(2004). Comparison of
energy-restricted very-
low-carbohydrate and
lowfat diets on weight-
loss and body composi-
tion in overweight men
and women. Nutr Metab.
8 Van der Auwera,

I., et al. (2005). A ke-

togenic diet reduces
amyloid beta 40 and 42
in a mouse model of
Alzheimer’s disease. Nutr
Metab. 2:28.
9 Freedland, S.J., et al.

(2007). Carbohydrate re-

striction, prostate cancer
growth, and the insulin-
Next month, why like growth factor axis.
The Prostate. In press.
low-carb diets 10 Venkateswaran, V., et

are so good for

Neveux \ Model: Darly Gee

al. (2007). Association of

diet-induced hyperinsu-
a fat-to-muscle linemia with accelerated
transformation. growth of prostate can-
cer (LNCaP) xenografts.
JNCI. 99:1793-1800. IM

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Is Blocking Blood



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Model: Tom Platz

by Layne Norton • Photography by Michael Neveux

ild and crazy training methods seem to come out every other week
W these days. Whether it’s static-contraction training, superslow mo or
one-set-per-week workouts, the get-big fads go in and out of style faster than
bell-bottom jeans and capri pants for guys.
Occlusion Training

Researchers have
found that occluding
blood to the muscles
during low-intensity
physical activity can
produce an anabolic
response equal to, or
perhaps greater than,

Model: Moe El Moussawi

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Could occlusion
training someday
make heavy training
obsolete as the
optimal technique for
stimulating muscle

Model: Markus Reinhardt

Much of that is probably due to the page—but then you’d remember one-rep maximum), with short rest
the explosion of information avail- that I mentioned scientific research. periods (one minute) yields optimal
able on the Internet. Unfortunately, Ah, you are interested. strength and hypertrophy gains.
the explosion has included a lot of The method is called occlusive Some scientists suggest that an
collateral damage—unscientific and training, and it’s been around for a intensity threshold of 60 percent of
downright bad training methods while, racking up unbelievable re- 1RM is required to stimulate hy-
being popularized. sults backed by solid data. For some pertrophy and strength gains. That
What if I were to tell you that one reason nobody’s jumped on the renders low-intensity training—20
method of training has been proven concept, but I’m here to tell you how to 40 percent of 1RM—obsolete in
to cause significant hypertrophy you can integrate it into your cur- strength training and bodybuilding.
in numerous scientific studies? rent training to help slap on some Two primary mechanisms by which
That it involved lifting weights that big-time muscle. moderate-intensity training stimu-
are about half the poundage you’d lates growth are greater recruitment
typically use? Then what if I told Research on Occlusive of muscle fibers and the accumula-
you that the method stimulates tion of metabolites—lactic acid, for
growth by reducing blood flow to instance—that serve as signaling
the muscles you’re working? You’d Studies show that moderate-in- molecules for anabolic hormones
probably say I’m an idiot and turn tensity training (60 to 85 percent of and other growth factors.

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Occlusion Training
It’s reasonable to assume that
Some isolated if athletes could simulate the
continuous-tension conditions produced by moder-
ate-intensity training, they’d get
exercises produce similar results. Well, assume your
an occlusion effect brains out, for it is entirely pos-
sible, and you won’t even have to
without the need for train heavy to do it. Researchers
additional wraps or have found that occluding blood
to the muscles during low-inten-
bands. sity physical activity can produce
an anabolic response equal to, or
perhaps greater than, moderate-
intensity exercise. Occlusion train-
ing has also benefited the young
and the elderly, regardless of train-
ing status.
In a short-term study investigat-
ing the effects of blood-occlusion
training on protein synthe-
sis—a.k.a. muscle anabolism—six
healthy male subjects, average
age 32, performed two sessions
of low-intensity leg extensions for
four sets, working at 20 percent
of 1RM and taking 30 seconds of
rest between sets. They exercised
with and without a blood pressure
cuff wrapped around their thigh
and inflated to 200 mm Hg. The
cuff increased blood pressure and
impeded blood flow. Protein syn-
thesis increased by nearly 50 per-
cent following occlusion training
but was unchanged in the control
Longer-term studies have
shown several advantageous ad-
aptations as a result of occlusion
training. A research team looked
into the effects of performing leg
extensions twice weekly for two
months in elite rugby players. The
athletes were separated into three
groups: those doing leg extensions
with blood occlusion of the thighs
at 50 percent of 1RM, those doing
leg extensions without blood oc-
clusion at 50 percent 1RM and a
control group doing no exercise.
Strength and quadriceps size
improved by 14 percent and 12
percent, respectively, in the blood-
occlusion group, while neither
increased in the nonocclusion or
control groups.
Amazingly, this method works
Model: Derik Farnsworth

regardless of the age of the trainee.

One study had 24 healthy elderly
women, average age 58, perform
dumbbell curls twice weekly
for 16 weeks. The subjects were

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Occlusion Training

separated into groups: one doing Occlusion during leg training has increased blood
low-intensity exercise—at 30 to 50
percent of 1RM—with occlusion,
GH by as much as 290 percent, while traditional
another doing low-intensity exercise high-intensity training has resulted in up to only
without occlusion and a third doing
moderate-intensity exercise without
100 percent increases.
occlusion. Muscle mass was greater
in the biceps brachii and brachialis
after occlusion training (20.3 and
17.8 percent, respectively) than
nonocclusion training (6.9 and 3.8
percent), and occlusion train-
ing tended to produce greater
hypertrophy gains than the
moderate-intensity training
(18.4 and 11.8 percent).
More recently, scientists have
found 6 percent increases in thigh
muscle along with 8 to 10 percent
increases in 1RM and isometric
strength, respectively, in young men
who walked for two five-minute
bouts with occlusion, six days a conditioned look of a bodybuilder stronger and better-conditioned
week for three weeks. Conversely, no by increasing vascularity. Some muscles.
increases in either muscle mass or studies reveal increased vascular
strength were observed in the con- endothelial growth factor, which Mechanisms of Action
trol condition. stimulates the growth and forma-
Another interesting finding is that tion of new blood vessels. Overall Several mechanisms may explain
occlusion training may improve the occlusion training leads to bigger, the exciting growth and strength

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Myostatin has
Occlusion Training received a great
deal of press over
adaptations that occur
with blood-occlusion the past decade,
training. The first is and rightly so, as
related to fiber recruit-
ment. One of the major its upregulation
reasons high-intensity stunts muscle
training works so well
is that it forces trainees growth by inhibiting
to recruit the larger
fast-twitch muscle
the addition of
fibers, the fibers that nuclei capable of
have the greatest capac-
ity for growth. Studies
supporting further
have demonstrated an growth to the muscle
increase in fiber acti-
vation equivalent to
fiber. That very
high-intensity training, factor was recently
as measured by elec-
tromyographic activity, found to be inhibited
greater whole-body in the quadriceps
oxygen uptake and
increased depletion of following short-
ATP from muscle tis- duration occlusion
sue. Likely, the fatigue
in the small slow-twitch training.
muscle fibers in a low-
oxygen (no blood flow)
environment causes
increased motor unit
recruitment, as well as
inhibiting muscular
contraction in those
fibers due to lactic acid
buildup. As fatigue sets
in, the body is forced
to recruit larger muscle
fibers to maintain force
A second major
mechanism is related
to occlusion training’s
stimulation of anabolic
hormones. Occlusion
during leg extensions
increases blood growth
hormone by as much as
290 percent. To put that in perspec- local chemical receptors and carried rise in muscle tissue damage. That’s
tive, traditional high-intensity train- back to the hypothalamus, which amazing, as many scientists suggest
ing has resulted in up to 100 percent ups the rate of GH secretion. that muscle damage is essential to
increases in GH. Myostatin has received a great trigger growth. Finally, a number of
The explanation lies within the deal of press over the past decade, studies have revealed that cortisol
finding that low-oxygen environ- and rightly so, as its upregulation may not increase after occlusion
ments increase lactic acid produc- stunts muscle growth by inhibiting training. By contrast, cortisol rises
tion, while the occlusion traps the addition of nuclei capable of relative to increasing intensity and
it inside the muscle tissue. Past supporting further growth to muscle is responsible not only for myostatin
studies show strong correlations fiber. That factor was recently found upregulation but also for overtrain-
between blood lactic acid and GH, a to be inhibited in the quadriceps ing and the breakdown of muscle
phenomenon most likely explained following short-duration occlusion tissue.
by increasing acidity in the blood. training. To recap, blood-occlusion train-
Moreover, research suggests that the What really makes the technique ing can increase motor unit recruit-
accumulation of lactic acid in fast- unique is its ability to stimulate ment, raise anabolic hormones and
twitch muscle fibers is sensed by muscle growth without a detectable suppress local (continued on page 114)

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Unfortunately occlusive training is (continued from page 110) negative
feasible only for the arms, legs and regulators of muscle growth. It’s also
free from many of the negative side
possibly shoulders, as it would be nearly effects of training, such as increased
impossible to occlude blood flow to muscle damage and unfavorable
catabolic hormone increases.
the chest and back muscles
without suffocating. Practical Applications
“Okay,” you’re saying. “I get it. Oc-
clusion training works. Tell me how
to do it already.” After reviewing the
studies and doing some experimen-
tation, I’ve devised a few protocols.
Unfortunately, occlusive training is
feasible only for the arms, legs and
possibly shoulders, as it would be
nearly impossible to occlude blood
flow to the chest and back muscles
without suffocating.
You must place more pressure
on the limb you’re trying to occlude
than the blood pressure of that area.
That’s how a tourniquet works. In
the lab, researchers used a special-
ized blood pressure cuff to achieve
a diastolic blood pressure of around
200 mm Hg—probably overkill, as
most people have diastolic pressure
of far less than that. Most people’s
readings are anywhere from 110 to
140 mm Hg.
You can use several different
methods to occlude a muscle:
1) Buy the actual cuffs used for
kaatsu training. Unfortunately,
they’re hard to find, as they’re made
in Japan and are on the expensive
2) Use a blood pressure cuff. That
enables you to get a precise mea-
sure of the pressure needed. Still,
an actual blood pressure cuff may
be a bit awkward to use in the gym.
People may look at you as if your fly
is open.
3) Use a Velcro-equipped lifting
belt. They’re inexpensive, easy to
find and quite fast and easy to use.
The downsides: You’ll probably be
able to use it only for legs, as the belt
will be too big to properly occlude
your arms. You also won’t know
exactly how much blood flow you’re
blocking the way you do with a pres-
sure cuff. A quick and dirty method
of finding out if it’s tight enough is
to put the belt around your leg tight-
Model: Luke Wood

ly, then stand up and see if you feel

a strong “pump” and slight numb-
ness after about 60 seconds. If you
do, it should (continued on page 118)

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Occlusion Training
Blood pressure (continued from page 114) be tight
cuff 4) Use powerlifting knee wraps.
They’re inexpensive and readily
available and can occlude the arms
or legs. The downside is that it
takes time to wrap your limbs, and
if they’re not tight enough, you’ll
spend more time rewrapping. Ad-
ditionally, it can be more difficult
to get them on both limbs with the
same degree of occlusion; you don’t
want to occlude one limb more
than the other if you’re wrapping
them both at the same time. Unilat-
eral training is an easy fix: Wrap one
limb, do your sets, and then wrap
the other limb.
5) Apply a compression wrap—
typically used for injuries—tightly
around the trained muscle. They’re
particularly effective for small
muscle groups such as calves, bi-
ceps and forearms, but they can be
rather difficult to wrap around the
arms. Having someone assist in the
wrapping is helpful.
Now that we’ve covered how to
occlude a muscle, the next obvious
Compression question is which exercises, sets,
wrap reps, etc., you should use. I suggest
adding occlusion work at the end
of a typical leg or arm day. It should
take only five to 10 minutes, but be
forewarned: Occlusion training is
very taxing.

First set: 30 reps with 20 percent

of one-rep max
Three subsequent sets: 15 reps
with 20 percent of one-rep max,
taking 30 seconds of rest between
Four sets to failure with 50 per-
cent of one-rep max, taking 30
seconds of rest between sets
Four sets to failure with 50 per-
cent one-rep max, taking one
minute of rest between sets
Powerlifting knee wraps
Note: Do not remove the occlu-
sion device until you’ve complet-
ed all of the sets.

You may be looking at those

poundages and thinking this
is some kind of joke. Go ahead
and laugh. You’ll be cursing soon
If you’ve occluded the muscle
properly, you’ll find that the first

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Occlusion Training
few reps feel very easy, like normal.
As the set progresses, however,
you’ll find that you hit a wall very
fast because the slow-twitch fibers
have been prefatigued by the lack
of oxygen. The rest between sets
will do very little to help you recov-
er. The pump will be intense, but
so will the pain if you’re working
correctly—so intense that you’ll
want to remove the occlusion after
every set.

A Cautionary Tale
It’s important to note that while
occlusion training has proven to
be an extremely effective agent of
hypertrophy, more is not neces-
sarily better. Safety first: Do not
occlude any muscle for more than
10 minutes at a time. Long periods
of occlusion can put you at risk for
necrosis or embolism. The pro-
tocols provided here are for very
short periods and are very low risk.
Even so, as with any training pro-
gram, it’s wise to consult a doctor
before starting.
If you want to do more occlu-
sion training, you might try using
the protocols multiple times in
the same workout, releasing the
occlusion between bouts. For

Model: Skip La Cour

example, you could do four sets
to failure with 50 percent of your
one-rep max, resting one minute
in between sets. After those four
sets release the occlusion, rest for
a few minutes, and then repeat the
While most exercises are suit-
able for occlusion training, I rec-
ommend that you stay away from
free-weight squats, as the occlu-
sion may make it more difficult to
balance the weight properly. Keep
in mind that occlusion training is
no replacement for heavy lifting,
which should be an important part
of every serious bodybuilder’s ar-
senal. It builds a strength base that
is necessary in order to stimulate
significant hypertrophy over time.
It also causes significant muscle
tissue damage, which itself is a
Model: Raymond Fornsworth

very powerful signal for growth.

You should use occlusive training
as an adjunct to heavy training,
and you can use it with great suc-
cess during deloading periods.
It’s just too hard on the joints to

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Occlusion Training
lift heavy every 1430.
day for years on Hakkinen, K.,
end. You need pe- and Pakarinen, A.
riods of reduced (1993). Acute hor-
load to enable monal responses
your joints to heal to two different
and your state of fatiguing heavy-re-
mind to recuper- sistance protocols
ate. Historically, in male athletes.
that’s meant sacri- J Appl Physiol.
ficing short-term 74:882-887.
gains over a few Kawada, S., and
weeks’ time for Ishii, N. (2005).
long-term benefit. Skeletal muscle
With occlusive hypertrophy after
training, however, chronic restriction
you can achieve of venous blood
significant hyper- flow in rats. Med Sci
trophy while lift- Spts Exerc. 37:1144-
ing light. 1150.
Note: Maybe Kraemer, W.J.,
you don’t need et al. (1990). Hor-
a tourniquet at monal and growth
all. For another factor responses to
view of occusion heavy resistance
training, see “Was exercise protocols.
Charles Atlas J Appl Physiol.
Right?” on page 69:1442-1450.
125. Kraemer, W.J., et
al. (1991). Endoge-
Editor’s note: nous anabolic hor-
Layne Norton has monal and growth
a B.S. in biochem- factor responses to
istry and is a Ph.D. heavy resistance
candidate in nu- exercise in males
tritional science. and females. Int J
He’s a professional Sprts Med. 12:228-
drug-free compet- 235
itive bodybuilder It’s just too hard on the joints to lift Kraemer, W.J., et
in the IFPA and al. (2002). Ameri-
NGA. His Web site heavy every day for years on end. You can College of
is www.BioLayne need periods of reduced loads, but you Sports Medicine
.com. IM position stand. Pro-
don’t want to lose muscle during those gression models in
References periods. Occlusion training, with its resistance training
for healthy adults.
Abe, T., et al. unique hypertophic stimulus, may be the Med Sci Spts Exerc.
(2006). Muscle answer. 34:364-380.
Model: Greg Symers

size and strength McCall, G.E., et

are increased fol- al. (1999). Acute
lowing walk train- and chronic hor-
ing with restricted monal responses
venous blood to resistance train-
flow from the leg flow restriction during low-inten- ing designed to
muscle, Kaatsu-walk training. J Appl sity resistance exercise increases promote muscle hypertrophy. Can J
Physiol. 100:1460-1466. S6K1 phosphorylation and muscle App Physiol. 24:96-107.
Burgomaster, K.A., et al. (2003). protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol. McDonagh, M.J., and Davies, C.T.
Resistance training with vascular 103:903-910. (1984). Adaptive response of mam-
occlusion: Metabolic adaptations in Gosselink, K.L., et al. (1998). Skel- malian skeletal muscle to exercise
human muscle. Med Sci Spts Exerc. etal muscle afferent regulation of with high loads. Euro J Appl Phys
35:1203-1208. bioassayable growth hormone in the Occ Physiol. 52:139-155.
Fujita, S., et al. (2007). Blood rat pituitary. J Appl Physiol. 84:1425- Meyer, R.A. (2006). Does blood

