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Please display until 8/4/09
• Beginning Bodybuilding—the Iron Guru Method
• Get Ripped—Tips and Tricks for Faster Fat Loss
• Build More Muscle—10x10, Negatives, X Reps
675 at 165 Bodyweight
How Joe Mazza Did It
Bench Press!

Photos of
the Oak
In His
You Can Blast
Past Mass Plateaus
the Wall
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Supplements Books Videos
2 / 162 \ APRIL 2006 261
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150 DECEMBER 2009 \
All it takes is a dumbbell set
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Greg is a former Army Ranger and was
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• Key Exercises for Big Gains
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• The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Method
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4 / 162

10x10’s greatest hits—best bodypart workouts.
Ron Harris lays out the mass-building cure for the
summertime blues.
Rare, classic pics of the king of bodybuilding—
perfect for framing and motivation for training.
How Alex Azarian activates his delt-size detonator.
Cory Crow interviews the national-level flexer.
Jerry Brainum concludes his look at resveratrol, an
amazing anti-aging antioxidant.
Drug-free champion Skip La Cour continues his tale
of obsession, self-absorption and antisocial behavior.

Contents_F.indd 22 6/1/09 6:37:11 PM
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appears on
this month’s
cover. Photo by
Vol. 68, No. 8
Please display until 8/4/09
• Beginning Bodybuilding—the Iron Guru Method
• Get Ripped—Tips and Tricks for Faster Fat Loss
• Build More Muscle—10x10, Negatives, X Reps
675 at 165 Bodyweight
How Joe Mazza Did It
Bench Press!

Photos of
the Oak
In His
You Can Blast
Past Mass Plateaus
the Wall
John Little reveals Mike Mentzer’s findings on ab training and motivation.
Sean Katterle lays out the program of one of the best benchers in the world,
Joe Mazza. Would you believe 675 at 165 pounds? Unreal!
From the archive, Callum Mahoney outlines the legendary
Iron Guru’s starter program, a controversial out-of-the-blocks muscle builder.
From Austria to the bodybuilding stage to Hollywood: Kickinger the conqueror.
An image homage to the victors of the ladies’ body battles in Columbus, Ohio.
Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB Women’s Historian, looks back at the Ms. Olympia.
Coach Bill Starr takes you through the wall—overcoming sticking points.
Contents_F.indd 23 6/1/09 6:38:21 PM
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Size on the tri’s, strip away bodyfat, and Joe
Horrigan busts shoulder-training myths.
Coach Charles Poliquin shows how negative
emphasis can equal positive muscle gains.
Faster muscle refueling, super algae and cal-
cium—a testosterone booster?
John Hansen looks at tested vs. untested con-
tests and proper program splitting.
Drug-free bodybuilder Dave Goodin’s psychol-
ogy for overcoming stage fright.
Steve Holman’s tips for faster fat loss.
Lonnie Teper’s behind-the-scenes look at the
world of bodybuilding—plus his Rising Stars.
240 PUMP &
Ruth Silverman and her camera capture the
hard curves of the women’s side of the phy-
sique sports.
Eric Broser checks out a couple of hot forums,
reviews a classic Flex Wheeler DVD and then
merges Positions of Flexion with his P/RR/S.
Jerry Brainum looks at new research on muscle
destruction from steroids.
Bomber Blast, meditation sensation and
BodySpace Physique of the Month Eric Abenoja.
Classic Shredder and BodySpace bravado.
Come September, we get up close and personal with another
Austrian Oak, Tony Breznik, the 2008 Mr. Austria. You won’t
believe the muscle size on this dude, and he’s been training
for less than five years! Plus, we have a high-flying pictorial
of Fitness Olympia and International champ Jen Hendershott.
Lensmaster Michael Neveux took Jen and her trusty trampoline
to the beach for some flippin’ great pics. Also, we’ve got more
10x10 spin, P/RR/S success, new heat-shock protein research
and X-Factor arm training to get you growing. Find the
September issue on newsstands the first week of August.
In the next IRON MAN:
Contents_F.indd 24 6/1/09 6:40:24 PM
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Picture this... you with tight,
shredded abs, serratus and
intercostals all sharp, sliced and
visible from across the room or
on the sun-glared beach! And
from the rear, lower lumbars that
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9 / 162

26 AUGUST 2009 \
This issue is our annual Arnold birthday special, and
we’re featuring the photos of Jimmy Caruso and Gene
Mozée. Jimmy and Gene were both honored by IRON
MAN with the Art Zeller Artistic Achievement Award—
Gene in 2001 and Jimmy in ’02. The images of Arnold
that begin on page 108 underline the greatness of their
talents. Each picture is a priceless example of their art that highlights
arguably the best bodybuilder of all time. We present most of them one
to a page so you can more easily frame them for your home gym. Enjoy!
Speaking of outstanding photographers—
and another recipient of the Art Zeller Artis-
tic Achievement Award—here’s to my good
friend Chris Lund, who we honored in 2004.
Has anyone brought more enthusiasm and
intensity to workout photography? If you’ve
ever had the privilege of being photographed
by Chris or watching one of his gym shoots,
you’ve seen someone who was absolutely
obsessed with getting everything out of his
subject. Perfectly lit, jaw-dropping muscle
plus technical excellence are the hallmarks
of his work. As relentless as his demands on
his subjects were, his demands on himself in
pursuit of the perfect image were even more so. The intensity and sheer
visceral grit of his black and white photog-
raphy have been copied by many but never
The photograph is always a reflection of
the photographer and his sensibilities, and
Chris’ deep love of the sport of bodybuild-
ing and respect for his subject are visible in
every image.
He’s the last holdout for film; he’s never
shot digital. Now Chris has decided to turn
the page—he feels he’s taken his art as far
as he can, a decision that marks the end of
an era. Chris defined the look of Flex with
his wonderful images for more than 20
years and is the
last of the artistic team that worked directly
with Joe Weider—as Mike Neveux and I did
before him.
Chris is more than a gifted photographer
who worked incredibly hard at his craft. He’s a
genuine character—and I say that with great
affection. His British accent coupled with an
absolutely in-your-face honesty make him fun
to be around. Quick to laugh with a sardonic
sense of humor, Chris will be missed for both
what he brought to the sport and what he
means to those of us who call him a friend. IM
Iconic Images
Jimmy Caruso.

by John Balik
Founders 1936-1986:
Peary & Mabel Rader
Publisher/Editorial Director: John Balik
Associate Publisher: Warren Wanderer
Design Director: Michael Neveux
Editor in Chief: Stephen Holman
Art Director: T.S. Bratcher
Senior Editor: Ruth Silverman
Editor at Large: Lonnie Teper
Articles Editors: L.A. Perry, Caryne Brown
Assistant Art Director: Brett R. Miller
Staff Designer: Fernando Carmona
Sonia Melendez, Mervin Petralba, Brad Seng
Contributing Authors:
Jerry Brainum, Eric Broser, David Chapman,
Teagan Clive, Lorenzo Cornacchia, Daniel
Curtis, Dave Draper, Michael Gündill, Rosemary
Hallum, Ph.D., John Hansen, Ron Harris, Ori
Hofmekler, Rod Labbe, Skip La Cour, Jack
LaLanne, Butch Lebowitz, John Little, Stuart
McRobert, Gene Mozée, Charles Poliquin, Larry
Scott, Jim Shiebler, Roger Schwab, C.S. Sloan,
Bill Starr, Bradley Steiner, Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D.,
Randall Strossen, Ph.D., Richard Winett, Ph.D.,
and David Young
Contributing Artists:
Steve Cepello, Larry Eklund, Ron Dunn,
Jake Jones
Contributing Photographers:
Jim Amentler, Ron Avidan, Roland Balik, Reg
Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Dobbins, Jerry
Fredrick, Irvin Gelb, Isaac Hinds, Dave Liberman,
J.M. Manion, Merv, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru
Okabe, Rob Sims, Ian Sitren, Leo Stern
Marketing Director:
Helen Yu, (805) 385-3500, ext. 313
Accounting: Dolores Waterman,
(805) 385-3500, ext. 324
Advertising Director: Warren Wanderer
(805) 385-3500, ext. 368
(518) 743-1696; FAX: (518) 743-1697
Advertising Coordinator:
Jonathan Lawson, (805) 385-3500, ext. 320
Newsstand Consultant:
Angelo Gandino, (516) 796-9848
1-800-570-4766 or (714) 226-9782
We reserve the right to reject any advertising at our
discretion without explanation. All manuscripts, art
or other submissions must be accompanied by a self-
addressed, stamped envelope. Send submissions to
IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033. We
are not responsible for unsolicited material. Writers and
photographers should send for our Guidelines outlining
specifications for submissions. IRON MAN is an open
forum. We also reserve the right to edit any letter or
manuscript as we see fit, and photos submitted have an
implied waiver of copyright. Please consult a physician
before beginning any diet or exercise program. Use the
information published in IRON MAN at your own risk.
IRON MAN Internet Addresses:
Web Site:
John Balik, Publisher:
Steve Holman, Editor in Chief:
Ruth Silverman, Senior Editor:
T.S. Bratcher, Art Director:
Helen Yu, Marketing:
Warren Wanderer, Advertising:
Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator:
Gene Mozée.
Chris Lund.
PubLtr_F.indd 26 6/2/09 1:31:32 PM
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One of Arnold’s
favorite machines
was the Nautilus
pullover, but free
weights were the
dominant force in
his workouts.
¬¬¬|× ¬o o¬|×
s|ze m¬¬¬e¬s, so...
32 AUGUST 2009 \
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He was big. He was pissed. And
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Until I Crushed His Hand!

13 / 162

Machines Are Gravy
The first thing I noticed when I pulled into my gym’s
parking lot was that a group of older Body Masters ma-
chines was assembled out in front. Also out front was a
large truck from which workers were unloading a full line of
brand-new, high-tech machines. Though I confess to being
excited, I was nowhere near as excited as I would have
been years ago. For about two years I thought free weights
were obsolete junk and machines—specifically, Nautilus
machines—were the absolute best training tools an aspiring
bodybuilder could use.
It all started in September 1987 as I began my fresh-
man year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I’d
been lifting throughout high school at home, in my friend
Paul’s attic for one school year and the local Boy’s Club
in Waltham, Massachusetts. Once I got to UCSB, my first
order of business, probably as important to me as buy-
ing my textbooks, was finding a place to train. There was
a free campus gym at the time—inside a big trailer. It was
filled with free weights but sickeningly crowded, and it
had terrible ventilation—hot as hell and stinking of sweat
and mildew. At the campus bookstore I’d picked up two
books that would have a huge influence on me: The Nau-
tilus Bodybuilding Book by Arthur Jones, and The Nautilus
Advanced Bodybuilding Book by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
Being a typical impatient 18-year-old, I read the advanced
book first. Both Jones and Darden were incredibly persua-
sive, and they convinced me that if muscle building was
what I wanted, I needed to train on Nautilus machines. So
instead of the free gym that had all the weights I would
have needed, I paid to join the
school’s Nautilus gym. There I fol-
lowed the advanced routines—I’d
been lifting for a few years—and
started to make progress.
I lived in Venice in the summer of
1988 before heading back to Boston.
I was transferring to Emerson College,
and I stupidly missed a great oppor-
tunity because of my blind devotion to
Nautilus. I walked into the old World
Gym on Main Street and faced Joe
Gold at the front desk. Joe founded
both the Gold’s and World Gym
chains, and training at his flagship
location would have been an excellent
crash course in bodybuilding. Though
it wasn’t as flashy and loud as Gold’s
Gym in Venice a couple of blocks
away, a lot of stars trained at World
in the late ’80s: Arnold, Lou Ferrigno,
Samir Bannout and Robby Robinson,
to name a few.
Me, the know-it-all 18-year-old
punk, looked around and asked Joe,
“Where are the Nautilus machines?”
Gold was a blunt, no-nonsense guy.
His gym had free weights and some
great machines, some of which he
had built himself—but no Nautilus.
“Why don’t you go find a Nautilus gym?” he asked,
which was his way of telling me to get lost. So I did. Dur-
ing most of my sophomore year of college, I trained at the
YMCA in Boston next to Northeastern University—because
it had a full line of Nautilus equipment. In all that time my
bodyweight went from about 145 to 155—not too spec-
tacular for a teenager who really should have been growing
pretty fast. I didn’t eat enough, of course, but that was
starting to change. It wasn’t until after I competed in my
first contest in March 1989 that I finally joined a different
gym—a World Gym in Newton, Massachusetts, only a few
miles from home. I started using both free weights and
machines—and by the end of that year my weight was up
to 175.
At last I realized that I’d been shortchanging myself by
using machines only. Free weights are the training tools
that have transformed the bodies of literally millions of men
and women over the years, and they can never be replaced
by machines. As much as I love some machine lines—like
Hammer Strength—I would never again use only machines.
Basics like squats, dumbbell and barbell presses, rows,
curls and extensions will always produce results. It’s more
difficult to master proper form on and control free weights,
which is a big part of why they’re so effective. Simply put,
they force you to work harder. No leg machine ever cre-
ated will ever work you harder than a heavy set of squats
for 10 to 12 reps. I gave all the new machines at my gym
a try. They were interesting and definitely would be suitable
as finishing movements
after free-weight rows
and chinups, but I’d
never use any of those
wonderful, brand-new
high-tech machines as
the foundation of any
workout. They’re great
adjuncts to free weights
but not a replacement.
Free weights will always
be the meat and pota-
toes of training tools.
Machines will always be
the gravy.
—Ron Harris
Editor’s note: Ron
Harris is the author of
Real Bodybuilding: Mus-
cle Truth from 25 Years
in the Trenches, available
at www.RonHarris
s | z e s c ¬ o e
It’s best to start your
bodypart routines with basic
exercises like chins. Finish
with machines.
TrainToGain_F.indd 33 5/29/09 1:19:36 PM
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Visit us at or call 800-447-0008
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Shoulder Horn
How would you like a surge in
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But nine times out of 10 this stall is
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The rotator cuff muscles stabilize
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15 / 162

There’s much
more to muscle
growth than in-
creasing the size
of fast-twitch
fibers. You have
increases in
enzymes, stored
ATP, phos-
glycogen and
triglyceride; and
fiber splitting, or
hyperplasia. Let’s also not forget the dif-
ferent types of fast-twitch fibers, as well
as the slow-twitch ones.
Training to enhance all of those
facets of hypertrophy is the only way
to reach maximum size potential, and
Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock
training system does just that. During
Power week you use big exercises for
low reps. For Rep Range week you run
the gamut of ranges—seven to nine,
10 to 12 and 13 to 15. For Shock week
all bets are off, and you bombard every
muscle with intensity techniques like
drop sets and supersets.
That’s a simplified explanation. Bros-
er has gone to great lengths to incorpo-
rate key rep tempos for each week to
enhance the desired size effects. You’ll
see exactly how it works in his new e-
program, The Power/Rep Range/Shock
Workout. He provides all the details and
There are printable templates for
every workout—12 in all. You also
get a big Q&A section that discusses
DoggCrapp training, P/RR/S variations,
forced reps, home training and cardio.
Plus Broser interviews drug-free pro
bodybuilder Kyle Harris on his success
with P/RR/S—before and after photos
It’s one power-packed e-workout
program. Get it and prepare to grow!
—Steve Holman
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s Power/
Rep Range/Shock Workout is available
as an instant download at www
The Power/Rep
10x10 Muscle Expansion
Q: I just read your e-book X-Rep
Update #1 and your Ultimate
10x10 Mass Workout. I’m thor-
oughly impressed. What great
info. I learned a lot and am ap-
plying many of your methods. I
was especially intrigued with the
fascia-expansion workout in X
Update. It makes sense to end a
bodypart routine by supersetting
the contracted-position exer-
cise with a stretch one to make
room for extra growth to happen;
however, I can’t superset in my
crowded gym. What do you think
about just ending each bodypart
workout with 10x10 on a stretch-
position exercise to expand the
A: Man, we love it when bodybuild-
ers use their heads and come up with a
killer idea. That’s an excellent way to use
10x10 to get a major size surge, one we
hadn’t considered. It’s an ideal solution
for trainees who want to continue to use
heavy weight on the big exercises but
still add on 10x10 to get a big bang in
muscle gains.
Your idea adds a new dimension to
Hany Rambod’s FST-7 method. He sug-
gests ending each bodypart with seven
quick sets of an isolation exercise, like
leg extensions, to engorge the muscle
with as much blood as possible. Accord-
ing to Rambod, that stretches the fascia
from the inside. The fascia, which are
fiber encasements, constrict growth—
like a tight sausage casing—so stretch-
ing them can loosen them and unleash a
new level of growth quickly.
Your idea is similar but maybe even
better: You do a few heavy sets of a
midrange exercise, like chins for lats,
and a contracted-position move, like
stiff-arm pulldowns. Now you’ve got a
major pump going. Then you end with a
stretch-position exercise, like pullovers,
for 10 sets of 10 reps to elongate the
fully-engorged muscle over and over. Talk
about extreme fascia expan-
sion—but that’s just the tip of
the hypertrophic iceberg.
By ending with a stretch
move for 10 sets of 10, you’ll
be getting an extreme amount
of target-muscle elonga-
tion—100 reps worth, to be
exact. That produces other
key mass-building reactions,
like anabolic hormone release
in muscle and possible fiber
splitting. Remember the animal
study that produced a 300
percent muscle-mass increase
from only one month of stretch-
overload workouts? You’re
mimicking that effect, which, as
researchers showed, can pro-
duce incredibly fast size results.
[Note: For the uninitiated,
to incorporate 10x10, take a
weight with which you can get
about 20 reps but only do 10;
rest for 30 seconds, then do 10
more, and so on until you com-
plete 10 sets in about 10 min-
utes. The first few sets will be
easy; the last few will be brutal.
For more information and pro-
grams, see The Ultimate 10x10
Mass Workout e-program.]
—Steve Holman and
Jonathan Lawson
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34 AUGUST 2009 \
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Hammer Curls Crossovers
Cable Rows
You’ve Never Felt Anything Like It!

For example, standard straps just don’t do the
job on pulldowns. The rigid, unyielding grip
become the Achilles heel that limits growth
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17 / 162

Size On the Tri’s Without Elbow Pain
Q: I’m 48 years old, and I’ve been training with
weights for decades. I’ve always had trouble build-
ing my triceps. Almost every exercise that I do to
directly work them hurts my elbows. Do you have
any advice?
A: First, don’t do the exercises that hurt. Even if you’re
down to one exercise that directly hits the triceps, do that one
only. Each of us has a unique musculoskeletal system. I’ve
trained thousands of clients over the years, and none respond
to the same set or exercise in exactly the same way. I will give
you an example.
Many years ago I often trained with a very good bodybuild-
er who had “bad elbows.” When he worked his chest and
triceps, he did the same routines each time—very heavy too.
He’d do enormously heavy flat-bench presses—315 for eight
reps and bounce 405 off his chest for two with a barbell. Then
he’d do very heavy incline presses with a barbell—still keeping
the weight too high and struggling to get two or three reps.
His finishing exercise was flat flyes with the 100s, and most of
that motion was pressing. Come time for his triceps, he’d load
the cambered bar up for French presses, or, as some people
call them, lying triceps presses. Every rep he did was torture.
He looked around at other huge guys and saw them doing the
same exercises without any problem. He concluded that they,
too, were going through all this torture to get their chest and
triceps huge or that something was wrong with him. He fig-
ured he had to go through the pain in order to look like them.
Not so! There shouldn’t be pain in bodybuilding. You may
feel burning in the tissue or get out of breath from some heavy
squats, but being in pain is a really bad place to be.
The guy I trained with would get cortisone shots and ice
the heck out of each elbow just to move from day to day, and
he lived in
pain. I
watched it
close up. I
asked him
why he
didn’t use
cables or
for chest
and triceps,
use less
weight and
do more
reps. His
“You can’t
grow like
that!” So I
started to
train on my
own again.
My point
is that
you can
grow by
lifting logs
if you’re
isolating the muscles properly. Take the problem with your
elbows. Many ligaments and tendons move right near the
elbow; however, it’s been my observation that it’s usually one
of three—or all three—that causes problems. Often it’s a ten-
don that is snapping over the elbow, but that usually doesn’t
cause long-term and severe pain. Torn ligaments, however,
In the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament tenses and re-
laxes with muscular response to the inner part of the forearm.
The radial collateral ligament tenses and relaxes in response
to use of the backside of the forearm—that’s also where most
people get tendinitis, or what’s often called tennis elbow. You
could have that problem, so go to a physiatrist—an allopathic
M.D.—who knows the biomechanical body better than any
other type of doctor. Also in the elbow is the articular capsule.
That’s where synovial fluid is released in order to keep parts
working—like oil in your automobile’s engine. That capsule, or
sac, can become inflamed and stop producing the synovial
fluid that is vital for movement of the elbow joint.
Let’s say that no one can pinpoint anything and you have to
figure it out on your own. Here’s what I’d tell anyone with your
problem: Warm up your elbows with the lightest of weights—
really light pushdowns with 20 to 30 pounds, two sets of 20
reps. You’re not going to blow your entire workout, as my
friend might say. Continue doing pushdowns, trying different
bars or a rope, and see which one changes the way your wrist
moves enough to keep your elbow from being injured. The
position that you hold the bar in and how your wrist is aligned
with the ulna and humerus greatly affects how your elbow
works. That may seem like a painstaking process, but it’s the
only way you’ll ever find out which exercises are biomechani-
cally right for you.
It may take weeks or months, since you’ve probably cre-
ated multiple problems. Do two heavy sets with a weight that
gives you 10 perfect reps on pushdowns with a straight bar,
and then rest your triceps for four days. Come back, warm
them up again and use a V-shaped bar. That changes not only
your wrist placement but also the emphasis on the muscles
and tendons. Do two sets, and then rest your elbows for
four more days. Then try a rope. Repeat until you solve the
puzzle. Not everyone’s body is biomechanically designed to lift
weights the way others do.
I have three friends who have what is called ankylosing
spondylitis arthritis. They’re relatively certain they got it from
going too heavy while using anabolic steroids. Often it’s not
the steroids that cause the problem; it’s people who don’t
work within their biomechanical structure and its limits.
—Paul Burke
Editor’s note: Contact Paul Burke
via e-mail at Burke
has a master’s degree in integrated
studies from Cambridge College in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s
been a champion bodybuilder and arm
wrestler, and he’s considered a leader
in the field of over-40 fitness training.
You can purchase his book, Burke’s
Law—a New Fitness Paradigm for the
Mature Male, from Home Gym Ware-
house. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit His “Burke’s
Law” training DVD is also available.
¬¬¬|× ¬o o¬|× z m¬¬c¬e mcscce
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40 AUGUST 2009 \
How to Strip Off Bodyfat
for losing
applies to
you just
as it does
to a pro-
er, but the
pros take
it much
than most
ers ever
do. To lose
take in
fewer calo-
ries than
you burn.
If you
have more
going in
than out,
an energy
you’ll gain
weight. If you have more energy going out than in, you have
an energy deficit, and you’ll lose weight because you’ll force
your body to draw on its energy stores—bodyfat.
Many diets and diet-and-exercise plans can produce the
energy deficit required for fat loss, but some are better than
others. A healthful and practical diet-and-exercise strategy
can be sustained over the long term without any loss of
muscle. My next series of columns will provide many facts
and tips you can use to help you devise such a strategy.
Here’s the first group:
1) Don’t confuse weight loss with fat loss. You want fat
loss, not just weight loss.
2) Most men store their fat around their waists, and most
women store it around their hips and thighs. It’s a gender
3) Bodyfat can’t be melted away through plastic wraps,
saunas or steam baths. It can’t be rubbed away through
massage or vibrating and rubbing machines. Nor can it be
dissolved by a dietary supplement.
4) Sweating—whether through saunas, special bands,
belts or wrappings—doesn’t produce fat loss. It produces
water loss, which you regain through fluid intake.
5) No matter how many situps, crunches, twists or what-
ever else you do, you won’t whittle away fat from your waist.
You achieve fat reduction internally, and only if you’re in suf-
ficient energy deficit for a sufficient period. The body sheds
fat overall, from some places more than others—or not at all.
The only way to spot-reduce fat is through surgery, which
has dangers and isn’t a long-term cure.
6) To avoid muscle loss while you strip off bodyfat, you
must lose fat slowly and avoid overtraining. Make one pound
a week the maximum rate of weight loss.
7) Train as if your priority is to build muscle. Keep your
routines short, hard and focused on the basic exercises.
Train with progressive poundages if possible, although that
may not be possible on a fat-loss program if you’ve already
trained for a long time. At minimum, maintain your current
strength and muscle mass as you strip off bodyfat.
8) The more food you can eat and still lose bodyfat, the
easier it will be for you to sustain the plan because you won’t
suffer the deprivation that most people feel when they diet.
To be able to have a satisfying calorie intake, increase your
calorie output. The more energy you burn through exercise
and general activity, the more food you can have and still be
in a calorie deficit.
9) The simplest, most practical, cheapest, low-intensity
exercise is walking. If you walk for an hour each day on top
of your usual activities, you’ll use up an additional 400 calo-
ries, depending on your pace.
10) If you prefer to use an elliptical or cross-trainer or a
rower, climber or stationary cycle instead of walking, that’s
fine. Still, you can walk outdoors anywhere, without special
equipment. For the alternatives you need equipment and a
gym, unless you have your own gear at home.
11) Each mile covered by foot, whether you walk at a
snail’s pace or run it as fast as you can, burns about 100
calories. Of course, the faster you cover a given distance, the
more quickly you’ll burn the 100 or so calories. The quicker
you cover it, of course, the more it will tire you. While it’s easy
to walk at a leisurely pace, it’s a rigorous workout to run.
Which are you more likely to do on a daily basis?
12) If you get a home treadmill, you can make walking
even more convenient. You can walk while watching TV,
listening to music, or holding a conversation. You also have
climate control and other advantages over walking outdoors.
You can do some of your walking outdoors and some of it
indoors, depending on your preference and the weather.
13) Analyze how many calories you’re currently taking in
each day. Maintain a food journal for a week of your normal
food and drink consumption. Write down everything you eat
and drink and the precise quantities, and be honest with
14) Use a printed calorie counter or go to www.Calorie, to find the calorie value of what you eat and drink.
Compute the total number of calories you take in over the
seven days, and then divide the total by seven to produce
your daily average calorie intake.
Next month I’ll give you another bundle of facts and tips
to guide you further. —Stuart McRobert
Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s
first byline in IRON MAN appeared
in 1981. He’s the author of the new
638-page opus on bodybuilding Build
Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, avail-
able from Home Gym Warehouse,
(800) 447-0008, or www.Home-Gym.
¬¬¬|× ¬o o¬|× z ¬¬¬oo¬|×e¬
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42 AUGUST 2009 \
Shoulder Training Myths Persist
I’ve addressed gym myths about shoulder training for 20
years. Much to my surprise, the myths still survive. I was pre-
senting a sportsmedicine lecture on the shoulder in April 2009
when one of the doctors in the audience asked about perform-
ing lateral raises with the front of the dumbbell turned down. If
doctors at a sportsmedicine lecture still wonder about that, I’m
certain that trainees and trainers aren’t quite clear on it either.
We’ve all heard a training partner, friend or personal trainer
instruct someone in the performance of the lateral raise. What
do we typically hear? “Raise your arm to the side and turn the
front of the dumbbell down as if pouring water from a pitcher.”
That sounds innocent enough; however, there is a problem
with that.
A part of the shoulder is predisposed to problems—the
space under the roof of the shoulder. The roof of the shoul-
der is made of a bone, the acromion, and a ligament, the
coracoacromial ligament. If you put your hand on top of your
shoulder, you can feel the bony roof. The shoulder is a ball-
and-socket joint, which is located beneath the bony roof. The
ball has a bony prominence that can bump into the bony roof.
Sensitive and important anatomical structures are in the space
below the roof: the long head of the biceps tendon, a rotator
cuff tendon a fluid-filled sac, or bursa.
When the ball bumps into the roof, the two tendons and
bursa become entrapped, or impinged. Bumping the ball into
the roof can create tendinitis and bursitis, or inflammation. The
problem is called subacromial impingement. Two movements
produce it. The first is raising the arm in any way with internal
rotation, or “turning the front of the dumbbell down” during
laterals. Upright rows are another way to raise the arm in inter-
nal rotation.
Internal rotation with elevation doesn’t allow the bony
prominence to pass under the roof. Rather, it drives the bony
prominence into the bony roof. The military press is exactly the
opposite in that the shoulder is in external rotation, which is a
much more natural motion. The bony prominence on the ball
passes underneath the roof of the shoulder.
The second way to cause impingement is to raise your arm
straight up, as if performing a full front delt raise. Many train-
ees have learned from experience that full front raises cause
shoulder pain. It’s common to see trainees perform them to 90
degrees only.
When a trainee comes to my office complaining of shoulder
pain from weight training, I ask him or her to go through the
details of his or her shoulder, chest and back workouts. Often
when I ask what exercises hurt the shoulder, the reply is, “Ev-
erything.” Everything hurts because the trainee has tendinitis
and bursitis from performing exercises that cause impinge-
ment. Many physicians oversimplify, or don’t understand, the
problem. Their solution is to stop weight training. No trainee
wants to hear that.
The more logical solution is to remove the problem ex-
ercises. That means eliminating laterals with the front of the
dumbbell turned down, full front raises and upright rows. It’s
usually accompanied by rotator cuff strengthening and shoul-
der stretches. The result is a trainee who has less shoulder pain
and is back in full training.
My advice is to keep your hands in a neutral to slightly
upward rotated position to protect the shoulder. Drop upright
rows altogether. If you have to perform front raises, take the
raise to 90 degrees only, but keep in mind that you can still
have impingement at 90 degrees. The exercises that develop
the front delts include military presses, behind-the-neck press-
es, bench presses, incline presses, flyes and laterals. You won’t
lose any development by dropping front raises. Please heed
this advice, miss fewer workouts due to shoulder pain, and
save yourself much care for your shoulder in the future.
—Joseph M. Horrigan
Editor’s note: Visit for
reprints of Horrigan’s
past Sportsmedicine
columns that have
appeared in IRON
MAN. You can order
the books Strength,
Conditioning and
Injury Prevention for
Hockey by Joseph
Horrigan, D.C., and
E.J. “Doc” Kreis,
D.A., and the 7-
Minute Rotator Cuff
Solution by Horrigan
and Jerry Robinson
from Home Gym
Warehouse, (800)
447-0008 or at www
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TrainToGain_F.indd 42 5/21/09 12:55:01 PM
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44 AUGUST 2009 \
Few bodybuilders appear
to pay much attention to how
fast they do an exercise. A
typical repetition consists of
a raising phase, in which the
muscle shortens, and a lower-
ing phase, in which it length-
ens. The research differs on
which phase produces more
gains in size and strength.
Most studies, however, sug-
gest that the lowering phase—
the eccentric, or negative,
phase—may produce faster
muscle gains. That’s because
the muscle is under more
stress during eccentric muscle
contractions than during
concentric, or positive, ones.
The increased stress results in
more damage to the muscle
fibers. The body compensates for the damage by increasing
the density of the damaged fibers, which results in increased
muscle size and strength.
Findings about how exercise cadence affects muscle gains
have led to such advice as taking three to four seconds to raise
the weight followed by three to five seconds to lower it. Emerg-
ing evidence, however, indicates that this may not be the most
efficient method of building muscle. Studies suggest that power
training is, in fact, the most efficient way to boost muscle gains.
Power training with weights means you raise the weight as
fast as possible, although still keeping it under control, and
taking three to five seconds or more to lower it. One study
compared fast and slow contractions in 12 young men training
biceps. They trained one arm using fast contractions and the
other using slow contractions. Using fast contractions resulted
in more gains in type 2 muscle fibers, the ones most amenable
to growth in size and strength. Another study had subjects do
leg extensions three times a week for six weeks using slow,
fast or mixed muscle contractions. Only the fast group showed
significant muscle gains, an 11.2 percent enlargement of type 2
muscle fibers.
The latest study comparing power training to traditional
weight training focused on older men. Twenty men, aged 69 to
79, were placed in two groups. Nine of them used traditional
weight-training techniques, involving two to three seconds
of concentric muscle contractions followed by two to three
seconds of eccentric contractions. The other men engaged in
power training, lifting the weight as fast as possible while main-
taining a lowering phase of two to three seconds. Both groups
did the same workout of basic upper- and lower-body exer-
cises, resting 90 seconds between sets. They did three sets of
eight reps for each exercise using a weight equal to 40 percent
of one-rep maximum for the first two workouts. The weight was
progressively increased to 50 percent of one-rep max for the
third and fourth workouts, then 60 percent for the remaining
training sessions, which continued for 10 weeks.
Power training was more effective in increasing
muscle thickness in the older men. Both groups gained
muscle thickness in the biceps, but those using the power train-
ing gained more. Only the power trainees gained muscle thick-
ness in their thighs. That’s highly significant because the loss of
muscle with aging begins
in the peripheral areas,
particularly the lower
body. The adage “The
legs are the first to go” is
all too true for most peo-
ple. If you look at photos
of aging former competi-
tive bodybuilders, you’ll
usually find that their legs
show the greatest degree
of muscle atrophy—al-
though far less than
would have occurred with
a total lack of training.
Why would doing
power training build
muscle more effi-
ciently? Muscle biop-
sies suggest that it
causes more damage
to muscle fibers than traditional concentric reps,
leading to a greater degree of protein remodeling in
the trained muscle. Type 2 muscle fibers are most suscep-
tible to that type of damage. In short, with power training, you
maximize training the muscle in all phases of the rep.
Another factor may involve anabolic hormones. In a study
published in 2003, 10 young men, average age 24, did two
common upper-body and two common lower-body weight
exercises for four sets of 12 reps using a weight equal to 80
percent of one-rep maximum, with 90 seconds of rest between
sets. The object of the study was to determine the hormone
responses to concentric and eccentric muscle contractions.
The results showed that while total and free testosterone levels
rose slightly during both types of muscle contraction, only the
concentric contraction produced a significantly greater release
of growth hormone. The authors suggested that it was related
to the higher intensity involved in such contractions. It’s easier to
lower a weight than to lift it.
Perhaps the biggest danger when considering incorporating
power training is not controlling the weight. While you want to
move the weight as fast as possible, you should never resort to
throwing it up. Not only does that take the stress off the muscle,
but it can also result in serious injury. In fact, it would be pru-
dent to thoroughly warm up before attempting power training.
Always maintain control of the weight, and don’t forget to make
the lowering phase last for three to five seconds for best results.
—Jerry Brainum
Shepstone, T.N., et al. (2005). Short-term high vs. Low-
velocity isokinetic lengthening training results in greater hy-
pertrophy of the elbow flexors in young men. J Appl Physiol.
Nogueira, W., et al. (2009). Effects of power training on mus-
cle thickness of older men. Int J Sports Med. 30(3):200-204.
Durand, R., et al. (2003). Hormonal responses from concen-
tric and eccentric muscle contractions. Med Sci Sports Exer.
Does Repetition Speed Matter?
¬¬¬|× ¬o o¬|× z m¬ss ¬¬c¬|cs