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Model: Todd Smith

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Dynamic Tension: Was Charles Atlas Right?
Remember Charles Atlas? He sold muscle-building sive activation on the rings and floor exercises, as they
courses for years. His ads had a cartoon of a bully kick- don’t do any heavy progressive-resistance work. Inter-
ing sand in the face of a 97-pound weakling and steal- esting!)
ing his girl. The guy with the buggy-whip body orders Yes, heavy sets at normal speed produce the most
the Atlas course, buffs up, kicks the bully’s ass and wins force, and that activates the fastest-growing fast-twitch
back his babe. The method in the Atlas course was fibers toward the end of the set. In 3D Positions-of-
called Dynamic Tension—basically pitting one muscle Flexion training, you do your big, midrange exercises,
against another in a type of opposing muscle tug-of- like squats and bench presses, with heavy weights for
war. For example, you resist curling your right arm by around eight reps at normal speed. That stimulates
pressing against it with your left. What a hoax! We all force-activated fiber hypertrophy. You finish each
know you have to lift heavy weights to build muscle, bodypart with an isolated contracted-position exercise,
right? Not so fast, mass seekers. like leg extensions or cable crossovers. That’s where
Here’s what happened in a study that compared you get the occlusion—using lighter weight and slower
lighter, slower-rep training with heavy, normal-speed reps with continuous-tension isolation. The occlusive-
sets. Three groups used different styles of training on leg activated hypertrophy benefits both fast-twitch fibers
extensions: and the endurance components, like mitochondria and
capillaries—plus brings a rise in growth hormone.
1) Low intensity. 50 percent of one-rep max— If you do only one style of training—heavy, nor-
light—with slow movement and tonic force genera- mal-speed training or lighter, slower-speed occlusive
tion, taking three seconds each to raise and lower the sets—you can miss key anabolic stimulation. In other
weight, with a one-second pause at the top of each words, you won’t grow as fast as you could. That’s why
rep. No relaxing phase. it’s important to use both styles, as in this 3D HIT quad
routine adapted from the program in our e-book X-
2) High intensity. 80 percent of one-rep max—
traordinary Arms.
heavy—taking one second to raise the weight and
one second to lower it, with one second of relaxing Squats (midrange) 2 x 9-12
between reps. Conventional-style training. Sissy squats (stretch) 1 x 9-12
Leg extensions (contracted) 1-2 x 12-15*
3) Low intensity, normal speed. Same rep cadence
as for group 2. *Slower cadence: 2 seconds up, 3 seconds down.
If you keep the weight moving—that is, no rest at the
The workout consisted of three sets of eight reps, top or bottom—you get some occlusion on the first two
done three times a week for 12 weeks. Results: Signifi- exercises. The real occlusion, though, occurs on the last
cant muscle gains occurred in the first two groups, with exercise, when you use the slower speed—five seconds
no gains in group 3. per rep, which gives you about 60 seconds of tension
How on earth did the slow-rep light training in group time, as in the study.
1 build so much muscle? Answer: sustained muscle You also get special mass-building properties from
activation, or longer tension time. Notice that each of the stretch exercise—as shown in an animal study that
the light reps lasted for about seven seconds. That’s 56 produced a 300 percent mass increase after only one
seconds of continuous tension on the quads (7 seconds month of progressive-stretch overload—but that’s a
x 8 reps). That produces a high level of blood-flow oc- whole other anabolic can of worms.
clusion due to muscle oxygen deficit, which produces So was Atlas right? His Dynamic Tension system defi-
muscle growth—perhaps on a few different pathways nitely had merit, if the trainee kept tension on the target
from the standard heavy training road. muscle long enough. You could try it, although you’d
The authors suggest that the increased gains in size have to be very innovative for some muscle groups. A
and strength come from localized increase in hormone better way is to use isolation contracted-position exer-
signaling, which spurs the release of growth hormone cises, as illustrated above—longer tension time, maxi-
and insulinlike growth factor 1. Light, continuous-ten- mum muscle occlusion and burn. It hurts, but it works.
sion training also produces nitric oxide, which helps —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
muscle satellite cells proliferate. So restricting blood www.X-Rep.com
flow to the muscle releases more NO, which dilates
blood vessels in an attempt to overcome the decreased Tanimoto, M., and Ishii, N. (2006). Effects of low-
blood flow within the muscle, which activates GH re- intensity resistance exercise with slow movement and
lease. (In fact, we contend that most of the upper-body tonic force generation on muscular function in young
muscle development of gymnasts comes from occlu- men. J App Physiol. 100:1150-1157.

flow restriction enhance hypertro- 95:65-73. after low-intensity resistance exer-

phic signaling in skeletal muscle? J Takarada, Y., et al. (2000). Effects cise with vascular occlusion. J Appl
Appl Physiol. 100:1443-1444. of resistance exercise combined Physiol. 88:61-65.
Takano, H., et al. (2005). Hemo- with moderate vascular occlusion Takarada, Y., et al. (2002). Effects
dynamic and hormonal responses on muscular function in humans. J of resistance exercise combined
to a short-term low-intensity resis- Appl Physiol. 88:2097-2106. with vascular occlusion on muscle
tance exercise with the reduction of Takarada, Y., et al. (2000). Rapid function in athletes. Euro J Appl
muscle blood flow. Euro J Appl Phys. increase in plasma growth hormone Phys. 86:308-314. IM

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Chest Development
V S .
Shoulder Injury
by Jerry Brainum Photography by Michael Neveux

he bench press can be portion of the chest. That means
done with a barbell, a what most bodybuilders are training
pair of dumbbells or on a when they do incline presses is the
machine. It’s considered clavicular portion of the pectoralis
a basic exercise because it works major.
important muscles in the chest, Heavy barbell bench presses are
such as the pectorals, as well as the more associated with injury than
shoulders and triceps. Nearly all incline and decline presses. There
bodybuilding champions do some are, however, exceptions to that
form of bench pressing at some rule. I injured my shoulder joint a
point in their careers. couple of times doing either barbell
You can do bench presses in a or dumbbell incline presses. When
flat, incline or decline position. I did incline presses, I lowered the
The idea is that using varied angles weight to my neck, which places a
focuses the exercise stress on differ- disproportionate amount of stress
ent parts of the pecs. So flat-bench on the shoulder joints. Eventu-
presses target the central, meaty ally, that leads to a tear in the joint
area of the pecs; incline presses that manifests as shoulder pain.
focus on the upper portion of the Because of the injuries, I’ve had to
pecs; and decline presses work the avoid both barbell and dumbbell
lower part of the pecs. incline presses for the past seven
Bodybuilders generally find that years, substituting machine incline
the most difficult portion of the presses. I’ve found that using the
pec to build is the upper part, often machine produces no shoulder
called the pectoralis minor, though strain whatever, although I didn’t get
it isn’t anatomically correct to use the strength and added mass that I
that term to refer to the upper chest. would have gotten from using free
Anatomists say that the pectorals weights.
are actually just one muscle and While the flat-bench press is still
that the pec minor is merely a strip popular, many bodybuilding cham-
of muscle in the upper clavicular pions have opted to do other ver-

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Bench Pressing
sions of the exercise. Some eschew that using dumbbells increases the pressing. While doing a prestretch
any type of flat or decline work, range of motion, thus working more is a good idea for most exercises
preferring to train only the upper muscle fibers and building more because it lines up muscle fibers
portion of the pecs by doing incline complete pectoral development. and adds an elastic pushing com-
work exclusively. Others favor the There are problems, however, ponent, that isn’t the case with the
dumbbell flat-bench press, figuring with the stretch hypothesis of bench pectorals. Because of the way the
shoulder joint aligns with the pecs,
excess stretch places a high degree
Correct of strain on shoulder joints. In-
deed, numerous studies show that
most pectoral tears occur during
the lowering, or eccentric, phase
of the rep, since that places a high
degree of tension on the pectoral-
shoulder attachment and may lead
to a tear.
Some kinesiologists—experts on
body movement related to muscle
function—suggest that you should

Some kinesiologists suggest that

you should avoid all stretching
during any type of flye or lateral
exercise for chest, as well as any
type of press.


Model: Derik Farnsworth

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Bench Pressing
avoid all stretching during any type a function of heredity, or muscle exercise scientists consider incline
of flye or lateral exercise for chest, as attachments, than how you perform presses and flyes useless, ineffec-
well as any type of press. They rec- an exercise. Using a wide grip on tive and dangerous because they
ommend lowering the weight only bench presses doesn’t target the impose greater stress on the shoul-
about halfway when doing bench outer pecs but does strain the shoul- der joints without offering much
presses, and stopping a flye as soon der joints. Using a closer grip, one pectoral development. The problem
as you feel a stretch in the pectorals. of slightly less than shoulder width, with such assertions is that they’re
[Editor’s note: On the other hand, decreases pectoral stimulation by often voiced by people who don’t lift
many research studies suggest less than 5 percent over using a wide weights but who scrutinize anatomy
stretching and stretch overload in- grip, but it also relieves shoulder and neural connections to muscle.
crease hypertrophy and may initiate stress. Using a close grip is even less Anyone who lifts weights rec-
hyperplasia, or fiber splitting.] stressful on the shoulders, although
Another common misconception it tends to shift the exercise focus to
involves grip width. Bodybuilding the triceps.
dogma dictates that using a wide As for incline presses, research
grip during bench presses stresses shows that doing that variation of Using a close
the “outer portion” of the pectorals,
producing a wider-appearing, more
the bench press doesn’t target what
bodybuilders call upper pecs, but it
grip is even
aesthetically pleasing pec. Most does reduce activation of the sternal less stressful on
elite bodybuilders do have that type
of pec development, but it’s more
portion, or “pec major.” In fact, you
may be surprised to learn that most
the shoulders,
although it tends
to shift the
exercise focus to
the triceps.

Model: Alex Azarian

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Bench Pressing

Nearly all bodybuilding champions do some form

of bench pressing at some point in their careers.

ognizes that there’s a vast dif- prise many of you about chest
ference between flat-bench training. If you like to finish off
and incline presses. When I do your chest routines with a
inclines, I feel the muscle pump pulley crossover exercise, you
entirely in my upper chest, yet should know that it doesn’t
according to the academ- work the “inner pec” mus-
ics, I’m actually training cles; it works the entire
my central pecs. Those are pec muscle.
the same guys who You’re just
say that bumble- bunching
bees can’t possibly up the muscle
fly because their wings when you do
violate the laws of aero- it. Also,
dynamics—explain crossing
that to the nearest bee your hands at the end of
buzzing merrily around each rep adds absolutely
your head and see how far nothing to pectoral de-
you get. velop- ment. (I cross my hands
Still, it makes sense not to over anyway.)
overstretch when doing any The late Reg Park, the great
type of dumbbell press or flye three-time Mr. Universe and idol of
for chest. Contrary to popular Arnold Schwarzenegger, stopped
belief, overstretching won’t in- doing bench presses and even pec-
crease muscle development but toral work shortly after his last Mr.
can result in injury and set you Universe victory in 1965. Reg was
back considerably. That’s the well known for his flaring pectoral
voice of experience talking here. development and deep rib cage, but
Other things to watch out for he felt that with age gravity would
The late Reg Park stopped include not bouncing the bar off take a toll and that massive pecs
doing bench presses and your chest, which can fracture would eventually devolve into sag-
your sternum. Don’t even think ging sacs. Similarly, women who
even pectoral work shortly of doing a heavy bench press have large breasts with age, due to
after his last Mr. Universe without a spotter. Most home- devolution of Cooper’s ligament,
gym deaths result from someone which is responsible for breast lift.
victory in 1965. being choked by a barbell while Women who opt for disproportion-
doing heavy bench presses alone. ately large breast implants should
One other thing might sur- take heed. IM

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A Bodybuilder

Is Born
Episode 33—Weakness
Is in the Mind
By Ron Harris Photography by Michael Neveux

oth Randy and I were six 5’3”, he belonged on the NBA courts Randy said, glumly hitting a side-
weeks out from the New with LeBron and Kobe. I suppose he chest pose in the gym’s mirror and
England Bodybuilding could have too—as the leprechaun shaking his head in disgust. It was
Championships. As if he mascot for the Boston Celtics. Just back day, and we were starting out
wasn’t discouraged enough about jokes, Lee, just jokes! with parallel-grip chins. I jumped
his chances, I was leaning toward So anyway, dropping down to up first and knocked out 12. My
dropping down into the light heavy- 198 1/4 to make lighty heavy wasn’t weight was around 215. Randy was
weights, the same weight class he going to be too difficult for me. I down to 195. He grimly got his grip
would be in. Though I’ve technically used to note sarcastically that as on the bar and pulled himself up
been competing as a heavyweight a heavyweight, I was never more eight times, struggling on the last
for the past three years, a more fit- than a couple of missed meals and a one. I scowled, knowing he was
ting class for me would be known healthy bowel movement away from punking out, and went to the front
as “barely heavyweight.” In contest light heavy. Of course, that didn’t desk to ask for the leather belt with
condition, I’d weighed in at various sit well with Randy. Now I was one the chains on either end that en-
times between 201 and 203 pounds more person he couldn’t beat, as far ables you to add weight for chins
when the limit for the class was all as he was concerned. or dips. Why must it be kept back
the way up to 225. “Kid, if you’re worried about me, there? Apparently, the gym owner
That meant that usually I was one you really have problems,” I said. is concerned that some guys would
of the smaller guys in my class. The “There’s one guy in our class I know love to steal it and hang objects
only guys who ever made me look of who already won his class at the from their waists and do weighted
huge were the ones who probably Junior Nationals a couple years ago chins at the local park from the
should have been basketball play- and is using our show as a warm- monkey bars. Or perhaps that it
ers but got it in their heads—heads up to qualify for the Nationals. He’s would make a dandy accessory to
perched atop tall bodies with gangly only 5’4” and a light heavyweight, an S&M outfit.
limbs—that they’d make good body- for Pete’s sake—a freaking fire hy- “What are you doing?” Randy
builders. Either that or they tried drant. You have to stop losing sleep asked as I returned, swinging the
Model: Jonathan Lawson

basketball and sucked at it. Point is, over who else is going to be in the belt as if I were a Hell’s Angel about
building a thickly muscled physique show. There will be some very good to jump into a rumble.
is a losing battle for very tall men, competitors, but you just worry “We’re adding weight, silly. What
just as Lee Priest would have been about you.” does it look like?” I fetched a 25-
foolish to think that at a very stocky “I’m worried. I can’t help it,” pound plate and leaned it against

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

Contest prep
should still
involve taxing
the muscles
with heavy
to maintain
muscle mass.

Model: Steve Kummer

Art Atwood
gets stronger
as a contest
the base of the cable crossover/chin easy way out while approaches.
station, then threw the belt at his preparing for two
feet with a jingle of steel. shows. I switched
Randy looked aghast. “Are you from a solid mix of
serious? Dude, I’m dieting!” free weights and
Oh, boy, I thought. Here we go. machines to using
Nearly all bodybuilders think that mostly machines and
as they diet down for a contest and cables. Even then
lose bodyfat, they’re bound to lose I wasn’t training as
strength. The logic is that with the heavy as I could have.
increase in cardio and decrease in I also killed myself
complex carbs and overall calories, with up to an hour
there simply isn’t enough fuel to and a half of very in-
Roland Balik

move the same weights you do in tense interval cardio

the off-season. every day in the final
Not that there isn’t something to six or seven weeks.
that, but I look at it differently. If The result was that at the second stipated and producing roughly a
you’re dieting correctly and taking show I weighed in at 197 pounds. metric ton of methane gas each. I
in just the right amount of protein, I nearly fainted at the weigh-ins looked like crap at the show and
carbohydrate and fat, you should because I hadn’t been under 200 failed to make the top five for the
be able to maintain your muscle pounds in eight years. Or maybe I first time in 10 years. (I tell people
mass—assuming you keep training nearly fainted from the stench of that it wasn’t me that year, just a
heavy. Training lighter is a mistake all the Pro Tan and farts around me skinny look-alike out to sully my
I’ve made in the past with disastrous from my fellow bodybuilders—all good name.)
results. In the spring of ’03 I took the of whom were fully carbed up, con- Back to my new theory, formed

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A Bodybuilder Is Born

In his DVD “The

haven’t noticed, I’ve been
Unbelievable,” Ronnie
Coleman is five weeks out getting stronger on a lot
from the Mr. Olympia, of things.”
and he’s still using some “I guess. I mean we
ridiculously heavy weights. haven’t been able to train
together too often.”
“Take my word for it.
Pullups are something
you should always get
better at when you drop
some pounds of bodyfat.”
With that, I strapped on
the 25 I’d meant for him
to use and knocked out
another 12 reps. I slid
the belt off my hips and
pointed to it.
“You’re up. I want to
see at least eight reps.”
Randy looked at me as
if I was crazy, but then
he paused. Something
seemed to click in his
head. I saw his face
change in an instant, and
I knew that he got it. A
determined grimace re-
placed the hapless pout,
and he strapped himself
onto the handles, then
kicked away the milk car-
ton we used to stand on.
“Light weight!” he
shouted, and several
nearby members turned
Model: Ronnie Coleman

in curiosity. That was

Ronnie Coleman’s catch-
phrase that he used to
motivate himself before
each set. Randy got seven
in the wake of that shameful loss front squats and 200-pound dumb- reps and got stuck half-
of enough muscle to feed a fam- bell flat-bench and incline presses. way up on the eighth. He struggled,
ily of four for a week. If you can Ronnie obviously doesn’t drop his face turning crimson, until at last
indeed maintain your muscle mass heavy basic free-weight exercises his back and biceps completely gave
while dieting, you should be able and switch to machines and cables out and he dropped down from the
to handle the same weights as in for higher reps when it’s time to get bar. The difference in effort from
the off-season, or at least close to ripped and compete. As a result he’s his first to second set was like night
it. Think about it: Bodyfat doesn’t in a league of his own. and day, and it had all been a simple
make you stronger, so why would With all that in mind, I turned to matter of the way he thought about
losing it make you any weaker? IFBB Randy. “You’ve dropped more than precontest training.
pro Art Atwood told me he actually 15 pounds of fat from your body, “Not bad at all, kid, not bad at
gets stronger when he diets because correct?” all,” I said, clapping him on the
he’s so much more focused on his “Yeah, so?” back. “You keep that up, and not
training. “So why are you doing worse on only will you not lose any muscle,
Think about Ronnie Coleman pullups, ya knucklehead? You have but you may even gain a pound or
too. In his famous training video less weight to pull up!” two over the next six weeks.”
“The Unbelievable,” he’s five weeks “This diet is just kicking my ass— “You think, really?” he asked, still
out from the ’01 Mr. Olympia and and the cardio.” trying to catch his breath.
dieted down, in very close to con- “Wah, wah, wah!” I jeered. “Some- “Absolutely.” I went and grabbed
test condition, yet moves some body call a wambulance! It’s all in a 45 for my next set. “Now I have to
ridiculous weights. He does an your head. You think you should be make sure you don’t get bigger than
800-pound deadlift, 600-pound getting weaker, so you are. If you me!” IM

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Build Monster
And Etched Upper-
Back Mass and Detail
by Greg Zulak • Photography by Michael Neveux

ave you ever noticed that back muscularity and detail, must
most bodybuilders limit give their traps an equal share of
their back training prin- work—about as much as the lats.
cipally to lat exercises? Only then will their backs take on
While many train their lats with that appealing thickness and rugged
intensity, doing any kind of training appearance.
for the traps—the second largest Some people avoid trap work
muscle group of the upper body—is because they believe it will take
often an afterthought. Once they’ve away from shoulder width. For most
completed all their chins, pulldowns people that’s sheer nonsense. Sergio
and various rowing exercises, they Oliva, Lee Haney, Serge Nubret, Flex
throw in a few sets of shrugs or up- Wheeler and Ronnie Coleman all
right rows and figure the traps have stepped onstage with huge traps,
had enough. You can put that type and yet they appeared tremen-
of training in the category of wishful dously wide and V-tapered. The only
thinking. people who have to be concerned
If you look at the trap and upper- about overdeveloping their traps
back development of any Mr. Olym- are those who have short necks and
pia competitor, you can be assured narrow clavicles. Someone who pos-
that it took more than a few sets of sesses a short neck with huge traps
shrugs to get those massive traps. can take on a no-neck appearance
The traps are an unusual muscle and look “hunchy.” Most women
group in that they can be seen from won’t want to overdevelop their
any position—front, side or back. traps because it would detract from
Trap development gives the whole a feminine shape.
back a distinctive muscle density. Bodybuilders tend to think of
Bodybuilders who don’t train their traps and trap development in
Model: Daniele Seccarrecci

traps hard often look thin from terms of the upper traps, the part
the side and unbalanced when of the trapezius that slopes into the
viewed from the rear. Let’s face it, shoulders from the neck. The tops
bodybuilders who wish to develop of the traps are certainly important,
complete backs and, especially, especially if you want to look good
large, rugged traps and thick upper- in a most- (continued on page 152)
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Neck Presses


(continued from page 149) muscular pinch your scapulae, or shoulder So how do you work your traps
pose, but they aren’t the full story. blades, together at the top of the with behind-the-neck presses? I’ll
For back thickness and density it’s rep. If you move the ’bells smoothly let John tell you in his own words:
important to develop the middle just to deltoid height, the rear delts “The most effective way is to drop
and lower traps too. While the tops get the bulk of the work. By moving your shoulders and flex your lats
respond well to movements such the bells higher and consciously as you press the weight upward.
as shrugs, it takes other exercises pinching the scapulae together at Straighten your elbows, and, as you

Model: Jay Cutler

to work the total group, from top the top, you work the rhomboids. lock out, press your hips forward
to bottom. It’s also vital to develop while tightening your abs. Then
the rhomboids, both major and Seated behind- push the weight back slightly with-
minor, along with the traps. Many out arching your back.”
bodybuilders are not aware that the the-neck presses What you do not want to do—but
rhomboids lie beneath the traps, what is commonly done by the
as does the infraspinatus, and de- Muscle-building guru John Par- average trainee—is to arch your
veloping them gives thickness and rillo says that this is one of the best back excessively as the bar goes
density to the traps and upper back. exercises for developing the lower up. Arching, or bending backward,
traps. Most people tend to think enables you to maneuver heavy
of the behind-the-neck press as a weights overhead but leads to poor
Recipe for deltoid exercise, but done the way shoulder flexibility and lets the arms
Parrillo has his pupils do it, it devel- and lower back do most of the work,
Monster Traps ops the lower traps too. Says Parrillo, instead of the deltoids and traps.
“Many bodybuilders have shallow
Dumbbell bent- backs because they haven’t built Power cleans
their lower trapezius, which sup-
over laterals ports the musculature of the back.
Perform behind-the-neck presses
For overall trap development and
for thickening the upper back and
This is the best exercise for de- correctly, and you’ll get bigger traps bringing out cuts and detail, the
veloping the rhomboids when you and a larger back overall.” power clean (continued on page 156)

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John Parrillo says,
“The most effective
way to perform
presses is to drop
your shoulders and
flex your lats as you
press the weight

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(continued from page 152) clean also works the spinal erectors,
is unbeatable. Albert pumps the biceps and forearms,
Beckles had one of the develops balance and coordination
most muscular backs and, as the name implies, power.
of all time, and one of It also gets you huffing and puffing
his secret exercises was like a steam engine to give you an
the power clean. He aerobic effect.
almost always included You must take some precau-
it in his routine. I’m tions, though, when doing power
surprised that more cleans. Because you are cleaning
bodybuilders don’t use the weight—throwing the weight
this great trap move- up quickly—you place tremendous
ment. Besides giving stress on connective tissues. It’s
the traps a terrific important to warm up properly.
workout and adding Begin with a light weight, and
slabs of muscle to the do an easy 20 repetitions on your
upper back, the power first set. I also recommend one light
set of reverse curls for
15 to 20 repetitions.
START That will heat up the
FINISH tendons and ligaments
and get some blood
flowing to lubricate
the joints. An easy set
of hyperextensions
to warm up the lower
back would be prudent
If you’ve never done
power cleans before,
try to find an advanced
lifter at your gym to
show you how. I’ll de-
scribe briefly how to
do them for those who
train at home or who
don’t have access to an
advanced lifter.
Get into position as
if you were about to
do a deadlift. The bar
is on the floor, your
knees are bent, your
back is flat, and you
have a slightly wider-
grip on the bar. Pull
the weight off the floor,
and just as it gets to
about knee height, sud-
denly “snap” or clean
the weight upward,
catching it at shoulder
height. It is vital that,
as you snap the bar up
with your arms, you
shrug strongly with
your traps and upper
Power Cleans
Model: Greg Blout

back. Then, when you

lower the weight, do it
with control. Pause and
lower the bar to midcalf

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height—where bar and aim for eight repetitions.
START you’re at what’s For the third set add more weight
called a dead- and go for six reps. Add more weight
hang—and to the bar so you’ll have a real strug-
then clean the gle getting five to six reps on the
weight again. fourth set. Add more weight to the
The power clean bar and try to get four reps for your
is not the type final set.
done by Olym- Believe me, after a few weeks of
pic weightlift- hard work on power cleans, your
ers as they do entire back will be thicker and more
their clean and muscular. You’ll kick yourself for not
jerks. There is having added this great exercise to
no diving under your routine months or years ago.
the weight. The
knees bend a Barbell upright
little, but that’s
about it. rows
The power
clean is not a These have long been considered
high-repetition a good deltoid-and-trapezius exer-
exercise—sets cise and good for tying in the delts
of four to eight and the traps, but many people
reps work best. seem unaware that you can place
After complet- more emphasis on the delts and less
ing one light on the traps, or more on the traps
warmup set and less on the delts. To work the

Model: D.J. Green

of 20 repeti- deltoids primarily, use a medium-
tions, add some heavy weight and move the bar up-
weight to the and-down in a smooth, pistonlike

To work the traps, take a narrower

FINISH grip—say six to eight inches—and use a
heavier weight that forces you to heave
the bar to get it to chin height and to
shrug hard with the traps.

Upright Rows
158 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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motion, with no heaving the weight damn good trap-and-upper-back
or shrugging the shoulders. Keep routine. But I have a couple of other
your shoulders down and back and exercises that will turn a pretty
use a 12-to-15-inch-wide grip. Keep damn good trap-and-upper-back
the bar in constant motion—there routine into a great trap-and-upper-
should be no deliberate pauses at back routine.
the top or bottom—and take it just
to shoulder height, not to the chin Power upright
or nose. You just row nonstop until
muscular fatigue forces you to stop. rows
Because you don’t shrug your shoul-
ders, trap involvement is minimal. I particularly like this exercise
To work the traps when doing because it works both the upper and
barbell upright rows, take a narrow- lower traps. Here’s how to do it:
er grip—say six to eight inches—and Pick a fairly heavy weight, one
use a heavier weight that forces you that limits you to five or six repeti-
to heave the bar to get it to chin tions of the barbell upright row as
height and to shrug hard with the described above. Do as many reps
trapezius. Lean forward at the start as you can. When you fail—and by
of each rep and shrug hard with the fail I mean when you can no longer
shoulders as you heave-row the bar get the bar to chin height no mat-
to your chin. Really get your back ter how much you cheat, heave and
into the movement. Keep your rep- shrug with your traps and shoul-
etitions in the six-to-10 range, say, ders—lower the bar to the floor with
10, 8, 6, 5-6. control, as if you were doing a stiff-
legged deadlift. Then, using speed
and momentum, lift the bar from
Exercises to the floor all the way up to your chin.
You can even bounce the bar off
Kick It Up a the floor a little bit. Basically, you’re
using the speed and momentum to
Notch help you drive the bar past the stick-
ing point until it gets to chin height.
I could stop there—tell you to do Lower with control again, and then
the power cleans and the upright explode up from the floor to chin
rows, followed by several sets of height again. Keep going until you
shrugs—and you’d have a pretty hit failure again—that is, you cannot


888.519.9300 SANN.NET
Int: 805.988.0640

With power uprights you’re using the speed and

momentum to help you drive the bar past the
sticking point until it gets to chin height.
www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 159
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Model: Jay Cutler

drive the bar to your chin even with and the bottom of the traps. If you with dumbbells or on a bench press
the help of speed and momentum. do them after you’ve already done station of a Universal Gym unit. You
I find that I can usually do double the power cleans, your traps will get do them while holding the weight
the reps of what I used for the up- a really heavy blast. in front of your body, to the sides
right rows. If I did six reps of cheat- of it or behind it. You can do them
ing upright rows, I can do another Shrugs with an overhand or underhand
six reps of power upright rows— Without a doubt the favorite trap grip (a Lee Labrada favorite, which
sometimes even more than double. exercise of most bodybuilders is the he claims works the lower trapezius
Power upright rows are a fantastic shrug. There are many variations: effectively). You can do them while
trap exercise that works both the top You can do shrugs with a barbell, standing or sitting. You can do them

160 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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in a bent-over position, with your times you have to go heavy and the IN ENHANCED NUTRIENT DELIVERY*
torso parallel to the floor, or with hell with strict form.
your body at a 45 degree angle. Here’s a good trapezius routine to VASOFLOW IS SCIENTIFICALLY
No matter which style of shrug- follow: PROVEN TO RADICALLY ELEVATE BLOOD
ging you do, there are a few basic HORMONES AND INSULIN*
rules to follow. Try to keep your Power clean (warmup) 1 x 10-12
*These statements have not been evaluated by the
arms straight and shrug your traps 1 x 8, 6, 5-6, 4 FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat,
as high as possible (imagine them Bent-over laterals cure or prevent any disease.
touching your ears). Since the range (pinch scapulae
of motion is fairly short to begin at top) 3 x 8-10, 6-8, 6
with, you need to shrug as fully as Superset
you can. The one exception to that Barbell upright rows to
might be when you are handling power upright rows
extremely heavy weights in the
power rack. If you can shrug 400 to Shrugs
3 x 6-8, 5-6, 4-6
3 x 10
888.519.9300 SANN.NET
600 pounds or more using straps to Int: 888.519.9300
reinforce your grip if necessary, then
despite the shortened range of mo- Trap pulldowns AVAILABLE AT THIS AND
tion, you will still work your traps
quite intensely—not to mention One final exercise I’d like to share
your hands and your grip. Some- with you is what I call the “trap”

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 161

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pulldown. It brings out upper-back
START detail and muscularity like crazy
and also carves out separation and
increases density and muscularity.
I discovered this exercise almost
by accident. The trap pulldown
is a cheating behind-the-neck lat
pulldown taken to its logical con-
clusion. Most people tend to think
of behind-the-neck pulldowns as
a good lat exercise, but the way
they perform it, they actually work
their traps more than their lats.
Because they use weights that are
too heavy for proper form, as they
pull the bar to their neck, they
hunch over and lean forward, chin
pinched to their chest, turning
behind-the-neck pulldowns into a
move that actually works the traps
and upper back more than the lats.
When working lats, it’s vital to keep
your torso vertical throughout the
movement and to pull your elbows
down and back. You can’t use as


Pinch your
Bent-Over scapulae
Lateral together at
Raises the top of
each rep.
Model: Steve Kummer

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A trap
pulldown is a
neck pulldown
with a distinct
forward lean.

much weight that way, but at least not only the traps and upper back
then you’re working your lats. but also the rear delts and the bi- DELIVERING VITAL
One day in the gym I was fooling ceps and triceps to some degree. MACRONUTRIENTS
around, trying to find a good finish- When you’re doing trap pulldowns
ing movement for the traps using and you’ve pulled the bar to your Replenish glycogen at
the lat machine. That’s when I hit traps, do a rear double-biceps pose lightning fast speed.*
upon the trap pulldown. I thought, for a count of three or four, then
“If leaning forward takes the work relax and return to the starting posi-
Deliver BCAA’s at an
away from the lats and increases the tion. Believe me, you’ll notice an im- unsurpassed rate.*
traps’ involvement, why not lean provement in your upper-back and Ideal for strength and
forward as much as you want and trapezius development. endurance sthletes.
do trap pulldowns?” To ratchet up the intensity, do a
The trap pulldown is all about triple-drop set on your last set of Unparalleled during
contraction and squeezing your trap pulldowns. You can also sub- carb-up right before
traps and upper back. The range stitute trap pulldowns for the bent- contest.*
of motion is relatively short. Here’s over laterals in the above routine
how to do it: and, man, will your traps ever burn. *These statements have not been evaluated by
Kneel on the seat support of a If your goal is to work your traps, the FDA. This product is not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
lat machine or brace your knees go ahead and use as much weight as
against it, feet on the floor and you want, and don’t worry about re-
balancing on your toes. Bend over maining vertical. Hunch forward all
until your traps and upper back are you want so the brunt of the work
almost parallel to the floor. Pull the goes to the traps. Just pull the bar
bar straight down until it touches down to the base of your neck while
the traps-and-upper-back area.
Pause and squeeze with all your
squeezing and tensing your traps
and upper back.
888.519.9300 SANN.NET
might for a count of three. Allow the Give these exercises a try, and in Int: 805.988.0640
bar to return to the starting position six weeks you’ll realize greatly im-
and repeat for several sets of six to proved trap size, muscularity and AVAILABLE AT THIS AND
10 repetitions. detail, as well as upper-back defini-
All that tensing and squeezing tion and separation. IM
will bring out the cuts and separate