TrainToGain_F.indd 44 5/21/09 12:55:26 PM
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This 3-plus-hour DVD is a
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46 AUGUST 2009 \
Q: Which part of a weightlifting repetition builds
more mass, the negative or the positive? How many
seconds should each last?
A: The negative part is most responsible for building
size and strength. Exercise physiologists call it the tissue-
remodeling phase of the repetition cycle because lowering
weights, not lifting them, is what causes muscle soreness,
and that’s the stimulus for the biological adaptation of
hypertrophying the muscle fibers.
The time taken to lift weights is referred to as tempo.
Varying it is a great way to keep making gains in the gym.
For general muscle-building purposes take one to three
seconds for the positive phase and three to six seconds for
the negative phase.
Q: Based on your recommendation, I’ve consid-
ered purchasing thick-handle dumbbells, but they
are way out of my price range. Plus, I have space
limitations. Is there an alternative?
A: At the Poliquin Strength Institute and in all the gyms
I have consulted for, thick-handle dumbbells are a staple.
They’re not cheap by any means, and you can find them
only in top-notch training centers. There is, however, an
alternative: Fat Gripz, the brainchild of one of my best
students, PICP level 2 coach Werner Brüggeman.
They’re tough as hell and fit on any regular weight-train-
ing implement better than anything else I’ve seen. Now you
have no excuse for sporting your weak 11-inch arms. To get
your own pair, go to
Q: Can you explain your protein goal system for
fat loss simply?
A: For losing fat quickly, I like what I call the protein
goal diet. High protein (1.5 to two grams of animal protein
per pound of bodyweight), high omega-3s (1.5 grams per
pound of bodyfat in fish oils) and carbs limited to green
veggies (but eaten in unlimited amounts).
To fit in that much
protein, shoot for six
to seven meals a day.
Taking branched-
chain amino acids
during training can
count as a seventh
meal. A two-hour fast
before bed is recom-
mended, so if you
screw up and hit only
four or five meals
one day, don’t try to
cram in the last two.
Hey, you messed up,
but you still made 80
percent that day, and
that’s okay. Start again
the next day.
After a strict 14-day
initial phase, add a
cheat meal every five
days until you’re at
less than 10 percent
bodyfat. Then you can
have a full cheat day.
As for the ladies, same
thing; just multiply
the protein goal by
Most nutritionists
advocate diets that
have worked for them,
which isn’t always
a good thing if the
coach is a carb-toler-
ant ectomorph. While
I’m definitely a fan of
low-carb diets for 75
percent of the popula-
tion, I acknowledge
Negative Emphasis for Positive Muscle Gains
Want better muscle-
building results?
Take three to six
seconds to do
the negative, or
lowering, phase of
each repetition.




by Charles Poliquin
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48 AUGUST 2009 \
that most people can still get results with a carb-based diet.
It just requires more precision than the average Joe can
usually commit to.
Need a handy way to calculate the amount of protein to
eat per meal? Animal protein is roughly 22 percent protein;
so 100 grams of chicken, beef or scallops would translate to
around 22 grams of protein. If your daily protein intake is
400 grams and you eat six meals a day, shoot for 300 grams
of animal protein at each meal (300 x 22 percent = 66 grams
of protein, x 6 meals = 396 grams a day). It’s not ultra-exact,
of course, but you don’t need to be obsessive to lose body-
All is not lost for the 75 percent of the population who
don’t tolerate carbs well. I believe that by getting lean and
staying lean for a solid 18
months, you can actually
make yourself carb tolerant.
Just watch the subscapular
skinfold site—as the reading
goes down, carbohydrate
tolerance goes up.
Food rotation, especially
varying your proteins, is
very important, but it
doesn’t need to be compli-
cated. I suggest labeling the
meats you usually cook at
home as “home foods” and
making a point of avoiding
them when dining out or
traveling. So, for example,
chicken, salmon and bison
at home; steak, eggs and
halibut on the road. In a
nutshell, that’s what the
protein goal is all about.
Q: My friend, who is a
personal trainer, says
that it’s useless to do
more than 20 minutes
on the treadmill because
you surpass your opti-
mal fat-burning zone. Is
there really an “optimal
fat-burning zone”? Am I
wasting my time running
for 40 minutes?
A: Your friend’s knowl-
edge of exercise physiology
is rather limited. Did he get
his certification from the
back of a cereal box? He’s
confusing fuel sources and
physiological changes.
From a strict physiologi-
cal standpoint, it takes your
body 10 minutes after you
start steady-state exercise to derive most of its energy
from circulating free fatty acids. Free fatty acids will be the
primary fuel burned for two to four hours, depending on
your aerobic capacity. After that you’ll actually start going
through your amino acid pool reserves—mainly the liver
and muscles. At that point up to 30 percent of the energy
comes from broken-down amino acids.
That’s why chronic aerobic exercisers look like con-
centration camp prisoners. Their protein stores are can-
nibalized to supply the energy demands of their training
volume. That doesn’t mean you need to watch all episodes
of “Band of Brothers” during your next aerobic workout.
The source of fuel is only part of the equation for optimal
composition changes.
It usually takes about 10
minutes of steady-state
cardio before the body
begins to use fatty acids
as energy.
v v
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50 AUGUST 2009 \
Energy demands during exercise are important, but even
more important are the energy demands postexercise and
the hormone shifts during specific exercise regimens. If
you’re interested in increasing lean body mass and decreas-
ing fat tissue, interval programs of 20 to 40 minutes are
Q: What are the best muscle-building activities
that don’t require setting foot in a gym?
A: According to research and basic observation, the
best are mountain climbing and grappling sports, such as
judo and wrestling. Your results, however, would be much
slower to come than with weight training and with far
greater risk of injury. Mountain climbing is great if you live
in Aspen but not too accessible if you live in Omaha or Fort
If you’re unskilled at grappling sports, there would be
minimal training effect, as you would be spending more
time on your back than the most desired red-light-district
If you’re talking about at-home, no-equipment exercise
and are very weak, you can always do pushups and dips,
but that gets old fast. As you get stronger, you’ll have to do
countless reps to get a training effect.
Q: I was brought up on the idea of push/pull—
chest/triceps, back/biceps—training. Is that the
most effective way to build mass? Also, would it be
better to split my routine to one bodypart in the
morning and another at night?
A: Actually, push/pull is one of the dumbest way to train.
When you train chest and triceps together, for example, by
the time you’ve finished training your chest—which almost
always involves the triceps—your triceps are fried, and
you end up using pansy weights that do little to stimulate
triceps growth. The same goes for back exercises, which
almost always involve the elbow flexors.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is
recognized as one of the world’s most
successful strength coaches, having
coached Olympic medalists in 12 dif-
ferent sports, including the U.S. wom-
en’s track-and-field team for the 2000
Olympics. He’s spent years research-
ing European journals (he’s fluent in
English, French and German) and speaking with other
coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training
methods. For more on his books, seminars and meth-
ods, visit Also, see his ad on
page 179. IM
The problem with push/pull routines is
that if, for example, you work triceps
after chest, your triceps will be too
fatigued to derive growth stimulation
from the direct arm work.
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Many years ago I had a discussion
with a man who went on to win multiple
Mr. Olympia titles. When I asked him
about drinking milk, he told me that he
always removed all dairy foods from his
diet prior to a contest, explaining that
milk was “rich in estrogens.” Estrogens
are associated with fat deposition just
under the skin, which obscures mus-
cular definition. In addition, estrogen
retains water, blunting hard-earned
muscularity. You may recall the scene
in the film “Pumping Iron” where Arnold
Schwarzenegger is asked about drink-
ing milk. He responds by stating that
“milk is for babies.”
But does milk actually contain active
hormones, particularly estrogen?
Like testosterone, estrogen is a
steroid hormone and is
rapidly degraded in the liver
when taken orally. Unless,
of course, the structure
of the hormone has been
manipulated to block the
first-pass liver metabo-
lism—as is the case with
synthetic oral versions of
testosterone, a.k.a. ana-
bolic steroids. Examples
of orally active estrogens
include birth control pills for
women and other forms of
estrogen that treat meno-
pause symptoms. Ac-
cording to a recent study,
however, commercial milk
products contain active
estrogen metabolites.
Estrogen is a potent
cancer agent, and some
studies show that a higher
intake of milk products
may be linked to ovar-
ian and other cancers in
women and possibly pros-
tate cancer in men. That’s
highly debatable among
researchers, however, and
definitive answers are not
on the record. On the other
hand, milk and dairy prod-
ucts supply 60 to 70 per-
cent of the total estrogen
intake in food. In recent
years the amount of estro-
gens in milk have increased
because of certain dairy-
farming practices. Most
milk now comes from cows
far into the late stages of
pregnancy, when estrogen
Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission
Milk, Estrogen, IGF-1 and Insulin
Nutrition and Supplementation
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33 / 162 \ AUGUST 2009 55
concentration in the milk peaks. One
study found that milk from a cow late
in pregnancy contained 33 times more
estrone sulfate than milk obtained from
a nonpregnant cow.
The study analyzed the estrogen
metabolite content in whole milk, skim
and 2 percent fat milk and buttermilk.
Buttermilk, whole milk and 2 percent
fat milk contained significant levels of
biologically active estrogen metabo-
lites. Skim milk contained the least,
buttermilk the most. Researchers also
tested soy milk and found no estrogen
metabolites. Not only was skim milk
lowest in estrogen metabolites, but 98
percent of the estrogen it did contain
was in the conjugated, or less active,
form. Buttermilk contained the
most highly active form of es-
trogen metabolites.
The authors note that while estro-
gen metabolites in these milk products
are much fewer than what are found
in estrogen-based drugs, we don’t yet
know their long-term effect. The study
also mentioned that milk contains
progesterone, another type of hor-
mone found in higher concentrations
in women.
Other studies suggest that
milk contains insulinlike growth
factor 1, considered the active
anabolic component of growth
hormone. Two variants of IGF-1 are
required for muscle repair and growth.
Trouble is, IGF-1 also encourages rapid
cell division and prevents the self-de-
struction of cells, both of which can be
dangerous in regard to cancer. The big
controversy about milk is the practice
of giving recombinant IGF-1 to cows to
increase their milk production. Some
say that milk from those cows contains
higher than normal levels of IGF-1,
which is detectable after pasteurization
and homogenization. In addition, bo-
vine and human IGF-1 share the same
amino acid sequences, which means
that the bovine version can interact
with human IGF-1 cell receptors.
Critics contend that since IGF-1 is
an amino acid–based hormone, it’s
largely degraded in the gut. On the
other hand, adults who drink a lot
of milk have an average 10 to 20
percent increase in circulating
How can IGF-1 survive
the formidable digestive
barrier? The major protein
in milk, casein, contains
a protease inhibitor that
may shield IGF-1 from
degradation. Milk intake
also increases the ratio
of free-to-bound IGF-
1, which increases the
activity of IGF-1 but also
speeds its breakdown.
While the link between
IGF-1 and milk is hardly
definitive, the one between
milk and insulin is more
realistic. Although milk
has a low-glycemic-index
number (about 15 to 30),
milk and milk-based foods
paradoxically have a high
insulin-stimulating effect, possibly
because of certain protein fractions
found in milk. All dairy products, with
the exception of hard cheese, have
potent insulin-boosting effects. Adding
200 milliliters of milk to a low-
glycemic-index meal increases
the insulin response by 300
Ironically, many “negative” factors
may aid bodybuilding. For example,
increased IGF-1 may have some ana-
bolic impact. The increased insulin
speeds the entry of amino acids
into muscle for added muscle
protein synthesis and exerts an
anticatabolic effect in muscle. I
suspect that the potent insulin release
is there for a reason, as milk is the pri-
mary food for the most rapid period of
human growth and amino acid uptake
is integral to it. Insulin also helps regen-
erate depleted muscle glycogen. In fact,
studies show that drinking milk after a
workout leads to more efficient recovery
than most commercial sports drinks do.
Nor can you escape the fact that milk
contains whey, the highest-biological-
value protein, as well as other active
that emerging
research shows may provide enormous
health benefits.
If you’re still concerned about es-
trogen and other hormone effects of
milk, you can get most of the benefits
of milk from a blend of casein and whey
milk proteins, which give you most of
the health factors contained in milk,
minus the hormone activity. Whey does,
however, bring on insulin release and
possibly IGF-1 activity. Also, if you
believe that drinking milk will
smooth you out before a contest
because of its estrogen content,
consider that the average man
produces 136,000 nanograms
of estrogen each day, far more
than you’d get from drinking
several gallons of milk.
—Jerry Brainum
Farlow, D.W., et al. (2009). Quan-
titative measurement of endogenous
estrogen metabolites, risk factors for
development of breast cancer, in com-
mercial milk products by LC-MS/MS. J
Chromto B. 877(13):1327-1334.
Eat1_F.indd 55 5/20/09 5:44:58 PM
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56 AUGUST 2009 \
Anticancer Caffeine
Bodybuilders use caffeine before a workout to have
more energy, and most fat burners include some form
of caffeine as a metabolic stimulant. New studies have
also demonstrated that getting some caffeine after you
train can enhance recovery and glycogen replenish-
ment in muscle tissue. That’s why some postworkout
formulas today contain caffeine. Now there’s more
good news: Caffeine appears to have anticancer prop-
Getting some caffeine prior to exercise has been
shown to protect against skin cancer. Scientists at Rut-
gers University exposed animals to harmful UVB radia-
tion and found that pairing caffeine intake with exercise
produced a fourfold ability to destroy skin cancer
cells. Researchers believe that is due to the inhi-
bition of ATR-1, a genetic pathway that prevents
damaged cells from self-destructing, a.k.a. apop-
tosis. In other words, caffeine plus exercise forces
damaged cells to commit suicide.
Both caffeine and exercise also help reduce
bodyfat, which is where a lot of cancer-causing toxins
reside. Of course, too much of either can have nega-
tive effects, so moderation is key. —Becky Holman
× c ¬ ¬ | ¬ | o × × o ¬ e s
Vitamin C should
be taken every four
hours because it is
flushed from your sys-
tem. Instead of one big
dose, take a few hun-
dred milligrams every few
Bodyfat is a stor-
age site for toxins and
which are can-
That’s one
reason people
who are physi-
cally active
and leaner get
fewer cancers.
Raspberries and
strawberries contain
lots of ellagic acid, an
anitioxidant that can
slow tumor growth.
Almonds build
bones and improve
muscular contrac-
tion. That’s because
they contain more
calcium than any other
Avocados appear
to help the absorption of beta-carotene
and lutein, which
are good for your
eyes. If you have a
salad with carrots
and spinach, add
a small amount of
avocado to super-
charge the health
and ginger teas
can produce a
better environment for proper diges-
tion—and perhaps better protein use
for more muscle.
—Becky Holman
Food Facts
That can affect your
workouts, weight and wellness
= ¬ e v e × ¬ | o ×
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60 AUGUST 2009 \
The Instinct Diet is not written for
bodybuilders, but it has lots of interesting
tips and facts, not to mention recipes,
that a bodybuilder can use to rip up.
The author, Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D.,
lays out an eight-week program based
on five food instincts she’s identified:
hunger—the need to feel full; avail-
ability—just because it’s there; calorie
density—too good to resist; familiarity,
cravings and triggers; and variety—
too many choices.
In the first six chapters Roberts ex-
plores those concepts, or instincts,
and how to make them work for you:
“You can make simple changes that will give you
greater control over not just what you eat but what you
weigh.” Then in Chapter 7 she provides a summary in crib-
sheet form, listing each instinct with a brief synopsis and
tips. For example, for hunger she says to “make sure every
meal and every snack makes you feel satisfied.” She then
lists a few tips on how to accomplish that, such as eating
high-fiber, high-protein, low-carb foods.
In fact, high fiber and high protein are a running theme
in the book, which is excellent for
bodybuilders—you want to build
muscle, but you want to stay full and
regular too.
The actual program starts on page
63, and she covers everything from
weighing yourself to shopping lists and
menus to snacks. There are also short
ideas or tips in boxes throughout, with
titles such as “The Exercise Equation”
and “Small Splurges.”
The next section is recipes—jam-
packed with culinary delights that are
healthful and easy to whip up, like rich chili
soup, “I” diet tuna salad, Florentine steak
and arista chicken. Most of the dishes are
high in protein and medium to low in carbs, so bodybuild-
ers will find a number of them that are appropriate for
staying or getting muscular and lean. The recipe section
has more than 100 pages.
The Instinct Diet is all about sensible nutrition with a
get-lean mission. As I said, not a bodybuilding tome, but a
book you can use for recipes, eating tips and motivation to
get ripped. —Becky Holman
¬ e v | e w
¬e c ov e ¬÷
Faster Muscle Refueling
Bodybuilders know that they need carbs immediate-
ly after a workout to help replenish muscle glycogen.
They also add protein to get muscle-building amino
acids when the anabolic window is open postworkout.
You may also want to add caffeine to
the mix. A group of Austra-
lian scientists found that
athletes who took in carbs
with caffeine immediately
after a hard workout
got a more than 60
percent increase in
glycogen. Caffeine
appears to help
shuttle glucose
into muscle tis-
—Becky Holman
Most bodybuilders know
that fish oil can improve fat
burning, enhance circula-
tion and provide essential
building blocks for anabolic
hormones. Did you know
it can improve your skin as
well? That’s due to eicosap-
entaenoic, or EPA, one of the
omega-3 fatty acids. It boosts
hydration and regulates oil
production in the skin, which
helps prevent acne and
wards off wrinkles. EPA is
considered an antioxidant
and an anti-inflammatory that
protects the skin and helps
repair it.
—Becky Holman
Use Your Five Food Instincts to
Lose Weight and Keep It Off
The Instinct Diet
Oil Up
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62 AUGUST 2009 \
¬ × ¬ a o c | c o ¬ | v e
Spirulina—you know, that gooey green stuff
you see folks blending at natural food stores—
may actually be good for you. Personally, I find
the look of it as appealing as a “Biggest Loser”
contestant in a thong. If you can stomach it,
though, it might just be something to try.
Basically, spirulina is algae and has been
used as a food source for centuries. It can
lower blood pressure and cholesterol,
decrease muscle damage from exercise
and enhance muscle protein synthesis.
Yep, the green gooey stuff is muscle friendly,
even if it isn’t palate friendly.
In one study, Spirulina maxima taken as
a supplement—4.5 grams per day for six
weeks—by 16 men and 20 women between
the ages of 18 and 65 had a hypolipemic effect,
meaning it lowered blood lipids. In this
case it especially lowered triglycerides
and low-density-liproprotein choles-
terol. It reduced systolic and diastolic
blood pressure,
and it modified total
cholesterol and high-density-lipopro-
tein-cholesterol values.
Spirulina may even help diabetics.
Two-month supplementation resulted
in lower fasting and postprandial
blood glucose. A significant reduction
in the form of hemoglobin that shows
how much blood glucose is in the
body was also observed—and that’s
a great thing.
Triglycerides were significantly lowered. Total and low-
density-lipoprotein cholesterol decreased, and high-density-
lipoprotein cholesterol increased. As a result, a significant
reduction in the risk factors for heart disease was observed.
Spirulina supplementation helps control blood glucose and
improves the lipid profile of subjects with type 2 diabetes mel-
What happens when you give spirulina to people who exer-
cise? Sixteen students volunteered to take Spirulina platensis
in addition to their normal diet for three weeks. Blood samples
were taken after they finished the Bruce incremental treadmill
exercise—basically increasing the amount of work done on a
treadmill until you can no longer stay on the darn thing—be-
fore and after supplementation. Plasma concentrations of
malondialdehyde, a compound that’s an index of oxidative
stress, were significantly decreased after supplementation
with spirulina. The activity of blood superoxide dismutase, an
antioxidant compound, was significantly raised with spirulina
as well. In addition, the lactate concentration was higher,
and the time to exhaustion was significantly extended.
Taking the algae had a protective effect on
skeletal muscle damage, and that probably
led to postponement of exhaustion during the
all-out exercise.
With its high concentration of functional nutrients,
spirulina is a supplement worth considering. It’s a great
source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Its health
benefits, plus its potential muscle-enhancing effects,
make it an attractive addition to your supplement arsenal.
—Jose Antonio, Ph.D.
Editor’s note: Jose Antonio, Ph.D., is the CEO of the
International Society of Sports Nutrition ( and
is a sports science consultant to VPX/Redline.
Torres-Duran, P.V., et al. (2007). Antihyperlipemic and an-
tihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample
of Mexican population: A preliminary report. Lipids Health Dis.
Juarez-Oropeza, M.A., et al. (2009). Effects of dietary
spirulina on vascular reactivity. J Med Food. 12(1):15-20.
Parikh, P., Mani, U., and Iyer, U. (2001). Role of spirulina in
the control of glycemia and lipidemia in type 2 diabetes mel-
litus. J Med Food. 4(4):193-199.
Lu, H.K., et al. (2006). Preventive effects of Spirulina
platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced
oxidative stress. Eur J Appl Physiol. 98(2):220-226.
Super Algae




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64 AUGUST 2009 \
× c ¬ ¬ | ¬ | o × s c | e × c e
Mention the word calcium,
and just about everyone thinks
about bones or teeth. It’s true
that the majority of calcium is
stored in bones, but the small
amount that circulates in the
blood—about 1 percent—is
Calcium is required for proper
nerve transmission and muscle
contraction, including that of the
heart. While an outright deficien-
cy is rare in Western societies,
the long-term effects of insuf-
ficient calcium can be apparent,
particularly in older women who
also lack estrogen. They often
suffer from osteoporosis, a thin-
ning of bone tissue. Osteoporo-
sis begins at about age 30 but
manifests to the greatest extent
when women pass menopause:
The lack of estrogen that ensues
following menopause com-
pounds the problem of a long-
standing lack of calcium.
Another factor contributing to the problem is failure to do
weight-bearing exercise—resistance training helps the bones
retain calcium. Small, slight women are more prone to osteo-
porosis. Those who have more bodyfat have more protection
because the enzyme aromatase, which is found in bodyfat,
converts circulating androgens into estrogen. It’s also pos-
sible for men to get osteoporosis, particularly those who don’t
exercise and who have low testosterone.
Some research has suggested that calcium may help with
bodyfat loss. The theory is that dietary calcium suppresses
calcitriol-based fat increases. Calcitriol, an activated form of
vitamin D, suppresses thermogenic protein activity in fat cells
and encourages an increase in fat deposition. The problem is,
that kind of fat loss works only when the diet was previously
lacking in calcium. More recent studies have found no fat-loss
effects at all when calcium is added to the diets of subjects
who are already getting plenty.
Bodybuilders’ precompetition diets may be short on cal-
cium due to a lack of the best source of calcium—dairy foods,
such as milk and cheese. You can easily remedy that deficien-
cy, however, by taking supplemental calcium, preferably in the
form of multimineral supplements, which provide the required
nutrients without the unwanted calories.
A recent study found that athletes with a high-cal-
cium intake, combined with intense training, have
higher counts of both free
and total testosterone. That
would imply that calcium may
provide anabolic effects. The
subjects, 30 male athletes with
an age range of 17 to 21, were
divided into three groups of 10:
1) Athletes who took 35 mil-
ligrams of calcium gluconate per
kilogram of bodyweight with no
2) Athletes who took the same
dose of calcium and trained for
90 minutes a day, five days a
3) Athletes who trained for the
same length of time but didn’t
take any calcium.
The dose of calcium was three
times the usual recommendation
for the mineral, which is 800 mil-
ligrams daily—35 milligrams per
kilogram of bodyweight amounts
to 3,150 milligrams of calcium for a 200-pound athlete. The
study lasted for one month.
As expected, the exercising groups had more free and total
testosterone than the sedentary group. The hormone count
was highest in group 2, where intense exercise was combined
with the calcium supplement. The authors speculated
that calcium pathways in the body that affect tes-
tosterone may have played a role. On the other hand,
their credibility was dampened by their noting that a form of
the amino acid by-product HMB contains calcium, and HMB
has been linked to an increase in fat-free mass. In reality, HMB
contains tiny amounts of calcium, and its mechanism has
nothing to do with calcium. In fact, the studies showing the
effectiveness of HMB are equivocal at best in regard to muscle
size and strength.
Based on this preliminary study, I would not suggest that
calcium is in any way an “anabolic” supplement, except per-
haps in maintaining bone structure. Calcium is a vital mineral,
but don’t count on it to build muscle or help you lose bodyfat,
unless you’re deficient. Considering the widespread availability
of calcium supplements, you shouldn’t be.
—Jerry Brainum
Cinar, V., et al. (2009). Testosterone levels in athletes at rest
and exhaustion: Effects of calcium supplementation. Bio Trace
Elem Res. In press.
Calcium: A Testosterone Booster?
e¬¬ ¬o o¬ow
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The bigger and stronger a muscle gets,
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70 AUGUST 2009 \
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45 / 162 \ AUGUST 2009 71
To use 10x10, take a weight that
you can get 20 reps with and then
do only 10; rest 30 seconds, and
do 10 more. Continue until you’ve
completed 10 sets of 10 reps. The
first few sets will be easy, the last few
brutal—and you may be able to get
only eight or nine reps on your last
two sets. In fact, if you get 10 reps on
all 10 sets, add weight at your next
As for Power/Rep Range/Shock,
that’s a weekly change in the work-
out protocol:
• Power week: Do all or most sets
in the four-to-six-rep range.
by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Photography by Michael Neveux
Muscle-Training Program 118
From the IRON MAN
Training & Research Center
Train, Eat,
e’re still on our 10x10 experimental
spin, loosely adhering to Eric
Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock
system. We described our Rep Range
workouts last month, so it’s time to move into
Shock mode—at least in the
workouts on pages 72 and 76.
We’re also including a body part-
by-body part 10x10 analysis,
explaining what we’ve found
to be the best exercises and/or
set-and-rep sequences. But first
some review.


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72 AUGUST 2009 \
• Rep Range week: Do
sets in three rep ranges—
seven to nine, 10 to 12 and
13 to 15.
• Shock week: Do all sets
in the eight-to-10 range,
but add intensity tech-
niques like drop sets, su-
persets, DC training, etc.
Of course, with 10x10 we’ve
bastardized the protocols
somewhat. That’s because we
started getting amazing prog-
ress with the method and so
began using it on all body-
parts every week.
For example, during Power
week we’d go heavy on our
big, midrange-position, or
compound, exercise as well
as our stretch-position move,
but we’d do 10x10 on the
more isolated contracted-po-
sition exercise to finish with
serious muscle engorgement.
For example, we’d end quads
with 10x10 on leg exten-
sions—unbelievably painful
and intense.
Rep Range week had us
doing 10x10 on our first
exercise, the midrange-posi-
tion move, and we’d follow
with various rep ranges on
the stretch- and contracted-
position exercises. (See last
month’s TEG for our Rep
Range workouts.)
Shock week, as you’ll see,
had us all over the map—
whatever we felt was the best
10x10 attack for a particular
bodypart, we did it. On the
remaining exercises we did
drop sets or supersets.
So what are our favorite
10x10 assaults for each body-
part? Let’s go through the
muscle groups.
Monday: Chest,
Calves, Abs
Chest. It’s a stubborn
bodypart for both of us, so
we’ve tried 10x10 on a num-
ber of exercises. Standard
flat-bench presses got our
chests very sore, as did wide-
grip dips. What about incline
presses? On the free-bar ver-
sion we both seem to involve
our front delts too much,
and on the Smith machine
there’s drag on the negative
stroke, which lessens the
severity of the trauma.
That means we opt for
bench presses most of the
time as the 10x10 exercise,
trying to touch the bar at
the midpec area to better
involve the entire chest.
We may try Vince Gironda’s
neck presses, lowering
the bar to the base of the
neck, to see what kind of
soreness we get; however,
we’ve read that shoulder
impingement is more
probable with that version.
Luckily, the poundage is
lighter when you use 10x10,
so injury is usually out of
the picture.
As for isolation exercises,
the 10x10 method didn’t
seem to go well with cable
work, even when we tried
8x12. It may be the drag of
the weight stack or simply
our lack of neuromuscular
efficiency in our pecs. Our
favorite way to use cable
work is to superset it with
wide-grip dips—dips first,
then immediately after-
ward middle or low cable
Calves. We were sur-
prised that we got the most
soreness from standing calf
raises. After thinking about
it, however, we figure that
it’s probably because of the
need for more control on
the negative stroke. Stretch
moves like leg press calf
raises and machine donkey
calf raises didn’t give us the
microtrauma with 10x10.
Actually, we do 8x15 for
calves, as they’re a more
Note: For our com-
plete version of Eric
Broser’s Power/Rep
Range/Shock pro-
gram, see the e-book
3D Muscle Building,
available at the X-
Shop at www.X-Rep
IRON MAN Training & Research Center
Muscle-Building Program 118
Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs (Shock)
Bench presses or Smith-machine
low-incline presses 10 x 10
Wide-grip dips (X Reps) 2 x 8-10
Middle or low cable flyes 2 x 8-10
Leg press calf raises 1 x 12-15
Standing calf raises 8 x 15
Seated calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 16-20
Incline kneeups 10 x 10
Ab Bench crunches (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Full-range twisting crunches 1 x 9-12
End-of-bench kneeups (X Reps) 1 x 9-12
Workout 2: Back, Forearms (Shock)
Parallel-grip chins 8 x 8
Dumbbell pullovers 2 x 8-10
Undergrip chins or rope rows 2 x 8-10
Bent-over dumbbell rows 3 x 8-10
Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) 1 x 8-10
Bent-arm bent-over laterals 1 x 8-10
Barbell upright rows 8 x 10
Dumbbell shrugs (X Reps) 1 x 10-12
Cable reverse curls 3 x 8-10
Dumbbell reverse wrist curls 8 x 15
Barbell wrist curls 8 x 15
Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back (Shock)
Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 18-20
Old-style hack squats 10 x 10
Sissy squats (X Reps) 2 x 8-10
Leg extensions 2 x 8-10
Hyperextensions 8 x 10
Stiff-legged deadlifts 1 x 9-12
Leg curls 3 x 9-12
Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps (Shock)
Dumbbell presses 3 x 8-10
Incline one-arm lateral raises 1 x 10-12
One-arm cable lateral raises 1 x 8-10
Forward-lean lateral raises 8 x 10
Bent-over lateral raises (X Reps) 2 x 9-12
Decline extensions 8 x 10
Rope pushouts 2 x 8-10
Bench dips 2 x 8-10
Dumbbell curls 8 x 10
Incline curls (drop set) 1 x 9(6)
Concentration curls (drop set) 1 x 9(6)
Train, Eat,
TEG118_802_F.indd 72 5/29/09 5:34:13 PM
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endurance-oriented muscle group.
As we mentioned last month, our
standard calf routine is one set of
leg press calf raises—15 reps to fail-
ure just to wake up the gastrocs and
get the blood flowing. Then it’s 8x15
on standing calf raises, which burn
like the fires of hell from set three
on. We end calves with one high-rep
set of seated calf raises, although
we’re kicking around the idea of
moving those to Friday for 8x15.
That would give the calves a second
hit when they’re not already fried.
Abs. We get the most muscular
trauma—from rib cage to pelvis—
using 10x10 on incline kneeups.
We follow with a tri-set of Ab Bench
crunches, full-range crunches on
the bench press bench and end-of-
bench kneeups.
Tuesday: Back, Forearms
Lats. It’s probably no surprise
that chins do a better job than pull-
downs; however, you may be sur-
prised to learn that the parallel-grip
version is what produces the most
soreness from armpits to obliques.
Standard overgrip semi-wide-grip
chins got us sore more in the upper
lat, or teres, area. Interesting.
The real problem with any type
of chinup is that we can’t manage
10x10. We do Gironda’s 8x8 instead,
and our reps still tail off on the last
few sets—down to seven or even six.
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Train, Eat,
Keep your back flat on
hyperextensions, and attack
them with 10x10. Your
hamstrings will get sore,
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76 AUGUST 2009 \
Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs (Shock)
Low-incline presses
or bench presses or wide-grip dips 10 x 10
Flat-bench flyes (drop set) 2 x 9(6)
Donkey calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 13-15
One-leg calf raises 8 x 15
Seated calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 15-20
Incline kneeups (X Reps) 10 x10
Full-range crunches (drop set) 1 x10(8)
End-of-bench kneeups 1 x 8-10
Workout 2: Back, Forearms (Shock)
Parallel-grip or wide-grip chins 8 x 8
Dumbbell pullovers 2 x 8-10
Undergrip rows 2 x 8-10
Bent-over barbell or dumbbell rows 3 x 8-10
Bent-arm bent-over laterals 2 x 10-12
Barbell upright rows 8 x 10
Shrugs (X Reps) 1 x 10-12
Reverse curls 2 x 8-10
Reverse wrist curls 8 x 15
Wrist curls 8 x 15
Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Leg extensions (warmup) 1 x 20
Old-style hack squats 10 x 10
Sissy squats (X Reps) 2 x 8-10
Leg extensions 2 x 8-10
Hyperextensions (X Reps) 8 x 10
Leg curls 3 x 10-12
Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps (Shock)
Dumbbell presses (X Reps) 3 x 8-10
Incline one-arm laterals (drop set) 1 x 10(7)
Forward-lean laterals 10 x 10
Bent-over laterals (X Reps) 2 x 10-12
Decline extensions 8 x 10
Overhead extensions 2 x 8-10
Bench dips 2 x 8-10
Dumbbell curls 8 x 10
Incline curls (drop set) 1 x 10(7)
Concentration curls (drop set) 1 x 10(7)
IRON MAN Training & Research Center Home-Gym Program 118
Note: If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do old-
style hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel
around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.
Train, Eat,
Close-grip upright rows done in
10x10 style blast the traps and
provide residual delt work.



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78 AUGUST 2009 \
the old-style hacks with 10x10, we
follow with one or two supersets
of sissy squats and leg extensions.
If we’re doing the technique on leg
extensions, we start quads with
three heavy sets of old-style hack
squats and two heavy sets of sissy
squats. Then we move to 8x12 on
the extensions.
Hamstrings. The jury is also
still out on the best hamstring
route. Hyperextensions, done with
the lower back locked flat through-
out the set, provide the most sore-
ness; however, leg curls, done with
Vince’s 8x8, sear the hams with an
ultimate burn. If we do the hypers
for 8x10, we usually follow with one
slow set of stiff-legged deadlifts,
then three sets of leg curls. If we
end with 8x8 on leg curls, we start
with three sets of heavy hypers and
one set of slow stiff-legged dead-
Why not stiff-legged deadlifts
for 8x10? We found that we start
We follow with supersets of dumb-
bell pullovers and undergrip pull-
downs or rope rows.
Midback. Because there is so
much overlap between lats and
midback, we finally decided to stop
doing 10x10 on midback moves. We
were doing 8x10 on chest-supported
dumbbell rows, but it simply didn’t
feel effective after we’d blown out
our lats—and biceps—with 8x8 on
So for midback we decided on
three heavy sets of chest-supported
dumbbell rows, followed by behind-
the-neck pulldowns supersetted
with bent-arm bent-over rows. One
superset is all we do because there
are still upper traps to contend with.
For upper traps we always do
10x10 on close-grip barbell upright
rows. Killer! Then we follow with
one heavy set of barbell shrugs. The
main reason we always do upright
rows is that they hit the upper traps
with a compound move, and they
also give us residual delt work. Our
delts are another problem area, so
getting some extra work early in the
week is a good strategy.
Forearms. Since forearms are
a lot like calves—high-endurance
muscles—we decided to stick with
8x15 on reverse wrist curls and wrist
curls. Before we blow ’em out with
that, though, we hit three quick sets
of reverse curls with an EZ-curl bar
for brachialis work—which also
gives the forearms a great warmup.
Wednesday: Quads,
Quads. This is one bodypart for
which we have a hard time choos-
ing our ideal 10x10 assault. We get
an incredible burn and ache with
old-style hack squats—heels el-
evated and bar behind the glutes.
We get the most severe torching,
however, with leg extensions,
which we do for 8x12. When we do



Train, Eat,
Reverse curls can give your
arms new dimensions, from
shoulders to wrists.
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emphasizing our lower backs too
much and our form degrades when
the sets start getting tough, pre-
disposing us to injury. Hypers are
much safer and easier to control—
but you must keep your back flat to
get the hamstrings working.
Friday: Delts, Triceps,
Delts. We begin every delt rou-
tine with a pressing exercise—and
lately it’s been standing dumbbell
presses; however, we stopped doing
it in 10x10 style. As we watched each
other do the exercise, we could tell
there was no way the medial heads
were getting the brunt of the stress.
As we’ve said in the past, overhead
pressing is primarily a front-delt
developer. We do three sets, which
warm ups the medial heads.
We tried lots of medial-head exer-
cises in 10x10 style and finally set-
tled on forward-lean laterals. They
were a favorite of Larry Scott’s when
he trained at Vince’s Gym under
Gironda’s watchful and cantanker-
ous eye. We do them a bit differently
in that we lean forward on the Ab
Bench. That prevents any back-lean
So our delt routine now remains
constant: Dumbbell presses for
three sets, incline one-arm laterals
supersetted with one-arm cable
laterals for one round, 8x10 on
forward-lean laterals and two sets
of bent-over laterals for the rear
Triceps. Our triceps routine
also stays constant: decline exten-
sions for 8x10 and cable pushouts
supersetted with bench dips for
two rounds. Keep in mind that our
triceps get a lot of work during our
chest routine on Monday, so we
don’t want to overdo the tri torch-
ing on arm day.
Biceps. This routine has stayed
constant as well. We do standing
dumbbell curls for 8x10, incline
curls for one drop set and concen-
tration curls for one drop set.
We used to do brachialis work
after biceps, but we’ve decided that
the reverse curls at Tuesday’s fore-
arm workout gives us enough direct
work for the brachs.
Those are our findings up to the
moment. With our recent eight-
pound gain we’re convinced 10x10
is a mega-mass builder worth taking
for a spin. It has to do with workout
density—more work in the same or
less time. We’ll have more on that
next month. If you want to explore
more about the method, see the
newUltimate 10 x 10 Mass Workout,
available at X-traordinaryWork-
Editor’s note: For the latest on
X Reps, X e-books and the X-Blog
training and supplement journals,
visit The latest
e-workout program is shown below.
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82 AUGUST 2009 \
Q: I’m considering competing in bodybuilding,
but I need to decide whether to enter a natural or
untested contest. I have no problems with steroids
and steroid use, but here in the United States it’s
illegal to use them, meaning I would have to move
overseas to be untested. I was just wondering, how
do you support yourself in your bodybuilding? Do
you have sponsors that pay for all your stuff, or do
you have a real job and do bodybuilding for more of
a lifestyle?
A: I have to ask you, why would you consider compet-
ing with steroids when you can compete naturally? As you
said, it’s now illegal to use steroids in this country. In fact,
getting caught with steroids without a doctor’s prescription
is a federal offense with penalties equivalent to using drugs
such as cocaine and heroin.
I’m shocked that you would consider moving over-
seas just to be able to use steroids to compete. There are
thousands of bodybuilders who use steroids in the United
States, even though they’re illegal. If you really wanted to
Tested vs. Untested
use steroids in this country, you could do so, but you’d be
breaking the law.
The easier solution, of course, would be to forget the
drugs and compete in natural bodybuilding contests in-
stead. The fact that there are a dozen or so natural body-
building organizations in the country means you have
many options if you decide to enter a contest.
If you think you’d be taking a step down by choosing to
compete without steroids, I can tell you that you’re com-
pletely wrong. Natural bodybuilding contests are very, very
competitive, with some incredible physiques onstage. I
promote two natural bodybuilding contests every year in
Chicago, and I’m amazed at how much more competitive
each new contest is. The athletes are getting bigger and
harder each year.
Years ago there were very few natural competitions. You
were basically stuck with entering nontested shows, and
you had to make the difficult decision of whether to use the
drugs. If you didn’t use them, you were at a distinct disad-
Today there’s no reason to even consider using steroids,
There are probably a dozen different natural
bodybuilding organizations all over
the country, so you have many drug-free
by John Hansen,

Mr. Natural Olympia
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sport. Most of them are sponsored by supplement compa-
nies, but, as I said, the number of bodybuilders who can
make that type of income is very limited.
During most of my competitive career I made my living
by working a regular nine-to-five job. I competed on my
own time and my own dime. It was strictly a labor of love
for me.
For the past 10 years I’ve made my living primarily as a
personal trainer. I absolutely love being a trainer because
I’m doing what I enjoy, and my experience and knowledge
as a bodybuilder benefits me in that profession. That’s why
so many bodybuilders make such good personal trainers.
Over the past few years I’ve made income from the sales
of my book Natural Bodybuilding and my DVDs and by
writing articles for IRON MAN. I recently began promoting
natural bodybuilding and fitness competitions, and that’s
been a lot of fun and another source of income.
It’s your call, of course, but my advice is to stay natural
and compete in drug-tested competitions. Why go to the
risk and expense of using illegal drugs when you can just
do it naturally? It is a lot of hard work, but in the end you’ll
know that you, not the drugs, earned all the rewards.
Q: Thanks for all your great tips and advice for
natural bodybuilding. I look forward to your col-
umn each month. I wanted to get your opinion on
training frequency. I’ve been training for more than
a year, and now I’m trying to lose fat and build a
strong foundation. Currently I train three times a
week: Monday (push), Wednesday (pull) and Friday
(legs). When I train four days a week, I burn fat but
I feel as if my muscles don’t get enough recovery
time to really grow. When I train three times a week
or less, I don’t burn as many calories, and I tend
to gain weight. What are your thoughts on the best
training frequency for building muscle? Can you
recommend a better split?
A: I’ve always believed in losing fat primarily through my
diet, not by burning calories
at the gym. Heavy weight
training is definitely a
factor in getting lean-
er because you’re
not only burning
calories during
your workouts but
also building more
lean muscle tissue,
which will ultimately
help you speed up your
metabolism and stay lean. I
think the key to getting leaner,
however, is diet.
You’ve figured out that the best
routine for you to build muscle mass
and enhance your recuperation is to train three days a
week with a day of rest between workouts. I think you could
possibly add another day of training and still not overtrain.
I like taking a day off from training after two days of
heavy workouts when I’m trying to get bigger. If you trained
two days on/one day off/one day on/one day off, you’d be
training each muscle group once every six days. That would
let you train each bodypart a little more frequently, which
would help you grow.
You could continue to split your muscle groups with
in my opinion. Develop your physique naturally through
hard training and good nutrition and compete against
other natural bodybuilders in a drug-free competition.
That’s what bodybuilding was originally supposed to be.
I support myself with a regular job and don’t make my
living as a professional bodybuilder. Nor do most body-
builders in this country or anywhere in the world. Many
do it only as a hobby, and even a lot of professional body-
builders have to do something else
to make a living because
they don’t make enough
money as profession-
al bodybuilders.
Only a dozen
or so professional
make six-figure
incomes exclu-
sively from the
׬¬c¬¬cc÷ ¬coe




84 AUGUST 2009 \
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86 AUGUST 2009 \
Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Mr. Natural
Olympia and is a two-time Natural Mr. Universe winner.
Check out his Web site at, or
send questions or comments to him
via e-mail at John@NaturalOlympia
.com. Look for John’s DVD, “Natural
Bodybuilding Seminar and Compe-
titions,” along with his book, Natural
Bodybuilding, and his training DVD,
“Real Muscle,” at his Web site or at
Home Gym Warehouse, www.Home- Listen to John’s new radio
show, “Natural Bodybuilding Radio,”
at www.NaturalBodybuildingRadio
.com. You can send written correspondence to John
Hansen, P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561. IM
2009 ABA Natural Illinois
On Saturday, April 25, 2009, I promoted the ’09 ABA
Natural Illinois Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Champi-
onships. With nearly 50 competitors, it has grown by 2 1/2
times in only one year. Best of all, the evening show was
completely sold out—with an audience that was enthusi-
astic and, at times, screaming for the competitors. It was
one of the most supportive and vocal audiences that I’ve
seen in years at a bodybuilding competition.
Tall-class winner Brent Swanson edged out the geneti-
cally gifted Pierce Walker in the men’s open division. The
22-year-old Swanson wants
to become Mr. Natural
Olympia one day, and, if he
keeps improving at this rate,
he’ll soon make his dream
a reality.
Jennifer Lynn Abrams
competed in her first ABA
show and, with her massive
and shapely physique, won
the women’s open overall
along with the best poser
award. Brittany Ramsey
caused a near-riot when
she stepped onstage for her
first contest ever. She beat
out a very competitive open figure division in “one of the
highlights of my life.”
The guest poser was the
amazing Thomas Anderson,
’08 Natural North America
champion and the short-
class winner of last year’s
Natural Olympia. At 5’3” and
180 pounds, Thomas, 23, has
the genetics of Danny Pa-
dilla. He came out dressed as
the Incredible Hulk, and the
audience loved it. Watch out
for this guy in the future.
Here’s a list of all the over-
all winners:
Men’s Open: Brent Swanson
Women’s Open: Jennifer Lynn Abrams
Figure Open: Brittany Ramsey
Fitness: Stacy Kvernmo
Novice Men: Eric Forest
Masters Men: Jeff Gruskovak
Masters Women: Marissa Ruffalo
Masters Figure: Patty Mayo-Katsion
Teenage Men: Kye Mallernee
Bikini Diva: Vickie Kolb
Model Search: Heather Frystak
I want to thank my sponsors for supporting Natural
Bodybuilding and Fitness, including Optimum Nutrition,
American Body Building, JM Steel, Capital Nutrition,
Nutrition Discounters, Pride Nutrition, Sultry Salsa and
Govan Fitness.
—John Hansen
׬¬c¬¬cc÷ ¬coe
Brent Swanson.
Jennifer Lynn Abrams.
the push/pull/legs program that you’re currently using, or
you could try a different breakdown that would eliminate
any overlapping of training the same muscles two days in
a row. Here are two examples of how you could split your
training program:
Day 1: Chest, deltoids, triceps
Day 2: Back, biceps
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Cycle begins again
Day 1: Chest, biceps, triceps
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Deltoids, back
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Cycle begins gain
To enhance your recuperation and grow between work-
outs, you need to follow a proper nutrition program. Eating
enough protein will help the muscles rebuild after your
heavy workouts. You should aim to eat 1.25 to 1.5 grams
of protein for each pound of bodyweight. High-quality
protein foods, such as egg whites, fish, chicken, turkey and
lean red meat, are all great sources.
Complex carbohydrates are also very important for
muscle growth, energy and recuperation. You’ll derive your
energy for your workouts from carbs, so make sure you eat
enough complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, sweet pota-
toes, whole-grain bread and brown rice.
If you feel that you’re not getting lean enough, cut back
on your carbohydrate intake. Be careful not to cut back
too much, though. Carbohydrates are often described as
protein sparing. That means carbs should be used for fuel
during exercise instead of protein. If you’re eating a very
low-carbohydrate diet, your body will have to convert
protein into energy by using amino acids for fuel. If you
eat enough complex carbs, you’ll use them for fuel and not
break down the protein you take in or, worse yet, actual
muscle tissue, for your energy needs.
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Q: I’m writing because I’ve seen you compete a
number of times, and you always look so relaxed
onstage. I’m an absolute nervous wreck every time I
step out there. I need help. What’s your secret?
A: I know exactly how you feel. Walking out onstage
under bright lights in a tiny posing suit is not a normal
thing. It’s quite traumatic, and there is not much that can
prepare you for it. In fact, I once had a client—an exotic
dancer—who competed in one of my contests. She has a
great naturally athletic body and generally wants to be the
center of attention—some would say that she’s obnoxious,
but I’d never say that. When she came onstage to compete
in figure, though, she shook so violently that I was certain
she was going to fall down. She ended up placing in the
show but not nearly as well as she could have had she been
able to project confidence. When I asked her later what
the hell happened, she replied, “Dave, those lights were
so bright, and right before I went onstage, I realized that
none of those people were drunk.” She was the last person
I thought would get contest stage fright, but it happened—
and she goes onstage daily for a living.
I was extremely lucky when it came to getting good
stage advice. I competed in my first contest mid-May
1983. I was so nervous that I hardly remember anything
about being onstage other than the elation I felt when I
was awarded the third-place trophy—totally unexpected.
Just two weeks later I competed in the NPC Mr. Sunbelt in
Galveston, Texas. Before the night show I was sitting in the
theater talking to Craig, another guy in my height class. Lee
Labrada, who was judging the show, walked up to speak
with Craig.
It turned out they were training partners. Craig asked
Lee for a critique, as did I. Lee told me I looked great and
said to keep training and putting on more muscle size—I
weighed 147 for that show. He asked me how I felt about
the night show, and I told him that I was nervous. At that
point Lee gave me the best advice I could have ever got-
ten. He asked me, “How long have you been dieting for
the show? How much cardio have you done? Have you
busted your ass in the gym—for how many weeks?” After
I answered his questions, he looked me straight in the eye
and said, “Dude, you’re going to have 90 seconds up there
onstage. You’d better enjoy it.”
That brief
totally flipped
my perspective.
Rather than
worrying about
being onstage, I
looked forward
to it. From that
moment on I’ve
looked forward
to everything
about the actual
and when I’m on
the stage, I enjoy
every moment
for which I’ve
trained so hard
and sacrificed so
much. When you
see me smiling
in the symmetry
round and dur-
ing the manda-
tory poses, it’s
because I’m hav-
ing fun. When
I’m out there
doing my posing
routine, I’m hav-
ing a blast.
When you
think about all
the time and
energy you put
Contest Stage Fright
by Dave Goodin
90 AUGUST 2009 \






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into preparing for a show, your actual
stage time is infinitesimal. When I
finally realized that being onstage is
the ultimate goal—the fun part—I
began to enjoy the experience to the
I’ve been able to transfer my en-
joyment of being onstage to other
aspects of my life, and it’s served me
very well. When I’ve had opportuni-
ties to speak to groups, appear on the
radio, appear on the news, be inter-
viewed for documentaries or play
and sing onstage at nightclubs, I’ve
always taken the same attitude. I just
think that whatever I’ve been asked
to do, I’ve worked hard for a long time
to earn those moments in the spot-
light—and I’m going to enjoy it.
Anytime you get the chance to
showcase your talents, whether in a
physique competition or speaking,
singing, cooking, whatever, just think,
“I’ve earned this. This is the fun part.”
Enjoy your time in the spotlight. Your
enjoyment will shine through, and
everyone who witnesses your perfor-
mance will share in your hard work
and your enjoyment. Trust me on this
too: You will inspire others.
Late addition: I wrote this column
about 10 days before we held the
12th annual NPC Nutrishop Texas
Shredder Classic. Beverly Williams-
Hawkins, competing in her first show
at age 56, went out there and had fun.
She owned the stage. And let me tell
you, she brought the standing-room-
only house down. Today several over-
50 people talked to me about Beverly
and about the possibility of compet-
ing next year in the Shredder Classic.
Editor’s Note: See
Dave Goodin’s blog at
www.IronMan Click
on the blog selection
in the top menu bar.
To contact Dave
directly, send e-mail to TXShredder IM
Lee Labrada always looked as
though he was enjoying himself




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Tips for Faster Fat Loss
Q: I’ve got a lot of fat to lose, but I’m motivated to
get ripped this summer. My problem is that I’m not
sure how to go about it so I get the fastest results
possible. Should I go on a low-carb diet and do car-
dio every day? I want to build muscle too, but a lot
of people tell me that a low-carb diet isn’t good for
adding muscle mass. Help.
A: There have been lots of heated debates about low-
carb vs. higher-carb diets. The answer, which Jonathan
Lawson and I discuss in our nutrition guide, X-treme Lean,
is very simple. You should treat carbs as fuel.
You need enough glycogen from carbohydrates to re-
plenish what you burn from your muscles—to keep them
full and able to contract intensely during your workouts.
On top of that you need a slight excess to power bodily
functions, like optimal brain activity.
How much is that? The body stores about 400 grams of
glycogen in the muscles and liver. If you train two or three
bodyparts hard at a workout and deplete all the glycogen
from them, that adds up to maybe 100 grams. You need
another 30 to 50 grams for good measure—and good brain
health. That’s a total
of 130 to 150 grams
a day you need to
What if you
take in more than
the amount your
brain and muscles
use? Excess will be
burned from your
bloodstream for
energy during daily
activity—instead of
bodyfat—and any-
thing left over will be
shunted into the fat
If you don’t work
out, you need even
fewer carbs, but
most people take
in 200 to 300 grams
a day—a primary
reason there is an
obesity epidemic. In
fact, if overcarbed
sedentary folks start
doing cardio, they
basically burn excess
blood sugar to fuel
the cardio, without
using a lot of bodyfat.
(There’s a way to tap
into fat stores almost
immediately with
cardio, as you’ll see in
a moment.)
Back to you: First,
start gradually reduc-
ing your carb intake,
and take in very few
carbs at night, when
you’re more seden-
tary. I say gradually
because a severe cut
all at once can send a
starvation signal and
If possible, try to get
the majority of
your carbs close
to your workout to
refill muscle
by Steve Holman
94 AUGUST 2009 \




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cause your body to hoard fat and burn muscle
tissue. Reduce carbs and calories slowly over
a few weeks—and, if possible, try to get the
majority of your carbs close to your workout so
you can refill muscle stores.
Over the course of a few weeks you’ll reach
130 to 150 grams a day. Hold that count and
gradually increase your activity with more fre-
quent walks, etc. Simple. Having higher-carb,
or cheat, days every so often is mandatory for
proper thyroid function and metabolism rev-
As for your weight-training workouts, focus
on growth hormone increases and trigger-
ing muscle microtrauma, the two keys to fast
fat-to-muscle effects. For example, do the last
set of each of your compound, or midrange,
exercises, like squats, in negative-accentuated
style—that is, one second up and six seconds
Negative-accentuated sets require less
weight, but the slow-mo lowering causes mus-
cle microtrauma. The negative stroke produces
microtears that help you shed blubber quickly.
How? Your body burns fat for energy when it
repairs the muscle damage over many days. In
other words, you’re burning fat continuously,
even when you’re sitting still.
On isolation exercises, like cable flyes, use
drop sets—two sets back to back with a weight
reduction. That will increase muscle burn,
which increases growth hormone release. GH
is a potent fat burner and also an anabolic
synergist—it helps make other muscle-build-
ing hormones, like testosterone, more powerful so you get
bigger and leaner.
Now for the fat-to-muscle finisher: After every weight
workout do at least 15 minutes of steady-state, low-in-
tensity cardio, like on a treadmill. That’s critical because
right after you hit the weights, all of the sugar is out of
your bloodstream; you’ve burned it during your sets. That
means your cardio will tap into fat stores almost immedi-
ately. Very efficient blubber-busting tactic.
A number of other fat-to-muscle techniques can speed
your results, but the ones here should get you started on
your road to ripped.
Q: I’ve been on a Power/Rep Range/Shock pro-
gram for a few months, and my strength has gone up
considerably. The problem is that I haven’t gained
much size so far. Do you think I’m doing something
A: Eric Broser, the developer of P/RR/S, addresses that
in the Q&A section of his new e-program, The Power/Rep
Range/Shock Workout, which is the companion manual to
his new DVD, “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training
“One way to increase size gains for some individuals is
to increase the frequency of Rep Range and/or Shock week
so that the structure is P/RR/RR/S or P/RR/S/RR, for ex-
That makes sense because on Rep Range week you do
sets for seven to nine reps, 10 to 12 reps and 13 to 15 reps—
you run the table on fiber activation, thoroughly covering
all the mass-building bases. During Power week you do
low-rep sets, and in Shock week you use eight to 10 reps
but with drop sets, etc. Of all three weeks, Rep Range has
the most potential to produce exceptional growth stimula-
tion for the majority of bodybuilders.
To make the Rep Range week even more effective, we’ve
found that Positions of Flexion is ideal for every bodypart:
On the big, midrange exercise, like close-grip bench presses
for triceps, you do seven to nine reps; on the stretch-posi-
tion move, like overhead extensions, you do 10 to 12; and
on the contracted-position exercise, like pushdowns, you
do 13 to 15.
Or you could switch the order of the last two exercises—
Do one set of your big, midrange exercises in negative-accentuated
style—one second up and six seconds down. That will result in more fat-
to-muscle microtrauma.




Eric Broser is the creator of Power/Rep Range/Shock.
He says that some trainees need more frequent Rep
Range phases to grow.
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96 AUGUST 2009 \
performing pushdowns (contracted), then overhead exten-
sions (stretch) and ending with 10x10 on the extensions for
fascia expansion, similar to Hany Rambod’s FST-7 method.
Either way, POF results in lower reps for force genera-
tion, medium reps for stretch overload and higher reps for
occlusion and continuous tension—an exciting, balanced
muscle-making attack, the perfect mass-building trifecta.
[Note: The Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout is available
at; the companion DVD
is available at]
Q: I’ve watched a lot of the pro bodybuilders’
training DVDs and noticed that most don’t bring the
bar all the way to their chest when bench pressing,
and they don’t lock out at the top. I tried it, and it
seems to work the chest muscles much harder. Is
that correct form—more of a middle-range move-
A: Most of the biggest bodybuilders go by feel, and
they’ve found that stopping short at the bottom and not
locking out engages the pecs more effectively. That’s exactly
how Ronnie Coleman does his bench presses, as shown on
his DVDs.
The reason is something Jonathan and I have discussed
in our X-Rep e-books: reversing the rep at the point on
the stroke where maximum force can be generated by the
target muscle. Research shows that point to be where the
muscle is semistretched but not completely elongated. On
a bench press, that point is an inch or two off the chest.
But isn’t the top part of the stroke where you’re stron-
gest? Yes, but not due to pec power; that’s where your
triceps and delts are more involved. The bottom range is
where the chest can explode with the most pec-fiber-acti-
vating force.
Not locking out keeps tension on the pectorals and
reduces the involvement of the triceps and front delts, so
by stopping the bar short of touching your chest and before
lockout at the top, you create more tension time and pec-
fiber recruitment.
What about rep speed? A new study compared a three-
seconds-up/three-seconds-down repetition cadence
with a one-second-up/three-seconds-down style. The
fast-up/slow-down tempo produced more muscle gain.
Why? In this case I believe the controlled explosion at the
semistretch point produced more fiber activation, which
resulted in more growth-activating microtrauma. It’s why
end-of-set X-Rep partials work so well—you continue to at-
tack the semistretch point after full-range exhaustion. [Int J
Sports Med. In press. 2009.]
Pros like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman use the con-
trolled-explosion method on most of their sets, and both
even do X-Rep-only sets—partials that include the semis-
tretch point—on some exercises. Interesting, exciting stuff
from an efficient muscle-building standpoint.
Editor’s note: Steve Holman is
the author of many bodybuilding
best-sellers and the creator of
Positions-of-Flexion muscle training.
For information on the POF videos
and Size Surge programs, see the ad
sections beginning on pages 236 and
264, respectively. Also visit www for information on X-Rep
and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM
c¬|¬|c¬c m¬ss
Many of the pros stop short on the
downward stroke of pressing exercises,
which emphasizes the semistretch point
and can activate more muscle fibers.






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hadn’t yet subjected myself
to former Vice President Al
Gore’s apocalyptic documen-
tary about the effects of global
warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,”
but I didn’t need to. I had proof
enough. It was 99 degrees outside,
and inside the gym it was fricking
hot and muggy because the air-
conditioning unit was malfunc-
tioning—inconvenience defined.
I know what some of you are
thinking: What a big wuss this Har-
ris character is! Ronnie Coleman
trains out at Metroflex Gym in the
equally unbearable and oppres-
sively humid Texas summer. It’s a
hardcore dungeon where you’re as
likely to find air-conditioning as
you are to find pretty potted ferns
and big pink Swiss balls to balance
on while you curl three-pound
chrome dumbbells.
So sue me: I like the little crea-
ture comforts of modern civiliza-
tion. I enjoy turning on a faucet to
get my water, rather than carrying
it in buckets up from the creek. I
buy my steaks already cut up, rath-
er than having to kill and butcher
the cow myself. I appreciate being
able to flush the toilets in my home
rather than use a stinky outhouse.
But I digress.
When I say that the air-condi-
tioning was malfunctioning, I’m
not being entirely accurate. It
seemed to be working perfectly in
the small area around the front
desk—so the cute teenage girls
working there and the young horn-
dog guys who hung around spitting
game at them could luxuriate in
lightly chilled air. Flirting is hard
work; we wouldn’t want them to
break a sweat, would we? Over by
the squat rack, where Randy and
I were in our own little world of
intensity and pain, it was a differ-
ent story.
In that particular corner of the
gym it might have been a couple of
degrees hotter than outside. I kept
thinking I was catching a whiff of
brimstone, and any minute I ex-
pected to see little red devils leap
out from smoking cracks in the
ground and start poking at us with
The combination of heat and
humidity drains the energy out of
you faster than finding out that
the Playboy Playmate who’s been
e-mailing you racy notes is actu-
ally an obese 44-year-old sanita-
tion worker named Fred. When
there are beads of condensed water
trickling down the walls, you know
it’s humid.
The weather was rough on me
for a couple of reasons. Number
one, I am not built for the heat. My
ancestors are from England and
Russia, so I’m more comfortable
in the drizzling fog of the moors or
a snowstorm on the frigid steppes
of Siberia than under a blazing
sun. I start sweating when the
mercury goes over 70 degrees, and
it gets increasingly more disgust-
ing the hotter it gets. I pretty much
perspire 24/7 from Memorial Day
until Labor Day, leaving puddles
wherever I stand still for more than
a minute when I’m in the gym. My
gym bag is always packed with at
least three clean T-shirts, and if I
didn’t carry a towel around to mop
the rivulets of sweat that run down
my brow, I would be blinded by my
own stinging fluids.
Randy seemed to cope with the
heat a little better than I do under
normal circumstances, but now
he was dieting for his contest, 12
weeks away. Each morning he woke
up and headed right to the gym to
do his cardio at four a.m. so he’d
have enough time to shower and


100 AUGUST 2009 \
Ron Harris
Photography by Michael Neveux
A Bodybuilder is Born / Episode 49
The for
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102 AUGUST 2009 \
eat something before training his
first client at 5:30. He was already
cutting back on his carbs, and even
though the fish oil he’d added to his
supplement regimen was helping to
sustain his energy levels, the sicken-
ing heat was getting the best of him.
We had done leg curls and stiff-
legged deadlifts, and now we were
finishing up squats. Randy sat down
on a bench, looking like a wilted
flower that had given up. It was
tough to not feel sorry for him.
“Okay, we’ll do our walking
lunges, then finish up with a couple
high-rep sets of leg presses,” I said.
Randy shook his head and looked
up at me like he was ready to cry,
loosening his knee wraps, which
he wore only on his heaviest set of
“No lunges, Ron. Not today,
My first inclination was to give in,
because I was not in the mood for
lunges either. But I had to be firm.
“Okay, no lunges—for me. You
still have to do them.”
“What?” he whined. “Come on, be
“It’s your legs that are going to
be up onstage in 12 weeks, kid, not
mine. Your legs are good, but are
they so incredible that you can af-
ford to slack?”
“Slack?” he replied with incredu-
lity. “I just busted my ass on squats,
and I’m soaked with sweat!”
“You call that sweat?” I countered.
“Why, I ought to take my shirt off
while you’re doing leg presses and
wring out a quart of my high-test,
toxic ammonia sweat on your face!”
He grimaced at the image, and I
didn’t blame him. Monkeys at the
zoo have been known to ask me in
monkey sign language, “Dude, have
you ever heard of deodorant?”
“Summertime is when most
people do slack off on their train-
ing,” I conceded. “You have the
sickening heat, plus vacations, days
at the beach or pool and barbecues,
all of which seem more enticing
than pushing and pulling a bunch of
heavy metal in a stuffy gym.”
“Don’t forget the cardio,” Randy
reminded me.
“Right. But you are in a special
situation here, as you should know.
How did you do at your first contest
last year—do you happen to recall?”
He merely grunted. “That’s right.
You took dead last. You had your ass
handed to you on a platter. You—”
“I know, okay, I get it! I sucked!”
We made our way over to the
leg press. Between sets of
20, 30, then 50 reps, he stood
under a nearby fan, which at
least circulated the hot air,
and guzzled cold
water from a bottle that
had already been refilled twice
from the fountain.


Summertime Blues
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104 AUGUST 2009 \
“I didn’t say you sucked. You
looked pretty good. But you need to
look a lot better this time, because
this time you actually have a good
chance to win. You’re up against
other novice competitors instead of
a bunch of seasoned veterans who
have been doing this since you were
pooping your diaper and laugh-
ing at Elmo and Big Bird. You’ll be
standing next to hungry newcomers
like you who are all desperate to win
their first trophy.”
“So, isn’t that good?” he asked.
“Not if you’re quitting your work-
outs early and not putting in 100
percent. You always have to assume
that as hard as you are training and
dieting, someone else is doing an
even better job. That’s what moti-
vates you to go
beyond what you
thought you were
capable of and
do that extra rep, that extra set, that
extra cardio session that could make
the difference between winning and
losing. Excuses are everywhere if
you really want to look for them. In
the winter you could say it’s too cold
or you are too tired from shoveling
snow to train. But winners don’t
make excuses; they do what they
need to do regardless of discomfort,
fatigue or inconvenience.”
“Fine,” Randy said as we made
our way over to the leg press. Be-
tween sets of 20, 30, then 50 reps, he
stood under a nearby fan, which at
least circulated the hot air, and guz-
zled cold water from a bottle that
had already been refilled twice from
the fountain. As he got ready to start
lunges, I went to the locker room.
He was waiting for me to begin, as I
usually bark encouragement at him
on the return trip from the rear of
the gym to the front desk area and
back. I had my workout shake in
one hand, and one of the ice packs
from my cooler in the other. Randy
seemed puzzled and nodded toward
the ice pack.
“What’s that for?” he asked.
“Never mind, just get ready.” He
cleaned the 60-pound fixed barbell
off the floor in front of him and set it
on his back. Now that he was ren-
dered helpless to stop me, I pulled
his waistband outward from the top
of his shorts and dropped the ice
pack into his underwear. He yelped
like a dog that’s just had its tail
stepped on.
“Now, that’s air-conditioning,”
I said. “Do your set and make me
proud.” IM
The combination of heat and humidity
drains the energy out of you faster
than finding out that the Playboy
Playmate who’s been e-mailing you
racy notes is actually an obese 44-year-
old sanitation worker named Fred.
You always have to assume that
as hard as you are training and
dieting, someone else is doing an
even better job. That’s
what motivates you to go beyond
what you thought you were capable
of and do that extra rep, that extra
set, that extra cardio session that
could make the difference
between winning and losing.