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 163

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Dan Decker’s Techniques
for Sky-High Peaks
by Cory Crow • Photography by Michael Neveux

ou don’t want to be that what goes into building the perfect be that guy in the T-shirt at the mall.
guy. You know who I pair of biceps. Some adhere to the Biceps are funny muscles, and a
mean: the guy walking hard-and-heavy principle, where lot of people don’t do them justice
around the mall wear- low reps and high weights are the when they work out. “Most trainers
ing the “Welcome to the Gun Show” norm. Still others will tell you that tend to neglect the outer head and
T-shirt who’s got popguns barely high volume is the key, the object brachialis when they work biceps.”
stretching the sleeves? That’s right— being to engorge the muscle with That was one of the first things
that guy. blood to ensure growth. Who’s right? Dan mentioned. The biceps brachii
My guess is, if you’ve spent the Well, they both are. That’s because actually consists of two heads: the
money to buy this magazine and are everyone’s body works differently shorter inner head and the longer
taking the time to read this article, and responds to different stimuli. outer head, with the outer head pro-
you already know what good biceps How do you know what’s the right viding the most mass in the muscle
development looks like. You know method for you? The answer lies in group. Underneath the biceps is the
that spindly arms in a “Gun Show” trial and error. Come on now, you brachialis, which is visible on the
T-shirt aren’t going to get the job didn’t expect this to be easy, did side of the arm between the triceps
done (unless ridicule is your goal). you? and biceps—if you’re lean and the
You also know that soft, fluffy biceps muscle is developed. When training
aren’t going to pass muster either. Biceps Anatomy biceps, you want to make sure that
You’re here because you want to you fully exhaust every muscle in
expend the effort to build dense, Whenever I want to learn about the group, not favoring one section
full biceps resembling softballs training a bodypart, I seek out over the other, to ensure full devel-
under the skin, right? To do that someone who’s known for having opment.
you’re going to need a plan, and exceptional development in that
chances are that plan will involve area. For biceps I tracked down Dan The Full-Blown Workout
doing curls. No, not the Olympic Decker, a top national-level NPC
competition with the big stone and bodybuilder. Dan is known as much The keys to any biceps routine
the brooms. I’m talking curling for his aesthetic physique as he is are form and range of motion. Poor
weights—dumbbells, barbells you for having well-developed arms. I form on curls can lead to shoulder
name it. thought he’d be the perfect candi- and elbow injuries, and a poor range
Outside of curling, however, date to dispense some biceps-train- of motion can lead to decreased
there’s very little consensus as to ing knowledge that can help you not movement (continued on page 175)

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www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 171
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Decker’s Bodypart Split
Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Arms
Saturday: Legs
Sunday: Off

Note: When he’s on a contest

diet, Dan performs cardio
every morning on an elliptical
machine for 33 minutes. He
does limited cardio in the off-
season. —C.C.

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(continued from
page 170)
in the arm.
If you’re
to train at
Gold’s Gym
in Venice,
or the Fitness
Factory in
Costa Mesa on
a Friday, you’ll see
Dan doing his arm
workout—and you’ll see
firsthand what good form is
all about.
Dan’s biceps workout is typically
coupled with his triceps workout,
but he took the time to break out
the specific biceps movements so
we’d get the full-blown info regard-
ing his development.
Incline hammer curls. This
is Dan’s favorite starting move-
ment, and he very rarely removes it
from the leadoff spot in his biceps
batting order. Remember the bra-
chialis? Incline hammer curls spe-
cifically target that muscle and the
outer head of the biceps.
Dan’s standard plan is to start
off with a manageable weight. For
him that usually means 50-pound
dumbbells for a warmup and then
70-to-80-pounders for three to four
work sets of eight to 10.
“Don’t rush it,” he warned. “You
want to take your time and focus
on having the target muscle move
the weight—don’t throw the weight
Don’t get too weight happy when
it comes to working biceps either.
If he had to choose between good
form and pushing around more
weight, Dan would choose the
former every time. Big weights may
seem cool at the time, but there’s
nothing cool about shoulder sur-
gery or having an injury that keeps
you out of the gym for weeks or
Standing barbell curls. If ever
there was a “basic” exercise for
a bodypart, the standing barbell
curl is it for biceps. Odds are you
can walk into any gym in the land
at any time and see at least one
person performing barbell curls.
The bottom (continued on page 180)

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(continued from page 175) line is, they Dan a lot of flexibility, which, again, this movement, starting out with
work. The standing barbell curl is a lets him put equal stress on every a 10-pound plate on each end of a
mass builder for biceps that has no part of the target muscle. 45-pound bar. Then he adds five to
equal, and using the barbell gives Dan uses a pyramid approach on 10 pounds (continued on page 185)

He goes a little on the

lighter side for three
sets of 15, which
engorges the muscle
with blood and
increases the fiber

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Incline hammer curls or (continued from page 180) per set for nique, Dan warned again about
standard hammers hit the around 10 reps each. Dan will do never sacrificing form for weight.
brachialis muscles that snake three to four sets total, and he var- He also advised that it’s essential to
ies his grip width on each set, which have a spotter, if at all possible, on
under the biceps. Developing
changes the force point of the lift. this movement.
them gives the biceps new That way he involves the entire “One final tip,” he said, “is to keep
dimensions. muscle group equally. your wrists cocked back to really
In discussing his curling tech- focus on the biceps and to keep the
forearms disen-
Decker’s Full-Blown Biceps Attack Reverse
Incline hammer curls (pyramid the poundage) 3-4 x 8 preacher
Standing barbell curls (pyramid the poundage) 4 x 10 curls. “A reverse
Reverse EZ-curl-bar preacher curls 4 x 8-10 [palms-down]
Standing cable curls 3 x 15 grip is a simple
Machine one-arm preacher curls 3 x 8-10 way to spread
the workload,”
Dan said about
this exercise. By
Running the Rack holding the bar with a reverse grip,
you increase the workload on the
Although this intensity brachialis. That also activates the
technique isn’t officially in his pronator muscle on the underside
workout, Dan recommends oc- of the forearm, a seldom worked
casionally using it as a finishing area that’s responsible for supina-
move in place of the machine tion. Because of the risk of injuring
preacher curls. He suggests using the shoulder with a reverse grip,
the fixed barbells that you find on Dan keeps things relatively simple,
a pyramid rack in the free-weight using the same grip width, a moder-
portion of most gyms, or you can ate weight and a consistent eight-
use fixed dumbbells. to-10-rep count.
Choose a weight that allows “I have to rest about three min-
you to complete 12 reps at or utes between sets because I’m get-
near failure. Perform the set, and ting close to, or hitting, failure on
then, taking no rest, move to the almost every rep,” he said. This is
next-lighter-weighted barbell and where having that spotter will pay
complete 12 reps. Continue mov- dividends as well.
ing to the next-lighter-weighted Standing cable curls. By
barbell until you complete 12 this point in his workout, Dan’s
reps with the lightest weight biceps are screaming for mercy.
available. After working to failure with heavy
This technique is called weights on the previous move-
“running the rack” or “going ments, Dan switches to more of a
down the rack” because it is concentration move: standing cable
typically done with dumbbells, curls. He goes a little on the lighter
in which case you’d be working side for three sets of 15, which en-
down the rack of dumbbells, gorges the muscle with blood and
choosing progressively lighter increases the fiber activation. Dan
weights. It’s not something that performs the reps at a moderate
you can do at every biceps work- speed, focusing on keeping his form
out because you could become on both the ascending and de-
overtrained. As an occasional scending halves of the movement.
growth shocker or plateau buster, Machine one-arm preacher
however, Dan finds it to be just curls. For his finishing move, Dan
the thing he needs. Just make likes to take advantage of a machine
sure that you have a spotter to as- and really isolate the inner head
sist you if you start hitting failure of the biceps by choosing a weight
so that you don’t drop and dam- that’s going to take him almost to
age the weights or hurt yourself. failure in eight to 10 reps. He does
—C.C. three sets at a moderate speed,
focusing on (continued on page 190)

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(continued from page 185) getting the him the opportunity to pursue an tice and see what happens.
full range of movement until he hits IFBB pro card. He also has excep- The bottom line is that if you
failure. tional genetics. work hard, you can have people
Does that mean you’ll never have gawking at your guns, even if your
The Gun Show good biceps? Not at all. You should genetics aren’t that great. Use Dan
take a look at Dan’s routine and as a role model: He’ll be at Gold’s,
Even if you follow this workout learn the basics of what he’s saying. Venice, almost every Friday getting
to a tee, I guarantee that you won’t Ultimately, your own work ethic— ready for the ’08 NPC Junior Na-
build biceps like Dan Decker’s. and your genetics—will determine tionals in June. The guy in the “Gun
Remember, Dan has chosen body- what size biceps you’ll have stretch- Show” T-shirt will probably be sit-
building as his career, so he lives a ing the sleeves of your T-shirt. You ting on his couch dreaming.
lifestyle that allows him to spend can try his program with fewer sets,
more time in the gym than someone or pick out a few key exercises and Editor’s note: To contact Dan
who works a nine-to-five job would. give them a go. Of course, if you’re Decker for training consultations,
His career as a personal trainer and experienced and have the time, you guest posings and sponsorships, go
fitness model is designed to afford can put his full program into prac- to www.DanDecker.net. IM

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204 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com
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The Path
Cover Man Extraordinaire
Greg Plitt Takes His
Talents to the Limit
by Rod Labbe • Photography by Michael Neveux

his just in: Greg Plitt rules GP: Yeah [laughs], I’ve had pretty
as America’s number-one decent luck with covers, knock on
male fitness model. Need wood.
convincing? Peruse any IM: And movies. And televi-
neighborhood bookstore, and you’ll sion. And commercials. And
Reg Park

undoubtedly spot Greg’s mug grin- photo spreads. REG PARK: A LEGE
ning out from any number of fitness GP: Ha. You’re descibing me like
2008 / IRON

and bodybuilding magazine covers. I’m a supermodel. I’m just a regular ™

“Aw, shucks” handsome, astound- guy who saw a window of opportu-


ingly ripped, emanating health and nity and jumped through it. Right
vitality, he epitomizes the ideal place at the right time. SIZE
young American dude, circa 2008. IM: Okay, let’s hear how a SIMPLIFIED

The Science of

Okay, that’s the public persona— regular guy scores the cover of Hyperspeed
but we tend to forget our pop cul- Muscle & Fitness on his very

ture heroes have histories, unique first try. H

experiences, opinions and feelings. GP: It went down like this: Mom’s •Who’s Using
Why, page 240
As you might imagine, Greg is a busy an interior designer, and when I •Life After ’Ro
page 298
lad, bouncing between photo ses- came back from Korea, she gave
sions like a pinball. He’s also moving me a voucher for a free stay at any 3D H.I.T.

aggressively into the acting field, Marriott hotel. My buddies and I Workout to
Up Your MARCH 2008
which requires time, dedication and were heading to D.C., and I thought, Mass $5.99

strict discipline—not to mention Hell, why not use her voucher? So, PLUS: r Hardbody)
Inside (She’s Ou


•See More of Her

nMag azine.

a thick hide. Squeezing me in took we find the closest Marriott—it’s Ret ro— Ful l-Page Pics of
www.I ronMa
Please displa y
until 3/4/0 8

•IRON MAN Pro tler, Priest, Wheeler, Wow!)

schedule juggling, but he and I were dumpy, a bad location, TV in the Every Winner (Cu 1/3/08 6:33:35

both determined. bar doesn’t work, all shabby and C1_Mar2008_F.

indd 1

run-down. I’m sitting with my bros,

IM: In one month alone, I catching up on stories, and there’s
counted five mags featuring a model and acting agency conven-
you as their cover boy. We’re tion going on in one of the banquet
talkin’ Cindy Crawford territory. rooms. An agent walks out and says
Crazy. to me, “You here for the conven-

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 205

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Greg Plitt
tion?” “No,” I answer,
“just knockin’ back a few
beers.” “No matter what kind
After more small talk,
he gives me his card and of sucky day I’ve had,
asks if I’d mind going the gym melts away
upstairs for a few pic-
tures. I’m like, uh, no tension.”
thanks. My buds had a
good laugh over it, but
I started wondering, Is
this guy legit? I’m the
kind who never likes to
ponder what-ifs; I’d rather
experience the truth of a
situation. I researched his
agency, and after things
checked out, I gave him a
call. Two weeks later I’m
in New York City doing a
test shoot.
IM: There’s that
window of opportu-
nity you were talking
GP: Exactly, though
I had no clue where it
would lead. The photog-
rapher was professional
and smart, and I en-
joyed having my picture
taken—a kind of wacky
experiment, nothing
IM: They do claim
the best things happen

GP: You want spontane- off the floor. A friend called and
ous? Get this—suddenly, I’m said, “Did you know you’re on this
on a plane, heading to L.A. for month’s Muscle & Fitness?” I didn’t—
a cover session with Muscle & and booked it to Barnes and Noble,
Fitness. I used to read the mags, pronto.
never dreaming I’d actually be IM: Anyone recognize you?
in one. Unreal. GP: At the counter, I’m trying to
IM: Think of the kids be nonchalant, keeping the maga-
you’ve inspired. zine facedown and all. The clerk
GP: A sobering thought. My flips it over, looks at me, and we
greatest reward is giving back laugh. And here’s the best part: He
some of what was given to me pulls cash from his own wallet and
way back when. pays for it himself.
IM: Even with the sub- IM: Way cool. And your fami-
sequent media overload, ly’s reaction?
you’ve remained blissfully GP: Mom told everyone she pos-
unaffected. sibly could, and the Gold’s I was
GP: My personality was set training at called Weider’s office for
a long time ago, and it’s not in permission to have an autograph
me to go around boasting. The session. Come and meet the cover
work should speak for itself. kid. I went along on one condition:
IM: The Muscle & Fitness They had to hook up my platoon
gig had to be a mind blower. buds with free memberships.
GP: Man, my feet were IM: Which Gold’s was it?

206 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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GP: In
a life-
eating and
GP: Seriously,
I will do it all my
life. No matter what
kind of sucky day I’ve
had, the gym melts away tension
like frost on a warm window pane.
It’s where I control my own destiny,
outcome and speed of progress.
After any bad day, I always find
solace in a good workout.
IM: You’re empowered be-
yond the physical.
GP: Big-time empowerment.
Exercise releases endorphins,
resulting in a sense of euphoria.
Seeing—but most of all feeling—
results is an astonishing emotional
buzz. The natural high of my mind
and body being in sync makes me
feel invincible.
IM: Generating a few bucks
from your gym exploits melts
that frost even faster.
GP: Weight training paved the
way to a career in fitness modeling,
an extra, unexpected benefit. Even
if that hadn’t happened, though, I’d
be maintaining a strict gym regi-
men. My original goal was to be fit
and strong and excel at sports, and
I still consider that an honorable
IM: How was your upbring-
GP: Both my sister and I have
been blessed with a wonderful
home life and two caring parents.
We were independent, competitive
and sports-oriented. My grand-
father went pro in baseball and
hockey. My dad almost got picked
up by the Mets. On their side the
firstborn had been a boy for 80
years. Ginnie, my sister, broke that
IM: Little Greg evened things
out 15 months later.
GP: Somebody had to do it.
[Laughs] I swear, I was born wear-
ing a cup. (continued on page 212)