Summertime Blues
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ast year’s Arnold pictorial featuring the work
of photographer extraordinaire Jimmy Caruso
was so incredible, we weren’t sure how we could
top it in 2009. Then we received another influx of
classic Caruso images and realized we’d barely scratched
the surface of his Austrian Oak collection.
We knew we had another blockbuster tribute in the
making, but then Gene Mozée dug up a few of his best
photos from his days of hanging out around Venice Beach
with Arnold, and wow. A few of Gene’s shots punctuating
Caruso’s dramatic images makes for one incredible
solid-Oak homage.
Our thanks to Caruso for
his permission to publish
some of the all-time-best
Schwarzenegger physique
pictures ever taken and to
Mozée for opening up his
legendary files.
And to Arnold we say, Thanks for the memories and
motivation, Governor, and happy 62nd birthday.
—the Editors
Physique photography by Jimmy Caruso; training photography by Gene Mozée
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Gene Mozée’s
training images
were captured
in the original
at Muscle
114 AUGUST 2009 \
the new
for a spin
with Mike
Denny Gable (right)
and Robby Robinson
(left) talk Arnold
through a grueling set
of cable rows.
a crowd
at Muscle
Taking aim with Frank Zane.
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perfects his
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When Matthias Steiner won a gold
medal on his final attempt at the
2008 Olympics, his life was about
to change—he would be honored
for his accomplishment and be-
come a celebrity in Germany, and,
as part of the package, he’d get in-
vited to the Arnold Sports Festival,
where he’d have an opportunity to
meet California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger. Steiner would be
accompanied by his two Olympic
teammates—Juergen Spiess and
Almir Velagic—along with coaches
Frank Mantek and Michael Vater,
German Weightlifting Federa-
tion Vice President Dr. Christian
Baumgartner and lifter-turned-an-
nouncer Marc Huster.
The IronMind Invitational, the
weightlifting exhibition on the main
stage of the expo hall at the Arnold,
has brought some of the world’s top
Olympic-style weightlifters to Co-
lumbus, Ohio, since 2005. Unfortu-
nately, a few weeks before the show,
Matthias Steiner had to undergo
hernia surgery, which meant he
could still come to the Arnold but
wouldn’t be lifting anything heavier
than a fork at dinner. We were still
on for the exhibition, and the Ger-
man coaches wanted Spiess and
Velagic to have a minicontest the
day before the exhibition. We need-
ed to add another lifter to our pro-
Matthias Steiner
Meets His Hero
by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D.
at the
Matthias Steiner
and Governor
nails it.
Juergen Spiess
and Almir Velagic.
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gram—not just anyone but someone
who could enhance the show and
demonstrate the excitement of the
sport. Top American weightlifter
and Olympic bobsled hopeful Ingrid
Marcum got the nod, and we were
ready to roll.
The day before the Arnold
opened, our team went to the YMCA
in downtown Columbus for a morn-
ing training session, which included
Matthias giving an inspirational talk
to teenagers who’d run into various
sorts of trouble. Then we had lunch
at the Ohio State University Golf
Club with Dr. Steven Riess, a moti-
vational psychologist whose work
has been pivotal to Mantek’s coach-
ing success. That evening we had
dinner in a private room at M—giv-
ing our guests a taste of elegant
regional American cuisine.
On Friday we enjoyed the pre-
liminaries in arm wrestling, hosted
a question-and-answer session at
the Strength Summit, and, when the
USAPL raw meet ended in the grand
ballroom, we jumped in, holding a
minicompetition for our German
lifters and Ingrid Marcum. The Ger-
mans were tuning up for the Euro-
pean Weightlifting Championships.
Showing his form, Juergen Spiess
hit a personal record in the snatch,
and Almir Velagic made the clean
and jerk required to put him on the
Showtime was Saturday at 1 p.m.,
and after months of preparation
for the moment, the governor of
California was sweeping toward us,
his entourage in tow. Arnold spent
minutes talking with Steiner about
his dramatic Olympic performance,
noting that he’d begun his own
training as a weightlifter before the
Austrian authorities would allow
him to pursue bodybuilding. Arnold
introduced his wife, Maria Shriver,
to Steiner, then moved on to shake
hands with the other members of
the group. He took a ringside seat,
staying for the whole exhibition, and
then came onstage when we were
done to shake hands once more.
Most people have never had the
pleasure of seeing a top lifter rip
through a snatch or a clean and jerk.
That’s the experience we brought to
the Arnold, where one young man,
born in Austria, who left to pursue
his dreams and succeeded wildly,
met the man who’d blazed the trail.
On August 19, 2008, in Beijing, Mat-
thias Steiner’s first dream had come
true, and on March 7, 2009, in Co-
lumbus, so had his second.
Editor’s note: Randall Stros-
sen is the founder and president
of IronMind, known worldwide
for such products as Captains
of Crush grippers and the book
Super Squats. Find IronMind on
the Web at
Almir Velagic hits
his goal on the
clean and jerk.
Most people have
never had the
pleasure of seeing
a top lifter like
Ingrid Marcum rip
through a snatch
or a clean and
jerk. \ AUGUST 2009 135
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lex Azarian sounded beat. The night before we
were scheduled to talk about his shoulder training,
he and his wife, Nga, had welcomed Stephen Azar-
ian, all seven pounds, two ounces of him, into the
world. I offered via phone message to postpone,
but Alex wouldn’t have it. Yes, he was tired; yes, having a baby is
much higher on the scale of importance than an interview; and,
yes, he had barely slept since the baby was born, but he wanted
to do the interview despite all that—because he’d told me he
would and he didn’t want to upset my schedule. That provides a
little insight into just how nice a guy Alex Azarian is.
He’s also one heck of a competitor, a bodybuilder who, after
taking the lightweight title at the ’06 NPC USA, shot to promi-
nence prior to the ’07 Nationals, due primarily to some sick im-
ages of his conditioning that led many amateur prognosticators
(including yours truly) to predict a win for him going away (see
photos on page 144). Unfortunately, it was not in the cards. Alex
finished eighth in that competition and got an eye-opening look
at just how difficult it is to peak after making a cross-country trip.
What led me to respect Alex after his ’07 Nationals experience
was the professional and upstanding manner in which he an-
swered the inevitable question: “What went wrong?” Instead of
blaming a mysterious illness or food poisoning or some obscure
malady—something that’s common in bodybuilding when a
competitor misses his or her peak—Alex calmly admitted that
he’d made some poor decisions in the final days leading up to
the show. That’s quite a breath of fresh air.
Because of all that I was looking forward to speaking with
Alex about how he trains his shoulders. Of course, when you’re
speaking of shoulders, you’re really referring to two fairly large
muscle groups: the deltoids and trapezius. The development of
both groups is key to having a finished physique, and the key to
proper development is balance.
Alex told me two things that I found surprising. The first was
that, because he’s genetically gifted in his shoulder-and-clavicle
area, he stopped training delts for a while, which he later re-
gretted because he felt it affected his physique negatively. The
An All-Around Delt Detailer
From Alex Azarian
Shoulder \ AUGUST 2009 143
by Cory Crow
Photography by Michael Neveux
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144 AUGUST 2009 \
f you’re an active mem-
ber of the bodybuilding
message board com-
munity, you’ve probably
seen or heard of the legend
surrounding Alex’s prep pic-
tures leading up to the ’07
NPC National Bodybuilding
and Fitness Championships.
It’s possible that the pictures
he posted reflected some of
the best conditioning ever
seen leading up to an ama-
teur contest. The events sur-
rounding his showing —and
the mistakes that he made
in prep—provide a caution-
ary tale of the differences
between competing at the
national level and competing
in local or regional shows.
CC: I saw your pictures
before the ’07 Nationals
and picked you to win.
What happened?
AA: Despite it all, I’m very
proud of the conditioning
that I achieved leading up
to the show. Those pictures
got me my sponsorship with
CytoGenix—makers of Xenad-
rine RFA-X, Cyto-Cell, Cyto-
NOX and Taraxatone—and
really led to a boom in my
contest-prep business.
CC: At the minimum,
you should be proud be-
cause you achieved a level
of conditioning that few
competitive bodybuilders
have ever achieved.
AA: Exactly. It’s still some-
thing to be proud of, and,
while I would have loved to
win the show, I can’t be disap-
pointed in how I looked lead-
ing up to the show.
CC: So, what happened?
AA: The ’07 Nationals was
the first time I ever had to travel a long distance before
a show. It was in Dallas, and I live in California. Before
that show I had only competed in contests where I
could drive to the event. Traveling and competing is a
whole different ball game. I got off the plane and was
bloated as hell, retaining water from the flight, etc. I
also arrived the day before the competition, which is
way too close to stage time to really fix problems that
stem from air travel. Add to that the fact that, at the
last minute, I decided to change my tanning product,
and you get what happened that night.
CC: Still, you made the top 10.
AA: Exactly, which gave me confidence
that I can be a winner at this level. I was
frustrated that I didn’t win, because I
compete to win, but you have to learn
from your mistakes and move forward.
For this year’s Nationals I’m prepping the
exact same way, but I’m planning on ar-
riving early and getting acclimated to the
climate. I’m also sticking with the tanning
product that I know. [Laughs]
CC: Lessons learned, right?
AA: Exactly. You have to keep learning
in bodybuilding or you stagnate. I learned
a lot during the time I trained with Lee
Priest. It was stunning to see how thick he
is—in a good way. He also taught me a lot
about proper form, which was an invalu-
able lesson.
CC: So, what about moving for-
AA: In addition to competing in the Na-
tionals, I’m about to start filming an “In
the Trenches” video series for Muscular
Development. It’s important to realize that
my sponsorship, the boost in my training
business and all of this attention came
because my conditioning in the prep
pictures was so strong. Despite the fact
that my game-day performance wasn’t
what I wanted it to be, I’d be lying if I said
I wasn’t proud of that. But I really want
to nail my conditioning again and this
time bring it up onto the stage. I’ve been
blessed with the ability to get really diced
from the back. I love that paper-thin-skin
look and hope to be able to show it again.
CC: What’s your off-season plan
given the lessons you’ve learned?
AA: I tend to stay lean year-round. Not
in “contest” shape, mind you,
but in pret-
ty good
I really like
RFA-X as a
fat burner,
and I’m
using Ter-
axatone now as an herbal
diuretic to help me dry
out. Those are two prod-
ucts that I really like and
am having success with.
Using them and making
sure to arrive in Miami well
ahead of time, I plan on re-
ally making a strong show-
ing this time around.
A Lesson Learned the Hard Way
The ’07 Nationals Prep-Pictures Story
Two weeks out.
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second was that he does his
workout with very little rest
between sets, even when he’s
switching machines.
“I’ve got a full-time job as a
teacher and two kids,” he said.
“My goal is to get in, beat up
the muscle group and get out.”
It’s always refreshing to
interview someone who lives a
regular, work-a-day existence.
Pros who can work out twice a
day, five times per week are fun
to read about, but there’s very
little for the beginning-to-in-
termediate lifter to take home
from that kind of marathon
weight sessions. A workout like
Alex’s? That’s the sweet spot of
weight training.
He begins every delt ses-
sion with seated front presses,
normally done on a
Smith machine. On
every third work-
out—he switches it up
and uses dumbbells to
stimulate the stabiliz-
ing muscles more fully,
but for the most part Alex
prefers the Smith machine
because he feels a bet-
ter targeted burn.
He does around
five sets, pyra-
miding the
weight up
as his rep
a classic
style that’s
146 AUGUST 2009 \
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built many impressive physiques.
No need to reinvent the wheel
here. Maybe the enduring prin-
ciples of bodybuilding are endur-
ing because they work. For Alex
what works is performing his front
presses with moderately heavy
weight—50 to 80 percent of one-rep
max—working hard until muscle
fatigue sets in. Form is important, as
is rep speed.
Alex prefers to maintain a moder-
ate rep speed, which lets him focus
on moving the weight, not on how
fast or where he’s moving it.
“I think it’s important to find a
comfortable rep speed and stick
with it,” he said. “Too many people
try too many different things. That
takes away focus from their goal,
which is stimulating the muscle to
After finishing on the Smith ma-
chine, Alex quickly grabs a set of
dumbbells and begins five rapid-fire
sets of lateral raises, again pyramid-
ing up on the weights and down
on the reps. His performance style
is very much like what he does on
the pressing move. “Don’t swing the
weights,” he warns. “I don’t care how
much you can lift, only that you can
My goal is
to get in,
beat up the
muscle group
and get out.
Dumbbell Presses
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lift it correctly.”
Alex’s rules for per-
formance are similar
to what many top-level
competitive body-
builders espouse. I’d
bet that if you asked
1,000 bodybuilders
what is the biggest
sin committed by
beginning lifters, 999
of them would say,
“swinging the weights.”
The one guy who
answered something
different would be
either distracted or
carb-depleted and not
thinking clearly.
Next up for Alex is
a trip to the pec deck
machine for five sets of
reverse flyes, pyramid-
ing the weight. The
machine work is a good stimulus
for his rear delts, he said. “I quit
working rear delts for a while and
then later regretted it onstage. That
head is key to looking good from the
side and looking complete from all
angles. So many people ignore their
rear delts, yet they’re so important
to presenting a complete physique.”
With the pec deck behind him
Alex makes his way back to the
dumbbell rack to finish his work-
out. First up is two sets of bent-over
lateral raises, with either 25s or 35s,
depending on how he feels. He does
them with very strict form—total
focus on moving the weight up
while isolating the rear delts. By
this time Alex’s deltoids are fried,
so finishing the bent-over laterals
with good form is a weekly burn for
his shoulders that he feels polishes
them off.
“I really focus on the negative
Bent-Over Laterals
Lateral Raises
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152 AUGUST 2009 \
movement on laterals—includ-
ing the standing laterals,” he said.
“Maybe not so much on the press-
ing movements, but focusing on the
descending stroke of a flye or lateral
is like getting two workouts in one
Finally, he moves on
to working traps. For
years Alex’s big trapezius
workout has consisted of
shrugs. They work so well,
the only variations people
use are to attack them
from different angles
without fundamentally
changing the movement.
How people per-
form shrugs, however,
is uniquely personal.
Alex uses a pair of heavy
dumbbells. He’s so en-
amored of the way the
dumbbells feel and
how holding his hands
closer to his body helps
to stimulate the muscle,
he almost never uses an
Olympic bar. Find your own way on
this one, he said, but be sure to give
dumbbells a try.
After all, a shrug is a shrug—
you’re pulling the weight up by
shrugging your shoulders—but by
subtly changing hand positions, you
may find something that improves
your workout that’s extremely easy
to implement.
Alex moved up to welterweight
at the ’08 Nationals, to disappoint-
ing results and a ninth-place finish.
When you next see him compete,
it will be this fall, when he’ll make
another run for a title—and an IFBB
pro card—at the ’09 Nationals in
Miami. When he steps onstage, you
can be sure of one thing: He’ll have
a great pair of shoulders to show the
judges. He’ll also be better prepared,
having taken to heart the lessons
he’s learned over the past couple of
His online prep pictures are ea-
gerly anticipated by many pundits,
including me, who will probably see
them and predict great things for
him, again.
Editor’s note: You can contact
Alex Azarian through his Web site,, or via his MySpace
npc_alex. IM
Alex’s All-Around Shoulder Assault
and Training Split
Seated Smith-machine
front presses x 5 sets
Dumbbell laterals x 5 sets
Reverse pec deck
flyes x 5 sets
Bent-over laterals x 2 sets
Dumbbell shrugs x 5 sets
He uses a standard pyramid scheme, adding
weight so that the reps drop, on each successive
set on most exercises.
Day 1: Chest, hamstrings
Day 2: Delts, traps, calves, abs
Day 3: Arms, abs
Day 4: Back, calves
Day 5: Quads
*He follows the sequence and takes one or two
rest days when his body tells him he needs it or
his schedule requires.
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156 AUGUST 2009 \
of the
by Jerry Brainum
Part 2
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Antiaging Effects
The only technique known to maximize life
span in animals—not yet proven in humans—is
calorie restriction. The method usually in-
volves lowering the daily calorie intake by
30 to 40 percent, which is said to lessen
oxidative effects. Some scientists,
however, think that calorie restriction
works because it activates a protec-
tive enzyme called SIRT1, which
removes acetyl groups from specific
proteins, triggering what’s called a
gene-silencing effect—that is, it
inhibits the activity of certain
Resveratrol Can Help Your
Health, Heart and Muscles
In Part 1 we examined the way
resveratrol works in the body, in
particular its protective properties
against cardiovascular disease and
cancer. This time we’re taking a look
at its antiaging properties and why
bodybuilders need to take note of it.




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genes in the body.
Among those genes
are the ones that control
the aging process. Stud-
ies show that, like calorie
restriction, resveratrol is capable of
increasing the activity of SIRT1 as
much as 13-fold over baseline. That
implies that much of the aging-re-
lated benefit of calorie restriction
may be obtainable with resveratrol.
That also explains the attraction of
resveratrol to life-extension devo-
tees. Some studies show that it ex-
tends the longevity of yeast—by 70
percent—worms and fish. Others,
however, have shown no life exten-
sion in yeast and worms.
The first study that pointed to a
life-extension effect of resveratrol
in mammals used mice.
aged mice were put on a diet that
contained 60 percent fat. Another
group of mice got a standard diet.
Those in the high-calorie group
were also given resveratrol at a dose
of 22.4 milligrams per kilogram of
bodyweight daily. Another group of
mice ate the high-fat diet but didn’t
get resveratrol. While both high-fat
groups became obese, those on the
resveratrol lived as long as control
animals. The resveratrol mice also
had enhanced insulin sensitivity,
along with an increased number
of mitochondria in their livers that
matched that of the calorie-restrict-
ed mice.
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Evidence shows that resveratrol and SIRT1
activation can help with several diseases
linked to aging, such as type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, brain
degeneration and
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160 AUGUST 2009 \
A diet that derives 60
percent of its calories from
fat isn’t normal, so another
study featured mice that
ate a standard diet supple-
mented with resveratrol.
In that case, resveratrol didn’t
provide any life-extending effects.
It did, however, prevent age-related
cardiovascular and obesity-related
functional decline in the mice. After
10 months of resveratrol treatment,
cholesterol levels declined in the
mice, and the aortas functioned
better in resveratrol-treated mice
than in the ones that didn’t get the
compound. Resveratrol also re-
duced heart inflammation as well as
several other beneficial effects:
• Increased bone health, includ-
ing density, volume, mineral
content and bending stiffness
• Reduced cataract formation in
older mice
• Enhanced balance and coordi-
• A mimicking of the effects of
calorie restriction in the gene ex-
pression profiles of liver, skeletal
muscle and fat tissue
Evidence shows that resveratrol
and SIRT1 activation can help
with several diseases linked to
aging, such as type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, brain
degeneration and inflammation.
Resveratol and
Resveratrol may be relevant to
weight training on several counts.
One effect of restricting calories is
that muscle ages far more slowly
than it otherwise would. Loss
of muscle function declines in
animals that are on restricted calo-
ries—although it’s worth noting that
humans who follow that kind of
low-calorie regimen appear emaci-
ated and atrophied. Mouse studies
show that resveratrol duplicates
favorable gene processes in muscles
that take place with calorie restric-
tion. The potent antioxidant activity
of resveratrol may also contribute to
that. While it remains to be demon-
strated in humans, it’s plausible that
taking resveratrol helps slow muscle
aging. Indeed, scientists now recog-
nize that a major cause of muscle
aging is a gradual accumulation of
iron in muscle over the years. That
causes oxidation of muscle RNA,
leading to damage and loss of mus-
cle function.
Resveratrol chelates
excess iron, thus preventing the
iron-related oxidative damage.
Even so, when taken in exces-
sive amounts, resveratrol itself can
turn into a pro-oxidant, leading to
free iron release and its attendant
oxidative damage. Keep in mind
that in natural sources, such as red
wine, resveratrol is present in small
doses and is accompanied by other
natural antioxidants, such as the
flavonoids and polyphenols that
keep it stable. All antioxidants work
as a team.
Resveratrol also favorably affects
testosterone counts. Although it can
interact with estrogen receptors, in
low doses it competes with estrogen
for interaction with the receptors,
A recent study of resveratrol given to rabbits
showed that it increased erections (likely
due to its NO-boosting effect) and testicular
sperm counts and boosted blood testosterone
by 51.6 percent.
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One problem with the popular supplement
conjugated linoleic acid is that it brings
on inflammation and insulin resistance in
fat cells. Those side effects, however, are
completely blocked by resveratrol, according
to a recent study.
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162 AUGUST 2009 \
an effect similar to the
drug Nolvadex. Resveratrol
also inhibits the enzyme
aromatase, which converts
androgens such as testoster-
one into estrogen. A recent study
with rabbits showed that resveratrol
increased erections (likely due to its
NO-boosting effect) and testicular
sperm counts and boosted blood
testosterone by 51.6 percent.
other study found that resveratrol
protected against testicular injury
caused by environmental toxins in
A recent isolated-cell study found
that resveratrol
helped maintain muscle
mass by increasing the pro-
liferation of satellite cells,
which are required to repair
damaged muscle cells. Sat-
ellite cell activity commonly
decreases with age, and it’s
considered a major cause of
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Cell studies show that resveratrol inhibits the
development of fat cells. Another study found
that resveratrol inhibits insulin secretion and
increases insulin sensitivity.
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A recent isolated-cell study found
that resveratrol helped maintain
muscle mass by increasing the
proliferation of satellite cells,
which are required to repair
damaged muscle cells.




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164 AUGUST 2009 \
muscle frailty in the elderly.
The favorable effect of resve-
ratrol in the study was related
to increased SIRT1 activity.
In another studymice that
had been specially bred to age
rapidly were given resveratrol and
Other mice exercised
but didn’t get resveratrol. Those not
getting the resveratrol showed a
decreased endurance capacity over
12 weeks, while those getting 0.2
percent resveratrol along with ex-
ercise maintained their endurance.
The mice in the resveratrol group
experienced a significant increase
in oxygen consumption and mi-
tochondrial energy enzymes. The
study suggests that when combined
with exercise, resveratrol may im-
prove and maintain mitochondrial
function in muscle. That’s highly
significant, since loss of mitochon-
dria in muscle is a major cause of
muscle loss with aging.
In a study published two years
ago, young mice given high-dose
resveratrol—400 milligrams per
kilogram of bodyweight—showed
resistance to obesity, as well as
increased aerobic-exercise capac-
ity and less muscle fatigue during
exercise. The mice were able to run
twice as far before exhaustion set
Cell studies show that resveratrol
inhibits the development of
fat cells.
Another study
found that it inhibits insu-
lin secretion and increases
insulin sensitivity.
insulin counts stimulate
increased bodyfat syn-
thesis, especially when
accompanied by
excess calorie
or carbohydrate
intake. The study
showed that resveratrol blocks the
inhibitory effects of insulin on epi-
nephrine-stimulated fat oxidation.
One problem with the popular
supplement conjugated linoleic acid
is that it brings on inflammation
and insulin resistance in fat cells.
Those side effects, however, are
completely blocked by resveratrol,
according to a recent study.
Various companies are working
on developing drugs that spur SIRT1
activity. That could have enormous
effects in antiaging medicine. One
drug activated SIRT1 four times
more than resveratrol, suggest-
ing that lower doses may be used
in comparison to resveratrol. In
another recent study the experi-
mental drug SIRT1720 proved to be
a thousand times more potent than
resveratrol in activating SIRT1. Mice
given it had twice the endurance of
untreated mice, and the drug pre-
vented diet-induced bodyfat accre-
tion by increasing fat oxidation in
the rodents’ skeletal muscles, liver
and brown adipose tissue.
On the other hand, it may be
premature to take huge doses of res-
veratrol. A recent study of isolated
mice neurons showed that large
amounts of SIRT1 led to damage
of brain cells through heightened
oxidative activity. That implies that
overstimulation of SIRT1 enzymes
could have a paradoxical reverse
effect—damaging health. Another
study found that resveratrol protects
the heart under conditions of isch-
emia, or blockage of blood flow to
the heart, as occurs during a typical
heart attack.
Higher doses had an
opposite effect, initiating a death
signal in heart
In prac-
While it remains
to be demonstrated
in humans, it’s
plausible that
taking resveratrol
helps slow muscle
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166 AUGUST 2009 \
terms, this suggests that
those who take huge doses
of resveratrol may succumb
to a heart attack that they
might have survived had they
been taking low doses of resve-
ratrol. The mechanism was thought
to be due to the accumulation of
free iron.
Several other studies point to
potentially serious health problems
for people who take huge doses of
resveratrol. For example, an animal
study found that while resveratrol
hindered tumor growth, it also
blunted wound healing.
An isolat-
ed-cell study found that high-dose
resveratrol inhibited the synthesis
of vital cellular nucleic acid com-
pounds, such as RNA and DNA, and
thus adversely affected protein syn-
thesis, resulting in cellular death.
In a 28-day study of high-dose res-
veratrol, treated rats showed signs of
kidney toxicity, dehydration, anemia
and abnormal liver function.
If you choose to supplement with
resveratrol, make sure that the sup-
plement contains trans-resveratrol,
the active form. Also carefully exam-
ine the elemental, or actual, levels of
trans-resveratrol listed on the label,
since many companies attempt
to confuse consumers by listing
only the amount of the resveratrol
source, such as Japanese knotwood,
or the total resveratrol content,
including the inactive Cis form. The
optimal human dose is unknown,
despite what you may read on the
Beware of obtaining resveratrol
from fly-by-night Internet suppliers.
You have no assurance of quality
control related to purity and po-
tency and will be paying premium
prices. Although resveratrol is fat-
soluble, it does not have to be con-
sumed with a meal containing fat,
as do such fat-soluble nutrients as
vitamins A, E, D and K.
Another alternative is to have a
glass of red wine, sit back and watch
what happens to those who force
megadoses of resveratrol down their
throats. It won’t take another study
to see who is happier.
Baur, J.A., et al. (2006). Resvera-
trol improves health and survival of
mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature.
Pearson, K.J., et al. (2008). Res-
veratrol delays age-related deterio-
ration and mimics transcriptional
aspects of dietary restriction with-
out extending lifespan. Cell Metabol.
Xiu, J., et al. (2008). Iron accu-
mulation with age, oxidative stress
and functional decline. Plos One.
Shin, S., et al. (2008). Trans-
resveratrol relaxes the corpus
cavernosum ex vivo and enhances
testosterone levels and sperm qual-
ity in vivo. Arch Pharm Res. 31:83-87.
Jiang, Y.G., et al. (2008). Resve-
ratrol reestablishes spermatogenesis
after testicular injury in rats caused
by 2,5-hexanedione. Chin Med J.
Rathbone, C.R., et al. (2008).
SIRT1 increases skeletal muscle pre-
cursor cell proliferation. Eur J Cell
Biol. 88(1):35-44.
Murase, T., et al. (2008). Sup-
pression of the aging-associated
decline in physical performance by
a combination of resveratrol intake
and habitual exercise in senes-
cence-accelerated mice. Biogeron-
tol. In press.
Lagouge, M., et al. (2006). Res-
veratrol improves mitochondrial
function and protects against meta-
bolic disease by activating SIRT1
and PGC1-alpha. Cell. 127:1109-22.
Fischer-Posovszky, P., et al.
(2008). SIRT1 is involved in resvera-
trol-stimulated changes in human
adipocytes. Int J Obes. 32(supp1):
Rayalam, S., et al. (2008).
Resveratrol induces and inhibits
adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
Phytother Res. 22:1367-1371.
Szkudelska, K., et al. (2008).
Is resveratrol a dietary compound
which helps to prevent obesity? Int J
Obes. 32(supp1):S37.
Kennedy, A., et al. (2008). Con-
jugated linoleic acid-mediated
inflammation and insulin resistance
in human adipocytes are attenuated
by resveratrol. J Lipid Res. In press.
Deige, J.N., et al. (2008). Specific
SIRT1 activation mimics low energy
levels and protects against diet-in-
duced metabolic disorders by en-
hancing fat oxidation. Cell Metabol.
Dudley, J., et al. (2008). Resvera-
trol, a unique phytoalexin present in
red wine, delivers either survival sig-
nal or death signal to the ischemic
myocardium depending on dose. J
Nutr Biochem. 20(6):443-452.
Brakenheilm, E., et al. (2001).
Suppression of angiogenesis, tumor
growth and wound healing by res-
veratrol, a natural compound in red
wine and grapes. FASEB J. 15:1798-
Dubash, B.D., et al. (2000).
Inhibitory effect of resveratrol and
related compounds on the macro-
molecular synthesis in HL-60 cells
and the metabolism of 7,12-dimeth-
ylbenz(a)anthracene by mouse liver
microsomes. In F. Shahidi and C.T.
Ho (Eds.), Phytochemicals and Phar-
maceuticals. Champaign, IL: AOCS
Crowell, J.A., et al. (2004). Res-
veratrol-associated renal toxicity.
Toxicol Sci. 82:614-19. IM
Resveratrol also favorably affects testosterone counts. Although
it can interact with estrogen receptors, in low doses it competes
with estrogen for interaction with the receptors, an effect simi-
lar to the drug Nolvadex.
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How a Six-Time National Champion Broke
Free From His Addiction to Bodybuilding and
Became the Person He Wanted to Be—at 41
La Cour continues his revealing
introspective on his addiction to
bodybuilding and how his one-
dimensional focus slowed his
growth as a complete person.
The Need for Control
I was a Spartan—and I prided
myself on being one.
By Spartan, I mean I was so
mentally tough that I needed very
little of life’s pleasure to make me
happy and fulfilled. I never missed
a workout. I never let pain or inju-
ries slow me down. I never missed
a meal in that entire time—and
I certainly never cheated on my
I am so mentally and physically
immune to pain that doctors, chi-
ropractors, dentists and massage
therapists have said things to me
like, “You’ve got to be kidding me!
You’re telling me that you can’t
feel that?”
I came to find out
after my competitive
bodybuilding career
was over that that’s not an entirely
good thing. Because no one could
hurt me physically, mentally or
emotionally—or so I wanted to
believe—the standards of how I
expected people to treat me were
incredibly low. The standards for
comfort I needed in my life were
very low as well. As a Spartan, all I
needed was me! You’ll understand
how that mind-set developed
later, as well as the help, work and
mental and emotional rewiring it
took to get past it.
Even so, it made me an amaz-
ing bodybuilder. The disciplined
bodybuilding lifestyle gave me
a sense of control that I
didn’t realize I needed so
With the discipline of
my structured bodybuilding day,
I didn’t have to depend on other
people to feel happy or accom-
plished. It was all up to me, and I
never had to trust people to come
through on their promises.
After Competitive
My transition out of the com-
petitive-bodybuilding lifestyle
and career was much more diffi-
by Skip La Cour
Photography by Michael Neveux
Part 2
Confessions of a
of a
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176 AUGUST 2009 \
cult than I imagined it would be.
As I struggled to get the next phase of
my life going the way I wanted, I realized
that I’d never heard too many stories
about what successful bodybuilders did
after their careers. Sure, I’d hear about
a success story in some other aspect of
life every once in a while. But I wondered
how well the bodybuilders of the past
transitioned into their regular lives.
I realized that a lot of emotional
growth had been stunted during the
15 years I focused on my bodybuilding
career. I was chronologically 41 years old,
but I wondered just how much I’d grown
emotionally and socially since digging
deeply into my obsession at 27.
That’s what any addiction does. For
every year you choose not to deal di-
rectly with the challenges you know
you have—let alone the ones you don’t
realize you have—and pour your focus
into something else that makes you feel
better, your emotional growth can be
stunted. At the very least, it will severely
slow down.
I also felt that competitive bodybuild-
ing had made me lazy—an opinion of
myself totally different from the one I’d
always had before. How could a physi-
cal, mental and emotional pursuit like
competitive bodybuilding make a per-
son lazy? Well, when you’re walking
around most of the year with incredibly
low bodyfat because you eat only the
minimum number of calories you need
to build muscle, lose fat and barely stay
alive, you don’t have en-
ergy to do a lot of other
things. With such a long
contest-preparation pe-
riod—repeated for 15 years
straight—you get to the
point where you don’t
think about anything
besides training heavily,
doing all of your cardio-
vascular training, buy-
ing food, eating food
and cleaning up after
your meals—some-
times optional for me.
I could rationalize
why I didn’t stay on top
I also felt that competitive
bodybuilding had made me lazy.
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178 AUGUST 2009 \
of household things when I was
tired and hungry for so many
years, but I didn’t have the same
excuse when I stopped compet-
ing. That lazy mind-set took me
some time to overcome.
Uncomfortable in
My Own Skin
Regardless of how poised and
confident I may have appeared to the
world, I felt uncomfortable in my own
skin. During the first couple of years
after I stopped competing, I spent part
of my time as a personal-development
at motivational
seminars. The 800 to 1,200
people who attended the
seminars were attracted to my
physical presence, the way I carried
myself and the speaker’s touting the
fact that I was a six-time national champi-
on bodybuilder and a health and fitness expert.
When it was time to invest in another pro-
gram or have lunch with a seminar coach, the
attendees lined up in droves at my table in the back
of the room.
All those years of near seclusion had me
ill-prepared for direct interaction with real,
live people. I didn’t even realize how uncom-
fortable I felt back then. Being uncomfortable
was normal for me. It took me five years to recognize it.
I had similar experiences in social gatherings. During my
competitive bodybuilding career I’d rarely gone out with
friends. My contest preparation was extremely long and fo-
cused. I had a rule that I would not eat any junk food from
the first Monday in January until the NPC Team Universe
Championships in August. That’s seven months of strict
dieting that I executed with machinelike precision
during my last six years of competitive bodybuilding.
With that level of dedication there was no room in my life
for going out on the town and having fun.
People assumed I’d be outgoing
and confident because of my physical ap-
pearance and my accomplishments, but when I
All those years of near
seclusion had me
ill-prepared for direct
interaction with real,
live people.
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did start going out with friends, I
was uncomfortable and awkward.
The proverbial wallflower in any
group, I’d just stand there doing
my best not too look like a dork.
Out with my buddies, I could tell
that they almost felt sorry for
me. I remember one of my
“cool” friends pulling
me aside and saying,
“Are you having fun?
You know, Skip,
you’re a really
ing guy. You
should go
around and
talk to people
I Was
Driven to
Because a
lot of people
were drawn
to me, I was
put into un-
social situ-
ations time
and again.
I’d had enough
of feeling this way.
I was driven to
It was time to
make my MAN-
formation, time to
break past whatever
was holding me
back and start liv-
ing the life I really
wanted to have. I
was determined
to step up and
become the man I
really wanted to be.
It was my personal
battle to feel normal
again—if I had ever
felt normal before
my addiction to
The one thing
you should know
about me is that,
when I want some-
thing or want some-
thing to change, I’ll do whatever it
takes to get it or make it happen.
I am a master at mastering the
mind-set and skills that I want.
If I could master a lifestyle
as challenging as a competitive
bodybuilder’s, shouldn’t I be able
to be great at anything I set my
mind to? That was the belief sys-
tem I passionately adopted, and I
broke down all the steps I needed
to bring about my MANformation
with the same focus and dedica-
tion that helped me master body-
building and training.
I knew exactly what I wanted:
I wanted to feel comfortable in
social situations. I wanted to be-
come a “people magnet.” I wanted
to become fearless when it came to
talking with any man or woman. I
wanted the ability to create instant
rapport and connection. I wanted
to be able to create, nurture and
sustain deep, connected relation-
ships. I wanted to master the skills
of influence and persuasion and
get people to want to help me
achieve my goals—instead of de-
pending only on myself. I wanted
to carry myself with certainty and
confidence—and have it come
through loud and clear in my body
language, voice quality, facial ex-
pressions and eye movements. I
wanted to create the framework
of every relationship—friendship,
romantic or business—that I was
in so it would meet my standards.
I wanted to master business skills.
I wanted to lead my own life bet-
ter, and I wanted to help lead other
people more effectively.
I wanted it all, and immediately:
health, wealth, happiness and con-
nection. I was determined to rid
myself of my Spartan mind-set and
existence and become the “total
The intense desire for change
has helped me master a whole
new set of life skills that totally
transformed my life. That desire is
what created my company, MAN-
formation, LLC—“Alpha Strategies
That Transform You Into the MAN
You Really Want To Be!” It’s helping
men all over the world do exactly
what I’ve done.
Identifying What Was
Challenging Me in Life
I wanted to become a
“people magnet.”
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182 AUGUST 2009 \
I was addicted to bodybuilding.
I saw only my extreme discipline
to bodybuilding and training as a
positive aspect of my life and a sign
of my tremendous work ethic.
Me? Addicted to anything?
I always saw myself in complete
control of my life. Addiction, in my
mind, was when a person was a
slave to negative behavior that he
or she really didn’t want to engage
in. Addicts simply couldn’t stop
themselves from doing what they
Before I could successfully make
my MANformation, I had to get
a better understanding of why I
thought as I did and why I did what
I’d done all of my life. I remember
talking with a hardworking multi-
millionaire whose patio overlooked
the Pacific Ocean about his addic-
tion to alcohol. He’d befriended
me because he desperately wanted
to improve his health, fitness and
physical appearance. He wanted to
regain control of his life.
The conversation then turned to
me. “Do you think you are addicted
to bodybuilding?” he asked.
“No. Not at all.” I confidently
answered without a nanosecond of
hesitation. He didn’t challenge me,
but, as I think back on the encoun-
ter, his body language and facial
expressions showed that he didn’t
agree. He was extremely knowl-
edgeable about human behavior
and knew the correct answer to the
question before he asked it. At that
time, however, I had no idea that
already knew was de-
structive behavior. To
me, alcoholism, drugs,
eating disorders—even
cigarettes and compul-
sive shopping—were
what I considered ad-
dictions. I’d never had
any challenges with
those types of things
at all.
Bodybuilding was a
conscious, well-planned
choice that I made. I was con-
vinced that my approach was a
totally healthful pursuit and ca-
reer—especially as I’d never used
steroids or any other illegal phy-
sique-enhancing drugs. The way
I approached bodybuilding and
training was extremely healthy,
even noble, because it helped
people all over the world do what
they wanted to do even better. It
was obvious, from all the positive
comments I received about my ar-
ticles and the number of my books
and DVDs that were purchased.
Or so I thought.
Editor’s note: For questions or
comments, send e-mail to Skip@ Visit Skip La Cour’s
bodybuilding and training Web site
at Visit Skip’s
MANformation Alpha Leadership
Web site at www.MANformation
.com. Sign up for the free weekly
e-mail newsletters. Become friends
with Skip La Cour on Facebook. You
can also follow him on Twitter at and
I was
determined to
step up and
become the
man I wanted
to be.
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184 AUGUST 2009 \
Q: I’ve read Mike’s books High
Intensity Training: The Mike
Mentzer Way and The Wis-
dom of Mike Mentzer, and I
understand why high-intensity
training is the best way to build
muscular mass and strength.
I’ve gained quite a bit of muscle
already, but now I want to build
my abdominals and shed some
bodyfat. I don’t see much in the
way of abdominal exercise in
Mike’s writings. What do you
A: Mike addressed the abs issue
several times in his writings, so per-
haps you overlooked what follows:
“Most of the people I speak with
daily have been training for some
time—years and decades. Their abs
are already in decent condition,
even if covered by a layer of fat.
In such cases, I suggest ab train-
ing be dropped for a while, as the
exercises listed in my Heavy Duty
programs provide the abdomen
with considerable indirect training
“Many of my in-the-gym clients
complain of sore abs after doing
triceps pressdowns. The program
I’ve recommended will at least
maintain, perhaps improve, your
abdominal condition. Redirect the
body’s energy and resources you’d
otherwise use in ab training toward
greater growth in the major muscle
“If you’re particularly concerned
about the condition of your abs or
have a contest coming up, then train
them. Remember, however, that the
abdominals are skeletal muscles just
like the pecs, lats, biceps and so on.
Therefore, they respond to the same
type of stimulus—high intensity.
Train abs only on leg day, doing one
set of incline bent-knee situps for
15 to 25 reps to failure. Once you
can do 25 or more, hold a weight at
your chest so you’re back to 15 to 25
Q: I’ve read everything I can
about Mike Mentzer, but I can’t
find any information about how
he started in bodybuilding and
what his very first routine was.
Can you help me?
A: Absolutely. Those are questions
I and other bodybuilding writers
from the 1980s asked Mike at some
point in his training career. Mike
first discovered the world of body-
building when he was 12 years old
and accompanying his mother on a
trip to a local grocery store in Penn-
sylvania. While at the supermarket
his eyes lit upon a copy of a muscle
magazine that had legendary body-
builder Steve Reeves on the cover.
According to Mike:
“It was love at first sight; I knew
right then and there that this was
how I wanted to look and that was
the sport I wanted to get involved
Mike’s mother purchased the
magazine for him, and he excit-
edly explored its contents. He
then begged his father for a set of
weights, which his dad got him for
Christmas. Again, let’s hear from
“I recall that I was very skinny
when I started bodybuilding, even
though I’d done the usual calisthen-
ics, chins, pushups—the kind of
things that most kids do at school.
Not that I knew anything about
bodybuilding per se, but when I got
my set of weights and read through
the accompanying course, well, here
was the real thing.”
Mike admitted that he gained
muscle easily, owing largely to his
“Anyone with an eye for such
things might have discerned my
obvious potential. I suppose I was
fortunate to have had my parents,
from whom I inherited many of the
factors that together made cham-
pionship bodybuilding reasonably
easy—not that I didn’t have to work
hard at it!”
He started training and made
great gains:
“From the time I started body-
building at the age of 12 until I was
15, I actually trained in a relatively
D uty
The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer
by John Little




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186 AUGUST 2009 \
sensible and productive manner. Just
how sensible and productive I was
not to discover for a number of years.
Along with the first set of weights
that my dad had bought me came an
instruction booklet that suggested
beginners work out no more than
three days a week, performing three
sets for each bodypart. That formula
proved so successful that in those
three years I went from an initial
bodyweight of 95 pounds with nine-
inch arms to a weight of 165 pounds
with 15 1/2-inch arms. Not bad for a
15-year old kid!
“When I look back, I think I
might have done a lot better had I
stayed with my early instruction as
the results were most encouraging.
Then, however, I decided to speed
things up still further by doing even
more work. I figured that if three sets
produced the results I had gotten,
then six sets would do twice as good.
Of course, it doesn’t work that way,
but it’s a mistake many bodybuild-
ers make. You’d be surprised at the
number of advanced trainees who
don’t know better and train under
that misconception. Blame it on the
muscle magazines that at the time
advocated irrational, unscientific
It took many more years before
Mike learned the importance of
increasing the intensity rather than
volume of his workouts and reducing
training frequency—and went on to
build one of the most inspirational
physiques of all time.
Q: I’ve been training with
weights for more than 15 years
but recently have come to dread
going to the gym. What did
Mike recommend to trainees in
order to keep them motivated?
A: Without seeing your routine, I
can’t tell whether you’re overtrain-
ing, which can rob you of motivation
very quickly. Mike always held that
motivation is fueled by the “desire
to gain and/or keep a value.” So if
getting stronger or bigger is impor-
tant to you, you’ll be motivated to
do whatever’s necessary to make it
happen. Exactly how much value
you perceive in those goals will de-
termine how much motivational fuel
you’ll bring to the task. According
to Mike:
“If you find it difficult to summon
the motivation necessary for your
Heavy Duty workouts, then you’re
not convinced ‘all the way down’
about the value, or importance, of
achieving a more muscular phy-
sique. Sit down with pen and paper,
and write down your thoughts about
how gratifying gaining strength,
muscular size and a better self-image
would be. Not just
one sentence, but
a paragraph or a
page. Reflect on the
moments when you
most wanted larger
muscles. Note the
reasons, write them
down, expand on
them. As you do,
you’ll re-experience
some of the associated emotions.”
Mike believed that emotions are
automatic value responses that indi-
cate how much someone perceives
either the benefit or harm of some-
thing. As he pointed out:
“The more beneficial you perceive
something to be, the greater the
intensity of the emotional/value re-
sponse, the greater the motivation to
acquire that thing. The less value you
perceive, the less your motivation
will be. Acquiring and maintaining
motivation is something that no one
can do for you. Nature requires that
you go through the thought process
necessary for developing proper
motivation. The quality of your mo-
tivation will be determined by the
quality of your thinking.”
In closing, let’s remember Mike’s
words regarding motivation:
“You are the agent of your own
destiny, whether you realize it or not,
whether you act on it or not. Only
you can find the motivation to exert
the quality of effort to achieve your
full potential as a bodybuilder. No
one else can do the work for you.
Developing a personal philosophy of
effort based on objective principles
requires time and dedication; but the
rewards are commensurate. As that
philosophy takes shape, you’ll grow
increasingly directed and purposeful.
But you can’t just think about it. You
must act on it! So take pride in your
power to achieve your values and
goals. Be a champion of choice and
make the high-intensity effort neces-
sary to achieve the kind of physique
you desire.”
Editor’s note: For a complete
presentation of Mike Mentzer’s
Heavy Duty training system,
consult his books Heavy Duty II,
High Intensity Training the Mike
Mentzer Way and The Wisdom of
Mike Mentzer, which are available
from Mentzer’s official Web site,
John Little is available for phone
consultation on Mike Mentzer’s
Heavy Duty training system. For
rates and information, contact
Joanne Sharkey at (310) 316-4519 or
at, or see
the ad on the opposite page.
Article copyright © 2009, John
Little. All rights reserved. Mike
Mentzer quotations are provided
courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and are
used with permission. IM
While at the supermarket
at age 12 his eyes lit upon
a copy of a muscle magazine
that had legendary bodybuilder
Steve Reeves on the cover.
“Only you can find
the motivation
to exert the
quality of effort to
achieve your full
potential as a
bodybuilder. No
one else can do the
work for you.”
HeavyD uty
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n 1979, when Joe Mazza was
just 13 years old, a new gym
opened up in his hometown of
Verona, New Jersey. Like most
kids his age, Joe was interested in
the possibility of building some
muscle, so he joined up—and the
powerlifting world is now better
for it. Joe put in many hours of
sweat and blood at that gym and
finally entered his first bench press
competition in 1992. By that time
he’d joined the police force, so his
first competition was a police and
fire bench press bash. Armed with
his bench shirt, he ended up taking
second in the 181-pound class with
a 370-pound press.
Joe is the kind of man who sticks
with his goals, and it’s paid off for
him in aces. His 20 years of hard
work in law enforcement have got-
ten him promoted to detective, and
his 28 years of serious bench press-
ing have earned him the titles of
world-record holder and national
champion. In addition to putting
up the biggest super-shirt bench
in history for the 165-pound class,
Joe’s also the two-time MHP’s Kings
of the Bench lightweight champ.
I first met Mazza at the ’03 Bench
America competition, a pro show
that aired nationwide on Fox
Sports. Right away he struck me as
a friendly but competitive guy. With
a smile on his face, Joe shook my
hand and confidently told me that,
because a lot of people hadn’t heard
of him yet, he was going to surprise
them by coming out on top in his
weight class. That was bold talk
considering how many top national
benchers had turned out for the
event, but Joe backed up his talk
with his walk, and he won it. He’s
been hitting mega numbers on the
bench ever since.
Every time I’ve watched Mazza
compete, he’s conducted himself
with dignity and shown a lot of
support for his fellow lifters. That
says a lot about him. This winter I
spent some time phone-conferenc-
ing with Joe, and we put together
this feature to celebrate his recent
victories and to pass on some of
his valuable training knowledge to
other aspiring power benchers.
On October 18, 2008, Joe Mazza
again made powerlifting history by
super-shirt benching 675 pounds at
165 pounds bodyweight. “So what?”
you say.“He was employing the aid
of one of those mega-round bench
In most cases you’d be half right;
however, Joe Mazza has proven
himself on the platform with and
without a shirt. As I said above, he’s
the two-time MHP Kings of the
Bench lightweight champion.
In 2006 Joe weighed in at 165
pounds and benched 420 at the
first Kings of the Bench contest,
and he did it without a bench shirt.
He returned to defend his title in
2007, made weight at 175 pounds
and benched 445 to take the show
again. To explain how huge a 445-
pound bench is at 175 pounds’
bodyweight (same-day weigh-ins),
the biggest bench press of all time
under those conditions at 165 was
485, so Joe is more than 90 percent
on his way to the biggest classic
bench ever performed in his weight
class by anyone on the planet.
That’s world-class pressing power.
For you reps junkies, Mazza also
competed in a power bench reps
contest that my company put on.
After warming up backstage and
Take What You Have, and Make It
by Joe Mazza and Sean Katterle
192 AUGUST 2009 \



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taking three max bench
attempts onstage, Joe was
given 15 minutes to rehy-
drate and take a breather. He
returned to the stage and, at
165 pounds bodyweight, hit 29 full-
range, strict reps with 225 pounds!
When it does come to super-shirt
Joe’s without
equal in his
weight class. Putting
up 675 pounds at 165 is
nuts. If you don’t think
so, then get yourself a
double-ply, open-back
Titan Kitana bench
shirt—Joe’s weapon of
choice—get your body-
weight to 165 pounds
and try it yourself. I
highly recommend
having four or five spot-
ters ghosting the plates
and bar while you do,
though, because odds
are it’s gonna come
crashing down on you when you fail
to make da press.
What the heck did Joe do in the
gym to get to such a level of pound-
for-pound power? I’ll let him tell you
in his own words.
• • •
“I train at Nazareth Barbell in
Nazareth, Pennsylvania, owned by
Mike Miller. I train with and am
coached by Jim Parrish. I’ve been
training with Jim off and on since
“Five to six years ago Jim devel-
oped the Joe Average Strength Sys-
tem. We primarily train with heavy
band tensions, and that’s where I’ve
made my strongest gains. The JA
Strength System was founded on
Westside Barbell, Nazbar and Metal
Militia principles. As Jim developed
the system, he discovered that by
focusing on the basic core exercises,
we were able to make our biggest
194 AUGUST 2009 \
Mazza benching at the Arnold
Classic. He’s done a 445 raw
bench at 175 bodyweight.




oe Mazza
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gains. Rather than rotating through
numerous exercises, we stick to
basic benching and rotate our
band tensions. Similar to Westside
Barbell, we alternate between a
dynamic-bench day and a max-ef-
fort-bench day.
“The JA system consists of six
cycles, each one lasting two weeks.
The first week of each cycle is the
dynamic week, and the second is
the max-effort week. The dynamic
week consists of a free-weight set to
failure, a touch set and speed work.
We follow a strict rep scheme when
doing our free-weight work, and
that allows us to cycle ourselves to a
peak on meet day. Our free-weight
work does not build strength, it just
indicates to us how strong we are
at that time and it lets us know how
strong we’ve become from doing the
heavy band work in our max-effort
“We then do a touch set, which is
similar to doing a negative, but we
focus on handling max-plus weight
and bringing the weight down fast.
Handling 150 pounds over your max
gives you the confidence to handle
max weight on meet day, and touch
sets must be done in a properly
altered bench shirt. We bring the bar
down in its proper groove, letting
it drop touch, then give it a push,
and the spotters take the bar. If you
only train raw—never using a bench
shirt—then you can skip the touch
“Our speed work then supple-
ments our free-weight set to failure.
We use minimal tension with some
bar weight and focus on doing fast,
explosive reps. JA-style speed work
is not the main focus of our bench-
ing. Our max effort work is.
“The second week of each cycle is
our max effort week. When doing a
max effort bench workout, we only
bench. We do not rotate through
various exercises. In order to pre-
vent regressing or plateauing, we set
up a band rotation.
“We go through three different
band rotations, changing the band
rotation at each max-effort workout,
which changes the amount of bar
weight being used. That keeps your
central nervous system guessing.
We’re then able to focus on the core
exercise at every max-effort work-
“The first exercise is a reverse
bench with bands. Rather than
hanging the bands from the top
of the power rack, Jim had a metal
ladder made. We slide the pins into
the third hole from the top and lay
the ladder across the pins. We then
hang the bands from the ladder.
When the bands are hung from the
top of the rack, they help to lift the
weight through the entire stroke. By
using a ladder, we are able to lower
the bands closer to the lifter, which
enables him to lock out most, if not
all, the weight at the top of the lift.
“When doing our reverse band
bench, we focus on lowering the
weight quickly and then throwing
it back up. That helps to develop
speed when you’re maxing with free
weight—the faster you move the
weight, the more weight you can lift.
Again, we change the band for each
max-effort week, thus changing the
bar weight that we used. After one
max-effort set we set up for a max-
effort bench with the bands doubled
from the bottom of the rack. That’s
the max-effort set that builds the
most strength.
“The secret to building strength
is not focusing on the muscle but,
rather, focus- (continued on page 198)
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198 AUGUST 2009 \
ing on
your ligament and tendon strength.
I basically train at the same body-
weight today that I did years ago,
and yet my bench has improved
from a 400-pound shirted gym
bench to a 705-pound shirted gym
bench. Training with heavy band
tension has greatly increased the
strength of my tendons and liga-
ments, which has then allowed my
muscle to lift more weight. Basically,
the JA system will allow a lifter to
take what he has and make it stron-
ger without gaining unnecessary
“The second workout we do each
week is a board workout. Again,
we establish a three-band rotation
at the beginning of each training
cycle, and each week, when we do
our board work, we change the
band tension, and that changes the
bar weight. Each lifter uses three
boards. For example, I’m 5’6” with a
short stroke, so I use a 2 board, a 3
board and a 4 board. Jim is 6’1”, and
he uses a 4 board, a 5 board and a
6 board. We do one max-effort set
at each board,
and we’re done.
The purpose of
the board work
is to focus on
the upper half
of the bench
movement. We
are able to use
max weight,
which allows us
to build lockout
additional in-
formation and
my training log
can be found on
Jim’s Web site,
Whether you’re
benching 200
pounds or
800 pounds,
the template
works for any
level of lifter.
The suggested
band tensions
will be for an
400-pound bencher using bands
for the first time. There is no set bar
weight due to the fact that everyone
is different.
“Your first time through the tem-
plate you’re guessing the bar weight.
It’s better to be conservative and
exceed the rep scheme than to miss,
especially on your free-weight set
to failure. The suggested boards are
for someone around 5’10”.
There are two workouts
per week with several
days of rest in between;
for example, Monday
and Thursday. Your
band rotation for your
max-effort day will be
a miniband, a light band
and a medium band. Band
rotation for board work will be
a miniband, a monster miniband
and a light band.”
• • •
Remember, if you’re
training without a bench
shirt, you can skip the
touch sets. Also, if you’re
training without a bench
shirt, you can lower the boards
by one, so a 3 board becomes a 2
board, a 4 board becomes a 3 board
and a 5 board becomes a 4 board.
FlexBands. These are made
out of industrial-strength rubber.
A rubber band changes its shape
when subjected to tension.
When a Flex-
Band is
Benching with bands is a power developer.
Sometimes it’s performed in speed style
with no weight; other times with weight.




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200 AUGUST 2009 \
used in powerlifting training, that
shape change is extension fol-
lowed by compression, and then
the shape change repeats itself with
each bench press rep. The larger
the rubber band, the larger the
amount of force needed to change
its shape. Also, the more the rubber
band changes its shape—that is,
stretches—the more force is needed
to induce the more drastic shape
change. In other words, as tension
increases, the force needed to press
the barbell upward increases. That’s
the reason you often hear powerlift-
ing band training referred to as force
training or speed work.
FlexBand training brings ten-
sion to a lifter’s bench press train-
ing. The bands are attached to the
barbell and anchored to either the
ground or under the bench so that,
when you’re holding the barbell at a
locked position, the bands are at the
highest tension level. They will train
the eccentric, or lowering, phase
of the lift because they’ll pull the
bar back down to the ground. That
trains the muscles to gather kinetic
energy when lowering the bar, so
Week 1
Workout 1
Regular bench press x 12 reps
Touch set (max bench + 50 pounds)
Speed bench 8 x 2
(135 pounds + doubled minibands)
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(weight + doubled mini reverse bands)
4-board bench 1 x 3
(weight + doubled mini reverse bands)
5-board bench 1 x 3
(weight + doubled mini reverse bands)
Pullups with a weighted dip belt or with chains
hanging around your neck
Week 2
Workout 1
(weight + mini reverse band) 1 x 3
(weight + mini band) 1 x 3
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(less bar weight than week 1 + monster
4-board bench 1 x 3
(less bar weight than week 1 + monster
5-board bench 1 x 3 reps
(less bar weight than week 1 + monster
Week 3
Workout 1
Regular bench press x 10 reps
Touch set (same as week 1)
Speed bench (same as week 1)
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(less bar weight than week 2 + light band)
4-board bench 1 x 4
(less bar weight than week 2 + light band)
5-board bench 1 x 5
(less bar weight than week 2 + light band)
Week 4
Workout 1
(weight + reverse light band) 1 x 3
(weight + light band) 1 x 3
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + miniband)
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + miniband)
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + miniband)
Week 5
Workout 1
Regular bench press x 8-9 reps
Touch set (same as week 1)
Speed bench (same as week 1)
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + monster
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + monster
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + monster
Week 6
Workout 1
(weight + reverse average band) 1 x 3
(weight + average band) 1 x 3
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 3 + light band)
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 3 + light band)
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 3 + light band)
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202 AUGUST 2009 \
you can gather energy for exploding
the bar upward to lock out.
Because they are high-tension
elastic bands, the resistance will be
different through every inch of the
bar’s path as it travels upward and
downward. Resistance bands teach
you how to control the weight in
the lowering phase as well as build
speed and explosion in the upward
phase. They force you to press with
more explosive power as the tension
grows with each inch that the bar
travels toward lockout. With these
resistance bands you will develop
amazing power and strength.
To follow the program, you’ll need
a pair of minibands (50 pounds of
resistance per pair and more if dou-
bled), a pair of monster mini bands
(80 pounds of resistance per pair
and more if doubled), a pair of light
bands (100 pounds of resistance
per pair and more if doubled) and a
pair of average bands (150 pounds
of resistance per pair and more if
doubled). You can order them from, and they’re a
great investment if you’re serious
about lifting big weights.
Bench boards. The main
purpose of bench boards is to break
up the bench press into different
points of the press. For example,
you can place the 2 board on your
chest. When training with boards,
Week 7
Workout 1
Regular bench x 7-8 reps
Touch set (same as week 1)
Speed bench (same as week 1)
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 4 + miniband)
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 4 + miniband)
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 4 + miniband)
Week 8
Workout 1
(10 more pounds than week 2 + reverse minibands)
1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 2 + minibands) 1 x 3
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 5 + monster
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 5 + monster
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 5 + monster
Week 9
Workout 1
Regular bench x 5-6 reps
Touch set (same as week 1)
Speed bench (same as week 1)
Workout 2
3-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 6 + light band)
4-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 6 + light band)
5-board bench 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 6 + light band)
Week 10
Workout 1
(10 more pounds than week 4 + reverse
light band) 1 x 3
(10 more pounds than week 4 +
light band) 1 x 3
Workout 2
3-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + mini band)
4-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + mini band)
5-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + mini band)
Week 11
Workout 1
Regular bench x 4-5 reps
Touch set (same as week 1)
Speed work (same as week 1)
Workout 2
3-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + monster miniband)
4-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + monster miniband)
5-board bench x 1 single rep
(weight + monster miniband)
Week 12
Workout 1
1 single rep (weight + reverse average band)
1 single rep (weight + average band)
(Skip the 2nd workout this week)
Week 13
Workout 1
Attempt a new max bench press personal record
Skip the 2nd workout this week and then start over
with week 1 the following week and repeat the
entire program.
The Joe Average System Template—Weeks 17-14
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it’s best to have one training partner
steady the boards and another assist
you with your handoff. Have your
partner hand the bar off to you and
lower the bar to the board. Let the
bar come to a complete rest on the
board and then press it back up to
lockout. When a weight is at a dead
stop, it takes more power to get it
moving upward than it does to keep
it moving upward. Keep your body
tight when the bar is paused on the
By working on pressing from 2-
board heights above your chest, you
will develop explosive power at that
height and your competition press
will exhibit more force when the bar
passes upward through this portion
of the lift. Everyone has a sticking
point in the bench, meaning a point
where you sometimes miss, or fail,
in an attempt. If you train with a
bench board height that’s at the
point in the press where you stick,
you can build your strength at that
point of leverage. Remember, when
you use the boards on the bench,
you must
Ray Hickman trains the 3-board bench.
You can make your own board accessory
with Velcro and some cut two-by-sixes.
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208 AUGUST 2009 \
when you reach the board. Then,
when you start pressing, explode
straight up. So one major benefit
of the boards is that you build and
strengthen your lockout power by
overcoming sticking points.
When board pressing, take the
board and have one of your training
partners hold it on top of your chest.
Then perform a bench press, but
bring the bar down into the boards
instead of touching your chest,
and press it back up into lockout.
You use the same style of lifting as
you do for regular bench presses,
but you stop the bar on the boards,
which is well above chest level.
You train at different heights
above your chest, depending on the
number of boards you’re using, and
always come to a dead stop on the
boards, which takes the momentum
out of the lift.
To build the boards, go to your
local hardware store, purchase some
eight-foot two-by-six planks and
cut them into three-foot sections.
(Some hardware stores, like Home
Depot, will cut them for you for a
nominal fee.) Use wood screws to
screw the boards together. Make
sure that you’re using a length of
screw that will tightly secure the
boards together without sticking out
the other end (unless you want a
screw point being pressed into your
If you don’t have access to a
power drill, you can seal the boards
together using carpenter’s wood
glue. Glue the boards together, set
something heavy on top of them,
and let them dry for 24 hours. You
can also build an adjustable set of
bench boards with Velcro. If you do
that, make sure that you use small
strips of industrial-strength Velcro.
You want heavy duty stuff so it can
survive the pounding it’s going to
take, but you don’t want to put too
much on each board or it’ll be very
difficult to get the boards apart
when you want to separate them
and change board heights.
Joe’s been friends with Gerard
Dente, the CEO of MHP (www.Get ) since they were teenag-
ers training at Olympia Gym. So
when Gerard started up MHP, Joe
became one of the company’s very
first sponsored athletes. As MHP has
grown to be one of the best nutri-
tional supplement companies in the
world, Joe Mazza has risen to be the
number-one-ranked bench presser
in the world in his weight class.
Anyone who trains hard knows
that recovery is the most important
side of the game. Common sense
will tell you that Joe Mazza eats a
healthful diet and gets as much rest
as he can. I asked him to describe
his supplement program in detail.
• • •
“Working with MHP during my
entire career has been a key factor
in my becoming a world powerlift-
ing champion. Having used MHP
products the past several years
while making my rise to the top of
powerlifting competition, I can tell
you firsthand these products are the
best. MHP products make a measur-
able difference in my powerlifting
performance, enough to help me
lift over 600 pounds at a bodyweight
of 165 pounds. From competing at
the top level of powerlifting, I know
firsthand that MHP is the number-