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Greg Plitt
school I was a two-time All-Ameri-
can, second in the nation my senior
Greg Plitt’s Workout Philosophy year and a multiple state champ.
I’ve always been fitness-minded, even before I entered the world of Golf and football were also personal
modeling. For me, staying in shape’s not merely a way to pay the bills. It’s passions. I still toss the pigskin
a lifestyle. whenever I have a chance, and
“Ugh, sounds like too much work,” people say, but If you love some- nothing will ever drag me off the
thing as much as I love the gym, it isn’t work. driving range.
I train on a five-day split that covers my entire body. When the fifth day IM: Talk about your big sister,
is done, I begin again. I don’t schedule off days; they happen on their own Ginnie.
due to work or scheduling conflicts. Usually that occurs once a week. GP: Athletic and definitely more
Not a big deal, but when your foundation is based on the high you into schoolwork than me. Champi-
experience at the gym, a break in routine leaves you out of sync. Believe ons usually come in twos, and my
me, I feel those days! Not lifting is almost like a case of withdrawal. sister and I made a good competi-
I was asked to provide my “typical” workout. That’s pretty much im- tive pair growing up. Ginnie gradu-
possible. It can’t be broken down and presented simply—the reader won’t ated from the U.S. Naval Academy
learn much. It’s much like that aphorism: Give a man a fish, and he eats and is now in her fourth year of med
for a day; teach him how to fish and.… If you learn the philosophy of school.
shocking your system and changing your workouts, it’ll be like learning IM: Naval Academy? Interest-
how to fish: You’ll never go hungry in the gym again. ing choice.
A simple change from doing dumbbell presses instead of barbell GP: Dad suggested it. She’d been
presses is enough, or throw in a machine press. Switch around the order applying to all these distinguished
of your workout. With chest, instead of doing flat, incline and decline Ivy League institutions. With USNA,
presses, do flat presses, incline flyes, decline presses, dips, then incline if you qualify, it’s a free education.
presses and decline presses. Ginnie threw in an application,
The only consistent thing in my workout is gym time. I do things dif- went through the selection pro-
ferently every day. In order for your physique to grow, you must shock the cess—including a Congressional
muscles. When it’s guessing, your body’s forced to adapt. Move out of that appointment—and discovered a
comfort zone, dammit! brand-new way of life.
Go heavy one day, and the next time you hit that muscle group, go light IM: Your focus changed too.
with high reps. It’s easy, and the results will pour into your psyche. GP: At the high school wrestling
Don’t let your body become complacent. If it expects a certain workout nationals, a scout from West Point
and you give it something else, watch the fireworks! said I had potential and could likely
—Greg Plitt win a congressional appointment—
unless I preferred riding my sister’s
coattails. That pissed me off, but
I couldn’t come up with one good
(continued from page 207) reason why USNA was better than
Kids nowadays are glued to PlaySta- situps instead. Your choice.” Being West Point.
tion and Nintendo. I’d be outside the defiant child, I chose working I agonized over every consider-
till the sun went down, involved in out, and within weeks I was faster ation again and again. West Point
a game somewhere, and wouldn’t and stronger and had increased my would mean turning down several
even bother with schoolwork. That endurance tremendously. wrestling scholarships. In the final
proved problematic—especially IM: Dad didn’t mind that not- analysis, I did the right thing. West
during summer. so-subtle subversion? Point offered much more of what
IM: Why then, of all times? GP: Oh, he minded. We reached a I was seeking as a developing per-
GP: We always had a summer compromise, and I began focusing son. Plus, it would be mine, a new
reading list to prep us for the next on schoolwork—but the seed had path forged—without any family or
academic year. Sitting in class was been planted. I loved exercising. friends to fall back on. A major step.
bad enough, but when summer was IM: Academics weren’t chal- No “riding my sister’s coattails.”
calling? The last thing I wanted to do lenging enough? IM: After West Point, military
was crack a book. GM: I just wasn’t motivated. What service is required, correct?
IM: Did you eventually see the I needed was a way to find enjoy- GP: Education’s free, but you pay
light? ment in studying. Mr. Merrick, my by serving your country. I gradu-
GP: Not by myself. I had an in- fourth-grade teacher, turned me ated in 2000 a second lieutenant
tervention. One hot afternoon Dad around. He said, “Greg, why settle and spent the next five years going
grabbed me and asked, “How’s your for a C when you can get an A?” I around the world and back again.
reading going?” Duh, what read- understood his logic, and from then I also earned the rank of captain,
ing? I hadn’t been doing any. We on, I was a straight-A student. Airborne Ranger.
made a deal. He said, “Either you IM: As a lad, did you have a IM: Airborne Ranger? Sounds
read half an hour a day or swim 100 favorite sport? elite.
laps and do 100 pushups and 100 GM: Wrestling, bar none. In high GP: Becoming a Ranger is tough.

212 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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“The natural
high of my
mind and body
being in sync
makes me feel

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Greg Plitt

“Music, training
partners and the
right atmosphere are
excellent motivators,
but believing in
yourself is second to

It’s the Army’s equivalent of a Navy like the edginess involved. I’m prep- If my opponent beats me, fine—but
Seal. You attend U.S. Army Ranger ping with acting classes, improving I’ll never lose.
School and spend 70 grueling my craft and staying in top shape. IM: Are you a contented guy?
days in training. When I started, I IM: What if the phone doesn’t Satisfied with the status quo?
weighed 215 pounds, and I left the ring? GP: I’m rarely content. If I ever do
program a lean 163, shredded. GP: A real possibility, given the feel contentment, it’s a temporary
IM: Don’t you also have some- nature of show business. It’s like satisfaction. The first time I won the
thing like 800 jumps to your when I was wrestling. Before every state championships in wrestling, I
credit? meet, there’s fear inside. Maybe you was pumped. But it didn’t last. Same
GP: Try 850. I joined the skydiv- even question your own abilities or with modeling. You shoot a cover.
ing team at West Point and loved it. freak out a little. But guess what? It’s neat, and you’re already contem-
Its pool of applicants reaches 300 to People destroy themselves before plating that next big assignment.
400, and only 10 are chosen. I was entering the arena. Not me. Per- IM: It helps to have the look,
fortunate to break in as a freshman. spective is everything. whatever it might be.
IM: Fresh out of the military, You can slowly lose patience and GP: The look changes on a whim.
and your career is accelerat- drive and motivation or switch the Photographers don’t want someone
ing—modeling assignments, TV, mental channel. In the slow times to smile and pose like an empty-
film. Is there a science to all this I don’t freak. I plan and prepare. If headed mannequin. They appre-
madness? you’re going into a sketchy situation, ciate people who can contribute
GP: No, and that’s fine by me. I feel confident. Look sharp, be sharp. intellectually.

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GP: Bottom line: Anything com-
ing quickly will leave quickly. Work-
ing out changes your body, and with
steroids an outside element aids in
that transformation. Training clean
is always better. Wake up at five in
the morning, run, go to the gym.
Discipline yourself. The results will
be permanent, not fleeting.
IM: You’ve never tried a short-
GP: Listen, when I was a kid, I
wanted to leave baseball halfway
through, and Dad said no, you gave
your word. You’ll stay the season.
Next year, if you still don’t like it,
cut out. But not now. That’s how I
handle life’s roadblocks, by sticking
to my game plan. Looking for short-
cuts won’t defeat the challenges.
Go forward, and if you fall, at least
you’ve fallen as a warrior. At the end
of the day, be happy with your ac-
IM: Motivation is the princi-
pal element in any long-term
fitness regimen. Finding and
keeping it, however—there’s
the rub.
GP: Bona fide motivation is in-
ternal. Music, training partners and
the right atmosphere are excellent
motivators, but believing in yourself
is second to none. The race can’t be
won overnight. Start your morning
with this one main goal: to be better
and stronger than the day before.
Enjoy the process of getting there.
IM: If you and your bros
hadn’t stopped at the Marriott
to pound a few, where would
Greg Plitt be today?
IM: Photo shoots: hard or GP: Who can tell? The last thing
easy? I expected to be doing is modeling
GP: Easy because I find fun in and launching an acting career in
the work. The shoot is my reward, a L.A.
culmination of training, dieting and IM: Was meeting that photog-
intense preparation. rapher a crossroads moment?
IM: Your basic appeal lies in GP: Absolutely. There were two
the all-American physique—not paths presented to me: the one I’d
too big, not too threatening and been on, safe and comfortable. And
cut. the other, less traveled, unfamiliar
GP: I have an all-American and probably dangerous.
physique because I built it the old- IM: Which do you usually
fashioned way: through diligent choose in such situations?
gym time and staying chem-free. GP: The path less traveled. It’s
Anybody can have a good body, but harder to navigate, but rewards far
they’ve gotta put in the hard hours. outweigh any pain inflicted.
No excuses. IM: Speaking of paths less
IM: I was gonna ask you about traveled, you were in “The
so-called enhancers—um, Good Shepherd,” starring Matt
’roids. Damon and directed by Robert

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Greg Plitt

“I earned the rank

of captain, Airborne
Ranger. Becoming
a Ranger is tough.
It’s the Army’s
equivalent of a
Navy Seal.”

DeNiro. Is film your number- GP: Great minds think alike. I IM: You’re dabbling in reality
one goal at present? have a small recurring role on “Days programming as well.
GP: It’s the sole reason I relocated of Our Lives” as a cop named Hen- GM: For the Home and Garden
to L.A. Landing “The Good Shep- derson. If viewers like me enough, channel, yeah—“Designed to Sell.”
herd” as my first credit was an awe- maybe the writers will build a sto- It’s HGTV’s number-one show. I’m
some springboard. There’s no one ryline around my character. Soaps part of a team, and we transform old
better than Robert DeNiro, and he aren’t as easy as they look. Actors are and run-down homes for resale. Our
treated me like a peer. required to memorize upwards of 50 work budget is about $2,000.
IM: Ever toy with the idea of pages of dialogue a day, but nobody IM: Meanwhile, your Bowflex
doing a soap? can fault the exposure. spot is all over the tube. Sweet

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Greg Plitt
or what?
GP: That one little com-
mercial has brought me so
much visibility, it’s insane.
IM: What’s the inside
word about your Bravo
GP: Oh, “Workout.”
Yeah, I’m doing that right
now. It’s a pseudo-real-
ity show. It’ll run the first
week of April. Can’t go into
details; gotta keep it on
the down-low.
IM: C’mon, don’t be
GP: Okay, you con-
vinced me. [Leans forward
conspiratorially] Jackie
Warner’s a personal trainer
who owns a gym. She hires
a staff of trainers—which
includes me—and much
drama ensues. I like to
call “Workout” the “world
of vanity in a gym.” We’ve
got competitiveness, sex-
ual tension, relationships
developing and crashing,
and Jackie, who’s trying to
keep a lid on the pot be-
fore it boils over.
IM: And does she?
GP: Stay tuned to Bravo
and watch the big pre-
IM: Your attitude is
so positive. Are you Dr.
Jekyll in disguise?
GP: Heck, no. I’m an
optimist, tried and true.
IM: Between assign-
ments, classes, the gym
and casting calls, any
time to unwind?
GP: I like golfing, hik-
ing, going for a run. If the
mood strikes, I’ll track a
flight to some random
town and explore it with
a good buddy. Not having
plans is best, flying back
home to my family, being “I’m an
spontaneous. I’m con-
stantly stretching 40 hours
into 24 hours. tried and
Editor’s note: For true.”
more on Greg Plitt, go to
GregPlitt.com. IM

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Opener: Curls, with biceps fibers
showing (like you did with Jona-
than’s arm a while back)
Other photos: Bench presses;
Incline presses; Bent-over rows;
Chins; Stiff-legged deadlifts; Squats;
Muscle closeup;

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Attack All Muscle Fiber
Types for Fast Mass Gains
by Glen Danbury • Photography by Michael Neveux

Training to add mass sounds simple:

Recruit and exhaust as many muscle
fibers as possible. Unfortunately, the
most common methods of training
usually fail to exhaust one or another
group of muscle fibers. To understand
that, let’s look at how muscle fibers
differ in recruitment and vulnerability
to fatigue.

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 225

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programs miss training
the faster-twitch
fibers while lower-rep,
strength-style training
does not exhaust the
slower-twitch fibers. You
need both.

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Training: Additional
More Than Two Types Benefits
cations of muscle fibers—type 1, 1c,
Ask any fitness buff to 2c, 2ac, 2a, 2ab, 2b—and they act in As well as aiming to recruit
define the different muscle sequence, from slowest to fastest. and exhaust as many potential
fibers, and you’ll usually The slower the fiber, the lower the fibers as possible, this program
hear fast and slow twitch. threshold of recruitment—meaning has other strength and growth
The more reading the easier it is to activate the fiber— benefits:
you’ve done, the more and the more fatigue resistant it
likely you are to cite is. As the sequence continues, the • Post-tetanic potentiation.
the slow (type 1), fast fibers’ recruitment threshold in- As the three-rep set employs
oxidative (type 2a) and creases, but their fatigue resistance near maximal contractions
fast glycolytic (type 2b). decreases. with minimal fatigue, there
That’s correct, but there During muscle contraction, should be an increase in
are up to seven classifi- fibers are recruited in an orderly strength during subsequent
sets due to increased neural
The last set should feel like hell as the lactate output and increased calcium
levels within the muscle.
buildup becomes unbearable. You’ll need to grit
• Sarcoplasmic hypertro-
your teeth, but you’ll also have to swallow your phy. Higher-repetition train-
pride because the weight you’re going to be using ing—as in work set 3—can
increase stored energy and
is almost laughable. the cytoplasm within muscle
cells. Although that doesn’t
aid in strength, it will increase
muscle size.
• Increased capillariza-
tion. The higher-repetition
training will increase the num-
ber of small blood vessels—
capillaries—in a muscle. That
increases the muscle’s overall
size and endurance and aids in
recovery between sets.


manner—what’s known as the

size principle. Basically, the
small, slow-twitch fibers with
low-recruitment thresholds are
recruited first, and as increasing
force is required, the larger, fast-
twitch fibers are recruited.
So the slow-twitch fibers are
recruited first, and the fast-
twitch get recruited with greater
effort and loads. In order to re-
cruit fast fibers, you need to lift
greater loads, yet lifting greater
loads means you spend less
time lifting [less tension time
with heavy weights and fewer
reps]. That means the fatigue-
resistant slower fibers aren’t
As a practical matter,
therefore, higher-repetition
programs miss training the
Model: Jeff Dwell

faster-twitch fibers, while lower-

rep, strength-style training does
not exhaust the slower-twitch
fibers. (continued on page 231)

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Presents The method uses a
heavy-to-light training
program in which
you do specific sets,
starting with high loads
and low reps, and
then on subsequent
sets decrease the load
and correspondingly
increase in reps.

Model: Derik Farnsworth

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(continued from page 227)
In either case potential hypertro- Gradually increase the poundage
phy remains untapped. So most with low reps to avoid fatigue. A for-
people periodize their workouts, Set 1 mat like the one here should work
doing strength training for so many fine. Figure the weights as percent-
weeks followed by another number 33reps
repsx x95%
3RM ages of the weight you will use on
of weeks of higher-rep work. That Rep cadence: 1/0/X your first work set.
approach has some drawbacks in
that as one motor ability, strength,
Rest: 120 seconds Warmup 1
50% of work weight x 3
is developed, the other motor abil-
ity, muscular endurance, starts to Set 2 Warmup 2
diminish. 70% of work weight x 3
It’s much more effective to use a 8 reps x 8RM
Warmup 3
program that recruits and possibly Rep cadence: 3/2/1 80% of work weight x 2
exhausts all fiber types. This one is
aimed at individuals who wish to Rest: 60 seconds Warmup 4
add as much size as is possible in 80% of work weight x 1
the quickest time possible. Set 3
The first work set aims to recruit
Holistic-Hypertrophy 20 reps x 20RM the fast-twitch fibers. So the load is
Training Rep cadence: 4/4/4 high (95 percent of 3RM) with the
eccentric performed relatively fast
This program is built on what Rest: N/A (one second); that’s been shown to
are called holistic sets. (Don’t preferentially recruit the fast-twitch
worry, you don’t have to use crys- fibers with relative safety. The speed
tals and funky chants, unless that’s Note: Rep cadence is expressed of the concentric, or positive, stroke
your cup of tea.) It’s basically a as eccentric/isometric pause/ should be fast. Considering the load,
heavy-to-light program in which concentric in seconds; X means it will move at a slower pace.
you do specific sets, starting with to explode with a controlled but After two minutes of rest do your
heavy loads and low reps. On sub- fast movement. second set, which is a standard
sequent sets you decrease the load bodybuilding affair—eight repeti-
and correspondingly increase the You do only three work sets per tions performed with a three-sec-
reps. Combine those loading pa- exercise: ond eccentric, a one-second pause
rameters with specific tempos, and The first work set is heavy, so in the down position and a two-sec-
you have the basis of the program. you should start with warmup sets. ond concen- (continued on page 234)
www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 231
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The purpose
Presents of the program
is to recruit as
many muscle
fibers as possible.
The exercises
you use should be
multijoint ones
such as bench
press, bent-over
rows, pullups,
squats, stiff-legged

Model: Daryl Gee

deadlifts, etc.