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one brand among pow-
erlifting athletes.
“I want to share with
you some of my favorite
MHP products that I
have used to help me
increase my strength.
Obviously, protein is
extremely important
for muscle and strength
building. I try to get in a
minimum of 200 grams
of protein per day. As a
police officer, when I’m on
the job, it is not always easy
to get protein intake; that’s why I
rely on Probolic-SR protein shakes,
two to three per day. Probolic-SR
has some unique features that set
it apart from other protein pow-
ders and make it more beneficial
for powerlifters. Its high levels of
BCAAs, glutamine and
arginine and 12-hour
delivery system pro-
vide round-the-clock
muscle building and
“Dark Rage.
For years one of the
staples of my program
and a product I had
great results with is
MHP’s TRAC-Extreme.
As many readers may
know, MHP was the
first company to in-
troduce the concept
of nitric oxide stimulation and
creatine with its original TRAC for-
mula. Then a few years later they
added even more horsepower to the
formula with TRAC-Extreme. Now
they have totally taken preworkout
supplements to a new level with
D a r k Rage. It gives me even more
energy, intensity and power. It also
contains beta-alanine, which pre-
vents muscle fatigue and has en-
abled me to maintain more strength
and power throughout my entire
workout. Unlike a bodybuilder’s
workout, I train for strength and not
for the pump; however, when I was
training for the Mr. Olympia bench-
for-reps meet, I definitely got amaz-
ing pumps with Dark Rage’s EPO
technology. (continued on page 214)
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muscles with glutamine. MHP’s
patented microfeed delivery system
protects the glutamine and makes
it 300 percent more bioavailable so
the muscles use it. The patented
delivery also provides a 12-hour
feed to keep you anabolic and
prevent muscle break-
“Cyclin-GF. This
is a product I have
been taking for the
past year. It’s a revo-
lutionary nighttime
anabolic growth for-
mula. Sleep, rest and
recovery are critical,
and Cyclin-GF puts me
in a deep REM sleep,
increases testosterone,
growth hormone, IGF-
1 and also helps
to suppress
cortisol, basically creating
the perfect environment for
muscle growth and repair.
“Xpel. The only down-
side to taking all these
MHP muscle-building
supplements over
the years is that it’s
become harder and
harder to make
weight as a 165-
pounder. Xpel is
a great product,
which allows me
to drop about
10 pounds in just
a few days leading
up to my competition
so I can make weight. It
also contains important
electrolytes, so when
I’m dropping all that
water weight, I don’t lose any
strength. I highly recommend Xpel
to any powerlifter who needs to cut
• • •
You can follow Joe Mazza’s cur-
rent training in his
training log
board.proboards If you’d
like to watch
him go through
the bench press
program he de-
veloped with Jim
Parrish, you’re in
luck. Joe has just
Matter. While Dark Rage gives
me everything I need to fuel me
through my workouts, Dark Matter
gives my body what I need to reap
the benefits of my intense training
sessions. I take it immediately after
my workouts. It’s designed with a
special technology
called high-veloc-
ity nanophysics,
which allows the
ingredients to be
absorbed quickly
and maximizes
the anabolic
window, the key
opportunity of
muscle growth
and repair. Dark
Matter spikes in-
sulin, increases
protein synthesis
and loads the body
with important
growth and recov-
ery factors.
II. It is used by
almost every top
powerlifter I know
to maximize tes-
tosterone. What
sets it apart from all
other formulas is that it
not only jacks testosterone but also
keeps estrogen low and in check.
Maximum testosterone and mini-
mum estrogen is what it takes to
move heavy weight. I take three T-
Bomb II tablets in the morning and
three before my workouts.
“Glutamine-SR. Glutamine
is very important for powerlifters
because it helps improve recov-
ery. Heavy training can take its
toll on your body, and if you don’t
supplement with glutamine,
chances are you’re not maxi-
mizing your recovery. As a
result, your workouts and
strength will suffer. Many
people don’t know that
the majority of glutamine
gets used by the stomach
for fuel. The goal for pow-
erlifters and bodybuilders
is not to fuel your gut with
glutamine but to fuel your
released his first training DVD, which
details the training that has enabled
him to become one of the strongest
lightweight benchers of all time. Joe
is currently one of the few benchers
ever to super-shirt-bench more than
four times his body-
weight. He’s also one of
the very few benchers
to raw-bench more
than 400 pounds in
competition at 165
pounds bodyweight.
Joe’s success is one
of the many testa-
ments to the “Joe Aver-
age Strength System”
(though he’s not the
“average Joe” from
which the system
got its name), a DVD
featuring Mazza that
details the eponymous
system and how it can benefit any
lifter, whether he or she is a be-
ginner trying to bench-press 300
pounds or a seasoned professional.
Included is a detailed tem-
plate that any bencher
can follow, with recom-
mendations for band
and bar weight com-
binations for someone
trying to bench around
300 pounds. Lifters ca-
pable of handling more
or less weight can adjust
accordingly. This DVD is
only available at www.
Editor’s note: Sean
Katterle is the owner of
Hardcore Powerlifting
LLC, which produces
professional, classic
powerlifting competitions that have
taken place at the Europa Super
Show, the Olympia Expo and the
Ronnie Coleman Classic Expo. For
more information, visit Hardcore- The site also
features Ryan “BenchMonster”
Kennelly’s 90-minute documentary,
“The Road to the Arnold,” which is
free for online viewing. Sean runs
the message boards at HouseOf, and he writes and designs
the weightlifting
blog. He also monitors the HouseOf
PainIronWear MySpace page and
can be reached by e-mail at SeanZil- IM
214 AUGUST 2009
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by Callum Mahoney
When you think of the
major contributors to the
iron game, you come up
with names like Ben and
Joe Weider, Mike Mentzer,
Arnold and even newer
theorists such as Paul Cribb and Steve
Holman. Not many would think of the
legendary Vince Gironda, but Gironda’s
influence is almost unsurpassed. He trained,
at some stage in their careers, most of the
all-time greats, including Larry Scott, Sergio
Oliva and Arnold, just to name three.
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Gironda invented the
preacher curl, and we know
how well that worked for
Scott. Some of Gironda’s
greatest legacies, though,
were his “crazy” theories. He
challenged everything about
the iron game.
In fact, he altered some
of today’s most popular
exercises with slight varia-
tions that improved the result. For
example, Gironda never used or
prescribed regular bench presses
or barbell curls, instead opting for
neck presses and body drag curls.
He felt that the more common mass
Decline Pulley Hugs
Wrist Curls
Triceps Pushdowns
Larry Scott
218 AUGUST 2009 \




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builders recruited too much front
delt and not enough of the target
muscle group.
He was also 100 percent against
drugs and believed training each
muscle group just once a week
worked only for “juiced” athletes.
Even Vince’s beginning programs
were controversial, but they were
designed to transform a trainee’s
body in the shortest amount of time.
Vince’s programs worked. Movie
stars—including Denzel Washing-
ton, James Garner and David Carra-
dine—trained under Vince for roles,
and most used his beginning rou-
tine. By today’s standards, like most
of his theories, it is controversial.
Vince Gironda’s
Raw Beginner’s
Decline pulley hugs 12 reps
Also known as decline
cable flyes. Because most
beginners are weak, Vince
believed this was the only
exercise that successful-
ly hit the lower-pec
line to improve
the overall chest
Seated cable rows
12 reps
Lateral raises 10 reps
Triceps pushdowns
10 reps
Barbell body drag curls
10 reps
Barbell body drag curls are
just like barbell curls, only
you keep the bar in contact
with your body and drag it up
to your neck. That removes
front-delt recruitment.
Seated wrist curls 12 reps
Leg extensions 12 reps
Leg curls 12 reps
Standing calf raises 20 reps
Now the really crazy part:
Do the above six days a week.
Remember, this is a
monthlong program for get-
ting in the best shape in the
shortest time. The progres-
sion is as follows:
Week 1: One set of each exercise,
six days a week.
Week 2: Two sets per exercise, six
days a week.
Week 3: Three sets, six days.
Week 4: Three sets, six days.
After one month, for those who
aren’t preparing for a movie role,
Vince recommended dropping back
to a three- or four-days-a-week
schedule—but the choice is yours.
Don’t dismiss this routine—it’s
worked for hundreds, perhaps thou-
sands of people. IM
Lateral Raises
Barbell Drag Curls
220 AUGUST 2009 \











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Before I tell you who’ll be sizzling at this season’s USA Champion-
ships, I have to throw in the obligatory disclaimer. This segment is
being written 11 weeks before the event, so I might be including folks
who won’t wind up on the Artemus Ham Concert Hall stage (on the
campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas)—and am sure I’m
leaving out a few who will.
Thus, you’ll have to keep reading my blog at IronManMagazine.
com for the latest info—or, better yet, sign up to have it automatically
Two new items on the agenda highlight this season’s affair: First, the
top three men’s finishers in the overall balloting will earn the right to
move into the pro ranks—it’s been the top two in recent years. Second,
bikini makes its first-ever appearance at the annual Jaguar
Jon Lindsay production.
After peering into my crystal ball, I can see Mark Alvisi
topping the huge men’s field and winning both the heavy-
weight class and the overall. Not that either will be an easy
task. I saw the Florida-based star twice last year—at the
USA, where he took fourth, and the Nationals, where he
came in second—and thought he looked terrific at both.
Actually, I had him finishing no lower than second at the
USA and felt he could have won at the Nationals, which
produced a great battle with Mike Liberatore, the even-
tual champ.
Let’s dig into the Swami’s sphere and take a deeper
look at the potential contenders at the’09 USA.
SUPERHEAVYWEIGHT: Kirk DeFrancesco was
great in ’08 and finished second to Ed Nunn in this divi-
sion a year ago. If Kirk comes in a
tad sharper, the superheavyweight
crown can be his. The problem is, you can never
discount Grigori Atoyan, third last year and
second to Nunn at the Nationals. Grigori’s been
very close on several occasions and is hoping
his time to move up to the next level has finally
A big dude I really like is Malcolm Marshall,
a former North Carolina state champion, who
was a solid fourth last year at the USA and fifth
at the Nationals. Marshall is about 6’2” and 260
and has strong symmetry to boot. A Marshall
On Your Mark,
Set, Flex
USA Championships Preview
Swami Sez Alvisi Will Win in Vegas
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Jerome Ferguson.
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victory would not be an upset.
And I just got the word from Lindsay that the captivating Je-
rome “Hollywood” Ferguson is returning to the Artemus Ham
stage. Now, Hollywood, are you at last going to nail it, condi-
tioningwise? Know you’re sick and tired of being referred to as a
“top amateur” instead of “one of the IFBB’s newest pros.”
Another guy to keep a close eye on is Keith Williams, now
under the guidance of Flex Wheeler. Williams tied for seventh
in the class a year ago and could have been a few slots higher. I
think he’s got the goods to be right in the mix.
HEAVYWEIGHT: Can anybody challenge Alvisi here? Lee
Banks, Chulsey Graham and P.D. Devers certainly think
Banks was third behind overall champ Brandon Curry and
Liberatore in ’08, so that speaks for itself. Graham was seventh
before he dropped down to the light-heavyweight
division at the Nationals and moved up to third.
I’m not sure which class Chulsey will compete in
this year—he probably isn’t, either, at press time—
but mark him down as a legit contender anywhere
he lands.
The always-entertaining Devers, who’s been
around for more than a decade, looked his best in
years in ’08, when he finished fifth. I’d love to see
Ferguson and Devers pose one after the other; too
bad they’re in different divisions. Rock the house,
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT: In ’08 phenom Bran-
den Ray finished behind Curtis Bryant in this
division, and Ray is coming back, hoping to move
up a slot. Last year Ray thought he would end up in the heavyweights
but weighed in at under 190. If he comes in at the top of the class this
time—and in top form—he’ll be difficult to beat, not only in the class
but in the posedown for the three pro cards as well.
That said, Arizona’s Troy Tate was great in ’08. I actually had Troy
behind Bryant at that show and think he’s also capable of earning top
honors. Another cat whose physique I admire is California’s Tamer
El-Guindy, who has a nice, flowing bod with championship qualities.
And don’t forget former L.T. Rising Stars Joshua Fred and
Pistol Pete Ciccone.
MIDDLEWEIGHT: The first competitor I heard from
when news that a third pro card would be given out was
Scott Turner, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based flexer who
edged Jacob Wilson for third in the class last year behind
runner-up Kam Gallman and champ Nathan Detracy.
Turner asked if I think a middleweight can earn pro status in
this show. Gee, Scott, anybody in mind?
Turner is a nice guy and is obviously a very good body-
builder, but, is he good enough to finish at the top of the
class? Sorry, Scott, but the Swami sez that Shavis Higa,





Big Apple
Pages 227 and
What else has
Denise been
up to?
Pages 228
and 229
He’s strong
and shapely.
Page 229 \ AUGUST 2009 225
Troy Tate.
Tamer El-
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who has captured USA titles in the lightweight and wel-
terweight divisions, adds a third crown to his résumé.
Now’s your chance, Scott, after failing to best me in
previous contest predictions, to show me you really know
your stuff—on and off the stage!
WELTERWEIGHT: Victor DelCampo was the unan-
imous choice behind Higa in ’08, so, if the law of pro-
gression follows, it’s Vic’s time to nab the title. Richard
Moran, George Thibault and Steve Karnya can’t
be counted out, however; all three were in outstanding
shape last year and could push DelCampo if he’s not in
spot-on condition.
LIGHTWEIGHT: Hometown boy Jimmy “I Want to
Win” Nguyen (pronounced win—get it?) will get stiff
comp from the likes of Hector Cruz, Paul Aigbirior
and Jabar Miles, but I think the real estate entrepreneur
won’t get fired in this show. Okay, Jimmy, I put it on the
line—you’d better look divine.
BANTAMWEIGHT: Marty Burger was a deserving
winner in this class last time, but I really liked the overall
physique of runner-up Scott Foster as well. I say Foster,
who got a run for his money in the battle for second from
Rick Brewer and James Shumpert in ’08, can defi-
nitely top what is always an extremely tough category.
ADD USA—Okay, I have no
idea about the ladies’ contests but
will go out on a limb and predict
that Ali Sonoma will become the
first ever USA Bikini champion.
Why? Because she looked great
when I announced her as the win-
ner at the Arnold Amateur a few
months back—and who else but
one of last month’s Rising Stars
would I pick?
Correa Cruises in Pittsburgh
The Swami strikes again. I tried to tell everyone how
tough Eduardo Correa was, that the former World
Amateur champ, who won the light-heavyweight class
at the Arnold Amateur in 2008, should be considered
the front-runner in the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro 202-and-Under,
which was held in conjunction with the NPC Pittsburgh
Championships in early May.
I also liked Mark Dugdale’s chances at the lighter
weight, but most of the precontest pub centered on the
return of Richard Jones to the stage after a five-year
absence. Photographer Wild Bill Comstock assured me
that “Magic” wouldn’t put the posing briefs back on unless
he was at his all-time best.
It seemed logical, but, unfortunately for Jones, he was
nowhere near his best condition and ended up ninth in
a 12-man lineup. When I’ve talked with Richard over the
years, I felt his heart really wasn’t set on competing again.
I don’t know if his sponsor, MuscleTech, had a provision
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226 AUGUST 2009 \
George Thibault.
Ali Sonoma.
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requiring him to compete written into his con-
tract or if the pressure from others who were so
high on his potential pushed him. Either way, I’ll
be surprised to see Jones compete again.
The winner, as you probably know by now,
was the Bad Brazilian, Correa, with Dug-
dale taking second and Jason Arntz in third.
Ahmad Ahmad and Bulletproof George
Farah rounded out the top five. And, although I
wasn’t in the audience that night, IM correspon-
dent Dave Liberman was on hand backstage
at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall with his
digital (and his sponsorship forms, of course) to
get the accompanying shots.
ADD PITTSBURGH—Also, congrats to
NPC Pittsburgh Light-Heavyweight and Over-
all champ Seth Feroce, a 5’6”, 198-pounder
from Cleveland who I met a month earlier when
I emceed Liberman’s Natural Ohio. I’ve heard
nothing but good things about the kid, and judging by the pictures
I’ve seen, Feroce will be onstage at a national show real soon.
Additionally, kudos to the Pittsburgh closed-division winner,
Dave Johnson, and to promoter Jim Manion for finally bringing
in some name guest posers. Like Dexter Jackson, Jay Cutler,
Phil Heath and Victor Martinez. And Dennis Wolf, Branch
Warren, Toney Freeman and some guy named Ronnie Cole-
man. Even King Kamali was there.
Youth Movement
Congrats to Evan Centopani on his victory at the New York
Pro on May 16. The 5’11”, 260-pounder waited 18 months after his
overall win at the ’07 Nationals to make his pro debut—and the re-
sults proved that the 27-year-old defi-
nitely made the right move. Judging
by Roland Balik’s photos from the
battle, which took place at the Tribeca
Performing Arts Center, Centopani has
really brought up his wheels. Now it’s
on to Evan’s first Olympia in Septem-
ber. Or is it? Some folks—me in-
cluded—feel he might be wise to hold
off on this season’s Mr. O., the way
Phil Heath did a couple of years ago,
in order to make even more improve-
ments in his drive to become a viable
threat for the Sandow. Yogi Avidan
says Centopani can finish in the
top eight if he does decide to do
the O this year. Isaac Hinds says
no way, albeit not quite in those
terms. I think a top-10 placing is
possible but hardly automatic at
this point in his career.
Speaking of Avidan, Hinds and
yours truly, we not only missed the
mark in “The Experts” predictions
for the N.Y. Pro—Yogi and I went
with Silvio Samuel to win, Hinds
with Darrem Charles—we also
owe Kevin English an apology
for giving him no love in the New






Seth Feroce and
Jim Manion.
Pittsburgh 202-and-Under top five (from
left): Eduardo Correa, George Farah, Mark
Dugdale, Jason Arntz and Ahmad Ahmad.
Pittsburgh guest posers.
Foster. \ AUGUST 2009 227
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York Pro 202-and-Under competition. As you probably know, English re-
peated his win of a year earlier. Bet our bad picks really picked you up in the
gym, eh, Kevin? You’re welcome.
Personalities Dept.
DAN SEES BROADWAY—Broadway Joe Namath and Dandy Dan
Solomon under the same roof? You got it.
Solomon, who has hosted the Web-radio
show “Pro Bodybuilding Weekly” for the past
several years (along with Bobby Chick),
has interviewed many of the industry’s A-list
celebs. But he recently took a break from the
bodybuilding scene and caught up with some
non-V-tapered celebs at the Bone Marrow
Foundation’s annual Legends of Sports Din-
ner in Palm Beach, Florida.
A long list of personalities from network
television, along with a host of legendary ath-
letes, were on the guest list, as was Solomon.
“The best part about visiting with nonbody-
building stars is that many of them actually
keep up with the bodybuilding scene,” said
Dan. “In fact, during a recent banquet CBS
Hall of Fame reporter Lesley Visser asked
me if Jay Cutler was still Mr. Olympia. She
was disappointed to learn that Jay had been
So, how does Visser know about our Jay Cutler as op-
posed to the NFL’s Cutler? Because Lesley joined Mike
Adamle and yours truly on the pay-per-view broadcast
team at the Arnold Classic in 2005.
Say hi to Lesley for me, Dan. She’s a really nice lady.
By the way, did you ask Joe if the kid out of USC, Mark
Sanchez, is the new “Manhattan Mark”? Tall, dark and
handsome; calls signals and was the Jets’ number-one pick.
Wonder if Sanchez has already ordered a mink coat.
ADD FABULOUS 50 DEPT—Another cat looking
sublime as he approaches the half-century mark is Doug
Brignole, the ’86 AAU Mr. Universe, who got back onstage
in 2000 to win his class at the NPC Los Angeles Champion-
ships. Doug and I got together to catch up on old times in
May at the Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena, where I also
interviewed him for a future issue. Doug and I have a lot in
common. We are the same age (okay, I quit
counting at 49), height (5’10”) and weight (189)
and are both follically challenged.
I have to admit, though, that Brignole’s con-
ditioning is a tad better than mine. Actually,
he doesn’t look that much different from the
way he did in his competition days, and it’s
that condition, displayed in photos he sent to
us, that earned him his first shoot with Neveux
since 1992. I remember admiring the cover
shot of Brignole that graced the November ’82
Iron Man, then owned by Peary and Mabel Rader. The AAU’s version of
Frank Zane.
Brignole is another guy I love to talk training with. I used to attend his
Sunday-afternoon lectures some 20 years ago, when he owned Brignole
Fitness in Old Town Pasadena, and was more impressed with his knowl-
edge of biomechanics and his theories on nutrition than I was with his slew
of bodybuilding awards. For example, no starch if you want to stay as lean
L.T. and Denise Masino. Above left:
Masino’s still got the biceps.
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228 AUGUST 2009 \
Joe Namath
and Dan




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as possible. Lost me right there, Dougie. Not having abs
ain’t so bad after all.
ADD CATCHING UP—Although I had heard that De-
nise Masino had moved to Los Angeles from Fort Myers,
Florida, a while back, we had never gotten together. So when
we ran into each other at the Arnold After Party in Columbus,
Ohio, in early March, a vow was made to change that.
It took some time, but the former Night of Champions
winner and lightweight runner-up at both the Ms. Olympia
and Ms. International finally met me for lunch at—where
else?—the Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena. And, no, I do
not have stock in the chain, although I should be an honorary
board member.
We connected six days after my reunion with Brignole, on
what turned out to be her 41st birthday. And do I need to tell
you how good she looks these days? Despite sharing some
banana cheesecake with me?
Masino still owns her home in Fort Myers and visits often, but for the most
part she now resides in Studio City, California. She and ex-hubby Rob are
still business partners, but she remarried a year ago—to a fella named Greg,
a film editor, who I met in Ohio.
Denise says she still loves competing, but she feels that without weight
classes, “I would just get lost up there.” At 5’1” and 130 pounds she cer-
tainly has a point. She is also a smart lady and understands that having more
weight classes means that the promoter has to dish out more prize money,
that the events will go on even longer than they do and that, for those and
other reasons, it’s not practical.
So Masino fans may see her compete again, but it’s not a given. You can,
however, see what’s new with this sexy lady by logging on to www.Denise or
CONGRATS DEPT.—Congratulations to Bob Bonham, whose Strong &
Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was honored by Bodybuilding
.com as its Gym of the Month in April. I was getting a little worried about the
57-year-old Bob. Check out a recent photo (below left) to get my drift. I do
admit that his waist still looks small in those tiny jeans. And I admire anyone
who has hair.
KYLE MAKES ALLEGRA SMILE—Allegra Kholey was an integral
part of Pasadena City College’s championship women’s basketball team this
year, and she shined in the shot put, discus and javelin on the track-and-field
squad as well. So, who is Kholey’s all-time-favorite athlete? Lisa Leslie?
Candace Parker? Not even close. Try on Iris Kyle for the right fit.
You got it. Allegra loves bodybuilding and has been a big fan of Iris’ for
years. So just before I stepped to the podium to
emcee the Ms. International contest in Columbus in
March, I told Iris—who was ready to flex her way to
her fourth title—about my student who idolized her
and asked if she’d be kind enough to send an auto-
graphed picture that I could surprise the 21-year-old
Kyle obliged, sending two signed photos, which I
presented to Allegra at PCC’s annual banquet in April.
She got more excited than I did at a recent lunch
gathering when I thought Shawn Ray was going to
pick up the tab.
Thank you, Iris, for making Allegra’s day—no, make
that her year. She says she is going to get onstage
for the first time at my Junior Cal at the end of June.
Could it be the next Iris Kyle in the making? I’ll keep
you posted. IM
To contact Lonnie Teper
about material possibly
pertinent to News &
Views, write to 1613
Chelsea Road, #266,
San Marino, CA 91108;
fax to (626) 289-7949;
or send e-mail to
Doug Brignole and L.T.
Bonham. \ AUGUST 2009 229
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230 AUGUST 2009 \
Age: 36
Weight: 165 contest; 200
Height: 5’4”
Residence: Lawrenceburg,
Occupation: Game tables
dealer, Argosy Casino
Contest highlights: ’08 NPC
National Championships,
welterweight, 2nd; ’99
Nationals, middleweight,
4th; ’97 NPC Junior
National Championships,
lightweight, 1st
Contact: JBBartlett23@




| ¬o× m¬×
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Photography by Roland Balik
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Age: 38
Weight: 176 contest; 220
Height: 5’7”
Residence: Howell, Michigan
Occupation: Police officer
Contest highlights: ’08
Nationals, middleweight,
6th; ’08 NPC Michigan
Championships, overall
Factoid: He coaches youth
Contact: brockpower13@




| ¬o× m¬×
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Sieber Watson
Age: 28
Weight: 100 contest; 110 off-season
Height: 5’
Residence: Pensacola, Florida
Occupation: Respiratory analyst for
Gulf Power Company
Contest highlights: ’09 NPC Junior
USA Championships, figure overall*;
’09 NPC Pittsburgh Championships,
figure overall; ’09 NPC Eastern
Seaboard Championships, figure
overall; ’09 NPC Panhandle
Showdown, figure overall
Factoid: Of Philippine and Italian
descent, she has a B.S. in business
administration from the University of
West Florida and is working on her
Contact: FitnessDivaProductions@
* Earned pro card.




| ¬o× m¬×
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232 AUGUST 2009 \
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Age: 41
Weight: 176 contest; 205
Height: 5’4”
Residence: Burlington,
North Carolina
Occupation: A/R specialist
with Laboratory Corporation
of America
Contest highlights: ’08
Nationals, middleweight,
3rd; ’08 NPC North Carolina
Championships, overall
Factoid: He played second
base for Elon College in
Elon, North Carolina
Contact: rotts4me@safe-
| ¬o× m¬×
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Full name: Roland Kickinger
Nickname: Beefcake
Date of birth: March 30, 1968
Height: 6’5”
Off-season weight: 260 pounds
Contest weight: 290 pounds
Current residence: Los Angeles and
Vienna, Austria
Years training: 25
Occupation: Global ambassador for Cyto-
genix Laboratories, a leader in fitness and
health dietary supplements; representative
and marketing of the True Group, Asia’s larg-
est fitness and wellness provider;
actor; producer; investor
Marital status: Single but
Children: One beauti-
ful daughter, Nora
Hobbies: Flying,
architecture, travel-
ing and exploring
new places in the
world, languages
and meeting new
Top titles: Mr.
Miami Beach,
champion, Eu-
ropean cham-
pion, National
tria. I competed
on the pro level
for four years in
contests such
as the IRON
MAN Pro, Night
of Champions,
Arnold Classic
and San Jose
Television work:
“According to Jim,”
“The Closer,” “Son of the
Beach” (series regular), “King of
Bodybuilder, Actor
and Cytogenix Athlete
=¬o=|ces |× mcscce



Compiled by Ron Harris
238 AUGUST 2009 \
Queens” (cameo), “The Help,”
“Unfabulous” (recurring),
“Home Improvement,” “Caro-
line in the City,” “Secret Diary of
Desmond Pfeiffer,” “Hangtime,”
“Shasta McNasty,” “Team Knight
Film work: “Raven,” “Peranmai,”
“Terminator Salvation,”
“Street Warrior,”
“Disaster Movie,”
“See Arnold
Run,” “Lethal
Weapon 4,”
“Andre: Heart
Roland Kickinger
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of the Giant,” “Candy Paint,”
“Shoot or Be Shot,” “15 Minutes
of Fame,” “Gone to Maui,” “Skip-
How did you get into body-
building? I’ve always been
fascinated by the potential of
the human physique. I practiced
gymnastics for many years and
developed a competitive spirit.
At the age of 14 I grew in height.
I remember the moment when I
first picked up a fitness magazine
and was motivated by the looks
of all the great champions in it.
That’s where I found my new
passion and began a long journey,
starting with my first steps into a
fitness club.
Who or what inspired you
when you were starting out?
Stan Lee’s Hulk character por-
trayed by Lou Ferrigno; the movie
“Conan,” lead role played by
the one and only Arnold; Tom
Platz, who conducted a seminar
in Vienna at the International
Gym; magazines published by Joe
Weider, such as Muscle & Fitness
and Flex, John Balik’s IRON MAN
and Robert Kennedy’s Musclemag
International, just to name a few.
What obstacles have you
overcome? Coming from a for-
eign country and not speaking
the language; however, I believe
that obstacles are inevitable and
will make you better, stronger and
wiser. I welcome them very much.
Do you have a quote or a
philosophy you try to live
by? I grew up with a philosophy
written by mentor and longtime
friend Joe Weider, which I will al-
ways believe in: “Strive for excel-
lence, exceed yourself, love your
friends, speak the truth, practice
fidelity and honor your father and
mother. These principles will help
you master yourself, make you
strong, give you hope and put you
on the path to greatness.”
How do you stay motivated?
I’m thrilled
to be an
of Cytogenix
ries. I am
a strong
advocate of
a healthy
and fit life-
style, so
the brand’s
values embody all that I believe
in. Making appearances on be-
half of Cytogenix and the True
Group, conducting seminars and
appearing on talk shows and
filming movies internationally is
also very motivating. In addition,
I am involved in many children’s
charities and nonprofit organi-
zations such as Boys and Girls
Club, Inner City Kids, Penny Lane
Foundation, St. Joseph Children’s
Hospital, Zane Grey High School,
Los Angeles Recreation and Parks,
and I am a spokesperson for
City of Hope Medical Center and
Beckman Research Institute
(Walk for Hope and Fight for
How would you describe
your training style? My weight
training is based on high-in-
tensity principles. I keep my
workout brief, approximately 45
minutes, with many compound
movements, plus isometric con-
tractions and other intensity
techniques. I focus on technique
and form and make sure that
every set is executed with 100
percent focus and effort. Imme-
diately after strength
training I perform 20
minutes of interval cardio. After
completing my cardio, I stretch for
30 minutes. In addition I train in
martial arts three times a week.
Training split: Day 1: chest and
back; day 2: shoulders, biceps, tri-
ceps and abdominals; day 3: quads,
hamstrings, glutes and calves; day
4: off from strength training
Favorite clean meal: Seared wild
salmon marinated with lemon
and home-grown herbs, tomatoes
marinated in pumpkinseed oil and
Favorite cheat meal: Everything
my mom cooks—Palatschinken,
Zwetschkenknoedel, Kaiserschmar-
ren, Milchnudeln, Reisauflauf and
my highly missed Topfenstrudel
with vanilla sauce.
What is your favorite supple-
ment and why? Cytogenix Labo-
ratories and I teamed up after I
had a chance to try some of its new
supplements. The first I tested was
Hardcore Strength Xenadrine RFA-
X. Last year I used it to get in top
condition for upcoming film proj-
ects. It gave me the edge I needed. I
have taken it ever since to maintain
a lean physique. This year at the
Arnold Classic we introduced three
brand-new products—our prework-
out nitric oxide powder, CytoNOX;
our postworkout recovery powder,
Cytocell; and for the finishing touch
and overall definition, Taraxatone.
I like the products very much be-
cause all of them have zero sugar
and help me maintain my lean and
shredded physique for film and TV
Fitness and career goals: My
goals in fitness and wellness are to
continue to work with Cytogenix
and support and promote branding
our product line. Opening at least
73 more True fitness, wellness and
yoga clubs in the next five years.
Established in 2004 in Singapore by
founder and group CEO Mr. Patrick
Wee, this Asian brand has a pres-
ence in five countries, provid-
ing the best yoga and fitness
and wellness facilities. I want to
educate, motivate and entertain
the public by producing my first
season of “Health Kick,” slated
for June 15, 2009. “Health Kick”
will demystify healthful cooking
and promote optimum fitness
with easy-to-follow recipes that
are natural, organic and good-tast-
ing—and won’t break the bank. IM
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240 AUGUST 2009 \
SOUTHERN TALES May 23 was a big day for buff bods, with the Cal/Cal Pro
Figure in Southern California and the Junior USA in Charleston, South Caro-
lina. At the Cal, rookie Alicia Harris quickly learned she’d have to keep folks
from confusing her with another recent pro named Alicia.


PRO CARD EXPRESS Did figure winners Shirley Hughes, Elizabeth Earhart,
Jennifer Marchetta and Andrea Watson get on board at the ’09 NPC Eastern
Seaboard? After besting this group on May 9, Watson (right) won her fourth
straight overall—and the year’s first pro card—at the Junior USA.
• Spring Figure Crop
• Cal and N.Y. Pro Shows
• Pump-pourri—Cali-style
Photography by Ruth Silverman, Roland Balik and Merv
looked her
best ever at
the Cal Pro
and took
Man, those
ments must
be good
(see last
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The real contest
in Cali was for the
third-place Olympia
qualification. After
more than the
usual number of
mixes and matches
at the judging, the
panel settled on
Kristi Tauti.
It was a different dressing
room from previous years
at the Veterans Memorial
Auditorium but the same
fun time. With several hours
before the Cal Pro Figure contestants were due onstage, the
talk naturally turned to peanut butter and rice cakes.
1) Carin Hawkins offered me some (I think it was Carin),
but then 2) Nadia Castellas pulled out the Nutella. “Yum,
Nutella!” exclaimed someone, and soon they were all singing
its chocolate-and-hazelnut praises. 3) Celeste Gonzales
reached for a rice cake and the jar, while 4) Natalie Waples
and Sherlyn Roy chorused, “No, thanks. We’re fine.”
CULVE R CI T Y, 2 0 0 9
SHORT WORK The battle doesn’t start until they put on
the shoes: Heather Mae French, 5’ 1/4”, and Sonia Gon-
zales, 5’ 1”, not long before Heather whipped Sonia by 14
points (now, there’s a picture!) to nail her first pro win.



Though ’08
winner Felicia
was in the
house, the
Romero who
landed in the
top five was,
for once, Rosa-
Maria. Thanks
to her best ever
callouts, the
always smiling
Aussie had an
extra shot of va
va voom going
into the finals.
AUGUST 2009 241
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Isobelle Turell,
at the ’09 Ms.
made it to
the Olympia
invite list when
the number
of qualifiers
dropped to two
last spring.
Bet your bot-
tom dollar that
‘Belle won’t
be the big-
gest long shot
onstage at the
Orleans Arena
in September.
LeFrancois, favored
to repeat her 2008
win at the New York
Pro Bodybuilding
Championship on May
16, succeeded wildly—
another perfect score.



SCENE IN NYC Nancy Lewis (left) could only manage 14th
in her much-ballyooed return to the posing platform, while
Rosemary Jennings softened up her look to nab third.
The new dressing room
had two pluses over the
old one: air-condition-
ing and an outside door.
Even so, the Cal is a huge
show, and the gals got
plenty of bonding time.
At long last the sweats
started to come off.
It was good to see 1)
Jane Awad, who’s now
IRON MAN’s neighbor
in Oxnard, as well as 2)
Columbus, Ohio, cookies
Becky Clawson and Natalie
Calland. 3) Catherine Hol-
land did her best Natalie
Calland impersonation,
while Deanne Brown
kicked back, waiting for-
showtime—or perhaps
dreaming of Nutella.
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Sandi Stuart capped
her NPC career with
an overall win in
fitness at the South
Carolina show. The
E.R. M.D. is now an
Power couple
and Tres
Bennett have
built the
show into a
and a
for pro-
babes in
fitness, figure
and bikini.
More than
220 athletes,
including also
convened in
for this year’s
Montes and
Stacey Oster,
the top two
in the overall
balloting at
the Junior
USA, are the
IFBB’s very
first “bikini
pros.” Yeah,
I’m still
with the term
pondering what the judges
are looking for in bikini
might consider the curves
of NPC champ Michelle
Gullet, who followed her
overall victory at the San
Diego by taking the big-
gest trophy at the Cal. Of
course, in fitness or figure
a suit worn this way would
be considered more clini-
cal looking.
Meet Kat
Holmes, the
’09 Panhandle
Bikini champ.
Kat won
her class in
Charleston, but
Shelsea and
Stacey got the
cards. With a
look like this
she won’t be
an amateur for
long. Pr-r-r-r.





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That Adela
Garcia is
such a cut-
up! No, she
didn’t really
promise to
do this to the
at the Europa
Super Show
Fitness on
August 14.
Is judge Marlene Dodson offering
Zhanna Rotar some cake or some
cake-in-the-face? Zhanna, who ar-
ranged the birthday surprise, looks
like she can handle it either way.
Alicia Renee and Amy
O’Neill make pro-debut
memories. Is that a pack
of rice cakes peeking out
from under Alicia’s arm?
Photography by Ruth Silverman
Above: IM’s elu-
sive Jerry Fredrick
comes out from
behind the camera
to say hi to Nancy
Georges (center)
and Cal bikini
contender Kathy
Right: Later, I grab
a shot while Jerry
is posing Crystal
Autumn gets a dose
of the limelight as
she, mom and the
trophy are stopped
for another Kodak
moment on their way
to the door.
You can contact Ruth
Silverman, fitness, figure
and women’s bodybuild-
ing reporter and Pump
& Circumstance scribe,
in care of IRON MAN,
1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard,
CA 93033;
or via e-mail at
Lorena Cozza’s English is
almost as good as my Ital-
ian, but some things are
universal. What will she
eat tonight? “Chocolate,
ice cream, pizza.”

Bet you’re
pants are.
Has there
ever been
a judging
where some
dude didn’t
at those
as Tanya
hit the
Bite me, says Krissy Chin, but don’t
get the wrong idea—she just wants
someone to stick her bikini on.
Figure fatigue.
My apologies
to Amy Lee
Martin for not
her in clothes—
and it was
early in the
evening, too.
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246 AUGUST 2009 \
’09 Ms.
×|o¬¬ ¬¬
¬¬e ¬¬×oco
Photography by Roland Balik and Merv
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135 / 162 \ AUGUST 2009 247
’09 Fitness
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’09 Figure
248 AUGUST 2009 \
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|׬e¬×¬¬|o׬c ¬o= s|xes
ms. |
1) Iris Kyle
2) Debi Laszewski
3) Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
4) Heather Armbrust
5) Dayana Cadeau
6) Betty Viana-Adkins
7) Isabelle Turell
8) Cathy LeFrancois
9) Dena Westerfield
10) Mah-Ann Mendoza
11) Brenda Raganot
12) Rosemary Jennings
13) Maria Carmen Gomez-Segura
=|oc¬e |
1) Zivile Raudoniene
2) Gina Aliotti
3) Amy Fry
4) Kristal Richardson
5) Felicia Romero
6) Monica Brant
7) Heather Mae French
8) Sonia Gonzales
9) Sherlyn Roy
10) Erin Stern
11) Chasity Slone
12) Latisha Wilder
13) Juliana Malacarne
14) Huong Arcinas
15) Lenay Hernandez
16) Brenda Marie Smith
17) Georgina Lona
=|¬×ess |
1) Jen Hendershott
2) Julie Palmer
3) Tracey Greenwood
4) Regiane Da Silva
5) Tina Durkin
6) Shannon Meteraud
7) Trish Warren
8) Nicole Wilkins-Lee
9) Oksana Grishina
10) Mindi O’Brien
11) Tanji Johnson
12) Bethany Gainey
13) Erin Riley
14) Nicole Duncan
15) Jessica Clay
16) Heidi Fletcher-Sullivan
Look for these stars to sparkle during Olympia Weekend in September.
Find more outstanding contest photos and behind-the-scenes videos
at \ AUGUST 2009 249
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For those ardent fans who have
followed women’s bodybuilding
from its earliest days, it’s difficult
to fathom the reality that the Ms.
Olympia contest will turn 30 on
September 28, when the 2009 edi-
tion takes place in Las Vegas. And
if that isn’t enough to sufficiently
jog your memory, consider that it’s
been 20 years since Cory Everson
won her last Ms. Olympia title in
1989. Time does indeed fly.
An event that has evolved into
the world’s most prestigious contest
for female bodybuilders, the Ms.
Olympia is the pinnacle of com-
petitive muscle display that every
bodybuilder worth her weight in
protein powder aspires to be in-
vited to enter.
Over the years the contest has
singled out the women who are
now legendary in the sport. Lenda
Murray leads the way as the most
successful female bodybuilder of
all time with eight Ms. Olympia
crowns to her credit. She, with six-
time Ms. O Cory Everson and the
first Ms. Olympia, Rachel McLish,
will forever be recognized as a stal-
wart trio of pioneers who contrib-
uted mightily in the development
of the sport.
It’s interesting to note just how
Ms. Olympia Champions
1980—Rachel McLish, USA
1981—Kike Elomaa, Finland
1982—Rachel McLish, USA
1983—Carla Dunlap, USA
1984—Cory Everson, USA
1985—Cory Everson, USA
1986—Cory Everson, USA
1987—Cory Everson, USA
1988—Cory Everson, USA
1989—Cory Everson, USA
1990—Lenda Murray, USA
1991—Lenda Murray, USA
1992—Lenda Murray, USA
1993—Lenda Murray, USA
1994—Lenda Murray, USA
1995—Lenda Murray, USA
1996—Kim Chizevsky, USA
1997—Kim Chizevsky, USA
1998—Kim Chizevsky, USA
1999—Kim Chizevsky, USA
2000—Andrulla Blanchette,
England (LW)*; Valentina
Chipega, Ukraine (HW)*
2001—Juliette Bergmann,
2002—Lenda Murray, USA
2003—Lenda Murray, USA
2004—Iris Kyle, USA
2005—Yaxeni Oriquen, Ven-
2006—Iris Kyle, USA
2007—Iris Kyle, USA
2008—Iris Kyle, USA
*No overall winner was
selected in 2000.
by Steve Wennerstrom,
IFBB Women’s Historian
Ms. Olympia Turns 30
250 AUGUST 2009 \
Rachel McLish.
Kike Elomaa.
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elite the contest
itself has be-
come in terms
of competitor
numbers. Since
its inception
in 1980 thou-
sands of athletes
worldwide have
aspired to qualify
for it, but, in fact,
only 210 women
representing 28
countries have
made it to the
Ms. Olympia
stage over the
past 29 years.
Just 210 body-
builders out of
an international
cast of countless thousands chasing
the dream of entering this contest.
Virtually all who did make it
would freely admit it was a thrilling
experience and the culmination of
their efforts to reach the pinnacle
of the sport.
Today women’s bodybuilding,
with the Ms. Olympia as its pre-
mier event, continues to thrill its
participants and fascinate its loyal
fans. And with the relatively new
fitness and figure
divisions, along
with the fledgling
bikini category,
serving to further
push along the
evolution of how
women challenge
their physicality
through muscular
development, the
next 30 years will
no doubt offer
even greater fron-
tiers of accom-
Ms. Olympia
• The first Ms.
Olympia contest was held on Au-
gust 30, 1980, in the ballroom of the
Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia.
• The first Ms. Olympia promoter
was George Snyder.
• The first Ms. Olympia was
Carla Dunlap.
Cory Everson.
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Texan Rachel McLish.
• The first time the contest was
held outside the United States
was in 1984, when it was staged at
the Place des Arts in Montreal. It
was also Cory Everson’s first of six
straight Ms. Olympia victories.
• The first non-American Ms.
Olympia was Finland’s Kike Elo-
maa in 1981. The title would not be
taken by another non-American
again until 2000, when England’s
Andrulla Blanchette and Ukraine’s
Valentina Chipega captured their
respective weight classes. No over-
all was chosen that year.
• The first Fitness Olympia con-
test was held at the Atlanta Civic
Auditorium in Atlanta on Septem-
ber 8, 1995.
• The first Fitness Olympia cham-
pion was Mia Finnegan.
• The first non-American Fitness
Olympia winner was Denmark’s
Saryn Muldrow. To date she is the
only non-American to win that title.
• The first and only time the Fit-
ness Olympia was held outside the
United States was on November 7,
1998, when Monica Brant took the
title in Nice, France. Since then the
event has been held annually in Las
Ms. O Factoids
Over its 29 years the Ms. Olympia
competition has understandably
produced nu-
merous bits of
trivia that have
helped shape its
legacy. For ex-
ample, Holland’s
Erika Mes (1984)
at 102 pounds
and American
Michele Ralabate
(1995) stand-
ing 4’11” make
up what can be
fondly referred
to as the Itty
Bitty Muscle
most diminu-
tive statures to
grace the lineup.
Meanwhile at
the opposite
end of the spec-
trum, New Yorker Nicole
Bass holds both records as
the tallest-ever Ms. Olympia
contestant and the heaviest,
standing 6’2” and weighing
204 pounds in 1997.
In addition:
• A field of 20, 17 of whom
were from the United States,
competed at the first Ms.
Olympia in 1980, while the largest
field was 30 in 1990.
• The total prize money at the
first Ms. Olympia was $10,000,
with $5,000 going to winner Rachel
• The biggest total purse was
$115,000, which was given out in
both 1995 and ’96, as Lenda Murray
and Kim Chizevsky, respectively,
each took home a $50,000 first
• The youngest
Ms. Olympia com-
petitor was 17-year-
old Laurie Johnston
in 1980.
• The eldest is
Betty Pariso, 52,
who competed in
the ’08 Ms. O and is
still active in the pro
• The slimmest
margin of victory
was one point in
1991, when Lenda
Murray edged Bev
Francis by a final
score of 31 to 32.
Iris Kyle.
Lenda Murray.
252 AUGUST 2009 \

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254 AUGUST 2009 \
Here’s a board run by one
of my best friends—and
best clients—Shoshana
Pritzker. Sho-Sho, as I call
her, is a national-level figure
competitor and an expert
on training, nutrition and
proper sports supplementa-
tion for women. The best
thing about fitnessrxmag.
com/forums/ is undoubt-
edly the amount of support
these gals give one another
in their goals, whether to
simply lose weight and get
toned and fit or become a
successful competitor or
model in the fitness indus-
try. Recently, I was asked to
become a part of the forums
and share my knowledge
and expertise, and now I
have my own little section called “Q and A with Coach
Eric Broser.” The ladies on the board are so sincere
and passionate about their desire to help themselves
and each other that I take great pleasure in helping
out when I can. So if you’re a gal looking for a place to
meet, communicate with, support and be supported
by others with similar aspirations, you really should
check out this site.
If you find something on the Web that IM readers should know about, send the URL to Eric at
This month I want to direct IM readers to a couple of discussion boards that I feel are worthwhile. They are filled
with useful information and/or a tremendous amount of inspiration and support. Join in the conversation.
by Eric Broser
Despite the tons of discussion boards all over
the Net, in my column I try to feature the ones
that I feel have the most comprehensive and
applicable information, as well as a member-
ship that includes myriad experts in our field.
The forum at definitely fills
that bill and is without a doubt one of the more
hardcore discussion boards on the Internet.
If you’re a serious bodybuilder, athlete, MMA
fighter, supplement fanatic or anything else
related to the sports/fitness/bodybuilding in-
dustry, I highly recommend that you become a
part of this community.
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Although “Hardbody” hit the scene (on VHS—re-
member that?) about 15 years ago, I have to say that it
remains one of my all-time favorites of its genre—you
know, where you watch your favorite bodybuilder go
through his workouts, pose and maybe even eat some-
thing. Filmed in 1993, when Gold’s Gym was stacked
with top amateurs and pros, waistlines were nice and
tight, synthol was still an idea—a crappy one, I might
add—I actually had hair on my head, and Flex Wheeler
was the hottest new bodybuilder in the IFBB, “Hard-
body” has become a classic.
The viewer gets to watch Flex, in outstanding con-
dition, and his close friend and training partner Rico
McCinton get put through their paces by the one and
only Charles Glass. The training footage is not only
inspiring—damn, Flex looks amazing—but also highly
entertaining, as these three offer up some pretty hilari-
ous gym banter.
Amid all of the joking and teasing, however, you’ll
witness some pretty hard training, and by the end you’ll
shake your head in wonder that Flex doesn’t have at
least one Sandow
on his mantel. If
you’re new to the
sport, I urge you to
check out “Hard-
body.” Flex Wheeler
is one of the best
pros ever to grace
an IFBB stage.
I watched it the
other day for the
10th-plus time,
and my motivation
for improving my
physique jumped
to yet another level.
Get your copy of
“Hardbody” on DVD
at www
Broser’s Net Results Q&A
The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your
questions on training and nutrition.
Q. For the first couple of years of my training
I had pretty good results. Now, however, I seem
to have hit a wall on most bodyparts—most of
all chest. My routine is basic and heavy: barbell
bench presses, 4x6-8; barbell incline presses,
3x6-8; weighted dips, 3x6-8. I continue to in-
crease the weight I lift, and my form is really
good. I’ve considered incorporating other types
of movements, but I thought the heavy basics
were best. Can you
give me some advice?
A. Unfortunately, while
I tend to agree that basic
movements give you the
most bang for your buck
and that lifting “heavy” and
progressively—as in get-
ting stronger—is a good
basic strategy, bodybuild-
ing isn’t so cut and dried.
You see, the human body
is amazingly adaptable,
and you can fool it for only
so long.
If you continue to bom-
bard your muscles and
central nervous system
with the same basic stress-
ors—in this case, exercises
and rep range—for years on end, it will eventually no
longer need to overcompensate by growing larger and
stronger as a protective response to your training. You
need to add variety to your program, thereby forcing
your body to deal with new and unique stressors that
will again force it to overcompensate by adding new
lean tissue.
As I see it, your problem is twofold. You’ve been
using the same basic exercises, which focus on only
the midpoint in the muscle’s range of motion. You need
to incorporate movements that supply a great amount
of force in both the stretch and contracted positions
of the range of motion as well. Because you’ve been
doing only six to eight reps, you’re hindering over-
all muscle-fiber recruitment as well as focusing on
only a limited amount of
the body’s physiological
machinery that can lead
to hypertrophy. Broaden
your training horizon by
implementing some new
techniques, exercises and
protocols into your work-
I recommend that you
combine my Power/Rep
Range/Shock training sys-
tem and Steve Holman’s
Positions of Flexion exer-
cise-selection methodolo-
gy, which will address both
of those limiting factors.
P/RR/S is a cyclical pro-
gram that has you chang-
ing workout protocols on
a weekly basis, while POF
provides you with exercises
>DVD Review:
Flex Wheeler’s “Hardbody”




AUGUST 2009 255
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256 AUGUST 2009 \
mcscce |×-s|¬es
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s
new DVD “Power/Rep Range/
Shock Max-Mass Training Sys-
tem” is available at Home-Gym.
com. His e-book, Power/Rep
Range/Shock Workout, which
includes complete printable
workout templates and a big
Q&A section, is available at IM
that will optimally challenge the target muscle over its
full range of motion—midrange, stretch and contracted
This is a three-week cycle for your chest:
Week 1: Power POF
Bench presses 4 x 4-6
Incline flyes 3 x 4-6
Cable crossovers 3 x 4-6
Week 2: Rep Range POF
Barbell incline presses 4 x 7-9
Flat-bench flyes 3 x 10-12
Pec deck flyes 3 x 13-15
Week 3: Shock POF
Weighted dips 2 x 8-10
Decline flyes 2 x 8-10
Low cable crossovers (drop set) 3 x 8-10(4-6)
Try a few cycles of this program, and I guarantee you
that the combination of unique stimuli from week to
week and working a muscle optimally through its entire
range of motion will spur new growth in your chest—
and more than likely in all other bodyparts too. [Note:
For more on POF, visit]
Q. I’m an avid user of the P/RR/S training
system, and it’s working brilliantly for all
bodyparts—except my back. Yes, it has grown,
but it still needs a lot more mass before I
can move up to the next level of bodybuilding
competition. I will work as hard as I have to—
just tell me what I can do.
A. Questions about lack of back development are ex-
tremely common, chiefly because it’s the most difficult
bodypart to develop a solid mind/muscle connection
with and many trainees use weights that are too heavy
for proper form. So before anything else, I want you to
make sure that you’re performing your back exercises
with spot-on positioning and mechanics and focusing
on the stretch and contraction in your back on every
single repetition. Several studies have shown that a
strong mind/muscle connection leads to the recruitment
of more muscle fibers, which in turn will hasten muscle
Assuming you’ve taken care of the above, I’m going
to make two more suggestions that should not only get
your “wings” spreading further but also make your back
resemble a gnarly mountain range of assorted muscle.
Split your workout so that you’re training your back
on its own and giving it a rest the days before and after
your back attack. That will guarantee that you will be full
of energy for every back workout so that you can hit it
with the utmost intensity and also that you permit opti-
mal recovery and repair to take place once the damage
has been done.
Speaking of damage, that brings me to my second
suggestion: Use FD/FS, or Fiber Damage/Fiber Satura-
tion training. If you’re unfamiliar with that method of
torture, um, I mean training, I’ll give you the basic prem-
ise: Use training techniques proven to cause maximum
muscle trauma, and follow that by immediately pursu-
ing the most intense muscle pump possible to feed
the damaged tissue as much nutrient-, hormone- and
oxygen-rich blood as possible. Sounds simple, right?
Yes, simply painful—but extremely effective for breaking
stubborn muscles out of plateaus.
I know what you’re thinking: “Thanks, Eric, but could
you give me an example of what you’re talking about?”
Well, of course. This is IRON MAN, and we’re all about
practical application and how-to.
Sample split:
Monday: Chest, biceps, abs
Tuesday: Quads, hams, calves
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Lats, lower back
Friday: Off
Saturday: Shoulders, traps, triceps
Sunday: Off
Sample FD/FS back workout:
Deadlifts (tempo: 2/0/X) 4 x 3-4
Weighted wide-grip pullups
(tempo: 6/1/X) 2 x 4-6
Close-grip seated cable rows
(tempo: 1/4/X) 2 x 6-8
One-arm dumbbell rows (tempo: 1/4/X) 2 x 6-8
Undergrip barbell bent-over rows
(tempo: 1/0/1) 1 x 25-30
Stiff-arm pulldowns (tempo: 1/0/1) 1 x 25-30
Note: When using FD/FS, it’s important to implement
the following nutritional strategy:
Preworkout: 30 to 50 grams whey protein, 30 to 50
grams carbs, one gram vitamin C
Intraworkout: 10 to 15 grams BCAAs, 10 to 15
grams glutamine, 30 to 50 grams liquid carbs
Postworkout: 30 to 50 grams whey protein, 30 to 50
grams high-glycemic-index carbs, one gram vitamin C,
five grams creatine
Train your back in this manner for four straight weeks
while still using P/RR/S for the rest of your bodyparts.
After four weeks return to P/RR/S for your back for two
cycles (six weeks) before using FD/FS again. Shoot me
an e-mail and let me know how it worked for you. Best
of luck.
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Anabolic steroids are synthetic, structurally modified
versions of testosterone. They are termed “anabolics” be-
cause they provoke reactions in muscle and other tissues
that result in either growth or stabilization of the tissues.
Anabolic steroids have legitimate medical uses, such as
preventing excessive tissue breakdown. Athletic use of
steroids, however, is far more publicized than their medical
applications. Bodybuilders and other athletes who use ana-
bolic steroids often self-medicate with dosages far above
what medical treatment requires. In line with the adage
“Only the dose determines the poison,” those using large
doses of steroids or several of the drugs simultaneously can
be subject to systemic side effects: liver problems, negative
changes in blood lipids and heart structure, fluid retention,
gynecomastia in males, virilism in women, inhibition of
testosterone production and possible adverse behavioral
changes in susceptible individuals.
While all of those side effects are possible in theory, in
reality they rarely occur. Athletes monitor themselves for
adverse effects, although rarely under the care of a physi-
cian. They use other drugs to mitigate some of the side
effects of large doses, such as estrogen-blocking drugs to
prevent estrogen-related side effects.
Idiosyncratic reactions, however, are always possible.
That means some steroid users experience unusual
or rare side effects. Why that happens is unknown
but probably has something to do with genetics or
individual susceptibility. One recent case study illus-
trates the point.
A 39-year-old previously healthy amateur bodybuilder
reported to an emergency room with excruciating pain and
inability to move his right shoulder after an injection of
steroids in that shoulder, which was followed by a shoul-
der workout on the same day.
He trained five days a week
and had done so for the previous eight years. For the past
seven years he had also used anabolic steroids. Deploying
a 23-gauge needle and sterile technique, he injected ste-
roids into his shoulder four times a week. He denied doing
any type of abrupt overstretching exercise that could have
caused a severe muscle strain.
The physical exam showed that his right deltoid was
swollen and tense, with the skin around it red, tender and
warm. He had no apparent bruising and no fever. The
picture became clearer when blood tests revealed a cre-
atine kinase enzyme level of 18,200—normal is below 195.
Creatine kinase is an enzyme that adds a phosphate to
creatine in muscle, thereby helping the muscle store cre-
atine. When muscle is damaged, even with intense exercise,
CK is released from
the muscle into the
blood. Having large
amounts of it in the
blood point to severe
muscle damage.
Because the body-
builder’s blood potas-
sium, also released by
damaged muscle, was
high, the diagnosis
was rhabdomyolysis,
which means massive
muscle destruction.
can have several
causes, among them
toxic reactions, lack
of blood flow to mus-
cle, infections and
inflammation. One
type, which is called
exertional rhabdo-
myolysis, occurs
when muscle cells are
damaged by unaccus-
tomed exercise. For
example, untrained
persons who exercise
in hot, humid weath-
er can develop it, but
it can also occur in
well-trained athletes.
Switching to a new
Muscle Destruction From Steroids
v v
by Jerry Brainum
258 AUGUST 2009 \
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mode of intense training without prepa-
ration can bring it on. A few cases have
occurred in bodybuilders who abruptly
began high-rep—100 reps or more per
set—training regimens, particularly in
hot weather without drinking adequate
Destruction of the muscle cell membrane
causes the leakage of intramuscular materi-
als, such as CK, minerals and other enzymes.
In severe cases myoglobin, the oxygen-carry-
ing protein in muscle, is also released in large
amounts and can crystallize in the kidneys.
That blocks the kidneys’ filtering units and
rapidly induces kidney failure. Without imme-
diate treatment, death follows.
Several cases of exercise- or drug-related
rhabdomyolysis in long-distance runners,
football players and military personnel have
been reported in the medical literature. One
published case study involved a 25-year-old
male professional dancer who showed up at a
hospital complaining about severe thigh and
calf pain.
The pain began after he engaged in
a 45-minute aerobic workout on a cross-train-
ing machine. He experienced severe muscle
cramps and a day later showed up at the
hospital. He was given an anti-inflammatory
drug but returned two days later, still in severe
pain. Tests revealed a high CK level, which led
to a diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis. He received
intravenous fluids and buffers such as potassium bicarbon-
ate to alkalinize his blood and prevent myoglobin pre-
cipitation in the kidneys. He received cortisone to relieve
inflammation, Valium to relax his muscles and Tylenol for
The dancer had used two steroid drugs, Winstrol and Pri-
mabolan, four ampoules
each a week apart. Be-
fore his pain set in, he’d
used only one ampoule
of Primobolan a few days
before, injecting it into
his thigh. His treatment
proved successful, and
he was released from the
Reports involving
bodybuilders have been
sporadic and may have
been written off as se-
vere muscle strains. One
40-year-old bodybuilder
who initially denied
using any anabolic ste-
roid or other drugs suf-
fered rhabdomyolysis in
his biceps. In fact, he’d
also injected Winstrol
into the affected shoul-
der, leading the attend-
ing physicians to suspect
that the injection itself
had caused the local-
ized rhabdomyolysis.
The doctors suggested
that he might have had
a toxic reaction to the
drug—a not unwarranted assumption, as most forms of in-
jectable Winstrol are veterinary versions not subject to the
same quality control as drugs slated for human use. A more
likely possibility is that the bodybuilder had a compart-
ment syndrome, the name given to a swelling of the fascia
that surrounds muscle. Usually occurring in the calf, it’s
rare in the shoulders because
of the higher mobility of the
shoulder and its attendant fas-
cia. Only three previous cases
were reported in the medical
literature, and they involved
drug overdoses or intoxication
after minor trauma.
The analysis was that the
bodybuilder suffered in-
creased compartment syn-
drome due to the injected
fluid, causing a blood
clot, which decreased the
elasticity in the shoulder
fascia. Compounded by
the bodybuilder’s grow-
ing shoulder muscle mass,
those factors increased the
intracompartmental pressure.
The shoulder workout that
followed amplified the effect
of limited blood flow, which
resulted in the characteristic
muscle breakdown. His treat-
ment proved successful, and
he returned to normal training
with no evidence of kidney
When muscle is damaged, even with intense exercise, creatine kinase is
released into the blood. Having large amounts of it in the blood points to
severe muscle damage.
Several cases of
exercise- or drug-related
rhabdomyolysis in
long-distance runners,
football players and
military personnel
have been reported in
the medical literature.
Reports involving
bodybuilders have
been sporadic and
may have been written
off as severe muscle
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260 AUGUST 2009 \
How Nolvadex Really Works
Tamoxifen citrate, or Nolvadex, is used to treat breast
cancer, particularly in older women who have estrogen-
sensitive breast cancer; 70 to 80 percent of all breast can-
cers are estrogen-sensitive. For years it’s also been used by
male bodybuilders on anabolic steroids to help prevent
gynecomastia, or the formation of male breast tissue.
Gyno is caused by an imbalance between estrogen and
testosterone, favoring increased estrogen. The steroid
drugs convert into estrogen through the actions of aro-
matase, an enzyme found throughout the body. The usual
practice for preventing estrogen-related side effects, which
include excess water and fat retention, is to take drugs that
either interfere with aromatase activity, such as Arimidex,
or block estrogen cell receptors, such as Nolvadex.
Nolvadex is the older of the two “estrogen solutions,”
and most athletes looking to lower estrogen now rely on
aromatase-inhibitors because of the notion that they’re
more reliable in diminishing estrogen. Nolvadex is also
thought to interfere with the activity of growth hormone
and its anabolic product, insulinlike growth factor 1. On
the other hand, lowering estrogen too much, which is
possible with extended use of aromatase inhibitors,
may interfere with the anabolic reactions involving
androgen receptors and testosterone.
Nolvadex is structurally similar to estrogen and can
bind to estrogen cell receptors, thereby blocking estrogen
from binding to them. If estrogen cannot interact with its
cellular receptors, it cannot exert biological activity and
becomes inert. Nolvadex also interferes with the negative
feedback signal sent by circulating estrogen in the blood to
the pituitary gland. That results in blunting release of gona-
datropins, including luteinizing hormone, which controls
testosterone synthesis at the Leydig cells in the testes. The
reduced estrogen-feedback signal induced by Nolvadex
results in greater release of luteinizing hormone and higher
blood testosterone. One author has noted that using 20
milligrams of Nolvadex daily—a standard bodybuilding
dose—can raise blood testosterone by 150 percent. On
the other hand, Nolvadex has both agonist and antagonist
properties. That is, when used in high doses for extended
times, it may act more like an estrogen agonist. Animal
studies show that extended use of Nolvadex interferes with
the activity of two testicular enzymes involved in testos-
terone synthesis, although that hasn’t been confirmed in
human studies.
What’s interesting about Nolvadex is that recent research
that directly compared it to the newer and supposedly
more effective aromatase-inhibiting drugs found that
Nolvadex appears to be more effective in preventing
gynecomastia and other estrogen-related effects in
men. How can that be?
A study presented at a scientific conference related to
breast cancer research may provide the answer. Research-
ers from the famed Mayo Clinic explained that Nolvadex
isn’t active but is rather like a pro-hormone. In the liver,
enzymes convert Nolvadex into two metabolites that are
the effective versions of the drug, endoxifen and 4-hydroxy-
tamoxifen. The study sought to explain why using Nolvadex
helps some women with breast cancer but not in others.
The researchers found that an enzyme system in the liver
called CYP2D6 must convert Nolvadex into its active me-
tabolites in order for the drug to work. In some women that
system isn’t as active, which means that they don’t convert
the Nolvadex into its most active metabolite, endoxifen. For
them Nolvadex doesn’t effectively treat breast cancer.
Most surprising, however, was the finding that en-
doxifen didn’t just block the estrogen cell receptor,
as was previously supposed, but actually degraded
it. No receptor means no estrogen cell activity. So drug
researchers are now at work producing a direct endoxifen
drug, since that’s the actual active form of Nolvadex. The
direct form won’t depend on liver enzymes to become ac-
While this study involved in vitro, or isolated-cell, pro-
tocols, there is no reason to believe that the results don’t
apply to men. The findings explain why Nolvadex works
better in preventing estrogen-related side effects in some
men more than others. In addition, the fact that this active
metabolite of Nolvadex actually degrades estrogen recep-
tors explains why the head-to-head studies comparing
Nolvadex to aromatase inhibitors showed Nolvadex to be
superior in preventing estrogen-related side effects in men.
A notable bonus: Nolvadex is far less expensive than most
aromatase inhibitors.
Farkash, U., et al. (2009). Rhabdomyolysis of the del-
toid muscle in a bodybuilder using anabolic-androgenic
steroids: A case report. J Athlet Training. 44:98-100.
Adamson, R., et al. (2005). Anabolic steroid-induced
rhabdomyolysis. Hosp Med. 66:362.
aoo÷ac|co|×o =¬¬¬m¬cocoo÷
Editor’s note: Jerry Brainum has been
an exercise and nutrition researcher and
journalist for more than 25 years. He’s
worked with pro bodybuilders as well as
many Olympic and professional athletes.
To get his new e-book, Natural Anabolics—
Nutrients, Compounds and Supplements
That Can Accelerate Muscle Growth Without Drugs, visit IM
Most surprising
about the new
Nolvadex study
was the finding that
the metabolite
endoxifen didn’t
just block the
estrogen cell receptor,
as was previously
supposed, but actually
degraded it.
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ticking points bring prog-
ress to a grinding halt and
can turn what normally
are positive workouts into
hours of disappointment. They’re
especially bothersome on an exer-
cise that you believe to be the most
important in your entire program,
such as the back squat, power clean
or flat bench. Figuring out how to
move past the sticking point isn’t
always easy. In fact, it’s seldom easy.
When your numbers are climb-
ing upward steadily, going to the
weight room is an enjoyable ex-
perience. There’s nothing quite as
satisfying as getting stronger and
improving your physique in the
process. When a primary lift or two
go flat, however, those sessions are
no longer pleasant but become a
source of irritation and frustration.
If it lasts only for a short time, it
isn’t much of a problem because
you expect ups and downs over the
long haul. When the sticking point
lasts six months or longer, though,
many stop training altogether.
As a result, formerly health-
conscious individuals become less
selective about what they eat, stop
taking most of their nutritional
supplements and no longer care
how much rest they’re getting.
Training, diet and rest fit nicely
together, but dropping even one
of the variables from the routine
adversely affects all of them. Even if
your program does run up against
sticking points, a less-than-satis-
factory workout is far better than
none at all.
An even smarter approach is to
figure out how to overcome the
sticking point. Once you can do
that, you realize that you have a
degree of control over your train-
ing destiny. If you can get a certain
exercise on the move again, when
another one hits a plateau—and
they all eventually do—you’ll be
much more prepared to deal with
the problem.
I’m going to present some ideas
that I have used on myself and the
many athletes that I have trained
over the years. Not all will work in
every situation, but one might be
useful in your case. If it doesn’t,
try another, but by all means keep
training while you’re attempting
to solve the riddle. Keep in mind
that no one ever said going to the
gym x-times a week and doing a
sound program consistently will
elevate you into the elite ranks of
strength. If everything proceeded
in a smooth fashion without any
hitches, then 300-pound military
presses and 600-pound squats
would be commonplace. Of course,
we know that’s not the case. To
move to higher limits of strength,
you must learn how to overcome
sticking points.
The first step is to reexamine
your form on the troublesome
exercise. You may have inadver-
tently slipped into some bad habits,
as often happens when someone
starts training with ambitious ath-
letes who are hell-bent on moving
big numbers regardless of tech-
nique. The result is all that matters,
as there are no extra points for
correct form. It is, however, a risky
game to play in strength training.
When technique becomes faulty,
the muscles and attachments that
are responsible for performing an
exercise don’t receive the attention
they need in order to get stronger.
Even more important, using sloppy
by Bill Starr
Photography by Michael Neveux
Only the Strong Shall Survive
266 AUGUST 2009 \