(continued from page 231) tric. The a second round

overall time under tension should will defeat the
be about 50 seconds, which will purpose. In
exhaust all of the intermediate fi- other words, the
bers with an endurance time under fibers should
50 seconds. be exhausted,
Perform the third set after a min- and it would be
ute of rest. You’re aiming to exhaust impossible to
a reasonable number of slow-twitch develop levels of
fibers. The repetitions should be force that would
slow—four seconds each for the recruit the high-
eccentric, pause and the concentric. threshold fibers
There should be no rest, so the reps again.
are performed in continuous-ten- Perform two
sion style. workouts for a
The last set should feel like hell given muscle
as the lactate buildup becomes group within a
unbearable. You’ll need to grit your week, using two
teeth, but you’ll also have to swal- different motor
low your pride because the weight patterns—for
you’re going to be using is almost example, bench
laughable. presses at your
first chest work-
Exercise Choice out and incline
presses at your
Because the purpose of the pro- second. The
gram is to recruit as many fibers clavicular heads
as possible, the exercises you use of the pectorals
should be the big, multijoint ones. are recruited
You’re looking at bench presses for during move-
chest, bent-over rows and pullups ments in which
for back, squats for quads, stiff- you raise your
legged deadlifts for hamstrings, and arms toward your
so on. head, like incline
Do only one round of the three presses, as op-
sets for each exercise. Performing posed to raising

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Model: Derik Farnsworth

them straight out in front

of your body, as in bench
presses. A similar example
would be bent-over rows
and pullups for the back.
Remember, this style
of training is aimed at
developing maximal
hypertrophy in a short
period of time. If your goal
is pure strength, then a
strength-training program
will be more suitable. As
long as you address the
underlying principles of
progressive overload and
adequate nutrition, holis-
tic-hypertrophy training
should create exceptional
mass gains over a 12-week

Editor’s note: Glen

Danbury has an honors
degree in sports science
and human nutrition and
is currently working to-
ward his master’s degree in
sports nutrition. For more
of his articles, visit www.
Bodybuilding.com. IM
www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 235
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Bodybuilding Pharmacology
by Jerry Brainum

scientific literature and came up with compounds that, on
paper, provided more direct routes to testosterone con-
version. The most popular was androstenedione, which
was said to be more effective than DHEA because it was

Blocking a step closer in the synthesis process: In the body DHEA

converted into andro, which then converted directly into
Andro peaked in popularity after being linked to pro

Supplements baseball player Mark McGwire. During his 1998 home-run

spree, which broke a Major League record, a reporter no-
ticed a bottle of andro in his locker. McGwire didn’t deny
using the supplement, noting that it was perfectly legal in
baseball. He’s been evasive in denying his use of anabolic
Until two years ago bodybuilders who wanted to in- steroids.
crease testosterone levels without using anabolic steroids While it would be wrong to overlook the natural ability
could purchase pro-hormone supplements. The original of players such as McGwire or Barry Bonds, consider the
forms of those supplements weren’t effective. For example, findings of American physicist Roger Tobin of Tufts Univer-
DHEA, an adrenal steroid produced in the human body, is sity. Tobin estimated that using anabolic steroids can help
used in the synthesis of other hormones, including testos- batters hit 50 percent more home runs by boosting muscle
terone and estrogen. Based on that, DHEA supplements 10 percent. With 10 percent more muscle, a batter can
were touted for increasing testosterone in bodybuilders. swing about 5 percent faster, which increases the speed of
DHEA did do that—but only in women. In men under age the ball 4 percent as it leaves the bat. Added speed can lead
40 it was converted into either estrogen or dihydrotestos- to home runs 50 percent more often—up to 100 percent
terone, a testosterone metabolite associated with acne, according to Tobin. Then again, muscle and steroids are
male-pattern baldness and prostate enlargement. only part of the home-run equation; there’s no shortage of
Noting the problems, several entrepreneurs scoured the muscular ball players who come nowhere near the home-
run record.
But I digress. Andro was wildly
popular for a while among body-
builders. Shortly after it hit the
market, I looked at the testosterone
pathway and noticed that it could
easily be converted into estrogen.
When I said so on an Internet
forum, I was accused of being “jeal-
ous” of andro’s success, but medical
studies proved me right. Rather
than being converted into testos-
terone, andro tended to take the
estrogen route in men. In women,
however, as with DHEA, andro did
raise testosterone levels.
So it was back to the drawing
board for pro-hormone purveyors.
They came up with a few esoteric
androgens that flew under the FDA
radar for a while. None were ever
definitively shown to build muscle,
but some produced such side ef-
fects as acne and liver enzyme
It was left for more technically
oriented supplement gurus to turn
to the musty old steroid textbooks
of the late 1960s and search for
more effective compounds. Thou-
sands of potential drugs were origi-
nally researched from the 1950s
to the late 1960s, but most never
reached the market. They were

238 MARCH 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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described in arcane chemical guides, most notably in An- estrogen-re-
drogens and Anabolic Agents: Chemistry and Pharmacology, lated side effects.
a 1968 tome by Julius A. Vida. Several of the compounds— Despite that,
nothing less than full-fledged anabolic steroids, by the you often see
way—were resurrected and released as commercial pro- gyno in compet-
hormones. But not for long. In 2005 the federal anabolic ing bodybuild-
steroid law, as amended, formally prohibited them. ers—not because
The last generation of pro-hormones before the ban was of estrogen but
unquestionably the most effective. How could they not be, because of pro-
as they were the real thing? Nobody bothered to raise the gesterone, an-
obvious question of why the drug companies that had done other female sex
all that R&D didn’t put them on the market. Two words: hormone. Heavy
side effects. Most of the drugs were harder on the liver use of anabolic
than the oral anabolics that did reach the market, and they steroids, such as
attacked the cardiovascular system even more rapidly. To Deca-Durabolin
avoid liability, the manufacturers relegated them to phar- and the infa-
maceutical limbo. mous designer
With the demise of such effective but problematic com- steroid THG,
pounds, companies turned to the only other legal means ups the body’s
of boosting testosterone: substances that inhibit the activ- progesterone
ity of an enzyme called aromatase, which is found in such content.
tissues as liver, brain, muscle and fat in the legs and arms, Because a cer-
and which converts free testosterone circulating in the tain amount of
blood into estrogen. Aromatase may explain the failure of the testosterone
the first generation of pro-hormones. Even if they did raise men produce is
free testosterone in the blood, it didn’t take long for aroma- converted into Why wasn’t the last generation
tase to kick in and convert it into estrogen. estrogen—about 1 of pro-hormones sold by drug
Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids have long been to 8 percent daily— companies? Because most of those
familiar with gynecomastia, or “bitch tits,” a common side taking a drug that drugs had potential side effects that
effect characterized by an accumulation of excess glandu- blocks the activity didn’t warrant the possible legal
lar tissue in male breasts. The culprit is an overbalance of of aromatase would
estrogen vs. testosterone, which can also cause water re- lead to an increase ramifications.
tention or even interfere with brain chemistry and impede in blood testoster-
testosterone synthesis. one. That’s the mechanism behind the test-boosting effects
The original way of dealing with excess estrogen was to of over-the-counter estrogen-inhibiting supplements.
take tamoxifen citrate, trade name Nolvadex, which was Beyond all the hoopla, however, do those supplements
and still is prescribed mainly for older women who have really work as advertised, and are they as side effect-free as
breast cancer. It’s molecularly similar to and binds to the the ads claim?
estrogen cell receptor, thus blocking the path of actual Two of the most popular are Novadex XT and 6-OXO. No-
estrogen and rendering it inert. Trouble is, Nolvadex is not vadex XT is marketed by Gaspari Nutrition. Two companies
only an antagonist but also an agonist of estrogen. That is, sell 6-OXO, one owned by actor Sylvester Stallone, and the
it can bind to estrogen itself. So when taken too long or in other is associated with Pat Arnold, who was instrumental
too great a dose, it interferes with testosterone synthesis. in popularizing the original pro-hormone supplements. Ar-
Drug research has produced other compounds that work nold was indicted after being identified as the person who
more directly than Nolvadex in reducing estrogen levels. synthesized “the clear”—a.k.a. THG—the designer steroid
They block the activity of aromatase and considerably at the center of the BALCO drug scandal.
diminish the estrogen count. Newer forms of aromatase A study examined the effects of providing 72 milligrams
inhibitors, such as Arimidex or Aromesin, are extremely a day of Nolvadex XT to a group of young men engaged in
effective. Many pro bodybuilders rely on them to prevent weight training.1 After eight weeks researchers measured

American physicist Roger Tobin estimated that using

anabolic steroids can help batters hit 50 percent more
home runs by boosting muscle 10 percent. With 10 percent
more muscle, a batter can swing about 5 percent faster,
which increases the speed of the ball 4 percent as it leaves
the bat. Then again, there’s no shortage of muscular ball
players who come nowhere near the
home-run record.

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 239

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Jerry Brainum’s
Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Because some of the testosterone men produce is converted

into estrogen—about 1 to 8 percent daily—taking a drug
that blocks the activity of aromatase would lead to an
increase in blood testosterone. That’s the mechanism behind
the test-boosting effects of over-the-counter estrogen-
inhibiting supplements.
the following increases in hormone levels: acne and prostate problems. Purveyors of these products
• Total testosterone, 283 percent suggest using them for limited periods, such as four to six
• Free, or active, testosterone, 625 percent weeks, as lowering estrogen levels for an extended period
• DHT, 566 percent could adversely affect cardiovascular function. Estrogen is
No increase in fat-free mass occurred in the subjects, good for maintaining protective high-density-lipoprotein
but their bodyfat decreased by 3.5 percent more than it did levels, and women tend to have better HDL counts because
for those in the placebo group. Slight increases in estrogen they have more estrogen. In addition, users of injectable
also occurred, indicating that the supplement only par- testosterone show no adverse effects with regard to HDL
tially blocked estrogen because some of the test is converted into estrogen. If you
activity. add an aromatase blocker like Arimidex, that doesn’t hap-
The same research- pen. Most oral anabolic steroid drugs also lower HDL and
ers then focused on thus are a long-term risk.
6-OXO.2 Sixteen young Since Novadex XT and 6-OXO don’t completely block
men, average age 26, estrogen, the safeguard mentioned by the sellers of such
used either 300 or 600 supplements is mainly a precaution, assuming that some
milligrams of 6-OXO people, such as those at risk for cardiovascular disease,
for eight weeks in a may be more susceptible to potential problems. Thus far,
double-blind experi- there is no indication that using them will adversely affect
ment. Free testoster- cardiovascular health.
one rose by 90 percent Elevated DHT is a more immediate problem, in my
for the 300-milligram opinion. If you have the genes for male-pattern baldness
group and 84 percent or acne, you may experience flareups if you take too large
for the 600-milligram a dose or stay on the supplements too long. The same
group. DHT rose by holds true for the drug versions. You can remedy that by
192 percent and 265 taking drugs that block 5-alpha reductase, such as Proscar
percent, respectively, or Avodart. Natural inhibitors of 5-AD include soy in small
and the testosterone- amounts, as well as green tea.
to-estriadol ratio rose There is another problem with the OTC supplements.
by 53 percent and 67 I’ve recommended them to men who are interested in
percent. Estrone, a boosting testosterone levels but who don’t want to use
weaker form of es- anabolic steroids. About half have reported a loss of libido.
Nolvadex XT increased trogen, increased by Since the supplements boost free testosterone, which is
free testosterone by a 22 percent with the associated with elevated sex drive in both sexes, I’m at loss.
whopping 625 percent. 300-milligram dose It’s not a placebo effect, for the men expected increased sex
and 52 percent with drive, and it doesn’t happen to every man who takes the
the 600-milligram dose. Estradiol, the most potent of the supplements. As to what the precise cause is, your guess is
three forms of estrogen, rose by 27 percent with the 300- as good as mine.
milligram and 12 percent for the 600-milligram dose. Once
again, there was no change in body composition and no References
side effects or adverse body chemistry alterations.
The rise in free testosterone likely accounted for the 1 Willoughby, D., et al. (2007). Eight weeks of aromatase
increase in DHT, since 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that inhibition using the nutritional supplement Novadex XT:
converts test into DHT, wasn’t affected by the supplement. Effects on steroid hormones, body composition, and clini-
Some published studies suggest that when you inhibit aro- cal safety markers in young, eugonadal men. Int J Sport Nutr
matase, the activity of 5-alpha reductase tends to increase, Exer Metab. 17:92-108.
again because there is more free testosterone in the blood 2 Rohle, D., et al. (2007). Effects of eight weeks of an al-
available for 5-alpha conversion into DHT. leged aromatase-inhibiting nutritional supplement 6-OXO
The implications of these studies are that neither Nolva- on serum hormone profiles and clinical safety markers in
dex XT nor 6-OXO totally blocks estrogen and that both resistance-trained, eugonadal males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr.
increase testosterone and DHT. The elevation of DHT could 4:13. IM
prove problematic, as it’s linked to male-pattern baldness,

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Heavy Duty
The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer
by John Little
More on Intensity According to Mike, intensity and other words, it takes only one hard
Q: I like Mike’s scientific ap- duration are mutually exclusive. blow from the hammer to set off the
proach to bodybuilding very Only when a muscle is contracting explosion of the dynamite.”
much. He renders very techni- with the greatest possible force at Personal experience has taught
cal issues intelligible to lay any given moment is there maxi- most of us that high-intensity train-
people like me in a way that mum intensity: ing produces an effect on our bodies
makes perfect sense. I’m really “When you’re training so that that we never get from low-intensity
intrigued by his writings on every rep of every set of every exer- work. The effect that training of
intensity in training. What else cise requires an absolute maximum different intensity levels has on our
might he have said about the effort, the duration of that workout systems can be better understood if
subject of intensity? must and will be brief. High-inten- we look at an intensity continuum
sity muscular contraction, in other in which complete inactivity and
A: Joanne Sharkey and I are asked words, prevents a large number of rest constitute one extreme and
hundreds of questions about Mike’s such contractions. So maximum absolute, all-out effort constitute
Heavy Duty training system, and training intensity limits the duration the other. The effect each extreme
almost all of the questions deal of your training. What’s even more has on our system is obviously very
with a misunderstanding of what significant is that anything less than different:
intensity is and its role in training. maximum intensity will result in
That confusion goes back over 30 less than maximum results.” Rest—total inactivity
years, as Mike himself discussed in a Arthur Jones once told Mike that (lowest possible intensity)
magazine in the late 1970s. muscle growth being produced by • Pulse rate: slow, 60 to 75 beats
“What remains obscure to so exercise could be compared to a per minute
many bodybuilders, as evidenced hammer and a stick of dynamite,
by the many questions I receive in in that hitting a stick of dynamite • Breathing: shallow and slow, 12
letters and at public appearances, is lightly with a hammer won’t pro- to 14 breaths per minute
how to progressively increase the in- duce an explosion no matter how • VO2 uptake (ventilation-oxygen
tensity of muscular contraction. The many times you hit it. If, however, uptake): 20 to 25
obscurity arises from the fact that you hit it very hard, only one blow is
many still do not fully understand required to stimulate an explosion. • Respiratory exchange index
the concept of intensity. Mike understood the analogy: (energy exchange within body—
partial measure of body metabo-
“Intensity is a term that’s been “Much the same situation exists
lism): 0 to .825
bandied about a lot lately in body- in stimulating growth with weight
building periodicals but is rarely training. No amount of light or low- Maximum effort
described accurately. It’s obvious intensity training will produce an (highest possible intensity)
from the various articles that even increase. High-intensity training is • Pulse rate: vast, 150-220 beats
certain top champions confuse a basic requirement for producing per minute.
intensity with duration and haven’t the desired physical change. Large
grasped the fundamental relation- quantities of such stimulation aren’t • Breathing: very rapid: 50 to 100
breaths per minute.

ship between the two.” necessary, nor are they desirable. In

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Heavy Duty

• VO2 uptake: 30 you can talk between sets and feel wastes as a 20-inch arm contracting
• Respiratory exchange index: the desire to add more sets to your maximally. Since we require increas-
1.20 workouts, you’re not training with ingly greater contractions if we hope
maximum intensity. If you’re train- to continually progress, we must
Those are just four indices reg- ing with maximum effort, you won’t search for increasingly brutal meth-
istering the change in your system be able to talk between sets because ods to provide such contractions as
when you go from a state of rest you’ll be breathing too hard. Instead we get stronger. For the beginner
to one of all-out effort. There are of thinking about more sets, you’ll just about any form of resistance
many more indices, such as for pH begin looking for excuses to shorten exercise will represent an increase in
and lactic acid, but you get the idea. your workouts. According to Mike: intensity. As trainees progress to the
High-intensity training is hard train- “While intensity is necessary for intermediate and advanced stage,
ing, and as such, it has a definite anyone wishing to build muscle and however, they will require increas-
effect on the body’s systems that can its effects are similar on everyone, ingly intense training methods.”
be measured in the lab and felt by intensity remains a relative mea-
the individual. sure, contingent on an individual’s Training to Failure
The effect is dramatic and can strength and development. Let’s
be very uncomfortable. Whereas face it: A 12-inch arm contracting Q: I keep reading on high-in-
rest and total inactivity are expe- maximally won’t require the same tensity forums that one should
rienced as comfortable, training amount of fuel or produce the “train to failure.” That sounds
at maximum intensity is brutal. If same quantities of by-products and like a bad (and possibly harm-

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impose some extraordinary demand
upon it will it change. You needn’t be
a physiologist to understand that.
Carrying a set to a point of momen-
tary muscular failure ensures that
you pass through the ‘break-over’
point—the level of effort in the set
at which growth stimulation com-
mences. Where is that point? Is it 85
percent of maximum effort? Is it at
90 percent? No one knows for sure,
but you can be certain that if you
train at 100 percent effort, you will
have reached the break-over point.”
For those who are just taking up
weight training, Mike would sug-
gest that you proceed with caution
at first:
“If you’ve been sedentary most of
your life, weight training will rep-
resent a radical departure for you.
Training to absolute failure may be
not only unnecessary but danger-
ous as well. Spend the first several
months learning proper exercise
form and developing a sense of
your capacities. As you develop
confidence in handling weights and
gain added muscle and strength,
“Maximum training intensity start carrying every set (not includ-
limits the duration of your ing warmup sets) to a point of mo-
training. What’s even more mentary muscular failure. Select
significant is that anything less a weight in each exercise that will
than maximum intensity will result allow approximately six reps in strict
in less than maximum results.” form. Maximum reps in strict form
means going to a point where you
can no longer raise the weight in
perfectly strict fashion from a point
of complete extension to one of full
contraction. Everyone wishing to
induce maximum muscle growth

should use that method of training

ful) thing to do. As Mike was one muscular failure, where the comple- to failure.”
of the first bodybuilders to ad- tion of another full rep is impos-
vocate the concept, what exactly sible despite your greatest effort, Negative Repetitions
does it mean? is the only way to force the body to
resort to its reserves sufficiently to Q: I heard that Mike Mentzer
A: Putting aside all academic and stimulate real growth. None of us believed in using techniques
theoretical considerations for a mo- needs to be reminded that growth such as negatives with his
ment, what we’re talking about by never comes easy; it must literally advanced clients on his Con-
“train to failure” is quite simply hard be forced!” solidated Routine; however, I’ve
work, or as Mike described it, “gut- Remember, ending a set just be- never read what his thoughts
busting, all-out effort.” cause an arbitrary number of repeti- on negative training were or his
“Any degree of effort below maxi- tions has been completed will do recommendations for how neg-
mum may yield the bodybuilder little or nothing to stimulate growth. ative-only repetitions should be
some results but never on the same As Mike pointed out years ago: used. Do you have any insight
order as all-out effort. When I say “If you can curl 100 pounds for on that?
‘all-out effort,’ I’m not referring 10 reps and you never try to do that
to the performance of marathon 11th rep, your body has no reason A: Mike wrote quite extensively
workouts involving set after set after to alter itself, to grow. The body about high-intensity techniques. He
set until you fall over from fatigue. will always attempt to maintain the wrote about negative-only training
Training to a point of momentary existing situation. Only when you mainly during his competitive days.

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Heavy Duty
forced reps—which resistance, you could cause severe
will exhaust your injury to the knees. Beginners don’t
positive and static require negatives, as it is a high-in-
strength—can you tensity method reserved for ambi-
reach a point of true tious intermediates and advanced
and absolute momen- bodybuilders. Negatives can also be
tary muscular failure. done in a ‘pure’ style—that is, they
Having completed your don’t have to be preceded by posi-
six positive and two tive and forced reps. Take a weight
forced reps, have your that’s at least 40 percent heavier
partner, or partners, lift than you’d normally use in a posi-
the weight to the top tive fashion. Have spotters raise it
(or peak-contracted for you, and continue lowering the
position) so that you weight slowly until you’re begin-
can lower it. ning to lose control. Make sure your
“You’ll probably spotters remain alert to what you’re
be surprised at your doing so they can grab the weight
ability to continue as soon as you signal for them to do
lowering a weight even so.”
after you’ve reached You can do entire workouts in the
positive failure. The pure-negative fashion or combined
first few negatives will with positive and forced reps as
seem very easy, and Mike described. He’d be the first to
you’ll be able to lower suggest that you improvise. Some
the weight slowly. The suggestions he made for employing
next couple of reps their use:
will become difficult, “The isolation portion of a pre-
however. The down- exhaust superset can be done posi-
ward movement will tive/forced/negative fashion and
pick up speed, and you the compound exercise of the same
won’t have as much superset in a negative-only style.
control. End the set There are limitless combinations
when you can no lon- and ways of employing all these
ger control the descent methods so that no two workouts
of the weight. Or stop need be the same. I advise against
a rep before that, as a using negatives in every workout,
heavy weight yanking however, since the intensity is so
a bodypart out of the high that it could lead to overtrain-
contracted position ing.”
can be dangerous.”
Neveux \ Model: Berry Kabov

With certain exercis- Editor’s note: For a complete

es involving large and presentation of Mike Mentzer’s
You can do entire workouts powerful muscles, such Heavy Duty training system,
in the pure-negative fashion as the thighs, you must consult his books Heavy Duty II,
or combined with positive use extreme caution. High Intensity Training the Mike
and forced reps. Mike advised against Mentzer Way and the newest book,
performing squats in a The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, all of
negative-only fashion which are available from Mentzer’s
According to Mike: for obvious safety reasons, and even official Web site, www.MikeMentzer
“Our skeletal muscles possess leg extensions can be dangerous. .com.
three types of strength: 1) positive According to Mike: John Little is available for phone
strength, or the ability to raise a “You may find that the weight consultation on Mike Mentzer’s
weight; 2) static, or holding strength; you used for six positive reps will be Heavy Duty training system. For
and 3) negative strength, or our abil- too light for continued negatives. rates and information, contact
ity to lower a weight. We’re weakest If that’s the case, your partner will Joanne Sharkey at (310) 316-4519 or
in positive strength and strongest have to apply manual resistance at www.MikeMentzer.com, or see
in negative strength. Obviously, we as you lower the weight. Do not—I the ad on the opposite page.
can’t really say we’ve trained to fail- repeat, do not—attempt to halt the Article copyright © 2008, John
ure until we’ve also exhausted our downward motion of the weight Little. All rights reserved. Mike
ability to lower the weight. Only by when you’re doing negatives. The Mentzer quotations are provided
continuing to lower a weight after knees tend to be delicate. If you courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and are
completing six positive reps and two fight against a maximum negative used with permission. IM

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The Real
Even a Controversial Loss at
the ’07 Mr. O Can’t Derail This
Muscle Bound Locomotive
by Ilir Gatollari

s the newest addition of the monster we watched claw his
to an impressive list of way to the top. It wasn’t the man
uncrowned kings, Victor bodybuilding had come to expect
Martinez shrugs off his on contest day. The champ left the
controversial finish at the ’07 Olym- door unlocked, and Victor brought a
pia and sets his sights on ’08, where battering ram. There was no doubt
he’ll prove to the world that he’s the among most who came that Satur-
real victor. day night that we’d be addressing
The ’07 contest will go down in Victor Martinez as Mr. O.
bodybuilding history as a moment Well, as we all know, it didn’t work
when public opinion countered out that way. Fans voiced their fury
convention. It’s said that in order all over the message boards and in
to defeat the reigning champ, you the magazines. “Victor was robbed,”
have to knock him out. When Victor they said. There was simply no rea-
Martinez stood next to the champ sonable explanation for what had
during the first callout at the pre- happened.
judging, it was apparent to wizened “He got more first-place votes
eyes—from an IFBB judge and than me,” Victor says, shrugging off
six-time Mr. Olympia who placed the question. He does it every time
Victor first in each round he judged he is asked how it was possible the
to most of the competitors onstage, champ beat him. “But, you know,
as well as writers, photographers in second isn’t too bad either.”
the pit, industry insiders, gurus and Victor has that lovable smile,
the audience at large—that Victor which, along with his humility and
had come out throwing haymakers. diplomacy, makes you think he
And they were landing. He displayed actually likes being the underdog.
enough size, shape, symmetry and “It’s great to be recognized by the
condition to pack a wallop that fans and my peers as the winner,”
knocked out not only the champ but he says. “That means a lot. I put it
anyone else within striking distance behind me, and I started right away
as well. training for next year.”
It was apparent to anyone who A blow of the kind Victor suffered
has an eye for bodybuilding that at the Olympia would normally
the champ was off. What showed derail a person’s dreams and aspira-
up seemed like a civilized version tions, but not Victor. “I really felt I

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was the best man on the stage that has a great eye for bodybuilding de- rat—er, “test subject”—when he
day,” he maintains. “I did everything tails, having gotten ready for a show comes out with a new product. On
I had to do to bring the best pack- or two himself back in the day. the other hand, should an assault on
age, but it just didn’t go my way.” Gerard is also the mastermind the O be considered test grounds?
Perhaps the win didn’t, but his behind Victor’s nutrition and sup- “Trust me,” Gerard said. “This
“not so bad” second place did do plement program. What Gerard had shit will rock your world. But, don’t
one thing. It silenced the critics who in mind for the Olympia was not take more than one pill. Believe me,
said Victor couldn’t get crazy shred- much different from the program he one is all you need or will be able to
ded. What did he do differently to laid out for the Arnold. If it’s not
outdo the condition he displayed broken, why mess with it? Body-
when he won the Arnold Classic building, though, doesn’t work
earlier in the year? that way. When you’re splitting
“I’m getting more and more in hairs at the top, there’s always
tune with my body,” he says. “I can room for improvement. As Vic-
feel what’s happening better so I can tor was leaving, Gerard handed
adjust my cardio and my diet when him a Ziploc bag with bright
I need to. But to tell you the truth, I yellow pills in it and said, “This
really believe Dren is what made the is going to get you shredded for
difference.” the O.”
Victor looked at the capsules
Dren Silences the and rolled them around in his
fingers. One of the re-
Critics—Victor was
Ripped to the Bone of being con-
About 12 weeks out from the tracted to rep-
Olympia, Victor was visiting MHP resent MHP
headquarters to meet up with Ge- products is
rard Dente, the company’s presi- that you are
dent. They usually meet every other obliged to be
week leading up to a show. Gerard Gerard’s lab

Victor, the Big Dipper

When the talk is about triceps training, you hear quite a bit about skull crushers, cable pushdowns, overhead
dumbbell extensions and close-grip bench presses. But one compound movement isn’t mentioned often enough,
considering its incredible potency when it comes to stimulating mas-
sive growth in the triceps: the dip.
Victor Martinez has been doing it since he was a child: “Back before I
had weights, I used to do dips between chairs in my apartment, late at
night after my old man went to sleep.”
Later, when he became a full-fledged bodybuilder, he found that
weighted dips seemed to be the most effective exercise for building tri-
ceps bulk. “I did close-grip bench presses too, but I always felt the dips
hit my triceps better,” he says. “I think a lot of people have a hard time
with the close-grip bench because they end up working inner chest and
front delts more than they do triceps.”
Victor, harking back to fellow New Yorker Marvin Eder—a strength
phenomenon from the ’50s who was famous for dipping with 400
pounds at a bodyweight of only 195—has made weighted dips a core
exercise for many years. He’s been known to hang up to 200 pounds in
plates from his waist for dips—not too shabby at all.
He doesn’t go so far as to credit this one valuable exercise with his
hellacious horseshoes, but he does think that a lot of bodybuilders are
really missing the boat by not doing dips on a regular basis. “The basic
compound movements are always going to be the ones that work best,”
he says. “Weighted dips and bench dips with plates on your lap are
awesome for building the triceps.”
Machine dips are fine once in a while for variety, but the free-weight version is superior simply because it’s
tougher. “If you can build up to the point where you can dip with half your bodyweight or more in plates hanging
from your waist, there’s just no way your triceps won’t grow,” he concludes.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty enticing to me. —Ron Harris

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“I am getting
more and more
in tune with my
body. I can feel
what’s happening

Victor told him.

After using Dren for a few days,
Victor started getting harder and
tighter. Every week he just kept get-
ting better. “Usually the few weeks
before a show I have to drag my ass
into the gym,” he says, “but with
Dren I got such a rush that I was
fired up for every workout. I think
that had a lot to do with coming in
bigger and harder than ever at the
O. I know that—I could feel it—Dren
cranked up my metabolism. It al-
lowed me to train harder than ever.”
Does Dren sound intense? That’s
handle. Promise me you’ll only take knows a secret. “I immediately because it is. Victor has more than
one.” knew my metabolism was crankin’ half of the guys at his gym on Dren
Victor did as the master said. because sweat was pouring off me. and a list of pros to whom he sends
The next day he swallowed a single Afterward, I called G and said, ‘What it every month, and all of them say,
Dren before his workout and felt the hell did you give me?’” “Dren is the shit.”
like he was jacked. “It was the best “Dren is the new fat burner we
and most intense workout I ever just developed,” Gerard replied. The War of 2008
had,” he recalls, beaming with the “How did you like it?”
Cheshire cat grin of a man who “I can’t believe this stuff is legal,” What does Victor Martinez do

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 255

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insulin through the roof,
replenishes glycogen and
increases cell volume.
It does all those things
synergistically with
new compounds and
technologies. One such
compound is Waxi-
Max-C3G, a unique
tripolymer that sends
insulin through the
roof with only 10 grams
of sugar and quickly
Last replenishes muscle glycogen. Unlike
year’s formu- conventional postworkout formulas
la for success that use large amounts of sugar to
was Probol- spike insulin—some have 75 to 100
ic-SR, Trac grams—Dark Matter does it with
Extreme and WaxiMax-C3G.
Glutamine- Dark Matter also contains a pow-
SR, which erful new anabolic amino acid com-
formed the plex called ProSynthagen, which
core of the stimulates protein synthesis faster
program than whey and is equivalent to 40
Gerard Dente grams of protein. Plus, it has an
designed for advanced creatine cell-volumizing
Victor. Then transport called HydroSize.
he kicked it The final step in this break-
up a notch through postworkout powerhouse
with Sarm-X, makes the compounds work more
T-Bomb II quickly and synergistically at the
and Cyclin- anabolic axis. It’s a new technology
GF, which that MHP calls High Velocity Nano
combined to Physics.
peak testos- Victor’s been taking Dark Matter
terone and immediately after his workouts to
other criti- maximize the postworkout anabolic
cal growth window and he’s already packed on
factors. This 12 more pounds of muscle for this
year, howev- year’s battle. Although he had to
er, with a full withdraw from the Arnold Classic
year of Dren’s due to a knee injury, Victor intends
fat-burning to get back on his path and settle
and intense the score at the ’08 Mr. Olympia.
training Sure, his training and supple-
from here? He has the best shape effects be- ment programs are extensive, but
and symmetry in the sport; he’s as hind him, Victor is sure to come out that’s what it takes to be the best in
big as a house with full, round mus- throwing haymakers at the champ the world. Last year’s program was
cle bellies, and now with Dren he’s again. To make sure those shots enough to open the bodybuilding
going to be ripped to the bone. What land with a thud, Gerard is adding world’s eyes to the fact that Victor
else can he possibly do to ensure the another weapon to Victor’s arsenal means business. Adding Dren and
title in 2008? of Olympia battle gear. It’s called Dark Matter to an already superior
“I’m going to continue on my Dark Matter. supplement program will be the
path,” he says. “I’m determined to This new weapon of mass con- nail in the coffin for anyone trying
take the crown in 2008. I can’t con- struction might be the most effec- to stand in Victor’s way at this year’s
trol the judging, but I will do every- tive muscle builder ever produced. Olympia, where he will prove to
thing in my power to be the best Dark Matter doesn’t just open be—the real victor!
bodybuilder on the stage. Last year’s the anabolic window—it opens it
training and supplement programs faster and wider and keeps it open Editor’s note: For more on Vic-
were proven effective, so this year longer for optimal muscle growth. tor Martinez and Maimum Human
things will remain pretty much the Dark Matter stimulates protein Performance products, visit www
same with a few additions.” synthesis faster than whey, spikes .MaxPerformance.com. IM

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Muscle “In” Sites

If you find something on the Web that IM readers should know about, send the URL to Eric at bodyfx2@aol.com.

It’s my belief that the overall condition-
ing of professional bodybuilders has gone
down in the past 10 years. While the pros
certainly have gotten bigger and freakier,
it’s happened at the expense of deep muscle
separation, striations and truly crisp defini-
tion. The finer details of the physique are
becoming more and more obscured in the
quest for size. There is one man, however,
who continues to hit the stage dry, hard
and peeled—head to toe. That man is “the
Blade,” Dexter Jackson. According to his site
bio, Dex is 5’6” and weighs about 217 in con-
test shape. While that’s not very big by pro
standards—which is just crazy considering
that Arnold himself was 6’2” and was only
about 10 pounds heavier when he com-
peted—Dexter is packed with full, round and
dense muscle quite reminiscent of the great

Flex Wheeler, whom Dexter acknowledges as having the

greatest physique ever. Particularly outstanding are his
chest, arms and shoulders. Check out some of the pho-
tos he has for sale on his site, especially the two color
shots with the black background, to see a combination
of mass, shape and hardness that’s simply amazing.
Something I found interesting is that when asked what
accomplishment he’s most proud of, Dex claims it’s his
first “major pro victory” at the ’03 Show of Strength. I
find that surprising, considering his two Arnold Classic
wins. I should note, though, that the man he beat for the
SOS title in ’03 was none other than current Mr. Olym-
pia Jay Cutler. All you PlayStation freaks out there might
be interested to know that the Blade believes himself
unbeatable at Madden Football. While I’m pretty good
at that game myself, I don’t plan on challenging him to
that, or a posedown, anytime soon. Overall, his Web site
is pretty basic in terms of info, but it has a unique look,
feel and functionality. Personally, I’d like to see him add
to his photo gallery and tell us more about his training
and diet philosophies. Still, the site is definitely worth a
look—especially if you’re a Dexter fan.