How to Overcome Sticking Points
How to Overcome Sticking Points
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268 AUGUST 2009 \
Only the Strong Shall Survive
technique repeatedly is an invita-
tion to injury.
Take the practice of rebounding
the bar off the chest on the bench
press—the norm, not the exception,
in most gyms. When you do that
over a long period of time, the mus-
cle groups responsible for moving
the bar upward off the chest get ne-
glected. So when the poundages get
really heavy, you can’t rebound the
bar forcefully enough to achieve the
height you need to follow through
and finish the lift. Plus, the toll on
your elbows, wrists and shoulders is
significant and will have to be dealt
with sooner or later.
The solution is never accepted
well: You have to reestablish form.
It may mean dropping way back
down in weight and basically start-
ing anew, using perfect technique.
Most people who have trained for
any length of time know it in their
gut—especially the strength athlete
who’s recognized as one of the best
benchers in the facility—but refuse
to do it because it’s just too damn
shattering to their egos. They’d rath-
er continue to pound their joints
and be able to claim a high number
in a prized lift than use less weight
in front of their training mates. Well,
that still doesn’t get them past the
sticking point.
I realize that it’s hard. I never
liked using lighter weights either,
after some sort of physical setback
or following a layoff—which, by
the way, I took only once. Strength
is critical to our self-esteem, but
if you want to achieve long-range
goals, going back and starting from
scratch is quite often a necessary
and rewarding move.
Over the years I’ve been around
only a few who were confident
enough in themselves to clean up
their bad form habits. By far the
most memorable was John Phillip,
the big Tongan I coached on Oahu. I
had moved to Hawaii from Califor-
nia to redesign my life. Every ven-
ture I tried in the Golden State had
turned sour, and I was sick of the
back-stabbing, anything-for-a-buck
mentality. I rented a small house
next to the ocean and not far from
the village of Kaaawa.
My original plan was to exercise
without any resistance other than
my bodyweight, but it didn’t pan
out. Once I discovered how weak
I’d become, I sought out a place
to train. I knew there was a small
weight room on the campus of
Church College of Hawaii in Laie,
not that far away and easily acces-
sible by bus. I told the athletic direc-
tor about my background and my
desire to train in the weight room.
He readily agreed, with the stipula-
tion that I help the other athletes
with their training.
All the students who trained at
Church College were from islands
across the Pacific: Samoa, Tahiti,
Fuji, Tonga, plus the other islands
of the Hawaiian chain: Maui, the
Big Island, Molokai and Kauai. In
exchange for scholarships, they
performed at the Polynesian Cul-
tural Center, which was adjacent
to the college. I was the only haole
there and no one spoke English. It
was either their native tongues or a
pidgin version of Hawaiian, which I
was able to understand just a bit.
I picked up comments about
someone named John Philip who
could bench more than 500 pounds,
but I took them with a grain of salt.
Whenever I’ve run across tales of
somebody’s cousin who could lift a
full-grown steer or elevate an anvil
with one hand, they’ve turned out
to be just that. Then John showed
up. He’d been coaching the college
rugby team. The season had ended,
and he was back into training. He
was, indeed, an impressive indi-
vidual, cut from the same cloth as
Patera, Bednarski, Pickett and Doug
Young. He wasn’t tall—my guess was
about 5’11”—and he weighed in the
high 200s, but he had the build of an
athlete who used his muscles: thick
chest, wide back and tree-trunk legs.
The students all greeted him
warmly, and he went directly to
the bench and started pressing.
The equipment in the weight room
consisted of a squat rack, a bench,
four Olympic bars, an abundance
of plates and some dumbbells. The
bench was from Sears, a flimsy
model intended for home use that
had uprights that moved in and out
to accommodate different shoulder
sizes. At that time I was using just
over 300, and having that much
weight over my face with the bench
creaking in protest made me very
uneasy. It didn’t seem to bother
He started out with 225 and pro-
ceeded to jump 90 pounds on each
subsequent set until he reached
495, then finished with a strong 525.
I was duly impressed. He hadn’t
trained for several months and was
handling poundages that only a few
others in the country were capable
of lifting. That bench sagged and
moaned because it was forced to
support more than 800 pounds.
How it held together I still do not
Everyone in the weight room
worked upper body exclusively. I
was the only person who squatted
and power cleaned and did high
pulls, overhead presses and dead-
lifts along with flat benches. Since
my goal was to establish a solid base
before pushing the numbers up, I
did all my lifts in extra strict form. I
paused the bar on my chest for my
benches and stopped for a count at
the bottom of my squats.
After about three weeks John
approached me and introduced
himself. He’d found out from the
athletic director that I’d competed
in weightlifting meets and had done
some coaching. He asked if I would
help him get ready for a powerlifting
meet that was going to be held in
Honolulu in three months. I agreed
You may have to reestablish form. It may mean
dropping way back down in weight and basically
starting anew, using perfect technique.
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He really was a remarkable athlete
and living proof that if the desire is
there, you can accomplish a lot.
When you’re trying to clean up
your form, it helps to have someone
around who knows the finer points \ AUGUST 2009 269
to do so but told him that he was
going to have to change the way
he benched. He needed to learn
to pause the bar on his chest for a
one-second count. Then an official
would give him a clap to signal for
him to press the weight. Otherwise
none of his attempts would be
passed. “Like you’ve been doing,”
he said.
“Yes,” I said, “exactly like I’ve
been doing.”
John was a guidance counselor
at Pearl Harbor High School and
was also the head of security for
the Polynesian Cultural Center. In
truth, he was the law on the North
Shore and had a reputation that
reached far beyond Oahu. At the
first session where I gave him a
clap to start the press, he managed
405. Certainly good yet a far cry
from 525. That meant he was going
to have to swallow a great deal of
pride, and he had a great deal. Still,
he did just that. I knew it was dif-
At the meet he finished with a
strong 515. Two months later he
surpassed his former best, and
18 months after he started doing
benches strictly, he placed second
at the World Powerlifting Champi-
onships in Birmingham, England.
Keep in mind that while he was
learning to pause for the start of
the bench press, he was also adding
squats and deadlifts to his program.
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270 AUGUST 2009 \
Only the Strong Shall Survive
of technique. That may mean trav-
eling some distance to train with
an experienced lifter or coach, but
it will be well worth the time and
effort. Should you know what needs
to be done in terms of shaping up
your technique but hate the idea
of using a lot less weight in front of
your buddies, train at a different
time for a while, or at home if you
have equipment available. Perfect-
ing form is always a good idea be-
cause it will help in the long run and
lessen the risk of injury.
I’ve noticed that whenever an
athlete hits a sticking point on a cer-
tain exercise that he deems impor-
tant, his first reaction is to do more
work on that lift by adding an extra
day or doing more sets than usual.
The problem with the approach is
that in all likelihood the reason the
lift is stuck is that it’s being over-
trained. So more work only makes
matters worse.
Instead of hammering away at
an exercise that’s floundering, try
this. Drop the exercise entirely and
hit the muscle groups it uses from a
different angle. Let’s say your bench
has stayed at the same number for
a very long time. Put that lift on
hiatus and replace it with overhead
presses, weighted dips and steep in-
clines. That gives the flat-benching
muscles a much-needed rest and
will strengthen many groups that
have been neglected. After a couple
of months on that program reinsert
the flat bench, and you’ll find your-
self moving upward right away.
I’ve also had success by changing
the grip on pressing movements.
When the overhead press was still
part of Olympic-lifting competi-
tion, some of the York lifters would
do wide-grip presses to hit certain
shoulder muscles more directly. It
worked. What’s more, close-grip
benches done in strict fashion im-
prove the flat bench.
Laying off a lift that has gone
stale is usually a good idea. At York
Barbell, once lifting season ended
in June, programs were drastically
altered. The high-skill lifts were
dropped and replaced with more
pure-strength movements. So rather
than drilling on snatches, cleans
and jerks, they did high pulls, shrugs
and lots of work in the power rack.
All those who followed the change
of routine said the same thing when
they returned to the more compli-
cated lifts: Their form was better
after the layoff.
Dumbbells can be most useful
in jarring a lift out of complacency,
especially for upper-body exer-
cises and, to a lesser degree, pull-
ing movements. Heavy dumbbell
benches, inclines and overhead
presses force the muscles involved
to work much harder than they
would with a bar because of the
balance factor. Having to control
the moving dumbbells takes much
more effort than pressing a barbell,
and that translates to more strength.
Plus, it’s much harder to cheat with
dumbbells than it is with a bar.
Rebounding them off your chest
only creates problems, as they’ll
run in all directions. They have to
Heavy dumbbell benches, inclines and
overhead presses force the muscles involved to
work much harder than they would with a
bar because of the balance factor.
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be guided upward, and that has a
positive effect on the muscles and
attachments being used in the lift.
Power cleaning heavy dumbbells
and snatching one dumbbell at a
time are good exercises for help-
ing you get your top pull stronger.
Again, the dumbbells have to be
pulled in a very precise line and
be under complete control from
start to finish. They have to be
turned over forcefully in order to be
cleaned or snatched. Once you learn
the feel of it, you can use it with a
barbell very readily.
Be conscious of the smaller
muscle groups when trying to figure
out how to break through a sticking
point. It could simply be that hav-
ing relatively weak triceps is hold-
ing your presses back. Or it may be
that your deltoids aren’t up to par.
When pulling movements hit the
wall, check to see if all segments of
your back are receiving equal at-
tention. Same idea for the hips and
legs. I’ve had athletes badly stuck
on their squats go on a hard and
heavy calf raise routine, and sud-
denly their squats were on the move
again. I also had a powerlifter add
20 pounds to his deadlifts after he
added calf raises to his program.
Overtraining, as I’ve mentioned,
is a major reason for many sticking
points, but where that’s not a factor,
weak areas are the culprits. In order
to deal with them, you first have to
identify them. Sometimes they’re
rather obvious—perhaps weak
adductors displaying themselves
when your knees turn in during
heavy pulls or squats or a lack of
trap strength on heavy cleans or
snatches. Most are so subtle, how-
ever, that they need a trained coach
to spot them, and not everyone has
the opportunity to work out in front
of such an individual. That means
you have to find the weak area your-
self. A tough task? Not at all. That is,
if you have a power rack.
You believe your form is correct
in the back squat, and you work it
diligently, making sure you’re not
overdoing it. Even so, it’s been stuck
at 350 for more than six months,
and you’re stymied as to how to get
over the sticking point. The rack will
reveal the weaker area right away.
Set the pins in the rack a couple
of inches below where you hit the
bottom on the squat. While you can
start this from the finish of the lift,
most weak areas are either in the
start or somewhere in the middle
range, so it’s best to start from the
deep bottom and work up. Squeeze
under the bar loaded with 135
pounds, and stand up with it. That
will help you get the feel of what
you’re trying to accomplish. Do
only singles. Keep adding weight
until you find your limit. Record
that number, and move the pins
up to the middle part of the squat.
Then repeat the procedure, and do
the same for the finish. If you’re not
positive where the weakest area is,
you can do more than three posi-
tions, but usually three are enough.
In this case it’s clearly the middle
where you were able to use only
505. Reset the pins at that middle
position, put 275 on the bar, and do
three reps with that weight. If it’s not
difficult, add weight and do another
triple. Try to find a poundage that
gives you three reps, and knock
out five sets. It doesn’t matter what
poundage you use in the beginning
on partial squats because you’re
going to be increasing it each time
you do them. When you’re able to
handle 30 or 40 more pounds than
you used the first time around, that
weak area will be much stronger,
and the new strength will display it-
self when you do the full movement.
Another way to use the rack to
strengthen a weak area is with either
pure isometrics or isotonic-isomet-
rics. I believe the latter is more ef-
fective as it’s often difficult to tell if
you are, in fact, exerting 100 percent
of your effort against the stationary
bar. When you have weight on the
bar and have to hold it against the
top pins for a definite amount of
time, you know for certain. That’s
because if you slack off then, the bar
will move away from the top pins.
To work the weak middle very
specifically, set the lower pins at the
same place you had them for the
partial squats. Then put two pins
directly over the bar. The closer the
better. You want to move the loaded
barbell only an inch or two—no
more than that unless the holes
are set wide apart in your rack. You
might have to stand on a board to
place yourself a bit higher so the bar
is closer to the top pins.
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StrongShallSur_803_F.indd 271 5/29/09 5:46:34 PM
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Only the Strong Shall Survive
Start out with a light weight so
you can determine what you’re
doing on the concentrated exercise.
Squeeze under the bar, making sure
your feet are positioned correctly
and your torso is where it should
be. Then elevate the bar up against
the pins. Tap them, and lower the
weight. Do that three times, and
hold the third rep for a couple of
seconds. Add weight and repeat.
Now decide how much you can
handle for your work set. It doesn’t
have to be on the money the first
time around, but it should be close.
Tap the top pins twice with the bar
and lock in the third rep, holding
it for an eight-to-12-second count.
Here the time element is more im-
portant than how much weight is
on the bar. If you can’t lock into an
isometric contraction for at least
eight seconds, use less weight. If you
can hold longer than a 12 count, you
need more weight. After a couple
of workouts you’ll have a good idea
of how much to use. Just do that
one work set. Isotonic-isometrics
are condensed strength work, and a
little goes a long way.
Of course, you can seek out weak
spots in pulls and presses in the
same way and make them stron-
ger with isos. A learning curve is
involved. When you lock the bar
against the top pins, you must
think about steadily increasing the
pressure as the count gets higher.
When you reach eight, you should
be squatting, pulling or pressing
with absolutely all your might. You
should hold nothing back. Isotonic-
isometric contractions strengthen
the tendons and ligaments, which
are the ultimate sources of strength.
Be sure to warm up thoroughly be-
fore doing them. Lock-
ing into an iso hold on
cold muscles is asking
for a pulled muscle or
Another rather sim-
ple way to strengthen
a troublesome exer-
cise is to give it prior-
ity in your routine. Do
it first on Mondays,
when you have the
most energy. Gaining
bodyweight is a tried-
and-true method of
blasting through a
sticking point. Add 15
or 20 pounds, and all
your primary move-
ments are going to
Finally, if you find
that the exercises in
your program have all
gone flat, you need to
take a moment and
examine your rest
and eating patterns.
Have you been eating
plenty of protein and getting the rest
you need? Both are crucial for recov-
ery. Have you been neglecting your
nutritional supplements? Not getting
enough vitamin C or E or minerals
might be the reason everything has
flatlined. Making some changes in
your lifestyle might be just what you
need to break through some sticking
points. If you’re fine on that score,
however, try some of my ideas. All
you need to do is find one that works
for you, and you’re on your way once
Editor’s note: Bill Starr was a
strength and conditioning coach at
Johns Hopkins University from 1989
to 2000. He’s the author of The Stron-
gest Shall Survive—Strength Training
for Football, which is available for
$20 plus shipping from Home Gym
Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or
visit IM
Once lifting season ended, high-skill lifts were
replaced with pure-strength movements
like high pulls and shrugs. When they returned,
their form was noticeably better.
272 AUGUST 2009 \


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ime flies. You’re 40-something and wondering if weight
training is the thing for you. Okay, so you’re actually
closer to 50-something, closing in on 60, and consider-
ing lifting weights to improve your health and strength before
you’re 70 in a few months. Yes, no, maybe—couch, remote,
bowl of’re uncertain.
Barbells and dumbbells are crude and unwieldy devices
designed for muscleheads, brutes and inmates. Hoisting the
objects is a tedious and nonsensical expenditure of time and
a source of much labor and pain. Weightlifting at this time of
my life...hmmm...the idea sounds as appealing as tapping my
forehead with a ball-peen hammer or grooming alligators. I
must be losing my marbles.
I take it you haven’t experienced the fascination and fulfill-
ment and fury of engaging the iron. You haven’t grasped
a pair of hefty, well-balanced dumbbells, stood with them
suspended mightily by your sides and comprehended their
Weights: To Lift or Not to Lift?
energy and force—their sheer gravity. It’s a powerful and excit-
ing thing to behold and to reckon with. Pure joy! They and their
attributes are at your command to reward you in unimaginable
Weights and lifting them make men and women of all ages
strong in body, in mind and in soul. They build muscle and
strength, as surely as they build character. They improve energy
and endurance, as certainly as they improve acuity and physi-
cal calm. The iron, though cold and lifeless, is instructive and
endearing and dependable.
Spirits are raised as the weights are raised. Patience grows
as the weights, sets and reps are counted and accrued. Physi-
cal ability and utility advance as the lifter diligently practices his
or her lifting skills. And they, the pursued skills, are not a thing
of mindless routine. They are the graceful and deliberate ap-
plication and performance of the body’s mechanics and the
mind’s focus.
Few things are more fulfilling than personal progress.
One workout leads to another, effort fortifies effort, con-
trol delivers control, and once-unattended physiological
systems respond and develop. The infamous clang-
ing and thudding of weights are a study in disguise
and worthy of the trainee’s attention. No encyclopedia
needed; common sense and instinct will do very nicely.
To lift weights or not to lift weights, that is the ques-
Exercise vs. training. Exercise is like a canary—
caged and cute. Training is like the soaring eagle—
awesome and free. Training includes a wholesome
lifestyle with plenty of rest, thoughtful dietary practices
and regular weight-resistance engagement. Training is
positive action and attitude; exercise is a single good
thing to be done, a part of the whole. Training is the
whole. I suggest you train for life.
The first workout is the toughest. It’s usually the
result of long consideration, intense anticipation and
heady confrontations with doubt, procrastination and
hope and fear. Gee, we make mountains out of mole-
hills, or, in this particular scene, cavernous iron mines
out of barbells. Tough is good. It’s time to be tough.
The tough endure.
Lifting the iron might not be easy, but it’s quite sim-
ple. You need an agreeable gym with the basic equip-
ment, and there’s likely one in your neighborhood...
unless you live on the outskirts of Sleeping Mule,
Nevada. Once the right gym is selected, plan to visit it
three nonconsecutive days a week.
How to choose a gym. Your goals are to build
muscle and strength, tone and shape and energy and
endurance. Lucky you, the wholesome lot go together,
like musclehead stew; add one, and you add them
all. I suspect that more than one reader wants to lose
weight and bodyfat. That, too, is in the pot. What a
deal, what a meal! Everything in one: robust health,
aomae¬ ac¬s¬


274 AUGUST 2009 \
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sound physical fitness, vigorous conditioning and gorgeous
good looks.
One caveat, potential metal-moving maniac: You’ve got to
eat smart to ensure that your devotion is effective—whole-
some foods, no junk, hearty protein, valuable carbs and good
fats. No problemo. Easier than apple pie...a lot of which, by
the way, is not highly recommended.
Hello. Are you still with me? Remember, the iron stuff is
guaranteed to please: muscle and shape, strength and health,
no matter how old you are. Some respond better than oth-
ers—we’re all different—but we all respond positively. Trust
me. I’ve been both young and old. I’ve known both youth and
Finally, permit me to cut out the boring medical research,
elaborate instruction and the horrid details of physiology and
get to the steel-packing, iron-pumping basics. Let me tell you
what I would do if I were you. This is a general training plan for
the 50-, 60-, 70-some individual of decent health and condi-
tion, you being the definer of the terms decent health and
Buck up. Take a quick look at yourself and make a valid
self-evaluation. Intimidating (downright scary), but it helps to
face the truth.
Go to the gym. Sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be the
most difficult exercise of the workout. We quickly become
expert at devising reasons not to go. Don’t listen to them.
They’re lies.
Hop (crawl) on the stationary bike and fake it for five min-
utes. This diversionary technique gets you rolling, figuratively
speaking, and warms you up, giving you time to prepare your-
self mentally and physically for the good work ahead.
Muscle builders think of the body in basic sections, or mus-
cle groups: chest, back, shoulders, arms (biceps and triceps),
torso and legs. There are many exercises for each group, and
their actions often overlap. I have chosen the following for their
ultimate worth. Smile. Drink lots of water.
Now the fun begins. You’re a soaring trainee about to
arouse and invigorate the muscles of the entire body through
a series of five push and pull exercises, my faves, and I pass
them on to you. It’s a darn good start. Do two sets of each
exercise for 10 reps every other day, three days a week.
1) Dumbbell bench presses for chest, shoulders and triceps
2) Barbell curls for biceps and upper-body stability
3) Machine dips for triceps, chest, shoulders and upper
4) Seated lat rows for back and biceps
5) Lunges for legs and torso
Walk for 15 minutes on off days. Excellent workout.
There’s nothing like personal instruction for a day or week
from a worthy instructor. Be aware. Some of the very best
learn on their own by observing or working with a relative or
friend who has a clue.
Break a leg. Build an arm.
—Dave Draper
Editor’s note: For more from Dave
Draper, visit and
sign up for his free newsletter. You can also
check out his amazing Top Squat training
tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and
f you’re having trouble getting in the mood, a
few meditation sessions may help. Ac-
cording to researchers, women who
attended three meditation courses be-
came much more aroused when watch-
ing erotic movies than before
they meditated. It may be
a case of better focusing
capability. Note that the
subjects were women.
Most men
have no
cially during
an erotic
Cherry Bomb
know how im-
portant sound
sleep is to packing on
muscle. The deeper
the sleep, the more
pronounced the re-
covery, which means
more muscle faster.
What do you do if
you have trouble sleeping? Eating a handful
of cherries may help. It turns out that the fruit
is full of melatonin, the compound your body
uses to settle into a restful state. If you have a
protein shake before you hit the sack, throw in
a few cherries.
—Becky Holman
Meditation Sensation \ AUGUST 2009 275
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nce a self-described “scrawny teenager,”
Eric Abenoja has become a beefed-up police
officer handling some of the toughest and most
physically demanding assignments in his department,
in partnership with an even more physical canine. When
Eric was a kid, he went to the gym with his brother and
got his first look at what happens to biceps when you
do curls—and he was hooked. As an adult he won the
gold medal three years in a row at the Western States
Police/Fire Olympics and just recently won the overall at
a powerlifting competition.
On-the-job strength and endurance are his two big
reasons for lifting in the gym. Being in shape keeps Eric
out of jams because the extra edge of self-confidence
it gives him—and maybe just looking the part—calm
some people down before they decide to try something
stupid. Of course, that 100-pound dog helps keep the
peace too.
Eric’s 14-to-16-hour workdays make
it tough for him to stay in shape. A very
high metabolism means he needs to eat
a lot of good clean food, but he does
get some meals that aren’t the best no
matter what he does. So he works that
much harder in the gym. Soon Eric will
be working to help others in the gym,
too, as a personal trainer.
“Helping people out, especially
people who can’t help themselves at
that moment in time” is why Eric says
he likes being a cop. If you think about
it, that’s what works in the gym as well.
Sometimes we all need extra help at
some moment. Good thing we have
guys like Eric. You can visit him on, where he’s found a
home with people
who are interested
in health and
fitness and where
he’s made a lot of
friends. Check out
his BodySpace at
com/1tymz/. Tell him
you saw him working
out in IRON MAN.
—Ian Sitren
Editor’s note:
For more BodySpace
bodies and info, visit





276 AUGUST 2009 \
m|×ozaoo÷ BodySpace Physique of the Month
Eric Abenoja
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m|×ozaoo÷ Prevention
Celebrity Sex
ccording to survey results posted
in the March ’09 issue of Health, if
men had a free pass, the top five
celebrities they’d do the deed with were:
1) Jennifer Aniston (25 percent)
2) Angelina Jolie (18 percent)
3) Jessica Alba (11 percent)
4) Scarlett Johansson (11 percent)
5) Eva Longoria Parker (7 percent)
What about the male celebs women
fantasize about?
1) George Clooney (17 percent)
2) Hugh Jackman (11 percent)
3) Brad Pitt (10 percent)
4) Patrick Dempsey (9 percent)
5) Denzel Washington (8 percent)
—Becky Holman
Cough Cure
s¬¬ess acs¬e¬s
Laugh It Off, Pack It On
ou’ve read over and over that
cortisol is a stress hormone that
can cause your body to gobble
up your muscle—that even workouts are
perceived by your body as stress, which
increases catabolism. Reduce cortisol
and you keep more muscle and make
it easier to gain more and lose bodyfat.
One way is to laugh more. Scientists at
Loma Linda University in California found
that even anticipating laughter can re-
duce cortisol by nearly half. No wonder
your funny friends are your favorites.
—Becky Holman



ccording to the December
’08 Prevention, researchers
found that a bit of dark
chocolate can stop a persistent
cough better than codeine. The
active cough-suppressing ingredient
in dark chocolate is theobromine.
Two teaspoons of honey has also
been shown to be an effective
cough suppressant.
—Becky Holman
MIND_F.indd 277 5/29/09 7:24:08 PM
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n the July ’09 IRON MAN
I reviewed Frank Zane’s
High Def Handbook. I
mentioned that even today
Zane’s physique is consid-
ered the ideal by most guys
looking to build the perfect
body. His results, however,
weren’t completely the result
of great genetics—his mind
also had a lot to do with it.
Zane has always had a
fascination with mental train-
ing and how it can take re-
sults to a new level, and The
Mind in Body Building puts
his practices into perspective
for you to use. He expounds on
stress management, meditation,
visualization, mantra, focus, his
mind/muscle machine, pulsed
magnetic field therapy, dreams
and even music.
While most of the 70-page
booklet zeroes in on Zane’s
experiences and use of those
things in building his body, he
also discusses how they can im-
prove your life. After all, the mind
is the ultimate ally in the struggle
to achieve any goal, whether
muscles, money or happiness.
For example, meditation alone
has been shown to improve ev-
erything from the crime rate to
athletic performance to health
to finances. Zane describes a
number of ways to do it, includ-
ing the beginning technique of
breath counting. Practicing that
simple technique for 20 minutes
on most days—Zane prefers to
do it before his workouts—can
produce significant results in your
life as your concentration abilities
sharpen and your stress de-
creases. Zane says mantra and
meditation were key players in
his winning the Mr. Olympia title
three years in a row.
Zane interjects philosophy and
life lessons in the book as well.
For example: “No one deserves
your anger, especially you. You
must recognize the effect nega-
tive emotions such as anger and
hatred have on you, your body
and your personal growth. They
add to your negative karma....
Realize that what disturbs you in
the behavior of others is due to
the fact that you have the same
trait as the person who is the
object of your anger.”
While popular books like The
Secret scratch the surface of
using your mind to achieve your
ultimate goals, Zane’s The Mind
in Body Building goes much
deeper. It’s a veritable how-to
manual on mental training that
can give you bigger, faster re-
sults in the gym as well as other
areas of your life.
—Becky Holman
Editor’s note: The Mind
in Body Building is available at
The Mind in Bodybuilding
m|×ozaoo÷ Review
MIND_F.indd 278 5/21/09 12:27:13 PM
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he Bureau of
Labor Statistics
reports that the
fitness industry is expect-
ed to grow “much faster
than average for all occu-
pations,” at a rate of 27
percent or more. Other
statistics confirm that personal trainers
have a high degree of job satisfaction,
making a career in fitness a fantastic
choice for the right person.
More than 120 million people in the
United States admit they don’t exer-
cise. Obesity rates have more than
doubled in the past 20 years, and
more than 30 percent of the popula-
tion can officially be called obese,
putting those people at risk for chronic
diseases, including type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, hyperten-
sion and stroke and certain forms of
Clearly, the need for personal train-
ers is great. Countless medical and
scientific studies have proven that the
most important factors preventing or
reversing many disease processes
include weight training, aerobic condi-
tioning, flexibility, sensible nutrition and
a positive mental outlook. Fitness pro-
use those
five key
every day
to help
There is, however, a catch. If you
want to be a fitness professional,
you’ve got to have a genuine passion
for helping others. If that’s you, there’s
much potential for making great
money while enjoying your job and
helping others live a better quality of
life through fitness.
Founded in 1988, the International
Sports Sciences Association has
provided fitness education and certifi-
cation to more than 120,000 students
in 84 countries. ISSA is the first and
only fitness organization in the United
States to be nationally accredited
by the Accrediting Commission of
the Distance Education and Training
Council in Washington, D.C.
For more information about get-
ting started in a career in fitness, visit or call (800)
Future Is Strong for Personal Trainers
1) “Power/Rep Range/
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ing System”
2) “’09 IRON MAN Pro”
3) “’08 IRON MAN Pro”
4) “’08 Mr. Olympia”
5) “Mark Dugdale’s
1) The 7-Minute Rotator
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Horrigan, D.C., and Jerry
2) 10-Week Size Surge by
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3) The Precontest Bible
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4) The Russian Kettle-
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5) Ronnie Coleman’s
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m|×ozaoo÷ Careers
MIND_F.indd 280 5/21/09 12:28:22 PM
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282 AUGUST 2009 \
ccording to a report published
in The New England Journal
of Medicine, every adult has
brown fat—cells that act like a fur-
nace to burn calories and generate
heat. Brown fat, which is reddish brown in color, is filled
with mitochondria, the tiny energy factories of cells. The
mitochondria contain iron, thus giving brown fat its color
and its name. The amount in adult humans varies, say
researchers: Thin people, younger people and people with
higher metabolic rates all have greater amounts of brown
fat. Women have more active brown fat than men, and
people taking beta blockers have less. Why do beta block-
ers affect the ability of brown fat to become activated?
Brown fat is activated by, among other things, hormones
called catecholamines, which are part of the “fight or flight”
response. Beta blockers block those hormones.
In the study the researchers used PET-CT scans to find
the brown fat, which lights up in the scans as it rapidly
burns glucose to produce heat. The scans showed that in
adult humans, brown fat is located in the upper back, on
the side of the neck, between the collarbone and shoulder
and along the spine. Their findings contradict past beliefs
that humans lose brown fat after infancy, no longer need-
ing it once the shivering response kicks in to help them
stay warm.
The best evidence demonstrating the effects of brown
fat has been gleaned from earlier studies of mice. Leslie
P. Kozak, a professor of molecular genetics at the Pen-
nington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State
University, conducted a study in which mice that were
predisposed to obesity were placed in a 41-degree
room for a week. At the same time they were
fed a high-fat diet with 2.5 times more calories
than they took
in at room
Despite their diet, the cool room activated their brown fat,
and as a result, the mice lost 14 percent of their weight—
or 47 percent of their bodyfat.
Jan Nedergaard of the University of Stockholm did the
opposite. He and his associate studied mice that were
genetically altered so that their brown fat could not burn
calories. Not surprising, the animals became fat. “Until very
recently, we would have said that it is doubtful that differ-
ences in brown fat really could contribute to obesity,” says
Dr. Nedergaard, who has since changed his mind, at least
for now.
Scientists hope to find safe ways to “turn on” humans’
ability to activate brown fat in order to enable them to lose
weight by burning more calories. They express caution,
however, saying that while mice lose weight if they activate
brown fat, it is not clear that humans would shed pounds.
Moreover, data on global patterns of obesity is not sub-
stantial enough to clearly demonstrate that living in a cold
climate makes people thinner. According to the investi-
gators, however, the studies should stimulate research
on the development of techniques to activate brown fat.
Notes Dr. Claude Bouchard of the Pennington Biomedical
Research Center, if a drug that stimulates brown fat were
developed, “It would be the first obesity drug to affect en-
ergy expenditure rather than appetite.”
—Dr. Bob Goldman
Editor’s note: For the latest
information and research on health
and aging, subscribe to the American
Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
e-zine free at WorldHealth
Calorie-Burning Brown Fat in Humans
m|×ozaoo÷ Health & Aging
MIND_F.indd 282 5/21/09 12:28:56 PM
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161 / 162

286 AUGUST 2009 \
I want the folks
at IRON MAN to
know how very ex-
cited I was to have
taken part in the
most recent Texas
Shredder Classic.
What an awesome
experience! I was
blown away by
the sheer size and
complexity of the
show. The ath-
letes’ briefing was
packed with com-
petitors, and the
venue was packed
with spectators—
standing room
only. I was duly
impressed with
the professional-
ism and genuinely
caring attitudes
displayed at all times by the Shredder’s supporting staff. As
a 42-year-old bodybuilder, I have followed Dave Goodin’s
career for some time. Quite frankly, Mr. Goodin is the rea-
son I took up competition. Here’s a guy in his 50s who has
achieved amazing physical perfection minus the benefits
of illegal substances. He is a true role model, an inspiration
and, as it turns out, a gentleman of the highest caliber.
SGM Gerald T. Peil
U.S. Army
Fort Bliss, Texas
BodySpace Bravado
Seeing [IRON MAN and BodySpace
Model Search winners] Sean Harley and Allison Ethier on
the [June ’09] cover and reading about them really inspired
me. They are real people with tremendous physiques, not
overblown bodies
that you see at the
top of the competi-
ladder. They make
me want to train
hard and get my own
cover and story in
IRON MAN. Maybe it
will be me next year.
Sam Pacheco
via Internet
Editor’s note:
That’s the idea—moti-
vation and the I-can-
do-it-too mind-set.
We hope to see you
onstage in 2010.
Vol. 68, No. 8: IRON MAN (ISSN #0047-1496) is published monthly by IRON MAN Publish-
ing, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Periodical Mail is paid at Oxnard, CA, and at addi-
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IRON MAN, P.O. Box 90968,
Long Beach, CA 90809-0968. Please allow six to eight weeks for change to take effect.
Subscription rates—U.S. and its possessions: new 12-issue subscription, $29.97. Canada,
Mexico and other foreign subscriptions: 12 issues, $49.97 sent Second Class. Foreign orders
must be in U.S. dollars. Send subscriptions to IRON MAN, P.O. Box 90968, Long Beach,
CA 90809-0968. Or call 1-800-570-4766 or 1-714-226-9782. Copyright © 2009. All rights
reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without written per-
mission from the publisher. Printed in the USA.
O Yes!
Jennifer Gates’
classic beauty
floored me [Hard-
body, May ’09]. She’s
a Figure Olympia
winner with a sultry
yet sophisticated
look and a perfect
body with just the
right amount of
vascularity and
muscle. However,
there weren’t enough
photos. I was left
screaming for more!
Jerry Beachman
via Internet
Arm Size Without Curls
I read with interest Bill Starr’s “How to Get Bigger Arms
Without Curling.” He and Uncle Buddy made a lot of sense,
saying that the biggest bodybuilders get most of their arm
size from pulling and pressing heavy weights. I’m making
an effort to do more of that compound work, but I need
my curls, at least a few sets. I think seeing the biceps pump
from more isolated work does some different things for
growth, and even if it doesn’t, it’s a big psychological boost.
Paul Bard
El Paso, TX
Power-Packed Program
The Volume/Intensity Fusion workout presented in the
May ’09 IRON MAN is spectacular. I’m seeing new progress
with it already. I like alternating a heavy straight-set body-
part workout with a shorter high-intensity blast. I’ve always
gone back and forth between being a volume trainer and
a high-intensity advocate. This program lets me take ad-
vantage of both ways. I was so impressed that I went to the
Internet and bought the e-book that it was excerpted from
[X-traordinary Muscle Building Workouts], and it outlines
and explains many more killer routines I’m anxious to try.
The Power Pyramid looks right up my alley. Right now my
gains are better than ever, so I’m sticking with Volume/In-
tensity Fusion for as long as it keeps working.
Michael Pantello
via Internet
Editor’s note: For more on the e-book X-traordinary
Muscle-Building Workouts, visit the X-shop at www.X-Rep
Classic Shredder
JUNE 2009
Please display until 6/3/09
• Arnold Classic—Giant Pics of Insane Muscle
• Motivation Mojo—Grab Your Goals to Gain
• Secure Your Shoulders for New Size and Strength
Hot BodySpace Champs
Sean Harley and
Allison Ethier
Tell You How

Toast Your
Tri’s for
Super Size
Blast Off to a
Bigger Bench
Work Out
to Win BIG!
Dave Goodin.
Jennifer Gates.
Reader_F.indd 286 5/29/09 12:49:47 PM
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