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With every passing year the IFBB figure ranks
become more and more competitive, and ’08
will be no different. One who won’t get lost
in the crowded waters is ’07 NPC USA overall
champion Catherine Andersen. With her long,
dark hair, piercing eyes, radiant smile and
beautifully proportioned physique, she’ll be
generating some major waves when she makes
her pro debut at the Figure International on
February 29. An athlete all her life, Catherine
didn’t take up weight training until after college,
but she noticed changes in her body very rap-
idly once she did. That led her to compete in,
and win, her first bodybuilding competition in
’03, but she refocused to figure in ’06. By ’07 she
had her IFBB pro card. If you take a look at her
picture gallery, though, as well as the photos
she has for sale, it’s easy to see why Catherine
has been so successful so quickly. Her body has curves in all the right places, and while she possesses quite
a bit of muscle, it’s a perfect fit for her frame. That type of development doesn’t happen by accident. It takes
a meticulously planned training and nutrition program. Luckily, Catherine is more than willing to share her
secrets with anyone looking to benefit from her knowledge through one-on-one personal training, online
training and a series of Adventure Boot Camps that she’ll be running in 2008. Check out her site for the
details. While you’re there, you can read more about her. If you’re an up-and-coming figure gal looking to
increase your exposure in the industry, CatherineAndersen.com provides links to a sample résumé, spon-
sorship-request cover letter and an expense sheet specific to the sport. It’s always nice to see a champion
help those who wish to one day walk in the same shoes…or in this case, high heels.

>DVD Review: “Jay Cutler: From Jay to Z”

Okay, I admit that when I received my review copy of there are many on this DVD), attend the grand open-
this DVD and saw that it was almost seven hours long, I ing of his Max Muscle store in Venice, California, and
said to myself, “There’s no way I’m watching this entire much more. This DVD truly “humanizes” Jay and shows
thing. If I’m going to spend seven hours in front of my exactly what it takes to be Mr. Olympia both inside and
TV, it’ll be for ‘Seinfeld’ reruns or ‘The Matrix’ trilogy.” outside the gym. In fact, after watching Jay in action,
Well, guess what? I did watch the whole thing—and I I’ve come to respect him even more as both a body-
really enjoyed it. It would take many pages for me to tell builder and a representative of the sport. He’s remained
you all about “From Jay to Z,” as it’s truly packed with humble, levelheaded, passionate and, most important,
entertaining and interesting footage of the world’s great- approachable and friendly to all of his fans, no matter
est bodybuilder. That’s what the situation. I
quite unlike most other highly recommend the
bodybuilding DVDs. It fol- DVD and applaud Jay
lows Jay through almost all Cutler for being such
facets of his life and work. a fine ambassador of
While the training pieces bodybuilding. Oops,
are enjoyable to watch, “Seinfeld” is on. Gotta
the footage outside the go.
gym is the most engaging. Editor’s note:
The viewer gets to see Jay “Jay Cutler: From
meet and greet fans, work Jay to Z” is avail-
at the Muscle Tech booth, able from Home Gym
hold a seminar at the IRON Warehouse, 1-800-
MAN Pro, talk to other 447-0008 or www.
fitness celebrities (and Home-Gym.com.

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 261

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Eric Broser’s

>Net Results Q&A than holding the bar the standard way, use a reverse
grip. That forces your elbows to remain out in front of
The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your your body, which contributes to greater recruitment of
questions on training and nutrition. the anterior delts. It might feel awkward at first, so take
it slow and start with a light weight.
Q: I have an odd problem with my shoulders.
My posterior- and lateral-delt heads are well Incline barbell or dumbbell front raises. Hold-
developed, but my anterior delts look flat. With ing a pair of dumbbells or a light barbell, lie facedown
all of the heavy pressing I do, how can that be? on an incline bench set at about 60 degrees. Raise the
I can handle 110-pound dumbbells for seated weight to just above shoulder level, using front-delt
presses, and I bench close to 400 pounds. How power only. The angle of your torso takes away any
can I bring up my front delts? possibility of cheating and makes for a much more
intense contraction at the top of the movement.
A: That’s an interesting question, as I actually have
the same problem and have just recently set out to Cable front raises. Attach a short straight bar to
fix it. I’m not sure if this is the case with you, but I’ve a low pulley. Stand facing away from the weight stack,
become so proficient at recruiting my pectorals during holding the bar with your palms down and the cable
pressing movements that I believe my anterior delts running between your legs. Lean slightly forward at the
might not receive enough stimulation, even from seated waist, and raise the bar to just above shoulder level.
dumbbell and military presses—and, yes, my chest is Hold the peak contraction for a moment, and lower the
my best bodypart. So if shoulder presses aren’t getting bar under full control. The constant tension of the cable
the job done, where does that leave us? The answer provides a unique stimulation for the anterior shoulder
lies in tweaking the pressing movements and fibers.
adding some front-delt isolation work. Here are
the movements I suggest you add to your pro- Use one
gram: pressing move-
ment and one
isolation move-
ment in each
shoulder work-
out. I suggest
that you occa-
sionally superset
two of the move-
ments in either
preexhaust or
fashion. Each
type of super-
set provides a
unique feel and
Neveux \ Model: Dan Gwartney, M.D.

I started notic-
ing new fullness
Seated twisting in my front delts
dumbbell after only four
presses, a.k.a.
weeks of using
Arnold presses,
those exercises.
hit the front
delts hard. Work hard, and
you should ex-
perience the same sensation.
Seated twisting, or Arnold, dumbbell presses.
Instead of keeping your palms facing forward through- Preexhaust superset
out the movement, start with the palms facing toward Cable front raises 2-3 x 12-15
you, with your elbows slightly in front of your torso. As Seated twisting dumbbell presses 2-3 x 6-8
you press, twist your wrists so the palms face forward
at the top. Then reverse the process on the descent. Postactivation superset
That will activate the anterior delts somewhat more Seated reverse-grip barbell presses 2-3 x 8-10
than standard dumbbell presses. Incline dumbbell front raises 2-3 x 10-12
Seated reverse-grip barbell presses. Rather

262 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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Predictions Dept.

Who’ll be heading to the
pros in ’08?
As you know, in 2007 it was Ben White and DeShaun Grimez
leaving the USA with pro cards and overall champ Evan Centopani
leading the seven class winners at the Nationals, who are all eligible to
move on to the next level. Who’ll be out of the gate first in ’08? Early or
not, the Swami is here to tell ya who the main contenders going from
the NPC to the IFBB will be. I’ll start—and end—with a couple of guys
named Brandon. As in Curry and Rey.
Brandon Curry, at only 25, doesn’t need to be in a hurry but is one
of my picks for most likely to get a pro card in Vegas at the end of July
at the USA. No going out on a limb here. The 5’8” 224-pound Curry was Brandon
second in the heavyweight class at the USA and Curry.
Nationals last season. The new age Flex Wheel-
er would seem to have a lock on the class, but Brandon
contests are won onstage, not on paper, so Bran- Rey.
don still needs to show up in prime-time condition
to earn pro status. I say he does.
Brandon Rey, 28, took the light-heavyweight
class at the ’07 Junior Nationals, but the Silver
Spring, Maryland, resident will be moving up a
division—or two!—this year. At 5’7” the CNN as-
signment editor-producer was carrying a hard 240
pounds in the off-season and could be producing
a segment on himself in a “Look Back at 2008”
highlight reel.
Not sure where this Brandon will turn up on-
stage, the USA or the Nationals, but he’s more
than capable of nabbing that pro card at either
one. Say, who wants to see a Brandon-Brandon
Contest photography by Roland Balik and Merv

showdown in Vegas? All in favor say aye!

ADD NPC VIPs—A kid who really caught my

eye at the Nationals was Ozzy. No, not Osborne. Jeff Olcsvary.
Olcsvary, as in Jeff ”Ozzy” Olcsvary. He stands
only 5’4” and weighed in at 151, but don’t let the size fool ya. The chap is
real big, both on a posing dais and in the powerlifting arena.
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but pretty much raised in Moss Bluff,
Olcsvary says the first time he saw “Conan the Barbarian” he wanted
to be as big as Arnold. Claims he even worked out by carrying a log
around the yard, and that he pushed his truck around the neighborhood
to get stronger at lineman drills for football.
Though he’ll never be as big as the Governator, at least sizewise, Ozzy

264 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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New things you can do
Where can you JULY?
in the gym
build a body No, but it
Pages 267-268
like this explains why
Pages 268- Santa loves
269 Southern
Pages 266
through 268

will be making plenty of noise in the industry real soon. At the Nationals
he gave himself a wonderful 22nd birthday present by earning a third-
place finish in a tough lightweight class. A few months earlier he took
the division at the Junior Nationals, facing off against Brandon Rey,
among others, in the overall posedown.
Olcsvary’s powerlifting feats are something to behold. He’s the owner
of American and national records in two weight classes: At the ’05 Col-
legiate Nationals Ozzy was awesome with a 369-pound bench, a 501
squat and a 468 deadlift at a bodyweight of 148. He set the Collegiate
National Bench press record in the 123-pound division with a lift of 303.
What’s more, he’s a “strong” choice to win the lightweight class in
Atlanta next November at the Nationals. I’m willing to bench, er, bet, on
that too!

IFBB Expansion
THREE UP, ONE DOWN—Although the Colorado Pro is gone
from the IFBB Professional League men’s schedule after a two-year
run, three new contests appear on the slate for ’08. The New Zealand
Elite Pro on March 15, the Houston Pro on July 4 and 5 and the Pro
Bodybuilding Weekly Championships in Tampa, Florida, on August 9
will make their debuts this season to run the total of events to 11.
Under the direction of promoter Tim Gardner, the Pro Bodybuild-
Evan ing Weekly Championships will be the only men’s pro show staged in
Centopani. the Southeast. In fact, it’s been five years since a pro show has been
held in the Sunshine State.
“The PBW contest is a great way for us to give something back to an
Dan industry that has helped us popularize bodybuilding talk radio,” said PBW
Soloman creator Dan Solomon. “The state of Florida has produced countless
and Joe world-class bodybuilders, and we are excited to team up with Gardner,
Weider. one of the area’s top promoters. We expect an impressive lineup come
show time.” The event will be
held at the prestigious Tampa
Troy Alves
Photo courtesy of the IFBB Press Commission

Bay Performing Arts Center,

with Larry
near the historic Ybor City
Isaac Hinds \ www.LiftStudios.com

could only shake his head at the
conclusion of the ’07 Nationals.
Can you blame him for being
upset? I mean, the guy actually
bet the Swami a steak dinner
that Brandon Curry would win his class and best Evan
Centopani. How dare you question my crystal ball? Solo-
mon will be paying up during IRON MAN Pro weekend, at an
eatery of my choice. Filet mignon, medium well, please.
Tyler goes to the
ADD PBW—Solomon and sidekick Bob Cicherillo
began their fourth season in January, as well as celebrated
their 100th show, and this year they have added Larry
J.M. Manion

Pepe’s “Pep Talk” to their Monday night-lineup. It’s good

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRIL 2008 265

Free download from imbodybuilding.com
to have Larry back on the radio; I was a guest on his old show, “Muscle
Radio,” a couple of times, along with John Romano, and felt the seg-
ments went very well. Larry knows his stuff and is always well prepared.
The 30-minute show airs immediately after Solomon and Cicherillo’s
hourlong broadcast. So, what got ya back in the saddle, Larry?
“For the past 20 years I’ve lived the bodybuilding lifestyle and have
been a part of virtually all phases of the industry,” said the Pepster. “The
opportunity to create 30 minutes of quality content for the fans every Anjelica
week sounded like too much fun to pass up. The popularity of PBW radio Huston and
speaks for itself.” friend.
Good points, my man.

People and Events

ADD CENTOPANI—As a lot of people
figured, ’07 NPC National champ Evan Cen-
topani will be making his first venture into the
flex-for-pay arena at the New York Pro. Even so,
Centopani fans will have to wait a bit to see the
Italian Battalion onstage, as he’s shooting for the
’09 New York Pro.
“Last year my off-season was only from March
to July, because after the Nationals the year be-
John Balik and Bill Rosendahl.
fore I made the mistake of trying to stay in shape
too long,” he explained. “For my pro debut I’d
like to give myself some time and have a full Lisa Boushard (with Quincy
season to train hard, eat up and grow. I feel I Taylor) at the ’07 New York
can really make some dramatic improvements Metro.
if I allow myself the time.”
Centopani says he knows he’ll “catch some
heat” for waiting a year and a half, but “I know
what’s right for me, and if I ended up plac- Santa Joe Wheatley and his helpers.
ing high in New York this year but didn’t feel I
made any improvements from the Nationals, I
wouldn’t be satisfied.”
No heat from this guy, Evan. You’ll just be
turning 27 then, and I can see you coming it at
a hard 260 (he was 245 at the Nationals) and
making a solid run for the title.
People have whined about Phil Heath’s
decision to pass on the past two Olympias,
but if the Gift has the great season I foresee for
him this year, everyone will be telling him just
how smart he was. Happy
So I say to Evan, take your time, kid—you have 80th,
a long career ahead of you. George!

OUCH! DEPT.—As Mr. T said in “Rocky

III,” “My prediction? Pain!” Tyler Manion is only
about 5’2” and weighs around 100 pounds, but
you’d better not get the 14-year-old ticked off. Or,
more specifically, get him on a wrestling mat.
Son of J.M. Manion and grandson of Jim,
Tyler the Terror is 17–2 for the season and un-
beaten in junior high competition. Gee, he seems
like such a sweet young man. Where in the world
did he get his killer instinct? They do say genetics
often skips a generation, right, Lats?

Brian Andrews and Flex Wheeler.

lineup ever just five weeks away as I write this, it’s not a bad time to check

266 APRIL 2008 \ www.ironmanmagazine.com

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in with Flex Wheeler, the all-time IM record holder with five victories.
Wheeler, 42, has been writing and taking pics for Muscular Development
for the past few years, and he recently joined forces with All American
EFX, one of the fastest-growing sports nutrition brands in the land, a
company whose motto is, “Pure. Potent. Drug-Free.”
If you’ve seen Flex at contests or in pictures recently, you may have
noticed the “Natural Freak” T-shirt.
“People find it hard to believe I’m now natural,” said Wheeler. “They
see the crazy size I had put on after only six weeks of using only AAEFX
products. That was months ago, and I’m still growing. I’m also here to tell
you we’re going to shake the industry up with what we’re doing together.
As for my plans, who knows? Hey, I’m Flex Wheeler—you never know
what I’ll do!”
Flex says it was a twist of fate that brought him together with AAEFX.
“About two years ago I got a sample bottle of their Kre-Alkalyn EFX cre-
atine product at a trade show in Italy,” he related. “After I used it for only
a few days, I was hooked. Once I started training again after my shoulder
surgery, I wanted to get back on the product again. So I called the num-
ber on the side of the bottle, spoke with the president of the company,
Brian Andrews, and the rest is history.”
You can learn more about the product at www.getkre-alkalyn.com.

More Milestones
TURNER, 80, STILL GOING STRONG—George Turner, for-
mer IRON MAN scribe, bodybuilding star and gym owner deluxe and
Anna and Jeff. a personal trainer at Powerhouse Gym in St. Louis, Missouri, recently
celebrated his 80th birthday at the facility, which is owned by fitness pro
Angela Semsch and her husband, Roger. Turner’s birthday bash was
part of the holiday party for staff and members that
Angie and Roger threw at the gym. NPC bodybuild-
ing standout Lisa Boushard, who won the New
York City Metro Championships in 2007, also works
there and tells me that George draws top dollar from
his clients—and that they’re all getting major results. I
wouldn’t expect anything less, Lisa!
Turner opened his first gym, the West End Bar-
bell Club, back in 1950 and went on to own seven
workout centers in the St. Louis area until 1992.
Adir George, who, like the late Joe Gold, made his own
Fihlo. equipment, was one of the first to produce 45 and 75
degree leg presses. Ken Waller, Tony Pearson,
Samir Bannout and Jeff King are just a few of
the stars who trained at Turner gyms over the years.
George still looks great, Lisa looks great, Angie
looks great. They must be doing something right at
that gym—congrats to all, folks.


450 toys and $300 in cash donations were raised for
Venice’s Bible Tabernacle Church at the initial Muscle Beach Toy Drive,
which was held over three days in December at the famous Venice weight
pen. The church provides toys to homeless and needy children in Venice
and the surrounding area.
Various celebs showed up at the event, including award-winning ac-
tress Anjelica Huston and award-winning Santa Claus Smokin’ Joe
Wheatley, who brought his helpers, Barb Garcia, Delinia Lewis,
Cheryl Stoneham and Marie Cunningham. Joe, next time trim the
beard a bit so we can see more than three inches of your face. Were you
hiding from anybody in particular?
One of the many highlights of the event was the presentation of a
Certificate of Appreciation to IRON MAN Publisher John Balik from the

www.ironmanmagazine.com \ APRI